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

African American Schools in Shelby County, KY

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

As early as 1849, a colored school was attempted in Shelbyville, KY; Rev. C. W. Robinson was flogged in the school room by the Shelby County chief patrol officer for Robinson's daring to have a Sunday School for free Negroes and for slaves who were given permission to attend the school. Another early colored school in Shelbyville, was the American Missionary Association School, supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands [see NKAA entry Freedman Schools]. The teacher at the school was assaulted by the county judge and run out of town. Still, there were colored schools established in Shelby County, KY.  In 1880 there were four teachers: Sarah Clark in Shelbyville; Lucy Gwinn in Christianburg; P. Charles Jones in Shelbyville; Lewis Lawson in Shelbyville; and Ada Mumford in Shelbyville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1886, there were 13 colored school districts with 13 colored schools, and two of the schools were open for eight months [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, June 1886 and June 1887, pp.64, 76, & 92-93]. Most of the schools were taught in churches. A new school, Colored Common School No.14, in Drewsville was built on land William M. Blackwell sold to the school trustees in 1887 [source: The New History of Shelby County, Kentucky by the Shelby County Historical Society, p.63]. The number of colored schools continued to increase and by 1895, there were 19 colored schools in Shelby County, KY [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, pp.677-680]. There was an average attendance of 708 students, 1895-96, and 1,020 students, 1896-97. There were 25 teachers employed in the schools, and their average monthly salaries were $42.12, 1895-96, and $28.35, 1896-97. In 1898, there were 20 colored schools in Shelby County [source: The New History of Shelby County, Kentucky by the Shelby County Historical Society, p.280].  From 1907-1919, Daisy Morgan Saffell was the school principal at the colored school in Shelbyville, and her husband George W. Saffell Jr. was a teacher at the school [source: The New History of Shelby County, Kentucky by the Shelby County Historical Society, p.170].  In 1912, Lincoln Institute opened in Lincoln Ridge, KY. The school came about after Berea College became segregated by court order. In 1925, J. W. Roberts was the superintendent for the colored city schools; Shelbyville was one of eight city school systems in Kentucky to have a colored school superintendent [see NKAA entry for Colored Superintendents]. J. W. Roberts was also the principal of the Shelbyville Colored High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.41]. It was a 3rd class high school with 2 teachers and 26 students. There were 9 elementary schools in the county, and 6 teachers in Shelbyville [pp.68-69]. In 1936, the Shelbyville School System devised a contract for providing high school education to colored students; transportation was provided to Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville [source: The New History of Shelby County, Kentucky by the Shelby County Historical Society, p.272]. The arrangements were made between the schools of Shelbyville, Shelby County, Henry County, and Eminence. In 1940, the Negro teachers were Wil Allen in Shelbyville; Beatrice Boyd in Shelbyville; Marie Brown in Shelbyville; Joseph and Kathleen Carroll in Simpsonville; Katherine Freeman in Simpsonville; Mary Greenfield in Simpsonville; Lamont Lawson in Simpsonville; Lula McCampbell in Simpsonville; Herbert McCoy in Simpsonville; Martha Nuckols in Simpsonville; A. G. Pinbury in Simpsonville; Jewel J. Rabb in Shelbyville, wife of Dr. Maurice F. Rabb, Sr.; James Ray in Simpsonville; Helen Shouse in Simpsonville; James Taylor in Simpsonville; and Whitney Young, Sr. in Simpsonville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1945, fire destroyed the Shelbyville Colored School and a new school was built at the corner of 11th and High Streets in Martinsville [source:  The New History of Shelby County, Kentucky by the Shelby County Historical Society, p.272]. Shelbyville Elementary School was the first to be noted as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.447.    

  • Colored Schools (20)
  • Shelbyville Sunday School
  • American Missionary Association School (supported by the Bureau)
  • Shelbyville School
  • Christianburg School
  • School No.14 in Drewsville
  • Simpsonville School
  • Chestnut Grove School
  • Stringtown School
  • Olive Branch School
  • Todds Point School
  • Southville School
  • Scotts Station School
  • Buck Creek School
  • Harrisonville School
  • Benson School
  • Clarks Station School
  • Logans Station School
  • Evansville School
  • Bagdad School
  • Clayvillage School
  • Rockbridge School
  • Clear Creek School
  • Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville
  • Lincoln Model School (closed in 1940 - source:  The New History of Shelby County, Kentucky by the Shelby County Historical Society, pp.281-282)
  • Montclair School (replaced Lincoln Model School)
  • High Street School
  • Mulberry School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.890]
  • Waddy School [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January 1932, v.2, no.2, p.24]

 

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Early Shelby County School for Free Persons and Slaves
NKAA Entry: African American Schools, Freedmen Schools - Kentucky, 1866-1870
NKAA Entry: Saffell, Daisy M. and George William Saffell
NKAA Entry: Saffell, Daisy M. and George William Saffell
NKAA Entry: African American Schools - Colored Superintendents at Kentucky Public Schools, 1925
NKAA Entry: Rabb, Maurice F., Sr.
NKAA Entry: Lincoln Institute (Lincoln Ridge, KY)
NKAA Source: Report of the Superintendent of public instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for school year ending ...
NKAA Source: The New history of Shelby County, Kentucky
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: Kentucky public school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: The New history of Shelby County, Kentucky
NKAA Source: The Kentucky school directory (serial)
NKAA Source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association journal (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Schools - Colored Superintendents at Kentucky Public Schools, 1925

Social Bookmarking

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Shelby County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 24, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/2953.

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:57