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

African American Schools in Spencer County, KY

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

Spencer County had colored schools as early as 1886, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, school year ending June 1886 and school year ending June 1887 [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. One of the schools was located in Taylorsville (District 1) and the superintendent reported that attendance was extremely low at the school (pp.213-214). By 1895, there were 9 colored school districts, each with one school, and 2 of the schools were in session more than 5 months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.685-688]. Four of the schools were held in log buildings and 5 of the schools were held in frame buildings. The average attendance was 207 students (1895-96), and 206 students (1896-97). The eight female teachers' average monthly wages were $25.20 (1895-96) and $26.45 (1896-97). The one male teacher earned $24.03 (1895-96) and $18.81 (1896-97). Four students from Spencer County attended the State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University), 1900-1901; two of the Negro teachers in Spencer County were graduates of a normal school; and 8 of the teachers taught in Spencer County for the first time during the 1900-01 school term [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1899-1901, pp.144, 445, & 451]. In 1916, the teachers in the Spencer County colored schools included Emma Taylor and Zueta Taylor; Eva M. Shelburne, Ruth D. Shelburne, and Sue Pery Shelburne; and Lorena E. Brown. [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.25, 32, & 35]. All of the teachers were in Taylorsville. By 1925, there were 4 colored elementary schools with one teacher at each school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 68].  Fifteen years later, according to the U.S. Federal Census, there were 3 Negro teachers in 1940: Charity Mason, Monroe Miles, and Mabel Miles. The Spencer County schools started to integrate in 1957, as mentioned in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1957-58, p.644.

  • Colored Schools (9)
  • Taylorsville School 

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Spencer County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Taylorsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools - Kentucky, 1886
NKAA Source: Report of the Superintendent of public instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for school year ending ...
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 public school directory (serial)

Social Bookmarking

Cite This NKAA Entry:

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

Last modified: 2017-09-25 17:50:15