Hall Memorial School for Black Girls

Glass plate negative

June 3, 2022

Harry Stilgenbauer Sr. (1872–1956)

Hall Memorial Industrial School

c. 1900

Gelatin silver print from original glass plate negative

John Hall was an abolitionist from Kendal, Ohio. His will instructed that his property’s sale be used to create a fund in 1854 that would educate African American children. Many prominent Massillonians contributed to the fund through the decades that followed. The Hall School was finally opened as a vocational school using in 1904. Classes were offered in millinery (hat making), dressmaking, English, and mathematics to young women. Students from Stark County were not charged tuition, and boarders paid thirty-five dollars per year. Unfortunately, the school suffered a fire, believed to have been arson, before the end of the first year. After the school closed, funds were used to give scholarships to African American college students until 1953, when the last $5,000 was used to establish a scholarship at Washington High School.

Gift of the Karl Spuhler Estate (91.7.1864)

Collection of the Massillon Museum

Hall Memorial School for Black Girls