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

African American Schools in Carroll County, KY

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When R. W. Bevarly was completing his master's thesis in 1936, articles about the colored schools of Carroll County in 1879 were located in the Carrollton Democrat newspaper; the colored school at Liberty Station was attended by children in the day and by adults at night; in Carrollton, Maggie Woods was the teacher [source: History of Education in Carroll County by R. W. Bevarly, p.66]. There were three schools in 1880, the teachers were Ady Pack in Ghent, and Maggie Woods in Carrollton and Prestonville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1881 there were 226 students in the four colored schools [source: Bevarly, p.50]. In 1882 there were 268 students in the schools located in Carrollton, Ghent, Above Ghent, and Liberty Station [source: Bevarly, p.51]. There were five colored school districts in 1885: No.1 Carrollton, No.2. Ghent, No.3 Lynan Craigs, No.4 Sanders, and No.5 Worthville [source: Bevarly, p.30]. All of the schools were under the county school board with the largest colored school in Carrollton and James K. Polk was the teacher. Polk was a graduate of Gaines High School in Cincinnati, OH [source: Bevarly, p.66]. He taught at the colored school for one year and was replaced by J. E. Jackson, and in 1889 Jackson was replaced by Fred W. Burch, also a graduate of Gaines High School. There continued to be five colored schools in Carroll County until 1900 when there was six, and by 1933, there were two [source: Bevarly, p.94]. Dunbar Colored School, in Carrollton, was a brick building and was under the city school board, Bessie Whitacker was the teacher and had a monthly salary of $69, while her husband Dudley Whitacker had a salary of $75 for teaching at the Ghent Colored School that was held in a rented building that was in poor condition [source: Bevarly, p.94]. After WWII, a new colored school building was constructed in Ghent and it served as the county school for all African American children. There was never a colored high school in Carroll County, and the city and the county provided transportation for high school students attending Lincoln Institute [source: A History of Carroll County, Kentucky: containing facts before and after 1754 by M. A. Gentry, p.53]. The school systems of Carroll County began to integrate in the 1960s, starting with the first grade students [source: "Schools due to integrate at Carrollton," Louisville Courier-Journal, 04/22/1961]. The schools listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1961-62, were the Carrollton Elementary and High School on p.846.

  • Carrollton School
  • Prestonville School
  • Dunbar School
  • Ghent School
  • Above Gent School
  • Lynan Craigs School
  • Sanders School
  • Worthville School
  • Liberty Station School

See photo image of Dunbar Colored School, Hawkins and Ninth Street, at the Carrollton Schools website.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Polk, James Knox (former slave)
NKAA Source: History of education in Carroll County (thesis)
NKAA Source: A History of Carroll County, Kentucky : containing facts before and after 1754
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)

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“African American Schools in Carroll County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 20, 2017,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:54