LaGrange Training School

Historical Marker #2418 in LaGrange tells the history of the LaGrange Training School and Rosenwald Schools.

Prior to 1913, the only funds for black education were those remaining after the collection of taxes in the African American community. The La Grange Training School was the ninth school in the state of Kentucky to be built with Rosenwald funds and the only African American school in Oldham County. Rosenwald School Funds were distributed through grant requests directed by the Tuskegee Institute of which Rosenwald served on the Board of Trustees. Funding was given with the stipulation that local communities must raise $1,000 as a matching grant.

The local citizens of La Grange raised the necessary funding and the La Grange Training School was built in 1920-1921 on Hwy 53 North, on a two-acre lot, in La Grange. The general public raised $4,600 while the African American community raised $1,000. An old newspaper clipping stated that “it has been well equipped for industrial arts and competent teachers employed.” The school consisted of three rooms and was used through the early 1960s. After completing the first eight years of school, students were bussed 25 miles to the Lincoln Institute in Shelby County to attend high school. Students would often board at the Lincoln Institute and come home on weekends. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed and schools became integrated.

Oldham County had established the Oldham County Public High School by 1903, but African American students were not allowed to attend due to segregation rules. The school closed in the mid-1960s and was converted to the First Baptist Church of La Grange. This building burned to the ground in 1990. The church built a new building on the exact location of the former school.