Historical Markers

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER HIGH SCHOOL | GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER HIGH SCHOOL HOME ECONOMICS BUILDING

The first Black school established in the town of Augusta was located in the northern part of town in a section called “Box Town.” This early school was called Box Town School. The Box Town School was discontinued in 1917 when members of the black community decided to purchase land so that they could improve their educational facilities. The men who headed this project to purchase land were Dolphus Lowe, Charlie Rasberry, Reverend C. H. Jones, D. C. McClendon, Will Harris, Nat Mitchner and Henry Spearman. The first $25 donations for the project were given by secret fraternities of of the community.

The group purchased for $600 five acres of land located in the eastern part of Augusta. This land was then deeded to the Augusta School District. The board then erected on that land a $12,000 brick building, which was completed on June 17, 1917. The school was called Augusta Colored High School. The first principal of the new school was Professor Isom Cole. Principals that followed were James Teal, Reverend William Eason, O. S. Daniel, Miles A. Hibbler and James M. Smith.

Under the administration of James M. Smith, who served 34 years as principal, the
Augusta Colored High School became Carver Junior High School in 1942, then Carver High School in 1944. Carver was named after the famous black scientist, George Washington Carver. The first Carver High School graduating class consisted of five members and they were Octavia Morris, Valedictorian; Franchell Hudson, Lee Anna Hudson, Dora Ferguson and Samuel Ferguson.

Consolidation of the smaller districts around Augusta was carried out as times changed and needs arose. One of the largest schools to consolidate with Augusta was Fitzhugh. Consolidation was completed when Gregory School became a part of the Augusta School District. While much of the nation suffered agony and turmoil, Augusta’s white and black citizens worked in harmony to put together a school system that the regional office of the Health, Education and Welfare in Dallas called “an example of progress not only for Arkansas, but for the entire nation.”

On June 30, 1970 Carver High School and Laura Conner School merged and became Augusta High School.

From WikipediaThe George Washington Carver High School Home Economics Building is a historic school building at 900 Pearl Street (between 9th and 10th Streets) in Augusta, Arkansas. It is a single-story L-shaped concrete block structure with a gable roof and modest vernacular styling. Build in 1944 with funding by local subscription, it is the only one of five buildings build between 1917 and 1948 for the education of Augusta’s African-American population. The school remained segregated until integration took place in 1979, and has been used since then to house the local Head Start Program. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.

 

 

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