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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Sheffield in Colbert County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Sheffield Colored School/Sterling High School

 
 
Sheffield Colored School Marker (side 1) image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 15, 2015
1. Sheffield Colored School Marker (side 1)
Inscription. (side 1)
Sheffield Colored School

Public education for Sheffield's black children began in 1889 in a framed building at E. 20th St. and S. Atlanta Ave. with Henry Hopkins as teacher. Professor Benjamin J. Sterling (1847-1941), a former slave, became principal in 1896 and continued to teach until 1936. Sheffield Colored High School began in 1920 with 12 students. Grammar and high school classes were taught in the frame building and in several churches. In 1921, P.B. Swoopes and Marion C. McDaniel became the first high school graduates. By then the old building was dilapidated and overcrowded. Supporters of the school donated land on E. 19th St. and the Sheffield Board of Education erected a modern brick building in 1923 at the cost of $20,227.50 to house 12 grades. The architect was D.L. Simon and the contractor was Florence Lumber Co.

(side 2)
Sterling High School

Sheffield Colored School was renamed Sterling High School in 1942 in memory of the late Benjamin Sterling. The Board of Trustees worked diligently with school officials to obtain equipment and qualified teachers to make Sterling an accredited school. Land for an athletic field and playground was acquired in 1946. A gymnasium and dining room were added in 1950, and the entire building was renovated when
Sterling High School Marker (side 2) image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 15, 2015
2. Sterling High School Marker (side 2)
grades 1-6 moved to a new school in 1959. Rev. Richard A. Stewart served as principal,1944-1968. The Sterling band greeted President John F. Kennedy as he arrived at TVA in 1963. Sterling closed in 1968 under federal court orders and its 225 pupils and 12 teachers were absorbed into Sheffield Junior and Senior High Schools. The vacant building was razed in 1978 and 19th St was renamed Sterling Blvd.
 
Erected 2010 by City of Sheffield, Sterling Alumni and Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation, alabama Historical Association.
 
Location. 34° 45.209′ N, 87° 41.58′ W. Marker is in Sheffield, Alabama, in Colbert County. Marker is on Sterling Boulevard near Southeast 11th Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Located across the street from Healing Fountain Apostolic Faith Church. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1019 Sterling Boulevard, Sheffield AL 35660, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (approx. half a mile away); Percy Sledge/Producer Quin Ivy (approx. half a mile away); History of Sheffield (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Singing River Sculpture
Sheffield Colored School/Sterling High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 15, 2015
3. Sheffield Colored School/Sterling High School Marker
(approx. 0.7 miles away); Furnace Hill (approx. 0.9 miles away); Winston Cemetery (approx. 1.1 miles away); William Winston Home (approx. 1.2 miles away); At This Well (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sheffield.
 
Categories. African AmericansEducation
 
Sheffield Board of Education image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, April 15, 2015
4. Sheffield Board of Education
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 408 times since then and 102 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 16, 2015, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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