Webb School (Bell Buckle, Tennessee)

Webb School (Bell Buckle, Tennessee)

Infobox School | name = The Webb School

imagesize = 200px
motto = Noli Res Subdole Facere ("Do nothing on the sly.")
established = 1870
grades = 6-12
type = Private, College Preparatory
principal = Headmaster Albert Cauz
city = Bell Buckle
state = Tennessee
students = about 300
colors = Navy Blue and Gold (Formerly Purple and Gold)
mascot = The Webb Feet (Formerly, "The Webb Scholars")
website = http://www.thewebbschool.com

The Webb School is a private coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, founded in 1870.

From modest beginnings in Reconstruction-era Tennessee, Webb grew to achieve national significance. It has been called the finest preparatory school in the South. Under founder Sawney Webb's leadership, the school produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other secondary school in the United States.


"To turn out young people who are tireless workers, and who know how to work effectively; who are accurate scholars; who know the finer points of morals and who practice them in their daily living; who are always courteous." -- William R. Webb


William R. "Sawney" Webb started the Webb School as a school for boys in Culleoka, Tennessee, in 1870. He was joined by his brother, John M. Webb, in 1873.

The school began to establish a reputation for academic excellence after Vanderbilt University was founded in 1875 and Webb School's "oldest and best boys" enrolled. The only Vanderbilt students who took honors in their examinations at the end of the university's first year were Webb graduates.

Webb moved the school from Culleoka to its present-day location, a 100+ acre campus in Bell Buckle, in 1886 after Culleoka incorporated and legalized the sale of alcohol in the new city. Maury County (TN) Public Schools, [http://www.mauryk12.org/Culleoka/History/History.htm The History of Education in the Culleoka Area] ] [http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=W036 William R. "Sawney" Webb] in the "Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture"]

From modest beginnings in Reconstruction-era Tennessee, Webb grew to achieve national significance. It has been called the finest preparatory school in the South. Under Sawney Webb's leadership, the school produced more Rhodes Scholars than any other secondary school in the United States.

Sawney Webb's son W. R. Webb Jr., known as "Son Will," joined the school as a teacher in 1897 and became co-principal of the school with his father and uncle in 1908. After their deaths (John Webb died in 1916 and Sawney Webb in 1926), he became headmaster and remained in that position until his retirement in 1952. [http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/imagegallery.php?EntryID=W034 Webb School] in the "Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture"]

Webb began admitting girls as boarding students in 1973, but throughout its history Webb had allowed local girls to attend as day students, as noted in "The Schoolmaker" by Laurance McMillin, pg 120.

Curriculum and programs

Webb retains its traditional emphasis on personal honor and a rigorous liberal arts curriculum. Currently there are about 300 students enrolled.


Webb is currently a Division II member school of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, The Webb Feet compete in several sports, including baseball, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, cross-country, soccer, golf, and volleyball.

The 2007-2008 athletic season featured numerous successes. The Varsity Golf and Cross-Country team advanced to the state tournament during the fall. The Varsity Boys' Basketball team opened the season 16-0 and made it to the sub-state level. The Varsity Boys' and Girls' Tennis teams also competed at the sub-state level this spring with the boys' and girls' doubles teams advancing to state. Finally, the Varsity Boys' Soccer Team advanced to the TSSAA Division IIA State Championship Game. The team narrowly lost by one goal in the final overtime period. This was the first appearance by a Webb team in a TSSAA state championship game.

Notable alumni

*Charles Alexander: International Editor for "TIME" magazine
*William West Bond: Architect and Designer for Holiday Inn hotels
*Lewis M. Branscomb: Professor Emeritus at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
*Edward Ward Carmack: Attorney, Newspaper Editor, and U.S. Senator (TN)
*Jac Chambliss, Lawyer, poet and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts of London
*Prentice Cooper: Governor of Tennessee, 1939-1945
*Frank Constantine: Chief of Ophthalmic Surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
*Ewin L. Davis: Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission
*William Yandell Elliott: Rhodes Scholar, Vanderbilt "Fugitive", Harvard government professor, mentor of Henry Kissinger
*Norman H. Davis: Chairman of the American Red Cross; U.S. Diplomat at 1918 Versailles Conference and 1933 Geneva Conference
*Thomas Watt Gregory: Attorney General of the United States, 1914-1919
*Walter W. Manley: Attorney; Distinguished professor of business.
*William F. McCombs: Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1912-1914)
*Raymond Ross Paty: President of the University of Alabama, 1942-1946; Chancellor of the University of Georgia system, 1946-1948
*John Andrew Rice: Co-Founder and first Rector, Black Mountain College
*Wayne Rogers: Screen Actor; Portrayed Trapper John on "M*A*S*H"; Investment analyst for FOX News Network
*Vermont C. Royster: Editor of the "Wall Street Journal"; Winner of 2 Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom
*Paul Sanger: Pioneer in cardiology and thoracic surgery; Founder of the Sanger Clinic
*Ingram M. Stainback: Governor of Hawai'i, 1942-1951
*Allen Steele: Hugo Award-winning science fiction author
*John J. Tigert: President of the University of Florida
*Elton Watkins: U.S. Congressman from Oregon 1923-1925
*Fielding L. Wright: Governor of Mississippi, 1946-1952

Related schools

Sawney Webb's son and grandson later established The Webb Schools in Claremont, California and the Webb School of Knoxville in Knoxville, Tennessee, respectively.



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