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We are Lincoln. 

We stand as one of the surviving and intact public schools for African American students in the City of Sumter, SC. We have deep roots in the community and are products of dedicated teachers, loving parents, and a nurturing community.

Our History

1874

The first public school for Blacks in Sumter, SC. Rev. L.E. Lowery was the principal and teacher assigned to the male students and Mrs. M.E. Scott was the assigned to the female students.

A new two-story wooden structure was erected.

Our Mission

The Lincoln High School Alumni Association and Preservation Society preserves the history and legacy of Lincoln High School and African American education in Sumter County, SC and promote and deliver programs and activities of interest and need in the Sumter community. We work to preserve Sumter’s African American history for future generations as well as the inspiration of its existing African-American community. We pay special attention to collecting the history of former African American Schools.

1904

1910-1937

The nucleus of the present facility was erected.

Rosen Wald funds were used for the construction of the school facility and the shop in the back of the school.

1924-1925

The twelfth grade added to the school under the tenure of Mr. J.H. Kilgo.

1947

Twenty additional classrooms, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a library and a band room was constructed. 

1950

One of the few schools admitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for accreditation.

1952

THE LAST GRADUATING class under the name Lincoln High School.

1969

Our Vision

Based on our commitment of service to the community, we inspire students and lifelong learners, generate knowledge, and engage individuals and community. We increase knowledge  and awareness of African American school history locally, regionally and nationally, through interdisciplinary approaches embedded in museum exhibits, cultural events and oral histories. We contribute to and achieve our organizational goals as individuals and as members of the association. 

THE LAST CLASS in the building under the name Lincoln High School.

1970

The Lincoln building housed all sophomores of Sumter High School

1971-1979

The Lincoln building housed St. Jude Central High School

1989

1983

The Lincoln building housed freshmen and sophomores of Sumter High School

1980

The Lincoln building was sold and deeded to Sumter County

1995

The Lincoln Building was sold to Trinity United Methodist Church

2009

The Lincoln building was sold to Lincoln High School Preservation Alumni Association

2005

2015

Historical Maker (National &State Registers)

2016

Deed and Title-Lincoln High School Preservation Alumni Association. A generous gift from George and Janet Miles aided in securing clear deed and title and creation of the Lurke Museum.

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Julius Rosenwald

Julius Rosenwald, who was born in 1862 while Abraham Lincoln was president, in a house just one block from the liberator’s own home in Springfield, Illinois. 

During the summer of 1910, Rosenwald read the autobiography of the great black educator Booker T. Washington and was strongly affected. Within a year, Rosenwald and Washington were building a relationship that included visits to each other’s homes. Rosenwald’s first speech introducing the educator to Chicago’s business leaders described Washington as “helping his own race to attain the high art of self-help and self-dependence” while simultaneously “helping the white race to learn that opportunity and obligation go hand in hand, and that there is no enduring superiority save that which comes as the result of serving.”

 

Rosenwald and Washington launched an effort to build new schools in parts of the rural South where little or no education was being offered to rural blacks. Washington documented progress on the schools with photos and careful accounting, including descriptions of the community enthusiasm for the erection of the new schools created among locals of all races. Pride in the fresh facilities often overflowed into newly painted houses, improved roads, and expanded cooperation among residents. Rosenwald and Washington built schools all across the South over more than 20 years. There were also correlated efforts to train teachers to serve in the new schools, and funds to provide libraries and workshops for students. Rosenwald insisted right from the beginning that his donation would only be made if it was matched by local residents (most of whom were poor blacks who skeptics said could never come up with adequate funds).  And despite their limited resources, thousands of rural black communities succeeded in pulling together the funds to match Rosenwald’s gift.

 

Poignant stories have been recorded of black laborers emptying bags of old coins, representing years of savings, to underwrite these schools. Sharecroppers set aside a “Rosenwald Patch” when they planted their cotton. Innumerable pie sales and fried chicken suppers were organized to raise matching funds. During construction, many black families donated materials or invested sweat equity via their labor. Local whites also contributed, encouraged by the uplift the new schools offered their towns. Rosenwald funds were used to improve the Lincoln School facility and erect two additional buildings on the school site.

Julius Rosenwald left a powerful imprint on numerous causes. He was also a generous backer of black colleges. He funded the construction of 22 YMCA/YWCA community centers and urban dormitories for blacks during the segregated era. And he funded a third of the litigation costs of the Brown v. Board of Education case that ended school segregation. In addition to changing the country, Rosenwald changed philanthropy. 

President's Message (Cont'd)

We have had a new roof installed on the cafeteria wing of the building and are having a new roof put on the entire facility. It's an expensive but very necessary project. We must ensure that our building and its contents are protected. We are grateful to the National Park Service for funds that will help with the installation of the new roof, but we would very much appreciate donations to help with this expense.

We are planning more "building" projects: restore and rehabilitate the 1st floor of the building to include plumbing, electrical, painting and installation of an elevator. We are anticipating additional building rehabilitation funds and will make an announcement soon. It would help significantly if each of you would send a donation, large or small it would be a tremendous help. Please do not forget to renew your annual membership.

We need volunteers willing to give a little or a lot of time to support the Association. There are many things to be done – data entry, inventory, filing, cleaning, and helping with museum tours, trimming trees and shrubs, and much more. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Rose Colclough or if you are interested in touring our museum, please contact Jim Felder. We will soon add a regular newsletter feature to the Echo News section of the website to keep you informed. Keep an eye on the website for updates, announcements, and future gala plans.

We are indeed one!

 

Rev. Dr. Thomas Bowman

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Lincoln High School Preservation Alumni Association Officers - 2021

Want to learn more about our tremendous team of Board Members and Officers? Click the ink below to view or download our current list of Alumni Association Officers. 

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Lincoln High School
Alma Mater

Dear Lincoln High, where right and honor dwell,
Whose halls with eager youths are filled today,
Where standards high the faculty is keeping;
O Lincoln High, our tribute now we pay!
Where standards high will never trail the dust,
O Lincoln High, hail, hail! To thee we pray!
We bring our souls to thee for knowledge free,
Thy standards high we shall forever keep,
And to thy height we must always be reaching;
O Lincoln High, our tribute now we pay!
Whose standards high will never trail the dust,
O Lincoln High, hail! Hail! To thee we pray!