African American Schools in Trigg County, KY
In 1880, D. M. Brown was a school teacher at the colored school in Cadiz (Trigg County), KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Brown was from Tennessee; he was married, and had three children. By 1886, there were 3 colored school districts in Trigg County [source: see NKAA entry for African American Schools, 1886]. In 1887, Rev. Wendell H. McRidley founded and was the first president of the Cadiz Normal and Theological College. The number of colored schools continued to grow, and in 1895, there were 19 colored schools in Trigg County, with two of the schools in session for more than 5 months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.698-702]. Nine of the schools were held in log buildings and 10 were held in frame structures. The average attendance was 1,218 students, who were taught by 21 teachers, 1895-96, and 1,054 students taught by 22 teachers, 1896-97. The teachers' average monthly wages were $67.18 for males and $43.00 for females, 1895-96; and $46.70 for males and $31.40 for females, 1896-97. In 1900, the teacher at the Montgomery colored school was George Danden from Tennessee [source: U.S. Federal Census].
The Class-2 high school for Negro students was located in Cadiz, the principal was J. E. Bush in 1925 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 39]. The high school had 2 teachers and 23 students. There were 14 teachers at the 13 elementary schools [p.68]. Mrs. Thelma Brooks was the school teacher at the Cerulean Colored School in 1935 [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, (1935), v.6, no.1, p.50]. Fourteen year old, Lillie H. Bingham was a student at the Cerulean School in 1935 when she won the 1st prize of $10.00 in the student spelling bee held during the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Conference in Louisville, KY [source: "Elementary School Department," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, v.6, no.1, p.21]. In 1940, there were seven Negro teachers in Trigg County, according to the U.S. Federal Census: Martha Caudle, Susa A. Cunningham, Susa Mae Cunningham, Lillie V. Curlin, Plumb Maston, Cora P. Reed, and Reuben Tinsley. The Trigg County High School is the first school in the county to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63, p.155.