|LOGAN STREET SCHOOL/LINCOLN
LANSING SCHOOL DISTRICT
| The site for the Logan Street School, Lansing School District, was purchased in June
1896. The building began as a four-room brick building to cost $3,250. It was enlarged
in August, 1903, with a four-room addition constructed in 1912 at a cost of $11,000.
The Logan Street School was closed in the fall of 1933 and construction started on the
new building in June of 1936, opening in February 1937. The total building contracts
The new building would no longer be Logan Street School. By School Board vote the
name was changed to Lincoln School.
Excerpts from the May 25, 1936 Board of Education minutes, address the issue of
renaming the newly constructed building. A final decision was voted in on July 27,
1936 to change the "Logan Street School" to "Lincoln School." (A decision not without
question, as the policy of the Lansing School District had been to name Schools for the
street on which they were constructed).
The kindergarten through 6th grade building was not only planned for education school
purposes but for social and community activities.
Lincoln School accommodated meetings, physical recreation assemblies, theatricals
and lectures. The building also housed library facilities. At that time, it probably was
utilized more completely than any other buildings in the Lansing Public School system.
The Lincoln School constructed in 1936 was used as a social center for meetings and
social activities of the neighborhood, in addition to the regular educational classes.
Approximately 70% of the neighborhood was Negroes/African Americans. The rest of
the neighborhood was of various nationalities many of whom were Armenians and
The following are the names of only a few of the African American Families who
resided in the Lincoln School neighborhood: Barber, Boles, Branson, Burton, Byrd,
Dungey, Durham, Eaton, Harris, Howard, Hunter, McGee, McGuire, Roberts, Roper,
Saunders and many others. Many children, and grandchildren, of the neighborhood
families and graduates of Lincoln went on to become prominent citizens of the City of
Lansing. Dr. Surae Eaton, physician in the Sparrow Health System, John Boles, owner
of All-N-1 Reality, A'lynne,(Boles) Robinson, (daughter of John) 3rd Ward City
councilwoman, and the late Vivian (Byrd) Riddle, for whom Riddle School is named, are
among the notable students of Lincoln School.
The late Charles West, a native of Lansing, MI, craftsman and designer of many
wooden pieces, World War II Veteran, and prominent high school athlete in the Lansing
schools, worked in the Lansing School district for 31 years, many of them at Lincoln
The first teaching assignment of Olivia Letts, the first African American teacher in the
Lansing Schools, was at Lincoln School, where she taught 6th grade. Ultimately, Olivia
Letts was appointed the first African American Elementary School Principal in the
Lansing School system. Dr. Letts culminated her career in the Lansing School District
as the Director of Elementary Education.
Lincoln School was closed circa 1965 due to local industrialization, a declining
enrollment and a movement toward integration.
Researched by Jesse Lasorda, â€œThe History and Growth of the Lansing Public Schoolsâ€�, Vol. 1 1847-1944 by
Frederick C. Aldinger
Contributors: Dr. Olivia Letts, Mary Jane McGuire
Photo: Capitol Area District Library Archives
|LAAAGS Celebrates Lansing's 150 Years