HONOREES

LIST | A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Floyd Brown

The late Floyd Brown was a strong believer in providing a good education to those for whom education was as a premium. That strong belief led him to establish one of the few private nondenominational schools for Black children ever established in this region of the United States. Brown was one of 10 children of poor Mississippi tenant farmers. He entered Tuskegee Institute at the age of 21 with only about a fifth-grade education under his belt. Influenced by founder Booker T. Washington, Brown developed a passion for teaching. Brown discovered Fargo, a small farming community, on a trip to eastern Arkansas. Seeing that Black children there had no access to an education, he decided to create a private school modeled after Tuskegee. In 1919-the year after his ordination as a minister; he moved to Fargo with only $2.85 in his pocket. He bought 20 acres of land on credit and persuaded local supporters to donate mules, lumber, supplies, and labor for what was to become the Fargo Agricultural School. Groundbreaking for the school took place on Thanksgiving Day, 1919. Shortly thereafter, the school began operations as a single building with one teacher and 15 students. By the second term, that number had grown to five teachers and 70 local and boarding students. By the 1940s, enrollment approached 200 students. The motto of the school was “Work Will Win.” Students divided their time between academic and agricultural training and participated in various cultural and recreational activities. In addition, there was a required weekly class taught by Brown himself, a “Class in Common Sense,” where he emphasized the virtues of hard work, service, self-help, thrift and self-determination. Brown traveled extensively to solicit donations for the school, which never turned away a student who couldn