George R. Smith College

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George R. Smith College,[1] was a Historically Black College[2] located in Sedalia, Missouri, it was attended by the famed and prolific American ragtime-music piano composer Scott Joplin famous for the piano music piece "Maple Leaf Rag." The institution was associated with the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Education Society of the Methodist Church and played an important role in the lives of young people for several decades.

According to the Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri [3] by Howard Conrad, the building was completed in 1882. The college operated from 1894 until it burned down April 26, 1925, after which its assets were merged (in 1933) with the Philander Smith College [4] in Little Rock, Arkansas. A photograph of George R Smith College, with students, can be found among the references listed here.[5]



  • P.A. Cool, 1894-1896
  • E.A. Robertson, 1897-1901
  • I.L. Lowe, 1902-1907
  • A.C. Maclin, 1908-1910
  • J.C. Sherrill, 1911-1912
  • George Evans, 1913-1914
  • Matthew Simpson Davage, 1915-1916, later served as president of New Haven Institute, Samuel Huston College, Rust College, and Clark University
  • Robert B. Hayes, 1917-1925


See Also[edit]

African American Methodism and Higher Education in Missouri

The Biggeset Little Black College on the Prairie