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Map of Rosenwalds locations in South Photo of Julius Rosenwald  
Overview.

One of the most successful efforts to provide universal schooling for African American children following the era of Reconstruction after the Civil War was the Rosenwald Fund, established in 1917 by Julius Rosenwald (above), president of Sears, Roebuck and Company.  The fund provided money that was leveraged with other private gifts and public funds to construct more than 5,000 schools for African Americans in 15 states throughout the South.

The schools varied in size from small one- or two-teacher buildings to very large 11-room buildings with 10 or more teachers.  One- and two-teacher types were more common in Virginia and were generally located in rural areas.

A total of 364 Rosenwald Schools were built in Virginia, in 79 of the state’s 95 counties.