“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dinwiddie in Dinwiddie County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Early Education in Dinwiddie County

Dinwiddie, Virginia


— Dinwiddie County —

Early Education in Dinwiddie County CRIEHT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 21, 2010
1. Early Education in Dinwiddie County CRIEHT Marker
Inscription.  Prior to the Civil War, Dinwiddie County was home to several private academies for those who could afford to pay for their education. While it was mostly affluent males who were educated, Pegram’s Academy, Female Academy, Girard Heartwell School for Girls, Oak Forest female School and Col. William Davis’ Girls School were among those that catered to young women. In these schools, young ladies were prepared socially and culturally to enter the world. Meanwhile, education for African-Americans and the poor were delayed until after the Civil War.

It was not until 1870 that public education for blacks and whites was introduced into Dinwiddie County. By 1833, 25 schools out of the school system’s 53 one- and two-room schools were for African-Americans. The number of black elementary schools totaled as many as 40 by the late 1920s. As transportation became available, the schools began consolidating.

In 1899 the John A. Dix Industrial School was established one mile east of this site as the first and only private school for African Americans. Several years later, the Dinwiddie Agricultural and Industrial School was added.
Dinwiddie County Court House image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, January 21, 2010
2. Dinwiddie County Court House
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In 1908, after being purchased, the school was conveyed to the Board of Education of the African Methodist Zion Church. Shortly afterward, the school once again changed its name and became the Dinwiddie Normal and Industrial Institute. From 1915 to 1949, under the leadership of Professor W.E. Woodyard, the Institute transformed into a day school. By the early 1930s, it began receiving financial assistance from Dinwiddie County, and by 1938, it became the county’s all-black high school. In 1954 the Southside High School, currently Dinwiddie Middle School on U.S. Route 1, was constructed as the new African-American high school for the county and remained as such until 1969 when the schools integrated.

(side bar)
(Above) Photo taken by Jackson Davis, state agent for African-American rural schools for the Virginia Sate Department of Education from 1910-1915. He took this photo to show the good road condition through Dinwiddie Court House to Dinwiddie High School. The school can be seen in the background on the right.

(Left) This Jackson Davis photo was taken during Patron’s Day exercises at a one-room school for African-Americans c. 1910s.

(Above Right) Professor W.E. Woodyard was the principal of the Dinwiddie Noraml and Industrial Institute from 1915 to 1949.

Photos of court house road and one-room
Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map image. Click for full size.
3. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map
Appomattox County
1. Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home
2. Carver-Price School
3. Education in 1800's Rural Virginia

Buckingham County
4. One-Room Schoolhouse
5. Carter G. Woodson Birthplace

Cumberland County
6. Hamilton High School
7. Rosenwald School at Cartersville
8. Jackson Davis

Amelia County
9. Russell Grove Presbyterian Church and School
10. Mrs. Samantha Jane Neil

Chesterfield County
11. Virginia State University

12. Earliest Known Public High School for African Americans in Virginia
13. McKenney Library
14. The Peabody-Williams School

Dinwiddie County
15. Southside Virginia Training Center
16. Rocky Branch School
17. Early Education in Dinwiddie County

Nottoway County
18. Blackstone Female Institute
19. Mt. Nebo Church
20. Ingleside Training Institute

Lunenburg County
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

Charlotte County
29. Southside Virginia Community College - John H. Daniel Campus
30. Charlotte County Library
31. Salem School

Halifax County
32. Meadville Community Center
33. Mary M. Bethune High School
34. Washington-Coleman Elementary School
35. Mizpah Church

Mecklenburg County
36. Thyne Institute
37. Boydton Academic and Bible Institute

Brunswick County
38. Southside Virginia Community College - Christanna Campus
39. Saint Paul's College
40. Hospital and School of the Good Shepherd
41. Fort Christanna
school courtesy of The Jackson Davis Collection, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library. Photo of W.E. Woodyard courtesy of Catherine Simmons.

Erected by Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 17.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsEducationWomen. In addition, it is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1870.
Location. 37° 4.652′ N, 77° 35.239′ W. Marker is in Dinwiddie, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Sycamore Drive and Boydton Plank Road (U.S. 1). This CRIEHT marker is located on the lawn in front of Dinwiddie Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Dinwiddie VA 23841, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dinwiddie Court House (here, next to this marker); Battle of Dinwiddie Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); The War of 1812 / Winfield Scott (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Scott's Law Office (about 400 feet away); Dinwiddie Courthouse (about 500 feet away); Vaughan Road
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(approx. 0.4 miles away); Dinwiddie Normal Industrial School (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Union Cavalry Attacks (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dinwiddie.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 24, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,353 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 24, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Apr. 11, 2021