History of the Wesley Chapel School, Pasco County, Florida


The Wesley Chapel School

The Wesley Chapel school, 1926-27 school year. larger.

This page was last revised on Feb. 5, 2016.

A list of Hernando County schools in 1877-78 shows school No. 10 at Wesley Chapel with G. Godwin the teacher. However, opening and closing dates are left blank. Another list shows D. Godwin as the trustee.

Hernando County school board records indicate the Wesley Chapel school operated from Nov. 4, 1878, to Mar. 7, 1879, with trustees D. Godwin, Thos. Boyd, and W.R. Smith, and teacher Jno. E. Savage.

Hernando County school board records indicate the Wesley Chapel school operated from Nov. 10, 1879, to Feb. 10, 1880, with trustees J. Godwin, Thos. A. Boyd, and H.R. Smith, and teacher Sallie R. Center.

Hernando County school board records indicate the Wesley Chapel school operated from Oct. 4, 1880, to Jan. 4, 1881, with trustees J. Godwin, Thos. A. Boyd, and H. R. Smith, and teacher B. L. Ray.

Hernando County school board records indicate that the Wesley Chapel school operated in the 1883-84 school year with teacher B.L Blackburn and trustees J.A. Boyett, W. R. Smith, and J. J. Gillett.

Hernando County school board minutes from March 7, 1887, show that Jacob Godwin, trustee of the Wesley Chapel school, presented a deed to one acre of land for school site and asked for an appropriation to purchase sash hinges and locks for his new school house. The deed was accepted and he was granted $8 under the rules.

Pasco County school board records from Sept. 5, 1887, show Wesley Chapel school, no. 28, with trustees Jno. D. Simms, Jacob Godwin, and Thos. Boyett.

Records show that on Aug. 8, 1889, A. Boyette was the teacher.

Records from Aug. 7, 1893, show that L. M. Strickland was the supervisor and that J. B. Salmon was appointed on condition of examination by the board.

On April 5, 1897, the school board granted a request to discontinue the Wesley Chapel school and replace it with two schools, provided that the school houses are built and furnished at the expense of the patrons.

On Aug. 1, 1898, Minnie Sims was appointed the teacher at Wesley Chapel school, no. 19.

On July 1, 1901, Miss Ella Mobley was appointed the teacher.

On July 6, 1903, Mrs. Maggie Smith was appointed the teacher.

On July 5, 1909, Llewellyn Dodson was appointed the teacher.

On Aug. 7, 1911, the Wells and Wesley schools were consolidated with two teachers at Wesley Church. Winifred Shearer and Alatha Tucker were assigned to the school.

Minutes from Feb. 1-2, 1915, show Clarence H. Martin and Vera Martin teaching at Wesley Chapel.

A 1915-16 roster of pupils shows E. D. Dodson teaching at Wesley.

At the school board meeting of July 3-5, 1916, Prof. Warren Bates was appointed Principal at Wesley Chapel. Miss Blanche Geiger was appointed assistant.

A 1916 roster of pupils shows Warren Bates as the teacher at Wesley Chapel, No. 19.

A 1917-18 roster of pupils shows Leona Mickler as the teacher at Wesley Chapel, No. 19.

In Aug. 1917, Cora Cripe was appointed the teacher.

In August 1918 Mr. Grant Walkenhorst was appointed the teacher. Miss Kathleen Helms is also shown as a teacher during 1918-1919.

According to The Historic Places of Pasco County, the one-room, frame, two-teacher Wesley Chapel public school was constructed on an acre of land donated by Jane Godwin and operated until its disbandment some time before World War II.

According to McCormick, the Godwin family donated three acres to the community of Wesley Chapel, which was known as Godwin for some time. The Double Branch Baptist Church is located on the middle acre. The cemetery is on the west acre and the Wesley Chapel school was on the east acre.

In August 1922, Prof. J. P. Hodge was appointed principal, and Mrs. Frances Hodge, assistant, at Wesley Chapel, no. 19.

On Oct. 13, 1922, the Dade City Banner reported, “Prof. J. P. and Mrs. Frances Hodge, principal and assistant at the Wesley Chapel school, resigned their positions last week. County Superintendent O’Berry has secure Prof. W. E. Floyd of Oxford and Miss Lillian Ginter of Eau Gallie to fill the vacancies and it is expected that the term will be resumed next week.”

On July 11, 1924, a newspaper reported that Clyde Lanier was appointed the principal.

At the start of the 1926-27 school year Mitchell Emery Lefler was hired as a new teacher. A photo presumably from that year shows him and Georgia Wells as the teachers.

On Aug. 6, 1928, Janie Castleberry and Bernice Castleberry were appointed as the teachers.

On March 4, 1935, Matchett Lake and Wesley Chapel requested permission to consolidate.

On Sept. 4, 1936, the Dade City Banner reported that D. C. Cripe was appointed Principal and Miss Annice Cripe was appointed teacher at the Wesley Chapel School.

On July 7, 1937, Miss Annice Cripe was appointed.

On May 2, 1938, Mrs. Georgia Wells was appointed.

On June 5, 1939, Susie Clark was appointed.

On Aug. 23, 1940, Isabel H. Stewart was appointed. She was reappointed in 1941, 1944, and, as Mrs. Isabel H. Barnes, in 1945.

On Sept. 3, 1946, Ernest Linwood Lavender was appointed.

On Jan. 21, 1947, R. E. DuPue and J. H. Cooper, trustees of Wesley Chapel School District No. 19, appeared before the Board to state that Earnest L. Lavender’s teaching services were entirely unsatisfactory and respectfully requested the Board to replace him with a properly qualified teacher. After discussion, George C. Dayton, the board’s attorney, advised the trustees to discuss the matter directly with Mr. Lavender and request his resignation. On Feb. 4, 1947, the resignation of Lavender was accepted, and Mrs. Isabel H. Barnes was appointed to fill the vacancy. She was reappointed in 1947 and 1948.

On April 17, 1951, the Wesley Chapel School was discontinued and the Board recommended selling the property. Ed Madill’s bid of $1,005.00 was the highest and best bid for the one square acre and building.


1935 – 36 Eugene Hester
1936 Doc Carl Cripe
1940 – 44 Mrs. Isabel H. Stewart
1945 Mrs. Isabel Barnes
1946 Ernest Linwood Lavender

History of Education front page