Complete A-Z list

Complete list of sources

Recent Additions / Updates

About NKAA

NKAA Brochure

African American Library Directors in the USA

Links of Interest




staff only

University of Kentucky Libraries

Notable Kentucky African Americans Database

< Entries Beginning With R >

View Entries That Start With
Numbers | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1938
In December of 1938, the R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 was organized for Colored veterans of foreign wars. Officers were to be elected the following January. The post was under the Hugh McKee Post No.677. The McKee post was believed to be the oldest in Kentucky. The initial members of Hathway Post No. 3593 were a rather elite group of African American men.

  • Rev. John N. Christopher, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, husband of Mary E. Christopher, lived at 274 E. 5th Street.
  • Rev. Clarence Galloway, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, husband of Mary B. Galloway, lived at 233 Roosevelt Blvd.
  • Rev. John C. Newman, served in the Philippines in 1899, husband of Ella B. Newman, lived at 301 E. 6th Street.
  • Rev. John A. Jackson, who was blind, lived at 623 N. Upper Street.
  • Rev. James W. Wood, husband of Estella Wood, managing editor of Inter-State County News, notary public, lived at 519 E. 3rd Street.
  • Dr. Charles C. Buford Sr., husband of Roberta Buford, office at 269 E. Second Street, lived at 423 N. Upper Street.
  • Dr. Bush A. Hunter, office at 439 N. Upper Street, lived at 437 N. Upper Street.
  • John W. Rowe, the only Colored lawyer in Lexington in 1938, husband of Hattie H. Rowe (director of Douglas Park in 1939), office at 180 Deweese, lived at 860 Georgetown Street.
For more see the printed announcement on the letterhead "Hugh McKee Post No. 677, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Lexington, Kentucky," dated December 29, 1938, found in the 'Negroes' file of the Milward Collection (vertical file), Box - Moss Family-Newspapers, University of Kentucky Special Collections; for home addresses and other information see Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory 1937-1939.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Rabb, Maurice F., Jr.
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 2005
Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. was born in Shelby County, KY, the son of Jewel Miller Rabb and Maurice Rabb, Sr. An ophthalmologist, Rabb Jr. is internationally known for his work with cornea and retinal vascular diseases. He was one of the first African American students to enroll at the University of Louisville, graduating in 1958. His residency work was completed at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, where he was the first African American chief resident; he later opened a practice in Chicago. Each year the Rabb-Venable Ophthalmology Award for Outstanding Research is awarded to an outstanding Ophthalmology student. For more see Dr. Maurice Rabb Biography in The HistoryMakers.

See photo image of Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. and additional information also at The HistoryMakers.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Rabb, Maurice F., Sr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1982
Maurice F. Rabb, Sr. was born in Columbus, Mississippi. A graduate of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College, he practiced medicine in Louisville, KY, where he was also a civil rights activist. He was one of the first African American doctors to be admitted to the Jefferson County Medical Society. He was the father of Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. The Maurice F. and Jewell Rabb Collection, 1954-1983, is available at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. See also the online article "Maurice F. Rabb, M.D." in The Crisis, May 1980, vol.87, no.5, p.190.


Access Interview The Maurice Rabb oral history interview and transcript are available online in the University of Louisville Libraries' Digital Collections.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Columbus, Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Race Riot of 1917 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1917
On September 1, 1917, a race riot broke out in Lexington, KY. It was one of the many riots that took place across the United States between 1917 and 1921. The country was at war abroad, while at home tensions had been created due to the demands for civil rights, and the Great Migration North had created employment and housing competition between the races. The day of the Lexington riot, there was an extremely large number of African Americans in the city; they had arrived for the week of activities at the Colored A. & M. Fair that was held on Georgetown Pike. The colored fair in Lexington was one of the largest in the South. During the same period, National Guard troops were camped on the edge of the city. On the day of the riot, three National Guard troops were passing in front of an African American restaurant, shoving aside those who were on the sidewalk. A fight broke out and reinforcements arrived for both sides, leading to a riot. The Kentucky National Guard was summoned, and once calm was restored, armed soldiers on foot and on mount patrolled the streets, along with the police. All other National Guard troops were restricted from the city streets for the duration of the fair. The story of the riot was carried in newspapers across the United States. For more see "Race rioting in Lexington," The Ogden Standard, 09/01/1917, p. 13; and "Race riot in Lexington," Raleigh Herald, 09/07/1917, p. 6.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Military & Veterans, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Race Riot (Paducah, KY)
Start Year : 1892
In July 1892, Tom Burgess was arrested for the rape of a white woman in Paducah, KY. Fearing that Burgess would be taken from the jail and lynched, a group of armed African American men surrounded the jail. When the lynch party arrived at the jail, a gun battle erupted in which one of the men with the lynch party was killed. When the sheriff and other law enforcement officers could not convince the African American men to disperse, whites in the Paducah area were called to arms by community members, and the city braced for an all-out race riot. Soldiers and citizens in the Paducah area attempted to overtake the reinforced African American defense. Several of the African American men were shot, and one of the soldiers, Pvt. Elmer D. Edwards, was wounded and later died. The defense around the jail held. The citizens and the soldiers were headquartered in the courthouse, and the African American men were headquartered in the Odd Fellows Hall. An appeal was made to the Kentucky governor to send troops to Paducah. For more see "Race Riot in Kentucky," The Emporia Daily Gazette, 07/12/1892, Col. E; and Rioting in America, by P. A. Gilje.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Race War in Mayfield, KY
Start Year : 1896
A couple of days before Christmas 1896, white citizens of Mayfield, KY, were preparing for an attack in response to a report that up to 250 armed African Americans were seeking revenge for the lynching of Jim Stone and the "whitecapping" of African American families. The reports had come from Water Valley and Wingo, KY, and other nearby towns. White women and children in Mayfield were ordered off the street by 6:00 p.m. Homes were barricaded. A dispatch was sent to Fulton, KY, asking for a reinforcement of white men, and guards were posted at the railroad station. When a report arrived stating that African Americans were also arming themselves in Paducah, KY, the fire bell was rung in Mayfield and a defense was positioned in the public square to await the attack. The reinforcements from Fulton arrived by train a little after midnight. Will Suett, an 18-year-old African American, was also at the train station and was gunned down. Shots were fired at three other African Americans. Hundreds of shots were fired into buildings and into the trees. Four homes were burnt down. By Christmas Eve, the threat was over. The reinforcements were sent home. A mass meeting was called, and a petition signed by more than 100 African Americans asked for peace between the races. Three people had been killed, one being Will Suett, who had arrived by train from St. Louis; he was returning home to spend Christmas with his family in Mayfield. For more see "All Mayfield under arms: excitement over the Kentucky race war," New York Times, 12/24/1896, p. 1; and "Peace reigns at Mayfield: Colored people petition for harmony and the race war is over," New York Times, 12/25/1896, p. 5.
Subjects: Lynchings, Migration West, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Water Valley, and Wingo, Graves County, Kentucky / Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Racial Conflict (Berea, KY)
Start Year : 1968
A shootout occurred September 1, 1968 in Berea, KY, following the end of a National States' Rights Party meeting. It was not determined who fired the first shot, but the disagreement over segregation took place on the street between the white party members leaving the meeting and a carload of African Americans. Two men were killed: Elza Rucker, a white man who lived in Lexington but was a Berea native, and African American Lenoa John Boggs from Berea. One man was injured when he was struck by a state police car rushing to the scene, and a number of others were injured from shotgun blasts. The Berea Police Department was assisted by state troopers in bringing the situation under control. Fourteen men who were involved in the shootings were arrested for murder. For more see "Headline: Racial Violence / Reaction / Kentucky," CBS Evening News (archives), 09/04/1968, record #199944; "2 Die in Kentucky in Racial battle," New York Times, 01/02/1968, p. 13; S. Connelly, "Racial Shooting in Berea on 1 Sep 1968," 05/25/05, Berea Encyclopedia [blog]; and articles in the Berea Citizen newspaper beginning 09/1968.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Radio Broadcasts Negro High School Sports, Lexington, KY
Start Year : 1954
In 1954, Theodore "Cal" Wallace was the first person to broadcast Negro high school sports on the radio in Lexington, KY. At the time, Wallace was employed at WLEX-AM, and while the station manager was out of town, Wallace sold ads for the broadcasts to companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and Weber Sausage. The assistant manager did not want to accept the ads; he was unsure how Lexington would react to the broadcasts of Dunbar and Douglass High School basketball games. Cal Wallace ignored the assistant manager and broadcast the games. When the station manager returned, Cal Wallace was accused of running roughshod over the assistant station manager. But, since Wallace had done so well selling ads, and because the listening audience liked the broadcasts, Cal Wallace was allowed to continue broadcasting the games.

 

Access InterviewFor more information listen to the Cal Wallace interview at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Subjects: Radio
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Raglin Brothers
Six of the Raglin Brothers were ministers, each with his own church. They come from a long line of ministers that included their father and their grandfather and great-grandfather on their mother's side of the family. In addition to their calling to the ministry, when they were younger the brothers were also a highly sought after gospel singing group known as the Raglin Brothers. Between 1955 and the late 1970s, their singing itinerary included churches and church-related events throughout Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, and Michigan. They were featured on the original PM Magazine television program. Their mother, Susie Brooks Raglin, and her sisters had also had a gospel singing group known as the Brooks Sisters. The Raglin family is known to many in Kentucky because their family has a long history in the state: they are the descendants of slaves Ben and Sally Ragland, who migrated to Kentucky in the early 1800s. They came from Virginia with a wealthy slave owner named Harris. The Ragland family (later spelled Raglin) later lived in Sugar Hill, an African American community located on what is today Sugar Hill Road, a narrow, one-lane, dead-end road off Paynes Mill Road in Woodford County, KY. John H. and Susie Raglin, parents of the Raglin Brothers, raised their family in Zion Hill, KY, not too far from the Sugar Hill community. Their children are Argie Shackleford, John C., James E., Thomas E. (deceased), Robert L., Earl B., Bennie O., and Floyd B. Raglin. (John C. is not a minister and was not a member of the gospel singing group.) Information submitted by Ponice Raglin Cruse and her father, the Reverend Floyd B. Raglin. For more information see K. Fister, "Their ministry is a family affair," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/31/1983, Lifestyle section, p. C1.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Sugar Hill, Woodford County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Zion Hill, Scott County, Kentucky

Railroad Strike and Riot (Somerset, KY)
Start Year : 1911
In March of 1911, a riot occurred in Somerset, KY, when Negro strikebreakers were hired to replace the striking white railroad firemen. Railroad service between Somerset, KY, and Chattanooga, TN, came to a stand still. Days later, negotiations between the white firemen and the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railroad had allowed the lines to open somewhat, but the embargo continued on the Cincinnati line between Oakdale, TN, and Somerset, KY. According to the railroad company, it was reported in the New York Times that an agreement was made in July 1910 between the railroads and the white firemen; one of the three lines between Nashville and Oakland would employ only Negro firemen who would not be promoted to engineers. On March 9, 1911, white firemen on the various lines went on strike after the railroad company refused to honor their demand for all Negro firemen to be fired within 90 days. When the white firemen went on strike, the railroad company brought in Negro strikebreakers. It was reported in the Mount Vernon Signal that eight Negro firemen were killed on the Queen & Crescent line, which was a division of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad. Sympathizers of the white firemen had held up three freight trains of the Queen and Crescent Railroad in King's Mountain, KY. Two deputy sheriffs were shot and killed while guarding the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific coal chutes in Stearns, KY. After locomotive cab windows were shot out of trains passing through Somerset, KY, the railroad company covered the windows with steel plates. A Pulaski County circuit judge ordered that 500 deputies be sworn in to help bring a halt to the attacks. For more see "American railway strike riot," The Financial Times, 03/14/1911, p.8; "Railroad strike still on, New York Times, 03/19/1911, p.16; "Two deputies slain in railroad strike," New York Times, 03/14/1911; "Call 500 deputies for strike duty," The Free Lance, 03/18/1911, p.4; and "Ten men are reported to have been killed...," Mount Vernon Signal, 03/17,1911, p.3.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / King's Mountain, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Stearns, McCreary County, Kentucky / Oakdale, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee / Cincinnati, Ohio

Rainer, Georgia B. Gomez [Madam Gomez]
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1919
Madam Gomez was the stage name for Georgia Beatrice Barkley Gomez Rainer, a famous soprano operatic singer who was born in Lexington, KY. She was the daughter of Louisa Barkley Matthews and the stepdaughter of Courtney Matthews (1868-1940), a hostler and the overseer at Ashland Stud in Lexington, KY. Georgia Barkley was a graduate of Chandler Normal School in Lexington. She lived in Chicago with an aunt and uncle, Robert and Lily Davis, and received musical training in 1900 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. She was a graduate of Fisk University in Tennessee; Barkley had attended Fisk for three years specializing in vocal music and was an honors graduate. She had been giving concerts since 1904. After College, Barkley continued performing, and in 1907 she married Alphonse Frisco Gomez (b. 1884) in Mobile, Alabama. She would return to Lexington for engagements, performing before 22,000 people during the Booker T. Washington Day celebration at the Lexington Colored Fair. She sang at Pleasant Green Baptist Church in November of 1908. That same month, she sang at the Pekin Theater and the Odd Fellow's Hall in Louisville, KY. Gomez performed with the vaudeville team Williams and Walker and later teamed with Will Downs, performing as Gomez and Downs [or Downz]. The team split in 1917, according to an article in Freeman, but according to her death notice in the Lexington Leader newspaper, they were a team at the time of Gomez's death in July 1919. Gomez died in New York, and according to the Lexington Leader article, Gomez's second husband, Irving E. Rainer, brought her body to Lexington, KY, for the funeral and burial. It is not known when Georgia Gomez married Rainer; according to Alphonse F. Gomez's World War I U.S. Army registration (1917-18), Georgia was still his wife and was living at 3 West East Street in Mobile, AL. For more see the following articles in the Lexington Leader: W. Hill, "Madam Gomez," 07/25/1919, p. 3; "Complimentary notice," 07/28/1907, p. 3; "Married in Alabama," 04/14/1907, p. 4; "Colored Notes," 11/15/1908, p. 16. See the following articles in the Freeman: "One of Kentucky's favorite soprano singers...," 11/21/1908, p. 1;  "Chicago Weekly Review: Downz & Gomez at the Grand," by Sylvester Russell, 07/24/1915, p. 5; "Georgia Gomez, late of Williams and Walker...," 05/14/1910, p. 5; "Tallabee returns to the Pekin - Mott's Theatre again crowded," and the sentence that begins "Downs and Gomez sing in the...," 10/14/1911, p. 4. See also "Senora Georgia Gomez...," Washington Bee, 08/18/1917, p. 2.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Mobile, Alabama / New York

Rainey, J. E.
Rainey, who lives in Louisville, KY, returned to writing after 30 years of manufacturing employment. Her first novel was Surviving the Past (2004). For more see the back cover of her novel.
Subjects: Authors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ralls, James Edward
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2010
In 1971, James E. Ralls became the first African American councilman in Mt. Sterling, KY. He served for 27 years. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 14; and James Edward Ralls in the "Obituaries" of the Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/07/2010.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Ralph Bunche National Historic District - Oral History Project (FA 457)
Start Year : 2003
End Year : 2004
The following information comes from the organizational history and collection notes for Ralph Bunche National Historic District - Oral History Project (FA 457): "The Ralph Bunche National Historic District consists of approximately 136 buildings in an area of Glasgow, Kentucky bounded by East College Street, Landrum Street, Twyman Court and South Lewis Streets. The District is important for its association with Glasgow, Kentucky’s African American community. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 and its chief period of architectural significance runs from 1900 to 1974. The District contains residential, commercial and educational properties."

