“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Columbia in Brazoria County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Columbia Rosenwald School

Columbia Rosenwald School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Debbie A. Sutherland, August 24, 2011
1. Columbia Rosenwald School Marker
Inscription. A grant from the Rosenwald Foundation of Chicago led to the establishment of a local school for African American students. The foundation represented a collaboration between Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck, and Company, and the noted African American educator, Booker T. Washington, to fund similar schools throughout the south. This is one of the few remaining of the hundreds built in Texas.

The program began in 1917, and by the 1920s, there was a strong need for an African American school in East Columbia. County officials utilized the Rosenwald Grant, as well as local funds and contributions from the African American community, to establish schools in both East and West Columbia. The building at this site, which opened in East Columbia in 1921, served children whose school had previously been sharing space with a nearby church. The school's first teacher was Mrs. P.A. Franklin.

Columbia Rosenwald School included grades one through seven, adding an eighth grade by the 1940s. Also during the 1940s, the nearby Green Hill African American School consolidated with Columbia Rosenwald School. Students often attended classes after the fall harvest finished, though the school term had already begun. Subjects included spelling, arithmetic, reading, language, writing, drawing, geography, history and science.


Columbia Rosenwald School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Debbie A. Sutherland, August 24, 2007
2. Columbia Rosenwald School Marker
Rosenwald School closed in 1949 after the West and East Columbia School Districts consolidated. The building here stands as an important reminder of early African American educational efforts in the area and as a symbol of the philanthropic activity that made it possible.
Erected 2007 by Columbia Historical Museum and Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13949.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Rosenwald Schools marker series.
Location. 29° 8.593′ N, 95° 38.753′ W. Marker is in West Columbia, Texas, in Brazoria County. Marker can be reached from S. Broad St. just from E. Clay St.. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Columbia TX 77486, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Columbia - The First Capital of The Republic of Texas (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Columbia United Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Columbia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Columbia Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Near Site of First Capitol of the Republic of Texas (approx. ¼ mile away); Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of the Home of Josiah Hughes Bell (approx. 0.9 miles away); Home of George B. McKinstry (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Columbia.
Categories. African AmericansEducation
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 24, 2011, by Debbie A. Sutherland of West Columbia, Texas. This page has been viewed 691 times since then. Last updated on May 15, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 24, 2011, by Debbie A. Sutherland of West Columbia, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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