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Taggart, Willie
Birth Year : 1975
Willie Taggart, from Palmetto, FL, became the first African American head football coach at Western Kentucky University (WKU) on November 23, 2009. He had been an assistant coach at the school from 1999-2006, and had also been a student athlete, setting 11 school records as quarterback of the football team 1995-1998. Taggart graduated in 1998 with a bachelor's degree in social science. His WKU football jersey was retired in 1999. Taggart was also an outstanding high school quarterback at Manatee High School in Florida. During his sophomore year, Taggart, at 5 foot-11 inches and 138 pounds, replaced the team's injured All-American quarterback and lead the team to a 44-0 victory. The Manatee High School football team was the 5A Champions during Taggart's junior year as quarterback, and the team played in the championship game his senior year when Taggart was named first team all-state and all-conference. In 2010, Taggart was one of three African American head football coaches hired at Kentucky universities: Joker Phillips at the University of Kentucky, and Charlie Strong at the University of Louisville. In 2012, Taggart left Western Kentucky University to become head football coach at the University of South Florida [source: ESPN NCAAF, 12/08/2012]. For more see "WKU hires Willie Taggart as head football coach," ABC - 13 WBKO: Video, 11/24/2009; Willie Taggart, a WKU website; W. Hiatt, "Manatee crushes Brandon," The Bradenton Herald, 10/05/1991, Sports section, p.C1; and the 2010 interview "Coach Willie Taggart," program #532 [available online] at Connections With Renee Shaw on Kentucky Educational Television (KET).
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Palmetto, Florida / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Talbert, Horace
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1910
Horace Talbert, an AME minister, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Jane E. Dory Talbert and William Talbert. He was the husband of Sarah F. Black, born 1859 in Washington, D. C., and they had 14 children. Talbert was assigned to a number of churches in Kentucky and in other states. He edited and managed the African Watchman; served as secretary and financial officer of Wilberforce University, beginning in 1897; and was part owner of Talbert Specialty Company, a mail order house. He was the author of The Sons of Allen [available online at Documenting the American South]. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough: an American journey from slavery to scholarship by W. S. Scarborough, p. 361; and Rev. Horace Talbert in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.

  See photo image of Horace Talbert at the "Documenting the American South" website.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio

Talbott, Dannie
Birth Year : 1887
Dannie Talbott was a horse trainer who was born in Paris, KY on March 3, 1887 [source: U.S. Manifest Form, Detroit Michigan, May 2, 1951]. In May of 1951 Talbott returned to the United States from Toronto, Canada, where he had been working at the Long Branch Race Track. Talbott is described as a dark complexioned man about 5'7" with a scar on his left hand.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Toronto, Canada

Talbott, Emma M.
Birth Year : 1943
Emma M. Talbott is a writer and poet. She taught school in Jefferson County, KY, for 26 years and writes editorials and book reviews for the Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY). She is author of The Joy and Challenge of Raising African American Children. For more see The Masthead, vol. 47, issue 2 (Summer 1995), pp. 9-12.

  See photo image of Emma M. Talbott at owl.library website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tandy, Charlton H.
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1919
Charlton Hunt Tandy, born in a house on Main Street in Lexington, KY, was the son of John L. (b.1805) and Susan Tandy (b.1815), both Kentucky natives. The family was listed as free in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. John is listed as a whitewasher, he had purchased his freedom in 1833. His son, Charlton, born three years later, was named after Lexington's first Mayor, Charlton Hunt (the son of John W. Hunt, the first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains). Charlton Hunt Tandy was listed as one of the family's nine children in 1850, he was raised in Lexington, and as a young man, he and family members assisted escaped slaves across the Ohio River into Ohio. Charlton moved to Missouri in 1859, where he would become captain of the 13th Missouri Colored Volunteer Militia, Company B, known as Tandy's St. Louis Guard. After the war, he fought for equal access on public transportation in St. Louis, which allowed African Americans to ride inside the horse-drawn streetcars rather than riding on the outside by hanging onto the rails. In 1879, Tandy helped raise thousands of dollars to help former slave families who were moving to the West [Exodusters]; Tandy was president of the St. Louis Colored Relief Board. In 1880 Tandy testified before the Congressional Voorhees Committee about the exodus of African Americans from the South. He became a lawyer in 1886 by passing the Missouri Bar Exam and was permitted to practice law in both the district court and the U. S. Supreme Court. President Grant appointed Tandy to the St. Louis Custom House, making him the first African American to be employed there. Tandy was also a U.S. Marshall under President Harrison's administration, serving as special agent of the General Land Office and as a timber inspector. He served as vice president of the Missouri State Republican League and in 1894 was elected to a House seat by the Republicans of the Thirty-second Senatorial District, but he was not allowed to serve. Charlton Tandy was the husband of Anna E. Tandy, who was also born in Kentucky. A community center, a park, and a St. Louis Zoo train engine [of the Zooline Railroad] have been named in Tandy's honor. For more see The New Town Square, by R. Archibald; The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters, by B. M. Jack; Missouri Guardroots [.pdf]; news clippings about Tandy in the University of Missouri-St. Louis Western Historical Manuscript Collection; "A great exodus of Negroes," New York Times, 08/12/1880, p. 5; and "Lexington Negro," Lexington Leader, 08/01/1906, p. 5.

 See photo image and additional information at blackpast.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era], Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Tandy, Henry A.
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1918
Tandy was a contractor and builder from Lexington, KY. Along with his business partner, Albert Byrd, he did the brick work on the Lexington courthouse in 1898. At that time the courthouse was one of the largest in the U.S. At the turn of the century, Tandy was thought to have been the richest African American in Kentucky. He was the father of Vertner Tandy and the husband of Emma Brice Tandy, born 1855 in KY. The Tandy family lived at 190 West Main Street, next door to the Maj. B. G. Thomas/Margaret Pryor home. Henry Tandy was born in Estill County, KY. The names of his parents were listed as unknown at the time of his death. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetry in Lexington, KY, according to his death certificate. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, at the Documenting the American South website; Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; "Henry Tandy," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/16/2005, p. C1; Tandy displays in the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum; and N.[H.] A. Tandy, "Contracting and building," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 3rd Annual Convention, Richmond, Virginia, August 25-27, 1902, reel 1, frames 256-257.
Subjects: Businesses, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Fathers, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Estill County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tandy, Opal L.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1983
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Tandy later moved to Indiana. He was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1956. A journalist for the Indianapolis Recorder and Hoosier Herald, he later purchased and changed the name of the Hoosier Herald to the Indiana Herald. He was also a WWII veteran, and served as deputy coroner of Marion County, IN for 22 years. He was the husband of Mary Bryant Tandy. The Opal L. Tandy Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society, and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 2nd & 3rd ed.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Tandy, Vertner W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1949
Born in Lexington, KY, Vertner W. Tandy was the first African American to be licensed as an architect in the state of New York. He was well-known throughout the U.S. One of his local works is Webster Hall on Georgetown St. in Lexington. In New York, he was a designer on the Abraham Lincoln Houses and the housing projects on Lexington Avenue and 135th Streets, and his works included the St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church on W. 133rd Street. Tandy was also the first African American to be commissioned as an officer in New York during World War I. He was a 1904 graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University], and a 1908 graduate of Cornell University School of Architecture. He helped found the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell. He was the son of Henry A. Tandy and Emma E. Brice Tandy, both Kentucky natives, and the husband of Sadie Tandy, born 1890 in Alabama. In 2009, a Kentucky historical marker was placed in the location where the Tandy home had been located in Lexington, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, Deceased, by H. F. and E. R. Withey; "Vertner W. Tandy," The New York Times, 11/08/1949, p.31; and M. Davis, "Fraternity puts its founder on map," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/15/2009, City/Region section, p.1.

See photo image of Vertner W. Tandy at BlackPast.org.

See photo image of Kentucky Historical Marker at wjohnston flickr site.
Subjects: Architects, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Tate, Horace E.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2002
Born in Elberton, GA, Horace E. Tate was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky, receiving a doctorate in education in 1960. Tate returned to Georgia where he was a teacher, a principal, and later a professor. Tate was instrumental in bringing about the desegregation of schools in Georgia. He was also the first African American to run for mayor of Atlanta and was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1974. In 1978 he was appointed to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, and he went on to hold many other posts. The Horace E. Tate Freeway was dedicated in 2000 in his honor; it is located on a portion of I-75N in Georgia. Tate was the husband of Virginia Cecile Barnett Tate. For more see Who's Who in American Politics, 1973-1998, Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1980-1995; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2004.

See photo image of Horace E. Tate at the durhamskywriter flickr site.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Georgia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tate, Mary L.
Birth Year : 1890
Born in Kentucky, she was the daughter of Harry and Anna Tate, both Kentucky natives, and the family of five lived on Lincoln Avenue in Cincinnati,OH, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Mary Tate was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and also studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy and the University of Chicago. Her work was shown at the Harmon Exhibits from 1928-1931. For more see Negro Artists: an illustrated review of their achievements, by Harmon Foundation (1991 reprint edition); and Afro-American Artists. A bio-bibliographical directory, compiled and edited by T. D. Cederholm.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois / Harlem, New York

Taylor, Bartlett
Birth Year : 1815
Taylor, a slave born in Henderson County, KY, was the son of a slave woman and her owner, Jonathan Taylor. Both of Bartlett Taylor's parents had come to Kentucky from Virginia. When he was a small child, the sheriff withdrew a portion of the slaves as payment toward Jonathan Taylor's financial debts. Included in the roundup were Bartlett Taylor's mother, her baby, and her four oldest sons. Jonathan Taylor left Henderson County and settled in LaGrange, KY. He had brought with him his remaining slaves, which included Bartlett and his sisters, all of whom were eventually sold as payment for more of Jonathan Taylor's debts. Bartlett hired himself out in Louisville, KY, with the intention of purchasing his freedom. He was sold, but he managed to get his emancipation papers with the promise of payment; Bartlett finalized the payment in 1840. He learned to read and write and also became a butcher. Bartlett owned a retail and wholesale business that packaged and shipped meat and traded and shipped livestock. He became a fairly wealthy man who owned several homes and lots on East Market Street in Louisville. He was also an African Methodist Episcopal [AME] Church minister who contributed financially toward the founding and building of churches. Bartlett Taylor was considered the church builder of the Kentucky AME Conference. In 1872, he built the largest AME Church in the state in Bowling Green, KY. In 1881, while a pastor in Shelbyville, KY, he negotiated with the city for a permit, then paid for a school building for African American children and the employment of teachers. Bartlett Taylor also served as treasurer of Wilberforce University beginning in 1864 and was a trustee for sixteen years. Bartlett Taylor and his wife, Marian [Mary] Taylor (b. 1826 in Indiana) are listed as living in Louisville in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Bartlett Taylor entry in the following sources: Afro-American Encyclopedia; History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson; and Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Taylor, Charles L.
Born in Jessamine County, KY, Taylor was elected to 3rd District Constable of Jessamine County in 1977, the first African American elected to a county-level office. For more see "Eleven blacks hold county level posts," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 12.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky

Taylor County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Taylor County, located in south-central Kentucky, was formed in 1848 from a portion of Green County, and is named for U.S. President Zachary Taylor. It is bordered by five counties. The county seat, Campbellsville, was established in 1817. The town was laid out by Andrew Campbell, a gristmill owner. The county population was 5,695 in 1850, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,887 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 303 slave owners
  • 1,466 Black slaves
  • 154 Mulatto slaves
  • 88 free Blacks
  • 60 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 287 slave owners
  • 1,305 Black slaves
  • 288 Mulatto slaves
  • 57 free Blacks
  • 72 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 1,673 Blacks
  • 190 Mulattoes
  • About 64 U.S. Colored Troops listed Taylor County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see Taylor County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Campbellsville-Taylor County, Kentucky Oral History Project (FA202) Manuscripts and Folklife Archives; and Campbellsville - Taylor County, Kentucky Oral History Project (FA 202), at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

Taylor, Gilbert and Saphronia Kelter
The Taylors, Gilbert and Saphronia (d. 1897), from Louisville, KY, were the parents of Marshall Walter Taylor, "The Colored Cyclone." Marshall Taylor (1878-1932) was a champion cyclist; he won the annual one mile track cycling championship in 1899, 1900, and 1901. Marshall was nicknamed "Major." He was born outside Indianapolis, IN, where his parents had migrated from Kentucky. Gilbert Taylor served in the Union Army. For more see Major Taylor: the extraordinary career of a champion bicycle racer, by A. Ritchie; and Major Taylor Association, Inc. website.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Taylor, Gustavus G.
Birth Year : 1904
Taylor was born in Louisville, KY. He worked as a real estate broker in Detroit, Michigan, and as a housing manager of the Public Housing Authority in Ecorse, Michigan, in 1943. Beginning in 1944, he was the housing manager of the Public Housing Administration in Inkster, Michigan. Taylor organized the NAACP at the Elks Baptist Church in Inkster. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Ecorse, and Inkster, Michigan

