Saturday, January 29, 2011

One of The First Black Schools

Today we go back in history to 1851 and Black Schools in Newark.
The first Black school in Newark was held in 1851 in a little old frame house on Elm Street. This house adjoined the William Henry property and the first teacher was Miss Sarah Carey.

Times were difficult and public school funds were non existent. Any books that had anything to do with cows or horses were used. It didn’t make any difference who the author was or how the book varied in topics.

At some point a system of books was adopted and taxes were levied to carry on schools as the result of special efforts of some very special people. Among them were: William Henry, Simeon Carey, Jackson Shackleford, and John Norman.

A teacher by the name of Clark followed Miss Carey and taught for a term or two in the Lott Building on the corner of Church and Fourth Streets.

Here the school was taught successively by Rebecca Brown and Miss Thomas as well as Sampson P. Lewis and Rev. Dudley Asberry.

In 1859, it was decided they should have a public school. It was presented to the board of Education and the board approved. D. M. Guy stated: the frame was raised and quite a number of white people were determined that the people of color should not have a schoolhouse. The structure was torn down. The next day carpenters re-erected it and the following night Brother Shackleford, with revolver in hand determined his people should have and education, walked the street and guarded the little frame all night. The building was completed. Here Miss Dowell, Miss Etta Crane and Miss Hearst taught until the close of the school in 1861.

At the close of summer in 1861, the Board of Education purchased a lot (58 Hoover St) from Mr. Shackleford a brick building was erected. This school was occupied until 1888 when it was closed by the Arnett Act.

The residence is still standing and has become a rental property today.

Information gathered from: The files of The Licking County Historical Society.
Submitted by: Raynola St.Clair

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