School History Sources (1939-1948)
A Note on Language
When you research the history of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) during the period of 1870 to 1970, you will invariably encounter racially-charged language that is archaic and often problematic by modern standards. In particular, the primary source documents from the period use the terms “colored” and “Negro” to commonly describe students and schools. Where the following records quote directly from the primary source material, the terminology used in the document has been retained.
Fairfax County Land Records
The following records can be viewed in person at the Fairfax County Circuit Court Historic Records Center.
Liber K-13, Folio 324: August 16, 1938 – B. F. Salsbury and Lillian Salsbury, his wife, and Annis Salsbury Spayth and George W. Spayth, her husband; to the County School Board of Fairfax County, Virginia; All that certain lot or parcel of land situated in the Town of Vienna, Fairfax County, Virginia, being a part of Block 15 of Windover Heights and bounded and described according to a survey dated May 30, 1925, by Joseph Berry. This is the same land of which the late H. L. Salsbury died seized and possessed and which was allotted to the said B. F. Salsbury and Annis Salsbury Spayth by a deed of partition duly recorded among the land records of Fairfax County, Virginia.
Fairfax County School Board Minutes
February 18, 1938: The Fairfax County Colored Citizens’ Association wrote a letter expressing the Board’s consideration of the following immediate needs in the Colored schools in the County ask that the same be incorporated into the school budget for 1938-1939: New 4 room school – Vienna (Urgent).
March 7, 1938: The Vienna Colored School P.T.A. Chairman wrote to inform the Board that they were looking at sites for a new school for this community and found two that were very desirable. The association would proceed to raise funds to purchase whichever tract of land the Board approved. The Board postponed consideration of the matter.
April 5, 1938: Representatives of the Vienna Colored School League spoke that the league was considering the purchase of a new school site. They wished to know that if the community provided a suitable school site, would the Board erect a school. The matter was discussed and the Board was willing to construct a school as soon as it was able. A committee was appointed to view the proposed sites.
July 5, 1938: Mrs. Fink moved that in addition to school building additions for which Literary Loans had been approved, though construction not yet started, that the Board proceed to construct new schools and additions as follows, provided money may be made available: Vienna Elementary Negro - $6,000.
October 26, 1938: The Division Superintendent advised the Board that Mrs. Louise R. Archer, Principal of the Vienna Colored School, had come to him and advised that the colored people had completed the purchase of a two acre tract which had been approved by a committee of this Board as a site for the proposed new Vienna Negro School and that the local people proposed to have deed to this property drawn to the School Board. Mr. Robinson moved that this Board accept the title to this site and secure Court approval. The motion carried unanimously.
October 28, 1938: Because of changes in the building program from when it was proposed in 1935 to the present time, the Board had to pass a "Resolution Requesting Change of Scope Under P.W.A. Docket No. Va. 1058-F, Fairfax County Schools." The Change of Scope included this entry: Vienna (Negro), $6,000; Drilling well, new frame building of four classrooms, electric lights and two outside toilets.
January 1, 1939: The Superintendent got the school building inspector for the Board, one of the Board’s mechanics, and a workman with a P.W.A. [the Federal Government's Public Works Administration] card and went to the sites of the proposed new buildings and additions at Fairview, Burke, Herndon, Dunn Loring, Gum Spring, Vienna Negro and Merrifield Negro, where they drove stakes in the ground and dug some bushes and by so doing started a Force Account under P.W.A. on these projects and reported through Mr. Long that all projects had been started.
January 5, 1939: Superintendent Woodson was working with Board member Mr. W. T. Carrico and Raymond Long, state architect, to draft a change of scope in connection with the P.W.A. docket as requested by the Board on Oct. 28, 1938. He presented a breakdown of proposed changes which included: Preliminary Expense – Cost of Land for Sites - $100.00 for Vienna Negro. Construction Costs – Vienna Negro (estimated) - $5,900.00.
January 19, 1939: The Clerk presented a letter from Mrs. Maria J. Moore, Secretary of the Vienna Colored School League, asking that the proposed new school for colored children at Vienna be constructed of brick or tile with four or five classrooms, basement, hot water, heat, and modern lavatories. It was the expressed sense of the Board that it doubted these improvements could be included in the building but that the architect had been requested to plan as good a building as could possibly be constructed with the amount of money available.
January 24, 1939: The Board approved the transfer of the Literary Loan of $1,100.00 formerly approved for the East Woodford Colored School to the Vienna Colored School and requested the Board of Supervisors to approve the transfer and ask the Commonwealth’s Attorney to certify title to the Vienna Colored School property.
February 7, 1939: When the Board reconvened Harold Henderson, of the Vienna Colored Parent Teacher Association, appeared before the Board with reference to the proposed new colored school building at Vienna. He stated that the local people expected a modern school building of tile or brick construction and would like to have a central heating plant and running water. He wished to know the kind of building the Board proposed to have constructed at Vienna that he might be able to report back to his league. He stated further that the people had expressed a willingness to dig the basement if that could be arranged. He was advised that the State Architect had been directed to prepare plans for the best building possible, the cost to come within the allotted sum and that it could not tell him just what this would be. [Harold Henderson was the husband of Vienna Colored School teacher Channie Catlett Henderson].
