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African American Schools in Boyle County, KY
Start Year : 1837
End Year : 1956
Between 1866 and 1870, there were at least four colored schools in Boyle County that were supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands [see the NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. According to William F. Russell's thesis, The History of Education of Boyle County, pp. 217-221, Willis Russell taught the first colored school in Danville, located in a frame house on Green Street (around 1837); a second school on Green Street was taught by Gib Doram. There were also schools taught at the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist Churches. There was also a private school that cost $2.00 per month. The colored schools in Boyle County were counted in the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1881, John W. Bate came to Danville and took over teaching at what had been the Danville Freedmen School [source: Russell thesis, pp. 218 & 228]. The school house was described as a "barn-like frame structure" that was replaced by a brick school building in 1912. The school was under the county school system until 1892 when it was placed under the newly established city school system; all other colored schools remained under the county system. During the 1920s, the Danville Colored School had over 400 students in grades 1-12 taught by 12 teachers, four of whom taught the high school classes [source: Russell thesis, pp. 219-221]. High school students were bused to the school from Lancaster and Stanford, KY. In the county school system, from 1880-1881, there were seven colored schools reported by the county commissioner of schools [source: Russell thesis, pp. 208-210, & 227]. Four of the teachers were Martha Tadlock, Robert Turner, Lizzie Green, and James Hughes [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The schools had one room with one teacher. More county schools opened after 1881 and there were 12 in 1895, with 11 schools taught for five months and 1 school taught for more than five months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.236-239]. One school was held in a log building and the others were held in frame buildings. There were 15 teachers 1895-96, and 16 teachers 1896-97. The highest average attendance for the two year period was 633 sudents in 1895. In 1900, the highest average attendance for all schools in Boyle County was 1,009 students [source: Russell thesis]. By 1925, the high school had been renamed Bate High School, it was a Class 1 school, and J. W. Bate was the principal and one of the four high school teachers [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.39 & 69]. By 1928 many of the elementary schools had been discontinued and there were only six in the county and one in Danville. Another school that had been established in 1885, for colored deaf children, was within the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb, located in Danville [see NKAA entry Early Schools for Negro Deaf and Blind Children]. The colored school for the deaf was actually a department, it opened on February 2, 1885, with eight pupils, Morris T. Long as teacher and supervisor, and his wife, Nannie R. Long was the matron [source: Russell thesis, pp. 149-155]. In 1929, the instructors were Mrs. Mary Fosdick and A. D. Martin. Between 1885 and 1929, there were never more than 16 students in the *colored department. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Boyle County were Margaret Andrews, Lucill Bennifield, Lillian Caldwill, Sophia Craig, Lala M. Dele, Gerogia Dannaher, Malinda Doneghy, Horase Epperson, John Fisher, Florence Ingram, Maggie E. Jones, Susie Lich, Ella M. Marshall, Eliza Mitchell, Elizabeth Parr, Jesse Raach, Sanford Raach, Frances Richardson, Zula Sanders, Gertrude Sledd, Sara Sutka, and Earnest Wofford [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.421, were Danville High School and The Kentucky School for the Deaf. The Danville schools were fully integrated in 1964.

  • Danville Freedmen School
  • Bate School
  • Danville American Missionary Association School supported by the Bureau
  • Parksville American Missionary Association School supported by the Bureau
  • Shelby City Freedmen School
  • Danville School #1 on Green Street (Willis Russell)
  • Danville School #2 on Green Street
  • Methodist Church School
  • Presbyterian Church School
  • Baptist Church School
  • Stony Point School
  • Wilsonville School
  • Perryville School
  • Zion Hill School
  • Atoka School
  • Junction City School
  • Colored Department of the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb

*See the Biennial Reports of the Kentucky Institute for Deaf Mutes, 1887-1903 for more information about the Colored Department.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Deaf and Hearing Impaired, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Boyle County, Kentucky

Bates, Susie Sweat
Birth Year : 1947
Susie Bates was born in Richmond, KY. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Bates taught at the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville, KY, from 1980-1990. She was the first African American at the school to teach daily speech classes in the classroom setting. She also developed a curriculum of basic, everyday living skills for low-functioning deaf students, including teaching the students about the causes of deafness and blindness and providing them with a means of communication. Bates was also the cheerleading coach during football season. For more information contact Susie Bates at
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Early Schools for Negro Deaf and Blind Children
Start Year : 1884
In 1884, the Kentucky School for Negro Deaf was established in Danville, KY, as a division of the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb. The Colored Department was managed by Morris T. Long, William J. Blount, Frances Barker, and Mabel Maris. The first African American student, admitted in 1885, was 25 year old Owen Alexander from Owenton, KY; he remained at the school for one year. He had become deaf at the age of 3 after having scarlet fever. The Kentucky Institute for the Education of the Negro Blind was located in Louisville, KY, in 1886. Both schools are listed in Adjustment of School Organization to Various Population Groups, by R. A. F. McDonald [full view available via Google Book Search]. For more about the early years of the Danville school, see volume 1 of Histories of American Schools for the Deaf, 1817-1893, edited by E. A. Fay. See also G. Kocher, "Diplomas bring tears of joy - blacks who attended from 1930 to 1955 get overdue awards," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/04/2011, p.A1. See photo image of the Kentucky School for the Blind Colored Department Building at the American Printing House for the Blind website. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Owenton, Owen County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1939
Benjamin F. Jones, Sr., a physician, was a former slave born in Sussex County, Virginia. He was a graduate of Normal and Agriculture Institute [now Hampton University] and completed his M.D. in 1890 at Howard University Medical College. Jones moved to Kentucky where he practiced medicine in Paris and Danville. He was named the physician for the Colored children at the Danville Deaf and Dumb Institute in 1898. Benjamin Jones was the husband of Matilda W. Jones (b. 1864 in Virginia), with whom he had five children, all born in Kentucky. The family lived on East Walnut Street in Danville, according to the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Benjamin Franklin Jones entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by Howard University Medical Department [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration East, Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Geographic Region: Sussex County, Virginia / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates (KYBDA)
Start Year : 2003
"The KYBDA was formed in June 7, 2003 as a "Pending Chapter." On August 6, 2005, the KYBDA became an affiliate chapter of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. and is currently recognized as Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates #31." For more see the Kentucky Black Deaf Advocates website.
Subjects: Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Geographic Region: Kentucky


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