 

"This collection consists of thirty-one interviews done with African Americans related to the neighborhood contained within the Ralph Bunche National Historic District in Glasgow, Kentucky. Much of the interviews relate to family history and the Ralph Bunche School when it was still a segregated institution. The interviews were conducted by Lynne (Hammer) Ferguson. The interviewees discuss the importance of the school and church in the African American community, prejudice, segregation and integration, genealogy, social rites and customs, urban renewal, and general attitudes toward African Americans. The interviews also reveal information about African American culture in Glasgow with particular emphasis on things that occurred within the historic district. The interviews are on cassettes. This project was sponsored by the Kentucky Oral History Commission."

All items are available at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Ramond, William
Birth Year : 1861
William Ramond was one of the riders at Jerome Park in New York, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Ramond was born around 1861 in Kentucky. Jerome Park Racetrack opened in 1866 and was operated by the American Jockey Club. The first Belmont Stakes was held at Jerome Park Racetrack.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York City, New York

Ramsey, Arthur, Sr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1985
Arthur Ramsey, Sr. was born in Kentucky. He began playing baseball in the Negro League in 1945 when he joined the Knoxville Giants, then later played for the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. He also played for teams in Minneapolis and Saskatoon. Ramsey, a career .300 hitter, played second base and was considered a good base runner. In 1954, Ramsey moved to Detroit to play baseball and was later a member of the Old-Timers' All-Stars. He is also a member of the Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame Gallery in Detroit, Michigan, and was inducted into the Negro League Hall of Fame in Ashland, KY. For more see "Baseball player earned a place in Negro League Hall of Fame," Detroit Free Press, 08/06/1985, OBT section, p. 6B.
Subjects: Baseball, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Randolph, Alma L.
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Beaver Dam, KY, Alma Randolph was the first African American woman elected to the Beaver Dam Council (1980) and the first African American to hold office in the county. Randolph is also a gospel singer locally and nationally. In 1993, she founded the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation, which buys school supplies and back-to-school clothing for disadvantaged children. She is the Human Rights/Community Relations Specialist for Owensboro and in 2007 was appointed to the state Human Rights Commission by then Governor Ernie Fletcher. For more see Women in Kentucky Reform; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #308: Alma Randolph.

 
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Randolph, Amanda E.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1967
Amanda E. Randolph was born in Louisville, KY. Her married name was Hansberry. She began her career in black vaudeville, appeared in all-black films, was a character actress on radio, and was the first African American star (as a maid) in the television sitcom series, Make Room for Daddy. She was the older sister of actress Lillian Randolph. They were the daughters of Jessie W. Randolph, a clergyman born in Pennsylvania in 1845, and Jane Randolph born 1859 in Kentucky; in 1900, the family of four lived in the 7th Ward of Ponchatoula, LA [source: U.S. Federal Census]. For more see Facts on File Encyclopedia of Black Women in America. Theater Arts and Entertainment.

See photo image of Amanda Randolph at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Radio, Television, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Randolph, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1820
Death Year : 1868
Born in Kentucky, Benjamin F. Randolph was a political leader during Reconstruction in South Carolina. He served as a chaplain for the 26th Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He co-founded the Charleston Journal in 1866 and became editor of the Charleston Advocate in 1867. Within the South Carolina Republican Party, he organized the Union League. In 1876 Randolph was appointed Vice President of the South Carolina Republican Executive Committee and the next year was appointed president of the committee. In 1868 he was elected to the South Carolina Senate for Orangeburg County. Randolph advocated legal equality for African Americans, including the integration of schools. In 1868, while soliciting for the Republican Party, he was shot and killed in Donaldsville, SC, a predominately white area of the state. For more see American National Biography (2004), by P. R. Betz and M. C. Carnes.

See photo image and additional information on Benjamin F. Randolph at the Historic Randolph Cemetery website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration East, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Donaldsville, South Carolina / Orangeburg, Orangeburg County, South Carolina

Randolph, James E.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1981
James E. Randolph was a doctor who came to Covington, KY, in 1922, the first African American on the staff of St. Elizabeth Hospital. He delivered most of the African American babies born in Covington between 1922 and 1958. Dr. Randolph received many awards for service to the community; the Eastside Neighborhood Park is named in his honor. Dr. Randolph was born in Frankford, Missouri, the oldest child of Frank and Lizzie Randolph [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. He was a graduate of Lincoln University at Jefferson City and Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. In 1997, Dr. Randolph was posthumously inducted into the Northern Kentucky Leadership Hall of Fame. For more see Dr. James E. Randolph in the Genealogy and Kentucky History: Covington Biographies section of the Kenton County Public Library website.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Parks, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Randolph, Loretta Corryne Bacon Lunderman Spencer
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1975
Loretta Spencer (Randolph), an educator, was born in 1903 in Paducah, KY, the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Benjamin Bacon. She graduated with the highest honors from Lincoln High School, earned her A.B. from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and did her graduate work at Fisk and Indiana University. Spencer taught in the Paducah schools, and was principal of Robersontown High and Ballard County High. Some time around 1932, shortly after she was hired as principal at Ballard Co., the school building burnt down. Spencer campaigned to have a new building erected, which was completed with contributions from the Slater Fund and the Parent-Teachers Association. She was also principal at Maddoxtown School in Lexington; she was the Dean of Girls at Lincoln Institute in Shelby County; and was an instructor at St. Paul School of Religion in Lexington, KY in 1947. She served as the district president of the AME Sunday School Convention, 1920-1933. She was a member of Anti-Basileus Beta Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority [photo at KHS]. Loretta Spencer was the wife of Charles J. Lunderman, Sr., and later married Benjamin F. Spencer. Her last husband was Dr. James E. Randolph, according to information received from Mrs. Juanita L. White, who also provided Spencer's correct birth and death dates. For more see L. C. Bacon Spencer in Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Mrs. Loretta Corryne (Bacon) Spencer in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Ransom, Riley Andrew
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1951
Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom was born in Columbus, KY. He was one of the first African American doctors in Fort Worth, Texas. Ransom was a cousin to Bishop Isaac Lane, founder of Lane College in Tennessee. Ransom initially attended Lane College but soon transferred to Southern Illinois State Normal University [now Southern Illinois University at Carbondale] where he earned his undergraduate degree. In 1908 he graduated from the Louisville National Medical College [the school closed in 1912] as valedictorian of his class. Ransom took his state board of medicine in Oklahoma City and later settled in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was the first African American surgeon in Tarrant County. He also helped establish the first hospital for African Americans, the Booker T. Washington Sanitarium. Dr. Ransom is buried in the New Trinity Cemetery in Fort Worth; in 1986 the cemetery was declared a historical site. Markers at the site pay honor to the 100-year-old cemetery and the contributions of Dr. Ransom. For more see B. R. Sanders, “Doctor left record of early struggles” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 09/19/2003, METRO section, p. 1B; and “Black History Month” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 02/15/1994, METRO section, p. 11.

See photo image of Dr. R. A. Ransom at The Portal to Texas History website.

See historical marker with additional information on Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom at waymarking.com.
 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1976
Kentucky House Member Mae Street Kidd sponsored the resolution that moved the state of Kentucky to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in 1976. The ratification of the 13th Amendment formally abolished slavery in the United States. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." The U.S. Senate passed the amendment on April 8, 1864; the House of Representatives defeated the amendment on June 15, 1864, then passed the amendment on January 31, 1865; President Lincoln signed and presented the amendment to the states on February 1, 1865; and Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement on December 18, 1865 to verify the ratification of the 13th Amendment. There were three states that rejected the 13th Amendment and did not ratify it until the 20th Century: Delaware (February 12, 1901); Kentucky (March 18, 1976); and Mississippi (March 16, 1995).  The 14th Amendment was ratified July 9, 1868, and granted citizenship to all who were born or naturalized in the United States. States that ratified the 14th Amendment in the 20th Century were Delaware (1901), Maryland (1959), California (1959), Kentucky (1976), and Ohio (September 17, 2003) [Ohio had rescinded its ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868]. The 15th Amendment, ratified February 3, 1870, gave African American men the right to vote. States that did not ratify the 15th Amendment until the 20th Century were Delaware (1901), Oregon (1959), California (1962), Maryland (1973), Kentucky (1976), and Tennessee (1997).  For more see 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all on the Library of Congress website; see also A. Greenblatt, "Failure to ratify: during amendment battles, some states opt to watch," an NPR website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Voting Rights
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Ray, Joseph R., Jr. "Joie"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2007
Born in Louisville, KY, Joseph R. Ray, Jr. drove in his first race in 1947. He is sometimes called the World's Only Colored Racing Driver. He has also been confused with race car driver Joie Ray, who was white, the driver who started 25th in the 1952 Daytona race. The African American Joie Ray was the son of Joseph Ray, Sr. For more see "Joie Ray" in Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. Outdoor Sports, edited by D. L. Porter; M. Grant, "Pioneer auto racer Ray dies at 83," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 04/17/2007, Sports section, p. 5C; and P. Sullivan, Brick by Brick, a Joie Ray biography, 2008.

See photo images of Joseph R. Ray, Jr. at the Legends of NASCAR website.
Subjects: Automobile Races, Race-car Drivers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ray, Joseph R., Sr.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1959
Joseph R. Ray, Sr. was born in Bloomfield, KY. In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed him Director of the Racial Relations Service of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. He had also been the first African American appointed to the Louisville, KY, Board of Equalization. He served as a buyer and appraiser for the Louisville Housing Authority and the Louisville Board of Education. Ray served as the second cashier of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, and would become president of the bank in 1929. It was the first African American bank in the state. He was a World War I veteran. Joseph Ray, Sr. was the husband of Ella Hughes Ray and the father of Joseph "Joie" Ray, race-car driver. He was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial School [now Kentucky State University] and attended the University of Chicago. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; The Last and Most Difficult Barrier, Segregation and Federal Housing Policy in the Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1960, a 2005 Report Submitted to the Poverty and Race Research Action Council," by A. R. Hirsch, Department of History, University of New Orleans; and "Joseph Ray Sr., 72, U. S. Housing Aide," Special to the New York Times, 12/01/1959, p. 39.

See photo image of Joseph R. Ray, Sr. in Jet, 05/16/1963, p.11.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Housing Authority, The Projects, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Ray, William Benjamin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1925
William Benjamin Ray, Sr. was born in Lexington, KY, to Beatrice Clifton Smith and Mason Ray. He is an Army veteran and a graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University. In the United States, he was an opera singer with De Paur's Infantry, Karamu Theater, and Cleveland Playhouse. His career began in 1957 in Europe, where he performed in operas and orchestras and on stage and television. In 1974, he founded Black Theater Productions in Stuttgart, Germany, and served as its president until 1985. Ray is included in Blacks in Opera. He was a faculty member at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz - Austria and a professor of voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University and at the Howard University Department of Music. Ray is retired and lives in Odenton, Maryland. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; and N. Sears, "Another high note for singer - Legacy Award crowns opera career filled with mentoring, teaching," Special to The Sun, 02/04/2007, Local section, p. 1G.

See photo image and additional information about William Benjamin Ray, Sr. at bottom half of Sam's Subject Index webpage.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Stuttgart, Germany, Europe / Austria, Europe / Odenton, Maryland

Rayburn, Wendell G., Sr.
Birth Year : 1929
Wendell Gilbert Rayburn, Sr. was the first African American to become a dean of a college at the University of Louisville (U of L). From 1974-1980, he was Dean of the University College; he then left U of L to become president of Savannah State College [now Savannah State University], where he implemented the desegregation plan mandated by the Georgia Board of Regents. He would later become president of Lincoln University of Missouri. Rayburn was born in Detroit, MI, and is a graduate of Eastern Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. For more see The University of Louisville, by D. D. Cox and W. J. Morison; Who's Who in the World, 1982-2001; and Who's Who in America, 1982-1991 and 1995-2001.

See photo image of Wendell G. Rayburn, Sr. at Pension Associates website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Detroit, Michigan / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Raynor, Sarah Harper
Birth Year : 1853
Raynor was born in Kentucky, the daughter of Jennie Harper. She was an artist in wax works. She married Reverend Jacob R. Raynor (b. 1838 in Tennessee), pastor of the Garfield Missionary Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN. The Raynors are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Records: Race=African
The term "African" was not widely used in the U.S. Federal Census to define race; however it can be found as early as the 1860 Slave Schedules. The term was used much more heavily in the Census of Canada, and the slave registers of former British Colonial Dependencies such as Trinidad, Barbados, and the Bahamas. In the United Sates, the term was used more on birth and death records, including 15 birth records in Kentucky between 1897-1910, and at least 283 Kentucky death records between 1917 and the early 1930s. Over 300,000 WWI draft registration records for the U.S. Armed Services have the term "African" written on the line for race, and at least 9,886 of those records are for men born in Kentucky.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: United States / Canada / British Colonial Dependencies / Kentucky

Records: Race=Brown
"Brown" is one of the five color typology for humans that was developed by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), a founder of scientific racism theories. The term would come to be used to define race and ethnicity. For centuries, various groups of people throughout the world have been defined as "brown." The term was used in the United States to assign race on death certificates, military records, immigration records, federal census records between 1910-1920, and state census records in Iowa and Kansas between 1836-1925. Some persons whose race was given as "brown" on the various records, may be regarded as African American today. In Kentucky, there are more than 300 death records with race marked as "brown," they are dated between 1852-1953. There are also at least seven WWI draft registration records (registered in KY) with the term "brown" written in the space for race, three of these persons were born in Italy and two were born in the Philippines, one was born in Kentucky, and one did not have place of birth.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: United States / Kentucky

Records: Race=Negro
Start Year : 1850
The term "Negro" is yet another term for African Americans found in the U.S. Federal Census as early as 1850, and in state census records such as the 1856 Iowa State Census. In the "Second Census" of Kentucky, for the year 1800, there are two person with the term "Negro" included in their names: George -Negro- Stafford in Gallatin County, and Moses -Negro- Tyre in Bullitt County. The term was also used on U.S. marriage, birth, death, and military records, and on ship passenger lists. Due to the penmanship of census workers, there are instances where race is not clearly noted on the schedules, and it is difficult to decipher if a "W" was written for white, or an "N" for Negro. For the state of Kentucky, the clearly written term "Negro" can be found as early as the 1900 U.S. Federal Census [column number 5: "Race or Color"], up to the late 1990s marriage licenses.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: United States / Kentucky

Red Cross Hospital and Nurse Training Department (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1975
Founded in 1899, the Red Cross Hospital and Nurse Training Department in Louisville, KY, was not affiliated with the American Red Cross. The founders were Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee (husband of Bertha Whedbee), Dr. W. T. Merchant, Dr. Solomon Stone, Dr. E. S. Porter, and Dr. William H. Perry. The operation was located in a rented two story house on 6th Street. A larger facility was purchased in 1905 at 1436 S. Shelby Street, housing the only nurse training program for African Americans in Kentucky. The training program was discontinued in 1937 due to a lack of funds and the program lost its accreditation. It was re-established in 1948, which was the same year that the hospital was authorized to operate as a small cancer clinic by the American Cancer Society. The hospital name changed to Community Hospital in 1972, then closed in 1975; the building was purchased by Volunteers of America in 1978. For more and a photo of the hospital see A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; and the Red Cross entry in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber. The Red Cross Hospital records are available at the University of Louisville Libraries, Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Redd, Michael R.
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 2007
In 1963, Mike Redd, from Newburg (Jefferson County), KY, was the first African American named Kentucky Mr. Basketball. Redd was chosen over Clem Haskins, an outstanding basketball player in Taylor County. Redd, a 6'2" guard, is remembered as one of the best basketball players ever in the state of Kentucky. As an 8th grader, he scored 25 points in a varsity game, and helped take his Seneca High School team to the regionals in 1961 and 1962. His teammate was Wes Unseld. Seneca was the state high school basketball champion in 1963, with Redd averaging 26.5 points during the tournament. The team was coached by Bob Mulcahy. Mike Redd was named All-State three times. In 1963 he was named to the All-Tournament Team and was a member of the Parade All-American Team. He was named to the 1999 Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame (.pdf). Mike Redd played college ball at Kentucky Wesleyan for one year, averaging 20.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. He played a season at Sullivan Business College [now Sullivan University] in Louisville before joining the U.S. Marines, serving during the Vietnam War. Redd also played basketball while in the service and helped his team win two AAU Men's Basketball Championships: 1969 Armed Forces All-Stars and the 1970 Armed Forces All-Stars [source: p. 13 in 2010 Amateur Athletic Union Men's Handbook (online .pdf)]. After his enlistment was completed, Redd remained in Europe and played basketball in France for about a decade, then started a basketball school in Austria. Mike Redd spoke several languages. When he returned to the United States, Redd, a chef, bought restaurants in San Jose, CA and Nashville, TN. Mike Redd died in Atlanta, GA. He was the son of Susie Cairo Logan, who died December 15, 2007, in California a few hours prior to her son's death. For more see "Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball dies," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 12/19/2007, Sports section, p. 6C [online at Google News]; B. White, "Headline: What's up with...? Bob Mulcahy; Coach of great Seneca teams recalls glory days," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 03/15/2004, Sports section, p. E1; and C. Ray Hall, "Mike Redd: 1944-2007; Seneca's 1963 Mr. Basketball one of state's best ever," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12/18/2007, Sports section, p. C1.
Subjects: Basketball, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Military & Veterans, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / France, Europe / Atlanta, Georgia

