Perry in Taylor County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Jerkins High School
In 1853, a family of free blacks established the Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church in what was then known as Rosehead, later Perry. The roots of African-American education in Taylor County began with this church, which remains the oldest congregation in the county. Fires in 1919 and 1923 destroyed two later black schools in Perry; the 1923 fire was a spillover of the racially-motivated destruction of the black Rosewood community in nearby Levy County. The original Jerkins High School was built in 1931 with funding from the Julius Rosenwald Fund Foundation, which helped to build thousands of rural black schools, mostly in the South. Originally named the Perry Negro High School, the school was re-named for principal Henry R. Jerkins, Jr. in 1946, and was the county's first school named for an African-American. A visionary, Jerkins expanded the school's offerings during his tenure as principal (1930-1937) to include all twelve grades, a rarity for black schools in Florida at the time. The 1931 building burned down in 1943, and the present facility was constructed in 1951. Jerkins High School closed in 1970, following integration, and in 1995 the school board donated it to the Taylor County Leadership Council.
By Tim Fillmon, August 2, 2013
1. Jerkins High School Marker
A Florida Heritage Site
Erected 2010 by The Taylor County Leadership Council
and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-699.)
By James R. Murray, May 16, 2014
2. Jerkins High School Campus
Marker series. This marker is included in the Rosenwald Schools marker series.
Location. 30° 6.448′ N, 83° 35.612′ W. Marker is in Perry, Florida, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and 6th Street, on the left when traveling west on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1201 Martin Luther King Jr Avenue, Perry FL 32348, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Perry Army Air Base (approx. 2.4 miles away); Hampton Springs Hotel (approx. 4.3 miles away); Shady Grove Methodist Church (approx. 12.7 miles away).
Categories. • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Education •
By James R. Murray, May 16, 2004
3. An additional view of the Jerkins High School Campus
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 13, 2013, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 532 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 13, 2013, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. 2, 3. submitted on May 16, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide shot of marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?