The Leeds Academy (commonly called the Valley School was founded in 1890. It was chartered by trustees John A. Milner, John Abercrombie and Luther Owens and located on property donated by Jonathan Bass on Montevallo Road (now Alabama Highway 119) near Norman Drive.
The school taught all grades, but was open only to white children. Will Robertson was the first teacher; soon joined by Willis and Kate Headley, Hattie Garner, Anna Cosper, Emma Little, Benjamin Crump and Roscoe Hogan.
- Leeds Bicentennial Commission History Committee (1979) Leeds: Her Story. Leeds: Leeds Bicentennial Commission/Higginbotham, Inc.