Lucie N. DuValle

Lucie N. DuValle (1868-1928) was born in Louisville on August 16, 1868, to Peter and Irene (Watkins) DuValle. No information could be found on Peter. Irene was a single mother of five daughters: Alice Edwards, Lucie DuValle, Eva DuValle, Helen DuValle, and Mamie DuValle. By 1898, the family lived in their own home at 1923 W. Chestnut Street in the Russell Neighborhood. Lucie and her sisters were graduates of Louisville Central High School. They all had careers to support the family. Lucie was a teacher and the first female principal in Louisville for California Colored School, which became Phyllis Wheatley School. Alice worked as a domestic servant and Mamie as a milliner. Helen was a teacher at Western Colored School and Central Negro Night School. Eva was a dressmaker and during World War I became director of girl’s work for the War Camp Community Service.

On July 28, 1919, Alice died at the age of 54 from an abdominal tumor. She was buried in Cave Hill Corner of Eastern Cemetery. On December 1, 1928, Lucie died from a heart attack at the age of 60. She was buried next to her sister. On January 4, 1929, Irene died at the age of 83 from a heart attack. She was buried with her daughters. On November 7, 1929, Eva died at the age of 55. She was buried with her mother and sisters. Around this time, Helen married Walter L. Rogers and lived to the age of 64 in the family home. When she died on June 21, 1942, she was buried with her mother and sisters. They all share a headstone.

After her death, Lucie was celebrated for her contributions to education. She is credited with starting the precursors to the PTA as well as educational programs like health and vocational training. In 1952, Lucie N. DuValle Junior High School opened at 9th and Chestnut Streets in the old Central High School. In 1956, it moved to 3500 Bohne Avenue as a combined facility with Joseph S. Cotter Elementary School. Thirty years later, it was renamed the DuValle Education Center, which offered GED courses, vocational training, and Head Start. Photo of Lucie is from “Courier-Journal” February 20, 1991.