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Mack, Essie Dortch
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1940
Essie D. Mack assisted with the organization of the first African American kindergarten at Phillis Wheatley Colored School in Louisville, KY. She was president of the Kentucky Colored Parent-Teacher Association for nine years and president of the National Congress of Colored Parent-Teachers Associations for two terms. Essie D. Mack was the wife of Oliver P. Mack (1881-1941). She was the daughter of John and Emma Talbert Mack [source: Kentucky Death Certificate file no.19240]. Her funeral was handled by A. D. Porter and Sons, and she was buried in the Louisville Cemetery. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and "KY. woman heads P.-T.A. Congress," Baltimore Afro-American, 08/07/1937, p.12. 
 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mack, Lee Nor
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1985
Lee Nor Mack was a contractor who in 1965 was the first African American councilman to be elected in Shelbyville, KY since 1904. He served as a councilman from 1967-1985. He was a veteran of WWII. Lee Nor Mack Street is named in his honor. Lee Nor Mack died in Jefferson County, December 7, 1985.  For more see the announcement in Jet, vol. 29, issue 6 (11/18/1965), p. 9; and "Lee Nor Mack" by D. Puckett on pp.588-589 in The New History of Shelby County Kentucky.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Mack, Mary Bell
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1945
Bishop Mary Bell Mack was the founder of the Spiritualist Church of the Soul. She was a bishop as early as 1926 [source: "St. Mark's Church of the Soul," Youngstown Vindicator, 02/20/1926, p. 21]. She had a number of churches under her jurisdiction, including the Cincinnati Spiritualist Church in Ohio; St. Paul's Spiritualist Church in Newport, KY; and St. Matthew's Spiritualist Church in Lexington, KY. In the book, George Russell: the story of an American composer, by D. Heining, Bishop Mary Mack is described as being very wealthy with mansions and a chauffeur. Rev. Mary Mack is listed in William's Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory in the 1930s and 1940s. The following comes from the article, "News of Local Colored Folks," Youngstown Vindicator, 08/11/1943, p. 11: "Large crowds are attending the services in the Thornhill School, Wardle Ave. each evening when Bishop Mary Mack of Cincinnati leader of the Spiritual Churches of the Soul preaches. Divine healing services follow each service." In addition to being a bishop, Mary Mack owned a confectionery and a grocery store. Mary Bell Mack was born in Nicholasville, KY, the daughter of Lovis and Wallace Bell. The family of five is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Mary Bell married Ross Mack in 1892, they had two children. Ross Mack was also from Kentucky. The couple is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census: Mary Mack was a cook and Ross Mack was a barkeeper. Mary Mack moved to Cincinnati in 1903, where she lived on Richmond Street with her mother, daughter, sister, and a lodger [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bishop Mary Mack died in Cincinnati on December 7, 1945 [source: Ohio Deaths], and the birth date of 1883, inscribed on her tombstone, is incorrect.  While her birth year is inconsistent in the census records, Mary Bell Mack is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a 6 year old; therefore, her birth year was prior to 1883. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

 

 
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Macon, Theresa Gray
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1930
Theresa G. Macon was born in Louisville, KY, and is remembered for her work with the Colored women's clubs in Illinois. She was president of the Illinois and the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and a chartered member of the Ida B. Wells Club. Macon was recording secretary of the National Association of Colored Women. She was mentioned in the book, Lifting as They Climb, as one of the officers and committee members from Illinois who have contributed liberally to the national projects of the National Association of Colored Women. Theresa Macon was the wife of William Macon, who was a porter. The couple and Theresa's aunt, Ellen Rush, lived on W. 56th Street, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. Theresa Macon was the daughter of Seagmon and Jane Bush Gray [source: Illinois Deaths, and Still Births Index]. For more see the Theresa Macon entry in Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.
Subjects: Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Maddoxtown (Fayette County, KY)
Start Year : 1871
The unofficial date for the community's beginning has been given as 1871, though the Maddoxtown Baptist Church was established in 1867, so the community may very well have been established prior to 1871. Maddoxtown is named for Samuel Maddox, a landowner who sold his subdivided land of 1 1/2 - 2 acre lots to African Americans. The community is located along Huffman Mill Pike in Fayette County. By 1877 seven African American families populated the community, and over time larger lots were sold and the community continued to grow. Mattie and George Clay were two of the first homeowners. Nearly 100 people lived in the area in the early 1900s, but many have left the rural community for the city. A picture of the new Maddoxtown Colored School, dated 1929, along with several other pictures of the school and students, are available in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images. For more see M. Davis, "Settlement tales part of Fayette heritage," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/10/1999; Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith; and R. Rochelle, "Land of the free," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/09/2000.


Subjects: Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Maddoxtown, Fayette County, Kentucky

Madison, Cecil R., Sr.
Birth Year : 1943
Cecil R. Madison, Sr. was born in Lexington, KY. In 1968, he became the first African American employed full-time at the University of Kentucky (UK) Libraries; he was employed by the library system for 36 continuous years. Cecil was first a supply clerk, then advanced to become one of the highest ranking staff members in the library. In 2004 he became the first nominee from the library to receive the UK Lyman T. Johnson Alumni "Torch of Excellence Award." Prior to joining the library, Cecil was one of the original members of the Lexington Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), serving as secretary from 1959-1962. He attended old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and also attended Kentucky State University. Cecil Madison retired from the University of Kentucky Libraries in December 2005. For more information, see University of Kentucky Libraries' Off the Shelf, November 2004; and HR 130.

 

Access Interview Listen tothe recording and read about the Cecil R. Madison, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.


See photo images of Cecil R. Madison, Sr. being recognizied at the Kentucky House Chamber in 2005 [photographs at Kentucky Digital Library].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Madison (Chinn Slave)
Death Year : 1860
The following information comes from the article "Madison, the bell ringer" by Neva Williams in the Harrodsburg Herald, published the week of February 21-28, 1991. A copy of the article was provided by the Harrodsburg Historical Society (Marilyn B. Allen). Madison, the slave and servant of Christopher Chinn, was the first African American buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg, KY. Prior to his death in 1860, Madison had been the janitor and bell ringer at the Methodist Church for whites. He rang the bell before church services and he rang it when members of the church died. Chinn wanted Madison's funeral services to be held at the Methodist Church, but many of the members objected. Madison's funeral was held at the African Methodist Church with Rev. George L. Gould, from the white church, conducting the services. The funeral took place on September 3, 1860 and the bell at the Methodist Church was rang to note the death of Madison. Though there was opposition, Madison was buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery within the lot owned by Christopher Chinn. According to the article by Neva Williams, an ordinance was passed by city trustees that prohibited the burial of other African Americans in Spring Hill Cemetery. Christopher Chinn was wealthy, a trustee at the Methodist Church, and in 1860, he was 69 years old and a county judge according to the U. S. Federal Census. He died January 9, 1868. For more information, see a copy of the funeral notices that Christopher Chinn had printed announcing the services and burial of Madison, the notice is at the Harrodsburg Historical Society.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Madison, Clarence "Duke"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1997
Clarence "Duke" Madison was a recognized jazz saxophone player in Kentucky. He was born in Anderson, IN, the son of Roger and Beatrice Madison. Clarence Madison started playing the saxophone when he was eight years old, and as a teen he played with a number of bands. He performed and taught music, then enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 5, 1943 [source: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records]. During his time in the service, Madison was a member of the military band. After serving in the Army, Madison continued playing with various bands, coming to Kentucky in the 1940s to play with the Jordan Embry Band in Richmond, KY. He later moved to Lexington, KY, where he played jazz at local clubs and events for 50 years and led the Duke Madison Trio. He was also employed as a postal worker. He was mentioned in the Insiders' Guide to Greater Lexington: and Kentucky Bluegrass, by R. Maslin and J. Walter. There are also several earlier articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper that cover Madison and his music. The Lexington Jazz Arts Foundation established the Annual Duke Madison Scholarship in honor of Clarence "Duke" Madison for his many years of providing music to the Lexington area. Clarence Madison was the husband of Anna M. Gaines Madison. For more see Kentucky Senate Resolution 13 (SR13), 12/19/1997; J. Hewlett, "Jazz musician played in area for 50 years," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/14/1997, p. B1; and T. Carter, "New group seeking support for Jazz," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/22/1990, p. J1.

Access Interview Read about the Clarence D. Madison oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Migration South
Geographic Region: Anderson, Indiana / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Madison County African American Oral History Project and indexes
Start Year : 1990
End Year : 1994
The interviews were completed between 1990 and 1994, mostly by Dr. A.G. Dunston, a faculty member at Eastern Kentucky University. The collection is located at Eastern Kentucky University Library's University Archives. Transcripts are available online for many of the interviews, and there are indexes for most of the interviews also.
Access Interview
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky

Madison County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Madison County, named for 4th U.S. President James Madison, is located in central Kentucky, surrounded by seven counties. Madison County was formed in 1785 and the town of Milford served as the county seat until 1798 when Richmond became the county seat. [Judge John Kincaid had named the first county seat after his slave named Milford. It has been written that Kincaid granted Milford his freedom.] Richmond was located on land owned by State Representative John Miller, who named the town for his birthplace, Richmond, VA. In the First Kentucky Census, 1790, there were 5,035 whites and 737 slaves. The 1800 county population was 10,490, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 8,761 whites, 1,726 slaves, and 3 free coloreds. In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner. In 1860, the population was 11,173, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 812 slave owners
  • 4.392 Black slaves
  • 844 Mulatto slaves
  • 33 free Blacks
  • 37 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 945 slave owners
  • 5,039 Black slaves
  • 999 Mulatto slaves
  • 86 free Blacks
  • 63 free Mulattoes

1870 U. S. Federal Census

  • 5,811 Blacks
  • 378 Mulattoes
  • About 356 U.S. Colored Troops listed Madison County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Madison County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Berea and Madison County by J. G. Burnside; A Study of the black Warford and Bates families of Madison County, Kentucky by M. Groth; Connections: the Richmond, Kentucky area African-American heritage guide by the Richmond Tourism and Visitor Center; and History of Middletown Elementary School (archival material). Milford source: see Judge John Kincaid on p.564 in The History of Kentucky by Z. F. Smith.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky

Madisonville Black Expo
Start Year : 1997
Only one Black Expo has been held in Madisonville, in 1997, confirmed by the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce. One of the activities was the Willie Rascoe Woodworking Workshop.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Magee, Lazarus and Susan [Rev. James H. Magee]
The Magees were born in Kentucky; Lazarus (d. 1870) was free, and Susan (d. 1868) was a slave belonging to Billy Smith of Louisville, KY. Lazarus purchased Susan and her two children, and the family moved to Madison County, Illinois. There would be many more children, and they were sent to Racine, WI, to be educated. One of the children was Reverend James H. Magee (1839-1912), who was president of the Colored Local Historical Society in Springfield, IL; he formed the Black Man's Burden Association in Chicago. J. H. Magee had attended Pastors College [now Spurgeon's College] in London, England, from 1867-1868. He was an ordained minister, a school teacher, and an outspoken advocate for African American voting rights and education. He has been referred to as a leader of the African American people in Springfield, IL. For more see B. Cavanagh, "history talk 04-28-05" a Illinois Times web page that has been removed; and The Night of Affliction and the Morning of Recovery, by Rev. J. H. Magee.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Magistrates in Hopkinsville, KY
The first district of Christian County, KY, was two-thirds Black in 1982 and had been served by Black magistrates since the district was formed in 1905. The first elected was T. H. Moore, who was re-elected for his third term in 1916. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report by Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 18; and Negro Year Book: An Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1916-1917 [full-text available via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Magoffin County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Magoffin County, located in eastern Kentucky and surrounded by six counties, was formed in 1860 from portions of Floyd, Johnson, and Morgan Counties. Magoffin County is named for Beriah Magoffin, a lawyer, state senator, and the 21st Governor of Kentucky. The county seat is Salyersville, named in 1861 for Samuel Salyer, who was a Kentucky Representative; he pushed for the establishment of Magoffin County. The 1860 county population was 3,413, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the slaves. The population increased to 6,943 by 1880. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 13 slave owners
  • 43 Black slaves
  • 28 Mulatto slaves
  • 75 free Mulattoes [most with the last names Cole, Nickell, Oxyer, or Perkins]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 46 Blacks
  • 105 Mulattoes
  • One U.S. Colored Troop listed Magoffin County, KY, as his birth location. [Nelson Gardner]
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 63 Blacks
For more see the Magoffin County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; 'Beriah Magoffin' in Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, volume 2, by R. Sobel and J. Raimo; and E. T. Price, "The Mixed-blood racial strain of Carmel, Ohio, and Magoffin County, Kentucky," Ohio Journal of Science, vol. 50, issue 6 (November 1950), pp. 281-290 [available online at The Knowledge Bank at OSU].
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Magoffin County, Kentucky

Magowan Brothers and the Reporter (Mt. Sterling, KY)
Start Year : 1904
End Year : 1913
The Reporter Newspaper

  • The Reporter newspaper was published in Mt. Sterling, KY, by the brothers John D. Magowan and Noah W. Magowan. It was the first newspaper owned and operated by African Americans in the city of Mt. Sterling; the Mt. Sterling Advocate newspaper ran an article welcoming The Reporter. The paper was recognized as a strong voice for the Negro in Kentucky, and in 1907 when the Negro Press Association, Kentucky was formed with 14 members, N. W. Magowan was named president. One of the goals of the association was to solidify the Negro vote in the upcoming presidential election. The Reporter took on the cause. The newspaper had been established in April of 1904 as a weekly publication with Noah W. Magowan as editor, Reverend W. H. Brown and Reverend J. W. Smith associate editors, and John D. Magowan manager. [The Magowan brothers are mentioned in many sources by their first and middle initials and last names.] In January of 1908, as president of the Negro Press Association, Kentucky, N. W. Magowan made a call to all Negro press members in Kentucky to meet at the Kentucky Standard newspaper office in Louisville to discuss the political situation in the state, in reference to the presidential election and the selection of Negro delegates to the National Republican Convention. In March of 1908, The Reporter ran an editorial against William H. Taft, from Cincinnati, OH, who was campaigning to become President of the United States. The editorial was described by fellow Negro editor, W. D. Johnson of the Lexington Standard, as "unmanly, unkind, and intended to rouse race feelings against Mr. Taft." Not only did the two editors disagree about Taft, but Magowan and Johnson were two of the Negro candidates for delegate-at-large to the Republican Convention. The other candidates were J. E. Wood, editor of the Torchlight in Danville; R. T. Berry, editor of the Kentucky Reporter in Owensboro; Dr. E. W. Lane of Maysville; W. J. Gaines, Grand Master of the U. B. of F. [United Brothers of Friendship] in Covington; W. H. Steward, editor of the American Baptist in Louisville; and Dr. E. E. Underwood, editor of the Bluegrass Bugle in Frankfort. W. D. Johnson was expected to be the selected delegate among the Negro candidates. During the election, J. D. Magowan was an election officer in Mt. Sterling. When Taft became President in 1909, W. D. Johnson was rewarded for his loyalty: he was assigned to the General Land Office in Washington, D.C. Just prior to his appointment, N. W. Magowan, who had been against Taft as a presidential candidate, wrote an editorial in the Lexington Leader proclaiming W. D. Johnson's support of Taft was a forward-thinking decision, and he championed Johnson's right to a political reward for his loyalty. Magowan's good words about Johnson in the Lexington Leader were not an indication that the Reporter had changed its mission; in 1909, a letter from Berea College President William G. Frost was published in The Reporter in response to the argument presented by Rev. Morris of the Centenary Methodist Church of Lexington, who had said "the old Berea College ought to have been turned over to the Negroes." N. W. Magowan had been among the Berea graduates who attended the 1908 meeting at Berea College, hoping to adopt resolutions that would give Negroes the opportunity to help establish a new colored college if the Supreme Court did not set aside the Day Law [source: "Colored graduates meet," Citizen, 04/09/1908, available full-text at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers].

The Move to Washington, D. C.

  • In 1910, N. W. Magowan left The Reporter newspaper to become a clerk for the Census Bureau [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census], having received his appointment in April of 1910 [source: "Appointment at Washington," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/13/1910, p. 2]. W. D. Johnson had left the Lexington Standard newspaper and moved to Washington, D.C., and N. W. Magowan and his wife were regular guests at the Johnson home. The Reporter continued to be managed by J. D. Magowan until his death in 1913. His brother remained in Washington, D.C., and in January of 1915, N. W. Magowan delivered the principal address during the installation exercises of the Charles Sumner Post and Woman's Relief Corp. N. W. Magowan was a member of the Committee on Ways and Means of the National Emancipation Commemorative Society. By 1920, he was employed as a clerk at the post office and was elected president of the Post Office Relief Association. N. W. Magowan, his wife Mary, their son Paul (1911-1984), and a boarder all lived on Q Street [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census].

Noah and Mary Magowan

  • Mary W. Magowan (1870-1940) was from Bourbon County, KY; she had been a school teacher in Mt. Sterling, and in 1904 she was the Grand Worthy Counselor of the Independent Order of Calanthe. Noah W. Magowan was born October 26, 1868 in Mt. Sterling, KY, the son of John Wesley Magowan and Amanda Jackson Magowan [source: History of the Anti-Separate Coach Movement in Kentucky, edited by Rev. S. E. Smith, p. 171, available full-text at Kentucky Digital Library - Books]. Noah Magowan was a Berea College graduate and is listed as a student on p. 8 in the Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Berea College, 1889-90 [available online at Google Books]. N. W. Magowan was also a teacher beginning in 1887, and in 1890 was a teacher at the Colored Western School in Paris, KY [source: "A Tribute," Bourbon News, 05/02/1902, p. 5, available full-text at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers]. In 1892, he was elected a member of the State Central Committee, a group established to defeat the Separate Coach Bill in Kentucky [trains]. N. W. Magowan was a notary public in Mt. Sterling in 1896; he is listed on p. 902 in the Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky [available online at Google Books].

John D. and Mayner D. Magowan

  • John D. Magowan was born April 26, 1877 in Montgomery County, KY, and died July 15, 1913 [source: Certificate of Death]. He was one of at least five children of John Wesley Magowan (d. 1895), a Civil War veteran whose last name had been Brooks, and Amanda Trimble Jackson Magowan (d. 1925) [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; Civil War Veterans Headstone Records; Kentucky Death Record]. The John W. Magowan family lived in Smithville, located in Montgomery County, KY. After he was married, John D. and his wife, Mayner D. Magowan (b. 1879 in KY), lived in Harts, also located in Montgomery County, KY [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. In addition to being a newspaper printer and publisher, John D. Magowan was a member and officer of the Colored Knights of Pythias in Mt. Sterling.

Sources

  • "Dr. Frost," Lexington Leader, 02/28/1909, p. 16; "The Negroes in Kentucky...," American Baptist, 04/15/1904, p. 2; "The Reporter, The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/13/1904, p. 6; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 07/15/1913, p. 9; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 05/09/1904, p. 21; "Negro editor," Lexington Leader, 03/08/1908, p. 4; "Call to Negro editors," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1908, p. 10; "Negro pressmen," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 01/15/1908, p. 7; "Mrs. Mary E. Magowan...," Freeman, 03/15/1940, p. 7; "The contest in Kentucky this week...," Freeman, 04/25/1908, p. 1; "Editor W. D. Johnson," Freeman, 03/12/1910, p. 1; "West Washington," Washington Bee, 01/30/1915, p. 4.; "Lincoln's birthday," Washington Bee, 02/20/1915, p. 1; "Election of officers," Washington Bee, 12/18/1915, p. 4; "Colored Knights of Pythias here," Paducah Evening Sun, 07/27/1909, p. 5; and "Election officers," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/06/1909, p. 8.

Note

  • The dates for the Reporter are given as 1904-1915 in Bibliographic Checklist of African American Newspapers (2008), by B. K. Henritze, p. 58.
  • The following information was provided by Holly Hawkins, Montgomery County Historical Society: Amanda and John Wesley Magowan had five children, Noah William (1869-1945); James Edward (1870-1933); Susan Francis (b.1873); John D. (1877-1913); and Emily (b.1879). All of the sons and Susan attended the Academy at Berea. John D., James, and Noah are all buried in the Magowan Family plot in the Smithville cemetery.

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Harts, and Smithville, all in Montgomery County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Magowan, James E.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1933
The following information comes from the James E. Magowan archival file at the Montgomery County Historical Society and Museum in Mt. Sterling, KY. James E. Magowan was a successful businessman and a community leader. He was born in Montgomery County, the son of Amanda and John Wesley Magowan, and a brother of John, Noah, Susan, and Emily Magowan. The family lived in Smithville, KY. James Magowan, his brothers, and sister, Susan, all attended the Academy at Berea. As an adult, James Magowan was a real estate agent, loans and collecting agent, notary public, carpenter, contractor, and owner of the Magowan Theater and the colored skating rink in Mt. Sterling. James Magowan developed the Lincoln View Cemetery next to Olive Hill Cemetery in Smithville. The Lincoln View Cemetery opened on April 1, 1929, with James Magowan as president, his son, Jesse E., 1st vice president, and his wife, Lizzie, his daughter, Sarah, and his son-in-law and daughter, Watson D. Banks and Estella Magowan Banks, board members. James Magowan established a subdivision for African Americans next to the cemetery, and he owned and managed the waterline to the homes, charging a monthly fee for the service. He established the Mt. Sterling Colored Fair Association in 1909. He was owner of the James E. Magowan Grocery Store, which was located within the J. E. Magowan Hall (built in 1914) at the corner of East Locust and Fox Streets. James Magowan leased-out the grocery store and other space within the building. Additional information about James E. Magowan comes from "Achievements of the late James E. Magowan" on pp. 23-24 in Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. James E. Magowan was a school teacher for six years. He led the effort to extend the gas line into Smithville, and in 1915 he was president of the organization that had a sidewalk completed from the city limits of Mt. Sterling to the entrance of Olive Hill Cemetery. James Avenue in Mt. Sterling was named in his honor. James E. Magowan is buried in the Lincoln View Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, KY.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Communities, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Carpenters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Notary Public, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Magowan, John Wesley [Brooks]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1895
John W. Brooks was a slave born on the Magowan Farm in Montgomery County, KY. In 1864, Brooks and seven other African Americans left the Magowan farm and headed to Louisville to join up with the 109th Regiment, Company A of the United States Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Sergeant Brooks returned to Montgomery County and took the last name Magowan. He married Amanda Trimble, supporting his wife and children through his trade as a carpenter. John W. Magowan was one of the more prosperous African Americans in Montgomery County. The family lived in Smithville, and four of the children attended Berea Academy. John and Amanda's sons, Noah and John D. Magowan, were the first African Americans to establish a newspaper in Mt. Sterling, KY: The Reporter. Another son, James E. Magowan, was a successful businessman and community leader in Mt. Sterling. John Wesley Magowan died of consumption [tuberculosis] on February 3, 1895. This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society, and comes from her work included in the Civil War display at the Montgomery County Historical Society Museum in 2011. See the death notice for John Wesley Magowan in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 02/05/1895, p. 1, col. 3. There are several Magowan families listed in the U.S. Federal Census noted as Black and living in Montgomery County, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Carpenters, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Mahone, Willie Pearl
Birth Year : 1925
Mahone was born in the coal camps of Jenkins, KY. She is the subject of the award winning children's books in the The Willie Pearl Series, written by her daughter, Michelle Y. Green. Green is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Master's Program in Writing. Green's historical fiction series was written in the early 1990s and is set in a Depression-era coal-mining town in Kentucky. Willie Pearl: Under the Mountain, the second book in the series, received the 1993 Children's Literary Award for Multicultural Publishing. Information on Willie P. Mahone provided by Michelle Y. Green. For more see Michelle Y. Green on the Reading is Fundamental/Reading Planet website.
Subjects: Authors, Mothers, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky

Majozo, Estelle Conwill
Birth Year : 1949
Majozo was born in Louisville, KY. Early in her career, she produced the play Purgatory. She is a performer and author of several books, including works of poetry (The Middle Passage and Jiva Telling Rites), and she has written several plays. She was a collaborator in the creation of the terrazzo and brass project, Rivers, for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. She is also an English professor and presently teaches creative writing at the University of Louisville. She is a graduate of the University of Louisville (B.A. & M.A.) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D.). Majozo is a sister of Houston Conwill. For more see Come Out the Wilderness, by E. C. Majozo.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mallard, Joseph "Sunshine"
Birth Year : 1943
Born in Summit, MS, Joseph Mallard now lives in Louisville, KY. He is a performing artist of creative stitchery. Mallard is a member of the National Standards Council of American Embroiders Guild of America as well as the Kentucky Chapter. Since 1970 he has been teaching children in Kentucky and southern Indiana how to embroider. Mallard was inspired after seeing former football player Rosie Greer stitching on television. His patented trademark is J. Moose Stinkingneedle, a cartoon moose. Mallard is a graduate of Alcorn State University. For more see Black Kentucky Artists: an exhibition of work by black artists living in Kentucky (1979); and C. Bryon, "Stitches in time: artist's needlework reflects events in son's life," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 08/11/2002, News section, p. 1B.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Summit, Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mallory, Toreada D. Gardner
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1911
Toreada Mallory was born in Kentucky, she was a soprano singer who lived in Chicago. Her name was Toreada D. Gardner when she married Henry C. Mallory in Kansas City, MO, May 9, 1893, according to their marriage license. The couple lived in Chicago, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They were living there in 1898 when their newborn son died [source: Cook County, Illinois, Death Index]. Henry was a day laborer and Toreada was a concert singer. According to author Anne M. Knupfer, Toreada Mallory was a well known soprano in Illinois, and she was the aunt of poet and Kentucky native Bettiola Fortson. See Fortson's entry in Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri / Chicago, Illinois

Malone, Beverley L.
Birth Year : 1948
Beverley L. Malone was born in Hardin County, KY. She is a past chief executive officer of the National League of Nursing. Her prior employment includes the position of General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing in Great Britain (2001-2006), the world's largest nursing union, with over 300,000 members. The organization was founded in 1916 and the headquarters is located in London. Malone was the first "foreign" person to head the organization. In her prior post, she had been appointed deputy assistant secretary for Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration. She was president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), 1996-2000, the second African American to head the organization. She was a dean, vice chancellor, and professor at North Carolina A&T State University. Malone is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati (BS and Ph.D.) and Rutgers University (MS), For more see "New CEO of National League for Nursing has a real passion for nursing education..." in AORN Connections, vol. 5, issue 5 (2007 May), pp. 12-13; C. Parish, "Beverly Malone leaves with a rallying cry: Keep on fighting," Nursing Standard, vol. 21, issue 14-16 (12/13/2006), pp. 14-16; and Beverly Malone at nursingwiki.org.

See photo image and additional information about Beverley L. Malone at the National League of Nursing website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Union Organizations, Nurses
Geographic Region: Hardin County, Kentucky / England, Europe

Malone, Claudine B.
Birth Year : 1936
Claudine B. Malone, born in Louisville, KY, is a graduate of Wellesly College and Harvard Business School. Since 1984, she has been president and chief executive officer of Financial and Management Consulting, Inc. in McLean, Virginia. Malone has been a business professor at Harvard, Georgetown University, and the University of Virginia. She is on the board of directors of a number of corporations, including Hasbro, Inc., a post she held 1992-1999 and again since 2001. In 2003, Malone was named to the Norvell Board of Directors. For more see Claudine B Malone Profile at Forbes.com; Norvell names Claudine B. Malone and Kathy Brittain White to Board of Directors, a 12/01/2003 press release at the Norvell website; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.

See photo image of Claudine B. Malone (middle of the page) at Kellogg School of Management website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / McLean, Virginia

Malone, Robert E.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1944
Born in Louisville, KY, Malone was the last superintendent of the Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal School at Pine Bluff, Arkansas [now University of Arkansas Pine Bluff], 1922-1928. Following Malone's tenure, the head of the school was referred to as the president. Malone was also president of the Southwestern Life Insurance Company in Pine Bluff. He was author of A Study of 520 Rural Negro Homes in North Carolina, published by the North Carolina State Board of Vocational Education. Robert E. Malone was the son of Cora and Edward Malone. In 1900 the family lived on Nineteenth Street in Louisville, KY, and in 1910 they lived on West Magazine Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census, Edward Malone was a porter at the Post Office and his son Robert was a school teacher. Robert E. Malone was the husband of Mattie H. Malone (1891-1931), born in Virginia. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Pine Bluff, Arkansas / North Carolina

Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company
Start Year : 1915
End Year : 1992
A Louisville-based company, Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company was Kentucky's largest African American-owned business, with offices in Lexington and other cities. It was the 80th largest insurance company owned by African Americans in the United States. The main office was located in the 600 block on Walnut Street in Louisville, KY. The company founders were B. O. Wilkerson, Rochelle I. Smith, William H. Wright, and Henry E. Hall. The company had as many as 750 employees and assets of 30 million dollars. Policies were sold in eight states. In 1992, the company merged with Atlanta Life and the Kentucky offices were closed. For a more detailed history see the "Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company" entry in The Encyclopedia of Louisville by J. E. Kleber; Mammoth Life reference files at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; and J. Jordan, "A Mammoth achievement," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/16/04. See the NKAA entry for Henry E. Hall for additional information.

  See the photo images of the personnel at the Lexington Office of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company, 149 Deweese Street, at Kentucky Digital Library.  There are additional photo images with the search "Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company" in the Kentucky Digital Library.
 
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Marable, Fate C.
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1947
Fate C. Marable was born in Paducah, KY, the son of James and Lizzie L. Marable. He was a musical director, pianist, and riverboat calliope player. Fate Marable received his music training from his mother, who had taught music when she was a slave. In 1917, Marable formed the Kentucky Jazz Band with musicians from Paducah. He later formed the Jazz Maniacs, which included musician Louie Armstrong. Marable made two recordings in 1924: Frankie and Johnny and Pianoflage, both by Fate Marable's Society Syncopators. For more see American National Biography, ed. by J. A. Garraty and M. C. Carnes; Classic Jazz, by S. Yanow; and Fate Marable and Fate Marable's Society Syncopators at redhotjazz.com. View images and listen to Fate Marable's Society Syncopators - Frankie and Johnny (1924) on YouTube.

Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Marble, Harriett Beecher Stowe
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1966
Marble was the first African American woman pharmacist in Lexington, KY. She was born in Yazoo City, MS, the daughter of Solomon [or Saul] and Leah Ann Molette Marble. Harriett came to Lexington, KY, in 1921. Her pharmacy was located at 118 North Broadway, along with doctors' offices and an apartment on the third floor where Marble lived. Marble owned the building, which she had had renovated; the previous owners were Henry Ross and Jacob Speer, who owned the building when it had contained the People's Pharmacy, which opened in 1910. Today there is a KY Historical Marker at the building site. Several of Marble's family members also resided in Lexington: her sister Priscilla Marble Ford (1886-1924) died in Lexington, and her sister Lillie Marble Ray (b. 1883) owned a home at 170 Old Georgetown Street. Lillie deeded the home to Harriett in 1953. Harriett Marble was a graduate of Meharry Medical College. She made the top score on the test administered by the Mississippi State Board of Examiners in 1908 when she qualified for her pharmacy license. She was a pharmacist in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University] in Alabama, prior to coming to Kentucky. Marble and several family members are buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more see M. Davis, "First female black pharmacist no longer forgotten," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/08/2009; and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Marble entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Yazoo City, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Marion County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Prior to becoming Marion County, the area contained a Roman Catholic settlement with a population from Maryland and was home to the first Roman Catholic church built in Kentucky. The county, located in central Kentucky, was formed from a portion of Washington County in 1834. It is surrounded by seven counties and was named for Francis Marion, a veteran of the Revolutionary War who was known for his guerrilla warfare skills. The county seat, Lebanon, was established in 1814 by Benedict Spadling and John Handley and named for the Biblical Lebanon. The 1840 population was 1,449 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 9,114 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 579 slave owners
  • 2,618 Black slaves
  • 463 Mulatto slaves
  • 54 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 628 slave owners
  • 2,845 Black slaves
  • 636 Mulatto slaves
  • 92 free Blacks
  • 18 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 2,700 Blacks
  • 656 Mulattoes
  • About 106 U.S. Colored Troops listed Marion County, Kentucky, as their birth location.

For more see Marion County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Marion County, Kentucky vol. 1, by the Marion County Historical Society; Searching for Jim: Slavery in Sam Clemen's World, by T. Dempsey; and "McGoodwin v. Shelby" in Legal History of the Color Line: the rise and the triumph of the one-drop rule, F. W. Sweet.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Marion County, Kentucky

Marlatt, Abby
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2010
Abby Marlatt was appointed director of the University of Kentucky (UK) School of Home Economics [now the School of Human Environmental Sciences] in 1956. Dr. Marlatt is not African American; she was a believer in equality and fairness. She was active in the UK student YMCA's counseling of students about civil disobedience toward nonviolent objectives for racial equality. Dr. Marlatt was a member of C.O.R.E. and participated in sit-ins and stand-ins at establishments in Lexington. KY. She and another faculty member were investigated for imprudent acts by a committee appointed by the UK Board of Trustees and demoted from director of the School of Home Economics. In 1985 Dr. Marlatt was awarded the UK Sullivan Medallion for service to the community and University. Dr. Marlatt was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2001. She is a native of Manhattan, KS, and a graduate of Kansas State University and the University of California at Berkeley. For more see articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/62, 12/20/62 and 06/05/63; and K. Bednarski, "Abby Marlatt, Central Kentucky civil rights activist, dies at 93," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/04/10, Obituary section.



See photo image and additional information on Abby Marlatt at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Hall of Fame website.

 

Access Interview  

Listen to and view the Abby Marlatt oral history interviews and transcripts in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement In Kentucky Oral History Project.

 

Access Interview

Read about the Abby Marlatt oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Manhattan, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Marrs, Elijah P.
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1910
Elijah P. Marrs wrote an autobiography of his life as a slave in Shelby County - Life and History of the Rev. Elijah P. Marrs [available on the University of North Carolina University Library's Documenting the American South website]. He was the son of Andrew Marrs, who was free, and Frances Marrs, who was a slave, both from Virginia. Marrs, who learned to read and write, left the plantation to become a Union solider. After the war, he was founder of several churches and the first African American school teacher in Simpsonville. Marrs also taught at the school in Lagrange , New Castle, and the school held in a church in Braxton [Bracktown] in Lexington, KY. Elijah and his brother, J. C. Marrs, are credited as co-founders of Simmons University. After four years, Elijah Marrs sold his interest in the development of the school in 1874. While in Lagrange, KY, Elijah Marrs was the first African American to become president of the Republican Club of Oldham County, and he established the first colored agriculture and mechanical fair for the Simpson and Logan Counties  [source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.116 & p.134]. In New Castle, KY, he established the Loyal League for the Protection of Negroes.  For more see Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams.

See photo image of Elijah P. Marrs at Find a Grave.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Simpsonville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Virginia / Bracktown [Braxton], Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Marshall County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Marshall County, located in far western Kentucky and created in 1842, was part of Hickman County, and later it was the northern part of Calloway County. Prior to that, the land belonged to the Chickasaw Indians, and was bought as part of the Jackson Purchase. Marshall County is surrounded by six counties and was named for U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall. In 1842, Benton was named the county seat in honor of Thomas H. Benton, a U.S Senator from Missouri, who was born in North Carolina. The 1850 county population was 5,020, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and it increased to 6,635 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 86 slave owners
  • 204 Black slaves
  • 45 Mulatto slaves
  • 15 free Blacks [most with last name Davis, 3 Whitesides, 1 Grear, 1 Oglevey, 1 Still]
  • 4 free Mulattoes [2 Davis, 1 Grear, 1 Whitesides]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 125 slave owners
  • 275 Black slaves
  • 80 Mulatto slaves
  • 18 free Blacks
  • 17 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 282 Blacks
  • 86 Mulattoes
  • About 19 U.S. Colored Troops listed Marshall County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Marshall County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Marshall County, Kentucky, with illustrations and biographical sketches by Marshall County Genealogical Society; Tax Assessment Books 1843-1892 from Marshall County (KY) County Clerk; Oral History Interview with William Pryor.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Marshall County, Kentucky

Marshall, George
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1925
George Marshall is described as a "race horse man" in the Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index. He was born in Kentucky around 1860 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census], and he died in Rock Island, IL, November 4, 1925. He is buried in the Chippiannock Cemetery in Rock Island. George was the son of Henry and Martha Smith Marshall. At the time of his death, George Marshall was about 65 years old, and he and his family had been living in Rock Island for about 50 years. In 1880, Henry, Martha, and their five children were living on 5th Avenue [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1870, the family lived in Coal Valley, IL [source: U.S. Federal Census].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Coal Valley and Rock Island, Illinois

Marshall, Harriet (Hattie) A. Gibbs
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1941
The daughter of Mifflin Gibbs - the first African American judge - and Maria A. Alexander Gibbs, Hattie entered Oberlin Conservatory of Music at the age of 11. She graduated with honors in 1889, receiving a diploma in music, the first African American to do so. Hattie had been born in Victoria, British Columbia; the maternal side of her family lived in Kentucky. In 1891, she came to Kentucky to establish a music school at Eckstein Norton in Cane Springs; when the school closed she left Kentucky and was named director of music for the African American schools in Washington, D.C. While maintaining her position with the public schools, Gibbs opened the Washington Conservatory of Music (1903-1960), a successful institution that continued after her death. Hattie Gibbs' married name was Marshall. She was the granddaughter of Lucy Alexander and Henry Alexander. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the the Documenting the American South website; The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Harriet Gibbs Marshall, a Howard University website; "Career women of the capital," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/22/1939, p.17; and A History of Three African-American Women Who Made Important Contributions to Music Education Between 1903-1960 (thesis) by D. R. Patterson.

See photo image and additional information on Harriet (Hattie) A. Gibbs Marshall at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada / Cane Springs, Bullitt County, Kentucky / Washington D. C.

Marshall, Jim
Birth Year : 1937
Jim Marshall was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in Ohio, where he was an outstanding football player at East High School in Columbus. He played college ball at Ohio State University. Marshall left college his senior year to play in the Canadian Football League. He was later taken in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns in the 1960 NFL draft, then traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. Marshall, a defensive end, held the NFL record for playing in the most consecutive games. From 1961-1979 he never missed a game and had more playing time than any other football player in history: Marshall played in all 302 games of his career, including four Super Bowls. He is often remembered for retrieving a fumble and running 66 yards in the wrong direction, October 25, 1964, against the San Francisco 49ers. In spite of the wrong-way incident, Marshall held the record for recovering the most fumbles by opponents - 29. For more see "Vikings beat 49ers despite a long run to the wrong goal," New York Times, 10/26/1964, p. 43; "Jim Marshall in Viking farewell," New York Times, 12/16/1979, p. S5; and Jim Marshall (football player) at the MathDaily website.

See Jim Marshall's Grid Iron Greats interview in 2009 on YouTube.
Subjects: Football, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Minnesota

Martin Brothers
James I. Martin, born in 1879 in Glasgow, KY, and Jesse H. Martin, born in 1890 in Indianapolis, Indiana, began manufacturing clothes in 1909 in Indianapolis. Jesse was a salesman and vice president of Martin Brothers Duck Clothes Manufacturers. Their brother, Samuel Martin, born in 1886 in Indianapolis, was treasurer. Their company produced heavy cotton clothes, khaki, and uniforms. Martin Manufacturers was incorporated in 1922. The Martin brothers were the sons of Samuel and Eliza F. Davidson Martin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; and "African American Businesses" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer et al.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Martin, Clarence B.
Birth Year : 1963
Death Year : 2005
Clarence B. Martin, a native of Alabama, played high school basketball at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City, AL. In college, he played center for the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Hilltoppers basketball team from 1982 to 1987; he was redshirted for the 1983-1984 season because of an injury. Martin scored 888 points and had 684 rebounds while setting a school record for season and career blocked shots. He was the third round pick of the Utah Jazz in the 1987 NBA draft, but due to knee injuries, Martin opted to play professional ball in Japan. After eight years, Martin returned to work in Danville, KY, and at WKU, where he was a board member of the Athletic Hall of Fame. Martin and his family later moved to Atlanta, where he passed away in 2005. Clarence Martin is buried in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Clarence Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at WKU. For more see Clarence Martin at the Hilltopper Haven website; and A. Harvey, "Tribute album for WKU basketball great on sale," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 11/17/2005.

See photo image and additional information about Clarence B. Martin at the WKU Hilltopper Haven website.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Alexander City, Alabama / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Japan, Asia

Martin, Cornelius
Birth Year : 1949
Death Year : 2006
Cornelius Martin was born in Greenville, KY. In April 1985, he purchased a Bowling Green Oldsmobile/Cadillac dealership. By 1997 he owned an Oldsmobile/Cadillac dealership, a Dodge/Jeep/Eagle dealership, a Chevrolet/Geo dealership and four Saturn dealerships, totaling seven stores in four states. Today Martin Management is the second-largest African American dealership group in the U.S. and annually sells more than 10,500 new Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Hummer, Jeep, Kia, Lincoln-Mercury, Oldsmobile, Saab, and Saturn vehicles at dealerships in Arizona, California, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The company also sells more than 6,800 used cars each year and runs a Harley-Davidson dealership in Kentucky. Co-Mar Aviation provides aircraft service, hangaring, and fueling. For more see Hayes, C., "Selling into the stratosphere: B. E. auto dealer of the year - Cornelius Martin and his four Saturn dealerships, Martin Automotive Group - 25th Anniversary of the B.E. 100s - Cover Story," Black Enterprise, June 1997; and R. Minor, "A community loss, Martin, Mitchell killed, Leachman injured in accident," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 06/03/2006.
Subjects: Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Businesses
Geographic Region: Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Martin County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1880-1910
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1910
Martin County, located in far eastern Kentucky, was formed in 1870 from portions of Floyd, Johnson, Lawrence, and Pike Counties. It was named for John P. Martin, who was born in Virginia and served as a Kentucky Representative and as a Senator. He was also a U.S. Representative from Kentucky. The first county seat was Warfield, and was changed to Inez in 1873. Inez is one of the smallest county seats in Kentucky. The 1880 county population was 3,057, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and it increased to 7,291 by 1910. Martin County was formed after the ratification of the 13th Amendment which freed the slaves in Kentucky. Below are the number of Blacks and Mulattoes in the county 1880, 1900, and 1910.

1880 U.S. Federal Census

  • 30 Blacks [most with last names Davidson, Halden, and Justice]
1900 U. S. Federal Census
  • 12 Blacks
  • 3 Negroes [William and John Fields, and Rebeca J. Smith]
1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1 Black [Alfred Richards]
  • 2 Mulattoes [Allie Mickey and Martha Mickins]
For more see Martin County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Martin County, Kentucky

Martin, Janice R.
Birth Year : 1956
From Morganfield, KY, Janice R. Martin, at the age of 35 became the first elected African American woman judge in Kentucky, in 1991. She earned her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Louisville; she was the only African American female in the Class of 1977. Martin was also the first African American woman to serve as bar counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association.  She was selected by Gov. Brereton Jones to fill the District Court vacancy left by Judge Steven Mershon. She was then elected to the position in 1993, and retired in 2009. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-13th editions; Y. D. Coleman, "Kentucky's first Black female judge appointed," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, pp. 1 and 4;  "Janice Martin installed as first Black woman judge in Kentucky," Jet, 02/01/1993; and M. Williams, "The Honorable Janice Martin," Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.69.

 
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Martin, Marion A.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1990
Born in Illinois, Martin taught at Jackson Junior High School in Louisville, KY, from 1933-1962. He was the only African American teacher at Ahrens Night School and the first at Du Pont-Manual High School in 1962. Martin was named Teacher of the Year in 1963. He served for 25 years on the Louisville City Textbook Commission. Marion A. Martin was the son of Mary and Alexander Martin. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Martin, Sara [Dunn]
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1955
Born Sara Dunn in Louisville, KY, she began singing in church. At the age of 16 she was married and widowed. Sara took her second husband's last name, Martin. She began as a vaudeville singer in 1915 and later became the highest paid blues singer of the 1920s. She lived for a while in Chicago, then moved to New York. Martin sang with the W. C. Handy Band, sometimes billed as "Moanin' Mama" and sometimes performing under other names. Her first recording was Sugar Blues. She appeared on film with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and in 1930 appeared in the first all African American sound films, Darktown Scandals Revue [produced with The Exile]. Martin returned to Kentucky where she was a gospel singer; she also operated a nursing home in Louisville. For more see All Music Guide to the Blues. The experts' guide to the best blues recordings, ed. by M. Erlewine, et al.; The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., edited by C. Larkin; and Classic Jazz, by S. Yanow. View image and listen to Sara Martin & Her Jug Band - I'm Gonna Be a Lovin' Old Soul on YouTube.

Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Martin, William
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1997
Martin was born in Covington, KY. He was Northern Kentucky's best-known advocate for the rights of African-Americans. Martin appeared before the Covington City Commission to argue for better housing and youth programs. In 1975, he became the executive director of the city's community center. He had been a pianist and a high school music teacher at Lincoln-Grant and Holmes Hall. The community center, which would become the Martin Community Center, was moved into the Lincoln-Grant building; the school closed following integration. For more see J. C. K. Fisher and P. Kreimer, "Civil Rights advocate Martin dies," Cincinnati Post, 04/14/97.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Mason County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Mason County, located in northern Kentucky, was formed in 1788 and was one of the first eight counties established by the Virginia Legislature. It borders four Kentucky counties, and is bound on the north by the Ohio River. Mason County was named for George Mason, who was from Virginia and drafted an early version of the Bill of Rights. Maysville, named for Virginia surveyor John May, is the county seat, and was previously known as Limestone. In the First Census of Kentucky, 1790, there were 2,500 whites and 229 slaves. The 1800 county population was 12,182, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 10,347 whites, 1,747 slaves, and 88 free coloreds. In 1830 there were nine free African American slave owners in Mason County and three in Washington. By 1860, the population was 14,451, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 967 slave owners
  • 3,454 Black slaves
  • 837 Mulatto slaves
  • 227 free Blacks
  • 155 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 779 slave owners
  • 2,903 Black slaves
  • 862 Mulatto slaves
  • 227 free Blacks
  • 158 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 2,830 Blacks
  • 743 Mulattoes
  • About 316 U.S. Colored Troops listed Mason County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see the Mason County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; A Historical Sketch of Mason County, Kentucky by L.C. Lee; Free Negroes: inhabitants of Randolph Co., N.C., 1850-1860 by E. R. H. Grady; Marriage Bond Books, 1852-1979 by Mason County (KY) County Clerk; and Slavery in Mason County, Kentucky by C. R. Miller.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky

Mason, Jesse Edward
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
Born in Nicholasville, KY, Mason attended Kentucky State University and was a World War II veteran. He was the first African American licensed to sell used cars in Kentucky, operating his own business for 32 years. In 1965, Mason also organized the first American Little League Baseball Club, the Slugger Dodgers of Jessamine County. That same year, Mason was a leader in the integration of the Jessamine County public schools. In the 1990s, he led the movement to have the newly built middle school named Rosenwald-Dunbar, in honor of the African American high school that had closed following integration. For more see "February is Black History Month," The Jessamine Journal, 02/23/2006, pp. A1 & A8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Baseball, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Mason, Jim and Em
In 1920, the Masons may have been the oldest African American couple in Kentucky. Jim was thought to be 108 years old and Em was thought to be 117. They had both been slaves; once freed, they lived in a cabin in Waterford, KY. Em died when the cabin caught fire. Jim was burned in the fire and was placed in the Old Mason's Home in Shelbyville, where he died a short time later. Their story is told in a miniature book published by the Whippoorwill Press in Frankfort, KY. For more see Jim & Em: an 1920-1921 episode in Kentucky history, by J. H. Hamon.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Waterford, Spencer County, Kentucky

Mason, John
Mason was an escaped slave from Kentucky who became an Underground Railroad conductor. He had escaped from slavery in the 1830s, when he was about 12 years old, and settled in Ohio, where he later worked as a waiter to pay his way through Oberlin College, graduating in the 1840s. Soon after, he became an Underground Railroad conductor. It has been estimated that he helped more than 1,000 slaves to freedom in Canada. Mason was later captured and returned to his owner in Kentucky, who sold him to a buyer in New Orleans. Mason later escaped, taking another slave with him, and made his way to Canada. For more see The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, by W. H. Siebert, et al. [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and chapter 5, "Egypt's Border," in Front Line of Freedom, by K. P. Griffler.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Canada

Mason, Luther
Born in Scott County, KY, Mason was the first African American elected to the Scott County Board of Education, in 1976. He was re-elected in 1980. For more see "16 black school members serving in Kentucky," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Sixth Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 33.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky

Mason, Melvin T. "Mel"
Birth Year : 1943
Mason, a civil rights activist and an educator, was born and raised in Providence, KY. His family moved to Seaside, CA, where Mason was an outstanding basketball player at Monterey High School. He graduated in 1960 and would go on to play basketball at Monterey Peninsula (Junior) College [now Monterey Peninsula College, a community college], and left the school after his freshman year in 1961 to serve in the military. He was the youngest basketball player to be named All-Air Force. He led all branches of the military in scoring in Europe, and was named Air Force European Command Player of the Year in 1964. Problems that Mason considered racist in the military led to a Bad Conduct Discharge in 1965. With the help of U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel from California, the discharge was overturned and changed to an Honorable Discharge. Mason returned to Monterey Peninsula College in 1966 and became the only All-America basketball player in the school's history and he is still the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Mason then received over 100 basketball scholarship offers from around the United States. He accepted a scholarship at Oregon State University, but lost his scholarship after taking a solitary stand against what he describes as "the racist treatment of Black students," thus ending his basketball career; he was banned from playing basketball at any college in the U.S. Mason earned his B.A. in social science at Golden Gate University, his M.A. in social work from San Jose State University, and a clinical social worker's license (LCSW) from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. When he was an employee at Western Electric in Sunnyvale, CA, he helped form the Black Workers Unity Caucus to fight job discrimination and sexual harassment. Based on his work with the caucus, Mason was offered and accepted the invitation to join the Black Panther Party in 1968. In 1970, he organized a Black United Farmworkers Union Support Committee, and the first anti-police brutality campaigns on the Monterey Peninsula. In 1976, Mason was unsuccessful in his run for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board. He ran for governor of California in 1982, when he was ruled off the ballot. He was a city council member of Seaside, CA, where his voting record was investigated by the FBI due to his membership in the Socialist Workers Party. Mason ran for President of the United States in 1984 as a candidate of the Socialist Workers Party; he received 24,681 votes. He was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against the FBI and their use of the Counterintelligence Program against the Black Panther Party and other groups. Mason lived in New York 1985-1987, where he was part of the Anti-Apartheid Coalition in 1986, and helped form the largest Anti-Apartheid demonstration in the history of the movement, with over 300,000 people. Mason returned to Seaside, CA, in 1987, and in the early 1990s he became co-founder of the Regional Alliance for Progress Policy, and served as spokesperson and chairperson. He has founded and led a number of civil rights organizations and served on a number of boards. He is internationally known and has been the guest of Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Sinn Fein in Ireland, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Maori people in New Zealand. Mason retired in 2006 after 10 years at California State University, Monterey Bay, which marked the end of a 40 year career as an educator, counselor, and mental health practitioner and director. He is a former president of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP and vice president of the California NAACP Conference. He is the author of Mel Mason: the making of a revolutionary. Mason has also received many awards including his induction into the Monterey Peninsula College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2007, Mason received the Civil Rights Legacy Award from the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP. March of 2011, Mason was inducted into the California Community College Athletic Hall of Fame [the same hall of fame that Jackie Robinson was inducted into for his athletic accomplishments at Pasadena City College]. Mel Mason is currently an appointee to the Access to Excellence Committee with the California State University System. The program is designed to increase the admission of minority students to CSU campuses. For more see S. Purewal, "A Revolutionary life," The Monterey County Herald, 07/03/2006, Top Story section, p. A1; The Trial of Leonard Peltier, by J. Messerschmidt and W. M. Kunstler; D. Coffin, "Lobos Legacy," The Monterey County Herald, 09/28/2010, p.D1; J. Devine, "Mel Mason named to JC Hall of Fame," The Monterey County Herald, 01/31/2011, p.B1; D. Taylor, "A Lifelong battle for equality," The Monterey County Herald, 03/20/2011, p.A1; and see Mel Mason, Monterey Peninsula, induction 2011, a CCCAA website. Additional information was provided by Melvin T. Mason, contact him for a copy of his biography.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Seaside, California

Mason, William
Birth Year : 1918
Mason was born in Eminence, KY, where a street, Mason Avenue, was named in his honor for his civic and civil rights activities in the city. He fought for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to be a paid holiday for city employees and was an active member of the push to integrate the public schools during his tenure as city council member from 1963-1971. William Mason is also thought to be the first African American student at the University of Louisville. For more see B. Schanding, "Mr. Mason," Henry County Local, vol. 131, issue 10 (02/06/08), Main section, pp. 1A & 4A.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky

Masonic Lodge Rubicon #27 (Warsaw, KY)
Start Year : 1871
The lodge was established in 1871 in Warsaw, KY. The officers were Gleming Cousins, E. J. Burton, Nelson Jack, W. F. Cousins, and C. Robinson. For more see Chapter 4 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley.
Subjects: Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Warsaw, Gallatin County, Kentucky

Masonic Lodges in Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1852
Mt. Moriah Lodge #6 was established in 1852, St. Thomas Lodge #20 in 1858. In 1866, Merriweather Lodge #13 was moved to the jurisdiction of Louisville. In 1876, there were two Masonic lodges established in Louisville by Grand Master Paraham: Paraham Lodge #26 and Southern Cross #39. The Paraham Lodge officers were Alex Hanks, Franklin Glass, Solomon Stone, S. L. Hopkins, and John W. Turner. The Southern Cross officers were Shelton Guest, J. A. Brown, William T. Banks, S. Gillespie, and Horace Wrightson. Tuscan Lodge #58 was established in 1895 with officers James May, Edward Bowman, P. A. Rankin, John May, and E. H. Willis. The jurisdictional move of the Tuscan Lodge from the State of Ohio to the State of Kentucky was a controversial matter. For more see Chapters 2 & 4 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr. See also the NKAA entry Colored Lodges - Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Massie, J. Daniel
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1977
Massie was born in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1972 he had held public office longer than any other African American elected official in Kentucky. He was magistrate of the First Magisterial District in Christian County, an office he had held since 1945. For more see "Magistrates, constables are only black county officials," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, pp. 8-9.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Masterson, E. I.
E. I. Masterson was a merchant-tailor in Louisville, KY, having learned his trade at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. He was the leading African American tailor in the city; Masterson had an expensive line of clothing that appealed to whites. For more see Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930, by G. C. Wright, p. 95; and Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, available on the UNC Library's Documenting the American South website, with a photo on page 309; and C. L. Masterson, "Merchant tailoring," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 5th Annual Convention, Indianapolis, IN, August 31 - September 2, 1904, reel 1, frames 412-413.

See photo image of E. I. Masterson on p.309 in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People by G. F. Richings.
Subjects: Businesses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mathis, Howitt C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1986
Born in Greenville, KY, Mathis was the first African American president of the Kentucky Vocational Association (KVA). Mathis had been an elementary teacher and principal; a high school teacher, coach, and principal; and a college basketball coach. He was also director of the West Kentucky Vocational Technical School in Paducah [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] beginning in 1957. H. C. Mathis Drive in Paducah was named in his honor. Mathis was a graduate of Tennessee A & I University [now Tennessee State University]. He was a cousin of Cornelius Martin. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Matthews, Mark, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 2005
Mark Matthews, Sr. was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier. He was born in Greenville, Alabama, and grew up in Ohio. When he was young, Matthews came to Lexington, KY, and at the age of 15 was working at a racetrack exercising horses. At the age of 16, he joined the 10th Cavalry. The enlistment age was actually 17, but Matthews' boss forged some papers which the recruiter accepted as proof that Matthews was the appropriate age. Matthews was stationed in the West and rode with General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing's 1916 expedition into Mexico. Matthews also saw action in the South Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army in 1949 and worked as a security guard until his second retirement in 1970. He died September 6, 2005, at the age of 111. For more see J. Holey, "Sgt. Mark Matthews Dies; at 111, Was Oldest Buffalo Soldier,"Washington Post 09/13/05, p. B06 Metro. See also his photo on page 118 in Prince George's County, Maryland, by J. T. Thomas, et al.

See photo images and additiional information about Mark Matthews at the Arlington National Cemetery website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Greenville, Alabama / Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Matthews, Mildred Marks Carr
Birth Year : 1948
Matthews, a baker, was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of James and Elizabeth Marks. Her father was a baker, and her mother did some professional baking; they did not have a store but took orders and baked at their home. Mildred Matthews learned to bake from her parents, discovering her own clientele in 1983 when she made her sister's wedding cake. She was owner of Millie's Cakes and More, a bakery located at 908 Liberty Road, near the corner of Winchester and Liberty Roads in Lexington, KY. Matthews had to close the business after a few years, in the early 1990s, due to her health problems. Mildred Matthews is a graduate of Bryan Station High School and Wilton School of Cake Decorating and Confectionary Art. Information submitted by Matthews' sister, Bonnie Smith. The bakery was first listed in the Lexington Kentucky City Directory in 1991. See the entry Kentucky Bakers in the NKAA.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Matthews, Steve
Birth Year : 1944
In 1963, the University of Kentucky Athletics Board announced that all sports were open to all, regardless of race, effective immediately. Seventy students showed up for the first day of spring football practice in 1964, and among them was Steve Matthews, a pre-law student at UK, and the only African American in the group. His presence made Matthews the first African American to try-out and participate in the off-season drills of an SEC football team. Matthews was a transfer student from the University of Detroit, where he had tried out for the freshman and varsity teams. He was a sophomore at UK when he tried unsuccessfully to become a fullback on the football team. Matthews was 5' 11" and weighed 200 lbs. For more see "JPS Note" on the bigbluehistory.net website; and "Kentucky has Negro gridder," Post-Herald, 03/26/1964, p. 2.
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Maull, Teresa
In 1977, Teresa Maull was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Home Economics [now School of Human Environmental Sciences]. Maull is a home economics and science teacher at Paul L. Dunbar School in Lexington, KY. She is the niece of Cecil R. Madison, Sr. For more see Fifty Years of the University of Kentucky African-America Legacy, 1949-1999.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Maupin, Milburn T.
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 1990
Maupin, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of Mary and Miller Maupin. He was the first African American administrator hired in the central office of the Louisville school system. Maupin was also the first to become president of the Louisville Education Association, 1968-1970. He was the deputy superintendent of Jefferson County Schools when he retired in 1978. He had started his career as a teacher in 1949 and was an assistant high school principal in 1958; a year later he was promoted to principal. In his political life, Maupin was elected First Ward alderman in 1977. The Parkland School was renamed the Milburn T. Maupin Elementary School in his honor in 1985. This entry was submitted by Fannie Cox. For additional information see Milburn Taylor Maupin in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J.E. Kleber.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

May, James Shelby, Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1993
May was born in Louisville, KY, son of Shelby and Arlee Taylor May. He was a graduate of Cornell University and Yale Law School. May, a Marine Corps veteran, had been a Marine Corps judge advocate. He had served in many capacities, including as a felony trial judge and an appellate judge. In 1981, May became the first African American appointed to the Navy-Marine Corps court of Military Review, which is the highest criminal appellate court of the U.S. Navy Department. After his retirement in 1989, May was an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore Law School. For more see James Shelby May in "Obituaries" of the Washington Post, 02/22/1993, Metro section, p. C4; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bethesda, Maryland

May-Miller, Zephra
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2004
Born in Indianapolis, IN, Zephra May-Miller was known as the "Bag Lady of Louisville." She used weaving techniques to create artwork and clothing made from plastic bags. Her works, which include hats, dresses, and sculptures, have been exhibited at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, the Runako Gallery, and many other locations. For pictures of her work see Visual Arts by Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation. For more on Zephra May-Miller, see P. Burba, "Artist Zephra May-Miller dies at 61," The Courier-Journal, 12/21/2004, News section, p. 6B.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Maysville Tigers (Maysville, KY, baseball team) [Wilson Green]
In 1941, the Maysville Tigers were a Colored baseball team scheduled to play the Portsmouth Pirates, a Colored baseball team in Ohio. The teams were to play at Riverside Park in Portsmouth, Ohio. The previous meeting had taken place in Maysville, KY, where the Tigers were defeated. On the Tigers' team was third baseman Wilson Green, who was trying to move up in Negro baseball; he had a tryout with the St. Louis Stars, a Colored American League team. Another player, pitcher "Steady" Owen, was scheduled for a tryout with the Memphis Red Sox, another Colored American League team.
For more see "Pirates after second victory," Portsmouth Times, 07/13/1941, p. 19.

