African American Schools in Webster County, KY
As early as 1880, there were colored schools in Providence, Webster County, KY; the teachers were Kentucky natives C. Haughton, born around 1858, and Mandy Stanley, born around 1863 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. There were 11 colored schools with 12 teachers in 1895, and 2 of the schools were held in a log building, and 9 were held in a frame building [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.725-728]. The average attendance was 277 for 1895-96, and 355 for 1896-97. The male teachers' average monthly wages were $40.97 and females received $37.86, 1895-96; and the following school term, males received $33.99 and females received $30.69. In 1900, Ida Bell Shackleford was a school teacher in Dixon [source: U.S. Federal Census]. During the 1905-1907 school terms, the average attendance was 471 students, and the teachers average monthly salaries were $44.76 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1905-1907, pp.407 & 431]. In 1916, Webster County colored teachers included Owen Brooks and William D. Brooks, both in Dixon, and J. V. Coleman in Providence [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.25 & 26]. By 1925, there were 9 colored rural schools in Webster County, and the school in Providence had 4 elementary teachers and 3 teachers in the Class 1 high school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.41 & 68-69]. W. O. Nuckolls was the principal of the high school, which had 30 students. In 1931, the Webster County Training and Rosenwald City High School was constructed in Providence, KY, with W. O. Nuckolls as principal [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1931, v.1, no.3, p.16]. In 1938, the new Sebree Colored School was constructed by the WPA [source: waymarking.com]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Webster County were Curtis Bishop, Vatula Bishop, Gurner Bishop, Owen Brooks, Laura Campbell, Claudine Drake in Slaughtersville, Francis Finley, Geneva Fergurson, Leslie Hayes Jr., Comagell Marton, Gertrude Mitchell, Ovenus Mitchel, Dorothy Mitchell, Helen Nuckolls, Martha Helen Nuckolls, Harvey Saieva, James R. Shearer, Virginia Springfield, Deborah Woolfork, and Louis Woolfork [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In December of 1956, the Sturgis and Clay school systems were directed by U.S. District Judge Henry L. Brooks to submit their desegregation plans by February 4, 1957. Both school systems complied and in September of 1957, Negro students were admitted to the schools. For more about the desegregation of the Clay Elementary School see the NKAA entry James and Teresa Gordon (siblings).
- Colored Schools (11)
- Providence School
- Dixon School
- Sebree School [source: Goodman-Paxton Photographic Collection at UK Special Collections]
- Slaughtersville School
- Webster County Training and Rosenwald City High School (in Providence)