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

African American Schools in Oldham County, KY

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H. C. Marrs is credited for one of the earliest colored schools in Oldham County, KY; the school was in session in 1866, and the following year, Elijah P. Marrs took over the school for his brother, H.C Marrs, who left to teach in Lexington, KY [source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.116].  Between 1866 and 1870, there were two colored schools supported by the Freedmen's Bureau in Oldham County, KY: one school in LaGrange and one in Peewee Valley [see the NKAA entry for Freedmen Schools]. In 1880 two of the teachers in the colored schools were Lewis E. Carter, who lived in Brownsboro, and Lulie Booker who lived in Covington [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The number of colored schools had increased by 1895 when there were 8 schools with 9 teachers [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.624-629]. During the two year period, 1895-1897, all but one of the schools was in session for 5 months, and the remaining school was open longer. There was an average attendance of 232 students for 1895-96, and an average of 224 students for 1896-97. During the 1900-01 school term, three students from Oldham County attended State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University) [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1899-1901, p.144]. For the school year 1910-1911, the Negro teachers' average monthly salary was $60 for male teachers and $37.43 for female teachers [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Instruction, p.48]. In 1916, Romania Booker was the teacher at the Pewee Valley School [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.25], and by 1924, the teacher had married and her name was Mrs. Romania Flournoy [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 23-26, 1924, p.50]. The Pewee Valley School was one of the colored schools selected to received funding to extend the school term to 9 months [source: "Counties aided on extension of terms," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January 1932, v.2, no.2, p.24]. In 1925, Mrs. George Retter was the teacher at the Goshen School [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 22-25, 1925, p.85]. Retter was one of 6 Negro teachers in Oldham County, when there were 242 children in the schools, and there were seven elementary schools and a high school at the LaGrange School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.68]. In 1928, Mrs. Georgia Taylor, was the teacher in the Crestwood School [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1928, p.61]. Another Crestwood teacher was Mrs. Ethel Howell, who also taught at Brownsboro [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 17-20, 1929, p.46]. In 1930, J. V. Coleman was principal of the LaGrange Colored High School (Class 3) which had 14 students taught by one teacher who earned an annual salary of $810 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1930-1931, pp.27 & 85]. By 1940, according to the U.S. Federal Census, there were at least 6 Negro teachers in Oldham County: Louise Coldwell; Ms. Lang; Grace Parrett; Melvin Strong; Maude Vaughn; and James T. Cooper who was principal of the LaGrange School, and he had been a teacher at the Crestwood School in 1935 [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November, 1935, v.6, no.1, p.52]. The LaGrange Colored High School continued to serve the entire county, with less than 20 students being taught by one teacher until 1947 when there was an enrollment of 23 students, which was the last year the high school existed [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1947-1948, p.487]. Integration of the schools began in 1956 in the county school system with LaGrange Elementary School and St. Aloysius [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.444].

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools, Freedmen Schools - Kentucky, 1866-1870
NKAA Source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis)
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: Kentucky Negro Educational Association journal (periodical)
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (periodical)

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“African American Schools in Oldham County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 26, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/2926.

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:57