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

African American Schools in Russell County, KY

Parker H. Jackman was one of the first teachers in the colored schools in Russell County; he began teaching after the Civil War ended. It is not known how long the school existed or where exactly it was located. By 1895, there were four colored schools in Russell County, according to the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp. 669-672]. One of the schools was taught in a log cabin while the other three were taught in frame buildings. The average attendance was 40 students guided by  four teachers from 1895 to 1896; the following school year, 1896-1897, there were 35 students and three teachers. The teachers' average wages were $24.12, 1895-1896 and $19.08, 1896-1897. During the 1902-1903 school term, one student from Russell County  attended the State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University) [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1901-03, p. 81]. 

The average attendance at the Russell County colored schools was 38, 1901-1902, and 48, 1902-1903 [p. 329]. In 1905, the students attending Russell Springs Colored School moved from the old school building to the school that was used by the white students [source: Russell County, Kentucky: history & families, by Turner Publishing Company, p. 156]. A new school had been built for the white students who attended Russell Springs Academy, a private school. Their old school, where the colored students were moved, was located on North Main Street near the Christian Church. Several years later, a new school building for the colored students was constructed on S. Highway 379.

There were three colored schools in Russell County in 1925 with one teacher at each school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 68]. The following year there were two colored schools [1926-1927, p. 82].

In 1935 Miss Thelma Simpson was a school teacher in Jamestown [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, October-November 1935, p. 63]. There continued to be two colored schools in Russell County until 1953, when Greens Chapel was the one remaining school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1953-1954, p. 807]. 

In 1955, the Russell County High School was the first to report having both white and colored students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p. 228]; the following year the school was listed as integrated [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p. 446].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Russell County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Jamestown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Russell Springs, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Schools in Russell County, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-15 16:12:40