Former location of Booker T. Washington School (1922-1962)
A historic marker commemorates Booker T. Washington School
Backstory and Context
Booker T. Washington School was constructed in 1903 at Seventh Street and Central Avenue. The small brick school was led by principal J. J. Rogers with Effie Carter and another instructor serving as teachers. The Booker T. Washington School grew to serve grades 1-8. The Ashland and Cattlesburg school for Africa American students merged in 1912. Although this may have created hardship for students and parents that had to travel a long distance to attend this school, the increase in students allowed for the creation of more classes.
In 1922 C. B. Nuchols, a former instructor at the Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes, became the principal. Nuchols added an industrial department along with a two-year high school curriculum. In order to accommodate the new courses, two additional rooms were added and two more teachers were hired between 1922 and 1923. The first high school graduation was held in 1925. During this time, Catlettsburg students in the 8th grade could go on to high school at Ashland at a cost of $30 per semester.
In 1927, a teacher/football coach/voice teacher was hired at the Booker T. Washington School. In 1931, the two year high school became a four year high school, one of the 16 approved Negro high schools in eastern Kentucky. There were 179 students at the Booker T. Washington School in 1932, and 28 of the students were in high school. The school housed the school and the public library for African Americans as the main city library also practiced racial segregation.