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Hopewell Museum

Paris Schools: Celebrating 150 Years of Excellence in Education

Paris Schools: Celebrating 150 Years of Excellence in Education

The images and content featured in this gallery were part of a Hopewell exhibit in 2011. The Hopewell Museum also has an extensive collection of Paris school yearbooks from the 1920s to the present, with those post-1950 digitally available here on our website.

Paris Western School yearbook cover
By 1875, the "colored city school" system had organized and 50 students, a record high, were enrolled at the Western School under the supervision of Principal J.C. Grace. Student enrollment at the white school also was at a record high of 175 students.By 1880, the Western school enrolled 1,020 students, a testament to the value that black parents placed on education. As more children advanced through the elementary grades, the need for a high school spurred the establishment of Western High School by 1888, one of the few black high schools in the state.
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