1701 South Harrison Street
Franklin Elementary was built in 1949 and was named to
honor Benjamin Franklin. The school is located on a
10-acre site in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Little
Rock. The original building, equipped with the modern
features of its time, featured 14 classrooms for students
in grades 1 to 6. Franklin Elementary officially was
dedicated on September 25, 1949, and its first principal
was Miss Opal Middleton, a dedicated educator. Franklin
opened as a state-of-the-art basic skills school,
emphasizing a new and innovative way of teaching reading.
Its two-level design gradually was extended to four levels
with additions in 1954 and 1989.
Franklin's football team, photo dated 11 Nov 1950.
The team's coach was Buddy Marks. Team members include
Jay Tidmore, Don Toler, Ron Moore, Rober King,
Gene Chambers, Sammy Baker, Niles Ross, Arthur Jones,
James Ward, Randy Pane. Photo courtesy of Ron Moore.
When the LRSD changed its elementary school structure,
Franklin was designated an intermediate school (grades
4-6); kindergarten students from the neighborhood also
attended. This practice continued until 1987 when standard
elementary schools (k-6) were reestablished. In 1989 one
of the Little Rock School District's first
pre-kindergarten (4-year-old) programs was established at
Benjamin Franklin was an American statesman, diplomat,
author, inventor, scientist and philosopher. He was born
in Boston, Massachusetts, and established the first
circulating library in the United States. In 1743 he
initiated plans for an academy that became the germ of the
University of Pennsylvania. He established the Academy of
Sciences in Philadelphia, served as Postmaster General of
the United States, was a member of the Continental
Congress, helped to draft and ultimately signed the
Declaration of Independence and convinced the French
government to ally with the Colonies in their fight for
independence from England. Franklin also was a delegate to
the Constitutional Convention. Benjamin Franklin was a
genius as well as a practical man. Furthermore, his
Autobiography and Poor Richard's Almanack became literary
Hobby, Selma; 1991 research project about the Little
Rock School District.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.
If you have information about a Little Rock school or
photographs that you would like to contribute to this
project (we will return photographs if requested),
Updated March 2009