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Jackman, Catherine
Birth Year : 1902
Jackman, born in Kentucky, was one of the first African American women to graduate from Centre College in Danville, KY. She was a school teacher in the Danville Public Schools, and was a member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association as early as 1928 and 1929. She later became a seamstress in the Rainbow Cleaners. Her husband, John Jackman was a bricklayer. The family lived in Colored Town, an African American community on the edge of Danville. In the late 1920s, the family lived on Lebanon Pike, and in 1930 their address was on Cowan Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Catherine Jackman's job at the cleaners would lead to her raising her employer's daughter, the girl's name was Mildred House. For more see the preface of Environmental Justice: creating equality, reclaiming democracy, by K. S. Shrader-Frechette.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Colored Town, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Jackman, Parker Hiram
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1915
P. Hiram Jackman was a slave born May 24, 1845, near Creelsboro, KY, the son of George Jackman, according to his death certificate. Hiram Jackman was taught to read and write before he became a freeman. After fighting in the Civil War, he taught in the Colored schools in Adair and Russell Counties, one of the first African American teachers in the area. He continued to teach for 45 years. Jackman was also a minister and performed the first marriage ceremony in Adair County for an African American couple. In 1908, he and others attempted to establish a colored library in Columbia, KY. The Rosenwald School, built on Taylor Street in Columbia, KY, in 1925, was named after Hiram Jackman. It was one of five schools for African Americans in Adair County. The school burned down in 1953. P. Hiram Jackman was the husband of Francis Jackman. For more see "The Story of Hiram Jackman, for whom Jackman High Named," Columbia Adair County-Chamber Insights [online] at Columbiamagazine.com; "Rosenwald School: Jackman High, Taylor St, Columbia, KY," photograph [online]; "Dedication of Jackman High commemorative well attended, 08/12/2006, Columbia Magazine [online]; and "Commemorating Jackman graded and high school," photo, 08/12/2006, Columbia Magazine [online]. For more on the number of slaves and free African Americans in Adair County, see the NKAA entry for Adair County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes 1850-1870. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools in Adair County, KY.

Plaque dedicated to Rosenwald School, Jackman High at ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Creelsboro, Russell County, Kentucky / Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Jackson, Alfred M.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1888
Alfred M. Jackson was a horse trainer who was born in Lexington, KY, around 1850 and died in Chicago, IL, March 22, 1888 [source: Cook County, Illinois Deaths Index]. He and his wife, Fannie Jackson, lived on South First Street in Terre Haute, IN, in 1880 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Alfred M. Jackson is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Jackson, Andrew
Birth Year : 1814
Jackson was born in Bowling Green, KY. He narrated to a friend the story of the 26 years he spent as a slave. In the published biography that came of this narration, Jackson recounts his failed attempt to escape and the cruelty he suffered and witnessed before his eventual successful escape. For more see Narrative and Writings of Andrew Jackson, of Kentucky: Containing an Account...Written by a Friend [available online at UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Jackson, Blyden
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 2000
Born in Paducah, KY, and raised in Louisville, KY, Blyden Jackson was an editor, critic, essayist and activist. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph.D. He was an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the first African American faculty member in a tenured faculty position. His wife, Roberta, was also a faculty member at the school. Blyden Jackson wrote The Waiting Years: Essays on American Negro Literature and A History of Afro-American Literature and co-authored Black Poetry in America: two essays in historical interpretation. Jackson, credited as a pioneer in the study of Black literature, also wrote many articles. In 1992, the admissions building at Chapel Hill was named in honor of Blyden and Roberta Jackson. Blyden Jackson was the brother of Reid E. Jackson, Sr. For more see the Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson Papers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library; "First tenured Black UNC professor dead at 89," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 05/06/2000; and "The First Black faculty members at the nation's 50 flagship state universities," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 39 (Spring 2003), pp. 118-126.

See photo image and additional information about Blyden Jackson at The Fellowship of Southern Writers website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Jackson, Brenda
From Shelbyville, KY, Brenda Jackson is the first African American woman to lead the Kentucky School Board Association (KSBA), named to the post at the 2005 Annual KSBA Conference; her term ran through February 2007. Her predecessor, John Smith, was the first African American to be president of KSBA. Brenda Jackson, a graduate of Kentucky State University, is a retired employee from state government; for 28 of the 30 years, she was a judicial auditor for the Administrative Office of the Courts. She is a member of the Shelby County Public School Board. For more see T. Miller, "Jackson first African American woman to lead state board group," The Sentinel-News, 06/21/05.

See photo image of Brenda Jackson (about midway down the page) at Shelby County Public Schools website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Jackson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Jackson County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was established in 1858 from portions of Clay, Estill, Larue, Madison, Owsley, and Rockcastle Counties. It was named for former President Andrew Jackson. The county seat is McKee, also established in 1858, and thought to be named for George R. McKee, a county judge and Kentucky House Member. The county population was 3,080 in 1860, excluding slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 3 slave owners [Perlina Attick, Duttan S. Jones, and William Spurlin]
  • 6 Black slaves
  • 1 Mulatto slave
  • 1 free Black [Anderson Arthur]
  • 20 free Mulattoes [most with last names Griffin and Cotton]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 13 Blacks [most with last names Blyth, 2 Cornelison, 2 Treble]
  • 13 Mulattoes [all with last names of Griffin or Cotton]
  • 7 U.S. Colored Troops listed Jackson County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 9 Blacks [all with last names of Jackson or Million]
  • 33 Mulattoes
For more see the Jackson County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Jackson County, Kentucky (to about 1918), by I. A. Bowles; and A Portrait of Jackson County, Kentucky, 1858-2008, by the Jackson County Development Association.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Jackson County, Kentucky

Jackson, Dennis M.
Birth Year : 1942
Dennis M. Jackson is from Murray, KY. In 1960 he was the first African American varsity athlete at Murray State University, where he played halfback for the football team and also ran track. His picture was included in the 1963 Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Track Champions photograph. He was a member of the 440 relay team, which tied an OVC record. Jackson graduated from Murray with his B.A. in physical education in 1965 and later earned his M.A. in secondary education administration. Jackson was not only an outstanding athlete in college; he had also been outstanding at Douglass High School and was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2007, he was inducted into the Murray State Athletics Hall of Fame. Jackson was a part-time personnel director of the Paducah public schools; he retired from the school system in 2005. Dennis M. Jackson serves as a member of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, his term will end in 2015. For more see L. L. Wright, "Jackson only wanted to play," Kentucky Post, 01/27/2007, Sports section, p. B7. Additional information provided by Murray State University Library.

See photo image and additional information on Dennis M. Jackson at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Football, Track & Field, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Jackson, Earl, Jr.
Birth Year : 1938
Born in Paris, KY, the son of Earl, Sr. and Margaret Elizabeth Cummins Jackson, Earl Jackson, Jr. is a microbiologist who retired in 1995 from Massachusetts General Hospital. A 1960 graduate of Kentucky State University, he was named to its Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni in 1988. Jackson has received a number of recognitions, including being named in Who's Who in the World, 1998, 2000, 2002, & 2006; Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare 1998-2007; and Who's Who in Science and Engineering, 1992-2007. Jackson resides in Texas. For more see Who's Who in America, 1997-2003.
Subjects: Biologists, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

Jackson, Edward C.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1912
Edward C. Jackson, a slave, was born in Lexington, KY. In 1850 he married Matilda C. Blair, who was free and who had also purchased his freedom. The couple moved to Xenia, OH, where they owned a grocery store, and during the Civil War, they moved to Springfield, OH, where they owned a second-hand store. By 1868, the couple had moved back to Xenia, where Jackson became one of the first African American city council members. He was also a trustee on the Board of Wilberforce University and was a member of the Wilberforce Lodge Free and Accepted Masons. Jackson and his wife had eight children, and he was the uncle of John H. and Jordan Jackson Jr. For more see "Born a slave in Lexington," Lexington Leader, 02/11/1912, p. 2.

*Additional information provided by Yvonne Giles: Edward C. Jackson's wife's name is misspelled [Malinda C. Blain] in the obituary notice found in the Lexington Leader, her name was Matilda C. Blair [source: Deed book #35, p213, 12 October 1858; taxes and fees paid May 1859]. She signed a contract with George W. Sutton for the purchase of her husband Edward Jackson on 12 October 1858. She paid $800, four hundred down and four hundred by May 1859 even though the contract was for three years. The contract makes no mention that Matilda C. Blair is a 'free woman of color.' The contract called for a deed of emancipation to Edward Jackson once all money had been received.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Springfield, Ohio

Jackson, Eliza or Isabelle (Belle) Mitchell
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1942
Mitchell was born in Perryville, KY and raised in Danville, KY. Her parents, Mary and Monroe Mitchell, purchased their freedom. Belle became an abolitionist and the first African American teacher at Camp Nelson, with John G. Fee. She became a prominent teacher in Fayette County and one of the founders of the African American Orphan Industrial Home. She was actively involved with the Colored women's club movement. She was married to Jordan Jackson. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; African American Women: a biographical dictionary, by D. C. Salem; and Lexington's Colored Orphan Industrial Home by L. F. Byars.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Freedom, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Fayette County, Kentucky

Jackson, Horace "Stonewall"
Horace Jackson was from Louisville, KY, and later moved to Cincinnati, OH. He was a middleweight boxer who fought under the the name Stonewall Jackson. In April 1934, he was scheduled to fight Cincinnati middleweight, Smokey Maggard. The bout was to take place as an eight round main event in PAC Arena in Piqua, OH. Jackson was an inexperienced boxer, he was described as a slugger and swinger, with a wild and unorthodox style, fighting from a half crouch position. He had been boxing for little more than two years, learning from experience. His first fight took place February 22, 1932, when he won against Jackie Raymond in Milford, OH. Jackson's first loss was to Bobby Millsap in Covington, KY, April 18, 1933. His 1934 fight against Smokey Maggard was promoted in the local newspapers, tickets were sold at G. & G. Autoparts and Fred Loefflers in Piqua, OH. Admission was 44, 72, and 91 cents. Women could take any seat for 44 cents. The referee was Earl Smitley. Jackson lost the fight by decision. His last bout was in Louisville, KY, November 25, 1935, in a loss to Frank Glover. Stonewall Jackson's overall record was 13 wins with 6 knockouts, 10 losses with 2 knockouts, and 7 draws. For more see "Hard-hitting Kentucky boxer to face Maggard Tuesday eve," The Piqua Daily Call, 04/07/1934, p.9; and the Stonewall Jackson boxing record at boxrec.com.
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Piqua, and Milford, Ohio /

Jackson, James (horse trainer)
Birth Year : 1946
Jackson, from Lexington, KY, and the son of Lucian Jackson, is the first African American trainer to saddle a starter in the Kentucky Oaks; Gallant Secret placed third in the 2005 run for the Kentucky Lilies. Jackson was the leading trainer in Michigan for 25 years; he left Kentucky when he was 22 years old, seeking better opportunities in Detroit. He became the nations 6th leading trainer in 1996, and in 1995 was 3rd in number of wins. Jackson and his family moved back to Lexington in 1998. For more see M. Walls, "Back in state, back in the money, - trainer Jackson gains notice by lighting up the board," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/20/2001, Sports section, p. D1.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Jackson, James W.: Migration to Colorado
James W. Jackson was only one of the hundreds of African Americans who left Kentucky for the West. According to the Census Reports, there were 687 African Americans who had left Kentucky and moved to Colorado by 1900. African Americans were being enticed to Colorado, according to author Jesse T. Moore, Jr., in order to keep out the Chinese, who were seen as an economic threat to American labor. African Americans, on the other hand, were viewed as being acclimated to American ways and no real threat. In 1858, James Jackson, born a slave, left the area near Maxville, KY, and settled in Denver, where he became a successful businessman. Jackson was politically active on many levels and became the first African American to serve on the Colorado Republican State Committee. Jackson was also invited to speak with President Theodore Roosevelt concerning the condition of African Americans in the U.S. For more see J. T. Moore, Jr., "Seeking a New Life: Blacks in Post-Civil War Colorado," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 78, no. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 166-187.
Subjects: Businesses, Immigration, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Maxville, Washington County, Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

Jackson, James W. (police)
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 2006
Jackson was born in Arkansas and grew up in Paducah, KY. After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1933, he attended West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College]. During World War II, he was a member of the 9th Cavalry and a mounted soldier in the 2nd Cavalry, deployed in Italy. In 1960, Jackson joined the Kansas City Police Department, the third African American reserve officer on the force; he retired in 1974. He also worked at the post office and retired from there in 1992 after 50 years of employment. For more see "James Warren Jackson," Kansas City Star, 02/10/2006, Obituary section, p. B4.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Postal Service, Migration East, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Arkansas / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Jackson, John H.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1919
Educated at Berea College, John H. Jackson was the last African American professor hired at the school before its 1904 segregation. He was the first president of the State Association of Colored Teachers [later named the Kentucky Negro Educational Association], first president of State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], president of Lincoln High Schools in Kansas City, MO, and author of History of Education: from the Greeks to present time. He was the son of Jordon C. Jackson, Sr., a well-known businessman, and James Ann Jackson, and he was the brother of Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. John H. Jackson was born in Lexington, KY. Limited information about John H. Jackson can be found at Kentucky State University.

See photo image an additional information about John H. Jackson, including his stay in Missouri, at Biographical Sketches: Biographies from the Cole County People, by the Cole County Historical Society.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Jackson, John J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2004
John J. Jackson, Jr. was the first African American licensed to practice as an optometrist in Louisville, KY, in 1954. He was a graduate of the Chicago College of Optometry. Jackson was born in Harlan, KY, the son of John Sr. and Dusker Jackson. In 1930 the family of five lived on Clover Street in Harlan, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see "First Negro optometrist opens Louisville office," Jet, 06/24/1954, p. 27; and "Dr. John J. Jackson, Jr.," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/18/2004, City&Region section, p. B4.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jackson, Jordan C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1918
Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY, the son of James Ann and Jordan C. Jackson, Sr. An attorney and an African American Republican leader in Kentucky, Jordan Jr. was the first African American undertaker in Lexington, along with his partner William M. Porter. Jackson eventually bought out Porter. Prior to getting into the undertaking business, Jackson was editor of the American Citizen newspaper. He also contracted with the federal government to carry mail from the train to the post office. He was chairman of the committee behind the creation of Douglass Park in Lexington, KY. He was married to Isabelle Mitchell Jackson and brother of John H. Jackson. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; and Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.136.

See photo image of Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. on page 513 in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People by G. F. Richings, at the UNC Documenting the American South website.
 
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jackson, Keith L.
Birth Year : 1965
In June 2012, Keith Jackson became the first African American to be named Chief of the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services. The appointment was made by Mayor Jim Gray. Jackson is a 21 year veteran and served for more than a year as the interim chief. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and author of the unpublished manuscript History of Black Firefighters. For more see "City names new fire chief, " at WKYT 27 Newsfirst, 06/28/2012 [online]; "Lexington's first Black fire chief named," ;The Key Newsjournal, 06/28/2012 [online].

See photo image and article about Keith Jackson - - B. Fortune, "Mayor Gray appoints Keith Jackson as Lexington Fire Chief," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/28/2012 [online].

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

Jackson, Lee Arthur
Birth Year : 1950
Jackson was the first African American to head the Kentucky Association of State Employees (KASE/AFT - Local 4590), an employee union; Jackson has been its president since 1990. He was program supervisor at the Department for Employment Services in Lexington, KY. He has since retired from state employment. Jackson was born in Lynch, KY, the son of Sylmon J. and Marie Stokes Jackson. He is a 1973 graduate of the University of Kentucky. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2006.
Subjects: Employment Services, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jackson, Luther Porter
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1950
Born in Lexington, KY, Luther P. Jackson was full professor and head of the history department at Virginia State College [now Virginia State University] beginning in 1922. He founded the Virginia Negroes League to encourage African Americans to vote, and he spoke out in his writings for racial equality. He delivered a paper on Virginia and the Civil Rights Program during the annual meeting of the Virginia Social Science Association in 1949. He authored a number of books, including The Virginia Free Negro Farmer and Property Owner, 1830-1860 (1939). He was also on the editorial staff of the Journal of Negro History and Negro History Bulletin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; Luther P. Jackson at the University of Virginia website; Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, 2nd. ed., edited by C. Palmer, vol. 3, p. 1142; and a more detailed biography, Luther Porter Jackson (1892-1950), at Encyclopedia Virginia [online].


