This elementary school, opened in 1965, was named for Jefferson Gatherford Ish, believed to be a former slave who was educated with his master's sons. Renovations were made to the school in the early 1980s. Ish Elementary ceased operation in 1994 and served as a temporary home for Chicot Elementary during the reconstruction of that fire-damaged school. It now serves as the LRSD Instructional Resource Center, housing departments such as Educational Services; Early Childhood Education; Fine Arts; Gifted Education; Planning, Research and Evaluation; Professional Development; and Title I/Parent Involvement.
Photo: Central Arkansas Library System,
J.G. Ish was a graduate of the Maryville Normal College in Tennessee. He came to Arkansas about 1881 and became an educator. Ish served as principal of three Little Rock schools from 1887 to 1906 and principal of the Negro High School at 9th and Hickory streets in Argenta (North Little Rock) in 1913.
His son, G.W. Ish, became a prominent local physician, J.G. Ish Jr. was the principal at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff from 1915 to 1921, and members both their families were noted for their civic service.”
"LR schools named for prominent people," Arkansas Democrat article by Cynthia Howell, 18 Apr 1983; page 10B.
North Little Rock School District web site; history page
Central Arkansas Library System, Butler Center, Arkansas Black History Online; 1898 biography of J.G. Ish
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff web site; historical mural page
books.google.com - Jet Magazine 1965If 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 July 2008