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

African American Schools in Spencer County, KY

Spencer County had colored schools as early as 1886, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, school year ending June 1886 and school year ending June 1887 [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. One of the schools was located in Taylorsville (District 1) and the superintendent reported that attendance was extremely low at the school (pp.213-214). By 1895, there were 9 colored school districts, each with one school, and 2 of the schools were in session more than 5 months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.685-688]. Four of the schools were held in log buildings and 5 of the schools were held in frame buildings. The average attendance was 207 students (1895-96), and 206 students (1896-97). The eight female teachers' average monthly wages were $25.20 (1895-96) and $26.45 (1896-97). The one male teacher earned $24.03 (1895-96) and $18.81 (1896-97). Four students from Spencer County attended the State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University), 1900-1901; two of the Negro teachers in Spencer County were graduates of a normal school; and 8 of the teachers taught in Spencer County for the first time during the 1900-01 school term [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1899-1901, pp.144, 445, & 451]. In 1916, the teachers in the Spencer County colored schools included Emma Taylor and Zueta Taylor; Eva M. Shelburne, Ruth D. Shelburne, and Sue Pery Shelburne; and Lorena E. Brown. [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.25, 32, & 35]. All of the teachers were in Taylorsville. By 1925, there were 4 colored elementary schools with one teacher at each school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 68].  Fifteen years later, according to the U.S. Federal Census, there were 3 Negro teachers in 1940: Charity Mason, Monroe Miles, and Mabel Miles. The Spencer County schools started to integrate in 1957, as mentioned in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1957-58, p.644.

  • Colored Schools (9)
  • Taylorsville School 

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Spencer County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Taylorsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Spencer County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-25 21:50:15