  • Wilson Green (1911-1984) was born in Washington, KY, and died in Maysville, KY. He was the son of Alfred and Billie Green, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Green was a hard hitting third baseman on the Maysville Tigers baseball team.

Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Washington and Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Portsmouth, Ohio

McAfee, Andrew
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1937
Andrew McAfee, was a council member in Jessamine County in 1898, he represented his ward, District No.2. McAfee was one of the first African American councilmen in the county. He was a hotel cook, the son of James (b.1830 in KY) and Ellen Tap McAfee (b.1832 in KY). The family of ten is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. Andrew McAfee died in Nicholasville in 1937, the cause of death is listed as senility on his death certificate. For more see Andrew McAfee entry and picture on p.281 in A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky by B. H. Young [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

McAfee, Joseph
Birth Year : 1820
A former slave born in Kentucky and lived in Missouri, McAfee moved to California where he fought with the Bear Flag Party against General Mariano Vallejo for control of the state. He moved to Santa Cruz in the 1860s and is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census as a domestic servant. For more see "California 1843," on the Santa Cruz Public Library website, To Know My Name, A Chronological History of African Americans in Santa Cruz County, part 2.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Santa Cruz, California

McAfee, Tina
Birth Year : 1973
McAfee is the daughter of Barbara and Robert McAfee. In 1998, Tina McAfee became the first African American woman state trooper in the 50 year history of the Kentucky State Police. She was not the first student, but she was the first to successfully complete the 22-week training and take the oath of office. McAfee was 27 years old when she graduated with the 75th cadet class in 1998 (one of 72 graduates). She was assigned to the Dry Ridge state police post. Before becoming a state trooper, McAfee graduated from North Harding High School in Radcliff, KY, and the University of Louisville with a degree in justice administration. For more see, C. Wolfe, "First black woman joins ranks of state police," The Kentucky Post, 06/06/1998, p. 2K.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Radcliff, Hardin County, Kentucky / Dry Ridge, Grant County, Kentucky

McAnulty, William E., Jr.
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2007
William E. McAnulty, born in Indianapolis, IN, became a judge with the Jefferson County (KY) Juvenile Court in 1975. By winning the 1977 election (which was his first campaign), McAnulty became the first African American judge to serve on the Louisville (KY) District Court. In 1998 McAnulty was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In 2005, he became the first African American justice to serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court. McAnulty was appointed by Governor Fletcher to replace Justice Martin Johnstone, who retired in June, 2005. Justice William E. McAnulty, Jr. was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2006. He resigned in 2007 due to illness. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in the 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 19; R. Alford, "Kentucky gets 1st black justice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/29/06, City/Region section, p. B1; A. Wolfson "Kentucky Supreme Court; McAnulty beats Shake to keep seat," Courier-Journal, 11/08/2006, News section, p. 5K; A. Wolfson, "McAnulty leaving Supreme Court," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 08/10/2007, News section, p. 1A; and "Special Tribute to the Honorable William E. McAnulty Jr." in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed., pp.41-46.

See photo image and additional information about William E. McAnulty in "Alumni Profile" by A. D. White in UL: University of Louisville Magazine, Winter 2007, v.25. no.1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McCann, Les
Birth Year : 1935
Born in Lexington, KY, Les McCann is a self-taught musician. He left Kentucky to join the Navy in the 1950s. In 1956, while still in the Navy, he won a talent contest for his singing, leading to his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. McCann later formed a trio in Los Angeles. In 1960 he signed a contract with Pacific Jazz and recorded Les McCann Plays the Truth and The Shout. He was known for his piano playing style, and on the successful album, Swiss Movement, McCann emphasized his singing. He suffered a stroke in the 1990s, but returned to singing and playing. In 2002 he was included in the recording of Pump It Up. For more see Les McCann Biography, and Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American African Musicians, by E. Southern.

 
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

McClain, Paula Denice
Birth Year : 1950
Paula D. McClain is a political science professor at Duke University with a focus on racial politics and urban politics, and she has a joint appointment with Sanford Institute of Public Policy [Duke University]. In 2007, McClain became the first African American to chair the Duke Academic Council, the leading governing body at the school. McClain has also authored several books, the most recent she co-authored in 2006: Can We All Get Along?: racial and ethnic minorities in American politics, 4th edition. The book received an award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the study of Human Rights in North America. Paula D. McClain was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Robert Landis and Mabel T. Molock McClain. She is a three time graduate of Howard University. For more see Paula McClain Curriculum Vitae and Diversity: Paula McClain, both Duke University websites; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.


Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Durham, North Carolina

McClain, Richard Pollard
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1965
Born in Nicholasville, KY, to Meredith and Ellen McClain, Richard P. McClain attended school in Cincinnati and received his medical degree from Howard University in 1913. In 1934 he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and served 1935-1937, and was later elected to the Cincinnati City Council, serving from 1937 to 1939. McClain was director and secretary of the Model Drug Corp., manager of Mercy Hospital, and president of the Buckeye Medical Association chapter in Cincinnati. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, and Alpha Phi Alpha. Richard P. McClain was the husband of Alice Martin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and The Negro in Ohio, 1914-1939, by W. W. Griffin (Thesis 1968).
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

McClain, William C. "Billy"
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1950
Multi-talented William McClain was a minstrel actor and Hollywood motion pictures actor, he was also a dancer, a musician, a playwright, wrote music and lyrics, and was a short story writer. He played cornet in Lou Johnson's Minstrels, and spent many years with the minstrels in Europe and lived in Paris, France from 1906-1913. He was also a member of Orpheus McAdoo's Jubilee Singers and Concert Company in Australia. One of McClain's works was The Smart Set, written in 1901. He wrote several songs including Shake, Rattle, and Roll. McClain had also trained as a boxer, and he managed and trained famous heavyweight boxer Sam McVey. On the screen, McClain played the role of The King in Nagana in 1933, and appeared in more than 20 movies, the last in 1946. He played various restricted roles, such as a servant, butler, footman, cook, and janitor. In 1938, he played the role of Zeke in Kentucky, and in 1939, the role of a horse groomer in Pride of the Bluegrass [aka Steeplechase]. McClain was the husband of Cordelia McClain, and the father of actress Teddy Peters. At the time of his death, his age was estimated to be 93, but his birth year has also been given as 1866, and his birth location has been given as Kentucky and Indianapolis, IN. For more see "Arrangements incomplete for actor's rites," Los Angeles Sentinel, 02/02/1950, p.A4; "Billy McClain" in Who Was Who On Screen, by E. M. Truitt; A History of African American Theater by E. Hill and J. V. Hatch; and The Ghost Walks by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Boxers, Boxing, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Paris, France, Europe / Australia / Hollywood and Los Angeles, California

McCoo, Edward Jordan (the first)
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1930
McCoo was a minister at the AME Church in Newport, KY. He is recognized for writing, publishing, and producing the play Ethiopia at the Bar of Justice. The play was first performed at the General Conference of the AME Church in Louisville, KY, May 1924. It would gain popularity and become a must-see during Negro History Week. The 24 page play was published in Memphis. McCoo was born in Alabama, the son of William and Elizabeth McCoo, and he died of tuberculosis in Newport, KY, and was buried in Cincinnati, OH, according to his death certificate. He was married to Jennie McCoo and the couple lived at 210 W. 7th Street in Newport, KY. McCoo and his first wife, Lillian (b.1884 in IL), and their two children, had lived in Springfield and Chicago, IL, prior to his move to Kentucky some time after 1920. For more see "[Edwin] McCoo" on p. xxxiv in Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro, by W. Richardson.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Alabama / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

McCoy, Alexander Francis
Birth Year : 1884
Alexander Francis McCoy was born in Centerville, KY, the son of Jacob H. and Mattie Sparks McCoy. Dr. McCoy was a general practice physician from 1911-1920, with an office in Nicholasville, KY. Alexander F. McCoy was the husband of Tina McCoy, the couple lived in Columbus, OH [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census], and they were living at 871 E. Long Street in Columbus when Alexander F. McCoy completed his WWII Registration card. He became an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) Specialist in 1920. Specialty training was a rarity for African Americans at that time. The American Board of Ophthalmology was founded in 1917 and incorporated in 1924. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1950, and American Academy of Otolaryngology - African American Education.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Centerville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

McCoy, Elijah J.
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1929
Though it has been written otherwise, Elijah McCoy was not from Kentucky. He was born in Ontario, Canada. McCoy was the son of Mildred and George McCoy, escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. Elijah was a mechanical engineer known as the "Father of Lubrication." In 1872 he first patented an invention for self-oiling machines; automatic lubrication became known as "the real McCoy." He also invented an ironing table and lawn sprinkler. For more see World of Invention. History's most significant inventions and the people behind them, 2nd ed.

See photo and additional information about Elijah J. McCoy at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Inventors, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Kentucky

McCoy, George and Mildred
George and his wife, Mildred Goins McCoy, were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They settled first in Canada, then in 1852 moved with their 12 children to Ypsilanti, Michigan, six miles east of Ann Arbor and 29 miles west of Detroit. Ypsilanti was a significant link in the Underground Railroad and a major stop for slaves fleeing from Kentucky en route to Detroit and Canada. George was a conductor who aided many of the escapees by hiding them under the boxes of cigars that he delivered to Detroit. As George's cigar business thrived, more slaves were carried to freedom, so many that a second wagon was purchased and driven by his son, William McCoy. George and Mildred McCoy are the parents of inventor Elijah McCoy. For more see M. Chandler, "Ypsilanti's rich in Black history," Detroit Free Press, 02/09/1984, p. 7A.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Ypsilanti, Michigan / Canada

McCoy v Commonwealth
Start Year : 1912
Around midnight on September 24, 1911, Will McCoy was supervising the dance hall at the Bourbon County Colored Fair being held in Millersburg, KY. The lights at the dance hall went out, and a young man named Frazier White lost his hat and started cursing and demanding his hat back. A man by the name of Darnall was the floor manager, and he confronted White about his behavior. Will McCoy took over the situation, cautioning White about his foul language in the presence of women. Darnall left the matter in the hands of McCoy and walked away. Frazier White then directed his insults toward McCoy, and when all was said and done, McCoy had shot White, severing his spine. White was rushed to the hospital and died during surgery. McCoy was arrested and found guilty of murder by the Circuit Court of Bourbon County. McCoy's case was taken to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky. His attorney, John J. Williams of Paris, felt that McCoy should be charged with manslaughter at most; McCoy had shot White but had not killed him. According to Attorney Williams, White's death was due to the surgery. Williams also felt that the final statement of the Commonwealth's Attorney in the first trial "was highly prejudicial to his client's defense." During the appeals process, Attorneys General James Garrett and M. M. Logan argued that White would have died if the surgery had not been performed. September 25, 1912, the Court of Appeals affirmed McCoy's 1st degree murder conviction. It was also decided that no infringements had taken place during the Commonwealth Attorney's final statement. The case of McCoy v Commonwealth has been frequently cited in cases where there is question of "the act causing death" in a homicide, and in cases questioning the prejudicial influence of final statements. For more see McCoy v Commonwealth, pp. 903-904 in the Southwestern Reporter, vol. 149 (1912) [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Millersburg and Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

McCoy, Wayne Anthony
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2000
Wayne A. McCoy was a national expert on government bonds. A lawyer in Chicago, he was the personal attorney of former NBA player Michael Jordan. He was a partner in the law firm of Schiff, Hardin, and Waite; McCoy was one of the first African Americans to become a partner in a major law firm in Chicago. Wayne A. McCoy was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Herbert B. and Martha Nuckolls McCoy. He was a graduate of Indiana University and the University of Michigan Law School. For more see T. McCann, "Wayne McCoy, 58, Chicago lawyer," Chicago Tribune, Obituaries section, p. 7; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2000.

See photo image and additional information about Wayne A. McCoy at the bottom of The History Makers, Second Annual Program, website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

McCracken County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
McCracken County is located in southwestern Kentucky in the Jackson Purchase region. It was formed from a portion of Hickman County in 1825, and is bordered by the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and four Kentucky counties. McCracken County was named for Virgil McCracken who was a soldier during the War of 1812. He was wounded in the Battle of the River Raisin and soon after was killed in a raid. Virgil McCracken had been a member of the Kentucky General Assembly, representing Woodford County. The county seat of McCracken County is Paducah, named for the Chickasaw leader Paduke (or Paduoca). There is a statue and historical marker honoring Chief Paduke at the corner of 19th and Jefferson Streets in Paducah. In 1830, the McCracken County population was 205 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and it increased to 8,622 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 212 slave owners
  • 666 Black slaves
  • 135 Mulatto slaves
  • 7 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 396 slave owners
  • 1,460 Black slaves
  • 288 Mulatto slaves
  • 26 free Blacks
  • 42 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 2,229 Blacks
  • 998 Mulattoes
  • About 56 U.S. Colored Troops listed McCracken County, KY as their birth location.

For more see McCracken County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia by J. E. Kleber; King to Obama: living the legacy while passing the torch by W. C. Young Community Center; The Light House newspaper; and West Kentucky Vocational School - Minute Book, 1924-1934 Office of Vocational Education. Also listen to the oral history recordings of African Americans from Paducah, KY, at Murray State University.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: McCracken County, Kentucky

McCray, Mary F.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1894
Mary F. McCray, born a slave in Kentucky, was the wife of S. J. McCray. She was freed at the age of 21 after the woman who owned her family, Miss Polly Adams, died in 1859. Fannie, her husband, and family moved to De Smet in the Dakota Territory, where they established the first church and sunday school in their home. Mary, who could not read or write, would become one of the first African American women licensed to preach in the territory; she was pastor of the Free Methodist Church. Mary and her husband also founded the first school for African Americans in De Smet. When their crops failed, the McCray family returned to Ohio, where Mary and S. J. founded the First Holiness Church of Lima. For more see "Mary F. McCray" in vol. 5 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and The Life of Mary F. McCray, by her husband and son [available online at UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

See image of Mary F. McCray on p.4 of The Life fo Mary McCray.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / De Smet, South Dakota Territory / Lima, Ohio

McCreary County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1920-1930
Start Year : 1920
End Year : 1940
McCreary County was the last county established in Kentucky. It is located in southeastern Kentucky and was developed in 1912 from portions of Pulaski, Wayne, and Whitley counties, and is bordered by those counties and Laurel County, and the state of Tennessee. The county was home to the Beatty Oil Well drilled in 1818 and thought to be the first oil well in Kentucky; the well was located in present day McCreary County [formerly Wayne County]. The county seat is the unincorporated town of Whitley City, which was known as Coolidge until 1880 when the Cincinnati and Southern Railroad placed a depot in the area and named it Whitley. The town was later renamed Whitley City. McCreary County was named for James B. McCreary, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War who served as a Kentucky House Member, Governor of Kentucky, and a U.S. House Member and Senator. It was during McCreary's first term as governor that the Kentucky A&M College [University of Kentucky] was separated from Kentucky University [Transylvania University]. In 1920, the population of McCreary County was 11,682 and that increased to 14,377 by 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The county was formed well after slaves were freed by the 13th Amendment. Below are the number of African Americans in the county 1920-1930.

1920 U.S. Federal Census

  • 24 Blacks [most with the last names Simpson and Logan]
  • 2 Mulattoes [Emma Baker and Cristine Simpson]
  • 2 Coloreds [Juanita Gains and Lafayett R. Kincaid]
  • At least 2 Blacks from McCreary County registered during the WWI Draft [Price Stigall and Henry Logan]

1930 U.S. Federal Census

  • 9 Blacks [last names Brown, Davis, Hudson, Napper, Simpson, Simson, Stegall, and Stigall]
  • 27 Negroes

1940 U.S. Federal Census

  • 40 Negroes

For more see the McCreary County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; The First Oil Well in Kentucky by W. R. Jillson; Rural Health Care Oral History Project by T. H. Gatewood and K. L. Smith; and The Negro Population in Kentucky by A. L. Coleman and D. I. Kim.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: McCreary County, Kentucky

McCurine, James "Big Stick" or "Big Jim"
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2002
James McCurine was born in Clinton, KY. A baseball slugger, he began his career playing semi-pro ball around Chicago. In 1945 he began playing for the American Giants for $375 per month. McCurine was an outfielder and sometimes pitched, which ruined his arm and his career. After a tryout with the Boston Braves, and nursing a very sore arm, McCurine declined the offer to play on the farm team and retired from baseball in 1949. For more see The Negro Leagues Revisited, by B. Kelley; L. Guerrero, "James McCurine: played for Giants in Negro League, Outfielder who was lethal with bat was known as Big Stick," Chicago Sun-Times, 05/30/2002, NEWS section, p. 64; and James McCurine at Baseball-Reference.com.

  See photo image and additional information about James McCurine at NLBPA.com.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

McDaniels, James R. "Jim"
Birth Year : 1948
Jim McDaniels was born in Scottsville, KY. He played his college ball at Western Kentucky University (WKU), in 1971 helping to lead the school to its only Final Four appearance. The 7 foot tall McDaniels is the school's leading scorer (27.6 points per game). It was discovered that he had signed with an agent his senior year, so WKU had to forfeit its third place finish in the 1971 tournament. McDaniels was finally inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004. He played ABA ball with the Carolina Cougars and was a reserve player for the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA. McDaniels ended his NBA career with the Buffalo Braves [now the Los Angeles Clippers] in 1978. For more see Basketball biographies: 434 U.S. players, coaches and contributors to the game, 1891-1990, by M. Taragano, and Jim McDaniel , in BasketballReference.com.

See 2010 photo image of Jim McDaniels with Courtney Lee at WKU website.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Scottsville, Allen County, Kentucky

The McDonald and Elvira Porter Family [Moving North]
At the end of World War I, when the United States was experiencing economic tension due to inflation and many union strikes were taking place throughout the country, the Porter Family moved from Kentucky to the "Magic City," Gary, Indiana. Like many African Americans, they were in search of better economic opportunities. The family had been tenant farmers, but after moving to Gary, the men of the family were employed in steel mills and industrial plants. Employment opportunities had been created for African Americans from the South when restrictions were put into place during World War I, which ended the mass employment of immigrants from eastern and southern European countries. For the Porter Family, the availability of employment was reason to pull up their deep roots in Kentucky and move north. The family was led by McDonald Porter, who had been born into slavery in October 1858 in Butler County, KY. His father, Reason Porter (1831-1864), and his mother, Ellen or Julia Borah, had also been slaves. Reason was born in Ohio County, KY. He served during the Civil War with the Colored Troops 115th Infantry Regiment, Company B. The Borah sisters were from Butler County. Ellen Borah had been dead for 20 years when McDonald Porter married Elvira Bracken in 1879. Elvira was from Ohio County; her family had been slaves of the Brackin family that migrated to Kentucky from Sumner County, TN, in the early 1840s. Elvira and McDonald were the parents of five children, all born in Butler County. The family later moved to the Lowertown District in Daviess County, KY, where McDonald was again a tenant farmer. When the children grew up and had their own families, they too became tenant farming families. Elvira and two of her daughters-in-law owned farmland in Daviess County. The agricultural history of African American women [single and married] as farm owners in Kentucky has not been researched, but it is thought that there were very few. The land owned by Elvira and her daughters-in-law was sold prior to the family moving to Gary, IN. The entire family moved: McDonald, Elvira, and all of their children. They all arrived in Gary in early 1919. All of the information about the Porter Family was provided by Denyce Peyton and Renetta DuBose. For more about African Americans in Gary, see A History of the Growth of the Negro Population of Gary, Indiana, by J. F. Potts; and Yesterday in Gary, by D. H. Millender. For more information on women farm owners, see Effland, Rogers, and Grim, "Women as agricultural landowners: what do we know about them?," Agricultural History, vol. 67, issue 2, pp. 235-261. See also the NKAA entry for William E. Porter, grandson of McDonald and Elvira Porter.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Kentucky : Butler County, Ohio County, Daviess County / Sumner, Tennessee / Gary, Indiana

McDonald, Earl
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1949
McDonald, born in Louisville, KY, was a musician and founder of the Original Louisville Jug Band in 1902. The group was named the Ballard Chefs from 1929 to 1932. Clifford Hayes was a member of the group before forming his own jug band in 1919. After McDonald's death, his band was continued by Henry Miles. For more see the Earl McDonald entry by B. Bogert in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. Kleber. View image and listen to Under the Chicken Tree - Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band, 1924-1931 on YouTube.

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

McDowell, Cyrus R.
Birth Year : 1854
Cyrus R. McDowell, a minister and businessman, was born in Bowling Green, KY. He founded (in 1887) and was editor of (beginning in 1889) the Bowling Green Watchman. He was a co-founder of the Bowling Green Academy and also organized the Green River Valley Baptist Association. His birth year is given as 1854 in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, at the time he, his wife Mary (b.1864 in MS), and their children were living on East White Oak Street in Independence, MO. Mary McDowell had temporarily opened the Baptist College in Independence, MO. The college had originally opened in January of 1890 in Independence, MO, and was to be moved to a permanent location in Macon City, MO, prior to the opening of the third term. But the property had not been secured in time and Mary McDowell reopened the school in Independence until it was moved on January 4, 1891 [source: "The Baptist College at Macon City, Mo.," The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, v.15, 1893, pp.273-274]. Rev. C. R. McDowell was pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Independence, MO [source: "Independence, MO., items," Iowa State Bystander, 05/18/1900, p.4]. In 1901, Rev. McDowell was head of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO, [source: Gould's St. Louis Directory for 1901, p.1225]. Two years later, he was manager of the Hon Co-operative Trading Company in Hannibal, MO [source: R. E. Hackman & Co.'s Hannibal City Directory, 1903, p.239]. Around 1925, Rev. McDowell was editor of the Baptist Record, published by the Baptist Record Publishing Company, and he was editor of The Searchlight Publications [source: "Rev. C. R. McDowell...," Plaindealer (Topeka, Kansas), 05/15/1925, p.2]. He was president of the [Baptist] Record Publishing Company in 1927 [source: 1927 Polk's Kansas City Missouri City Directory, p.1251], while also serving as pastor of Helping Hand Baptist Church [source: Polk's Hannibal Missouri City Directory, 1927, p.196]. The following year, Rev. McDowell was president of Home Protective Investment Company [source: Polk's Kansas City Missouri City Directory, p.1269]. For several years, Rev. McDowell had been a member of the fraternal organization Home Protective Association and he was Chief Regent in 1906 [source: "The Home Protective Association," St. Louis Palladium, 10/13/1906, p.4]. In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Rev. Cyrus McDowell was still an active minister, he was a widower, and he lived with his daughter-in-law, Lida McDowell on Center Street in Hannibal City, MO. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Independence, Saint Louis, Kansas City & Hannibal, Missouri

McElroy, Hugh
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1971
McElroy was born in Springfield, KY, the son of Sarah and Thomas McElroy. Though under age, McElroy enlisted in the 10th Cavalry and served in Cuba during the Spanish American War. He also fought in the Philippines Insurrection, the border campaigns in Mexico in 1916, and in Europe during World War I. During World War II, he was head janitor at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. He was the first African American to be pictured in advertisements for war bonds. For more see Black Defenders of America, by R. E. Greene; and R. A. Burns, "Hugh McElroy" in The Handbook of Texas - Online.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

McFarland, Richard L., Sr. "R.L."
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2002
Richard L. McFarland, Sr. was born in Owensboro, KY. He was valedictorian of his 1935 graduating class at Western High School in Owensboro. McFarland was the first African American to be elected to the Owensboro City Commission, in 1985, and he served six terms. He was pastor of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church for 46 years, and he and his wife owned McFarland Funeral Home. In 1975, Rev. McFarland was among the group of ministers who traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, Africa where they baptized more than 800 persons [source: 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, p.15]. In 1992, the Owensboro Human Relations Commission created the Rev. R. L. McFarland Leadership Award in his honor. In 1998, a tree and a plaque were placed in the Owensboro English Park to honor Rev. McFarland. For more see R. L. McFarland within the article "Middlesboro city councilwoman top vote-getter," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 28; J. Campbell, "Williams' bid opened door for black leaders, he earned a spot on fall ballot," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 10/28/05, p. 19; and K. Lawrence, "McFarland, former mayor pro tem dies at 85 minister opened door for Black politicians," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/14/2002, p. 1.

Access Interview Read about the Richard L. McFarland oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Businesses, Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

McFatridge, James M.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2000
James Morgan McFatridge was born in Lexington, KY, the son of James A. and Jossie McFatridge. According to the U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Cincinnati, OH in 1920. A Tuskegee Airman, James McFatridge was an Armament Officer with the 301st Fighter Squad, 332nd Fighter Group, 1943-1945. He was awarded a Bronze Star for designing an armament device for P-39 fighter planes in 1944. He received the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation Medal in 1945. McFatridge continued receiving training and graduated from Air Tactical School at Air University in 1948. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; and Who's Who in Colored America,1950.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

McGill, Charlotte Smith
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1988
McGill was State Representative of the 42nd District in 1971; she filled the seat of her deceased husband, Hughes McGill. At the end of the term, Charlotte was elected to office and continued to be re-elected until her defeat in 1977. She was also Vice-Chair of the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Committee. Charlotte McGill was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of James and Vera Smith. She was a graduate of Howard University (B.A.) and Indiana State University (M.A.). For more see the Smith/McGill Family Papers, 1879-1987, at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives; and Women in Public Office. A biographical directory and statistical analysis, 2nd ed., compiled by Center for the American Woman and Politics.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McGill, Hughes E.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 1970
McGill was born in Louisville, KY. He was an elected Representative to the Kentucky General Assembly, 1968-1971, representing the 42nd District (Louisville). He died before his term ended and his wife, Charlotte McGill, completed the term. Hughes McGill was a graduate of West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], the Mondell Business Institute, and the University of Louisville. For more information, contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; and see the Smith-McGill Family Papers at the University of Louisville Libraries Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McGruder, Robert G. "Bob"
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2002
Robert G. McGruder, who was born in Louisville, KY, was the executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and is remembered for his leadership in the field of journalism. He became the first African American reporter for the Plain Dealer (Cleveland) in 1963. McGruder served two years in the U.S. Army, then returned to journalism, in 1996 becoming the first African American executive editor of the Free Press. He was also the first African American to become president of the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME). McGruder received the William Taylor Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University School of Journalism; he was a 1963 graduate of the school. In 2002, he received the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award from Wayne State University (Helen Thomas is also a Kentucky native). The prior year, McGruder received the John S. Knight Gold Medal, the highest honor given to a Knight Ridder employee. The McGruder Award has been named in his honor in recognition of individual efforts in hiring and retaining minority journalists. For more see "Robert McGruder, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, dies at age 60," The Associated Press, Domestic News, 04/12/2002; "Free Press editor praised for ideals - his life and career are remembered for both greatness and goodness," Detroit Free Press, 04/19/2002, NWS Section, p. 1A; and "McGruder Award recipients named - diversity prize honors late Free Press editor," Detroit Free Press, 10/25/2002.

