Perry in Taylor County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Jerkins High School
Inscription. In 1853, a family of free blacks established the Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church in what was then known as Rosehead, later Perry. The roots of African-American education in Taylor County began with this church, which remains the oldest congregation in the county. Fires in 1919 and 1923 destroyed two later black schools in Perry; the 1923 fire was a spillover of the racially-motivated destruction of the black Rosewood community in nearby Levy County. The original Jerkins High School was built in 1931 with funding from the Julius Rosenwald Fund Foundation, which helped to build thousands of rural black schools, mostly in the South. Originally named the Perry Negro High School, the school was re-named for principal Henry R. Jerkins, Jr. in 1946, and was the county's first school named for an African-American. A visionary, Jerkins expanded the school's offerings during his tenure as principal (1930-1937) to include all twelve grades, a rarity for black schools in Florida at the time. The 1931 building burned down in 1943, and the present facility was constructed in 1951. Jerkins High School closed in 1970, following integration, and in 1995 the school board donated it to the Taylor County Leadership Council.
By Tim Fillmon, August 2, 2013
1. Jerkins High School Marker
Erected 2010 by The Taylor County Leadership Council and the Florida Department of
State. (Marker Number F-699.)
By James R. Murray, May 16, 2014
2. Jerkins High School Campus
Marker series. This marker is included in the Rosenwald Schools marker series.
Location. 30° 6.448′ N, 83° 35.612′ W. Marker is in Perry, Florida, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and 6th Street, on the left when traveling west on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1201 Martin Luther King Jr Avenue, Perry FL 32348, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Perry Army Air Base (approx. 2.4 miles away); Hampton Springs Hotel (approx. 4.3 miles away).
Categories. • African Americans • Churches, Etc. • Civil Rights • Education •
By James R. Murray, May 16, 2004
3. Jerkins High School Campus View 2
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 379 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on , by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. 2, 3. submitted on , by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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