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Douglas School
306 W. Eleventh
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  Douglas School
- photo 1915
Douglas School
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1913

In 1886, the Pittsburg school board was approached by citizens about building a seperate school for the African American students in Pittsburg. It was decided that there wasn't a real need so the school wasn't built and the schools remained integrated. On 4 Dec 1911 a petition was presented by 71 residents asking the board to hold a vote to segregate the schools in Pittsburg. A vote was scheduled for 2 Feb 1912 and passed to segregate Pittsburg schools at 897 for and 799 against. The new 2-story school at 306 W. 11th, which was named Douglas School after Frederick Douglas a former slave and abolitionist, was built by S. E. Geatches for $19,000 and opened in early 1913. The African American population at the time was fairly small and it never had more than about 70 students a year and that included all elementary and Jr. High age children. In about 1905 Kansas had ruled that schools could be segregated but made it illegal to segregate high schools so Pittsburg High School allowed African American students to attend. According to school reports in the newspaper the students at Douglas had a near perfect attendence each term and had average grades in the low 90 percentile. On 26 Feb 1921 a fire started in the basement and gutted most of the interior with half of the first floor collapsing into the basement. The main brick structure wasn't damaged though and after $3,000 in repairs the school resumed classes on 14 March 1921 less that a month after the fire. The school was closed in the 1950's when all the elementary schools in Pittsburg were desegregated. The building was eventually torn down.

"Prosperous Pittsburg, Pictorially Portrayed." 1915: Print
"Douglas School Gutted by Fire" The Sun [Pittsburg Kansas] 26 Feb 1921: 1. Newspapers.com. Web
"Douglas School to Start Tomorrow" The Sun [Pittsburg Kansas] 31 March 1921: 1. Newspapers.com. Web
"Pittsburg School System Started in 2-Room Building." Pittsburg Daily Headlight [Pittsburg Kansas] May 1926: H1.Print
McNally, Edward T. "Two-Room School Evolved into Complex System." Pittsburg Almanac, 1876-1976. 1976: 43-44. Print

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