King is actually the convergence of four distinct independent schools that, from the beginning, shared similar educational missions. The oldest of the schools, Low-Heywood, was founded by Mrs. CE Richardson in 1865 and was located in downtown Stamford. In 1883, Miss Louisa Low purchased Mrs. Richardson’s School for Girls. Her niece, Miss Edith Heywood, was her assistant.
In 1875, Hiram King, a Dartmouth graduate, was asked by several local families to form a private boys' school. King’s Day School was also located in downtown Stamford and had several homes before settling on Colonial Road in 1933. Twenty-five years later, the school building burned to the ground and was relocated to a replacement building. Five years later, the King School moved to the Simon Estate, the summer home of singer/songwriter Carly Simon's family.
In the meantime, the Low-Heywood School was forced to move from its downtown location to Shippan Point to make way for the main Post Office building. The School was successful but in 1944, the heirs of Miss Louisa Low and Miss Edith Heywood sold the property on which the school was located. Within a month of the sale, the school relocated to Judge Lockwood’s estate on Courtland Avenue and in 1969, finally settled into the Walker estate adjacent to the King School on Newfield Avenue.
While all this was happening in Stamford, a few miles away in Rowayton, Miss Mabel Thomas created a school on her parents' summer estate. Opening in 1922, the Thomas School was intended to be both a day and boarding school. According to a story in the Norwalk Hour, the school would offer “lessons in the morning and after a wholesome hot dinner, there will be games and sports in the afternoons, both indoor and outdoor, under the supervision of a physical director.”
In 1974, the neighboring Low-Heywood and King schools began coordinating their educational and co-curricular programs in the Upper Schools. In 1975, the Thomas School merged with the Low-Heywood School at the latter’s Newfield Avenue campus.
Both the King School and Low-Heywood Thomas School maintained individual identities until 1988, when the King & Low-Heywood Thomas School was formed as a coeducational school. The Lower School and Middle School were located on the former King (South) Campus while the Upper School took over the former Low-Heywood Thomas (North) Campus.
In 2008 the School unveiled a new visual identity. In addition to creating an updated look for its logo and seal, the School streamlined its formal name to King Low Heywood Thomas and started referring to the School as King. In 2016, the School announced it will complete its brand refresh and shorten its name to King School. Its nickname will remain as King. The School will continue to distinguish itself by showcasing the deeply rooted, defining elements of the School, which stem from each of the founding institutions, and which enable its PreK-Grade 12 students to thrive: exceptional Faculty, student-centered approach to teaching and learning, academic excellence, and a culture of integrity, kindness, perseverance, and respect.
To celebrate King's sesquicentennial anniversary, King School released a hardcover book outlining King's unique history as the convergence of three distinct independent schools. The book, dedicated to the thousands of students, exceptional faculty, generous donors and board members who have graced our hallways over the past 150 years, highlights King's commitment to academic excellence. If you would like more information about obtaining a copy, please contact Lauren Fredette, Director of Development.