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Edward J. Simmons school
Colored School #8’s opening in 1873 is celebrated on this date. This was a school for Blacks and was operated by a Board of Education for Colored Schools.
Located in Ellardsyille near St. Louis, MO, it was a one-story wooden building of two rooms and opened with an enrollment of 53 pupils. The school had been established in the post American Civil War era in 1865 to foster education of Black children. In 1877, Black teachers replaced whites in the school, and by 1881 the building was enlarged to four rooms. It was renamed the Edward J. Simmons School in 1891, and in 1899 the old school was replaced by a brick building.
It occupies the same site today in a building erected in 1930 during the Jim Crow era at 4318 St. Louis Avenue. An addition was built west of it in 1965.
2,000 years of extraordinary achievement
by Jessie Carney Smith
Copyright 1994 Visible Ink Press, Detroit, MI