Sterling High School

Dublin Core


Sterling High School


Colbert County Alabama; Sheffield Alabama; African American History; African American School; Sheffield Colored School; Sterling High School.


Sterling High School was another prominent school for African Americans in Colbert County. The origin of the school is in a Baptist Church on East 20th St. Originally, the school only served five students and a man named Henry Hopkins was hired as their teacher. Due to a fire, the school was forced to relocate to another church. Sheffield Colored School was then built in 1918 and served as an elementary school for African American students. It was during this time that the school’s eventual namesake Benjamin J. Sterling served as a teacher and principal for the Sheffield Colored School. In 1921, the school expanded to teach high school level children. At first only grades one through eleven were offered until 1922 when grade twelve was offered. In 1942, the name of the school was officially changed to Sterling High School. Sterling High school established an athletics program that included basketball, track, and football. They even went up against Trenholm High School during the season. The school was eventually closed in 1968 due to integration. The building was finally destroyed ten years later in 1978. The location of the school can be found at E 19th St in Sheffield Alabama.


Sam Keiser, University of North Alabama


Curott, David. Colbert & Lauderdale County History Written on Signs of the Past. Bluewater Publishing, 2011. 155

Colbert County Heritage Book Committee (Colbert County, Ala.). 1999. The Heritage of Colbert County, Alabama. Clanton, AL: Heritage Pub. Consultants. 64-65


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey


November 30, 2015


Alabama Cultural Resource Survey