Kentucky Military Institute in Lyndon

Kentucky Military Institute in Lyndon

Annie Fellows Johnston briefly refers to “the cadets from the Lyndon military school” in Chapter VI, “Uninvited Guests” in the “The Little Colonel at Boarding-School ” (page 102):

"Headed off again!" exclaimed one of the larger girls who sat near Lloyd. "It's good of them to grant us such privileges, but we won't have half the fun that we could have had if they hadn't put us on our honour this way. I had planned to slip out and go over to Julia Ferris's tonight. Some of the cadets from the Lyndon military school are coming up. I wouldn't have hesitated a moment if they had shut down on our having some fun here, but now they've treated us so handsomely, even to furnishing a spread, of course I can't go. Hallowe'en is stupid with just a lot of girls --- the same old set we've been going with straight along."

In 1904, at the time “The Little Colonel at Boarding-School” was published, the Kentucky Military Institute, one of the oldest traditional military preparatory schools in the nation, had been operating in Lyndon, Kentucky for eight years. The institute, which was originally chartered in 1845, moved from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, after Colonel Charles Fowler purchased a historic plantation house in Lyndon.

Cadets would have had an easy time traveling back and forth between Lloydsboro (Pewee) Valley and Lyndon, since Lyndon was originally founded as a depot on the Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington Railroad in 1871. In fact, Kate Matthews’ brother Edward attended K.M.I., according to the reminiscences of Kate’s niece, Lillian Fletcher Brackett.

K.M.I. continued graduating cadets until the early 1970s, when it merged with three other private schools – The Kentucky Home School for Girls, Louisville Country Day School and Aquinas Preparatory School -- to form Kentucky Country Day School, now located on an 85-acre campus near Anchorage, Kentucky in eastern Jefferson County.

 K.M.I’s Lyndon campus is now the site of Ten Broeck – KMI, a 94-bed psychiatric hospital for adolescents and adults. Some of the school’s landmarks and buildings, however, remain, including the stone entrance gates, Ormsby Hall, the Edison Science Building, the “B” classroom building, and the gym.

For more information on K.M.I., visit the alumni web site

Dashing cadettes in the Sigma Alpha Episilon fraternity at KMI, 
date unknown, from Early Centre College Photographs Collection, 1876-1939 
housed at Centre College Special Collections in Danville.

page by Donna Russell