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

African American Schools in McLean County, KY

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

Within the 1886 Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it was reported that McLean County had five colored district schools that were taught in churches [see the NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. The schools were held three to five months [source: A History of Education in McLean County, Kentucky by Leonard C. Taylor, p.33]. There were seven colored schools in 1890, and by 1939, there were three [source: Taylor, pp.58 & 62]. The Livermore Colored School operated for nine months and had 17 students. The other colored schools were in Calhoun and Sacramento [source: "Sacramento Black School by Janey Johnston - 1992" in Down Memory Lane in Sacramento, Kentucky]. Miss Geneva Clayborne, Miss Mary E. Eads, and Mrs. M. L. Humphrey, all of whom lived in Calhoun, were the teachers listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, pp.54, 57, & 63. The Sacramento school was a one room building located behind the Sacramento Methodist Church. There is a picture of the teacher and students on the page titled "Sacramento Black School 1918-1920" in Down Memory Lane in Sacramento, Kentucky. There was not a colored high school in McLean County; the high school students were transported each day to Western High School in Owensboro, and the transportation was paid by the county board of education. In 1939, the school attendance for Negro children in McLean County was 40 and five were high school students [source: Taylor, p.63]. Siblings Betty Jean and Henry Thomas were the first Negro students from Sacramento, KY, to graduate from high school [source: Down Memory Lane in Sacramento, Kentucky]. In 1940, there was one Negro teacher, Myrtle Green, listed in the U.S. Federal Census for McLean County. Myrtle Green was at Calhoun. The prior year, there had been three Negro teachers in McLean County, and in 1940, there were two, one in Calhoun and one in the Livermore Independent Colored School [sources: "K.N.E.A. membership by counties," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1939, v.9, no.s 1-3, p.53; and Kentucky Public School Directory, 1940-41, p.866]. The Sacramento Colored School had closed, leaving the Calhoun Colored School that had an enrollment of 18 students, and the Livermore Colored School that had an enrollment of 15 students. The Livermore Colored School was last listed in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1949-50, p.541; there were four students enrolled in the school. The listing of the last colored school in McLean County is on p.224 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56; there was an enrollment of 15 students.  The following year, there was the first listing of integrated schools: Calhoun, Livermore, and Sacramento, on p.442 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57.

  • Colored Schools (7)
  • Livermore School
  • Calhoun School
  • Sacramento School


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools - Kentucky, 1886
NKAA Source: A History of education in McLean County, Kentucky (thesis)
NKAA Source: Down memory lane in Sacramento, Kentucky
NKAA Source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (periodical)
NKAA Source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association journal (periodical)
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)

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

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:55