In 1997, Kentucky undertook the first serious effort to document 158 Rosenwald Schools and buildings constructed in Kentucky between 1917 and 1932. The construction of Kentucky Rosenwald Schools began eleven years after Booker T. Washington initiated the school building program in Alabama in 1911, becoming the third southern state to initiate a Rosenwald School building program. Rosenwald Schools remained in operation in Kentucky until school desegregation which was finalized in Kentucky in 1971.
Julius Rosenwald (1862-1932)
- Father operated the first successful “C.O.D” one-price clothier store in U.S.
- Rosenwald opened his own clothing store in Chicago in 1884
- Life long tradition: donated one-third of salary to savings, one-third to charity, one-third for personal use.
- Philanthropist for Jewish and African American causes.
- Funding source for Carter G. Woodson Journal of Negro History n n
- 1912-1932 Member and President, Board of Trustees, Tuskegee Institute
- First prominent businessman in America to hire African Americans to work at the same pay alongside white workers
- Manager of Sears and Roebuck 1897, president in 1909, fifteen years after opening his first clothing store
- Developed Sears famous mail-order catalog, popularized rural free delivery.
Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald
- Rosenwald labeled a “Negro” by white southern business owners.
- 1870 African American illiteracy 79.9 percent
- Circa 1904, Booker T. Washington develops plan for rural schools funded by African Americans and seeks northern philanthropic aid
- 1904 Washington builds three model rural schools in Alabama with northern financial aid
- 1904 to1909 Tuskegee Institute builds forty- six additional rural schools in Alabama
- 1909 northern philanthropic aid is discontinued to Washington and Tuskegee
- 1909 Founder of the Urban League and President of Tuskegee’s Board of Directors, William Baldwin, introduces Rosenwald to Booker T. Washington in Chicago
- 1912 Washington and Rosenwald develop plans to build new schools throughout the South designed by the Extension Department of Tuskegee Institute until Washington’s death in 1915
- 1915-1932 Rosenwald and Tuskegee join to build 4,977 schools, 217 teacher’s homes, 163 shops in fifteen southern states expending a total of $28,408,520 in building funds
The Rosenwald Fund Incorporated
- Chicago October 30, 1917 for the “well-being of mankind”
- 1917-1928 fund operated under the personal control of Julius Rosenwald
- 1920 Nashville, TN Fund Office opened
- 1928 the Fund reorganized from private to corporate philanthropy, Edwin Embree President
- The Fund required to expend its interest and principle within 25 years of Rosenwald’s death.
- The Fund discontinued building Rosenwald Schools in 1932, the year of Rosenwald’s death.
Officers – Rosenwald Fund
- Edwin Embree, President, Chicago
- Fred G. Wale, Director Rural Education
- Ethel Scott, Secretary
- William Rosenwald, Treasurer
Kentucky Negro Education Association (K.N.E.A.)
- 1874 Legislative Act established the “Colored Common Schools,” the┬áfirst continuous system of public schools for black education in Kentucky
- 1877- 1946 K.N.E.A. – formed following the August 22, 1870 “Georgia Model” in Danville, KY
- First Presidents W. J. Simmons, John H. Jackson, Lexington,
- First Secretary C. C. Vaughn D Russellville
- KY KNEA the longest operating black education system in the South.
Goals of K.N.E.A.
- Establish a state normal school for blacks May 6, 1886
- Train teachers
- Push for single per-capita distribution of public school tax dollars n
- Promoter of Rosenwald School building program Kentucky Rosenwald Schools
Kentucky Rosenwald Schools
- The Fund builds 142 schools, two teacher’s cottages (Webster and Breckinridge Counties), 8 training schools, and 3 shops from 1917 to 1932 in Kentucky.
- Last Rosenwald Schools in KY 1932 Fayette, Henderson and Hickman Counties
- Concord 1926, two-teacher facility, Rosenwald photo maintained, total $5,300
- Pleasant Green 1927, one-teacher facility, Rosenwald photo, total cost of construction $3,000
- Berea Consolidated 1927
- Richmond Shop 1929, five-teacher facility, total cost of construction $24,000, maintained a Rosenwald photo, insured for $56,000
Madison County Contributions – 1926-1930
- Blacks: $2,400
- Whites: $800
- Taxation: $38,850
- Rosenwald Fund: $3,200
Berea Consolidated School
Middleton School, Gallatin County
- Constructed in 1923
- One-teacher facility
- Total cost of construction: $1,600
- Black Contribution: $450
- White Contribution: $0
- Taxation: $750
- Rosenwald: $400
- View photos of Middleton School
Kentucky Rosenwald Schools by Year
- 1917 – 25 schools
- 1921 – 19 schools
- 1922 – 9 schools
- 1923 – 16 schools
- 1924 – 7 schools
- 1925 – 6 schools
- 1926 – 11 schools
- 1927 – 3 schools
- 1928 – 10 schools
- 1930 – 11 schools
- 1931-1932 – 3 schools
Click here to let us know about a Rosenwald School in your area