State University 1890

KyWoman Suffrage's picture

An etching of Louisville's State University around 1890.

Chartered in 1873 as the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute and opened in 1879, State University adopted its new name in 1881 and was finally chartered as a university in 1884. Owned and operated by the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, it was located on West Kentucky Street between 7th and 8th Streets. Under the terms of its 1894 amended charter, State University was the only African American educational institution in Kentucky with the power to grant professional degrees in theology, medicine and law. The Louisville National Medical College (1888-1912), and the Central Law School (1890-1941) were affiliated parts of the University. In 1919 State University was renamed Simmons University in honor of Rev. William Simmons, a past president.

Image snipped from The (Saint Paul, Minn.) Appeal (17 May 1890): 1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Lib. of Congress. <>