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Stigall legacy to be noted at dedication

The name Stigall will forever be entrenched in Humboldt’s history. Schools have taken the name, Stigall, and a museum is named in honor of the late Tom and his wife, O.E. Stigall.

A dedication ceremony will be held at Stigall Primary School, honoring the late educator Saturday, August 5 at 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

“We would like to cordially invite the community to attend the dedication ceremony honoring Mr. Tom Stigall,” said Dr. Versie Hamlett, superintendent of Humboldt City Schools. “It’s an honor to celebrate a man with such a vision for this community.”

With Stigall Primary nearing the end of a $3.2 million renovation project, community leaders thought it was time to dedicate the school for his nobility.

As part of the celebration, a framed portrait of Stigall will be unveiled in the school foyer, prominently located for everyone to see. Other historical memorabilia will be on display during the dedication ceremony.

Tom Stigall was born in Pinson, Tenn., the fifth child of Thomas and Parthenia Stigall, in 1859.

He attended college at Central Tennessee College in Nashville, Tenn., which later became Walden University. Stigall transferred to Lane College in Jackson, Tenn. where he earned his B.S. degree.

Soon after college, Stigall began a career in education, teaching in Tipton County and later in Madison and Gibson counties. He also taught summer sessions at Lane.

In 1896, Mr. Stigall became principal of Humboldt City School, with his wife, O.E. Stigall as assistant. The school population quickly grew and additional teachers and classrooms were added to the frame building, which was called Humboldt Colored School.

The school burned in 1928 and a brick building was built. That building burned in 1935 only to see another brick school building erected in its place. He was 76.

The school was in transition of becoming an accredited four-year high school when Stigall died. He passed on October 23, 1935 in his classroom.

The school became an accredited 4-year school with the first class graduating in 1937.

That year, the school name was changed to Stigall High in his honor by the city, county and state boards of education. Today the school’s name is a continuation of the dream and vision of one of Humboldt’s pioneers in education.

“The revolution at Stigall Primary is continuing,” Dr. Hamlett said. “We’re picking up the torch carrying forth the vision Mr. Stigall had for our community.”

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