1917 to 1938: The Founding of RCTS


The RCTS Building - 1919

The 1919 RCTS Building with the entire student body, teachers, and principal (extreme right) in front. The year the photo was taken is unknown.


Manilla L. Marion - Supervisor of Negro Education

Ms. Marion was named to her position by Randolph County Superintendent of Education R. F. Edwards.  She would have supervised the 46 colored teachers working in Randolph County sometime between 1929 and 1933. In 1937 there were 46 colored teachers in Randolph County.

Pay for Black teachers for some reason was higher than that for whites in the early years (before 1900). Afterwards, white men teachers were paid the highest salary, followed by white women, Black men, and then Black women teachers.  This practice continued until the 1940s when pay discrimination was ended.


The Original RCTS Building

The original RCTS building with the 1942 graduating class in front of the building. Front row (kneeling) Junior Strickland from Bacon Level, Hezakiah Carstarphen (teacher), Samuel McLain from Malone, James T. Marable from Malone; (standing) two unidentified, Texanna Marable (Royston) from Malone, Precious Glenn from Wedowee, Myrtis Wilkes from Wedowee, Thelma Stevens (Minnifield) from Anniston/Roanoke, Emma Kate Hand from Wehadkee, and unidentified. Thelma and Texanna became RCTS teachers. (Photo Courtesy Warren Minnifield Collection)

The building, authorized in 1917, opened in 1920. It burned to the ground in February 1943.

RCTS was one of 12 schools in Randolph County built with the aid of the Rosenwald School Foundation. It was built at a cost of $14,700.00 and was funded by monies raised as follows: Negroes $5,000, Whites $2,000, Public $5,900 and Rosenwald Foundation $1,800.

Rosenwald Schools were built according to strict architectural plans.  Plans were numbered. The lower the number, the smaller and simpler the school. A Type 1 school was a one-teacher school.  A type 7 school was a school that was substantial in size.

Randolph County Training School was built while the school building program was managed by Mrs. Booker T. Washington, wife of the head of Tuskegee Institute. Program control  was later transferred to Nashville, TN after it became too large to be effectively led by Tuskegee. The RCTS school building's architectural plans were drawn up by Black architects at Tuskegee Institute.

Fisk University located in Nashville, Tennessee houses some of the Rosenwald School Foundation documents, including photos, plans, and papers relating to the Rosenwald School building program.

Long live the Mighty Bulldogs!