Anna T. Jeanes School
A historic marker in Fairhope marks the site of the former Anna T. Jeanes school.
Jeanes was a Quaker philanthropist. In 1907, she endowed $1 million dollars to create “The Jeanes Fund” to provide better educational opportunities for black children in the segregated schools of the South. The funds were designated for “Jeanes Supervisors.”
These trained supervisors were the most successful black teachers in a community and
they spent part of their time helping teachers improve their work and their schools.
The program was carried out under the trusteeship of Booker T. Washington, President of Tuskegee Institute and Hollis B. Frissell, President of Hampton Institute in Virginia.
In 1913, a community school was built on the present-day site on Twin Beach Road. It was the only school in the nation bearing the Anna T. Jeanes’ name. The four rooms in the concrete and cinderblock building remain today.
A second building for grades 1-3 was built on Bell Lane in 1922-23 with an addition in 1927. Financial contributions to construct the three-room school came from the black community, Baldwin County, and the Julius Rosenwald Fund. Rosenwald, the President of Sears and Roebuck, helped finance the construction of schools for black children all over the country.
In 1947, Carrie E. Beaucham Smith and Randolph Smith sold ten acres to the State of Alabama for “public school purposes for Anna T. Jeanes School, Baldwin County, State of Alabama.” Alvin E. Boykin served as the principal for 23 years, beginning in 1947 until 1970. Prior to 1947 J.A. Kitchens, Hillard P. Smith, Roosevelt Anderson, Sr. and Vera Denton Herman served as principals of the schools.
In 1954, the Rosenwald building burned and grades 1-3 were relocated to the Knights of Pleasure Lodge on Twin Beech Road. A brick addition which served those grades was added around 1956-1957 to the school’s original concrete and cinderblock building.
The school served as a feeder school for Baldwin County Training School, in Daphne, Alabama where students continued their studies through the 12th grade. County training schools filled a void in black education that would normally have been filled by the public high school.
In 1970, with the desegregation of public schools in Alabama, the Anna T. Jeanes school was named Fairhope Intermediate School.