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The Ladies (of color)
Start Year : 1847
The Ladies (of color), in Frankfort, KY, are thought to have been free African American women. In 1847 the group held a fair for "benevolent purposes" at the home of Mrs. Rilla Harris. For more see A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: a history of American women told through food, recipes and..., by L. Schenone, p. 131.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

LaForce Family Slaves
During the Revolutionary War, Loyalists from North Carolina sought refuge in the Kentucky territory. Rene LaForce (spelling varies, also La Force), a Huguenot, died en route. His wife, Agnes Moseby LaForce, their children and their families, and 13 slaves completed the journey and settled near Martin's Station, located three miles south of Paris, KY. In June, 1780, a British garrison from Detroit approached the LaForce family fortress with about 150 soldiers aided by Native Americans, all led by Captain Henry Byrd. (Detroit was British territory until 1796.) Though the LaForce family claimed to be Loyalists, there was an exchange of gunfire, and lives were lost on both sides. The garrison overtook the fortress, and the inhabitants were marched to Detroit, where the slaves became the property of the garrison soldiers and Native Americans, while the LaForce family was sent to jail in Montreal, Canada. Agnes LaForce and her family were eventually set free, and she attempted to regain the slaves, but even with a good word from George Washington, she was unsuccessful. In 1813 and 1814, her son, William LaForce, who had returned to settle in Woodford County, KY, continued to fight for the return of the slaves without success. The slaves were Betty and her children Hannah, James/Tim, Ishmael, Stephen, Joseph, Scippio, and Kijah; and Hannah's children Candis, Grace, Rachel, Patrick, and Job. For more about the LaForce Slaves see "Descendants of Betty 'Bess' (LaFORCE)" - Generation 1 and Generation 2; and La Force Efforts to Recover Slaves, by L. S. Wark. For more information about the attack on the LaForce Family see W. R. Riddell's articles "The Early British Period," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 3 (July 1920), pp. 273-292; and "Two Incidents of Revolutionary Time," Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 12, issue 2 (August 1921), pp. 223-237.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Martin's Station, Bourbon County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Detroit, Michigan / Montreal, Canada / Woodford County, Kentucky

LaFrance, Helen
Birth Year : 1919
Helen LaFrance was born in Graves County, KY. She is a self-taught folk artist who began painting when she was a small child. Her folk-art, called "Memory Painting," presents autobiography in visual images. Her work has been featured in galleries in Kentucky, Georgia, and Missouri. LaFrance's art gallery was located in downtown Mayfield, KY. For more see KET Productions' Kentucky Life Program 306, Artist Helen LaFrance; and B. Mayr, "The simple life - paintings reflect woman's experiences in rural Kentucky," The Columbus Dispatch, 06/17/2007, Features - Life & Art section, p. 7E.

See photo image and additional information about Helen LaFrance at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Great Black Kentuckians.

See video on Youtube of Helen LaFrance Orr, Folk Heritage Award Recipient of the 2011 Kentucky Governor's Awards in the Arts.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky

Laine, Henry Allen
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1955
Henry A. Laine was born near College Hill in Madison County, KY. He wrote many poems using Negro dialect. Laine was one of three poets invited to appear before the 1923 Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) body; he read Fine Greetings to Colored Educators [full-text]. [The other two invited poets were Joseph C. Cotter, Sr. and Joseph C. Cotter, Jr.] Laine is also the author of Foot Prints (1914) [full-text]. He founded the Madison Colored Teachers Institute and was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the father of Beatrice "Tommie" Holland. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by T. G. Rush, et al. The Henry Allen Laine Papers, 1874-1988, are at Eastern Kentucky University, Special Collections and Archives.


See photo image of Henry Allen Laine at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Hall of Fame 2003.


See photo image and additional information about Henry Allen Laine at "Kentucky teacher, poet and early Berea alumnus Henry Allen Laine honored at Berea College Founder’s Day Oct. 8," a Berea College website.
 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Poets
Geographic Region: College Hill, Madison County, Kentucky

Laine, Joseph Fields, Sr.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1967
Joseph Laine, from Winchester, KY, founded the Laine Medical Clinic. He practiced in both Lexington and Louisville. Laine was a graduate of Berea College and Meharry Medical College. He was the husband of Mattie R. Laine. According to Laine's WWI Draft Registration Card, he was born in 1879. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lake Barkley African American Heritage Weekend (Cadiz, KY)
Start Year : 2007
The first "Tribute to African American Heritage Weekend" was held August 10-11, 2007, at Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Cadiz, KY. The celebration focused on the the history and contributions of African Americans in Western Kentucky and included a tour of Cherokee Park in Kenlake State Resort Park. The event was also referred to as an Emancipation Day celebration. For more see "Lake Barkley State Resort Park To Hold First Tribute To African American Heritage Weekend Aug. 10-11", 07/08/2007, press release at Kentucky.gov website, and News-Democrat & Leader, 08/10/2007, News section, p. A3; and D. Chester, "Emancipation Day important to Blacks," The Leaf-Chronicle, 07/08/2007, Opinion section, p. 2C.
Subjects: Parks, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky

Lakeview Point
Start Year : 2004
Lakeview Point, a lakefront bed and breakfast resort, is located on Herrington Lake in Harrodsburg, KY. The inn opened in May 2004 and has been open year-round since the second season. The owners, Dorothy "Dot" Dunn and her son Brad, are Kentucky natives. Lakeview Point is currently the only African American owned and operated bed and breakfast in Kentucky. The Kentucky Bed and Breakfast Association voted the resort's ad the best print ad. For more information see "Getting away is closer than you think at B&B," Harrodsburg Herald, 08/11/2005, section B, p. B1; view the Dot Dunn interview [#218] on "Connections with Renee Shaw," 07/14/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television); and contact Dorothy and Brad Dunn at 166 Lakeview Point, Harrodsburg, Kentucky, 40330 / (859) 748-8359.
Subjects: Bed & Breakfast, Hotels, Inns
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Lampton, Edward Wilkinson
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1910
E. W. Lampton was a leader in the AME Church and the community, he was bishop of the AME Church in Greenville, MS. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Albert R. Lampton, and the grandson of Anna and Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones. He grew up in Bowling Green, KY, where he first attended school. Lampton earned his D.D. at Shorter College and his LL. D. at Alcorn State College [now Alcorn State University]. He was elected bishop on May 20, 1908 in Norfolk, VA and assigned to the 8th Epicopal District. Lampton was author of two books: Analysis of Baptism and Digest of Rulings and Decision of the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1847-1907. He was also Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons of Mississippi. Bishop Lampton was a widower when he died in Michigan on July 16, 1910. He is buried in Mississippi. His daughter Mrs. D. Lampton Bacchus was the executor of his estate, she was one of the African American women reformers of the late 19th Century/early 20th Century. From their father's estate, the four Lampton daughters inherited the family home, a farm, several rental properties, and they constructed a two-story building that housed two stores, an auditorium, and meeting rooms. Bishop Lampton was the husband of Lula M. Lampton (b.1868 in MS), and in 1900, the family of six lived on Theobald Street in Greenville, MS, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In June of 1909, there were several newspaper stories that Lampton and his family were run out of Greenville when one of his daughters insisted on being addressed as Ms. Lampton by white saleswomen in stores and by the telephone operator, and Bishop Lampton attempted to re-enforce her demands. When asked by the African American media about the incident, Bishop Lampton initially denied the story, and would later speak out on keeping the races separate and African Americans always being on good behavior so as not to fuel a mob attack. For more see the Bishop Edward Wilkinson Lampton entry and picture in Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church... by R. R. Wright [available online at Documenting the American South]; "Would be called Miss," Waterloo Semi Weekly Courier, 06/15/1909, p.6.; "Bishop Lampton's denial," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.7; "Bishop Lampton's troubles adjusted," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.1; "Another phase of Lampton affair," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/17/1909, p.1; "Daughters of late Bishop Lampton are doing well," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/22/1911, p.1.

See photo image of Rev. Edward W. Lampton in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert, p.120.
Subjects: Authors, Fathers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Greenville, Mississippi

Lampton Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY) [Spencer Taylor]
Start Year : 1866
Spencer Taylor, a carpenter, organized the church and led the services of the Lampton Street Baptist Church, founded in 1866 in Louisville, KY. Services were first held in Taylor's carpentry shop, located at the intersection of Preston, Jackson, Breckinridge and Caldwell Streets. The church services were later moved to a house that was built on Caldwell Street between Preston and Jackson Streets. A later Lampton Street Baptist Church building was completed by architect Samuel Plato. When the National Baptist Convention was held in Louisville in September 1928, the assembly of women at the Lampton Street Baptist Church was seriously urged by Nannie Burroughs to vote for the Republican presidential candidate, Herbert Hoover. The women had gathered at the church to conduct the business of the National Baptist Women's Convention, an organization founded by Nannie Burroughs in Louisville, KY, in 1900. The present day Lampton Baptist Church is located on 4th Street in Louisville, KY. For more see the "Lampton Street Baptist Church" entry in Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville, by H. C. Weeden; and in Negro Baptist History, by L. G. Jordan. For more about the 1928 Women's Convention, see L. G. Materson, "African American women, prohibition, and the 1928 presidential election," Journal of Women's History, vol . 21, issue 1 (Spring 2009), pp. 63-86.

See photo image of the Lampton Baptist Church in Louisville and the Zion Baptist Church in Georgetown, both on p.99 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lane, Allie Sylvester
Birth Year : 1900
In 1922, Allie Lane became the first African American auctioneer at the Mt. Sterling Court Day markets [source: "Colored auctioneer," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/20/1922, p.4]. Allie Lane lived in Sideview, Montgomery County, KY, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He was the son of Josie Lane, and the entire family of six lived in Sharpsburg, KY in 1910 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1936, Allie had left Kentucky with his wife, Kentucky-native Woodie M. Lane; the couple lived at 424 Turpin Lane in Dayton, OH [source: Williams' Dayton Directory for 1936, p.710]. Four years later, Allie Lane was a farm laborer in Dayton, OH [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He and his wife lived with Woodie's mother on Stepstone Pike. In 1944, Allie and Woodie Lane lived in Ashland, KY, at 124 15th Street; Addie was a laborer at Clayton-Lambert Manufacturing Company and Woodie was a janitor at the Second National Bank [source: Polk's Ashland (Boyd County, KY.) City Directory 1944, p.187]. According to his WWI Registration Card, Allie Lane was born June 4, 1900.
Subjects: Migration North, Other
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Lange, Laura J. Vance
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1948
Reverend Lange was the first African American woman ordained an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was born in St. Matthews, KY, and attended grade school in Jefferson County followed by three years at a private school. She was a graduate of Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary] and was ordained a deacon in 1926 by Bishop Theodore Henderson in Cincinnati, OH, and ordained an elder by Bishop M. W. Clair in 1936. She was a pastor at various churches in Kentucky, including churches in the towns of Eddyville, Smithland, and Harned. Her death certificate gives the following information: she was the widow of Clarance Lange, daughter of Mary Humble and Alford Vance, Lange was a diabetic, and she died at the Red Cross Hospital in Louisville. For more information and Lang's picture see History of Lexington Conference, by Dr. D. E. Skelton.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Saint Matthews and Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Langley, Shelton H. Jr.
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 2006
Langley was born in Henderson, KY, and graduated from segregated Douglass High School in 1925. He was a musician who first learned to play the clarinet, then continued to learn to play many other instruments. He supplemented his income playing in bands before deciding to attend college. Langley graduated from Tennessee State College [now Tennessee State University] in 1931, then taught math and music at Douglass School for 33 years and Henderson City High for six years. He attended the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Conference in 1935, one of 40 KNEA members from Henderson that year. Langley was featured in the notable African Americans exhibit in Henderson in 2007. He has an oral history audio at the Henderson County Public Library's Genealogy and Local History Department. For more see the Kentucky Negro Educational Journal, vol. 6, issue 1; J. Jenkins of The Gleaner, "Century of memories: educator, musician has seen much of Henderson's history," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 12/28/2005; C. Gehret, "Everyday People," an exhibit of African Americans in celebration of Black History Month, The Warbler: John James Audubon State Park Newsletter, vol. 14, issue 1, January-March 2007, pp. 1 & 7; and Shelton H. Langley in the Obituaries of the Evansville Courier & Press, 09/15/2006, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Lanier, Shelby, Jr.
Birth Year : 1936
Lanier was born in Louisville, KY, and is a graduate of the University of Louisville. In 1971 he organized the Black Police Officers Organization and was its first president. In 1974 he organized the National Black Police Association and pushed for a discrimination suit against the Louisville Police Department. A consent decree resulted in compensation, hiring, promotions, assignments, and change in disciplinary practices, with $3.5 million awarded to 98 African Americans who had been denied employment. For more see African American Biographies 2: profiles of 332 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Larue County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Larue County or LaRue County, located in central Kentucky and surrounded by five counties, was created in 1843 from the lower portion of Hardin County. It is named for John LaRue, an early settler who was the grandfather of Kentucky Governor John LaRue Helm. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was born in Larue County in 1809. There is only one Larue County in the entire United States. The county seat is Hodgenville, named for Robert Hodgen, who was born in England, lived in Pennsylvania, and moved to Kentucky. Hodgenville was created in 1818 on land that had belonged to Robert Hodgen. The 1850 county population was 5,187, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,992 in 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 186 slave owners
  • 508 Black slaves
  • 157 Mulatto slaves
  • 8 free Blacks [most with last name Savoree, while others were surnamed Lovelace, Friend, Clay, and Barritt]
  • 7 free Mulattoes [six with the last name Meredith, plus E. Payton]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 221 slave owners
  • 604 Black slaves
  • 297 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black [Ruebin Balis, a 50 year old blacksmith]
  • 3 free Mulattoes [2 Savorees, 1 Wright]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 626 Blacks
  • 327 Mulattoes
  • About 26 U.S. Colored Troops listed Larue County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Larue County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; LaRue County, by R. H. Nichols; Common Law Marriages, 1866-1876, Colored, Marriages, 1866-1913, Colored, by R. Heady; and Bond-Washington School, 1924-1956, by B. M. Marcus.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Larue County, Kentucky

Lasley, William H.
Birth Year : 1930
In July of 1971, William H. Lasley was promoted to director of the Office of Treatment Services of the Kentucky Corrections Department in Frankfort, KY. He had been with the Department of Corrections for six years, and was the associate warden of the state penitentiary in Eddyville, KY. He was one of the top 6 African American employees in state government. The Office of Treatment Services was new and Lasley was the first director, he was responsible for counseling and clinical services at the state's four prisons. For more see "Named to head new Kentucky prison corrections office," Jet, 09/09/1971, p.9; and picture and caption "William H. Lasley, ..." in Black Employment in Kentucky State Agencies: an analysis of the hiring gap, Fifth Report as of November 5, 1971, p.21.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Lattimore, Kirk
Birth Year : 1964
As principal of Crosby Middle School in Louisville, KY, Kirk Lattimore received a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 2001. Lattimore has instituted a number of programs, including the Men of Quality Mentoring Program, which partners African-American male students with role models from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity to promote achievement and civic engagement. Lattimore was born in Plainfield, NJ. He is a graduate of Hampton University and the University of Louisville. In 2010, Kirk Lattimore was the MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year. For more see Kirk Lattimore at the Milken Family Foundation website; D. Carter, "Crosby Middle principal wins national award," Louisville Courier-Journal, 10/18/2001, News section, p.01B; and Kirk Lattimore in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed.

