Mystery Man #2
Nancy Campbell Flaherty, Louisville, KY, was the first person to correctly identify the Mystery Person #2 as M.C. Napier. Way to go Nancy!
M.C. Napier was born in Leslie County and raised in Yerkes in Perry County. He attended Grade School near Yerkes, High School at the old Hazard Baptist Institute and college in Berea and Richmond. Immediately upon graduation from Eastern Kentucky University in 1917, M.C. Napier was named Superintendent of the Perry County Schools by a popular vote. During a radio interview on WKIC & WSGS, we asked him why he become a school teacher. "I believe that it was the old hickory stick that was so liberally applied by the school master of my day. I hoped to become a teacher and get even by delivering a few blows with the hickory myself," he said.
World War I caused a shortage of educators. There were only 75 teachers for the 60 schools in Perry County in 1918. Their salaries averaged from $25 to $40 a month. The school term only ran five months and there was no County High School. Most students attended grades one through eight in a log school house and the system was in debt. M.C. Napier set out to improve these conditions and soon the debt was paid off. He is credited for making Perry County the first in East Kentucky to hold classes for a nine month period. Perry County was also the first in the region to have a 100% enrollment in the Kentucky Education Association.
Napier helped obtain W.P.A. funds and labor for the construction of a gymnasium in Vicco, a Grade School at Combs, and a school at Robinson. In 1940, he moved his old office in the Perry County Court House to the Education building on High Street. By 1950, there were 301 teachers in Perry County in the 109 schools. Teachers earned $200 a month and there were 8 High Schools in the county. M. C. Napier High School was named after Mr. Napier. After over 33 years in the education field, Napier retired on July 1, 1950.
Congratulations to Nancy Campbell Flaherty, Louisville, KY, the first person to correctly identify the latest Mystery Person as M.C. Napier. Way to go Nancy!
I grew up with a wonderful family of eight near Rowdy, Kentucky. We all attended M.C. Napier High School and my oldest sister was in the first graduating class. While the school was under construction there was much discussion of who would be honored with the name or what the new high school would be called. Mr. M.C. Napier, the school superintendent of Perry County Schools was instrumental in the construction of the school. He was dedicating his life to education and worked tirelessly in offering the children of Perry County a quality education. M.C. Napier High School would be named in his honor. Due to the involvement of my older sisters, M.C. Napier had a great impact on me. I remember the excitement of my sisters helping choose the school song, selecting the name Navajo and voting on the new school colors of scarlet and grey. What an exciting time for the students of this new school and for many many years to follow. I have wonderful memories of my high school years that will be etched in my heart forever. Thanks to the late Mr. M.C. Napier. This mystery man was easy!!!! Nancy Campbell Flaherty, Louisville, KY
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