Kentucky Harmony Singers of the Housewife Training School in Fulton, KY(start date: 1923 - end date: 1936)
The Kentucky Harmony Singers of Fulton, KY, was a women's quintet led by Mrs. Louise Malone Braxton (an educator, lecturer, and female bass singer). The group sang in churches and traveled throughout the country for several weeks at a time, performing Negro spirituals and southern plantation and jubilee songs. Their travels took them to Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana, New York, Wisconsin, Canada, and Mexico.
Their performances were initially a fund-raising effort for the building of the Housewives Training School for Colored girls and women, located in Fulton. The school taught the students how to be good wives, including the art of homemaking. Four of the singing group members were students. Funds from their later performances were used to pay for a dormitory and industrial department.
There was no admission charge for the performances, but a "free-will offering" was collected at the end of each program. The group became a favorite at African American churches, and they continued performing for several years not only at churches but also at social functions held by such groups as the Kiwanis, YMCA, Ladies Aid Society, and the Exchange Club.
Articles about the group first appeared in Illinois newspapers in 1923, and for the next 13 years there were announcements and articles in an array of town newspapers. In the 1930s, the group was singing as a quartet to audiences with close to 1,000 attendees.
Louise M. Braxton, the group leader who was also credited with founding five schools, was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. She was described as being of French, Indian, Scotch-Irish, and Negro descent.
For more see "Mrs. Louise Braxton and Company please," Waterloo Evening Courier, 12/01/1923, p. 6; "Harmony Singers in concert here," The News-Palladium, 7/26/1929, p. 6; "Concerts are featured in two churches," The News-Palladium, 9/22/1930, p. 4; photo and caption, "Kentucky Harmony Singers here Sunday," The Piqua Daily Call, 2/21/1931, p. 10; and "Harmony quartet render concert," The Richwood Gazette, 11/19/1931, p. 1. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools and students in Fulton County, KY.