Madison High School History

Madison High School was opened in the fall of 1953 and was the first six-year unit in Davidson County especially planned for such an educational program.

For two years, the Board of Education searched for a suitable site in Madison for the high school. Of the several sites proposed, the site on Old Hickory Blvd. was selected by the Davidson County Board of Education. Under the supervision and recommendation of a committee from George Peabody College, Magistrates James Watson and W.E. Nix, Mr. Ernest Chadwell of the Davidson County Board of Education and many other community leaders, Madison High School was given its start.

When Madison High School was opened in September, 1953 with grades seven through ten, there was an enrollment of 612. By September, 1955, the enrollment had reached 992 and in 1956 Madison graduated its first senior class. The years of 1959 – 1960 saw Madison’s enrollment increase to over 1,400.
Madison High School opened in 1953 with 24 faculty members and by 1959 had increased to 53.

New facilities were added to allow for growth. In the summer of 1954, the west wing and the vocational building, in the back of the main building, were built. In the summers of 1958 and 1959 additional classrooms were added to the main building. In 1959 a new girls’ gym was constructed.

As time went on, MHS excelled in Sports, Forensics, Music Academics. 

Madison lost two former students (Charles Paul Headley – 1962 and James Von Howard – 1965) as a result of the Vietnam War. Both men are buried in the Nashville National Cemetery. Virgil Wright (Class of 1962) was lost on the USS Scorpion (Skipjack Class Nuclear Attack Submarine) in 1968.

Two of the “biggest events” every year were Hillbilly Day and Sadie Hawkins week. At that time, Hillbilly Day was the largest event of any kind in Nashville with over 100,000 in attendance. Activities included a parade down Gallatin Road and carnival games and rides. 

During the school years 1968 – 1969, MHS shared the building with DuPont High School. Madison students attended in the morning and DuPont students in the afternoon, as a result of a fire at Dupont.

Madison High School’s final class graduated in 1986. The building was used for various purposes until it reopened as Madison Middle School in 2014.


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