• Photo: Postcard of "Peabody Public School." From LRSD archives.

    School no longer in operation
    Building no longer exists

    The city block where Peabody was located was sold to the school district in 1870. This land originally was a cemetery. Bodies and tombstones were removed to Mount Holly Cemetery one by one, with the exception of one tombstone that could not be removed. Mrs. Margaret Mann, longtime school clerk at Peabody, wrote that the boys used to sharpen their slate pencils on this tombstone. The school at that time consisted of a brick building and a frame building.

    Photo: Mrs. Jenkins' 2nd grade class at Peabody, 1888. From LRSD archives.

    The larger Peabody School was built in 1890 (facing Capitol Street) and housed both the elementary grades (downstairs) and the high school (upstairs). The two older buildings were still used at this time as well (the frame building faced 4th Street, and the brick building faced Gaines). In September 1905 Little Rock High School was completed at 14th and Scott streets, and afterward Peabody housed only grades 1 - 8.

    Beginning in October 1928, the 3rd floor of the school was used for the Part-Time School, which was moved from the Administration Building at 800 Louisiana Street. Miss Mabel Bass was principal of this school until her retirement in 1951.

    Photo: Mrs. Wallace's 1st grade class at Peabody, 1887. From LRSD archives.

    An unconfirmed notation in LRSD files indicates that Peabody burned in the 1920s. Peabody remained open as late as the 1962-63 school year. District records indicate that the school was torn down in 1955.

    Principals of Peabody include: Mr. Lewis Rhoton, Mr. Howard Gates, Mr. George Hopkins, Mr. C.F. Allen, Mr. H.W. Means, Mr. Bill Phillips, Mrs. Ethel Fairfield and Mr. Robert Bedwell.

    george peabody Photo:

    George Peabody established, among other charities, the Peabody Education Fund. This fund directed millions of dollars to Southern states after the Civil War. Little Rock received nearly $200,000; it was the largest sum given to any Southern city. He also established the Peabody Donation Fund, which provided much-needed housing for the poor of London. Peabody, hailed today as the founder of modern philanthropy, received the Congressional Medal for his charitable works. His actions served as a model for other great philanthropists such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller.


    LRSD archives.
    The Peabody Institute; George Peabody biography
    Central High School web site; facts about Little Rock's early high schoolsIf you have information about a Little Rock school or photographs that you would like to contribute to this project (we will return photographs if requested), please contact us!
    Updated June 2007