• 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.

Smith (John) School Building

  • 805 East Marshall

    Originally known as Richmond High School, this building was presumably named for Captain John Smith (1580-1631), the English colonist. It was renamed after John Marshall High School opened across Marshall Street in 1909.

    For many years, the Superintendents held principals' conferences in this building. John Smith Night School operated here, offering trade extension classes for men actually engaged in the trades; later journalism and domestic science classes were added to the evening program.

    From 1909-12, John Smith was used for pupils transferred from Leigh School; from 1912-15, for from two to four elementary school classes. However, as residents moved from the neighborhood, the enrollment diminished steadily.

    From January 1916 to 1922, the building housed the special class which adopted the John Smith name.

    After the last class was removed in 1922, the building was razed to make room for George Wythe Junior High School (which immediately became an annex of John Marshall High School); the cost of demolition was $11,705. The bricks from the old Richmond High School were salvaged, and it was rebuilt in its original form as an addition to George Mason School.

    Enrollment:
    1914-1915 80

    Principals:
    1909-1910 Algernon B. Chanaler, Jr.
    1910-1912 Charles A. Taylor
    1912-1915 (No principal listed)

    See:
    Richmond High School
    (John) Smith (Special) School