Redd, Thomas
Birth Year : 1866
Death Year : 1944
Thomas Redd was a civil rights leader in the the railroad industry. A brakeman on the Illinois Central Railroad, he was based in Louisville, KY. Redd had been with the company since 1895. Due to his persistent appeals for fairness to Negro railroad employers, Redd was known as a troublemaker among the company officials. He was a member of the Louisville Chapter Lodge #10 of the Association of Colored Railway Trainmen and Locomotive Firemen (ACRTLF), founded in 1912. Redd was elected chair of the organization's grievance committee in 1920 and later became president. The Illinois Central did not recognize the organization. Redd fought for more than a decade to secure equal pay, job security, and employment advancement for Colored railroad employees, but with little success, so he launched an even larger campaign that led to the development of the International Association of Railway Employees (IARE). The IARE held a conference in Chicago in 1934, and all Black railroad organizations were invited to send delegates. A second meeting was held in Washington, D.C., and Redd was named president of IARE, an umbrella organization with 28 member organizations from 16 states, including Kentucky. With legal representation by attorneys Charles Hamilton Houston and Joseph Waddy, and after years of fighting, the IARE would begin to see changes made to the labor laws. Thomas Redd was born in Hart County, KY, the son of William James Redd and Mary Ophelia Redd, according to his death certificate. He was the husband of Annie Redd. In 1900, the family of three lived on Gallagher Street in Louisville. Redd was a widower when he died in Louisville on July 22, 1944. For more see Brotherhoods of Color, by E. Arnesen.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Union Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Reed, Steven S.
Birth Year : 1962
Steven S. Reed was born in Munfordville, KY. In 1999, President Clinton named Reed the first African American U.S. Attorney in Kentucky, and he served the state's Western District for two years. He was also the first African American to chair the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, from 2002-2004. For more see Steven Reed Takes Reins of UK Board of Trustees; and "Steve Reed nominated as federal prosecutor," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/09/99.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky

Reed, William B. "Chief"
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1996
William B. Reed was born in Paris, KY. He was the last principal of the segregated Western School for Negroes. The Paris City Schools were fully integrated in 1966 and Reed would become the first African American Assistant Principal in the Paris City School system. He was also the first to become a city commissioner in Paris. He had been a star football and basketball player at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and he coached the Western High basketball team to a national championship in 1953. Reed was also the school's football coach. He was the first African American elected to the Paris City Council in 1977. The William "Chief" Reed Park in Paris is named in his honor. For more see "William Reed, Retired Educator, Coach, Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries, 10/11/96; and "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 22. 
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Education and Educators, Football, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Reid, Barney Ford, Jr.
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1951
Barney F. Reid, Jr., a tailor, was born in Lancaster, KY. He was at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I and was promoted to sergeant. He was made principal of the Consolidated Army School and in 1931 became president of Cincinnati Theological Seminary. Reid was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH, from 1927 to his death in 1951. Barney F. Reid, Jr. was the son of Barney F. Reid, Sr. and Marie Hendron Reid. He was the husband of Claudia Ballen Reid, the couple married in Jeffersonville, IN, on December 2, 1895 [source: Indiana Marriage Records]. Barney F. Reid, Jr. died November 10, 1951 in Cincinnati, OH. [source: Ohio Department of Health Certificate of Death]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America,1928-29, and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Cincinnati, Ohio

Reid, Daniel Isaiah
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1950
Daniel I. Reid was a journalist, politician, and school teacher in Lexington, KY. He was one of the first African American news reporters for the Lexington Herald, as early as 1939 and up to his death in 1950, according to Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky) City Directory. Daniel Reid was born in Lexington, the son of Edward and Lizzie Eubank Reid [source: Death Certificate]. In 1905, when the local media reacted to the death of James Piersall with advice on how best to improve Negro society and decrease crime, Daniel Reid advocated that Negro school teachers teach from the Bible so that Negro students could become moral and responsible adults. In 1907, Daniel Reid, an unapologetic Democrat, wrote an editorial praising the good deeds of the city leaders and administrators [Democrats] toward Colored people in Lexington. Reid was a member of the Colored branch of the Democratic Party in Lexington. From 1907-1910, he was principal of the short-lived Forest Hill School in Lexington. He had taught at other schools in Lexington, and would do the same after Forest Hill School was closed in 1910. In 1909, Daniel Reid was at the center of the injunction W. D. Johnson had filed against both Reid and Wade Carter. Johnson, a dedicated Republican, was editor of the Lexington Standard and had leased the newspaper plant from Wade Carter up to May of 1910. Following the election of President Taft, W. D. Johnson was assigned to the General Land Office in Washington, D.C., and on a return visit to Lexington, Johnson found that Wade Carter had taken possession of the newspaper plant and turned it over to Daniel Reid, who was publishing the Lexington Standard as a campaign publication for the Democrats. Fayette Circuit Court granted an injunction against Daniel Reid stopping him from having anything to do with the newspaper plant or the newspaper. During the days that the Lexington Standard was closed due to the injunction, the newspaper was printed by the Lexington Leader. W. D. Johnson was not able to resume the newspaper and was forced to suspend it indefinitely because the building where the paper was printed was slated for other purposes. In 1911, Daniel Reid attempted to revive the Lexington Standard as a Democrat newspaper but was unsuccessful; the Lexington Standard would never be revived. In March of 1912, Reid established The Lexington Weekly News with Edward D. Willis as publisher and A. W. Davis as his business officer. The following year, Reid purchased a meat store at 753 N. Limestone and moved it to the corner of 7th and Mill Streets. Six months later, he attempted to open a night school for Negroes. In October of 1913, a branch of the Negro Business League was formed in Lexington, and Daniel Reid was named the temporary secretary. The Lexington Weekly News had closed, and Reid had established a new newspaper, The Colored Citizen. [There had been two earlier African American newspapers with the same title in 1866, one in Cincinnati and one in Louisville.] Daniel Reid had also served as editor of the Colored column in the Tribune, and he was the printer for the Christian Soldier newspaper and had served as chair of the Sunday School Convention of the Colored Christian Churches. Daniel Reid was the husband of Cora Reid, and the couple had several children. They lived at 705 Dakota Street. Daniel Reid died July 5, 1950 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. For more, see "People's Views," Lexington Leader, 02/10/1905, p. 7; "Negro teacher," Lexington Leader, 10/21/1907; the injunction articles in the Lexington Leader - 10/25/1909, p. 7 - 10/26/1909, p. 3 - 10/27/1909, p. 9; "Editor Johnson," Lexington Leader, 11/06/1909, p. 2; "Democratic Negro editor," Lexington Leader, 09/01/1911, p. 1; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 06/09/1912, p. 8; "Night school for Colored people," Lexington Leader, 01/22/1913, p. 3; National Negro Business League," Lexington Leader, 10/05/1913, p. 2; "New Colored paper," Lexington Leader, 10/22/1913, p. 11; "Colored paper," Lexington Leader, 10/26/1913, p. 7; and "The Lexington Weekly News...," Freeman, 03/30/1912, p. 2.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Reid, George Willis
Birth Year : 1945
George W. Reid served as president of Kentucky State University, 1998-2002. He came to Kentucky from Benedict College in Columbia, SC. He was born in Hertford, NC, the son of George N. Reid. For more see The Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library.

 

 

See photo image of George W. Reid on p. 92 of Jet, October 1999.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Hertford, North Carolina / Columbia, South Carolina / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Reid Slave Cemetery (Hawesville, KY)
Within the Reid Family Cemetery, the last rows, 11-17, are designated as the Slave Cemetery. The location is described as being on "a high hill overlooking Highways 334 and Muddy Gut Road, on a farm owned by Stephen Emmick. Cemetery is in poor condition." It was noted that there were sandstone markers at most of the slave graves, but no names were recorded in the report published in Forgotten Pathways, Quarterly of the Genealogical Society of Hancock County, vol. IV, issue II (Fall 1987), p. 36.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Hawesville, Hancock County, Kentucky

Reider, Carrie Nelson
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1937
Carrie Reider was a hair dresser in Cincinnati, OH, who patented a hair tonic in 1917. She was in the hair care business for more than two decades, having started by selling hair care products using the sales agents system developed by Madam C. J. Walker. Carrie Reider later developed her own hair and scalp product for African American women: "Reider's Wonderful Hair Restorer." The product was sold by sales agents in Cincinnati and other cities. Carrie Reider died March 4, 1937 [source: Ohio Death Certificate], and later that year, her husband died in Kentucky. Carrie Reider was born in Danville, KY, the daughter of Horace Sr. and Mary Jane Nelson. The family of eight is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. Carrie Reider was the wife of John H. Reider (1869-1937), he was also from Kentucky. For more see the entry for Madam J. H. Reider in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; Carrie N. Reider under "Patents & trademarks," The Pharmaceutical Era, December 1917, vol. 50, p. 402; and Ser. No. 104,363 (Class 6. Chemicals, medicines, and pharmaceutical preparations) in the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, vol. 242, p. 980.
Subjects: Businesses, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Inventors, Migration North
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Rene, Leon T.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1982
Leon T. Rene, born in Covington, KY, was a bricklayer before becoming a recognized songwriter and record producer. He partnered in the music business with his older brother, Otis J. Rene, Jr., who was born in New Orleans in 1898. They moved to Los Angeles in 1922 and in the 1930s founded the record companies Exclusive Records and Excelsior Records. They became the leading producers of independent recording artists, with recordings by artist such as Nat King Cole, Johnny Otis, and Joe Liggins and His Honeydrippers. The Rene brothers were also the first owners of an independent record company on the West Coast. They also owned publishing companies Leon René Publications and Recordo Music Publishers. In 1957, they formed a new record label, Class Records. One of their best know songs was "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano." For more see "Leon Rene, immortalized swallows of Capistrano," United Press International, 06/08/1982, Inside section, p.3B; and "Leon T. Rene" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.

See photo image of Leon T. Rene on p.64 in Jet, 05/15/1958.
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Report: Negro School Districts and Their Needs by L. N. Taylor
Start Year : 1938
In 1938, L. N. Taylor was supervisor of Negro Rural Education. The department was in the Division of Negro Education within the Kentucky Department of Education. Taylor prepared a report that ranked the Kentucky cities and counties with the largest Negro school census. Below is a table with the schools, and the ranks and needs of the schools, taken from pp.1-2 of the report. For more see the report titled "Negro school districts and their needs by L. N. Taylor," found in Box 27 of the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, file title: School for Deaf and Dumb, School for Feeble Minded Children, School for blind, Special Ed., School for Negroes, Catholics. See also NKAA entries for African American Schools.

Kentucky Negro School Districts - 1938
 RANK  CITY SCHOOL CENSUS H. S. RANK
1 Louisville 9350 A
2 Lexington 2711 A
3 Paducah 1368 A
4 Hopkinsville 1034 A
5 Madisonville 998 A
6 Henderson 768 A
7 Covington 687 A
8 Bowling Green 614 A
9 Lynch 610 A
10 Owensboro 592 A
11 Danville 467 A
12 Richmond 467 A
13 Jenkins 462 BE
14 Harlan 461 B
15 Russellville 455 BT
16 Paris 418 A
17 Earlington 381 B
18 Middlesboro 348 A
19 Frankfort 335 A
20 Maysville 335 A
21 Princeton 335 BE
22 Providence 302 B
       
 RANK  COUNTY SCHOOL CENSUS  H. S. NEEDS
1 Christian 1837 Transportation to Hopkinsville
2 Fayette 1106 Continue transportation
3 Harlan 948 Consolidation
4 Logan 886 Consolidation
5 Fulton 838 Transportation to Hickman
6 Jefferson 801 Continue transportation
7 Madison 744 Transportation to Richmond
8 Trigg 684 Building and transportation
9 Warren 684 Transportation to Bowling Green
10 Todd 678 Building and transportation
11 Henderson 633 Transportation to Henderson
12 Union 573 Building and transportation
13 Barren 524 Building and transportation
14 Bourbon 516 Transportation to Paris
15 Perry 406 Transportation to Hazard
16 Scott 402 Transportation to Georgetown
17 Green 366 Transportation to Accredited High School
18 Montgomery 382 Consolidation
19 Mason 381 Transportation to Maysville
20 Lincoln 342 Transportation to Accredited High School
21 Shelby 316 Transportation to Accredited High School




Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Reynolds, Edgar T.
Reynolds, a barber, was the first African American elected to office in Muhlenberg County, KY. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 5, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Reynolds, Louise E.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1995
Louise E. Reynolds, a stenographer, was the first African American to work at the Republican headquarters in Louisville, KY (1953-1959); she was there, for six years. She went on to become the second woman [first African American woman] elected to the Louisville Board of Aldermen (11th ward), where she served for eight years. She was invited to the White House and appointed to the GOP task force on Human Rights and Responsibilities. Reynolds sponsored an Equal Employment Opportunity Bill and worked for open housing. She was born in Lewisburg, TN, the daughter of Cary and William Elliot, and came to Louisville to attend school. She was a 1935 graduate of Louisville Central High School, and attended Louisville Municipal College. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.


Access InterviewThe Louise E. Reynolds oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lewisburg, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Reynolds, Sadiqa N.
Birth Year : 1962
Sediqua N. Reynolds was the first African American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court, she served as the chief law clerk for Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. She also had a private law practice for several years, and in January 2008, Reynolds was named inspector general with the Louisville Metro Government. Her duties included annual reviews and investigating complaints against nursing homes and state-run institutions. August 2009, Reynolds was sworn in as Jefferson County District Judge of the 30th Judicial District, Division 11. Her appointment was made by Governor Steve Beshear; she replaced Judge Matthew K. Eckert, who resigned. Reynolds earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky. She was born in Newy York, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. For more see B. Musgrave, "2 lawyers get Health Cabinet jobs, both have backgrounds in public health," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/09/2008, City&Region section, p.D2; Sadiqa N. Reynolds in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.123; "Governor Beshear announces landmark judicial appointments," Press Release, 07/01/2009, Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office [online].

See "Meet the Judge: Sadiqua N. Reynolds" on YouTube.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Judges
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Rhea, La Julia Ray
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1992
La Julia Ray Rhea was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Sally and William Ray. She opened in the role of "Aida" in the Chicago Civic Opera Company during the regular season, the first African American to do so. Rhea studied at the National University of Music in Chicago. The National Negro Opera Company Collection is at the Library of Congress (see the Finding Aid [pdf]) and contains biographical material on La Julia Rhea. She married Henry J. Rhea (1896-1976) from Henderson, KY; the family lived in Chicago in 1930, where Henry was a letter carrier, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. La Julia Ray Rhea died in Chicago in 1992. For more see Blacks in Opera. An encyclopedia of people and companies, 1873-1993, by E. L. Smith; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 16 (Sept. 1988-Aug. 1990); and the La Julia Rhea entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.

