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Councill High School was the first public school for African-Americans in the city of Huntsville when it opened in 1892. Councill High was the only high school available to African-American students until the integration of public high schools in 1965. The school was named for William Hooper Councill, founder of Alabama A&M University and noted African-American educator. Today, the City of Huntsville in cooperation with the William Hooper Councill Alumni Association is developing the school site as a community park.


  • W.H. Councill High School at the time of its closing in 1966.
  • The W.H. Councill High School in 1915. This frame building was replaced in 1927 with a new brick school building.
  • William Hooper Councill, the school's namesake.
  • Ms. Marguerite Dobbins Lacey was a teacher at Council High School.

Founded in 1867 in the basement of Lakeside Methodist Episcopal Church on Jefferson Street, the school was moved to a frame building on this site in 1892. The first diplomas were granted in 1912. A brick structure replaced the original building in 1927. This neighborhood was known as "The Grove" and was a strong African-American business district.

Councill High School served African-American students grades 7-12 during the years of segregation in the public school system. Graduates of Councill High have fond memories of their time spent there and of the devoted educators who made their careers at Councill.

Huntsville City Schools began integration in 1963. In 1965, the school was integrated along with the other city high schools. In 1966, the school was closed and its students consolidated into other city high schools. 

Today, the W.H. Councill High site is under development to become a community park. 

Lacey, Marguerite D. & Perry O. Ward. "History of William Hooper Councill High School (1867-1970)." The Huntsville Historical Review, vol. 21, no. 1, 9-13. Published January 1994. http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/hhpics/hhr/pdf/Volume_21_1_Jan-94.pdf?zoom=100#page=13

Lacey, Henry C. "Remembering Councill School." The Huntsville Historical Review, vol. 21, no. 1, 3-8. Published January 1994. http://huntsvillehistorycollection.org/hh/hhpics/hhr/pdf/Volume_21_1_Jan-94.pdf?zoom=100#page=7

HMCPL Digital Archives. http://digitalarchives.hmcpl.org/.

Conner, Kristen. Council approves new plans for historic Huntsville site. WHNT News 19. November 16, 2017. Accessed April 15, 2018. http://whnt.com/2017/11/16/council-approves-new-plans-for-historic-huntsville-site/.