Taylor, J. H.
Taylor came to Louisville, KY, in 1865; he was the first African American mortician in Louisville. His undertaking business was one of the leading three for African Americans; the other two were owned by The Fox Brothers and Minnie and William Watson. Taylor's business was later merged with R. C. Fox's [The Fox Brothers]. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, James T. "Big Jim" [Harrods Creek, Kentucky]
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1965
Taylor developed the Harrods Creek community in Jefferson County, KY. He purchased the land in 1919 and sold lots to African Americans. The Jacob School was built in 1916, named for Jefferson Jacob, a former slave. Students came from Harrods Creek and nearby African American communities such as The Neck and Happy Hollow, both of which no longer exist. The school and the community are recognized with a Kentucky Historical Marker [#2038]. James Taylor, raised by his grandmother, grew up to become a farmer, a school bus driver, a road and bridge builder, and president of the James T. Taylor Real Estate Co. Wilson Lovett was vice president of the company, Joseph Ray, Sr. secretary, and Abram L. Simpson manager. For more see B. Pike, “Looking back: subdivision may be named after early developer,” Courier-Journal, 08/28/2002, Neighborhoods section, p. 1N; and D. R. Smith, “Cover Story: 40059,” The Lane Report, September 2006.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrods Creek, Jefferson County, Kentucky / The Neck and Happy Hollow, Jefferson County, Kentucky [no longer exist]

Taylor, Jesse B., Sr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1991
Taylor, born in Louisville, KY, was the first African American homicide detective in the South. Taylor had joined the Louisville Police Division in 1944 and served for 30 years. He was on the special detail that investigated the death of Alberta Jones. Taylor attended Lincoln Institute. For more see Jesse "Jess" B. Taylor Sr. in Louisville Division of Police, 1806-2002, by M. O. Childress, Sr.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Joe, Jr.
Taylor was the first African American elected official in Adair County, KY. In 1971 Taylor was elected in his first bid to be a councilman on the Columbia City Council; he received the highest number of votes of any candidate in the city-wide election. He was re-elected for his sixth term in 1981. For more see "40 blacks serve on city councils in 35 Kentucky cities," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1982], 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 22.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Taylor, Joseph H.
Birth Year : 1898
Taylor was born in Burkesville, KY. He was dean of the Alabama State Teachers College [now Alabama State University] from 1930-1939 and later history professor and chairman of the division of social science at North Carolina College for Negroes [now North Carolina Central University], beginning in 1939. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, The Restriction of European Immigration, 1890-1924. Taylor was also author of a number of articles. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Burkesville, Cumberland County, Kentucky / Florence, Alabama / North Carolina

Taylor, Kimberly Hayes
Birth Year : 1962
Kimberly Hayes Taylor, born in Louisville, KY, is the daughter of Loraine S. and James E. Hayes. She is a 1984 communications graduate of Morehead State University and was the health and features writer with the Detroit News. In 1991 she received the Top Well Done Award for the series "Street Under Siege." In addition to being a journalist, Taylor is also a professional speaker and author of Black Civil Rights Champions and Black Abolitionists and Freedom Fighters. Her books and articles have been referenced in teacher guides as well as books on history and immigration. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006; and Kimberly Hayes Taylor, a USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism website.


Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Taylor, Marshall W. (Boyd)
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1887
Born in Lexington, KY, Marshall W. Boyd was educated by private teachers and at private schools. (He later changed his last name to Taylor.) He organized the first school for African Americans in Hardinsburg, KY, in 1866, and armed himself in an effort to keep the school open; the school was bombed on Christmas Day, December 25, 1867. The following year, Taylor was elected president of the Negro Educational Convention, which was held in Owensboro, KY. He was licensed to preach in 1869 and was also a lawyer with the Kirkland and Barr law firm in Louisville, KY. Taylor edited the Southwestern Christian Advocate. He is most remembered for compiling the early African American hymnal, Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies (1882). He was also author of Handbook for Schools and The Negro in Methodism. According to his entry in Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography, volume 4, Taylor died September 11, 1887 in Louisville, KY. Taylor was the grandfather of jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers (1923-2011). For more see History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880, by G. W. Williams [available full view at Google Book Search]; Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff; and Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church, by W. H. Riley.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Melvin W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1997
Born in Iowa, Melvin W. Taylor, Sr. was the director of West Kentucky State Vocational Technical School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY, from 1972-1985. He was a member of a host of organizations, including the National U.S. Olympic Club. He had been an outstanding athlete in high school and college, lettering in basketball, baseball, football, track, and tennis; he also played one year of semi-pro football. He was the father of Springfield, IL, painter E. Vern Taylor. The Taylor family came to Paducah in 1954. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; and T. Brown, "Artists share their journeys," State Journal Register, 06/21/2007.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration East
Geographic Region: Iowa / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Taylor, Preston
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1931
Preston Taylor was born in Louisiana; his parents, Zed and Betty Taylor, were slaves who moved (or were brought) to Kentucky a year after he was born. In 1864 Preston Taylor enlisted in the army. After his service years, he went to Louisville, KY, where he was employed in the marble yards. He later became a pastor at the Christian Church in Mt. Sterling, KY. He was chosen as the General Evangelist of the United States by his denomination. Though African Americans had been excluded from Reconstruction efforts, Taylor was able to secure a contract to build sections of the Big Sandy Railway from Mt. Sterling to Richmond, Virginia. He also purchased property in New Castle, KY, where he established the Christian Bible College. Around 1884 Taylor moved to Nashville, TN, where he was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the city. For more see Preston Taylor (1849-1931), by the Tennessee State Library; "Elder Preston Taylor, co-founder. First Treasurer, One Cent Savings Bank and Trust Company," The Tennessee Tribune, 04/22-28/2004, p. 2D; and "The Athens of the South: pen picture of the life of Rev. Preston Taylor," Freeman, 07/04/1896, p.1.

  See photo image of Preston Taylor at "Anniversary Edition: House Divided," a Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Taylor, Sallie Ann
Birth Year : 1822
Death Year : 1909
Sallie Ann Taylor has been considered the first African American teacher in Harrodsburg, KY. She was the slave of Major James Taylor. The following information comes from an email received from the Harrodsburg Historical Society (Marilyn B. Allen) dated August 3, 2012: "We know that [James] Taylor owned Sallie Ann prior to Emancipation and that she was the personal maid to his two older daughters. Sarah Taylor, the oldest daughter, was born in 1830 and our records state that Sallie Ann was older than her; however, we do not have her exact birth date." An approximate birth date of 1822 is given in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Sallie Ann Taylor. "We also know that Sallie Ann was educated along with the daughters and by them when they went outside of the home to school." Sallie Ann Taylor would become a teacher and taught other slaves prior to their freedom. "She started a school for free blacks in the cottage that James Taylor provided for her and her mother to live in on the Taylor property." Her mother's name was Lettitia Easton [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census], and according to the information received from the Harrodsburg Historical Society, Lettitia Easton was born March 25, 1800, and died April 13, 1884. "James [Taylor] later built and furnished her [Sally Ann Taylor] a school on said property." The schoolhouse was near Pioneer Memorial State Park. Sallie Ann Taylor is listed in the 1880 and the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as a school teacher in Mercer County. "Sallie Ann remained with the Taylor Family after Emancipation and assisted Sarah [Taylor] in rearing 7 children in this home [Old Fort Harrod State Park's Mansion Museum]. She [Sallie Ann Taylor] died in 1909." Another source, also recommended by the Harrodsburg Historical Society, is the title The History of Harrodsburg and "the Great Settlement Area" of KY, 1774-1900 by G. M. Chinn, which gives the following additional information on p.142: "Later, when a negro school district was organized in Harrodsburg, two small cottages were rented from Sally Taylor for school buildings." Another early African American teacher in Harrodsburg was Susan Mary Craig. For more see "The First Negro School Teacher" within the article "Mercer County slaves who have contributed to community life," Olde Towne Ledger, no. 73 (August 2001); and visit the Old Fort Harrod State Park and the Harrodsburg Historical Society. See also the NKAA entry African American Schools in Mercer County, KY.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Taylor, Steve L. "The Cowboy Steve Show"
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1993
Steve Taylor was a radio station owner, WSEV in Lexington, KY. In 1969, the signal reached a block, maybe two blocks, from his Jefferson Street studio near Fourth Street. The studio also served as his one-room apartment. WSEV was a country radio station with ad lib commercials, all broadcast by Taylor from a self-built transmitter. For more than 10 years, three or four nights per week, around 6:00 p.m, The Cowboy Steve Show was broadcast to neighbors. Taylor's previous radio station, at his home on Brown Street, had a much weaker signal and was difficult to pick up outside his home. With that station he and friends had played live music, five nights per week. Taylor was a self-taught player of the guitar, fiddle, and mandolin. At the age of 14, he had started his first country music band, the group played in the Lexington vicinity and had a few engagements in Cincinnati. Taylor was also a song writer, three of his songs were recorded, two by Esco and Jackie, and one by the Rogers Sisters. Steve L. Taylor died in 1993 and is buried in Lexington Cemetery. For more see G. Mendes, "The Cowboy Steve Show," in the last issue of the Blue-Tail Fly, 1971, no. 11, pp. 12-14 [available full-text online at Kentucky Digital Library]. The article was reprinted in the Chevy Chaser Magazine, October 2006, pp. 40-43 & 45. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Jo Staggs-Neel, who also provided the research.


See photo image of Steve Taylor and the online article "The Cowboy Steve Show" by Guy Mendes at the smileypete.com website.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Taylor, Vertner L.
Birth Year : 1938
Vertner Taylor, born in Lexington, KY, was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky pharmacy program in 1960. He is also a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and earned his undergraduate degree at Xavier University. In 1961, Taylor was the first African American pharmaceutical sales representative for E. R. Squibb and Sons in Chicago, the company was founded in 1892. Taylor was also the associate director of pharmacy at the University of Chicago. He returned to Kentucky where he helped establish the Hunter Foundation for Health Care, and was director of health services for the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet. Today he is the Corrections Commissioner of Kentucky, a position he has held since 2001. For more see M. Davis, "Psychiatrist carries rich legacy from Lexington - Taylors cherish promise of education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/21/2010, City Region section, p.B1; E. A. Jasmin and A. Etmans, "Black UK graduates to honor school's 'Waymakers' of '60s," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1993, City/State section, p.B3; and the online article "Chicago drug firm hires 1st Negro salesman," Jet, 11/02/1961, p.51.

  See photo image and bio of Vertner Taylor (about mid-page) at the Biographies: Justice Cabinet Executive Staff website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Taylor, William A.
Taylor was born in Lexington, KY. Starting with $75, he built his grocery store into one of the most successful in Lexington. He purchased the building that had been his homestead as a boy during slavery and also owned other real estate. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Taylortown (Lexington, KY)
The community was developed in the late 1860s, growing to encompass lots on Margaret Wickliffe Preston's property. Preston was the widow of William Preston. In 1889, two years after her husband's death, Preston sold lots at the front of her property. Her home and the lots were bound by Jefferson, Second, Third, and Georgetown Streets. 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; and Property Owned by Margaret Wickliffe Preston (1819-1898) of Kentucky, a KCTC website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Temple, Carter [Carr Hopkins]
Birth Year : 1842
Four of the first African American patrolmen in Indianapolis, IN, were William Whittaker, Benjamin Young, Sim Hart, and Carter Temple, according to an article in the Indianapolis Star newspaper. Carter Temple was born in Logan County, KY, around 1842, and may have been a slave prior to joining the Union Army in 1863. He came to Indianapolis in 1865 and became a patrolman in 1876. He had been a patrolman for more than 20 years when he drew his revolver after approaching a stranger one early morning in Mayor Thomas Taggart's front yard; the stranger was Mayor Taggart. Carter Temple was the husband of Martha Temple, b.1844 in North Carolina. The couple married in 1871, and the family of five lived at 182 Minerva Street in Indianapolis. Carter Temple, a Civil War veteran, was named Carr Hopkins when he enlisted in Gallatin, TN, on November 1, 1863, according to Civil War records. He served with the 14th U.S. Colored Infantry and was promoted to Corporal, April 30th, 1864. Carter Temple died between 1920 and 1930. Three other Indianapolis patrolmen from Kentucky were Edward Harris (b.1851), Frank Hurt (b.1859), and Johshua Spears (b.1858). Harris, from Louisville, KY, joined the force in 1874. Spears, from Bourbon County, KY, and Hurt had both joined the force in 1883. For more see "Colored patrolman dies of paralysis," Indianapolis Star, 12/18/1909, p.3; "Mayor Taggart finds a patrolman who wasn't sleeping," Fort Wayne Evening Post, 05/09/1896, p.3; and "Our Colored patrolmen," Freeman, 03/16/1889, p.5.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Terrell, Alexander C.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1922
Rev. A. C. Terrell was a leader within the Kansas District of the Nebraska Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), he was presiding elder just prior to his death. Terrell was born in Ballard County, KY, and had attended Northwestern University. He was licensed to preach in 1876 and joined the Missouri Conference in 1879. He was consider an authority on the history, law, and doctrine of the AME Church. He was also a member and officer of the Knights of Tabor and Daughters of the Tabernacle of Twelve of Kansas and Nebraska. Terrell was the husband of Laura Graves, the couple married in 1869. For more see "The Grand Lodge," The Fair Play, 07/22/1898, p.1; and "Minister of the gospel 46 years - funeral Wednesday largely attended - was presiding elder," Afro-American Advocate, 04/21/1922, p.1.
Subjects: Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Kansas / Missouri

