The Jefferson School (now the Army Navy Club) opened in 1870 to educate African-American students.
The school was named after the “Jefferson district” where it was located. Arlington, then part of Alexandria County, was in a two-room school house on Johnson’s Hill. The Board agreed to the petition and purchased a three-acre property from the South Arlington Cemetery Corporation In 1914. One year later, the 4-room school house opened, serving African American students from first to ninth grade.
By 1930, enrollment exceeded the school’s capacity and Arlington County officials started planning an addition. The addition, which was completed in 1931, doubled the size of the school. One year later,Superintendent Fletcher Kemp renamed the Jefferson School as Hoffman-Boston Junior Colored High School, after Edward C. Hoffman, former principal of the Jefferson School, and Ella M. Boston, former principal of Kemper (another African-American school in Arlington).
Hoffman-Boston became the first African American high school in the county; the first senior class graduated in 1942.Hoffman-Boston High School closed in 1964 as Arlington County integrated its schools. Today the building houses Hoffman-Boston Elementary School located on South Queen Street.
Mr. Edward Hoffman
Edward Hoffman, 1866-1926 Is said to have been born at Freedman’s Village, and raised in Arlington County. Hoffman attended Howard University, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1887, and was Principal of Jefferson School by 1896 until 1926. Hoffman-Boston High School closed in 1964 as Arlington County integrated its schools. Today the building houses Hoffman-Boston Elementary School, located on South Queen Street.