• Note: 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.

Franklin School

  • 3160 Midlothian Turnpike
    (Midlothian Turnpike between Blake Lane & 32nd Street)

    The most frequently heard account is that this school was named Franklin for a greatly admired little boy in the community; another account has it named for a Franklin family.

    Franklin School was acquired from Chesterfield County by the annexation of 1914. A short time before annexation, it had been built by the community to replace a four-room school on Hull Street between 27th and 28th Streets. An eight-room addition in 1915 included a "good indoor gymnasium" and gave the school a total of fifteen rooms. The 1914-15 annual report includes picture and floor plan of Franklin by School Architect Charles M. Robinson. Another addition, constructed in 1950, provided cafeteria and six classrooms (mostly for Junior Primary grades).

    Franklin was converted into a school for Negro children in September 1961. Under Plan III, Franklin was paired with Patrick Henry.

    The school closed in June 1979; the office area was subsequently leased by the State Vocational Department. Franklin Military School opened here in 1980, and retained the Franklin name when it moved to another location in 1984. In 1984-85, while its building was being renovated, the Patrick Henry program was housed at Franklin.

    When the building was reopened as an elementary school in 1986, it was renamed Swansboro by community input to avoid having two schools with the name Franklin.


    1914-1915 - 638
    June 1961 - 565 (final white)
    Sept. 1961 - 650
    1978-1979 - 478 (final)
    Charles M. Robinson
    1915 Addition Charles M. Robinson
    1950 Addition Dixon & Norman
    1915 Addition - $ 35,000
    1950 Addition - $267,000

    1914-1931 Lavinia R. Vaden
    1931-1935 Cornelia Storrs Adair
    1935-1936 DeWitt C. Beery
    1936-1954 Cornelia Storrs Adair*
    1954-1956 Oscar Willard Fary, Jr.
    1956-1958 Ben F. Saunders
    1958-1961 Elizabeth Ancell Crouch
    1961-1979 George Alfred Ware

    Swansboro School