April 4, 1939: The Clerk presented to the Board a letter from Mr. Raymond V. Long advising that he had set Wednesday, April 19, as the date for opening bids for the following projects under the Public Works Administration: Construction of the Burke and Fairview Schools, the Vienna Negro School, Addition to the Herndon School, Central Heating System for the Herndon School. The bids were advertised to be opened at 10:30 A.M. It was moved, seconded and carried that the Board meet in special session at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, April 19, 1939, for the purpose of opening bids on projects as listed above and for such other matters as may come before it. Also: The committee on wells for the new schools reported that it had received bids for drilling these wells from several drillers. It reported further that it had not determined whether or not the well at Vienna Colored School should be drilled or dug pending further study of conditions in this area.
April 19, 1939: Bids were opened for the construction of the new Vienna Negro School. The low bidder was C. E. Nuckols, Bid Bond – 6%, New Amsterdam Casualty Co. of New York, Main Bid: $7,100.00. - Resolution Ordering the Filing of Bids – WHEREAS, pursuant to advertisement, bids for the construction of Vienna Negro Elementary School, P.W.A. Docket Va. 1058-F, 10-2, have been filed by the following Bidders: C. E. Nuckols, Richmond, Va.; Northern Virginia Construction Company, Alexandria, Va.; E. A. Pessagno Company, Washington. That said bids have been duly received, opened and publicly read: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That the bids listed in the preamble hereof be filed and presented to Raymond V. Long, Consulting Architect, and that the said Raymond V. Long, is hereby directed forthwith to tabulate said bids, and at the earliest practicable moment, report to this Board his findings as to the lowest and best bid. – Resolution Awarding Contract – WHEREAS, Raymond V. Long, Consulting Architect, pursuant to a Resolution heretofore adopted, has tabulated and considered all bids heretofore received for the construction of Vienna Negro Elementary School and has duly made his recommendations to this Board and it appearing from said recommendations and report that C. E. Nuckols, Richmond, Virginia, is the lowest and best Bidder for the construction of Vienna Negro Elementary School, in the sum of $ 7,100.00; and that this Board, after considering said report and recommendations and all bids heretofore filed, finds that the bid of C. E. Nuckols is the lowest and best bid: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD OF FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. That the bid of C. E. Nuckols, Richmond, Virginia, for the construction of Vienna Negro Elementary School, in the sum of $ 7,100.00, is hereby accepted, determined and declared to be the lowest and best bid; however, this award shall not be effective until the awardee shall have been notified in writing by the Clerk of The County School Board of Fairfax County, Virginia of such award. That upon the awardee being so notified in writing a contract for the construction of work, as heretofore prescribed by the plans, specifications and contract documents, shall be forthwith executed for said construction. Section 2: That the Chairman and Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute said contract in the name of and for and on behalf of The County School Board of Fairfax County, Virginia. This motion was seconded by Mr. H. E. Williams and passed unanimously this 19th day of April, 1939.
May 5, 1939: Robert J. McCandlish, Jr. was paid $25.00 for examining the title to the property for the Vienna Negro School Site, PWA Docket Va. 1058-F. John M. Whalen, Clerk, was paid $16.75 for the recording of deeds from B. F. Salsbury, Vienna Colored School and Gum Springs deed from Rose, PWA Docket Va. 1058-F. Also: The Clerk advised the Board that he had received a communication from Mr. Raymond V. Long, Director of School Buildings, calling attention to the fact that in an effort to hold down the costs of construction or the Vienna Colored School the construction of outside privies had been omitted from the contract and that it would be necessary for the Board to care for these. It was the expressed sense of the Board that these privies be built by the local school maintenance department. Also: The Clerk advised the Board that the Public Works Administration (PWA) had declined to concur in the Board’s award of contracts for… the Vienna Negro Elementary School pending submission of evidence that funds are available to finance these contracts, the contracts having overrun the amounts prorated under the PWA grant. The Clerk advised that it appeared that $2,000 would need to be transferred to the Construction Account to cover the deficiencies. Also: Teachers were appointed for the 1939-40 session: Vienna Colored School – Principal, Mrs. Louise R. Archer, $635.00; Miss Mabel B. Thomas, $590.00; Miss Channie Catlett, $590.00.
June 5, 1939: A letter was presented from Mrs. Louise R. Archer, Principal of the Vienna Colored School, setting out her philosophy of education and the needs of children and requesting that in order that these needs may be better met in the Vienna community that the Board undertake to move the two portable rooms from the old school at Vienna to the new Vienna Colored School site which rooms might be used for serving hot lunches, for manual arts, etc. The Board complimented Mrs. Archer on her thoughts expressed in this letter and suggested that Mr. Carrico study this proposal as to its feasibility and cost. Also: C. E. Nuckols was paid Estimate # 1 on Construction Contract #10-2, Vienna School, PWA Docket Va. 1058-F, in the amount of $2,159.50.
