CJHS Alumni Association
Coppinville High School - 1880-1969
History of the School
Mrs. Janie Thelma Edwards Rogers, Class of 1956
Additional Information by
Mrs. Susan Fox, CJHS Faculty
Ms. Marcia Abercrombie, Retired CJHS Faculty
The first areas of Coffee County settled by African Americans were Mt. Zion Community, Westgate Area, Coppinville Area, Daleville Road Area and Martin Community. These settlers wanted a place to worship and founded the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The church served as the first school for the children of the early settlers who were taught by Mr. Bullard.
During the 1890's, the New Zion A.M.E. Church was formed. They began two groups, the Odd Fellows for men and the Ruth for women. These societies constructed a two-story building. The upstairs was the club hall and downstairs was for the school. The building was knows as the Old Edwards School and Odd Fellows Hall.
Between 1903 and 1905 a group formed a Trustee Board for the purpose of expanding the means of education. The people of the A.M.E. church began to build homes in the area known as "Coppinville" in honor of the presiding A.M.E. Bishop of Alabama, Levi Jenkins Coppinville. Three-tenths of an acre was allotted for the school building. The school was called the Pryor's Institute and consisted of four spacious classrooms downstairs and a large auditorium on the second floor. This school was backed financially by the A.M.E. Church.
Meanwhile, on the north side of Enterprise-Daleville Road a group built the Southeast Alabama Industrial School. This school was financially backed by the Baptist Church. Both schools ran separately for three or four years until public education was started and supported by the state. Both schools had grown to the point that it was obvious they needed to consolidate and seek state funds. In 1918 the Coffee County Training School was opened with six teachers - Mr. E.H. Tindell, who also served as principal, Mr. A.B. Edwards, Miss M.A. Green, Miss H.S. Green, Miss M.P. Allen, and Miss Lue B. Allen. First through eighth grades were served by this school. In 1920 ninth grade was added with Mr. J. B. King as principal. In 1922 Mr. John Dobbs was principal and he began recruiting boys for a football team. Mr. Dobbs also started the band. This school served Coffee, Dale, Geneva, Covington, Pike, Houston, and Henry counties.
In 1928 Mr. E.A. Washington became principal and the school continued to grow. In 1929 Mr. Wilson became principal, and he proposed the school become a senior high school. This happened during the 1930-31 school year. During the 1930's a PTA was established. They raised money for books and school materials and helped the underprivileged children with clothing and food.
Vida Shipman, Cecelia Sconiers, Adelle Upshaw, James Grubbs, Agnis Carroll, Jessie Griffin, Beatrice Clark, Johnnie Clark, Clary Boykins, Polly R. Jones, Alma Boykins, Annie G. Stokes, Edna Green, and Z.I. Fleming Jr. made up the first graduating class in 1931.
On February 28, 1938, the school was destroyed by fire and had to operate from the school shop area, the Pleasant Grove Church and the New Zion Church for the remainder of the school year. The trustees purchased land from Mr. J.E. Nance to build a new school which still stands in the Coppinville Community.
In 1940 Mr. Robinson became principal, increased the faculty, and added more activities. During this time the school drastically increased in population as rural schools were closed or consolidated. The school served grades one through twelve at this time. In 1945 Mr. Moore became principal and through the efforts of Mr. James Askew, the first school bus was purchased. The PTA later purchased another bus. Also Mr. John Rogers and Mr. Z.I. Fleming, Sr. each purchased a bus. Also in 1945 a lunchroom was built. In 1948, Mr. B.F. Garth became principal. In 1949 the school was divided and Coffee County Training School became a junior and senior high and the elementary children moved to Enterprise Academy, now known as Carroll Street Elementary School. Coffee County Training School added electives to the school curriculum.
In 1959 Coffee County Training School was renamed Coppinville High School in honor of the community whose men and women had worked untiringly for its success. A modern brick building was constructed in time for the 1960 graduating class, but the first classes were not held there until September 1960. Mr. Garth led the work toward accreditation from the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges and in 1963 the school became accredited. The school then boasted an excellent band and competitive football, basketball, and track teams. Academically, the school now had a Reading Department, Art, Auto Mechanics, Special Education, Office Practice, and Music Appreciation.
The last Coppinville High School graduating class was 1969. The 1969-1970 year saw total de-segregation in the Enterprise City School System. All high schoolers moved to Enterprise High School located on Watts Street.
Coppinville Junior High School
Coppinville became a junior high school for one year. The next year Enterprise took the bold step of making Coppinville Junior High School a seventh grade school. Mr. B.F. Garth remained the principal for many more years - thirty-five years in all. He was succeeded by Mr. Z.I. Fleming, Jr. from 1983 to 2002, Mrs. Angela Fleming Seals from 2002 to 2012, and Mr. Matthew Humphrey from 2012 to 2014. The current principal is Mr. David West. During the 2015 - 2016 school year, Coppinville became a 7th and 8th grade junior high school.
Coppinville Junior High School continues its proud tradition with a strong academic program including advanced class offerings in all of the core subjects, competitive girls and boys basketball teams, cheerleaders, outstanding choral music and band programs. Academically the school participates in area-wide math and spelling competitions. We have an outstanding news team -WCJH News. We have an active National Junior BETA Club, TSA Club, Coppinville Christian Club (C3), FBLA, Eagle Representatives, and a HOUSE system. We have five houses - the Green House of Positivity, the White House of Responsibility, the Gray House of Integrity, the Black House of Determination, and the Gold House of Excellence. Each HOUSE has one senator and four representatives. Together the senators and representatives make up the student government.