Posted in Early History, Faculty

New Faculty Biographies for 1909-10

For Central’s third year, Mary Bibb Kirkman took a maternity leave and her history slot was filled by acquiring Harriet Greve from City High School.  Four other new faculty members were added: Mabel Agnes Fair to lead the new domestic science department, Annie May Crutchfield as an English and Latin teacher, and two local music teachers, Mr & Mrs Charles A. Garratt, for instrumental and vocal music. The 1909-10 faculty line-up:

A E Darrah, Principal

Mary Elizabeth Beck, Expression

Nannie Carter, English

George Davis, Science

O C Kirkman, Manual Arts

Harriet Greve, History

Charles McGuffey, Spanish

J B Rike, Physical Training and Biology

A T Roark, Commercial Dept.

C E Rogers, Math

Ms L M Russell, Teaching Dept.

J A Setliffe, Greek, Latin, German

Annie May Crutchfield, Latin/English

Mabel Agnes Fair, Domestic Science

C A Garratt Music

Mrs C A Garratt Vocal Music

Harriet Cone Greve was born August 17, 1885 in Ohio to Dr. Charles M. and Jeannette Smith Greve and moved to Chattanooga with her family around 1890. Her older sister, Dorothy, and she graduated from City High in 1901 and 02 and from UT in 1905 and 06, respectively, both joining the faculty at City High upon graduation.  Harriet’s father had passed away in 1903, her sister married in 1908, so Harriet and her mother resided together after 1908. Her mother was Society Editor for the Chattanooga Times in the early 1900s. In 1909 Greve moved to Central as a history teacher and in October 1910 became Central’s first librarian following the gift of a large reference library to Central by the DAR. Greve left Central at the end of the 1911-12 school year to work on a Masters Degree at Columbia University, then returned to Central in fall, 1915 and remained for another three years. Upon her return she found that one of her former students, Creed Bates, had returned as a math teacher; they developed a lifelong friendship during that period, Bates leaving at the end of 1917 for military duty and Greve in 1918 to start a long career at her alma mater in Knoxville. In 1921 Harriet Greve became the first Dean of Women at UT, a position she held for 30 years, retiring at the end of the 1950-51 school year.  She retired to the Athens, GA area and, in spite of failing health and blindness, wrote a long testimonial for Creed Bates in 1964 upon his retirement after 37 years as City’s Principal. In that testimonial she revealed that she was one of the chosen few to receive a jug of homemade apple cider from Bates each Christmas. Greve never married and died in Clarke County, GA Dec 16, 1969. An endowed scholarship in her name is still offered at UT.

Annie May Crutchfield was born April 19, 1890 to Dr. Campbell and Mary E. Crutchfield in Watertown, TN. She attended Dixon Academy in Shelbyville, TN, received an AB from Peabody College, and by 1911 an MA from Columbia. Her father passed away in 1906, and her mother shortly thereafter moved to Chattanooga, where three brothers were living, making Chattanooga a natural place for Annie May to begin her teaching career.  After teaching at Ridgedale School (at age 18) for the 1908-09 school year, Annie was summoned to Central as an English teacher in the fall of 1909, beginning an unparalleled 51-year career under the Rotunda. The December 20, 1912 Central Digest, page 15, contained an unusual announcement as follows – OF INTEREST TO CENTRAL: The following invitations have been issued: Mrs. Campbell Crutchfield requests you to be present at the marriage of her daughter, Annie May, to Mr. John Anderson Shelton on the twenty-third of December, nineteen hundred and twelve at one hundred and eighteen McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee…


On December 23, 1912 Annie married John A Shelton, then principal of Avondale School (later at Hardy Jr. High from its beginning in 1926 until 1953). Their marriage lasted until John’s passing in March 1956.  Mrs. Shelton’s mother had lived with the Shelton’s at 416 Glenwood Drive, just a stone’s throw from Central, until her passing in December 1951. The Shelton’s were so close to the Central family, that the eight pallbearers at Mrs. Crutchfield’s funeral were all members of the 1951 football team. Annie May Shelton retired at the end of the 1959-60 school year and passed away on Sept 20, 1973 – the only teacher to serve under all four principals at Old Central. Her name adorned the National Honor Society Chapter at Old Central as it still does today at the new school. Several college scholarships are still offered in her name by local and state educational associations.  She and John left no direct descendants. One of her younger sisters, Grace, graduated from Central in 1913.

