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

African American Schools in Cumberland County, KY

Record of the first colored school in Cumberland County was for the school built by white citizens in Burkesville, KY, between 1866-1870. The school was supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands [see NKAA entry African American Freedmen Schools]. In 1870, Mag Taylor was the school teacher [see NKAA entry Migration from Canada to Kentucky]. Taylor was from Canada and lived with the Owsley family in Burkesville [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1886, there were six colored school districts in Cumberland County [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. One of the schools was located in Marrowbone;, today, Marrowbone is located within the Marrowbone Historic District. Other colored schools were located in Bakerton, Beech Grove, Burkesville, Clay Lick Bottom, Coe, and Lawson's Bottom [source: History of Cumberland County by J. W. Wells]. John E. Burbridge (1867-1914), from Adair County, was the school teacher at the Burkesville Colored School for several years, until his death in 1914 [sources: "Last week we wrote a notice of the death of John Burbridge..." The Adair County News, 06/03/1914, p.1; and Kentucky Death Certificate, File No. 12587]. In 1923, the school teachers were J. M. and Kate Alexander at Burkesville; Miss Stella Baker at Waterview; Mrs. Flora V. Allen at Leslie; Thomas E. Cox at Black Ferry; Mrs. Eliza Ellington at Marrowbone; Mr. W. J. Lawson and Miss Susie Lee Scott at Bakerton [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, pp.49, 50, 55, 57, 66, & 74]. The number of colored schools would decrease to where there was only the one in Burkesville. There was not a high school for Negro children in Cumberland County. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Cumberland County included Thomas Campbell and Eliza Ellington [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The Cumberland County Schools began to integrate during the 1959-60 school term [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, p.784], and the Cumberland County High School [for Whites] was noted as integrated the following school year. John W. Burbridge was principal of the Burkesville Negro School, grades 1-8, and both the school and the principal are listed in the Kentucky School Directory up to the 1966-67 school term.

  • Burkesville Freedmen School
  • Burkesville School
  • Marrowbone School
  • Bakerton School
  • Beech Grove School
  • Clay Lick Bottom School
  • Coe School
  • Lawsons Bottom School
  • Waterview School
  • Leslie School
  • Black Ferry School

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Cumberland County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Burkesville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Marrowbone, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bakerton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Beech Grove, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Clay Lick Bottom, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Coe, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lawsons Bottom, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Water View, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Leslie, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Black Ferry, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Cumberland County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-10-10 20:22:52