Free to Learn

Free to Learn (HMO8C)

Location: Fort Scott, KS 66701 Bourbon County
Buy Kansas State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 37° 50.568', W 94° 42.234'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
If you had been an African-American student standing here around 1950, you would have been facing your school, the Hawkins School (above). This school was part of a continuum of African-American education that began with the Civil War and ended with school integration in 1955.

Along with freedom the Civil War brought the need - and the previously denied opportunity - for education. Schools like the Hawkins School met that need and provided that opportunity.

Prominent Americans who attended Fort Scott's African-American schools included George Washington Carver and Gordon Alexander Parks. Born a slave, Carver gained renown as an artist, educator, chemist, agronomist, and botanist. Parks, an author, composer, photographer, and poet, was acclaimed Kansan of the Year in 1985 and received the National Medal of Arts in 1988. Carver attended the Fort Scott Colored School in 1878-79; Parks attended 2nd Plaza School in the 1920s.

[Photo captions read]
Between 1865 and 1955, four African-American schools (map, above) were located on or adjacent to land which now comprises Fort Scott National Historic Site. The last of the four, called the 2nd Plaza School (left), stood directly in front of you. To honor Professor Ernest Hawkins, who served here for many years, the school was renamed the Hawkins School in 1946.

"Look Sharp, Be Sharp, Be Somebody"
Professor Ernest Hawkins

Born in Fort Scott in 1875, Ernest Hawkins devoted his life to African-American education. He was a part of Fort Scott's African-American schools for 65 years, first as a student, then a teacher, then principal. Professor Hawkins encouraged his students to "look sharp, be sharp, be somebody."
HM NumberHMO8C
Year Placed1998
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 11:28am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 350077 N 4189741
Decimal Degrees37.84280000, -94.70390000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 50.568', W 94° 42.234'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 50' 34.08" N, 94° 42' 14.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)620, 913
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2935 Hendricks, Fort Scott KS 66701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?