See photo image and additional information about Robert G. McGruder at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

McIntosh, Tom
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1904
McIntosh, born in Lexington, KY, was a comedian who had his greatest success with Callender's Georgia Minstrels. In addition to his great comedic talent, McIntosh was also an exhibition drummer and singer. During his career, he teamed with female impersonator Willis Ganze, performing on some of the leading circuits in the U.S. He then teamed with his wife, Hattie McIntosh, for a short period. McIntosh later took the starring role of Mr. Bullion in "Southern Enchantment" with the Smart Set Company; he replaced Kentucky native Ernest Hogan [Reuben Crowders]. McIntosh died of a stroke while the Smart Set Company was en route to Indianapolis. For more see his career review by Sylvester Russell, "Tribute to Tom M'Intosh," Indianapolis Freeman, 04/09/1904, p. 5; and Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960, by B. L. Peterson, Jr.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

McKay, Barney M. [McDougal]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1925
Barney McKay was born in Nelson County, KY, and according to F. N. Schubert, he was the son of Barney McKay and Mary McDougal. He was a journalist, civil rights activist, veteran, author, and supporter of African American migration. Barney McKay left Kentucky and became a Pullman Porter. He lived in Jeffersonville, IN, where he was employed at the car works of Shickle and Harrison as a iron puddler. In 1881, he joined the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, under the name of Barney McDougal, and served with the 24th Infantry, Company C. He was honorably discharged in 1892. He re-enlisted as Barney McKay and served with the 9th Cavalry, Company C and Company G. In 1893, Sergeant Barney McKay was charged with distributing an incendiary circular among the troops at Fort Robinson, NE. The circular, published by the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, promised retaliation against the civilians of Crawford, NE, should there continue to be racial violence toward Negro soldiers. There was no proof that Sergeant McKay had distributed the circular, yet Lieutenant Colonel Reuben F. Barnard was convinced of his guilt; Sergeant McKay had received a package of newspapers from the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, and he had a copy of the circular in his possession. Also, Sergeant McKay and four other soldiers had prevented a Crawford mob from lynching Charles Diggs, a veteran, who had served with the 9th Cavalry. Sergeant McKay's actions and the circular were enough for the Army to charge him with violating Article of War 62 for attempting to cause the Negro soldiers to riot against the citizens of Crawford. Sergeant McKay was confined, subjected to court-martial and found guilty, and on June 21, 1893, he was reduced to the rank of private, given a dishonorable discharge, and was sentenced to two years in prison. When released from prison, Barney McKay was not allowed to re-enlist in the U.S. Army. He settled in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Julia Moore in 1900. The couple lived on 17th Street [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Barney McKay was working as an assistant for the law firm Lambert and Baker. The following year, he was employed by John W. Patterson, Attorney and Counselor at Law [source: ad in Washington Bee, 04/06/1901, p. 8]. He had also been a newspaper man and wrote newspaper articles. He was editor of the Washington Bureau of the Jersey Tribune, 80 Barnes Street, Trenton, NJ. He was also editor of the New England Torch-Light, located in Providence, RI. In 1901, Barney McKay was with the Afro-American Literary Bureau when he pledged that 5,000 of the most industrious Negroes from the South would be willing to leave the prejudice of the United States for freedom in Canada. The pledge was made during the continued migration of southern Negroes to Canada. Author Sara-Jane Mathieu contributes two things to the story of the exodus: One, in 1896 the Supreme Court upheld the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, and two, Canada's homesteading campaign of 1896 provided free farmland in Western Canada. Barney McKay promoted the migration in the newspapers. In July of 1901, Barney McKay was Sergeant-at-Arms of the newly formed Northern, Eastern, and Western Association, also known as the N. E. & W. Club [source: "N. E. and W. Club," The Colored American, 07/13/1901, p. 4]. The organization was established to coordinate the Negro vote for the 1902 Congressional elections. Barney McKay published The Republican Party and the Negro in 1904 and in 1900 he co-authored, with T. H. R. Clarke, Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters. In 1916 he co-authored Hughes' Attitude Towards the Negro, a 7 page book containing the civil rights views of Charles Evans Hughes', taken from his judicial decisions while a member of the U.S. Supreme Court [alternate title: Henry Lincoln Johnson, editor. B. M. McKay, associate editor]. Barney McKay also wrote letters advocating the safety and well being of Negroes in the South and the education of future soldiers. He called for the best representation of the people in government and fought for the welfare of Negro war veterans. He wrote a letter protesting the commander of the Spanish American War Veterans' support of the dismissal of the 25th Infantry in response to the Brownsville Affair [source: p. 191, Barney McKay in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II by I.Schubert and F. N. Schubert]. In 1917, McKay wrote New Mexico Senator A. B. Fall (born in Frankfort, KY), asking that Negroes from the South be allowed to migrate to New Mexico [source: Promised Lands by D. M. Wrobel]. New Mexico had become a state in 1912 and Albert B. Fall [info] was one of the state's first two senators. In 1918, McKay wrote a letter to fellow Kentuckian, Charles Young, asking his support in establishing a military training program for Negro men at Wilberforce College [letter available online at The African-American Experience in Ohio website]. Barney M. McKay died April 30, 1925 and was buried in Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D. C. The cemetery was moved to Landover, Maryland in 1959 and renamed the National Harmony Memorial Park Cemetery [info]. McKay's birth date and birth location information were taken from the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments. For more see the Barney McKay entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; Sergeant Barney McDougal within the article "Chaplain Henry V Plummer, His Ministry and His Court-Martial," by E. F. Stover in Nebraska History, vol. 56 (1975), pp. 20-50 [article available online .pdf]; Voices of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; North of the Color Line, by Sarah-Jane Mathieu; and Barney McKay in Henry Ossian Flipper, by J. Eppinga.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Crawford, Nebraska /Trenton, New Jersey / Washington, D. C.

McKenney, Warren
Birth Year : 1892
Warren McKenney, at the age of nine, was the youngest person to ever be sent to the State Penitentiary in Frankfort. He had been sentenced to five years for grand larceny. Kentucky Governor Beckham overruled the prison sentence and had McKenney removed from prison and sent to the State Reform school near Lexington, KY. He is listed in the 1920 U.S. Census as a single man who was rooming in Lexington and working as a waiter. McKenney was born in Kentucky. For more see "McKinney Warren" article in The Adair County News, 10/23/1901, p. 4.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

McKinley, John J. C.
Birth Year : 1852
Death Year : 1912
McKinley was born in Russellville, KY, the son of William J. McKinley and Mildred Bibb McKinley. He attended Berea College but had to leave when his mother lost her savings in the Freemen's Bank. McKinley taught in Danville, KY, and Louisville, KY, schools for a while, then became correspondent to the American Citizen (Lexington, KY) and wrote under the name "Video." In 1857 he was correspondent for the Western Review (Cincinnati, OH), writing under the name "Mack." He wrote under the same name for the Chicago Conservator in 1879. In 1880 he was associate editor of the Bulletin (Louisville, KY) and in 1885 wrote for the World under the name "Heft." McKinley and his wife, Julia B. McKinley (b.1866 in KY), lived on Magazine Street when John McKinley was teaching in Louisville, KY in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. They were living at 724 S. 18th Street in Louisville when John McKinley passed away in 1912, he is buried in Eastern Cemetery, according to his death certificate. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois

McKinney, James O.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2008
McKinney was appointed to the Auburn, KY, City Council in June 1971 and was the first African American elected official in the city. For 43 years he was pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Russellville, KY, retiring in 2007. McKinney was born in Sugar Grove, KY, the son of Eliza Beason McKinney and Benjamin R. McKinney. He served as president of the NAACP and Human Rights in Logan County. 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. 10; McKinney in "Church News," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 03/16/2007, Feature section; and "The Rev. James O. McKinney," Daily News, 04/25/2008 & 04/27/2008, Obituaries section.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Sugar Grove, Warren County, Kentucky / Auburn, Simpson County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky

McKinney Polytechnic Institute (Lincoln County, KY)
Start Year : 1911
J. M. Bates was principal of the elementary school that operated six months out of each year. The one teacher, a woman, was paid $180 annually by the county. An estimated 60 students attended the school. The two story framed building was located on 100 acres of land. The U.S. Office of Education recommended that Lincoln County take over the operation and develop it into a county training school. For more see p. 279 for the 1915 report in Negro Education, by T. J. Jones [available online at Google Book Search]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: McKinney, Lincoln County, Kentucky

McKinney, William "Bill"
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1969
McKinney, who was born and died in Cynthiana, KY, was a drummer. He served in the U.S. Army during WWI, then played with a circus band before settling in Springfield, OH, where he formed the Synco Jazz Band around 1921. McKinney ceased being a drummer around 1923 and became the group's manager. The band would be renamed McKinney's Cotton Pickers around 1926 and they performed regularly at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit, MI. The band also had comedy routines incorporated into their performances; they were considered the best of the rival bands of Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson. They were one of the first African American bands to play on national radio. Up until the early 1940s, the group continued performing with various musicians, and in various locations, including Harlem. Their recordings include songs such as Gee, Ain't I Good to You?, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight, and Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble. McKinney did not secure any wealth from his many years as a musician, band leader and manager. Before returning to Cynthiana, KY, he worked as a hotel bellhop and other low wage paying jobs in Detroit. For more see "William (Bill) McKinney" in v.5 of African American National Biography edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; see McKinney's Cotton Pickers, a redhotjazz.com website; and in Oxford Music Online (database); and see photo images of the group and listen to the recording of Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble (1928) on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

McKnight, Sammy
Sammy McKnight, from Paducah, KY, was a burglar, pimp, and hustler in Harlem, New York. He was sometimes called "The Pimp" or "Pretty Boy." He was one of the two people most trusted by Malcolm Little (who later became known as Malcolm X); they lived in the same boarding house. Sammy and Malcolm were partners in crime until a fight erupted between Malcolm and Sammy's girlfriend, and Sammy, with gun in hand, chased Malcolm down the street. They later reconciled their differences somewhat, and in 1945, it was Sammy who called Malcolm Jarvis, Sr., [also know as "Shorty"] to come get his friend Malcolm Little out of New York. Shorty, a musician, lived in Boston. In New York, West Indian Archie had put a contract out on Malcolm Little due to a misunderstanding about a numbers hit. After serving time in prison and becoming a member of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X returned to New York in 1954; McKnight had died in the meantime. For more see the "Sammy McKnight" entry in The Malcolm X Encyclopedia, edited by R. L. Jenkins; and The Other Malcolm, "Shorty" Jarvis, by M. Jarvis, et al.
Subjects: Migration North, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Harlem, New York City, New York

McLawler, Sarah
Birth Year : 1926
Born in Louisville, KY, Sarah McLawler is a vocalist, performer, and jazz organist (she played the Hammond B-3 organ). When she was a child her family moved to Chicago, where McLawler learned to play the piano and later attended Fisk University. McLawler returned to Chicago and played piano in nightclubs and led all-female combos (McLawler on piano, Lula Roberts on sax, Vi Wilson on bass, and Hetty Roberts on drums). In 1950, McLawler recorded "My whole Life Through" and "Your Key Won't Fit my Door." McLawler later married Richard Otto, a classical violinist, and together they formed a duo with Otto on violin and McLawler on organ. She helped popularize the jazz organ, which few women were playing. The couple resided in New York, recording such tunes as "Rainbow on the River" and "My Funny Valentine." Richard Otto died in 1979. For more see The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., by C. Larkin; Sarah McLawler, by World Wind Records; and H. Boyd, "Black New Yorkers; Pioneer organist in concert," New York Amsterdam News, 04/24/2003, p. 34. 
 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

McLean County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
McLean County, located in western Kentucky, was formed in 1854 from portions of Daviess, Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties. It is bordered by six counties and was named for Alney McLean, a veteran of the Civil War, who was born in North Carolina and served as a Kentucky Representative and in the U.S. Congress. The county seat is Calhoun, which was sometimes spelled Calhoon. The town was initially called Rhoadsville, after Henry Rhoads, who helped plot the town in 1785. The name was later changed to Fort Vienna in 1787, then named Calhoun in 1849 in honor of Congressman John Calhoun. The county population was 5,255 in 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census; it increased to 9,304 by 1880, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 289 slave owners
  • 733 Black slaves
  • 178 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black [John H. Gloster]
  • 1 free Colored [Nancy Moodie]
  • 20 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 692 Blacks
  • 193 Mulattoes
  • About 14 U.S. Colored Troops listed McLean County, KY as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 705 Blacks
  • 1 Mulatto [Lou Pruitt]
For more see McLean County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; McLean County, Kentucky, 1809-1914: African American Marriages, by A. L. McLaughlin; Tax Assessment Books, 1855-1891, McLean County (KY) Clerk; and The Negro Population of Kentucky, by A. L. Coleman and D. I. Kim.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: McLean County, Kentucky

McLeod, J. D.
In 1879, McLeod was appointed Government Store-keeper at Covington, KY. The appointment was made during the administration of the newly elected Kentucky Governor, Keen Johnson. McLeod was the first African American to be appointed to a position in Kentucky government. For more see "Kentucky's first colored officeholder," New York Times, 01/29/1879, p. 1.
Subjects: Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

McLeod, John C.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1962
Dr. John C. McLeod is said to have been the first Colored veterinarian in Cincinnati, OH, and he was one of the early colored inspectors in the U.S. Stock Bureau. McLeod was a graduate of Hughes High School in Cincinnati. He earned his veterinary surgery degree at Cincinnati Veterinary College. He was a U.S. Veterinary Inspector in the Bureau of Animal Industry and an inspector in Cincinnati and later at the Chicago stock yards. John C. McLeod was the husband of Elvira Cox McLeod, and his immediate and extended family members lived on Chapel Street in Cincinnati [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1930, the family was living in Malden, MA [source: U.S. Federal Census], then moved again to New Rochelle, NY. John C. McLeod was born in Covington, KY, the son of John S. and Anna McLeod. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner, and a Past Master of St. John's Lodge. For more see John C. McLeod in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and p. 606 in the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois / Malden, Massachuesetts / New Rochelle, New York

McNari, Jewel K.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1982
McNari grew up in Louisville, KY. She taught school for 20 years and was also a ballet dancer. In 1932, she opened the Jewel K. McNari School of Dance in Louisville where children learned ballet, tap, and interpretive dance. Some of her students went on to become well-known dancers. The school closed in 1975. For more see The Courier Journal (Louisville), News, 2 July 03; SR84 [Word doc.]; and Kentucky Minority Artists Directory, 1982.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McPheeters, Alphonso A.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1963
Born in Lexington, KY, Alphonso A. McPheeters was the son of Joseph and Katie Bell McPheeters. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and returned to Lexington where he was a school teacher for several years. He had been enrolled in Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] when he completed his WWI Draft Registration card, and McPheeters listed the family home address as 222 Cedar Street in Lexington, KY. Alphonso A. McPheeters went on to earn his doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1944. During this period, McPheeters lived in Atlanta where he was an instructor at Clark College [now Clark Atlanta University] for eleven years, beginning in 1930, and in 1941 he was elected dean of Clark College, a post he held for 21 years. In 1971, the instructional laboratory building, McPheeters-Dennis, was named in honor of Dr. Alphonso A. McPheeters and Dr. Joseph J. Dennis. Also during his tenure at Clark College, in 1955, McPheeters served as the U.S. Information Officer in Accra, Gold Coast [now named Ghana], West Africa. On November 2,1960, McPheeters, and Rufus E. Clement were two of the seven administrators from Clark College to meet with Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. to discuss student and adult leadership in the local sit-in movement [source: The Martin Luther King, Jr. papers Project - .pdf online]. Among his many accomplishments, Alphonso A. McPheeters was a founder and charter member of the Lexington Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; the chapter was founded June 9, 1928 [source: Louisville Sphinx: Alpha Lambda, Summer 2009 edition, p.4]. Alphonso A. McPheeters was the husband of Annie L. Watters McPheeters (1908-1994), she was a graduate of Clark College. The couple married in 1940. Annie McPheeters was the director of the West Hunt Branch of the Atlanta Public Library; she was one of the first African American librarians employed in the public libraries in Atlanta. Named partially in her honor is the Washington Park/Annie L. McPheeters Branch Library. Also named partially in her honor is the Cary-McPheeters Gallery of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. For more information see the Annie L. McPheeters Papers at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, which has Alphonso A. McPheeters biographical items and reports in Series I: Personal materials, 1942-1993, folders 5-7; see "Prof. A. A. McPheeters,..." on p. 212 in The Crisis, July 1941 [online at Google Books]; "The American Negro in college, 1943-44" on p.253 in The Crisis, August 1944 [online at Google Books]; The Clark College Panther, 1963 Yearbook, pp.2-3; The Clark College Legacy by J. Brawley, pp.124-125 & 275-276; Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1931-32, p.374; see the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter website; and see Annie L. McPheeters in The New Georgia Encyclopedia [online].

*This entry was submitted by Juanita Landers White, who also provided copies of the references.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

McRidley, Wendell H. [Cadiz Normal and Theological College]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1932
Rev. Wendell H. McRidley was editor and publisher of the Cadiz Informer, a Baptist weekly newspaper in Cadiz, KY. In 1887, he founded and was president of the Cadiz Normal and Theological College; the school had 269 students in 1895 and was still in operation as an elementary school in 1915 with at least 18 students. McRidley was also an alternate Kentucky Delegate to the Republication Convention in 1900 and 1916. He was treasurer of the Colored Masons' Mt. Olive Lodge #34 in Louisville, organized in 1880. McRidley was born in Tennessee, he was the husband of Anna M. Crump McRidley, born 1864 in KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; McRidley, at The Political Graveyard website; Chapter 4 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley; and the Photo on p. 301 in Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence..., by E. C. Morris [available on the UNC University Library's Documenting the American South website]. For more about the Cadiz Normal and Theological College, and the School, see p.117 of the Sixty-third Annual Report of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, May 30th and 31st, 1895; and p. 278 of Negro Education, by T. J. Jones [both available online at Google Book Search]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky

McWorter, Free Frank
Birth Year : 1777
Death Year : 1854
Born in South Carolina, Free Frank McWorter was the son of a slave named Juda and her owner, George McWhorter. Frank and McWhorter settled in Pulaski County, KY, in 1795. Frank worked McWhorter's farm and was allowed to establish his own saltpeter business. He earned enough money to purchase a farm, his wife's freedom, his freedom, and that of an older son. Once free, Frank took the name Free Frank. In 1830, he and the free members of his family moved to Pike County, Illinois, where he accumulated land. Frank eventually established the town of New Philadelphia, continuing to purchase the freedom of his children and grandchildren still in Pulaski County, KY. While in Illinois, Frank officially changed his name to Frank McWorter [without the 'h']. Three years after his death, portions of the New Philadelphia property were sold to purchase the freedom of the remaining family members in Kentucky. For more see Free Frank; a black pioneer on the Antebellum frontier, by J. E. K. Walker.

See bust and additional information about Free Frank McWorter at the United Black America website.
Subjects: Businesses, Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Pulaski County, Kentucky / Pike County, Illinois / New Philadelphia, Illinois

Meachum, John Berry "J. B."
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
John Berry Meachum was a slave born in Kentucky who later lived in Virginia. He was hired out and eventually purchased his freedom and that of his father, who was a Baptist preacher. Meachum and his father moved to St. Louis, MO, leaving Meachum's wife and children enslaved in Virginia. For the next eight years, Meachum worked as a cooper and carpenter, saving enough money to purchase his family in 1824. (In some sources, Meachum and his wife, Mary, a slave from Kentucky, are said to have gone to Missouri together.) Two years later, Meachum was ordained a minister and became pastor of the First African Baptist Church, a position he held until his death in 1854. He had helped found the church, which eventually grew to have more than 500 members. Meachum also owned slaves; he had more than 20 slaves, most of them children who worked to purchase their freedom. Meachum was considered a leader among the freemen and slaves; during his time, he was the most outspoken advocate in Missouri for the education of African Americans. Meachum's church was one of five in St. Louis that offered education under the guise of Sunday School. Each Sunday, more than 100 freemen and slaves (with permission) attended classes in the dark basement of Mechum's church. White sympathizers helped teach the classes and provided supplies for the school. One of the students was James Milton Turner (see the Hannah Turner entry). In 1847, although the abolitionist movement was gaining strength in Missouri, it became illegal for African Americans to receive educational instruction or to attend school. It was also illegal for African Americans to lead church services unless a white officer were present. Meachum's school was soon closed. The school was reopened on a steamboat in the Mississippi River; the boat was built by Meachum. For more see The Baptists in America (1836), by F. A. Cox and J. Hoby [available full-text at Google Book Search]; D. D. Bellamy, "The Education of Blacks in Missouri prior to 1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 59, issue 2 (Apr., 1974), pp. 143-157; and D. L. Durst, "The Reverend John Berry Meachum (1789-1854) of St. Louis," The North Star: a Journal of African American Religious History, vol. 7, issue 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 1-24 [pdf].

See the image and additional information about John Berry Meachum at the First Baptist Church of St. Louis website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Carpenters, Sunday School, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Virginia / Saint Louis, Missouri

Meade County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Meade County, located in northwestern Kentucky along the Ohio River, was formed in 1823 from the bordering counties of Breckinridge and Hardin. The county was named in honor of James Meade, who was killed in the Battle of River Raisin. Fort Knox was constructed in 1918, and 15,000 acres of the site were located in Meade County. Brandenburg was named the county seat in 1825, although the community had existed since the early 1800s, when Solomon Brandenburg purchased a tract of land and built his tavern; the town of Brandenburg developed around the tavern. The 1830 county population was 570 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 6,966 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 335 slave owners
  • 1,232 Black slaves
  • 339 Mulatto slaves
  • 16 free Blacks
  • 5 free Mulattoes [all with last name Alexander]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 372 slave owners
  • 1,463 Black slaves
  • 468 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 9 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,061 Blacks
  • 253 Mulattoes
  • About 15 U.S. Colored Troops gave Meade County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Meade County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Civil War Incidents in and Around Meade County, Kentucky, by M. Myers; Marriage Books, 1824-1974, Meade County (KY) County Clerk; and Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in Kentucky, by J. B. Hudson.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Meade County, Kentucky

Meaux, Fredrick C. and Bertha [Edythe Meaux Smith]
Fred Meaux was born around 1883 in Kentucky, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was living with his uncle, James Sausbury [or Sansbury], in Lebanon, KY. When he was 20 years old, he married Bertha, and the following year Fred visited the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, enjoying the area so much that he and Bertha moved to St. Louis. In 1920, the family consisted of Fred, Bertha, and their five children. Fred Meaux was a postal carrier, one of the first African Americans to deliver mail in St. Louis. He was also an active member of the National Association of Letter Carriers and was a delegate at the 33rd Convention held in St. Louis. The Meaux's daughter, Edythe Meaux Smith (1917-2007), and her husband, Wayman Flynn Smith, Jr., were civil rights activists. Edythe, who was also a journalist and an educator, served as Deputy Director of the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, which handled discrimination complaints. For more see "Fred C. Meaux" and "F. C. Meaux" in The Postal Record, vol. 33, issue 1 (January 1920) [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and "Edythe Smith educator, civil rights activist," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 04/21/2007, News section, p. A16.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Fathers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Meaux Settlement (Anderson County, KY)
Meaux Settlement was an African American community established in Anderson County, KY, by Jane Anderson Meaux. The community was established prior to Meaux's death in 1844, and is mentioned on p.205, v.4 of History of Kentucky by W. E. Connelley and E. M. Coulter. All of her slaves were to be freed if they agreed to go live in Liberia, Africa. Those who refused were to remain enslaved after her death. James M. Priest, who would become Vice President of Liberia in 1864, had been one of Meaux's slaves. The Anderson County community was still known as Meaux Settlement in 1913 [source: "Historic Happenings in Kentucky," Lexington Leader, 02/02/1913, p.1]. For more see "To Liberia," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1909, p. 9.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Anderson County, Kentucky

Media myths and stereotypes: a historical content analysis of the Courier-Journal and its portrayal of African Americans by T.W. Miles
This University of Louisville dissertation is an examination of the reinforcement of racial stereotypes and images by the media in articles published between the 1940s and 1960s.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Florian, Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2014
Florian Meeks, Jr. was born in Owenton, KY, the son of Florian Sr. and Martha L. Meeks. The family of six lived on E. Adair Street, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Florian Jr. was educated in a one room school house in Owen County and attended high school at Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville, KY. In 1943 he became a member of one of the first platoons of African American Marines at Montford Point, a segregated basic training facility at Camp Lejeune, NC, for African Americans. The facility had been established after President Roosevelt signed a directive in 1942 that allowed African Americans to be recruited into the U.S. Marine Corps. Meeks served active duty with the Second Casual Company, HQ BN MPC, in World War II in the Pacific Area from 1944 through 1946. He received an Honorable Discharge, and enrolled at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. While at Tuskegee, he returned to Louisville and married Eloise Kline in 1948, and two years later he graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree. Florian Meeks next enlisted in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of First Lieutenant, Infantry. He served active duty with the 160th Infantry, and the 40th Infantry Division on Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War. Meeks received a Combat Infantry Badge for exemplary performance of duty in ground combat against the enemy. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1957, and began a career with the United States Postal Service. He also founded Meeks Home Improvement and Construction Company. In 2012, Florian Meeks, Jr. and other Montford Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor. Florian Meeks is the father of Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Florian Meeks III, KY House Member Reginald Meeks, Michael Meeks, and Kenneth Meeks. Florian Meeks, Jr. passed away January 13, 2014. This entry was submitted by Michael L. Meeks. For more see HR 149 and SR 153, and House Resolution 2447 (112 United States Congress).

See photo image of Florian Meeks, Jr. at MyHeritage website.
Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Military & Veterans, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Owenton, Owen County, Kentucky / Camp Lejeune, North Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Kenneth
Birth Year : 1963
Born in Louisville, KY, Kenneth Meeks is a brother to Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Michael Meeks, and Reginald Meeks. He is the author of Driving While Black, and contributing author to Brotherman. Meeks is managing editor of Black Enterprise magazine. Prior to that, he had been assistant managing editor of the New York Amsterdam News and managing editor of Black Elegance: BE. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see Contemporary Authors, vol. 195; and Who's Who in America, vols. 51-53.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Michael L.
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Meeks is a brother of Reginald Meeks, Renelda (Meeks) Walker Higgins, and Kenneth Meeks. In 2008 he was elected to the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee. He is founder and president of Frankfort Lobbyist, LLC, formed in 2008, and owner of Special Event Coordinators, LLC, established in 2000. Meeks served as Committee Staff Administrator of the Government Contract Review Committee of the Legislative Research Commission from 1996 to 2006 and served as Legislative Analyst for the Occupations and Professions Committee from 1985 to 1996. Meeks earned his B.A. at Morehead State University in 1980 and his J.D. at Howard University School of Law in 1983. He was selected Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Big Brother of the Year in 1990; Outstanding Young Men of America, 1981-1985; Outstanding Kentucky Young Democrat of the Year in 1979; Who's Who Among American College Students in 1978-1980; and elected State Secretary of the Kentucky Young Democrats in 1978. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see the 2007 Inaugural Edition of Who’s Who in Black Louisville and subsequent issues in 2008 and 2009.
Subjects: Businesses, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Reginald K.
Birth Year : 1954
Born in Louisville, KY, Reginald K. Meeks is a brother to Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Michael Meeks, and Kenneth Meeks. In 1983 he was chosen by Ebony Magazine as one of the 50 Young Leaders of the Future. In 1991 he was profiled in Southern Living for his work in helping to turn his neighborhood library branch into the Kentucky African-American Museum of History and Culture. He is a founding member of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. Meeks served as the 11th Ward Alderman in Louisville, KY, from 1982-2000. Since 2001 he has served as the elected Kentucky House Member of Legislative District 42 (Louisville). Meeks earned his B.A. at Wabash College in 1976 and his J.D. at the University of Iowa College of Law in 1979. He was the primary sponsor of the legislation to reduce violence and gun use. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see HR254 (Word doc.); Who's Who in American Politics, vols. 11-17; Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 4-14; Ebony, Sept. 1983, p. 70; and Southern Living, 1991, vol. 26, issue 2, pp. 74-76.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Willis Gene
Birth Year : 1938
Willis G. Meeks was born in Harlan, KY, the son of Maceo and Thelma Meeks. He was a flight project manager, and head of NASA's Ulysses Solar Exploration Project beginning in 1990. Ulysses was a $750 million joint effort of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), it was a fact finding mission to assess Earth's total solar environment, with data being transmitted from Ulysses to Earth. The mission was to be a five year journey, but the mission continued for another 15 years. In 2009, the Ulysses Mission Team received the NASA Group Achievement Award; Ulysses was the longest running ESA-operated spacecraft [see Ulysses website]. Meeks wrote several technical reports about the Ulysses Project and the records for the reports are available at the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS). After 30 years of service, Meeks retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on January 29, 1996. He was the first flight project manager at JPL/NASA. Meeks is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and while enlisted earned his A. A. degree in electronics at Allan Hancock College. While employed at JPL and raising four children, Meeks attended college at night and earned his B.S. degree in 1975, and his MBA degrees in 1977, both from California State University. Among his many awards, in 1984 he received the Equal Employment Opportunity Medal for exceptional contributions to the JPL Affirmative Action Program. He also received the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1992. Willis G. Meeks is the husband of Magalene LeCita Powell, who was systems engineer at JPL/NASA when the couple married in 1991. For more see R. Dunger, "William M. Meeks - heading NASA's Ulysses Solar Exploration Project," Los Angeles Sentinel, 10/11/1990, p.A4; "Flight Project Manager," Ebony, January 1991, p.7; "Loving Embrace," Jet, 02/10/1992, p.30; Who's Who Among Black Americans 1994/95; and Who's Who Among African Americans beginning in 1996-97 edition.

See photo image in "Loving Embrace," Jet, 02/10/1992, p.30.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Menifee County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1870-1900
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1900
Menifee County, surrounded by six counties and located in eastern Kentucky, was formed in 1869 from portions of Bath, Montgomery, Morgan, Powell, and Wolfe Counties. It was named in honor of Richard H. Menefee (spelling variation), who was Commonwealth's Attorney, a Kentucky House Member, and a U.S. Senator. The county seat of Menifee County is Frenchburg, established in 1869 and named in honor of Richard French, a lawyer and circuit court judge who served in both the Kentucky and the U.S. House of Representatives. Menifee County was formed after the slaves were freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment. The 1870 county population was 1,986, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 6,889 by 1900. Below are the numbers for the Blacks and Mulattoes in the county for 1870-1900.

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 14 Blacks [last names Davis, Williams, and Willis, 1 Roggers]
  • 3 Mulattoes [Jack Donathan, Anna Kring, and Pressilla Wills]
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 46 Blacks [most with last name Monear, Simpson, Wilston, and Williams]
1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • 41 Blacks [most with last name Manier, Bush, Gay, and Williams]
For more see Menifee County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; and A History of Menifee County, Kentucky, by the Menifee County Historical Book Committee.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Menifee County, Kentucky

Mercer County African American Oral History Project [oral histories]
Start Year : 2013
The following comes from "Pass the Word," a Kentucky Historical Society website. "This project seeks to document the oral history of African Americans in Mercer County, Kentucky, focusing heavily on residents of Harrodsburg, Kentucky. The content of the interviews focuses heavily on physical locations in the county that have been historically important to the black community, including churches, schools and businesses. Interviewees discuss desegregation of schools and the community as well as well known individuals in the Harrodsburg and Mercer County community."

