A tribute to John S. Cobb

Friday, September 10, 2004

For some 100 former students of John S. Cobb School in Cape Girardeau, last Saturday was a time of renewing old acquaintances and recalling the school pride that existed at the all-black school, which stood on Merriwether Street from 1890 to 1953, when a fire destroyed everything except the gymnasium. The following year, Cape Girardeau's schools were integrated.

Since it has been more than half a century since the school bustled with students and teachers, the former students attending the reunion are showing their age too. But time has not diminished their recollections of classes in the old school.

Most of all, the former Cobb students heaped accolades on their teachers, who were strict about their students' academic pursuits.

And the reunion also recalled the former slave who went to college and taught school in Jackson before taking charge, in the 1880s, of the school that was later named for him.

The former students of Cobb School have, over the decades, left their mark on the world thanks in part to the solid educational grounding they received. That is the most fitting tribute to the legacy of John S. Cobb.

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