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

Middletown Consolidated School, Berea, KY

(start date: 1927  -  end date: 1963) Middletown Consolidated School, which was located on KY 595 in Madison County, KY, offered the only educational opportunity for African American students from Berea and southern Madison County, serving as a grammar school from 1927-1963. It was jointly funded by citizens of Berea, Berea College, and the Julius Rosenwald Foundation. It's first and only principle was Robert Henry Clay Mitchell Blythe.

Berea College deeded four acres to the Madison County Board of Education with a clause recalling the land if it ceased to be used for educational purposes; the College also donated playground and other equipment. Students from Berea College came to Middletown Consolidated School to do student teaching and observe the teaching staff. The school also was an outlet for service organizations, including the YMCA, was a Community Center, and acted as a hub for African American community activities. Construction funds came from the sale of three Colored schools: Fee Street, Glades, and Farristown; the work was done by members of the African American community.

The Middletown Consolidated School was no longer used for educating elementary school children after the integration of Madison County elementary schools in 1963, but it continued to be used by the community as a Central Community Center, served as a Head Start site, and was later renovated for use by the Berea College Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate(GEAR UP) Programs and subsequently as Partners for Education headquarters. A historical marker was placed on the building to honor its former role as the Middletown Consolidated School. The Boys & Girls Club of Madison County was also located on the site.

For more information, see see Eblen, Tom, "Alumni Recall Teachers, Community at First Reunion of Historic Black School in Madison County," Lexington Herald-Leader, July 02, 2016 (online) [Paper/microfilm copy: July 3, 2016, p. 1A]; Jordan, Tim, "Historic Marker Unveiled at Middletown School," Berea College Website, Sept. 6, 2018 (online); Myers, Beth, "Historical Marker Recognizes Middletown School," Richmond Register, Aug. 20, 2018 (online).

This entry was submitted by Sharyn Mitchell.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Berea, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Madison County, KY
NKAA Entry: Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown (Berea, KY)
NKAA Entry: Lanier, Shelby, Jr.
NKAA Entry: Walters, Lelia Coleman
NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Clay County, KY

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Robert Henry Clay Mitchell Blythe

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Middletown Consolidated School, Berea, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 28, 2021,

Last modified: 2020-06-10 17:17:05