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The History of Antioch High School

The very first school in Antioch housed first through tenth grades that consisted of two rooms with an entrance hall which was built on a piece of land donated in 1882 by Blackman Gowen Hays.  School lasted nine hours each day and there was no cafeteria.  Students often brought their lunches with them in tin lunch pails and baskets. Fresh water was brought in by a nearby well in buckets.  A bucket would be passed down the aisle with a dipper from which each child would drink.  On frequent occasions, classes would be interrupted by the roar of passing trains from the railroad track that sat only two hundred feet from the school. Principals of the first school at Antioch was Mr. Samuel Johnson, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. A.D. Ferrell.

In 1907, Antioch School moved to a new building (shown in far left photo above). This site was on Antioch Pike near Mill Creek, on the southeast corner of Reeves Road which luckily was far from the railroad.  The grounds were better suited for times of recess but the structure would prove to be poorly planned. The school offered first through tenth grades.  Principals of the school from 1907 to 1916 included Mr. J.H. Hooper, Mr. A.D. Ferrell, Mr. J.G. Hunter, and Mr. H.L. Bramwell.

With the steady growth of the Antioch area, the school board felt that the community needed a high school. They bought twenty-four acres on both sides of Blue Hole Road so that the new Antioch High School could open in the fall of 1933 (shown in above photo second from left).  In the first year of opening, Antioch High School had three classes: freshman, sophomore, and junior. There were not enough students with enough credits to be classified as seniors at the time. The first students to graduate from Antioch would be in 1935 with a total of twelve students in the graduating class.

Antioch fielded both football and basketball teams from the beginning. The teams were known as the Eagles and the school song was “On Antioch High, Ever Onward” written by Roy Collins, Jr.  Antioch High School would keep the Eagles title until 1949 when East High School in Nashville chose their team to be the Eagles.  From that point on Antioch High School would proudly be known as the Bears. 

In 1951, the elementary school moved into a wing at the high school and a cafeteria was then built and in 1958 a north wing addition was added.  Mr. E.R. Harris was principal during the transitioning years of 1958-1971.  Antioch housed first through twelfth grades until more area elementary schools opened in 1962.  Later the high school added a new gymnasium in 1964 and it is still in use today.  When Apollo Junior High opened in 1968, the ninth grade transferred from Antioch to the new school. In 1969 the last remaining portion of the old high school was demolished and the center part reconstructed, opening in the fall of 1970 (shown in the above photo second from the right).  The ninth grade returned in 1988 once again the campus on Blue Hole Road making the high school a four-year institution.  The last change that Antioch High School underwent was a complete change of address.  In 1997, the former Antioch High School located on 5050 Blue Hole Road became Antioch Middle School and a brand new Antioch High School was opened at 1900 Hobson Pike (shown in far right photo above). 

Information and photos taken with permission from Christine Cole Marshall & Joy Marshall Middleton’s book, With Good Will and Affection for Antioch.

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