South Boston in Halifax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Washington-Coleman Elementary School
South Boston, Virginia
—Halifax County —
Determined to provide elementary education for young African Americans, the Rev. Parham B. Ragland started a school in his backyard some time around 1875. Though the "Backyard School" was private, Rev. Ragland was able to garner financial support for his project from the town of South Boston, thus representing the first known public support of black education in Halifax County. The one-room school grew and led to the establishment of a public black grammar school in Bloodfield (also called Mayfield). The school was eventually named the M. H. Coleman Grammar School. Though it was damaged by fire in 1937, it was repaired, reopened and operated until 1948, at which time it was moved to the former Booker T. Washington High School building.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
1. Washington-Coleman Elementary School CRIEHT Marker
Booker T. Washington High School had been built for the black high school students who had been attending classes in unsatisfactory quarters above a store at 1811 North Main Street in South Boston. By 1932 funds raised by the black community were joined with those from the South Boston School Board to build this four-room school with library, multi-purpose rooms and a central office. Although the building was well equipped, it was a small school and limited in curriculum. In 1948 Washington High was merged with the Halifax Training School to provide a centralized black high school with
an expanded curriculum. In 1969 Halifax high schools were integrated, and all black and white high school students went to the Centerville High School. The former all-black high school was then renamed Washington-Coleman Elementary School and still serves as an active part of Halifax's educational community.
2. Matthew Hale Coleman
Erected 2004 by Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 34.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 36° 42.695′ N, 78° 54.278′ W. Marker is in South Boston, Virginia, in Halifax County. Marker is on Jeffress Boulevard 0.1 miles east of Penick Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1927 Jeffress Boulevard, South Boston VA 24592, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mizpah Church (approx. one mile away); Campaign of 1781 (approx. 1.1 miles away); Retreat to the Dan (approx. 1.1 miles away); DAR Memorial Cannon (approx. 1.2 miles away); Crossing of the Dan Monument (approx. 1.3 miles away); Minister Who Married Lincoln
(approx. 2.3 miles away); Green's Folly (approx. 2.3 miles away); History of Halifax (approx. 4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Boston.
3. Booker T. Washington
More about this marker. On the left panel are several photos with the captions:
"(Above) A one-room schoolhouse in Halifax County, early 1900's."
"(Left) Matthew Hale Coleman, teacher and first principal of the first publicly funded grammar school for black students in the City of South Boston."
(Bottom) Washington-Coleman Elementary School as it stands today."
On the right is a photo of "(Right) Booker T. Washington."
Also see . . .
1. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. Virginia's Retreat (Submitted on May 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Washington-Coleman Community Center. The Town of South Boston. (Submitted on May 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Categories. • 20th Century • African Americans • Education •
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
4. Washington-Coleman Elementary School
5. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map
1. Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home
2. Carver-Price School
3. Education in 1800's Rural Virginia
4. One-Room Schoolhouse
5. Carter G. Woodson Birthplace
6. Hamilton High School
7. Rosenwald School at Cartersville
8. Jackson Davis
9. Russell Grove Presbyterian Church and School
10. Mrs. Samantha Jane Neil
11. Virginia State University
12. Earliest Known Public High School for African Americans in Virginia
13. McKenney Library
14. The Peabody-Williams School
15. Southside Virginia Training Center
16. Rocky Branch School
17. Early Education in Dinwiddie County
18. Blackstone Female Institute
19. Mt. Nebo Church
20. Ingleside Training Institute
21. The People's Community Center
22. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Christian Day School
Prince Edward County
23. Prince Edward County Public Schools
24. R. R. Moton High School
25. Farmville Female Seminary Association
26. First Baptist Church
27. Beulah AME Church
28. Hampden-Sydney College
29. Southside Virginia Community College - John H. Daniel Campus
30. Charlotte County Library
31. Salem School
32. Meadville Community Center
33. Mary M. Bethune High School
34. Washington-Coleman Elementary School
35. Mizpah Church
36. Thyne Institute
37. Boydton Academic and Bible Institute
38. Southside Virginia Community College - Christanna Campus
39. Saint Paul's College
40. Hospital and School of the Good Shepherd
41. Fort Christanna
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,023 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 20, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.