Marker [129]
Fred Douglass School
(505 E. College Street, Sherman)


Named for the famed 19th century African American Orator Frederick Douglass, the Fred Douglass School was created as one of Sherman's first three public schools in 1879. Two houses one block west of this site were rented for the education of the area's African American children. In the first years of the Fred Douglass School the number of students was about 85. By 1907 the school's population was 350.

Fire plagued the Fred Douglass School: in 1904 and again in 1919 the wood buildings were destroyed. In 1920 a three-story brick structure was erected at the corner of College and East streets. The school grew rapidly, and by 1939 plans for expansion were necessary. In 1943, educational improvements began to take place. More faculty members had advanced degrees and the curriculum was expanded to include African American history, business and vocational courses. A National Honor Society chapter was formed, and the sports program was expanded.

A modern building was erected in 1957; ten years later, the school district became fully integrated, and the Fred Douglass School became the district's special education facility. In the late 20th century it remained the center for a variety of programs for all Sherman students.