Above & below, 1930
Sophie Wright High School, 1920; photo at top of page, 1912
1920's
Sophie B. Wright School
Napoleon Avenue
Sophie B. Wright was one of the most important educators and civic leaders of her time.  She was born in 1866 and suffered an accident when she was three, which left her wheelchair bound for several years.  But she didn't allow this disability to limit her life or her many contributions to education and civic and social programs for the less fortunate and for women and children.  At the age of 15, she opened a day school for girls in her home.  Three years later, she established a free night school for boys and men who couldn't afford a traditional education.  She worked tirelessly on behalf of Yellow Fever victims, terminally ill patients and prison reform efforts; she, also, implemented programs for needy women and was responsible for opening more public playgrounds and expanding their programs.  In 1904, she was the first woman to ever receive the Times-Picayune Loving Cup, presented every year to the citizen deemed to have contributed most toward social activism and philanthropy.  In 1912, she became the first living New Orleanian to have a school named after her - the first public girls high school in the city.  It was, also, the first public building in the city named after a woman.  She died at the age of 46 and is buried in Metairie Cemetery.  Sophie B. Wright High School eventually became a middle school and is still open today.
Sophie Wright and her home on Sophie Wright Place, near Magazine Street, a block from a statue erected in her honor in 1988.
The link to this page is:  http://old-new-orleans.com/NO_Sophie_Wright.html

Back to
  Old New Orleans

The Past Whispers - Home