See photo image of La Julia Ray Rhea with P. L. Prattis at the Carnegie Museum of Art website.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Rheubin [Murrell]
Death Year : 1851
Rheubin, from Bowling Green, KY, was a slave owned by Samuel Murrell, one of the largest slaveholders in Warren County, KY. In 1849, Rheubin accompanied Murrell's son, George McKinley Murrell, to California in search of the gold that had been discovered in 1848. Rheubin was one of the earliest bondsmen from Kentucky to make the trek west in search of riches. He would remain a slave once he and Murrell reached their destination. After a year and a half of hard labor and no gold, Rheubin asked to return to his family in Kentucky. But young George Murrell was not ready to leave; instead, he hired Rheubin out as a cook. By 1851, Rheubin was dead. Murrell knew nothing about the circumstances surrounding his sudden death, but he surmised that Rheubin had succumbed to the cholera epidemic that was spreading in the nearby towns and camps where Rheubin had been sent to work. George Murrell returned to Kentucky in 1854; he did not strike it rich in California and, though he wrote his family about his good intentions, never recovered Rheubin's body. For more see A. S. Broussard, "Slavery in California revisited, the fate of a Kentucky slave in Gold Rush California," Pacific Historian, vol. 29, issue 1 (1985), pp. 17-21.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Explorers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / California

Rhodes, Bessie M.
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 2002
Born in Hodgenville, KY, Bessie M. Rhodes was an assistant professor at Northwestern University and later a school teacher and principal in Chicago, IL. She then worked for Xerox and was transferred to California where she was the company's first African American woman regional controller in charge of the district's finances. Rhodes would return to Illinois to become a school principal and manage the first Home Day Care program in Evanston. She was a consultant to other schools in the U.S. and Mexico. Rhodes was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where she earned a bachelor's in music, and she earned a master's in music education at Iowa State University. She earned a doctorate in educational administration at Northwestern University. For more see B. W. Rotzoll, "Bessie Rhodes, 64, professor and principal," Chicago Sun-Times, 04/21/2002, News section, p. 57; and S. Chen and M. Lopas, "Bessie M. Rhodes, 64, principal, local teacher," The Daily Northwestern, 04/22/2002, Campus section.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Hodgenville, Larue County, Kentucky / Chicago and Evanston, Illinois / California

Rhodes, Todd Washington
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1965
Rhodes was a pianist and an arranger, he was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and grew up in Springfield, OH, where he studied at the Springfield School of Music. He also studied at the Erie Conservatory and graduated in 1921. He began his career with William McKinney's Synco Jazz Band. Rhodes moved on to Detroit where he formed his own band, he died in Flint. Todd's albums include Your Daddy's Dogin' Around and Blues for the Red Boy. Todd Rhodes was the son of Mattie Johnson and the stepson of John Johnson. For more see "Todd (Washington) Rhodes" in Oxford Music Online Database; and Todd Rhodes by Dave Penny, a Black Cat website. View the image and listen to Todd Rhodes - Blues for the Red Boy on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Flint Michigan

Rice, Richard A.
Birth Year : 1887
Born in Russellville, KY, Richard A. Rice was a lawyer and pharmacist. He was the acting attorney for the Jersey Central Porters who were connected with the Jersey Central Railroad. His law office was located in Jersey City in 1920, and he was a boarder with the Dowers Family [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1942, Rice was living in Hackensack, NJ, and his law practice was operated from his home at 277 First Street [source: Rice's WWII Draft Registration Card]. Rice was the son of Calvin and Julia Bearing Rice. He was a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pullman Porters, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Jersey City and Hackensack, New Jersey

Rich, Geneva Cooper
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1989
Geneva Cooper Rich was a musician who played the organ and the piano, and she was an internationally known singer from Louisville, KY. She studied music under R. Todd Duncan at the Louisville Municipal College. She received the title of "Unofficial Ambassador of Democracy" while in Morocco in 1954. Geneva Cooper Rich had gone to Rabat, Morocco to join her husband, Clayburn Rich (1916-1991), who was a sergeant in the U. S. Air Force. While there, she trained singing groups and she performed at the Non-Commissioned Officers' Club. Her notoriety grew and Geneva Cooper Rich soon signed a singing contract with Radio-Maroc to perform American gospel music. She was the first African American to sign a singing contract in Morocco. She also sang live for the American-owned broadcast station in Morocco. In recognition, she received a letter of commendation from Mrs. Eisenhower for her work as a gospel singer with the Armed Forces in Northern Africa. Prior to her career in Morocco, Geneva Cooper had been a member of several singing groups in Louisville, KY, and she had guest appearances on the television and the radio. She was one of the first African Americans to have a sponsored radio program in Kentucky. After leaving Kentucky and traveling with her husband, Geneva Cooper Rich lived in a number of locations. Her husband had been in the Air Force for 18 years in 1958 when the family of four moved from Blytheville, AR, to Lebanon, IN. They had planned to live in their trailer, but because they were Negroes, they were not allowed to station their trailer at any of the lots in the city. The family decided to live in a house and sold the trailer. In 1964, the family moved to North Highlands, CA; Clayburn Rich was stationed at McClellan Air Force Base. When the family moved to Kentucky, Geneva Cooper Rich was still performing and she sang the national anthem at the 1967 inauguration of Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn. She also wrote the song "The Modern Moses" in 1970 as a dedication to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more see "Radio Morocco presents Kentucky gal's spirituals," Washington Afro-American, 04/26/1955, p.7; see p.317 in The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; "Appreciation," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/19/1958, p.6; "Arkansas family in trailer gets no Hoosier hospitality," Indianapolis Recorder, 03/29/1958, p.1 & 2; "Louisville singer, pianist, radio artist...," Jet, 07/09/1964, p.64; see Geneva Cooper Rich in "Judge Dawson to introduce new governor," Daily News, 11/19/1967, p.12; and see the entry "The Modern Moses" by Geneva Cooper Rich, on p.1080 in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, 3rd series, v.24, part 1, number 1, section 1, 1970: January-June, Books and Pamphlets, Current and Renewal Registrations, by Library of Congress, Copyright Office.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio, Television, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Rabat, Morocco, Africa / Blytheville, Arkansas / Lebanon, Indiana / North Highlands, California

The Richard Hazelwood Family (Henderson, KY)
The Hazelwood family members were only a few of the estimated 300,000 pioneers who made their way through the Cumberland Gap. In 1832, Daniel Hazelwood, the great-great-grandfather of Anthony Hazelwood, came through the Gap, bringing everything that he owned from Virginia to settle in Henderson County, KY. Included were his eight children and 30 slaves. One of the slaves was a young boy named Richard Hazelwood, who was born in Virginia between 1828-1830; Richard was the great-great-great-grandfather of Denyce Porter Peyton. Richard's name was among the list of slaves belonging to the estate of Daniel Hazelwood, who died in 1836. Prior to becoming a free man, Richard married Maria Floyd (or Friels), and their first child was a son named Joseph (1858-1920). When the slaves were freed, the family kept the name Hazelwood, though many of the various African American Hazelwood families in Henderson County were not blood kin. By 1900, Richard had moved his family to the city of Henderson, where he worked as a day laborer. His son Joseph would become a tenant farmer in Henderson and Daviess Counties. Joseph was married to Anna Watson in 1871; according to Denyce Porter Peyton, Anna had been an orphan and nothing is known about her family. Joseph and Anna had several children. Their daughter Edna Mae was married to James Lester Porter, the son of McDonald and Elvira Porter. The Richard Hazelwood family had been in Kentucky since 1832, but all but two of Joseph and Anna's children left Kentucky in search of better opportunities in Indiana and Ohio. In 2008, the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park completed a short film (available on DVD) of reenactments of pioneer families that came to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap; the Hazelwood family and slaves are included in the film. For more information about the Richard Hazelwood family, contact Denyce Porter Peyton. For more information about Anthony Hazelwood, see A. Stinnett, "Businessman, community benefactor Hazelwood dies," The Gleaner, 12/08/2008. For more information about Cumberland Gap, contact the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. See also M. Simmons, "On the path of the pioneers," Knoxville News Sentinel, 10/20/2008, Local section, p. 10; and The Pioneers, DVD by the National Park Service.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Migration North, Migration West, Parks
Geographic Region: Virginia / Cumberland Gap, Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Richards, Ralph H.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
In 1953 African Americans were finally allowed to apply for membership to the Louisville (KY) Bar Association, and Ralph Richards was one of three African American attorneys whose applications were accepted. Richards had a private law practice in 1951 and was appointed assistant police court prosecutor in 1964. During the 1970s he served as an assistant commonwealth attorney. Richards graduated from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1942 and earned his law degree from Howard University in 1951. He was a WWII veteran, having enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, on July 22, 1943, according to his enlistment records. He was born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of Lucia and Julia Richards, both of whom were from Kentucky. In 1920, the family lived on Preston Street according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Burba, "Ralph H. Richards," Courier-Journal, 10/27/2002, NEWS section, p. 5B; and "Attorney named prosecution aide in Ky court," Jet, vol 19, issue 10 (12/16/1965), p. 10.
Subjects: Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Richards, Rosalind H.
Birth Year : 1947
Born Rosalind Hurley in Paris, KY, Richards received a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 1996 when she was a 5th grade teacher at Squires Elementary School in Lexington, KY. That same year she was named Elementary Teacher of the Year. Richards was also a pilot teacher for the Kentucky Department of Education's Mathematics Portfolio Research and Development Project: she developed a new instructional model for the state's mathematics instruction and assessment portfolio. In 1997, Richards was named Kentucky Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists for National Teacher of the Year. For more see Rosalind Richards on the Milken Family Foundation website, and Kentucky Women, by E. Potter.

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

Richardson, Henry Reedie
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2008
Henry R. Richardson was the first African American teacher at Campbellsville High School and Campbellsville University, both located in Campbellsville, KY, Richardson's home town. He was the son of Reedie R. and Fisher Richardson, and the husband of Beulah Rice Richardson. He was a science graduate of Kentucky State University and earned his Master of Science degree in animal husbandry from Michigan State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, Richardson enlisted December 18, 1942 in Louisville, KY, according to his Army Enlistment Record. He was a staff sergeant and platoon leader with the 364 Quartermaster Truck Company. He was a biology teacher in the Campbellsville School System for 32 years, 11 years at a segregated school. Richardson was also a community leader, he was one of the first board members of the Taylor Regional Hospital and was also on the Campbellsville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. In recognition of his community service, Richardson was awarded the Campbellsville Citizen of the Year Award, the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. He was appointed to the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents by Governor John Y. Brown. For more see the Henry Reedie Richardson entry in the "Obituaries & Memorials," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/27/2008, p.B4.

  See photo image of Henry R. Richardson on p.62 in the book Campbellsville by J. Y. DeSpain et. al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Housing Authority, The Projects, Military & Veterans, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Richardson, Lawrence
Birth Year : 1912
Richardson was born in Danville, Ky, the son of Eitherone(sp?) and Mabel Richardson. In 1920, the family lived on North First Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Lawrence Richardson would become a probation officer in New York. In 1940, he married Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972), a noted composer, pianist, and music director; in 1933, she was the first African American soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For more on Bonds see her entry at AfriClassical.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / New York

Richardson, Lewis
Birth Year : 1792
In 1846, an escaped slave named Lewis Richardson gave a speech about having been treated badly while a slave of Henry Clay at the Ashland Plantation in Lexington, KY. Richardson's speech was given at Union Chapel in Amherstburg, Canada West on May 13, 1846. Richardson said that Henry Clay had been portrayed as a kind master, but based on his experience, that was not true. It was well known that Henry Clay was opposed to the protection given to escaped slaves in Canada. Clay was a very public figure: he was a U.S. Senator, a former Secretary of State, and a U.S. presidential candidate. Clay was not in favor of freeing slaves in the United States but was for freeing them and colonizing them in Africa. A response in opposition to the colonization scheme appears in an editorial by Kentucky native Henry Bibb in his Canadian newspaper Voice of the Fugitive, "To the Honorable Henry Clay of Kentucky," 07/02/1851. Henry Bibb was speaking on behalf of the former slaves who had escaped to Canada, including Lewis Richardson, Clay's former slave. Lewis Richardson is referred to as possibly "a slave difficult to manage" in Black Refugees in Canada, by G. Hendrick and W. Hendrick. Richardson had five previous owners before he was purchased by Henry Clay in 1836. The publishing of Lewis' speech in several newspapers caused Henry Clay to speak out. He denied the accusations. According to authors Hendrick and Hendrick in an article in the Lexington Observer & Reporter newspaper, overseer Ambrose Barnett also denied Richardson's claim of being flogged with 100 lashes and said the whipping of 16 lashes was justified due to several infractions. The debate continues today as to who was telling the truth. It is not known what became of Lewis Richardson after the speech in Canada West. For more see "From the Signal of Liberty - The Slave of Henry Clay," Signal of Liberty, 03/30/1846 and in The National Anti-Slavery Standard, 04/16/1845; chapter 6 - "Lewis Richardson, formerly a slave on Henry Clay's plantation" on pp. 73-76 in Black Refugees in Canada, by G. Hendrick and W. Hendrick, (quotation from p. 75); Lewis' speech at the Blackpost.org website, Lewis Richardson, "I am free from American Slavery" 1846; and Narrative Compromise: African American Representation at Henry Clay's Ashland Estate by Sarah McCartt-Jackson [online .pdf at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Amherstburg, Canada