Mabel Agnes Fair was born Dec 14, 1884 in Michigan to James E and Agnes P Fair.  Her family moved to Knoxville TN before 1900. Mabel graduated from the Knoxville High School for Girls and entered the University of Tennessee in 1902. She graduated with a BS in Domestic Science in 1907, her thesis being, “Some Wheat Flours and Their Uses in Yeast Bread”. Her first job was to inaugurate the domestic science department at Central, a task she undertook for two years, leaving at the end of the 1910-11 school year.  One extramural duty of Ms. Fair was in providing food for various in-school events as well as outings by Central organizations.  On January 26, 1910 one of the featured stories in the Chattanooga Times covered the visit to Central by State Inspector Harned, in which he proclaimed “Central is the best School in the State!” He may have been unduely influenced by the meal prepared by Ms. Fair, also noted in the article.   In particular she collaborated with Coach Rike and Ms Beck for a picnic at Crawfish Springs (Chickamauga, GA) honoring Central’s two undefeated basketball teams in the spring of 1910, reported in the April 8, 1910 Chattanooga Times. After leaving Central, Mabel Fair returned to Knoxville and started up the domestic science program at Knoxville High School for its first two years, before marrying Nathan Gammon on June 18, 1913. Nathan and Mabel moved to Wyoming shortly thereafter and had three children – Nathan Jr. (6/22/14), James E. (9/7/15) and Margaret (11/29/23). After residing in Wyoming and Montana, they returned to the Washington, DC area sometime after 1920. Nathan passed away at age 92 in 1974 and Mabel in April, 1976; both are buried at the Potomac Methodist Cemetery, Montgomery County, MD.

Charles Augustus Garratt was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England on Oct 2, 1844 to John and Frances Garratt.  Garratt received his musical training at Oxford and after graduation married Ellen Andrews in Egham, Surrey County on Oct 29, 1867. Children included Charles Percy (11/12/68), John F (12/21/69), Ernest H. (1870), and Frances Leila (3/29/74), all born in Surrey County; then James Herbert (3/2/76) and Lydia M. (1878) born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and finally, Edith (12/23/79) born in Milwaukee, WI. Frances and Edith died in childhood. Garratt taught music privately – piano, organ and violin – as well as directing orchestras and bands in England, Canada, and the US, and was renowned  as a church organist.  In the 1880s to around 1891 he was professor of music at the Brantford Ladies College in Brantford Ontario (1874-1900) where his concerts were frequented by Alexander Graham Bell. Garratt’s oldest sons moved to Knoxville, TN around 1890 and Ernest became UT’s first bandmaster in 1892, succeeded by older brother Charles in 1894. During that time, Charles A. also relocated to Knoxville and opened a musical instruction business with his sons. He married Julia Pearl Steen of Bradley County in Knoxville in December 1899 and they relocated in Chattanooga after 1900.  No factual evidence exists to link the Garratts with Principal Darrah, but Katiebel Darrah was a piano student when the Darrahs moved to Chattanooga in 1907 and in short term the Garratts were contracted to provide band/orchestral services at Central’s public events, starting with the May 1908 graduation ceremonies at the Schubert Theater. By 1910 the Garratts were under a continuing contract as music teachers at Central- Charles for instrumental and Julia for vocal.  When Darrah was terminated in 1912, so were the Garratts, and they moved their music business back to Knoxville where Charles was also the orchestra director at Knoxville High School from fall, 1922 until the end of the 1928-9 school year. He also served as violin instructor at Maryville College in the 1920s.  He passed away on Feb 17, 1938 in Knoxville at age 93.

Julia Emerine Pearl Steen, the third daughter of Prof.  E. Watson and Julia E. L. Steen, was born in Xenia, Ohio, August 8, 1871. Julia learned to play organ and piano at an early age. Her family moved to Knoxville, TN in 1880. In the early 1890s Julia studied music at both the East Tennessee Institute and School of Music and the Chicago Musical College. In 1894 she won first prize in the Atlanta Journal’s musical composition contest. By 1900 she had composed over twenty original works. Ms. Steen was organist for the Third Presbyterian Church in Knoxville when she met Charles A Garratt, widowed, and organist at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Knoxville. They were married in Knoxville on December 4, 1899. She and Charles taught at Central until Darrah was forcibly removed in May 1912, and they returned to Knoxville. Julia Steen Garratt continued to write songs into the 1930’s and many are still filed under US Copyrights.  She passed away in Knoxville on Dec 31, 1944. She and Charles had no children together and are buried in Knoxville..


Chemical engineer; retired EPA in 2002 after 31 years. Still consulting when I have to. Grow lots of fascinating stuff on my 12 acres. So much left to little time. History is a passion. Sorry I didn't have more discourse with those who have left us. History lost forever.

4 thoughts on “New Faculty Biographies for 1909-10

  1. Charlie, you continue to amaze me with your research and writing. Without your leadership in our efforts, I’m afraid this wonderful history would have been lost forever.

  2. Yes. Ms. Shelton holds the record. Next closest is J J Fletcher who instructed auto mechanics from fall 1921 until school closing in 1969 for 48 years uninterrupted/continuous service.

  3. This is impressive work. This shows what good students Central turn out. Gennie Lynn Jones class of 2000 ‘ Mom

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