In the late 1970s, I attended Thruston Elementary School just outside the city limits of Owensboro, Kentucky. The school was situated in a tiny community known as, well, Thruston. Some of my favorite memories of childhood revolve around that school- the amazing Fall festivals, the principal Mr. Pendley, the teachers, playing baseball on the ball diamonds, stuffing my face at the concession stands. Thruston was the best!

I thought I knew everything about that school, but only recently learned- thanks to writer/historian Ashlee Chilton- who it was named for. He was Colonel Algernon Sidney Thruston. Here's his story!

Thruston was born in 1801, but he wasn't born locally. He was actually born in the Louisville area in Jefferson County. According to the site Kentucky History, Algernon was only nine months old when his father passed away, but that didn't stop him from inheriting massive amounts of land in the Commonwealth. He reportedly received land in Shelby County, Union County, Ohio County, and, some land in my neck of the woods- Daviess County.

Despite owning a big chunk of western Kentucky, Thruston eventually moved to Texas, where he was a colonel in the Texas Revolution.

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He resided in Texas for roughly a fifteen year period between the mid 1830s to 1850- when he left Texas and eventually settled back here in Daviess County. The part of the county where Algernon S. Thruston lived would eventually be named Thruston. As I said before, that's where I grew up. Like so many of my friends who lived in its neighborhoods, I firmly believe that my childhood time in Thruston made me the adult I am today.

Of course, that community- Thruston- would eventually be the home to Thruston Elementary School and the Thruston Tomcats!  Though I moved away to go to college, my family resided in Thruston until I was in my mid 20s. Our house was directly across Kentucky Hwy 144 from the school.

The school was later torn down. A marker sits there now to remind folks about the history of Thruston Elementary. My friends and I were all a proud part of that. Apparently, we were a part of Algernon Thruston's history too.

Old Daviess County and Owensboro Schools and What They Are Now

Of the many old schools in Owensboro and Daviess County, some are still active, while others have been repurposed.

Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer


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