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Historical marker recalls LaGrange Training School

School educated African Americans during segregation

A Rosenwald School similar to the LaGrange Training School.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 17, 2014) — The Kentucky Historical Society will unveil a historical marker that recalls the importance of the LaGrange Training School and Rosenwald Schools in the education of African-Americans during the time of legalized segregation in the 20th century.

The event will be at noon on Saturday in the front lawn of First Baptist Church, 419 N. First St. in LaGrange. The LaGrange Training School, which stood on the site, was the ninth Rosenwald School to be built in Kentucky.

The LaGrange Training School had three rooms. Funding from philanthropist Julius Rosenwald and a $1,000 matching grant from local citizens paid for its construction in 1920-1921. The school served grades one through eight until the 1964 Civil Rights Act integrated Kentucky schools; until the 1940s, it also included secondary grades. Starting that decade, those students were bussed to Lincoln Institute in Shelby County.

In all, 158 Rosenwald Schools were built in Kentucky using the same funding model. The schools were located in more than half of the Commonwealth’s counties and often replaced dilapidated and out-of-date community schools or former Freedman’s Bureau locations. They provided vital community, education and training space for African Americans during the Jim Crow era.

The Oldham County Historical Society sponsors the marker.