“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Beckley in Raleigh County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

Stratton High School

African American Heritage Tour

Stratton High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel
1. Stratton High School Marker
Inscription.  Gone are the days of the early 1800s in which African Americans were mainly provided education by missionaries and charitable organizations. The WV legislature passed a bill in 1866 that provided public schools for black students, but revised it in 1872 and stipulated that white and black students would be taught separately.
In 1919, the first all-black high school in Raleigh County, named after Reverend Daniel Stratton, was opened and graduated its first two students that same year. The school had already grown to 37 students and ten faculty by 1933. In 1939, Stratton High School moved to a new facility on South Fayette Street which presently houses Stratton Elementary. By 1967, Stratton High School's final year, the graduating class had grown to 109 students and consisted of 32 staff members, ten of which were Stratton graduates.
During the 48 years that Stratton served the community as an all-black high school, it graduated 2,786 students, some of which became doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, nurses, and ministers.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation.
Stratton High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel
2. Stratton High School Marker
Top Photo
Storer College Class of 1903
Storer College, in Harpers Ferry, WV, opened its doors in 1867. At the time, Storer was the only teacher-training institution for African Americans in the state of West Virginia.
Middle Photo
The first African-American school in Raleigh County was built in 1873 by the Trap Hill District Board of Education at Mills Branch. Prior to construction of the cabin, students were taught in a room at the home of Jacob Saunders of Mills Branch.
Bottom Photo
Students in Campbells Creek, WV pose for a picture
From the 1870s to 1930s, many African Americans migrated to West Virginia because it was a place where their children could receive better educational opportunities.
37° 45.962′ N, 81° 10.419′ W. Marker is in Beckley, West Virginia, in Raleigh County. Marker is at the intersection of South Fayette Street (West Virginia Route 3) and G Street, on the right when traveling west on South Fayette Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Beckley WV 25801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wildwood (approx. 0.4 miles away); Alfred Beckley / Wildwood (approx. 0.4 miles away); Civil War Site (approx. 0.4 miles away); Beckley Mill (approx. one mile away); Beckley (approx. one mile away); State Police Radio Station And Barracks (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Raleigh County Bank (approx. 1.2 miles away); Spanish Influenza Hospital (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beckley.
Stratton High School image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel
3. Stratton High School
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 30, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 25 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 30, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Feb. 28, 2021