Richardson, Saunders, Jr. "Smoke" and Family
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1963
One of the most recognized musicians in Lexington, KY, was Saunders "Smoke" Richardson. He was born in Covington, KY, the son of Julia Mae Thompson Richardson (1883-1934) and Saunders Richardson Sr. (1879-1935). Kentucky has been home to his family for several generations. His mother was from Covington, KY, and his father from Lexington. His parents lived on Price Street in Lexington in 1902; Saunders, Sr. was employed as a porter [source: p. 463, The Lexington City Directory and Rural Postal Delivery Routes for 1902-1903, Volume 1]. His brother Robert Richardson was born in Lexington, September 5, 1902 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No. 1149]. By 1904, the family lived in Covington, and Smoke's sister Elza Richardson was born at home on Washington Street, June 19, 1904 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Live Birth Registrars No. 30A]. Two years later, Saunders "Smoke" Richardson, Jr. was also born in Covington. By 1909, the Richardson family was living in Lexington at 323 Race Street, and Saunders, Sr. was a bartender [source: p. 516 in Lexington City Directory, 1909. volume v]. He was also an umpire for the colored baseball games in Lexington [source: "The Lexington Hustlers..." in  "Colored Notes," Leader, 06/01/1913, p. 7, col. 6; and "The Cumminsville, O., ..." in "Colored Notes," Leader, 06/01/1914, p. 5, col. 5]. In 1920, Saunders, Sr. owned a soft drink store, and his son Robert worked with him as a salesman while Elza and Saunders, Jr. attended school [source: U.S. Federal Census]. His wife Julia Richardson may have been part owner of the store: the store name is given as J. Richardson Company, groceries, on p. 648 in The Lexington City Directory, 1923. A couple years later, while Julia and Saunders, Sr. continued with the store, their son Robert became a tailor, daughter Elza a school teacher; and son Saunders, Jr. a musician [source: pp. 661 & 662 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory, 1925]. It was during this time that Saunders, Jr. left Kentucky. The following information comes from Saunda C. Richardson Coleman, daughter of Saunders Richardson, Jr., and Carol Mills Richardson. "Around his junior year of high school, Smoke Richardson quit school and started playing music professionally; he played the baritone saxophone. He got the nickname Smoke because he smoked cigarettes all the time. He went to New York City for a brief period and studied under musician Coleman Hawkins. He was back in Lexington by the 1930s. His specialty was big band music, and he was pretty much a local entertainer." In 1928, the Richardson family lived at 301 E. 4th Street, and Julia and Saunders Sr. worked at the store along with Robert, who was a clerk; Elza was still a school teacher, and Saunders, Jr. was still away in New York [source: p. 451 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, Vol. XIV, 1928]. Saunders, Jr. was back in Kentucky by 1930; he is listed in the city directory as a musician on p. 491 (Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, Vol. XV, 1930). He was not listed in the 1931-32 directory with his parents, who had a confectioner business at 146 W. Vine St.; his brother Robert was a cook at Drake Cafeteria and lived at 515 E. 2nd Street; no occupation was listed for Elza, who lived with her parents [source: p. 425 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, Vol. XVI, 1931-32]. In the previous directory, Saunders, Jr. was listed as a musician and the husband of Louise [source: p. 418, Polk's Lexington City Directory, 1931]. There is no further mention of Louise in the Richardson household in subsequent directories. A few years later, Smoke's family suffered a loss when Julia M. Thompson Richardson died, December 19, 1934; she was the daughter of Robert Thompson from Fayette County and Julia Johnson Thompson from Kenton County [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No. 1110]. Four months later, Saunders Richardson, Sr. died on April 13, 1935; he was the son of Henry Richardson from Fayette County and Mary E. Smith Richardson from Montgomery County [sources: Obituary in "Colored Notes," Leader, 04/16/1935, p. 10, col. 6-7; and Kentucky Certificate of Death File No. 332]. Both Saunders Richardson, Sr. and Julia Thompson Richardson are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington. It was during this time of loss that Saunders "Smoke" Richardson, Jr. and His Orchestra began playing for events at the University of Kentucky [source: "Final dance of semester will be held Saturday," The Kentucky Kernel, 08/09/1938, front page, column 4]. The University of Kentucky was a segregated school for white students, but African American bands were hired to entertain at social events. The group also played at Kentucky State College for Negroes (now Kentucky State University) and at high school events in Lexington and surrounding counties. In 1940, Smoke Richardson and his brother Robert were living with their sister Elza at the home place, 301 E. 4th Street; Elza was a maid, Robert was a waiter at a hotel, and Smoke was a musician [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The eldest sibling, Robert Richardson, died from tuberculosis on December 14, 1947 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No. 1149]. After his brother's death, Smoke Richardson continued to live at 301 E. 4th Street with his sister Elza [source: p. 552 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXX, 1953]. He provided music for events such as the Zeta Tau Alpha annual houseparty at the University of Kentucky [source: p. 124 of the 1958 Kentuckian]. His music can be heard on an untitled 78 rpm album that has four songs on each side: a copy of the album is at the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum on Georgetown Street in Lexington, KY. By 1960, Smoke Richardson and His Orchestra had been the house band at Circle H for several years {the establishment had been named the Circle Bar} [source: The Kentucky Kernel, 11/17/1958, p. 11]. Also by 1960, Smoke Richardson was the husband of Carol Mills Richardson; the couple lived at 301 E. 4th Street with Elza Richardson, who was the executive director of the Phyllis Wheatly {Colored} Branch of the Lexington YWCA [source: pp. 556 & 557 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY) City Directory, vol. XXXVI, 1960]. Elza Richardson had been a maid at the colored YWCA in 1942 [source: p. 331 in Polk's Lexington City Directory, 1942]; she was the assistant director in 1952 [source: p. 394 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXVIX, 1952]; and she became the executive director in 1956 [source: p. 511 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXXIII, 1956]. Elza Richardson had started at the YWCA as early as 1940 [source: p. 528 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXII, 1940-41]. In 1945, she was a cook at the Lexington Signal Depot [source: p. 317 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXV, 1945], and she was still there in 1947 [source: p. 465 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXVI, 1947]. In 1958, she was an elevator operator at Kaufman Clothers [source: p. 441 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XXVII, 1948-49]. Three years later, she was the assistant director at the Phyllis Wheatly {Colored} Branch of the Lexington YWCA. Elza O. Richardson died January 26, 1983 [source: Kentucky Death Index], she outlived her brother Smoke by 20 years: Saunders "Smoke" Richardson, Jr. died September 12, 1963 in Fayette County, KY [source: Kentucky Death Index]. One of his last performances was at the patients' picnic at Eastern State Hospital in June of 1962 [source: Kentucky's First Asylum by A. W. Deese, p. 313]. This entry was suggested by Saunda C. Richardson Coleman.

 

*Robert Thompson (maternal grandfather)

*Julia Johnson Thompson (maternal grandmother)

*Henry Richardson (paternal grandfather)

*Mary E. Smith Richardson (paternal grandmother)

*Saunders Richardson, Sr., 1879-1935 (father)

*Julia Mae Thompson Richardson, 1883-1934 (mother)

*Robert Richardson, 1902-1947 (son)

*Elza Richardson, 1904-1983 (daughter)

*Saunders "Smoke" Richardson, Jr., 1906-1963 (son)

*Saunda Carol Richardson Coleman (daughter of Saunders "Smoke" Richardson, Jr.)

 

  See April 1934 photo image of Smoke Richardson and His Orchestra, photo at Explore UK (Smoke Richardson, top row, center).
Subjects: Baseball, Businesses, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Richmond Colored Branch Library (Madison County, KY)
Start Year : 1942
The Richmond Colored Library was located in the Richmond Colored School. The library was a branch of the Altrusa Club Library. The club had formed a library for whites with the assistance of the WPA pack horse libraries. When funding for the pack horse libraries was discontinued, the WPA financed a librarian's salary and donated at least 1,000 books to organizations within a town that was willing to take on the responsibility of a public library. The Altrusa Club library opened in Richmond on August 21, 1941, and the following year the Richmond Colored Branch Library was opened within the colored school. The library had 200 books and was managed by school principal Joseph Fletcher and his wife Margaret who was a teacher at the school. More books were to be added to the collection if the library was actually used by the public. There are no annual reports about the library and it is not known how long the library continued as a public library. The Richmond Public Library, a Woman's Club Library, did not provide services to Negroes prior to 1956, but the library did provide discarded and duplicate books and periodicals to the Richmond Colored School library. There was also bookmobile services in the community. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; and J. Barrow, "Richmond Public Library," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, v.8, p.15.

Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Ricketts, Matthew Oliver
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1917
Matthew O. Ricketts was born in Henry County, KY, to slave parents. The family moved to Missouri when Ricketts was a small child. He grew up to become the first African American Senator in the Nebraska Legislature in 1892 and was elected again in 1894. He was an advocate for the stronger civil rights laws in Nebraska. Ricketts was also a leader of the Prince Hall Masons. He was a graduate of Lincoln Institute in Missouri [now Lincoln University of Missouri] and Omaha Medical College, the first African American to graduate from a college or university in Nebraska. He was the husband of Alice Ricketts, and the family of four lived in St. Joseph Ward, Buchanan County, MO, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Matthew Oliver Ricketts at BlackPast.org; Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature, by W. A. Howard; and Impertinences: selected writings of Elia Peattie, a journalist in the Giided Age, by E. W. Peattie.



Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration West, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Missouri / Nebraska

Riggs, Arthur J.
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1936
Arthur J. Riggs was born in Shelbyville, KY, the son of Rachel and Lloyd Riggs. In 1860, the family was free and is listed in the U.S. Federal Census. Arthur Riggs is regarded as one of the founders of Elkdom among African Americans. He took the last name Riggs after being freed from slavery; his family had been owned by Reverend John Tevis, a Carmelite minister. Riggs worked a number of jobs, including a stint at the Galt House in Louisville, KY, and later left for Cincinnati, where he was employed as a waiter at the Grand Hotel. He helped organize the Knights of Pythias Lodge in 1896 and served as Grand Chancellor of the State. Riggs and B. F. [Benjamin Franklin] Howard of Covington, KY, established the Negro Elks Lodge in Cincinnati. Riggs's participation in the Elks cost him his job as a Pullman Porter; he had gained access to the white Elks Ritual, which was used in establishing the Negro Elks Lodge. Riggs was later run out of Cincinnati and settled in Springfield, OH, with his family. He lived under an assumed name. With assistance from lawyer William L. Anderson, Riggs had learned from the Register of Copyright of the Library of Congress that the Ritual had no copyright; therefore, it was redrafted and copyrighted to Riggs in 1898 for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World. As the organization continued to grow and add form, Riggs received more threats. He left the Elks then for two decades. B. F. Howard took over the management of the organization and moved it to Covington, KY. Riggs died prior to the 37th Grand Lodge meeting in August 1936; his death is mentioned in the April 15, 1936 issue of the Springfield Daily News. For more see History of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World, 1898-1954, by C. H. Wesley.

See photo image of Arthur J. Riggs at the Elks Photo Gallery website.
Subjects: Migration North, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Springfield, Ohio

Riley, Clay
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1898
Clay Riley was a jockey from Kentucky. He died in Philadelphia, PA, September 1, 1898 [source: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Death Certificates Index and Return of a Death in the City of Philadelphia, Physician's Certificate #5710]. Riley was married and lived at 224 Randolph Street. He was buried at the Alms House Cemetery in Philadelphia. Riley may have been from Bourbon County; he lived at the home of A. W. Bedford in 1880 and was employed as a servant [source: U. S. Census].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ringo, William
Birth Year : 1862
William Ringo was a rider in Babylon, NY, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Ringo was born in Kentucky around 1862. He is mentioned in the Long Island Forum, 1995, p. 28, as a rider at Belmont's Nursery in North Babylon. There is an 8 year old Willie Ringo listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census whose family lived in Georgetown, KY.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Babylon, New York

Rioting at the Dix River Dam Project Site
Start Year : 1924
On November 1924, the Kentucky National Guard's Troop A-54 Machine Gun Squadron arrived at the Dix Dam hydroelectric project site to defuse a situation in the employee camps. White workers and farmers on one side were pitted against African American workers on the other side. The camps were located in Mercer County, KY, and the clash between the two stemmed from the murder of a white employee, 21 year old newlywed Edward Winkle. About 300-500 of the 700 African American employees had been driven from their camp partially dressed, some without shoes. The men were being driven to the Burgin railroad depot by armed white men when Marshal J. T. Royalty and Sheriff Walter Kennedy, of Mercer County, took control of the situation. Suffering from exposure, the African American men returned to their camp escorted by one unit of the National Guard, and at the request of the construction contractors another unit remained on guard at the dam. African Americans John Chance and John Williams were arrested for the murder of Winkle. Work on the dam began in 1923 and was completed in 1927. The dam was the largest rock-filled dam in the world. It is still in use today. For more, see "White man killed, Negroes menaced: Kentucky mob threatened workers after slaying of laborer on electric dam," New York Times, 11/11/1924, p. 25; and the newspaper article in the Fresno Bee, 11/10/1924. For more about the dam see the Herrington Lake Conservation League website.

See 1930 photo image of Dix River Dam at University of Louisville Libraries, Herald-Post, Digital Collections.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mercer County, Kentucky / Dix Dam, Mercer and Garrard County, Kentucky / Burgin, Boyle County, Kentucky

Rioting in Louisville, KY (1968)
Start Year : 1968
In the 1960s, racial tension had been growing in Louisville. On May 27, 1968, a rally took place at 28th and Greenwood to protest the arrest of Charles Thomas and Manfred G. Reid. Earlier that month, on May 8, Patrolmen James B. Minton and Edward J. Wegenast had stopped Thomas, a schoolteacher, because he was driving a car that was similar to one used in a burglary. The stop was made in an African American neighborhood. A crowd began to gather, and Patrolmen Michael A. Clifford and Ralph J. Zehnder arrived as backup. Reid, a real estate broker, was nearby and questioned the arrest. Patrolmen Clifford ordered Reid and others to get back; he was poking Reid in the chest with his finger. A scuffle occurred between Clifford and Reid. A crowd of 200 or so African Americans gathered and began yelling at the officers. Reid and Thomas were arrested. Three weeks later, a rally was called in response to the arrests; 350-400 people attended. There were several speakers, and a rumor circulated that Stokely Carmichael would be speaking. At the end of the rally a confrontation occurred between some who had attended the rally and the police who were patrolling the intersection of 28th and Greenwood. The skirmish escalated, growing into a full-fledged riot in the West End, lasting for almost a week. Six units of the national guard, over 2,000 guardsmen, were ordered to Louisville. Looting and shooting occurred, buildings were burned, two teens were killed, and 472 people were arrested. For more see K. H. Williams, "'Oh Baby... It's Really Happening:' The Louisville Race Riot of 1968," Kentucky History Journal, vol. 3 (1988), pp. 48-64; "Troops and Negroes Clash in Louisville Disorder," New York Times, 05/29/1968, p. 17; and the many articles in the Louisville Times, Courier-Journal and other local papers beginning May 28, 1968.

See photo image from rioting in Louisville, KY in 1968, at KET Living the Story website.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Roach, Sanford Thomas
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2010
Born in Frankfort, KY, Sanford T. Roach played basketball and football as a student and was also the 1933 high school class salutatorian when he graduated from Bate High School in Danville, KY. Roach was a 1937 graduate of Kentucky State University and taught for one year and served as a guard at Kentucky Village with the Kentucky Houses of Reform, schools for delinquent children. He started teaching general science at Bate High School in 1938 and was also the basketball coach; he achieved a record of 98-24 while coaching at Bate High School. In 1941, Roach became a teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Dunbar High School, he coached the Dunbar Bearcats to a 512-142 record over a 22 year period. He later became the first African American principal at an integrated elementary school in Lexington, KY, at Carver School in 1965, and was the first African American board member of the University of Kentucky Athletic Association. For more see Transition Game, by B. Reed; Sanford Roach Biography, a HistoryMaker website; and "Legacy knows no bounds," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/01/2010, pp. 1, A2, and A8 [two articles - M. Fields, M. Davis].

Access Interview Read about the Sanford T. Roach oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.

 

  Watch the Sanford T. Roach interview online on "Connections with Renee Shaw," program #219, at the KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.

 

Access Interview Listen to the audio and read the transcript of the Sanford T. Roach interview in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, Oral History Project, at the Kentucky Historical Society.
Subjects: Baseball, Basketball, Education and Educators, Football, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Robb, Jackson
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1977
Jackson Robb was an undertaker, musician, owner of a dance school, and community leader in Frankfort, KY. Jackson was born in Frankfort, the son of Mary E. Jackson Robb and Thomas K. Robb. He was the husband of Kathryn Taylor Robb. The Robb family was considered wealthy: Jackson owned the family funeral home business that his father started in 1900 on Clinton Street in Frankfort. The family was also associated with politicians, such as Kentucky House Member Mae Street Kidd, who sometimes stayed at their home; and heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. In November 1940, Jackson Robb, and Joe Louis and his trainer Jack Blackburn and secretary, Freddie Guinyard, were involved in a car accident on the way to Kentucky State Industrial College [now Kentucky State University] to congratulate the football team on the invitation to play Morris Brown College in a bowl game. A photo of Jackson Robb is included in the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collection. For more see "Joe Louis escapes death in auto crash with undertaker," Lowell Sun, 11/20/1940, p. 79; Passing for Black, by W. Hall; and Community Memories, by W. L. Fletcher, et. al.

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Robb, Thomas K.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1932
Born in Frankfort, KY, Thomas K. Robb worked in lumber and was Yard Master at Burnside, Williamstown, and Louisville, all Kentucky communities. In 1896 he was elected Lumber Inspector for the Frankfort Penitentiary by the State Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, beating out the other 11 competitors, who were all white. He and Lucas B. Willis were partners in an undertaker business in 1897, and Robb became the sole owner of the business in 1900 when Willis moved to Indianapolis [source: "Lucas B. Willis" on p.287 in Who's Who of the Colored Race edited by F. L. Mather]. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Robb and several other members of his family lived with his mother and stepfather, Bias Combs, on East Main Street in Frankfort, and after opening his undertaker business, Robb lived on Lewis Street. In 1918, Robb's undertaker business and his livery stable were destroyed by fire, resulting in $5,000 in damages [source: "Kentucky Notes," The National Underwriter, 1918, v.22, p.11]. Robb rebuilt and continued to have a prosperous business. Thomas K. Robb was the son of Kate Kenney Robb Combs and James Robb, and the husband of Mary E. Jackson Robb. Mary and Thomas lived at 300 Clinton Street according to Thomas K. Robb's death certificate, and Thomas Robb's funeral was handled by undertaker George W. Saffell. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Logging, Lumbering, Lumber Business, Lumber Employees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Burnside, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Williamstown, Grant County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robert H. Williams Children's Home and Cultural Center
Start Year : 1980
The name Robert H. Williams is probably best known in connection with the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center at 644 Georgetown Street in Lexington, KY. The building was formerly the Lexington Colored Orphan Industrial Home from 1892-1980. Robert H. Williams, a farmer, was a trustee of the orphan home, and he left the bulk of his estate to the home. In 1980, the name of the home was changed to the Robert H. Williams Children's Home, and in 1988, when there were no longer any children at the home, the name was changed to the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center. For more see "Williams Cultural Center plans open house today," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/09/1990, p. B3; and "Kids wanted: home offers to provide care for children of single parents," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/18/1984, pp. B1 and B2.

