Educator; Church worker; Community leader; School integration
Millions of people walk on earth, yet only a few make footsteps with lasting impressions. Jackson P. Burley was among the few. He was an intellectual with a passion for academics.
He distinguished himself as a community leader who valued development education and spiritual nourishment.
Jackson Price Burley was born in Stony Point, Virginia, in 1865. He was the son of George Price of Culpeper and Lucy Woodson of Stony Point. Jackson married Willie Goodloe, and they bore one daughter, Harriett Beecher Burley.
Willie Goodloe Burley died in 1913. Jackson treasured family life; he had a second marriage to Maggie Lena Payne. Together they bore a son, Frederick Price Burley, in 1915 and a daughter, Grace Burley.
Jackson lived a full life, and on July 1, 1945, he died at 80 in Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia.
Mr. Burley was a genius. He graduated from Hampton Institute as class valedictorian. He was an educator and became an Agriculture teacher in Albemarle County, VA.
A famous “Four Hundred Club” comprised prominent African American businesspeople. Jackson P. Burley became a member of this club. It was an informal club and had a group of families that became part of Charlottesville’s middle class upon emancipation.
The city of Charlottesville built a high school and named it in honor of Jackson P. Burley in 1949.
On September 6, 2011, Charlottesville granted the honorary street name “Jackson P. Burley” to Rose Hill Drive from Preston Avenue to Madison Avenue.
On 14 October 2017, a new Jackson P. Burley monument wall was unveiled. The monument was pitched outside Burley Middle School in Charlottesville. They partitioned it into three sections. The first section was for Jackson P. Burley, the second section for alumni, and the third for administrators, faculty, and non-faculty members.
Jackson Price Burley High School was an amalgamate of three different schools. In 1949, the Boards merged Esmont and Jefferson High Schools with Albemarle Training School. These were the black high schools that existed in Albemarle County.
In 1950, J.W. Daniels Construction Company began constructing Burley High School on a 17-acre land on Rose Hill Drive. This tract of land was purchased from Jackson P. Burley’s widow.
In honor of Jackson P. Burley, the new school became known as Burley High School in honor of Jackson P. Burley, an exceptional teacher, a dynamic church worker, and a distinguished community leader. They also constructed a new church on this piece of land.
Burley High School was recognized as an essential player in school integration in Charlottesville.
Integrating city and county schools began in 1959 when Lane High School became integrated under court order. In June 1967, the city and county ended school segregation, and Burley stopped being a black high school.
In 1974, Burley High School converted to a middle school in Albemarle County under Albemarle County School policy.
Together with the University of Virginia, Burley High School developed a training course for practical nursing in 1951. It was a two years’ training program. In 1957, the program’s initial year took place at Burley high school, while the second year took place at the University of Virginia Hospital.
Though Jackson Burley was not a man of royal descent, he was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life. He lived such an impactful life and made history in the African American community. He became an icon of religion, academic excellence, and community development.
Jackson intimately connected to the community such that even after his death, Jackson P. Burley High School was established in his honor. This school became a landmark for the termination of school segregation in Albemarle County. He left a fascinating legacy that infinitely touched the lives of many people.
The Black Male Archives
Preservation Publishing LLC