Marker location: Eagle Lake
Marker dedicated: July 20, 2013
Marker Text: E. H. Henry Rosenwald School
Before a school existed in Eagle Lake, African Americans were educated at home or in small churches, with some classes held in a local blacksmith shop. The first school for African-American children was located on Main Street in a room on the first floor of the old United Brotherhood of Friendship Hall. The School was later relocated to C Street. In the late 1920s, a visionary young professor, Eugene H. Henry (b. 1896), came to Eagle Lake to teach. Born in Flatonia, Henry was educated at Prairie View State Normal and Industiral College, received a scholarship to Howard University and served in the U. S. Army during World War I. Henry, along with others, saw the need for an African-American School in Eagle Lake. Beginning in 1917, Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears Roebuck Company, began to provide matching funds for African-American schools in the south.
In 1929, Eugene Henry and his supporters sought an application for a Rosenwald grant for Eagle Lake. Parents, children, churches, businesses in the black community and others responded with fundraisers and contributions. With these contributions, three and a half acres were purchased and construction of the school began in 1930 when the Rosenwald Grant was received. The school was a center for African-American activities, cultural programs, sports and events. When public schools integrated in the 1960s, the school became the Eagle Lake Middle School until a new middle school was built. The E. H. Henry High School was the only Rosenwald School in Colorado County and was a symbol of vision and progress for the community and the nation during the early 1900s. (2012)
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