Posted in Early History, Faculty

Faculty Additions for 1911-12

New Faculty 1911-12


In the fall of 1911, Central hired four new instructors, two at the beginning to replace departed Domestic Science teacher Mabel Agnes Fair and Commercial instructor Walter Harrington and one in December to replace math teacher C E Rogers, who left to help start up the East Tennessee Normal School in Johnson City.  Lillie Schwartz was also hired to supplement John Setliffe in teaching Latin and German.


Claudia Frazier was born April 27, 1883 in Washington, Rhea County, TN to Samuel  Frazier Jr. and Josephine Locke Frazier.  The fourth of five children, Frazier attended  Soule College in Murfreesboro and entered UT as a special student in 1905. While at UT Frazier was president of the student YWCA and captained the women’s basketball team in 1909. At the same time, her father’s first cousin, former Tennessee  governor  James Beriah Frazier, was a US Senator representing Tennessee.  She graduated with a BA in 1909, her thesis being, ” Life and Works of Tennyson.”  Frazier began her teaching career at Rhea County High School, Dayton, TN that fall.

Because of her lifelong interest in nutrition, Claudia Frazier was chosen to replace a former classmate, Mabel Agnes Fair, at Central in 1911 to lead the Domestic Science Dept.  Frazier hosted a nutritional seminar at the National Conservation Convention in Knoxville in March, 1913. At the end of the 1912-13 school year, Frazier resigned and married another former UT classmate, John Gilbreath, a newspaperman with the Associated Press, and moved to Atlanta. The Gilbreaths shortly thereafter returned to Chattanooga permanently, when Gilbreath became editor of the Chattanooga Times. Claudia Gilbreath became involved in many civic activities, including being named the local director of the Red Cross in 1919. She had become Tennessee’s first Red Cross certified dietician in 1917.

Ms. Gilbreath returned to academics in 1930 as the principal of Central Elementary School, a position she held for over a decade, retiring in 1942.  She and her husband owned and published several regional weekly newspapers and co-founded several Chattanooga institutions, such as the Chattanooga Federal Savings & Loan and the Chattanooga Little Theater.  When her husband and younger sister, Katherine, passed away in 1964, Claudia Gilbreath initiated a scholarship endowment in their honor at UC, still active today. She passed away on Signal Mountain  June 7, 1980.

Walter Pitts Selcer was born January 12, 1880 in the Falling Water area of Hamilton County, the only child of Richard F and Mary E Selcer . He married Laura Stewart on April 12, 1905 in Madison County, AL. Sons Walter P and Richard were born in 1907 and 1909 before Selcer came to Central in 1911 to direct the Commercial Dept, replacing Walter Harrington. Selcer was an ally to Supt. Brown in the removal of Principal Darrah at the end of the 1911-12 school year, was given a bonus for his actions, and remained at Central with Principal Ziegler until Ziegler left at the end of the 1920-21 school year.  Daughters Laura and Loe were born in 1913 and 1915. Selcer then directed the Commercial Dept. at City High for the remainder of his career, retiring in 1951. His youngest son, Stewart, was born in 1924.  Selcer passed away Jan 4, 1968 in Falling Water.

Arthur L Rankin was born to W. C. and Ida May Rankin on Dec 20, 1887 near Tullahoma, TN.  Rankin graduated from Fall’s Business College, Nashville, in 1905. He  taught at the Morgan School in Fayetteville, TN for two years, and then at Bedford and Coffee County schools until 1911, when he accepted an appointment  as the Chattanooga YMCA educational director.  When C E Rogers left Central in December 1911, Rankin replaced him, appointed by Supt Brown,  and was also instrumental in having Principal Darrah removed at the end of that  school year.  Just after Darrah was deposed, Rankin married Eleanor McKinney on May 25, 1912. Rankin, however, proved to be a very competent educator and eventually became Central’s first Assistant Principal. During the 1926-27 school year, Rankin penned Central’s Alma Mater.  While at Central, Rankin worked on his BA degree at UC, which he achieved in 1924. Rankin left in 1927 to become principal of Bradley County High School, then returned as Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools in 1932, a position he held until April, 1939, then again in 1941-42. In 1942 he retired from the Hamilton County system and became head of the math department at Baylor, staying until 1959. He passed away on Signal Mountain  April 9, 1975. He and Eleanor had three children, Arthur L Jr. born 1914, Ida M. (1915), and William J. (1919).

Lillie Schwartz was born in Chattanooga Dec 24, 1889 to German Immigrants Henry and Jane Poss Schwartz. The youngest of six children, Lillie graduated from City High in 1905 and received a BA from Ohio Wesleyan in 1909. Schwartz taught Latin and German at City before moving over to Central at the beginning of the 1911-12 school year. She taught, at various times, German, French, and Latin at Central over a long, but intermittent, career that spanned  48 years, retiring at the end of the 1958-59 school year.  Ms. Schwartz  never married, passing away in Chattanooga on Nov 10, 1963.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s