Smithville was.

Smithville is.

Smithville will be.


Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of Sears Roebuck, built state-of-the art schools for African-American children across the South. The effort has been called the most important initiative to advance black education in the early 20th century. 

The Smithville neighborhood is home to a historic Rosenwald school. The Rosenwald School was for local black children to attend in the 1920s when schools were segregated. When a 1954 Supreme Court ruling declared segregation in education unconstitutional, Rosenwald Schools often became obsolete, abandoned or demolished.  

The Smithville Rosenwald School became a community center that served as a hub for social life and children’s activities in Smithville. The building is now privately owned. It is full of memories for the residents who attended school there, as well as attended vibrant community events.  It was the social center of the neighborhood. 

In 2002, the National Trust joined forces with grassroots activists, local officials, and preservationists to help raise awareness of this important but little-known segment of our nation’s history, placing Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list.