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Cabell, Aaron H.
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1915
Aaron H. Cabell was born in Henderson, KY, he was the slave of John B. Cabell. He was related to the Cabell pharmacists - Atwood, Roger, and Delmo. Aaron Cabell established a grocery store in Henderson in 1874 and a mercantile store in 1915. He owned a good deal of stock and property in Henderson, including the estate of Jacob Held and Held Park, which was renamed Cabell Park. He was a delegate to the Republican Convention in Chicago in 1888. Aaron was a brother of George Cabell, and according to the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, they were two of the six or more children of Harriet (b.1823) and James Cabell (b.1820). Aaron Cabell married Amanda Rucker on September 23, 1875, according to the Kentucky Marriage Records. For more see "Mr. Aaron H. Cabell," The Colored American, 11/01/1902, p.5 [article online at Chronicling America]; Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "Henderson, Kentucky," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, First Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, August 23-24, 1900, reel 1, frames 164-165 [also available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Businesses, Parks
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Cabell Brothers (Pharmacists)
Atwood Cabell, born 1897 in Tennessee, was the first African American pharmacist in Henderson, KY. His brothers Roger W. (1893-1972) and Delmo also became pharmacists. Delmo Boutell Cabell (1895-1977), born in Madisonville, KY, was the first African American pharmacist in Providence, KY, beginning around 1917. Roger died in Henderson, KY, and Delmo died in Detroit, MI. The Cabell Brothers are related to George and Aaron Cabell. For more on Delmo Cabell, see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37. For more on the Cabell Family, visit the Henderson County Public Library Genealogy and Family Files.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Cabell, George C.
Birth Year : 1860
George Cabell was born in Henderson, KY. He was a brother of Aaron Cabell, for whom he drove a grocery wagon. George acquired his own grocery and general merchandise business in 1895. He was still managing his store in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He was also director of the Cemetery and Burial Company in Henderson. George C. Cabell was married to Lovenia Dixon Cabell. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Caesar
Birth Year : 1758
Death Year : 1836
Caesar, born into slavery, was a carpenter. In 1733, he was inherited by James Robertson. Caesar accompanied Robertson on his journey to the Natchez District and on to Fort Nelson (Louisville, KY). When Robertson died, Caesar became the property of Philip Barbour, who then sold him to John Campbell. When Campbell died, his heir, William Beard, brought Caesar to Lexington, KY, where he lived for the remainder of his life. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Explorers, Inheritance, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Caldwell, Charles
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1875
Caldwell, a blacksmith, was born in Kentucky and later became an elected state senator in Mississippi. He was the husband of Margaret Ann Caldwell. In 1868, Charles Caldwell and the son of a judge were involved in a shootout that left the judge's son dead. Caldwell was tried by an all-white jury and found not guilty; he was the first African American in Mississippi to kill a white man and be found not guilty by the courts. Caldwell continued as a state senator and helped write the state constitution. He would later command an African American militia troop in Clinton, MS, and try unsuccessfully to prevent a race riot. The riot lasted for four days, and on Christmas Day, 1875, Caldwell was gunned down by a gang of whites. For more see A People's History of the United States: 1942-present (2003), by H. Zinn; and "Charles Caldwell, State Senator," in Great Black Men of Masonry, 1723-1982 (2002), by J. M. A. Cox.
Subjects: Blacksmiths, Migration South, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Clinton, Mississippi

Caldwell County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Caldwell County is surrounded by six counties, it is located in the western section of the state. The county was formed in 1809 from a portion of Livingston County. and was named for John Caldwell, a veteran of the Indian Wars, a Kentucky Senator, and the 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. The first community was Eddy Grove and the first county seat was Eddyville. The new county seat of Princetown was selected around 1817, named for land owner William Prince, and the town name was later changed to Princeton. The 1810 population for Caldwell County was 659 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and that increased to 6,912 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 566 slave owners
  • 2,723 Black slaves
  • 384 Mulatto slaves
  • 95 free Blacks
  • 43 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 433 slave owners
  • 2,013 Black slaves
  • 418 Mulatto slaves
  • 22 free Blacks
  • 16 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,342 Blacks
  • 656 Mulattoes
  • About 228 U.S. Colored Troops listed Caldwell County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Caldwell County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Caldwell County, Kentucky History by S. W. Steger; and First History of Caldwell County, Kentucky by C. R. Baker. See photo image of Caldwell County Negro high school in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Caldwell County, Kentucky

Caldwell, John Martin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Born in Henry County, KY, Reverend Caldwell was the son of Anna Hobbs Caldwell and John Martin Caldwell, Sr. Beginning in 1932, he was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Evansville, IN, continuing in that position for 57 years. Caldwell was a 1949 graduate of Evansville College [now University of Evansville] and completed his theology degree at Simmons University (Louisville). He received a citation from President Roosevelt for his service on the draft board during World War II. Caldwell was also a member of the masons, and he was the author of the annual publication Zion Pulpit. In 1967, he became the the first African American elected official in Evansville, IN: he was elected to the City Council and served three terms. Caldwell was also president of the Evansville NAACP for 15 years, leading the fight to integrated businesses and the University of Evansville. He was a member of the group that sued the city of Evansville to stop segregated housing. Caldwell received the first Mayor's Human Rights Award in 1977. The housing projects, formerly Sweeter public housing, were renamed the Caldwell Homes and Terrace Gardens in memory of John Martin Caldwell. For more see the John Martin Caldwell entry in the Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and "The Rev. John Caldwell," Evansville Courier, 09/28/1999, Metro section, p. A3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

Calloway County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Calloway County is located in south-western Kentucky, surrounded by two counties, the Kentucky Lake, and the Tennessee state border. It was formed from a portion of Hickman County in 1822, and named for explorer Richard Calloway. The county seat was first named Williston, then Pooltown, then Pleasant Springs, and finally named Murray in 1844 after John L. Murray, a Kentucky Legislator and a U.S. Congressman. The county population was 822 [heads of households] according to the 1830 U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 8,424 in 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 255 slave owners
  • 866 Black slaves
  • 126 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [teenagers Henry and Dan Cooper]
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 336 slave owners
  • 1,135 Black slaves
  • 348 Mulatto slaves
  • 2 free Blacks [last names Harper and Mays]
  • 13 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 775 Blacks
  • 81 Mulattoes
  • About 29 U.S. Colored Troops listed Calloway County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Calloway County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; A Distant Light by B. Cunningham; History of Calloway County, Kentucky 1931 by E. A. Johnston; and The Story of Calloway County, 1822-1976 by D. Jennings and K. Jennings.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Calloway County, Kentucky

Calloway, Ernest Abner
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1989
Calloway was a writer, a union organizer and advocate, a civil rights activist, a politician, and an educator. He was born in Herberton, WV, and came to Letcher County, KY, with his family in 1913. They were one of the first African American families in the coal mining community in Letcher County. His father helped organize the first Local United Mine Workers Union. In 1925, Calloway ran away to Harlem [New York City]. Within a few years he returned to Kentucky and worked in the coal mines. Beginning In 1930, Calloway was a drifter for three years, traveling throughout the U.S. and Mexico before returning to Kentucky to work in the coal mines again. It would be Calloway's writing that would help him leave Kentucky for good. He had written an article on the use of marijuana and submitted it to Opportunity magazine. The article was rejected, but Calloway was asked to write an article on the working conditions of Negro coal miners in Kentucky. The article was published in March 1934, resulting in Calloway being offered a scholarship to Brookwood Labor College [info] in New York. He would go on to help establish and influence many union organizations. Early in his career, he developed the Virginia Workers' Alliance; organized the Chicago Redcaps [railroad station porters] and the United Transport Employee Union; and assisted in the writing of the resolution for the development of the Committee Against Discrimination in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Calloway was the first African American to refuse military service because of racial discrimination. In 1955, he was president of the St. Louis, MO, NAACP Branch. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1968 and was a part time lecturer at St. Louis University in 1969. For a more detailed account of Calloway's career, see the "Ernest Abner Calloway" entry in the Dictionary of Missouri Biography, by L. O. Christensen; and the Ernest Calloway Papers, 1937-1983 in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration East, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Union Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Herberton, West Virginia / Letcher County, Kentucky / New York / Chicago, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

Calvin and Porter Townships (Cass County), Michigan
Around 1840, escaped slaves, mostly from Kentucky, found their way to Calvin and Porter in Michigan. Quakers had established the settlements, and when slave owners attempted to reclaim the slaves, their efforts were resisted and the communities continued to grow. Ex-slaves from the Saunders' plantation in West Virginia moved to Calvin in 1849 and became the majority of the township's population. Over the years the population spilled over into Porter. Both Calvin and Porter are located in the South Bend/Mishawaka metro area of Michigan on the Indiana border. Today Calvin's population is about 2,000, Porter's about 3,800. For more see the reprint by Booker T. Washington, "Two Generations Under Freedom," The Michigan Citizen, 12/19/1992, vol. XV, issue 4, p. A12;  Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson. For more on the raids led by Kentucky slave owners see B. C. Wilson, "Kentucky kidnappers, fugitives, and abolitionists in Antebellum Cass County, Michigan," Michigan History, vol.6, issue 4, pp. 339-358.  See also the Perry Sanford entry.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Calvin and Porter, Michigan / West Virginia / West Bend, Indiana

Calvin, Mandy
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1942
Mandy Calvin became an actress in 1941 when she was selected to play the part of an aged native woman in the Hollywood film Tarzan's Secret Treasure, by MGM starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. Mandy Calvin, supposedly born around 1839, had been a slave in Kentucky, and was living in Los Angeles, CA. She was selected for the film after movie director Richard Thrope asked talent scouts to find the oldest African American woman. Mandy Calvin's name is not listed in the credits, nor are the names of others who had minor parts in the the film. Mandy Calvin is listed in he 1940 U.S. Federal Census with an estimated birth year of 1849, she lived with her grandson Roy P. Lanier and a lodger named Mary Dews. Mandy Calvin died June 5, 1942, according to the California Death Index, and her birth date is given as April 10, 1850. Her mother's maiden name was Ford and her father's last name was Grist, her parents were from Mississippi. For more see "Ex-slave makes her movie debut at 102," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/18/1941, p.14.; "Woman, 102 years makes screen debut," The Sunday Morning Star, 10/26/1941, p.8; and "Mandy begins career at age 102, estimated," Ogden Standard Examiner, 10/09/1941, p.19.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration West, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Los Angeles and Hollywood, California

