A historical marker was erected on March 19, 2020, by Aberfoil Junior High School Community Center. The committee members were Evergreen Freeman, Jessie Borders, Billie Hazzard, and Wille Lee McGhee.
The committee of “Save the Aberfoil Junior High School” would like to take this opportunity to thank the Alumni that so generously supported this important effort. The initial plans were to have a formal dedication, but due to Covid-19 plans have been delayed until further notice.
The historical sign reads:
ABERFOIL SCHOOL BULLOCK COUNTY
In 1890, Reverend C. H. Thornton donated 10 acres of land where he organized a church and the first public school for African Americans in the Aberfoil community. The first school structure was a one room log cabin. Rev. Thornton’s wife, Amanda Thornton, served as the first teacher.
The school year lasted for three months and grades 1 through 3 were taught. In 1905, the school was expanded to include students to the 6th grade under the leadership of Professor Ernest Mahone. In 1927, the county took over control of the school.
In 1936, Ms. Tessie Oilver served as unofficial superintendent of the African-American schools in the county. During this time the professors were Annie Pruitt, Carrie Townsend, Sallie Olgetree, and Evelyn Crawford. In 1939, Aberfoil School was rebuilt and grades 1 through 10 were taught here.
The community offered local support, especially by the men who had recently returned home from serving in WWII.
Students used the classrooms during the day and veterans during the evening hours, with teachers giving their time to teach them. In 1952, African-American schools in the county were consolidated.
Buses transported students in grades 11 and 12 to Perote High School in Perote, Alabama. In May 1961, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited the school to encourage the local residents to become active in the Civil Rights Movement. The school and the adjoining church were the only locations in Bullock County visited by Dr. King.
In 1964, Aberfoil Junior High School was closed due to integration. All students were bused to various schools according to where they lived.
From 1964 to 1978, the school was used as the adult education center, which was supported by the federal government through Tuskegee Institute.
From 1978 to 1986, a preschool operated in the building. This building is one of the few surviving examples of a rural African-American school in Bullock County. It is now used as the Aberfoil Community Center.
Listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, March 24, 2005. Marker erected in 2020 by the Aberfoil Junior High School Community Center.