In the 1950's, a small Ohio town made national headlines during a fight for integration in public schools. Built in 1869, the Lincoln School stood on the corner of Collins Ave & North East Street in Hillsboro. It served the African-American students, grades one through eight.
While the rest of the nation and Ohio were slowly integrating schools in the early 1950's, the Lincoln School remained the only school for the town's black students.
In the Spring of 1954, the U. S. Supreme Court case, Brown verses the Board of Education, ruled: segregation in schools was illegal. Local parents tried to enroll their children into one of the white elementary school, with no success.
Later that summer, to force integration, the Highland County Engineer attempted to burn down the Lincoln School. Ultimately he did not succeed and the school remained standing.
In the fall, five black families led their children back to the white elementary school, only to be continuously turned away. The families filed a lawsuit against the Hillsboro Board of Education. The case made it to the U.S. District Court and got the attention of the NAACP, who in turn represented the families.
In the Spring 1956, after protesting daily, in front of the white school for two years, the court ordered the Hillsboro Board of Education to desegregate immediately - and just a week later, 11 black children were successfully enrolled into the white elementary school.
The lawsuit became one of the first test cases for Brown verses the Board of Education, and its national media coverage hastened integration in other parts of Ohio and the north.