Access Interview 

See list of Mercer County interviews at "Pass the Word" website.
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Mercer County, Kentucky

Mercer County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Mercer County, located in central Kentucky, was formed in 1785 from a portion of Lincoln County. It was named for Hugh Mercer, from Scotland, who was a physician killed during the American Revolutionary War. Mercer County was the sixth county formed in Kentucky, and it is surrounded by six counties. Harrodsburg, the county seat, was first called Harrod's Town. It was founded in 1774 by James Harrod, who was a pioneer, explorer, and a soldier in the French and Indian War. Harrodsburg is considered the first permanently established settlement in Kentucky. In the First Census of Kentucky, 1790, there were 5,745 whites, 1,339 slaves, and 7 free persons. The 1800 county population was 9,646, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 7,297 whites, 2,316 slaves, and 33 free coloreds. In 1830 there were nine free African American slave owners. By 1860, the population had increased to 10,427, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 619 slave owners
  • 2,952 Black slaves
  • 295 Mulatto slaves
  • 261 free Blacks
  • 73 free Mulattoes

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 618 slave owners
  • 2,353 Black slaves
  • 732 Mulatto slaves
  • 103 Colored slaves
  • 167 free Blacks
  • 1 free Colored [Parellee Meaux]
  • 89 free Mulattoes

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 2,691 Blacks
  • 566 Mulattoes
  • About 142 U.S. Colored Troops listed Mercer, KY, as their birth location.

For more see Mercer County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Letters to Ministers and Elders on the Sin of Holding Slaves, and the Duty of Immediate Emancipation, by J. G. Birney; Marriage Books, 1786-1984, Mercer County (KY) County Clerk; and Through Two Hundred Years, by G. M. Chinn and R. W. Conover.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Mercer County, Kentucky

Merchant, Jesse, Sr.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1959
Born in Winchester, KY, Merchant was employed as a pharmacist at the U. S. Food Laboratory in Chicago in 1909 and later moved to the Department of Agriculture. He was also a civilian postmaster for the 10th U.S. Vol. Infantry in Lexington, KY, and Macon, GA, during the Spanish-American War. He was the son of Alpheus and Georgia A. Williams Merchant, and had attend high school in Lexington, KY. Merchant was a graduate of the Pharmacy College in Louisville, KY. He served as vice president of the Omaha Branch of the NAACP. Merchant was also a poet and is credited with composing "Back to My Old Kentucky Home" in 1906. He was the husband of Gladys Merchant and the couple had four children. The family lived on Wabash Street in Chicago, IL, according to the 1930 U.S. Federeal Census. Jesse Merchant, Sr. retired in 1950 from the federal alcohol tax unit, according to his obituary in the Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/08/1959. For more see the Jesse Merchant entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915 by F. L. Mather [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Poets, Postal Service, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Merrifield, Norman L.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1997
Norman L. Merrifield, a music teacher, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Clarence and Henrietta Merrifield. The family moved to Indianapolis in 1913. He was a graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor's and master's in music education. Merrifield was a bandmaster while enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended the Army Band School. He taught at Fisk and public schools in Tennessee, Florida A&M, and high school in Indianapolis. He also published spiritual arrangements and published a number of articles. Some of those influenced by Merrifield's teaching were Bobby Womack, James "J.J." Johnson, and LaVerne Newsome. For more see "Norman L. Merrifield" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern; and the Norman Merrifield Oral History Interview within the African American Personal Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Merritt, Barbara Mae Croney
Birth Year : 1952
Death Year : 1999
In 1970, Barbara Mae Croney Merritt was the first female to receive an athletic scholarship at Kentucky State University [source: "Ex-track champ is dead at 41," Kentucky New Era, 05/02/1994, p.2A (online at Google News)]. Croney was a track star from Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of John W. and Dorothy K. Spurline Croney, one of 12 children. In 1969, Barbara M. Croney competed in the National AAU Track and Field Championships in San Diego, CA [source: "Looking back: 25 years ago," Kentucky New Era, 08/20/1994, p.4A (online at Google News)]. She helped lead her team to the state championship in 1969 and 1970. Croney ran the 220 yard dash and was the anchor for both the 440 and the 880 relay. In prior years, she won the 220 in the 1968 state meet, and the standing broad jump in the 1967 state meet. She won the 100 yard dash in the Los Angeles Junior Olympics in 1967. After her track career, Barbara M. Croney Merritt was employed at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), having worked in several departments before becoming an administrative assistant to the executive vice president and provost. Barbara Mae Croney Merritt died of natural causes in the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, her body was brought back to Hopkinsville with services taking place at the Gamble Funeral Home and burial at the Cave Spring Cemetery (grave site via Find A Grave). She was the wife of Earl F. Merritt. The Barbara M. Merritt Memorial Scholarship Fund in Liberal Arts was established at Penn State in her honor. In 2004, Barbara M. Croney (posthumously) was among the 16 inductees to the newly formed Heritage Bank Christian County High School Athletic Hall of Fame [source: J. Wilson, "CCHS honors 16 former athletes, coaches," Kentucky New Era, 12/10/2004, Section B, p.B3 (online at Google News)]. For more about Barbara M. Croney's track career see "Barbara Croney sets mark," Kentucky New Era, 05/13/1967, p.6, picture included (online at Google News); "What happened to Barbara?," Kentucky New Era, 05/22/1967, p12 (online at Google News); "County girls go to enter Junior Olympic finals," Kentucky New Era, 08/04/1967, p.10 (online at Google News); "Christian County's girls capture region track meet," Kentucky New Era, 05/09/1970, p.8; and many other articles in the Kentucky New Era newspaper. Barbara Croney is mentioned on p.13 of the Amateur Athlete, v.40., 1969. See caption and photo of Barbara Croney in article by C. Hess, "Kudos to secretaries this week," The Daily Collegian, 04/25/1979, p.15.

 

  See photo image of Barbara M. Croney on p.90 in the 1971 Thorobred yearbook at Kentucky State University.
Subjects: Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kenucky / University Park, Pennsylvania

Merritt, Mary Eliza
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1953
Born in Berea, KY, the daughter of Thomas and Josie Merritt. Mary Merritt was the first African American nurse licensed in Kentucky. She had received her nurses training at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. She received the Mary Mahoney award for distinguished service in 1949 and was awarded a certificate of merit by President Wilson. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Nurses
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Merriweather, Claybron W.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1952
Claybron Merriweather was born in Christian County, KY, the son of John and Mary Gwynn Merriweather, both former slaves. The Merriweathers lived in extreme poverty. Claybron eventually saved enough money to attend school and later became a schoolteacher and founded three newspapers. He was also a painter, using water colors and oils for his paintings. He is author of Light and Shadows, published in 1907, it was his first book. Merriweather was also a poet and went on to publish five additional books. He promoted his poetry by giving readings in various cities; in 1940 he was in Chicago and was on his way to Cleveland to give a dramatic reading before the Mission Convocation of the First Episcopal District. Claybron Merriweather was also a practicing lawyer, and had studied with the Black Stone Institute, which offered a home study course. He began his practice in 1908 and was the first African American attorney in Hopkinsville, KY, and the first to receive a license to practice law in Mayfield, KY [source: "First Colored Attorney," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 05/11/1912, p.4; and "First Colored man ever admitted to the bar at Mayfield, " The Paducah Sun, 11/28/1905, p.1]. Claybron Merriweather was the husband of Rosa Morgan Merriweather (c.1874-1935), born in KY, she was a school teacher in Paducah and in Hopkinsville, KY. The couple last lived at 1103 Coleman Street in Hopkinsville. They are buried in the Cane Spring Cemetery in Christian County, according to their death certificates. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; "C.W. Merriweather to give reading," Kentucky New Era, 08/10/1940, p.6; and The Law Trained Man by W. C. Wermuth [available full text at archive.org].
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Poets
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Merriwether, Jesse [Mount Moriah Lodge No.1]
Birth Year : 1812
Death Year : 1892
Merriwether [also spelled Meriwether and Meriweather] was born a slave and freed in 1847 under the condition that he go to Liberia. Merriwether went to Liberia as a delegate of the Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky in 1847. He returned to the U.S. in August 1848 and wrote and unfavorable report for emigration to Liberia. He also secretly established the first African American Masonic Lodge in his house on Walnut Street in Louisville, KY. Mount Moriah Lodge No. 1 was initially located in New Albany, IN, for three years. There was fear that there would be prejudice against the lodge in Kentucky, and the meetings were attended in secret. After three years the lodge was moved to Louisville. A core of the lodge remained in New Albany for the members who lived in that city. Jesse Merriwether was also a carpenter, he was the husband of Phoebe Merriwether, b.1828 in KY. He is the author of A brief history of the schools, public and private, for colored youths in Louisville, Ky. for fifty years, from 1827 to 1876, inclusive. In 1889, Merriwether was selected as a possible candidate for the legislature for the 6th District of Kentucky. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and for more about the beginning of the lodge see p.42 The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr. See also the paragraph beginning Jesse Meriweather of Louisville... in the article "The Race Doings," Cleveland Gazette, 06/29/1889, p.1.
Subjects: Authors, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa / New Albany, Indiana

Merry, Nelson G.
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1884
Merry was a Kentucky slave who moved to Nashville, TN, with his master and at the age of 16 was willed to the First Baptist Church, which freed him in 1845. Merry was a preacher at the First Colored Baptist Church and in 1853 was the first ordained African American minister in Nashville. The First Colored Baptist Church became the largest church in Tennessee with more than 2,000 members. Merry founded several African American churches and the Tennessee Colored Baptist Association. For a year, he was editor of The Colored Sunday School Standard. He was the husband of Mary Ann Merry, b.1830 in TN. In 1860 the family of seven lived in the 4th Ward of Nashville, TN. For more see "History of Nelson G. Merry," The Tennessee Tribune, Spirituality & Issues section, vol. 17, issue 49 (Dec 14, 2006), p. D5; and the "First Baptist Church, Capitol HIll, Nashville" by B. L. Lovett in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture [online version].
Subjects: Freedom, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Metcalfe County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Metcalfe County, located in south-central Kentucky, was formed in 1860 from portions of Adair, Barren, Cumberland, Greene, Hart, and Monroe Counties. It is named for Kentucky Governor Thomas Metcalfe, who also served as a U.S. Representative and Senator. Edmonton was named the county seat in 1860. The town was named for Edmund Rogers (spelling variation), who owned the land where he laid out the town in 1818. Edmund Rogers was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and a land surveyor. The 1860 county population was 5,964, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and it increased to 9,440 by 1880, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 181 slave owners
  • 557 Black slaves
  • 225 Mulatto slaves
  • 26 free Blacks
  • 24 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 480 Blacks
  • 447 Mulattoes
  • At least one U.S. Colored Troop listed Metcalfe County, KY as his birth location [Joseph Reed].
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 661 Blacks
  • 378 Mulattoes
For more see Metcalfe County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; James H. Read's Tax Book for 1865, by J. H. Read; and Metcalfe Co. Kentucky Vital Statistics, by S. K. L. Gorin.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Metcalfe County, Kentucky

Meyzeek, Albert E.
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1963
Albert E. Meyzeek was principal and teacher at several Louisville schools. He was also a civil rights activist. He came to Kentucky from Terre Haute, IN. Meyzeek fought for libraries for African Americans in Louisville and for the development of Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. Meyzeek Middle School was named in his honor. Meyzeek was also a former president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and was hired to become president of State Industrial College [now Kentucky State University], but served one month, then resigned before the beginning of the fall term. Albert Meyzeek was born in Toledo, OH, the son of John E. and Mary Lott Meyzeek. He was a graduate of Indiana State Normal School, Indiana University (B.A.) and Wilberforce University (M.A.). For more see Old War Horse of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; "Life Achievements of Albert Ernest Meyzeek," Kentucky Negro Journal, vol. 1; and Albert E. Meyzeek, at the Louisville Free Public Library website.


 
  See photo of Albert E. Meyzeek and additional information at the Louisville Free Public Library Western Branch webpage.

 

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Toledo, Ohio / Terre Haute, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Micheaux, David
Micheaux was a slave in Calloway County, KY, who was later sold to an buyer in Texas. His wife was Melvina Micheaux. David was the father of Calvin Swan Micheaux, Sr. (1847-1932), who was the father of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951). Oscar was an author and later established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a 1919 silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux, see The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young. For more on David Micheaux, see The Conquest, by O. D. Micheaux. David Micheaux was the father of Andrew Jackson Micheaux, who was the great, great grandfather of pro football player Austin Wheatly. See an Andrew Jackson Micheaux photo.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration West, Grandparents, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Calloway County, Kentucky / Texas

Micheaux, Melvina
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1916
Micheaux was born in Alabama. She and her husband, David Micheaux, were slaves in Calloway County, KY. Melvina and her three children moved to Illinois, later joining other Exodusters in the move to Nicodemus, Kansas. One of her children, Calvin Swan Micheaux, Sr. (1847-1932), was the father of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951), an author who established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux, see The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young. Melvina Micheaux was the mother of Andrew Jackson Micheaux, the great, great grandfather of pro football player Austin Wheatly. See Andrew Jackson Micheaux and Melvina Micheaux photos.
Subjects: Migration West, Mothers, Nicodemus, Grandparents, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era], Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Alabama / Calloway County, Kentucky / Nicodemus, Kansas

Middlesboro Blue Sox (Middlesboro, KY, baseball team)
Middlesboro, KY, had a colored baseball team as early as 1924, which was the year of the protest movement by churches in Middlesboro against baseball games being played on Sundays. The protest occurred at the same time that property owners on West End Street took action against the Humbard Construction Company for required improvements to their newly repaired street. The property owners won their case with the city, and with that success, four churches formalized a protest against Sunday baseball games at the city athletic park. The protesting churches were First Baptist, Middlesboro Baptist, First M. E. Church, and the Christian Church. The basis of the protest was that the baseball games were not in the best interest of the city and playing baseball on Sunday was said to be a violation of state law. The complaints were filed with the city commissioner, who needed time to investigate whether playing baseball on Sunday was actually illegal according to Kentucky law. Evidently, it was not a violation, because baseball games continued to be played on Sundays. The Middlesboro Blue Sox were the champion baseball team among the Colored baseball teams of Southeastern Kentucky in 1930. They played a game against the Jenkins Sluggers on the 4th of July in 1935. The game was played in East End Park, which was the designated location for the 4th of July activities for the Colored citizens of Middlesboro. The Middlesboro Blue Sox team was reorganized in February 1937 with Jerry Minor as manager and W. B. Bowden as captain. Bob Mitchell, an infielder, was also returning to the team. The schedule included the best Colored teams in that part of Kentucky and teams from four other states, including the Ethiopian Clowns. The games took place in what had become the Colored Municipal Park in West End, and the games were supervised by a park committee composed of Dr. I. H. Miller, Charles Nelson, Virgil Nelson, Dave Brownlow, and Coloney Bryant. The Middlesboro Blue Sox played their games on Sunday afternoons. They played the Clinch County, VA, Colored baseball team and the Knoxville Giants in June of 1937. The Blue Sox were defeated in Knoxville, and the next game against the Giants was played in Owensboro at the West End Municipal Park. In the summer of 1937, the city's West End Park was turned over to the Colored citizens committee for the Middlesboro Blue Sox baseball games and other activities. The team still existed in 1953. For more see "Contractors will repair West End Street," Middlesboro Daily News, 07/07/1924, p. 1; "Champion Blue Sox to play," Middlesboro Daily News, 06/30/1930, p. 7; "Fair weather predicted for 4th," Middlesboro Daily News, 07/03/1935, pp. 1 & 6; "Blue Sox team re-organized," Middlesboro Daily News, 02/23/1937, p. 6; "The Clinch County, Va., baseball team...," Middlesboro Daily News, 05/14/1937, p. 2; "The Middlesboro Blue Sox colored baseball team...," Middlesboro Daily News, 06/28/1937, p. 5; the last paragraph of "Exter Avenue will be repaired," Middlesboro Daily News, 07/21/1937, pp. 1 & 3; and Middlesboro Daily News, 06/23/1953.
Subjects: Baseball, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Middlesboro Colored Library (Bell County, KY)
Start Year : 1932
The first colored library in Middlesboro, KY, was located in the Methodist Church in October of 1932. The church was demolished in 1933, followed by a protest for the re-establishing of a colored library since colored citizens paid taxes that supported the public library for whites but were denied access to the public library. In 1940, it was suggested that the colored library be located in a funeral home. The NAACP Office objected. In spite of the objection, the library was placed in the Johnson, Baker, & Mitchell Funeral Home at 415 Nineteenth Street in Middlesboro. The business donated the space, lights, and janitorial services. The City of Middlesboro provided shelving and paid an attendant $35 per month to maintain the collection of 800 books. The NAACP Office continued their protest. There continued to be a colored library in Middlesboro in the 1940s and early 1950s; according to articles in the Middlesboro Daily News, a donation and disbursement of $35 was processed for the colored library by H. H. Hutcheson, Collector [issue July 19, 1943, p.7], and by G. C. Owen, Clerk and Collector [issue June 20, 1949, p.8]; and the Middlesboro Book Club dues were used to buy magazines for the main library and the colored libraries ["The Middlesboro Book Club...," March 7, 1951, p.1]. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1932 and 1933 submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission from the Middlesboro Public Library; A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and Miller's Middlesboro, Ky, City Directory, 1950-1951.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Midnight Star
Start Year : 1976
The group Midnight Star was formed in 1976 when the members were students at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. Brothers Reginald Calloway, on trumpet, and Vincent Calloway, on trombone, both from Cincinnati, Ohio, were joined by vocalist Belinda Lipscomb from Louisville, KY. Beginning in 1980, the group's first albums (The Beginning, Standing Together and Victory) were recorded using studio musicians. A full band was later added with Melvin Gentry on guitar, Kenneth Gant on bass, Bobby Lovelace on drums, and Bo Watson on keyboard. Midnight Star was the only African American group with a platinum album in 1983, thanks to the huge success of the single (and album) No Parking on the Dance Floor. The single Freak-A-Zoid was number two on the R&B charts. The group's success continued with the album Headlines becoming their third and final gold album. Later albums did not sell well, and the group broke up in 1990, the members going on to have other successful endeavors. In 1998 the group members reunited as Midnight Star, minus the Calloway brothers, and they often perform in Kentucky. For more see All Music Guide to Soul: the definitive guide to R&B and Soul, by V. Goddanov, C. Woodstra, and S. T. Erlewine; Funk, by D. Thompson; and the group's biography at the Midnight Star website. For an earlier history see Kentucky State Collegians. View the No Paking on the Dance Floor video on YouTube.

Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Migration from Canada to Kentucky by 1870
End Year : 1870
In 1865, at the close of the Civil War and at the time slavery ended in Kentucky with the ratification of the 13th Amendment [December 18, 1865], there were persons listed as "Black" or "Mulatto" in the U.S. Census who had returned to Kentucky from Canada or moved to Kentucky from Canada. Below are some of the names, occupations, and locations of those living in Kentucky when the 1870 U.S. Federal Census was taken.

  • Samuel and Anny Dupee were born in Canada and in 1870 lived in Henderson, KY. Samuel was born around 1835, he was a laborer, and Anny was born around 1840, both could read and write.
  • The W. H. and Margaret Johnson family had returned to Kentucky; both parents were Kentucky natives. The family lived in Louisville, where Mr. Johnson was a store porter. Their son Henry was born in 1857 in Canada; daughter Almyra was born in 1861 in Michigan; and the last three children were born in Kentucky.
  • Mary and Zach Mason, Sr. were Kentucky natives who returned to Kentucky. The family lived in Louisville, where Mr. Mason was a teamster. Their daughter Rebecca was born in 1861 in Kentucky, their son Zach Jr. was born in 1863 in Canada, and the last two children were born in Kentucky.
  • Mariola McRanny, born in 1840 in Kentucky, lived in Louisville with her daughter Capitola, who was born in 1866 in Canada. They lived with several other family members.
  • Abraham Miller, a barber in Louisville, was born in 1827 in Kentucky. His wife Harriet was born in 1845 in Canada. One of their sons was born in Indiana and the other was born in Kentucky.
  • Jackson Morum was born in 1845 in Canada; he was a hotel waiter in Hopkinsville.
  • Reverend John R. Riley was born in 1842 in Canada and lived in Louisville.
  • Allael Sherman was born in 1846 in Canada; he was a school teacher in Louisville.
  • James Smith was born in 1851 in Canada; he was a school teacher in Hopkinsville.
  • The Smiths, Edward (b. 1826) and Hannah (b. 1840), were Kentucky natives. Their son Samuel was born in 1862 in Canada. The family lived in Covington, KY, where Edward was a day laborer.
  • Mag Taylor was born in 1845 in Canada; she was a school teacher in Burkesville.
  • James Thomas, a laborer, was born in 1832 in Canada. His wife Emily was born in Maryland, and their children were born in Kentucky. The family lived in Louisville.
  • Mary Watters was a seamstress born 1845 in Louisiana. She lived in Louisville with her daughters Gertrude (b. 1859) and Matilda (b. 1862), both born in Canada.
  • John Weakly was born in 1837 in Canada; he was a farm laborer in Hopkinsville.
  • Emma Webb was born in 1849 in Canada; she lived in Louisville.
  • Rueben Wright was born in 1831 in Missouri; he was a farmer. His wife Florida Wright was born in 1828 in Kentucky. Their oldest daughter Mary was born in 1858 in Canada, and their last five children were born in Kentucky. The family lived in Newport.

Subjects: Barbers, Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Burkesville, Cumberland County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Canada

Migration from Kentucky to Florida
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1945
In 1910, Florida was one of six states to have the greatest gain from Negro migration (the other five states were Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, New York, and Illinois). Florida received a greater migration than any northern state. Kentucky was not a major contributing state; there were very few African Americans who migrated from Kentucky to Florida prior to the mid 20th Century. Looking at the Florida State Census (1867-1945), the U.S. Federal Census (1850-1930), and the World War I and World War II Draft Registrations, there are little more than 1,000 African Americans listed as born in Kentucky and residing in Florida. For those who did move, they were not concentrated in one particular region of Florida or employed in one particular industry. One of the first Kentucky natives listed in the Census is Oather Bell, who in 1850 was a carpenter in Jacksonville. In 1870, Eli Adams was a farm laborer in Leon County; in 1885, Robert Adams was a laborer in Pensacola; in 1900, David Straws was a farmer in Jefferson County; in 1910, Lannie Jake was a sewer ditch digger in Quincy. During 1917-18, at least 23 African Americans born in KY registered for the Army Draft in Florida during World War I. In 1920, Ruthanne Adams ran a lodging house in Winter Haven; in 1935, Hallie O'Brien was a laundress in Dade County; in 1945, Victor C. St. Clair was a caretaker in Orange County; and at least 46 African Americans born in KY enlisted in Florida during World War II Army Enlistments from 1938-1946. More recently, in the 2004 Louisville Urban Studies Institute Research Report, Florida ranked as one of the top destinations for persons who moved from Kentucky (not defined by race). For more see Negro Migration During the War, by E. J. Scott. For more recent migration trends, see the University of Louisville Urban Studies Institute, Kentucky Population Research, and Kentucky State Data Center - Research Report by Price, Scobee, and Sawyer, Kentucky Migration: consequences for state population and labor force, February 2004 [available online .pdf]; and Migration by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1995-2000, Census 2000 Special Reports, issued October 2003 [available online .pdf].
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Florida

Migration from Kentucky to Iowa
Start Year : 1803
End Year : 1920
The migration of African Americans from Kentucky to Iowa pre-date the official opening of the territory in 1833 and continued into the 1900s. York is reported as being the first to cross through the region as a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Former slaves Henry and Charlotte Pyles were taken from Kentucky and settled in the Iowa Territory, where they assisted escaped slaves making their way to Canada. There was a steady stream of Kentucky-born African Americans migrating to Iowa. The U.S. Federal Census lists over 100 in 1850, and during the Civil War, the First Regiment of Iowa African Infantry included 142 recruits from Kentucky. Counted in the 1880 Census were over 6,000 African Americans who were born in Kentucky and lived in Iowa. During WWI over 4,000 native Kentuckians registered for the U.S. military in Iowa, and over 15,000 were counted in the 1920 Census. For more on the migration to Iowa see J. L. Hill, "Migration of Blacks to Iowa 1820-1960," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 66, issue 4 (Winter, 1981-1982), pp. 289-303 and the website African Americans in Henry County, Iowa (extracted from the) 1870 Census.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Iowa

Migration from Kentucky to Kansas
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1920
The first significant migration of African Americans from Kentucky to Kansas took place between 1860, when there were 64 migrants, and 1870, when there were 1,776. The majority lived in either Leavenworth, Shawnee, or Wynadotte Counties. In Topeka, most of the African American residents had come from Missouri, and the next largest number come from Kentucky. By 1877, there was a small concentration in Nicodemus. The 1885 Kansas State Census shows that more than half the African Americans living in Nicodemus were Kentucky natives. Nicodemus was only one of the rural communities that promised opportunity and hope for African Americans seeking a better way of life in the West. According to the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, African Americans born in Kentucky and living in Kansas had increased to 5,600. The numbers would start to fall with the onset of the Great Black Migration to urban locations in the north and west. By 1920, the number of Kentucky-born African Americans living in Kansas had declined to little more than 2,500. For more see "Quite a number of Colored people from Kentucky...," Western Recorder, 12/14/1883, p.3; "Coming to Kansas," Western Recorder, 04/18/1884, p.2; Black Towns and Profit, by K. M. Hamilton; The Great Migration in Historical Perspective, by J. W. Trotter; K. J. C. White, et. al., "Race, gender, and marriage: destination selection during the Great Migration," Demography, vol. 42, issue 2 (May, 2005), pp. 215-241; and T. C. Cox, Blacks in Topeka, Kansas 1865-1915: a social history.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas

Migration of Black Women from Kentucky to Cincinnati, OH
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1920
"According to the census for 1900, slightly more than 50 percent of the black female population in Cincinnati migrated from Kentucky, followed by Tennessee with eight percent and Virginia with six percent." "The 1910 and 1920 Manuscript Census Records show that for both census periods, Kentucky remained the state of origin of most black women who migrated to Cincinnati." Source: Contested Terrain: African American Women Migrate from the South to Cincinnati, Ohio, 1900-1950, by B. A. Bunch-Lyons, p. 12.
Subjects: Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Migration to Deadwood, Dakota Territory
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1900
The 1870 U.S. Federal Census shows African Americans living in the Dakota Territory; there were 80 residents, five of whom were from Kentucky. Most were former slaves who were employed as cooks and domestic help. By 1880, the Dakota Territory contained 17 African Americans from Kentucky, with the largest group of six living in the town of Deadwood, located in the Black Hills. P. Reynolds (b. 1852 in Kentucky), was a wood sawyer and contractor who had brought along his wife, Katie (b. 1852 in Arkansas), and their son, Clarrence. The family had lived in Nebraska, where Clarrence was born in 1875. Joseph Wells (b. 1831) was a cook. Theodore Lyons (b. 1830) was a barber. George Ree (b. 1861) was a laborer. Julia Francis (b. 1853 in Kentucky) was a widow who was employed as a housekeeper. She had a daughter named Dollie, who had been born in Dakota in 1879. They shared a residence with Jackson Colwell (b. 1830), a cook from Kentucky, and his brother Edmond Colwell (b. 1857 in Missouri), a liquor dealer who also ran a saloon. Deadwood was an illegal town on Native American land; it began to develop in 1874 after gold was discovered near French Creek. Not unlike Skagway, Alaska, Deadwood grew dramatically during the gold rush: the town population quickly increased from a few to 5,000. The town was filled with fortune-seekers, gamblers, prostitutes, and highway robbers; it was noted as the place where Wild Bill Hickok was murdered. Calamity Jane is also buried there. Nat Love or "Deadwood Dick," a former slave from Tennessee, is the most noted African American associated with the town of Deadwood. Love was a cowboy who brought a herd of cattle to Deadwood. When the gold fever calmed, the town became a mining town. There was a small pox epidemic in 1876. A fire in 1879 destroyed much of the town, the population decreasing as people left Deadwood to start life anew. There were four African Americans from Kentucky living in Deadwood in 1900; none of the previous six were listed as residents in the U.S. Federal Census. The Dakota Territory was divided into South Dakota and North Dakota,and both became states in 1889. For more about Deadwood see Westward Expansion, by R. A. Billington and J. B. Hedges; Old Deadwood Days, by E. Bennett; Deadwood, by W. Parker; and The Negro Cowboys, by P. Durham and E. L. Jones.
Subjects: Barbers, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Deadwood, Dakota Territory [South Dakota]

Migration to Ethiopia [Fannie B. Eversole, 1865-1951]
Start Year : 1930
End Year : 1935
Beginning in 1930, a number of African Americans and West Indians migrated to Ethiopia in search of the "Promised Land" in the Back to Africa Movement affiliated with Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. The exact number of persons who left the U.S. was in question, with estimates as high as 100, and as low as 25. The group was led by Arnold Ford, rabbi of Beth B'nai Abraham [Harlem, NY, Black Jews]. The migrating families were promised land, livestock, and a farming life, but the promises were unfulfilled. In 1932, the U.S. State Department issued a release to discourage others from migrating to Ethiopia due to the number of destitute American immigrants, and because there were no government funds for transportation back to the States. By 1934, thirty-five immigrants had returned to the U.S. In 1935, the Italy-Ethiopia War put an absolute end to any further immigration, and all but two of the prior immigrants returned to the U.S. September 1935, U.S. Legation Officials warned that any Americans who remained in Ethiopia did so against the advice of the State Department. Three of the last African Americans to leave were the wife of Baron Jackson and her daughter, Predonia, from Alabama, and Mrs. Fannie B. Eversole. They had all gone to Ethiopia in 1931 as part of the Back to Africa Movement. The American Negro Benevolent Society paid their fare back to the U.S. Seventy year old Fannie Eversole (b.1865 in Paris, KY) arrived in New York Harbor, October 8, 1935, aboard the ship Berengaria, according to the New York Passenger List. Fannie Eversole had been the wife of Man G. Eversole (b.1865 in VA), and according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, they had been homesteaders in Glade, Washington. Fannie Eversole was living in Los Angeles, CA before leaving for Ethiopia in 1931. She had been a cook and a housekeeper. Upon her return to the U.S., she made her home at 1621 W. 35th Street in Los Angeles and is listed as retired in the 1940s California Voter Registration Records. According to the California Death Index, Fannie Eversole died in Los Angeles on June 22, 1951. For more see "Legation Officials advise Americans to leave Ethiopia," Florence Morning News, 09/11/1935, pp.1 & 6; ** "Addison E. Southard, U. S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, to U.S. Secretary of State in The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers; Africa for the Africans, 1923-1945, Volume X by R. A. Hill; Judaising Movements, by T. Parfitt, et al.; and Black Zion by Y. P. Chireau and N. Deutsch.

