Tangipahoa Parish Colored Training School
Professor Oliver Wendell Dillon was born October 15, 1882 and died May 18, 1954 in Magnolia, Mississippi, he received his B.S. Degree in science from Alcorn A. & M. College, in Alcorn, Mississippi and completed his post graduate work from Hampton Instiute in Hampton, Virginia.
The Tangiphoa Parish Training School, founded in 1911 was the first colored training school in the entire South. The most complete account of the establishment of the school is found in Edward E. Redcay, County Training Schools and Public Education for Negroes in the South, ( Washington Dr. C., September, 1910, by Professor A.M. Strange.
The school was the first color training school in the south and one of the first rural public schools providing secondary education for Negroes in the nation. The Tangipahoa Parish Training School concept was extended more fully in 1918, by the Mr. Oliver Wendell Dillon, during the first year of the founding of his administration. School donations were made through the Julius Rosenwald Fund, The Slater Fund, the state and parish, and by the supporter of the school communities both black and white.
Professor Dillon’s contribution in the area of education was a regional impact. The school provided instruction of Negro children in grades one through eleven with a stress on Vocational and Industrial education at the secondary level. It would also provide teachers training so that its graduates could staff the rural black schools in the parish. The colored training schools were the real beginning of secondary public education for blacks in the rural south.