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Name:  Sumner High School
Address:  4248 West Cottage Avenue
Year:  1910
Designation: National Register of Historic Places
Sumner High School, which opened in 1875, was the first high school for African Americans west of the Mississippi. At the time it opened, only 76 of its 411 students were at the high school level.

Originally at Eleventh and Spruce Streets, the school was also housed in a larger building at 15th and Walnut streets in 1895, before it moved to the Cottage Street address in 1910.

The first black students to graduate from Sumner in 1885 were John Pope and Emma Vashon. Well-known Sumner graduates include opera star Grace Bumbry, local TV anchor Julius Hunter, comedian Dick Gregory and tennis star Arthur Ashe. The school´s Georgian Revival building was designed by St. Louis architect William B. Ittner.

Normal School Opens at Sumner High School

African-American Heritage of St. Louis: a Guide

Sumner High School
Sumner High School
Sumner High School



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This site was funded in part by Federal funds administered by the Missouri State Historical Preservation Office, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, The National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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