Hayden to be honored with historical marker

Published 8:29 pm Thursday, August 22, 2019

Prominent educator Della Irving Hayden will be honored this weekend with the placement of a historical marker in Franklin.

Hayden, a Hampton Institute classmate of Booker T. Washington, taught thousands of students in Southampton County and Franklin before she organized the Franklin Normal and Industrial Institute in 1904. By 1916, Hayden had buildings and bought land to run a small farm and a dormitory to board dozens of female students.

In 1953, Hayden High School was named in her honor in a location within yards of her original wooden school building.

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The Franklin City Schools, in collaboration with the Hayden Group, was successful in getting the Della Irving Hayden highway marker approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.  The unveiling of the marker will occur on Saturday after a program on education, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Apostolic Faith Church of God Church, 680 Oak St., Franklin. Immediately following the program, those who are able can walk the short distance from the church to the marker unveiling.

The Hayden Group strives to keep the legacy of Mrs. Della Hayden alive in the community so that future generations will have an understanding of the effort and sacrifices that were made to ensure their present freedom, and a conscious hope for their future. The Hayden Group will be joined by the 1969 Hayden High School graduating class celebrating its 50th reunion.

This event is free and open to the public. You do not have to be a Hayden graduate to attend and learn.

For more information, contact Jessica Grant Banks at 252-382-7804.