From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Louisville Free Kindergarten Association, Colored Normal Department

(start date: 1889  -  end date: 1904) 

One of the first kindergartens for colored children in Kentucky was established in Louisville in 1889, along with a training class for Negro kindergarten teachers. During the 1896-97 school term, one of the colored kindergartens was located within the Industrial School of Know Mission for Colored Children, located at 1122 Madison Street [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1896-1897, p.765]. Another was on the corner of Hancock and Laurel Streets in 1901 [source: "A colored kindergarten will open...," Courier-Journal, 12/16/1901, p.6], and the Eastern Colored Kindergarten was located in the Eastern School [source: "School board badly mixed," Courier-Journal, 04/06/1909, p.3]. There were as many as 10 colored kindergartens in the city, and there was an announcement of the graduates from the Colored Normal Department of the Louisville Free Kindegarten Association.

But by November of 1904, there were reports that the Colored Normal Department no longer existed; "Prof. Mark explained that the classes in the colored kindergartens are so large that the teachers can accomplish nothing, there being no longer a normal kindergarten teachers class to draw from." --[source: "Report defeated" in column "Last night: 01 present school board develops squabble," Courier-Journal, 11/08/1904 p.5].

Louisville, KY, was a leader in the Kindergarten Movement in the United States. The movement had begun in German communities and was meant to Americanize immigrant children. One of the first ten kindergartens established by William Hailman was at a German-English school in 1865 in Louisville, the school was located at the corner of Second and Gray Streets. The long term work on the training of kindergarten teachers began in 1887 at the Holcombe Mission on Jefferson Street, which was also the year the Louisville Free Kindergarten Association was incorporated.

For more see Louisville Free Kindergarten, Reports, at the University of Louisville Libraries; see the article "Kindergarten Movement" by M. A. Fowlkes in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, pp.483-484; the flyer "Louisville Free Kindergarten Association Announces the Graduation in its Colored Normal Department...Miss Patty Smith Hill, Supt., Louisville Free Kindergarten Association, 1227 4th Avenue, Louisville, KY." The flyer is in the file "Kindergartens" within the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 18, 0000UA129, at the University of Kentucky Special Collections. See also the NKAA entry African American Schools in Louisville.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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“Louisville Free Kindergarten Association, Colored Normal Department,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-08-19 12:59:44