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

African American Schools in Frankfort and Franklin County, KY

According to author Marion B. Lucas, there was a day school for Black children in Frankfort, KY as early as 1820, a grammar school was established in 1859, and there were five schools in Franklin County prior to 1900 [source: A History of Blacks in Kentucky, pp.141, 144, & 266]. That total may include the Freedmen School in Frankfort that was constructed between 1866 and 1870, and supervised by the Bishop of the Episcopal Church [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. In 1871, Mattie E. Anderson opened the Frankfort Female High School, using her own money. The school trained students to become teachers.

In 1880 the teachers at the colored schools in Frankfort were Martha Dillon, Lizzie Hocker, Mittie Johnson, Sarah Smith, and Reuben Washington [source: U.S. Federal Census]. A colored high school was located on Clinton Street in the 1880s, and in 1907, the Board of Education had an addition built onto the school for the teaching of domestic science: cooking, sewing, and general housekeeping. The school principal was W. H. Mayo and the teachers were Winnie A. Scott, Margaret E. Gray, Bianca Parker, Sadie M. Kirby, Katie Smith, Virginia M. Madison, Julia M. Spencer, Lettye A. Williams, Martha E. Williams, Charity A. Boyd, and Annie L. Fairs.

In 1887, State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University] opened to train teachers. In 1892, George Halleck was over the colored night school in Frankfort [source: "Public school teachers," Frankfort Roundabout, 07/08/1892, p.4]. In 1895, there were 8 colored schools in Franklin County with one teacher at each school [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1896, pp.361-365]. The average attendance was 262 students for the 1895-96 session, and 224 students for the 1896-97 session. In 1925, there were 2 colored elementary schools in the county, and the colored schools in Frankfort had 9 teachers in the elementary grades and 5 high school teachers [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.67 & 69].

By 1940, Franklin County had one of the highest number of Negro educators in the state of Kentucky (outside of Louisville/Jefferson County): Ludye Anderson, Walter Anderson, David Bradford, Stenson Broadus, Louella Bush, Henry A. Keene, Mack Carmichael, Nancy Carter, H. E. Cheaney, Hubert B. Crouch, Virginia Falls, Aneta Fields, Ben D. Fruch, Howard Jason, Anne J. Heartwell, Yvonne Jackson, William Jones, Ralph Lee, J. J. Mark, Arletter McGoodwin, Manson Melton, Malcolm Perkins, Alexis Richards, Harold Smith, Robert Whiter, Bettie H. White, Violet Wilson, and Charlotte Wilson, all at Kentucky State College for Negroes [now Kentucky State University]; Lawrence Hitcher at Kentucky State Model School; Samara Hurd, Sue Tyler, and John Tyler, all at the Feeble-Minded Institute; and A. Elinton Bishop, Etta Blanton, W. S. Blanton, Katie H. Brown, Ota Case, Laura F. Chase, Mary Collins, Murray Conda, Dorothy Gay, Grace Grevious, Abaline Hays, James W. Henry, Mary C. Holmes, Clarence S. Johnson, Dorothy Jones, Asberry Jones, Lucy Jones, Annie Scott King, Emma E. Lindsay, Grace Morton, LaBlanche Nelly, Mary Peay, Florence Roberts, Marie Robertson, Ethel Robertson, Eugene Raines, Patty L. Simpson, Bessie R. Stone, Leota Thomas, Lula Ward, Cornelin Warren, Mary O. Warren, Roberta H. Wilson, and Arnold Wright, all educators in Frankfort and Franklin County [source: U.S. Federal Census]. 

For more see "Improvement of Colored School," The Frankfort Roundabout, 01/12/1907, p.3; "The commencement of the High School for girls..." The Frankfort Roundabout, 07/04/1891, p.6; and "Colored School," The Frankfort Roundabout, 06/22/1907, p.4. In 1948, the Kentucky Training Home was first listed as having "white & colored" students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1948-49, p.683]. The first schools to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.428, were Bridgeport, Elkhorn, Frankfort High, Kentucky Training Home, and Good Shepherd. 

  • Colored Schools (8)
  • Clinton Street High School (1882-1928 - Replaced by Mayo Underwood School)
  • County Schools No.1-5
  • Day School
  • Female High School
  • Frankfort School
  • Frankfort School [Freedmen School under Bishop of Episcopal Church]
  • Frankfort Night School
  • Mayo Underwood School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.855]
  • State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]
  • Kentucky State Model School
  • State Feeble-Minded Institute (Colored Division)

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Frankfort and Franklin County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2018-05-30 19:52:03