The Vernon School was known as, The Colored School of Quindaro. It opened in 1858. The original school's purpose was built to educate African American children in the abolitionist community of Quindaro. The School began operation in the years leading up to the civil War when it provided instruction to African Americans including many former slaves who had just arrived in the territory of Kansas.The school was segregated and run by its own district (#17) with a board of all African Americans. By the 1930s, the school was in despair and overcrowded. In1936, the old building was razed and a new brick school was built in its place. The new school had 4 rooms and served the 1st through 8th grade. In 1950 two rooms were added.This facility was built using President Roosevelt's New Deal Program. The Colored School of Quindaro was renamed Vernon School after William Tecumseh Vernon.At that time Vernon was only 25 yrs old. He was an accomplished speaker and writer. He was an African American Leader from Kansas City who had served as the president at the Western University and also credited with expanding the university's curriculum and state funding. In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Vernon Register of the US Treasury, the highest post ever achieved by an African American, at that time. Vernon later became consecrated as a bishop with the African Methodist Epicapol (AME) Church and worked as a missionary in South Africa.
In 1954, the Brown vs the Board of Education of Topeka landmark case desegregated schools across the country. The next year, about one third of the Vernon School's children were sent to integrate the Quindaro Elementary School. Due to desegregation and partially due to a decreasing population of Quindaro, the Vernon School closed in 1971. The building was then and now is being used as a community center. In 2004 the building was added to the National Historic Register and is now called the Vernon Multi Purpose Center. Its mission is to function as an outreach facility, serving Wyandotte County citizens. The Center's purpose and goal is to enhance the general , physical, and well being of the community it serves. The center also houses the Underground Railroad Museum. It supports and assist the historical preservations of the documents, secured by the museum.