Allen Normal and Industrial School (Thomasville, Ga.)
Allen Normal School was founded by the American Missionary Association with the help of Mrs. F.L. Allen and a network of Northern Congregationalist churches in 1885. It was located on a twelve-acre lot in Thomasville, Georgia, and operated as a standard high school, providing training for skilled workers, homemakers, and teachers. Before 1931, the Elementary Department served as a model school for practicing teachers. The courses offered in high school were categorized as college preparatory, normal, and general, and some were accredited by the state. Religious training was deemed very important; therefore, the Bible was studied in all grades.
In 1885, Mrs. F.L. Allen donated her hotel property in Quitman, Georgia, to the American Missionary Association for use as a Negro school, which opened as The Connecticut Industrial School for Colored Girls. Within months, the school was burned by arson. The school re-opened in Thomasville in a one-story frame building in 1886. The following year, the building was moved to new school grounds provided by Judge Hopkins, Mayor of the City of Thomasville.
In 1891, the name of the school was changed to Allen Normal and Industrial School. By 1928 the school was largely supported by funds contributed by Congregational churches in the north. Mary L. Marden became principal in 1929, and two years later the elementary grades where discontinued, limiting Allen to a junior and senior high school. The school closed in 1933, and the school building was eventually sold around 1940.
American Missionary Association archives 1969 addendum