Terrell, William H.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1946
William Terrell was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Samuel S. and Martha Smooth Terrell. William Terrell lived in Chicago where he formed a real estate partnership, Murry & Terrell, and later the partnership of Anderson & Terrell. He was president of both the A-T Varnish Remover Co. and the Standard Literary Society. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Terry, Woodford H.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1960
Woodford H. Terry was a plumber and carpenter who was a furniture maker in Bowling Green, KY for a few years. In Clarksville, TN, he was the chief builder at The American Tobacco Company plant. In 1909, Terry moved to Los Angeles, CA and did general contracting work. There was a new builders law enacted in California in 1912, and that year Terry passed the General Builders License exam. He constructed a number of buildings in California, including the Vernon Avenue A. M. E. Church in Pasadena, CA, and the Trinity Baptist Church in Southern California. Woodford H. Terry was the son of Henry and Rachael Eggner Terry. He was born in Birmingham, KY, a town that was intentionally removed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the development of Kentucky Lake in the 1940s. Long before the town disappeared, Woodford H. Terry's family moved to Clarksville, TN, where Woodford attended the city schools. He earned his master's certificate in plumbing in 1894 via a correspondence course at Smith Trade School located in Nashville, TN. He was also an apprentice carpenter with American Tobacco Company in Clarksville, TN. In 1908, Terry vacationed in California and liked the area so much that he moved there the following year. In 1910, he married Jessie Sayers and the couple had three children. [Jessie Sayers Terry was the first African American member of the City Housing Commission in Los Angeles, CA.] In addition to his work as a plumber and carpenter in California, Woodford H. Terry was also the director and treasurer of the Unity Finance Corporation. He died in Los Angeles on December 27, 1960 [source: California Death Index]. For more see Woodford H. Terry on p.13 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; and Two Case Studies of African American Architect's Careers in Los Angeles, 1890-1945: Paul R. Williams, FAIA and James H. Garrott, AIA by W. H. Henderson.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration West, Migration South, Carpenters, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Birmingham, Marshall County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Clarksville, TN / Los Angeles California

Tevis, Elizabeth C. H.
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1880
Tevis was born a slave in Jefferson County, KY. She was freed from slavery in 1833 and inherited land. She married but had a prenuptial agreement to protect the ownership of her property. Tevis was one of the few African Americans to own slaves in Jefferson County; she hired out children acquired from the slave market. Tevis was the first resident in the community known as Petersburg in Jefferson County. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Inheritance, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Texas Western College Basketball Team
Start Year : 1966
On March 19, 1966, Texas Western College [now the University of Texas at El Paso] defeated the University of Kentucky in the NCAA Basketball Championship game played at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House. It was the first time that a team with five starting African American players defeated a team with five white starting players. The UK team was coached by Adolph Rupp (1901-1977) and the Texas Western team was coached by Don Haskins (1930-2008). For more see And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Kentucky, Texas Western, and the Game that Changed American Sports, by F. Fitzpatrick; Adolph Rupp by R. Rice; and Glory Road (book) by D. Haskins and D. Wetzel; and Glory Road (DVD), by J. Lucas, et al.

  See photo image of the 1966 Texas Western College basketball team champions at the RIP Don Haskins artlcle by Dan Wetzel on the east coast bias website. 
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Thacker, Tom Porter
Birth Year : 1939
Born in Covington, KY, Tom P. Thacker played basketball at William Grant High School there from 1955 to 1959. The 6'2" guard/forward scored 36 points in his final game, a loss to Olive Hill during the state high school tournament. Thacker played college ball at the University of Cincinnati (UC); the team won the 1968 NCAA basketball championship against Ohio State University, Thacker scoring 21 points. The following year UC lost by two points in overtime in the championship game to Loyola of Chicago. Thacker was chosen by the Cincinnati Royals in the first round of the 1963 NBA draft. He was picked up by the Boston Celtics in 1968, the year the Celtics won the NBA Championship. At the end of the season, Thacker was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks but opted to play with the Indiana Pacers, then an ABA team, instead. Thacker retired from playing professional basketball in 1971, having played in 314 games in which he scored 1,020 points. Thacker was the first head coach of the Pittsburgh Xplosion, a Continental Basketball Association team. For more see Shadows of the past, by L. Stout; Many tried, few defeated William Grant in '50s, '60s, The Cincinnati Post, 02/23/1998, Editorial section, p. 4K; and Tom Thacker at the Basketball-Reference.com website.

See photo image and stats of Tom P. Thacker at The Draft Review website.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Theophanis v. Theophanis
Start Year : 1932
On June 24, 1932, the Court of Appeals of Kentucky affirmed the judgment and cross-appeal of the Franklin Circuit Court in the case of Theophanis v. Theophanis wherein Lillian Theophanis was given absolute divorce from George J. Theophanis. She was awarded $1,000 alimony and $100 in attorney's fees. The couple had been married in Cincinnati, OH, December 14, 1922, when George was 32 years old. Born in Elova, Greece, he came to the U.S. in 1905. He had lived in Frankfort, KY, since 1909 and became a U.S. citizen in 1914. Lillian was about 22 years old at the time of their marriage; she was previously married to Ralph Myers of Cleveland, OH. Her family was from Richmond, KY. Lillian was the daughter of Betty Walker Foos and Edward Foos, who was white. Betty Walker Foos was the daughter of Joel J. Walker, who was white, and Mary Jane, a former "servant" who had belonged to Joel Walker. Joel and Mary Jane Walker had several children, some of whom had African American spouses, and some had white spouses. Mary Jane Walker and here children had been considered Colored by the people of Richmond. Kentucky Statutes, Section 2097 (2) forbids marriage between a white person and a Negro or mulatto. In recognition of the law, George Theophanis had prosecuted a cross appeal to the Franklin Circuit Court judgment, stating that he and Lillian were never legally married because she was a mulatto; therefore, the courts had erred. At the same time, Lillian challenged the courts judgment by seeking to increase the alimony to $14,000 and the attorney's fees to $1,500. The Court of Appeals of Kentucky found that there was no evidence that Lillian was of pure Negro blood. Her grandmother, Mary Jane Walker, may have had Negro blood, but she was not of pure Negro blood based on her physical traits: long straight hair, a straight nose, high cheek bones, and thin lips. Since Mary Jane Walker was not of pure Negro blood, her granddaughter, Lillian Theophanis, could not be considered a mulatto and her marriage to George was deemed valid, and the Frankfort Circuit Court's judgment in the divorce case was affirmed. The Court of Appeals of Kentucky also found that Lillian's estate was sufficient enough that the Franklin Circuit Court's allowances were justified and therefore affirmed with no increase in payments. For more see Theophanis v Theophanis, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 244 Ky. 689; 51 S.W.2d 957; 1932 Ky.
Subjects: Court Cases, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Elova, Greece / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

The Thomas Alexander & Laura Virginia Crawford Family (Canada)
The Alexander-Crawford family members were educators in Ontario, Canada. They were among the descendants of escaped slaves from Kentucky who established a community in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada as early as 1817. Thomas Alexander (1815-1890) had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way to Amherstburg, where he married an English woman, Catherine Harding [source: Ontario Deaths Index]. Thomas and Catherine were the parents of at least two boys, Phillip Harding Alexander (1851-1930) and John Henry Alexander (1858-1935) [source: Ontario Deaths Index]. John Henry Alexander was a school teacher at the King Street Public School in Amherstburg. On July 24, 1883, he married Annie Louise Crawford (1860-1935) [sources: Ontario Marriages and Ontario Deaths Index]. Annie L. Crawford was the daughter of George M. Crawford, a Cherokee, and Laura Virginia Crawford, an African American woman from Kentucky. Annie and John H. Alexander had several children, three of whom were school teachers hired by the Six Nations of Grand River School Board: Nina Mae, Ethel (b. 1888), and Arthur Alexander (b. 1886) [source: Race, Gender and Colonialism: Public Life among the Six Nations of Grand River, 1899-1939 [thesis], by A. E. Norman, pp. 82-92; and Canada Births and Baptisms Index]. Ethel Alexander would become a missionary teacher in British Honduras [later named Belize]. More information about her can be found in A. E. Norman's thesis, along with a family photograph and school photographs, and the history, success, and racial challenges faced by the Alexander siblings during their tenures as teachers.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / British Honduras [Belize], Central America

Thomas, Clint
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1990
Born in Greenup, KY, Clint Thomas, nicknamed "The Hawk," was a professional baseball player during the 1920s and 1930s. He had 400 home runs and 4,000 hits in 19 years. He played centerfield with Philadelphia Hilldale when the team won the Negro championship in 1925 and 1926. At the end of his baseball career, Thomas worked at the Virginia State House, where one of his duties was to make coffee for the state legislators. For more see The Ballplayers. Baseball's ultimate biographical reference, ed. by M. Shatzkin; and Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 15 (Sept. 1986-Aug. 1988).

See the Clint Thomas baseball card Produced in 1924-25 for the Aguilitas Cigarette brand while Thomas was playing in the Cuban Professional League.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Greenup, Greenup County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Richmond, Virginia

Thomas, India P.
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1899
India P. Thomas was born in Alabama, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, and it is thought that she died in Louisville, KY, in the 1890s, according to author V. Alexandrov in his book, The Black Russian, p. 29. India Thomas was the second wife of Lewis Thomas; three sons were in the family in 1880 when they lived in Mississippi: Yancy, John, and the youngest, Frederick Thomas, the "Black Russian" referred to in V. Alexandrov's book. According to Alexandrov, there was also a daughter named Ophelia. The Thomas family owned more land than any other African Americans in Coahoma County, MS, until they were tricked and lost the land during a lengthy legal battle. In 1890, the family moved to Memphis, TN, and Lewis and India managed a boarding house. In October of 1890,after Lewis had gone to bed, one of the renters he had had a disagreement with, attacked him with an axe; a few hours later, Lewis died from the injuries. India remained in Memphis for at least another year; she is listed as India P. Thomas, colored, the widow of Louis, on p. 963 in vol. 30 of Dow's City Directory of Memphis, for 1892. According to Alexandrov, India came to Louisville in 1892 and was employed as a cook for a white jeweler; she is listed as a colored cook at 733 4th Street, on p. 1092 of Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1893. Prior to her move to Kentucky, India's stepson Frederick Thomas had left Memphis. India spent the remainder of her life in Louisville. In the 1896 Louisville directory, she is listed as Indiana Thomas on p. 1154, and she is listed as India P. Thomas, colored, domestic, on p. 1102 in the 1899 directory. Her stepson Frederick Thomas would leave the United States and become a wealthy expatriate living in various European countries; Moscow; and Constantinople. He would on occasion claim Kentucky as his home, though there is no indication that he ever lived in Kentucky; Frederick Bruce Thomas was born in Coahoma County, Mississippi, the son of Lewis and Hannah Thomas, and in May of 1915, he became a Russian citizen [source: The Black Russian, by V. Alexandrov, pp. 43, 47, 112 & 113]. Frederick Thomas lived in Moscow around the same period that Emma E. Harris, an actress and singer, lived there. When Frederick Thomas opened the Maxim (theater) in Moscow in 1913, one of the acts he booked was Brooks and Duncan [Billy Brooks and George Duncan]. In 1918, Frederick Thomas was desperate to get his family out of Moscow, which had been taken over by the Bolshevik Regime. Leaving behind all of his wealth, Frederick Thomas and his family made their way to Constantinople. When he attempted to leave Constantinople, one of the persons who blocked the move was Kentucky native Charles E. Allen, the vice-consul of the consulate general's office in Constantinople. Frederick Bruce Thomas would never return to the United States; he lost his wealth a second time, went to prison for debt, and died in Constantinople on June 12, 1928. He is buried in an unmarked grave. His stepmother, India P. Thomas, died in Kentucky some time during or after 1899.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Alabama / Coahoma County, Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thomas, Jay V., Sr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2003
Thomas was the first African American photographer on the staff of the Louisville, KY newspaper, the Courier-Journal. He was also a photographer for the Louisville Defender. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and is buried in the Lebanon National Cemetery in Lebanon, KY. For more see Rev. L. Coleman, "A remembrance of Jay Thomas; Photographer, role model," Courier-Journal, 04/23/03, Forum section, p.09A.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thomas, John L.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1971
Thomas, a trombonist, was born in Louisville, KY, and raised in Chicago, IL. He played and toured with a number of bands, including the bands of Kentucky natives Fess Williams and Zack Whyte. Thomas recorded with Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven, replacing trombonist Kid Ory. He left music for ten years, then returned in 1960 as a member of Franz Jackson's band, the Original Jass Al-Stars. The group played at the Red Arrow Night Club in Stickney, IL. For more see John L. Thomas in the Oxford Music Online Database; and listen to clips from the recording A Night at Red Arrow with John Thomas on trombone.
Access Interview

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Thomas, Newton Stone
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2004
Newton S. Thomas was born in Georgetown, KY. In 1920, his parents were divorced and Fanny Thomas was head of the household of six, according to the U.S. Federal Census. They lived on East Washington St. Newton Thomas graduated from Kentucky Normal and Industrial [now Kentucky State University]. A teacher at the Horse Cave (KY) Colored School (which had four rooms and more than 100 students), he became principal of the school in 1936. Thomas also coached the basketball team of nine players. They had no gym but won 65 games per season in 1944 and 1945, claiming the Negro League State Championship both years. In 1957, Newton Thomas was the first African American to teach at an integrated school in Kentucky, Caverna Independent High School in Horse Cave. For more see J. Mcalister, "Newton Thomas, coach of 2 basketball champions, dies at 92," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/03/04, City&Region section, p.B4; and Shadows of the Past: a history of the Kentucky High School Athletic League, by L. Stout.

