About Weeden Elementary School
The History of Weeden School
Mr. John D. Weeden, who lived with his wife, Mattie, and their daughter, Elizabeth, in the mansion known as Sweetwater, was the grandson of Alabama Governor Robert M. Patton. (Governor Patton and his family had also lived at Sweetwater.)
The mansion, now in a deteriorated state, is visible from the Weeden Elementary School campus.
At one time, the Sweetwater plantation encompassed thousands of acres – including all of what is now known as Weeden Heights. (Today, it consists of approximately 34 acres.) It also contained a wonderful spring which provided water for all residents of Weeden Heights; they paid Mr. Weeden $1.00 per month for what was termed “water rent.” The spring created a free-flowing body of water known as Sweetwater Creek that made its way through east Florence, eventually emptying into the Tennessee River.
The original Weeden Elementary School, constructed in 1919 and named for Mr. Weeden, consisted of two frame structures: a smaller one for first graders and a larger one for students in grades two through six. The school was situated on the site where Broadway Recreation Center is now located.
In 1951, Weeden Heights was annexed to the city of Florence, which removed Weeden School from the oversight of the Lauderdale County Board of Education and placed it under the jurisdiction of the Florence City Board. Then, in 1955, the present building was constructed to serve students in grades 1-9.
Over the years, the configuration of the student body has changed; today, the school serves students in grades Pre-K through four. The building, too, has undergone significant changes: today, it is more than twice the size it was when originally constructed.