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March 27, 2009

Howard School African-American School Built in Warrensburg, Missouri 1888

Morris Collins,Warrensburg, MO
Morris Collins, a longtime public school art teacher and current UCM art instructor, 
is president of the Howard School Preservation Association. He stands near the front door to 
Howard School  From the blog link below by 

Howard School (Warrensburg, Missouri)

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Howard School
Howard School (Warrensburg, Missouri) is located in Missouri
Location: 400 W. Culton St., Warrensburg, Missouri
Coordinates: 38°45′51″N 93°43′32″WCoordinates: 38°45′51″N 93°43′32″W
Area: less than one acre
Architect: Newcomer, John; Lowe, William
Architectural style: Late Victorian, three room T-shaped
Governing body: Private
NRHP Reference#: 02000046[1]
Added to NRHP: February 14, 2002
The Howard School was built in 1888 and is the second-oldest surviving African American school in the state of Missouri. It was closed in 1955. The currently vacant building sits on Culton Street in Warrensburg, Missouri. The school was officially entered in the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 2002.


The Howard School had its beginning in 1867, when Cynthia Ann Reed Briggs and the Rev. M. Henry Smith from the American Missionary Association purchased a Lot 14 in Rentch’s Addition in Warrensburg for the sum of $100.23. Funding for this lot and subsequent school building was accomplished with African American assistance alone. The new one-room, 32'x24' frame building cost $1,001.90 and when half-completed, accepted assistance from the Freedmen's Bureau in the amount of $800 to finish the structure. Grateful for the assistance, the school’s sponsors decided to call it Howard School, in honor of General Oliver O. Howard, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. The Howard School was the newly established Warrensburg School District's first school building, opening in August, 1867. Rev. M. Henry Smith was named by the School Board to take charge of the city’s black schools and served as principal and teacher in the school. In 1871, Smith resigned his post to become the first President of Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, Missouri’s first African American institution of higher learning.
The current building came in to existence as a result of the success of the first Howard School. Attendance grew from an average daily attendance of 45 black students in 1867 to well over 100 students by 1870. After renting space in several buildings on the west side of town to help accommodate the exploding black student population, and prodding from the black community and a few vocal citizens, the Board of Education, on May 21, 1888, approved plans for the construction of a new school building consisting of three rooms, each the size of the first school building (32'x24'), to provide for the educational needs of Warrensburg’s black school children. The cost to the district was $1605. As more students successfully completed instruction in lower grades, demands for more advanced coursework increased. Two years of high school courses were added initially. In 1929, the eleventh grade was added, followed by the twelfth grade a little later. In May 1932, Lillian lnez Visor became the first student to receive a diploma for the four-year high school program. When the State Department of Education adopted new requirements for the accreditation and classification of school in 1948, Howard School could not meet the new higher standards. After failing twice to secure approval for a bond issue that would have upgraded the Howard School, The Warrensburg School Board voted to discontinue the school’s high school program. They agreed to transport any qualified African-American high school student to CC Hubbard High School located 28 miles to the east in Sedalia. The school continued solely as a grade school until its closing in 1955 as a result of the integration of schools in America.[2]


The Howard School Preservation Association has developed a mission statement, filed Articles of Incorporation with the state of Missouri, and has been designated as a 501-C tax-exempt not-for-profit organization by the IRS (September 16, 2003). In addition, an Assessment and Feasibility Study was completed in July 2004 which provides a preservation plan that includes an analysis of the building and recommendations for restoration as well as long term maintenance. The Howard School Preservation Association was officially deeded the property on which the Howard School building is located on December 22, 2004.
The Shredfred is written and managed by Matt Bird-Meyer

Link to Howard School Dream to Save it!

Group Tries To Save Historic Black School

African-Americans Attended Howard School Before Integration

March 24, 2009
Submitted by Roger Dick, thanks!
It's been vacant for decades, but one of the oldest schools for African-Americans in Missouri is still standing, and some people are fighting to save it. The Howard School along Culton Street in Warrensburg is a historic landmark. For decades, it was the place where blacks from places such as Holden, Knob Noster and surrounding communities went to school before integration."I came out of a one-room school. This was paradise when I got here, even though this was only three rooms here," said Ernest Collins, who was part of Howard's graduating class of 1947. Collins said the school, which was built in the late 1880s, produced lawyers, doctors, teachers and many other professionals. The school closed shortly after schools were integrated in the 1950s, and over the years it has served as a kindergarten and even a library. Now, the building has boarded-up windows and crumbling paint."I hate to see it like this. Although it was not the best then, but it sure didn't look like it looks now," Collins told KMBC's Marcus Moore. "I'd like to see us get it just like it was before."Jacob Derritt is with the Howard School Preservation Association, which wants to turn the crumbling school into a museum and cultural center.But the association needs financial help, as any work will cost tens of thousands of dollars."We're going to have to save as many pieces as we can and then build it back up," Derritt said. "We believe that one dollar will impact generations to come, and we just need for every American who can hear my voice to help preserve history. One bit at time.""Future generations can find out what you can do if you want to do it," Collins said.To learn more about the Howard School, visit

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