A Brief History of Education in East Bend
East Bend Academy, one of the first academies in Yadkin County, was founded in 1855 by Joseph R. Creed. That year, there were fifty-seven men and seventeen women enrolled. A company of stockholders bought and formed the new East Bend Academy in 1859. Moses Baldwin and his wife took charge of the school in 1867, making it one of the leading schools in North Carolina. Its name was changed to Union High School, and later to East Bend High School in 1913. In 1916, $6000 in bonds were approved for construction of a new building, but construction was delayed due to World War I.
In 1923, a new building, valued at around $30,000 was built. Ralph Smitherman became principal in 1945. During his tenure, several building additions, including an agriculture classroom, built in 1957, and a gymnasium and cafeteria in 1959, were made to the school. Those structures stand today.
At approximately two a.m. on April 8, 1964, the school caught fire and burned. The fire consumed the entire building which had been constructed in 1923. Under the direction of Principal Thomas Wooten, a new building was built. Since that time, there have been three other additions to the school.
In 1967, the schools in Yadkin County were consolidated. East Bend students in grades nine through twelve, enrolled at Forbush High School, leaving East Bend a school serving kindergarten through eighth grades. In August 1999, a three and four year old prekindergarten class was added. During the 2009-2010 school year, East Bend became a prekindergarten through sixth grade school, with the opening of Forbush Middle School.
East Bend School, serving the entire community, has been and remains a positive influence on many lives. The school will continue to educate our children in a global society.
Information compiled by Deborah D. Gough
East Bend High School Class of 1966
Principal of East Bend School 2002-2008
Source of Information, Cat’s Paw 1967, Volume 27