Calvin Ruff and Libby Lightburn
Start Year : 1885
Calvin Ruff, who was white, was the son of J. Q. Ruff, a wealthy man in Galveston, Texas. Libby Lightburn was an 18 year old mulatto who had moved from Texas to Louisville, KY. In 1885, Ruff arrived in Louisville to ask Lightburn to be his wife. Interracial marriage was illegal in Kentucky, so the couple was married in New Albany, Indiana, where interracial marriage was also illegal, but since both were unknown, Ruff was able to purchase the marriage license as a Colored man. The state of Indiana had an 1840 law that made all white-black marriages null and void, and for those who married after the law was passed, if caught, the charge was a felony with the penalty of 10-20 years in the state prison. For more see "Marriage of Black and White," The New York Freeman, 06/27/1885, issue 32, Col. F; and T. P. Monahan, "Marriage across racial lines in Indiana," Journal of Marriage and the Family, vol. 35, issue 4 (Nov., 1973), pp. 632-630.
Subjects: Migration East, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Galveston, Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Albany, Indiana

Camp Knox Team [Colored Football]
In 1920, the Camp Knox Team was a Kentucky champion of Colored football. In November of that year, the "soldiers eleven" were preparing to travel to Indiana where they would face the Ex-Collegians, a Colored football team in Indianapolis. For more see "Ex-Collegians work," The Indianapolis Star, 11/16/1920, p.12. Camp Knox would become Fort Knox. It had been established by Congress in 1918 as a field artillery training range for Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, KY. There were thousands of Colored soldiers stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor during WWI. For more on Camp Knox see "Fort Knox" entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Football, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: [Camp Knox] Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade Counties, Kentucky

Campbell, Alexander, Sr. (former slave)
Birth Year : 1818
Death Year : 1870
Not to be confused with the Second Great Awakening leader, Alexander Campbell, this Alexander Campbell had been a slave in Woodford County, KY. He took the name of Alexander Campbell after being purchased by the White Christian Church in Midway, KY, in the 1830s. Campbell was owned by the Fleming Family and by Abraham Buford. He was purchased for $1000 and became the first preacher of the newly formed Colored Christian Church. Both Campbell and Samuel Buckner are considered the fathers of the Colored Christian Church Movement in Kentucky. They were the founders of more Colored Christian churches than any other two persons. Alexander Campbell was a minister in Lexington, KY, in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and he had purchased his wife's freedom for $1000. Alexander Campbell and Rosa VanMeter Campbell (b.1829 in Fayette Co., KY) were the parents of several children, and one of the youngest boys was named John Stafford Campbell, born in 1869 and died in 1942, according to Stafford's death certificate. Stafford was pastor of the Colored Christian Church in Midway and in Paris, KY. He was the twin brother of Burbridge Campbell who left Kentucky for Boston, MA in the 1880s, according to an article in the "Colored Notes" of the Lexington Leader, 08/28/1911, p.5. The article mentioned that Burbridge was returning home to visit his mother who lived at 410 Campbell Street in Lexington. Rosa and her sons are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Rosa was a widow and worked as a "cloths renovator". Alexander Campbell Sr. died in 1870, and Rosa Campbell died in 1916, according to information provided by Brenda Jackson of Versailles, KY: "Death of A. Campbell," Apostolic Times, 12/18/1870, pp.297-298, and the Kentucky Certificate of Death for Rosa Campbell - File No. 7316. Rev. Alexander Campbell, Jr. died in 1896 in Indianapolis, IN, and is buried in African Cemetery #2, Lexington, KY [source: Yvonne Giles - Certificate of Death #1406]. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker; "Old slave church remembered," Lexington Leader, 12/27/1976, p.A9; and Two Races in One Fellowship by R. L. Jordan.
Subjects: Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Campbell, Charles
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2000
Campbell, born in Covington, KY, later moved to Buffalo, NY, where he was the first African American car salesman at Mernan Chevrolet and the first to manage a General Tire store; he later retired from General Mills. He was an Army veteran and served during World War II, obtaining the rank of corporal. After serving in the Army, Campbell returned to New York and earned an industrial relations degree from the University of Buffalo, Millard Fillmore College. He was a founding member of the Delta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Buffalo. For more see "Charles Campbell," Buffalo News, 03/13/2000, News section, p. 6A.
Subjects: Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Campbell County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Campbell County, located in northern Kentucky, is bordered by two counties and the Ohio River. It was formed in 1794 from portions of Harrison, Mason, and Scott Counties. The county was named for John Campbell, who was born in Ireland. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and he was a Kentucky Senator. The county seat is Alexandria. The county population in 1800 was 1,903, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 1,612 whites, 279 slaves, 12 free coloreds. By 1860 the population was 20,673, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 59 slave owners
  • 115 Black slaves
  • 62 Mulatto slaves
  • 65 free Blacks
  • 13 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 50 slave owners
  • 81 Black slaves
  • 35 Mulatto slaves
  • 68 free Blacks
  • 20 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 253 Blacks
  • 228 Mulattoes
  • About 4 U.S. Colored Troops listed Campbell County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see The Encyclopedia of Kentucky edited by J. E. Kleber; Campbell County, Kentucky, 200 Years, 1794-1994 by Campbell County Historical Society; History of Campbell County, Kentucky by M. K. Jones [available at Google Book Search]; and see Tid-bits of Northern Kentucky History: Wm. S. Bailey of Newport, and his anti-slavery newspapers, by M. S. Hartman, online at Northern Kentucky Views [.pdf].
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Campbell County, Kentucky

Campbell, Madison
Birth Year : 1823
Death Year : 1896
Madison Campbell was born in Madison County, KY, about ten miles south of Richmond, KY. He was the slave of Edly Campbell. Madison Campbell was baptized in 1856 by Jacob Bush of the Richmond Colored Church. He purchased his freedom in 1863 and began preaching at a number of churches in the Richmond/Berea area, baptizing hundreds of African Americans. Campbell was instrumental in the development of churches such as the New Liberty Church, where he preached until 1873; Mt. Pleasant Church, built in 1873; and Otter Creek Baptist Church, built in 1876. Campbell was the first pastor of the First Baptist Church in downtown Richmond and also helped organize the Mt. Pleasant District Association in 1873. He is buried in the Old Soldiers Cemetery in Richmond. For more see Autobiography of Eld. Madison Campbell: pastor of the Untied Colored Baptist Church, Richmond, Kentucky, by M. Campbell.
Subjects: Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Richmond and Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Campbell, Robert E., aka "Bob" Allen
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1919
Robert E. Campbell, aka "Bob" Allen, was a noted horseman born in Kentucky around 1859. He died in Covington, KY, June 23, 1919, according to his death certificate. During his lifetime, Campbell was recognized as the turfman/owner of the two year old horse named Protection, winner of the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park (NJ) in 1889, ridden by Edgar "Pike" Barnes. It was a $30,000 win for Campbell who had paid $350 for the yearling colt at Swigert's sale. Protection's other races included winning the 1889 Flash Stakes at Saratoga, and runner-up in the Kenwood Stakes at Washington Park in Chicago, IL. Protection was from Prince Charlie, an English stallion, and out of Manola. Campbell had offered to sale the horse to E. J. Baldwin for $550. Baldwin, a California millionaire, declined the offer. Campbell was the trainer of Baldwin's horses, including the horse named Los Angeles, winner of the Senior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park in 1889. [Robert E. Campbell can also be found in newspapers by the name Bob Campbell.] In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Robert Allen is listed as a horse trainer, the son of Harry and Dilsey Allen, and the family lived in Goodloetown. For more see "Bob Allen's Luck," Weekly Pelican, 08/10/1889, p.3; "The two new champions," New York Times, 08/07/1889, p.2; and "Latonia draws more rain," Daily Racing Form, 06/24/1919, p.1.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Campbell, William Joseph
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1912
William [W. J.] Campbell was a politician, a member and organizer of the Knights of Labor, a delegate and leader of the United Mine Workers of America, and a civil rights leader. The Knights of Labor, a labor organization, was founded as a secret society in Philadelphia, PA, in 1869. According to the organization's website, as of 1881, the Knights of Labor were no longer secret, and by 1886 the membership included 50,000 African American workers and 10,000 women workers. W. J. Campbell fought for improved race relations in coal towns and for interracial unions. He would become the representative of the Kentucky District of the United Mine Workers of America. W. J. Campbell was born in Morgan County, AL, the son of William Campbell and Bethiah Jones Campbell [source: W. J. Campbell's KY death certificate]. His family was poor; his father died when he was a boy. W. J. Campbell was hired out to a man who allowed him to attend and finish school in Huntsville, AL. Campbell became a teacher at the school he had attended. In 1880, he moved to Birmingham, AL, where he studied barbering and would become a barber. In 1881, he left barbering for the coal mines in Pratt City, AL. He became an advocate for the rights of African American miners, and in 1881 was secretary of the newly organized Knights of Labor in Pratt City. A year later, he was organizer-at-large, and established the first Knights of Labor in Birmingham and Montgomery. He established the beginnings of the United Mine Workers and the Federation of Mine Laborers, Division 10, in Chattanooga, TN. The division included Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. W. J. Campbell was also a politician; he was the elected secretary of the Republican Committee of Jefferson County, AL, in 1882 and was also an elected delegate to the Republican State Convention. In 1892, he was an elected delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention for Alabama. W. J. Campbell got married in 1889 and left Alabama in 1894 to settle in Central City, KY. Campbell was a miner and a barber, and his wife was a teacher at the Colored common school. Campbell organized Republican national league clubs for African Americans and whites. He was a delegate to the National Republican League Convention, and in 1901 was a member of the Republican State Campaign Committee. In 1898, Campbell drafted the Miners' Pay Bill of Kentucky that was passed by the Kentucky Legislature; it replaced the two weeks pay bill that had failed. In 1900, Campbell was a delegate to the National United Mine Workers of America [UMWA]. The UMWA was founded in Columbus, OH, in 1890, resulting from the merger of the Knights of Labor Trade Assembly No. 135 and the National Progressive Union of Miners and Mine Laborers. The constitution of the UMWA barred discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin. In 1901, Campbell became the secretary-treasurer of UMWA District 23 and is said to be the first African American at the post within the UMWA. He came to Lexington, KY in July of 1901 to settle a matter with W. D. Johnson, editor of The Standard newspaper. In 1904, Campbell was a member of the executive office of the UMWA, serving as a cabinet officer of John Mitchell. He was also president of Afro American National Protective Union, which sought to organize a National Labor Union. In 1912, Campbell would serve as president of the National Negroes' Industrial and Protective Union of America. William J. Campbell was the husband of Sallie L. Waddleton of South Carolina; the couple last lived in Drakesboro, KY. Campbell was a Mason, a member of the Odd Fellows, and a member of the A.M.E.Z. Church. He died November 28, 1912, and is buried in Smith Chapel Cemetery in Drakesboro, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate]. For more see the Knights of Labor website; the Brief History of the United Mine Workers of America website; The Challenge of Interracial Unionism, by D. Letwin; "W. J. Campbell...," Freeman, 01/24/1903, p. 4; "Birmingham: Victory won by the Warrior [AL] miners," Huntsville Gazette, 09/13/1884, p. 3; "Mr. W. J. Campbell," Huntsville Gazette, 02/13/1886, p. 2; "Mr. W. J. Campbell" in the Personals column of the Freeman, 01/20/1900, p. 8; "W. J. Campbell of Central City, Ky...," Freeman, 07/20/1901, p. 4; "W. J. Campbell," Freeman, 02/08/1902, p. 8; picture of W. J. Campbell on p. 1, biography on p. 4 of the Freeman, 03/01/1902; "Important Points great events in the suburban districts," Freeman, 03/01/1902, p. 4; "Mr. W. J. Campbell, miner," Freeman, 04/23/1904, p. 4; and "National Negroes' Industrial and Protective Union of America," Freeman, 01/27/1912, p. 6.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Barbers, Education and Educators, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Morgan County, Alabama / Central City and Drakesboro, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Campbellsville - Taylor County, Kentucky Oral History Project (FA 202)
Start Year : 2006
The following information comes from the collection notes for Campbellsville - Taylor County, Kentucky Oral History Project (FA 202): "This collection consists of interviews (on compact discs) done with African Americans with Taylor County, Kentucky roots. The twenty-two interviews were conducted by Lynne Ferguson, a graduate of the Folk Studies Department at Western Kentucky University for Greater Campbellsville United. The project’s purpose was to collect information about the often neglected African American history in Campbellsville. The collection includes interviews, permission forms, informant information sheets and tape logs. A collection highlight is an interview with Clem Haskins, a former basketball star at Western Kentucky University, who also enjoyed a successful professional basketball career and a collegiate coaching career. An interview with his wife Harriet Yevette Haskins, who served as a WKU regent, is also included." The collection has 1 box, 23 folders, and 47 items, dated 2006, and consisting of compact discs and typescripts. All items are available at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.