**[Addison E. Southard, 1884-1970,  was born in Kentucky.]
Subjects: Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentuck / Glade, Washington / Los Angeles, California / Ethiopia, Africa

Migration to Kentucky District of Detroit, MI
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1950
Beginning in 1860, the majority of the African American population that had migrated to Detroit lived on the eastside of the city. A large number of the residents had been born in Kentucky, which is how a portion of the eastside became known as the Kentucky District. In addition, according to author B. R. Leashore, in 1860 almost two-thirds of the African American females living as domestics with white families were also from Kentucky. By 1910, those who could afford better housing left the overcrowded district and moved north of Kentucky Street to a middle-class area. The poorer African Americans and Polish residents were left in the Kentucky District, located on Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois Streets, between St. Antoine and Hastings. The streets did not extend to the thoroughfare that led to the more illustrious neighborhoods until the 1950s. The Kentucky District had the worst housing and sanitation in Detroit, and the area was filled with saloons, prostitution houses, and alley vice. The more desperate families had built old sheds or moved stables into the alleys that had been service-ways to the stables and used for the removal of ashes, trash, and garbage. A school was built in the area so that the nearby schools would not be integrated with the children from the Kentucky District. For more see B. R. Leashore, "Black female workers: live-in domestics in Detroit, Michigan, 1860-1880," Phylon, vol. 45, issue 2, (2nd Qtr., 1984), pp. 111-120; Before the Ghetto, by D. M. Katzman; and Residential Mobility of Negroes in Detroit 1837-1965, by D. R. Deskins, Jr.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Detroit, Michigan / Kentucky

Migration to Rough and Ready, Yuba County, California
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
When the gold mining town of Rough and Ready, CA, was established in 1849, there was a male population of mostly Wisconsin miners, and included 82 men from Kentucky. The total population was 672 men, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, and 12 of them were African Americans. Two of the African Americans were from Kentucky, Samuel [no last name] and Silas [Mc?], both born in 1825 and both were listed as traders; the men were probably slaves who were brought West by their owners. By 1860, there were four Mulattoes from Kentucky, and among them was Allen Kinkade (b.1825), the first African American to be listed as a miner from Kentucky. Also listed is Kentucky native Caroline Allen (b.1824), who is said to have been a slave in Rough and Ready in 1851 when she planted one of the two legendary trees in the town. The tree fell in 1967. Another version of the story is that the infamous tree is where a slave girl was hung in the 1850s. Writer Arthur W. Knight did not know which story was true, but learned that the stump of the tree had been made into a loveseat that was placed on the porch of the local general store. African Americans still lived in the town in 1870. There were 9 Blacks and one Mulatto from Kentucky, they were employed as wood choppers, farm laborers, and domestic servants. No African Americans from Kentucky were counted in the census of Rough and Ready between 1880-1930. Rough and Ready had been a gold mining town, and in April 1850, it was the only one to secede from the Union; the miners were rebelling against the federal mining tax. Three months later, in order to celebrate the 4th of July, the citizens of the Great Republic of Rough and Ready voted the town back into the Union. The town had been established by the Rough and Ready Company from Wisconsin. The company was named for Zachary Taylor who was nicknamed Old Rough and Ready. The town was originally located in what was Yuba County, and it is now in Nevada County, which was created from a portion of Yuba County. For more see the Rough and Ready website; A. W. Knight, "The Great Republic of Rough and Ready," Anderson Valley Advertiser, 09/10/2003 [online]; Northern California Curiosities by S. Rubin; and Rooted in Barbarous Soil by K. Starr and R. J. Orsi.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Rough and Ready, California

Miles, Henry
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1984
Miles was born in Samuels, KY, the son of Henry and Mattie Miles. He was a musician most remembered for his fiddle playing with the Ballard Chefs (1929-1932) and his group, the Henry Miles Jug Band. The Jug Band performed at the 1965 World's Fair in New York and the 1974 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. Miles played the fiddle, guitar, violin, and mandolin. For more see the Henry Miles entry by B. Bogert in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Samuels, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Miles, William H.
Birth Year : 1828
Death Year : 1892
William Henry Miles was born in Springfield, KY, the slave of Mrs. Mary Miles, who died in 1854 and willed William his freedom--but he was not freed until 1864. He was licensed to preach in 1857 and married Frances E. Arnold in 1859. Miles had been a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church, a black church, but he later returned to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and developed the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a denomination separate from the white church. In 1870, Miles was elected to the episcopacy, the highest position of any African American in the church, and during his lifetime was the senior Bishop of the CME Church. He is credited with organizing conferences and strengthening the CME Church. He helped organize the Louisville Colored Cemetery Association and served as the organization's first president. Miles Memorial College [now Miles College], in Birmingham, Alabama, was named in his honor; the plans for the school began in 1898, and it began operating in 1900. Miles Tabernacle in Washington, D.C. was renamed Miles Memorial Church [now Miles Memorial CME Church] in 1894; Bishop Miles had purchased the land for the church. There was also a manuscript, Autobiography of Bishop Miles, which was to have been published by the CME Publishing House. Bishop William H. Miles was buried in the Louisville Colored Cemetery. For more see The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by C. H. Phillips [available online at the UNC Documenting the American South website]; Miles College: the first hundred years, by Miles College Centennial History Committee; and The Rise of Colored Methodism, by O. H. Lakey.

See photo image of William Henry Miles at the Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama / Washington, D.C.

Militant Church Movement (Louisville, KY)
The Militant Church Movement or MCM was a post-WWII Civil Rights organization established by Rev. J. C. Olden, father of Sylvia Olden Lee. MCM began in Louisville as a small but vocal church-based organization, and became a coalition of African American churches in Kentucky. In 1951, the group led in the boycott of a baseball game that was to have taken place in Louisville between white major league players led by Gill Hodges, and an African American team lead by Roy Campanella. The protest was in response to the plans to segregate the audience. The game was cancelled. In 1953, MCM, led by Rev. Olden and Rev. M. M. D. Perdue, was successful in leading the Interracial Hospital Movement campaign that brought the beginning of the end to racial restrictions in all Kentucky hospitals. That same year, MCM launched a mass petition drive to urge the lawmakers of Kentucky to integrated the state's schools. The group also launched protests against GE for it hiring practices. What is know about the MCM exists because of those who remember the group's efforts; MCM did not have a formal membership list and they did not keep records. For more see "All-Star ball game dropped: Jim Crow protest effective," Honolulu Record, 11/01/1951, p.6; Subversive Southerner by C. Fosl and A. Y. Davis; and Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South by T. E. K'Meyer.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Milldale Colored School (Covington, KY)
Very little is known about the Milldale Colored School. In 1883, there was a one sentence notice in the Daily Commonwealth newspaper seeking a teacher for the Colored school at Milldale [see article "The City, p.2, col.1]. This may or may not be the same school that is listed in the Williams Covington and Newport Directory for 1890 and 1892. The school was located on Williamson Street in Milldale, KY, and was one of the primary schools for African American children found throughout Kentucky. In 1890, Martha Butler was the teacher, and in 1892, Susie Taylor was the teacher. Milldale, previously known as South Covington District, was classified as a 5th class city, then unclassified in 1896. For more about the status of the community of Milldale see "Stephens, etc. v. Felton etc." on pp. 248-249 in Kentucky Law Reporter, vol. 18, July 1896 to June 1897 [available at Google Book Search]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database. 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Milldale (Covington), Kenton County, Kentucky

Miller, Barbara Simmons
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2000
Barbara Simmons Miller, born in Louisville, KY, was the first African American to graduate with a library degree in Kentucky, from Nazareth College (now Spalding University); she specialized in children's librarianship. Miller was a librarian with the Louisville Free Public Library and served on the faculty of several Kentucky institutions. She was a delegate to the USSR and went abroad to study library services to children. She was known as the "Storytelling Lady" on the television show T-Bar V Ranch on Louisville television. Miller was the second African American president of the Kentucky Library Association. The Barbara S. Miller Multicultural Children's Literature Collection is in the University of Louisville Library. For more see Who's Who Among American Women, 8th-10th ed.; and In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., Supp., ed by M. M. Spradling. Additional information provided by Fannie Cox.

See photo image and additional information about Barbara S. Miller at the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library website.
 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Television
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Miller, Bennie S.
Start Year : 1917
End Year : 1994
Miller was the first African American elected to the Caldwell County Council, in 1977. A World War II veteran, he served as principal of Dotson High School. Miller was also a member of Braden Masonic Lodge #6. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report , by the Commission on Human Rights, pp. 22-23; and "Bennie S. Miller," The Evansville Courier, Metro section, p. A10.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky

Miller, Davie Della Bridges
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1946
Della Miller, a school teacher, insurance agent, civil rights activist, and club woman, was born in Harrodsburg, KY, the daughter of Robert and Fannie Johnson Bridges. She attended Wayman Institute, was a graduate of Central High School and Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. She was president of the Kentucky Conference Branch Women's Missionary Society, and also served as president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women. She was Grand Royal Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star of Kentucky, and Grand Directress of the Household of Ruth in Kentucky. She was president of the Belle County (KY) NAACP, which was founded in 1940 and was part of the Regional NAACP of Eastern Kentucky. Miller was listed in The Crisis as one of the "First Ladies of Colored America." She and her husband, Dr. I. H. Miller, lived in Middlesboro, KY. Dr. Miller was a supervisor of the Colored Municipal Park in the West End of Middlesboro. The Della Miller African Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Della Miller by the AME Kentucky Conference Branch. The fund aided African students. For more see Mrs. Della Bridges Miller in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and Mrs. Della Bridges Miller on p.305 of The Crisis, October 1943 [available online at Google Book Search]. 



Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Miller, Emma Jean Guyn
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 2009
Emma Jean Guyn Miller was a life-long educator in Nicholasville, KY. She was born in Woodford County, KY, and her family moved to Nicholasville the following year. She attended the town's Colored School, grades 1-8, and continued her education in Lexington, KY, at Russell High School. She graduated in 1920 and went on to earn her teaching certificate in 1921 at Turner Normal School [in Negro Education 1917] in Tennessee. She began teaching in a one-room school house in Nicholasville in 1922, teaching grades 1-3. She taught for more than 40 years. Emma Miller was the wife of William Miller. For more see M. Davis, "Educator will be remembered for caretaking, faith," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/05/2006, front page; and "Tribute to Emma Jean Guyn Miller," Congressional Record - Senate, 03/11/2009, p. S3022.

See photo and additional information about Mrs. Emma Jean Guyn Miller at Kentucky.com.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Miller, Hallie Gates
Birth Year : 1945
Miller and another female officer filed sex discrimination charges against the Nicholasville Police Department. Both women had received training from the Eastern Kentucky University law enforcement program, but their employment applications were denied and a male masseur was hired instead. Miller was awarded $468 in compensation and then hired as Wilmore's first African American woman police officer. For more see "Nicholasville hires first female police officer," Human Rights News (Mar-Apr-May 1974), pp. 5 & 8; and Concilation Agreement from the Commission on Human Rights, Complaint No.317-E - "In the matter of Conciliation between The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights / Ms. Hallie Miller and Police Department of the City of Nicholasville.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Nicholasville and Wilmore, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Miller, Hazel
Birth Year : 1954
Born in Louisville, KY, Miller sings a blend of blues, pop, and gospel. She had a 26-year singing career in Louisville. Miller began singing professionally when she was 15 years old, but her experience was not enough to get her into the University of Louisville School of Music in three attempts. Miller went on with her career, singing backup tracks for Al Green; opening for Bob James and Mel Torme and many others, including twice for Lou Rawls; and performing as a featured singer in the "Look What We Can Do" community promotion campaign in Louisville. Miller and her band were the first regular African American band at the Hyatt in Louisville and the first ever to play at Phoenix Hill. In 1984, Miller was moving to California when the rental truck broke down in Denver, Colorado, and she decided to stay. She has continued to perform nationally and internationally. Miller has performed at the White House for then President Bill Clinton, for the Denver Broncos after their 1998 NFL Super Bowl win, and for the Colorado Avalanche after its 1998 NHL Stanley Cup win. Her recordings are included on her albums I'm Still Looking; Hazel Miller, Live; Finally; Live at the Fox; and Icons. For more see the Hazel Miller Band website; and M. Brown, "Lady belts the blues the spirit of Hazel Miller has lots of believers," Rocky Mountain News (Colorado), 11/19/2000. Watch Hazel Miller-Moon Dance on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California / Denver, Colorado

Miller, Herbert T.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1977
Miller was born in Ford, KY, and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He was the son of Cyrus D. and Georgie C. Miller. Herbert Miller gained a national reputation as a successful organizer of Y.M.C.A. fund raising campaigns. Miller is remembered as the executive secretary of the Carlton Y.M.C.A. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He was also named by Judge S. S. Leibowitz as foreman of the King County Grand Jury of New York State in 1944, the first African American in the U.S. to ever hold the post. He was voted Brooklyn's Most Valuable Citizen in New York Amsterdam News Poll in 1948. Miller also received several other awards for promoting understanding between racial and ethnic groups. He had served as executive secretary of YMCA branches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Brooklyn. Miller was the husband of Belle Harper Miller and the brother of Bertha M. Anderson. He had attended the University of Cincinnati, Springfield College, and Boston University. Herbert T. Miller died in Cincinnati, OH, where he had settled after retiring from the Manhattan Division of the Protestant Council of the City of New York. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Herbert T. Miller chosen boro inter-faith leader," Baltimore Afro-American, 04/03/1948, p.17; and "Herbert T. Miller, retired executive of Y.M.C.A., dies in Cincinnati," New York Times, 01/27/1977, p. 81.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Ford, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Miller, Lizzie Gilliam
Miller was born in Mississippi and grew up in Louisville, KY. She graduated from Louisville Central High School, received her B.A. from Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and attended Simmons Bible College. She was a cartographic supervisor with the Mapping Agency, U. S. Department of Defense, beginning in 1931 and continuing through the early 1980s. Miller was also the first Kentucky state director for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was a former Stark Nest director, traveling throughout the U.S. establishing centers. Miller established the first mobile Nest in Opa Locke, Florida. Stark Nest was an agency that provided services for low-income families. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Cartographers, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Miller, Raymond "Junior"
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2004
Born in Lebanon Junction, KY, Miller was the son of Raymond Sr. and Leatta Miller. The family lived on State Highway Rt. 61, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Raymond Miller Jr. began his baseball career as a teenager, playing with the Lebanon Hustlers. He later played with the Louisville Black Colonels and the Alabama Zulu Cannibal Giants, playing first base. He continued to play in the Negro League until 1955, when he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. He was the husband of Carmen Miller. For more see Negro League Baseball Players Association; The Negro Leagues Revisited, by B. Kelley; and S. Vedder, "Miller made name in Negro League," The Grand Rapids Press [posted online 11/23/04 with headline, "Ray Miller passes away November 18, 2004"].
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Lebanon Junction, Bullitt County, Kentucky

Miller, William M., Sr. and Anna Mae Stuart
William M. Miller, Sr. (1872-1920), born in Kentucky, was a lawyer. In 1902, he arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, where he had been promised the position of advisor to Governor Robert M. LaFollette, Sr. But Miller could not practice law and his job title was not that of advisor but rather messenger. Anna Mae Stuart (1875-1963), a school teacher from Kentucky, came to Madison in 1902 to marry William Miller. They were among the first African American residents of Madison. The Millers were fairly well off; according to their granddaughter, Betty Banks, the Millers owned their own home as well as a boarding house and a summer home, and they employed a cook, a nanny and a housekeeper. The boarding house was used to lodge African Americans who were new arrivals from the South. The Betty Banks interview in the State of Wisconsin Collection speaks of the Millers as civil rights activists; William Miller was a friend of W. E. B. DuBois, who would often visit the Miller home. William Miller started the Book Lover's Club, a precursor to the Madison NAACP. He helped found the St. Paul AME Church in Madison and was a member of the Niagara Movement. Anna Mae spoke before the Wisconsin Legislature on women's and children's issues. At the age of 86, Anna Mae Miller took part in the sit-in at the Wisconsin Capitol Building in support of the bill that would eliminate housing discrimination in Wisconsin. For more see "Madison sit-in enters 4th day," Corpus Christi Times, 08/03/1961, p. 5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), 1st African American Families in Town, Grandparents, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Madison, Wisconsin

Milligan, Robert E. (Bob)
Milligan was the first African American Kentucky State Police captain. He was promoted to captain and assigned command over the Hazard, Kentucky, State Police Post. He had been with the state police since 1976. Milligan was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2000 and retired in 2003. He was named Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Director of Law Enforcement in 2006. Milligan is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. For more see M. Young, "First Black makes rank of captain of State Police," The Louisville Defender, 01/09/1992, pp. 1 and 2; and Robert Mulligan in "KSP promotes female officer from Henderson," Evansville Courier & Press, 12/04/2000, Metro section, p. B3.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry
Geographic Region: Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky

Million, Camellia
Million was the first African American to be employed as a city worker by the City of Frankfort. She was hired as clerk in the Police Department in 1961 at a salary of $200 per month. Million is included in the Temple Choir at Corinthian Baptist Church photo in the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections. For more see The State Journal (Frankfort, KY) 04/17/61.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Mills, Glen F.
Birth Year : 1951
Mills was born in Munfordville, KY. A self-employed horse breeder and trainer, in 1977 he was elected to the Munfordville City Council. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 21.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky

Minnifield, Frank
Birth Year : 1960
Frank Minnifield was born in Lexington, KY. At 5'9" and 140 pounds, he was an outstanding high school football player at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, playing tailback and safety; the team made the playoffs his senior year. It was thought that he was too small to play college football; nonetheless, Minnifield, 40 pounds heavier, was a walk-on his first year with the University of Louisville (KY) football team in 1979, earning scholarships his three remaining years. In 1981, he led the team in punt returns and led the nation as the number one college kick returner with 30.4 yards per return. Minnifield began his pro career in 1982 playing for the Chicago Blitz, a U.S. Football League (USFL) team that would become the Arizona Wranglers. The team was runner-up in the USFL Championship game in 1984. That same year, Minnifield filed suit against the Arizona Wranglers over the Wranglers' attempt to prevent him from playing with the Cleveland Browns, a National Football League (NFL) team. Minnifield signed as a free agent with the Browns in 1984 and retired from the team in 1992. He played in 122 games and was a four time pro bowler (1986-1989) and three time All-NFL choice by the Associated Press. Minnifield was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. After retiring from the NFL, he took advantage of years of preparation: having earned a real estate license in 1988 and sold real estate during the off-season, Minnifield returned to Lexington and established Minnifield All-Pro Homes. In 1993, he became the first African American executive elected to the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board. He was the only African American home builder in Lexington in 2000. In 2011, Frank Minnifield was named chair of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. For more see Frank Minnifield on the University of Louisville football website; J. Clay, "Minni, Lexington's Frank Minnifield, knew he'd make it as a pro," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/18/1984; and J. George, "Building for the future ex-NFL star Frank Minnifield wants more blacks in industry," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/12/2000.

See photo image and additional information about Frank Minnifield in article "Frank Minnifield elected chairman of U of L trustees," 09/14/2011, at Kentucky.com [Lexington Herald-Leader].
Subjects: Businesses, Football, Migration North, Migration West, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona / Cleveland, Ohio

Minority Voices Magazine
Start Year : 1977
Published by the University of Louisville Office of Multicultural Academic Enrichment Programs, formerly the Office of Minority Affairs, Minority Voices Magazine was one of the few African American publications at a predominately white institution. The magazine started from the Habri Gani Newspaper, a publication of the Black Student Union, 1971-1976. Since 2003, the publication format has changed to that of an online newsletter published once a semester. The newsletter is edited by Phyllis Mitchell Webb, a native of Greensburg, KY, and graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. She is a former reporter/staff writer, assistant news manager, and interim managing editor of the Louisville Defender Newspaper (1974-1975).
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Charley
In 1910, Charley Mitchell was the African American lightweight boxing champion of Paducah, KY. He was scheduled to go six rounds against African American boxer Bob Blanks, who may have been from Mississippi. The fights were sponsored by the Kentucky Athletic Club, and the segregated bouts were held at the auditorium rink in Paducah. Young African American boxers were to be the "curtain raiser" for the event. For more see "Boxing Match," The Paducah Evening Sun, 01/07/10, p. 5.
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Fred D.
Birth Year : 1944
Born in Lexington, KY, Mitchell has been an activist, social worker, and community development leader in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati. As a teen in Lexington, he legally challenged the breach of peace laws and segregation of public accommodations and led protests against school segregation. He was treasurer of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and led the Young African Americans for Progress. In the 1970s, Mitchell moved to Louisville and became the city's first paid alderman assistant (to Lois Morris). As a social work student, he was instrumental in establishing the University of Louisville chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. Mitchell was also the first African American director of the Wesley Community House [founded in 1903 by the United Methodist Church to provide social welfare and other services in the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and Clarksdale areas]. The Courier-Journal in Louisville named him one of the city's "Bridge Builders." Mitchell is presently employed by Community Action of Southern Indiana. For more see The Lexington Herald-Leader, August 17-18, 1967 and Sept. 5 & 7, 1967; and the Courier-Journal, Jan. 29, 1992, July 28, 1993, Jan. 1, 1997 and April 11, 2004.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indiana

Mitchell, George
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1972
Mitchell, born in Louisville, KY, was a cornet player for a number of groups, including Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers. His career began in Louisville, then in 1919 he left for Chicago. He recorded with a number of groups, including the New Orleans Wanderers when he replaced Louis Armstrong, who had a prior contract agreement. Mitchell stopped performing in the 1930s, and little is known about his life after that, other than he settled in Chicago. For more see George Mitchell at redhotjazz.com; and The Rough Guide to Jazz, by D. Fairweather, B. Priestley, and I. Carr. Veiw image and listen to George Mitchell on cornet along with other band members playing Doctor Jazz - by Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers with Kid Ory 1926 on YouTube.

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

Mitchell, Jim "The Black Panther"
Birth Year : 1911
Jim "The Black Panther" Mitchell was a popular wrestler said to be from Louisville, KY, as well as several other locations. He began wrestling in the late 1930s. He was a regular in Southern California. Mitchell was the first African American in modern professional wrestling. During the initial years of his career, he wore a mask and kid gloves, and he was only allowed to wrestle Japanese and Hindu wrestlers. He did away with the mask in the 1940s. In 1949, he fought against Gorgeous George and was declared the loser. There were audience members who felt that Gorgeous George had delivered cheap shots and bad sportsmanship, and a riot erupted at the Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. A rematch was attempted in the early 1950s. Jim Mitchell continue to wrestle until about 1955, he is listed among the greatest top ten Black Wrestlers. For more see "Coda: Gorgeous George Versus the Black Panther" in The Great Black Way by R. J. Smith; Black Stars of Professional Wrestling by J. L. D. Shabazz; and "Jim Mitchell" in Jet, 12/25/1952, p.64. See photo image of Jim "The Black Panther" Mitchell at the Online World of Wrestling website.

Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County / California

Mitchell, Lucias T.
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2010
Coach Lucias T. Mitchell was the all-time winningest basketball coach in the history of Kentucky State University (K-State). In his first year as coach at K-State, the 1968-69 season, the team finished with a 10-15 record. The next three seasons the K-State men's basketball team won three consecutive NAIA National Basketball Championships. K-State became the second school to ever win three NAIA championships in a row [Tennessee State won three with Coach John McLendon, a former K-State mentor]. Elmore Smith and Travis Grant, who played for Mitchell, were both first round NBA draft choices, Smith in 1971 and Grant in 1972. Coach Mitchell was chosen as National Coach of the Year in 1970 and 1971. He was the first African American coach elected as a officer to the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Coach Mitchell is presently the 6th winningest coach in the NCAA Division II with 325 wins and 103 losses over a 15 year period while coaching at Alabama State, Kentucky State, and Norfolk State. The basketball floor in the William Exum Physical Education Building at K-State was named in his honor in 2008. Coach Lucias Mitchell was a 1956 graduate of Jackson State, where he played on the basketball team coached by Harrison B. Wilson, who would later become president of Norfolk State. For more see the Lucias Mitchell entry at The Stat Sheet Network [online]; B. Molinaro, "Ex-NSU coach will be honored for his success at Ky State," The Virginian-Pilot, 10/02/2008, Sports section, p. C1; and the Lucias Mitchell interview at Kentucky Educational Television's (KET) Basketball in Kentucky. This entry was submitted by Lacy L. Rice, Jr.

See photo image and obituary notice of Lucias T. Mitchell at chron.com.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Robert
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1926
Robert Mitchell was born in Fulton County, KY. He was a minister and president of Simmons Memorial College (was located in Bowling Green, KY). He took 200 African American men before the Kentucky House and Senate Committee to protest against the Separate Coach Bill, which was reported in the Courier Journal of Louisville, KY. Mitchell was author of Biblical Essays on Important Subjects. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; "Dr. Robert Mitchell," Lexington Herald, 10/08/1926, p.16; and see "Robert Mitchell" in S. Brown article, "Lexington Civil Rights leader dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.