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Historians, Voting Rights, Migration East
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Petersburg, Virginia

Jackson, Pierre W. "Red"
Birth Year : 1928
Pierre Wallace Jackson, from Henderson, KY, is a 1949 graduate of Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University [KSU]) and a 1975 inductee into the KSU Hall of Fame. During his junior year at the college, Jackson was a champion boxer, having won two lighter weight titles and the African American division heavyweight title at the The Herald-Leader's 1948 Golden Gloves Tournament. He was coached by Bob Carson. Jackson also received the Sportsman's Award during the tournament. In 1949, Jackson won the tournament's middleweight title. In addition to being a boxer, Jackson was an outstanding athlete who also played center on the KSU football team. For more see Pierre Jackson's photos in the John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Photographs Collection 1936-1990. [The photos have not yet been added to the Kentucky Digital Library.] Additional information provided by B. Morelock at CESKAA.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Jackson, Reid E., Sr.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1991
Reid E. Jackson, Sr. was born in Paducah, KY, and raised in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Julia Reid and George Washington Jackson. Reid Jackson was a graduate of Central High SchoolWilberforce University (B.A.) and Ohio State University (M.A. & Ph.D.). He held a number of posts at a number of schools before becoming the administrative dean at Wilberforce University in 1949. He was secretary of the Southern Negro Conference for Equalization of Education Opportunities, 1944-1946; editor of the Sphinx, Alpha Phi Alpha, in 1945; and author of a number of articles, including "Educating Jacksonville's Tenth Child," Opportunity (July 1935). Jackson retired from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was the father of Annette Dawson and Dr. Reid Jackson, II (1940-2001), and brother to Dr. Blyden Jackson. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Reid Jackson, Sr., 83, was MSU professor," The Sun (Baltimore, MD).


See photo image of Reid E. Jackson in the KNEA Journal, vol. 18, no. 2 (March/April 1947), p. 13. [.pdf].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio / Baltimore, Maryland

Jackson, Thompson
Birth Year : 1882
Jackson was born in Henderson, KY, the son of Lizzy Jackson. He organized the Good Citizenship League in Mansfield, Ohio in 1924, the Y-Indus Club in 1926, and the Boy Scout Troop. Jackson served as president of the Republican Club for Colored Voters, delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1924, and president of the Mansfield NAACP. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1928-29 and 1950.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Voting Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Mansfield, Ohio

Jackson-Sears, Pandora
Birth Year : 1963
Born in Madisonville, KY, Jackson-Sears is the daughter of Larry and Vivian Lewis. She is president and owner of Jackson-Sears and Associates and has over 17 years of minority and women's business development and diversity experience. In 2003, Gov. Paul Patton appointed her to the Kentucky Commission on the Small Business Advocacy Board. She is also an elementary school teacher in Louisville. She is the author of dipped in milk: conversations between an African-American son and his mother, which examines African American males raised in the suburbs and their struggle to fit in with their inner-city peers. For more see S. Bartholomy, "Parents face split decision," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 05/05/2004, B section, p. 1.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jacobson, Harriet P.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1961
Harriet Price Jacobson was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Nannie Price and Robert Johnson. A teacher and poet, she taught in Oklahoma rural schools from 1893 to 1896 and in Kansas and Oklahoma city schools from 1897 to 1935. She was an advisory teacher from 1935 to 1947. Jacobson organized the East Side Culture Club in Oklahoma City in 1907 and assisted in the organization of the State Training School for Negro Boys in Boley and the Training School for Girls in Taft. She was the founder and first president of the Oklahoma Federation of Negro Women's Clubs, 1910-1915. She received an award for her 42 years of teaching. Jacobson was author of a number of published poems in publications such as Anthology of Poetry by Oklahoma Writers (1938) and The Poetry Digest Annual (1939), and in 1947 her book of poems was published, Songs in the Night. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Black American Writers Past and Present. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by T. G. Rush, et al. See also Harriet Price Jacobson at the Uncrowned Community Builders website, and Harriet Price Jacobson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Kansas

James, Cheryl E.
James is the first African American president of the Junior League of Lexington (elected in September 2004). An attorney who works for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, she has been a member of the Junior League for 11 years. For more see J. Hewlett, "A fresh face for the Junior League, lawyer is the first black woman to head Lexington organization," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/02/05.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

James, Grace Marilynn
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1989
A pediatrician, Grace M. James was the first African American woman member of the Jefferson County Medical Society and the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She founded the West Louisville Medical Center. The Grace M. James Papers are housed at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center. Grace M. James was born in Charleston, WV, the daughter of Edward L. and Stella G. Shaw James. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-6th ed.; and Dr. Grace Marilyn James by David James at the Find a Grave website.

See photo images and additional information about Dr. Grace Marilyn James in the article "Governor honors extraordinary Kentucky women," at Examiner website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Charleston, West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

The James Harvey Family (Woodford County, KY)
The family of James Harvey was regarded as skilled, artistic, musical, and mechanical. Harvey, considered a naturally gifted mechanic, was an engineer in a distillery near Frankfort, KY. He was the father of Lewis, Will, and two other boys; his wife was described as Mexican. The March 1902 issue of the Woodford Sun newspaper contained a story relating how 18 year old Lewis built a functioning miniature stationary steam engine; Lewis had not been trained as an engineer and was thought to be uneducated. He was also a wood carver and had made a walking stick designed with people and animals in bold relief. Will, who was 15 years old, sketched portraits and landscapes in pencil and crayon. The two other brothers were gifted musicians and played a number of instruments. For more see "IV. Inventive Genius, Mechanical Skill, etc." on pp. 470-471 in The Story of a Rising Race, by Rev. J. J. Pipkin [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and "Untutored Negro boy is a genius," Woodford Sun, 03/06/1902, p. 1.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky

Jasmin, Ernest A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2004
Born in Florida, Ernest A. Jasmin became the first African American chief prosecutor in Kentucky when he was elected Commonwealth Attorney in 1987. He created a narcotics unit with four prosecutors for the handling of drug cases and established prosecutor training seminars. Jasmin earned degrees from Florida A & M and the University of Louisville Law School. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1967, and in 2004 he received the Trailblazer Award from the Louisville Bar Association. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; "Kentucky's first Black Commonwealth's Attorney," The Louisville Defender, 03/13/1992; and "First Black to serve as state prosecutor - Ernest Jasmin had number of prominent cases," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/02/2004, City & Region section, p. C4.

See photo image and additional information [inlcuding an unreferenced copy of information above] on Ernest A. Jasmin at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Florida / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jefferson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Jefferson County was established in 1780; it was one of the original three counties created when Kentucky County was subdivided by the Virginia General Assembly. Jefferson County is located in the western part of the state along the Ohio River, bordered by four counties. It is named for Thomas Jefferson, who was then governor of Virginia, and who would become the third U.S. President. Jefferson County is the most populated county in Kentucky. The county seat is Louisville; George Rogers Clark is credited as the founder of Louisville in 1778, and the city was named for King Louis XVI of France in 1780. The 1800 population of Jefferson County was 8,754, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 6,325 whites, 2,406 slaves, 23 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner in Jefferson County and five in Louisville. By 1860, the population had increased to 79,060, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 2,394 slave owners
  • 8,814 Black slaves
  • 2,093 Mulatto slaves
  • 1,062 free Blacks
  • 589 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 2,664 slave owners
  • 6,786 Black slaves
  • 1,922 Mulatto slaves
  • 1,244 free Blacks
  • 762 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 13,944 Blacks
  • 4,940 Mulattoes
  • About 443 U.S. Colored Troops listed Jefferson County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Jefferson County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Early Kentucky Settlers, by the Genealogical Pub. Co.; A Brief History of the Schools, Public and Private, for Colored Youths in Louisville, Ky. for fifty years, from 1827 to 1876, inclusive, by J. Meriwether; The Bulletin [newspaper], by the Adams Bro.; The Ohio Falls Express [newspaper], by H. Fitzbutler; Berrytown-Griffytown, a walk through history, by J. G. Grube; Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Founding of Colored Parkland or "Little Africa," Louisville, Kentucky, 1801-1916, by J.S. Cotter; and A Survey of the Economic and Cultural Conditions of the Negro Population of Louisville, Kentucky, by J. H. Kerns.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jenkins Sluggers (Jenkins, KY, baseball team)
On the 4th of July, 1935, the Jenkins Sluggers, a Colored baseball team from Jenkins, KY, were scheduled to play the Middlesboro Blue Sox, a Colored baseball team from Middlesboro, KY. The game was to take place in the East End Park in Middlesboro. After the game, a number of activities were to take place in the park for the city's Colored population in celebration of the holiday. For more see "Fair weather predicted for 4th," Middlesboro Daily News, 07/03/1935, pp. 1 & 6.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky / Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Jennings, G. W.
Birth Year : 1854
G. W. Jennings, born in Kentucky around 1854, was a race rider in Weldon, N.C., according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Rose Jennings.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration East
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Weldon, North Carolina

Jennings, Sam
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1932
Jennings was born in Breckinridge County, KY. In 1930, he was accused of attacking Mabel Downs, the accusation quickly turning into a story that a black man had raped a white woman. Jennings was arrested, and the grand jury indicted him on a charge of rape. He was transferred to Jefferson County Jail for safekeeping: there was fear that a riot might occur and that Jennings might be lynched in Breckinridge County. He was returned to Breckinridge County for his trial, which resulted in his being found guilty. After exhausting his appeals, Sam Jennings was hanged in 1932. Over 6,000 people gathered to watch the event. Author Perry T. Ryan tells the entire story in his book, Legal Lynching: the plight of Sam Jennings.
Subjects: Lynchings
Geographic Region: Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jernagin, Cordelia J. Woolfolk
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
In 1924, Cordelia J. Woolfolk, born in Frankfort, KY, was a claims adjuster at the National Benefit Insurance Company in Washington, D.C. She was considered a woman who had landed a high position job. The insurance company was founded by Samuel W. Rutherford in 1898, it was an African American-owned business. Cordelia J. Woolfolk had previously worked for an insurance company in Frankfort, KY. According to a 1924 article by Charles E. Stump in the Broad Axe newspaper in Chicago, Cordelia Woolfolk had advanced in the insurance business from her job in Frankfort to her job in Washington, D.C. [source: "Charles E. Stump, the slick old time traveling correspondent...," Broad Axe, 04/19/1924, p.3, paragraph 6 of article]. Prior to working in insurance, she was a school teacher in Bagdad, KY. Cordelia J. Woolfolk was in Washington, D.C. as early as 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In 1922, her name was on p.1666 in Boyd's Directory of the District of Columbia. She is listed in the 1933 directory and the 1934 directory; Woolfolk was employed as a stenographer and a bookkeeper. In the 1939 directory, she is listed on p.1402, and was employed at the Southeast Settlement House. The establishment was found in 1929 by Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee and provided daycare and recreation for African American children. In 1945, Cordelia J. Woolfolk was a social worker in Washington, D.C. when she married civil rights activist, Rev. William Henry Jernagin (1870-1958), pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and an internationally known church leader and activist. For more see "Jernagin takes bride," Afro-American, 08/11/1945, p.10; and "Dr. Jernagin still active pastor at 88," Afro-American, 10/19/1957, p.3.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Migration North, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Bagdad, Shelby County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Jessamine County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Jessamine County, named for  the jasmine (jessamine) flower and Jessamine Creek, was established in 1798 from a portion of Fayette County. Located in the Bluegrass Region, it is surrounded by five counties. The county seat is Nicholasville, named for George Nicholas, who was appointed the first U.S. Attorney in Kentucky by President George Washington. Nicholas was born in Virginia and was a veteran of the U.S. Revolutionary War. He drafted the first Kentucky constitution and was the first professor of law at Transylvania College. He had come to Kentucky around 1788 and died in 1799, about a year after Jessamine County was formed. The total county population for 1800 was 5,461, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 3,879 whites, 1,561 slaves, and 21 free coloreds. Ten years later the population was 8,377, according to the Third Census of the United States (Census of 1810), Jessamine County, Kentucky: 3,072 white males, 2,786 white females, 2,483 slaves, and 36 free Black persons. In 1830 there were three African American slave owners. By 1860, the population had increased to 5,776, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 615 slave owners
  • 3,367 Black slaves
  • 457 Mulatto slaves
  • 116 free Blacks 
  • 42 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 572 slave owners
  • 3,153 Black slaves
  • 572 Mulatto slaves
  • 73 free Blacks
  • 23 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,862 Blacks
  • 634 Mulattoes
  • About 88 U.S. Colored Troops listed Jessamine County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Jessamine County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia; A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky, by G. H. Young; A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky, by R. Fain; Slaves to Soldiers, by B. R. Eades; and Camp Nelson, Kentucky, by R. D. Sears.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky

Jett, Alta M. and Richard E. Jett
Alta Margaret Boatright Jett (1920-2004) was born in Lancaster, KY; her family later moved to Indiana. She held a number of jobs, including domestic servant, credit officer at Montgomery Wards, and janitor. She was also president of the Mary B. Talbert Club and Vice Precinct Committee person for the Democratic Party, as well as a worker with the Girl Scouts, YMCA, and a mother's study group. Jett wrote obituaries and spoke on African American history. She was the daughter of Charles and Annie Farley Boatright, and the wife of Richard Ezekiel Jett (1917-2006), a carpenter and musician from Booneville, KY. Richard was the son of James and Mattie Jett. The Alta M. Jett Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see "Alta M. Jett in Guide to African-American History Materials in the Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society; "Obituaries," Palladium-Item, 05/23/2004, p. 3B; and Richard E. Jett in the Obituary section of the Palladium-Item, 07/23/2006, p. 3C.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Historians, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Carpenters, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Booneville, Owsley County, Kentucky / Richmond, Indiana

Jewell, Terri Lynn
Birth Year : 1954
Death Year : 1995
Terri L. Jewell was born October 4, 1954 in Louisville, KY, and lived in Lansing, MI. She was an African American lesbian, feminist, poet, and writer. Her work appeared in hundreds of publications and she was the editor of The Black Woman's Gumbo Ya-Ya and the author of Our Names Are Many. Terri Lynn Jewell died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on November 26, 1995 in Berlin, MI. For more information see L. Lynch, "A precious Jewell is lost forever," Lesbian News, Mar96, vol.1 issue 8, p.60; and the online article by C. Gage, "Terri Lynn Jewell, 1954-1995," at the Scribd website.
Subjects: Authors, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lansing, Michigan

Jewett, John W.
Birth Year : 1870
Jewett was born near Lexington, KY. His parents later moved to Covington, KY, where he could attend school for free. He graduated from Gaines High School in Cincinnati, OH, in 1883, salutatorian of his class. He began teaching in Cadentown, KY, in 1890 and later served as president of the Fayette County Teachers Association. He also served as a Republican delegate to the State Conventions. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson. See photo image of Cadentown Colored School in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington and Cadentown, Fayette County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Jewish Hospital (Louisville, KY)
Jewish Hospital was one of the first hospitals in Louisville to be integrated. Dr. Joan E. Thomas, a medical student in the 1960s who later practiced on the West End of Louisville, recalled that the Jewish Hospital was one of the first white hospitals in Louisville willing to take Black patients. For more see A Legendary Vision: the history of Jewish Hospital, by B. Zingman and B. L. Anster.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

"Jim Crow Car"
Start Year : 1902
In 1902, Mrs. Lulu Thurman won her lawsuit against Southern Railroad in the Lexington, KY, courts. She had originally asked for $10,000 in damages because the train conductor had thought Mrs. Thurman was a Negro and had forced her to ride in the Jim Crow car. Mrs. Thurman was able to prove to the courts that she was white and the jury awarded her $4,000. For more see "Woman gets $4,000 verdict," New York Times, Special to the New York Times, 04/18/1902, p.1.