See Kirk Lattimore as he shares how his school tries to catch students before they fall behind, MetLife/NASSP National Middle Level Principal of the Year, on YouTube video.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Plainfield, New Jersey / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Laura Carroll Colored Branch Library, Lexington, KY (Fayette County)
Start Year : 1949
End Year : 1951
Planning by the Lexington Public Library for a colored branch library started in 1947. The property at 572 Georgetown Street was leased from Letitia Hobbs. A naming contest was held at the Booker T. Washington School, organized by the principal, Lucy H. Smith. Student Helen Henderson won the contest with the name Laura Carroll for the new colored branch library. Laura Carroll had died in 1939, she had been a primary school teacher at Chandler Normal School for Colored Children. Her personal library had been donated to the Booker T. Washington School. The Laura Carroll Library opened in June of 1949 with Mrs. Daisy Combs as the head librarian on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday [she was employed at the Aspendale Library on alternate days]. Genevie Covington was in charge of the Laura Carroll Library on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Elizabeth Botts worked during the supper hours and other times when needed. The Laura Carroll Library was the only Negro branch library established by the Lexington Public Library. In January of 1951, the trustees of the Lexington Public Library adopted a resolution to close the Laura Carroll Library. No reason for the closing was recorded in the records. The three Negro librarians were notified that there services would no longer be needed after February 28,1951. Library service to the Georgetown Street area would be replaced by bookmobile services. The 1951 Library Annual Report from the Lexington Public Library stated that services were provided at the main library with no segregation. The Laura Carroll Colored Branch Library in Lexington was one of the last segregated libraries to be established in Kentucky. For more information and citations see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones. See also the NKAA entries Charlotte Court and Aspendale Libraries and Colored Reading Room.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Laurel County African American Heritage Oral History Project
Start Year : 2005
The following description and subject terms come from the Kentucky Historical Society website. "6 interviews with current and former African American residents of Laurel County, Kentucky." "Basketball; Basketball players; Churches; Civil rights; Coal camps; Coal miners; Coal mines and mining; Kentucky State University; Quilting; Race discrimination; Race relations; School integration; Schools; Segregation; Slavery; Slaves"  

Access InterviewThe Laurel County African American Heritage Oral History Project recordings are available online at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Laurel County, Kentucky

Laurel County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Laurel County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1825 from portions of Clay, Knox, Rockcastle, and Whitley Counties, and is surrounded by seven counties. It is named for the laurel shrub found in the area. The county seat is London, named in 1825 for London, England. The county population was 342 [heads of households] in 1830, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,302 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 56 slave owners
  • 141 Black slaves
  • 0 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [Peter Johnathan and Joanna Pin, both born in VA]
  • 6 free Mulattoes [last names Faris, Leckiter, Wiggins]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 37 slave owners
  • 146 Black slaves
  • 40 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 1 free Mulatto [Wely Young]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 108 Blacks
  • 31 Mulattoes
  • About 11 U.S. Colored Troops listed Laurel County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Laurel County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Pictorial History of Laurel County, Kentucky, by the Laurel County Historical Society; and Marriage Bond Books (indexed) at Laurel County, KY, County Clerk website. See photo image of the construction of the Negro school in Laurel County in Kentucky Digital Library - images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Laurel County, Kentucky

Laurey, Albert "Kid Ashe"
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1955
Albert Laurey was a 5'9" featherweight boxer in Cincinnati, OH. His World War II draft registration gives his birth location as Flemings County, KY. He went by the name Kid Ashe and "The Pork Chop King." Wendell P. Dabney, in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, pp. 134-135, states that Albert Laurey, a child orphan, came to Cincinnati from Kentucky. He got a job as a newsboy, one of the few colored boys to carry newspapers in Cincinnati. Dabney described Laurey as a terrific fighter who soon became King of Newsboys. Kid Ashe began fighting professionally in 1899. In 1900, the sports column in the Freeman newspaper mentioned that Kid Ashe was looking for a fight engagement [source: Ned Lmo Bee, "Sport time," Freeman, 11/10/1900, p. 7]. There are several articles in the Freeman newspaper about Kid Ashe's bouts. According to the Box Rec website, Kid Ashe had a record of 10 wins with 6 KOs, 13 loses with 2 KOs, and 15 draws. He was managed by Louis Smith and Harry Gordon. Albert Laurey was the husband of Georgia Laurey, who was born in Ohio. [NOTE: last name spelled both Laurey and Lauray in the census records.]
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North
Geographic Region: Flemings County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Lawrence County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Lawrence County was established in 1821 from portions of Greenup and Floyd Counties. It is located in eastern Kentucky, bordered by the state of West Virginia and six Kentucky counties. The county is named for James Lawrence who was born in New Jersey, and was a U.S. naval officer. He commanded the USS Chesapeake during the War of 1812. The county seat of Lawrence County was named Louisa in 1822. The exact origin of the name is not known. The 1830 county population was 618 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and it increased to 7,453 in 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 41 slave owners
  • 105 Black slaves
  • 32 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black [Alim Shaw, born in SC]
  • 1 free Mulatto [George Fugett]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 38 slave owners
  • 101 Black slaves
  • 45 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 100 Blacks
  • 22 Mulattoes
  • About 10 U.S. Colored Soldiers listed Lawrence County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Lawrence County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Lawrence County, Kentucky by R. Tackett and et. al.; and Collin's Historical Sketches of Kentucky, v.2 by L. Collins and R. H. Collins.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Lawrence County, Kentucky

Lawrence, Jesse H.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1966
Jesse H. Lawrence was born in Anchorage, KY, the son of Reverend and Mrs. E. D. Lawrence. A graduate of Central High School, he earned his A.B. at Howard University and his M.S. at Indiana University. He was owner of Fannie L. Hobbs Funeral Home. In 1926, he married Julia Lessie Brown. Lawrence, a Republican, was the third African American in the Kentucky General Assembly, elected Representative of the 42nd District (Louisville) in 1950. Lawrence was also the alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention from Kentucky in 1960. One of Lawrence's many accomplishments was the introduction of an amendment to the Day Law to allow white and African American students to attend together public and private higher education schools in Kentucky, providing that a comparable accredited course was not available to African American students at Kentucky State University. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.


See photo image of Jesse H. Lawrence on p. 4 in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, December 1950, vol. 22, no. 1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Anchorage and Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lawrence, T. A.
Lawrence was the editor and publisher of The Light House, a weekly newspaper in Paducah, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Lawson, Daniel C.
Birth Year : 1945
Lawson was born in Louisville, KY. After leaving his position as marketing sales manager at Gulf Oil Co., Lawson was appointed assistant transit administrator for the city of Houston by Houston, Texas, Mayor Fred Hofheinz. He left that post to become the first marketing manager for the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority. Lawson was later founder and president of Marketing and Sales Unlimited, Inc. and Lawson National Distributing Co. of Houston, Texas. He was also a noted football player at Oklahoma State University. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Businesses, Football, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Lawson, James Raymond
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1996
Born in Louisville, KY, James R. Lawson was the first student to receive a degree in physics from Fisk University. He developed a research program in infrared spectroscopy, which was the beginning of the Fisk Infrared Research Laboratory. Lawson served as president of Fisk from 1967 to 1977 and later became director of the Office of University Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in Washington D.C. For more see N. Fuson, "Brief History of The Physics Department at Fisk University Including Its Infrared Spectroscopy And Other Research Programs", an article from the Tennessee Tribune, 02/18/97; and The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.

See photo with James R. Lawson on p.66 in Ebony, April 1974.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Physicists, Researchers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Lawson, Raymond A.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1959
Born in Shelbyville, KY, Lawson became a concert pianist. He completed his college courses in music and his B.A. at Fisk University. Lawson also received training in Munich, Germany. He was a soloist in the G-minor Concerto of Saint-Saens with the Philharmonic Society in 1911 and 1918. He also taught piano; his children were two of his students. His son, Warner, would become dean of the School of Music at Howard University. Lawson was honored in many cities in the U.S. and abroad and received a number of awards. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Lawson, William H.
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1913
Lawson was born in Maysville, KY, the son of Robert Lawson. He attended school in Ripley, OH. His family moved to Louisville in 1856 and was listed as free in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. The family included William; his mother, M. Lawson, who was employed as a wash woman; and two other children. William was training to become a painter, decorator, and photographer. In 1872 he ran unsuccessfully for Marshall of the City Court. From 1879-1886, he operated a photography studio at 319 W. Walnut Street. He was later a U.S. store-keeper and an artist. William Lawson served with the 122nd Regiment of the U. S. Colored Troops; he was a quartermaster sergeant. He helped organize the United Brothers of Friendship and served as a state and national Grand Master. He was also a published poet. William Lawson was married to Emeline Lawson, who was born in 1857 in Tennessee. He was later married to Elizabeth [Lizzie] Lawson. For more see the "W. H. Lawson" entry in Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville, by H. C. Weeden; and J. C. Anderson, "Photography," p. 703, middle column, in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Businesses, Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs, Poets
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Leavell, Louis A.
Birth Year : 1874
Louis A. Leavell was a teacher, a lawyer, and an inventor. He was a teacher in Colored District "A" in Lancaster, KY, in 1898. He was removed from the job because 25% of the number of colored children in the district did not attend school for more than 20 consecutive days. In 1901, Leavell was a lawyer in Lexington, KY, and was also the editor of the Twentieth Century Literary Digest, published in Harrodsburg, KY. The Lexington Leader newspaper referred to the publication as one of the best colored literary magazines. In 1902, Leavell was back at the Lancaster Colored School, he was the school principal and the student attendance was at a high. Leavell was also admitted to the bar in Lancaster, and is thought to be the first African American in that organization.  Also in 1902, an article was published in The American Telephone Journal about a telephone answering and recording machine that L. A. Leavell had invented, but did not have the funding to manufacture the machine. The previous year he had filed for a patent on his buggy brake that worked on the hubs of the front wheels with best results on rubber tires. By 1905, Leavell had left Kentucky and moved to New York and was admitted to the bar. His office was located at 104 W. 30th Street in New York City. He was a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and ran unsuccessfully for the New York Legislature, and for U.S. Congress in 1922 and 1924.  He was also unsuccessfully in his bid for New York City magistrate in 1925. For more information see "Change in Colored school," Central Record, 01/07/1898, p.1; "A Colored magazine," Leader, 04/07/1901, p.3; "Colored Notes," Leader, 03/26/1905, p.2; "Lawyer L. A. Leavell...," Central Record, 10/16/1902, p.1; "An Automatic recorder," The American Telephone Journal, vol. 6, no.4, 07/26/1902, p.53; and "A Good invention," Central Record, 08/22/1901, p.3. See Louis A. "Lavelle" in Emancipation: the making of the black lawyer, 1844-1944 by J. C. Smith, Jr.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Inventors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Lee, Amanda
Birth Year : 1843
In 1894, Amanda Lee was the owner of the first house built in the town of Cynthiana, KY, according to Lucinda Boyd. It was not known who actually built the house, a log cabin built around 1790, or how Lee came to own it. Lee was a free woman of color born in Kentucky in 1843. She is listed as a domestic servant of the John Dellows family in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. Dellows was a tailor from Missouri and his wife, Sallie, was from Ohio. The town of Cynthiana, KY, was established in 1793. Amanda Lee was one of several free African Americans in Harrison County, KY, prior to 1860 who had the last name Lee. One of the earliest, Judy Lee, the daughter of Samuel V. Lee, was born around 1809 and died around 1852. For more see "First House,"  Chronicles of Cynthiana and other Chronicles, p. 9, by L. Boyd.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky

Lee County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1870-1900
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1900
Lee County, located in eastern Kentucky, was formed in 1870 from portions of Breathitt, Estill, Owsley, and Wolfe Counties. It is surrounded by five counties, and it is uncertain how the county got its name. The county seat is Beattyville, established in 1872 and named for Samuel Beatty who provided the land for the town. Lee County was established after the slaves in Kentucky were freed by the 13th Amendment. Below are the population numbers for African Americans in the county in 1870, 1880, and 1900.

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 95 Blacks
  • 54 Mulattoes
  • About 3 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lee County, KY as their birth location.

1880 U.S. Federal Census

  • 51 Blacks

1900 U.S. Federal Census

  • 273 Blacks

For more see the Lee County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Lee County, Kentucky

Lee, Everett, Jr. and Sylvia Olden
Birth Year : 1916
Everett Lee (1916- ), from Wheeling, WV, was the first African American to direct a white orchestra, the Louisville Philharmonic in 1953; the audience was integrated. Everett was also the first African American to conduct a Broadway show. He was the husband of Sylvia O. Lee (1917-2004), who was born in Mississippi. She was a pianist and vocal coach, the first African American professional musician at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Sylvia's paternal grandfather, George Olden, had served in the Union Army when he was a teen after running away from slavery at the Oldham Plantation in Oldham County, KY. Her father, Rev. J. C. Olden, was living in Louisville, KY, when he arranged for Everett to conduct the Louisville Philharmonic. For more see "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach," 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)]; and W. M. Cheatham, "Lady Sylvia speaks," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 16, issue 1 (Spring 1996), pp. 183-213.

See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Freedom, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Wheeling, West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mississippi / New York / Oldham County, Kentucky

Lee, George
Birth Year : 1943
George Lee, from Dayton, OH, was the first African American football player at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in 1961. He was a graduate of Roosevelt High School, and one of the five African American athletes brought to EKU by track and football coach Floyd Norman. Roosevelt High School had won the state high school track championship in Ohio and Floyd Norman was the coach. George Lee was a star football player at the school. During Lee's first year at EKU, the football team was on a road trip when Lee was denied entrance to a movie theater because of his race, 40 members of the football team walked out of the theater in protest. George Lee talked about that day during his speech at the 2000 EKU graduation. Information from 1906-2006: A Century of Opportunity, an EKU web page; and A History of Eastern Kentucky Univesity by W. E. Ellis.
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Dayton, Ohio / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Lee, James (basketball)
Birth Year : 1956
Born in 1956 in Lexington, KY, James Lee played high school basketball at Henry Clay in Lexington. The 6'5" forward played college basketball at the University of Kentucky from 1974 to 1978, participating in 116 games and scoring 996 total points, including the mighty dunk that ended the 1978 NCAA Championship victory over Duke. Lee was selected by the Seattle Supersonics in the second round of the 1978 NBA draft but was soon released; he played with teams in the Continental Basketball Association until 1983. For more see James Lee on the Big Blue History web page; and H. Raystaff, "What's up with... James Lee," Courier Journal (Louisville), 04/03/2005.


Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lee, James Henry
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1934
James H. Lee was a race horse attendant in Shelbyville, Illinois. He was born in Danville, KY, February 11, 1858, the son of Henry Lee and Ann Brumfield Lee [source: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. James H. Lee died February 18, 1934 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Shelbyville, IL.

[Henry Lee had been a slave owned by Frank Lee, and he served with Company A 116 U.S. Colored Infantry - - source: Freedman's Bank Record.]
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Illinois

Lee, James (jockey)
In 1907, J. Lee, an African American jockey, became the third jockey in history to win all of the races on the card. The races took place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY; Lee won six races. He was under contract to J. B. Respess of Cincinnati. Lee also set a record by two seconds riding the horse Foreigner. Some of the wins were long shots: a one dollar bet netted $13,000. Lee tied the record set by jockeys Fred Archer and George Fordham, who also won all the races on their cards in England. Jockey Monk Overton, also an African American, won six of seven races at Washington Park in Chicago; he did not have a horse for the seventh race. For more see "J. Lee rides six winners," The Washington Post, 06/06/1907, p. 8; "J. Lee wins every race at Louisville," New York Times, 06/06/1907, p. 9; and "Remarkable jockey feats," Daily Racing Form, 04/11/1912, p.1.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lee, Johnson Camden
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1993
Born in Versailles, KY, Dr. Johnson C. Lee was a dentist in Lexington, KY. He was the husband of Gladys Lee. In 1960 Dr. Lee became the first African American member of the Kentucky Dental Association. In 1983 he was the second African American dentist in Kentucky to receive the Kentucky Dental Association's award for having practiced dentistry for 50 years. Dr. Lee's office was located in the old Masonic Building on North Broadway. He was a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Lee was also a World War II veteran of the African American 93 Infantry Division. He also owned a semi-pro baseball team. For more see "Dentist considers slowing down after 50 years: dentist starts to slow down after 50 years in practice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/26/1983, p. B1; and Johnson C. Lee in E. Duncan, "Obituaries," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/05/1993, p. C2.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Johnson Camden Lee oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Baseball, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lee, Mary S. B.
Born in Paris, KY, Lee became dean of women at Langston University in Oklahoma and a consultant to the Oklahoma School of Air-Spotlight on Health. Her 1939 thesis was Guidance Programs in the Separate Accredited Secondary Schools of Oklahoma (Mary S. Buford), and she also authored a number of articles in such journals as Southwestern Journal and Journal of the National Association of Deans of Women. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Langston, Oklahoma

