African American Schools in Hardin County, KY
The first colored school in Hardin County, KY, is thought to have been located in Elizabethtown in 1867, according to the thesis of Hubert W. Comer, History of Education in Hardin County, p.74-75. The school term was three months and there was an average attendance of 45 students. The teachers' average monthly salary in 1893 was $26, and by 1908, the average salary was $37. The first school may or may not be the same school that existed in 1869, referred to as the African School of Elizabethtown by author Lottie Offett Robinson in The Bond-Washington Story, on p.28.
The African School was a subscription school and members of the African American community had purchased a lot to build a school house at the corner of Lincoln and Kennedy Avenue. Another school mentioned in Robinson's book, was run by Reverend George W. Bowling (b.1849 in VA), classes were held in a two room cabin on Dixie Avenue [source: Robinson, p.28]. Another school, District A School, came under the county jurisdiction, but was located in town [source: Robinson, p.36]. In the county area, there were 11 colored schools in 1880, and that would increase to an all time high of 15 schools with 17 teachers in 1893 [source: Comer, p.76].
The number of county schools had decreased by 1908 to 10 schools with 11 teachers. The average attendance was about 50% of the overall colored school student census. Two of the county colored schools were located in Glendale [source: Robinson, p.57]. There was also the West Point Colored Independent School, grades 1-8. In 1933, the county teachers' average monthly salary was $82.30, and in 1935, there were four teachers with an average salary of $85.36 [source: Comer, p.114-115].
The only colored high school in Hardin County was located in Elizabethtown, it was named East Side High School [source: Robinson, p.40]. The school opened in 1921 with a two year curriculum, and became a four year high school in 1926 [source: Comer, p.115]. There were four teachers and 31 students. Two years later, the high school was renamed Bond-Washington High School in honor of James M. Bond and Booker T. Washington [source: Robinson, p.40]. The high school was attended by African American students within the entire Hardin County area, and those in LaRue County who paid tuition, and those from Ft. Knox whose tuition was paid by the military.
In 1940, the Negro teachers in Hardin County were Ethel R. Lomax, Mary L. Martin, Sadie M. Rend, John B. Robinson, Mary S. Smith, and Bessie Thompson [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The Ft. Knox Reservation School (private), later listed as the Ft. Knox Dependent School, was the first to be listed as having "white & colored" students in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1948-49, p.685. The Ft. Knox Dependent School was also among the first four schools in Hardin County to be listed as integrated in 1956, the other three were Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown Catholic High School, and the West Point Independent Schools [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.430. Also, the Glendale School, Sonora School, and Vine Grove School were listed as "white & integrated." See also Educating rural African Americans in pre-brown decision America: one-room school education in Hardin county, Kentucky 1941-1954 by E. J. Hill
- Colored County Schools (15)
- African School
- Reverend Bowling's School
- District A School
- Glendale Schools (2)
- East Side High School
- Bond-Washington High School
- West Point Independent School