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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Warrenville in Aiken County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Jefferson High School / Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr.

 
 
Jefferson High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2010
1. Jefferson High School Marker
Inscription.
Jefferson High School
Jefferson High School opened in 1956 as a junior high and high school for African-American students of Beech Island, Belvedere, Graniteville, Jackson, Langley-Bath-Clearwater, and North Augusta, with Herman W.W. Fennell (1910-1996) as principal. After county schools desegregated in 1970 it became Jefferson Junior High School, and in 1980 it became Jefferson Elementary School.

Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr.
This was one of three African-American schools in Aiken County named for Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. (1881-1966), longtime advocate for education. In 1944 the Langley-Bath Colored School was renamed Jefferson Grammar School in his honor. The original portion of this school was built in 1953 as the Jefferson Elementary School, with Augustus T. Stephens (1903-1992) as principal.
 
Erected 2007 by Jefferson Alumni Association. (Marker Number 2-34.)
 
Location. 33° 29.828′ N, 81° 51.859′ W. Marker is in Warrenville, South Carolina, in Aiken County. Marker is on Flint Drive (State Highway 731) west of Bryan Drive, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located east of Railroad Tracks, before Bryan Drive. Marker is at or near this postal address: 170 Flint Drive, Warrenville SC 29851, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 16, 2010
2. Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. Marker
At least 10 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jacksonville School / Jacksonville Lodge (approx. 1.3 miles away); Storm Branch Baptist Church (approx. 2.5 miles away); Beech Island Baptist Church (approx. 4.7 miles away); Savannah Town / Fort Moore (approx. 4.8 miles away); Signal Corps Aviation School (approx. 5 miles away in Georgia); Beech Island Agricultural Club (approx. 5 miles away); Western Terminus South Carolina Railroad (approx. 5 miles away); Hamburg (approx. 5 miles away but has been reported missing); Historic Church (approx. 5.1 miles away); Downer Institute & School / Downer School, 1924–1986 (approx. 5.1 miles away).
 
Additional comments.
1. Jefferson Alumni Support Their Alma Mater
By April Bailey
June 22, 2009
The Aiken Standard

Jefferson Elementary, in Warrenville, did not start out as a primary school.

Jefferson was founded in 1956 as both a middle and high school for students in Langley, Bath, Clearwater, North Augusta, Beech Island, Graniteville and Belvedere before schools were desegregated in Aiken County.

At the time, the school was one of three public high schools for African-Americans in Aiken County. Jefferson High operated for 14 years, until 1970 when schools
Jefferson School as seen today image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 16, 2010
3. Jefferson School as seen today
were integrated. In 1980, the school became Jefferson Elementary as it is now known.

It was named for Rev. Austin Jefferson Sr., a minister who was known in the community as an advocate for education.

"He was a community supporter, interested in educating black children," said Dr. Marsha Harris, who attended Jefferson High as a student and later served as assistant principal at Jefferson Elementary.

Harris is among many former students of Jefferson High School working to preserve the school's legacy. In 2005, the Jefferson High Alumni Association was founded as former students were preparing for their 50th class reunion, held in 2006. More than 500 former students attended the reunion, which included a tribute to the Rev. Austin Jefferson.

Since the group was organized, members have been working to make a positive impact in the local area through community service and by promoting education, said Harris.

"We feel we received great instruction in education and in values from the school, the community and our parents, and we just want to pass those things on to the next generation," she said.

George Bush, vice president of the alumni association, said students who attended the school were like family.

"It was a close-knit school," recalls Bush, who graduated from Jefferson High in 1962. "Everybody knew each other
Jefferson High School / Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. Marker, looking west along Flint Drive image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 16, 2010
4. Jefferson High School / Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. Marker, looking west along Flint Drive
and got along."

Harris said the organization is also working to uncover more of its alma mater's history. In 2007, the group worked to have a state historical marker placed at the site, which includes background information about the school and the Rev. Jefferson.

"What's most important now is that we give back to future generations," said the Rev. Cornell Harris, who serves are the membership coordinator for JHAA. He said the organization plans to take part in more volunteer services in the community, such as working with young children and helping seniors.

"What we are focused on now is getting people to join with us so we can work together," he said. "It's like our motto says, 'We didn't lose our school; we found our community.'"

JHAA meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at Old Storm Branch Baptist Church, 163 Storm Branch Road in Beech Island.

For more information, contact Rev. Harris at 292-8939 or at cornellharris@bellsouth.net.
    — Submitted January 9, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. African AmericansEducationNotable Persons
 
Jefferson High School / Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. Marker, looking east image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 16, 2010
5. Jefferson High School / Rev. Austin Jefferson, Sr. Marker, looking east
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,463 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 8, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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