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Bowling Green in Warren County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

A West Side Story

 
 
A West Side Story Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
1. A West Side Story Marker
Inscription.  
Dr. Henry Carpenter
After the Civil War, Bowling Green's west side became home to a growing number of the city's African Americans. Many owned their properties and worked hard to support their families. As the black population grew, the need for educational, religious, and social institutions expanded. In 1886, the Bethel Baptist Church called Dr. Henry Carpenter as pastor. At the time, the church was located on West 10th Street (now Brown's Lock Road).

[Aside:]
Henry David Carpenter (1859 - 1927) pastored New Bethel Baptist Church in Bowling Green and conducted the Carpenter School. Phone courtesy of Rev. Dr. Earl Jackson.

New Bethel Baptist Church
In the early-1890s, Carpenter, a graduate of Simmons College of Louisville, purchased this lot, at 517 West Main Street, and built a home for his family. Seeing the dearth of educational opportunities for African America children in the Delafield area and more broadly in Warren County, Carpenter began to conduct a school in the church building.

The church grew and when a fine brick building that had housed a mission
A West Side Story Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
2. A West Side Story Marker
of Bowling Green's First Baptist Church became available around 1900, Dr. Carpenter's Bethel congregation purchased it for $140,000.

When the church moved to its new location at 803 Church Street, the body voted to change the church's name to New Bethel Baptist Church. Dr. Carpenter faithfully pastored the congregation until his death in 1927.

[Aside:]
The New Bethel Baptist Church 803 Church Street, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the St. Joseph's historic District.

Carpenter School
After the Bethel congregation moved, Dr. Carpenter continued to use the older structure for educational purposes. In 1923, a new school was erected utilizing local funds and a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Fund Because of his untiring efforts as an educator, the new school, completed on July 16, 1923, was always known as the Carpenter School.

After Dr. Carpenter's death in 1927, his daughter Clara (Carpenter) Cole became the school's principal. After World War II, Clara and her husband, Westerfield F. Cole, tore down the old Carpenter home and an adjacent shotgun structure and build a new stone house, where they lived until the mid-1970s.

[Aside:]
Dr. Carpenter's tombstone in Bowling Green's Mt. Moriah Cemetery recognizes his role as "Minister and teacher".
New Bethel Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
3. New Bethel Baptist Church

 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Rosenwald Schools marker series.
 
Location. 37° 0.106′ N, 86° 27′ W. Marker is in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in Warren County. Marker is on West Main Avenue just west of Barry Street, on the left when traveling west. Marker located in West End Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 519 West Main Avenue, Bowling Green KY 42101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Joseph's Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Louisville & Nashville Railroad Depot (approx. 0.7 miles away); Ackerman Building (approx. 0.7 miles away); Ernest Hogan (approx. 0.7 miles away); A Civil War Defense Line (approx. 0.7 miles away); Civil War Rifle Trench (approx. mile away); Bowling Green - Warren County (approx. mile away); Spanish - America War Memorial (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowling Green.
 
Categories. African AmericansChurches & ReligionEducation
 
New Bethel Baptist Church image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
4. New Bethel Baptist Church
West End Park image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, July 5, 2019
5. West End Park
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 29, 2019, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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