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Fort Worth Flashback: Guinn School was center of education for blacks

Posted Feb. 8, 2013

In honor of Black History Month, each week in February Fort Worth Flashback will take a look at the role of African-American residents in our city’s history.

guinn school

After Fort Worth public schools were organized in the fall of 1882, black students continued to be taught in black churches for more than a year. The city completed a schoolhouse for blacks on East Ninth Street at Elm in December 1883.

The son of a former slave, James Elvis Guinn was born in Fort Worth. Though neither of them could read nor write, his parents placed great value on education, and James attended Fort Worth’s early schools for blacks. He later pursued a college degree and became a professor of chemistry at Prairie View College, now Prairie View A&M University.

Guinn returned to Fort Worth as principal of South Side Colored School in 1900. Construction of a new three-story brick school building, designed by the prominent architectural firm of Sanguinet and Staats, began at the corner of Louisiana and Rosedale Avenues in April 1917.

Shortly before its completion, Guinn died on July 11, 1917. Six days later the school board voted to name the new school building James E. Guinn School in his honor. It was the largest black school in Fort Worth in 1930. After 63 years of service, it was closed in 1980.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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Building Standards Commission Pre-Meeting: 9 a.m. Sept. 23, 2019; City Council Confernce Room 290, 2nd Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Building Standards Commission Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 23, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Fall Hats for Seniors at Como Community Center: 10 a.m. Sept. 23, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.

Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Notice of Possible Quorum, Butler Place Redevelopment Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2019; FWHS Auditorium, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity Metro Board of Directors Meeting: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2019; Fort Worth Central Station, Downtown Fort Worth, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commission Notice of Possible Quorum, Cavile CNI Grant Resident Meeting: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 23, 2019; Cavile Community Room, 1404 Etta St.
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Fort Worth Housing Board of Commissioners Notice of Possible Quorum, Butler Place Redevelopment Meeting: 9 a.m. Sept. 24, 2019; FWHS Auditorium, 1201 East 13th Street.
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National Voter Registration Day: Sept. 24, 2019; Fort Worth Public Libraries.

Employee Life-Cycle - Interviewing, Hiring and What Comes Next: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee: 2 p.m. Sept. 24, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 3 p.m. Sept. 24, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 24, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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The Secrets to Buying a Franchise: 9 a.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: 11 a.m. Sept. 25, 2019; City Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Deborah Beggs Moncreif Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Commission Meeting: 6 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center for Neighborhoods Room 105, 818 Missouri Ave.
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Hulen Street & Hartwood Drive Sidewalks Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Sept. 25, 2019; Southwest Regional Library, 4001 Library Lane.

City of Fort Worth Workshops - RFP, RFQ, ITB and Best Value Solicitations: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 26, 2019; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Water and Wastewater Capital Improvements Plan Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting: noon Sept. 26, 2019; Fort Worth City Credit Union, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Emergency Physicians Advisory Board Meeting: 12:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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Movie in the Park at Hillside Community Center: 6 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox Ave.

The Neighborhood Awards How-To-Workshop: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 2019; Hazel Harvey Peace Center, 818 Missouri Avenue.

Building Out a Successful Sales Program: 9 a.m. Sept. 27, 2019; Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.
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Glow Party at Como Community Center: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27, 2019; Como Community Center, 4900 Horne.

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