African-American School History in Richland Parish

Eula D. Britton High School

List of African American Schools in 1929

  1. Parish Training School
  2. Essential Institute (Esther H. Toombs)
  3. Fairview School (no info)
  4. Dunn School (no info)
  5. Holly Ridge School
  6. North Holly Ridge School
  7. Bee Bayou School
  8. Rayville School
  9. Antioch School
  10. Park View School
  11. Point Jefferson
  12. Nelson Bend (Mt. Olive)
  13. Pilgrim’s Rest School
  14. Jonesburg School
  15. White Island School
  16. James Chapel School
  17. St. Paul School
  18. St. Dee School
  19. Friendship School
  20. Mound School
  21. Sunshine School.
  22. White Hall School
  23. Dunnings School
  24. Holly Wood School
  25. New Bethel School
  26. Mangham School
  27. Reed School
  28. Goldmine School
  29. China Grove School
  30. Adile School
  31. St. Joe School
  32. Mt. Zion School
  33. St. Luke School
  34. Orange Hill School
  35. Mt. Pleasant School
  36. Green Grove School.
  37. Camp Ground School
  38. St. John School

List of African-American Schools in 1937

  1. Jones Chapel
  2. Green Grove
  3. Pilgrim’s Rest
  4. Adile
  5. Point Jefferson
  6. St. Paul
  7. James Chapel
  8. St. Dee
  9. Antioch
  10. Bee Bayou
  11. Mound
  12. Pleasant Grove
  13. White Hall
  14. Mt. Olive
  15. Parkview
  16. Dunn
  17. Hollywood
  18. St. John
  19. Pardue
  20. Sunshine
  21. Jonesburg
  22. Boies
  23. New Bethel (Mangham)
  24. Reed
  25. Dunnings
  26. China Grove
  27. Fairview
  28. Holly Ridge
  29. Egypt
  30. Buckhorn
  31. Hopewell
  32. Essential Institute
  33. Rhymes Rosenwald
  34. Parish Training
  35. Rayville Rosenwald

List of African-American Schools in 1955

Elementary Schools in 1955

  1. Pardue School
  2. Mangham Colored School
  3. Alto School
  4. Egypt School
  5. Rhymes School
  6. Jones Chapel School

High Schools in 1955

  1. Rayville Rosenwald High School
  2. Ester Toombs High School
  3. Holly Ridge Colored High School
  4. Pilgrim Rest High School
  5. New Zion High School

Related News-clips

The Parish Training School (south of Delhi)

There is one exhibit at the fair which deserves a special mention, and that is the one put on in the agricultural building by the Richland Parish Training School, a negro school located in Richland Parish south of Delhi. Their work in in-industrial lines and home economics shows the fine work being done by the institution to train them and half of the colored youth.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
07 Oct 1922, Sat  •  Page 2

Richland Parish Training School Bose Watkins, 2nd grade; Susie Belle Robinson, 2nd grade; Francis Oliver, 2nd grade; Dr. Willie Robinson. 2nd grade; Annie May Riley, 3rd grade; Mary Anna Herring, 3rd grade; Lillie May Walks, 3rd grade; Mildred E. Parker, 3rd grade; Ocelia Nathan, 3rd grade; Palis Hall, 3rd grade; Cora Turner, 3rd grade; Dorotha Harris, 3rd grade; Bertha Cotton, 3rd grade; Bestelle Williams, 3id grade; A. D. Harvey, 3rd grade; Bennie Walks, 3rd grade; Rilla Mae Buckley, 3rd grade; Joe Willye Hopson, 4th grade; Arlena Herring, 4th grade; Minnie Turner, 4th grade; Fulden Walker, 5th grade; Lela Mae Thompson, 5th grade; Mary W. Walker, 6th grade, Willie M. Walks, 6th grade; Bessie M. Hicks, 6th grade; Lillie Wilson, 6th grade; Harriet Robinson, 6th grade; Jessie Ernest, Gth grade; Rosa B. Sherman, 7th grade; Albena Kees, 8th grade; Emma Coward, 8th grade; Edith Wagner, 8th grade; Albetha Marshall, 8th grade.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
17 May 1924, Sat  •  Page 2