See photo image of a Jim Crow car for Negroes only, Fayetteville, NC, 1929, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Jim Crow, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

"Jim Crow" The Character
The origin of the minstrel character, Jim Crow, has been placed in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky version suggests that in 1830, Thomas D. Rice, a white man who was a blackface performer, was in Louisville acting and working as a stagehand doing carpentry and lamp lighting. A livery stable owned by a man named Crowe was located near the City Theatre where Rice performed; Crowe owned a slave named Jim Crowe who sang and danced while he worked at the stable. Rice studied Crowe's movements, his song, and his clothes, all of which were incorporated into Rice's stage performance of Jim Crow in Pittsburgh. Rice's performance was originally meant to be a brief diversion between acts; instead it was an instant hit with white audiences in the United States and England. "Jim Crow" became a permanent term in the English vocabulary and would have multiple applications. A Jim Crow song was published in 1830 by William C. Peters. Jim Crow acts and songs were the rave, and Rice was dubbed "Daddy Rice," "Father of American Minstrels," and "Mr. T. D. Rice of Kentucky." Thomas Rice was actually from New York but had spent a brief time in Kentucky at the beginning of his stage career. For more about the character Jim Crow, see the entry by J. D. Julian in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and Men in Blackface, by S. Stark. For more about Thomas D. Rice, see M. N. Ramshaw, "Jump Jim Crow! A Biographical Sketch of Thomas D. Rice," Theatre Annual, vol. 17 (1960).

See image of Jim Crow character at the KET [Kentucky Educational Television] website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Jim Crow, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

"Jim Crow" Imagery
The fame of Thomas Rice's Jim Crow performance helped to advance the marketability of what was termed "Jim Crow Images," with depictions in various media such as literature, advertisements, cartoons, and designs on food containers and other caricature-labeled merchandise. For more see the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia website and the collection at Ferris State University in Michigan; and The Shadow as Substance: Black Photographic Representation in Response to Jim Crow Iconography [theses], by B. M. Collins. See also the entry The Character Jim Crow.

See image on postcard titled Give My Regards To Broadway, at Wikimedia Commons.
Subjects: Jim Crow
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Jim Crow (term)
It is not definitively clear how the term "Jim Crow" came to be associated with the segregation of African Americans and whites in the United States. The use of the term was expanded to define a certain genre of music in the 1830s. Abolitionist newspapers in Massachusetts were using the term in the 1840s in reference to the segregated railway cars. By the 1890s the term was applied to segregation and exclusion laws and norms in border states and the south. By the 1940s the term had been further used to define behavior, speech, violence, and other forms of discrimination and segregation. Also in the 1940s, the term was used by the military to refer to lookout units or individual men in such units. For more see the Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History, vol. 3, 2nd edition, ed. by C. Palmer; and the Oxford English Dictionary.
Subjects: Freedom, Jim Crow

Jim's Orbit (horse), [Jim Cottrell]
Start Year : 1988
In 1988, Jim Cottrell became one of a handful of African American horse breeders who owned a Thoroughbred that qualified for the Kentucky Derby. His horse, Jim's Orbit, was a three year old at 64-1 odds and finished 10th in the 114th running of the Kentucky Derby. Jim's Orbit was trained by Clarence Picou and ridden by Shane Romero. He was bred in Texas of Orbit Dancer and the mare Gaytimer. Jim Cottrell was a millionaire who was born in Mobile, AL, the son of Helen Smith Cottrell and Comer J. Cottrell, Sr. Jim and his brother Comer Cottrell, Jr. were the owners of Pro-Line, an African American hair care product company, makers of the 'Curly Kit' and the 'Kiddie Kit'. Jim Cottrell left the business in 1983. For more see "Black-owned horse runs in 1988 Kentucky Derby," Jet, 05/30/1988, p.53; S. Crist, "Jim's Oribt wins the Derby trial," The New York Times, 05/01/1988, p.S7; and D. Mcvea, "The House of Cottrell," Dallas Observer, 03/21/1996 [article online].
Subjects: Businesses, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mobile, Alabama / Texas

Jo (slave)
Birth Year : 1807
Jo, a slave, had been born in Kentucky and moved to Missouri with his owner, referred to as Mr. B. Jo was considered a rare medical oddity in the early 1800s when at the age of twelve his skin and hair began to turn white, starting with a patch at the edge of his hairline. He also lost his sense of smell. It took about ten years for his body to lose all skin pigmentation. Brown spots began to appear on his face and hands when he was about 22 years old. Jo had had rubeola (measles) and pertussis (whooping cough) when he was a child and had both illnesses again after his skin began to change, along with chronic rheumatism and scarletina (scarlet fever). In spite of these illnesses, Jo was considered to be in very good health. For more about this case see Joseph C. Hutchinson, M.D. (of Marshall, Salmie County, MO), "A Remarkable Case of Change of Complexion, with Loss of the Sense of Smell," American Journal of the Medical Sciences, vol. 45 (January 1852), pp. 146-148.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri

Jockeys/Trainers in Kentucky
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1947
As fewer African American jockeys became riders in the Kentucky Derby and other horse racing competitions, there were still African American men employed as trainer jockeys. For Kentucky, some were listed in the various city directories from the 1880s up to the late 1940s. Those born in Kentucky and employed in other states, can be found in the U.S. Census data. These men and boys as young as 9 years old, earned a living training race horses. Below are some of their names.

Source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census

  • Alex Cottril (b.1865 in Alabama) - jockey - Josh Burnside Farm - Boyle County, KY
  • Bill Fisher (b.1867 in KY) - jockey - boarder - East Walnut Street, Cynthiana, KY
  • William Arthur (b.1822 in KY) - jockey - husband of Kitty Arthur - Main Street, Danville, KY
  • Austin Farris (b.1864 in KY) - jockey - son of Ann Farris - 5th Street, Lexington, KY
  • Charles Green (b.1864 in KY) - race rider - son of Amanda Green - Lincoln Avenue, Lexington, KY
  • Claiborne Howard [Jr.] (b.1864 in KY) - race rider - son of Claiborne and Mary Howard - Lexington, KY
  • Farmer Howard (b.1866 in KY) - race rider - son of Claiborne and Mary Howard - Lexington, KY
  • Benjamin Howard (b.1870 in KY) - race rider - son of Claiborne and Mary Howard - Lexington, KY
  • Thomas Smith (b.1862 in KY) - race rider - son of Martha Smith - Lee's Row, Lexington, KY
  • Scott Welson (b.1850 in KY) - race rider - husband of Harriett Welson - Todd Street, Lexington, KY
  • John Williams (b.1863 in KY) - race rider - Hill Street, Lexington, KY
  • Harrison Williams (b.1864 in KY) - race rider - son of Charles and Eliza Jackson - Georgetown St., Lexington, KY
  • Joe Caldwell (b.1864 in KY) - race rider - son of Lily Lucy - Main Street, Lexington, KY
  • Braxton Woodward (b.1861 in KY) - race rider - son of Bailer and Jane Woodward - East Third St., Lexington, KY
  • George Bush (b.1862 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • George Clay (b.1864 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • John Forest (b.1864 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • James Caluces (b.1866 in KY ) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • John Williams (b.1866 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • Carl Tankseily (b.1866 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • John Morgan (b.1866 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • Aleck Brown (b.1866 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • Arthur Cooper (b.1870 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • Benjamin Bryce (b.1868 in KY) - rider for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • Frank Shelton (b.1860 in KY) - jockey for Barak G. Thomas - Dog Fennel - Fayette County, KY
  • Isaac Murphy (b.1861 in Bourbon Co., KY) - jockey - boarder - Frankfort, KY
  • Robertson Thomas (b.1867 in KY) - jockey - boarder - Frankfort, KY
  • Walter Johnson (b.1867 in KY) - jockey - boarder - Frankfort, KY
  • Willie Payne (b.1868 in KY) - jockey - boarder - Frankfort, KY
  • Thomas Kendrick (b.1865 in KY) - jockey - boarder - Frankfort, KY
  • William Wilson (b.1867 in KY) - jockey - son of James and Susan Wilson - 2nd Street, Frankfort, KY
  • Merett Johnson (b.1867 in KY) - race rider - son of Reuben and Georgia Lewis - Georgetown, KY
  • Jack Mefford (b.1860 in KY) - race rider - son of Reuben and Georgia Lewis - Georgetown, KY
  • Thomas Spots (b.1866 in KY) - race rider - son of George and Rose Spots - Georgetown, KY
  • Thomas Stepp (b.1869 in KY) - race rider - son of Emma Stepp - Georgetown, KY
  • Rodes Stepp (b.1871 in KY) - race rider - son of Emma Stepp - Georgetown, KY
  • John Lewis (b.1868 in KY) - race rider - son of Cena Lewis - Green Street, Glasgow Junction, KY
  • Dan Doritha (b.1866 in KY) - race rider - boarder - Henderson, KY
  • John Levill (b.1864 in KY) - race rider - boarder - Henderson, KY
  • George Williams (b.1866 in KY) - race rider - boarder - Henderson, KY
  • Joseph Johnson (b.1865 in KY) - race rider - Keene, KY
  • Cleland McElroy (b.1850 in KY) - jockey - husband of Mary McElroy - Republican Street, Lebanon, KY
  • Charles Reynolds (b.1852 in KY) - jockey - boarder - Reese's Alley - Louisville, KY
  • Charles Sweeny (b.1867 in KY) - jockey - son of Malvina Pendleton - Louisville, KY
  • Sam Bowman (b.1865 in KY) - race rider - son of Lizzie Black - Louisville, KY
  • Alex Brown (b.1866 in KY) - race rider - son of C. and Celia Brown - Louisville, KY
  • John Dady (b.1861 in KY) - race rider - son of Harrison and Mira Dady - Eddie Street, Louisville, KY
  • John Lucas (b.1864 in Tennessee) - race rider - Mayfield, KY
  • Frank Thomas (b.1859 in KY) - jockey - son of Harrison and Mahala Thomas - Midway, KY
  • John Coleman (b.1866 in KY) - jockey - the brother of Enis Coleman - Midway, KY
  • Alonzo Allen (b.1864 in KY) - race rider - son of Joseph and Jane Allen - Midway, KY
  • Grant Allen (b.1870 in KY) - race rider - son of Joseph and Jane Allen - Midway, KY
  • Harry Colston (b.1845 in KY) - jockey - son of Henny Colston - Midway, KY
  • John Dupuy (b.1864 in KY) - jockey - son of Moses and Harriet Dupuy - Midway, KY
  • Winston Lewis (b.1851 in KY) - jockey - husband of Appoline Lewis - Midway, KY 
  • Tobe Davis (b.1864 in Tennessee) - jockey - son of Mary Davis - Paducah, KY
  • William Williams (b.1867 in Tennessee) - Jockey - son of Mary Williams - Paducah, KY

Source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville

  • George Banks -1880 directory
  • Thomas Guest - 1884 directory
  • Henry Gibbs - 1886 directory
  • Thomas Robinson - 1886 directory
  • Edward Rutherford - 1886 directory
  • Alexander Shields - 1886 directory
  • Charles Taylor - 1886 directory
  • Edward West - 1886 directory

Source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9

  • James Bibbs (1883-1939) - Bibbs was born in Lexington, KY, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the son of Nathan and Amanda Bibbs. James Bibbs was a teenager when he was listed as a horse jockey in the 1900 census and in the 1898-9 city directory. He roomed at 96 Constitution Street, and his family lived on S. Limestone. He would later become the husband of Mattie Bibbs. According to his death certificate, Bibbs' was a jockey his entire work life. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY.
  • Thomas M. Britton (1870-1901) - Britton had been a competing jockey. He won the Tennessee Derby in 1891 aboard Valera, and the Kentucky Oaks aboard Miss Hawkins. He won the 1892 Tennessee Derby aboard Tom Elliott [source: last paragraph of "Negro riders of renown," Daily Racing Form, 02/17/1922, p.2].
  • Robert Clark
  • James Grimes (b.1868) - Grimes was born in Kentucky and was the husband of Fannie Grimes. The couple lived on W. 4th Street. James Grimes is listed in the city directory as a jockey, and a year later he is listed in the 1900 U.S. Census as a cook.
  • Thomas Smith (b.1862) - Smith was born in Kentucky, the son of Martha Smith, and the husband of Mary Jane Smith. He and his wife lived on Race Street. Smith is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a race rider, and he is listed in the city directory as a jockey.
  • Frank Williams (b.1872) - Williams was born in Tennessee, and his parents were from Kentucky, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Annie Williams and the couple lived on Pine Street. Williams is listed in the census as a horse trainer, and as a jockey in the city directory

Source: Owensboro City Directory (Evansville, IN)

  • Julius T. Patterson (b.1872) - Patterson was born in Kentucky, he was the husband of Georgia Patterson, and the family of six lived on Jackson Street, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. Patterson is listed as a jockey in the city directory, and as a race horse trainer in the census. (1899-1900 directory)

Source: Owensboro City Directory(Cleveland, OH)

  • Ernest Smith (1901-1902 directory)

Source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census

      Walnut Hill, Fayette County, Kentucky - Thomas H. Stevens Farm

  • Sam Green (born in KY)
  • Claude Patterson (b.1883 in KY)
  • Henry Johnson (b.1875 in KY)

      Harlem Village, Cook County, Illinois

Source: "Found dead," Bourbon News, 06/16/1908, p.5

  • French Brooks (c.1856-1943, born in KY) - Noted race horse trainer at Wood Clay Farm in Bourbon County in 1908. French Brooks was born in Paris, KY, the son of Milton True and Jinnie Lacy [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death #10182]. He is buried in #2 Cemetery in Lexington, KY. He was the father of groomer Warner Brooks.

Source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census

  • Warner Brooks (1877-1952, born in KY) - groom - Lexington, KY. Warner brooks was a groom at a race track in Lexington, KY.  He was born in Bourbon County, KY, the son of French Brooks.  He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and is buried in the Camp Nelson National Cemetery [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death - Registrar's #1242].
  • John Huston (b.1900 in KY) - rider - Husband of Margaret Huston - Rear Brock, Louisville, KY

Source: Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory

  • Roscoe Huguley (b.1900) - According to his WWI registration card, Huguley was in Georgia in 1918. He was born in Kentucky and is listed in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census employed as a horse trainer and head of the household of two older sisters, who were cooks, and a younger sister. Huguley was married to Alta Huguley when he was listed as a jockey in the 1931 Lexington city directory.
  • Richard Mitchell (1931 directory)
  • Lewis White (b.1883) - White's WWI registration card, signed in 1918, gives his occupation as a horse rider for Will Perkins whose business address was on 3rd Street in Lexington. White is listed as a jockey in the 1931 Lexington city directory. [Will Perkins was a horse trainer and the brother of jockey James "Soup" Perkins and horse trainer Frank Perkins.]
  • Arthur Pinkston (1939 directory)
  • Joseph H. Parks (1947 directory)

Source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census

  • Melvin Johnson (b.1916 in KY) - jockey - husband of Louise Johnson - Crittenden Drive, Louisville, KY
  • Henry Johnson (b.1918 in KY) - jockey - husband of Helen Johnson - Floyd Street, Louisville, KY
  • Max Maupins (b.1885 in KY) - jockey valet - Lexington, KY
  • Robert Wallace (b.1908 in Missouri) - jockey - Newport, KY

See the photo image of an African American jockey riding a horse (scroll down) and images of jockeys from Kentucky, at the Discover Black Heritage website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Joe Louis Bottling Company
Start Year : 1952
End Year : 1953
Beginning in 1952, Joe Louis Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 86 proof, was a short-lived venture by then retired heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. He was owner of the Joe Louis Distilling Company in Philadelphia, PA, where the label was produced for about a year. The whiskey was bottled in Kentucky, and the last line of the bottle label read "Joe Louis Bottling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky." By January 1953, the label read, "Joe Louis Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, Kentucky." Miniature pairs of boxing gloves of various colors were used to promote the whiskey. The gloves were stamped with the Lawrenceburg bottling and distillery name. The whiskey was sold in different volumes, including fifths, pints, and half pints. Lucky Millinder [info] organized a band in 1952 to promote the whiskey. For more see "Lucky Millinder," Jet, 10/02/1952, p. 22; "Joe Louis launches new whiskey business," in Jet, June 19, 1952, p. 45; advertisement with Lawrenceburg Distilling Company name in Jet, 01/29/1953, p. 68; and advertisement in Arkansas State Press, 08/01/1952, p. 8.

