Lost Schools

Dublin Core


Lost Schools


I recently read an article in the Richmond Register about Ethel Collins, age 99, of Poosey Ridge. She was a school teacher in Madison County and the article listed the chronology of schools she was associated with. She first attended Hugh School on Owsley Fork; then she received her 8th grade certificate at Poosey School. She graduated from Kirksville High. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College. While there she taught “Spring School” at the private Sallee School.

Upon graduation, she was a one-room school teacher at Wylie school on New Road. Then, she taught at Poosey Consolidated School and was principal at Silver Creek. She finished her career teaching seventh and eighth grade at Kirksville, before retiring.

I have never heard of many of the schools listed above. Hugh, Poosey, “Spring School,” Sallee and Wylie are all a mystery — and what schools went together to make Poosey Consolidated? I recall there use to be a dilapidated school house on the left as you came down the hill to where Lancaster Pike crosses Silver Creek. Was this building the original Silver Creek school or did it have another name?

There also was a school on Jacks Creek Pike, but I can never remember its name. Do any readers know anything about these schools? Does anyone have a listing of the various Madison County schools over the last 100 years or so? There are some schools out of the past which I do know about. Some of these may interest some of the new residents of our county.

Around 1816, Madison Academy opened. It lasted until 1874. When Madison Female Institute came into being in 1858, the Academy was renamed Madison Male Academy. In 1890, Madison Academy turned its property over to the city of Richmond, which opened Caldwell High. The building burned in 1921 and the school reopened as Madison High.

Silver Creek Academy was located in Peytontown and existed in roughly the same time frame (1844-1871). Richmond Female Institute was founded in 1845. It also closed with the arrival of Madison Female Institute in 1858. Madison Female’s building was located near where Madison Middle School exists today. It was used as a hospital during the Battle of Richmond (August, 1862). In 1919, the Richmond Board of Education leased the Madison Female building. Later Madison High opened there.

Other “lost” schools include Texas Seminary at College Hill, Elliott Institute at Kirksville, Kingston School (private) and Walters Collegiate Institute. This last institution existed from 1901 until 1906 on the property that was once Central University and eventually became Eastern. This column, plus an earlier one on the county’s public schools, has covered the subject of schools to the limits of my present knowledge.

If you can share more information, please get in touch with me.


Dr. Fred Engle




Content may be freely copied for personal and educational purposes with appropriate citation. Permission is required to reprint.



Dr. Fred Engle, “Lost Schools,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 28, 2022, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/1787.