Graduation Exercises at Richland Parish Training Institute The Richland Parish Training School for colored children, located two miles southwest of Delhi, held their commencement last week, and on Thursday afternoon their graduation exercises. Mr. H. A. Mangham, a member of the Richland Parish School Board, delivered the address to the graduates, and Mr. J. A. Ball, president of the Richland Parish School Board, delivered the diplomas. Before the opening of the exercises, the members of the school board were shown some of the excellent work being done by the colored children of Ward One of Richland parish. The principal, Prof. L. A. Byrd, made a splendid showing the past session with limited funds, and his graduates reflected credit upon him and his family.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
30 May 1931, Sat  •  Page 2

The Essential Institute

Local Red Cross Gets Contribution From Colored Teacher – The Richland Parish Red Cross Chapter has received a contribution from Esther L. Toombs, of Chicago. This elderly colored woman was for over forty years principal of the Essential Institute, Delhi Col6red School. She lives now in Chicago, -but states that she wishes to contribute to the Red Cross through Essential Institute, and to the Richland Parish Chapter, as her heart and interests are still here. She states that she has greatly recovered from illness suffered during the winter. Though she lives in Chicago, Esther is still highly regarded in this parish by both white and colored alike for her years of service to her community and to her race.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
07 Apr 1951, Sat  •  Page 2

The Egypt Rosenwald School

Mrs. Nancy Lyon migrated from Centerville, Mississippi, in March of 1928. Her husband, Gains Lyons, had been appointed to the Egypt Rosenwald School, which was located in the Egypt Goldmine Community in the southern part of the parish. At the time the school ‘ was an elementary school, but Professor Lyons was able to add a junior high, which required a home economics course. Mrs. Lyons was assigned that task.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
05 Nov 1998, Thu • Page 3

The St. Paul School

A committee of colored people from the St. Paul School school appeared before the Board and requested aid in building school building. A motion was made by Dr. Hinton and seconded by Mr. Eddins, that the Board appropriate money, not to exceed $250.00, to aid in the construction of this building, and to accept deed to lot and 150.00 the community had raised.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
03 Aug 1940, Sat  •  Page 4

The building was auctioned in 1950 and was listed as being located on Hwy 80 at Bennett’s Crossing. One room building.

The Dunnings School

May 11, 1901: Ed W. Dunnings, a worthy and influential colored citizen of the fourth ward, called on us last Saturday and paid up his subscription to the Beacon-News. Ed is a progressive fanner and landowner of this ward and well thought of by both white and colored citizens and is and has been for the past three years grandmaster of exchequer of the Grand Lodge, Knights of Pythias.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
20 Feb 2003, Thu  •  Page 4

$50.00 additional was appropriated out of the 4th ward for the benefit of building a colored school building near Ed Dunnings house. This making a total of $200 appropriated for this purpose.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
20 Jul 1907, Sat  •  Page 3

Old and Highly Respected Colored Citizen Dies – E. W. Dunnings, of Camden, Ark one of the best and most highly regarded colored citizens to have made Richland Parish his home for many years, passed away at his adopted home in Camden, October 1st, at 2 p. m. He died at the home of one of his daughters. Dunnings lived a long, and useful life, reaching the age of 96 years, the major part of his well-spent life was in the Fourth Ward of Richland Parish. He is survived by seven children, Hattie D. Anders, Edward L. Dunnings, Eula D. Britton, Robert M. Dunnings, Miles G. Dunnings, Derrick W. Dunnings and Reatha D. Beck. His first wife only lived two years after their marriage. His second wife, before her marriage, Mary Jane Starr, was the mother of his nine children, seven still living. Dunnings was born in Gainesville, Sumter County, Alabama, in 1859.