 
Subjects: Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Cannon, Frank R., Sr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1988
Frank R, Cannon, Sr. was born in Jessamine County, KY, the son of Lizzie and Simon Cannon. The family owned a farm on Lexington Pike in Keene, KY. Frank Cannon was the first African American member of the Jessamine County (KY) Board of Education. He was an educator and had served as principal of Rosenwald-Dunbar School in Jessamine County, and was later principal of the Lincoln Heights School System in Ohio. He would become superintendent of the school system, before leaving Lincoln Heights to teach in the Cincinnati School System. Cannon returned to Kentucky and was president of the Jessamine County Retired Teachers Association, before becoming president-elect of the Central Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. He was also Master of Central Lodge #91 F. & A.M. of Nicholasville. He owned Cannon's Fixit Shop, Inc. Frank R. Cannon, Sr. was a graduate of Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky; he was one of the first 17 African American teachers to attend UK. He was the husband of Ora Belle Hamilton, who was a school teacher. For more see "Frank R. Cannon, Sr." entry in A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky edited by R. Fain; and "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 26.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Keene, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lincoln Heights, Ohio

Capers, Jean M.
Birth Year : 1913
Jean Murrell Capers was born in Georgetown, KY. Her family moved to Cleveland, OH, when she was a child. Capers was a teacher in the Cleveland schools before becoming an attorney in 1945. She is a education graduate of Western Reserve University [now Case Western Reserve University]. She was assistant police prosecutor from 1946 until 1949, when she became the first African American elected to the Cleveland City Council. The N.C.N.W. recognized her as one of the 10 outstanding women in public service in 1950. She was the director and organizer of the Central Welfare Association. Capers later became a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 2006, Capers, at 93 years of age, was the oldest practicing member of the National Bar Association. She has received a number of awards, including the 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Nettie Cronise Lutes Award [article online at Call & Post website]. Jean M. Capers is a law graduate of the Cleveland Law School [which merged with the John Marshall School of Law in 1945 to become the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd edition, ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and "Capers oldest member to attend annual convention," National Bar Association Law E-Bulletin, vol. 14, issue 1 (August 2006). Photos of Jean Capers are in the African Americans of Note in Cleveland database.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Judges
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Carlisle County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1900-1920
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1920
Carlisle County, formed in 1886 from portions of Ballard County, is located in far western Kentucky, bordered by four counties and the Mississippi River. The county is named for John G. Carlisle, who was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and a Kentucky House Member, Senator, and Lieutenant Governor. The county seat of Carlisle County is Bardwell, founded in 1874. In 1900, the county population was 10,213 and decreased to 8,232 by 1920. Below are the numbers for the African American population.

1900 U.S. Federal Census

  • 645 Blacks
  • 1 Mulatto
1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 301 Blacks
  • 105 Mulattoes
1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • 239 Blacks
  • 72 Mulattoes
  • There were 45 WWI draft registration cards by Blacks, and 2 Coloreds, in Carlisle County, KY.
For more see The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; and A History of Carlisle County, Kentucky for the Years 1820-1900.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Carlisle County, Kentucky

Caroline (escaped slave) [Donnell v. State]
Start Year : 1847
End Year : 1852
Caroline was a runaway slave from Trimble County, KY, who made a daring escape with her four children in 1847. Escorts in the Underground Railroad helped the family reach the Greenbriar Settlement in Indiana (near the Decatur County/Franklin County line), where they were captured and locked in a livestock feed house. Owner George Ray had posted a reward for the family, and he sued Luther Donnell for rescuing the family from the feed house and helping them toward freedom in Canada. For more see Hoosier farmer gave costly help to fleeing slave and her children at Indianapolis Star Library Factfiles website, indystar.com; and pictures of the historical marker at IN.gov.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Trimble County, Kentucky / Greenbriar Settlement, Decatur County, Indiana / Canada

Carpenter, Charles William
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1971
Charles W. Carpenter, born in Stanford, KY, was the son of Amanda and James Carpenter. In 1901, the family moved to Indianapolis, IN, a year after the death of James Carpenter. William worked at various jobs during the day and attend public school at night. He was the valedictorian of his 1909 graduating class at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University]. He studied chemistry with Dr. G. W. Carver and was associated with Dr. B. T. Washington and his wife; during the summer of 1908, Carpenter worked at the Washington's summer home on Long Island. He studied theology at Wilberforce and at Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary], completing his studies in 1912. Carpenter was a minister first in Detroit, and later served at churches in Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois, before settling in Ann Arbor, MI, as pastor of the Second Baptist Church for 37 years. He retired on his 80th birthday in 1966. Carpenter was recognized for his leadership in the community; the Common Council of Ann Arbor passed a resolution commending him for his outstanding community service. He had helped integrate the Ann Arbor Kiwanis and served on the board of directors. He was elected vice president, and later president, of the Ann Arbor Ministerial Association. The Charles W. Carpenter Papers, 1909-1970, are at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. For more see Second Baptist Church Centennial, 1865-1965 by the Second Street Baptist Church (Ann Arbor, MI); and Charles W. Carpenter at Bentley Historical Library website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Ann Arbor, Michigan

Carpenter, Eliza
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1924
She was known as Aunt Eliza, the only Colored race horse owner in Oklahoma, her real name was Eliza Carpenter. She had been a slave, born in Virginia, sold to a Kentucky master at age six, and sold again at age eight to a Missouri planter. Carpenter gained her freedom at the end of the Civil War and returned to Madisonville, KY, where she learned the business of buying, training, and riding race horses. She then moved to Kansas where she purchased several horses, and would move on to Ponca City, Oklahoma where she shared her home with a boarder, Athather Johnson, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Carpenter's occupation is given as a trader of livestock. She had come to Ponca City when the Cherokee Strip was opened for settlement in 1893, and with a $1,000 prize going to the first person to reach the Ponca City site. There was a heated race to the site and Carpenter was one of the competitors. Some sources say that she was the first to stake a claim, while other sources say that she did not win the race. Either way, Carpenter settled in Ponca City where she trained her horses, was one of the few African American stable owners in the West, and when dissatisfied with the way a race was going, she had ridden her own horses. Carpenter, as a jockey, had won a few races. Her regular jockey was Olla "Lucky" Johnson. Some of her horses names were Irish Maid, Blue Bird, and Little Brown Jug. Eliza Carpenter had also stood up for herself when she won a horse racing bet and the person she was betting with refused to pay-up. Carpenter visited family in Kentucky on several occasions and on her final visit she was thrown from a buggy when her horse became spooked; Carpenter suffered a fractured skull and never fully recovered. She died in Oklahoma. She was the aunt of Frank and Virgil Gilliam of Madisonville, KY. For more see "Fans mourn woman jockey," Baltimore Afro-American, 12/20/1924; "Reproduced the Strip Run," Hutchison News, 09/17/06, p.8;
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Virginia / Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Missouri / Kansas / Oklahoma

Carpenter, Olie Atkins
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1993
Olie Carpenter was the first college-trained African American librarian in Kentucky. She was a graduate of Hampton's library program, and specialized in medical librarianship. Carpenter was first employed at Kentucky State University, from 1929-1930. She was next employed at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes when it opened in 1931. She was also a librarian at Maryland State College [now University of Maryland Eastern Shore]. Olie Atkins Carpenter was born in Winston, NC. She was an older sister to Eliza Atkins Gleason, their parents were Simon Green Atkins and Oleona Pegram Atkins. In 1892, Simon Green Atkins was the founder of what is today Winston-Salem State University, and his wife Oleona Atkins was a teacher and assistant principal at the school. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Louisville Municipal College photographs and records at the University of Louisville University Archives & Records Center; Who's Who in Library Service. A biographical directory of professional librarians in the United States and Canada, 4th ed., edited by L. Ash; and The Black Librarian in the Southeast by A. L. Phinazee. For more on Simon G. Atkins, see the chapter "For Service Rather than Success" in Winston-Salem by F. V. Tursi. * Additional information for this entry was provided by Professor J. G. Carew at the University of Louisville, she is the daughter of Dr. Eliza A. Gleason.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration West
Geographic Region: Winston, North Carolina / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Carpenter, Rose L.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1980
Rose Lillian Carpenter was born in Bowling Green, KY. She earned an A.B. degree from State University [Simmons University in Louisville], and Bachelor's and Master's of Music Education degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She also took music courses from six other universities. Carpenter taught for 15 years as an instructor of music education and served as Director of Choir for ten years at Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. In 1927 she replaced Professor Jay Fay as a teacher of music in the Louisville Negro schools. In 1937 she became the assistant supervisor of vocal music for the Louisville Public School System, holding the post for 36 years. She was the first African American to have an office in the Louisville Board of Education administration building. For more see C. H. Mitchell's Historical Research on Rosa Lillian Carpenter: a study of her life and influence on Music Education in Kentucky.


