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African American Schools in Scott County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1956
In 1866, there was an American Missionary School for the freedmen of Scott County, the school was supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools]. According to Apple, Johnston, and Bevins, freedmen in Scott County had to secure a building before the Freedmen's Bureau would consider establishing and maintaining a school in Scott County [source: Scott County Kentucky: a history edited by L. Apple, F. A. Johnston, and B. Bevins, p.249]. The community organized a colored school board of directors in the spring of 1866 and rented a house for the school. Classes started in October of 1866 with 20 students and the cost was $1.50 per student, except for orphans and poor children who attend for free. In 1873, Charles Steele was head of the Georgetown Colored School. One of the teachers at the school was Allen Allensworth [source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.120]. In 1884, the Graded School for Colored Children opened and the name of the school was eventually changed to Chambers Avenue School, Charles Steele was head of the school until his death in 1908 [source: Scott County, Kentucky: families & history by Turner Publishing Company, p.23]. In 1880, the teachers in the colored schools were Charles Blackburn, a Kentucky native who was 20 years old; Quincey Bailey, also 20 years old; and Charles Steele who was 25 and married with a one year old son [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1886, one of the colored schools was held in a rented building [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. In 1891, two additional schools were built [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, School Year Ending June 30, 1886 and June 30, 1887, p.213]. By 1895, there were 15 colored districts with 9 colored schools, with 10 teachers, and an average attendance of 442 students; and one additional district was added the following school year, still with 9 schools, 10 teachers, and an average attendance of 465 students [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.673-676]. The teachers' average wages were $46.53 for males and $41.83 for females, 1895-96, and the following school year, the wages were $40.08 for males and $34.74 for females. Around mid-October of 1898, the Peach Orchard Colored School in Scott County burned down [source: Kentucky Gazzette, 10/15/1898, p.3]. During the 1900 and 1901 school terms, there was one student from Scott County who attended State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University) [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1899-1901, p.144]. During the same period, within the colored schools of Scott County, the teachers' monthly pay was $40.90, 1899-1900, and $35.87, 1900-1901 [p.455]. From 1902-03, there were two students from Scott County attending State Normal School for Colored Persons [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1901-1903,  p.81]. The average attendance at the colored schools in Scott County was 464 and the teachers' average monthly wages was $44.14, 1901-02 [pp.329 & 355]; and the following school year, 1902-03, there was an average of 437 students and the teachers' average monthly wages was $34.12 [pp.329 & 355]. In 1908, Edward B. Davis replaced Charles Steele as principal of the Chambers Avenue School, and Davis remained as the principal until his death in 1934 [source: Scott County, Kentucky: families & history by Turner Publishing Company, p.23]. According to Apple, Johnston, and Bevins, the white community of Stamping Ground, KY helped the African American community to buy the land and build the Stamping Ground Colored School [source: Scott County Kentucky: a history edited by L. Apple, F. A. Johnston, and B. Bevins, p.249]. Between 1917 and 1920, Rosenwald Schools were built in Sadieville and New Zion to replace older colored school buildings [source: Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932 by the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission].  From 1921-1922, there were Rosenwald Schools built in Boydtown, Great Crossing, and Watkinsville [source: Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932, p.27]. In 1925, there were 7 colored schools in Scott County, KY, and the high school was located in Georgetown in the Chambers Avenue School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.68-67; and 1927-1928, p.56]. An additional elementary school was added in 1926 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1926-1927, pp. 82-83]. In 1926, Ruth A. Takecare was the teacher in Stamping Ground [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 21-24, 1926, p.62]. In 1929, the Chambers Avenue School was renamed Ed Davis School, and after Ed Davis died in 1934, his wife, Betty Webb Davis served as principal of the school [source: Scott County, Kentucky: families & history by Turner Publishing Company, p.23]. The Rosenwald School in Zion Hill was built 1929-30 [source: Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932, p.29].  In 1940, there were at least 18 Negro teachers in the colored schools in Scott County: Ella Arrington; Ida Mae Chinn; Bettie Davis; Katy C. Generals; Lucille Goosey; Estella Hawkins; Julia B. Johnson; Rhodea Lightfoot; Raymond McClellan; Mary Neal; Benjamin Patterson; Celia Scott; Mary Somers; Sallie P. Tilford; Mattie Mae Warner; Margaret L. White; Virginia Williams; and James P. Wilson [U.S. Federal Census]. Integration of the schools in Scott County started in 1956 with Scott County High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.446].

  • American Missionary School supported by the Bureau
  • Georgetown Colored School
  • Graded School for Colored Children
  • Peach Orchard School
  • Chambers Avenue School
  • Stamping Ground School
  • Ed Davis School (1929-1956)
  • Zion Hill School [see NKAA entry for Zion Hill]
  • Sadieville School
  • New Zion School
  • Boydtown School
  • Great Crossing School
  • Watkinsville School

  See photo image of c.1920 photo image of New Zion Rosenwald School on p.40 of Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932 by the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky



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