Forest Hill School (Lexington, KY)On Tuesday, September 3, 1907, the Lexington City School No.4, known as Forest Hill School, was opened on College Street, located between Georgetown Street and Newtown Street. The school was held in the five rooms of a rented cottage. The building was to be a temporary accommodation until the school board built a new school building. Forest Hill School was open to Colored children who lived in the communities of Smithtown, Yellmantown, Newtown, Peach Orchard, and Forest Hill, and those who lived on the following streets: Jefferson, West Short, Main, Second, Third, Fourth, Ballard, Todd, Georgetown, Maryland, Payne, and Henry.
The school principal was D. I. Reid, assistant principal was Julia A. Watkins, and the teachers were Mary E. Buckner and Florence E. Hardin. The school was open only three years, it was abolished in 1910, and the students were to attend Russell School. In spite of the school being closed, the plans for the construction of the Forest Hill School remained in place. In 1907, Forest Hill School was one of the many schools that were opened for Colored children in Lexington during the first decade of the 1900s. The need for more schools and better education was a cause that touched the lives of African Americans throughout Lexington. In 1911, community members approached the Lexington School Board and asked that the Forest Hill School be reopened. The request was denied, but there was still the promise of a new school building. By 1915, the new school still had not been completed, and a group of prominent Colored people in Lexington wrote the Lexington School Board, and pushed for improved schools and education for Colored children, and they wanted the Forest Hill School to be completed as was planned. The school board responded by accepting bids for the construction of the school. James F. Fitzgerald was the successful bidder for the plumbing and the cost was estimated at $1,054, it was the lowest of four bids. The estimated cost of the school was $20,000. In spite of the bids, however, the Forest Hill School building was never constructed. For more see "Forest Hill School," Leader, 04/10/1910, p.24; "New school," Lexington Leader, 09/01/1907, p.18; "Supt. M. A. Cassidy," Lexington Leader, 06/20/1910, p.5; "What about Forest Hill Negro School?," Lexington Leader, 06/11/1911, p.5; and p.119 in A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and "Kentucky: Louisville and vicinity," Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting, July 3, 1915, v.72, issue 1, p.32 [available online at Google Books]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.