Kizer School

Among the First Black School in the County
Front from left- Lonnel Taylor, Totlo William, Vernon William, Virgel Taylor
Second Row - L.H. Kizer, Velma William, Leana Johnson, Martha Lou Ellis, Ramel Easley, Lucille Taylor, Willie Lee Easley
Third Row - Professor George William Beal (JoAnn Beal's grandfather), Vernell Kizer, Raymond Johnson,
Artie Mae Ellis, Sam Johnson, Ramel William, A.D. Hart, Earline Taylor, Clyde William, Ray Taylor
Fourth Row - Alice Taylor, Vernon William, Dera Easley, Webster Easley, Roberta Pearson,
Arbie Pearson, Vera "Sis" Easley, Manuel Easley, D.C. Easley

This 1925 photo shows students at Kizer School, formerly located on Old Huntingdon Road near the Beech River Cemetery, which was at that time called Kizer Town. Professor George William Beal, 1891-1960, was one of the early pioneers of education in Henderson County, beginning prior to the 1920s. He taught at four of the seven schools for African American's. These schools were Cooper's Grove, Kizer, Lexington Colored School, Park Meal, Pleasant Hill, Pritchard and Timberlake School, where he was principal in 1941. Six of these were rural schools and one was within the city. In time, people in the community expressed a desire for a new school. The community had to raise $5,000 before the board would grant the citizens the necessary funds to build what eventually became Montgomery High School, which originally housed grades one through eight. The citizens, doctors, lawyers and members of the business community of Lexington were asked to donate money for construction of the new school. Each teacher was asked to raise $60. Montgomery School was then built and served eight counties. In the early years, girls from outside the county were able to stay in a dormitory, while the boys roomed out and then traveled home on weekends.

Photo courtesy of JoAnn Beal & Mrs. Lottie Laster (Lexington Progress Nov. 15, 1995)

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