See photo image of Rose L. Carpenter on p. 11 of the KNEA Journal, vol. 22, no. 3 (April 1951).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Carpenters (Louisville, KY)
Author W. H. Gibson, Sr. mentions the following African American carpenters in Louisville, KY: John Evans, Berry Evans, Jesse Merriwether, Willis Talbot, and John Jordan. For more see The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Businesses, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Carr, Fletcher
Fletcher Carr, a native of Pennsylvania, was the first African American full-time head coach at the University of Kentucky.  Carr had been hired as an assistant football coach but chose to coach wrestling in 1973. He had been a champion wrestler when he was a student at Tampa University.  For more see Fifty Years of the University of Kentucky African-American Legacy, 1949-1999.
Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Carr, George W.
Birth Year : 1864
In 1913, Rev. George W. Carr, became the second pastor of the Hillsdale Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan. Carr was born in Tennessee, and lived in Liberty, KY. His parents and his wife were from Kentucky, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. In 1900, George W. Carr was a minister at the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN. Years later, while in Lansing, Carr was a minister and also a property owner. He is remembered for increasing the Sunday School enrollment: the church received $250 for having the greatest increase of Sunday School scholars in the city. Carr also appointed the first Sunday School superintendent and church historian. Hillsdale, the first African American Baptist Church in Lansing, is today known as Union Missionary Baptist Church. Also in 1913, Rev. Carr led the religious exercises at the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives. For more see the last paragraph "Rev. G. W. Carr of Liberty, Ky..." in the column "Marion flashes," Recorder (Indianapolis, IN), 03/17/1900, p.1; see p. 253 of the 1913 Journal of the Michigan House of Representatives [available full-text at Google Book Search]; p. 311 of the 1913 Journal of the Michigan Legislature, Senate; and the Michigan Manual of Freemen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf, on the Western Michigan University website].
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lansing, Michigan

Carr, Kipley D.
Birth Year : 1967
Kipley D. Carr was born in Bowling Green and served as the first African American student representative on the Bowling Green Independent School Board, 1983-1984, and is believed to be the first African American student representative to a local board of education in the Commonwealth. Active in the NAACP since childhood, Carr served as president of the Bowling Green-Warren County NAACP Youth Council and later as president of the Kentucky State NAACP Youth & College Division. From 1995-97 Carr was Political Action Chairman of the Kentucky State NAACP Conference, as the youngest state political action chairperson anywhere in the country. Carr played a leading role in Bowling Green's first Martin Luther King March. He later moved to West Virginia, where he became the first African American elected to the Martinsburg City Democratic Committee and served as a charter member of the city's Human Relations Commission. Carr returned to Bowling Green and was elected the first African American president of the city's Young Democrats Club in 1995. Carr served as Secretary for the Georgia State Conference, NAACP, from 2005-2011. In 2009, Carr was elected the first African American president of the College Park (GA) Historical Society, and in 2011 became the first African-American president of the Historic College Park Neighborhood Association. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-15th editions. In 2012, Kipley D. Carr ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Georgia General Assembly.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Martinsburg, West Virginia / Atlanta, Georgia

Carr, Maria Powell
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1920
In 1912, Maria Carr became one of the first African American women library attendants in a Kentucky public library. She was hired to staff the Henderson Colored Library, the first library structure for African Americans in the United States. She was the wife of James A. Carr, who was a grocer when the couple married March 18, 1875 [source: Kentucky Marriage Records, Negroes, Henderson County, KY]. They were the parents of several children. Maria Carr died August 13, 1920 [Find A Grave photo image]. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.

Additional information received from Rebecca Bibbs on 11/16/2012: Maria Carr was the daughter of Elizabeth Powell and Robert Glass, and she was the grandmother of Junius Bibbs. Elizabeth Powell lived with her daughter, and is listed with the family in the U.S. Federal Census, 1880-1910. A photo image of Maria Powell Carr is available at the Henderson County, KY Families website.


Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Carroll County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Carroll County is located in north-central Kentucky along the Ohio River, bordered by four counties. One of the smallest counties in the state, it was formed in 1838 from portions of Gallatin, Henry, and Trimble Counties. Both Carroll County and its county seat, Carrollton, were named for Charles Carroll, who was a U.S. Senator for Maryland. Of all who signed the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll (1737-1832) lived the longest. There are Carroll Counties in 12 states and two Parishes in Louisiana, all named for Charles Carroll. In Carroll County, KY, the first U.S. Census of the county was taken 1840, when there was a population of 572 [heads of households]. By 1860 the population was 5,533, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes in Carroll County for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 243 slave owners
  • 788 Black slaves
  • 159 Mulatto slaves
  • 21 free Blacks
  • 7 free Mulattoes [including Wheeling Gaunt, his wife, and brother]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 264 slave owners
  • 1,629 Black slaves
  • 233 Mulatto slaves
  • 32 free Blacks
  • 13 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 529 Blacks
  • 6 Mulattoes
  • About 5 U.S. Colored Troops listed Carroll County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Carroll County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; A History of Carroll County, Kentucky, by M. A. Gentry; and Carroll County, Kentucky History and Biographies by L. Collins, et al.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Carroll County, Kentucky

Carroll, Robert "Bob"
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1952
Carroll, born in Louisville, KY, was a tenor saxophonist who played with the Kentucky Derbies and Jonah Jones' first band, Tinsley's Royal Aces; both were bands in Louisville, KY. Carroll later joined Benny Carter's band in the 1920s and played at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York. In 1934, he was a soloist with Don Redman's band and was in the film short, Don Redman and his Orchestra. Carroll played on a number of recordings with various bands, including that of Fats Waller. Carroll was an army veteran, having served during World War II. For more see Robert Carroll, an Answers.com website; a picture of Tinsley's Royal Aces on p. 163 in The World of Swing, by S. Dance; and "Bob Carroll" in the Oxford Music Online Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Carson, Julia M. P.
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 2007
Carson was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Velma Porter Carson. She successfully ran for the Indiana House of Representatives in 1972 and served for 18 years. For six years she was Center Township Trustee. In 1996 she became the first woman and the first African American from Indianapolis elected to Congress. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; and D. Martin, "Hundreds gather for Carson funeral," Evansville Courier & Press, 12/23/2007, Metro section, p.B5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Carson, Letitia
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1888
Letitia Carson was a free African American woman who was born in Kentucky. She was one of the early African Americans to be listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living in Oregon. Letitia's husband was an Irishman named David Carson (1800-1854). The pioneering couple and their two children lived in Benton, Oregon Territory, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had come to Oregon in 1844, and their daughter Martha was born around 1845, their son Adam around 1853. When David Carson died, Letitia and her children were left out of his estate settlement, and Letitia filed suit against the estate for her children's benefit. She won the lawsuit and settled on land she had purchased near South Myrtle Creek, today known as Letitia Creek. She is buried on the property. Letitia Carson was a well known mid-wife in the county. The Letitia Carson Pioneer Apple Tree was named in her honor; it is thought that Letitia planted the tree, and researchers named the tree while completing a cultural resource inventory of the property owned by Oregon State University. For more see R. Casebeer, "African American widow demonstrates spirit," Jefferson Public Radio, 08/20/2009. See also the "Friends of Letitia Carson" Facebook page for additional information. 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Benton County, Oregon

Carson, Sam
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1932
Horseman Sam Carson was born in Williamsburg, KY, the son of Simon and Dison Carson [source: Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index]. Sam Carson died in Mobile, AL, April 7, 1932, and is buried in the M. C. Public Grounds.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration South
Geographic Region: Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky / Mobile, Alabama

Carter County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Carter County is located in northeastern Kentucky and is surrounded by six counties. It was formed in 1838 from parts of Greenup and Lawrence Counties. Both the county and the county seat, Grayson, were named for William Grayson Carter, who was a Kentucky Senator 1834-38. Senator Carter had been awarded 70,000 acres in the Carter County area for his service in the American Revolution. The county population was 364 [heads of households] according to the 1840 U.S. Federal Census, and it increased to 8,207 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 60 slave owners
  • 190 Black slaves
  • 67 Mulatto slaves
  • 13 free Blacks
  • 11 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 63 slave owners
  • 218 Black slaves
  • 92 Mulatto slaves
  • 22 free Blacks [most with last names Bell, Black, and Garner]
  • 15 free Mulattoes [all with last name Nickell]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 99 Blacks
  • 1 Mulatto
  • About 11 U.S. Colored Troops listed Carter County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Carter County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Carter County, Kentucky

Carter, Leon J., III
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1984
Leon John Carter, III was born in Bowling Green, KY. His poems were published in several magazines, and his first book of poems was titled Black Windsongs. He is the son of Lillie Mae Bland Carter. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-3rd ed.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Carter, Lillie Mae Bland
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1982
Lillie Mae Carter was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of John and Maude W. Husky Bland. She was a graduate of Tennessee State university and was employed in the Toledo, Ohio, school system. Carter is the author of a number of books, including a book of poems, Black Thoughts, and the anthology, Doing It Our Way. She is the mother of Leon J. Carter, III. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Toledo, Ohio

Carter, Maria F. [Trimble County Common Colored Schools]
Start Year : 1874
Maria F. Carter was a school teacher in Trimble County, KY. The school term for Colored children in the county was three months, April 1-June 30th. In 1874, Carter had taught the entire term, but was not paid. The matter was taken up by the Kentucky Legislature. It was determined that a correct census had been taken of the Colored children in Trimble County, but was not reported to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, as was required by law, which resulted in no appropriations being designated for Trimble County from the Colored School Fund. Maria Carter had been legally employed by the school system. The General Assembly enacted that Carter be paid the $51.50 owed her, and that the Superintendent of Public Instruction withhold the sum from the appropriations for the Trimble County school funds. For more see chapter 338 of Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed (1875), v.1 [available full view at Google Book Search]. See also the NKAA entries for African American Schools in Trimble County, KY, and  African American Schools.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Trimble County, Kentucky

