In 1891, nine agricultural schools, one in each congressional district, were authorized by the Alabama Legislature. One of the schools was located at Jackson on College Avenue at the location of the present day Jackson Middle School and Alabama Southern Community College (Jackson Campus). The Jackson Agricultural College opened in 1896. It became a part of the Clarke County School System in 1936. The 3-story Agricultural College building was demolished and replaced with a new brick building. Jackson High School’s farmer mascot, the Aggie, dates from this time period.
The “First District Agricultural College” historical marker that’s shown is located in front of Jackson’s Alabama Southern Community College building at the intersection of College Avenue and Clinton Street (GPS coordinates 31.513674,-87.894455).
Following is the inscription on the Historical Marker:
First District Agricultural College and Experimental Station, 1896-1936
On this site was located the First District Agricultural College, authorized by an act of the Alabama Legislature and opened in 1896. The street in front was changed from Grove Hill Road to College Avenue in honor of the new school. An Experimental Station was established about ½ mile north on what is now a shopping center and housing area. The 1927 State Legislature established a Demonstration Farm operated jointly by the school and the extension farm agent. The farm was alongside the Coffeeville Road 1 ½ miles north of here. The farm was terminated and sold in 1939.
The purposes of the college were: to teach scientific and practical agriculture; to educate and train young men and women for teachers in the public schools of the state; to prepare those who wished to pursue a course of higher institutions of learning; and to give a good practical education to those who could not attend such institutions. The school was significant to the education, social and cultural life of Clarke and surrounding counties. Subsequently renamed, First District Agricultural School, and later, State Secondary Agricultural School, the 3-storied building was demolished and the graded and high school were consolidated in a new brick building in 1936.
Erected by Clarke County Historical Society, 1990.