Tyler’s long-closed Emmett Scott High School is to be recognized as part of the city’s North End Action Plan/Reflections Program sponsored by the Tyler 21 project. This initiative, commenced three years ago, promotes recognition of and respect for the Rose City’s historic landmarks and culture. This includes the installation of plaques and historic markers in the city’s northern neighborhoods, which are traditionally African-American. Located at the southeastern corner of Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard and Englewood Avenue the school will become the eighth REFLECTIONS recipient at a ceremony at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 30.
Originally founded in 1888, Emmett Scott was Tyler’s first high school for black students. Sited in a four-room building on South Herndon Avenue this early structure provided education for grades one through ten with an inaugural graduating class of four seniors, but it burned in 1921. Students attended classes in local churches until a new building opened in 1923 on North Border Avenue under the name Emmett Scott Junior High School. It provided classrooms for both elementary and high school grades until W.A. Peete and T.J. Austin schools were opened for the younger children. making the rooms previously used for elementary pupils available for a homemaking department.
The final version of Emmett Scott High School opened in 1949 on what was then called West Lincoln Street. The structure had 26 classrooms, an administrative suite, library, cafeteria, shop, auditorium and band hall.
Still relatively new, Emmett J. Scott High School closed after the 1970 commencement because of a federal integration order.