Access Interview Read the transcript and listen to the audio of the Newton S. Thomas interview in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project at the Kentucky Historical Society.

Access Interview Read about the Newton S. Thomas oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky

Thomas, Reginald "Reggie"
Birth Year : 1953
In December of 2012, in a special election, Democrat Reggie Thomas defeated Independent Richard Maloney and Republican Michael Johnson. Reggie Thomas became the first African American to represent Lexington in the Kentucky Senate. It was the first time a majority white district (District 13) in Kentucky elected an African American senator. Reggie Thomas replaced Kathy Stein, who left the Senate to accept a judgeship position. Reggie Thomas is the third African American elected to the Kentucky Senate (the other two were Louisville Senators Georgia Powers and Gerald Neal). Reginald Thomas was also the first African American associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, KY; a 1975 graduate of Dartmouth College; and a 1978 graduate of Harvard Law School.  For more see Connections with Renee Shaw - Reggie Thomas, Ron Spriggs, Bobby Scroggins (#914); "Historic Senate win," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/13/2013, p.A16; S. Youngman, "Democrat Reginald Thomas wins state Senate special election," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/13/2013, p.A1; and P. K. Muhammad, "Reginald Thomas rises above despite opposition to become senator," The Key Newsjournal, 01/08/2014 [online].

 

  See photo image of Senator Reginald Thomas at the Open States website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Thomas, Regina L.
Birth Year : 1957
Thomas was born in Clinton, KY. She became the New Jersey Secretary of State in 2002 and served until 2006. She was the first recipient of the Chairman's Award that honors a Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff person who has made an exceptional contribution to the Democratic party. In Kentucky, Thomas had served as a legislative analyst on the Legislative Research Commission. For more see "Regina L. Thomas to be honored by Democratic Party," The Birmingham Times, 02/14-20/2002, pg. A4, A7.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Thomas, Theopolus Lean
Thomas, a boxer, was a two time winner of the Kentucky Negro Boxing Championship. In 1936, he was a contender in the tri-state amateur tournament at the Parkway Arena in Cincinnati, OH, under the Ohio Association A. A. U. Boxing Committee. For more see the article "Al Wardlow booked in boxing tourney," Evening Gazette, 09/16/1936, p.5. 
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Thompson, Jackie
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 2007
Jackie Thompson was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Leonard Thompson. He was the oldest working horseshoer in Lexington, KY. Thompson shod the winners of five Kentucky Derbys: Dark Star, Proud Clarion, Dust Commander, Gato Del Sol, and Swale. Thompson was an excellent farrier, highly sought by those in the racehorse industry. In 1982, he was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame at Churchill Downs and in 1989 was recognized by the International Equine Podiatry Association. For more see, M. Wall, "Legendary farrier shod 5 Derby winners - Jackie Thompson 1926-2007," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/06/2007, City&Region section, p.C1.

See photo image of Jackie Thompson at the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) website.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Thompson, Lucia E.
Birth Year : 1897
Thompson was born in Paducah, KY. An optometrist, she received her O.D. from Monroe College of Optometry in Chicago in 1947. Thompson was an instructor at West Kentucky College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] for ten years and taught at a private adult school for five years before she opened her optometry business in Chicago. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Thompson, Malachi Richard
Birth Year : 1949
Death Year : 2006
Thompson was born in Princeton, KY, and grew up in Chicago. He played the piano and trumpet and was a music activist and leader. Thompson graduated from Governor's State University with a B.A in composition. He played with a number of bands before becoming a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1968 [founded in Chicago, IL]. Thompson was also a member of Operation Breadbasket Big Band [Chicago], a division of the Southern Christian Leadership Council that played at rallies and marches. In 1974 he moved to New York, where he continued to perform with various groups, including that of Sam Rivers, the grandson of Kentucky native Marshall W. (Boyd) Taylor. Thompson also toured and recorded in Europe with Archie Shepp's band. He was a founding member of Bowie's Hot Trumpet Repertory Company [later named Brass Fantasy], and he founded the Freebop Band in 1978. He continued traveling and playing until 1989 when he was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoma (cancer) and returned to Chicago. He returned to music in 1991 to lead the Africa Brass band. He organized the Hyde Park/Kenwood Jazz Festival and founded the Sutherland Community Arts Initiative. Thompson's recordings include Buddy Bolden's Rag, Lift Every Voice, and Talking Horns. For more see "Malachi Thompson, trumpeter, 56," New York Times, 07/20/2006, The Arts/Cultural Desk section, p. 7; and "Malachi Thompson" in the Oxford Music Online Database. View images and listen to Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing - Malachi Thompson and Africa Brass on YouTube.

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Thompson, Marie
Death Year : 1904
Thompson lived in Shepherdsville, KY. In 1904, she killed her landlord, John Irvin, after he berated and kicked her son and attacked her with a knife. Thompson was a large woman who got the best of Irvin and cut his throat with his knife. She was arrested and jailed. A lynch mob of a dozen white men made a first attempt to take her from the jail cell. Their efforts were thwarted by a group of armed African American men; a shootout occurred and both parties retreated from the scene. Hours later, a much larger mob of white men succeeded in taking Thompson from the jailhouse; they then attempted to hang her, but while Thompson was swinging in the air, she grabbed a man by the collar and took a knife from him. She cut the length of rope that led to the noose around her neck and landed on the ground. Thompson was fighting her way through the mob when she was gunned down - June 14, 1904. More than 100 shots were fired at her. Marie Thompson died the next day in the Shepherdsville jail. For more see From Slavery to Freedom: a history of African Americans, 8th ed., by J. H. Franklin and A. A. Moss; and Ladies and Lynching: the gendered discourse of mob violence in the new South, 1880-1930, by C. E. Feimster (dissertation).
Subjects: Lynchings, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shepherdsville, Bullitt County, Kentucky

Thompson, Richard W.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1920
Richard W. Thompson was born in Brandenburg, KY, and moved to Indianapolis, IN, when he was a child. At the age of 15, he was the first African American page with the Indiana Legislature. He was hired by Bagby & Co. at the age of 17 and was later a bookkeeper for the secretary of the Marion County Board of Health. He was a mailman from 1888-1893; Thompson had finished first among a class of 75 persons taking the 1888 Marion County civil service examination. He would later become managing editor of the newspapers Freeman and Indianapolis World. Thompson left Indiana to become a government clerk with the Washington, D.C. Census Bureau, beginning in 1894; he was the first African American at that post. While in D.C., he was the managing editor of the Colored American magazine until 1903, then managed the the National Negro Press Bureau, a news service for African American newspapers. Thompson was an affiliate of Booker T. Washington; Washington subsidized the Press Bureau and influenced African American newspaper editors. In 1920, Richard Thompson died in Washington, D.C. at the Freedmen's Hospital. For more see The Booker T. Washington Papers, vol. 5 (1899-1900), p. 48 [available online by the University of Illinois Press]; Twentieth Century Negro Literature, Or, a Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating to the American Negro, edited by D. W. Culp [available online from Project Gutenberg]; Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; and "R. W. Thompson dead," Baltimore Afro-American, 02/20/1920, p.1.

See photo image of Richard W. Thompson from Twentieth Century Negro Literature, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Washington, D.C.

Thompson, Robert L. "Bob"
Birth Year : 1937
Death Year : 1966
Thompson was born in Louisville, KY. He had a nine-year art career for which he received acclaim and success and during which time he completed over 1,000 works, including LeRoi Jones [Amiri Baraka] and His Family in 1964. Thompson died in Rome after gall bladder surgery at the age of 29. For more see The African American Almanac, 9th ed.; World Artists, 1950-1980, C. Marks, ed.; and Bob Thompson, by T. Golden, B. Thompson & J. Wilson.

See photo image of Bob Thompson at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Rome, Italy

Thompson, Rudolph
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1956
Thompson, born in Louisville, KY, was a jug blower. He was the son of Juanita and John H. Thompson, and according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived in the rear of Chestnut Street on Alley Wadila. John Thompson was a steamer at a tobacco factory. When his son Rudolph was 12, he played with the Mud Gutters Jug Band, one of several groups to perform at the 1926 Kentucky Derby. At the age of 13, he was a member of and recorded with Whistler's Jug Band. For more see "Rudolph Thompson" in the Oxford Music Online Database.

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

Thompson v City of Louisville [Shuffle Dancing]
Start Year : 1959
On January 24, 1959, Sam Thompson, an elderly African American man, was arrested for loitering while doing a "shuffle dance" in the Liberty End Cafe in Louisville, KY, and for disorderly conduct. Thompson was waiting on a bus and had been in the cafe for about half an hour, dancing by himself. The dance was neither vulgar nor disrespectful. The cafe owner said that Thompson had not purchased anything, but that he did not object to his presence; Thompson had been in the cafe several times before and had caused no problems. Regardless, two police officers, doing a routine check, approached Thompson and asked him to explain why he was in the cafe. Thompson said that he was waiting on a bus, then gave his address, showed that he had money, and presented the bus schedule. Thompson was arrested for loitering while doing a "shuffle dance"; the cafe did not have a license for dancing. When Thompson became argumentative while being led from the cafe, he was charged with disorderly conduct. Thompson did not raise his voice or use offensive language nor did he engage in any type of a physical altercation. He had been arrested 54 times prior to the January 24 arrest. Thompson hired an attorney and demanded a judicial hearing because of what he described as prior baseless charges by the police. During his hearing, it was found that Thompson had actually purchased food and drunk a beer while in the cafe. He owned land and had worked for the same family for 30 years. The Louisville Police Court found Thompson guilty of loitering and disorderly conduct and charged him $10 per charge. Thompson's appeals for the case to be thrown out and for a new trial were denied, so Thompson took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was found that a "shuffle dance" was not illegal in Louisville, and the criminal convictions were reversed on due process grounds because the convictions were devoid of evidentiary support. The action was remanded to the lower court. The case was decided on March 21, 1960. When news of Thompson's case being taken to the U.S. Supreme Court was reported in newspapers around the country, there were articles that exaggerated the number of times that Thompson had been arrested, some depicting him as a vagrant and loitering drunk and others poking fun at the Kentucky "shuffle dancing" case before the Supreme Court. For more see Thompson v City of Louisville ET AL., No. 59, Supreme Court of the United States, 362 U.S. 199: 80 S. Ct. 624; 4L. ED. 2d 654; "Court of last resort," Times Record, 01/18/1960, p. 12; and "Shuffle dancing case before the Supreme Court," Stevens Point Daily Journal, 01/13/1960, p. 9.
Subjects: Alcohol, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thompson v. Wilmot
Start Year : 1805
End Year : 1809
In Maryland in 1790, Ruth Wilmot exchanged her slave, Will, for a slave named Harry who belonged to Thomas A. Thompson. Part of the written agreement was that in addition to the swap, Will would be freed within seven years. Thompson took Will to Kentucky, and after more than seven years, Will was still a slave. Thompson had reneged on the agreement, so Wilmot sued on Will's behalf for his freedom. The Kentucky lower court ruled in Wilmot's favor and awarded her $691.25 in damages; the money was to go to Will. [Slaves could not file a law suit in Kentucky.] Thompson appealed the case to the higher court [Thompson v Wilmot] and lost his case when the lower court's decision was affirmed in 1809. The case set a standard for contractual agreements for the future emancipation of a slave, and allowed the original slave owner to file suit for the emancipation of the slave when the terms of the contractual agreement were not honored. For more see Fathers of Conscience by B. D. Jones; "In Kentucky" in The Encyclopedic Digest of Virginia and West Virgina, volume XII [full view in Google Book Search]; and "Thompson versus Wilmot" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration South, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Maryland / Kentucky

Thompson, W. John
Birth Year : 1945
Thompson was born in North Carolina. In 1991, he became the first African American Deputy Commissioner Chief of Staff at the Kentucky Department of Education. He was also the first African American superintendent of Tulsa, Oklahoma schools in 1997. For more see J. Luke, "N.C. Educator Hired as Deputy Commissioner," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/23/1991, Main News section, p.A1; and S. James, "Superintendent: Civil Rights Leader Blazed Path," Tulsa World, 01/15/1997, West Tulsa Zone section, p.5.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: North Carolina / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Tulsa, Oklahoma

Thornton, Dallas
Birth Year : 1946
Dallas Thornton was born in Louisville, KY. A 6'4" guard, he attended Male High School in Louisville and played college basketball at Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC), the team winning the 1966 and the 1968 NCAA College Division Championships [now NCAA Division II], the first two of eight championships for KWC. Thornton was selected by the Baltimore Bullets (NBA) and the Miami Floridians (ABA) in the 1968 draft; he went with the Miami Floridians because they paid more money. The Miami Floridians had been the Minnesota Muskies prior to moving to Florida in 1968. Thornton played pro basketball for two years, scoring 297 points in 45 games. He left the ABA and played with the Harlem Globetrotters from 1970-1983. For more see Dallas Thornton in databaseBasketball.com; and R. Suwanski, "Thornton, others had successful sports careers," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/21/2004, S section, p.29. See pictures of Thornton as a Globetrotter in The Harlem Globetrotters: fifty years of fun and games, by C. Menville.