Lee's Row and Davis Bottom (Lexington, KY)
This area of Lexington is also referred to as Davis Bottoms, and of late, Davistown. Writer J. Kellogg called Lee's Row an "antebellum Negro settlement." It is one of the oldest and poorest areas of Lexington; today the entire area is separated by the Versailles Road viaduct from the Irishtown neighborhood. Lee's Row and Davistown were developed by African Americans at the end of the Civil War on what was at that time the periphery of the city at the bottom of a steep hill along the railroad tracks. In 1880 there were 45 households in Lee's Row and 30 households in Davistown; when combined the neighborhoods made up one of Lexington's nine Negro neighborhood clusters. White families started to move into the area in the early 1900s, making up 50% of the population by the 1950s. Forty years later, whites constituted 65% of the residents. In 2003 plans were developed to raze the homes in lower Davistown in preparation for the extension of Newtown Pike and a 155-unit housing development, playgrounds, a park, and other development. For more see J. Kellogg, "The Formation of Black Residential Areas in Lexington, Kentucky, 1865-1887," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 48, issue 1 (Feb. 1982), pp. 21-52; "Negro Urban Clusters in the Postbellum South," Geographical Review, vol. 61, issue 3 (July 1977), pp. 310-321; "Live in 'The Bottom,' they stay because it feels like home, neighbors say," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/15/1995; and "Neighborhood will be razed for road extension - Davistown meets Newtown Pike longtime residents anxious about changes," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/15/2003.
Subjects: Communities, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Leslie County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1880-1910
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1910
Leslie County was formed in 1878 from portions of Clay, Harlan, and Perry Counties. It is located in southeastern Kentucky in the Eastern Coal Field region and is surrounded by four counties. The county was named for Kentucky Governor Preston H. Leslie, who was later territorial governor of Montana. The county seat is Hyden, named for Kentucky Senator John Hyden. Leslie County was formed after slaves in Kentucky was freed by the 13th Amendment. Below are the number of African Americans in the county in 1880, 1900, and 1910

1880 U.S. Federal Census

  • 11 Blacks [most with last name Walker, 2 Entoush, 1 Dosier, 1 Combs]
  • 11 Colored children [Source: Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, v.1, p.731, Chapter 405, March 17, 1884 - online at Google Book Search]
1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • 76 Blacks
1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 14 Blacks
  • 4 Colored [Comett, Fuggle, Pennigton, and Rauss]
  • 122 Mulattoes
For more see Leslie County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Leslie County, Kentucky

Lester, Bobby [nee Robert L. Dallas]
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1980
Lester was born in Louisville, KY, he was a tenor singer. Lester sung with Harvey Fuqua playing piano when both were teens in Louisville, they first performed in 1949. They would become members of the group Moonglows in Cleveland, OH. Lester was the lead singer on most of the group's recordings from 1952-1960. Prior to the group becoming a hit, Lester worked in a coal yard by day and sung at night. One of the group's best known hits is "Sincerely," released in December 1954. With success also came change, and the group was named Bobby Lester and the Moonglows for a bief period. The group split up around 1960 and Lester returned to Louisville. He was managing a night club, when in 1970, he revived the group as the New Moonglows and also revived the Flamingos [which had began as a Black Jewish group in Chicago in the early 1950s]. The New Moonglows lasted for a couple of years,and the group was reconfigured in 1972 with Lester, Fuqua, Alexander Graves, Chuck Lewis, and Doc Williams. They recorded the album The Return of the Moonglows. The group would be reconfigured again in 1978 and continued to perform with Lester as a member until his death in 1980. Lester died of lung cancer in Louisville. After his death,a new leader was chosen and the Moonglows continued performing into the 1990s. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. See images and hear the Moonglows singing "Sincerely" (1972 version) on YouTube. For more see the Bobby Lester entry in The Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars by J. Simmonds; see also the album The Best of Bobby Lester and the Moonglows. For more on the Moonglows see American Singing Groups by J. Warner.

Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Letcher County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Letcher County is located in southeastern Kentucky on the West Virginia border, and adjoins four Kentucky counties. It was formed in 1842 from portions of Perry and Harlan Counties, and was named for Governor Robert P. Letcher, who was a Kentucky Representative and was Speaker of the House, and a U.S. Representative. The county seat of Letcher County is Whitesburg, named in 1842 for John D. White, a Kentucky Representative and U.S. Senator. According to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, the Letcher County population was 2,450, and increased to 4,608 by 1870, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 21 slave owners
  • 51 Black slaves
  • 11 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 9 free Mulattoes [most with last name Moore]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 29 slave owners
  • 87 Black slaves
  • 21 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [Lucinda Banks and Henry Williams]
  • 5 free Mulattoes [most with last name Moore]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 110 Blacks
  • 13 Mulattoes
  • 1 U.S. Colored Troop listed Letcher County, KY, as his birth location. [William McKinnevan]
For more see the Letcher County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Letcher County, Kentucky by W. T. Cornett; Blacks in Appalachia by W. H. Turner and E. J. Cabbell.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Letcher County, Kentucky

Letcher, Sukey
Birth Year : 1781
Sukey Letcher, the widow of George Letcher, was born near White Oak Spring in Mercer County, KY around 1781, the slave of Leonard Thompson. She was thought to be one of the first of African descent to be born in Kentucky. April 16, 1873, she was living in Harrodsburg and was the oldest living Colored person born in Kentucky. According to author Lewis Collins, the 1777 Harrodsburg Census showed that there were 19 slaves, and only a few slave families had been brought to Boonesborough and Logan's Station a little before or around the time the census was taken. Sukey [Sooky] Letcher is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census with a note that she was the first Colored child born in Mercer County, KY. She was living with the five members of the George Smith household. Letcher is not listed as a free person in the U.S. Census prior to 1870; she may not have gained her freedom until after the Civil War. She died some time between 1873 and 1880. For more see "The Oldest Colored Person" on p.614 in Collins Historical Sketches of Kentucky: history of Kentucky, volume 2, by L. Collins and R. Collins.
Subjects: Early Settlers
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Letton, James Carey
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 2013
Born in Paris, KY, James C. Letton, a retired chemist, was a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University who served as president of the Alumni Association from 1979-1984. He earned his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois in 1970 and returned to Kentucky State University to chair the Chemistry Department. After five years, Letton was hired at Proctor & Gamble Company as an organic chemist. Letton has a number of patents and was featured in Black Enterprise in 1990 when he was working on the fat substitute, Olestra. His research and publications have been in the areas of medicinal chemistry. Letton has received a number of awards, including being named the recipient of the 1989 Percy L. Julian Award "for significant contributions in pure and/or applied research in science or engineering." That same year he was awarded the distinguished alumni citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunities in Education. For more see Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1975-1977; "Changing America's Diet," Black Enterprise, vol. 20, issue 7 (Feb. 1990), p. 106; and James Carey Letton in American Men & Women of Science, 1971-2007. 

See also "In Memoriam: James Carey Letton, 1933-2013," a Journal of Blacks in Higher Education website.
Subjects: Chemists, Education and Educators, Migration North, Researchers
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Lewis, Cary Blackburn, Sr.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1946
Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was a newspaper journalist and editor.  He was born in Louisville, KY, in 1878, the son of Plummer Sr. and Mattie Lewis [source: Illinois, Deaths and Still births Index; and 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. He is buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago, IL. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was best known as the managing editor of the Chicago Defender for ten years, 1910-1920, and he was also a sports editor [source: "Obituary 4 - -  No Title. Cary B. Lewis," New York Times, 12/10/1946, p.31]. He had been a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before becoming a journalist with the Indianapolis Freeman where he covered sports and national news [source: When to Stop the Cheering? by B. Carroll]. Lewis was a prolific writer and had hundreds of articles in both the Indianapolis Freeman and the Chicago Defender. While many of the articles were about the lives of Negroes in Kentucky, Indiana, Chicago, and those in the national news, Lewis also kept the public informed about Negro baseball games. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was active in the establishment of the Negro National Baseball League (NNL). In 1920 he was elected secretary of the NNL in preparation for the 1921 circuit season and he played a major role in developing the constitution for the new league [source: Rube Foster in His Time by L. Lester]. In 1907, Lewis had also been named secretary of the unsuccessful National Colored League of Professional Baseball Clubs in Indianapolis. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was the husband of Bertha Mosley Lewis in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. [In the Chicago death index, Cary B. Lewis' birthdate is given as July 15, 1888, though he is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a 2 year old. On his WWII draft registration card, Lewis gives his birthdate as July 15, 1880, and at the time, he was employed at the Poro College of Annie M. Malone. His father, Plummer Lewis, was a Civil War veteran; he served with the 28th U.S. Colored Infantry, according to the U.S. Colored Troops U.S. Service Records].
Subjects: Baseball, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Lewis County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Lewis County is located in northeastern Kentucky on the Ohio River and borders five counties. It was developed from a portion of Mason County in 1806, and is named for Merriweather Lewis of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition. The first county seat was Poplar Flats in 1806, and Vanceburg became the county seat in December of 1863. Vanceburg was named for Joseph C. Vance, a Revolutionary War veteran who was born in Virginia. The 1810 population of Lewis County was 345 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 8,011 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 91 slave owners
  • 251 Black slaves
  • 71 Mulatto Slaves
  • 7 free Blacks
  • 1 free Mulatto [Robert McDowell]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 69 slave owners
  • 134 Black slaves
  • 96 Mulatto Slaves
  • 15 free Blacks [10 with the last name Dennis]
  • 2 free Mulattoes [Jesse Greenway and Menerva Vincent]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 205 Blacks
  • 30 Mulattoes
  • About 13 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lewis County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Lewis County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Lewis County, Kentucky by O. G. Ragan; C.B. Shepard Deed of Emancipation, 1826; and Tax Assessment Books, 1807-1911 (Lewis County).
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Lewis County, Kentucky

Lewis, Ernestine
Lewis was elected to the Bloomfield, KY, City Council in 1977. The ticket included Freddie Skinner. It was the first time the city council had two African American members. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 15.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky

Lewis, Fountain C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1822
A barber living in Cincinnati, Lewis came to Covington, KY, in 1856 to cash a check written on the Farmers' Bank and was arrested and jailed. His arrest had nothing to do with the check or the bank but rather was retaliation for all of the perceived injustices the people of Cincinnati had heaped upon Kentuckians concerning African Americans. The mayor of Covington recognized Lewis and authorized his release after a payment of $2. Lewis is listed as a freeman at 15 W. Cincinnati Township in the 1860 Federal Population Schedule. He is described as a mulatto who was born in Kentucky around 1822. He was said to be the barber of dignitaries and aristocrats. In 1895, Fountain Lewis and his son, Fountain Lewis, Jr. (b. 1858), were operating barbershops in Cincinnati, according to the Williams' Cincinnati Directory, 1895-96. According to Wendell P. Dabney, author of Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, p. 183, Fountain Lewis, Sr. came to Cincinnati as a free man in the 1840s. He was a barber for many years and was joined in the business by his son, Fountain Lewis, Jr. Years later, Fountain Jr. was joined in the barbering business by his son Fred K. Lewis; the two later established an undertaking business and the barber shop was closed. Fountain C. Lewis, Sr. was the husband of Daphney Cotton Lewis (b. 1831 in MS); the couple had three sons when the 1860 U.S. Federal Census was taken. Fountain Lewis, Sr. was single and 43 years old when he registered for the Civil War in June of 1863 in Hamilton County, OH [source: U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records]. For more see "Kentucky retaliation," New York Daily Times, 04/02/1865, p. 2.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Covington, Kenton, Kentucky

Lewis, Gary B., Jr.
In 1950, Gary B. Lewis, Jr. was certified as a public accountant in the state of Kentucky. Lewis was a business administration professor at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. He was born in Chicago, IL, and was a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A.) and the University of Chicago, where he earned his M.B.A. Lewis would leave Kentucky to become an accounting professor at Chicago State University. Lewis may have been the second African American to become a CPA in Kentucky; the first was Chauncey Lewis Christian. For more see the Gary B. Lewis, Jr. article and photo in The Crisis, vol. 57, no. 5 (May 1950), p. 323 [available online at Google Books].
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Lewis, George Garrett
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1880
In 1880, Lewis won the Kentucky Derby riding Fonso. The industry's first foul was claimed after the race. Lewis died a few weeks later at his home in Hutchison Station, KY; he had been injured in an accident that occurred while he was racing in St. Louis, Missouri. George Garrett Lewis was the brother of jockey Oliver Lewis. For more see African-Americans in the Thoroughbred Industry, a Paris-Bourbon County Public Library website; and Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby by J. R. Saunders and M. R. Saunders.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Hutchinson Station, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Lewis, Isaac E.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1919
Isaac Lewis was born in Hutchinson Station, KY, the son of Henry and Mary J. Lewis. Isaac won the 1887 Kentucky Derby aboard Montrose. His exact birth year is given as 1867 in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census [others have given his year of birth as 1870]. He rode as a 17 year old jockey in the 1887 Derby. He had been around horses all of his life; both Issac and his older brother Garrett Davis Lewis were listed in the 1880 Census as being employed working with horses. In 1900, Isaac Lewis was a groom at the Harlem Jockey Club in Proviso Township in Cook County, Ill. He is listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living in the Harlem Village where several other African Americans from Kentucky also lived, they were employed at the Harlem Jockey Club as cooks, jockeys, grooms, trainers, and stable boys. In 1910, Lewis was living in Chicago, and was manager of a Turkish Bath. For more see Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby by J. R. Saunders and M. R. Saunders.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Hutchinson Station, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Lewis, Julia Etta
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 1998
One of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY, Julia Etta Lewis was a member of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Using non-violent demonstrations and sit-ins, Lewis led the fight against segregation in education, entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and public transportation. She and Audrey Grevious helped to bring Lexington CORE and the NAACP together for protest efforts. For more see 2001 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame - Inductees from Lexington.

  
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lewis, Lyda F.
Birth Year : 1948
In 1973, Lyda Lewis became the first African American to be named Miss Kentucky in the 26 year history of the competition. Lewis was the Kentucky representative to the Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, NJ. Lewis, born in Maysville, KY, was a 1966 graduate of the then recently integrated Maysville High School, where she was one of the first African American cheerleaders. She is a 1970 graduate of Morehead State University. She was also the first African American homecoming queen at Morehead State in 1967. Lewis was employed as a special education teacher in Louisville, KY, in 1973, and planned to pursue her master's degree at the University of Louisville. She had been the runner-up in the 1972 Miss Kentucky pageant, and with her win in 1973, she received a $1,000 scholarship, $500 cash wardrobe, and a 1973 automobile. Lyda Lewis was Miss Jeffersontown in 1972 and Miss Louisville in 1973. She was the third African American to participate in the Miss America pageant, the first from the South. After her pageant career, Lyda Lewis was an actor and model in New York. For more see "First Black Miss Kentucky named," Lexington Leader, 07/16/1973; "Kentucky beauty queen wins on her second try," Jet, 08/09/1973, p. 17; "Miss Kentucky is black," New York Times, 07/16/1973, p. 16; and the Lyda Lewis entry by J. Klee in The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, edited by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.

See the 1973 photo image of Lyda Lewis at Miss Kentucky website.
Subjects: Homecoming Queens, Pageants, Contests, Migration North
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lewis, Meade Lux
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1964
Lewis was a pianist and composer. He was born in Louisville, KY, and raised in Chicago. Meade was the son of Hattie and George Lewis. George was employed as a postal clerk and was also a Pullman Porter. Hattie and George were Kentucky natives, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1920 the family was living in apartment 29, a rear unit on LaSalle Street in Chicago. Meade Lewis's first instrument was the violin, which he learned to play when he was 16 years old. He taught himself to play the piano and developed a boogie-woogie style. His best known work is Honky Tonk Train Blues, recorded in 1927. Boogie-woogie was still a new sound. To supplement his income, Lewis worked washing cars and driving a taxi. He played the piano at house parties, clubs, and after-hours joints. His fame is said to have begun in 1938 when Lewis performed in John Hammond's concert at Carnegie Hall. He is regarded as one of the three noted musicians of boogie-woogie. For more see the Meade Lux Lewis entry in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and "Meade Lux Lewis pianist, is killed," New York Times, 06/08/1964, p. 18. A picture of Lewis and additional information are available in Men of Popular Music, by D. Ewen. View film with Meade Lux Lewis playing boogie woogie on YouTube.


Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Pullman Porters, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Lewis, Oliver
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1924
Oliver Lewis won the first Kentucky Derby in 1875 aboard Aristides. Ansel Williams, also an African American, was the trainer. Oliver Lewis was born in Fayette County, KY, the son of Elnora Keys Lewis and Goodson Lewis [source: Cincinnati Ohio Death Certificate]. He was the husband of Lucy Lewis and thought to be a brother to jockey George Garrett Lewis. In 2010, the Newtown Pike Extension in Lexington, KY, was renamed Oliver Lewis Way. For more see Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby, by J. R. Saunders and M. R. Saunders; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; and Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 56, 2006. See also K. Ward, "Newtown Pike extension to be renamed Oliver Lewis Way," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/31/2010, p. A3.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Lewis, Sherman
Birth Year : 1942
Sherman Lewis was born in Louisville, KY. An All-State halfback on the Louisville Manual High School football team, he also earned letters in basketball and track and field. An All-American in college, he came in third in voting for the Heisman Trophy while playing at Michigan State University, where he also excelled in track and field. Lewis played professional football for a brief period for the Toronto Argonauts and the New York Jets. It was his dream to become a head football coach, but it never happened. For 14 years, Lewis was an assistant football coach at Michigan State (1968-1982). He was an assistant running backs coach with the San Francisco 49ers from 1983 to 1992, during which time the team won three Super Bowls. He was an offensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers (1992-2000); they also won a Super Bowl during his tenure. Prior to retiring in 2004, Lewis was also part of the coaching staff for Minnesota and Detroit. In 1994, Sherman Lewis was inducted into the Dawhares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame. For more see "Sherman Lewis: All-American halfback & longtime coach," 02/17/2007, at MSUSpartans.com; "Sherman Lewis: former Spartan football and track standout," 09/04/2001, at MSUSpartans.cstv.com; 1994 Dawhares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class at KHSAA.org; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2006.


Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Football, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / East Lansing, Michigan

Lewis (slave)
In 1850, a slave named Lewis escaped from Alexander Marshall's ownership in Fleming County, KY. Lewis went to Columbus, OH, where he hid for three years. Marshall Dryden captured Lewis in 1853 and attempted to take him back to Kentucky, but instead, Dryden was arrested in Cincinnati for kidnapping. John Jollife and Rutherford B. Hayes defended 19 year old Lewis when the case went before Commissioner Samuel S. Carpenter. Carpenter insisted that in Ohio, "a black person was free until proven a slave." At the trial there was a large crowd of blacks and whites, which made Carpenter nervous, so he spoke in a whisper. So many people filled the courtroom that while the proceedings were taking place, Lewis eased through the crowd. Someone placed a hat on his head, and he slipped out the door before anyone opposed to his leaving was able to take notice. Lewis got help from members of the Underground Railroad: dressing as a woman, he escaped to Canada. After the trial, Carpenter confessed that he would not have forced Lewis to return to Kentucky; Carpenter resigned from his post the following year. For more on Lewis and other Kentucky African American fugitives who were not quite so lucky, see S. Middleton, "The Fugitive Slave Crisis in Cincinnati, 1850-1860: Resistance, Enforcement, and Black Refugees," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 72, issues 1/2 (Winter - Spring, 1987), pp. 20-32.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio / Canada

Lexington Conference (Methodist Episcopal Church)
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1964
The Lexington Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was established in Harrodsburg, KY, in 1869. It was the third missionary conference for African Americans [the first was the Delaware Conference and the second was the Washington Conference, both established in 1864]. African Americans had been members of the Kentucky District of the Methodist Episcopal Church as early as 1787 when there were 64 Colored members, according to author F. Ockerman, Jr. When the Lexington Conference was established, it was originally a part of the Kentucky Annual Conference; beginning in the spring of 1866, a few Negro preachers were admitted into the traveling connection as a trial. New members were added as the preachers met as a group over the next three years. At the annual session in Newport, KY, in 1868, the preachers forwarded a resolution asking for their own conference, named the Lexington Conference; the resolution was approved. The conference founders were Henry Hopkins Lytle (1802-1890), from Maryland; Israel Simms (1819-1912), from New Castle, KY; Zail or Zale Ross (1824-1892), from Georgetown, KY; William Lawrence (d. 1900 in Anchorage, KY); Marcus McCoomer (1834-1899); Peter Booth (d. 1873), from Kentucky; Hanson Talbott (d. 1870), from Harrodsburg, KY; Nelson Saunders (d. 1879 in Louisville, KY); Paris Fisher; Andrew Bryant (d. 1870 in Paris, KY); Adam Nunn (b.1820), from Oberlin, OH; George Downing (1807-1880), from Virginia; Willis L. Muir (d. 1911 in Louisville, KY); and Elisha C. Moore (d. 1871), from Alabama. The first Lexington Conference was held in the Jackson Street Church in Louisville in 1870, with the membership initially including churches in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The women's divisions of the conference were formed after the turn of the century: Women's Home Missionary Society (1900), Ladies Aid Society (1914), Minister's Wives (1919), and Women's Society of Christian Service. The Lexington Conference was held most often in a Kentucky location, and as the membership increased, it also shifted northward with the Great Migration, after which the conference was held more in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. In 1946 the membership was over 17,000, with close to half from the Chicago area. The Lexington Conference was held each year until June 1964 when the conference was merged into the Cleveland district of the North East Ohio Conference. For more see Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference, by W. H. Riley; History of Lexington Conference, by Dr. D. E. Skelton; Black People in the Methodist Church: Whither Thou Goest?, by W. B. McClain; The Tapestry of Faith: the history of Methodism in the Cleveland District of the East Ohio Conference, by G. S. Moore and J. C. Trimble; and First United Methodist Church, Lexington, Kentucky: bicentennial history by F. Ockerman, Jr.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indiana / Illinois / Ohio

Lexington Emigration Association
In 1872, the Lexington Emigration Association opened an account with the U.S. Freedmen Bank. The background and purpose of the organization is not known at this time. The officers were Theodor Clay, Eva Jackson, Samuel Williams, Reubin Scott, and J. C. Jackson, Jr. For more see the U.S. Freedmen Bank Records.
Subjects: Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lexington Fraternal Order of Black Firefighters
Start Year : 1990
The following information comes from the unpublished manuscript, History of Black Firefighters, written by Keith L. Jackson in 1991, for the Lexington, KY Chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF). The Lexington Fraternal Order of Black Firefighters was formed in May, 1990, the first IABPFF chapter in Kentucky. Some of the founding members were Michael Horton, Clarence Jones, James Kyner, and Beverly Baker. There had been an earlier firefighter's association in Lexington, formed in the 1980s, and named the Brothers Loving Others and Opposing Destruction (BLOOD). The chapter was reorganized and the name was changed in 1990. According to Jackson, the first two African American firefighters were hired by the City of Lexington in 1969: John Drake and Charles Lindsey. In 1992, Brenda Cowan became the first African American woman firefighter and member of the Lexington Chapter of the IABPFF. A second chapter of the IABPFF was located in Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Firefighters, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lexington Hustlers Baseball Team
Start Year : 1911
End Year : 1952
The Negro League Baseball team, Lexington Hustlers, was formed in 1947. But prior to that, there was an earlier Lexington Hustlers baseball team since at least 1911 when the officers were Harvey Rhodes, president; William Madison, secretary; Samford Turner, manager; and Henry Jones, field manager [source: "Colored Notes," Leader, 02/26/1911, p.6]. Newspaper articles about the older team can be found in the Leader from 1911-1950s. Shelby Lee Moxley was a pitcher on the older team and a coach for the newer team. The newer team played against other Negro League teams that had such players as Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, and Josh Gibson. Coach John W. "Scoop" Brown added player Bobby Flynn to the team in 1947; Flynn was white but had been rejected by the white teams because he was small. By 1949, white players made up one third of the Lexington Hustlers, the first integrated baseball team in the South. The team integrated the same year that Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball. Bobby Flynn would later become a Kentucky Senator, and he is the father of former Major League Baseball player Doug Flynn. For more see "Hustlers Tip Caps to Past," Lexington Herald-Leader, June 17, 2010, pp. A1-A2.

See photo image and the video titled Baseball in Black and White: the Lexington Hustlers [online] at Kentucky Life, Program 907, a Kentucky Educational Television (KET) website.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lexington (KY) City Directory - African Americans, 1818
Start Year : 1818
For the state of Kentucky, the earliest published city directory was probably Lexington's First City Directory published by Joseph Charless for the Year 1806. An individual's race was not noted in the directory, though there were free African Americans living in the city. Lexington's Second City Directory published by William Worsley and Thomas Smith for the Year 1818, has the names of four free African Americans, listed as "coloured": James Gatewood, a retailer of liquors on Market Street; Billy Gist of the Western Suburb; Peter Lewis on Market Street; and Henry Quarles on Short Street continued. According to an article in the Kentucky Reporter, 10/30/1820, p. 3, col. 4, the 1820 census of Lexington, KY, included 1,641 slaves and 115 free Colored persons.
Subjects: Directories, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lexington National Cemetery, Lexington, KY: Grave Registration, United States Colored Civil War Soldiers and Employees
Source: Director, Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lexington's Colored Orphan Industrial Home
Start Year : 1892
End Year : 1988
The Colored Orphan Home was incorporated with E. Belle Mitchell Jackson as president; Emma O.Warfield, vice president; Ida W. Bate [wife of John W. Bate] secretary, Priscilla Lacey, treasurer, and 11 other women members of the Ladies Orphans Home Society. Captain Robert H. Fitzhugh, who was white, was a professional philanthropist for the home. Support came from bequests, fund raising, and donations. The home was located on Georgetown Pike [Georgetown Street] in Lexington, KY. The board members served as matrons of the home and donated food and supplies. The home took in orphaned and abandoned children, a few elderly women, and half orphans (children with one parent). The parent of a half orphan was charged for the child's board at the home. Board members determined when a child would be returned to its parents, and there were a few adoptions and foster care placements, but the goal was to educate the children and teach them an industrial trade in preparation for adulthood. In addition to classwork, house chores, and gardening, the children were taught kitchen duties, cooking, carpentry, chair-caning, laundry, sewing - the children made all of the clothes and linen at the home, and did shoe-making and repairs - shoes were made for the children and also sold to the community. The home continued in operation until 1988 when it became the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center. For more see Lexington's Colored Orphan Industrial Home: building for the future, by L. F. Byars. See also Colored Orphan Industrial Home Records, 1892-1979 at the University of Kentucky Libraries.

    See the photo images of the Colored Orphan's & Industrial Home at the Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

The Liberian Connection
(Kentucky Life Program 1106, KET) - This special edition of Kentucky Life explores the history behind the names and traces family ties that bind Liberia and Kentucky. A Kentucky state affiliation was first formed in 1828 with the transporting of Kentucky blacks to Africa. Later, the Kentucky Colonization Society raised enough money to buy a 40-square-mile site along the St. Paul's River in Africa; it was named Kentucky. The principal town, Clay Ashland, established in 1846, was named in honor of Clay and his Lexington estate, Ashland. The video The Liberian Connection is available at the University of Kentucky Media Library and may also be purchased from Kentucky Educational Television, The Kentucky Network.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Clay Ashland, Liberia, Africa

Liberty Association - African American Baptists in Kentucky
Birth Year : 1868
The annual address of the 50th Anniversary of the Liberty Association is included in Jubilee History and Biographical Sketches of Liberty Association by G. R. Ford. The organization was established in 1868 by Rev. Peter Murrell, who was moderator of the first meeting held in Horse Cave, Ky, and Allen Allensworth was the secretary. Rev. Murrell would continue as an administrator of the association until the early 1900s. The meetings were held in the Hart, Barren, and Muhlenberg County areas of the state. In 1875, the Zion affiliation left the association. The year 1918 was also the 55th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was recognized during the Liberty Association meeting. It was estimated that there were 80,000 Colored Baptist in Kentucky.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Librarians' Conference of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association
Start Year : 1935
End Year : 1956
The Librarians' Conference was established April 11, 1935, during the 59th Annual Session of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) in Louisville, KY. It was the first formal organization for African American librarians and teacher librarians in Kentucky. The group continued to meet annually during the KNEA Conference until desegregation in 1956, when it was subsumed into the Kentucky Education Association. For more see Librarians' Conference reports in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association publications from 1935-1956 at Kentucky State University and also available online in the Kentucky Digital Library - Journals.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Library of Congress Collections
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. The research arm of congress, it also makes resources available to the American people. It is an agency of the legislative branch of the U.S. Government. The library began in 1800 and is located in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. There are millions of items in the collections, including many items pertaining to Kentucky African Americans. Examples: the emancipation documents from Edmund Lyne that freed his slaves in the late 1790s; "The two ways," an 1896 sermon by Rev. J. W. Mayes, pastor of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in McGowan, KY; photographs of students and buildings at Berea College, collected by W. E. B. Dubois and Thomas J. Calloway for the American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition; and the digital copy of the 1883 National Convention of Colored Men (held in Louisville, KY) program [available online]. Visit the Library of Congress and their website to find additional resources.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, National Resources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / McGowan, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Paris, France / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Liggin, Jennie B.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1977
Liggin, born in Louisville, KY, organized and founded the first AME girl scout troop in Kentucky. The troop was sponsored by the St. John AME Church in Louisville. Jennie Liggin had been a school teacher, she graduated from Louisville Normal School in 1923 and attended Louisville Municipal College 1925-27. She was the wife of Rev. Clyde Absalom Liggin (1902-1980), pastor of Trinity Church in 1947, and principal of the Virginia Avenue School, both in Louisville. Rev. Liggin organized the first boy scout troop at St. John AME Church, which was the second AME troop in Kentucky. The Liggins were active members of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP, they were two of the four persons recognized for their efforts in the successful membership campaign in 1938. Jennie and Clyde Liggin last lived in North Carolina. For more see Mrs. Jennie Liggin and C. A. Liggin in The Crisis, Jan 1938, p.21 [online at Google Book Search]; and Mrs. Jennie B. Liggin in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lightfoot, Carter
Birth Year : 1794
Death Year : 1845
This entry was researched, written and submitted by
Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968

Carter Lightfoot was a free black man who lived in Paris, Kentucky where he made a living as a barber. Nothing is known of his early life or the circumstances of his freedom.  However, he was free by 1830 when he is listed in the Bourbon County federal census as the head of a household of four, including himself (between 36 and 55 years of age), an adult female between 24 and 36 years of age, and a male and a female both between 10 and 24 years. The older female may have been his wife, Jane, although she was still technically a slave in 1830. On April 4, 1831, Carter purchased Jane’s freedom from John Harvey (alternately spelled Hervie) of Frankfort. The manumission record described him as 37 years old, with yellow skin color (a common way to identify light-skinned people of color), 5’ 3 ½” in height "spare but of good size" and with a scar on his left nostril. The manumission record indicated that Carter signed with his mark. 
 

Two white men, named Joseph (abbreviated as Jos.) and possibly Josiah (abbreviated as Jos’h) Lightfoot, and living in separate households, are also listed in the 1830 census for Bourbon County and may have some connection to Carter. Only one of the men, Jos’h (Josiah), owned slaves.
 

The other two younger household members are unidentified but probably were not his children. In late June of 1833, Carter Lightfoot had his will prepared, possibly in reaction to the cholera that was raging through Kentucky at the time and aware that he might be one of its victims. His will instructed his executor, John G. Martin, to pay all his debts and leave the rest of his property to his wife Jane. Of their children, he wrote, “If she [Jane] could in any way be instrumental with the property I have given her above in obtaining the freedom of my children by her I greatly desire it."
 

Carter may have also wished to secure his wife’s inheritance of the house and lot after his death. His will made reference to a house and lot that he owned in Paris. On March 29, 1831, Carter entered into a mortgage agreement with Aris Throckmorton, Joseph Biggs and J. C. Smith in which they served as security for the purchase of the house and lot referred to in the will. Carter and the three men negotiated a promissory note for $550.00 that enabled the purchase of the property, giving Carter until October of 1831 to pay the note back. This he managed to do and the deed was formally transferred to him on October 20, 1831. The property lay on the northwesterly side of Main Street and was part of inlot 2. Carter’s lot fronted 13 ½ ft on Main Street, extending back 72 ft. It was sandwiched between an impressive three story commission house belonging to Charles S. Brent and a building that occupied the corner of Main Street and present day 2nd Street. Its current address is 203 Main Street. The building on the lot today is a two story brick commercial building with a heavy Italiante cornice both on the shopfront and at the roofline. Langsam and Johnson (1985) suggest that this building was built after 1877. If this is so, it replaced the earlier building purchased and occupied by Carter Lightfoot from approximately 1830 until 1845 when he died; his wife Jane may have lived here a few years longer, possibly to 1851, when a court appointed administrator sold it to Benedict B. Marsh.
 

Around the time Carter Lightfoot bought his Main Street property in Paris, he submitted an advertisement in the local Paris newspaper, The Western Citizen. The ad appeared in an 1831 issue but is dated October 30, 1830 so must have run multiple times. It read:

CARTER LIGHTFOOT

BARBER, HAIR-DRESSER, &C

RESPECTFULLY informs his customers and the public generally that he has settled himself permanently in Paris and may be found at his shop, opposite Timberlake’s Hotel, where he will accommodate all those who may please to call on him. Those having demands against him, will present them for payment—and those indebted will please recollect that punctuality is the life of business.

