E. C. Holloway, Sr.
415 S. Academy St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
(Ph) (615) 867-2633
Bradley Academy Birthday Celebration
Year Legacy of Excellence
Bradley Academy has the distinction of being the
first school established in Rutherford County.
The origin of Bradley Academy as an institution
of learning stems from the Congressional Land
Grant Act of 1806. In response to this Act the
Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation
establishing an academy in each of the Counties
of Tennessee. It is important to remember that
Rutherford County was founded only three years
earlier. Recently discovered documents now place
the planned opening of Bradley Academy as early
as 1809; whereas, several existing documents in
the past placed the opening in 1811.
The original Bradley Academy building was a
small log cabin school near Stones River, near
the site of Old Jefferson, the original county
seat. The Academy was located on land donated by
John Bradley, a Revolutionary War officer; thus,
the school name is derived from this benefactor.
Bradley Academy soon established itself as a
well known institution of learning in the Middle
Tennessee community. James K. Polk and John Bell
would become some of the early scholars to
attend Bradley Academy during this period of
time. Both men would later be nominated by their
respective parties for the presidency of the
United States. James K. Polk was subsequently
elected president of the United States in 1844.
In the late 1820s or early 1830s, a brick
Bradley Academy was built. The building hosted
the classes of Union University while that
institution’s facility was being constructed on
Main Street in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Bradley
served as a hospital during the smallpox
epidemic of 1836 and again during the Battle of
Stones River in 1862.
In 1884, Bradley Academy became the first
institution in the county to offer formal
educational instructions for African American
students. At this time, Bradley Academy had
three teachers and a total of 150 students in
elementary grades. Years later Bradley would
evolve to house both elementary and high school
The success of Bradley’s academic, athletic, and
civic programs renewed African American
participation in the education process, thus
encouraging enrollment. Recognizing the need for
more and better facilities for African American
education, the local school board approved the
construction of Holloway High School. When
Holloway opened its doors in 1928, Bradley once
again became an elementary school.
Myrtle G. Lord
The Heritage Classroom
(This exhibit was
named in her honor)
Myrtle G. Lord was born in Dilton, Tennessee
to Luther and Catherine Glanton on February
14. She was the fourth of nine
children. She attended Bradley Academy
School first through twelfth grade.
Mrs. Lord received a B.S. degree from A and
I College in Nashville. She also
studied at the University of Michigan, Fisk
University and Peabody College. She
was a school teacher for 42 years and worked
for the recreation department for 52 years.
Mrs. Lord was married to John L. Lord.
An active member of the Church of God, she
served as the treasurer of the Church and
Sunday School. She was the chairperson
for the Patterson Community Center project,
past president of LWV, secretary of ARC,
board member of Habitat for Humanity,
Bradley Academy Museum, J.C. Beesley Humane
Foundation, and Mid-Cumberland Action
Agency, a member of the NAACP, and a member
of the Rutherford County Teacher's
Association. She also received the
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daily
News Journal and SunTrust Bank, the
Outstanding Award for African-American Women
by Imperial Court Daughters of Isis, and was
given the community Award for Distinguished
Service by the Murfreesboro City Schools.
Mrs. Lord also served as the coordinator of
the Patterson Community Center. On May 3,
2002, she was inducted into the Tennessee
Teachers' Hall of Fame. The "Myrtle Glanton Lord" Library at the Patterson
Community Center was named in her honor.
After her service on the Bradley
Academy Museum Board, she continued
to be a friend of the Bradley
Museum. Mrs. Lord passed away April 16, 2007.
Restoration In Progress
The above pictures
were taken from stories in The
Tennesseean and The Daily News Journal
about the Restoration of the Bradley
Academy Museum. (L) Mr.
Willie A. McGowan, (M) r-l U. S. Rep.
Bart Gordon, Members of the Bradley
Academy Historical Association, Mr.
Willie McGowan, Mrs. Myrtle Lord, and
Mr. Fred Beneby, (R) l-r Mr. Fred Beneby,
Mr. Willie McGowan viewing the Heritage
Classroom. These members were the
beginning of the restoration process.
It took a lot of hard work, many
generous grants & donations, and long
volunteer hours to successfully bring
this building back to life. The
amount of hard work it took to restore
the building is also needed to maintain
the Museum. In order to keep the
building and the Association going
forward, volunteers are needed for the
future. We would like to get our
youth involved, so the future begins