BEREA, a town of Madison county, Kentucky, U.S.A., 131 m. by rail S. of Cincinnati. Pop. (1900) 762. Berea is served by the Louisville & Nashville railway. It is pleasantly situated on the border between the Blue Grass and the Mountain regions. The town is widely known as the seat of Berea College, which has done an important work among the mountaineers of Kentucky and of Tennessee. The college has about 70 acres of ground (and about 4000 acres of mountain land for forestry study), with a large recitation hall, a library, a chapel (seating 1400 persons), a science hall, an industrial hall, a brick-making plant, a woodwork building, a printing building, a tabernacle for commencement exercises and other buildings. In 1908 Berea had 65 instructors and 1150 students; and it paid the tuition of 141 negro students in Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee) and in other institutions. The school out of which Berea College has developed was founded in the anti-slavery interests in 1855. An attempt was made to procure for it a college charter in 1859, but the slavery interests caused it to be closed before the end of that year and it was not reopened until 1865, the charter having then been obtained, as Berea College. Negroes as well as whites were admitted until 1904, when education of the two races at the same institution was prohibited by an act of the state legislature (upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1908). This act did not, however, prohibit an institution from maintaining separate schools for the two races, provided these schools were at least 25 m. apart, and a separate school for the negroes was at once projected by Berea.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)