July 6, 1939: C. E. Nuckols was paid Estimate # 2 on Construction Contract #10-2, Vienna Negro, PWA Docket Va., 1058-F, in the amount of $895.69.
August 8, 1939: C. E. Nuckols was paid Estimate # 3 on Construction Contract #10-2, Vienna Negro, PWA Docket Va., 1058-F, in the amount of $1,782.99.
September 5, 1939: C. E. Nuckols was paid Periodical Estimate # 4 on Construction Contract #10-2, Vienna, PWA Docket Va., 1058-F, in the amount of $1,551.82.
September 27, 1939: The Clerk called attention of the Board to the program for the dedication of the Vienna Negro School on Sunday, October 1, at 3:00 P.M. and suggested that all members of the Board possible attend this meeting.
October 3, 1939: Letters were presented from Rachel Wooden of the Cartersville community and Louise R. Archer, Principal of the Vienna Colored School, with reference to transportation to Vienna of the colored children living in the Cartersville area since the colored school at Cartersville had been closed by this Board due to its failure to make a legal average attendance. Mr. Lynch moved that the Board assume the transportation on the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad of Negro children from Hunters to Vienna the transportation to be paid only for children who attend at least sixteen days per school month. Motion seconded and carried.
October 17, 1939: The Division Superintendent reported that the Vienna Colored School built under contract with C. E. Nuckols had been completed and that the Gum Spring and Merrifield Negro Schools built under contract with the Northern Virginia Construction Company had also been completed. He advised further that failure to complete these schools at an earlier date was to some extent justified and that the delay had in no way interfered with the opening of schools. Mr. Williams moved the acceptance of the new Vienna Colored School building and that no liquidated damage be assessed against Mr. C. E. Nuckols, contractor. Motion seconded by Mrs. Finks and carried unanimously by vote of the Board.
November 17, 1939: The Board rescinded its former motion to pay the railroad company for transportation of colored children from Hunters to Vienna. It was moved that the Clerk of this Board be authorized to work out with the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad an arrangement for the transportation of colored school children between Hunters and Vienna and that he be authorized to put such an arrangement in effect and report to the Board at its next meeting. Motion seconded and carried. Also: C. E. Nuckols was paid Estimate # 5 (Final) on Vienna Colored School, Construction Contract #10-2, PWA Docket Va., 1058-F, in the amount of $635.00.
December 5, 1939: A delegation from the Cartersville colored community headed by Reverend Phillip George Higgins was heard. They asked for help to get the colored children from Cartersville, Dranesville, and Forestville areas to the Vienna School. They stated they had gotten a second-hand bus to haul the children to Vienna and had arranged for a driver. They asked for help toward the cost of operating this bus stating that there were about thirty children to be hauled. The Board felt it could contribute gasoline and oil, but the owners of the bus would be liable to the State Motor Vehicle Department for the condition of the bus. The cost of gas and oil was not to exceed $1.00 per school day and the principal was to report monthly to the Clerk of the Board as to the number of children hauled each day. [The Board directed the Superintendent to speak with the Commonwealth’s Attorney regarding this project and if the attorney felt it would make the Board legally liable should any accident occur, Superintendent Woodson was instructed to not put this plan in operation. Woodson responded at the next meeting, December 18, that the attorney saw no liability on the School Board particularly in view of the fact that the courts had not held school boards to be liable in cases of accidents in such arrangements].
April 16, 1940: The following bills listed for payment were presented by the Clerk: Warrant Number 2839; Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Company for transportation of school children to Herndon, Dunn Loring, Vienna White and Vienna Negro Schools during March 1940; $128.30.
May 7, 1940: A letter was presented from Mrs. Odessa T. Carter, Assistant Secretary of the Colored School League of Vienna, asking financial assistance of the Board in having the Vienna Colored School wired for electric lights. It was moved, seconded and carried that the request be declined. Also: The Superintendent reported that on December 16, 1939, he had submitted to the Public Works Administration a tentative resolution approving extension of time and waiving liquidated damage on Contract No. 10-2, Vienna Negro School, which resolution was to be formally approved by this Board provided it were approved by the Public Works Administration. This resolution was approved by the Public Works Administration on January 9, 1940. The Superintendent requested that the Board now adopt this proposed resolution. Mr. H. F. Williams offered the following resolution: Resolution of Acceptance, Contract No. 10-2, Vienna Negro School. Whereas, the contractor on P.W.A. Docket Va. 1058-P Contract No. 10-2, Vienna Negro School, has requested an extension of time of eight (8) days on this contract for reasons set forth in his request, and Whereas, this recommendation has been approved by the State School Architect, Mr. Raymond V. Long, and by the Regional Director, Region No. 3 of P.W.A., and Whereas, this requested extension of time is deemed fair and just by this Board. Therefore be it Resolved by the County School Board of Fairfax County, Virginia that C. E. Nuckols of Richmond, Virginia, general contractor for the construction of the Vienna Negro School, Contract No. 10-2, under this docket, be granted the extension of time of eight (8) calendar days and that liquidated damage as stipulated in the Contract Documents be waived. Mr. B. F. Williams moved the adoption of the foregoing resolution. This motion was seconded by Mr. Joseph PI. Murphy and declared carried following vote of the Board. Also: The Division Superintendent of Schools recommended the appointment of the following teachers for the session 1940-41 in the schools and at the annual salaries as indicated: Vienna Colored School: Mrs. Louise R. Archer, Principal, $700; Miss Mabel B. Thomas, $650; Miss Channie A. Catlett, $650.
