Industrial Union Mission School for Colored Orphans in Harrodsburg, KY(start date: 1917 - end date: 1930)
The Industrial Union Mission School for Colored Orphans in Harrodsburg, KY, was established in 1917 by C. H. Thompson, a Methodist evangelist. Children were sent to the school from juvenile courts in Kentucky and other states. At the school, boys received agriculture training and girls were trained in sewing and home economics. The goal of the school/orphanage was to place the children in a home and/or find them employment. The school was nondenominational and was supported by the Mercer County Fiscal Court with donations from the community. The school was not considered a state institution.
C. H. Thompson was born around 1864 in Kentucky. He was the husband of Mary Thompson. The couple is enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census with six children as boarders. The children were between the ages of 2 and 13. The Thompsons owned their home in Harrodsburg. According to the newspaper article in the Lexington Herald, in 1930 there were 22 children at the school. Little was known about the school, and it is unknown at this time if the Thompson home served as the school/orphanage.
Rev. W. A. Jackson was born in March of 1857 in Kentucky. He was a Methodist minister and served as the financial secretary of the Industrial Union Mission School for Colored Orphans in Harrodsburg, KY. In 1930, he traveled around Kentucky soliciting funds for the school. Rev. Jackson had previously been in Indiana where he was a member of the Methodist Church Miami Conference in 1891. He was the managing editor of the quarterly newspaper titled Wesleyan Indicator with co-publishers Rev. J. E. Artis and A. Lawrence. The following year, Rev. W. A. Jackson was back in Kentucky. He was a member of the Kentucky Colored Methodist Episcopal Conference and was named to the Missions Committee in 1892. Three years later, he was the Presiding Elder of the Mt. Sterling District and had organized a church in Maysville, KY. In 1898, Rev. Jackson was in Covington, KY, serving as the Presiding Elder of the Louisville District. Rev. Jackson was later over the Ohio District. In 1907, he was editor of the newspaper The Indicator in Covington and was a member of the Negro Press Association for Kentucky.
At this time, it is not known how long Evangelist C. H. Thompson and Rev. W. A. Jackson were associated with the Industrial Union Mission School for Colored Orphans in Harrodsburg, KY. Rev. W. A. Jackson was living in Richmond, IN, by 1933.
For more information see "Seeking contributions," The Lexington Herald, 11/19/1930, p.11; "Funds solicited here for orphan school in state," The Park City Daily News, 10/02/1930, front page; "Miami Conference," Richmond Evening Item, 08/22/1891, front page; "In session here," The Courier-Journal, 09/29/1892, p.8; "C.M.E. Church," The Evening Bulletin, 01/15/1895, front page; "Quarterly Meeting," The Tri-Weekly Kentucky Advocate, 01/28/1898, p.3; "Negro Press Association," Lexington Leader, 08/28/1907.