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

African American Schools in Taylor County, KY

As early as 1880 there was a colored school, the Campbellsville school, in Taylor County, KY; the teacher was Robert Hubbard [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Colored chools were still in use during the 1886-87 school term [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1888, p. 130]. In 1895, ten colored schools existed in Taylor County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp. 689-692]. Average attendance was 281 students during the 1895-96 school year and 252 students during the 1896-97 school year. There were 11 teachers.

In 1916, the following school teachers were listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916: Fannie B. and J. H. Gaddie, Saloma (p. 28); Norian E. Harris, Campbellsville (p. 29); Ethel Von Lewis, Campbellsville (p. 31); C. B. Nuckolls [or Nuchols], Campbellsville (p.  33); and Maxwell Philpott, Campbellsville (p. 34). Mrs. G. E. Philpott taught the Colored Moonlight School in Campbellsville beginning in 1915 with students between the ages of 18 and 55 [source: "Mrs. G. E. Philpott...," Freeman, 2/13/1915, p. 3]. Robert L. Dowery conducted night school for colored soldiers at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I.

In 1937, seven one-room, colored elementary schools were active in Taylor County, KY, according to the master's thesis of John Albert Jones, History of Education in Taylor County, p. 77. One of the schools was in Campbellsville, replaced in 1939 by the newly-constructed Durham School for grades 1-12; the school received funding from the Rosenwald Fund to house the second high school for African Americans in Taylor County [source: Images of America: Campbellsville, by DeSpain, Burch, and Hooper, pp. 92-93].

The earlier high school, Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes, existed in 1922 when teacher C. B. Nuchols [or Nuckolls] left the school for a teaching job with Booker T. Washington School in Ashland, KY [see NKAA entry African American Schools in Boyd County, KY]. The Taylor County Industrial High School had been established between 1911 and 1919, funded by the John F. Slater Fund [source: A History of Education in Kentucky, by W. E. Ellis, p. 179]. Margaret Ray was the teacher at the that school in 1925. Her term of service was nine months. The school received $450 from the Jeanes Fund [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 66].

In 1925, C. V. Haynes was the principal of the Taylor County Training School in Campbellsville  [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp. 41 & 65]. The training school was a Class 3, two-year high school with one to three teachers and six students. The high school was in session for nine months, and the teachers' average salary was $630.

In 1940, the Negro teachers in Taylor County were Flora Bell, Ethel Lewis, Rodney K. Ivery, Ortie L. Miller, Helen Miller, Margaret Ryan, and Melvin Strong [source: U.S. Federal Census].

In 1955, Our Lady of Perpetual Help was the first school to be listed as having "white & colored" students  (on p. 229 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56). The Negro student at the school was Wallace Williams, who would become an Olympic marathon runner. The following year, Our Lady of Perpetual Help became the first school in Taylor County to be listed as integrated [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p. 447].

Basketball player Clem Haskins transferred from Durham High School to Taylor County High School in 1961, the year Taylor High School was listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 890. See also the unpublished manuscript, "Public Education in Taylor County (con.)" [1939-1940], by Nelle B. Crawley, 507 Central Avenue, Campbellsville, KY., p. 4, section Colored in the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 25, 0000UA129, File: Taylor County Education, at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

  • Colored Schools (10)
  • Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes
  • Durham School
  • Campbellsville Colored Moonlight School
  • Camp Zachary Taylor Colored Night School
  • Taylor County Training School
  • Shady Grove School
  • Burdick School
  • Smith Ridge School
  • Saloma School
  • Sweenyville School
  • Old Pitman School
  • Pleasant Union School

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Taylor County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Campbellsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Shady Grove, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Burdick, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Smith Ridge, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Saloma, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Sweenyville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Old Pitman, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pleasant Union, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Taylor County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 16, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-09-30 16:47:37