June 4, 1940: The Clerk reported that pursuant to directions of the Court and instructions of this Board the discontinued Negro school properties at Vienna and Gum Spring were offered for sale at public auction on the premises on Friday, May 24. The highest bid offered for the Vienna Negro School was that of Mrs. Gladys S. Barney of Vienna in the amount of $450.00; a deposit of $50.00 was taken on this bid and had been deposited in the School Operating Fund. Mr. Williams, trustee for Providence District, stated that he felt this bid was too low. It was the expressed sense of the Board that action be postponed.
September 3, 1940: The bid of Mr. H. Kadan in the amount of $800 for the old Vienna colored school property was accepted and the Commonwealth’s Attorney was requested to ask the Court’s approval of this sale and prepare a deed to transfer the property.
November 5, 1940: A letter was presented from Mrs. Caroline F. Ware Means of Vienna, Virginia advising that her attention had been called to the fact that the county provided no school bus for Negro children and that she had been called upon and had contributed $10.00 toward the upkeep of a bus operated by the colored people themselves. She stated that she would prefer to make such payments in the form of taxes and expressed the hope that the county would soon undertake to provide transportation for Negro school children. The Board asked the Clerk to write her to express its thanks for her letter and that it was the feeling of the Board that sufficient tax monies should be provided for this transportation.
December 3, 1940: The Clerk presented letters from Mrs. Edna Chloe and Mrs. Mary B. Robinson complaining of the service of the colored school buses during the last week. The Superintendent read to the Board a copy of his reply to these letters in which he explained that the situation was due to lack of funds with which to buy new school buses, the Board being compelled to continue the use of worn out equipment. Further letters in regard to this same condition were presented from Mrs. Eugene Jackson of Vienna, Mrs. Louise R. Archer of Vienna, Mrs. Jennie Farr of Manassas and Mrs. Ethel Gaskins of Vienna. The Board directed that these last named parties be written in the same tenor as the letters to Mrs. Chloe and Mrs. Robinson.
March 4, 1941: The Clerk presented the following miscellaneous receipts for the month of February: From Louise R. Archer for help with cost of transportation to Vienna Negro School, $1.00.
December 2, 1941: Mr. Sherman who had been requested by the School Board to endeavor to work out a proper distribution of colored children as between the Vienna Colored and Odricks Colored Schools, reported that his investigation had led him to the definite conclusion that there had been an effort to shift as many children as possible to the Odricks School in an effort to justify a request to the Board for the construction of a new school at Odricks. Mr. Sherman reported that he had worked out what he believed to be a proper distribution of these pupils as between these two schools and that his thought was that as many of these children as practicable should go to the Vienna School. Mr. Sherman expected to appear before a group of colored people of those communities that evening. It was the sense of the Board that it would support Mr. Sherman in his suggestion for a solution of the problem of the distribution of pupils in the manner which he proposed to the Board.
January 6, 1942: Mr. Sherman reported that there were 56 pupils enrolled at the Odricks School and at least 15 of them could go to the Vienna Colored School and should be transported to that school at this time.
March 17, 1942: A letter addressed to Mr. Sherman by Mrs. Louise R. Archer under date of March 4 was presented to the Board in which Mrs. Archer told of the difficulties her patrons had encountered in working out bus transportation to the Vienna Colored School for the current session. She also expressed the feeling that there were children attending Odricks School who should be in the Vienna Colored School. Mrs. Archer expressed the need of financial aid. It was evidently her intention to indicate the need of aid for other things than gas since the Board already has approved the purchase of gas for the bus operating to the Vienna School. She suggested that if the Board could give this aid the money be sent to Rev. Philip Higgins since he is treasurer of the League and pastor of the Cartersville Church. The Board took no action with reference to this letter.
April 7, 1942: The Superintendent presented the report of the principal of the Vienna Colored School regarding transportation of children to this school, since January 1st at the request of the Superintendent. He reminded the Board that at its meeting of March 17 it had authorized the payment of $20.00 per month to a treasurer of the Vienna School League to be designated by that league provided there was an average of twenty riding the bus to the Vienna School daily. Mrs. Archer’s report for all days from January 6 through March 25 showed that on only six days did as many as twenty pupils ride the bus. There was discussion regarding this matter and it appeared the sense of the Board that even though there was not an average of twenty pupils per day riding the bus some reimbursement should be made to the Vienna Colored School League on account of the children who did ride. Mr. Sherman moved that all previous motions of this Board dealing with the rate of reimbursement for transportation of children to the Vienna Colored School be rescinded. Motion second and carried. Mr. Sherman moved that the Fairfax County School Board reimburse the Vienna Colored School League by monthly payments to its secretary not to exceed five cents per day per child transported to this school from distances over one mile from said school, effective from February 1, 1942. Motion seconded and carried. Also: A letter was presented from F. M. Lucas, President of the Cartersville School League, asking regarding help with the transportation of colored school children from Cartersville to Vienna. Since action had been taken with reference to this transportation earlier in the meeting the Board passed on to the next item of business.