The ad is interesting for several reasons. It indicates that he had taken possession of his Main Street property by October of 1830, possibly renting it with the intent to purchase, and operated his barbering business there. He probably also lived there, a common practice of tradesmen of the time. He acknowledged having some personal debts which he was in a position to repay and was owed money that he wished to collect. Although he was apparently illiterate, the wording of the ad suggests a certain gentility and refinement in its use of the adage about punctuality in paying one’s debts. Finally, the postscript references the continuation of his services from an earlier time, perhaps on a more itinerant basis, in which he traveled to his customers rather than working out of a shop. With the acquisition of a shop on the main street of the county seat, however, he took his place as one of the town’s businessmen with a social status that greatly contrasted with the status of a slave or even a free black laborer of lesser skills. It is also possible that he was the only barber in business in Paris in the 1830s and early 1840s. Five years after his death in 1845, only one black barber, George Morgan, was identified as such in the 1850 federal census and, like Carter Lightfoot, he owned real estate—probably in Paris and possibly next to a hotel operated by Charles Talbott.
 

Barbering was an occupation with some intriguing social implications between the barber and his customers. By the 19th century, the occupation of barber had become closely associated with African-Americans, largely due to the common practice of the white elite to have their hair cut and beards shaved by slaves. This association led to a decline in status of barbers among whites and a decline in white competition. Free blacks benefited as a result even though their clientele was, by necessity, exclusively white, a practice that tended to encourage segregation of barbering services and placed black barbers in the position of being dependent on white clients for their livelihood. Given the very personal nature of cutting and dressing hair and its relationship to personal image and appearance, barbers had to be very careful in performing their services. Complaints about barber shop hygiene were common and barbers were cautioned to disinfect their tools at an early date. Many customers brought their own brushes, razors and towels when they visited a barber to avoid infection.
 

Carter Lightfoot’s household was again censused in 1840. Only three people were listed: a man and a woman who were between 36 and 54 years of age (Carter and Jane) and a male between 10 and 23. Two of the persons in the household were employed in manufacture and trade. One of these was undoubtedly Carter whose barbering business would have been considered a trade. It’s probable that their children were still held as slaves.
 

Carter died in 1845 and his wife appears to have followed him in death by 1851 when their house and lot were sold by a court appointed agent to Benedict B. Marsh to settle their estate. None of the probate documents associated with the Lightfoot estate mentioned any children and their whereabouts, even their names are unknown. Marsh sold the house and lot in 1855 to another free man of color, Jefferson Porter. Eleven years later, Porter sold the property and the adjoining corner lot to Robert P. Dow and John Hickey. Robert Dow established a prominent commercial presence on this corner as a grocer.
 

Carter Lightfoot was one of only a few men of color who owned property in Paris prior to the Civil War. His profession as a barber was a higher status one for men of color that required more specialized skills and catered to an exclusively white clientele. In many parts of the south, a black barber had either white or black clients but not generally both. It is likely that Lightfoot sought white clients since he went to the trouble of advertising his establishment of a barber shop in Paris in the local newspaper. Had his clients been men of color, he would not have had to advertise in the local paper since many free black men could not read or write. While he did not speculate in urban lots or acquire any other city or county property than his house/barbershop on Main Street, he must, for a time, have been a well known fixture around town. The fate of other Lightfoot family members is unknown. Neither Carter nor his wife Jane succeeded in procuring the freedom of their children before the Civil War abolished slavery. Their children may have lived in Franklin County where Jane’s former master, John Hervie, lived in 1830. With the demise of Carter and Jane Lightfoot within a few years of each other, and no evidence that any of their heirs came forward to claim the estate, the proceeds of the sale of their property on Main Street might have been used to settle their debts and/or added to the city’s coffers as unclaimed assets.
 

Sources:

  • Bourbon County deeds
  • Federal census returns for 1830, 1840 and 1850
  • 1831 Western Citizen on file, The Bourbon Citizen/Citizen Advertiser office, Paris, Ky.
  • Julie Ann Hurst (2005), "Barbershops in Harrisburg’s Old Eighth, 1890-1905,"Vol. 72, no. 4, pp. 443-453, Pennsylvania History.
  • Walter E. Langsam and William Gus Johnson (1985), Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc., Paris, and Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort.

Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Lincoln County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Lincoln County was one of the original three counties established by Virginia in 1780 [Fayette and Jefferson were the other two counties]. The three counties were created in order to make it easier for the state of Virginia to govern the huge area previously known as Kentucky County. The present day boundaries of Lincoln County were established in 1843, and it is surrounded by five counties. Lincoln County was named for Benjamin Lincoln, a Revolutionary War general who was captured by the British. Stanford is the county seat, it was founded by Benjamin Logan in 1775; the exact origin of the city name is not known. It was first known as St. Asaph, then Fort Logan. The 1800 Lincoln County population was 8,621, according to the Second Census of Kentucky; 6,822 whites, 1,776 slaves, and 23 free coloreds. The 1810 population was 8,676, according to the Third Census of the United States, Lincoln County, Kentucky: 6,297 whites, 2,341 slaves, and 38 free colored persons. The 1860 population was 7,177, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 515 slave owners
  • 2,878 Black slaves
  • 476 Mulatto slaves
  • 65 free Blacks
  • 41 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 531 slave owners
  • 2,270 Black slaves
  • 1,159 Mulatto slaves
  • 54 free Blacks
  • 106 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,072 Blacks
  • 921 Mulattoes
  • About 210 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lincoln County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Lincoln County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Lincoln County, Kentucky by the Lincoln County Historical Society; Slave Records, 1781-1784 of Stephen Trigg; and the Anne Butler audio interview, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky at the Kentucky Historical Society website. See photo image of Negro High School in Stanford, KY in Kentucky Digital Library - images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Lincoln County, Kentucky

Lincoln Independent Party (LIP)
Start Year : 1921
The Lincoln Independent Party was formed in 1921 by a group of young African American male leaders in Louisville, KY. The aim was to influence support away from the Republican Party. Neither the Republican nor Democratic Party were working in favor of equality for African Americans, yet the formation of LIP was seen as an affront and caused a break between Louisville's older African American leaders and the younger leaders. African Americans had been loyal to the Republican Party since the end of slavery. LIP created the fear that prominent whites would cease donating money to African American causes due to the perceived change in political allegiance. The younger leaders, such as I. Willis Cole and William Warley, were less dependent on whites and were therefore the most outspoken among the new leaders. At the same time, the old leaders gained support from new comrades such as George Clement and James Bond. The development of LIP brought forth new and old leaders who began making stronger demands of the established political parties, resulting in African Americans making better headway in the political arena. For more see G. C. Wright, "Black political insurgency in Louisville, Kentucky: The Lincoln Independent Party of 1921," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 58, issue 1 (1983), pp. 8-23.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lincoln Institute (Lincoln Ridge, KY)
Start Year : 1912
End Year : 1966
The Lincoln Institute was formed in response to the 1904 Day Law, which was upheld by the 1908 Supreme Court decision forbidding the education of whites and blacks in the same Kentucky school. The law was aimed at Berea College, which had been integrated since 1863. The Lincoln Foundation was founded in 1910; Lincoln Institute opened in 1912 in Shelby County, KY. It offered vocational instruction, unlike the classical education that had been offered at Berea. The first African American president was Dr. Whitney M. Young, Sr.; he led Lincoln Institute for over 40 years as it became a prominent boarding school for African American children. The campus is presently leased by the federal government for the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Job Corps Center. For more see the Lincoln Foundation history page; G. C. Wright, "The founding of Lincoln Institute," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 49, issue 1 (1975), pp. 57-70; and "The Faith Plan: a black institution grows during the Depression," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 51, issue 4 (1977), pp. 336-349. Primary sources are available at Kentucky State University Library. See Lincoln Institute oral history collection 2003-2008, video interviews of 86 individuals conducted by Dr. Andrew Baskin, Associate Professor of General and Black Studies at Berea College. The subjects are former Lincoln Institute students and some of the employees and their children. The recordings are available at Berea College Special Collections and Archives, where you will also find additional information on the history of Berea College.  See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.

See 1918 photo image of Lincoln Institute students and faculty at University of Kentucky College of Education website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky

Lincoln Institute Oral History Collection
Start Year : 2003
End Year : 2008
The following information comes from the catalog record for the collection at Berea College. "This collection consists of thirty-nine videocassettes of interviews with eighty-six individuals who were students at Lincoln Institute at various times ranging from the 1930s through 1966 when the school closed. The interviews were recorded by Berea College Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies, Andrew Baskin with the assistance of Symerdar Baskin. Lincoln Institute was an all-black boarding high school in Simpsonville, Kentucky, near Louisville, that operated from 1912 to 1966.The school was created by the trustees of Berea College after the Day Law passed the Kentucky Legislature in 1904 which put an end to the racially integrated education at Berea that had lasted since the end of the Civil War."

 

Access Interview  See list of interviews at "Pass the Word" website.
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky

Linguistic Profiling [Charles Clifford v Commonwealth of Kentucky]
Start Year : 1999
In the 1999 case of Clifford v. Kentucky, the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Charles Clifford based on linguistic profiling. In the Campbell County Circuit Court, a white police officer named Darin Smith testified that he heard a black man's voice [that of Clifford] making the sale of drugs in an apartment. Officer Smith was in a nearby apartment and had heard the voice through a wire worn by an undercover agent. Charles Clifford was the only black man in the room where the sale was taking place and was thus determined to be the drug seller. Linguistic profiling has been accepted as legal in some instances and illegally discriminatory in others. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on linguistic profiling. For more see Charles Clifford, Appellant v Commonwealth of Kentucky, Appellee, Supreme Court of Kentucky, November 18, 1999 - Rendered [online at FindLaw]; J. Baugh, "Racial identification by speech," American Speech, vol. 75, issue 4 (2000), pp. 362-364; and John Baugh, "Linguistic Profiling," chapter 8 in Black Linguistics by S. Makoni et. al. [online .pdf].
Subjects: Court Cases
Geographic Region: Campbell County, Kentucky

Lion Tamers (Newport, KY, baseball team)
The Lion Tamers was a baseball team in Newport,KY. They were the champions of the Northern Kentucky Semi-pro Negro Baseball League, and were in high demand. In August 1936, the team was matched in an exhibition game against the J C Penny's Baseball Club in Lindenwald, OH, on Kellogg Field. The Lion Tamers were considered a very good team, so several new players had been added to the Penny's team to help give them a better chance at winning. For more see "Penny's meet Colored team at Lindenwald," Hamilton Daily News Journal, 08/27/1936, p.12.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Lindenwald, Ohio

Little Africa (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1870
This community, previously referred to as Needmore, was the African American section of Parkland in Louisville. By the 1920s it included several hundred homes as well as businesses and schools. In the 1870s, Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. became the first African American resident in the Homestead settlement. Little Africa began to disappear in the 1940s when the Housing Authority began work on the Cotter Home Project. Today a Kentucky Historical Marker notes the area where Little Africa once existed. For more see About Park DuValle Village Home-Owners Neighborhood Association, and the Kentucky Historical Marker Database #2074.
Subjects: Communities, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Little, Charles F., Jr.
Birth Year : 1949
Charles F. Little, Jr. was born in Memphis, TN. He graduated from Kentucky State University with a B.S. in Music Education, then earned his M.S. in Secondary Education at the University of Kentucky. He was a band director in the Fayette County Public Schools for 30 years and taught music to more than 4,500 students from 1971 to 2001. He was the band director/keyboard instructor at the Academy of Lexington, teaching 120 students classroom piano from 2001 to 2005. The Lexington Traditional Magnet School Band Room was named in his honor in 2001. To date, he has also provided private piano lessons to 175 students and organ lessons to five students of all ages in Fayette County and eight surrounding counties. He has been the musical director, pianist, and coordinator, of hundreds of programs, productions, and performances dating back to the 1960s. Most recently Charles Little was the musical director of the off-Broadway production of Crowns, Actors Guild of Lexington, Kentucky, 2005-2006. He has performed on programs with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. James Cleveland, Larnelle Harris, the Rev. Billy Graham (Subsidiary) Crusade, Dr. Bobby Jones and New Life, and Miss Albertina Walker. Charles Little has also received a number of awards, including the Teachers Who Made a Difference Award from the College of Education at the University of Kentucky in 2003. He is the author of Praise Him with the Gospel: Black gospel piano music arrangements, book 1 & 2, with accompanying sound cassettes. He was the developer and editor of Orchestrating the Perfect Meal, a cookbook published in 2000. Charles Little has recorded with the United Voices of Lexington on "Genesis" and the Wesley United Voices on "We've Come to Praise Him"; provided piano accompaniment on the Lexington musical "Madame Belle Brezing"; and performed on many other recordings. For more information see M. Davis, "Teacher's not changing his tune," Lexington Herald Leader, 03/23/03, City/Region section, B, p. 1; S. Dobbins, "Charles F. Little, Jr.: music master of all," Tri-State Defender, 03/10/1999, p.2B; and the Resume of Charles F. Little, Jr.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Little, Chester H.
Birth Year : 1907
Little was born in Paducah, KY, and received an honorary degree in 1971 from Indiana Christian University. Little was a community and civic leader who held a number of positions in various organizations, including first vice president of the Malleable Foundry Employee Credit Union in Indianapolis and president of the Marion County Council on Aging. In 1956, Little was president of the Progressive Community Club in Indianapolis and led the organization when it became a member of the Federation of Associated Clubs (FAC). Little was the first vice president of FAC from 1956-1978. He was also on the board of directors of the Indianapolis Urban League, and captain of the auxiliary police. For more see the Progressive Community Club Collection, 1940-1982 at the Indiana Historical Society; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Little Georgetown (Fayette County, KY)
Located on Parkers Mill Road in Fayette County, one version of the community's beginning states that a George Waltz gave land to ex-slaves following the Civil War. It has been debated as to whether the community was named after George Waltz or after a freeman named George Washington who owned a portion of the land and divided it into lots in 1877. At that time, the community had three other African American land owners: F. Smith, J. Edmunds, and M. Overstreet. The word "Little" was added to the name of the community to differentiate it from the city of Georgetown, KY. Over the years, Little Georgetown grew to include 90 residents on 34 acres. The expansion of the Lexington Bluegrass Airport nearly wiped out the community. A picture of the Little Georgetown Colored School, dated 1929, is available in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith; Historical Communities Near Lexington, a BCTC website; and J. Duke, "Rural Fayette communities cling to life of yesterday," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/11/1985, Main News section, p. A1.


Subjects: Communities, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Little Georgetown, Fayette County, Kentucky

Living the Story, the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (video documentary)
Start Year : 2002
Living the Story is a documentary video, produced by Kentucky Educational Television (KET). The following comes from the website. "In Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, individual Kentuckians tell their own stories of what they saw, heard, experienced, and did then. Some were leaders and organizers, but others were simply people who wanted to enroll in a different school, move to a new neighborhood, or shop at a downtown department store. ... Living the Story is not a comprehensive or definitive history of the civil rights era in Kentucky. Its purposes are to give contemporary audiences a sense of what it was like to be part of the civil rights movement, to encourage further exploration of the subject, and to inspire young people by illustrating the role people their age played in the movement."  For more information visit the Living the Story website at KET (Kentucky Educational Television).
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Livingston County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Livingston County, located in southwestern Kentucky, was created in 1798 from a portion of Christian County. It is bordered by the Kentucky River, the Tennessee River, Kentucky Lake, and Lake Barkley, and is adjacent to four counties. The county is named for Robert R. Livingston, who helped draft the Declaration of Independence (but did not sign it), negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, and was a member of the Erie Canal Commission. Eddyville was the first county seat of Livingston County in 1799, then Centerville in 1804, and Salem in 1809. The present county seat, Smithland, named in honor of James Smith of Pennsylvania, was established in 1841. The 1800 county population was 2,856, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,396 whites, 456 slaves, and 4 free coloreds. The 1860 population was 5,983, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 231 slave owners
  • 981 Black slaves
  • 136 Mulatto slaves
  • 28 free Blacks
  • 31 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 261 slave owners
  • 999 Black slaves
  • 224 Mulatto slaves
  • 14 free Blacks
  • 13 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 600 Blacks
  • 396 Mulattoes
  • About 111 U.S. Colored Troops gave Livingston County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Livingston County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Livingston County, Kentucky by Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society; Schools. Kentucky, Cowper, C.A. et al. v. Livingston County Board of Education, 1941-42, Papers of the NAACP; and Marriage Bond Books (indexed), Livingston County Clerk. 


