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

African American Schools in Ballard County, KY

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In 1888, there were eight colored schools in Ballard County, KY, according to author William H. Baldree in his thesis, History of Education in Ballard County, p. 41. The schools were said to be in poor condition. In 1916, R. H. Johnson of Wickliffe was a school teacher in Ballard County [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.31]. In 1923, the teachers were Miss. Pauline Herron of La Center, Mrs. Iola Carruthers of Barlow, Miss Ophelia M. Durrell in La Center, and Miss Sault Reeves of Wickliffe [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, pp.55, 57, 62, & 72]. Mrs. Early Lee Harris, Mrs. Callie Tounley, and Mr. Dave Williams were the school teachers at Kevil in 1927 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 20-23, 1927, pp.47, 61, & 63]. Author Baldree got a more favorable report about the colored schools in 1931 when he interviewed County Superintendent V. W. Wallis. There were six frame school buildings and seven teachers for the 137 children attending the schools [p. 60]. The schools were supported by the state and the Julius Rosenwald Fund. There were no colored high schools in Ballard County in 1931; 12 students were attending high school in another county. The following year, there was a high school, Ballard County High, and Loretta Spencer was hired as the principal. Shortly after Spencer arrived at the school, the building was burnt down. Spencer successfully campaigned for funding to build a new school, and she received assistance from the Slater Fund and from the Parent-Teachers Association. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Ballard County were Modena Crice and Tallie Townley [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Ballard Memorial High School is the first school to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63, p.100.

  • Colored Schools (8)
  • Wickliffe School
  • Barlow School
  • La Center School
  • Kevil School
  • Ballard County High
  • Central School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.840]
  • Bandana School [source: "Counties aided on extension of terms," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January 1932, v.2, no.2, p.24]
  • Bethel School
  • Lovelaceville School
  • Robinsontown School


Kentucky County & Region

Read about Ballard County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Randolph, Loretta Corryne Bacon Lunderman Spencer
NKAA Source: History of education in Ballard County (thesis)
NKAA Source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Kentucky school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association journal (periodical)

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“African American Schools in Ballard County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 26, 2017,

Last modified: 2017-09-12 11:38:01