See photo image and stats for Dallas Thornton at the American Basketball Association Players website.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Miami, Florida

Thornton, James and Adeline Joyner
Mimi Lozano is the author of Black Latino Connection which includes the history of the family of Kentucky native James (1835-1911) and Adeline (1852-1940) Thornton. James was born a slave in Versailles, KY, and gained freedom when he joined the Union Army in 1864. He and other African American soldiers were sentenced for an attempted mutiny, and James received hard labor off the coast of Florida and was dishonorably discharged in 1866. He and his sons moved to Kerr County, Texas, where James married Adeline in 1871, she had been a slave in Florida. They would become the first African American landowners in Kerr County. Together they had thirteen children, some of whom migrated to Canada, and their son David migrated to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1901. For more see the Black Latino website at somosprimos.com and contact Mimi Lozano.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dry Tortugas, Florida / Kerr County, Texas / Guadalajara, Mexico

Thornton, Jerry Sue Owens
Birth Year : 1947
Jerry Sue Owens Thornton, born in Earlington, KY, is an educator. Her teaching career began in 1970 at the grade school level; she has since taught at the high school and college level. In 1985 she became president of the Lakewood Community College in White Bear Lake, a predominately white, two year college in Minnesota. In 1991, Thornton became president of Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH. Cuyahoga was the first community college in Ohio, founded in 1963, and is the largest in the state. There are three campuses, two corporate locations, and over 50 off-campus sites, all serving more than 55,000 students per year. Thornton is a two time graduate of Murray State University and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1983. For more see J. Funk, "CCC's president to get a model contract," The Plain Dealer, 12/30/1991, Metro section, p. 1B; and "Jerry Sue Owens" in Who's Who Among African Americans (22nd ed., 2008).

See photo image of Jerry Sue Owens Thornton within the 2011 article by K. Farkas, "Cuyahoga Community College President Jerry Sue Thornton receives new contract," at the Cleveland.com website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Threlkeld, Buford aka "Whistler"
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1934
Threlkeld, born in Eminence, KY, was a guitarist, nose-whistle player, and singer. He moved to Louisville around 1915 and formed a jug band that played for all types of occasions. It was also in Louisville that he began playing the nose whistle. The band, which cut a record in 1924, is thought to be the first jug band to be recorded. A few years before his death, Threlkeld left Louisville for New York. His exact death date is not known. For more see "Whistler" in Oxford Music Online (database); "Foldin Bed," by Whistler and His Jug Band, on YouTube; and "Whistler's Jug Band" at redhotjazz.com.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Thruston, Felix
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Owensboro, KY, Felix Thruston was the 10th all-time leading scorer for the Owensboro High School basketball team, scoring 1,421 points from 1965-1967. He was coached by Bobby Watson. He went on to play college ball at Trinity University in Texas, where he was the third all-time leading scorer and rebounder for a season with 591 points and 268 rebounds. He came within two points of breaking the school record for single game individual points, scoring 45 points in the game against the Mexican Olympic team in 1970. Off the court, Thruston was active in the struggle for racial equality at Trinity University, speaking out in the newspapers concerning racism at the school; he was instrumental in presenting four proposals on the issue to the school administration. He was selected in the 8th round of the 1971 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He is the brother of Jerry Thruston. In 2011, Felix Thruston was inducted into the Trinity University Hall of Fame. For more see the Owensboro High School yearbook, the Owensboroan, available at the Daviess County Public Library; Mirage, the Trinity University yearbook; and Trinitonian, the Trinity University newspaper, especially the issues dated 12/04/1970, 03/05/1971, & 04/16/1971, at the Trinity University Library. See also "Felix Thruston" in Trinity Announces 2011 Hall of Fame Class at the Trinity website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Basketball
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky /San Antonio, Texas / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thruston, Jerry
Birth Year : 1954
Thruston was born in Owensboro, KY. The 6'7" center was the 1972 Kentucky Mr. Basketball. Thruston played for the Owensboro High School basketball team, 1970-1972. He is 12th on the school's 1000 point club with 1,376 points. The Owensboro Red Devils basketball team won the 1972 state championship, and Thruston was named Most Valuable Player. He played college ball at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, 1974-1977. Thruston scored 1,099 points during his college career, making him the 22nd all-time scorer for the school. He was also the leading rebounder in 1974 and 1976. He is the brother of Felix Thruston. For more see Mercer University Bears Record (pdf), 1937-2004; and "Thruston gives youngsters 'learning experience'," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 07/20/1994, p.1B.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Macon, Georgia

Thurman, Alfonzo
Birth Year : 1946
Alfonzo Thurman was born in Mayfield, KY, moving to Racine, Wisconsin, with his family when he was 7 years old. As an undergraduate at Wisconsin State University [now the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Pointe] in La Crosse, he was a member of the group that helped organize the campus black cultural center and was active in raising local public awareness of racial justice issues. In 1996 he was named Dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University, the first African American dean at the school. Thurman is currently Dean of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Chancellor Deputy for Education Partnerships. Alfonzo Thurman is the son of Togo and Georgia May Jones Thurman. For more see the oral history interview with Alfonzo Thurman, available at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Library's Special Collections & Area Research Center. See also the Directory of American Scholars, 9th & 10th ed.; and Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 5-18.

See photo image of Alfonzo Thurman and additional information at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Racine, La Crosse, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin / DeKalb, Illinois

Tilford, Louis
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1912
Louis Tilford was a horse groomsman from Kentucky. He died in Chicago, December 1, 1912 [source: Cook County, Illinois Deaths Index]. He was the son of Ben Tilford and Elvira Proctor Tilford.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Timberlake, Clarence L.
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1979
Timberlake was born in Elizaville, KY. Known as the "Father of Vocational Education," he was the author of Household Ethics and Industrial Training in Colored Schools, and the pamphlet, Politics and the Schools. Timberlake was the owner of the weekly newspaper Frankfort Clarion. He established the first trade school in Kentucky and developed a school in Pembroke (Christian County) into the first Teacher Training School for Negroes in Kentucky. He taught and was principal at other Kentucky schools, and from 1948 until his retirement in1957, was president of West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah. Timberlake was a 1904 graduate of Kentucky Normal Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; J. A. Hardin, "Green Pickney Russell of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons," Journal of Black Studies, vol. 25, issue 5 (May 1995), p. 614; and The Timberlake Story, by O. A. Dawson. The Clarence L. Timberlake Papers and the Clarence L. Timberlake Oral History are located at Murray State University Library.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Elizaville, Fleming County, Kentucky / Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Tinsley, George W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1946
George W. Tinsley, Sr. was born in Louisville, KY. The 6'5" forward played high school ball at Male High School in Louisville and his college ball from 1965-1969 at Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC), where he was a member of the championship teams in 1966, 1968, and 1969. Tinsley was the 4th all-time leading scorer for KWC with 2,014 points as well as the all-time leading rebounder with 1,115 rebounds. The Kentucky Colonels, an ABA team, drafted Tinsley in 1969. He played for the ABA's Miami Floridians during the 1970-1971 season. Overall, he played in 133 games and scored 120 points. In 1976, Tinsley began his business career with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and became the owner of five restaurants. He was the founder and president of the KFC Minority Franchise Association. He has been the owner of several other successful businesses and has received a number of business awards and recognition. In 1991, Tinsley was appointed to the KWC Board of Trustees. In 2005, George Tinsley was inducted into the Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Hall of Fame. He is the husband of Seretha S. Tinsley. For more see M. Story, "Panthers' tradition transcends individuals," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/17/1991, Special section, p.16; George Tinsley at databaseBasketball.com; and the George William Tinsley, Sr. website.


Subjects: Basketball, Businesses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Miami, Florida

Tinsley, Henry Clay
Birth Year : 1869
Tinsley was born in London, KY, the son of Preston and Caroline Severe Tinsley. In 1880 the family was still living in Laurel County, KY, according to the U.S. Census, and Henry, at the age of 10, was listed as a laborer. Later in life, he would become a teacher, physician, and surgeon. Tinsley completed his undergraduate work at Berea College in 1900; he had started grammar school at the age of 20 and completed the B.L. degree at the age of 31. He received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in 1903, then started his practice in Georgetown, KY. Tinsley was also vice-president of Georgetown Mercantile Stock Company. He would leave Georgetown, and by 1920 he was widowed and practicing medicine in St. Louis, MO, according to the Federal Census. Tinsley was still living in St. Louis in 1930. For more see the Henry Clay Tinsley entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and A Utopian Experiment in Kentucky, by R. D. Sears.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: London, Laurel County, Kentucky / Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Tinsley, Lee O.
Birth Year : 1969
Lee O. Tinsley was born in Shelbyville, KY, where he was an outstanding football and baseball player. By the end of his senior year, the 5'10" Tinsley had accumulated 969 yards on 105 carries as an option quarterback. In baseball, he batted .569, hit 14 home runs, and stole 21 bases. He graduated from high school in 1987 and was torn between professional baseball or college football at Purdue University. Tinsley decided on baseball and played professionally for 14 seasons; he was selected in the first round of the 1987 June draft by the Oakland Athletics and ended his career in 2000 having played in the Mexican League and the Independent Western League. Today, Tinsley is the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team's minor league outfield and first base coordinator. He and his family live in Scottsdale, AZ. For more see "A's draftee ponders Purdue," Detroit Free Press, 06/04/1987, SPT section, p. 5D (the article has the incorrect height for Tinsley); Lee Tinsley, at the Arizona Diamondbacks' website; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2000; and Lee Owen Tinsley at baseball-reference.com.

See photo image of Lee O. Tinsley at Arizona Diamondbacks' website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Football, Migration West
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Scottsdale, Arizona

Tinsley, Seretha S.
Birth Year : 1949
Seretha S. Tinsley, a Louisville, KY, native, was operations manager of WLOU and station manager at WAOK in Atlanta in the late 1970s. She and her husband, George T. Tinsley, own the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) franchise in Tampa Bay, Florida. In appreciation of her civic and community work, Seretha Tinsley received the 2000 Bankers Cup Award for Outstanding Woman of the Year. She is a 1971 graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College, and was a teacher in Louisville School system. For more see Black Enterprise, vol. 32, issue 2 (2001), p. 137; and the TFC Family website.

See the photo image of Seretha Tinsley and bio at TFC Family website.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia / Tampa Bay, Florida

Tipton, Manuel
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
Manuel Tipton was well respected in Montgomery County, KY. He is said to have been the first person who learned to strip grass seed with a hand stripper and later with a stripper pulled by horses, according to Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. Manuel Tipton had a rock breaking business; the rocks were used for the building of fences and bridges. In 1905, he helped build Howards Mill Pike [source: "Howards Mill Pike," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/06/1905, p. 5]. He also helped lay the gas lines in Mt. Sterling, Midway, and Frankfort, KY. Manuel Tipton worked for the gas company, according to his Certificate of Death. He also served as an election officer in Smithville, KY, during the 1921 primary election [source: "Election officers named Saturday," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 07/19/1921, p. 1]. Tipton Avenue and the housing projects, Manuel Tipton Court, both in Mt. Sterling, KY, were named in his honor. Manuel Tipton was the son of Buford and Lutie Jones Tipton. He was the husband of Nora Lee Johnson Tipton; the family lived in Smithville in Montgomery County, according the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Manuel Tipton was buried in Olive Hill Cemetery, according to his death certificate. For more information, see "Montgomery County Pioneers - The Tipton Family" on pp. 20-21 of Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris.
Subjects: Businesses, Housing Authority, The Projects, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Tipton, Nathan
Birth Year : 1846
Nathan Tipton had the distinction of being one of the few African American telegraph repairmen in Kentucky. Telegraph repairmen duties included keeping the lines in working order by making frequent inspections and all the necessary repairs. Nathan Tipton, his wife Susan and their two children, Clarence (1873-1927) and Julia lived in Louisville in 1880 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Nathan Tipton was born in Montgomery County, KY, and he may have also gone by the name Matthew, according to his military service record. He was 19 years old when he enlisted at Camp Nelson on September 13, 1864, for three years of service. Tipton served with Company E, 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry. The company was mustered out March 16, 1866. Tipton was listed as a farmhand in Montgomery County in the 1870 Census. By 1900, Susan Tipton was listed as a widow whose occupation was given as "laundress" in the census records.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tisdale, Clarence
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1945
Born in Louisville, KY, Tisdale toured with the McAdoo Jubilee Singers in Australia and New Zealand. The group also sang in England and France before returning to the U.S. in 1910. In 1914 Tisdale was a member of the Right Quintette; the group had four recordings in 1915. Tisdale also recorded by himself. He was living in New York in 1920, rooming with playwright Jessie Shipp and his son Jessie Jr., according to the U.S. Federal Census, the three lived on W. 131st Street. [Jessie Shipp, Sr.'s mother, Ellen Shipp, was a Kentucky native.] Tisdale was still living in New York in 1930, he formed his own trio in the 1940s just prior to his death. Tisdale was the son of Carrie Tisdale, who was matron of the Colored orphan home in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Clarence was a printer at the home, which was located on 18th Street in Louisville. For more see Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Australia / New Zealand / England, Europe / France, Europe / New York

Tite, B. D.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1935
Tite, born in Louisville, KY, was a jug blower who also played the banjo and guitar. He toured the South with fiddler Cy Anderson, taking over the band when Anderson retired in 1909. The group disbanded in 1917, and Tite joined Whistler's Jug Band -- he's included on the group's 1924 musical recordings. He stopped jug blowing in 1925. Tite is sometimes referred to as the first professional jug blower in Louisville and the creator of the jug band legacy. For more see "B. D. Tite" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and Whistler's Jug Band, at redhotjazz.com. View image and listen to B. T. Tite on jug with Whistler's Jug Band - Jerry O'Mine - Gennett - 5554 on YouTube.

