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

African American Schools in Taylor County, KY

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

As early as 1880, there was a colored school in Taylor County, KY; the teacher was Robert Hubbard at the Campbellsville school [source: U.S. Federal Census]. There were still schools during the 1886-87 school term [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1888, p. 130]. In 1895, there were 10 colored schools in Taylor County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp. 689-692]. The average attendance was 281 students during the 1895-96 school term, and 252 students during the 1896-97 school term. There were 11 teachers. In 1916, the following school teachers were listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916: Fannie B. Gaddie and J. H. Gaddie, Saloma (p.28); Norian E. Harris, Campbellsville (p. 29); Ethel Von Lewis, Campbellsville (p. 31); C. B. Nuckolls [or Nuchols], Campbellsville (p. 33); and Maxwell Philpott, Campbellsville (p. 34). Mrs. G. E. Philpott taught the Colored Moonlight School in Campbellsville, beginning in 1915, with students between the ages of 18 and 55 [source: "Mrs. G. E. Philpott...," Freeman, 02/13/1915, p. 3]. Robert L. Dowery conducted night school for colored soldiers at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I. In 1937, there were seven one-room, colored elementary schools in Taylor County, KY, according to the master's thesis of John Albert Jones, History of Education in Taylor County, p. 77. One of the schools was in Campbellsville; in 1939 that school was replaced by the newly-constructed Durham School, grades 1-12; the school received funding from the Rosenwald Fund to house the second high school for African Americans in Taylor County [source: Images of America: Campbellsville, by DeSpain, Burch, and Hooper, pp. 92-93]. The earlier high school, Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes, existed in 1922 when teacher C. B. Nuchols [or Nuckolls] left the school for a teaching job with Booker T. Washington School in Ashland, KY [see NKAA entry African American Schools in Boyd County, KY]. The Taylor County Industrial High School, located in Campbellsville, was established between 1911 and 1919 and was funded by the John F. Slater Fund [source: A History of Education in Kentucky, by W. E. Ellis, p. 179]. Margaret Ray was the teacher at the Taylor County Industrial School in 1925. The term of service was nine months. The school received $450 from the Jeanes Fund [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 66]. Also in 1925, C. V. Haynes was the principal of the Taylor County Training School in Campbellsville  [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp. 41 & 65]. The training school was a Class 3, two-year high school with one-three teachers and six students. The high school was in session for nine months, and the teachers' average salary was $630. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Taylor County were Flora Bell, Ethel Lewis, Rodney K. Ivery, Ortie L. Miller, Helen Miller, Margaret Ryan, and Melvin Strong [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1955, the school named Our Lady of Perpetual Help was the first to be listed as having "white & colored" students (on p. 229 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56). The Negro student at the school was Wallace Williams, who would become an Olympic marathon runner. The following year, Our Lady of Perpetual Help would become the first school in Taylor County to be listed as integrated [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p. 447]. Basketball player Clem Haksins transferred from Durham High School to Taylor County High School in 1961, the year Taylor High School was listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 890. See also the unpublished manuscript, "Public Education in Taylor County (con.)" [1939-1940], by Nelle B. Crawley, 507 Central Avenue, Campbellsville, KY., p. 4, section Colored:, in the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 25, 0000UA129, File: Taylor County Education, at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

  • Colored Schools (10)
  • Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes
  • Durham School
  • Campbellsville Colored Moonlight School
  • Camp Zachary Taylor Colored Night School
  • Taylor County Training School
  • Shady Grove School
  • Burdick School
  • Smith Ridge School
  • Saloma School
  • Sweenyville School
  • Old Pitman School
  • Pleasant Union School


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools - Moonlight Schools, Kentucky
NKAA Entry: Dowery, Robert L., Sr.
NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Boyd County, KY
NKAA Entry: Williams, Wallace D.
NKAA Entry: Haskins, Clem S.
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: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Freeman [Indianapolis Freeman] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: History of education in Taylor County (thesis)
NKAA Source: Campbellsville
NKAA Source: A History of education in Kentucky
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: The Kentucky school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1 (archives)

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“African American Schools in Taylor County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 22, 2017,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:55