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Laurence B. Gardiner collection, Special Collections Department, University Libraries, University of Memphis




Higbee School, Memphis, Tennessee, 1911. The young women students are possibly participating in a maypole ceremony or midsummer celebration.

The Higbee School was established in 1875 in Memphis, Tennessee and originally called the Presbyterian Grammar and High School, with Miss Jennie M. Higbee, principal. In 1879 the name was changed to "Miss Higbee's High School," and in 1882 to "The Higbee School."

The Higbee School was located at the intersection of Beale and Lauderdale. The building was a three-story brick with seventeen rooms devoted to study and recitation. The grounds were beautifully shaded with oaks, elms, and magnolias. Besides the common branches of an English education, the course of study included the higher English branches, natural sciences, literature, ancient and modern languages, music, phonography, painting, and wood carving. The Higbee School quickly became one of the South's leading educational institutions for young women.

Jenny Higbee passed away in 1903 and the school continued on until 1910. The Memphis Trades and Labor Council purchased the property in 1921 and remodeled the building for their headquarters. In 1972 the old building was demolished. There is a memorial to Miss Higbee in Overton Park and Higbee Avenue is named for her.

Date Created





Higbee, Jennie M., Education--1910-1940.,Tennessee--History.