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

Tobacco in Upper Canada
Start Year : 1819
Escaped slaves from Kentucky and Virginia had raised tobacco in their respective state and took those skills with them to Upper Canada in 1819. During the 1820s, the city of Amherstburg became the major location for tobacco farming, and the city attracted even more escaped slaves with experience raising the crop. "Six hundred hogs head [sic] of tobacco was exported to Montreal annually." The Canadian tobacco market was glutted by 1827, resulting in the dramatic deterioration of both the price and quality of the tobacco, so the economic tobacco boom came to an end. For more see p. 23 in Unwelcome Guests: Canada West's response to American fugitive slaves, 1800-1865, by J. H. Silverman.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Virginia / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

Todd County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Todd County, formed in 1819 from portions of Logan and Christian Counties, is bordered by three Kentucky counties and the Tennessee state line. The county is named for John Todd, a colonel who was killed during the Battle of Blue Licks. Elkton, the county seat, was incorporated in 1820 and is located on Elk Fork, which was a water source for herds of elk. Both the city and the fork are named for the elk. The 1820 county population was 575 [heads of households], and the population increased to 6,726 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 635 slave owners
  • 4,600 Black slaves
  • 211 Mulatto slaves
  • 69 free Blacks
  • 28 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 583 slave owners
  • 4,336 Black slaves
  • 506 Mulatto slaves
  • 38 free Blacks
  • 7 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 4,421 Blacks
  • 412 Mulattoes
  • About 292 U.S. Colored Troops listed Todd County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Todd County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Marriage Bond Books, Todd County Clerk; Kinchlow, Gina Lloyce (FA4), Manuscripts & Folklife Archives; Lewis, Lisa Claire (FA 193), Manuscripts & Folklife Archives; and Todd County, Kentucky, Family History by Turner Publishing Company.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Todd County, Kentucky

Tolbert, Hardin
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1966
Hardin Tolbert was an outspoken newspaper publisher, journalist, and civil rights activist. On more than one occasion, he was also accused of getting the story or the facts wrong. Tolbert was publisher of the Frankfort Tribune and The Star and was a correspondent for the Freeman (Indianapolis, IN). He was said to be the only African American in Kentucky who earned his living solely from his work as a newspaper correspondent [source: "Hardin Tolbert...," Freeman, 06/21/1913, p. 1]. Tolbert's office was at 425 Washington Street in Frankfort in 1911, and he later conducted business for the State Bureau at the People's Pharmacy at 118 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY. His business was also known as the Tolbert Publicity Bureau. In 1912, Tolbert expanded the operation and appointed William Baxter as regular correspondent of the Freeman in Shelbyville, KY, with headquarters in the Safell and Safell Funeral Home [source: "Mr. Baxter...," Freeman, 05/04/1912, p. 1]. In 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education, an employment agency for Negro teachers [source: first paragraph of "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In November of 1914, Hardin Tolbert was arrested for publishing an article that criticized President Green P. Russell of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]; President Russell had senior student Willie Mea Toran arrested for her speech and petition against Russell's rule over the school, and student Vera Metcalf from Hopkinsville, KY, was kicked out of the dorm for not signing a petition that was in support of President Russell [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 11/14/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert also criticized three white men on the school board who endorsed President Russell's actions: Dr. C. A. Fish, George L. Hannon, and former mayor J. H. Polsgrove. All four men, Russell, Fish, Hannon, and Polsgrove, swore out warrants for the arrest of Hardin Tolbert, and he was jailed. State Superintendent Barksdale Hamlett provided the bail of $250 for Tolbert's release. Tolbert was charged with making false statements and fomenting trouble, all of which was summed up in the courtroom by the Commonwealth Attorney who said that Tolbert, a black man, had no right to criticize a white man; Tolbert was fined $10 and costs [source: "Calls colored editor "Nappy Headed Black Brute," Cleveland Gazette, 11/28/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert continued his criticism and also participated in the attempt to desegregate the Ben Ali Theater in 1915 and the Strand Theater in 1916, both in Lexington, KY. Hardin Tolbert would eventually leave Kentucky. In 1920, he was editor of the Cincinnati Journal [source: "Editor Hardin Tolbert...," Cleveland Gazette, 07/03/1920, p. 3]. The newspaper was located at 228 W. 8th Street; Tolbert also had a room at 636 W. 9th Street [source: William's City of Cincinnati Directory, 1919-1920, p. 2013]. Hardin Tolbert was born in February, 1880 in Shelbyville, KY, according to his World War I and World War II draft registration cards; he died June 3, 1966 in Martinsburg, WV, according to the West Virginia Certificate of Death #66008064.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Migration East, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Martinsburg, West Virginia

Tolley, Florence B. W.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1969
Tolley was one of 18 children born to Fannie and Will Jackson of Avon, KY. She was married to Edd Brown and they lived in his home town of Clintonville, KY, prior to moving to Lexington, where Tolley later owned The Try Me Beauty Shop (opened in 1944) and the Williams Nursing Home (opened in 1950), both on Greenwood Avenue. Tolley was a graduate of the segregated Lexington Beauty College; she had been hired as a maid at the school and was allowed to study for her diploma in beauty culture, which she received in 1944. She was also instrumental in helping to bring gas to homes on the west side of Lexington by offering to sell the Central Kentucky Natural Gas Company a piece of her land for the regulation station; at that time, west side was outside the city limits. For a while, Tolley raised her family alone, having divorced her first husband, Edd Brown, and later married Rev. Jesse Williams, who passed away. She then married Rev. Robert Tolley. She continued her nursing home businesses and in 1965 built a new facility at 465 Greenwood Avenue. Williams Nursing Home was the first such facility for African Americans in Lexington. Tolley also helped raise funds for the Colored Orphan Home in Lexington. She wrote poetry, plays, and songs. Several of her songs were recorded: If I Had My Way and I am Packing Up to Move, sung by Ben Tate; Lord I Wonder, sung by LaVern Lattimore; and I Can Trust Him and My Savior, sung by Helen Williams. For more see Only Believe: biography of Florence Jackson Brown Williams Tolley, by E. B. S. Bosley.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Avon, Fayette County, Kentucky / Clintonville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tools, Robert
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2001
Robert Tools was born in Mobile, AL, and lived in Franklin, KY, the last five years of his life. Tools was the first human to receive the fully contained, two pound artificial heart, AbioCor, developed by Abiomed in Massachusetts. Tools suffered from renal failure and diabetes, which made him ineligible for a heart transplant; he was given only a couple of months to live. He received his artificial heart on July 2, 2001, at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY. Tools survived for 151 days with his new heart. The published accounts of Tools's new heart were voted Top Story of the Year in Kentucky. For more see the CNN story, "Heart patient had to take chance," 08/22/2001; The Implantable Artificial Heart Project site by Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville Health Sciences Center and Abiomed; and "It was great...Absolutely great," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/24/2001, p. B1.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Mobile, Alabama / Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Towles, Jeffrey
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2004
According to his death notice by the Associated Press and newspaper sources, Jeffrey Towles was born and raised in Kentucky. He was the surgeon who helped save the life of Vernon Jordan in 1980. Jordan, then president of the Urban League, had been shot in the back by a sniper. Jordan had been standing in a hotel parking lot in Fort Wayne, IN, when he was shot. Towles led the surgery team that operated on Jordan. Towles was also active in the Fort Wayne community and served on the school board before becoming the first African American president of the school board in 1987. He was a veteran of the Korean War and a graduate of West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University] and the University of Louisville Medical School. For more see "Towles, surgeon and Fort Wayne community leader, dies at age 74," The Associated Press; and J. Creek, "Black leader, surgeon for Vernon Jordan dies," The Journal Gazette, 01/26/2004, p. 1A.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Board of Education, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana

Townsend, Bross Elvie, Jr.
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 2003
Townsend was born in Princeton, KY, the son of Jean Calvert and Bross Townsend Sr., who was a truck driver for a grocery store, according to the 1930 U. S. Federal Census. Both parents were Kentucky natives. The family lived on Cave Street in Princeton. Bross Jr. was a jazz pianist who had studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He played with greats such as Woody Herman, Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane as well as for singers such as Diana Ross, Big Maybelle, and Dinah Washington. He appeared in the movie Sweetback. Townsend died in Jamaica, New York. His performances can be heard on a number of recordings, including the albums I Love Jump Jazz, Darling Please Save Your Love for Me, and The Dynamic 3B's After Hours. For more see The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd ed.; and A tribute to jazz pianist Bross Townsend by A. Bernstein.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Jamaica, New York

Travis, Oneth M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1979
O. M. Travis was born in Monticello, KY, the son of Fannie Goss Travis and Oneth Travis, Sr. Oneth Jr. had a real estate office on E. 3rd Street in Lexington, KY, he was a real estate agent and an insurance agent. In 1979, he was one of two African American council members in Lexington, KY; prior to his sudden death, Travis was seeking his fourth term as council member of the 1st District, a predominately African American area northeast of downtown Lexington. The other African American council member was Bob Finn, who represented the 2nd District, another predominately African American area. One of the fights led by Travis was against the referendum for the East Short Street Urban Renewal Project proposal to clear 80 acres, said to be slums, bound by East Main, Third Street, and Midland Avenue, and cut through by Corral and DeWeese Streets. Travis wanted the city to enforce the building code for the area and the properties be brought up to standard, rather than the area being completely razed and replaced with new housing. Oneth Travis, Jr. was the husband of Leola Madison Travis, the family lived at 188 Eddie Street in Lexington. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University. For more see "Travis recalled as strong voice for blacks here," Lexington Leader, 03/22/1979, p.A-3; "The empty chair: Council honors Travis, the man who sat there," Lexington Leader, 03/23/1979, p.A-1; and B. L. Mastin, "Panel sought referendum on Urban Renewal plan in '64," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/13/1984, Lifestyle section, p.D5.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Travis, Oneth M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1991
Travis was born in Albany, KY, the son of Jacob and Nanny Overstreet Travis. He graduated from Lincoln Institute. He owned a family dry goods store and was also an educator and community leader in Monticello, KY. Travis purchased a bus from Wayne Taxi Company to establish the first school transportation system in Wayne County, KY. Travis also purchased land and established the Travis Elementary and High Schools in Monticello. In 1955, Travis and Ira Bell helped facilitate the integration of the Monticello and Wayne County Schools. In 1965, Travis was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education by Governor Simeon S. Willis, and was the first African American to be named to the post. Later, Bell was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Travis also developed a recreation center in Wayne County. He was a World War I veteran and a Kentucky delegate to Republican national conventions. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and a Mason. Travis moved to Pittsburgh in 1986, where he passed away in 1991; he is buried in the Monticello Cemetery. He was the uncle of Thomas J. Craft, Sr. and the father of Oneth M. Travis, Jr. For more see "Oneth M. Travis," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/20/1991, OBIT section, p. B4. See also African American Schools in Wayne County, KY; and Mr. Oneth Morview Travis in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database. 

 


   See photo image of Negro school and gymnasium in Monticello, KY, Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tribble, Andrew
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1935
Andrew Tribble was born in Richmond, KY, where he also attended school. Andrew and Amos Tribble were the sons of Alice Tribble, and they were all boarding with a family in Union (Madison County) in 1880, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Andrew Tribble is noted as one of the greatest female impersonators in theater, with a career that spanned 40 years. As a child he was a member of the pickaninny band In Old Kentucky. He later moved to Chicago and joined the Pekin Theatre. One night he dressed in drag and did a performance that the audience loved. He was cast in Cole and Johnsons' musical Shoo-Fly Regiment. His most popular character was Lilly White, a washerwoman. For more see A History of African American Theatre, by E. Hilland; and African American Performance and Theater History: a critical reader, ed. by H. J. Elam, Jr. and D. Krasner.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Richmond and Union, Madison County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Tri-City Messengers
Start Year : 1999
Tri-City Messengers is a six part a capella gospel group from the Benham-Lynch, KY, coal mining area. All but one of the men are retired coal miners. The members are Roy Wilson, Alfonson Sims, George Massey, Bennie Massie, Sanford Baskin, and Willis Bates. For more about the group see the DVD, A Beautiful Sound, by Pigeon Pie Films; and the group's performances on Rhythm of My Soul, a PBS Home Video, and More Than Music, by the Kentucky Historical Society.

