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Family Reunion Forum

The Willow Hill Group

The Willow Hill Group is looking for descendants of Donaldson, Parrish, Hall, Kirklands, Lees, Munlin, McCrays, Johnson, Riggs, Love, Hodge and Ball families to make donations to the group to "Protect and preserve the history of the Willow Hil School by promoting a thorough understanding of the school's historical, social and educational impact on the community, county, state of Georgia and the nation." The group has until October 1, 2005 to raise $60,000.00 to purchase the school from the Bulloch County's Board of Education System. A little history - Sometime after the "Great Surrender," a group of former slaves, lead by Moses, Andy and Sam Parrish, Andy Donaldson and his sisters, Mary, Dorah and Isabelle and Moriah, along with their sons, good friends and in-laws, saw a great need for their children to get an eduation. The group established the first community/family school (1874-1999) for colored children in Bulloch County, GA and called it the "Willie Hill School" in 1874 after the son of Daniel and Audelia (Parrish) Riggs. The school grew, moving from the farm of Daniel and Audelia, Moses and Isabelle to it's final location. It became officially known as Willow Hill School and was sold to the Bulloch County Board of Education for $18.00 in 1920 by Moses Parrish. In 1930 Julius Rosenwald of Sears & Roebuck donated a large sum of money to construct a new building on the school which served as the main academic building for about 20 years. In 1965 the Courts ordered the integration of the Bulloch County Schools and in 1969 Whites forced the closing of the Willow Hill school and other black schools because they refused to integrate. The Willow Hill was was reopened in 1971 but officially closed in 1999. There were more that 40 Colored/Negro community/family schools through Bulloch County but as the schools were integrated into the public school system, they were closed or lost thier identity. The Group's Visison is to form a non-profit entity to restore the Willow Hill School and use it as a museum and educational center. The goal is to have the Willow Hill School and its legacy recognized as a national Historic Site.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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