See photo image of billboard ad for the whiskey at the Amistad Research Center American Missionary Association website at the Louisiana Digital Library.

Subjects: Alcohol, Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky

John Brown, Hanged With Kentucky Rope
End Year : 1859
The rope used to hang abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859) came from Kentucky. Prior to his hanging, samples of rope were submitted by South Carolina, Missouri, and Kentucky. The ropes were put on exhibit for the public to view. The ropes from South Carolina and Missouri were not used because it was thought that they were not strong enough, so the rope from Kentucky was selected. John Brown was hanged in Charlestown, WV, on December 2, 1859. In an article in the Charleston Gazette, 07/14/1929, it was stated that the rope used to hang John Brown was in the Kentucky Archives, but there is no evidence of that being true today. Two pieces of the rope are said to be on display at the Warren Rifles Confederate Museum [photo of rope]; the rope pieces were donated by the Richmond United Daughters of the Confederacy. The rope pieces are artifacts from a Virginia regiment that was present the day of the hanging. The original rope is also said to be in the State Museum Section of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History; the rope was part of the collection purchased from Boyd B. Stutler, who was a collector of John Brown items. The Massachusetts Historical Society also has a rope, with the noose, that supposedly was used to hang John Brown. The rope was given to the organization by William Roscoe Thayer, president of the American Historical Association in 1918. For more see The Public Life of Capt. John Brown, by J. Redpath; Progress of a Race, Or, the Remarkable Advancement of the American Negro, by H. F. Kletzing and W. H. Crogman [available full view via Google Book Search]; "Notes on John Brown Hanging Rope" and other items in the John Brown/Boyd B. Stutler Collection Database and other collections at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History website; "Brown rope is given Stutler on birthday," Charleston Gazette, 07/14/1929; and artifacts and library holdings relating to John Brown at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

See photo image of John Brown and additional information at the New Perspectives of the West - John Brown website at Kentucky Educational Television [KET].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Executions
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Carolina / Missouri / Charleston, West Virginia

John C. Wyatt Lexington Herald-Leader Collection
Start Year : 1939
End Year : 1990
The collection contains approximately 1.5 million photographic negatives dating from 1939-1990. The negatives were received from the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper by the University of Kentucky Libraries' Special Collections. It is the largest single collection of 20th Century visual documentation of Central Kentucky life. Included are a fairly large number of photographs that cover African American events, schools, and activities. In July 2006, a nearly 50,000-item database describing the first processed portion of the collection, 1939-1953, and approximately 500 digitized images, became accessible online via the Kentucky Digital Library. As more images are processed, they will become available online and be searchable using terms such as African American, Charles Young Community Center, Dunbar School, Lyric Theater, etc. Access to the remainder of the collection is available via the database at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Special Collections. Call (859) 257-1742 or email SCLREF@LSV.UKY.EDU for an appointment, for reproduction and copyright information, or to learn more about the photographic collection.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

John Little Mission (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1897
The John Little Mission was one of the first community centers in the United States for African Americans. It was founded in 1897 when students at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary [now Louisville Seminary] started offering services to African Americans in the Smoketown neighborhood in Louisville, KY: Sunday School, worship services, domestic arts classes for women, and trades classes for men. John Little, who was white and from Alabama, was one of the founders of the seminary. In 1904 he began supervising the mission and added another site and more services, including vocational training. For more see the history page at the Louisville Seminary website; and R. E. Luker, "Missions, institutional churches, and settlement houses: the Black experience, 1885-1910," Journal of Negro History, vol.69, issue 3/4 (Summer-Autumn, 1984), pp. 101-113. The notes at the end of the Luker article contain a list of additional sources.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Anita L.
Anita L. Johnson was the first African American elected official in Jeffersontown, KY. She was re-elected to her third term to the Jeffersontown City Council in 2006. She has served as treasurer of the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. In 1996, Johnson was proprietor of Johnson's Errands for You in Jeffersontown, she was founder and owner of the business, and in 2000 received the Emerging Business Owner Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners. Jeffersontown is located in Jefferson County, KY, and was officially established as the city of Jefferson in 1797. For more see R. Weckman, "Taking care of business," Extension Today, Spring/Summer 2000, p.1, a publication by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture & Cooperative Extension Service [.pdf available online]; and The Honorable Anita L. Johnson in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.113. For more about Jeffersontown, KY see city website.
Subjects: Businesses, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Jeffersontown, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Arthur L., Jr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2005
Arthur Lloyd Johnson, Jr. was the second African American Democrat elected to the Kentucky General Assembly, serving from 1964-1965. He was also first violinist with the Louisville Civic Orchestra and a former vice president of the Mid-Western Tennis Association. He was a high school teacher in Louisville. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], where he played basketball and football. He was born in Lawrence, KS. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; J. Packett, "Losing in tennis surely spotlights winning attitude, Johnson, nearing 80, gets respect," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 08/10/1994, Sports section, p. E7; and Arthur Lloyd Johnson, Jr. in the obituaries section of the Louisville Courier-Journal, 12/29/2005.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Football, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Tennis, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lawrence, Kansas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Hampton, Virginia

Johnson, Arthur T.
Birth Year : 1947
Johnson was born in Earlington, KY. From 1972-1983, he was a council member for the City of Earlington, and in 1984 he was elected mayor. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Johnson, Barbara
Birth Year : 1960
Barbara Johnson was born in Paris, KY. In 1997, she received a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award for adapting the Kentucky Education Reform Act's Extended School Service Program at the Paris Middle School. The program provided after-school and summer instruction and small group tutoring and support services such as transportation. For more see Barbara Johnson at the Milken Family Foundation website, and J. S. Shive, "Paris Middle Teacher Wins National Educator Award," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/22/1998, Bluegrass Communities section, p. 11.


Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Johnson, Benjamin, Jr. "Ben"
Start Year : 1950
End Year : 2003
Johnson, a journalist and talk show host, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Benjamin, Sr. and Alyce E. Johnson. He was a 1975 journalism graduate of Lincoln University in Missouri. His original plan was to attend architecture school at Howard University, where he had been accepted into the program, but instead he became a hawk in the U.S. Marines and served in Vietnam before returning to attend college. His career included being a reporter and photographer at the Louisville Defender, and reporter and city editor at the Courier-Journal in Louisville. He had also been employed at the Post Tribune, Detroit Free Press, St. Petersburg Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, and as a columnist with the Huntsville Times. He was founding president of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, and vice president of the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit. Johnson and his wife, Mary E. Bullard-Johnson, were editors of Who’s What and Where: a directory of America’s Black journalists (1st ed., 1985 & 2nd ed., 1988). Johnson had also taught journalism classes at the University of Missouri and helped found the school's Multicultural Management Program. From 1997 until the time of his death, Johnson was the talk-show host of Just Talking at WEUP-AM 1600. For more see "B. Johnson, 53, talk show host, journalist," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/28/2003, National section, p. 6B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2000.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Huntsville, Alabama

Johnson, Beverly [James Williams, Sr.]
Birth Year : 1840
In 1858, Beverly Johnson escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way north to York, MI. Johnson changed his name to James Williams, Sr. and was a cigar maker; he is listed in the 1860 census. He later established a cigar factory in Saline, MI, and became a farmer. He was the husband of Mary Williams who was born in Ohio, and her mother was from Kentucky [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple had three sons, James Jr., Henry, and Charles. James Williams, Sr. was a widower in 1900, according the census. This was about the same time that his son Charles E. Williams graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and started practicing law in Detroit with Michigan's renowned Negro lawyer, **Robert J. Willis. Under the new civil service law, Charles Williams was appointed a life tenure of office as a general clerk in the Detroit Assessor's Office. For more see "Charles E. Williams" in the Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf at the Western Michigan University website].

**The mother of Robert Jones Willis was an escape slave from Kentucky, for more see "Michigan gives lawyer a birthday" in Day by Day column by Wm. N. Jones in the Baltimore Afro-American, 05/25/1929, p.6.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / York and Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan / Detroit, Michigan

Johnson, "Big Winnie"
Birth Year : 1839
Death Year : 1888
Johnson was born in Henry County, KY, on either Boyd Club Farm or E. M. Bryant Farm. She was billed as the biggest woman in the world. Johnson was a widow and mother of ten children, she turned to show business after her husband died in 1882. At her death, Johnson weighed 849 pounds. She had been showcased from a boxcar, travelling throughout the United States. Johnson died of fatty degeneration of the heart and was buried in Laurel Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. At the time of her death, only three of her children were alive. For more see "Big Winnie Johnson," American Sideshow: an encyclopedia of history's most wondrous and curiously strange performers by M. Hartzman; and "Big Minnie's Burial, The Prize Fat Colored Woman Laid to Rest Yesterday," The Baltimore Herald, 09/14/1888.
Subjects: Circus
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Johnson, Christine Claybourne
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1999
Johnson was born and raised in Versailles, KY, the daughter of Mattie A. Williams Claybourne and Braxton D. Claybourne. She graduated from the Versailles Colored high school in 1927. She won a gold medal for her poetry. She lived in Detroit in the 1940s, where she worked with the National Youth Administration and established day care centers in churches. Johnson attended nursing school and studied music before earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola University in 1948. She earned a master's degree in education from DePaul University in 1950. Johnson was a member of the Nation of Islam and was principal and director of the University of Islam Primary School in Chicago. She traveled to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Johnson also published plays and poems; her poem, "Cadence," was published in Outlook Magazine. She was the author of Poems of Blackness and three children's textbooks: Muhammad's Children, ABC's of African History and Masks. For more see "Christine C. Johnson" in For Malcolm, by D. Randall and M. G. Burroughs; and A. Beeler, "Longtime teacher Christine Johnson," Chicago Tribune, 03/22/1999, Metro Chicago section, p. 7.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Children's Books and Music, Nurses
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois

Johnson County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Johnson County, established in 1834, is located in eastern Kentucky, and surrounded by five counties. It was created from portions of Floyd, Lawrence, and Morgan Counties, and named for Richard M. Johnson, who was born in Kentucky and served as a U.S. Representative, Senator, and Vice President under President Martin VanBuren. The county seat of Johnson County is Paintsville, established in 1834 and named for the pictures found on the trees in the area and thought to be the work of Native Americans. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 14 slave owners
  • 20 Black slaves
  • 10 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 0 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 11 slave owners
  • 13 Black slaves
  • 14 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 19 free Mulattoes [most with last names Dale or Spencer, 2 Blanton, 1 Collins]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 14 Blacks
  • 28 Mulattoes [most with last names Right and Spencer]

For more see the Johnson County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Johnson County, Kentucky by C. M. Hall; and Johnson County, Kentucky by Johnson County Historical and Genealogical Society.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Johnson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Don
Birth Year : 1927
Don Johnson was born and reared in Covington, KY. He attended William Grant High School, where he was a noted talent in basketball, baseball, and track and field. He played baseball and softball informally until he was picked up by the Chicago American Giants in 1949, later playing for the Philadelphia Stars, Baltimore Elite Giants, and the Detroit Stars, all Negro League teams. Johnson was still playing baseball in the White Oak League in 1999. He was living in Cincinnati in 2005. For more see Don Johnson at the Negro League Baseball Players Association website; J. Erardi, "Don Johnson, pulled out of the stands into a career," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 07/04/1999; and Shadows of the past, by L. Stout.

See photo image of Don Johnson and additional information at the Cincinnati.com website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Basketball, Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Johnson, Emma White Ja Ja
Emma White, the daughter of former slaves, was born in Kentucky. She was educated and was one of the hundreds of African Americans who migrated to Liberia after the American Civil War. White was not successful with her venture in the West African coastal trade, she lost all of her money, and in 1875 moved to Opobo (today southern Nigeria). Opobo had been established in 1870 by Jubo Jubogha, a former Igbo slave who rose in status and became King of Opobo. He traded in oil palm with Europe. Emma White was employed by Jubogha to write his correspondence, and she was a teacher and governess for his children. Jubogha established a school in Opobo with a Mr. Gooding as the teacher. A second school was opened in Sierra Leon. When Mr. Gooding resigned his post, Emma White became the head of the Opobo school. White was taking on more responsibilities, moving into the inner circle of the King's business affairs and accompanying him on business trips; an article in the Cleveland Gazette refers to her as the "Treasury and Grand Visier" to King Ja Ja. The King had established himself as the middleman between European traders and the interior markets under his jurisdiction. Opobo had become prosperous, it was a major trade center due to King Ja Ja's business, political, and military strategies. In 1873, Jubo Jubogha was recognized by the British government as King of the independent nation of Opobo. But British traders soon tired of having to do business through Opobo with its restrictions, and taxes and tariffs. At the same time, there was threat of a German invasion of West Africa and the established trade business. King Ja Ja agreed to place Opobo under the protection of England. Unbeknown to him, in Europe the 1885 Treaty of Berlin had resulted in the dividing-up of various portions of Africa. It was a move toward colonies and gaining resources that would be governed by Europeans, and the move away from the independence and self-governance of African nations by Africans. England claimed the Oil Rivers Protectorate, which included King Ja Ja's land and the right to direct access to inland trade markets, cutting out King Ja Ja as the middleman. The scramble for Africa included an intentional trade depression of African markets. In Opobo, Emma White had gained significant wealth by 1881, and she retired from Opobo. Two years later she was broke and returned to ask King Ja Ja for assistance. Believing that she had betrayed him, the King prohibited her from entering Opobo. After several appeals, Emma White was again employed by the King. In appreciation, she changed her name to Emma Ja Ja, and kept the name after she married an Opobo man. In the British Parliamentary Papers, Emma Ja Ja Johnson is referred to as King Ja Ja's adopted daughter. In 1887, King Ja Ja signed a treaty of agreement with England to allow free trade in his territory, but the King continued to block attempts at inland trade. He was tricked into boarding the British ship Goshawk to discuss the matter, and was deported to Accra, Gold Coast [today Ghana]. He was accompanied by his wife, Patience, Emma Ja Ja Johnson, a cook, a steward, 3 servants, and a carpenter. In Accra, King Ja Ja was tried and found guilty of actions against the interests of England. As punishment, he was banished from Opobo and further deported to St. Vincent Island in the British West Indies, and provided with between 800 and 1,000 pounds sterling annually. In 1891, King Ja Ja's health was failing and the British government finally gave permission for him to return to Opobo. He died en route. Emma Ja Ja Johnson was banished from Opobo by the British government; she was accused of being the instigator to all the troubles between England and Opobo. For more see King Jaja of the Niger Delta by S. J. S. Cookey; see "Miss Emma [Jackson]..." in the Cleveland Gazette, 04/11/1885, p.2; A History of the Igbo People by E. A. Isichei; British Parliamentary Papers, Africa. No.2 (1888). Command Papers: Accounts and Papers, [c.5365], v.74.149, 19th Century House of Commons Sessional Papers; "The Cannibals of the Opobo," Courier and Middlesex Counties Courier Gazette, 05/11/1889, p.2; and British Parliamentary Papers, Africa No.7 (1888), Reports of the Slave Trade on the East Coast of Africa, 1887-88, Command Papers: Accounts and Papers, [c.5578], v.74.1,. 19th Century House of Commons Sessional Papers.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Liberia and Opobo, Africa

Johnson, George A.
Birth Year : 1890
Born in Shelby County, KY, George A. Johnson was principal of schools in Indiana and Arkansas before becoming principal of Howard High School in Stanton, Delaware. He was president of the Wilmington Principals Association, 1946-1948, and vice president of the Wilmington Suburban Principals Association. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Stanton & Wilmington, Delaware

Johnson, George "GG"
Birth Year : 1939
George Johnson was born in Columbus, Georgia. He is the first and only African American head golf professional in Kentucky. In 2004, he was one of nine golf professionals named to manage Louisville Metro Park clubhouse operations for the next five years. Johnson is the Head Pro at Bobby Nichols Golf Course in Waverly Park, Louisville, KY, where he has been since 1997. George Johnson became a professional golfer in 1964, qualifying for the U.S. Open in 1965. In 1971 he won the Azalea Open and became the fourth African American to win a PGA tournament. Johnson is a lifetime member of the PGA Tour. In 2008, George Johnson was inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame. For more see the annual George "GG" Johnson Golf Scramble fliers. For more about George Johnson's career, see D. Poore, "Golf league seeks minorities," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 05/02/2007, Neighborhoods section, p. 19.

