William Henry Lanier (1851 - 1929)
Lanier High School takes its name from the late, distinguished William Henry Lanier, a former President of Alcorn College and Jackson Colored Public Schools' first Supervisor. Lanier was born a slave in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1851. He attended Tougaloo College, Oberlin College, and Fisk University and received his B.A. degree from Roger Williams University. He served as president of Alcorn A&M for six years. Lanier taught school in Forest, Winona, Black Hawk, Carrollton, Yazoo City, and Jackson. He was principal of the Robertson School from 1912-1929.
Lanier was first organized as a junior-senior high school in 1925, providing instruction for pupils from the seventh through the twelfth grades. A new chapter was added to our history when, on February 8, 1954, we transferred from the old Lanier at 136 East Ash Street and occupied the new Lanier Junior-Senior High School building at 833 West Maple Street. On January 27, 1972, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that Lanier School be designated as a center for 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students. In 1991, 9th-grade students were added to the enrollment.