He came to Louisiana and the community of Alto and Mangham at the age of 15 years, where he lived for 50 years, moving to Camden, Arkansas, in 1923, where he resided until his death. However, he never lost Interest in Richland Parish where he lived so long and was unusually successful as a farmer, accumulating valuable property, which he divided with his heirs several years ago. Besides providing a good home for them he educated his children and grandchildren and made useful citizens of them. He gave most of them professional education, E. L. Dunnings, physician; Otis W. Dunnings, pharmacist; Robert M. Dunnings, dentist; Eula D. Britton, principal Rayville Rosenwald High School; Reatha D. Beck, graduate of Southern University; Thelma Cormier, teacher, Rayville Rosenwald High School; Mary R. Brisker, teacher, St. Louis, Mo. Ed Dunning’s clean and exemplary life is left as a legacy to his children and as an example all right-thinking members of his race. A friend of this writer through many years, we held him in high esteem, and offer our sympathy to his bereaved family.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
08 Oct 1955, Sat  •  Page 10

Good Colored Woman Dies Jennie Dunnings, aged 67 years, wife of E. W. Dunnings, one of the leading colored men of Richland parish and Camden, Ark., died at her home in Camden, Ark., on January 16th. This good woman made her home in Richland parish, near Alto, for the greater part of her life, removing to Camden, Ark., several years ago. She and her husband were thrifty all of their lives and accumulated valuable property, and reared a family of good citizens, one of the daughters being Eula D. Britton, who has been principal of the Rayville Rosenwald school for a number of years. Her death is universally regretted by many friends among both the white and colored people, and The Beacon-News joins in offering sympathy to the bereaved husband and other members of this estimable colored family.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
28 Jan 1939, Sat  •  Page 2

Rayville Rosenwald/Eula D. Britton

Eula Dunning Britton was born at Mangham, La., to the E. W. Dunnings. Her elementary and secondary education was obtained at Homer Normal, Homer, La., and Straight College of New Orleans, La. She received her B. A. degree from Southern University and holds an M. A. degree from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. Eula Britton’s teaching experience ranges over a period of 37 years in Richland Parish. This includes teaching in a one-room school that was known as the Old Odd Fellows Hall which had an enrollment of 250 pupils. She is now completing her 37th year as principal of the newly named Eula D. Britton High School (re-named In her honor) which has an enrollment of 1.165 students, 37 teachers, two maids, two janitors, six bus drivers, and seven lunchroom workers. The newly constructed school offers special training in business, science, music, athletics, vocational home economics and vocational agriculture.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
18 May 1957, Sat  •  Page 3

This week people of both races pay tribute to Eula Dunnings Britton who retires from the Richland Parish school system after thirty-seven years as an educator. As a teacher and principal, she has fulfilled duties to the parish system in the finest sense of the word “education.” She has seen her own facilities in serving her people grow from a greatly inadequate one-room school to the present modern and fully equipped school which bears her name, and she has played a very real part in this great progress. Of a family of hard-working and intelligent people, the Richland educator exemplifies the highest type of advancement of her people. Working always for future good in the education of younger generations, she has always maintained harmonious relations with the community as a whole. This example of mutual advancement and respect might well be the pattern for a firmer footing of racial understanding in our present strife-torn Southland.
The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
18 May 1957, Sat  •  Page 4

Prominent citizen dies in Rayville – Services for Eula Beatrice Dunnings Britton were at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 20, at Rankin Chapel Church in Rayville with the Rev. Jasper Scott officiating. Mrs. Britton was 94. Burial was in Camden, Ark. under the direction of Simms and Gundy of Rayville. She died Wednesday, April 16, at Community Comfort Cottage in Rayville after a long illness. Mrs. Britton was a prominent educator in Richland Parish for over fifty years. She was the principal of the Rayville Rosenwald School, whose name was changed to Eula D. Britton High School in her honor. She remained the principal of the school and was the first and only principal there until her retirement.

Former Richland Parish Superintendent J. B. Thompson, Jr. paid tribute to Mrs. Britton saying “She was an extremely fine lady; an excellent school administrator and a most dependable person always being there when she was needed. She was active in all phases of endeavor that she considered for the ” content of her race.” Survivors include one sister, Rita Beck Smith of Los Angeles; two nieces, Thelma Cormier and Mary Hamlet, both of Seattle, Wash.; one great-nephew, Floyd Paul Cormier of Denver, Colo. Pallbearers were Tommy Alexander, Freddie Rivers, William Smith, James Jones, Floyd Paul Cormier, and C. W. Brown. Honorary pallbearers were the mothers and deaconesses of Rankin Chapel Church in Rayville.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
22 Apr 1986, Tue  •  Page 3