See photo image and additional information about George "GG" Johnson at the bottom of the Urban Youth Golf Program website.
Subjects: Golf and Golfers, Migration North, Parks
Geographic Region: Columbus, Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Gregory A.
Birth Year : 1966
In 1985, Greg Johnson became the first African American valedictorian graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, located in Paducah, KY. Johnson had maintained a perfect 4.0 during his entire four years of high school. He and 140 other Presidential Scholars, including Lafayette High School graduate Jill Conway, were recognized by President Reagan during a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden. The scholars spent a week in Washington, D.C. and also received $1,000 from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Greg Johnson was accepted at Brown University and graduated in 1989 with an AB in history and in 1993 with an MD. He earned an MPH in 1998 from Boston University. Johnson has been a medical doctor at Boston University and at Harvard University. Born in Paducah, KY, Greg is the son of Rochelle Johnson. For more see "Reagan recognizes two Kentucky scholars," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/22/1985, City/State section, p. B2; "Gregory A. Johnson" at the Presidential Scholars Foundation website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Johnson, Harlan C.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1992
Harlan C. Johnson was born in Eminence, KY, to Elizabeth H. Cowherd Johnson and Joseph S. Johnson. He had an outstanding career in the military: two bronze metals from the Asian Pacific theater; a bronze star from the Philippines Liberation; a Good Conduct Medal; and a World War II Victory Medal. After his career in the service, Johnson was a business teacher at New York University and Southern University at Baton Rouge. He taught in the New York City school system, served on the Board of Education, and was a drug counselor with the Community Services Committee. He received the Humanitarian Service Plaque for his work with the pre-release program of rehabilitation at Green Haven Prison. Harlan C. Johnson graduated from New York University in 1950 with a B.A. and in 1952 with an M.A. He died March 5, 1992 in Bronx, New York [source: Social Security Death Index]. For more see Harlan C. Johnson in Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Johnson, James Bartlett
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1900
James Bartlett Johnson was born in Taylor County, KY. He was enslaved, but his wife, Mary A. Buchanan, had been free since she was three years old. The family was separated in 1856 when Johnson was sold to a Louisiana plantation. While there, Johnson began preaching and organized a church where he preached to the slaves. Johnson escaped and joined the Union Army in 1861, serving for three years. When he was discharged, he made his way to Kentucky, where he found his wife and child after having been separated from them for nine years. The family moved to Louisville, KY, where Johnson was ordained a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church and became a member of the Kentucky Conference. He was called into service in Springfield, KY, and in Lebanon, KY. While Johnson was in Lebanon, the church was burned to the ground, and the members left due to the split between the AMEZ and Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The Springfield and Lebanon churches and congregations were later restored under one circuit. Bishop Johnson served in several other churches and was a respected leader of the AMEZ Church. James Bartlett Johnson died in Louisville on September 9, 1900 [source: Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953]. For more see image and additional information about James Bartlett Johnson in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by J. W. Hood, p.332-335 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].


Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

Johnson, Jessica Grimm "Judy"
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2003
Johnson was born in Lexington, KY. When she was a child, her family moved to Clifton, OH, and she later moved to Buffalo, NY, with her husband, Ralph Johnson. Jessica Johnson is remembered as a trailblazer for African American woman in Buffalo and New York politics. She was secretary to the first woman elected to the Common Council, the first woman to become Director of the License Bureau in 1965, and a confidential aide to the Mayor, the first woman and African American to serve in the Mayor's inner cabinet. In 1968, she was elected Chair of the 13th Ward, Masten District Democratic Committee; and she was elected Assistant Treasurer of the New York Democratic Committee in 1973 and elected Treasurer in 1975. Johnson was the first African American woman to be appointed City Treasurer in 1976, the same year she became the first woman and African American to be elected Senior Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Party. For more see "Jessica Johnson, pioneer in city and state politics, dies at 94," Buffalo News, 09/26/2003, Local section, p. C4.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Johnson, John J.
Birth Year : 1945
From Franklin, KY, John J. Johnson became the youngest NAACP chapter president in Kentucky at the age of 17. During his tenure, the Franklin Chapter of the NAACP prevented the town of Franklin from employing the former chief of police from Philadelphia, Mississippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered. Johnson was state president of the NAACP for 14 years, leaving Kentucky to join the national NAACP office. John Johnson Street in Franklin, KY, is named in his honor. Johnson was born in Louisville, KY, grew up in Franklin, and lived in Baltimore, MD. In 2007, Johnson became the executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. For more information, see Hall of Fame 2005 on the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website; the John J. Johnson Biography at the HistoryMakers website; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #312: John J. Johnson.

  See John J. Johnson at the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame website

 

Access InterviewRead more about the John J. Johnson recordings available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.      
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Johnson, Larry
Birth Year : 1954
Born in Morganfield, KY, Larry Johnson was a 6'3" guard who played high school basketball in Union County, KY; he was the first of three African Americans from Union County recruited by the University of Kentucky (UK). (The other two players were Dwane Casey and Fred Cowan.) Johnson played at UK from 1973-1977, scoring a total of 850 points in 112 games, and was a member of the 1976 NIT Championship team. Johnson was chosen by the Buffalo Braves [now the Los Angeles Clippers] in the second round of the 1977 NBA draft and played for one year. For more see Larry Johnson at databaseBasketball.com; Larry Johnson at the Big Blue History website; and C. Hallstaff, "UK Basketball 100 Years: top 100 players of all time," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 11/24/2002.

See photo image of Larry Johnson at the Big Blue History website.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Johnson, Laura "Dolly"
Birth Year : 1852
Dolly Johnson, an African American from Kentucky, was the cook for President Benjamin Harrison. Johnson had cooked for the Harrison family in Indiana, sometime prior to their move to the White House. She was summoned to the White House by President Harrison around 1889 to replace Madame Petronard, a French chef. According to an article in the Woodland Daily Democrat, 01/09/1890, p.3, Laura [Dolly] Johnson was from Lexington, KY. She was about 37 years old and described as a mulatto, educated, and had secured a bit of wealth as a cook for Colonel John Mason Brown, according to an article in the Plaindealer. For more see S. E. Wilkins, “The president’s kitchen – African American cooks in the White House; includes recipes; Special Issue: the Untold Story of Blacks in the White House,” American Visions (February - March 1995); “Dolly the Kentucky negro cook,” Davenport Tribune, 03/07/1893; "Will cook for the President," Plaindealer, 12/20/1889, p.1; and "Mrs. Harrison's Lexington cook," The Kentucky Leader, 12/03/1889, p.2.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indiana / Washington D. C.

Johnson, Lawrence E.
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 1978
Johnson was the first African American member and deputy fire chief of LaGrange Fire and Rescue Squad, from 1970-1978. Information submitted by Ruby Booker of LaGrange, KY.
Subjects: Firefighters
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky

Johnson, Lillian E. Russell Bakeman
Birth Year : 1872
Lillian E. Russell was born in Kentucky and moved to Detroit, Michigan. She was the daughter of Wilbur L. Gordon Russell (mother) and William Russell [source: Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925]. After attending high school and business college in Detroit, she became a bookkeeper and stenographer. She was married to George C. Bakeman around 1895, and they were divorced by 1910, and Lillian and her daughter were living with her mother, Wilbur L. Russell, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Her name was Lillian E. Johnson by 1920 and she was once again living with her mother; Lillian had remarried and was a widow, and was employed as a stenographer at a law office. She was considered a member of the middle class within the African American community in Detroit, and was selected as a board member of the Detroit Urban League; at the time she was employed as a bookkeeper for a physician. She was one of the early African American members of the Detroit Urban League's integrated board at a time when the organization worked hand-in-hand with its financier, the Employer's Association, to supply Detroit industries with African American laborers from the South. The Detroit Urban League was established in 1910. Lillian E. Johnson was living with her brother in 1940, his name was Samuel H. Johnson, and the family of four lived on Alger Street in Detroit [U.S. Federal Census]. Johnson was employed as a bookkeeper with a newspaper. Bakeman's brief biography is included in the Michigan Manual of Freemen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online in .pdf format on the Western Michigan University website]. For more about the Detroit Urban League Board when Bakeman was a member, see Internal Combustion: the races in Detroit, 1915-1926, by D. A. Levine.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Employment Services, Migration North, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Johnson, Lyman T. [Johnson v. Board of Trustees]
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1997
A teacher and assistant principal at Louisville schools, Lyman T. Johnson was a civil rights activist who fought for equal pay for African American teachers. He was head of the Louisville NAACP. His lawsuit desegregated the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1949. To commemorate the occasion, a historical marker was placed in front of Frazee Hall near the Student Center on the UK campus. Brother-in-law to Thomas F. Blue, Johnson was born in Columbia, TN, moving to Louisville in 1930 at the request of his sister, Cornelia Johnson Blue. He was a graduate of Knoxville Academy, Virginia Union College [now Virginia Union University], and the University of Michigan. The personal papers of Lyman T. Johnson are available at the University of Louisville Library. For more see The Rest of the Dream, by W. Hall; and S. Stevens, Historical Marker to be dedicated for African American Commemoration at the UK Public Relations' website.

See photo image of Lyman T. Johnson at KET Living the Story website.

Access Interview Read about the Lyman T. Johnson oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Columbia, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Johnson, Mildred Bell
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1972
Mildred Bell Johnson, an educator and civil rights activist, was the first African American to be elected assistant moderator of the United Church of Christ, in 1963. She pushed for the church to participate in the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson was born in Middlesboro, KY, the daughter of Rev. George W. and Elgatha Bell. She was the wife of Robert C. Johnson and was living in Birmingham, AL, when she was named to the two-year term of assistant moderator. Johnson was a 1926 education graduate from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and after graduating, she moved to Birmingham for a teaching job. She married her husband in 1936. Mildred Johnson served as a representative in the National Council of Churches, 1954-56. She founded the first girl scout troop for African American girls in Alabama and was a girl scout district adviser in Birmingham. The Mildred Bell Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award, of the Cahaba Girl Scout Council is named in her honor. She was the mother of Alma Johnson Powell, the wife of Colin Powell. For more see "Slave's daughter elected U.C. Assistant Moderator," The Calgary Herald, 07/06/1963, p. 30; "Mrs. Robert C. Johnson...," The Christian, v. 101, issue 52, p. 958; "Mildred Bell Johnson: Deep are the Roots," in Rhetoric, Religion, and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965, by D. W. Houck and D. E. Dixon; E. Hooper, "Foundation in scouting; a reporter's lyrical bent," St. Petersburg Times, 03/12/2003, p. 3B; and the "Mildred Bell Johnson" entry in They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999, by R. Bailey.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama

Johnson, Perry
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1928
In 2009, Rev. Charles H. Johnson was searching for information about his great-grandfather in Mt. Sterling, KY and Spencerville, OH, when he was hired as minister of the church his great-grandfather helped build in 1904. His great-grandfather's name was Perry Johnson, he was a fugitive slave from Montgomery County, KY. The name of the church he helped build is Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker). Perry Johnson came to Spencerville by way of Cincinnati, OH. He had been the slave of Thomas Johnson, a Kentucky Legislator from Mt. Sterling, KY, who served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Johnson Avenue, in Mt. Sterling, KY, is named in his honor. It was just prior to the start of the Civil War when Perry Johnson left Montgomery County and headed north with a group of fugitives in the Underground Railroad. Perry's first stop was in Cincinnati, OH, where he stayed until about 1870, according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson. When he was about the age of 15, Perry Johnson left Cincinnati and went to Marion, OH, where he was taken in by Thomas and Nancy Beckerdite. He remained with the Beckerdite family for 19 years and learned to read and write. The Beckerdite couple came from North Carolina. According to Rev. Charles H. Johnson, the Beckerdites were white, German, and Quakers. In the U.S. Census, Thomas Beckerdite is listed as Black in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. His wife Nancy is listed as white in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. Their eight year old daughter Florence is listed as Mulatto in 1880. Florence would become the wife of Perry Johnson in 1888; Perry was 33 years old and Florence was 15. In 1900, Perry, Florence, and their five children lived in Spencerville, OH, and Perry worked as a rig builder in the oil field [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family was Quaker and participated in the services that were held in members' homes. In 1904, the Spencerville Holiness Mission Church was constructed and Perry Johnson was one of the builders. Between 1906 and 1909, the church was renamed the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker), according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson who referenced the history of Spencerville Friends Church from a loose-leaf book that was compiled by Wanda Lies in 1997. The book has about 70 pages, and Perry and Florence Johnson are listed as charter members of the church. At some point after the Civil War, Perry Johnson was able to reunite with his siblings who would also move to Ohio: William Pepsico, Carol Stewart, Wally Stewart, and Herald Stewart. Perry and Florence would remain in Spencerville, OH, for the remainder of their lives. When Florence's father died, her mother lived with Florence, Perry, and their seven children [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Perry had an eggs and poultry business. Perry Johnson died in 1928 and Florence Johnson died in 1959. This entry was submitted by Miles Hoskins of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Rev. Charles H. Johnson, minister of the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker).

See the stone that marks the grave of Perry Johnson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Spencerville, Ohio

Johnson, Robert: Family and Relatives
Robert Johnson, one of the first Kentucky senators, was a white settler from Virginia. He came to Kentucky in 1783 and built Big Crossings Station, a fort near North Elkhorn Creek in Scott County. Johnson, one of the largest land owners in the state, owned slaves, some of whom were also his relatives. Today there are Johnson family members who are African American and those who are white. A biennial family reunion was held in Georgetown, KY, in July 2005. One of Robert Johnson's sons (by his wife Jemima) was Richard M. Johnson, a U. S. Representative and Senator and the ninth Vice President of the United States. Richard Johnson developed a relationship with Julia Chinn, described as a mulatto, whom he acquired from his father's estate. Julia and Richard had two daughters, Imogene and Adaline. Richard publicly acknowledged his relationship and his children and tried to introduce his daughters into white society, all of which cost him his Senate seat in 1836. For more see S. Lannen, "Unearthing their roots-sharing uncommon ancestors a diverse Kentucky family reunites," Lexington Herald-Leader, July 23, 2005; and Life and Times of Colonel Richard M. Johnson of Kentucky, by L. W. Meyer.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Fathers, Mothers, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Johnson, Samuel Harrison
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1999
Samuel H. Johnson was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Henry and Minerva Johnson. The family lived on Brown Street, before moving to Indianapolis when Samuel was a child. He later earned several degrees at Indiana University of Bloomington. For more than 20 years Johnson was director of the Southeast Regional Office of the National Scholarship Service and Funds for Negro Students (NSSFNS). Beginning in 1946, NSSFNS has sought to interest promising students in higher education and provide financial assistance toward their attendance and graduation. Johnson was also the founder of the Samuel H. Johnson SSSP Foundation, Inc., located in Decatur, GA. The organization's mission is to provide enhanced educational opportunities to students "of any race, color, national and ethnic origin." The Samuel H. Johnson Papers are at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, GA. The library also has the collection that Johnson established for the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. For more information see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2002; and the Samuel H. Johnson SSSP Foundation website.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Atlanta and Decatur, Georgia

Johnson, "Sweet" Lou
Birth Year : 1934
Lou Johnson was born in Lexington, KY. The 5'11", 175-pound Johnson was the first African American from Lexington to play major league baseball. The street Lou Johnson Way and Lou Johnson Park, both in the Pralltown neighborhood of Lexington, are named in his honor. He attended old Dunbar High School and later played semi-pro ball with the Lexington Colts. He went on to play in the Negro League on the Indianapolis Clowns team. In 1950 he joined the Chicago Cubs and went on to play for six different teams before ending his baseball career in 1969. Johnson hit two home runs during the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1965 World Series victory. For more see Kaleem, J., "Sweet Gets His Street," Lexington Herald-Leader (08/12/04), p. 1; and Lou Johnson at the Baseball Almanac website.