   See 1936 photo image of Colored School in Smithland, KY [Livingston County] at ExpoloreUK.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Livingston County, Kentucky

Livingston, Valinda E. Lewis
Birth Year : 1937
Born in Lexington, KY, Valinda E. Lewis Livingston was an educator in the Lexington schools for 37 years. She is a graduate of old Dunbar High School and one of the top academic achievers in the school's history. She graduated from Kentucky State University (KSU) with a bachelor's degree in elementary education, then earned a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Kentucky and principalship and supervision certificates from Eastern Kentucky University. Her teaching career began at Booker T. Washington Elementary School prior to the full integration of the Lexington city school system. She taught at two other elementary schools before being named head principal of Russell Elementary. Prior to her retirement, Livingston was a district administrator for six years, overseeing the students' at-risk programs. Her post-retirement career includes serving as a member of the Board of Examiners of Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board, chair of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University, President of the Baptist Women State Education Convention, vice-president of the Lexington Chapter of the KSU National Alumni Association, and Sunday School Superintendent and Music Committee Chair at Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. Livingston is also a professional singer, a soprano with the Lexington Singers. She is also a key resource for historical researchers looking to make a connection to past events in the Lexington African American community with present day people. The Valinda E. Livingston Endowed Student Scholarship for Teacher Education Majors has been established at Kentucky State University. For more see "Retired educator leaves legacy for future educators," Onward and Upward, Fall - Summer 2005 - 2006, p. 3.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Historians, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Livisay, Charles H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1990
Charles Livisay was active in civil rights as both a civic leader and politician, and he is also remembered as an outstanding tennis and basketball player and an outstanding basketball coach at Douglass High School. Livisay, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of old Dunbar High School and a 1935 graduate of Kentucky State University. He taught for a year at Dunbar High School in Mayfield, KY, but left teaching due to the low pay and took a job with Mammoth Life Insurance. In 1943 he left that job to serve in the U.S. Army. Livisay returned to Lexington and was head basketball coach for 18 years at Douglass High. The team finished second to Louisville Central in the 1953 National Negro basketball tournament held in Nashville, TN, and the team took the Kentucky High School Athletic League (KHSAL) championship in 1954. Author Louis Stout credits Livisay as one of the first coaches to institute the "transition" game of basketball. The Douglass teams coached by Livisay had a record of 255 wins and 65 losses. His 1956 basketball team came in second in the KHSAL tournament and took second again in the National Negro basketball tournament. Following school integration, Livisay coached and taught at Bryan Station High School from 1966 until his retirement in 1974. Also while coaching basketball, in 1965, Livisay ran for the 54th District seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives; he lost to Foster Pettit. In 1979, he was appoint to the First District council seat in Lexington to complete the term of the late O. M. Travis. When the term ended, Livisay ran for the seat and was defeated by Edgar Wallace. Livisay also served as president of the Lexington Chapter of the NAACP. His tennis career coincided with his many other activities. Livisay was considered a star tennis player and participated in tournaments such as the one held in 1940 between African American tennis players from Louisville and Lexington. Team members were Albert "Happy" Ray, William Madden, Rice Stone, Leonard Mills, and Coach Ages Bryant. The matches took place in Lexington at Douglass Park. In 1975, Charles H. Livisay was inducted into the Kentucky State University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was inducted into the Dawahares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame. For more see "Tennis stars clash," Lexington Leader, 07/12/1940, p. 7, col. 4; 1993 KHSAA Hall of Fame [.pdf]; Shadows of the Past, by Louis Stout; and S. Brown, "Charles Livisay; civic leader, ex-coach, dies; Black leader was role model in community," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1990, City/State section, p. C1.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Charles Livisay oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Basketball, Civic Leaders, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Tennis, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Livisay, Stacy A.
Birth Year : 1968
Livisay, born in Lexington, KY, is the daughter of Shirley and Charles H. Livisay, Jr., and the grand-daughter of Evelyn and Charles H. Livisay, Sr. She is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Berea College (B.S. in agriculture), the University of Kentucky (M.A. in animal Science), and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Ph. D. in food science). In 1999, Livisay was lead author of the patented method of adding calcium to grape products - patent #7033630 - and employed as a researcher and project developer at Welch's. She was later employed at The Campbell Soup Company, where she was responsible for adding vitamin E to V-8 Splash. Livisay is co-author of a number of articles in science journals and a book chapter. She lives in New Jersey. For more see M. Davis, "Learning fortifies character and juice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/2003, City&Region section, p. B1; and Calcium-fortified, grape based products and methods for making them at freepatentsonline.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Researchers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Lizzie's Story (Lizzie Cannon)
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1965
Lizzie Cannon was the descendent of slaves who were sold in 1850 to Lloyd and Sarah Sheff in Leesburg, KY (located in Harrison County and originally called Boswell's Crossroads; the name was changed to Leesburg in 1817). The Sheff's new slave family remained on the Leesburg plantation until the they were sold around 1865, all except the youngest daughter, Delcy. At the age of fifteen, Delcy gave birth to Lizzie on Christmas Day, 1870; she was the daughter of Lloyd Sheff. Her birth was recorded in the family Bible: Lizzie Brent Sheff. Lizzie and her family eventually settled in Nicholasville, KY. The story of the many generations of Lizzie's family is told in the fictional biography, Lizzie's Story, by family member Dr. Clarice Boswell.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Mothers
Geographic Region: Leesburg, Harrison County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Local Sources
See also Source Index and Authors' entries.

Bardstown/Nelson County
From out of the dark past their eyes implore us: the black roots of Nelson County, Kentucky / research by Patricia Craven and Richard Pangburn, P. Craven and R. Pangburn, Bardstown, KY, 1996.

Bowling Green/Warren County
Warren County, Kentucky marriages (1866-1962): blacks, 2 volumes, compiled by Warren County Court Clerk's Office, Bowling Green, KY, 1992.

Mt. Moriah Cemetery: A history and census of Bowling Green, Kentucky's African-American cemetery, J. Jeffrey et al., Landmark Association, Bowling Green, KY, 2002.

Brooksville/Bracken County
African-American records: Bracken County, Kentucky 1797-1999 / compiled by African-American Records Committee; Caroline R. Miller, chairperson, funded by Kentucky African-American Heritage Commission and Kentucky Heritage council, Bracken County Historical Society, 1999.

Burlington/Florence/Boone County
African-American persons present at the time of the 1880 census in Boone County, Ky, T. M. Hartman, [S.l. : T.M. Hartman], 1993.

Calhoun/McLean County
McLean County, Kentucky, 1908 - 1914 African American marriages A. L. McLaughlin, Sacramento, KY, 1993.

Camp Nelson/Jessamine & Garrard Counties
The first free spot of ground in Kentucky: the story of Camp Nelson, P. A. Schechter, Honors Paper, Mount Holyoke College, 1986.

Casey County
Free African Americans in Casey County during the era of the Underground Railroad, D. Wilkinson.

Coe Ridge/Cumberland County
The saga of Coe Ridge: a study in oral history, W. L. Montell, University of Tennessee Press, 1970. See also Coe Colony.

Covington/Elsmere/Kenton County
Afro-American residents of Kenton County, Kentucky: the 1900 Kenton County, Kentucky census, T. H. H. Harris, Covington, KY, 1991.

Mary E. Smith Negro Cemetery, Elsmere, Kentucky, S. H. Meyer, New Port, Kentucky 1968.

Danville/Boyle County
Boyle County's black physicians, R. C. Brown, prepared for publication in the Advocate-Messenger, 1992.

Elizabethtown/Hardin County
The Bond-Washington story: the education of black people, Elizabethtown, Kentucky / as told by Lottie Offett Robinson, L. O. Robinson, [S.l.: s.n., c1983].

Eminence/New Castle/Henry County
Who's who among African-Americans of Henry County: past and present, sponsored by Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and First Baptist Church (Eminence, Ky.), [S.l.: s.n.], 1997.

Florence/Boone County
A brief history of slavery in Boone County, Kentucky: A paper read before a meeting of the Boone County Historical Society, Florence, Kentucky, June 2, 1957, by M. S. Caldwell. Florence, Ky.: The author, 1957.

Frankfort/Franklin County
A brief history of the colored churches of Frankfort, Kentucky, E. E. Underwood, Bugle Pub. Co., Frankfort, KY, 1906. See also Edward E. Underwood.

Community memories: a glimpse of African American life in Frankfort, Kentucky, W. L. Fletcher et al., Frankfort, Ky.: Kentucky Historical Society ; Lexington: Distributed by The University Press of Kentucky, 2003.

Georgetown/Scott County
Involvement of blacks in Scott County commerce during the postbellum period (1865-1918), A. B. Bevins, Prepared for Georgetown-Scott County Joint Planning Commission and Kentucky Heritage Council, 1989.

Glasgow/Barren County
Barren County, Kentucky: African-American male marriage index book, surnames A through L, 1799 through 1932, and female marriage index book (married to those with surnames A through L), 1799 through 1932, M. B. Gorin, Gorin Genealogical Pub., Glasgow, KY, 1995.

Greenville/Muhlenberg County
Muhlenberg County, Kentucky black marriage bonds, 1866-1875, G. R. Carver, Greenville, KY, 1993.

Henderson/Henderson County
Henderson Kentucky black births of the city, 1896-1910, Henderson County Historical and Genealogical Society, 2001.

Hopkinsville/Christian County
The dark side of Hopkinsville: stories, T. Poston, annotated by Kathleen A. Hauke, University of Georgia Press, c1991. See also Poston, Theodore R. A. M.

Jamestown/Russell County
Russell Co., Kentucky, Black marriages, C. L. Sanders, Blue Ash, Ohio, 1987.

Lebanon/Marion County
A history of Negro education in Lebanon, Kentucky, 1869-1956, K. Parks, Thesis, University of Louisville, 1956.

Lexington/Fayette County
Black marriage bonds of Fayette County, Kentucky, 1866-1876, Gwendolyn Garrison, Kentucky Tree-Search, Lexington, KY, 1985.

Kinkeadtown: archaeological investigation of an African-American neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky, N. O'Malley, Lexington, KY, University of Kentucky, Program for Cultural Resource Assessment.

Lexington, Kentucky, G. Smith, Arcadia, S.C., 2002.

Negro business directory and fair souvenir: a miniature list of trades, businesses and professions among the Negroes of Lexington, Kentucky, Standard Print Company, Lexington, KY, 1899.

The Negro population of Lexington in the professions, business, education and religion, L. Harris, Lexington, Kentucky, 1907.

Louisville/Jefferson County
African-American life in Louisville, B. M. Tyler, Arcadia, S.C., 1998.

Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1890-1930, G. C. Wright, Thesis, Duke University, 1977.

Brick Yard Holler and a History of the Black Community of West Point, Kentucky, G. Goldsmith, 1999.

A history of Louisville Central High School, 1882-1982, T. C. Tilford-Weathers, General Printing Company, Louisville, KY, 1982.

Life behind a veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930, G. C. Wright, Louisiana State University Press, 2004, 1985.

The policies and purposes of black public schooling in Louisville, Kentucky, 1890-1930, B. F. Jackson, Thesis, Indiana University, 1982, 1976.

The Presbyterian colored missions: Louisville, Kentucky, 1909, J. Little, 1909.

Weeden's History of the colored people of Louisville, H. C. Weeden, Louisville, KY, 1897. See also Henry C. Weeden.

Madisonville/Hopkins County
A study of drop-out students in the colored high school of Madisonville, Ky., 1931-1937, W. E. Lee, Thesis, Hampton Institute, 1938.

Monterey/ Paris/ Bourbon County
"Archeological Investigations at Monterey," H. McKelway, Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc., Lexington, KY.

Owensboro/Daviess County
"...Born With a Purpose..." Interviews with African Americans in Owensboro, Kentucky, vol. 2, H. Hinton, N. Johnson, H. Midkiff, and C. Swift. A Project of the H. H. Neblett Center Work World Preparation Program, JTPA Summer Challenge '98 Program, Owensboro, Kentucky, 1998.

Interviews with African Americans in Owensboro, Kentucky, vol. 3; bridging our past to our future, H. Hinton, N. Johnson, L. Owens, K. Rowan, K. Taylor and D. Thames. A Project of the H. H. Neblett Center, Owensboro, Kentucky, 1999.

Pikeville/Pike County
Curriculum resources: African American history in Pike County, Kentucky, with emphasis on the historical African American section of the Dils Cemetery, M. F. Sohn and K. K. Sohn, Pikeville-Pike County Tourism Commission, Pikeville, KY, 1996. See also Dils' Cemetery.

Richmond/Madison County
Connections: the Richmond, Kentucky area African-American heritage guide, Richmond, Ky.: Richmond Tourism & Visitor Center, 1998.

First and last years of Richmond High School, R. K. Ferrell, 1998.

Russellville/Logan County
Colored marriage bonds, Logan County, Ky. to 1900, M. Vanderpool, Russellville, KY, 1985.
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Locke, Bernadette
In 1990 Bernadette Locke became the first woman and the first African American woman to be named an assistant coach in Division I Men's NCAA basketball; she was an assistant to Rick Pitino at the University of Kentucky. Locke was also the first African American head coach of the Women's basketball team at the University of Kentucky, where she also coached women's basketball from 1995-2003. She is presently an assistant coach in the WNBA. For more see First Black women coaches Division One mens basketball, at The African American Registry website.


Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lockett Lynch Mob (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1920
The first resistance to a lynch mob by local officials and troops in the South took place in Lexington, KY. In 1920, 10-year old Geneva Hardman, a little white girl, was killed. Will Lockett, an African American World War I veteran, was the suspect. While he was in police custody and without council, Lockett confessed to the murder and other crimes. His trial was set in Lexington for February 9, which was also Court Day, when a large number of people would be in the city. Governor Morrow ordered out all law enforcement officers and state troopers. Several hundred people showed up for the trial. Lockett was sentenced to die in the electric chair. The crowd outside got rowdy, and there was an exchange of gunfire between the crowd and the troopers. Six people were killed and 50 injured. U.S. troops were sent to Lexington. A second surge was building and Brigadier General Francis C. Marshall declared martial law, which remained in force for two weeks. Four hundred troops escorted Lockett to Eddyville Penitentiary, and state guards were detached to nearby Leitchfield, KY, to guard against violence. Lockett died in the electric chair on March 11. Kentucky later became the first state to pass an anti-lynching law. For more see J. D. Wright, Jr., "Lexington's Suppression of the 1920 Will Lockett Lynch Mob," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 1986, vol. 84, issue 3, pp. 163-279.
Subjects: Lynchings, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Leitchfield, Grayson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Logan County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Logan County is located in south-central Kentucky on the Tennessee state line and borders five Kentucky counties. It was formed from Lincoln County in 1792 and named for Benjamin Logan, a Revolutionary War veteran and a pioneer from Virginia. Logan County is one of the largest counties in Kentucky. The county seat is Russellville, named for William Russell, Sr., who was also a Revolutionary War veteran. The 1800 population for Logan County was 5,807, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 4,939 whites, 775 slaves, 93 free coloreds. In 1830 there were five free African American slave owners in Russellville. The 1860 population was 12,667, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 981 slave owners
  • 4,591 Black slaves
  • 791 Mulatto slaves
  • 301 free Blacks
  • 64 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 1,230 slave owners
  • 4,863 Black slaves
  • 1,501 Mulatto slaves
  • 265 free Blacks
  • 105 free Mulattoes
1870 U. S. Federal Census
  • 3,955 Blacks
  • 1,691 Mulattoes
  • About 295 U.S. Colored Troops listed Logan County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Logan County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Logan County, Kentucky by the Logan County Chamber of Commerce; "Does God See This?": Shakers, Slavery, and the South (thesis) by R. L. Fletcher; Colored Marriage Bonds, Logan County, Ky. to 1900 by M. Vanderpool; Russellville's Black Bottom Project (videorecording) by M. A. Morrow and D. Rightmyer; and History of the A. M. Todd Family by M. A. Morrow.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky

Logan, George L.
Birth Year : 1929
George Leslie Logan, an historian, fought to make Martin Luther King Day a state holiday in Kentucky. He was one of the first African American students at the University of Kentucky and the first African American professional in the Kentucky Department of Education to be the state Director of Drivers Education Supervisors. Logan was born in Stanford, KY, the son of James and Mary Woodford Logan. He is a graduate of Kentucky State University and UK. For more see 2001 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame - Inductees from Lexington.



