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KHS Resources on Education

Access to high quality education remains a headline issue in Kentucky and the nation. The KHS resources below document the history of education in Kentucky and show how Kentuckians across the centuries dealt with changes to education systems.

Civil War Governors of Kentucky


Register of the Kentucky Historical Society


Historical Markers

  • Marker #2005: Jacobs Hall and Marker #197: School for the Deaf (Boyle County). The marker commemorates Jacobs Hall at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD). Established in 1822, KSD was the first state-sponsored school for the deaf in the nation.
  • Marker #773: For Mountain Youth (Madison County). This marker celebrates the location of Berea College. Abolitionist John G. Fee and Oberlin College graduate John A.R. Rogers established the school after the civil war as a non-sectarian, racially-integrated college. After the 1904 Day Law, Berea College only served white students and shifted its mission to focus on affordable, high quality education for men and women from southern Appalachia.
  • Marker #2048: Rosenwald School (Marion County). The marker is at the site of one of the 158 Rosenwald schools built in Kentucky between 1917 and 1932. Julius Rosenwald, a Chicago merchant, endowed the Rosenwald Fund to provide quality schooling for African Americans across the South. Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute (Alabama), and built 5,000 schools modeled after the Tuskegee Vocational curriculum.


Kentucky Oral History Commission Collections



  • School Bell used by three generations of Johnson County, Kentucky teachers from ca. 1910 to 1968.
  • Education pays button. From the Patton administration.






Legislative Moments

  • Cora Wilson Stewart saw literacy as a way out of poverty. A Rowan County superintendent, Stewart started nighttime schools that ultimately educated more than 40,000 people, predominantly adults.
  • John Henry Jackson advocated for training African American teachers. Twice he was president of the State Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University).
  • Charles W. Anderson, Jr. was an African American attorney who had to be trained out-of-state. He returned to Kentucky and became a state legislator and worked to broaden educational opportunities for all Kentuckians.
  • John G. Fee was a noted abolitionist. A mission school that Fee established in the 1850s eventually became Berea College.
  • Edward F. Prichard, Jr. was a longtime advocate for better schools and served on the State Council of Higher Education for 13 years. His work led to the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 and the establishment of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.


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