Casey, Albert A., Sr. "Al"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2005
Albert Aloysius Casey, Sr. was born in Louisville, KY, an orphan who was later adopted. He became a guitarist when a teen, then left Louisville for New York. He played with the bands of Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and others. He also played for Billie Holiday. Among his recordings are Jumpin' With Al, Jivin' Around, and Buck Jumpin'; he eventually participated in more than 200 recordings. For more see One Thousand Great Guitarists, by H. Gregory; The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 1st ed.; and A. Bernstein, "Al Casey dies at 89; guitarist for Fats Waller," Washington Post, 09/14/2005, p. B06. 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Casey County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Casey County was created from Lincoln County in 1806, and is named for William Casey, the great-grandfather of Samuel Clemens [Mark Twain]. William Casey was from Virginia, he was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Prior to the development of Casey County, the land had been given to war veterans as payment for their military services. President Abraham Lincoln's grandfather was one of the settlers in the area around 1780. Casey County is surrounded by seven counties, and Liberty is the county seat. There were 514 persons [heads of households] counted in the 1810 Census, and the population had increased to 5,800 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 121 slave owners
  • 598 Black slaves
  • 37 Mulatto slaves
  • 24 free Blacks
  • 35 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 110 slave owners
  • 582 Black slaves
  • 84 Mulatto slaves
  • 24 free Blacks
  • 33 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 507 Blacks
  • 34 Mulattoes
  • About 31 U.S. Colored Troops listed Casey County, Kentucky as their birth location.
For more see The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Searching for Jim by T. Dempsey; Casey County, Kentucky, 1806-1977 by G. C. Thomas; Free African Americans in Casey County During the Era of the Underground Railroad by D. Y. Wilkinson; and see Michael J. Denis' rootsweb page with census records on slaves and military records on U.S. Colored Troops, all pertaining to Casey County.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Casey County, Kentucky

Casey, Dwane
Birth Year : 1957
Dwane Casey was born in Morganfield, KY. Casey, a 6' 2" guard, was on the University of Kentucky (UK) basketball team from 1976-1979; the 1977-1978 team won the NCAA Championship. Casey played in 95 games, scoring 125 total points. He served as an assistant coach under Clem Haskins for five years at Western Kentucky University until 1986, when he became an assistant coach at UK. Casey was the third former player to become an assistant coach at UK and the first African American to do so. In 1988 he filed a $6.9 million suit against the Emery Air Freight Corp. and the employees who claimed to have discovered $1,000 cash in a package Casey sent to the father of California basketball player Chris Mills. [The suit was eventually settled out of court.] Casey resigned from UK in 1989. He later served as an assistant coach overseas and in the NBA. From June 2005 - January 2007, Casey was head coach of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves. He was the third African American from Kentucky to be named a head coach in the NBA [the first was Bernie Bickerstaff, the second, Wes Unseld]. In 2011, Casey was named the head coach of the Toronto Raptors. For more see Dwane Casey at the Big Blue History website; J. Tipton, "UK names Casey coaching assistant," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/19/1986, Sports section, p. C1; M. Barnhill, "Kentucky basketball coach sues freight firm in Mills case," 07/09/1988, News section, p. N8, and "Kentucky charged by NCAA - investigators say L.A. basketball star's father was paid $1000," 07/26/1988, News section, p. N1, both in the Daily News of Los Angeles (California); and "Timberwolves hire Sonics' assistant," The Grand Rapids Press, 06/18/2006, Sports section, p. C1.

See photo image and additional information about Dwane Casey at "Mavs assistant Dwane Casey in line for Toronto head job," by T. Griffin et. al. at Spurs Nation website.
 
Subjects: Basketball, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Minnesota

Caterers, Butchers, Confectioners, Ice Cream (Louisville, KY)
Author W. H. Gibson, Sr. lists the following as prominent African Americans in Louisville, KY -- [Caterers] George Brown, Daniel Clemmons, Frank Gray, and Thornton Thompson; [Butcher] Bartlett Taylor; and [Confectioner] Henry Cozzens, who was also a barber and had an ice cream saloon "known from New Orleans to Pittsburg [sic]." The Page Ice Cream Factory, located on West Chestnut Street, was the largest manufacturer and dealer of ice cream in the city of Louisville. The National Negro Press Association visited the factory in 1928, and members were served slices of the much requested brick ice cream known as "Neapolitan." For more see "Minutes of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Session of the National Negro Press Association Held in Louisville, KY, April 11-14, 1928," available in the Black Culture Collection, by Micro Photo Division, Bell & Howell Co., 1972; and The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cato (former slave/then again slave)
It was reported in the New York Times that in 1850 a widow named Shaw sold a slave named Cato to Dr. Benjamin Beall and B. Tucker. The article stated that Cato received his freedom in 1856, as had been stipulated by Shaw prior to the sale. Once free, Cato went to Cincinnati but was unable to find work, so he returned to Alexandria, KY, to work again for Beall. Cato accompanied Beall to Lexington, KY, to sell his cattle. After selling the cattle, Beall sold Cato for $900, and he was then shipped down South. In 1857, Beall sued the Cincinnati Enquirer for libel when it ran an article insinuating that he had enticed Cato back to Alexandria from Cincinnati in order to sell him into slavery. Beall won his case. For more see article 5 in the New York Times, 08/02/1865, p. 6 and the untitled article in the New York Times, 03/12/1857, p. 2.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alexandria, Campbell County, Kentucky

Cato (slave jockey) [Grey Eagle v Wagner]
Start Year : 1839
On Monday, September 30, 1839, the infamous race between the Virginia-bred horse Wagner and the Kentucky-bred horse Grey Eagle took place at the Oakland Course in Louisville, KY, for a purse of $14,000. Grey Eagle was a four year old owned by hemp dealer Alfred Lawrence Shotwell of Louisville, and ridden by Stephen Welch, a white jockey who weighed 83 pounds. Grey Eagle had run the fastest two miles in the United States. Wagner, a five year old owned by John Campbell of Maryland, was ridden by Cato, a slave jockey owned by John Campbell. The race was set for three four-mile heats. The winner of two heats would be declared the champion. Bets between individuals were made in dollars and in slaves. It was estimated that there were over 10,000 people in attendance to witness Wagner win two heats back to back and be declared the overall winner. A new record of 7:44 was set in the second heat. Fans still wanted the opportunity to prove Grey Eagle's winning ability, so it was agreed that another race would take place on the same course in five days. Wagner was again the victor. Grey Eagle was injured during the competition and never raced again. Cato, the slave jockey, was given his freedom in exchange for the victories. He would continue as a jockey for John Campbell. For more see "Some Great Races," chapter three in The American Turf, by J. H. Davis [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Black Maestro, by J. Drape.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Maryland

Caufield and Shook Studio Photographs
Start Year : 1903
End Year : 1978
Lin Caufield and Frank W. Shook Studio photographs are housed at the University of Louisville Library. The collections include work for Louisville architects, builders, banks and financial houses, wholesale and retail merchants, advertisers, government agencies, public utilities, and private individuals. Michael Lesy's Real Life: Louisville in the Twenties (1976) was illustrated entirely with Caufield and Shook photographs. Both collections include many photographs of African Americans. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries Photographic Archives.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Caulder, William Francis "Jelly"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2001
William F. Caulder was a farrier for more than 45 years. He was well respected for the work he did for some of the biggest names in the horse industry. He put shoes on horses at a number of local farms and at race tracks such as the Lexington Standardbred and Churchill Downs. Caulder was inducted into the International Horseshoers Association and in 1991 was honored by the Bluegrass Horseshoers Association. William F. Caulder was also active in the community, serving as chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Commission on Human Rights and working with the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center. He was a graduate of the old Dunbar High School and attended Clark College in Atlanta for one year. Caulder was a World War II veteran: he enlisted in Cincinnati, OH on August 22, 1942, according to his enlistment record. Caulder was born in Lexington, KY, the son of William and Julia Caulder, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. For more information see J. Hewlett, "William F. 'Jelly' Caulder, 86 - Retired farrier to equine stars," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/16/2011, p. B2.

 

Access Interview
Listen to the William F. Caulder oral history interview online, and read more about him at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cayce, James B.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1971
James B. Cayce was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Paul and Mamie Cayce. He was an instructor at Simmons University in Louisville from 1940-1942. During that same time period, he supervised the division of activities within the Department of Public Welfare in Louisville. Cayce was executive director of the Washington Community Association in Hamilton, Ohio, from 1942-1943. He was also a minister and pastored at several churches. Cayce was also editor of the Ohio Baptist News from 1948-1950, authored Negroes and The Cooperative Movement (1940), and wrote a number of articles and editorials. Cayce moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the respected pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church from 1950-1971. He was a active member and recruiter of the NAACP and he corresponded with Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its rich history," New Pittsburgh Courier, 07/17/2008, p.B2; and The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. by M. L. King, et al.

See photo image of Rev. James B. Cayce at Carnegie Museum of Art website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Cedar Creek and Mill Creek, KY
The Cedar Creek Black Cemetery is located in Hardin County, KY. Buried there are the descendants of the former slaves who lived in the area. After gaining their freedom, an African American community was established around the cemetery, along with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a school. There was a second African American community near Wright Cemetery. According to author Gary Kempf, there are two cemeteries behind the Wright Cemetery where African Americans were buried. The land that held the communities and the cemeteries was taken over for the expansion of Fort Knox Military Reservation. For more see The Land Before Fort Knox by G. Kenpf.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cedar Creek, MIll Creek, Fort Knox, Hardin County, Kentucky

Centenarian Librarians (Kentucky)
Start Year : 2009
As of 2009, the state of Kentucky had at least three African American librarians who were 100 years old or older. Mrs. Ruth Hill Jones was 100 in July, she was a librarian in the Louisville School System and at Simmons Bible College. She lives in Louisville. Eliza Atkins Gleason passed away the day of her 100th birthday, December 15, 2009. She had been head librarian at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and later dean of the Atlanta University Library School [now Clark Atlanta] which she helped to develop in 1940, thus becoming the first African American library school dean in the U.S. The library school closed in June 2005. Gleason lived in Louisville. The late Della Jones was 106 in July, she was librarian at Owen County High School. She lived in Williamstown, KY. Information about Ruth Hill Jones was provided by U. S. Army Chaplin (Maj) Susan R. Addams. Information about Della Jones was provided by her great nephew, Kentucky House Member Reginald K. Meeks. For more information see Jones, Kompanik, and Onkst, "Spotlight: Eliza Atkins Gleason, Ruth Hill Jones, and Della Jones," Kentucky Libraries, vol.73, issue 4, Fall 2009, pp.20-21.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Williamstown, Grant County, Kentucky

Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans (CESKAA)
"Devoted to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of materials about African Americans in Kentucky and those with Kentucky connections residing throughout the nation and around the globe." Located at Kentucky State University.
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Resources Dedicated to Kentucky African Americans [Statewide]
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Center Street Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church
The Center Street CME Church, first of its denomination in Louisville, KY, was led by several pastors, including Bishop Miles in the late 1860s and J. W. Bell in the 1870s. The church was host to the 3rd CME General Conference in 1874. In 1904, the church was moved and became the Chestnut Street CME Church. The church was renamed again in 1954: Brown Memorial CME Church. The church, located at 809 W. Chestnut Street in Louisville, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more see the entry for marker #1677 in the Kentucky Historical Society Marker Database.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Central and South American Immigration Association and Equal Rights League of the Western Continent
Start Year : 1885
Prior to the end of the Civil War, the formation of Negro colonies in Central and South America had been attempted by President Lincoln and others. In 1885, the idea was revisited by a Negro organization known as the Central and South American Immigration Association and Equal Rights League of the Western Continent. There were 50 prominent members from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and a few other states. The group met for several years and in 1893 were prepared to put their plan into action: Negroes in the U.S. were to form colonies prior to each colony being deported to a new homeland in various countries in Central or South America. Colonel John M. Brown, a county clerk of Shawnee County, Kansas, was president of the organization, and S. W. Wine of Kansas City was secretary. The Brazilian government had given assurance that it would help the Negro colonists. There was strong opposition to the plan from Negro leaders throughout the U.S. There was also speculation that the southern Negro labor force would be depleted and the North would lose the best members of the Negro race. For more information see The Negro a Menace to American Civilization by R. W. Shufeldt [available full view at Google Book Search]; and "Negroes going to Brazil," New York Times, 04/03/1893, p. 8. See also Proposed American Negro Colony in New Granada.
Subjects: Immigration, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Central America / Brazil, South America

Central Law School (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1890
End Year : 1941
Professor John H. Lawson is credited with organizing Central Law School, part of State University [later Simmons University], in 1890. When the school was established, it absorbed Harper Law School. At the time, there were three African Americans practicing law in the city of Louisville, KY. Over the 50 year period that the school existed, Central had 100 graduates. Initially Central was one of only four law schools in the United States that would admit African Americans; the others were located at Howard University, Walden University, and Shaw University. The first commencement for Central graduates was held in 1892 at the Masonic Temple Theatre. For more see the Central Law School, 1890-1941, a University of Louisville website; and A Century of Negro Education in Louisville, by G. D. Wilson, [full-text available in the Kentucky Digital Library E-texts].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Chambers, Greenberry and Charlotte
Greenberry Chambers, from Barren County, KY, and a former slave, is recognized as the first permanent settler of Blaine Township in Minnesota. Chambers was a fugitive slave in 1864 when he joined Company H of the 15th U.S. Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Chambers gathered his wife Charlotte and their five children and moved to Minnesota, where he purchased 160 acres of land thought to be totally useless. The family farmed the land for almost a decade before moving to St. Paul. Charlotte Chambers died in 1884 and Greenberry died in 1898. For more about the Chambers family see Circle Pines & Lexington, Minnesota by S. Lee; History of Upper Mississippi Valley by N. H. Winchell, et al.; and "The Story of Greenberry Chambers" at the City of Blaine website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Blaine and Saint Paul, Minnesota

Chambers, William A.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1995
William Alexander Chambers was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Nannie V. Chambers. He later relocated to Indianapolis, where he became an aspiring fiction writer and journalist. He served as editor of three African American weeklies: the Indianapolis Recorder, the Freeman, and the Indianapolis Ledger. Chambers was also a writer for the Indiana Herald. The William A. Chambers Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky /Indianapolis, Indiana

Chappell, Roy M.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2002
Roy M. Chappell, a Tuskegee Airman, was born in Williamsburg, KY. Chappell attended high school in Monroe, Michigan; he was the only African American in his graduating class. He next attended Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] where he majored in chemistry; he left school his junior year to join the service during World War II. His aviation career began when he was a volunteer with the 477th Bombardment Group, and he later served at Godman Field at Fort Knox, KY. He participated in the Freedman Field Mutiny when 104 African American officers protested for equal treatment in the military. After his military service, Chappell settled in Chicago. He graduated from Roosevelt College [now Roosevelt University] and taught elementary school for 30 years; he was also a post office supervisor. The Roy M. Chappell Community Education Center at Kentucky State University was named in his honor. A historical marker, honoring Roy M. Chappell, is at the Briar Creek Park on South Second Street in Williamsburg, KY [note from Laurel West, Williamsburg City Council Member]. For more see HR1074 92 General Assembly and Roy Chappell Biography in The History Makers.
Subjects: Aviators, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Postal Service, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky / Monroe, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois

Chappell, Willa B.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1992
Willa Brown Chappell was born in Glasgow, KY, the daughter of Hallie Mae and Eric B. Brown. She left Kentucky for Gary, Indiana, and in 1932 graduated from Indiana State Teachers College [now Indiana State University]. She earned her master aviation certificate from Aeronautical University in 1936, her master's degree from Northwestern University in 1938, and her commercial pilot certificate and instructor's rating and radio license from Coffey School of Aeronautics in 1939. Chappell was employed as a school teacher before becoming a pilot: she taught at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana, 1927-1932. In 1939 she was a federal coordinator of civilian pilot training. Chappell settled in Chicago. She was the first African American woman to become licensed as a pilot in the U.S. and the first African American in the Civil Air Patrol. Chappell founded the National Airmen Association of America and trained more than 200 students who became Tuskegee pilots. She and her husband, Cornelius Coffey, owned and operated the first flight school for African Americans. Chappell was also a political activist, in 1945 she organized the Young Republican Club of the Second Ward of Chicago. She was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1946. For more see Willa Brown and Willa Brown Chappell, websites created and maintained by the Aviation Museum of Kentucky; the Willa B. Brown entry in the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather; and K. Heise, "Willa Chappell, pioneer Black pilot," Chicago Tribune, 07/21/1992, Chicagoland section, p. 9.

  See photo image of Willa B. Brown [Chappell] at flickr by Black History Album.
Subjects: Aviators, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana / Chicago, Illinois

Charity (Negro Woman)
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1824
Charity, from Versailles, KY, was the first person admitted to the newly opened Kentucky Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Lexington, KY, on May 1, 1824. She was 21 years old and described as a mulatto or Negro who could not walk, talk, or eat solid food. Charity died within a year of being placed in the asylum. She may have been free (not a slave), and it is not known why she was the first patient in the mental facility that was originally named Fayette Hospital. The campaign for erecting the facility began in 1816, led by an early settler named Andrew McCalla. The facility, known today as Eastern State Hospital, was built on the Sinking Spring property and was completed in 1822. When the building committee ran into financial difficulties, the facility was purchased by the state in 1823. Kentucky Eastern Lunatic Asylum was the second state asylum built in the United States; the first was built in Williamsburg, VA, in 1773. For more see History of Lexington, Kentucky: its early annals and recent progress by G. W. Ranck [full view available at Google Book Search]; and Eastern State Hospital at rootsweb.com.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Williamsburg, Virginia

Charlotte Court (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1999
In 1939, Charlotte Court was the name selected for the public housing complex for African Americans in Lexington, KY. The complex was named after African American Aunt Charlotte, who had purchased William "King" Solomon [who was white] when he was sold as a slave in 1833. The Negro Civic League of Lexington objected to the name and wanted the housing complex to be named after a better known African American, but the name was not changed. Charlotte Court was funded by a federal grant of $900,000. The complex was located on 24 acres on Georgetown Road, replacing what the City of Lexington referred to as a slum area. There were 52 apartment buildings in Charlotte Court, and the complex had the one of the first libraries in Lexington specifically for African Americans, which opened March 1940. Charlotte Court was home to many African American children who would leave the area and do well in life. There is a picture of a children's birthday party that took place in the 1950s in G. Smith's book Black American Series: Lexington Kentucky. Over many decades, Charlotte Court became a high crime area and the buildings were in desperate need of repairs; it was again referred to as a slum area. In 1998, the city of Lexington received a $19 million HUD grant for public housing revitalization; Charlotte Court was razed. New individual housing was constructed and the area was renamed Arbor Grove. For more see the public housing article in The Lexington Herald, 06/01/1939, p. 1, col. 4; "Different name sought for Charlotte Courts," The Lexington Leader, 06/24/1940, p. 3, col. 1; Lexington, Queen of the Bluegrass, by R. Hollingsworth; and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones. See also the NKAA entry for Segregated Public Housing Projects in Kentucky.
Subjects: Housing Authority, The Projects, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cheaney, Henry E.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 2006
Henry E. Cheaney was born in Henderson, KY. A leading authority on the history of African Americans in Kentucky, Dr. Cheaney retired from Kentucky State University (KSU), where he had been a professor for 46 years and is recognized for establishing its African American history collection. His personal collection was used for the writing of the history of Blacks in Kentucky, a two volume work. Dr. Cheaney received his undergraduate degree from Kentucky State in 1936, his master's degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1941, and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago in 1961. In addition to being a professor at KSU, he also served as the boxing coach. For more see Dr. Henry E. Cheaney - Portrait of Dedication; "KSU history professor remembered as a legend," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/21 /2006, City&Region section, p. C1; and C. White, "Historian Henry E. Cheaney dies at 94: collected data on African Americans," Courier Journal (Louisville), 07/21/2006, News section, p. 6B.

 

  See photo image of Henry E. Cheaney on p.19 of the 1957 Thorobred yearbook, Kentucky State University.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Historians
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Chenault, Hortenius
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1990
Hortenius Chenault was born in Richmond, KY, his family later moved to Ohio. He was a graduate of Morehouse College in Georgia and a 1939 graduate from Howard University Dental School. Dr. Chenault passed the New York State dental exam with the highest score to date. From 1939-1987, his dental practice was located in Hempstead, Long Island, in New York. He was the husband of Anne Quick and the father of four, including Kenneth I. Chenault, who was named president and chief operating officer of the American Express Company in 1997. For more see the Kenneth Chenault entry in Current Biography (1988); "Hortenius Chenault, Dentist, 80" in The New York Times, 12/20/1990; and A. Bianco, "Ken Chenault: the rise of a star" (Cover Story), BusinessWeek, 12/21/1998.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Ohio / Hempstead, Long Island, New York

Chenault, John
Birth Year : 1952
John Chenault is an author, freelance writer, poet, playwright, and musician. He is author of Blue Blackness and The Invisible Man Returns. He has been a member of the New Theater/Free Theater of Cincinnati since its inception in 1967. Chenault's work has appeared in a number of publications, and he has a number of playwright credits, including the television drama, Young Men Grow Older. Chenault's musical credits are also quite extensive, including The Fools of Time, a collaboration by Chenault and composer/bassist Frank Proto that premiered in February 2000. John Chenault was born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of Mary L. Stonom Chenault and John Walter Chenault. He is a reference librarian at the University of Louisville Library. For more see John Chenault, at liben.com; a more extensive biography, John Chenault, at Answers.com; the John Chenault entry in Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 40 (2004); and Who's Who Among African Americans, 2003-2009.