  See the video and read the transcript of the George Logan inerview in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project.

 

Access Interview Read about the George L. Logan oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.      
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Historians
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky

Logan, Greenbury
Birth Year : 1799
Death Year : 1880
Greenbury (or Greenberry) Logan was born in Kentucky, the son of David Logan, who was white. Greenbury may or may not have been a slave, though he was free when he left Kentucky for Missouri, where he was married and had five children. In 1831, Logan moved to Texas and became a blacksmith on the Bingham Plantation; he was one of the first African Americans to settle in Texas. He purchased the freedom of a slave name Caroline and married her. Logan fought at Velasco and later joined the Texas army and fought at Bexar, where he was wounded in the shoulder and lost use of one arm. No longer able to be a blacksmith, Logan and his wife opened a successful boarding house in Brazoria. The Constitution of 1836 stipulated that all freemen were to leave the Republic of Texas; Logan, like Nelson Kavanaugh, filed a petition with Congress, asking that he be allowed to remain in Texas. Whether the Texas Congress replied or not, the Logans remained in Texas, but their financial success began in decline in 1839. By 1845 they had lost all of their property. For more see Greenbury Logan, by N. Thompson, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; several articles in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, including H. Schoen, "The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas," vol. 41, issue 1, pp. 83-108; and In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, by Q. Taylor.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Brazoria, Texas

Logan, Molly
Logan was one of the first African American women in Kentucky. A slave, she came to the state with the Benjamin Logan family on March 8, 1776. She had three little boys, Matt, David, and Isaac. The family settled in St. Asaph, a station [later Fort Logan] in Lincoln County, District of Kentucky. For more on Molly Logan see Women in Kentucky, by H. D. Irvin; and Chapter 1 of The Antislavery Movement in Kentucky by L. H. Harrison.
Subjects: Early Settlers
Geographic Region: Saint Asaph [Standford], Lincoln County, Kentucky

London (slave)
Death Year : 1778
London, who was killed during battle at Fort Boone, was the slave of Colonel Richard Henderson; they had come from Virginia to what was then known as the County of Kentucky. Henderson was associated with the Transylvania Company that had hired Daniel Boone to help settle the region (Kentucky). When London was killed, Henderson sent a petition to the Virginia General Assembly seeking compensation for the death of his slave; London had been given a gun and ordered by the commanding officer to take up a post outside the fort to help fight against the attack by Shawnee Indians. Henderson stated that if London had stayed in the cabin, rather than following orders to fight, he would not have been killed. Read the text of the petition in Petitions of the Early Inhabitants of Kentucky to the General Assembly of Virginia 1769-1792, by J. R. Robertson [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Early Settlers
Geographic Region: Fort Boone [Boonesborough], Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Virginia

Lone Star Masonic Lodge #19 (Versailles and Midway, KY)
Start Year : 1893
End Year : 1985
The following was written by Mrs. Mollie M. Bradley. Lone Star Lodge #19, F. & A. M., was organized in Versailles, KY. The [starting] date is not known. However, according to the History of Prince Hall Freemasonry in Kentucky, written by Dr. William Henry Ballard, Sr., 33 Degree, this lodge was in existence in 1893. It states, "The Annual Returns of Subordinate Lodges in the Annual Communications of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge at Lexington, KY., July 10, 1894, the most worshipful grand master, presented with officers from each lodge. Among these local lodges, Lone Star #19 was included." The officers were John Burns, worshipful master; George Clondas, senior warden; John Clark, junior warden; and Alexander Williams, treasurer. The Lodge met in Versailles until the 1970s. It was during that time that the members moved their meeting place to Midway, KY. The membership included men from Woodford County. Sam Burns was the worshipful master at that time. In the 1980s the membership voted to disband because of the decrease in membership. The Grand Lodge granted demits to members who desired to join another lodge. Walter T. Bradley, Jr. demitted to St. Paul Lodge #11, F. & A. M., Georgetown, Kentucky.

Access Interview More information about Lone Star Lodge #19, F. & A. M. is within the Mollie M. Bradley oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database. 
Subjects: Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles and Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History
The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History is located in Special Collections of the University of Kentucky Libraries. It houses recordings of personal recollections, for many of the recordings, the information is not available anywhere else. There are thousands of hours of memories in the oral recordings collections, including African American Farmers; the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989; the Black Church in Kentucky Oral History Project, 1978-1985; Race Relations in Owensboro-Daviess County, Kentucky, 1930-1970; and the Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project. For more information about the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History call (859) 257-0189. See also the research guide, Civil Rights in Kentucky - Oral Histories.

 

Access InterviewView the complete list of oral history recordings, including those in reference to African Americans, at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History online database, SPOKE.
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Louisville Auto Derby, 1925
Start Year : 1925
The Louisville Auto Derby was to take place at the Kentucky State Fair Grounds in early May of 1925. Six of the driver applicants had raced in the Chicago and Indianapolis races. The Louisville race was one of a series sponsored by the National Colored Automobile Association, which was established in Indianapolis, IN, in January of 1925. A 50-mile race took place at the Hoosier Speedway the 25th of May. For more see "Louisville automobile races to be on fair grounds," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/09/1925, p.A6; and "West to begin series of automobile races," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/23/1925, p.28.
Subjects: Automobile Races, Race-car Drivers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Louisville Baseball Teams (African American)
Start Year : 1887
End Year : 1950
The first Louisville baseball team was the Louisville Falls City, which lasted for one week in 1887. The Louisville Cubs team also existed around the turn of the century, and another team, the Louisville White Caps team, played in the Negro League in 1930. The Louisville White Sox, in the Negro National League, lasted for one year, 1930-1931. The Louisville Black Caps, which also lasted for one year, 1932, was in the Negro Southern League, where they produced a 13-17 record. The sixth team out of Louisville, the Louisville Buckeyes (formerly the Cleveland Buckeyes), lasted one year in Louisville (1949), then returned to Cleveland. The team had an 8-29 record while in Kentucky. A long-lasting team, the Louisville Black Colonels, existed from the 1930s into the 1950s. Goose Tatum played with the team a couple of years, beginning around 1939, leaving after team owner Leonard Mitchell attacked Tatum and Tatum put Mitchell in a headlock. Mitchell began to faint and some of the players had to pry him free from Tatum's grip. Tatum later became a star on the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. For more see The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by J. A. Riley; Spinning the Globe, by B. Green; and The Encyclopedia of Negro League Baseball, by T. Loverro.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Black Expo
Start Year : 1930
The Louisville Black Expo is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) black expos held in Kentucky. Beginning in the 1930s as a Louisville Defender (newspaper) cooking show, it became an annual event that continued to grow and was named the "Louisville Defender Black Expo." In addition to other activities, some of the best talent performances in the state, including gospel singing, have been presented to thousands of attendees over several days. There have also been concerts by well-known recording artists. In 2000, the expo name became the "Louisville Defender Newspaper's Minority Consumer Expo." For more about the most recent changes see Think Kentucky: Cabinet for Economic Development, Winter 2000, p. 5. For pictures and articles concerning the expo over the years see the annual coverage in the Louisville Defender.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Central High School/Central High School Magnet Career Academy
Previously known as Louisville Colored High School, the school opened in 1882 after leaders of the Louisville, KY, African American community appealed to the Louisville Board of Education for a high school for African Americans. The school was initially located at the corner of Sixth and Kentucky Streets, with J. M. Maxwell serving as the principal and C. W. Houser the only teacher. Funding initially came from African American taxes only. In 1952 the school was moved to the new Central High School building on Twelfth and Chestnut Streets. Career courses were part of the educational offerings. Central was the largest and most progressive high school in the state for African Americans; there were 1,400 students and 57 faculty members. Today, Central High School Magnet Career Academy, a four-year accredited comprehensive high school that offers a pre-college curriculum, is located at 1130 W. Chestnut Street in Louisville. For more see Central High School Magnet Career Academy website; This is Central High School (1953), by Central High School; and A history of Louisville Central High School, 1882-1982, by T. C. Tilford-Weathers. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Defender Photographs
This collection contains photographs from the files of the Louisville Defender, an African American newspaper published in Louisville, KY, beginning in 1933. The collection covers local activities, persons, places, politicians, the newspaper's annual Black Expo, and national figures such as Martin Luther King. It is housed at the University of Louisville Libraries' Photographic Archives.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Free Kindergarten Association, Colored Normal Department
Start Year : 1889
End Year : 1904
One of the first kindergartens for colored children in Kentucky was established in Louisville in 1889, along with a training class for Negro kindergarten teachers. During the 1896-97 school term, one of the colored kindergartens was located within the Industrial School of Know Mission for Colored Children, located at 1122 Madison Street [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1896-1897, p.765]. Another was on the corner of Hancock and Laurel Streets in 1901 [source: "A colored kindergarten will open...," Courier-Journal, 12/16/1901, p.6], and the Eastern Colored Kindergarten was located in the Eastern School [source: "School board badly mixed," Courier-Journal, 04/06/1909, p.3]. There were as many as 10 colored kindergartens in the city, and there was an announcement of the graduates from the Colored Normal Department of the Louisville Free Kindegarten Association. But by November of 1904, there were reports that the Colored Normal Department no longer existed; "Prof. Mark explained that the classes in the colored kindergartens are so large that the teachers can accomplish nothing, there being no longer a normal kindergarten teachers class to draw from." --[source: "Report defeated" in column "Last night: 01 present school board develops squabble," Courier-Journal, 11/08/1904 p.5]. Louisville, KY, was a leader in the Kindergarten Movement in the United States. The movement had begun in German communities and was meant to Americanize immigrant children. One of the first ten kindergartens established by William Hailman was at a German-English school in 1865 in Louisville, the school was located at the corner of Second and Gray Streets. The long term work on the training of kindergarten teachers began in 1887 at the Holcombe Mission on Jefferson Street, which was also the year the Louisville Free Kindergarten Association was incorporated. For more see Louisville Free Kindergarten, Reports, at the University of Louisville Libraries; see the article "Kindergarten Movement" by M. A. Fowlkes in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, pp.483-484; the flyer "Louisville Free Kindergarten Association Announces the Graduation in its Colored Normal Department...Miss Patty Smith Hill, Supt., Louisville Free Kindergarten Association, 1227 4th Avenue, Louisville, KY." The flyer is in the file "Kindergartens" within the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 18, 0000UA129, at the University of Kentucky Special Collections. See also the NKAA entry African American Schools in Louisville.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Free Public Library Photograph Collection
Particularly notable in this collection are the photographs of the Louisville Orchestra in the late 1940s with conductor Robert Whitney (see also Robert S. Whitney Papers) at the library's recording studio, and views of activities at the Western Branch, a segregated library which was also home of the first training program in the United States for African American librarians. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries Photographic Archives.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky, City Directories
Start Year : 1832
End Year : 1990
The Louisville City Directories contain detailed information on businesses, government, churches, social, and educational organizations, and the residents of Louisville, KY. Available at the University of Louisville's Ekstrom Library's Special Collections. Several of the directories are also available at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Special Collections Library.
Subjects: Directories
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville (KY) African American Film and Video Festival
Start Year : 2005
The two day festival was first held May 28-29, 2005, at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Louisville, KY. All of the films were independently produced. For more about the festival see L. Muhammad, "Black images: Festival focuses on African-American films," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 05/27/05, Metro section.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville (KY) Cemetery
Start Year : 1886
The Louisville Cemetery is a historic African American cemetery that was incorporated by seven prominent men in 1886: A. J. Bibb, W. P. Churchll, William Henry Gibson Sr., Felix Johnson, Bishop William H. Miles, Henry Clay Weeden, and Jesse Merriwether. The cemetery was originally 31 acres, and is located on Poplar Level Road in the Camp Zachery Taylor area of Louisville, KY. Buried in the cemetery are many well know African Americans such as Atwood Wilson, former president of Kentucky State University, and blues guitarist Sylvester Weaver. Kentucky Historical Marker #1992 stands at the entrance of the cemetery. For more see Louisville Cemetery at waymarking.com; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Debbie Sharp.


Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Municipal College for Negroes
Start Year : 1931
End Year : 1951
After 20 years of political work, the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes finally opened February 9, 1931, as a branch of the University of Louisville (U of L). Rufus E. Clement was named Dean of the school. Prior to the school opening, in 1920, U of L had presented a bond issue requiring a two-thirds affirmative vote. African American tax dollars would be used in the bond, but the plan was not to allow African Americans to attend U of L. There also were no plans for a college for African Americans; therefore, African American voter opposition prevented the passing of the bond. Compromises were made with the promise of sharing the bond proceeds for the building of an African American college, so the bond passed in 1925. Two U of L presidents died before plans got under way in 1929. Louisville Municipal College closed in 1951. For more see J. B. Hudson, "The Establishment of Louisville Municipal College: a case study in racial conflict and compromise," The Journal of Negro Education, 1995, vol. 64, issue 2; and J. B. Hudson's The History of Louisville Municipal College: events leading to the desegregation of the University of Louisville, 1981 dissertation. The Louisville Municipal College Photographs and Records are available at the University of Louisville Special Collections and Archives.

See older photo image of Louisville Municipal College at the University of Louisville Libraries website.

See more recent photo images of the Louisville Municipal College by Mary Ann Sullivan at Bluffton.edu website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Municipal College Photographs and Records
The collection includes photo negatives and prints of Municipal College students, faculty and deans, as well as the grounds and buildings. Among the records are those from the dean of the college, as well as faculty minutes, annual reports, development files, budget papers, student records, and ephemera documenting the 20 year existence of this school. The collection is available at the University of Louisville Libraries Photographic Archives.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville National Medical College
Start Year : 1888
End Year : 1912
Dr. Henry Fitzbutler, who came to Kentucky from Michigan, led the push for a medical college to train African American doctors. He was assisted in the endeavor by Rufus Conrad, W. A. Burney, of New Albany, Indiana, and W. O. Vance from Louisville, KY. The college was initially located in the United Brothers of Friendship Hall at Ninth and and Magazine Streets in Louisville and was later moved to Green Street. The first graduate was a woman. The training hospital was added in 1896. In total, 150 doctors graduated from the college before it was forced to close due to financial difficulties. The medical college had merged with Simmons University (Louisville) in 1907, and after it closed in 1912, the training hospital became the Simmons Nursing Department. For more see the "Louisville National Medical College" entry by J. Hardin in the Encyclopedia of Louisville; see the Louisville National Medical College records at the University of Louisville Libraries; and 1888 Sessions Law, Chapter 1234, Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth [available full-text at Google Book Search]. For more on the training hospital, see the Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital entry in NKAA.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville Weekly Planet (newspaper)
Start Year : 1872
The Louisville Weekly Planet newspaper was founded in Louisville, KY, in November of 1872 by T. F. Cassels and Nathaniel R. Harper. The newspaper was described as non-sectarian, and was thought to be a new venture for Colored men, which was not entirely true. An article in the Weekly Louisianian gives the names of earlier newspapers outside Kentucky. There was also an earlier newspaper in Kentucky, The Colored Kentuckian, founded in 1867 by Philip H. Murry and J. P. Sampson. Cassels and Harper's newspaper, Louisville Weekly Planet, was published for a few years during the 1870s. For more see "Louisville Weekly Planet," Weekly Louisianian, 12/07/1872, p.2.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville's Colored Orphans' Home
Start Year : 1877
End Year : 1908
Prior to the formation of the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children, African American churches established and supported another orphanage in Louisville, KY. Louisville's Colored Orphan's Home was located at the Taylor Barracks on Third and Oak Streets. The home was moved to Eighteenth and Dumesnil Streets in 1878, continuing operations solely with the support of the African American community until 1908. For more see "Colored Orphans' Home" in The Encyclopedia of Louisville. See also the entry Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children.

