The Morton Public School built in 1876 on School St. in Morton about 1900. Originally both black and white students went here, later it was called the Phyllis Wheatley School.
Note: All but forgotten today, the lawsuit against the Morton Boro School was a major case 101 years ago. Take a read!!
MORTON CASE IN CIVIL COURT
Testimony of the School District of Morton relative to the suit instituted against the borough by Edward J. Mayo, a colored resident of the borough, opposing the action of the board in separating the white children from the colored pupils, was taken up this morning in Judge Johnson’s court.
Charles B. Bishop, the first witness, who is a member of the board declared that the separation was arranged on a basis of average of the pupils. Four white children were assigned to the old school with the colored children who were held for backward pupils and when it was discovered that a great majority of the attendants were colored the School Board consulted Prof. Hill, principal of the Cheney Institute, who advised the changes, recommending the appointment of two colored teachers.
The colored people of Morton declare that on September 7, 1915, when the school year opened, the school board directed that all colored children go to the old school building and the white children attend the new structure which had just been completed. There arose considerable dissention at the time, but most of the children, after a time, began to attend the old school building. Some few continued to oppose the school board and from time to time hearings have been had. Yesterday the suit brought by Mayo, one of the most violent opponents of the separation, was called for trial, and an hour or more was spent in an effort to settle the trouble. The conferences failed, however, and the case was placed on trial.
MORTON SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS
Verdict Returned in Court Today against Edward J. Mayo
A verdict for the school district of Morton was returned this morning in the case of Edward J. Mayo, a Morton colored man, who instituted proceedings against the board to compel the school district to allow his children to go to school with the white children. The jury also sustained the action of the school district in making a separation of the students.
The case was heard on Wednesday and yesterday and went to the jury late in the afternoon. The jury had not agreed early last evening and were instructed to return a sealed verdict. ON Wednesday the evidence of the colored people, who are behind Mayo in the suit, was heard. Yesterday the directors of the school told their story.
Charles B. Bishop, the first witness, who is a member of the board, declared that the separation was arranged on a basis of average of the pupils. Four white children were assigned to the old school with the colored children which was held for backward pupils and when it was discovered that a great majority of the attendants were colored the School Board consulted Prof. Hill, principal of the Cheney Industrial, who advised the change, recommending the appointment of two colored teachers.
This advice was followed, Mr. Bishop said. Other directors and the principal of the school were called to the stand, the last mentioned being examined as to the method of dividing the scholars.