Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute located in Wilcox County

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This is a historic African-American school that was founded in 1893 by Dr. William J. Edwards, a graduate of Tuskegee University. The school opened as the Colored Literary and Industrial School in a one-room log cabin on the R. O. Simpson plantation.  Initially there were three students, but with private donations, Dr. Edwards and his supporters increased the school’s property base and constructed additional buildings, many built by students learning the building trades.  At its peak, Snow Hill Institute included 27 buildings, a staff of 35, and over 400 students.  It was operated as a private school for African-American children until Dr. Edward’s retirement in 1924.  It then became a public school and was operated by the State of Alabama until 1973, when a court ordered desegregation order forced its closing. Out of the original 27 buildings, only eight survive today. Dr. William J. Edwards is buried beside the main school building.

In 1995, the school was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Snow Hill Institute is located in east Wilcox County near the community of Snow Hill (GPS coordinates 32.020556,-87.032722).

Sources: 1) Wilcox Area Chamber; 2) wikipedia.org/Snow_Hill_Normal_and_Industrial_Institute.

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