George R. Smith College

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George R. Smith, c. 1910

George R. Smith College was a Historically Black College[1] 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[2] by Howard Conrad, the building was completed in 1882. The college operated from 1894[3] 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, 1894-1897
  • E.A. Robertson, 1897-1902
  • I.L. Lowe, 1902-1907
  • A.C. Maclin, 1907-1910
  • J.C. Sherrill, 1910-1912
  • George Evans, 1912-1914
  • Matthew Simpson Davage, 1914-1916, later served as president of Haven Institute, Samuel Huston College, Rust College, and Clark University
  • Robert B. Hayes, 1916-1925


  1. ^ "George R. Smith College - Tagwhat story". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  2. ^ Link to the Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri (1901)
  3. ^ Nolen, Rose M. (February 4, 2010). "Nolen: Black residents were key in city's growth". Sedalia Democrat. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
  4. ^ Soul of America article on Philander Smith College
  5. ^ Photograph of George R Smith College and students (c. 1900)
  6. ^ Widder, Keith R. (2005). Michigan Agricultural College: The Evolution of a Land-Grant Philosophy, 1855-1925. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press. pp. 94, 346–348. ISBN 0870137344.
  7. ^ "Scott Joplin (c. 1868 – 1917)". State Historical Society of Missouri. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Incoming President". Journal of the National Medical Association. 34 (5): 177. 1942. PMC 2625055. PMID 20893114.

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Coordinates: 38°43′N 93°13′W / 38.72°N 93.22°W / 38.72; -93.22