Jonesburg School

A motion was made by Mr. Hatch and seconded by Dr. Hinton to permit the negroes, living in the Jonesburg and Bardel community to build a negro church on the school lot belonging to the Jonesburg School, and the motion was adopted.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
17 Aug 1929, Sat  •  Page 6

Mrs. Spiers moved, seconded by Mrs. Hatch, that the Richland Parish School Board request permission from the Louisiana Teachers Retirement System for Peter J. Simms, a teacher in Jonesburg colored school, to teach the 1947-48 school year.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
17 May 1947, Sat  •  Page 3

James Chapel School

Mr. Terry moved, seconded by Mr. Eddins that the bid f Rev. E. J. Jones in the amount of $600.00 be accepted for the James Chapel School and the bid of $293.00 of O. B. Mitchell be accepted for the St. Dee School.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
09 Dec 1950, Sat  •  Page 8

St. Dee School

Mr. Terry moved, seconded by Mr. Eddins that the bid f Rev. E. J. Jones in the amount of $600.00 be accepted for the James Chapel School and the bid of $293.00 of O. B. Mitchell be accepted for the St. Dee School.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
09 Dec 1950, Sat  •  Page 8

The Boies School

Be it Resolved, By the Richland Parish School Board, of the Parish of Richland. Louisiana, in lawful session convened, on this the 7th day of July, 1936, That the colored people of the Boies School be given authority to tear away the east room of the Boies school and erect a room on the west side of the house farther away from the highway.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
01 Aug 1936, Sat  •  Page 4

Rhymes Colored High School, ca., 1950

RHYMES COLORED HIGH SCHOOL NOTES – Rhymes Colored high school opened in October 1950, with the high school department occupying the remodeled white elementary school. This was a step forward, as it relieved the congestion caused by an increased enrollment in both the elementary and high school.

We welcomed one new teacher, Annie B. Hunter, to our faculty. She comes to us from St. Dee school, which was consolidated with Rhymes. Several noteworthy activities have been going on at Rhymes during the 1950-51 school year. Our Christmas program was very well received by the students and members of the community on Thursday night, December 22nd. Santa Claus gladdened the hearts of many of the group with gifts.

Classes were resumed on January 3rd, 1951, and plans were immediately made to make this year a big one at Rhymes. The 11th grade class has sponsored two dances during the school year and several of the elementary grades have given socials to help promote the growth of the school. Coming activities include a Valentine dance, sponsored by the 10th grade under the leadership of James P. Smith, on Wednesday night, February 14th. On Friday afternoon, January 26th, the school will sponsor a social. The money derived from this dance will go to the March of Dimes. On Friday night, January 26th, the Rhymes P. T. A. is sponsoring a feast at the elementary school. The public is cordially invited to all of these activities.

The honor roll for the second six weeks period includes the following students: 11th grade: Thomas Horne, Alfred Horne, Mariah James, Lily Harris, Mary Pendleton, Clevia Mae Roberson, Robert Jefferson. 10th grade: King Carradine, Sam Anderson, Joyce Roberton, Flossie Delon. 9th grade: Hattie Lee Turner, Louise Turner, Ozie Lee Riley. Flood Robinson, T. J. Lockhart, Albert Anderson. Lily Mae Jackson. These people had to maintain a straight B average during the six weeks period. Although our athletic program has been curtailed due to the fact that Coach Jackson is busily engaged av the elementary school, we hope to field a better than average basketball team this year.

The faculty at Rhymes includes the following: Rosa Coffey, Gaybertha Smith, Ida Lee Simmons, Hazel Staten, Beatrice Woodard, Julia Johnson, Rosa Mayfield, Odis Jackson, Annie B. Hunter, Telia B. Staten. Blanche Thornton, Margaret Colbert, James Smith and Carrie M. Jones, principal. Margaret Colbert, Reporter.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
27 Jan 1951, Sat  •  Page 8

The Reed School

A motion was then made by Mr. Rhymes, seconded by Mrs. Hanna, that the Lone Cherry School be given to the Reed Colored School if the colored people would move the building and bear all expenses.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
13 Nov 1937, Sat  •  Page 1

