1930's

Rhymes High School, ca 1931-1969 (Then and Now)

Rhymes High School 1931-1969

Rhymes High School was established for the rural white community in 1931, and in 1949, the school was given to rural blacks. The students who attended Rhymes came from various plantations or rural farms in Rayville, Mangham, and Start.  The first bus drivers used their personal funds to purchase buses to transport the students, but they were paid by the Richland Parish School Board for the services.  Mrs. Carrie B. Johnson served as principal of Rhymes from 1937 to 1969.

Although the Rhymes School System, in which the respondents’ children received their early educational training, remained poorly equipped with limited learning resources until its closure in 1969, many of its black students went to graduate from college.  These achievements enabled these individuals to help lift their families out of poverty.


7 replies »

  1. This school was founded by my family, and was a place where devil worshippers that would not be run off practiced until it was burned down. It was really sad, and my grandmother could not let go of it.

    • I am part of a volunteer group for the Vietnam Wall of Faces looking for a photo of John Earl Magee whom we believe attended Rhymes High School and possibly graduated in 1963. He was born April 30, 1945. Since your family founded the school, maybe you could help me find either a photo of Pfc Magee or alumni with yearbooks from 1960-1964. The website for the Wall of Faces is http://www.vvmf.org/wall-of-faces if you would like to view the project. Pfc Magee shows home of record as Los Angeles but we have evidence he grew up in Louisiana and attended Rhymes High School.

  2. I remember walking through the building back in the 1980s before it burned, wondering what it would've been like if the walls could talk. The history of the school is a reminder of the influence the Rhymes family impacted on this area. I only knew Mrs. Robertine Rhymes Cobb who recently passed away but the legacy she left her family and this area is remarkable. She was truly an icon in Richland Parish.

    • When did it burn down and how? I am assuming it was vandalism but I’m not certain.

      I visited the school recently with my dad. He has been a carpenter for some 50 to 60 years and it was very interesting to hear him explain how it would have been structurally built—even in its current state of disrepair! It is still a beautiful building with a lot of intricate detail. I am glad it has not been torn down.

  3. We froze in winter and burnt up in warm months of school. Our bathrooms was an outside building with girls on one end and boys on the other end and there were even rapes that occurred. Conditions were despicable and we never had new books nor up to date books. But I still thank God we were able to have a place to learn even under those awful conditions.

  4. Eddie Jackson a 1966 grad. at Rhymes. A Viet Nam vet, Retired electrician ,A minister Of The Gospel of Jesus Christ .i am very thankful that I attended Rhymes High School .

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