Due to a lack of taxpayer funding, most, if not all, of the schools were held in local churches. The schools of 1898 were : New Providence, Cave Springs, Green Hill, Donaldson, Sandy Ford, William's Chapel, Valdosta, Dexter, Garbutt, Rose Mount, Spring Hill, Montrose, Poplar Spring, Laurens Hill, Mount Pullen, Oaky Grove, Rocky Creek, Oconee, Brewton, Shewmake, Hickory Grove, St. James, Eason Hill, Buckeye, Holly Grove, Byrd Hill, Fleming Chapel and Holly Springs.
Laurens County teachers a century ago included:, P.R. Butler, Mary Devise, Rosa Dasher, Nettie Freeman, Mamie Grant, Leila M. Grant, G.C. Grant, F.D. Griffin, J.S. Houston, Emma Hines, Charlotte Johnson, Sallie Kellum, C.E. Lewis, Virgil Lewis, W.L. Miller, Fannie Moore, Clara Moorman, Lucretia Neal, Dr. B.D. Perry, Lillie Walden, Mary M. Smith, Sarah Smith, H.L. Rozier, Flora Troup, Ella Troup, W.B. Troup, John Tucker, C.D. Wright, Ella White, and A.J. Harris. Dublin teachers were Isaac H. Hayes, Kate Dudley, and Theodocia Hinton. Enrollment in the city school was about eighty.
These early scHools for Laurens County were pretty much like their white counterparts. Each school was understaffed and underfunded. The agricultural economy took precedence over school work. When the fields needed working, school was put off. During the first two decades of the 20th century, there was a major shift in the education of black Laurens County children. Illiteracy rates were cut dramatically. This progress was a direct result of the dedicated men and women who made it their life's mission to teach their children.