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC The Richland Parish School Board will receive bids on the abandoned Negro school known as the “Reed” school (located south of Mangham) on Friday, January 4th, 1952, at 10 o’clock a. m., at its office. The Richland Parish School Board reserves the right to accept or reject any or all bids. For further information contact J. B. Thompson, Jr.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
08 Dec 1951, Sat  •  Page 4

St. Joe School

The two health meetings held at the Orange Hill church and St. Joe Rosenwald school in the Rhymes community have proved very helpful in improving the health conditions of the -colored people. In the first meeting, the week’s program was outlined by the supervisor, who also gave a talk on the care of body and better home living. The Rev. Douglas gave an interesting talk on destroying the breeding places of mosquitoes and flies. The pastor, Rev. Holmes, preached one of the most interesting health sermons of the week. He turned his entire service into one of health, which was enjoyed by all. Mrs. C. J. Ellis, of Rayville, and Dr. J. B. Thompson, of Monroe, spoke on the Thursday night program. These talks were unusually interesting and will long be remembered by those present. It has been reported by the committees that all homes and premises have been put in good shape.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
28 Apr 1934, Sat  •  Page 2

The Mound School

Mr. Ball and the superintendent reported their investigation of the Mound School and recommended that the School Board replace the old roof with a new one and the price not to exceed $30.00. A motion was made by Mr. Smith and seconded by Mr. Colvin to authorize the superintendent to see that this roof was replaced before the next session of school.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
09 Apr 1938, Sat  •  Page 6

A committee of colored patrons of the Mound School appeared before the Board and requested the Board to build them a school building. After due consideration of the above, the Board decided to postpone all construction until after the war.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
12 Aug 1944, Sat  •  Page 4

Abandoned Negro Schools, ca., 1949

NOTICE TO TID3 PUBLIC The Richland Parish School Board will receive “Sealed Bids” on Tuesday, December 6, 1949, on one or more of the following abandoned negro schools: White Hall, Dunnings, Mt. Olive, Adile, China Grove, St. John and Green Grove.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
05 Nov 1949, Sat  •  Page 2

1949 School Board Bids

The secretary stated that he had complied with the board’s request and had called for bids on 16th Section in Ward II and bids on Adile, Dunnings, White Hall. St. John, and China Grove schools. President Rhymes instructed the secretary to open all bids received and read the same. The bids were as follows: 16th Section Ward II 1. G. F. McAllister, $300.00 per year. 2. A. D. Silk. $200.00 per 1st year, $350.00 2nd and 3rd year. Payments in advance. 3. S. A. Collins, $260.00 per year. 4. Durrell McKibbens, $400.00 per year. Adile School Alto Lodge No. 50 for $150.00. Dunnings W. C. Brown for $50.00. White Hall R. C. Boies for $60.00. China Grove Nancy J. Hoye for $150.00. St. John C. M. Noble for $200.00. Mr. Pardue moved, seconded by Mr. McEacharn that the bid of Alto Lodge of $150.00 be accepted for the Adile School Building: the bid of $50.00 by W. C. Brown be accepted for the Dunnings School Building; that the bid of R. C. Boies of $60.00 be accepted for the White Hall Building; that the bid of Nancy Hoye of $150.00 for the China Grove Building be accepted, and that the bid of C. M. Noble of $200.00 for the St. John Building be accepted.

The Richland Beacon-News
Rayville, Louisiana
17 Dec 1949, Sat  •  Page 12

4 replies »

  1. My father Booker t. Washington is looking for pictures or anything to do with his old school, Adams Elementary School, which was once in Lake Providence Louisiana, East Carroll Parish. He had a lot of sisters and brothers. If anyone has anything please email me at tdc3486@yahoo.com or text me at 3185924933 thank you. He is married to Gloria Carroll-Washington.

  2. am looking for photograpghs about the edward winston dunnings clan,it is a project that the smithsonian museum is interested in

    • I am the great-grand daugther of Edward Winston Dunnings. I am starting to write a book about my family, which is how I came across your message from November 5, 2022. My 98-year-old mother is his granddaugther and was raised in the house with him. My mother is alive and of sound mind and remembers a wealth of history. So Mr. Brisker feel free to reach out to me. Patricia 202-770-7000.

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