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History of J.E.J Moore Middle School

Dr. John Edward Jeffries Moore (April 9, 1876 – April 4, 1961)

Dr. John Edward Jeffries Moore was born in Richmond, Virginia. He attended Richmond High and Normal School where he was an honor graduate and valedictorian. After graduating from high school he attended Rochester College in Rochester, New York and Colombia University in New York, New York. Dr. Moore authored “Colored America Refined” that was published in 1903. He was a newspaper columnist for ten years, and then he taught school in King William County for seven years.

Dr. Moore became principal of the original Disputanta Training School in 1931. He served Prince George County for 22 years and retired in 1953. He was a Mason, Knight of Pythias, Odd Fellows, Court of Calanthe and a member of People’s Baptist Church in Buena Vista, Rockbridge County where he is buried in Nowland Cemetery.

J.E.J. Moore Schools

In about 1919, a tar paper three-room shack was built on Webb Street (present Route 460) as the Disputanta Training School for blacks. It had no indoor plumbing, and the only lighting was triple windows for each classroom located on the north side of the building. The brick Disputanta Training School that replaced the original building was dedicated on January 2, 1935 for grades one through eleven. In 1956 when a new black school was built on Route 156 east of Route 460, it was named for J.E.J. Moore. The Disputanta Training School became Bessie Mason Elementary School which closed in 1967 and was sold in 1971. That building is still in use as a private business.

In 1964, J.E.J. Moore Junior High School on Route 156 was integrated. When a new high school was built on Laurel Spring Road in 1976 and opened in 1977, the School Board renamed the old high school as Prince George Junior High School(later to become N.B. Clements Junior High School). In 1998 the current J.E.J. Moore Middle School was built on Route 156 west of Route 460, and the students and staff moved in on January 1999. The old J.E.J. Moore Middle School was closed, renovated and reopened as Prince George Education Center in 2000.

Information compiled from: “School Name Honors J.E.J. Moore”, Richard L. Jones, The Progress Index, February 23, 1994. “Disputanta Colored/Training High School – J.E.J. Moore High School”, June R. Hill, November 2008, (Scrapbook located at the Prince George County Regional Heritage Center.