April 21, 1942: The Clerk presented the following bills, the payment of which was felt to be urgent: Warrant # 11764; Payee: Philip Higgins, Treasurer, Cartersville League for Aid Transportation to Vienna Colored School, Feb. 2 through March 25, 1942 in the amount of $74.25.
August 4, 1942: Mrs. Clara H. Peterson was appointed teacher of Grades 1 and 2 at the Vienna Negro School at an annual salary of $1,000.
September 1, 1942: Mr. Woodson recommended the following increases in teachers’ salaries: Louise R. Archer, Principal of the Vienna Colored School, from $1,000 to $1,100 she having raised her certificate from the Normal Professional to the Collegiate Professional by securing her degree during the summer. The Board approved the request.
September 22, 1942: Mr. Sherman advised the Board that, in his opinion, many colored children who should be going to the Vienna School were going to Odricks. Following discussion Mr. Sherman moved that colored children in the area west of Wolf Trap Run attend the Vienna Colored School and that no financial assistance be extended for the transportation of these children to Odricks. This motion was seconded and carried. Mr. Sherman expressed the opinion that it would be possible for one bus to serve both the Odricks and Vienna Colored Schools but that he realized there would be some opposition locally to such a move. The Superintendent was asked to have Mrs. Moore, the supervisor of colored schools, to investigate the declining enrollment at Oak Grove and endeavor to ascertain if any pupils who should attend this school were going to the Floris Colored School.
November 3, 1942: A letter was presented from Mrs. Clara Hamilton Peterson, primary teacher in the Vienna Colored School, requesting that she be released from contract with the School Board in order to accept a position as a statistical worker with the War Production Board. It was moved, seconded and carried that this request be declined.
December 1, 1942: Barbara Jones Jackson was appointed teacher in the Vienna Colored School at a salary of $590.28 for the remainder of the session (annual salary rate of $850) effective December 1, 1942.
December 15, 1942: The Clerk presented the following bills: Warrant # 2131; Payee: Philip Higgins, Treasurer, Cartersville League for Aid Transportation to Vienna Colored School in the amount of $9.05. Also: A letter was presented from the Senior League of the Odricks Colored School with reference to the transportation of certain school children to Vienna Colored School on the Vienna bus. This League expressed the opinion that this bus is not safe for their children to ride to and from school. It was the expressed sense of the Board that the Superintendent direct that this bus which was owned and operated by the League of the Vienna Colored School be brought to the School Board shop and that Mr. Whitmer be requested to examine this bus and see if it is worth repairing and further that should it be found worth repairing to make such repairs during the Christmas holidays.
March 17, 1942: Mr. Sherman moved that the previous agreement of the Board to aid with the transportation of children to the Vienna Colored School by paying to a filling station not to exceed $1.00 per school day for gas used in connection with this transportation be rescinded and that this Board agree to pay $20.00 per school month toward the cost of transportation of children to the Vienna Colored School provided that an average of twenty pupils per day are transported, this rate of reimbursement to be retroactive to January 1, 1942, deductions to be made for amounts already paid for gasoline in connection with this transportation since January 1, 1942. It was further moved that this arrangement be conditioned upon the designation by the Vienna Colored Parent Teacher Association of a secretary who would be authorized to receive and disburse the monthly allotment from the School Board and receipt from the principal of the Vienna Colored School on approximately the 25th of each calendar month of a report giving the number of pupils transported each day during the preceding month. This motion was seconded and carried.
April 6, 1943: The Clerk presented the following bills: Warrant # 2620; Payee: Philip Higgins, Treasurer, Cartersville League for Aid Transportation to Vienna Colored School in the amount of $21.15. Also: The Superintendent presented a copy of a letter which he had forwarded to parents of colored children now attending the Odricks Corner School requesting that they transfer their children to the Vienna Colored School in order to relieve overcrowding at Odricks. This matter was referred back to the Superintendent and Mr. Alvord Sherman, school trustee for Providence District.
May 18, 1943: The Clerk presented the following bills: Warrant # 2796; Payee: Philip Higgins, Treasurer, Cartersville League for Aid Transportation to Vienna Colored School in the amount of $19.50.
August 17, 1943: The following teachers and principals were approved for the session 1943-44: Vienna Colored School: Mrs. Louise R. Archer, Principal, $1,500; Miss Mabel Thomas, $1,350; Mrs. Channie C. Henderson, $1,250.
