RPS: A Mini History: Bits & Pieces

Much of the history of the Richmond Public Schools was recorded in the context of a segregated society, and the reader should readily discern between pre- and post-desegregation observations. The terms "black," "colored," "Negro," and "white" in this booklet should not be considered offensive as they have been used according to the custom of the particular period. Since 1962, the division has omitted such racial designations from its reports and publications.

Elba School 1000 West Marshall Street (Marshall Street between Graham/Goshen & Hancock Streets)

This school was presumably named for the Elba vicinity as it was a familiar name in the neighborhood. There was an Elba Park and an Elba Station of the Richmond Fredericksburg & Potomac Railway on Broad Street near Belvidere.

Elba School was opened December 6, 1880, in a white neighborhood; an addition was made to the building in 1905-06. In 1925-26, it was reported that Elba was attended largely by foreign-born children. The enrollment declined, and the remaining Elba pupils were transferred to Stonewall Jackson in June 1927. The following September, Elba became a colored school.

In 1939-40, Elba was recommended for abandonment and was described as "a three-story combustible building with wooden stairways. It bas no auditorium, no basement, no cafeteria, and is in all respects unsuited for modern school uses." When the enrollment diminished, the upper grades transferred to the new Carver School; eventually only primary grades remained at Elba. The school was abandoned in June 1955, and was used as a warehouse until it was declared surplus to the City, December 19, 1955. The building has since been demolished; the now vacant lot is in a commercial area.

Enrollment: 1880-1881 588
  June 1927 77 (final white)
  1927-1928 340
  June 1955 187 (final)
Cost:   $11,146.36
1880-1883 George R. Pace
  1883-1886 James H. Peay, Jr. (Superintendent 1876-82)
  1886-1892 George P. Perry
  1892-1896 William O. English
  1896-1919 Herbert F. Cox
  1919-1920 J. D. Harris
  1920-1923 Amelia W. Schmidt
  1923-1924 Caroline S. Walden
  1924-1933 Florence Minor Lohmann
  1933-1934 Ethel Thompson Overby
  1934-1936 Florence Minor Lohmann
  1936-1950 Ethel Thompson Overby
  1950-1955 Edith Terry Hawley