Sumnerite African-American History
1016 Avery St, P.O.
If You Respect Your History, Then You Respect Yourself
The Historic Sumner School
Sumner High School, established in 1862, was the first free school in West Virginia, two years before the state had a public school system.
A handful of farsighted businessmen envisioned a school where learning was free. These men were Robert W. Simmons, Matthew Thomas, Robert Thomas, William Smith and William Sargent.
Following through with their dream, they founded a school where children of their race could attend without charge, the first not only in the city and the state, but also the entire South. Robert W. Simmons, a barber by trade, rode horseback to the nation's capital and secured the support needed to open the school from President Abraham Lincoln. Simmons is the great grandfather of Sumnerite Ms. Ellen Lacy, Class of '29.
Join us for the Annual Sumner Summer Festival
Jazz & Rib Fest!
3rd Weekend in September