See photo image of Lou Johnson at Negro Leagues Baseball eMuseum website.
Subjects: Baseball, Parks
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette Count;y, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Los Angeles, California

Johnson, Thelma Banks
Birth Year : 1909
The first African American elected official in Henderson County was Thelma Johnson, she was elected to the Henderson County Board of Education in 1978 and served until 1986. She also served as chair of the Henderson Human Rights Commission. Johnson was born in Georgia, the daughter of Mary and Harry Banks, and she came to Henderson, KY, in 1946.

Access Interview Read the transcript to the Thelma Johnson oral history interview in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Georgia / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Wendell L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Born in Lexington, KY, the son of Katie Nelson Johnson and Churchill Johnson. The family lived with Katie's mother, Amanda Nelson, on East Main Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Wendell would become a social worker with the Shawnee County Welfare Center in Topeka, Kansas, beginning in 1934. He was director of youth work with the National Baptists and became the first president of both the Kansas State Layman Movement and the Kaw Valley District Baptist Layman Movement in 1950. He was also vice president of the Topeka Council of Churches, beginning in 1949. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Johnson, William D.
Birth Year : 1860
Born in England to an English father and a mother from Bengal, India, W. D. Johnson considered himself a Negro. He was the first African American to earn a diploma from the Phonographic Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio. Johnson was editor of The Lexington Standard, an African American newspaper in Lexington, KY. His bold editorials advocated civil rights for African Americans. W. D. Johnson left Kentucky when he was granted a job with the General Land Office in Washington, D.C. The job was a token of appreciation for Johnson's loyalty to the Republican Party during William H. Taft's 1908 campaign for President of the United States. In 1910, W. D. Johnson and his wife, Martha P. Johnson, a Kentucky native, lived at the home of Henry P. Slaughter [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Slaughter was a former editor of The Lexington Standard newspaper. W. D. Johnson is listed in the census as a black male in 1900 and as a white male in 1910. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: England, Europe / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Johnson, William H.
Birth Year : 1895
William H. Johnson was an African American Baptist preacher and miner who lived in Middlesboro, KY. In 1946, he began mailing letters to persons of German descent in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, claiming that he was Hitler, had escaped from the Russian army and was now living in Kentucky. The impostor said that he needed money. Johnson was arrested in 1956 by postal inspector W. W. Lewis. Johnson had received between $10,000 and $15,000 over the 10-year period. Johnson was sentenced to three years in prison. For more see More Offbeat Kentuckians, by K. McQueen; "Negro admits swindling Adolf Hitler followers," Florence Morning News, 08/15/1956, p.1; "Hitler trial continued; 15 from area given terms," Middlesboro Daily News, 11/15/1956, p.1; and "Hitler poser to face prison term," Atchison Daily Globe, 04/12/1957, p.2.
Subjects: Hoaxes, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Virginia / Tennessee

Joice, James and Jemima
In 1863, James Joice (1807-1872), an escaped slave from Kentucky, was a cook and valet for Lt. Addison B. Partridge of the Union Army. When Partridge left the army, Joice followed him to Freemont Township in Illinois. Two years later, James returned to Kentucky and brought his wife, Jemima (1824-1920), and their children, Asa (d. 1924) and Sarah (d. 1941), up North. They were the first African American settlers in Ivanhoe, IL. Asa would become the first African American elected to public office in Lake County. The family remained in the community and are all buried in the Ivanhoe Church Cemetery. For more see Daily Herald articles, "First Black settlers found home in Fremont Township," 02/08/1997, Neighbor section, p. 1; and "Joices play important role in history," 02/21/1999, Neighbor section, p. 1. See also "A touch of the past," Chicago Tribune, Magazine section, p. 7.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / [Freemont Township] Ivanhoe, Lake County, Illinois

"Joining the Ranks: African Americans in the Military"
This exhibit featured the African American experience in the military from the Civil War to Desert Storm. The text and images cover a broad perspective from the local to the regional to the national. The display was presented by the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, KY, September 13, 2003 - February 27, 2004 [Michael R. Jones, Curator].
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Jones, Abel Bedford and Albert Thomas
Birth Year : 1810
The following information on the Jones brothers comes from Dr. Michael F. Murphy, Historian of Education at the University of Western Ontario; Dr. Murphy is working on a book about the schooling of colored and mulatto children in London, Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1865. The Jones brothers played a major role in the schooling of these children. The brothers had been slaves in Madison County, KY. Abel was a field-hand and Albert worked for a millwright who owned a large merchant mill. Albert earned enough money to buy his freedom in 1833; he was 23 years old. He also purchased the freedom of Abel and a younger brother. The brothers immigrated to London, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Albert became a barber and merchant, and Abel was a barber and an herbal dentist. The brothers did quite well with their businesses. Abel may have been involved with the African American resettlement program. The brothers were interviewed by Samuel Ringgold Ward, S.G. Howe, and Benjamin Drew when these commentators reported on the condition of fugitive slaves in Canada. Abel's whereabouts are unknown after the mid 1850s. In 1866, Albert, often referred to as Dr. Jones, and his large family left London. Perhaps they returned to Kentucky. The Jones children were Betsy, Paul, Elizabeth, George B., A.O., Frances A., Victoria S?, Torreza O?, Albion, and Princess A. If you have more information or would like more information about Abel and Albert Jones, please contact Dr. Michael F. Murphy at murfy@sympatico.ca.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / London, (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada

Jones, Alberta O.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1965
Alberta Odell Jones was born in Louisville, KY, the third child of Sarah (Sadie) Frances Crawford Jones and Odell Jones. She was also a first cousin of Raymond Ponder. During her brief life, Alberta Jones was at the forefront of change in Kentucky and Louisville. She was one of the first African American women to pass the Kentucky Bar (1959) and the first woman prosecutor in Kentucky (1964). [Sally J. Seals White was the first African American woman admitted to the Kentucky Bar.] Jones was prosecutor in the Louisville Domestic Relations Court; her law office was located at 2018 W. Broadway. [James A. Crumlin, Sr. was the assistant prosecutor.] Jones was Cassius Clay's [Muhammad Ali's] first attorney, taking him to California to be trained under Archie Moore. Jones was also a civil rights activist: in addition to participating in the March on Washington and the marches in Louisville, she rented voting machines and held classes to teach African Americans how to vote for the candidate of their choice. She established the Independent Voters Association and was an active member of the Louisville Urban League and the NAACP. Jones also established the James "Bulky" Welch Fund and held a fund-raiser, raffling off a car to pay Welch's medical bills and purchase the prosthetic arms to replace the ones young Welch had lost trying to retrieve his dog from under a train. Alberta Jones was a graduate of Louisville Central High School and attended the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. When the college was merged with the University of Louisville (U of L) during desegregation, Jones continued her education at U of L and graduated third in her class. She was accepted into the University of Louisville Law School but transferred after the first year to Howard University School of Law, where she graduated fourth in her class. A picture of Alberta O. Jones hangs in the U of L Law School. She was a member of the American Bar Association, the Fall City Bar Association, and the Louisville Bar Association, serving as secretary of the latter. She was also a member of the Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta and the Sigma Chapter of Iota Phi Lambda. Alberta O. Jones was murdered in August 1965 -- the case has not been solved. This information was submitted by Alberta Jones's niece, Ms. Nicole M. Martin, and Jones's sister, Ms. Flora Lutisha Shanklin. For more see "Alberta Jones' funeral rites held; unsolved murders alarm West Enders," The Louisville Defender, 08/12/1965, front page and p. 6; and Legacy of Leadership: African American Pioneers in Kentucky Law (video-recording), by the University of Louisville School of Law.
See photo image of Alberta O. Jones and Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] in Jet, 08/26/1965, p.5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Voting Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1939
Benjamin F. Jones, Sr., a physician, was a former slave born in Sussex County, Virginia. He was a graduate of Normal and Agriculture Institute [now Hampton University] and completed his M.D. in 1890 at Howard University Medical College. Jones moved to Kentucky where he practiced medicine in Paris and Danville. He was named the physician for the Colored children at the Danville Deaf and Dumb Institute in 1898. Benjamin Jones was the husband of Matilda W. Jones (b. 1864 in Virginia), with whom he had five children, all born in Kentucky. The family lived on East Walnut Street in Danville, according to the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Benjamin Franklin Jones entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by Howard University Medical Department [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration East, Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Geographic Region: Sussex County, Virginia / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Jones, Bobby "Toothpick"
Birth Year : 1938
Jones, from Maysville, KY, was the first African American high school basketball player to receive All-state honors in Kentucky. Jones got his nickname because he always had a toothpick in his mouth. In 1957, standing at 6' 3" and weighing 215 pounds, Jones was the second African American basketball player at the University of Dayton [the first was Charles "Ben" Jones from Danville, KY]. Bobby Jones averaged 10 points per game during his sophomore year but was kicked off the team because he had broken several team rules: he got married, rode a scooter that he crashed (he was hospitalized for his injuries), and fought with his teammates. Jones then transferred to Marshall University but left because he did not want to sit-out for a year before becoming eligible to play on the basketball team. He next played in the AAU League and also toured with the Harlem Stars and the Harlem Satellites basketball teams. After his basketball career ended, Jones got a job and also drove a cab on weekends before eventually returning to college: in 1972 he graduated from Ohio State University and a few years later earned his master's degree at Xavier University. In 1991, Jones was living in Cincinnati, OH, and taught at Holmes High School in Covington, KY. For more information see "Toothpick forgotten in UD hoop lore," Dayton Daily News, 02/16/1991, Sports section, p. 1B.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Dayton Ohio

Jones, Carridder "Rita"
Carridder Jones was born in South Carolina and lived in Indiana before moving to Kentucky. A playwright and historian, Jones's research has included African American communities in Kentucky, especially the black hamlets in Lexington and Louisville. Her play, "Black Hamlets in the Kentucky Bluegrass," was a finalist in the New York Drama League's New Works Project in 2002. Another of her plays, "The Mark of Cain," was chosen by the University of Louisville's African-American theater program for the Second Annual Juneteenth Festival of New Works. She has presented her research at conferences, programs, workshops, and as productions. She is the co-founder and Director of Women Who Write. In 2006, Jones received the Sallie Bingham Award. She is author of the 2009 book A Backward Glance. For more see "Free Black Hamlets," Courier Journal (Louisville) News, 04/19/04; and "Filmmakers hope to save Bluegrass freetowns," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/10/03.

See photo image and additional information about Carridder Jones at the Oldham County History Center website, 2009.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Historians, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Charles B., Sr. "Ben"
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2001
Charles B. Jones, Sr. was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He was the first African American basketball player at the University of Dayton where he graduated in 1949. Among his occupations, Jones was employed as business manager for African American boxer, Ezzard Mack Charles, a heavyweight champion, alias "The Cincinnati Cobra." Jones is most remembered for launching and directing the Dayton Youth Golf Academy in 1989 for inner city children. He also served as a volunteer golf instructor with the organization. Jones was inducted into the Dayton Golf Hall of Fame in 1993. Charles B. Jones, Sr. was the son of Charles and Emma Jones, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, and the family of six, all born in Kentucky, lived on Clinton Street in Cincinnati. For more see B. Albers, "Madden Memorial to honor local golf teacher," Dayton Daily News, 05/19/2002, Sports section, p.7D.
Subjects: Basketball, Golf and Golfers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio

Jones, Charles Edward
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Charles E. Jones was the owner of Jones Funeral Home in Covington, KY, where he was born. He was the son of E. I. and Amanda Jones. He assisted in the push to get Lincoln-Grant High School built; the school auditorium was named in his honor. Jones was also an active church member, a former president of the Covington NAACP Branch. He was a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming. Jones was a 32nd Degree Mason, and served as Deputy Grand Commander of the State of Kentucky Masons, and was the Past Royal Grand Patron of Eastern Star of Kentucky. He was an Oddfellow, belonged to the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, Mosaics and True Reformer, and the United Brothers of Friendship. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Many tried, few defeated William Grant in '50s, '60s, The Cincinnati Post, 02/23/1998; J. Reis, "Jones led church, social causes," The Kentucky Post, 02/02/2004; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Jones, Charles W.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1957
Born in Barbourville, KY, Charles Wesley Jones was a lawyer who moved to Detroit, Michigan. He ran for the Michigan State Senate in 1932 and was defeated. In 1952 he was a U.S. Representative candidate but was defeated in the primary. Jones was the first African American judge in Michigan appointed to Recorder's Court. For more see The Political Graveyard, Black Politicians in Kentucky; and the date July 29, 1950 on the Detroit African American History Project website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Jones, Cornell
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1998
In 1973 Jones became the first African American elected to the Mayfield, KY, City Council and the first African American councilman in Graves County. He was re-elected to a third term in 1977. Jones is also a former president of the Mayfield NAACP Branch. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 2; and Papers of the NAACP, Selected Branch Files, 1956-1965: Series A: The South, Jones, Cornell 7:0035.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky

Jones, Daisy
Daisy Jones was the first African American nurse in Colorado. She and her family had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made their way to Canada, where Jones received her nurse training. She moved to Denver, CO, in 1904. Jones was also one of the organizers of the NAACP in Colorado. Her forceps and medicine bag are on display at the Black American West Museum in Denver. For more see "Black Women in Colorado: two early portraits," Frontiers: a Journal of Women Studies," vol. 7, issue 3 -- Women on the Western Frontier (1984), p. 21; and photo image of Daisy Jones on p.18 in African Americans of Denver by R. J. Stephens, L. M. Larson, and The Black American West Museum.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

Jones, Della M. Lewis
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 2009
Della M. Lewis Jones was the oldest African American librarian in Kentucky, she was also the oldest alumna of Kentucky State University and the oldest resident in Grant Count, KY. Jones was a 1957 graduate of Kentucky State University and she received a doctor of humane honorary letters degree from the school in May of 2009. She had earlier attended Lincoln Institute and her first teaching position was in Wayne County, KY. The following year she took a teaching job in Boone County. Jones later taught at a segregated school in New Liberty and other schools in Kentucky. After the schools of Kentucky were integrated, Jones became librarian of the Owen County High School. In recognition of her longevity and educational contributions, May 14 was proclaimed Della Jones Day in Williamstown, KY. She was the last surviving member of the Ogg's Chapel C. M. E. Church in Williamstown, KY. Della Jones was the daughter of Richard and Sarah E. Jackson Lewis. She was the wife of the late Bradley Jones (1902-1969) who was a barber in the 1930s when the couple lived on the Northside of Cynthiana Street in Williamstown, according to the U.S. Federal Census. They had lived in the home since 1921. Della Jones was the great aunt of Kentucky House Member Reginald Meeks. For more see J. Baker-Nantz, "Call her Dr. Jones," Grant County News, 05/21/09, p.21; Della Jones obituary at stanleyfuneralhome.com; and S. Hopkins, "Kentucky State's oldest grad dies at 106," Lexington Herald Leader, 07/17/2009, p.B5.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Kentucky African American Churches, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Grant County, Kentucky