Access Interview Listen to the Tri-City Messengers perform during the Berea Celebration of Traditional Music in 2002, a Berea Digital Content website. 
Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Benham and Lynch , Harlan County, Kentucky

Trigg County, Kentucky African American Oral History Project (FA 196)
Start Year : 1995
The following information comes from the collection note about Trigg County, Kentucky African American Oral History Project (FA 196): "This collection includes interviews conducted by five Western Kentucky University folk studies students with sixteen African American residents of Trigg County, Kentucky about their lives. Included are the taped interviews, indexes of the recordings, photographs, negatives, and data sheets for the informants." This collection has 1 ½ boxes. 24 folders. 82 items. Typescripts, cassette tapes, photographs, and negatives. All items are available at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Trigg County, Kentucky

Trigg County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Trigg County, located in southwest Kentucky, is on the Tennessee state line and borders five Kentucky counties. Trigg County was created in 1820 from portions of Christian County and, to a lesser degree, Caldwell County. It is named for Stephen Trigg, a land commissioner and soldier who was killed during the Battle of Blue Licks. The county seat is Cadiz. The 1820 county population was 514 heads of households, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 7,603 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 502 slave owners
  • 2,435 Black slaves
  • 362 Mulatto slaves
  • 69 free Blacks
  • 10 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 529 slave owners
  • 2,977 Black slaves
  • 473 Mulatto slaves
  • 25 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 3,373 Blacks
  • 386 Mulattoes
  • About 230 U.S. Colored Troops listed Trigg County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Trigg County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Slave Records of Stephen Trigg; Marriage Books (indexed), Trigg County Clerk; Trigg County African American Oral History Project (FA 196), Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts & Folklife Archives; Oral History Interview with Bobby Allen, B. Allen and S. Fisk; and Y. M. Pitts, "I Desire to Give My Black Family Their Freedom," chapter three in Women Shaping the South, by A. Boswell and J. N. McArthur.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Trigg County, Kentucky

Trimble County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Trimble County is located in northern Kentucky, bordered by three counties and the Ohio River. The county was formed in 1837 from portions of Gallatin, Henry, and Oldham Counties. The county was named for Robert Trimble, a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who was born in Virginia and lived in Bourbon County, KY. There is only one Trimble County in the United States. The county seat is Bedford, established in 1816 and named for Bedford, VA, the home of Bedford, KY's first settler, Richard Ball. The Trimble County population in 1840 was 654 [heads of households], according to the the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,049 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 216 slave owners
  • 715 Black slaves
  • 226 Mulatto slaves
  • 27 free Blacks [most with the last name Scott]
  • 4 free Mulattoes [last names Moreland, 2 Penn, Penna]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 196 slave owners
  • 661 Black slaves
  • 175 Mulatto slaves
  • 4 free Blacks [last names Lynch, Mason, 2 Scott]
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 308 Blacks
  • 141 Mulattoes
  • About 22 U.S. Colored Troops listed Trimble County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Trimble County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Marriage Books (Indexed), Trimble County Clerk; and Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, by Henry Bibb.
See photo image of children in WPA Colored Nursery in Trimble County, at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Trimble County, Kentucky

The Tri-Weekly Informer
Start Year : 1939
In 1939 a short-lived newspaper venture was attempted for the first time in Louisville, KY, by three African American women: Lucille E. St. Clair, Alice Dunnigan, and M. S. Kimbley. The paper was taken over by the Derbytown Press. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

True Reformers
Start Year : 1872
End Year : 1930
The True Reformers began in 1872 as an affiliated organization for African Americans who were not allowed to become members of the Independent Order of Good Templars in Kentucky. The initiative is said to have come from Colonel John J. Hickman (who was white), from Lexington, KY. Hickman is remembered for his temperance advocacy and leadership in the United States, and the Good Templar lodges he organized in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. Hickman did not oversee the True Reformers in Kentucky and other southern states, these were independent lodges managed by African Americans, and the lodges limped along during the first decade, several folded. In 1881, William Washington Browne, a former slave born in Virginia, was elected head of the Grand Fountain of the True Reformers in Virginia, and he is credited for the revival of the True Reformers. He developed the Virginia organization into a successful fraternal insurance society that owned businesses, including a bank and the newspaper The Reformer. The structure of the Virginia organization was applied to True Reformers in northern cities and in cities located in upper southern states. The True Reformers continued to exist until the early 1930s, around the beginning of the Great Depression. William Browne's success with the True Reformers was due to his ability to redirect the True Reformers away from temperance and prohibition, to more practical issues that African Americans faced. The organization was a trend setter for the operation of other African American fraternal organizations and it impacted the insurance business by redefining premium terms and benefits, and how they were handled by a national organization. True Reformers promoted self-help and introduced African Americans in 20 states to business, management, and entrepreneur practices. The True Reformers Hall in Louisville, KY, was located at 822 W. Walnut Street, according to the 1909 city directory. For more see D. T. Beito, "To advance the "Practice of Thrift and Economy": fraternal societies and social capital, 1890-1920," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 1999, vol.29, issue 4, pp.585-612; see the entry "Grand United Order of the True Reformers" in Organizing Black America by N. Mjagkij; The Black Lodge in White America by D. M. Fahey; and Twenty-Five Years History of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, 1881-1905 by W. P. Burrell and D. E. Johnson. For more on Colonel John J. Hickman, see his entry in History of Boone County, Missouri by the St. Louis Western Historical Company, 1882, pp.881-883 [available at Google Book Search]
Subjects: Alcohol, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Virginia / United States

Tuberculosis Movement (Louisville, KY)
In the late 1880s the mortality rate among African Americans due to tuberculosis (or consumption) was three times higher than that for whites, especially in the South. It soon became evident that tuberculosis was an overall health problem not restricted to any one race, and though the Tuberculosis Movement remained segregated, there were more joint efforts between the races. In Louisville prior to 1909, the Anti-Tuberculosis Association established the Committee on Conference and Prevention of Tuberculosis among the Colored People. A visiting nurse was hired and her duties included educating African Americans in Louisville about tuberculosis. The visiting nurse was seen as a self-help answer, an idea that grew to become a major part of the nationwide Tuberculosis Movement for Negroes. In 1914 a training program for visiting nurses was established at the Negro Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1928 the Julius Rosenwald Fund sponsored a training program for 200 African American nurses to serve in the rural South. For more see M. M. Torchia, "The Tuberculosis Movement and the Race Question, 1890-1950," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 49, issue 2 (Summer 1975), pp. 152-168; and The Tuberculosis Movement: a public health campaign in the progressive era, by M. E. Teller.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tubman, Sylvia A. E.
Sylvia Tubman was one of the 69 slaves freed by Emily Tubman and sent to live in Liberia, Africa. Sylvia was the wife of William Shadrach Tubman, the mother of Alexander Tubman, and the paternal grandmother of William V. S. Tubman, the 18th president of Liberia. Emily Tubman was a slave owner who grew up in Frankfort, KY, and after her marriage spent part of the year in Frankfort and part in Georgia. For more see A study of the life and contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Mothers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Grandparents, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Georgia / Liberia, Africa

Tubman, William Shadrach
One of the 69 slaves freed by Emily Tubman, William was sent to live in Liberia, Africa after he was freed. Emily Tubman grew up in Frankfort, KY, and after her marriage she spent part of the year in Frankfort and part in Georgia. William S. Tubman was the husband of Sylvia A. E. Tubman, the father of Alexander Tubman, and the grandfather of William V. S. Tubman, the 18th president of Liberia. For more see A study of the life and contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Grandparents, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Georgia / Liberia, Africa

Tubman, William V. S.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1971
William V. S. Tubman's grandfather, (Brother) William Shadrach Tubman, and grandmother, Sylvia A. E. Tubman, were two of the 69 slaves freed and voluntarily transported to Liberia in 1844 by slave owner Emily Tubman (1794-1885), who grew up in Frankfort, KY. Once in Liberia, the slaves took the name Tubman and named their community Tubman Hill. William V. S. Tubman was born in Liberia, Africa, and became the country's 18th president (1944-1971), holding the office longer than any other president before or after him, winning six elections. On a visit to the U.S., he came to Frankfort, KY, in search of information about his family history. For more on Emily H. T. Tubman, see Index to Women of the World from Ancient to Modern Times. Biographies and portraits, by N. O. Ireland; and A Study of the Life and Contributions of Emily H. Tubman, by J. R. Bennett. For more on W. V. S. Tubman see Chambers Biographical Dictionary, 6th ed., edited by M. Parry; and A biography of President William V. S. Tubman, by A. D. B. Henries.

See video of William V. S. Tubman and family meeting the Pope in 1956, a British Pathè website.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Tubman Hill, Liberia, Africa

Tucker, Amelia Moore
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Ameiia Tucker was born in Alabama, and she came to Louisville, KY, with her husband in the 1920s. In 1930, the family of three lived on 12th Street, according to the U. S. Federal Census. Amelia Tucker would become the first African American woman elected to the Kentucky State Legislature (in 1961). She worked to pass a bill that would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate based on race. She was on President Nixon's advisory council on ethnic groups. Rev. Amelia Tucker was the wife of Bishop Charles E. Tucker, and after his death in 1975, she moved to California where she died in 1987. She was educated at Alabama State Teachers College [now Alabama State University] and the University of Louisville. She was a minister at Brown Temple AMEZ Church, today located at 3707 Young Avenue, in Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Tucker, Charles Ewbank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1975
Tucker was a lawyer, a civil rights advocate, and a leader in the AMEZ Church. He led early civil rights demonstrations and sit-ins in Louisville, KY, in the 1940s through the 1960s. Tucker also delivered the benediction at Nixon's Inauguration (1960). He was the husband of Rev. Amelia M. Tucker. Charles E. Tucker was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Olivia and William Tucker. The family lived in Jamaica. He was a 1913 graduate of Beckford and Smith's school in Jamaica and a 1917 graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He was the pastor of the Stoner Memorial AMEZ Church [at 1127 West Oak Street] in Louisville and completed the Kentucky Bar Exam in 1929. His son, Neville Tucker, was also a lawyer in Louisville. Charles E. Tucker became a bishop in 1956. He was a Republican. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; and the Charles Ewbank Tucker biography in The Last Public Execution in America, by P. T. Ryan.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Jamaica / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tucker, Hagar
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1892
Hagar Tucker, from Kentucky, was the first African American police officer in Fort Worth, TX. The police department had been formed in 1873. More than a century later, the Fort Worth Police Historical Association led the effort to replace Tucker's headstone in Trinity Cemetery. Tucker had been a slave owned by William B. Tucker, Sr. from Casey County, KY; he had moved his family and slaves to Fort Worth [then an army garrison] in 1852. They were among the earliest settlers of Tarrant County. William B. Tucker was elected sheriff in 1856, Office of District Clerk in 1858, and Justice of the Peace in 1862. Hagar Tucker was a free man in 1865, and he married Amy, also a former slave of William B. Tucker, Sr. Hagar Tucker became a landowner, registered to vote, and in 1873 was appointed a special policeman. When Hagar found other employment, there would not be another African American police officer in Fort Worth until the 1950s. In 2007, a Texas Historical Marker #12192 was placed at Hagar Tucker's grave site. For more on Hagar Tucker see B. R. Sanders, "Former slave has place in police history," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 03/25/2007, Metro section, p. B1. For more on William B. Tucker, Sr. see Tarrant County, Tx Sheriff: over 150 years service, by Turner Publishing Company, Tarrant County (Tex.) Sheriff's Office.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Corrections and Police, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Casey County, Kentucky / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

The Turnbo Family
During the Civil War, Robert Turnbo fought for the Union Army, he was born in Alabama. While her husband was away, Isabella Cook Turnbo, a Kentucky native, fled the state with their two children, Jerry (b.1856) and Nancy Jane (b.1859). The family reunited in Metropolis, Illinois, where Jerry and Nancy were employed by the Cook Family who had lived in Kentucky, according to the 1880 U. S. Federal Census. Robert and Isabella eventually had nine more children, one of whom was Annie Turnbo Malone (1869-1957), who made hair and scalp preparations for rejuvenating African American women's hair. In St. Louis, Turnbo sold her products door-to-door, and with the success of her business she was able to hire sales agents, one of whom was Sarah Breedlove, also known as Madam C. J. Walker. For more see the Annie Turnbo Malone entry in Black Women in America, 2nd ed., vol. 2; and L. L. Wright, "Celebrating her legacy: Museum honors beauty pioneer for contributions to cosmetology, The Paducah Sun, 01/24/2008, State and Regional section.
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Metropolis, Illinois / St. Louis, Missouri

Turner, Eat Campbell
Turner was a freed African American nurse from Kentucky. She was the wife of Thomas Turner, who had not been enslaved; he was born in Alberta, Canada. They were the parents of Charles Henry Turner (1867-1923), an entomologist, naturalist, scientist, and zoologist. The family lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more see Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century, by J. H. Kessler.
Subjects: Freedom, Mothers, Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [Wyatt Burghardt Turner]
Frank Turner (1887-1941) was the son of Wyatt and Emma Mitchell Turner. He and his wife, Frosty [or Frostie] Ann Duncan Turner (b. 1891), were from Richmond, KY. They lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York; according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Saratoga Avenue; Frank was recognized in the neighborhood as the father of tennis. The couple had six sons. Frank and Frosty Turner, both 1909 graduates of Wilberforce [now Wilberforce University], were married the summer after their graduation. Frank would become the chief accountant for the NAACP. He had kept the books since the organization opened its first office in the Evening Post building in 1910. He had come to the NAACP with W. E. B. DuBois. Frank had been secretary to DuBois in Atlanta; it was his first job after graduating from college. At the NAACP Office, Frank was also the circulation manager of the Crisis, and he had helped establish the NAACP Branch in Jamaica, New York in 1927, where he served as secretary until his death in 1941. Wyatt Burghardt Turner (1916-2009) was one of Frank and Frosty Turner's sons. He was named after his grandfather; his middle name was in honor of W. E. B. DuBois. Wyatt Turner was born in New York and graduated from high school in Kentucky, where he lived with his grandmother. He would become founder and president of the Brookhaven NAACP, and he served as chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. He had also been a history professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a professor, he was the first African American teacher at Bay Shore. Wyatt Turner was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Columbia University, and he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. For more see "Frank M. Turner," The Crisis, vol. 48, issue 12 (December 1941), pp. 394 & 398; "How the NAACP Began" at the NAACP.org website; H. L. Moon, "History of the Crisis," The Crisis, November 1970; and K. Schuster, "Wyatt Turner dies; pioneer helped found Brookhaven chapter, active in Obama's presidential campaign," Newsday, 01/23/2009, News section, p. A8.

