The History of Peake School


Peake Elementary School received its name from Mr. J. Ed Peake, one of the principals of the old Sloan School and landowner of the site where Peake Elementary School is now located.  Sloan School was a small frame building of wood and was located on Main Street in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where the new addition of Rose Hill Cemetery is today.  Its faculty consisted of seven members, and its enrollment was less than 200.  The grades ranged from first through eighth, and the land was owned by Mr. Sloan.  There were two high school academies in Arkadelphia at that time.  The Baptist Academy, located at 18th and Caddo Streets, and the Presbyterian Academy, located at 1700 Logan Street.

On a fall night in 1926, Sloan School burned down; and in 1928, the new Peake School was built.  The construction was one brick building (Peake Rosenwald), located at 16th and Caddo Streets; and the Agricultural Shop, located on 16th Street.  The school was under the leadership of Mr. S. Hilderth, and the landowner was Mr. J. Ed. Peake.  The enrollment was less than 300 and the grades ranged from first through eighth.

Mr. Nathaniel B. Cooke became principal in 1938 and served for twenty-nine consecutive years before retiring.  He is pictured with the first graduating class just inside the front door of our school.

In 1960, Peake High School (Building 1) was constructed at 1609 Pine Street for grades seven through twelve.  Peake Rosenwald became Peake Elementary (Building 2) for grades one through six.  Mr. Jerome Donaldson became principal of the elementary school and Mr. Cooke remained principal of the high school.  Peake principals after Mr. Donaldson were Mr. Maurice Horton, Mr. Robert Worlds and Mrs. Marguerite Goodloe.

Arkadelphia Public Schools were totally integrated in 1970.  Peake High School became Peake Middle School for grades five through seven.  Principals after Mr. Cooke were Mr. William Keaton, Mr. Jerry Daniels, Mr. Carroll Wood, Mrs. Beria Jean, Mr. Randall Muse, Mr. Carrol Forte, Mrs. Terri Lindsey, Mr. Donnie Whitten, Ms. Lisa Baker and Mrs. Nikki Thomas.  

The reorganization of Arkadelphia Public Schools in 1985 resulted in Peake Middle School becoming Peake Elementary School.  Peake now educates grades four and five and is under the leadership of 

Peake has had a rich and varied life.  We continue to educate and challenge the children of Arkadelphia while celebrating the events, traditions and people for which our school was founded.


Class of 1961   &   Peake Memorabilia