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African American Schools in Daviess County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1956
Between 1866-1870, there was a Freedmen School in Owensboro, KY, the building was made of brick [see NKAA entry for African American Freedmen Schools]. The school was supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. In 1868, the Negro Educational Convention was held in Owensboro and Marshall W. Taylor was named president of the organization [see NKAA entry for Negro Educational Convention]. Brothers, Charlie Jackson and William Jackson were teachers in the colored schools in 1880 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. There were four colored schools in Daviess County in 1886, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. One of the schools was located in Owensboro as early as 1883 when Edward Claybrook and others successfully sued the City of Owensboro to desegregate the use of the public school funds [see NKAA entry Claybrook v Owensboro]. Though there were only four schools, there were at least 19 colored school districts. In 1885, school had been held for the entire school term in District 19, but no report of the school had been forwarded to the Superintendent of Public Instruction; therefore, no school funds were provided from the treasury to pay the teacher. The teacher's salary was paid by four members of the community: Park Haynes, Robert Wilson, J. W. Montgomery, and Washington French [source: volume 2 of the Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, December 1885, Chapter 1090, pp.623-624]. The men were reimbursed the $40.30 by an act passed by the Kentucky General Assembly on May 4, 1886. During the school years 1899-1900, and 1900-1901, there were still 19 colored school districts, and the number of colored schools had increased to 14, and the schools were in session less than five months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, July 1,1889-June 30, 1901]. The average attendance was between 336 and 441 students. The Negro teachers earned an average salary of $29.00 per month. There was one student from Daviess County who graduated from the State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. In 1916, there were at least 28 colored school teachers in Owensboro, including Samuel L. Barker, Birdie Bohler, Lula Coleman, Madeline Elliot, A. O. Guthrie, S. R. Guthrie, Virginia Herald, L. O. Hathaway, Ethel Helm, A. M. Lee, Bertha Lee, Rida McMicken, Edith Moorman, Myrtle Moorman, Hattie Richardson, Robinson, Lula Valentine, M. J. Wheatley, R. F. White, Theresa Wilhite, and Leona Willingham [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.24-39]. In 1919, there were 12 students enrolled in the Moonlight Colored School held at the Western School house in Owensboro and A. O. Guthrie was the teacher [see NKAA entry African American Moonlight Schools]. In 1925, there were 10 colored schools in Daviess County, and there were 12 elementary teachers and 5 high school teachers in the Owensboro colored schools [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67 & p.69]. Mrs. Ella H. Jackson and Miss Sadie Jackson were the school teachers at the Whitesville Colored School in 1924; Mrs. Ella H. Jackson was the teacher in 1925 and 1928; and Miss R. G. Stone was the teacher 1926 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 23-26, 1924, p.54; April 22-25, 1925, p.63; April 21-24, 1926, p.58; and April 18-21, 1928, p.44]. Mrs. Edna Ford Howard was the teacher at the Maceo Colored School as early as 1916; along with Ella M. Hawes in 1923; Mrs. J. Francis Wilson, 1923-1924; Miss Arbella McCreary in 1925; and a host of other teachers up through 1938 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.30; April 18-21, 1923, p.61, p.63, & p.80; April 23-26, 1924, p.67; April 22-25, 1925, p.67; April 18-21, 1928, p.44; and March-April, 1938, p.4]. Mrs. Ana G. Johnson was the teacher at the Utica Colored School in 1924, and Mrs. Elizabeth Brannon, Miss Theodore Jackson, and Miss Evie Tinsley in 1925, and Miss Alma May in 1927 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 23-26, 1924, p.54; April 22-25, 1925, p.51, p.64; p.79; and April 20-23, 1927, p.53]. Samuel L. Barker was the principal of Western High School in 1934, and he had also been a teacher and principal at Dunbar School. In 1940, two Sisters of Charity of Nazareth opened the Catholic Colored High School at the corner of 5th and Plum Streets in Owensboro [source: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky by Turner Pub.], and the school also had elementary grades. The Negro teachers in Daviess Countyin 1940 were Inez Agnew, Lanetta M. Baker, Camille Berkley, Mary Lucille Burns, Vitula Clement, Mattie F. Coffey, Marilyn Crowe, Sedalia Crowe, Emma V. Earl, Emma Edwards, Mary Lee Fisher, Jessie T. Gatewood, Viola Gordon, Lee Oma Hathaway, Martina Hicks, Jessie Howard, Rosina Hunt, Rida V. McMickans, Taylor T. Murray, Joe Perkins, Sue Pape, William Robinson, Elsie M. Robinson, Christine R. Smith, James E. Thruston, Merle L. Thruston, Edward R. Tinsley, and E. Wilder [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The St. Mary of the Woods School in Daviess County is listed on p.208 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56 as having both white and colored students, though the term integration is not used. The first listing of integrated schools in Daviess County is on pp.425-426 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57: Masonville School, St. Mary of the Woods School, both in Daviess County, and Owensboro High School, and Owensboro Technical High School.

  • Freedmen School
  • Colored Schools (14)
  • Dunbar School
  • Western School
  • Western High School
  • Whitesville School
  • Maceo School
  • Utica School
  • Catholic High School (Blessed Sacrament)
  • Carver School, Daviess County [source: Kentucky Public Directory, 1938-39, p.39]
  • Colored Consolidated, Daviess County [source: Kentucky Public Directory, 1937-38, p.49]
  • Moonlight School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Daviess County, Kentucky

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