See photo image at the end of the article "Frank M. Turner" on p. 394 of The Crisis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Queens, New York

Turner, Hannah
Birth Year : 1800
Hannah Turner was the slave of Aaron and Theodosia Young, who moved from Kentucky to Missouri. Hannah, a washer woman, was the wife of John Turner (b.1796), a free man who was a horse farrier, and she was the mother of James Milton Turner (1840-1915), who was born while his mother was still a slave. John Turner purchased the freedom of Hannah and James in 1843, and the couple was officially married in St. Louis, March 4, 1857 by Rev. Emmanual Cartwright, pastor of the African Baptist Church [Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002]. Rev. Cartwright had become pastor of the church after the death of Kentucky native Rev. John Berry Meachum in 1854. John Turner was last listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and Hannah Turner was last listed in the 1870 Census. Their son, James M. Turner, had been a student in Meachum's school, he would go on to attended Oberlin College. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him the first African American Minister Resident and Consul General for the United States in the Republic of Liberia. He returned to the U.S. in 1878 and formed the Colored Emigration Aid Association with hopes of settling Exodusters in Kansas and the Indian Territory. He succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Cherokee Freedmen's Act in 1888, which authorized $75,000 to 3,881 Cherokee freedmen (former slaves of the Cherokee Indians). For more see the James Milton Turner entry in the American National Biography Online (subscription database).
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri / Oberlin, Ohio / Liberia, Africa / Kansas

Turner, Roxy
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1901
Sister Roxy Turner, born in Madison County, KY, was the founder and head of the Power Church, also referred to as the Power Society. She founded the church around 1891 based on the belief that all faithful worshipers in the service of God would receive a mysterious power from heaven, and that there were seven steps toward acquiring the supreme power that would allow you to converse with the dead. There were congregations in Lexington, Cadentown, Warrentown, Brucetown, all in Fayette County, and in Nicholasville, Winchester, and Louisville. The churches were said to have a combined total of 1,000 or more members. The church sermons could last for days and they would sometimes get loud and the police were called. There was also a court case due to the dispute between the Powers and the Methodists concerning damages to the church in Cadentown during services held at the church by the Powers. The church in Lexington was located at the corner of Warnock and Constitution Streets, and there was a membership of 120 persons. Sister Roxy Turner was a large woman who stood about 6'2" tall. She claimed to have the power to heal the sick and to communicate with the dead. She was the wife of James Turner, they married in 1876, and she was the mother of Rolly Turner [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Race Street and James Turner was a farm laborer. No occupation was listed in the census for Roxy Turner or her son who was also a preacher in the Power Church. Roxy Turner died February 24, 1901, her funeral arrangements were handled by Porter and Jackson, and she is buried in African Cemetery #2 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death #5034]. For more see "Head of a church is dead," The Atlanta Constitution, 02/27/1901; "Queer believers," The Evening Herald [Syracuse, NY], 10/01/1898; and "The Seven Powers," The Hartford Herald, 10/18/1896, p.4.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Cadentown, Warrentown, Brucetown, all in Fayette County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Turner, Samuel
Death Year : 1901
Dr. Turner's death in 1901 was the first suicide on record for an African American in Kentucky. It was thought that he hanged himself due to the shame of being indited for vending lottery tickets. His half nude body was found in the early morning, in the highest tree, 50 feet above ground, in Flora Park in Louisville, KY. The park was located at South and Ormsby Streets. Turner's death was also reported as a lynching. For more see "Suicide: of Dr. Samuel Turner this morning," Newark Daily Advocate, 06/29/1901, p. 1; "He hanged himself high," The Atlanta Constitution, 06/30/1901, p.2.
Subjects: Lynchings, Medical Field, Health Care, Parks, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Gambling, Lottery, Suicide
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Turpin, Melvin Harrison
Birth Year : 1960
Death Year : 2010
Born in Lexington, KY, the 6'11" center, a high school All-State basketball player, was a star at Bryan Station High School in Lexington, from which he graduated in 1979. Turpin attended Fort Union Military Academy in Virginia for one year before enrolling at the University of Kentucky (UK). As a basketball player at UK, Turpin was 3rd Team All-SEC his sophomore year, and over the next two years he received additional recognition, including being named 1st Team All-SEC, All Regional NCAA, and All-American. Turpin played in 123 games, scoring a total of 1,509 points and blocking 226 shots. He had a game high 42 points against both Tennessee in 1983 and Georgia in 1984. As of 2007, Turpin is the last basketball player from Lexington to play for four years on a scholarship at UK. He was drafted sixth by the Washington Bullets [now the Washington Wizards] in the first round of the 1984 NBA draft. He played 361 games for three different NBA teams, scoring a total of 3,071 points and blocking 348 shots. Turpin retired from the NBA in 1990. For more see Melvin Turpin, a Big Blue History website; Mel Turpin at databaseBasketball.com; M. Story, "No Cats like those Cats - city no longer producing UK players, but why? A story for every county," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/29/2007, Sports section, p. D2; and K. Ward and J. Kegley, "Turpin mourners remember him at his happiest," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/13/2010, Main News section, p.A1.

See photo image of Melvin Turpin and his mother in Explore UK.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Turpin, William Henderson "Ben"
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1962
Turpin, also known as Mr. Ben, was a police officer and a baseball fanatic who lived in Detroit, MI. According to author Richard Bak, Turpin came from Kentucky to Detroit in 1925, and he had been a shoe shine boy. Turpin had lived in Burgin, KY, and was a tanner for J. T. Huguley in Danville, KY, according to his WWI draft registration card. He was a porter at Union Station before being appointed a Detroit policeman in 1927. Turpin was a large man who kept the peace in the Black Bottom area with physical force and his two revolvers. Turpin was also a serious baseball fan, and in the 1930s he organized a team called Black Bottom under Turpin's Athletic Club. Turpin sometimes served as the team's catcher with a revolver strapped to each side of his body. William Henderson Turpin was the husband of Bessie Turpin [they are mistakenly listed as white in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see Turkey Stearnes and the Detroit Stars, by R. Bak; In Black and White, Supplement, 3rd ed., by M. M. Spradling; "Tough Mr. Ben won respect based on fear", in Blacks in Detroit: a reprint of articles from the Detroit Free Press by S. McGehee and S. Watson, pp.72-73.
Subjects: Baseball, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Burgin, Mercer County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Tuskegee Airmen (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1942
End Year : 1946
At least 11 of the Tuskegee cadets were from Kentucky, including Colonel Noel Parrish from Versailles, KY. In August 2007, the section of highway I-75 in Fayette County was designated the "Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail"; the trail was extended to the entire length of I-75 in KY in July 2010. The state of Kentucky was first to name a portion of a highway system in honor of the Tuskegee pilots (officially the United States Army Air Corps' 332nd Fighter Group). On March 29, 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were honored with a gold medal; five of the Airmen from Kentucky were in attendance at the ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washing, D.C. A rendering of the bust of Kentucky native Willa Brown [Chappell] was unveiled at the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda in February 2007; the bust is being completed by Bobby Scroggins. Willa Brown had trained many of the men who became Tuskegee pilots. For more see the Kentucky Governor's press release, "Governor Fletcher, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet honor first African-American military pilots," 08/10/2007; Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Connections with Renee Shaw, #302 Tuskegee Airmen [online video]; "Sculpture honors Tuskegee Airmen trainer," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/23/2007, City&Region section, p. C1; HR144; and Ron Spriggs Exhibit of Tuskegee Airmen at 100 Mason Springs Drive in Nicholasville, KY.
Subjects: Aviators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail
Start Year : 2007
On Friday, July 16, 2010, the length of Interstate 75 in Kentucky (a 191 mile roadway) was dedicated to honor the Tuskegee Airmen (officially the United States Army Air Corps' 332nd Fighter Group). This designation extends the original 23 mile stretch that was designated in their honor in 2007 in Fayette Co. Kentucky was the first state to so honor the African American World War II pilots, 11 of whom were from Kentucky. For more information, see Kentucky House Joint Resolution 15 and "I-75 in Ky. becomes Tuskegee Airmen Trail," Lexington Herald-Leader, July 17, 2010, pp. A3 & A5.
Subjects: Aviators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fayette County, KY; I-75, Kentucky

Twine, William H.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1933
Twine was born in Richmond, KY, the son of William and Matilda A. Twine. According to the U.S. Census, the family was living in Xenia, OH, in 1880 and William H. was enrolled in school. He would become the first African American to take the law examination in Limestone County, Texas and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1888. William H. practiced law in Texas until 1891 then moved to Oklahoma to practice law in the Indian Territory, which he did until 1897. He was the first African American lawyer to carry a capital case from the U.S. Court (N. Dist. Indian Territory) to the U.S. Supreme Court. Twine was editor of the first African American newspaper in the Indian Territory - the Muskogee Cimeter - beginning in 1897. There was never a lynching in Muskogee County. Oklahoma became a state in 1907. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and William Henry Twine in the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture [online].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Red House, Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Limestone County, Texas / Muskogee County, Oklahoma

Twyman, Luska J.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1988
Luska J. Twyman was born in Hiseville, KY, the son of Eliza Twyman. In 1968 he became the first African American mayor of Glasgow and, for 17 years, the only African American mayor in Kentucky. He was also the first African American to serve on the U.S. Commission of Human Rights. Twyman was a 1939 graduate of Kentucky State University and a World War II veteran. He was a former principal of the Ralph Bunch School for African Americans in Glasgow. The Luska J. Twyman Memorial Park in Glasgow is named in his honor. There is also a Kentucky Historical Marker [#2019] honoring Twyman in the Glasgow Public Square. For more see "Kentucky City Council Names Black Mayor," Jet, vol. 35, issue 1 (Oct. 10, 1968), p. 4; Luska Twyman in the Kentucky Files - Biography at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives; and S. Brown, "Luska Twyman, Kentucky's first Black mayor, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/29/1988, City/State section, p. C1.

See photo image of Luska J. Twyman at the Glasgow Daily Times Archive website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hiseville and Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Twyman, William
In 1993, Twyman became the first African American from Kentucky to receive a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. At the time, he was the assistant principal of Glasgow Middle School. For more see William Twyman at the Milken Family Foundation website.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Tyler, Charles Lacy
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 1992
Tyler was born in Cadiz, KY, and his family later moved to Indianapolis, IN, where he studied piano. He also played the clarinet and the baritone and alto saxophones. He moved to Cleveland, OH, in 1960, where he performed with Albert Ayler, and later moved on to New York. Tyler moved around while playing with a number of groups. He earned a teaching certificate at the University of California, Berkeley and taught music for several years at North Peralta Community College [now Vista Community College] and Mills College. In 1974, he left teaching and continued to play with various groups and tour in the U.S. and Europe. In 1985, Tyler settled in France, where he died in 1992. His recordings include the Charles Tyler Ensemble, Sixty Minute Man, and Saga of the Outlaws. He can be seen performing on the film Rising Tones Cross. For more see "Charles (Lacy) Tyler" in the Oxford Music Online Database. Listen to clips of Charles Tyler's recordings at iTunes Preview.
Access Interview
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky / Toulon, France, Europe

Tyler, Nancy Pe-ral
From Hickory, KY, Tyler was the first African American to graduate from Murray State University, in 1961 receiving her B.S. in Elementary Education. While a student, Tyler was a member of the Association for Childhood Education and the Student National Education Association. Information provided by the Murray State University Library.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Hickory, Graves County, Kentucky / Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky

 

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