Following the Civil War, Reconstruction, etc the Timmonsville area was host to multiple elementary and high schools. Some schools were constructed by "Carpetbaggers" and abolitionists from the north who wished to assist in educating others. Other schools were built by foundations such as the Rosenwald Fund and Freedman's Bureau.
Brockington High School housed all African-American students in Timmonsville grades 1-12 and was established between 1938 to 1956. Mr. DJ Johnson was principal and garnered an Panther as it’s mascot. The United States Supreme Court was not that impressed with South Carolina’s equalization program, either. Briggs v. Elliott was heard along with four other cases arguing for desegregation from Kansas, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington D.C. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, nothing changed in South Carolina’s public schools. Black and white students continued to be segregated. School districts continued to plan and build segregated schools.
Johnson High School opened for the 1956-1957 school year, also known as the Panthers. The school housed 232 students (grades 7-12) and employed 12 teachers. Mr. DJ Johnson continued his tenure as principal of the new school built in accordance with the SC Equalization program. Some African American parents and leaders filed petitions to desegregate the schools in Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, Columbia, Estill, and Florence, but the petitions went nowhere. Black student continued to attend school in their new (but still segregated) schools. Brockington High became the Brockington Elementary school for grades 1-6 with Mr. Isaac C. Joe as it's principal. After decades of being part of Florence County District 16, Mr. DJ Johnson left his position as principal and was replaced by N. Curtis Sparks in 1967. Mr. Sparks was principle of Johnson High School until it was integrated with Timmonsville High School for 1970-1971 school year.
Finally, in 1960 Clarendon County parents petitioned the court to end segregation. The lawsuit stalled in court, and in May 1962 parents in Charleston, Florence and Darlington also sued to end segregation. These lawsuits moved forward once the publically-owned Clemson University was forced to admit an African American student. In September 1963, eleven African American students desegregated Charleston County’s white schools, making South Carolina the last state to desegregate its public school system. Though 1963 marked the year segregation of the schools officially ended in the state, Florence School District 4 was not integrated until the 1970-1971 school year following FSD4 being removed from the school desegregation court orders 16 years. This act gave birth to what is now known as Timmonsville High School, Home of the Whirlwinds!
In honor of Brockington High and Johnson High the elementary and middle schools of Florence School District 4 carry their names; Brockington Elementary school and Johnson Middle school. Present day, the BES adopted the bald Eagle as a mascot and JMS inherited the Panther as it's mascot.
HISTORY OF TIMMONSVILLE SCHOOLS
School Directory 1913-1975, State Library Digital Collections
SC Department of education