Backstory and Context
Union Academy was established following the Civil War. The institution began as an African American school run through the American Missionary Association until 1877 when it became a branch of the all-white Franklin Academy. Professor William Isaac Mitchell served as the school’s first African American Principal from 1878 to 1916.
The brick structure seen here opened in March 1903 and was large enough for one thousand children. In the early 1900s, the school added a high school curriculum, but was converted into an elementary school in 1954. This building, located on Tenth Avenue North, was replaced by a new school building in the early 1960s.Seen below is a class composite from 1948. Professor Hunt is in the second row from the bottom on the far left.