October 5, 1943: The Clerk presented the following bills: Warrant # 3203; Payee: Philip Higgins, Treasurer, Cartersville League for Aid Transportation to Vienna Colored School in the amount of $21.20. Also: A delegation of patrons from the Vienna and Odricks Colored Schools was heard with Ester Honesty as spokesman. She stated that she represented the Odricks School League and that this league had decided to enlarge the Odricks School by adding an additional room and securing a qualified teacher for this room requesting that the Board approve this plan. She stated that the bus to the Vienna Colored School was not safe to transport children and that no liability insurance was carried on this bus. Mr. Middleton moved that the Board contribute $75.00 per month toward the cost of transportation of children to the Vienna and Odricks Colored Schools who live over 1.5 miles from either school and who are at the present time being transported on the buses serving these schools. The motion was seconded and adopted.
October 19, 1943: Mr. Woodson explained that a large number of the Negro children living in the East Woodford community were now going to the Vienna School instead of to Merrifield. It appeared that the Negro high school bus could carry all the children in this area to Vienna and operate with less mileage than is necessary to carry them to Merrifield. None of the children were at this time, however, riding the bus to Vienna. Mr. Sherman advised that he, too, had looked into this matter and concurred in the opinion that it would be better to transfer the East Woodford colored children to the Vienna Colored School. It was the expressed sense of the Board that the Superintendent endeavor to work out a satisfactory arrangement for the shift of the Negro children from the East Woodford area to the Vienna Colored School.
March 7, 1944: The Clerk presented the following bills: Warrant # 3728; Payee: August Lucas, Colored Transportation Committee for Aid Transportation to Vienna and Odricks Colored Schools for February 1944 in the amount of $75.00. Also: Mr. Sherman inquired with reference to the shortage of water at the Vienna Colored School and also regarding the condition of the stoves. Mr. Sherman moved that Mr. Carrico be directed to proceed with the deepening of the well and the repair or replacement of the stoves in the Vienna Colored School. The motion was seconded and carried.
April 18, 1944: A letter addressed to Mr. Sherman, trustee for Providence District, and signed by George W. Lee, William A. West, and Cora W. Patterson, purported in behalf of the Vienna Colored School League, was presented which letter called attention to the unsafe conditions of the stoves in the Vienna School, unsatisfactory water supply, and requested janitorial service. Also the letter complained regarding money supposed to be received by the principal for the rental of the school room for dances. Mr. Sherman stated that he had talked with some of the people in this community regarding these things. No action was taken.
October 17, 1944: The Clerk presented the following bills: Warrant # 4578; Payee: August Lucas, Colored Transportation Committee for Aid Transportation to the Vienna Colored School in the amount of $17.29.
January 3, 1946: Mr. Rice reported the following miscellaneous receipts for the month of December: From Louise R. Archer, Principal, for part of Vienna Colored School’s share on refrigerator in the amount of $9.88, and balance of the share on the refrigerator in the amount of $35.00, and share for the school’s map cases in the amount of $14.00.
October 1, 1946: Lucien Stotts was appointed custodian of the Vienna Colored School at a salary of $22.50 per month, effective September 16, 1946.
January 7, 1947: An application was presented from the Vienna Colored Elementary School for the Board’s approval of the physical examination of the school children by Dr. Harold M. Johnson. Mr. Middleton moved that this school clinic be approved as requested. This motion was seconded by Mr. Cockrell and carried. Also: With reference to the Vienna Colored School, it was the sense of the Board that it would be best that since the present three-room school is of frame that the architect be asked to prepare plans for two additional rooms of frame construction with toilets, running water, and central heating plant.
January 22, 1947: The report of the Assistant Superintendent and Clerk was heard. The following bills and payrolls were presented: Check Warrant Number 2593, Payee: Vienna Negro School, for Reimbursement Phone, Oct. – Dec., Inc., Amount: $9.75.
February 4, 1947: The following miscellaneous receipts were reported for the month of January: From Louise R. Archer, Principal; Victrola for Vienna Negro School; $27.24.
March 10, 1947: The report of the Assistant Superintendent and Clerk was heard. The following bills and payrolls listed for payment were presented as follows: Check Warrant Number 2829; Payee: Louise R. Archer, Principal; For State Reimbursement for Cafeteria, January; Amount: $12.62.
March 24, 1947: The Superintendent presented to the Board copies of a work sheet which he had prepared showing the status of the school building program in Fairfax County as of March 24, 1947: Vienna Negro; Building – Not Started; Approximate Cost of Construction: $40,000.
April 1, 1947: The report of the Assistant Superintendent and Clerk was heard. The following bills and payrolls listed for payment were presented: Check Warrant Number 2957; Payee: Louise R. Archer, Principal; For State Reimbursement for Cafeteria, February; Amount: $7.36. The Clerk presented the following list of miscellaneous receipts for the month of March: From Louise R. Archer, Principal; for Stencil Machine for Vienna Negro School; Amount: $5.00.
June 3, 1947: The report of the Assistant Superintendent and Clerk was heard. The following bills were presented: Check Warrant Number 3312; Payee: Louise R. Archer, Principal; For State Reimbursement for Cafeteria, April; Amount: $12.60.