See photo image and additional information about John Chenault at "Medical librarian pens opera about boxing legend Joe Louis," by UofL Today, 11/12/2009.
Subjects: Authors, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Television, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Chenault, Lawrence E.
Birth Year : 1877
Lawrence E. Chenault was born in Mt. Sterling, KY, and his family later moved to Cincinnati, OH, where he was a soloist at the Allen Temple Church. Chenault joined Al G. Field's Negro Minstrels in 1895 and two years later was a featured tenor and character, "Golden Hair Neil," with A. G. Field's Darkest American Company. He was also in Black Patti's Troubadours and a number of other groups. He performed with Ernest Hogan in the M. B. Curtis Minstrels, touring America, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, and Hawaii. On the return to the U.S., Chenault spent time performing in San Francisco before rejoining Hogan on the Smart Set. He would become the first leading man with the Lafayette Players Stock Company. In 1928, Chenault collasped and had to take time away from acting to cope with the death of his friend, ventriloquist Johnnie Woods, who was Chenault's roommate and "constant friend, companion, and co-worker" [source: "Chenault stricken by loss of friend," The Afro-American, 09/08/1928, p.2]. He would return to acting and performed in Black films, appearing in more leading roles than any other actor in silent films: 22 films between 1920 and 1934 [filmography]. For more see "Lawrence E. Chenault" in Blacks in Blackface, by S. T. Sampson.

See stills from movies with Lawrence Chenault, available at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery site.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Cherokee State Park (Kentucky Lake, KY)
Start Year : 1951
Cherokee State Park was a Historic Restoration Project that was completed in 2010. The park originally opened in 1951, the third segregated park for African Americans in the United States, the first in Kentucky and the South. It was publicized as "the finest colored vacation site in the South." The area consisted of 300 acres with a beach, cottages, boat and fishing docks, a picnic area, a bathhouse, and a dining hall, which seated 200. The land was leased from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) under a 19-year contract, and the land title was to go to Kentucky when the state was financially able to take on the facility. With the advent of desegregation, the park was closed in the 1960s and became part of Kenlake Park; only a few of the buildings remain today. For more see Cherokee State Park, a flier by the Kentucky State Parks; earlier articles in the Courier Journal (Louisville), 05/11/1946 & 05/31/1951; J. Lucas, "State giving lift to former Black park," Evansville Courier & Press, 07/18/2005, Metro section, p. B1; and Kentucky's Segregated Parks and 1930 Black Population [.pdf], a University of Kentucky website. See also Friends of Cherokee State Park on Facebook and K. Lough, "Cherokee Park renovation celebrated," Murray Ledger & Times website, 09/16/2010.
Subjects: Parks
Geographic Region: Kentucky Lake, Livingston, Marshall, and Trigg Counties, Kentucky

Childers, Lulu V.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1946
Lulu Vere Childers was born in Dry Ridge, KY. She studied voice at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she earned her B. Mus. degree. Childers was a teacher at Knoxville College in 1896. She continued to perform, singing contralto in a 1908 concert organized by E. Azalia Hackley at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. She went on to become founder and director of the Howard University School of Music [now Department of Music], 1909-1942. She accomplished major successes with the Howard Orchestra, Band, Choral Society, Women's Glee Club and Men's Glee Club. Lulu Vere Childers Hall is located in the Arts Building at Howard University. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; Catalogue of Officers and Graduates, by Oberlin College (1905) [full view available via Google Book Search]; and A History of Three African-American Women Who Made Important Contributions to Music Education Between 1903-1960 (thesis) by D. R. Patterson.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Dry Ridge, Grant County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Childress, William Hobbs, Jr.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1993
Born in Washington D.C., William H. Childress grew up in Nashville, TN. He was a 1934 graduate of Fisk University and came to Kentucky at the invitation of his cousin, Dr. Franklin Belver Beck, a dentist in Louisville. Childress remained in Louisville and in 1960 was elected Representative of the 42nd Legislative District, serving only one term. He is known for introducing House Bill no. 163, which created the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. William H. Childress, Jr. was the son of Lillian Childress Hall and William H. Childress, Sr. For more see Childress touched many one man by Ann R. Taylor Robinson.

See photo image of William Hobbs Childress at Great Black Kentuckians, at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.

Access Interview Read about the William H. Childress oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Washington D. C. / Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Chiles, James Alexander [Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO]
Birth Year : 1860
J. Alexander Chiles was one of eight children, including his twin brother, John R. Chiles, who gave him financial assistance while he was a student at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and the University of Michigan Law School. Chiles moved to Lexington, KY, in 1890 to open a law office at 304 W. Short Street. His business was a success; Chiles is sometimes referred to as the first African American lawyer in Lexington. By 1907, he was one of four African American lawyers in the city. Chiles argued in the Supreme Court case against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for desegregation of railroad coaches after he was removed by force to the Colored coach in spite of his first class ticket from Washington D.C. to Lexington. Chiles was also an active member of the Colored Seventh Day Adventist congregation in Lexington; he was a trustee, deacon, and treasurer of the first church built in 1906 at the corner of Fifth and Upper Streets. His wife, Fannie J. Chiles, was the first librarian for the church. Elder Alonzo Barry was pastor. James A. Chiles was born in Virginia, the son of Richard and Martha Chiles. In 1910, James and Fannie Chiles planned to move from Lexington to Richmond, VA. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO, 218 U.S. 71 (1910) [full-text online by Justia]; and "Lawyer J. Alex Chiles" in the Colored Notes of the Lexington Leader, 01/02/1910, p.2.

*Name sometimes spelled Childes.*

See 1895 photo image of J. Alexander Chiles at Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Chittison, Herman
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1967
Herman Chittison was born in Flemingsburg, KY, then left Kentucky to attend school in Tennessee when he was 13 years old. He was the son of Charles and Sarah Chittison. After completing high school, Herman Chittison enrolled at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1925, but he soon left school to pursue his music career. Chittison was a self-taught jazz pianist who had studied chemistry in college. Once his music career took off, he traveled to New York, then played in Europe and Egypt and toured with Louis Armstrong. Chittison returned to the U.S. during World War II. For seven years he played on the weekly CBS radio series, Casey, Crime Photographer. For more see Biographical Dictionary of Jazz, by C. E. Claghorn; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 9th ed., ed. by L. Kuhn; and F. E. Lockwood, "Flemingsburg Jazz pianist lives on in ebony and ivory, musician's artistry reached across racial divide," Lexington Herald Leader, 02/26/2000, Main News section, p. A1.

See photo image of Herman Chittison at the Library of Congress Digital Collections.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / New York / Europe / Egypt

Christian, Chauncey Lewis
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1991
Chauncey Christian was a bookkeeper and stenographer in Louisville, KY. Most of his work was for Samuel Plato's construction firm. It was Plato who encouraged Christian to study for the CPA exam through a correspondence course. Christian became the third African American to become a Certified Public Accountant in the United States when he passed the Kentucky CPA exam in 1926, though African Americans were not allowed to take the CPA exam. Christian was fair-skinned, and those giving the exam thought that he was white. Of the 50 men taking the exam, Christian was one of seven who passed. Kentucky would not have another African American CPA for another 34 years [Gary B. Lewis, Jr.]. In the 1940s Christian moved his family from Kentucky to New York, where he became an accountant in the show business industry. Christian was born in New York, the son of Clara Cross Christian. For more see "Deferred Assets," Boston College Magazine, Spring 2003; and A White-collar Profession: African American Certified Public Accountants Since 1921, by T. A. Hammond.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Christian County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Christian County is located in southwestern Kentucky, bounded by the Tennessee state border and five Kentucky counties. It was formed from a portion of Logan County in 1797 and named for the American Revolutionary War veteran William Christian who was from Virginia. There is also a Christian County in Illinois and another in Missouri. In Kentucky, the county seat of Christian County is Hopkinsville, which was incorporated in 1804 and named for Samuel Hopkins, a Kentucky Representative and Senator, and a U.S. Congressman who was born in Virginia. The 1800 Christian County population was 2,318 according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 2,021 whites and 297 slaves. In 1830 there was one African American slave owner in Hopkinsville. By 1860, the county population was 11,676, excluding the slaves, all according to the U.S. Federal Census. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule  

  • 1,184 slave owners
  • 7,120 Black slaves
  • 1,020 Mulatto slaves
  • 121 free Blacks
  • 30 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 1,178 slave owners
  • 8,055 Black slaves
  • 1 Colored slave [owned by Elizabeth J. Barnett]
  • 1,878 Mulatto slaves
  • 34 free Blacks
  • 22 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 9,518 Blacks
  • 259 Mulattoes
  • About 500 U.S. Colored Troops listed Christian County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Christian County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; A History of Christian County, Kentucky, from Oxcart to Airplane by C. M. Meacham; Christian County, Kentucky, Historical and Biographical by W. H. Perrin; and The Dark Side of Hopkinsville by T. Poston and K. Hauke
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky

Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials
Start Year : 1885
The large African American population in Christian County, along with the strength of the Republican Party in the county, made it possible for some of the state's earlier political elections to be won by African American candidates in Hopkinsville, KY. Edward Glass was elected to the City Council in 1885 and re-elected continuously until 1907. By 1898, the following were also elected to office: James L. Allensworth, County Coroner; Kinney Tyler, Deputy Jailer; John W. Knight, Constable; and J. C. Lyte, Pension Examiner. In 1916, T. H. Moore was re-elected for the third time as Magistrate of the 1st District of Christian County. The elections of African Americans was not always welcomed: there were beatings and objections. One such case is the election of William Leveritt for County Physician in 1898; his appointment was approved by the county judge, which enraged many whites because Leveritt would be examining white family members, in particular white women. For more see Violence in the Black Patch of Kentucky and Tennessee, by S. Marshall; p. 35 of the Negro Year Book, by M. N. Work [full-text at Google Book Search]; and "The people of Christian County...," p. 95 of American Medico-surgical Bulletin, vol. 12, 1898 [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Church Street (Walton, KY)
According to the history page at the Walton, KY, website, a small African American community was developed by former slaves in North Walton after the Civil War, and the community founded the Zion Baptist Church in 1872. The Steele and Ingram families are mentioned as long-time residents of the community. Walton is located in Boone County in Northern Kentucky. For more see the Walton, Kentucky, history page, 1850s-1890s.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Walton, Boone County, Kentucky

Churchill, Edward A.
Birth Year : 1926
Edward Churchill was born in Louisville, KY. He was the first African American state manager and sales promotion manager for Brown-Forman Distillers Corporation. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Alcohol, Businesses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Churchill, Leroy O.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1987
Leroy O. Churchill was the first African American guard at the Bridewell Prison in Chicago, IL, and he was also the first to become a captain. Churchill was head of the 1st division of the west cell-house, where he supervised eight guards and 445 inmates of whom 40% were African Americans. Churchill reported directly to Warden Fred K. Hoehler. "Bridewell" is an English term from the 1500s for "jail" or "house of corrections." The earliest Bridewell Prison was located in London, England [info]. Bridewell, the city jail of Chicago, was built in 1852 as a short-term facility for offenders of minor crimes. In 1959, when it held 1,700 prisoners, Leroy O. Churchill was one of the six captains at the facility. Churchill was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Roscoe Conkling Churchill and Elizabeth B. Churchill, a hairdresser. The family moved to Chicago in 1920, then returned to Paducah after Roscoe Churchill died. The Churchill family had been in Paducah for several generations; family members are listed in the 1914-1915 Caron's Paducah City Directory as living at 1036 Washington Street; the residents included Ora; Marshall Sr. (1866-1911); Emma (b. 1867); Loyd (b.1889); Roscoe (b. 1885); and Sherman Churchill (1887-1927). When the family moved back to Kentucky, Leroy attended Lincoln High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, track, and boxing. He was awarded an athletics scholarship to attend West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] where he was an outstanding football player. After his graduation, Leroy Churchill returned to Chicago, and in 1948 successfully completed the civil service exam, ranking second, and was appointed a guard at Bridewell Prison. He received the rank of captain in 1951. Leroy O. Churchill was the husband of Mary Hopkins Churchill, a beautician; the couple had two sons. For more see R. Ottley, "Negro guard captain aids his charges in Bridewell," Chicago Daily Tribune, 03/14/1959, p. W Part 5 - p. 12F; the Cook County Jail History website; and see photo image of Bridewell Prison at Encyclopedia of Chicago [online].

