Guide to African American History

Department of Higher Education

The Department of Higher Education is charged with identifying statewide needs for higher education and evaluating institutional mission and performance, among a number of other duties. The Coordinating Board of Higher Education was authorized in 1972 and carries out many of these functions. Most components of the state's public universities were established in the nineteenth century, grouped as state entities in the twentieth century by various reorganization plans.

Interested researchers should also consult Department of Higher Education materials maintained in the State Government Documents collection.

Record Group 106: Department of Higher Education, State Anatomical Board, 1897-1971

In 1887, the General Assembly authorized anatomy professors in state schools to form a board for the distribution and delivery of dead human bodies, unclaimed, to the various schools teaching anatomy. Each month, local boards (St. Louis, Kansas City, Kirksville, St. Joseph, Columbia) forwarded to the board secretary a list of all bodies received. The list includes name of deceased, sex, race, where body was received from, date of receipt, date and place of distribution. These reports can be found in the Monthly Reports series (1912-1970). Other series include Annual Reports (1908-1971), Minutes(1897-1965), and Miscellaneous Correspondence (1914-1959).

In addition, this collection contains a single folder of Pauper Burials, dated 1921, that indicates name of deceased, race, hospital, and date of death.

Record Group 106: Department of Higher Education: Dalton Vocational School, 1919 - 1961

The Dalton Vocational School, originally the Barlett Agricultural and Industrial School, was established in 1907 by Nathaniel C. Bruce. He conceived the school as a "Missouri Tuskegee," emulating the Alabama institute's model of providing both academic and vocational training. In 1923, the school received funds from the state legislature to construct a model farm home, trade shop, and hog and poultry houses. The school's name was changed in 1924 to reflect the owner whose property was purchased in Chariton County for the school. Operated by the University of Missouri's College of Agriculture, in 1929, the school came under the control of Lincoln University curators. Local African American students were bussed to Dalton where they studied agriculture, industrial arts, and home economics.

In May 1954, the United States Supreme Court ordered the desegregation of public schools. African American students attending Dalton Vocational School were free to attend classes at local, previously all-white, schools. The last school year was 1955-1956. Buildings and property were later sold at auction.

This collection contains miscellaneous materials concerning the Dalton Vocational School. It includes inventory and supplies lists; High School Inspection reports; financial records; and a few photographs.