The manuscript The Ringing of the Bells: A Bicentennial History of Education in Clay County, West Virginia written by Garnie Walker Testa was completed in 1983. Recently discovered in the old courthouse and in Mrs. Testa’s homeplace, the manuscript has been edited (and added to) by her niece, Karen Walker, and is now in the hands of a publisher. When completed in the late spring or early summer, the finished book will be available through the Clay County Landmarks Commission and Historical Society.
This book is a history of education in Clay County and spares no details of the factors that contributed to the education of our young people. A labor of love by a Clay County teacher, this book of nearly 800 pages contains many charts, maps, and historic photos of schools, children, and teachers.
One section is dedicated to 70 autobiographies and biographies of former Clay County teachers. If you are a graduate of Clay County High School, your name is in the book. You may even be in one of the photos of school groups.
Garnie Walker Testa was born and raised on a farm near Ivydale and was educated in Clay County schools. Having earned a BA and MA degree, she taught for 38 years in rural schools and in Clay County High School. She served as a WAC in WWII and was married to Carmelo Testa in 1949. She died in 1999 and was buried of her farm in Clay County.
The book, when published, will look much like the two publications of History of Clay County, although twice the thickness, and will cost the same as a history book ($75). The price includes tax and shipping. A pre-publication price of $65 applies until May 1. Orders should come to the Historical Society, P.O. Box 363, Clay, WV, 25043. Please include your complete mailing address, and your telephone number in case we have a question.