Jones, Edward "Ned"
Death Year : 1865
Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones is considered the first African American Methodist preacher in Kentucky. He began preaching around 1830 in the white Methodist Church at the corner of Clay and Nashville Streets in Hopkinsville, KY. Ned was the slave of William Fee Jones, a Presbyterian minister. The Methodist Church purchased Ned's freedom so that he could preach to the slaves. When he attempted to form an African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1856, he was accused of trying to incite an insurrection among the slaves, and was jailed for three months. When released, Ned moved to Bowling Green, KY. The Hopkinsville Colored AME Church was established by the Southern Methodist soon after the Civil War ended. Ned would return to Hopkinsville, where he preached to both whites and Africa Americans, and he would become known as the most prominent preacher at Freeman's Chapel. Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones was the husband of Anna B. Jones, and the grandfather of Kentucky native Bishop E. W. Lampton (1857-1910) of the AME Church of Greenville, MS. For more see p.240 in Counties of Christian and Trigg, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin [title available online at Kentucky Digital Library-Printed Books]; and H. D. Slatter, "Bishop Lampton's grandmother dead," Baltimore Afro-American, 02/20/1909, p.1.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Jones, Eugene K.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1954
Contrary to popular belief, Eugene Kinckle Jones was not from Kentucky; he was born in Richmond, VA, the son of Joseph and Rosa Jones. Both parents taught at Virginia Union College [now Virginia Union University]. Eugene Jones came to Louisville, KY, to teach (1906-1909). He then left Kentucky for New York, where he became the first Chief Executive of the National Urban League and founded the organization's magazine, Opportunity. Jones also organized the first three Alpha Phi Alpha chapters and was appointed the adviser on Negro Affairs for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in 1933. Eugene Jones was a graduate of Virginia Union College (B.A.) and Cornell University (M.A.). For more see The Talented Tenth: the founders and presidents of Alpha, by H. Mason; Eugene Kinckle Jones and the Rise of Professional Black Social Workers, 1910-1940, by F. Armfield (thesis); and the Eugene Kinckle Jones entry in African-American Social Leaders and Activists, by J. Rummel.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Richmond, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York, New York

Jones, Frederick M.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1961
Frederick M. Jones was born in Cincinnati and was later moved to Covington, KY. Some sources state that he was actually born in Covington, KY, in 1893. He was the son of John Jones, who was white, and an African American mother. Frederick Jones was raised by his father until age seven, when he was placed with the local Catholic Church; his mother had left the family when Jones was a baby. At the age of 11, Jones ran away from his caretakers at the Catholic church and found a job in a garage in Cincinnati, OH. He became a full time employee at age 14. Jones was attracted to mechanics and is credited with building the first practical truck refrigeration system in 1949. He also built cars from spare parts and raced them. He was a soldier in World War I; while in the service he studied electricity. In 1939 he patented a ticket dispensing machine for movie houses, his first patent (#2,163,754). Frederick M. Jones was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush; Jones was the 1st African Ameican to receive the award. For more see Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century by J. H. Kessler; and "Frederick McKinley Jones" in Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 20, 2nd. ed., 2004.

See photo image and additional information about Frederick M. Jones at The Faces of Science website.
Subjects: Inventors, Military & Veterans, Automobile Races, Race-car Drivers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Jones, Gayl A.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Lexington, KY, Gayl A. Jones is a noted author. In the 1970s when she published Corregidora, Eva's Man, and White Rat. She is also a poet, short story writer, and novelist. She was a faculty member at the University of Michigan. Jones left the school in 1984 and lived for a while in Europe. She published The Healing in 1998, the year of her husband's suicide, after their return to the U.S.; they had settled in Lexington. Gayl Jones is the daughter of Franklin and Lucille Watson Jones. She is a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Connecticut College (B.A.), and Brown University (M.A. & Ph.D.). For more see "The Saddest Story," Time Canada, vol. 151, issue 9, p. 42; The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature, edited by C. Buck; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and World Authors 1990-1995, by C. Thompson.

See photo image of Gayl A. Jones at the University of Michigan website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Poets, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Suicide
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Flint, Michigan / Europe

Jones, Henry Wise, Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1954
Rev. Henry Wise Jones, born in Knoxville, TN, was co-founder of Simmons Bible College in Louisville . He also served as pastor of the Green Street Baptist Church in Louisville and the Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Lexington. Rev. Jones was an advocate for African Americans' voting and education rights. He was a marble polisher who became an ordained minister on September 4,1892. Rev. Jones had attended Knoxville College and State University [Simmons College] in Louisville. He was the father of Rev. William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandfather of Rev. William A. Jones, Jr. and Louis Clayton Jones. In 2007, Rev. Henry Wise Jones was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. For more see Rev. Henry Wise Jones in the 2007 Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' website; and "Rev. Henry Wise Jones" on pp.238-239 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Fathers, Voting Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Knoxville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Ida "Black Ida"
Birth Year : 1871
Ida Jones was said to be "the most dangerous and vicious woman in Denver" [source: Wild Women of the Old West by G. Riley, p.82]. It was also said that she was from Kentucky, according to author Anne M. Butler. The story of Ida Jones' has been hailed and retold in texts as that of a tough, trouble-making, black woman in the West. She had a long record of violence and arrests. Her nickname was "Black Ida," and she was also referred to as "Ida May" [source: "Is Stratton here?," The Denver Evening Post, 10/12/1899, p.2]. She was described as illiterate, tall, coarse, mean, and prone to have a bad temper with violent outbursts. With all that has been written about Ida Jones, nothing is known for sure about her past, where exactly she came from, her day to day life, her mental state, what happened to her or her child after she was release from prison in Canon City, or if Ida Jones was her real name. In 1889, Ida Jones lived in a rental house with several apartments, the building was located at 2043 Holladay Street in the red light district of Denver [source: Ballenger & Richard's Annual Denver City Directory, p.530]. She is not listed in the 1888 or earlier editions of Corbett & Ballenger's Denver City Directory. Ida Jones would have been in her late teens or early twenties in 1889. According to the city directory, she lived alone. As the reputation of Holladay Street became more identified as part of the vice community, the street was renamed Market Street [additional information]. According to author A. M. Butler, in her book Gendered Justice in the American West, pp.81-111, Ida Jones was a prostitute who had had countless run-ins with neighbors on Market and Blake Streets. There is no mention of her having parents, siblings, relatives, or close friends. In March of 1889, Ida Jones went to jail for making a violent scene in a dress shop; the dress she had made did not fit properly [source: O'Hare and Dick, p.18]. In the fall of 1889 she was arrested for running a house of prostitution, and when she was released, Ida Jones went on a rampage and wrecked the home of the woman who had turned her in to the authorities. Two weeks after her release from jail, she was arrested again for running a house of prostitution. There were many more arrests with different charges, all leading up to August 1, 1890, when Ida Jones stabbed Stephen Zimmer in the left thigh with a dirk that left a six inch cut from which Zimmer bled to death. Ida Jones claimed self defense, saying that Zimmer had thrown a brick at her and tried to cut her with his knife. Neighbors from the Market Street area testified against her. Ida Jones was sentenced to 15 years in prison for murder in the second degree [source: Freeman, 11/22/1890, p.7]. Subsequent pictures of Ida Jones show her with short cropped hair, there are several pictures on p.18 in the book Wicked Denver by S. O'Hare and A. Dick. There is little that is known about her time in prison. According to author A. M. Butler, Ida Jones did nine years of a 15 year sentence in the Colorado State Penitentiary and was released in August of 1899. The same release date is given by authors O'Hare and Dick, who noted that Ida Jones applied for a pardon in 1895. However, her name appears as early as 1896 in the city directory, she [or another Ida Jones or someone using her name] was living at 2034 Downing Avenue [source: Ballenger & Richard's Annual Denver City Directory, p.586]. Her name is listed in the annual directory up to the year 1900, when she was again living on Market Street. Not long after her return to the community, Ida Jones was arrested for fighting with a woman whom she struck with a baseball bat [O'Hare and Dick, p.20]. In 1901, she was arrested for stealing $200 from Charles Peterson, who was said to be one of her customers. Ida Jones was convicted in March of 1902 and was listed as a fugitive in August of 1902, according to author A. M. Butler, p.84. According to O'Hare and Dick, p.20, Ida Jones was pregnant and about 35 years old when she was convicted in March of 1902, then sentenced to 5-10 years in prison, and she served a portion of that time before being released July 9, 1908. Her release date is given as 1905 by author L. Wommack in Our Ladies of the Tenderloin, p.105, "Ida Mae Jones was the first female inmate at Canon City to be pregnant. Prison records report the birth of her child, but nothing further."

Subjects: Migration West, Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver and Canon City, Colorado

Jones, James Henry "Jim"
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1944
Jim Jones, from Bullitt County, KY, was the son of Nelson and Sallie Jones. He moved to Louisville, KY, in the 1890s and was a servant for the family of Judge F. Fox, father of famous cartoonist and illustrator Fontaine Fox. Jim Jones was later employed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company as chef on the business car, which served as the private car for the Old Reliable presidents [L & N was nicknamed Old Reliable]. Jones was chef for almost 50 years, serving four company presidents: Milton H. Smith, Wible L. Mapother, Whitefoord R. Cole, and James B. Hill; Jim Jones had what was considered for the time period a very good job for an African American man. He also served as the presidents' office messenger. Jones had been sick for several months prior to his death on November 27, 1944. His funeral services were held at the 5th Street Baptist Church, where Jones had been an active member. He was buried in the Louisville Cemetery. He was the husband of Annie E. Jones, and the couple lived at 530 S. 16th Street, according to Jim Jones' death certificate. For more see "Wideley known chef dies," The Louisville and Nashville Employe[e]s' Magazine, vols. 20-21, 1944, p. 17.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Bullitt County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Kittie Phelps
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1910
In 1888, Kittie P. Jones became the first African American notary public and pension agent in Lexington, KY. She continued at the post for 22 years, assisting African American widows and soldiers. In 1910, Jones suffered a stroke and died at her home at 322 Corrall Street. Her funeral services were held at Congregational Church, and she was buried in African Cemetery No. 2 on 7th Street in Lexington. Jones was born in Baltimore, Maryland, according to her death certificate and census records. She had come to Kentucky around 1885. Her exact age was not known, although her birth year was given as 1859 in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Kittie Jones was a widow when she died; she had been the wife of George Jones (b. 1824), whom she married in 1887. They shared their home with Alice Brown, a boarder who was divorced, and her young daughter, Imogene. For more see "Kitty Jones," Lexington Leader, 03/01/1910, p. 2.
Subjects: Migration South, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jones, Louis
Birth Year : 1852
Louis Jones was born on the Cassiday Plantation near Bowling Green, KY. About a year before his father died, Jones and his mother were sold to an owner in Okolona, MS. His father, John T. Jones, was married to Nancy J. Cassiday. While in Mississippi, Jones was freed. As an adult, he had a series of jobs, including, in 1881, working as a janitor in the Office of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission in Springfield, IL. Jones was a member of the African American community that had migrated to Springfield. He belonged to the Masons Blue Lodge No. 3, and his wife, Ada Chavons Jones, was a member of Shiloh Court No. 1 and Eastern Star Chapter No. 2. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago); and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Okolona, Mississippi / Springfield, Illinois

Jones, Louis Clayton
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2006
Jones, an equal rights advocate and international lawyer, was born in Lexington, KY. He was a graduate of old Dunbar High School, Howard University, and Yale Law School, and was admitted to the bar in Kentucky and New York. He founded the National Conference of Black Lawyers. He was assistant director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights in 1961. In 1981, he was the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, returning to the U.S. in 1982. The following year, Jones became counsel to the family of Michael Stewart, a 25-year old New Yorker who was arrested for writing graffiti in the subway and later died from injuries he received while in police custody. In 1985, Jones became the Director of Legal and Financial Affairs in Paris, France, for the Saudi Arabian company First Investment Capital Corporation. Louis Clayton Jones was the son of the late Mary Elizabeth Jones and Rev. William A. Jones, Sr.,; one of his six siblings was Rev. William A. Jones, Jr. For more see J. Ogawa, "Lexington native worked behind scenes for equal rights," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/13/2006, City&Region section, p. D3; and "RIP: Louis Clayton Jones," Black Star News, 01/12/2006.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York / Liberia, Africa

Jones, Lydia
Jones was one of the original members of The First Baptist Church of Columbus (OH) in 1824. It was the first Baptist church formed in the city of Columbus. The church started with 11 members, three of whom were African American: Jones from Kentucky and Patty Booker and George Butcher, both from Virginia. Lydia Jones was probably not a slave. The First Baptist Church of Columbus Papers are in the Ohio Historical Society Library/Archives. For more see chapter 43, "Baptist," by O. C. Hooper, in History of the City of Columbus, Capital of Ohio, vol. 2, by A. E. Lee [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Jones, Margaret Ellen Barnes
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2000
A major in the U.S. Army, Margaret E. B. Jones was with the only African American military women's unit (the 6888th Postal Unit) to go overseas during World War II. Her first post as an officer was in Kentucky, where she was over a unit of African American women assigned to clean floors and latrines in the Camp Breckinridge hospital. After that, she began lobbying for better work assignments for the women she commanded. She and Myrtle Anderson were the first African American women Army officers stationed in Kentucky. Jones' maternal grandparents had been slaves in Kentucky, and her mother, a well known community leader, was born in Monticello, KY; her name was Margaret E. Sallee Barnes. Margaret E. B. Jones, born in Oberlin, OH, was a graduate of Howard University. Her brother-in-law, Sam Jones, was athletic director at the school; he was also one of the first African American officers commissioned in the Navy. For more see C. Levy, "Maj. Margaret E. B. Jones Dies," Washington Post, 04/25/2000, Metro section, p. B7; The New York Times, 04/27/2000, late ed. Final, p. B13; To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race, by B. L. Moore; and "6 WACs Resign: WAC Clerks Decline to Scrub Floors," Philadelphia Afro-American, July 10, 1943, p. 1. For more about Camp Breckinridge, see the Camp Breckinridge entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia [available on UK Campus and off campus via the proxy server], and History of Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, by P. Heady. See also the entry about the WACs Protest at Camp Breckinridge, KY.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs), Grandparents
Geographic Region: Oberlin, Ohio / Fort Breckinridge [or Camp Breckinridge], Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists)

Jones, Margaret Grady
Birth Year : 1885
Margaret "Maggie" Jones was the first African American woman to serve on the Republican Precinct Committee in South Bend, IN. She was a Kentucky native, born in Haydensville. She was married to George Lee Jones, Sr., born in 1887 in Kentucky. All of the couples' children were also born in Kentucky. The family moved to South Bend in 1919, and according to the 1930 U. S. Federal Census, they lived on West Jefferson Street. George Jones, Sr. was a presser at a tailor's shop. Maggie was an active member of several organizations, including the Indiana State Republican Women, the Northern Star, and Daughter Elks. For more see the Margaret Jones entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and the Margaret Jones Collection at Northern Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Haydensville, Todd County, Kentucky / South Bend, Indiana

Jones, Robert E. "Jonah"
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 2000
Robert Elliot Jones was born in Louisville, KY, and raised in an orphanage. A jazz trumpeter, he played with the Cab Calloway Orchestra for 11 years, then went on to appear on television, make several albums, and win a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Jazz Performance by a group. He was one of the all-time best trumpeters. Jones is also remembered for the spit ball incident that got Dizzy Gillespie fired. One day during practice, Jones threw a spit ball. Cab Calloway accused Dizzy Gillespie of the deed and slapped Gillespie. A scuffle ensued. When the two were pried apart, Calloway's pants were cut up and he had razor cuts on his hip and thigh. Gillespie was fired. Jonah Jones and the other orchestra members kept quiet. For more on Jonah Jones see Who's Who of Jazz, by J. Chilton; and Talking Jazz, by M. Jones. For more on the spit ball incident see Dizzy Gillespie, by T. Gentry, pp. 69-71. View image and listen to Jonah Jones Quartet: Night Train on YouTube.

Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Television, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Ruth Hill
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2013
Ruth Hill Jones was the daughter of Rev. John Hill, a prominent minster in Louisville, KY. She was a librarian in the Louisville School System for many years, then retired, and became the librarian at Simmons Bible College. As of July 31, 2009, her 100th birthday, she became one of the centenarian librarians in Kentucky. Jones is a 1931 English graduate of Wilberforce University, a 1954 MSLS graduate of the University of Chicago, and earned a second masters degree in liberal arts from  Indiana University in 1957. She was a major contributor to the education literature published in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal. This information comes from U. S. Army Chaplin (Maj) Susan R. Addams.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Samuel
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 2013
Samuel Jones is recognized as the first African American television newsman in Lexington, KY. He joined WLEX (Channel 18) in 1970 as a part-time newscaster and as a producer-moderator of the community problem show, Focus on Minorities. Jones also handled special assignments and weekend news. [The minority public affairs show was the second of its kind; an earlier show had aired on WTVQ (then Channel 62).] Jones also covered the burial of Whitney Young, Jr. on national hookup. He worked in radio from 1956 to 1958 and had a position with WLAP-FM in 1964. Jones is a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, where he attended the University of Kentucky, majoring in radio and television arts. It was due to the efforts of CORE and the Urban League that minorities were hired in Lexington television. Initial information for this entry was submitted by B. Jones, with additional information gathered from Sam Jones and WLEX and forwarded by Ken Kurtz of WKYT (Channel 27). For more, see the Lexington Herald-Leader, January 15, 2013, p. A8.
Subjects: Radio, Television, Urban Leagues, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jones, Silas
Birth Year : 1940
Silas Jones was born in Paris, KY. He is the founder and director of WordPlay and author of books of fiction, short stories and plays, including Waiting For Mongo, Children Of All, and God in Little Pieces. Jones has also written for film, television, and radio. He earned his B.A. in English from Washington State University. Many of Jones' plays have not been published nor made available to the general public. For more see R. Forte, "Back stage with successful playwright Silas Jones," Call & Post [Cleveland, OH], 06/16/1994; National Playwrights Directory, 2nd ed., edited by P. J. Kaye; and Silas Jones at doollee.com, The Playwrights Database. Silas Jones is included in the picture of the children in "Brentsville One-Room School Students" on page 87 of Paris and Bourbon County, by B. Scott and J. Scott.


Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Television
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Jones, Susie W.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1984
Born in Danville, KY, Susie Williams Jones served as the first president and vice-president of the United Council of Church Women in North Carolina between 1944 and 1946. She was chair of the Intercultural and Interracial Relations Committee, Women's Division of Christian Service in the Methodist Church in 1944. Susie Jones' parents met when they were students at Berea College. Her husband, David Dallas Jones, was president of Bennett College for Women. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and chapter 21, E. H. Wilson & S. Mullalley, "Esse quam videri: Susie Williams Jones," in Worlds of Difference: inequality in the aging experience, by E. P. Stoller & R. C. Gibson.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Greensboro, North Carolina

Jones v Van Zandt (1847)
Start Year : 1842
End Year : 1847
The case was the second of four major slave cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1842, a civil suit was brought by Wharton Jones for $500, the value of an escaped slave who had left Kentucky with eight other slaves and traveled into Ohio. The slaves had been aided by abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor, John Van Zandt, who had been born in Fleming County, KY. Van Zandt later moved near Glendale, Ohio, where Van Zandt was caught transporting the nine escaped slaves from Boone County, KY. One of the slaves, Andrew, thought to be worth $500-$600, escaped, and the others were placed in jail. Van Zandt and the eight remaining slaves were extradited to Kentucky, where Van Zandt was charged with harboring and concealing the escaped slaves. His attorneys, Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward, unsuccessfully argued that in Ohio all people were presumed free, and Van Zandt could not have known that he was transporting runaway slaves. The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case in 1847 and upheld the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. The slaves remained in bondage, and Van Zandt was ordered to pay the fee. For more see Paul Finkelman "Slavery," The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 2005; Oxford Reference Online; Jones v Van Zandt, 46 U.S. 215 (1847); and the Jones v Van Zandt case, full text at Justia.com.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Boone County, Kentucky / Glendale, Ohio

Jones, Virginia L.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1984
Virginia Lacy Jones came to Kentucky in 1933 to become the assistant librarian at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes; it was her first library job. She worked with Eliza Gleason in offering library classes to African American students. Jones became head librarian at the Municipal College in 1936, leaving the school in 1938 for a position at the Atlanta University Library [now Clark Atlanta University]. Rufus Clement had encouraged her to come to Atlanta. In 1945 Jones became the second dean of the school's library program and remained so for 36 years. More African American librarians graduated from that program than from any other library program in the United States. Virginia Lacey Jones was born in Cincinnati, OH, and raised in West Virginia. She was a graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] (B.A.), and the University of Chicago (M.A. & Ph.D.). For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; The Ebony Success Library, vol. I: 1,000 Successful Blacks, by the editors of Ebony; and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1975-76 & 1976.

  See photo image and additional information about Dr. Virginia L. Jones in Jet, 11/01/1985, p.19.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Jones, William (Bill) A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2006
Born in Louisville, KY, Jones was ordained a minister in Kentucky and served as pastor of Bethany Baptist Church for 43 years. The church, located in Brooklyn, New York, has about 5,000 members. Jones' message was also delivered on the Bethany Hour, which was broadcast on television and radio to 400 cities. He also led the campaign to integrate New York trade unions and organized a boycott of grocery stores, such as A & P, because they did not hire African Americans. He helped to establish and lead the National Black Pastors Conference in 1979. He was the first chairman of the New York chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He had preached in Toronto and Scotland and completed special studies in Nigeria and Ghana. Jones grew up in Lexington and was a graduate of the (Old) Dunbar High School and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a degree in sociology. He was also a graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate from a school that is now part of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He was the son of William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandson of Henry Wise Jones, Sr. who co-founded Simmons Bible College in Louisville, KY. William A. Jones, Jr.'s memorial service was held at the Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. For more see D. Martin, "Rev. William A. Jones, Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 71," The New York Times, 02/08/2006, Sec. C, p.16; and J. Hewlett, "Renowned preacher, civil-rights leader," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/07/2006, City&Region section, p. B1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Brooklyn, New York

Jones, William Lawless
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2000
Jones was born on the Kentucky State University campus in Frankfort, KY, the son of Paul W. L. Jones [a dean at the school] and Ada Anderson Jones. William L. Jones was a graduate of Fisk University, the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati. Jones was one of the nine African American soldiers to be sent to Fort Knox Armor Officer Candidate School [officers training] in 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant; the military had been segregated when Jones enlisted in 1941. He fought in World War II and was a captain during the Korean War. He received the Bronze Star and was the only African American intelligence officer in the 45th Division. Jones received the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring from the Army in 1966. As a civilian, he was a teacher for the New Jersey Job Corps, taught sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and was a columnist for the Cincinnati Herald newspaper. Jones was also well known for his knowledge of jazz; his column "Diggin' that joyous jazz" was published in NIP Magazine. Jones donated his jazz record collection to the National Afro-American History Museum and Culture Center in Wilberforce, OH. Named in Jones' honor, the William Lawless Jones Award is presented each year by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. For more see R. Billman, "William Lawless Jones," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 07/15/2000, Obituaries, MET section, p. 10 B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Jones, William A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1968
Jones was a minister who helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY, via the Lexington Chapter of Congress of Racial Equity (CORE), which was developed in Jones' Pleasant Green Baptist Church - the oldest African American church west of the Allegheny Mountains. Jones' strategy - voting en bloc - helped to confirm the victory of Harry N. Sykes as Lexington's first African American City Councilman in 1963 and Mayor pro tem in 1967. Jones was thought to be  the first African American to be buried in the Lexington Cemetery [the first was actually Charles Skillman]. For more see 2001 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame - Inductees from Lexington; andThe one hundred seventy-fifth anniversary celebration of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky, Sunday, October 24 thru Sunday, November 28, 1965 ... William Augustus Jones, Sr., pastor.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jonesville (Bowling Green, KY)
End Year : 1964
The following information comes from K. S. Parsley, "Jonesville: Reclaiming a History," a former Western Kentucky University website. Jonesville was an African American community that adjoined the former Western Kentucky State College campus. It was then a middle class neighborhood that stretched from Dogwood Drive to the railroad tracks; today's Big Red Way was the southern boundary. The community was well-established with grocery stores, beauty shops, and other service businesses. Approximately 70 families were in the community in 1950. The community was also home to many of the first African American students attending Western Kentucky University; African American students were not allowed to live on campus. As the university grew, Jonesville stood in the way of the need to expand the campus. In 1964 the Urban Renewal Commission condemned the Jonesville properties, then took over the properties and sold the land to Western Kentucky University at a cheaper price than would have been paid to the property owners. Most of the former Jonesville residents remained in Bowling Green, and the story of Jonesville continues to be told. A Kentucky Historical Marker # 2052 was paid for by Western Kentucky University and placed at the corner of Big Red Way and University Boulevard to commemorate the history and mark the former location of Jonesville. For more information listen to the oral history interview about Jonesville by Nancy Richey and Sue Lynn McDaniel with Angela Townsend, available at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives; and watch the documentary film about Jonesville, produced by Aimee Briley, at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.  

See the 2008 video titled "Jonesville: An Neighborhood in Bowling Green, Kentucky" directed by Aimee Briley, featuring Lavinia Gatewood, Maxine Ray, and Sandy Staebell, video posted to Vimeo by Gordon Van Ness.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Joplin, Florence G.
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1881
Florence Givens Joplin was born free in Kentucky around 1841; her family moved to Texas when she was a child or teen. It is believed that she was the daughter of Milton and Susie Givens (or Givins). Florence was the wife of Giles (or Jiles) Joplin, and the mother of composer Scott Joplin, the second of her six children. Florence Joplin was a banjo player and singer. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Joplin, Giles
Birth Year : 1842
Giles (or Jiles) Joplin was a slave who may have passed through Kentucky on the way to Texas with his master. They had come from North Carolina, where it is speculated that Giles was born around 1842. Giles Joplin, a fiddler, was the father of composer Scott Joplin. Giles left his wife, Florence, and their six children, in 1880 for another woman. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Jordan, Artishia Garcia Wilkerson
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1974
Artishia G. W. Jordon was a teacher, civic leader, a leader in the AME Church, and supported civil rights. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of attorney Bernard O. and Dr. Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson. She was a graduate of Central High School, attended Howard University, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1923, and earned her master's degree in mathematics at the University of California in 1924. She was the wife of Frederick D. Jordan who was a bishop in the AME Church. Artishia Jordan served as president of the Southern California Conference Branch, and was vice-president of the Chicago Conference Branch and the Southwest Missouri Conference Branch. She organized the AME Minister's Wives Alliance of the Los Angeles vicinity. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Order of Eastern Star, and was elected to the executive council of Southern California Council of Church Women. She also served as president of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Council of Negro Women, and was a member of the Committee of Management of the Woodlawn YWCA. She was affiliated with the Sojourner Truth Home and the NAACP. Jordan was the first African American director of the Los Angeles Chapter of American Mission to Lepers. She was a contributing editor of the Afro-American Woman's Journal and was editor of the Women's Missionary Recorder from 1940 to 1944. She taught math at Central High School in Louisville and also taught at Western University. Artishia Jordan and her husband, Bishop F. D. Jordan, made several trips during the 1950s visiting AME Churches in South Africa. Artishia Jordan was author of The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa. Jordan Hall at Morris Brown College was named for Rev. and Mrs. Jordan. In 1976, the AME Church founded the Artishia Jordan Scholarship Fund, and after Bishop Jordan's death in 1976, the name of the fund was changed to the Artishia and Frederick Jordan Scholarship Fund. More than 1,000 students have benefited from the fund. For more see Mrs. Artishia Wilkerson Jordan in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; J. Jordan, "Thirtieth Anniversary of the Artishia and Frederick Jordan Fund," in the Christian Recorder Online (English Edition), 11/09/2006; and see Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson Jordan in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition, by H. M. J. Williams.

See photo image of Artishia and Frederick Jordan at the Jordan Scholarship Fund webpage, a Howard University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Migration West, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Jordan, Eddie J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Fort Campbell, KY, Jordan, the son of Eddie, Sr. and Gladys McDaniel Jordan, grew up in New Orleans, LA. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Rutgers Law School. Jordan was a law professor at Southern University School of Law and has served as the Assistant U. S. Attorney in New Orleans. In 1994, President Clinton named Jordan the U. S. Attorney in New Orleans; he was the first African American to hold the post in the state of Louisiana. In 2002, Jordan was elected District Attorney of New Orleans; after three decades, he was the first new DA for the city and the first African American elected as a DA. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2006; "Taking the oath," Times Picayune, 12/12/1994, Metro section, p. B4; and New Orleans District Attorney Eddie J. Jordan, in "Why justice matters in the rebuilding of community," Symposium on Law, Politics, Civil Rights, and Justice, 03/29/2007, held at the Southern University Law Center.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana

Jordan, Eleanor
Birth Year : 1953
In 2001 Governor Patton appointed Eleanor Jordan Executive Director of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Cabinet for Families and Children. Prior to that, she had served three terms as a Kentucky Representative (Louisville). In 2000 she unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky's Third Congressional District. She was the first African American candidate for national office from Kentucky. In 2007, Jordan was appointed Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women by newly elected Governor Steve Beshear. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. Potter; Y. Scruggs-Leftwich, "Significance of Black Women's Vote Ignored," in Women's ENews; D. M. Clayton, "African American women and their quest for Congress," Journal of Black Studies, Jan 2003, vol. 33, issue 3, pp. 354-388; and Kentucky Governor Press Release, 01/02/2008, "Governor Beshear Appoints Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women.


Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Jordan, George
Birth Year : 1847
Death Year : 1904
Born in Williamson, KY, George Jordan's thirty years of military service began in 1866 when he joined the 9th Cavalry in Nashville and ended at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, in 1897. He participated in conflicts with Native Americans, Mexicans, and U. S. outlaws: he helped open the West, winning a Congressional Medal of Honor for his efforts. Jordan retired to Crawford, Nebraska, in a small African American community. He later became ill but could not gain entrance into the Fort Robinson hospital and died a few days later. He is buried at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.

  See photo image of George Jordan at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Williamson, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Fort Robinson and Crawford, Nebraska

Jordan, Larry
Birth Year : 1946
Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Larry Jordan, a graduate of West Point, became the first African American general post commander at Fort Knox in 1993. At the time, Jordan was a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He is a 1979 graduate of Indiana University. For more see "West Point grad becomes first black general post commander at Fort Knox," Jet, 11/22/1993, vol. 85, issue 4, p. 36.


Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kansas City, Kansas / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

Juneteenth Legacy Theatre
Birth Year : 1999
Death Year : 2010
Beginning in 199, the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre Company performed in Louisville, KY, and New York City. One of the company's major events was the Juneteenth Jamboree, an annual festival that ran for three weeks during the summer (hosted by Actors Theatre in Louisville). The company was "Kentucky's Only Professional African American Theatre Company!" The production history is available on the "About JLT" web page along with the troupe's "Mission: To entertain, to educate, to enrich and to empower communities through the telling of stories about the African-American experience in historical and contemporary contexts." It was announced in 2010 that the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre in Louisville would be ending. For more information contact the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre; K. Neuhauser, "Juneteenth Legacy is closing its curtains," Courier-Journal, 05/31/2010, p. D1.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Kentucky
Juneteenth (June 19) is the celebration of the freedom of African American slaves. In Kentucky, Representative Reginald Meeks (D-Louisville) led the push to make Juneteenth a holiday in Kentucky. And though Juneteenth is declared a holiday in Kentucky, it is not yet celebrated statewide. For more see the Juneteeth video [#217] at "Connections with Renee Shaw," 07/07/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television); and HB42.
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Kentucky

 

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