See photo image of Rev. Robert Mitchell on p.275 of Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence by E. C. Morris, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Stanley P. [National Civil Liberty Party]
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1908
Rev. Stanley P. Mitchell, said to have been born in Kentucky, was a national civil rights activist at the turn of the century during the last decade of the 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s. He was editor and manager of the Southern Sentinel newspaper in Memphis, TN. He wrote editorials for other Negro newspapers throughout the U.S., encouraging Negroes to read and subscribe to Negro newspapers. In 1892, Mitchell was living in Fort Pickering, TN, and owned a considerable amount of property. He was leading the effort to form anti-emigration societies in the South to discourage Negroes from moving West to deceptive dreams of Utopia. By 1900, Mitchell was an evangelist living in Midway, KY, where he was also president of the National Educational Council of Midway. He caused a stir when he proposed that former slaves in Kentucky hold a reunion with their former masters, along with a "darkey corn-shucking," as an auxiliary to the Confederate veteran's reunion in Louisville. By 1901, Stanley Mitchell was living in Lexington, KY, he was a proclaimed Democrat and was campaigning for Cloak Room Keeper of the Upper House of the Kentucky Legislature. He did not get the position. In 1902, Mitchell was one of the incorporators of the National Industrial Council, an organization that fought against the mobbing and lynching of Negroes; they fought against discrimination based on race on passenger carriers such as the railroad and steamboats; and they fought voter disenfranchisement. The home office of the council was in Lexington, KY, and there were 27 chapters in Mississippi. Mitchell was also the founder and leader of the National Civil Liberty Party, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the campaign headquarters in Chicago, IL. The party was formed in 1903 after Mitchell took a delegation of Negro men to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Roosevelt to request pensions for the former slaves who had served during the Civil War in non-soldiering capacity such as laborers, bridge-builders, and forgers. The request was denied and Mitchell called for a national organization of Negro men in order to use their vote against members of the Republican Party such as President Roosevelt who felt the "Negro had received enough from the government when he was set free." The Civil and Personal Liberty Leagues, lead by Stanley P. Mitchell, formed the National Civil Liberty Party. The first National Convention of the National Liberty Party [the word "Civil" was dropped] was to be held in Cincinnati, OH in 1903, but had to be postponed, and was held in Douglas Hotel in St. Louis, MO on the 5th and 6th of July, 1904. Thirty-six states were represented. George E. Taylor accepted the party's U. S. Presidential nomination; Taylor, from Iowa, was president of the National Negro Democratic League. He was unsuccessful in his bid for President of the United States. In spite of the loss, Stanley P. Mitchell continued to be active on many fronts, he was president of the National Ex-Slave Congress, formed in 1903 with delegates from 34 states. By 1905, the organization name was changed to the Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress. The congress fought for reparations in the form of pensions for former Negro slaves who were 40 years old or older. Mrs. S. P. Mitchell, an evangelist, supported her husband in the ex-slave campaign by giving speeches and organizing chapters. She was editor of the Pioneer newspaper and the National Journal newspaper. In September of 1903, Stanley Mitchell had been arrested in Georgia on the charge of swindling money from ex-slaves; supposedly, he had asked for the money in order to secure the passage of the Hanna Bill. There was no evidence to support the charges and Mitchell was set free. The New York Times initially proclaimed Mitchell was a thief. At the same time, there were several Negro newspapers that claimed Mitchell had been framed by the Republican Party due to the popularity of the National Liberty Party among Negroes in the South. The Hanna Bill, by Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, would have given a pension to former slaves, but the bill died in Congress. Stanley P. Mitchell's popularity waned for a couple of years after he was accused of swindling; some of the Negro newspapers turned against him. Mitchell continued his campaign for equal justice for Negroes. He opened a nursing home for former slaves in Memphis, TN. Mitchell was Chanceller of the Knights and Ladies of Industry of the U.S., the main office was in Washington, D.C. Ads in Negro papers were used to solicit membership and the ads included a line stating that the organization would buy homes for its members. By 1905, trouble came Mitchell's way again when he performed the marriage of a German man to a Jewish woman, and the Memphis community was outraged. In 1906, Stanley Mitchell resigned as editor of the Southern Sentinel and sold the newspaper to Mrs. Rachel T. Mitchell. Stanley P. Mitchell died in 1908, and his wife took over his duties as pastor, she continued the search for heirs of former slaves who had savings in the Freedmen's Bank, and she continued the campaign for equal justice for Negroes. For more see "Stanley P. Mitchell," The Washington Bee, 09/03/1904, p.1; "National Ex-Slave Congress," The Washington Bee, 07/04/1903, p.8; "S. P. Mitchell set free," The New York Times, 09/08/1903, p.8; "National Industrial Council," Colored American, p.16; "Stanley P. Mitchell of exslave pension fame...," Freeman, 02/20/1904, p.4; "Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress," Freeman, 05/20/1905, p.2; "Pension for ex-slaves!" Plaindealer, 06/30/1905, p.1; "Married by a Negro," Freeman, 08/05/1905, p.5; see Stanley P. Mitchell in "Paragrahic News," Washington Bee, 03/24/1906, p.1; "To check emigration: anti-Oklahoma societies to be organized," Langston City Herald, 01/16/1892, p.1; "An Appeal," Freeman, 09/08/1900, p.1; "Mrs. S. P. Mitchell," Colored American, 12/22/1900, p.15; "ms of Interest," Freeman, 08/24/1901, p.8; S. P. Mitchell, "The Negro newspapers the only powerful leaders left," Washington Bee, 04/19/1902, p.1; "S. P. Mitchell...," Evening Post, 03/23/1900, p. 5; "Wants to be Cloak Keeper," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/31/1901, p. 7; G. E. Taylor, "The National Liberty Party's Appeal," The Independent, v.57, pp.844-846 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Rev. Mrs. Mitchell," Washington Bee, 05/09/1908, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

MMA, South African Architectural Firm
Start Year : 2008
In 2008, at the IdeaFestival in Louisville, KY, Luyanda Mpahlwa and Mphethi Morojele received the $100,000 Curry Stone Design Prize that is administered by the University of Kentucky College of Design. Their architecture firm, MMA, created a design for single family, low income housing for a Capetown shantytown. The design is an energy efficient, two story frame structure made of timber and sandbag infill. With limited or no electricity, it can be built without skilled labor. The cost per home is 50,000 South African rand ($6,900 American). MMA is one of the few black-owned architecture firms in South Africa. The Curry Stone Design Prize is part of a $5.5 million gift to the University of Kentucky College of Design, given by alumnus Clifford Curry and his wife, H. Delight Stone. For more information see "African firm winner of Curry Stone Design Prize," UK News, 09/25/2008.
Subjects: Architects, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Africa

Mollie McCarty vs Ten Broeck (horse race)
Start Year : 1878
On July 4, 1878, one of the greatest horse races of all times took place in Louisville, KY, when African American jockey William "Billy" Walker, Sr., riding Ten Broeck, defeated the western racehorse champion, Mollie McCarty. Thoroughbred mare Mollie McCarty [or McCarthy], owned by Theodore Winters, was undefeated prior to the July 4th race in Louisville, and was also thought to be the first California-bred horse to travel east to compete in a race. She was carried by a special train from California to Louisville, arriving early to prepare for the race. Ten Broeck was the eastern champion, owned by Frank B. Harper from Lexington, KY. The horses ran four mile heats at Churchill Downs on a muddy track [it had rained the night before] for the sum of $10,000 [some sources say $20,000]. The arrangements were made by the Louisville Jockey Club. The race is said to be the last of the great races for long distance contests. There are several songs memorializing the race, one titled Mollie and Tenbrooks by The Del McCoury Band with Vince Gill on vocals [viewable on YouTube]. For more, see "Ten Broeck" in The Horse-breeder's Guide and Hand Book, by S. D. Bruce; and The American Thoroughbred, by C. E. Trevathan [both available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / California

Monjoy, Milton S.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1998
Born in Louisville, KY, Monjoy became the accountant for the Detroit Housing Commission in 1946, was senior accountant with Richard A. Austin, C.P.A., from 1945-1949, and was admitted to practice as an agent of the U.S. Treasury Department. Monjoy received his B.S. degree from the Detroit Institute of Technology [records at the Lawrence Technological University] in 1946. He was the son of William and Margaret Monjoy, and the husband of Fredda N. Alexander Monjoy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Monjoy in "Death Notices," Detroit Free Press, 04/16/1998, p. 4B.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration North, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Monroe County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Monroe County is located in south-central Kentucky on the Tennessee state line and is bordered by four Kentucky counties. It was formed in 1820 from portions of Barren and Cumberland Counties and is named for James Monroe, fifth president of the United States. Tompkinsville, which became the county seat in 1820, is named for Daniel Tompkins, who was Vice President during the Monroe administration. Tompkinsville was first known as Watson's Store, founded in 1809, receiving its present name in 1819. The land for the town was owned by Thomas B. Monroe, a cousin of President James Monroe. The 1820 county population was 723 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 7,629 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 190 slave owners
  • 697 Black slaves
  • 134 Mulatto slaves
  • 17 free Blacks [most with last names Fulkes and Howard]
  • 7 free Mulattoes [last names Speakman, Page, Kingrey, Fulkes, and Bedford]

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 200 slave owners
  • 775 Black slaves
  • 150 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks [last names Howard, 1 Jackson, 1 Taylor]
  • 9 free Mulattoes [most with last name Speakman, 2 Howard, 1 Colter, 1 Chism]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 599 Blacks
  • 143 Mulattoes
  • About 15 U.S. Colored Troops listed Monroe County, KY as their birth location.

Freetown

  • Around 1845, Freetown (or Free-town) was established for the freed slaves of William Howard, a wealthy slave owner in Monroe County. Freetown was the first African American community in the county, established on the land that had been provided by William Howard. A roadside historical marker has been placed near the Mount Vernon Church, which also served as a school for the Freetown community. There is also a cemetery near the church.

 
For more see Monroe County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; South Central Kentucky Vital Statistics, by M. B. Gorin; The Saga of Coe Ridge, by W. L. Montell; Black Heritage Sites, by N. C. Curtis; and the Cora Mae Howard oral history interview by James Kelly Shirley (FA 474), at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Monroe County, Kentucky

Montgomery County Colored Fair Association (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1909
End Year : 1928
The first annual Colored Fair in Montgomery County was held at the Mt. Sterling Fair Grounds by the Montgomery County Colored Fair Association, September 22-25, 1909. The event began with a street parade Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m., and ended the following Saturday. Music at the fair was provided by the First Regiment K. P. Band from Charleston, WV. See "Colored Fair," Mount Sterling Advocate, 09/15/1909, p.6. For more about the history of the fair see "The Montgomery County Negro Fair Association was first organized in 1909" on pp.15-16 in Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974 by S. A. Harris; and the James E. Magown archival file at the Montgomery County Historical Society and Museum.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Montgomery County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Montgomery County was established in 1796 and bordered the state of Virginia before the land was subdivided into four additional counties, three of which border Montgomery County today. The county was named for Richard Montgomery, a general who was killed during the American Revolutionary War. The county seat is Mt. Sterling, founded in 1792 and named for Stirling, Scotland, by proprietor Hughes Forbes. The 1800 county population was 7,082, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 6,304 whites; 767 slaves, and 11 free coloreds.  In 1830 there was one free African American slave owner. By 1860, the population had increased to 5,180, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slave population. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 532 slave owners
  • 2,588 Black slaves
  • 483 Mulatto slaves
  • 128 free Blacks
  • 37 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 479 slave owners
  • 1,969 Black slaves
  • 783 Mulatto slaves
  • 133 free Blacks
  • 6 free Mulattoes [last names Davis, Glover, King, and Reavis]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 2,037 Blacks
  • 599 Mulattoes
  • About 174 U.S. Colored Troops listed Montgomery County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Montgomery County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; The Early History of Montgomery County, Kentucky by E. P. McCollough; P. W. L. Jones Collection (archival material); and articles in the Mt. Sterling Advocate newspaper.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky

Moonglows (musical group)
Start Year : 1952
The Moonglows, the group that perfected blow harmony, are recognized as one of the most innovative vocal groups. The group began in Cleveland, OH, with members Harvey Fuqua from Louisville, KY; Danny Coggins, singing lead; and Prentiss Barnes. [Fuqua is the nephew of Charlie Fuqua, who sang with the Ink Spots.] They were originally known as the Crazy Sounds. Coggins would leave, and Bobby Lester [nee Robert L. Dallas] from Louisville and Alexander Graves were added to the group. Their first recording was "I Just Can't Tell No Lie," a song composed by Harvey Fuqua and Bobby Lester; the two had sung together as teenagers in Louisville. The group's name was soon changed to the Moonglows, and they moved to Chicago, where their first recordings were "Baby Please" and "Whistle My Love." They continued recording on the Chance label until 1954 when they signed with Chess Records; they later signed with the Checker label. In 1956, the group appeared on film in Rock Rock Rock. Over the next few years, the group continued recording and preforming around the U.S. Harvey Fuqua met 14 year old Marvin Gaye in Washington, D.C., and when the Moonglows split up in 1960, Fuqua and Gaye went to Detroit, where Fuqua helped found Motown Records. In 1964, Alexander Graves formed a second group known as the Moonglows, with Doc Green, George Thorpe, and Bearle Easton; the group did not last very long. In 1970, Bobby Lester was back in Louisville, where he formed a third group known as the Moonglows, with Albert Workman, Gary Rodgers, Robert Ford, and Billy McPhatter; this version, too, was short lived. In 1972, the Moonglows were once again restructured with Lester, Fuqua, Alexander Graves, Chuck Lewis, and Doc Williams. The group recorded the chart hit album The Return of the Moonglows. The group was again restructured in 1978 and stayed together until the death of Bobby Lester in 1980, after which Billy McPhatter took over the group that continued performing into the 1990s. The Moonglows were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. For more see Moonglows' entry in American Singing Groups, by J. Warner; Doo-Wop, by R. Pruter; Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul, by I. Stampler; and Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups, by M. Rosalsky. View the video from the 1956 movie Rock, Rock, Rock with The Moonglows - I knew from the start on YouTube.

Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois

Moore, Alphonso
Birth Year : 1898
Born in Florida, Alphonso Moore was a retired coal miner. He was the first African American elected to the Jenkins City Council, in 1977. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 18.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Florida / Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky

Moore, David Schultz, "Davey"
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 1963
David S. Moore was a featherweight boxer born in 1933 in Lexington, KY. [Not to be confused with the later Davey Moore, a champion middleweight boxer from New York, 1959-1988.]  Davey S. Moore, from Lexington, KY, was also a champion boxer whose professional career started in the early 1950s and ended with his death in 1963 as a result of injuries received during the championship bout with 21 year old Ultiminio "Sugar" Ramos, who was the 1960 Cuban Featherweight Champion. Ramos had left Cuba and was living in Mexico City, Mexico. The Moore v. Ramos fight was held March 21, 1963, in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. In the 10th round Moore went down. He got back up and finished the round, after which, the referee stopped the fight and declared Ramos the champion. Moore gave an interview, went to his dressing room, and complained of a headache. He was rushed to the hospital, and March 25, 1963, Moore died from brain stem injury [source: California Death Index]. His body was returned to Springfield, OH; his services were held at Mt Zion Baptist Church; and Davey Moore was laid to rest at Ferncliff Cemetery. His last fight was among the group of first nationally televised boxing matches. After Davey Moore's death, there was a call from California governor, Edmund G. Brown, to ban boxing in California. The cry to ban boxing also came from sportswriters, from Pope John XIII, and singer songwriter Bob Dylan wrote and sang the protest song "Who killed Davey Moore?" Ring Magazine had started to list the deaths of boxers in 1945; Davey Moore's death was number 216, and it was the second boxing death for the year 1963. Twenty-nine year old Davey Moore had been boxing professionally for little more than a decade. He was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic Team. In 1959, he won the featherweight title by defeating Hogan "Kid" Bassey [BoxRec], Nigeria, Africa's first world boxing champion, and Moore defended the title until losing it to Ramos in 1963. Davey Moore's record as a professional featherweight boxer was 59 wins, 7 losses, and 1 draw, according to the BoxRec webpage. He was also the bantamweight champion in the 1951 Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament and champion of the National AAU Tournament (118 pounds) in 1952. In 2013, the city of Springfield, OH, recognized Davey Moore's life with an 8 foot bronze statue. Ultiminio Ramos flew from Mexico City to attend the unveiling of the statue in Springfield, OH. Davey Moore Park is also named in his honor. Davey Moore was the son of Jessie Ball Moore (1893-1990), from Ohio, and Rev. Howard T. Moore (1896-1970), from Kentucky. Rev. Howard T. Moore was from Berry in Harrison County, KY, he was the son of James and Cordelia Moore [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Rev. Howard T. Moore was pastor of Christ Temple Church at 253 E. Second Street in Lexington, KY in 1931 [source: pp.369 & 687 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1931-32]. Jessie and Howard Moore are listed in the Lexington city directory until 1935 when they moved back to Springfield, OH; the couple had lived in Springfield as early as 1918 when Howard was a butler and the couple lived at 1107 Innisfallen Ave [source: p.604 in Williams' Springfield City Directory for 1918]. In 1940, the family of nine lived on Chestnut Street and David, the youngest child, was the only one listed in the census as born in Kentucky, the other children were born in Ohio [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Davey Moore was the husband of Geraldine Moore, and the couple had five children. For more see T. Safford, "Remembering Davey Moore's life, fights," Springfield News-Sun, 03/10/2013 [online]; "Davey Moore stands tall once again," Dayton Daily News, 09/15/2013, p.C1; "Final bell sounds for boxer Davey Moore," Evening Independent, 03/25/1963, p.13A; and "Last respects paid to Davey Moore," St. Petersburg Times, 03/31/1963, Sports section, p.2-C.

 

  See photo image and additional information at BoxRec webpage, Davey Moore (Featherweight).

 

  Watch the Moore v. Ramos fight while listening to Bob Dylan sing the song "Who Killed Davey Moore?" on YouTube.
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North, Olympics: Athletes, Games, Events
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio / Los Angeles, California / Berry, Harrison County, Kentucky / Cuba / Mexico City, Mexico / Nigeria, Africa

Moore, Henry
Birth Year : 1846
Moore, a barber, was born in Kentucky and moved to Indianapolis, IN, in 1873. He was a porter before partnering with Charles H. Lanier to become a co-owner of the Denison House Barbershop in 1891. Lanier was born in 1851 in Tennessee, and his father was a Kentucky native. Henry Moore was one of the most prominent barbers in the African American community in Indianapolis. He was also a Mason. Henry and Emma Moore (b.1851 in KY) lived on Missouri Street in Indianapolis, according to the 1900 U. S. Federal Census. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Moore, J. W.
Born in Louisville, KY, Moore was owner of a large grocery store and several houses in Paducah, KY. He was at one time a clerk in the Mileage Department of C. & O. & S. W. R. R. He was also a letter-carrier in Paducah; he may have been one of the first African American mail carriers in the city (prior to 1900). For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, p. 512, [online at the UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Businesses, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Moore, Mary A.
From Carlisle, KY, Moore invented an external pain relief composition and the method for preparing it. The patent, # 4,177,266, was granted in 1979. For more see United States Patent and Trademark Database.
Subjects: Inventors
Geographic Region: Carlisle, Nicholas County, Kentucky

Moorer, Oliver D.
First elected to the Lynch, KY, City Council in 1964 and winning successive terms, Moorer was the city's first African American council 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. 14.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Moorish Science Temple of America in Kentucky [Mary Clift Bey]
Start Year : 1938
The Moorish Science Temple of America began as a religious movement in 1913 known as the Canaanite Temple, founded in New Jersey by Timothy Drew (1886-1929). The name was changed to the Moorish Holy Temple of Science in the early 1920s. Read more at the organization's website. Drew became known as Prophet Noble Drew Ali, he moved the main branch of the organization to Chicago, IL in 1925 and the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. was officially registered as a corporation in 1926. There were also branches in Philadelphia, Washington D. C., and Detroit. A focus of the religion was that American Blacks were of Moor ancestry and should return to Islam. There were teachings of racial pride, the rejection of negative labels, and a mission to uplift the race using education and non-confrontational methods. Moorish-American Voice is the organization's publication. Members of the organization added "Ali," "El," and "Bey" to their surnames as an indication of their Moor identity. The Nation of Islam grew out of the Moorish Science Temple of America. There was a Moorish Science Temple of America in Lexington, KY, according to the overview of the Moorish Science Temple of America Collection, 1926-1967, a New York Public Library website. There was an FBI report of a branch in Paducah, KY [source: Part 2 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 3. Feb-Mar 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Moorish Science Temple of America #45 was located at 628 S. Ninth Street in Louisville, KY. All branches in all locations were watched by the local police, and were considered a radical group that was monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which sometimes referred to the organization as a "cult" in FBI correspondence. The Moorish Science Temple of America #45 was organized in August of 1938 by Mary Clift Bey who came to Kentucky from Chicago, IL [source: File No.100-2273 dated 12/8/42 - citation: Part 1 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 2. Dec 1942-Feb 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Mary Clift Bey was one of the first female missionaries from the Chicago temple; she was named the grand governess of the Louisville temple in 1941. Bey is listed as a teacher by the name of "Cilft Bey" on p.189 of Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory, 1939; she lived at 628 S. Ninth Street. In 1940, her name is listed as "Clift Bey" who lived at 630 S. Ninth Street, listed on p.191 of Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory, 1940. She is also listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census as "Cliff M. Bey" with no occupation or income, and living with Jesse Bey (born in KY) and Birdie Lee Bey (born in KY), all at 630 1/2 S. Ninth Street. According to the census record, Mary Clift Bey was born in Tennessee around 1876, she was a widow, and had completed the 4th grade of school. A physical description of Mary Clift Bey is included in the FBI files; the description was based on an eye witness and a photograph the FBI obtained from the library of the Courier Journal newspaper. Bey was said to be about 45-50 years old; 5'3" tall; 175 pounds; brown complexion; straight black hair worn in a bob; maroon eyes, wears glasses; wide mouth; and a teacher by occupation [source: Part 1 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 2. Dec 1942-Feb 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Within the 1942 FBI report, Mary Clift Bey was said to live at 437 S. 9th Street with seven other people with the last name Bey (p.7). The Moorish Science Temple of America in Louisville, KY, was said to have about 50 members. In 1939 there were about 41 members when Mary Clift Bey led the members to register to vote and all were registered with the Democratic Party (p.9). According to the FBI files, there was an article about their voter registrations in the Courier Journal (p.10), and there was much discussion and dispute about the members' legal names (p.11). The headquarters of the Louisville Temple was at 628 S. Ninth Street (p.10). Mary Clift Bey, said to have been born in Macon County, Tennessee (p.12), was also investigated for her work in Chicago, and possible activity in Detroit and Pittsburgh (p.19). In January of 1943, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General distributed a memorandum stating that "there was not sufficient evidence at that time to establish prosecution [of the Moorish Temple of America] under the Sedation Statuses" [source: Part 1 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 2. Dec 1942-Feb 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. Though, the surveillance was continued. In March of 1943, Special Agent in Charge, Hebert K. Moss, of the Louisville branch of the FBI, forwarded a series of reports to the Director of the FBI concerning C. Kirkman Bey and et. al. and the Moorish Science Temple of America in Louisville, KY [source: Part 2 FBI File: 62-25889: Section 5. Feb-Apr 1943. FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America. Federal Bureau of Investigation Library. Archives Unbound.]. The reports were dated December 1, 1942 through March 6, 1943. There are presently no Moorish Science Temple of America organizations in Kentucky. For more see Who was Noble Drew Ali? by Isa Abd Allah Muhammad al-Mahdi; see "Moorish Science Temple" in the Encyclopedia of African and African-American Religions edited by S. D. Glazier; and Islam in the African-American Experience by R. B. Turner.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Religion & Church Work, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Macon County, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisivlle, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Moorman, Marnel C.
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 1994
Marnel C. Moorman was born in Daviess County, KY, according to the Kentucky Birth Index. He taught in Shelby County schools. Moorman was the first African American vice president (1986-1990) and president (1992 & 1994) of the Kentucky Education Association. He was a graduate of Western Kentucky University (WKU) [B.A.] and Georgetown College [M.A.]. The Marnel C. Moorman Family Life Center of the Clay Street Baptist Church was named in his honor. Moorman was also named a Great Black Kentuckian by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. For more see Marnel C. Moorman at the WKU website.


Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Daviess County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky

Morbley, Gertrude Mae Nero
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1988
Gertrude M. Morbley was the "Colored Notes" writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader from 1962 until the column was abolished in 1969. Morbley was 18 years old when she was hired in May of 1937 as the elevator operator at the old newspaper building on Short Street in Lexington, KY. Her move to the "Colored Notes" column came after an automatic elevator was installed, and by that time, Morbley had learned much about the newspaper business. When the "Colored Notes" column ended in 1969, Morbley moved to the accounting department. In total, Gertrude M. Morbley was employed at the Lexington Herald-Leader for 44 years. Her employment is one of the longest in the history of the newspaper. She was also a member and past Grand Matron of the Dorcas Chapter No. 29 of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was the wife of Cornelius Morbley. Gertrude M. Morbley was born October 28, 1918, in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Elijah and Eva Haggard Nero [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census; and Kentucky Birth Index]. [Elijah Nero was a jockey and horse trainer.] For more see J. Hewlett, "Gertrude Mae Morbley, Herald-Leader worker for four decades, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/23/1988, p. B7.

See photo image of Gertrude M. Morbley in the online display of the 2013 Black History Month exhibit in UKnowledge.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Morgan, Benjamin J.
Birth Year : 1861
Morgan was born in Kentucky to Thomas and Amanda Grayson; he used his stepfather's last name. Morgan worked at a real estate firm in Cincinnati and later studied chiropody. He then moved to Indianapolis, where he opened a successful practice and was in great demand; one of his patients was Indiana Governor Claude Matthews. Morgan was also prominent in the African American community in Indianapolis. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Indianapolis, Indiana

Morgan County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Morgan County was created from Bath and Floyd Counties in 1822, and was named for Daniel Morgan, an American Revolutionary War veteran and a U.S. Representative for Virginia. Morgan County is located in east-central Kentucky, and West Liberty is the county seat. The 1830 county population was 474 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 9,068 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 59 slave owners
  • 187 Black slaves
  • 0 Mulatto slaves
  • 26 free Blacks [last names Collins, Jackson, and Masters]
  • 18 free Mulattoes [most with last name Perkins, 1 Jones, 1 Letrel, and 1 with no last name]

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 53 slave owners
  • 115 Black slaves
  • 55 Mulatto slaves
  • 58 free Blacks [last names Gibson, Gipson, Nickell, Phillips, and Reffet]
  • 23 free Mulattoes [last names Collins and Perkins]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 21 Blacks
  • 20 Mulattoes
  • About 33 U.S. Colored Troops listed Morgan County, KY, as their birth location.

For more see Morgan County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; and Morgan County, Kentucky, Historical, Industrial, Past, Present, Future by Licking Valley Courier.

 

The following information was provided by Morgan County, KY, historian Ron Gevedon.

  • 1840  Free Colored: 3  -  Slaves: 61   [Historical Sketches of Kentucky.1848.p.152]
  • 1844 Slaves over 16: 56  /  1845 Slaves over 16: 49  [Kentucky Public Documents.1845.pp.164-165]
  • 1845 106 slaves total in Morgan County with value of $36,550  /  1846 127 slaves with value $41,550  /  1845 Slaves over 16: 49  /  1846 slaves over 16: 62  [Kentucky Public Documents.1846.pp.208-209]
  • 1847 Total no. slaves: 139 with value of $48,425  /  1846 Total no, slaves: 127 with value $41,550  /  1847 slaves over 16: 60  /  1846 slaves over 16: 69  [Kentucky Public Documents.1847.pp.208-209]
  • Mr. Harris presented a petition of Thomas B. Keeton, of Morgan County, praying for passage of law permitting him to import a slave into this state  [Journal for the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.1844.p.90. 15 Jan. 1845]
  • 1848 157 slaves with value of $56,115  /  1847 139 slaves with value of $48,425  /  1848 slaves over 16: 74  /  1847 slaves over 16: 66  /  [Kentucky Public Documents.1848.pp.210-211]
  • 1849 154 slaves with value $64,250  /  1849 Slaves over 16: 76  {Kentucky Public Documents.1849.pp.218-219]
  • 1851 151 slaves with value $56,800  /  1850 175 slaves with value $ 64,250  /  1851 slaves over 16: 72  /  1850 slaves over 16: 83  [Kentucky Public Documents.1851.pp.267-268]
  • 1853 183 slaves with value $79,500  /  1852 184 slaves with value $72,130  /  1853 slaves over 16: 85  /  1852 slaves over 16: 84  /  Total Births & Deaths as of 31 Dec. 1852: Births: 5 (2 male, 3 female)  /  Deaths: isn’t listed  /  Total colored population as of 1850 census: 225  [Kentucky Public Documents.1853.pp.168-169]
  • 1856 Population: 225  /  Births: 8 (5 male3 female)  /  Deaths: 6 (4 male, 2 female)  [Report to General Assembly…Vol.s 4-6,1 856.p.7]
  • 1857 206 slaves with value $120,647  /  1856 187 slaves with value $110,899  /  1857 slaves over 16: 94  /  1856 slaves over 16: 93  /  Births: 8 (7 male1 female)  /  Deaths: 26 (7 male, 19 female)  /  Average age at death: 18.9 years  [Kentucky Public Documents.1857.V.2.pp.176-177, p.12]
  • 1859 198 slaves with value $118,825  /  1858 204 with value $116,550  /  1859 slaves over 16: 90  /  1858 slaves over 16: 91   [Kentucky Public Documents.1860]
  • 1863 115 slaves with value $48,150  /  1862 112 slaves with value $65,250  / 1863 slaves over 16: 57  / 1862 slaves over 16: 48  [Kentucky Public Documents.1864.pp.182-183.Doc.No.10]
  • 1867 Negroes over 18: 0  /  1867 children between 6 & 20: 0  /  1866 Negroes over 18: 6  /  1866 children between 6 & 20: 17  [Kentucky Public Documents.Vol.1, 1867.pp.214-215]

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

Morgan, Garrett A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1963
Garrett A. Morgan, who was born in Paris, KY, patented the breathing device - a gas mask - and the traffic signal. He owned sewing equipment and repair shop, and a personal care products company. Morgan invented zig-zag stitching for manual sewing machines. Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was the son of Sydney and Elizabeth Reed Morgan; he was the seventh of their eleven children. The children attended Branch School, located in the African American community of Claysville, later renamed Garrett Morgan's Place. Morgan quit school when he was in the fifth grade, and when he was a teen took a job in Cincinnati, OH. He would later move on to Cleveland, where he founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which was later merged into the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP. Morgan also founded the Cleveland Call newspaper. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Created Equal, by J. M. Brodie; and Garrett A. Morgan in the Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Biography (2000).

See photo image and additional information on Garrett A. Morgan in Public Roads, Jan/Feb 1998, vol.62, no.4, a Federal Highway Administration website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Inventors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio

Morgan, Lavelle
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1912
Lavelle Morgan was a jockey from Kentucky who died in Chicago on December 17, 1912 [source: Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index]. Morgan is buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Morrell, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1930
Benjamin F. Morrell was born in Madison County, KY. On December 1, 1872, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in New Orleans, LA, at the age of 31 [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. He served with the 25th Infantry, Company A, and was the best marksman in the company. Sergeant Morrell received an honorable discharge on December 1, 1877, and would re-enlisted in the U.S. Army several times. In 1889, he was stationed at Ft. Greble on Dutch Island in Rhode Island. Morrell would remain in Rhode Island, where he was quite prosperous and owned several properties on Clark Street in Jamestown. He was frequently mentioned in the local newspapers during his lifetime, and after his death, there were articles for several years concerning the settling of his estate. The Sergeant Morrell House is on the Newport County (RI) Historical Register. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Benjamin F. Morrell was the husband of Nannie A. Morrell, and they had an adopted son, Frederick G. M. White. The couple had been in Rhode Island since at least 1889 and were considered prominent in the Jamestown community [source: "Shiloh Church Anniversary," Newport Mercury, 08/20/1892, p. 1]. Nannie A. Morrell was born around 1846 in North Carolina and died November 1904 in Jamestown, RI [source: "Deaths," Newport Mercury, 12/03/1904, p. 4]. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, there were 956 persons in Jamestown, RI, including an all time high of 81 Blacks (of which Benjamin F. Morrell and Gabriel B. Miller were the only two from Kentucky) and two Mulattoes. Very, very few free Blacks from Kentucky had settled in the state of Rhode Island, one of the first being 26 year old Fanney Birkshire, who is listed as a free woman in the 1850 Census. By 1900, Benjamin Morrell was one of 18 Blacks from Kentucky living in Rhode Island and one of two in Jamestown. In 1906, Benjamin Morrell married Lucy J. Morrell; the couple lived on Clark Street. They are listed in the 1910 and the 1920 Census. Lucy J. Morrell was born around 1865 in Virginia. In 1899, Benjamin Morrell was considered the best choice when he was appointed the administrator of the James Walker estate [source: "Jamestown," Newport Daily News, 12/27/1899, p. 5]. By 1910, Benjamin Morrell had retired from the Army a commissioned officer, according to the census. Both Benjamin and Lucy Morrell were property owners; on September 30, 1914, Lucy ran an ad in the newspaper offering to lease a six-room tenement at 66 John Street [source: "TO LET," Newport Daily News, p. 17]. In 1917, Benjamin Morrell was in the hospital in Newport, RI, recovering from an illness, and his wife Lucy had moved to the city to be near him [source: "Sergeant B. F. Morrell...," Newport Journal and Weekly News, 12/14/1917, p. 4]. The couple would return to their home in Jamestown, and in 1929, Benjamin Morrell was one of the guests of honor at the American Legion Post and Auxiliary celebration [source: "Tuesday evening at the town hall...," within the article "Jamestown," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 09/27/1929, p. 7]. Sergeant Benjamin F. Morrell died February 8, 1930, and was given a military burial at Cedar Cemetery in Jamestown, RI. According to the obituary notice, Sergeant Morrell was a member of the 9th Cavalry [source: "The funeral of Sergeant B. F. Morrell..." within the article "Local Briefs," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 02/14/1930, p. 5]. In November of 1930, a petition was posted in the newspaper seeking the appointment of a guardian for Lucy J. Morrell and her estate [source: "The petition..." within the article "Jamestown," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 11/07/1930, p. 8]. By 1932, Lucy Morrell had died, and in June of 1933, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that the Morrell estate was to go to the next of kin of Benjamin F. Morrell [source: "Supreme Court gives opinion in will case," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 06/30/1933, p. 1]. The land and buildings on John Street, which had belonged to Lucy Morrell, were transferred over to Marcus F. Wheatland [source: "According to a deed filed...," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 09/22/1933, p. 5, column 3]. In 1941, the Benjamin F. Morrell estate was was back in the newspapers, the case was to be heard in the superior court [source: "In the Newport Trust Company...," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 07/11/1941, p. 3, column 7]. For more see the Benjamin Morrell entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldiers II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; see the Sergeant Morrell House -74- entry at the Newport County Historical Register website; "8 - Sergeant Benjamin F. Morrell died, 83," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 01/09/1931, p. 6, top of column 4; and "Three local cases in Superior Court," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 08/01/1941, p. 3.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Dutch Island and Jamestown, Rhode Island

Morris, Edward H.
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1943
Born in Flemingsburg, KY, Edward H. Morris was the fifth African American lawyer admitted to the Illinois Bar. He was an attorney in charge of taxes for Cook County, Illinois, and a member of the Illinois Legislature. Morris introduced the School Teacher's Pension Bill, which became law. Also during his tenure, a law was passed legalizing slave marriages for the purpose of inheritance. Edward Morris was the son of Hezekiah (a slave) and Elizabeth Morris (free) and the brother of William R. Morris. After Hezekiah's death, the family moved first to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Chicago, IL. Edward Morris was a graduate of St. Patrick's College (Chicago) and was admitted to the Chicago Bar in 1879. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Personal: Edward H. Morris in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 258-259.

