From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

African American Schools in Barren County, KY

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

According to Richard Alsup Palmore's thesis, History of Education of Barren County, Kentucky, p. 109, "In the early history of Negro schools in Barren County it was difficult to maintain the schools. There were no school buildings and practically no funds with which to provide buildings. Salaries for teachers were extremely low and there were no qualified teachers." Palmore got his information from the 1875 Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, by R. H. Collins. The school teachers in 1880 were Vina Woods and Hardy O. Jones in Glasgow; and Samuel Nuckols in Roseville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In spite of the poor condition of the schools, there continued to be colored schools in Barren County; they are mentioned in the 1886 superintendent's report. The schools were still in poor condition in 1891; most of the schools were held in churches [source: A History of Blacks in Kentucky, vol. 2, by Lucas and Wright, p. 108]. From 1892-1918, there were more than 20 colored schools in Barren County, with a high of 27 schools from 1892-1894, and a low of 18 schools in 1918 [Palmore, pp. 110-111]. In 1911, there was also a Colored Moonlight School at Union Hill [see the NKAA entry for Moonlight Schools]. Glasgow Colored School was considered the best colored school in the county; there was a graded school and instruction in high school subjects along with instruction in home economics and manual training [Palmore, p. 116]. A male principal oversaw four female teachers. The Glasgow Colored School had the only high school for Negroes in Barren County. Another school mentioned in Palmore's thesis, on p. 117, is The Ratliff Industrial Institute, an independent secondary school that was said to be supported and managed by the Colored people of Glasgow. The school was said to have been established in 1926 and closed around 1931 [the school probably opened in 1929 or 1930]. The Negro teachers in Barren County in 1940 were Clara Anderson, Margaret Anderson, Queva Barlow, Irene I. Brents, Artanzie Britt, Susie Lee Curry, Green V. Curry, Clara C. Farmer, George Mitchell, Mary Lucy Murrell, Richard Sewell, Willa Southers, Luska Twyman, and John Moss Wood [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, were the Caverna Independent Schools, 1957-58, listed on p.615. Below is a list of colored schools in Barren County that includes those schools listed by Sandi Gorin on the Kentucky African Americans Griots website and the schools listed on p. 212 of the Barren County Heritage: a pictorial history of Barren County, Kentucky, compiled by the South Central Kentucky Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. and edited by C. E. Goode and W. L. Gardner, Jr. For more information about the colored schools, students and teachers of Barren County, see Barren County African-American Schools by Sandi Gorin at the Kentucky African Americans Griots website; the Ralph Bunch Community Center Oral History Project (FA455) at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives: there are ten interviews with African Americans who attended the segregated Ralph Bunche School in Glasgow, Kentucky; and the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.211-215.


  • Moonlight School
  • Glasgow School
  • Ratliff Industrial Institute
  • Bakers School
  • Boyds Creek School
  • Georgetown School
  • Rocky Hill School
  • Hiseville District
  • Jacksonville District
  • Shady Glen District
  • Harlow's Chapel District
  • Walton Academy District
  • Pleasant Oak Ridge District
  • Horse Well (Little Kettle) District
  • Cave City District
  • Glasgow Junction District
  • Gum Springs (Slash) District
  • Buck Creek District
  • Lucas District
  • Statenfield (Buck) District
  • Chestnut Ridge District
  • Poplar Grove (Black Hill) District
  • Paynesville District
  • Pleasant Union District
  • Oak Grove District
  • Boyd's Creek District
  • Queen's Chapel (White's Chapel) District
  • Bristletown District
  • Duke District
  • Beckton District
  • Henrytown District
  • Temple Hill District
  • Baptist Normal School
  • Park City School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.840]
  • Ralph Bunch School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.840]
  • Horse Cave Elementary and High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.419]



Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools - Moonlight Schools, Kentucky
NKAA Entry: Ratliff, William Marvin, & Ratliff Institute
NKAA Entry: Twyman, Luska J.
NKAA Source: The History of education of Barren County, Kentucky (thesis)
NKAA Source: Report of the Superintendent of public instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for school year ending ...
NKAA Source: A history of Blacks in Kentucky
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: Barren County heritage : a pictorial history of Barren County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Biennial report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky with accompanying documents for the two years beginning July 1 ... and ending June 30 ... (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Kentucky school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Report: Negro School Districts and Their Needs by L. N. Taylor

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Barren County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 23, 2017,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:54