SCHOFIELD MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY
At the end of the Civil War, a young Quaker woman, Martha Schofield, from Buck's County, Pennsylvania, moved to the coast of South Carolina as a representative of the Freedman's Bureau. She became deeply interested in the former slave population and the multitude of problems they faced. In 1868, because of health problems, she moved to Aiken, South Carolina with the firm determination of founding the first school for the benefit of African American youth.
She began to teach without equipment or financial aid, but with a love and altruism which, combined with sterling common sense and purpose, ensured the success of her school. With support from the Society of Friends and people throughout the country, Miss Schofield was able to acquire the property bounded by Kershaw, Sumter, Barnwell and Abbeville Streets. The original building was completed about 1870. There were sixty-eight students and a total of three staff members. From one woman's vision grew one of the most important schools for African Americans in the state.
A Board of Trustees had been appointed for the school by 1882. By 1886 the school was incorporated under the laws of South Carolina, renamed Schofield Normal and Industrial School. At this time, primary through secondary grades were taught in this building. Many of its graduates went on to teach in Black schools of the South or find meaningful employment, especially after recieving accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1968.
In 1939, The Friends Society "adopted" part of the school and provided lights, better blackboards, painted walls, and pencil sharpeners. The year 1951 brought the purchase of the school and lands by Aiken County for the sum of $5.00. The County agreed to run the school and name it Martha Schofield High School.
In 1970, Schofield and Aiken High School were consolidated, and ninth and tenth grade students were housed on the Schofield Campus. With the establishment of South Aiken High in the early 1980's, the campus became what is now known as Schofield Middle School.
In 2003, with completion of a massive reconstruction project which began in 2001, Schofield evolved into a completely renovated campus consisting of three grade level classroom wings and a gymnasium.
The legacy of Martha Schofield continues today with a dedicated faculty and staff working together to meet the needs of countless students each year. Schofield Middle School will continue to educate the students of Aiken County into the twenty-first century.