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

African American Schools in Lawrence County, KY

Education for African Americans in Lawrence County, KY, began after the Civil War. The early schools were held in the homes of ministers and by sympathetic whites, according to John E. Elkins in his thesis, The History of Education of Lawrence County. "Later Negro teachers were secured and the school was conducted in the church." --[source: Elkins, p.101]. In 1886, there were two colored schools in Lawrence County, KY, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the school year ending June 30, 1886 and for the school year ending June 30, 1887. At some point after 1887, there was only the one school in Louisa [source: Elkins, p.101]. Though the school was located in Louisa, it came under the county school system. In 1900, the teacher's salary was $28.79 per month, and the student enrollment was 45. There were 44 students in 1916, and by 1935, there were 30 students. The first colored school building was constructed in 1923, it was a one-room frame building that cost about $1,500, of which $800 was received from the Julius Rosenwald Fund and the remainder was paid by the Lawrence County Board of Education. Grades 1-8 were taught at the school. In 1933, the school teacher was Mrs. Bertha Murphy who was a graduate of Kentucky Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University] and her salary was $84 per month. There was not a colored high school in Lawrence County; the county board of education paid $50 per year for Negro high school students from Lawrence County to attend Booker T. Washington High School in Ashland, KY. In 1935, there were four students who traveled each school day from Lawrence County to attend high school in Ashland. The Louisa Elementary and High School (for Whites) were the first to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.438.

  • Early Church Schools
  • Colored Schools (2)
  • Louisa School

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Lawrence County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisa, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Boyd County, KY
NKAA Source: The History of education of Lawrence County (thesis)
NKAA Source: Report of the Superintendent of public instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for school year ending ...
NKAA Source: Kentucky public school directory (serial)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Lawrence County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-10-29 20:32:26