Audubon, Henderson facts for kids
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Audubon is a neighborhood in Henderson, Kentucky, United States often called "The South Side". Today its boundaries are Loeb St to the west, Meadow St to the south, Pringle St to the east, Mill St to the south, Madison St to the north west, S Alvasia St to the north, Powell St to the east, S Meadow St to the south, Clay St to the east, Atkison St to the south connecting to the corner of Loeb St. The site of the Audubon Grade School is a prominent feature of the neighborhood.
During the 19th century, travel between communities was by foot or on horseback, so they were placed close together. East of the town of Henderson, two villages grew up, with present-day Clay Street being the dividing line between the two county school districts: Weaverton was south and Audubon north of this line.
Tradition says that John James Audubon built the first house in this wooded wilderness, on what is now the NE corner of Loeb and Shelby streets. The first population growth came with the erection of the Cotton Mill in 1883 and its tenement houses in 1885. A furniture company followed in 1886. Known first as Ohio Valley Furniture Co., it became Marstall Furniture in 1895. By 1900, 600 people worked at the Cotton Mill, with a weekly payroll of $8,000, and Marstall employed 150 men, paying them $2,500 weekly.
The Cotton Mill also built the first school room, near the NW corner of Letcher and Powell streets. In an interview given in 1950, Ed Hare, a former city judge, reminisced about his old school, commenting that only the younger children attended because many were working in the mill at age nine. He began working at age 11. Another citizen of this period, Mrs. Hattie Williams, remembered seeing children going to work in their bare feet, through snow.
Nevertheless, two teachers were required by 1898 and one of them, John Dillahay, said 90 pupils were enrolled. Working conditions had improved by 1900 to such an extent that parents began demanding more education and an addition was built to the school. Later on in 1905 the Audubon area was annexed as a part of Henderson and East End residents requested a new school. The board of education spent $2,675 for a church and lot on the southeast corner of Letcher and Clay Streets and hired Spalding Trible as the architect of the new Audubon Grade School.
Construction began in 1906, and the school opened in 1907. At one time, the school boasted the largest enrollment in the public school system. The school closed after its furnace exploded in 1976.
The Audubon post office was discontinued in 1895, but the federal government recognized it as a town as late as 1950 by delivering a letter addressed to a street number in "Audubon".
Audubon Heights, accepted as part of the Audubon area, has boundaries at Powell St to the east, S Alvasia St to the south, Cherry St to the west, S Green St to the north connecting to the corner of Powell St. In the 19th century this neighborhood, being closer to Green St and its businesses, was considered the front of the Audubon area because of its neighborhood businesses and conveniences of being closer to inner city businesses. Giving it the name "Audubon Heights".
The only school in this neighborhood was Douglas High School which only blacks from the city and county could attend. In 1965 desegregation was completed in the city school system and Douglas High School was merged into Henderson City High School leaving the Douglas High School to turn into a public swimming pool and finally the John F Kennedy Center. After merging schools, blacks and whites both attended Henderson City High School. The last location of the school was placed in the Audubon Heights area which is now known as Henderson South Middle School.
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