The College Education of Professor Frank Barrington

I have posted before about Richard Barrington, the former enslaved manservant of Senator Solomon Downs. I knew Mr. Barrington and his son Francis W. “Frank” Barrington founded one of the earliest schools for African-Americans in Monroe called Wisner Colored High School. I knew Richard sent his son north to receive his education, but until now, I didn’t know where he was sent (Some say St. Louis).

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to stumble across a database of school bulletins around the country that have been scanned and indexed on In those old catalogs were lists of the students attending at the time. These are priceless! As a hint, there will be a big announcement closer to black history month next year about some found school catalogs which fills a giant hole in local genealogy research! Stay tuned! I digress.

One of the catalogs I found was from the earliest University for African Americans in the country called Wilberforce University, in Xenia, Ohio. It was from the 1859 – 1860 school year. Surprisingly, there were a handful of Louisiana students, mainly from New Orleans and “Kirk’s Ferry” in Catahoula Parish. Among the students listed was Francis W. Barrington from “Munroe, LA”! I was ecstatic! I now know where Professor Barrington received his education!

BTW, Wilberforce University is still going strong and is the oldest private HBCU in the country!

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