African American Schools in Monroe County, KY
In 1846, the Mt. Vernon Church was built in Gamaliel, KY, and the building also served as a school [source: Black Heritage Sites by N. C. Curtis, pp.99-100]. The church and school were established near Freetown, and the dual purpose log structure was built by George Pipkin, Albert Howard, and Peter West. Between 1866 and 1870, there was a Freedmen School in Tompkinsville, KY, supported by the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; however, the school was burned down [see NKAA entry African American Freedmen Schools].
In 1886, there were five colored schools in Monroe County, KY [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. By 1895, there were 9 colored schools [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, pp.591-594]. Four of the 9 school houses were made of logs, and 5 were frame structures, and during the 1896-97 school term another colored district was added, but classes were not held because there was not a school house or a teacher. During the 1895 school year, there were 80 students attending school regularly, and the following year there was an average of 133 students each school day. Each of the 9 schools had one teacher.
In 1919, there was a Colored Moonlight School in Monroe County [see NKAA entry African American Moonlight Schools]. In 1926, the teachers at the Gamaliel Colored School were Mrs. Elma and Mr. Roscoe W. Pipkin [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 21-24, 1926, p.54], classes were still held in the Mt. Vernon Church [source: Curtis, p.100]. The African American children of Monroe County attended high school in Hickory Ridge [source: Curtis, p.100]. In 1940, the Negro school teachers in Monroe County were Kate Barkesdale, Vera Edwards, Roscoe W. Pipkin, Elma Pipkin, and Winfred Pipkin [source: U.S. Federal Census]. School integration started during the 1963-64 school term at the following schools: Fountain Run, Gamaliel Elementary and High School, and Tompkinsville High School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1963-64, p.134].
- Colored Schools (9)
- Tompkinsville Freedmen School
- Gamaliel School
- Fountain Run School
- Hickory Ridge School
- Moonlight School
- Roy's Chapel School [source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 22, File: Monroe County, Title: WPA 3, Monroe Co. - Education (Lenneth Jones-643-4), List of Schools, p.4, July 16, 1939]
- Forkton School [source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 22...]
- Tooley Ridge School [source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 22...]
- Bethlehem School [source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 22...]