Nettie B. C. Depp (1874-1932)

Historical marker #2397 in Glasgow (Barren County) acknowledges the significant achievements of education reformer Nettie B. C. Depp.

Like Rosa Stonestreet before her, Depp was elected superintendent of Barren County schools prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. When Depp was elected in 1913, she was the first woman to be elected to a public office in Barren County. She held the position until 1917.

Among her many achievements was the repair and improvement of one-room schoolhouses. During this time, the one-room schoolhouse was prevalent in rural areas across Kentucky. As late as 1920, half of all Kentucky children were educated in one-room schoolhouses. Many of these primitive schools were of log construction or were simple, wood-framed buildings. It was not uncommon, particularly in rural areas, to find these schoolhouses with leaky roofs, broken windows, and only a potbellied stove for heat.

As superintendent, Depp was also responsible for creating Barren County's first four-year high school, which, at the time, was housed in the former Liberty College in Glasgow. Public high schools were not common in Kentucky during the early part of the twentieth century. It was not until 1908 that the Kentucky General Assembly passed a bill that required public high schools to be established in each county.

Although her tenure as superintendent was brief (she declined to run for a second term), she remained dedicated to education. She served as principal of Cave City School and as a teacher in Scottsville, Kentucky.

Images

Liberty College

Liberty College

The Liberty College building in Glasgow, pictured here, housed Barren County High School for a time. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

One- Room Schoolhouse

One- Room Schoolhouse

One-room schoolhouses were prevalent in rural areas across Kentucky well into the 20th century. This one, Buffalo Wallow School, was in Tilden, Webster County. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

School Hand Bell

School Hand Bell

Hand bells like this one were often used by one-room school houses to call classes to session. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Glasgow

Glasgow

Nettie Depp worked for education reform in Barren County and as superintendent of schools became the first woman elected to a public office in Barren County. Glasgow, pictured here, is the county seat of Barren County. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Amy Roe, “Nettie B. C. Depp (1874-1932),” ExploreKYHistory, accessed March 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/342.

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