Following the Civil War, Harrisonville developed a black community in the northeast end of town. There was a school for African American children built in the 1880s. This African American school burned down and Prince Whipple School was built on the corner of Elm Street and King Avenue so the African American kids had a place to be educated in Harrisonville. Prince Whipple School was a rectangular brick building with a vernacular design and a flat roof. This one-room schoolhouse had a bathroom added on to it in the 1940s.
Prince Whipple, like many other one-room schoolhouses, taught Harrisonville’s African American children from elementary to high school. Teachers from Kansas City would commute every day to teach the kids at Prince Whipple. Up until the 1940’s the highest education a student could receive at Prince Whipple School was the 8th grade. When students went to Prince Whipple for a high school education they went for two years and their studies included English, algebra, and geometry. The average enrollment at Prince Whipple was 15 or 20 students. The African American community in Harrisonville was in decline over the years and this decline plus desegregation led to the closing of Prince Whipple in 1954. According to a survey by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, over seventy percent of the historic integrity of this school has not been retained, making it ineligible to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Prince Whipple is now a private residence but this piece of history is thankfully being preserved.