The James Shipley Museum of African American History will be housed in the Harrison School building. The museum will include a replica of a late 19th-century classroom so that today’s generations can get a glimpse of what segregated education looked like. A library will display family histories of some students of the Harrison School and other literature attesting to the shared history. The library will also be available to scholars and students wishing to do research. There will be a community room, available for community functions. We plan a gift shop where books about Missouri black history and books authored by and about Harrison School alumni and their descendants can be purchased. In addition, throughout the museum visitors will be able to view pictures and artifacts from alumni of the school.
James Shipley was born in Tipton, Missouri, and attended Harrison School. He enlisted in the United States Army during World War II (WWII) and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and Crew Chief with the Tuskegee Airmen. After the war, James Shipley returned to Tipton and worked as the auto mechanic for Co-Mo Electric Cooperative until his retirement. We intend to display to the public many of the awards of recognition for his service during and after WWII, including his Bronze Stars. Other displays of Harrison School alumni will be included.