July 1, 1947: There was discussion regarding the need for additions at Vienna Negro, Woodlawn White, and Lorton White Schools. Mr. Shands moved that the architect be requested to proceed with preparation of preliminary plans for an addition of masonry construction to the Vienna Negro School at an estimated cost of $75,000. This motion was seconded and carried. The Board requested the Board of Supervisors to approve an application to borrow $75,000 from the Literary Fund or Teacher Retirement Fund, if necessary, to fund the proposed addition to the Vienna Negro School.
August 5, 1947: On July 16, at its meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved the application of the School Board for Literary Loans for additions at the Woodlawn White Elementary and the Vienna Negro School.
September 17, 1947: Mr. Rice reported that the water supplies at the Groveton School and the Vienna Colored School appeared to be inadequate, probably caused by the lack of sufficient rainfall during the past summer. There was discussion but no action taken.
October 21, 1947: A letter under date of October 17 was presented from Dixon & Norman, architects. The architects asked whether or not the Board wished to advertise for competitive bids on the additions to Woodlawn White and Vienna Negro Elementary Schools. They advised that the plans and specifications on these two jobs would be completed during the week beginning October 20 and would be ready for the contractors during the last part of that week. They suggested that the Board allow three weeks after the advertisement before bids were called for. The Board agreed to call for competitive bids and that advertisements be run in the Alexandria Gazette and the Fairfax Standard. The bids were to be opened on November 18, 1947.
November 18, 1947: The School Board awarded the joint contract for the construction of the additions to the Woodlawn White and Vienna Negro Schools to Lee T. Turner, of Washington, D.C.; Base bid for addition and alterations to the Vienna Negro School in the amount of $101,361 with Alternate No. 1 (brick facing) at a cost of $3,989; total bid with Woodlawn amounting to $212,875.
December 2, 1947: Mr. Lee T. Turner had been sent contracts on November 24 for the construction projects and Superintendent Woodson felt they would be signed and returned in the next few days.
March 18, 1948: A letter under date of March 12 was presented from Mrs. Agnes E. Coleman, Principal of the Merrifield Colored School, in which she stated that the school was constantly being broken into and their food and other properties were destroyed. She has declined to approve applications for use of the building because of resulting damage but this does not please the parent teacher association. Mr. Rice advised that the police department has been notified and has investigated every time a report that the school has been broken into has been received. There appears little use of putting locks on the doors because they are always broken off. He stated that this situation is very bad. It was the sense of the Board that it study the possibility of consolidating the Merrifield Colored School with the James Lee and Vienna Negro Schools next session.
April 6, 1948: The Clerk also requested authorization to cancel Payroll Check 715 dated April 1, 1948 in the amount of $210.08 made payable to Louise R. Archer, Principal of the Vienna Colored School, due to the death of Mrs. Archer on April 1. The Board agreed to cancel the check and pay whatever salary is due to the administrator of her estate once such a person is appointed. A letter from Mrs. Eliza Hawkins was presented asking whether or not it would be possible to arrange for the children of the Vienna Colored School to attend the funeral of Mrs. Louise R. Archer, the principal, and also regarding a memorial for her. Superintendent Woodson advised that he had authorized the closing of the Vienna Colored School early enough so that the teachers and those pupils who wished might attend Mrs. Archer’s funeral. He had also given other colored teachers in the county permission to go to the funeral provided they could make satisfactory arrangements for the continued operation of their schools. This action met with the approval of the Board. It was suggested that the Vienna Colored School might be named for Mrs. Archer as a memorial to her should the community so wish. Superintendent Woodson recommended and the Board approved that Mrs. Mabel T. Mack, a teacher the Vienna Negro School, be appointed acting principal beginning April 5 for the remainder of the current session, the supplement to her base salary to be on the same basis as that approved for Mrs. Archer which would be $95.70 for the remainder of the session. Mr. Shands offered the following resolution: Whereas, it is with very profound sorrow that the Fairfax County School Board records the death of Mrs. Louise R. Archer, Principal of the Vienna Colored School, who passed away suddenly on Thursday morning, April 1, 1948, while visiting relatives in North Carolina. Mrs. Archer faithfully served the schools of Fairfax County, Virginia, first as a teacher in the Herndon Colored School for two years and then as principal of the Vienna Colored School for a period of twenty-four years. During this long period of service she was always energetic, cheerful, and forceful in her leadership. A large measure of her success can be attributed to the fact that she always strove to develop the better traits of character and good citizenship in her pupils along with their education. Fairfax County and this Board have suffered a real loss in her passing but the results of her fine work will continued for many years to come. Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Secretary of the Fairfax County School Board record this minute upon the proceedings of the Board and that a copy thereof be sent to her bereaved husband. The motion was adopted, seconded, and carried. Also: Letters from Hugh B. Marsh, Commonwealth’s Attorney, were presented advising that deeds had been executed and recorded for the purchase of additional land at the Vienna Negro School and the Mount Vernon High School.