See photo image of the historical marker in front of the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center, at the Tom Eblen blog stie.
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Robert J. Doherty Photographs
Robert J. Doherty was born in 1924. He documented Louisville, KY, scenes, political rallies and events, prominent Louisvillians, and important visitors to the city. His photographs of Martin Luther King in Louisville and at the 1964 march on Frankfort, KY, have frequently appeared in print. Doherty founded the University of Louisville Libraries' Photographic Archives. For more see Robert J. Doherty photographs at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project
Start Year : 1977
End Year : 1981
The oral history interviews conducted by Robert Penn Warren for his book, Who Speaks for the Negro?, are located in the Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project in the University of Kentucky's Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. A list of the interviews available online include Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.  For more on the author, who is a Kentucky native, see the Robert Penn Warren Papers at the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Access Interview Read about the Robert Penn Warren oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Roberts, Erwin
Birth Year : 1972
In 2004, Erwin Roberts was the first Director of Homeland Security in Kentucky. Later that year he was named Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet by Governor Fletcher. He resigned from that position in 2006, the same year that he was named to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees; his term expired in 2012. Roberts is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky Law School. He was an attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC in the Louisville office. He has served as Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Kentucky and as Fayette County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney. In 2010,. Erwin Roberts opened his law pracice in Louisville, KY. For more see Kentucky Government Press Release, "Personnel Cabinet Secretary Erwin Roberts resigns," 05/03/2006; and the Erwin Roberts Law Office website.


 
Subjects: Lawyers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Roberts Settlement (Indiana)
Start Year : 1800
Roberts Settlement is one of several African American farm neighborhoods formed in the early 1800s. The community of Roberts was named for the family members who were free-born early pioneers of the Roberts family from Northampton County, NC. They began settling in Indiana in the 1830s, and by the 1870s others had joined them, both free-born and ex-slaves from Kentucky and North Carolina. Those from Kentucky included Jacob Davis, who owned 130 acres in Roberts Settlement, and landowners John Roads and Edmund Hurley. For more see Southern Seed, Northern Soil, by S. A. Vincent; and H. Wiley, "Keeping history alive," The Indianapolis Star [online at Indystar.com], 01/31/1993.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Roberts Settlement, Indiana / Northampton County, North Carolina / Kentucky

Robertson County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1870-1900
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1900
Robertson County, located in north-central Kentucky, was formed in 1867 from portions of Harrison, Mason, Bracken, and Nicholas Counties. One of the last battles in the American Revolutionary War took place in what is now Robertson County in 1782, the Battle of Blue Licks. Robertson County is named for Judge George Robertson, a U.S. Congressman who also served in the Kentucky House, as Kentucky Secretary of State, and in several other positions in Kentucky government. George Robertson was also a slave owner; he filed a lawsuit against William L. Utley during the American Civil War, seeking compensation for the loss of his slave named Adam. The seat of Robertson County is Mt. Olivet, established around 1820, and named for Mt. Olivet in the Bible. Robertson County was formed after slaves in Kentucky were freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Below are population numbers for Blacks and Mulattoes from 1870-1900.

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 136 Blacks
  • 93 Mulattoes
  • At least 3 U.S. Colored Troops listed Robertson County, KY, as their birth location. Jerry Brooks enlisted November 24, 1864; Abraham Norrington enlisted in 1863; and Thomas Thompson enlisted October 13, 1864. [Note: Robertson County, Kentucky was not officially a county until 1867. The birth location of the three troops may be an error, or they many have been born in Robertson County, TN. There is also the possibility that Robertson County, KY, was recognized by the local people before it officially became a county in 1867.]
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 231 Blacks
  • 47 Mulattoes
1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • 130 Blacks
For more, see Robertson County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia; see "Blue Licks" in the History of Nicholas County, compiled and edited by J. W. Conley; and the 1846 Kentucky Legislature Resolution replacing Jack Hart's rifle that was lost in the Battle of Blue Licks, in the Edmund T. Halsey Collection.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Robertson County, Kentucky

Robinson, Adam M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1950
In 2007, Adam M. Robinson, Jr. is the 36th Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy and was named Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, both confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Robinson was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Hilda Brown Robinson and Dr. Adam Robinson, Sr. Their son, Adam, Jr., is a 1968 graduate of Louisville Dupont Male High School. Robinson came from a musical family that integrated the local symphony orchestra in Louisville: his mother, sister, and brother played violin, and Adam Robinson, Jr. played the French horn. After high school, Robinson earned his undergraduate degree in 1972 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 1976, both from Indiana University. He later earned a masters in business administration at the University of South Florida. Robinson has been in the Navy since his enlistment in 1977, and he has an extensive record of accomplishments, including having been the ship's surgeon on the USS Midway, head of the Colon and Rectal Surgery Division at the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland, and head of the General Surgery Department and director of the Residency Program at the Naval Medical Center in Virginia. In 2005, Robinson became the commander of the Navy Medicine National Capital Area Region. His accomplishments also include decorations such as the Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Joint Service Achievement Medal. Dr. Robinson is a member of numerous organizations, including the Black Academic Surgeons; he is an associate professor of surgery at the National Health Sciences School of Medicine. This entry was submitted by Charlene Genton Mattingly. For more see Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. at the United States Navy Biography website; and G. A. Dawson, "Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD", Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 100, issue 2 (February 2008), pp. 168-170. Watch the video of Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. MC, USN on YouTube.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robinson, H.
Robinson, from Paris, KY, invented the Robinson Mechanical Book, a crank operated dictionary that spelled and defined words. For more see p. 17 of The Negro Year Book (1925).
Subjects: Inventors
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Robinson, Jackie
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1972
Originally from Georgia, Jackie Robinson was the first African American baseball player in the major leagues. He began his professional baseball career while in the Army, in 1944, as a member of the post team; he was a lieutenant stationed at Ft. Breckinridge, KY. It was there in 1945 that Robinson signed his baseball contract with a Brooklyn Dodgers farm club. In 1947 Robinson became a member of the Dodgers team. For more see Kentucky Historical Marker Database "Baseball Great" [#1762]; and the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000.

See photo image of Jakie Robinson at the Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Georgia / Fort Breckinridge [or Camp Breckinridge], Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists)

Robinson, James H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1963
James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the son of Nathaniel and Martha Robinson. He moved to Cincinnati in 1915 to teach sixth grade at Douglass School. Robinson was a World War I veteran. He would become the Executive Secretary of the Negro Civic Welfare Association, which sponsored African American social work for the City of Cincinnati. He was also author of a number of publications, including the "Cincinnati Negro Survey" (later called "The Negro in Cincinnati"), published by the National Conference of Social Work in 1919; and "Social Agencies and Race Relations," a printed address in the Proceedings of the National Inter-Racial Conference (1925). Robinson attended Fisk University, earning his A.B. in 1911. He earned a second A.B. degree in 1912, an M.A. degree in 1914, and then pursued his Ph.D. in sociology, all at Yale University. He was the first African American to receive a fellowship at Yale University, the Larned Fellowship in 1913. Robinson also studied sociology and social service at the graduate level at Columbia University from 1914-1915. James H. Robinson, Sr. was a member of several organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and he was the only African American member of the National Council of the American Association of Social Workers. He was the husband of Neola E. Woodson, who was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the newly formed Zeta Chapter in 1920. She was a school teacher in Cincinnati and at Covington High School. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; River Jordan, by J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Race and the city: work, community, and protest in Cincinnati, 1820-1970, by H. L. Taylor; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

See photo image of James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. within the Digital Images Database at Yale University Manuscripts and Archives.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Robinson, Jimmy (boxer)
Robinson, a lightweight boxer who weighed around 142 pounds, was born in Louisville, KY. He started his career in 1946, boxing against Frankie Malone in Louisville, KY. The bout ended in a 4-4 draw. Many of Robinson's fights took place in Louisville or in a neighboring state. His career ended July 1951 with a loss to Gene George Carpentier, in a fight that was held in Newark, NJ. Robinson's overall record was 24 wins with 11 KOs, 16 losses with 4 KOs, and 3 draws. For more see Jimmy Robinson at boxrec.com;
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentuckky

Robinson, John Wallace
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1941
Robinson, born in Shelbyville, KY, was pastor and founder of Christ Community Church of Harlem and pastor of St. Mark's Methodist Episcopal Church, both in New York City. He led the building of a new facility for St. Mark's congregation, "Cathedral of Negro Methodism," which cost $500,000. Robinson was a graduate of Indiana University and Gammon Theological Seminary. He started preaching in 1894 and was a minister in Chicago before moving on to New York City in 1923. Robinson was also a civil rights activist; he fought for a federal anti-lynching bill. In 1935 he represented Negro ministers as a member of Mayor LaGardia's investigation committee, which was formed in response to the riot in Harlem on March 19, 1935, which included the police shooting death of 16 year old Lloyd Hobbs, an African American. Countee Cullen and A. Philip Randolph were also on the committee. For more see "Dr. J. W. Robinson, retired pastor, 70," New York Times, 11/28/1941, p. 23. For more about the riot, see Race, Space, and Riots in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, by J. L. Abu-Lughod.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Harlem, New York City, New York

Robinson, Kathy
Kathy Robinson came to Kentucky from St. Louis, Missouri, in 1983; she accompanied her sister, who was in the military and had been transferred to Paducah. In 1988, Robinson wanted to sell music but recognized the need for a community news outlet, so she created The Kentucky Voice. The event marked the return of a newspaper that focused on the African American community in Paducah. Editor and publisher T. A. Lawrence had published such a paper in the 1920s, as had Pleasant A. Nichols in the late 1800s. The Kentucky Voice newspaper is published monthly, and home delivery is $1 per month. Thomas Bell takes care of the graphic design and production, and the newspaper is produced by the Murray Ledger & Times newspaper. Kathy Robinson is also head of the non-profit "The Genesis House: A Place for New Beginnings," an economic development and resource center. Robinson and her husband also own a beauty supply store, which allows them to continue their ministry. For more contact Kathy Robinson at The Kentucky Voice, 1210 Bernheim Street, Paducah, Kentucky 42001, (270) 210-6874, thekentuckyvoice@hotmail.com.
Subjects: Businesses, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Robinson, Keith
Birth Year : 1976
Keith Robinson, an actor and singer, was born in Kentucky and grew up in South Carolina and later moved to Augusta, GA. He played the character C. C. White, brother to Effie White, in the 2006 award-winning musical film, Dreamgirls. He played the role of the Green Lightspeed Ranger in the TV series Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue and had a guest role in the TV series Monk (2005). He has appeared in several films, including This Christmas, Fat Albert, and the Hallmark movie The Reading Room. Robinson has recorded a few singles. For more see M. K. Hoffman, "Keith Robinson: music is my first love," Jet, vol. 112, issue 3 (July 23, 2007), p. 40; and view Keith Robinson at R&B Live - Spotlight New York on YouTube.

See photo image of Keith Robinson and additional information at IMDb.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Carolina / Augusta, Georgia

Robinson, Melford J.
Robinson, appointed in 1970 to the Lynch Independent School Board, was the board's first African American member. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Robinson, Sharon Porter
Birth Year : 1944
Sharon Porter Robinson, the daughter of Harriett Bibb Porter and Woodford R. Porter, Sr., was born in Louisville, KY, and is the president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). Her term began in 2005 and will end in 2010. She is the first African American woman to serve as the organization's chief executive officer. Robinson has served as senior vice president and COO of the Educational Testing Service (ETS). She was Assistant Secretary of Education with the U.S. Department of Education, served as director of several different departments in the National Education Association (NEA), and in 1993, was appointed by then President Clinton as Assistant Secretary for Education over the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). It was the first time an African American had been selected for the post. [In 2002, OERI was replaced when President Bush signed into law the Education Sciences Reform Act, which resulted in a new organization, the Institute of Educational Sciences.] Robinson earned three bachelor's, a master's, and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Education. For more information see Sharon P. Robinson at Education Hall of Fame, a University of Kentucky website; S. P. Robinson, "Preparing teachers for the classroom," CQ Congressional Testimony, Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony section, 05/17/2007, House Education and Labor Committee; and Who's Who Among African Americans (2008).


Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robinson, Thomas Harry
Birth Year : 1889
In 1916, [Thomas] Harry Robinson was thought to be the first African American foreman employed at the Ford Automobile Works in Detroit, MI [source: "Mr. Harry Robinson...," The Crisis, February 1917, v.13, no.4, p.192; and "Ford employs a colored foreman," Advocate, 12/22/1916, p.1]. He was in charge of of all stock leaving the factory. Harry Robinson was born November 24, 1889, in Louisville, KY, according to his WWI Draft Registration Card. He was the husband of Aletha Robinson from Ohio. Both Thomas and Aletha Robinson are sometimes listed as white or mulatto in the U.S. Federal Census. In 1940, Thomas Harry Robinson was a widower and lived on Whitewood Street in Detroit [source: U.S. Federal Census].

Subjects: Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Robinson, William Henry
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1962
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Robinson was head of the Physics and Math Department at Tillotson College [now Houston-Tillotson University] and Bricks Junior College, in North Carolina, and assistant director of the Mechanical Arts Department at Prairie View College [now Prairie View A&M University] before becoming head of the Physics and Math Department at North Carolina College [now North Carolina Central University], beginning in 1938. Robinson received his Ph.D. in 1937. He was author of several articles, including "The Negro and the Field of Physics," Beta Kappa Chi Bulletin (1945). William H. Robinson died in Durham, NC, on March 27, 1962, he was the son of Amanda Obannon Robinson and Lee Robinson [source: North Carolina Death Certificate]. He was the husband of Fannie Robinson. William H. Robinson's funeral arrangements were handled by A. D. Porter and Sons in Louisville, KY, and he was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Physicists, Migration East, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Texas

Rockcastle County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Rockcastle County was named for the Rockcastle River. The river was named in 1767 by Isaac Lindsey, an explorer who viewed the rock formations along the water and thought they resembled castles. Rockcastle County was formed in 1810 from portions of Lincoln, Madison, Knox, and Pulaski Counties. About a quarter of the county is in the Daniel Boone National Forest. The county seat is Mt. Vernon, established prior to 1790 and named for George Washington's 8,000-acre plantation home in Virginia [info]. The 1810 county population was 245 [heads of households], according to the 1810 U.S. Federal Census; that did not include the 154 slaves. By 1830, there was one free Negro slave owner. In 1860, the county population increased to 4,986, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 163 slave owners
  • 503 Black slaves
  • 124 Mulatto slaves
  • 7 free Blacks [last names, Cabb, True, and 1 Woodall]
  • 26 free Mulattoes [last names Ann and Gatliff, 1 Edwards, 1 Wiggins, 2 Woodall]

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 93 slave owners
  • 248 Black slaves
  • 109 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks [last names Gatliff, Ture, and 1 Rentfroe]
  • 27 free Mulattoes [last names Cornett, Gatliff, Wiggins, Woodall, 1 Hubbard, 1 Moore]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 242 Blacks
  • 85 Mulattoes
  • At least two U.S. Colored Troops listed Rockcastle County, KY, as their birth location [David Newcomb and William Smith, both of whom enlisted at Camp Nelson].

