Entries - Entry Category: Campuses and Schools - Starting with P

Parks School House

The Parks School House is located north of Highway 28 in Parks, an unincorporated community in Scott County. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 6, 2002. L. K. Robertson sold the property on which the school house is situated to the Parks School District No. 39 on February 17, 1931. A temporary wooden school house was constructed on the site until it was removed for the present building to be built in 1940. Unemployment was at an all-time high for the Parks area and most of Arkansas at the time, and the Great Depression and Dust Bowl had forced farmers and their families to leave Arkansas. However, word spread about the Work Progress Administration …

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

aka: Dunbar Junior and Senior High School and Junior College
Dunbar Junior and Senior High School and Junior College, located at the corner of Wright Avenue and Ringo Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is significant in four areas: African-American history, education history, legal history, and architecture/engineering achievement. From 1929 to 1955, Dunbar offered a comprehensive education for black students in Little Rock. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Known historically as a Rosenwald School and funded in part by Julius Rosenwald—president of Sears, Roebuck and Company—Dunbar Junior and Senior High School and Junior College was completed in 1929 as the Negro School of Industrial Arts. It was part of a comprehensive nationwide program, funded primarily by Rosenwald, to improve the quality of …

Pea Ridge Academy

aka: Mount Vernon Normal College
aka: Mount Vernon Masonic College
aka: Pea Ridge Normal College
The Pea Ridge Academy, organized in 1874, was one of the earliest enduring institutions of higher education in the developing northwest Arkansas area following the Civil War. Contemporary with what is now the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) and the older Cane Hill College, the Pea Ridge Academy played a significant role in advancing education in Benton County. Organized as a private (or subscription) school, the academy soon entered a cooperative venture with the newly developing public school system, providing space for the public elementary and high school grades, while continuing to operate as a private trustee-governed academy offering college-level courses. Though never a large school, it sent out numerous graduates as business leaders and teachers for …

Peake High School

Peake High School served the African-American community in Arkadelphia (Clark County) for decades. Partially funded by the Rosenwald Fund, the building was constructed in 1928 and eventually became part of the Peake Elementary School campus. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 19, 2005. The first school built for African Americans in Arkadelphia opened in 1891. While educational opportunities for black children had existed in the community since 1869, the Sloan School on West Main was the first purpose-built public educational building. Arkadelphia Baptist Academy and the Bethel Institute (later Shorter College) also operated in the city during this period. The need for a newer building increased as the population of Arkadelphia grew, and the …

Phi Kappa Sigma Male College

Phi Kappa Sigma Male College opened on February 7, 1859, in Monticello (Drew County). The college was named after the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and is possibly the only college in the country named after a fraternity. The Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity was founded in 1850, and James Willey Barrow graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana as one of its members in 1856. Barrow moved to Monticello and, in 1858, served as the president for the Monticello Male Academy. Barrow taught Latin, Greek, and mathematics with assistance from David Shelton, C. S. Tatum, and A. M. Scott at the Monticello Male Academy. In a letter to his brother, John C. Barrow, dated May 15, 1858, James Barrow stated that “my …

Philander Smith College

Philander Smith College was the first historically black, four-year college in Arkansas and the first historically black college to be accredited by a regional accrediting institution. Enrollment as of September 2014 was 553 students. Like most of the African-American colleges and universities in the United States, Philander Smith College originated in the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (commonly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau). The War Department organized the Freedmen’s Bureau on March 3, 1865, just before the Civil War ended. Throughout its six-year existence, the bureau sold confiscated properties and raised money to help the freed slaves gain access to the rights that they were denied during slavery. Among these was the right to be educated. In 1869, …

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA)

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County) is an institution of higher education in the middle section of eastern Arkansas. PCCUA is a leader in providing cultural enrichment and continuing education in a region often lacking these opportunities. PCCUA began as Phillips County Community College (PCCC) after the electorate in Phillips County passed a ballot measure providing local financial support for a community college on October 23, 1965. Community leaders felt that providing higher education to residents of the Delta would enhance the economy of the community and the quality of life of the residents the college would serve. Subsequently, Governor Orval Faubus appointed the first board of trustees for PCCC, which held …

Plumerville School Building

The Plumerville School Building at Plumerville (Conway County), located at 105 Arnold Street, is a circa 1925 wood-frame structure that was remodeled with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program, while serving as a school in 1939. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. Plumerville was a leading agricultural center in Conway County and had a well-established school system at the time of the Great Depression. When President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal offered opportunities to improve facilities, Plumerville School District No. 39 took advantage of the funding possibilities and, around 1938, received money to build a new high school building and a gymnasium. The district decided to pursue …

Powhatan Male and Female Academy

aka: Powhatan School House
The Powhatan Male and Female Academy, first located in a log cabin built by Andrew Imboden in 1854, was the first school in the settlement of Powhatan (Lawrence County). The school remained open for just over 100 years, closing due to consolidation in 1955. Shortly after the construction of the school, Benjamin F. Mathews was retained as its first school master. It is believed that he gave the school its name. The first school term covered just two months. Being the only school in the immediate area, it saw steady growth until forced to close due to the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. The academy reopened shortly after the end of the war. Apparently around 1880, the old …

Private School Movement

aka: Segregation Academies
Beginning in the mid-1960s and continuing into the early 1970s, there was a rapid expansion in the establishment of new, non-parochial private schools across the South. This phenomenon, often called the “segregation academy” or “white academy” movement, was commonly viewed as a means for white parents to avoid having their children attend increasingly integrated public schools. Within Arkansas, the establishment of new private schools was concentrated in two areas—the Delta region and Pulaski County. Starting in the mid-1960s, both of these areas, which had the highest concentration of African Americans in the state, truly began to integrate their schools. The resulting increased level of integration provided the impetus for the start of the private school movement in Arkansas, which was …