See photo image and additional information on Edward H. Morris at the Clarence Darrow Digital Collection, a University of Minnesota Law Library website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Inheritance, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

The Morris Family
Shelton Morris (1806-1889), his five siblings, and their mother, Fanny, were freed by their owner (and father of the children), Col. Richard Morris of Ohio. Shelton moved to Louisville, KY, where he purchased land and opened a barbering business and bathhouse. His younger brothers, John and Alexander, were also barbers; they joined Shelton in Louisville. Shelton married Evelina Spradling, sister of Washington Spradling, Sr., who was also a barber. In 1840 Shelton was accused of voting in the presidential election; African Americans were not allowed to vote in Kentucky until 1870 (with the passing of the 15th Amendment). Voting rights for free African Americans had been revoked in 1799 in Kentucky's second Constitution. After the voting incident and the death of his wife, Shelton moved to Cincinnati, where his sister Elizabeth lived. For more see The Saga of the Morris Family, by R. M. Graham.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Voting Rights
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Morris, Horace
Birth Year : 1835
Born a freeman in Louisville, KY, Morris assisted slaves in the underground railroad. He was the only African American cashier in the Freeman's Savings and Trust Bank of Louisville. Morris was the first African American steward at Louisville's Marine Hospital and an early newspaper publisher. He was editor of the Kentuckian; was one of the editors of the Colored Citizen (Louisville, KY) newspaper beginning in 1866; and was editor of the Bulletin newspaper that was established by J. Q. Adams in 1879. Morris was a daguerreotype artist in Cincinnati, OH, during the 1850s when he was employed at the gallery of James P. and Thomas C. Ball. He also lived in Xenia, OH, before returning to Kentucky. Horace Morris was the son of Shelton Morris. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, his birth date is given as about 1832, and his race is given as white. His exact death date is not known, but occurred between 1880, when he was last listed in the U.S. Census, and 1900, when his wife Wilhelmina was listed as a widow. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; see the Horace Morris entry in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and Horace Morris in Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 by M. S. Haverstock et. al.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Xenia, Ohio

Morris, Lois W.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1989
Born in Mississippi, Morris was the founder and president of the Louisville chapter of the National Council of Negro Women and the founder and executive director of National Black Women for Political Action. In 1969 she won the Democratic primary for 12th Ward Alderman, one of three general elections that she won for that seat. In 1977 she ran unsuccessfully for mayor in the Democratic primary. For more see the Lois Morris Papers in the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; Women in Public Office. A biographical directory and statistical analysis, 2nd ed., compiled by the Center for the American Woman and Politics; and The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Morris, William R.
Birth Year : 1859
William R. Morris was born in Flemingsburg, KY. From 1884-1889 he was a faculty member at Fisk University and remained the only African American there for four years. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in the 1880s, then left for Chicago. Morris was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1888, then moved to Minneapolis where he was the first African American lawyer in the courts of Hennepin County. Morris was one of the first African Americans admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1889; that same year he established the Afro-American Law Enforcement League in Minneapolis. He was one of the first three African American members of the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1912; he was the only one of the three to resign when the ABA received pressure from Southerners opposed to the ABA having African American members. William Richard Morris was the son of Hezekiah (a slave) and Elizabeth Hopkins Morris (free), and the brother of Edward H. Morris. Hezekiah bought his freedom, and earned a living as a mattress maker. After Hezekiah's death, the family moved first to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Chicago, IL. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Emancipation: the making of a Black lawyer, by J. C. Smith, Jr.; "Hon. William Richard Morris," Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 01/25/1906, p.1; and see "William Richard Morris" on p.264-265 in History of the Great Northwest and its Men of Progress by C. W. G. Hyde et. al.

See photo image of William R. Morris at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio/ Chicago, Illinois / Tennessee / Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Morrison, E. D.
A 1906 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College, Morrison specialized in gynecology and surgery and was the owner and founder of Morrison Sanitarium and Taft Drug Co. in Taft, Oklahoma. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Taft, Oklahoma

Morrow, Dorothy
In 1977 Morrow was the only African American woman in Kentucky holding a city council post. She was a head nurse at Lynch Medical Center and the first African American woman on the Lynch City Council. Morrow had been appointed to fill a vacancy in 1974, then was elected in 1977. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 20; and African American Miners and Migrants: the Eastern Kentucky Social Club, by P. J. Obermiller.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Morton, Andrew W.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Born in Madisonville, KY, Andrew W. Morton graduated from Louisville Central High School, Louisville Municipal College, and Meharry Medical College. He was an instructor at Meharry Dental School before establishing his dental practice in Paducah, KY, in 1946. Morton was also a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corp from 1943-1945 and again from 1949-1951. After serving in the army, he returned to his private dental practice in Paducah and retired in 1995. He was a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University for eight years and was the first African American in Paducah to run for the board of education. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Morton, Donna Jean Hughes
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1995
Donna Morton, from Lexington, KY, was the first woman hired as a police instructor at Eastern Kentucky University. She was an instructor-coordinator in the Kentucky Justice Department's Bureau of Training. The appointment was made by Robert C. Stone. Donna Morton was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Eastern Kentucky University. She had been employed at the Frankfort Police Department in several divisions, and at the Lexington Police Department. She was the wife of Herbert L. Morton, and the daughter of Georgia M. Clark Hughes. For more see "Donna Morton, first police instructor," The Afro American, 11/09/1974, p.4; "Black woman makes splash as first Ky. police pundit," Jet, 01/02/1975, p.23; C. Schaefer, "Female instructors bring diversity to the classroom," Inside Information: Kentucky Law Enforcement News, March 2004, vol.3, no.1, pp.56-57; and the obituaries section of the Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/25/1995, p.B2.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Morton, Lena B.
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1981
Lena Beatrice Morton, an educator and a scholar, was born in Flat Creek, KY, the daughter of Susie and William Morton. The family temporarily settled in Winchester, KY, where Morton's maternal grandfather, Reverend H. A. Stewart, was pastor of the CME Church. They later moved to Cincinnati, OH, where Lena Morton graduated from high school and was a two time graduate of the University of Cincinnati (UC). While at UC, she was a founding member of the school's first African American Greek organization, Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Morton earned her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1947. She taught English at the high school level and the university level, where she also held leadership positions such as head of the division of humanities at Texas College. Morton authored a number of works, including several books: Negro Poetry in America, Farewell to the Public Schools, Man Under Stress, Patterns of Language Usage (a study), My First Sixty Years, and The Influence of the Sea Upon English Poetry. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and "Lena Beatrice Morton" in vol. 6 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Flat Creek, Bath County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Morton-Finney, John
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1998
Born in Uniontown, KY, John Morton-Finney was a Buffalo Soldier with the U.S. Army during World War I and also served during World War II. He taught school in Missouri and Indiana while earning five law degrees; he earned a total of 11 degrees, the last at the age of 75. He continued teaching until he was 81 years old and practiced law until he was 106; he is believed to have been the longest-practicing attorney in the U.S. Morton-Finney was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame in 1991. For more see John Morton-Finney in the Notable names in local Black history at the Indystar.com website, updated 02/10/2000.

See photo image and additional information on John Morton-Finney at the Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Uniontown, Union County, Kentucky / Missouri / Indiana

Moseby, Solomon
In 1833, the government of Upper Canada authorized the return of runaway slave Solomon Moseby to his master, David Castleman, in Fayette County, KY. When authorities tried to take Moseby across the border to the United States, a riot ensued, the first race riot in Canada. Preacher Herbert Holmes was one of the men shot and killed; he was the leader of the resistance group of African and white Canadian women and men. Several others were injured. Moseby escaped and made his way to Britain. For more see D. Murray, "Hands across the border: the abortive extradition of Solomon Moseby," Canadian Review of American Studies, vol. 30, issue 2 (2000), pp. 187-209.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada / (Britain) England, Europe

Motley, Nora C.
Birth Year : 1910
Nora C. Motley was the first woman elected to the Lebanon City Council, in 1971; she ran on the Independent ticket. 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. 13.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky

Moulton, Elvina
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1917
Elvina Moulton, also known as Aunt Viney, was a former slave born in Kentucky. She was the first African American woman in Boise, Idaho, arriving around 1867. She was employed at a laundry and was also a nurse and housekeeper. She was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church in Boise; Moulton was the only African American member. For more see Elvina Moulton in "Idaho Territory Days" an idaho-humanrights.org website; and A. Hart, "Idaho history - Pioneers of the Gem state," Idaho Statesman, Life section, p. 3.

See photo image of Elvina Moulton at Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Boise, Idaho

Mountain Island (Owen County, KY)
Start Year : 1850
Mountain Island, in Owen County, KY, was an early white settlement, beginning in the late 1700s. At that time, the area was located in Scott County [Owen County would not be formed until 1819]. Mountain Island is located where Eagle Creek forks into two branches, reconvening on the other side of the island. James Herndon, a bachelor, owned a mill, tavern, and slaves on the island. Flooding, which washed out the roads leading to the island, had begun to make it less ideal as a community. In 1850, Herndon, who still lived on the island, began the attempt to emancipate his slaves, as his sister, Susan Herndon Rogers, had done, but his case was stalled in the courts. The slaves would not be freed until after James Herndon's death in 1853. His will not only freed his 23 slaves but also left them and their heirs Herndon's estate, 125 acres on Mountain Island. The land was to be theirs forever, as stated in Herndon's will. Neighbors put up the security bonds required by Kentucky law for each freed slave. The former slaves had the last names of Carroll, Vinegar, Smith, and Warfield. This entry was suggested by Yvonne Giles. For more see Mountain Island In Owen County, Kentucky: the settlers and their churches, by J. C. Bryant.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Mountain Island, Owen County, Kentucky

Moxley, Frank O.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 2004
Frank O. Moxley was the first African American graduate and the first African American to earn a master's degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University (WKU). He earned his bachelor degree from Wilberforce University in 1926. Moxley created the position of guidance counselor in Kentucky schools and was the first African American guidance counselor in the school system. He was active in the Bowling Green NAACP and helped establish Cumberland Trace Legal Services. He earned a doctorate in psychology at East Coast University/National University in Florida. Frank Otha Moxley was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of James and Hester Moxley. For more see Bowling Green Daily News, 08/11/2004; WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni; and Dr. F. O. Moxley: Trailblazer [oral history] by Brendan David Bush (FA421), at Western Kentucky University, Manscripts and Folklife Archives.


See photo image and additional information on Frank O. Moxley at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

 

 Access Interview Listen to the audios and read the transcripts to Dr. Frank Moxley oral history interviews in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement In Kentucky Oral History Project.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Moxley, George L.
Birth Year : 1865
Born in Kentucky around 1865, Moxley was a tenor singer, stage manager, interlocutor, and minstrel performer. On occasion he passed for white while working with companies such as the Elk's Minstrels. He began singing in public at the Philadelphia Centennial in 1876; by age 70, in 1935, he was telling fortunes in Texas. Moxley was known for getting into precarious situations such as his fine dining without a cent to his name, from which he was able to talk his way out. For more see Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff; and Father of the Blues, an autobiography, by W. C. Handy.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Moxley, Shelby Lee
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1950
Shelby L. Moxley, born in Shelby County, was a well known baseball player in the Lexington, KY area. He was a pitcher for the old Hustlers baseball team, and coached the newer Hustlers team. He also played with one of the Lexington Hitters teams in the Bluegrass Colored Baseball League. His nickname was Chief Moxley. Moxley was killed in 1950 in an equipment accident at the Myers Tobacco Warehouse on Old Frankfort Pike in Lexington, KY. He was the husband of Anna Moxley (b.1899 in KY), and the son and oldest child of Shelby (1855-1926, born in KY) and Maggie Sparks Moxley (1859-1928, born in KY) [sources: 1910 Federal Census and Kentucky Death Certificates]. Shelby L. Moxley's arrangements were handled by the Saffell Funeral Home in Shelbyville, KY, and he was buried in the Saffell Cemetery. For more see the last paragraph of B. J. Strider, "Kentucky: Lexington," The Chicago Defender, 02/04/1950, p.22; "Moxley driven from the mound as Hitters beaten," Lexington Leader, 04/13/1931, p.6.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Mozart Society (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1852
The Louisville Mozart Society, considered the first African American musical society in the city, was organized in 1852 and included German musicians. The society, which gave concerts and performed at the local churches, is credited with introducing classical music to the African American community. W. H. Gibson, Sr. had introduced the first musical instrument, a violin, in a Louisville African American church in 1847. The first organ was placed in Quinn Chapel, but was quickly removed when the church sisters threatened to throw it out into the streets. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; and The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mrs. Stokes's Negro Ball
Start Year : 1897
New York millionaire Mrs. W. E. D. Stokes was owner of the Patchen Wilkes Farm, located three miles outside of Lexington, KY, on Winchester Pike. She had an interest in trotting horses; African Americans referred to her as "The Horse Lady". In 1897, in celebration of the building of her new brick barn (someone had burned down the previous barn), Mrs. Stokes held a ball in the 240 foot by 60 foot structure. The barn was elaborately decorated in anticipation of the 200 Negro guests who had accepted her formal invitation. Stokes had also invited friends from New York. A caterer was hired, and Jones' Colored Band provided the music. A formal dinner was served on a 110 foot long table, and the highlight of the night was the cakewalk competition. The winner would receive a 2 1/2 foot tall cake decorated in cathedral style. It was expected the winners would be a local couple, Dicer Williams and Mary Emma Jones, who had won all but two of the cakewalk competitions held in the area. The entire event was thought to be the first Negro ball in the region. For more see "Mrs. Stokes's Negro Ball," New York Times, 10/03/1897, p. 3.
Subjects: Balls, Promenades, Socials
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Mt. Sterling Colored Library (Montgomery County, KY)
Start Year : 1914
In 1914, a program was held for the benefit of the colored library in the Keas Tabernacle C. M. E. Church in Mt. Sterling, KY [source: "Mt. Sterling (Ky.) News (By Arlington)," Freeman, 11/21/1914, p.4]. It is not known how long the library may have existed.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Mt. Sterling Station (Church) [Colored Members]
Start Year : 1839
End Year : 1878
Prior to the establishing of Keas Tabernacle Church in 1878, in Smithville [Montgomery County], KY, Rev. William H. Miles was the pastor of the colored church named Mt. Sterling Station. The earlier Mt. Sterling Station Church, led by white members, existed in 1839, and according to the 1840 Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the years 1829-1839, Volume II, p. 85, the Mt. Sterling Station Church was within the Kentucky Conference. It had a total church membership of 251 persons: 167 whites and 84 colored (slaves). In 1867, following the end of the Civil War and slavery, the former slave members of the Methodist Episcopal Church separated from the parent church and organized the Kentucky Colored Conference. It was the second annual conference established by former slave members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. At the 1869 Kentucky Colored Conference, held in Winchester, KY, Rev. William H. Miles was named the Presiding Elder of the Mt. Sterling District and pastor of the newly formed Mt. Sterling Station Church for the colored people. A year later, in 1870, William H. Miles was one of the reserve delegates of the Kentucky Colored Conference, where he was named Sunday School Agent and Missionary Supervisor for Kentucky. He was elected a bishop of the newly established Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (CME) in 1870. Eight years later, the Mt. Sterling Station Church for colored people was renamed Keas Tabernacle Church in honor of Samuel G. Keas, who was Bishop William H. Miles' friend and cohort. Keas also became the new pastor at the church. It was Keas, a former slave from Montgomery County, who had been named pastor of the CME Center Street Church in Louisville in 1869, and he was able to regain possession of the church building from the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ), which put an end to an ongoing controversy between the two churches. For more see The History of the CME Church (Revised), by O. H. Lakey.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Mudd, Celia
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1940
Born in Nelson County, KY, Celia Mudd was the aunt of Kentucky's first African American senator, Georgia D. Powers. Mudd's story is told in Powers' book, Celia's Land, which relates how Mudd, a former slave, came to be the recipient of the 840-acre farm of her former owners. It was after Sam Lancaster's death that Mudd learned that he had willed her the farm. Sam's brother contested the will and the case went to court. For more see Celia's Land, by G. D. Powers.
Subjects: Freedom, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky

Mudd, Kent D.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1986
Mudd was elected to the Springfield City Council in 1971, the first African American elected to public office in Washington County. He was a World War I veteran. 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. 16; and Kent D. Mudd "In Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/15/1986, Obituaries section, p. B14.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Muhlenberg County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Muhlenberg County was formed from portions of Christian and Logan Counties in 1798, and is located in west-central Kentucky, surrounded by seven counties. It is named for John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, a minister, an American Revolutionary War veteran, and he served in the U.S. House and Senate from Pennsylvania. The county seat is Greenville, named for Nathanael Greene who was also a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, and served in the Rhode Island General Assembly. The 1800 county population was 1,443, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 1,313 whites, 125 slaves, and 5 free coloreds. The population increased to 9,143 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 337 slave owners
  • 1,260 Black slaves
  • 256 Mulatto slaves
  • 23 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 348 slave owners
  • 1,175 Black slaves
  • 409 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 20 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,227 Blacks
  • 367 Mulattoes
  • About 11 U.S.Colored Troops listed Muhlenberg County, KY as their birth location.
For more see Muhlenberg County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, a Black History by L, S. Smith; A History of Muhlenberg County by O. A. Rothart; Muhlenberg County, First Black Marriage Book by G. R. Carver; and Muhlenberg County School Census, 1930. See photo image of Central City Negro School in Kentucky Digital Library- Images.

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

Mullins, By, et al. v. Belcher
Start Year : 1910
End Year : 1911
During the 1910-11 school year, Pike County school trustee Edmond Belcher notified the guardian of Troy and Loucreta Mullins that the children could not attend the school for whites because the Mullins children were "Colored." The guardian sued Belcher. The trial judge of the Pike County Circuit Court found that the children had at least 1/16 Negro blood, therefore considered Colored, and would not be allowed to attend the school for white children. The children's guardian filed an appeal. The Court of Appeal of Kentucky concluded that Negro and white children were never meant to be educated in the same school, and moral and mental chaos were likely to occur if that were to change. And, any traceable amount of Negro blood in an individual required that the person be considered "Colored." The injunction was denied and the judgment of the Pike County Circuit Court was affirmed. The decision came more than 30 years prior to Asher v Huffman. For more see "Mullins, By, et al. v. Belcher," Reports of Civil and Criminal Cases Decided by the Court of Appeal of Kentucky, v.35 McBeath Reporter, v.142 Kentucky Reports, p.673 [online at Google Book Search]; and Legal History of the Color Line by F. W. Sweet. This entry was suggested by Kentucky author and researcher Ben Luntz.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Pike County, Kentucky

Mullins, Pamela
Birth Year : 1953
Pamela Mullins, of Covington,KY, was one of the first inductees to the Holmes [High School] Hall of Distinction for 2000-2001. In 2007, she was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. Until Paul Mullins election in 2007, Mullins had been the last African American elected to the School Board in Covington; she served from 1990-1997 and resigned to become the first African American woman to be elected to the Covington City Commission. She brought forward the ordinance that created the Covington Human Rights Commission. Pamela Mullins is the daughter of the late Robert Mullins, who was a tenor in the "Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers," a male quintet that sang spirituals and gospel music. Pamela Mullins is also the mother of Paul Mullins, the second African American elected to the Covington School Board in 2007. A controversy clouded his election, but Paul Mullins was allowed to remain on the school board until a final decision was made: he was a school employee, a bus driver, when he won the election. For more see Pamela Mullins in the 2007 Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website; and T. O'Neill, "Mullins defends his right to serve," The Kentucky Post, 03/28/2007, News section, p. A2.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Mullins, Robert
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2006
Robert Mullins was born in Hall's Gap in Stanford, KY, the son of Florence Dunn. He was the father of six children, including the first African American woman elected to the Covington City Commission, Pamela Mullins. Robert Mullins was a former construction worker and also a tenor in the all male a cappella group the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers. The group specializes in singing Negro spirituals and old gospel songs. Mullins was often referred to as the "old man" of the group. The group formed around 1988 and sang at a variety of events in the U.S. and abroad. Their popularity continued to grow: they opened for Ray Charles at the Ottawa Blues Festival in front of an audience of 10,000. Mullins had moved to Covington in 1951. For more see R. Goodman, "Robert Mullins sang spirituals in U.S., Europe," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 01/21/2006, Metro section, p. 7B; and listen to the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood oral history recording by Dale W. Johnson, at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.

  Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers website

 

   See "Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers - Gospel" on YouTube
Subjects: Fathers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Mumphrey, William
Mumphrey was elected mayor of Ghent, KY, in 2006. He is listed in "Carroll County Kentucky Summary 2006 General Election," The Madison Courier, News section, 11/09/2006.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Ghent, Carroll County, Kentucky

Mundy, James A.
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1978
James Ahlyn Mundy was born in Maysville, KY. He was a choral director, composer, and arranger. Mundy studied music education at Simmons College (KY) and Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago. Mundy moved to Chicago around 1906, spending the remainder of his life there. He is recognized as one of Chicago's pioneer musicians. Mundy organized and directed a number of community singing groups, companies, and choruses that performed at events such as the Lincoln Jubilee and Half-Century Exposition, Emancipation Day celebrations, and the Chicago World's Fair. He was also choirmaster at Bethel AME Church and founded Chicago's early opera groups. For more see E. P. Holly, "Black Concert Music in Chicago, 1890 to the 1930s," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 10, issue 1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 141-149; and "James Ahlyn Mundy" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Murphy, Donna L.
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Kansas, Donna L. Murphy grew up in Newport, KY. She was the 1974 Class 2A state high jump champion and played forward for the Newport women's basketball team. In her first Girls Sweet Sixteen Tournament, in 1975, she scored 42 points and had 25 rebounds in the first game. In 1976, the 5'10" forward was the first to be named Miss Kentucky Basketball. She was one of two high school students invited to tryout for the 1976 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team. Murphy played college ball at Morehead State University (KY) from 1977-1980, scoring 2,059 points and collecting 1,439 rebounds. In 1995 she was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame; in 1999 she was the first woman to have her jersey retired at Morehead State University. Murphy played professional ball with the St. Louis Streak and later became head coach at a number of colleges. She was the women's basketball coach at Lexington Christian Academy (KY), 2004-2006. For more see 2003 NCAA Women's Basketball Records Book; M. Story, "Forward Helped Girls' Basketball Return with Bang," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/25/99, Special section, p. 13; and the 2010 interview "Donna LJ Murphy," program #536 [available online] on Connections With Renee Shaw at Kentucky Educational Television (KET).

See photo image and additional information about Donna L. Murphy in "Friends of 44 are friends indeed" at the "What's Up With Merlene?" blog, 06/08/2009.
Subjects: Basketball, Women's Groups and Organizations, Olympics: Athletes, Games, Events
Geographic Region: Kansas / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky

Murphy, Isaac [Burns]
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1896
Named either Jerry Burns or Isaac Burns at birth in Bourbon County, KY, he changed his name to Isaac Murphy after becoming a jockey. Isaac Murphy's family moved into town (Lexington, KY) after his father died at Camp Nelson, KY; the family lived with the maternal grandfather, Green Murphy. Isaac Murphy was the son of America (1842-1879) and Jerry Burns [Skillman] (1834-1864); he and his parents were slaves. Isaac Murphy was the first back-to-back Kentucky Derby winner and the first to win three derbies (1884, 1890 & 1891). One of the very best jockeys, Murphy's 44% winning percentage is still unbroken. Additional information may be found in the Betty Borries Papers, Isaac Murphy Material, located at Kentucky State University; The Isaac Murphy Notebook at the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum in Lexington, KY; and The Great Black Jockeys, by E. Hotaling. Isaac Murphy's widow, Lucy Murphy, died in 1910. She and her mother lived on North Limestone Street in Lexington. See "Widow of noted jockey," Lexington Leader, 02/25/1910, p.8.

See photo image of Isaac Murphy at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Oline Catalog (PPOC) website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Murphy, Walter
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2000
Born in Waddy, KY, Walter Murphy began training horses when he was a boy working alongside his father at Mountjoy Stables in Lawrenceburg, KY. Murphy struck out on his own when he was 16 years old, embarking on a great training career that included about 50 world champion horses, according to his son, trainer Bobby Murphy of Murphy Stables in Urbana, Ohio. Bobby and his father opened Murphy Stables in the 1970s. In 1992, Walter Murphy was the first and only African American inducted into the American Saddlebred Association Hall of Fame in Louisville, KY, only one of the many awards he received. A memorial scholarship in his name has been established at Urbana University. Information submitted by Paula Murphy, native of Lawrenceburg, KY. For more see B. Parcels, "Love of horses passed down through family," Urbana Daily Citizen, Weekender, 03/03/2001, p. A-3; the Murphy Family, a Black Horsemen website; and T. Doll, "Bobby Murphy, reflecting on the family's history [pdf]," Saddle Horse Report, 09/17/2007, pp. 38-41 [article available full-text at Black Horsemen website].


Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Waddy, Shelby County, Kentucky / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Urbana, Ohio

Murrell, Peter
Birth Year : 1823
Peter Murrell was born in Virginia and lived in Glasgow, KY. He was a wagoner and a church leader. He had attended the white Baptist Church in Glasgow, led by Rev. Nathaniel G. Terry, whose family had also come to Kentucky from Virginia. In 1843 the question of creating a separate church for the Negro members was put to a committee with no action, but the question would come up again and again for more than 20 years. Finally, in 1867 Peter Murrell was ordained a minister by Rev. Terry and put in charge of an African American church with 69 members. He also led in the formation of the Liberty Organization. Peter Murrell died between 1880 and 1900. For more see "Rev. Peter Murrell" in The Jubilee History and Biographical Sketches of the Liberty Association by G. R. Ford. For more on Reverend Nathaniel G. Terry see pp. 1616-1617 in A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, by E. P. Johnson [available full-text at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Peter Murrell (lower half of the page) at Barren County Church Biographies, a Kentucky African American Griots website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Murry, Philip H. [The Colored Kentuckian]
Birth Year : 1842
Murry was born in Reading, PA, the son of Samuel and Sarah Murry. His family was free born and had not been slaves. Murry was a school teacher and advocate for the education of African American children; he taught school in Kentucky and several other states. He was also a journalist and newspaper publisher, and is recognized along with J. P. Sampson for establishing the first African American newspaper in Kentucky, in 1867: The Colored Kentuckian. Though, the Colored Citizen newspaper was published in Louisville in 1866. For more see "Philip H. Murry" in Men of Mark [available full-text at Google Book Search], by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner; and "He prefers Sherman," Titusville Herald, 08/10/1887, p. 1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Reading, Pennsylvania / Kentucky

My Friend from Kentucky (Darktown Follies)
Start Year : 1913
The Darktown Follies in "My Friend from Kentucky" was a three act comedy that was produced and initially staged in Harlem by J. Leubrie Hill. The production had been previously named "My Friend from Dixie" and it would go through a series of title and content changes before finally becoming known as Darktown Follies. The show is remembered for the dancing, unlike anything that had been witnessed on Broadway, and it had great drawing power that brought whites into Harlem at night. The production would eventually be moved downtown and performed for white audiences. One of the main characters is Bill Simmons, a businessman from Kentucky, who convinces character Jim Jackson Lee that for a fee he can leave his wife and her father's Virginia plantation (an African American-owned plantation) for a better life and a newer wife in Washington, D.C. For more see "The Darktown Follies" in A Century of Musicals in Black and White, by B. L. Peterson; and Steppin' On the Blues, by J. Malone.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

"My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight"
Start Year : 1852
The original title was "Poor Uncle Tom, Goodnight," written in 1850. "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight" was published in 1852 by Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864). It was adopted as the Kentucky state song in 1928. The controversial phrase "the darkies are gay" is sometimes replaced with "the people are gay." For more see My Old Kentucky Home, the Stephen Collins Foster Papers in Special Collections, University of Kentucky. (The Guide to the Papers is available from the Kentucky Digital Library.) See also Frank X. Walker, "The Song Doesn't Remain the Same," Ace Weekly, 11/21/02.

Access Interview
See lyrics and score to "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight" [.pdf].
Subjects: My Old Kentucky Home
Geographic Region: Kentucky

 

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