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

African American Schools in Marshall County, KY

The colored school districts in Marshall County, KY, were established in 1866, but with no schools until 1874, which was the only year that the two schools were open according to the thesis of Tullus Chambers, History of Education in Marshall County, p.39. The reason given for the closing of the schools was that there were too few students. Though attendance may have been low, there were more than a few Negro children in the county; according to the U.S. Federal Census, there were more than 100 Negro children in Marshall County between the ages of 5 and 18 in the years 1870 and 1880.

In 1886, there were still 3 colored school districts [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. There is a photo image of the Walnut Grove, No.2 Colored School, the picture was taken between the 1880s and 1890s [source: Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Electronic Records Archives]. There were still more than 100 Negro children of school age in Marshall County in 1900, according to the census records, but the numbers would be greatly reduced as Negroes left Marshall County for other locations.

The last colored school is listed in the Kentucky Public School Directory for 1927-1928, p.64; it was a county school with eight students and one teacher. In 1935, Tullus Chambers noted that there were only 5 Negro children in Marshall County, and the prior year, one of the children had attended the colored school in McCracken County because there was no longer a colored school in Marshall County [p.57]. The child's tuition had been paid by the Marshall County Board of Education. There was only one child of school age listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census and none in the 1940 Census.

In 1938, there was a colored school at the Negro Village Site in Gilbertsville, KY; the school was part of he African American community that had been established by the Tennessee Valley Authority for work on the Kentucky Dam Project [see NKAA entry Negro Village Site]. The school was not included in the public school directory. The first school to be listed as integrated in Marshall County was St. Paul X, on p.141 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1962-63.

  • Colored Schools (2)
  • Negro Village School
  • Walnut Grove School

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Marshall County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Walnut Grove, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Kentucky Dam Negro Village, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools - Kentucky, 1886
NKAA Entry: Negro Village Site (Marshall County, KY)
NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Paducah and McCracken County, KY
NKAA Source: History of education in Marshall County (thesis)
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Marshall County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 27, 2021,

Last modified: 2018-01-05 01:45:05