See photo image of children and Colored Orphan's Home from Weeden's History of the Colored people of Louisville, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Love, Eleanor Young
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2006
Eleanor Young Love was born at Lincoln Ridge, KY. She held many academic positions, including librarian at Lincoln Institute. In 1955, she became the first African American librarian at the University of Kentucky, where she was employed temporarily, and later was the first African American dean at the University of Louisville. Young received her library science degree from Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University], her M.Ed. from the University of Louisville, and her D.Ed. from the University of Illinois. In addition to being a librarian at Lincoln Institute, she was a librarian at Florida A & M University and Bergen Jr. College. She was the daughter of Laura R. Young and Whitney Young, Sr. For more see Notable Black American Women, book II, ed. by J. C. Smith; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Access Interview The Eleanor Young Love oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lovett, Wilson Stephen
Birth Year : 1885
Wilson S. Lovett was president of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, which was established in 1921 with $50,000. It was the first African American bank in Kentucky. In 1928 the bank had assets of over $600,000. Lovett was also a civil rights activist who was a member of the NAACP and a member of the committee that led to the African American voters' repeal of the first bond effort to expand the University of Louisville. Wilson Lovett was born in New York, the son of Wilson and Annie E. Stevens Lovett, and he grew up in Pennsylvania [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Ohio Marriages Index]. He was married to Dorothy Payne Lovett (1896-1927), who was born in Kingston, Jamaica; the couple was married in 1924 in Franklin, OH. Wilson Lovett had worked as a stenographer in Alabama, he was employed in the Savings Department of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Negro Star, 01/27/1933]. Lovett founded the men's basketball team at Tuskegee Institute and was the first head coach from 1908-1909. The team was undefeated, winning all three of their games [see Golden Tigers website]. Wilson Lovett came to Kentucky from Memphis, TN [sources: Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927]. In 1915, he was director of Standard Life Insurance Company in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915, p.900], which was prior to the establishment of the First Standard Bank. When he left the bank in 1929, Wilson Lovett became treasurer of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company. During that same year, he served as secretary of the National Negro Bankers Association. In 1930, Wilson Lovett was president of the Standard Reality Corporation in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1256], and president of the Credential Bond and Mortgage Company in Cleveland, OH [source: Cleveland (Ohio) City Directory, 1930, p.1056], all while living in Chicago, IL. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Wilson Lovett shared his home in Chicago with Henry McGasock, from Kentucky; they lived at 608 E. Fifty-first Street in Chicago. In the census, Lovett is listed as the treasurer of a life insurance company. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Two dead, another injured," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927, p.1; "Business," Negro Star, 08/02/1929, p.1; "Program of National Negro Bankers Association," Plaindealer, 08/02/1929, p.4; and "Boom Wilson Lovett for Register of the Treasury," Negro Star, 01/27/1933, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Basketball, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: New York / Pennsylvania / Tuskegee, Alabama / Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Cleveland, Ohio

Lower Street (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1844
The area was platted in 1844, and the least expensive lots were sold to African Americans following the end of the Civil War. The neighborhood was located on the western side of Lexington, backed by railroad tracks [off present day Broadway near the railroad overpass]. The Lower Street School, one of the three main schools for African Americans, was in place by 1888. The street name was changed in 2004 from Lower Street to Patterson Street. Information for this entry comes from J. Kellogg, "The Formation of Black Residential Areas in Lexington, Kentucky, 1865-1887," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 48, issue 1 (Feb. 1982), pp. 21-52; "Ask us - answers to your burning questions," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/01/2004, Communities section, p. D1; and D. Wilkinson, "Achievement gap inseparable from the history of inequality from slavery on, African Americans have faced uphill struggle for education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/26/2001, Opinions and Ideas section, p. J1.
Subjects: Communities, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lowery, Perry G.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1942
It is thought that Perry G. Lowery was born in Kentucky and his family later moved to Kansas. He was the first African American graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music. Lowery played the cornet and was a band leader, playing with a number of bands and in vaudeville and circuses, directing the side show of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band. He is known for the band composition, Prince of Decora Galop. Perry G. Lowery was the husband of Carrie Lowery (1884-1943), the couple married in 1916 [source: Ohio, County Marriages]. He was the son of Andrew and Rachel Liggins Lowery Lowery [source: Perry G. Lowery in the Ohio Deaths Index]. For more see Showman: the life and music of Perry George Lowery, by C. E. Watkins.

See photo image with Perry G. Lowery and other band members at Kansas Memory website.
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas

Lucas, Dave
Born in Kentucky, Dave Lucas and his mother, Elizabeth Lucas, moved to Fort Lowell, Arizona, in the 1870s. He held a number of jobs before handling horses and becoming a jockey. He purchased a home, which is thought to be the oldest standing home in Tucson owned by an African American. For more see Biographies & Oral Histories: Pioneers in In the Steps of Esteban: Tucson's African American Heritage, by the University of Arizona Library.

See photo of Dave Lucas home at the Universit of Arizona website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fort Lowell and Tucson, Arizona

Luckett, William Benjamin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1852
Death Year : 1922
In 1887, William B. Luckett established what is thought to be the first public transfer line [local bus service] and street car in Frankfort, KY. It was his intent to meet every train coming into Frankfort with his new horse drawn* omnibus that would take passengers to any location in the city. The service could be ordered by the telephone; Luckett's phone number was 81 [source: "Wm. B. Luckett," Frankfort Roundabout, 06/04/1887, p.4]. Luckett had purchased a 12 passenger bus with an attachable seat on the top, and he officially opened his business on May 30, 1887, according to his ad on p.7 of the Frankfort Roundabout, 06/04/1887. His prices ranged from 25 cents for 1 passenger with a valise or satchel, to 60 cents for 2 passengers with 2 trunks. The fare for children between the ages of 5 and 9 was 5 cents. If there were several children, "the rates will be reasonable." Customers could leave their orders at his Telephone 81, or at the Telephone Exchange, Holmes and Halloran's Drug Store, Blue Wing Office, and A. H. Waggoner's Grocery Store on Broadway. The transfer line business seemed like a good idea, but it did not generate a profit for Luckett. On June 25, 1887, there was a notice on p.3 of the Frankfort Roundabout, "W. B. Luckett proposes to run his omnibus as a street car from some point on the North Side to the extreme end of South Frankfort in the middle of the day and in the evening to accommodate persons living on the South Side going to and from their meals." On July 4, 1887, there was another notice on p.7 of the Frankfort Roundabout encouraging that his business should be patronized or the transfer line may not continue. The ad on the same page had all the previously mentioned locations for placing orders, plus the additional location of the LeCompte and Carpenter's South Side Drug Store. By the end of August 1887, there were no more ads for the transfer line business. The city of Frankfort still desired to have a street car line. But, in 1891, the mayor's veto was sustained at the city council meeting, the ordinance would have allowed the Capital Railway Company to construct the first street railroad [source: "We must continue to walk," Frankfort Roundabout, 07/25/1891, p.4]. Without the transfer line business, William B. Luckett developed his livery business located on Ann Street. In 1899, when he was preparing to move out of state, Luckett put the livery business up for sale or lease. Ads was posted in the newspaper. William B. Luckett is described as a mulatto in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. He was born in Franklin County, KY, the son of Cordelia Duff Hayden. He was the husband of Katherine A. Taylor Luckett (1857-1936), they married in 1882 and the couple had at least six children [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1900, the family lived in Dayton, OH, according to the census, and William B. Luckett was an insurance agent. The family was noted as Black in the census, they lived on Hershey Street. They next moved to Yellowstone, Montana, and Luckett was a farmer. The family was listed as white in the 1910 Census and the 1920 Census. William B. Luckett died October 30, 1922 in Big Horn, Montana.

*Omnibus is a public vehicle designed to carry a large number of people.

See photo image of an 1890s horse drawn omnibus, in the Encyclopedia of Chicago online.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / Yellowstone and Big Horn, Montana

Lunderman, Charles J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1973
The following information was submitted by Mrs. Juanita L. White of Louisville, KY:

Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was an attorney and judge in Louisville, KY. He was one of the three founders of an early Black law firm that included his partners Benjamin Shobe and Haywood Banks. Lunderman, Jr. was the first African American lawyer in the legal department of the City of Louisville. He was also appointed a Jefferson County Quarterly Judge by Louisville Mayor William O. Cowger, serving from 1961-1965. He also served as president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP and helped integrate the city swimming pools and Jefferson County Schools. Lunderman, Jr. was a member of the Jefferson County Clean Air Committee that was formed by residents of the West End and Shively to fight an industrial plant that was daily pumping 11 tons of dust into the air surrounding the communities. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Charles, Sr. and Loretta C. Bacon Lunderman Spencer Randolph. He was the husband of Mrs. Belma Lunderman McClaskey. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. attended Kentucky State University and earned his law degree at Lincoln University in Missouri. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army.

References:


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lyles, Lenny E.
Birth Year : 1936
Lenny E. Lyles was born in Nashville, TN, and grew up in Louisville, KY, where he attended Central High School. Lyles became a track star, and a running back and defensive back at the University of Louisville (1953-1957). He holds school football records with 42 touchdowns and 300 points, and he led the nation in 1957 by rushing 1,207 yards. In 1958 he was drafted by the Baltimore Colts [now Indianapolis Colts] in the first round of the NFL draft. He played pro football for 12 years. A life-size bronze statue of Lyles was presented at Cardinal Park in Louisville in October 2000. The statue was created by Louisville sculptor Ed Hamilton. For more see Lenny Lyles in the Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 11: Sept. 1976-Aug. 1979; Lenny Lyles at databaseFootball.com; Lenny Lyles Statue; and "Lenny Lyles, blazing a different trail" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed., p.59.

See photo image and additional information about Lenny Lyles at the University of Louisville website.
Subjects: Football, Parks
Geographic Region: Nashville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lynch Demons (Lynch, KY, baseball team)
In 1935, the baseball team Lynch Demons was considered the best colored baseball team in Kentucky. On October 1, they were scheduled to play the Kingsport Tigers on their home field; the Tigers were a colored baseball team from Tennessee with a record of 19-5. The Lynch Demons had a record of 34 wins and one loss. For more see "Tigers to battle Lynch on Sunday," Kingsport Times, 08/29/1934, p. 2. The city of Lynch also had a colored baseball team in 1924; for more about that team, see "Middlesboro colored team[s] plays Lynch," Middlesboro Daily News, 07/07/1924, p. 4.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky / Kingsport, Tennessee / Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Lynching in Wickliffe, KY
Start Year : 1903
Friday, October 16, 1903, Tom Hall's partially nude body was found hung in a tree in Wickliffe, KY. Hall was thought to be a man from Mississippi who had come first to Mayfield, KY, then on to Paducah, to work on the new Cairo division of the Illinois Central Railroad. A disagreement had occurred between two young white men and a group of African Americans at the Paducah-Cairo train depot platform, Sunday night, October 11. There was an exchange of gunfire. One of the white men, Crockett Childress, was shot in the chest, but survived, though rumors circulated that Childress was dead. Tom Hall was shot in the arm. [It was assumed he was a.k.a. Bob Douglas, who was wanted for a shooting in Mississippi.] Hall claimed he was innocent; he said that he was only a bystander who had gotten shot at the train depot. It was decided that there would be less disturbance if Hall were jailed in Wickliffe. On Tuesday, October 12, in response to the shooting, all African Americans were forced to leave Kevil, KY. Friday morning, about 1:15 a.m., a group of about 35 masked white men took Hall from jail and hanged him. For more see "Quickest of lynchings occurs at Wickliffe," Daily News Democrat (Paducah, KY), 10/16/1903, vol. 35, issue 12, front page; and "Kentucky Negroes forced to flee," Washington Post, 10/14/1903, p. 8.
Subjects: Lynchings, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Wickliffe and Kevil, Ballard County, Kentucky

Lynem, Carl Irving
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1966
Lynem was the first African American member of the Lexington Board of Education. He had also managed P. K. Sykes successful campaign for city commissioner in 1963. Lynem was a retired Major of the U.S. Army, having served during World War II, according to his U.S. Army Enlistment Record. He was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Marie Hayes Lynem and Rev. Sheeley Lynem, and according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Elmarch, KY. Lynem was an insurance man. He died in a car accident in Henry County, KY, in 1966 and is buried at Camp Nelson National Cemetery. A picture of Lynem can be seen on p. 96 in Lexington, Kentucky, by G. Smith. For more see Lexington, Heart of the Bluegrass, by J. D. Wright. [For more on Rev. Sheeley Lynem, elder of Lexington District in the Kentucky Conference of the AME Church, see p.187 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.]
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Elmarch, Harrison County, Kentucky / Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Lyon County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Lyon County, located in western Kentucky, was formed in 1854 from a portion of Caldwell County and is bordered by five counties. It was named for Chittenden Lyon, who was born in Vermont and came to Kentucky when he was a child. He was a Kentucky Representative and Senator, and a U.S. Representative. The county seat of Lyon County is Eddyville, which was established in 1798 by David Walker, a Revolutionary War veteran who had received a land grant. The town was named for the eddies in the nearby stream. Eddyville was first established as the seat of Livingston County in 1799, and was later the seat of Caldwell County, before being named the seat of Lyon County in 1854. The 1860 county population was 4,214, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 195 slave owners
  • 902 Black slaves
  • 195 Mulatto slaves
  • 34 free Blacks
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,306 Blacks
  • 118 Mulattoes
  • About 85 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lyon County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,102 Blacks
  • 390 Mulattoes
For more see the Lyon County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Predestinarian Baptist Church Records, 1865-1891 from Predestinarian Baptist Church (Lyon County, Ky.); Marriage Books (indexed), 1854-1987 from Lyon County (Ky.). County Clerk; and Tax Assessment Books, 1863-1911 from Lyon County (Ky.). County Clerk.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M], Kentucky Land Grants
Geographic Region: Lyon County, Kentucky

Lyons, Donald W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1945
Lyons was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Joseph B. and Sam Ella Lyons. He has been an educator, a librarian, and an athletic director. His teaching career began in Detroit, MI, in 1968, and continued in Kentucky in 1969. Beginning in 1971, he was hired as a librarian at Kentucky State University and became the library director in 1976. During his tenure as library director, Lyons also taught freshman classes and was a supervisor of the first-year teacher interns who were employed at various Kentucky schools. He left the library in 1989 to become Athletic Director at Kentucky State University, retiring in 1999. He is presently a Professor Emeritus. Donald Lyons is a graduate of the old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and earned his A.B. degree in history and political science at Kentucky State University. He earned a masters of library science from the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1971, thus becoming the fourth African American graduate of the program [it was recently learned that Mrs. George O'Rourke graduated from the UK Library School in 1966.] In 1994 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Faith Grant College (formerly Daniel Payne College) for outstanding work for the cause of African-Americans and in the field of education. He has served in leadership positions on committees within the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He is a past president of the Gamma Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, and is Grammateus of the Delta Tau Boulé of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He was the 2008 recipient of the UK Libraries & School of Library and Information Science Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award. Lyons is an active member of community organizations and within his church. He is also presently a trustee of the Kentucky State University Foundation, serving as the treasurer and the executive secretary. Donald W. Lyons, Sr. is the husband of Myra L. Briggs Lyons, the father of Donald, Jr. and Reginald Lyons, and was a brother of the late Joseph B. Lyons, Jr. Information for this entry was taken, with permission, from the Donald W. Lyons biography.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Lyons, Joseph B., Jr.
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2001
Joseph B. Lyons, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY. He was a graduate of Old Dunbar High School and attended Kentucky State University. He later completed his electrical engineering degree at the University of Kentucky. Lyons served with the U.S. Air Force and had a 32 year career as a civilian employee in the Department of the Navy. He was an expert in radar systems and was the first African American to be named manager of the microwave technology division of the Sensors and Avionics Technology Directorate. Lyons also held six patents. In 2007, Joseph B. Lyons, Jr. was posthumously inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. He was the brother of Donald W. Lyons, Sr. For more see D. Adkins, "UK Engineering Hall of Distinction honors new inductees," UK News, 04/30/2007, p. 7.


Subjects: Engineers, Inventors, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lytle, Elizabeth
Birth Year : 1873
Mrs. Elizabeth Ecton Lytle was born in KY, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. She was the second African American teacher in Gary, IN. She was hired in 1910, two years after Everett Simpson had been hired to head the 12th Street Avenue school for Negro children. The school system had a policy that married women could not be school teachers, but special consideration was given to Mrs. Lytle, who taught grades 1-3. There was not a large number of Negroes from Kentucky living in Gary in 1910, and Lytle was the only one who was a school teacher. Others who migrated to Gary were employed by the mines, mills, and industries. The school for Negro children was developed as a result of the growing Negro population. By 1930, there were 825 Negroes from Kentucky living in Gary, and 21 of them had graduated from Roosevelt School by 1936, the same year that 39 students from Kentucky were enrolled in Gary Schools [kindergarten through senior class]. All of the 21 graduates had entered the school in 1929 and all of their fathers' were truck drivers. Lytle was retired from the Gary Schools by 1936. In 1940, she lived with her sister Anna Meadows and James Ecton, both were from Kentucky [source: U.S. Federal Census]. For more see A History of the Growth of the Negro Population of Gary Indiana (thesis) by J. F. Potts; Children of the Mill by R. D. Cohen; and Gary's Central Business Community by D. Millender.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

 

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