From Preservation Issues, Volume 6, Number 1

Historic Preservation Program UPDATES

National Register Listings:
Ethnic Heritage-Black, 1993-1996

by Steve Mitchell
The following properties have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places for their significance under Ethnic Heritage-Black, 1993-1996.

Benjamin Banneker School (top right), Parkville, Platte County. Listed 9/22/95. The Benjamin Banneker School is apparently one of only a few surviving brick, one-room segregated schools in the state. The Banneker School was the first building constructed exclusively for the use of African American student in the Platte County community. Although two additional segregated schools were subsequently constructed, the 1885 Banneker School is the only one extant. These school also represents the efforts of the African American community and of Park College founder and free soil advocate George S. Park and college president John A. McAfee to assure educational facilities and opportunity to all the children of the community, within the framework and restriction of legal segregation. The period of significance extends from 1885, with the construction of the school, to ca 1902, when the one-room building was replaced by a larger, similarly named, building.

Bethel A.M.E. Chapel (middle right), Louisiana, Pike County. Listed 7/28/95. Completed in 1884, the Bethel A.M.E. Chapel is Louisiana's last remaining active African-American social institution. The church served as the spiritual, social and visual focal point of Louisiana's African-American community. In addition to its religious function, the chapel offered social activities and assistance to members and non-members; sponsored literacy training for younger members; provided leadership ; and served as a meeting place.

Washington School (bottom right), City, Monroe County. Listed 12/29/94. the Washington School was built for and used to educate Monroe City's African-American students from its construction in 1937 until the end of segregated education. Located on the site of an earlier African American school and one of only three such schools in Monroe County, the building was erected with funds provided by grants from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Public Works Administration (PWA). The school also stands as an example of the contributions of Depression-era, New Deal programs to numerous small Missouri communities such as Monroe City. In addition, the Washington school is a rare example of an architect-designed African-American public school, built from plans drawn by the St. Louis firm of Bonsack and Pearce, whose commissions included churches and schools in many parts of Missouri. One example is the white public school in Monroe city constructed a the same time as the Washington S chool.

The following properties have been approved for nomination to the National Register by the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation:

(Photo not attributed.) This Historic post card, ca 1930s, shows Lincoln School students (left to right) Harold Brice, Bezolia Salmon, Willetta Weir, and Robert Holman.
Lincoln School, Vandalia, Audrain County. The Lincoln School is at least the fourth building constructed for use as a school for African-American students in Vandalia. It was constructed in 1927 by the Walsh Company, a local construction and brick-making firm, on land donated by the Ellis Brothers, Vandalia pharmacists. The two-story brick building is an unusually large example of an African-American school located in a small Missouri town. The school originally housed grades one throug h 12; eventually high school students were bused to Mexico, but the school continued in use for elementary grades until integration in 1955.

Second Baptist Church, Neosho, Newton County. Built in 1896, the Second Baptist Church in one of the few remaining public institutions in Neosho that represents the African-American heritage of the Newton County community. The vernacular building with Late Gothic Revival style affinities was founded and supported by men and women who held significant roles in the African-American community; the pastors of the church provided leadership and service to their community, as well as other Missouri communities. Funded in the aftermath of the Civil War, the Second Baptist Church still stands as a center for Neosho's African-American culture, serving as the focus for community events and social functions, as well as a meeting hall and cultural center.

All text and photos are taken from Preservation Issues
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Historic Preservation Program, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102
Editor: Karen Grace
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