African American Schools in Nelson County, KY
Between 1866 and 1870, there were three colored schools in Nelson County, KY, funded by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. There was a Freedmen school in Bardstown and one in Bloomfield, and a school run by the American Missionary Association in Springfield [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools]. The New Haven School for Colored Children opened in 1869, it was a Catholic school managed by the Sisters of Loretto [source: Loretto: annals of the century by A. C. Minogue, p. 236]. In 1871, St. Monica's School for Colored Children opened in Bardstown and was run by the Sisters of Charity [sources: The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky by A. B. McGill, pp.287 & 399; and The History of Catholic Education in Nelson County (thesis) by Sister M. R. O'Leary, pp.94-95].
In 1880 there were at least 7 Negro school teachers in Nelson County; Daniel Peppers in the Bardstown; James Richardson in Bloomfield; 17 year old Fannie Davis in Bloomfield; Mollie Johnson in Boston; Henry Miller in Nelson Furnace; and J. W. Richards and his wife Florida in Bloomfield [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The number of colored schools in Nelson County continued to grow, and by 1895, there were 16 schools [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1895-1897, pp.609-612]. There was one teacher at each of the schools, and in 1895, there was an additional teacher at the two schools with a high school program.
The teachers' average pay for 1899-1900, was $48.37, and for 1900-1901, it was $39.55 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1899-1901, p.455]. Six students from Nelson County attended State Normal School for Colored Persons during the 1902-1903 school term, and 400 or more students attended the colored schools in Nelson County 1901-1903 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1901-1903, pp.81 & 329]. In 1916, the school in Fairfield was taught by Nelson Bryant, and the school in New Haven was taught by Willa F. and M. B. Claggett [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.26]. The school in Coxs Creek was taught by Mrs. Dora Hutchinson in 1929 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 17-20, 1929, p.46]; Mrs. Hattie Davis was the teacher in 1935 [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1935, v.6, no.1, p.53]; and in 1947, Miss Dora Davis was a teacher at the school, she is listed in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal as a sustaining member of KNEA, on p.36 of the January-February issue, v.18, no.1. Lena Berry Whitney was a teacher at Chaplin in 1940; she is listed as an honor member of KNEA in 1943 and 1944 [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census; Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January-February 1943, v.13, no.2, p.31, and February-March 1944, v.15, no.3, p.23].
The Negro teachers in Nelson County in 1940 were Bell Bauman, Jessie B. Cherry, Hattie Davis, Hattie Hansford, Elizabeth Hardin, Sallie P. Lewis, Martha Lewis, Richard Lee Livers, Steve Samuels, Sherman L. Smith, Fannie B. Smith, Lena B. Whitney, and Charles Woodson [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first Nelson County schools integrated during the 1956-57 school term were New Haven School, Nazareth Academy, and St. Joseph Preparatory School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.443].
- Bardstown Freedmen's School
- Bloomfield Freedmen's School
- Springfield American Missionary Association School (funded by the Bureau)
- New Haven Catholic School
- St. Monica School
- Colored Schools (16)
- New Haven School
- Boston School
- Nelson Furnace School
- Fairfield School
- Chaplin School
- Coxs Creek School
- Eli H. Brown, Jr. School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p.225]
- Bardstown Training School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p.225]