Henderson County, Kentucky


On the first day of June 1869, an act was passed, incorporating the Henderson Public School, and authorizing by a majority vote of the citizens, the issue of fifty thousand dollars of city bonds for the purpose of erecting a suitable building for school purposes. As soon thereafter as possible, an election was ordered and the act submitted to the people for their ratification or rejection.

The desire on the part of the people for greater and more liberal education of the youth had become widespread and almost unanimous, consequently the act was ratified by a large majority vote. The Council thereupon met and directed the issuing of the city bonds to the amount of $50,000, and the following Board of Trustees were elected: a. H. Talbott, Jacob Held, L. H. Lyne, J. F. Mayer, James F. Clay, Dr. P. Thompson, John B. Hart and P. B. Matthews; E. L. Starling, President ex officio. On the fifteenth day of June 1869, the bonds were issued and were soon after sold at par. On the ninth day of July 1869, the Board purchased of John W. Alves 158X300 feet of ground on the corner of Elm and Green Streets, paying him therefore the sum of six thousand six hundred dollars cash. A. H. Talbott, a member of the Board, was sent to Louisville to investigate and secure a plan and specifications for a suitable school building. He contracted with A. H. Clark, an architect of prominence, and soon thereafter the plan was adopted by the Board and the building commenced. In 1870 the handsome and commodious building now standing on the corner of Green and Center Streets was completed, and the first school opened in September of that year.

This building is a three-story brick with basement. It contains fourteen large rooms, with an assembly room of double size. It is supplied with the latest and most improved furniture, slate black boards, etc. There are thirteen teachers connected with the public schools, and two with the high school. The rooms are graded and presided over by excellent teachers. The children of the city are educated free of charge, while non-resident pupils are taxed a small tuition fee. The attendance is large, every room being well filled. This school is justly regarded as one of the best of its class in the State a fine education is offered to any and every child who will receive it. Prof. Maurice Kirby, now principal of the Louisville Mail High School, was elected first Superintendent and Miss Lydia Hampton, now principal of the Hampton Female College, Louisville, principal of the high school. The corps of teachers employed were mostly trained in the finest schools of the country, and from that beginning the school took, and has maintained a high rank among the educational institutions of the State.

Before another history of Henderson is written, we shall have, perhaps, another public school and high school building surpassing the splendid structure, now the pride of the city. Prof. Edward Clark, the present superintendent, is a gentleman of superior learning, a teacher of ability and a man of most excellent executive judgment, and very popular with both teachers and pupils. On the sixth day of May 1878, the Trustees of the German School, then being taught in their school building on corner Third and Ingram Streets, donated the entire property to the public school and closed their school.

The following is a list of the Trustees of the Public and High Schools from their beginning to the present time:


L. H. Lyne, 1869, '70, '71, '72, '73, '74, '75, '76, '77, '78, '79; James F. Clay, 1869, '70, '71; A. H. Talbott, 1869, '70; P. Thompson, 1869, '70, '71, '72, '73, '74, '75; Jacob F. Mayor, 1869, '70, '71; John B. Hart, 1869, '70, '71, '72; P. B. Matthews, 1869, '70, '71; John B. Hart, 1869, '70, '71, '72; P. B. Matthews, 1869, '75; Jacob Held, 1869; George M. Priest, 1870, '71, '72; S. B. Vance, 1870, '71, '72, '73, '74, '75; E. W. Worsham, 1871; C. Bailey, 1872, '73; John Reichart, 1872, '73, '76, '77, '78, '80; Charles Eaves, 1872; J. Henry Powell, 1873; Thomas S. Knight, 1873, '74; Fred. Overton, 1873, '78, '79; M. Yeaman, 1873, '74, '75, '76; James R. Barnett, 1874, '75; c. H. Johnson, 1874; W. J. Marshall, 1874, '75; Jac. Peter, 1875, '76, '77, '78, '79, '83; L. C. Dallam, 1876, '77, '78, '79; David Clark, 1876, '77, '78; B. G. Witt, 1876, '77, '78; John J. Reeve, 1876, '77, '78; James L. Lambert, 1877, '81, '82, '84, '85, '86, '87; A. T. Dudley, 1877; James E. Rankin, 1878, '80; W. B. Woodruff, 1879; James McLaughlin, 1879, '80, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86; W. W. Huston, 1879, '80, '81, '82, '83, ;84, '85; Robert Dixon, 1879, '87; C. G. Henson, 1879, '80, '82, '83, '84; S. A. Young, 1879, '80, '81, '82, '83; S. S. Sizemore, 1879, '80, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86, '87; R. C. Blackwell, 1880, '81, '82, '83, '84, '85, '86, '87; J. T. Rudy, 1882; H. C. Kerr, 1883, '84, '85; Jackson McClain, 1884, '85, '86, '87; A. T. Callender, 1885, '86, '87; Moses Heilbomer, 1886; Jas. Beach, 1885, '86; G. E. Barnard, 1887; Archibald Dixon, 1887.

History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Edmund L. Starling, pgs 422 - 423


Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2005 HCH&GS