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African American Schools in Caldwell County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1962
Between 1866 and 1870, there was a freedmen school in Princeton, KY [see NKAA entry African American Freedmen School]. There are several photo images of colored schools in Caldwell County, taken during the 1880s-1890s. The images are within the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives [KDLA] Electronic Records Archives, and includes the schools in Chapel Hill, Freedonia, Princeton, and Walnut Grove. Ella O'Hara was the school teacher at the Princeton Colored School in 1880 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1895, there were 13 colored schools in Caldwell County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.262-266]. There were 16 teachers and an average attendance of more than 650 students. The teachers' average monthly wages were $42.24 for 1895-96, and $34.72 for 1896-97. The colored school in Princeton was one of the few in Kentucky to have a Colored superintendent in 1925 [see NKAA entry Colored Superintendents]. During the school term, there were four colored schools in the county, with five teachers and 547 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.67 & 69]. There were also four elementary schools in Princeton, and Princeton High School, all with a total of 264 students. The high school was later named Dotson High School. In 1940, the Negro teachers were Randall Acton, William Cridder, Henry Crow, Willie Crutchfield, Lula Mae Grinter, Lula Hampton, Annie Scott King, and Joanita McNary, all at Princeton; and Ollie Barber at Freedonia. The St. Paul School in Princeton is listed in the Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63 as the first school in Caldwell County to become integrated. The public high schools started to integrate in 1963 [source: Patricia George interview in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project at the Kentucky Historical Society website].

  • Colored Schools (13)
  • Freedmen School supported by the Bureau
  • Princeton School [image in KDLA Electronic Records Archives] / later Dotson School
  • Chapel Hill School [image in KDLA Electronic Records Archives]
  • Freedonia School [image in KDLA Electronic Records Archives]
  • Freedonia School (1926-1948, image at westernkyhistory.org website]
  • Walnut Grove School [image in KDLA Electronic Records Archives]
  • Dotson School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.845]

See photo image of Caldwell County colored school and students - KDLA Electronic Records Archives
See 2nd photo image of Chapel Hill School and students - KDLA Electronic Records Archives
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Caldwell County, Kentucky



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