For more, see the Rockcastle County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Oral History Interview of Nettie Sherman, by N. H. Sherman and L. J. Goff; "Rockcastle County (Robert Mullins)" in Slave Narratives, Volume 7, by Work Projects Administration; and the Mt. Vernon Signal, a Kentucky newspaper.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Rockcastle County, Kentucky

Rogers, Lydia Jetton
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1998
Lydia Jetton Rogers was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Henrietta Jetton and John Jetton who was a post office clerk in Louisville [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1930, Lydia Jetton was a divorcee living in Chicago on South Parkway; she was a roommate with Kentuckians Ethel Hill, a department store stenographer, and Frankie V. Adams, then a secretary at the YWCA [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1939, Lydia Jetton returned to Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. as director of student services, and she would become a home economics instructor; she had earned her bachelor's degree in home economics from Bennett College, her master's degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin, and was studying for her doctorate during the summers at Columbia University [sources: Hill's Greensboro (Guilford County, N.C.) City Directory, volumes 1936-1942; "In it's program...," The Crisis, December 1939, p.357, bottom of column 3; and "3 members of Bennett faculty get awards," The Afro American, 04/27/1940, p.9]. By 1949, Lydia Jetton had married Otis Rogers, the marriage would end in divorce. The couple lived in Washington, D.C. at 341 Bryant St. N.W. Lydia Rogers' work with the military allowed her to traveled abroad during WWII, arriving back in the U.S. on the Samaria (ship), September 18, 1949 [source: U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service, List of In-bound Passengers, List No. 31, p.141]. Rogers was a researcher in clothing and textiles at the Bureau of Standards and studied synthetic fibers for the military. She was also acting head of the Home Economics Department at Howard University. In 1951, she took a two year leave to establish a home economics department at Osmund College in Nigeria, Africa. Lydia Jetton Rogers retired from Howard University in the 1960s. She was 100 years old when she died, October 7, 1998 in Washington, D.C. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Lydia Rogers dies; professor at Howard U., The Washington Post, Obituaries section, p.B06.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Researchers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Greensboro, North Carolina / Washington, D.C. / Nigeria, Africa

Roll of Emigrants to Liberia, 1820-1843, and Liberian Census Data, 1843
Start Year : 1820
End Year : 1843
-Data and Information Services Center, Online Data Archive
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats
Geographic Region: United States / Liberia, Africa

Roll of Honor, Colored Soldiers, Kentucky
Start Year : 1868
Roll of Honor No.XVII is a register of the Civil War dead, 1861-1865. "Quartermaster General's Office, General orders no. 20, June 9, 1868," from the title page. This is a government publication that lists the names of 13,573 Union soldiers. The men are buried in national and public cemeteries in Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia. Included are Colored soldiers buried in Kentucky.

Kentucky Cemeteries:

  • Eastern Cemetery in Louisville, KY
  • Mill Springs National Cemetery in Nancy, KY [info .pdf]
  • Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington, KY [info.]
  • Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, KY [info .pdf]
  • Lexington National Cemetery in Lexington, KY [info.]
  • Tompkinsville National Cemetery in Tompkinsville, KY
  • Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville, KY [info .pdf];
  • Frankfort City Cemetery in Frankfort, KY
For more see Roll of Honor by United States Army Quartermaster's Department.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nancy, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Tompkinsville, Monroe County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin

Rose, Edward
Rose grew up near Louisville, KY. His birth and death dates are not known for certain, but he lived during the late 1700s and early 1800s. His father was a white trader and his mother was referred to as a Cherokee-Negro woman. Rose was known as a shrewd businessman who would fight to the death, more often than not coming out on top of a deal by any means necessary. He was sometimes referred to as a "celebrated outlaw." Rose also had a unique skill for languages, particularly Native American languages, and he was one of the few successful guides, hunters, and fur traders in the uncharted western territory, so much so that his services were a necessity. When he wasn't leading an expedition, Rose lived with the Crow, Arikara, Omaha, and other Native Americans. It is believed he was killed in a tribal battle sometime around the mid 1830s. Edward Rose was one of the contemporaries who mapped the west for future generations, though his name has been forgotten over time. For more see W. Blenkinsop, "Edward Rose," The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, 1972, vol. 9, pp. 335-345; K. W. Porter, "Roll of Overland Astorians," Oregon Historical Quarterly, 1933, vol. 34, p. 111; and In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, by Q. Taylor.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky
Start Year : 1917
End Year : 1932
Between 1917 and 1932, more than 155 new Rosenwald facilities were constructed in over half the counties in Kentucky. Logan County had the most facilities: 8 Rosenwald schools and a library. Overall, Kentucky used very little of the Rosenwald Fund - Kentucky (3%), Maryland (3%), Florida (2%), and Missouri (0%) utilized the least amounts of the Rosenwald Funds of the 15 states building Rosenwald Schools. The effort behind the schools was the result of the collaboration between African American education leader Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, a German-Jewish immigrant who owned Sears, Roebuck and Co. Rosenwald schools were built throughout the South, and for African American children the schools greatly increased the opportunity for an education in a modern building. For more see Rosenwald schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932, and Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, Exhibit Guide [includes map of school locations], both by A. Turley-Adams; and J. S. McCormick, "The Julius Rosenwald Fund," Journal of Negro Education, vol. 3, issue 4 (Oct. 1934), pp. 605-626. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.


  
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Ross, Gerald D.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1991
Born in Washington, KY, Gerald David Ross was appointed Aide to the Honorable Stanley F. Reed, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, holding the job for 19 years. Gerald D. Ross was the son of Henry and Mary Ross. For more see"Justice Reed Resigns from Supreme Court," Louisville Defender, 03/07/57.

Access Interview Read about the Gerald D. Ross oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Washington, Mason County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Ross, J. Allen
From Frankfort, KY, Ross was secretary of the National Negro Democratic Executive Committee and organizer of the Negro Democratic Party in Kentucky following the end of the Civil War. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Ross, James A.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1949
Born in Columbus, KY, James A. Ross was a lawyer, politician, real estate broker, journalist, editor, and publisher. His family left Kentucky when Ross was a child; he was raised in Cairo, IL, and later moved farther north. Ross was editor and proprietor of The Reformer (Detroit) and publisher of the monthly magazine, Gazetteer and Guide (NY), written for African American Pullman Porters and railroad and hotel employees. He declined the U. S. Consul appointment to Cape Haitien in 1893. Ross was in charge of the Negro exhibit at the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition, held in Buffalo, and he was Vice-President of the National Colored Democratic League Bureau in Chicago in 1912. He served as Race Relations Executive for the Works Progress Administration in Albany, NY. In 1946, Ross was elected president of the New York State Colored Real Estate Brokers Exchange. He was the husband of Cora B. Hawkins Ross (b.1874 in Canada), and the family of six lived on Michigan Street in Buffalo, NY, in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "James A. Ross," New York Times, 04/28/1949, p. 31.

See newspaper image of James A. Ross and additional information at the Uncrowned Community Builders website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA)
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Detroit, Michigan / Buffalo and Albany, New York / Chicago, Illinois

Ross, Travus
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1908
Travus Ross, from Kentucky, served as a body servant during the Civil War, first for Colonel Roberts and later for General Sherman. After the war, he was appointed to the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., where he was a special messenger. He served under 17 postmaster generals. In 1901 his annual salary was increased to $1,000. Travus Ross died September 29, 1908 in Washington, D.C. [source: District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, rf #cn 182228]. He was thought to be 60 years old. For more see "Travus Ross," an article in the Special Issue to The New York Times, 09/30/1908, p. 7, and also in Every Where; an American Magazine of World-Wide Interest, vol. 23, issue 1 (September 1908), p. 173 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Ross, William H.
Birth Year : 1869
Born in Madisonville, KY, William H. Ross taught school in Muhlenberg County, KY, before he quit teaching in 1887 to go into the grocery store business with his father in Madisonville. The business was known as John [R.] Ross & Son. Ross was also politically active: he stood at the voting polls to make sure every African American in Madisonville voted Republican, which resulted in his being physically attacked by Democrats. He was Assistant Elector of the Second Congressional District in the 1896 presidential campaign. William H. Ross was the husband of Cordie Ross who was a school teacher in Madisonville. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Voting Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Rounds, Ned and Ellen [Honey Island, Mississippi]
Ned (1825 - ?) and Ellen (1835 - died between 1880 and 1900) were slaves born in Kentucky and were either sold or taken down South. They were owned by Peter James, Sr. and lived on the Stonewall Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. After he was freed, Ned Rounds became one of the largest landowners in the community he helped found, Honey Island, MS. Ned could not read or write, but he could count: he served as a banker for residents of Honey Island. He was a wealthy man who had been a slave and was the son of slaves who were also born in Kentucky. By 1910, the succeeding generation of the Rounds family had heavily mortgaged the land. The family wealth was lost and family members began leaving Honey Island, moving to northern locations. For more on the history of the Rounds family see Honey Island, by J. Hunter.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Communities, Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Honey Island, Mississippi

Rout, Richard
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1905
Richard Rout was born around 1861 in Stanford, KY, the son of Judy [or Juda] Rout. In 1891, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army in Cincinnati, OH, on December 8 [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. He had previously enlisted in November of 1886, serving with the 25th Infantry. He enlisted again the 12th of December 1896, at Ft. Harrison, MT. Rout was one of the twenty soldiers in Company H, 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps. In 1897, starting on the 14th of June, the men rode bicycles 1,900 miles from Ft. Missoula, MT, to St. Louis, MO, arriving the 24th of July. They were testing the bicycles as a mode of transportation for troops. According to an article in the National Baptist World newspaper, the bicycle had been considered a failure for Army purposes in 1894, based on tests in Germany, France, and Austria. But in 1897, Lt. James A. Moss was given the mission of leading 20 soldiers on the 1,900 mile trip; Lt. Moss's final report would be a factor as to whether the U.S. Army would form a Bicycle Corp or not. Richard Rout and his fellow soldiers completed the journey, but a bicycle corp was not formed. Rout was still in the Army in 1898, Company H, 25th Infantry, stationed in Ft. Missoula, MT, according to a newspaper article; Richard Rout had written a letter to his sister, Annie Rout Myers Saulter, in Stanford, KY, saying that he was getting ready to go to war and his company would be marching to Dry Tortugas [source: see "Richard Rout" in article "Added Local," Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, 04/01/1898, p. 2, column 2]. The orders were changed and the unit went to Cuba. Richard Rout was discharged from the Army Jun 17, 1899 at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and he was noted as an excellent corporal [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1896, p.43]. According to his death certificate #283, Richard Rout was born in 1861, and he had been employed as a porter prior to his death from hepatitis at St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson, AZ, on September 20, 1905, and he was buried in the Citizens Cemetery in Prescott, AZ. [From 1864-1933, both veterans and civilians were buried in Citizens Cemetery which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.] In addition to his sister, Annie Rout Myers Saulter (1865-1911), Richard Rout's other siblings were Jessie Rout Myers (1859-1915) and Susan Rout (b. 1853) [sources: 1870 U.S. Federal Census and Kentucky Death Certificates]. For more see Richard Rout in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; "Pvt. Richard Rout," Riders of the Bicycle Corps blog, and an overview of 25th Bicycle Corps; see "25th Infantry Regiment Bicycle Corps" the daily account on pp. 28-38 in Black Warriors, by A. E. Williams; The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels, a PBS Home Video; and "A failure: the bicycle not a success for Army purposes - test made in Europe," National Baptist World, 11/09/1894, p. 3.

See photo image of the 25th Bicycle Corps at the blog site.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Fort Missoula, Montana / Saint Louis, Missouri / Tucson, Arizona

Rowan County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Rowan County, in northeastern Kentucky, was formed in 1856 from portions of Fleming and Morgan Counties; it is surrounded by seven counties and named for John Rowan, who served as Kentucky Secretary of State, Kentucky House Member, and U.S. Senator. The county was almost dissolved due to the Rowan County War, 1884-1887, also known as the Martin-Tolliver feud. The county seat, Morehead, was established in 1856 and named for Kentucky Governor James T. Morehead. The 1860 county population was 2,140, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 32 slave owners
  • 110 Black slaves
  • 32 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black [Jo Million]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 21 Blacks
  • 24 Mulattoes
  • At least two U.S. Colored Troops listed Rowan County, KY, as their birth location [Mathew Davis and Scipio Torrence].
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 95 Blacks
For more see Rowan County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Rowan County, Kentucky

The Rowan Family
The Federal Hill plantation in Bardstown, KY, is thought to be the location exalted in Stephen Foster's 1852 song, My Old Kentucky Home (sung at University of Kentucky sports events - see on YouTube). Stephen Foster's relative, Judge John Rowan, Sr., owned the plantation. Rowan also represented Kentucky in the U.S. House and Senate; Rowan County was named for him in 1856. Over a century later, Ida Roberts, an African American descendant of the John Rowan family, published the history of the Rowan relatives who were slaves. For more see "Whose Old Kentucky Home?" Louisville Magazine, Sept. 1996; and Rising Above It All: a tribute to the Rowan slaves of Federal Hill, by I. M. K. R. C. Roberts.
Subjects: My Old Kentucky Home
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky

Royal Photo Company Collection
Start Year : 1903
End Year : 1972
The Royal Photo Company was founded in Louisville, KY, in 1903 by Louis Bramson and operated as a commercial photography studio until 1972. The collection is a valuable source of information about commerce, industry, and major construction during this important period. In addition, there are significant groups of photographs showing workers, family groups, and minorities in Louisville. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries Photographic Archives.

See the M.R. Kopmeyer Co. Photo of Oertel Negro couple framed display from Royal Photo Company online digital collection at the University of Louisville.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Royal, Wesley
Birth Year : 1844
Royal, a farmer who was born in Virginia, had been living in Christian County, KY, for about five years when he lost his bid for the Kentucky Legislature in 1871. Royal claimed to have had a brother in the Virginia Legislature. By 1880, Royal was one of two African Americans in the Christian County jail. For more see "A Big dusty-colored Negro, named Wesley Royal, is a candidate for the Legislature in Christian County, Kentucky," Daily Arkansas Gazette, 07/15/1871, issue 201, col. E; and the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Christian County, KY.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky

Roye, John Edward and Nancy [Edward James Roye]
John Roye (d.1829) told others that he had been born a slave in Kentucky. He and his wife Nancy (d. 1840) moved to Newark, OH, where Roye became a prosperous land owner. He was also part owner in a river ferry, and left all that he owned to his son Edward J. Roye, b 1815 in Newark, OH. Edward Roye was a barber and he owned a bathhouse in Terre Haute, IN. He was educated and had been a student at the University of Athens (OH). He left the U.S. for Liberia in 1845 and was a merchant. Roye became one of the richest men in Liberia. He became the Chief Justice and Speaker of the House. He founded the newspaper Liberia Sentinel in 1845, a short-lived venture that lasted about a year. In January 1870 , Edward Roye became the fifth President of Liberia. During his presidency, he was accused of embezzlement and jailed in October 1871. He escaped, and it is believed he drowned sometime in 1872 while swimming to a ship in the Monrovia harbor. For more see "Edward Jenkins Roye," Newark Advocate, 04/22/1984; C. Garcia, "TH barber Edward James Roye became 5th president of Liberia," Tribune Star, 02/24/2007, pp.1&5; and Edward James Roye in The Political and Legislative History of Liberia by C. H. Huberich.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Mothers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Newark, Ohio / Liberia, Africa

Rudd, Daniel A.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1933
Daniel Rudd was born in Bardstown, KY, the son of Robert Rudd and Elizabeth Hayden. In 1884 he established the newspaper Ohio State Tribune, which later became the American Catholic Tribune and moved to Cincinnati, then to Detroit. He helped to establish the Catholic Press Association and the Afro-American Press Association. Rudd also organized annual congresses of African American Catholics to help define the meaning of Roman Catholicism for African Americans. For more see Canaan land: a religious history of African Americans, by A. J. Roboteau; and for a fuller account of Daniel Rudd's life, see his entry by Cyprian Davis in African American Lives by H. L. Gates and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

