George R. Smith College opened in northeastern Sedalia, Missouri in 1894. The institution was associated with the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Education Society of the Methodist Church and played an important role in the lives of young people for several decades. The college burned in 1925 and several years later there was a formal merger with Philander Smith College in Arkansas. The merger was accomplished through joint action of the Board of Education of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Trustees of the Southwest and Central West Annual Conferences, and the Trustees of Philander Smith College. The transaction was formally ratified in a joint executive session on May 23, 1933.
Alumni of the institution included:
John Wesley Donaldson, baseball player
Scott Joplin, ragtime musician
T. Manuel Smith, M.D. and President of the National Medical Association (1942-43)
P.A. Cool, 1894-1896
E.A. Robertson, 1897-1901
I.L. Lowe, 1902-1907
A.C. Maclin, 1908-1910
J.C. Sherrill, 1911-1912
George Evans, 1913-1914
Matthew Simpson Davage, 1915-1916, who later served as president of New Haven Institute, Samuel Huston College, Rust College, and Clark University
Robert B. Hayes, 1917-1925
Nolen also authored African-Americans in Mid-Missouri that includes a chapter on George R. Smith College. An extensive list of students by program and department is provided in the appendix.
A column for the Sedalia Democrat by Nolen in February 2010 included information on George R. Smith College.