Market Street School: 1872 - 1964

... Alias the Smith and Christine Schools

 

Rare 1900 photo of Market Street School

From an 1887 3D Map

 
No history of education in Memphis would be complete without a reference to the old Market Street School. 

In 1870, a lot was purchased at the NW corner of Market and 3rd and the first "real school" in Memphis was erected at a cost of $80,000.  The 3-storey brick building opened in 1872.  On the first floor were 4 classrooms for the elementary grades.  Part of the 2nd floor was used for the secondary grades.   The 3rd floor was for lecture halls and exhibition space.  The basement was for the 4 furnaces and storage.  From the opening date, the teachers and principals of this historic school read like a Who's Who of Memphis education. 

In 1877, the newly created Memphis High School, consisting of the combined Male High School and Female High School, joined the high school section of the Market Street School and moved to the top floor of the Market Street School building.   During this same year, the Market Street School  name was changed to SMITH School in honor of the first principal.  The Memphis High School would stay at this location until 1892. 

Because there were now two schools with different names, in the same building at Market and 3rd, and because the newspapers frequently referred to both schools as "The High School" or "The Market Street School",  it's really difficult to sort out the complete, early history of either school.  To add to this confusion, at one time there were 4 other schools on Market Street - also referred to as "The Market Street school".   In addition, even though the Smith School was the new name for Market Street School in 1877, the Memphis directories continued to list it as Market Street School until 1883.   Additional confusion resulted even from the graduates of Memphis High School at this time.  Because their school is located in the Market Street building, they often listed their high school (Memphis High School) as "The Market Street School".  During the period 1877-92, the two names were almost inter-changeable.

By 1884 the Memphis High School had grown so rapidly that more space was desperately needed.  To accommodate them, the Smith School on the lower floors moved across the street to the NE corner of Market and 3rd.  When the Memphis High School moved to new quarters in 1892 (and was renamed Leath High School), the Smith School moved back to their old Market Street School building.   



In 1920 the Market Street School (now officially named Smith School) was re-named a second time to CHRISTINE School for a beloved teacher-principal.  Throughout all these name changes, newspapers and others continued to refer to the school as "the old Market Street School".   Sadly, in 1964, the Market-Smith-Christine School closed and Memphis' first "real school" building was demolished.

Christine - Back- 1964

 

 

 

Annie
Christine Reudelhuber ... "Miss Christine"

Annie Christine Reudelhuber was the long-time principal of SMITH School (Market Street School) from 1882 1920.  When she died in 1920, the school was re-named CHRISTINE School. 

In the early part of the nineteenth century John D. and Evelyn M. (Wilhelm) Reudelhuber, who were born, reared and married in the Rhine Provinces of Germany, immigrated to the the United States and settled in New Orleans.  They had five children - three sons and two daughters.  Then they moved to Memphis, where their children were educated in the Memphis city schools.


The family was noted as possessing many "sterling qualities of head and heart."  One of the sons was quite a military genius, and served in the light artillery at the age of seventeen in the Civil War. The eldest daughter, Christine, a product of the public schools, became a teacher at the age of fifteen, and was  promoted until she became principal of the largest school in Memphis.  Her sister, Pauline, also graduated in the Memphis city schools with honors, and became principal of the Merrill School.  Both distinguished themselves not only as efficient teachers, but as able disciplinarians.

Many of the city's most successful principals and teachers received their training under Miss Christine's careful and strict supervision.  She was a wonderful disciplinarian, fair and just, but a stickler for strict obedience.  Her word was law and no one dared challenge it.  Yet all teachers regarded her with great affection and those who knew her best admired her learning and deep wisdom.
 


Miss Christine had a distinct sense of fashion - favoring very elaborate and tall hats with plumes.   In nearly every photo of her taken at the Market Street School over the years she is pictured wearing a new hat.  One wonders if she didn't spend most of her salary on this fashion statement and whether she might have worn the tall hats to appear taller than the students and more  in control? 

 


The newspaper articles below are interesting. 
Click on the fragments to open the entire article.

 

Below:  An 1872 article describing the opening of the Market Street School.   It's a very large PDF file, so please be patient while it loads.  Use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

Below:  An 1872 article describing the new Market Street School building.   It's a large PDF file, so please be patient while it loads.  Use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

   

   
 
 
BELOW:  Click on the photo for "The Christine Story", a page about the 80th Anniversary of Market Street School,
 
 
 
 

The article below is the complete story of the Old Market Street School. 
  It's a very large PDF file.  Please be patient while it loads. 
Use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

 

 

 

For more archives:  http://register.shelby.tn.us/ and then click on "Ray Holt Memphis School Article Collection".

 

 

 

 

Book Cover when name was changed to "Christine"
- Thanks Chris Ratliff, Spec Collections, UnivMemphis

 
 

Credits

 

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