April 21, 1948: The Regional High School Bus to Manassas had been going to Chesterbrook to pick up high school students, but no students had come to the bus in two weeks. The children in the area were not attending the high school at Manassas, so the school bus run to Chesterbrook was discontinued and the bus rerouted to transport twelve children on Park Street in Vienna to the Vienna Colored School, these children having been transported by Mrs. Archer before her death. Also: A petition signed by twenty purported former students and graduates of the Vienna Colored School and a letter dated April 17 from Mrs. James T. Ellis were presented, both of which requested the Board to name the Vienna Colored School in memory of Mrs. Archer, its principal who had died on April 1. Mr. Jett moved that the Vienna Colored School be named the Louise Archer School. This motion was seconded by Mr. Cockrell and carried. Also: Superintendent Woodson recommended that the Vienna Colored School accounts of the Cafeteria Fund in the amount of $58.61 and the Book Rental Fund in the amount of $50.74, both carried in the name of Louise R. Archer, Principal, to be transferred to Mabel T. Mack, Acting Principal. The Board approved his recommendation.
May 4, 1948: Lucinda L. Jordan was appointed teacher in the Vienna Negro School for the remainder of session 1947-48 at a salary rate of $2,000 per session beginning on April 26, 1948.
June 1, 1948: When the Board reconvened… a delegation of fourteen people from the Merrifield Colored School community was heard opposing the proposed consolidation of the Merrifield School with the Vienna Colored School. Mrs. Gray, a life-long resident of the Merrifield community, spoke stating that the population of this community has increased and is still growing. She advised that should the schools be consolidated it would be necessary to transport the children by buses whereby at Merrifield all are within walking distance of the school. She stated that the parents would not have transportation to the Vienna School to consult with the principal and teachers when problems arise nor would they be able to attend the P.T.A. meetings. Mr. Raby, an attorney, presented a map showing the development of the Merrifield community and gave figures on the school population. The Chairman explained that the Board wished to give the children the best opportunity possible for education and it was felt that the consolidation would provide better educational facilities. Members of the delegation expressed the opinion that there was more expansion at Merrifield than at Vienna and asked the Board to investigate the potential future of the school at Merrifield before making a final decision in this matter. Following the departure of the delegation, the matter was discussed briefly but no action taken.
June 30, 1948: Mr. Jacobs presented the follow miscellaneous receipts for the month of June: From Mabel T. Mack, Acting Principal; for one library unit for Vienna Negro School; amount $5.00.
July 6, 1948: The report of the Assistant Superintendent of Schools was heard. Mr. Rice stated that Mr. Archer, the husband and administrator of the estate of the late Louise R. Archer, had settled the accounts of the Vienna Negro School and the balance due on the salary of Mrs. Archer had been released to him. Mr. Rice recommended that the bond of Mrs. Louise Archer as principal of the Vienna Negro School be canceled. There was discussion regarding the building fund account which Mrs. Archer had deposited in the Vienna bank. Mr. Rice called the cashier of the Vienna Trust Company and learned that this account was in the name of the Vienna Colored School. Mrs. Gertrude Honesty and Mrs. Archer, the principal, being authorized to sign checks on this account. The cashier expressed a willingness to let the account remain as at present and when the new principal of the Vienna Negro School assumes his duties allow him to sign checks on the account in the place of Mrs. Archer. This matter being taken care of satisfactorily, Mr. Shands moved that the bond of Mrs. Louise R. Archer be cancelled. This motion was seconded by Mr. Middleton and carried.
The Evening Star
January 25, 1944, Page B-1: Vienna Colored School To Have Birthday Ball. Fairfax County colored residents will celebrate the President’s birthday with a ball Friday evening in the Vienna Colored School, it has been announced. Tickets may be obtained from Allan Saunders, Falls Church. A Washington orchestra will provide music.
The Fairfax Herald
October 11, 1935, Page 3: Why the Fairfax County Colored Citizens’ Association Opposes School Bond Issue. Editor, Fairfax Herald: The Fairfax County-wide Colored Citizens’ Association, which acts as spokesman for the 4,803 Negroes in the county, explains why it can not endorse the present proposed school bond issues as it is now set up: Upon a casual survey of the actual Colored school needs in the County a delegation consisting of 80 members from 8 communities most urgently in need appeared before the County school board in August and laid before them the following conditions of the various Colored school communities: …7. Vienna has a present need for a new one-room school. This need was acknowledged and included in the tentative building program for 1933, but in the present 1935 proposed bond issue nothing is included.
September 6, 1946, Page 1: Colored Library Opened In Vienna. A branch library for the use of adults has been opened at the Vienna Colored School. Those in charge of the library wish to express their thanks to Mrs. Moody and Mrs. Hall, for assistance in getting the project started, and for gifts of books.
The Washington Post
January 26, 1944, Page 12: Ball at Vienna School. The Negro citizenry of Fairfax County will celebrate the President’s birthday with a county-wide ball at the Vienna Negro School Friday night. Dancing will begin at 9 p.m.
August 24, 1947, Page M-3: Fairfax Loans Approved. Fairfax County literary fund loans of $90,000 for the Woodlawn white elementary school and $75,000 for the Vienna Negro elementary school were approved. W. T. Woodson, Superintendent of Fairfax County schools, said the money would be used for additions to the two schools. “We don’t know,” he said, “whether the money will be sufficient, but we certainly hope so.”