Rudd, Robert R.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1930
Robert R. Rudd was from Bloomfield, Nelson County, KY, and grew up in Ohio. He was born July 25, 1860, the son of Charles H. and Jemima Rudd, and it is not known if he was ever enslaved [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census & Rudd's death certificate]. The family of six was living in Springfield, OH, as early as 1870 [source. U.S. Federal Census]. Robert R. Rudd was a carpenter as a civilian. In the military, he was captain of the "I" Company of the 48th Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Rudd's military career had begun in 1875, when as a teen he served with the Ohio National Guard, then later became a captain in 1881. The 48th Infantry began as a volunteer unit, one of the temporary regiments that was finally authorized by Congress. African American volunteers had not been accepted at the recruitment stations, so they formed their own volunteer units and appealed to the President of the United States and to Congress for military acceptance. The 48th Infantry served mainly in the Philippine Islands between 1900-1901, where some of the men died of diseases such tuberculosis and small pox. After the war, the 48th Infantry was mustered out of the service as a volunteer unit. Captain Robert R. Rudd was well respected for his command; he did survive the war. Rudd died January 20, 1930 in Springfield, OH, he was single and had lived at 727 Garfield [source: Ohio Certificate of Death, File #580]. For more about his service life, see the Robert R. Rudd Papers, 1875-1906, at the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center. For more about other African American men who served in the 48th Infantry during the Spanish-American War, see On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. K. Schubert and F. N. Schubert.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Ohio

Rudder, John Earl, Jr. [John Rudder and Doris Rudder v United States of America]
Birth Year : 1925
John E. Rudder, Jr., born in Paducah, KY, was the first African American to receive a regular commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a graduate of the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Rudder had enlisted in 1943 and served with the 51st Defense Battalion. He was discharged in 1946 and enrolled in Purdue University, where he was awarded an NROTC midshipman contract. He received his commission in 1948, was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant, then sent to Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. Rudder resigned his commission in 1949; the resignation was handled quietly by the press and the Marine Corps. Rudder's commission had come at a time when the Marine Corps was being challenged about its segregation policies. Rudder, his wife Doris, and their children settled in Washington, D.C., and in 1952 lived in a two bedroom apartment in the Lincoln Heights Dwellings. John became a cab driver; he would have a hard time keeping a job and eventually was expelled from Howard University Law School. In 1953, the Rudders were one of more than a million tenants of the federal housing projects required to sign the Certificate of Non-membership in Subversive Organizations. Families who refused to sign the certificate and refused to leave the premises were served with an eviction notice and a suit for possession. The Rudders filed suit against the action. The lower courts decided in favor of the National Capital Housing Authority [manager of the property owned by the United States]. The Rudders filed an appeal; in 1955 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington affirmed a judgment for the Rudders, and the eviction notice was withdrawn. By 1967, the FBI had accumulated eight volumes of surveillance materials on the Rudders. John was labeled a Communist. The Rudders had participated in anti-discrimination and anti-war rallies and marches and picket lines in front of downtown D.C. stores and restaurants. John Rudder said that he had refused the FBI's offer to become a government informant. Rudder was a Quaker and his wife Doris was white and Jewish; they had five children. Their sons Eugene and Karl grew up to become activists. In 1977, their daughter Miriam was denied clearance by the FBI for a research aide position with the congressional committee investigating the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. The clearance was denied because of her parents' protest activities. In 1978, their daughter Beatrice became the first female firefighter in Washington, D.C. John and Doris had become teachers and actors. John had appeared in the plays "Black Like Me" and "The Great White Hope." In 1981, two weeks before John and Doris were to appear in the play "Getting Out," they appeared on the television show 60 Minutes with their daughter Miriam to discuss what they saw as government harassment, including Miriam's employment denial. John E. Rudder, Jr. is the son of John Sr. and Beatrice Rudder. For more see African Americans and ROTC, by C. Johnson; "The Postwar Marine Corps," chapter 10 of Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965, by M. J. MacGregor, Jr. [available online at Project Gutenberg]; John Rudder and Doris Rudder, Appellants v. United States of America, Appellee , No. 12313, 226 F.2d 51, 96 U.S.App.D.C. 329 [online at bulk.resource.org]; T. Morgan, "Family of 'Subversives' pays a high price," Washington Post, 04/06/1981, First section, p. A1; J. Lardner, "John and Doris Rudder," Washington Post, 03/15/1981, Style, Show, Limelight section, p. K3; and J. Stevens, "First woman dons uniform of District Fire Department," Washington Post, 04/06/1978, District Weekly D section, p. C5. See also the 60 Minutes transcript v.XIII, no.24, as broadcast over the CBS Television Network, Sunday, March 1, 1981 [online]: with Morley Safer, John Rudder, Doris Rudder, Miriam Rudder, and U.S. Representative Louis Stokes (1925-1996) - titled " 'Sins" of the Fathers...," pp.6-11, at the Harold Weisberg Archive Digital Collection at Hood College.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Firefighters, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Rufus Ballard Atwood Oral History Project
Start Year : 1974
End Year : 1991
The following information comes from the description in the SPOKE Database. "Rufus Ballard Atwood (1897--1983) became president of the Kentucky Industrial College for Negroes, now known as Kentucky State University, in 1929. For many years, it was the only state college open to blacks in Kentucky. Atwood expanded and strengthened the academic and athletic programs and greatly increased enrollment during his tenure; he retired in 1962. Atwood and his friends, relatives, and associates discuss his life and career."

 

Access Interview Read more about the recordings available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Rules and regulations of the annual fair of the Colored A. & M. Association Incorporated: to be held on the grounds of the white fair association, Lexington, Ky., September 8, 9, 10, 11
Colored Agricultural and Mechanical Association. Lexington, Ky.: Standard Print, 1897. Title available at Transylvania University Library's Special Collections (call no. S552 .C65 1897z) in Lexington, KY.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Russell, Alfred F.
Birth Year : 1821
Death Year : 1884
Born in Bourbon County, KY, or Lexington, KY, Alfred F. Russell was referred to as a white slave; it was believed that Alfred was the son of a fair-skinned slave named Milly and a white father, John Russell, who was the son of Mary Owen Todd Russell Wickliffe, the richest woman in Kentucky. With the help of Mary Wickliffe, Alfred and his mother left Kentucky for Liberia in 1833. Alfred later served as Vice President, then became the tenth President of Liberia (1883-1884) when he completed A. W. Gardiner's term. For more see Letters from Liberia to Kentucky; and The Political and Legislative History of Liberia, by C. H. Huberich.

See photo image of Alfred F. Russell and other Liberian presidents at the Liberia Past and Present website.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Russell County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Russell County, located in south-central Kentucky, was formed in 1825 from portions of Adair, Cumberland, and Wayne Counties. Russell County is named for William Russell, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, Indian wars, and the War of 1812. He also served in the Virginia and Kentucky Legislatures. The seat of Russell County is Jamestown, which was formerly named Jacksonville after Andrew Jackson. The town was renamed Jamestown in 1826, named for James Woodridge, who gave the land for the town location. The 1830 county population was 569 [heads of households] according to the U.S. Federal Census; the population increased to 5,425 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 53 slave owners
  • 163 Black slaves
  • 20 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks
  • 4 free Mulattoes [two with the last name Brummet, one Dunkeson, one Garret]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 134 slave owners
  • 400 Black slaves
  • 159 Mulatto slaves
  • 8 free Blacks [most with last name Jackman and Rowe, one Epperson, one Faubus]
  • 4 free Mulattoes [two Whittle, one Jackman, one Richards]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 248 Blacks
  • 38 Mulattoes
  • About six U.S. Colored Troops listed Russell County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Russell County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Russell Co., Kentucky, Black Marriages, by C. L. Sanders; Russell County (Ky.): cemetery records; and "Jemima - a faithful Negro woman" in History of the Carlock Family and the Adventures of Pioneer Americans, by M. P. Carlock.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Russell County, Kentucky

Russell, Green Pinckney
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1936
Born in Logan County, KY, Russell was the first licensed African American teacher in Lexington, KY; Russell School is named for him. He was the first Supervisor of Negro Schools in Lexington, KY, 1896-1912. He was twice president of Kentucky State Industrial College for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. Russell was the son of Green and Frances Russell, and the husband of Lila E. Willis Russell, from Tennessee. The family resided in Frankfort,KY. Russell was an 1885 graduate of Berea College, and a 1913 graduate of Wilberforce University. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and J. A. Hardin, "Green Pickney Russell of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons," Journal of Black Studies, vol. 25, issue 5 (May 1995), pp. 610-621. See also the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library webpage. 

 

  See photo image of Green P. Russell and additional information at the bottom of the Berea College Founder's Day webpage.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Russell, Harvey C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1998
Harvey C. Russell, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Harvey C. Russell, Sr. and Julia Jones Russell and the brother of Bessie Tucker Russell Stone and Dr. Randa D. Russell. Harvey Russell, Jr. was a graduate of Kentucky State University. He was the first African American commissioned officer in the U. S. Coast Guard. For a short period of time he was employed by an African American soft drink company, the Brown Belle Bottling Company, owned by Arthur G. Gaston. In 1946, the company began selling Joe Louis Punch. The doo-wop group The Ravens recorded a radio spot, "Ain't No Punch Like Joe Louis Punch." Joe Louis invested in the business, but it was not a success. Harvey Russell, Jr. went on to become an outstanding employee at the Pepsi-Cola Company [now PepsiCo] for 33 years (in New York). Beginning as a field representative in 1950, he was named vice president of Corporate Planning for Pepsi-Cola in 1962 and in 1965 became vice president of PepsiCo. In 1968 he was appointed its corporate vice president of Community Affairs. Russell was the first African American to become vice president of a major corporation. He retired from the PepsiCo in 1983. For more see "Harvey C. Russell, Jr., 1918-1998: Longtime PepsiCo Executive was Nation's First African-American VP of Major Corporation," The Atlanta Inquirer, 03/14/1998, p. 3; "Pioneering Businessman, Harvey Russell, Jr. Dies at 79," Jet, 03/16/1998, p.18; and Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 23 (1997) & vol. 24 (1998).

See Harvey C. Russell, Jr. photo image on p.18 in Jet, 03/16/1998.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Russell, Harvey C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1949
Harvey C. Russell, Sr. was born in Bloomfield, KY. He was Dean of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and president of West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY. He organized the first State Parent-Teachers Association and the first State Inter-High School Athletic Association. In 1930, Russell was appointed the associate investigator in the National Survey of Secondary Education at a salary of $5,000. The Russell Neighborhood in Louisville, KY, was named in his honor; the area has been recognized with a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 2017]. He is author of The Kentucky Negro Education Association, 1877-1946. He was the husband of Julia Jones Russell and the father of Harvey C. Russell, Jr., Bessie Tucker Russell Stone, Dr. Randa D. Russell, Anna Howard Russell Pipes, and George Russell. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Kentuckian appointed Commissioner of Education," Wyandotte Echo, 05/16/1930, p.1.

 

  See photo image of Haravey C. Russell, Sr., bottom of left hand column, on p. 100 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.

 
Subjects: Authors, Communities, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Russell, Randa Davenport
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2008
Randa D. Russell was the second graduate of the college department at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] to earn a Ph.D. [The first was Sadie Yancey.] Randa D. Russell was a graduate of Central High School in Louisville, KY, and of Kentucky State College with an A.B. degree in education. She earned a bachelor's degree from North Carolina A&T [now North Carolina A&T State University], a master's from the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate (1949) from the University of Michigan. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and a fellow of the American School Health Association (ASHA). She also worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) promoting public health awareness in the Philippines and Taiwan. Randa Russell supported Berea College as a member of the Founders Club and by donating $75,000 to the school endowment. Russell was a professor at Virginia State University and at Spelman University. For 40 years she was a professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at North Carolina A&T. She retired in 1993, a year after the death of her companion, Eva Doris McKinney, who was a retired professor of physical education at the University of North Carolina. Randa D. Russell died in Cincinnati, OH, in 2008 and is buried in Louisville, KY. She was the daughter of Julia Jones Russell and Harvey C. Russell, Sr. and a sister of Bessie Tucker Russell Stone and Harvey C. Russell, Jr. For more see "22 faculty/staff members at N.C. A&T retire," News & Record (Greensboro), 06/24/1993, p. 2; "Two Kentucky state graduates...," The Crisis, vol. 57, no. 11 (Dec 1950), p. 736; "Eva Doris Mckinney, physical ed professor," Boston Herald, 06/13/1992, Obituaries section, p. 33; and A. Howard, "Randa Russell, 86, was public health expert," Cincinnati Enquirer, 01/25/2008. See also Russell's dissertation, A Study of the Factors Related to the Teaching of Physical Education in Selected Virginia Elementary Schools.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Greensboro, North Carolina / Cincinnati, Ohio

Russell, Ray Frederick
Birth Year : 1911
Born in Adairville, KY, Ray F. Russell was employed at the Agriculture, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, AK [now the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff]. He was first head of the history department (1937-1947), then became director of the division of Arts and Sciences in 1947. Russell was also chairman of the social science section of the Arkansas Teachers Association, beginning in 1948. Ray F. Russell was born February 9, 1911, the son of Mamie Conn [source: Kentucky Birth Index], and he was the husband of Mallie Belle Trice Russell, from Paducah, KY, the couple married in 1937 [source: Arkansas County Marriage Index]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West
Geographic Region: Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky / Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Russell, Samuel and Harriet
In 1841, the Russell family was purchased by philanthropist and abolitionist Gerrit Smith (1797-1874) and given their freedom. Samuel Russell died in 1857 and Harriett in 1886; both were born in Maryland. As a child, Harriet was nursemaid to Ann Carroll Fitzhugh, who lived in New York (Fitzhugh would later become the wife of Gerrit Smith). Prior to being reunited with Fitzhugh, Harriet was a slave in Kentucky, as was Samuel and the five children they had while in Kentucky. Their sixth child was born free in Peterboro, New York. For more see "Born a slave, died free; at least 30 African-Americans buried in Peterboro Cemetery," The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), 02/24/05, Madison Edition.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Maryland / New York / Kentucky

Russell, Willis
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1852
According to William F. Russell's thesis, The History of Education of Boyle County, pp. 217-221, Willis Russell taught the first colored school in Danville, located in a frame house on Green Street. The following information provided by historian Carolyn Bost Crabtree supports this claim. Willis Russell, the slave of Revolutionary War veteran Robert Craddock, was educated at a school that was established on Craddock's land around 1800 by a friend, fellow veteran, who was a Frenchman named Peter Tardiveau. When Craddock died in 1837, his will ("recorded in Will Book D, pp.106-113, Bowling Green, KY, County Clerks Office") emancipated his slaves, one of whom was Willis Russell who received a house and a portion of Craddock's land in Danville, KY, and land along the Rolling Fork River. According to author C. Fackler in his book Early Days in Danville, p.232, Willis Russell came to Danville and started a school in his house for colored children. This would have been around 1837; Craddock's will stipulated that Willis Russell had only a year, from the time of Craddock's death, to claim his property. Willis Russell and one other adult (both free) are listed in the same household in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census of Danville in Mercer County, KY [Boyle County was not formed until 1842]. Willis Russell and his wife Pamelia are listed as mulattoes in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census; Willis is a school teacher and no occupation is listed for his wife Pamelia or their daughter Jane. There are also three boys living with the family and historian Carolyn B. Crabtree suggests that the boys are Willis Russell's students. Willis Russell died February 10, 1852 [source: Kentucky Death Records, Boyle County, 1852, pp.1-2]. The Willis Russell House is located at 204 East Walnut Street, and in February 2012, an open house event was held at the renovated home. On November 19, 2012, the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) dedicated a historical marker for the Willis Russell House (more information at Kentucky.gov). For more information about Willis Russell, contact Carolyn B. Crabtree at the Boyle County Genealogical Association. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools in Boyle County, KY.

Additional information: In 1850, Willis F. Russell lived among several families of free African Americans who owned their homes [source: 1850 U.S. Federal Census]. The head of the families were men who were brick masons, stonemasons, and wagoners.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

 

[-- Return to search page --]