This school was founded by the Freedmen's Bureau shortly after the Civil War to educate freedmen, women, and children. In 1868 Martha Schofield, a Quaker from Pennsylvania, came to Aiken and began her long career as superintendent. The school soon expanded to this two-block site and combined academics with instruction in industrial, farming, and homemaking skills. The 1897 Schofield School bulletin declared, "Character building is our most important work."
Schofield School educated more than 6000 students by 1898. Many graduates became teachers and department heads here; others became successful business owners, professionals, farmers, and community leaders. In 1940 alumnus Sanford P. Bradby became its first African-American superintendent. As first a private and later a public school, Schofield has taught children of all races and creeds since 1866. The bell tower nearby once stood atop Carter Hall, built in 1882.