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1895
End Year : 1911
The Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital was built by the faculty of the Louisville National Medical College. The two story, brick, building cost $50,000, and was built on Green Street a few blocks from the college. The hospital was built to enhance the clinical training of those enrolled in the college, and was viewed as a benefit to the poor in need of medical attention and medication. All services were free and the hospital could treat up to 40 patients at one time. Mr. McCurdy was the hospital steward and Dr. Sarah H. Fitzbutler was the matron. The college closed in 1912 and the hospital closed in 1911, the hospital facility was used for the Simmons College Nursing Department. For more see the "Auxiliary Hospital" entry in Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville by H. C. Weeden; History of Higher Education in Kentucky by A. F. Lewis [available full view at Google Book Search]; and T. L. Savitt, "Four African-American proprietary medical colleges: 1888-1923," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, vol.55, July 2000, pp.203-255.
Subjects: Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project
Start Year : 1998
The following comes from the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project website. "Since 1998 historians have collected more than 175 oral history interviews that are on file at the Kentucky Historical Society. The commission has supported the collection of additional interviews by Dr. Tracy K’Meyer at the University of Louisville, bringing the total to more than 225."

 

Access Interview "Online Digital Media Database providing comprehensive access to the audio and video interviews collected by the project and over 10,000 pages of electronic transcripts. All material is full-text searchable and can be sorted by county, subject or decade."

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Civil War Colored Troops, Columbus, KY
Birth Year : 1861
During the Civil War, Fort DeRussey was located within what is now the Columbus-Belmont State Park. The town of Columbus was considered the state's most powerful Confederate stronghold in 1861; the location was crucial to the defense of the Upper Mississippi River. The following year, the town would be taken over by the Union Army and Columbus would become a refuge for runaway slaves, and second to Camp Nelson for recruiting and training African American soldiers. Fort DeRussey was renamed Fort Helleck, and by the end of the war, the majority of the Union soldiers in that part of the state were African American. For more see B. Craig, "Monday PMs Feature; Fortress town became haven for runaway slaves," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 11/28/1999.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Parks
Geographic Region: Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky

Civil War Fort at Boonesboro
Start Year : 1863
The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro, KY, was constructed in 1863 by African American Union soldiers who also manned the fort, located in Clark County. The structure was designed to protect the ford and ferry from Confederate invasion during the Civil War. With the passing of time the land was purchased, the fort becoming part of the farmland owned by Jim and Betty Nickels. For seven years, the Winchester, KY, Tourism Commission strove to raise money to buy the land and repair the fort. On July 21, 2005, the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro was reopened as part of the 2005 Kentucky Civil War Heritage Trail. The fort is now on the National Register of Historic Places. For more see C. Kirby, "A Historic Piece of High Ground - Clark County Promotes Site of Civil War Fort," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/22/05, City&Region section, p. B1.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Boonesboro and Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp 510 at Mammoth Cave, KY
Start Year : 1926
The CCC camps were based at Mammoth Cave for the workers who were to transform the area into a national park, as Congress designated in 1926. One camp was specifically for African Americans. The Mammoth Cave location was thought to be ideal due to the large, readily-available labor force and the cave's remote location would allow for an African American camp because it was away from white communities. All of the CCC men were inducted at Fort Knox and received haircuts, uniforms, immunizations, discipline, assignments of hard work, and isolation. African American artist and enrollee D. W. Higgenbotham became ill and died at the site, and there were rumors that the campsite was haunted. Problems between the races resulted in the white enrollees being moved to a new location while the African Americans remained at Camp 510, which became known for a while as the "graveyard." For more see J. C. Schmitzer's thesis, The black experience at Mammoth Cave, Edmonson County, Kentucky, 1838-1942; and "CCC Camp 510: Black Participation in the Creation of Mammoth Cave National Park," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 1995, vol. 93, issue 4, pp. 446-464.
Subjects: Parks
Geographic Region: Mammoth Cave National Park, Edmonson County, Kentucky

[Clarissa] Street vs. Ferry
Start Year : 1853
In January 1853, Clarissa, a slave, was given her freedom by Judge J. Crenshaw of the Kentucky Court of Appeals; the decision was a new legal point of view. Clarissa, who was owned by Mrs. Trigg, had accompanied Mrs. Alexander to Philadelphia in 1838. Mrs. Alexander was a close relative to Mrs. Trigg. The laws of Philadelphia had been discussed prior to the trip: if a slave lived in the city for at least six months, then the slave became a free person. Mrs. Trigg was willing to take the chance that Clarissa and Mrs. Alexander might be in the city six months or longer (which they were), because she knew that Clarissa would not abandon her husband and children, who were slaves in Kentucky. Also, Clarissa, and all of the other slaves owned by Mrs. Trigg, were to be freed when Mrs. Trigg died. Clarissa returned to Kentucky and continued living as Mrs. Trigg's slave. Prior to Mrs. Trigg's death, she had taken a loan from Mrs. Ferry, her adopted daughter, and used Clarissa as collateral to secure the note. The debt was to be repaid from Mrs. Trigg's estate. However, when Mrs. Trigg died, there were not sufficient funds to repay the debt. All of the Trigg slaves except Clarissa were freed; Clarissa became the property of Mrs. Ferry. Clarissa sued Ferry to gain her freedom. For more see article 12 in the New York Daily Times, 01/31/1853, p. 6; "The Slavery agitation--will it never cease?," New York Daily Times, 02/01/1853, p. 4; and "Court of Apeals of Kentucky, January, 1853. Ferry vs. Street," The American Law Register (1852-1891), vol. 1, issue 5 (Mar., 1853), pp. 295-300.
Subjects: Freedom, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Clark, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1855
Rev. Charles H. Clark was born in 1855 in Christian County, KY, to unmarried slave parents. His father escaped from slavery, leaving Charles and his mother behind. His mother later married a man named Clark, and Charles took his stepfather's last name. Charles Clark taught school at the Mount Zion Baptist Church near Hopkinsville, KY. He was pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Chicago, IL. He served as director of both the Binga State Bank in Chicago and the Citizens Bank and Trust Co. in Nashville. The Binga Bank was the first African American bank in Chicago. Clark also organized and chaired the Board of Directors of the National Baptist Publishing Board in Nashville. He was president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Sunday School Congress, and was appointed by the Tennessee governor to the Educational Convention of Negro Leaders. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; "Charles Henry Clark" in vol. 2 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and "Charles Henry Clark, LL.D" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote.

See photo image and additional information about Rev. Charles Henry Clark in Simms' Blue Book and National Negro Business and Professional Directory by J. N. Simms, at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Nashville, Tennessee

Clark County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Clark County was formed in 1792 from portions of Bourbon and Fayette Counties. Clark County is located in north-central Kentucky on the eastern edge of the Bluegrass Region, and is surrounded by six counties. It is named for George Rogers Clark, Revolutionary War veteran who was born in Virginia, and a brother to William Clark of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition. The county seat is Winchester, named for Winchester, VA. The 1800 county population was 7,653, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 6,075 whites, 1,561 slaves, and 17 free coloreds. The 1810 county population was 11,519, according to the Third Census of the United States (1810 Census), Clark County, Kentucky: 8,562 whites, 2,934 slaves, and 23 free coloreds. In 1830 there were two African American slave owners. The 1860 population was 6,727, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes from 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 833 slave owners
  • 4,349 Black slaves
  • 574 Mulatto slaves
  • 103 free Blacks
  • 32 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 769 slave owners
  • 4,417 Black slaves
  • 347 Mulatto slaves
  • 113 free Blacks
  • 14 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 3,349 Blacks
  • 393 Mulattoes
  • About 380 U.S. Colored Soldiers listed Clark County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Clark County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; A.C. Quisenberry, "Clark County, Kentucky, in the Census of 1810" The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, 1922, vols.1-20, pp.68-84 [available at Google Books]; and Clark County, Kentucky: a history by T. D. Clark. See photo image of Oliver School (1892-1956) in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Clark County, Kentucky

Clark, Elmer S., Jr.
Birth Year : 1929
Elmer S. Clark, Jr. is a noted horseman, and a former athlete, educator, and coach. He was the first African American to become a peri-mutual judge of harness racing in the United States. Clark was sponsored by the Sportsman's Park when he attended the Harness Horse School in Columbus, Ohio, which prepared him to become a peri-mutual judge. He was also a paddock, placing, and senior Judge over the Chicago Trotting Horse Circuit. In addition, Clark was owner and trainer of his own racehorses beginning in 1962, he received his trainer's license in Chicago and raced his thoroughbred horses in locations such as Chicago, Detroit, and Atlantic City, and he raced his horses in Canada. He bought yearlings and trained them himself. His first horse was named Calico, and a few of the other horses were named Super Chief, Road Man, and the last horse he owned was Mr. Bo Jo. Clark was fairly successful with his racehorses, and had 30-40 winners including the horse Tide Me Over, and in 1990, he retired from the horse industry. Elmer S. Clark, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Elmer S. (d.1984) and Mary F. Ross Clark. He was raised in Lexington, KY. His father, Elmer S. Clark, Sr., was a jockey and trainer who won the first race at North Aurora Exhibition Park [later Aurora Downs] near Chicago. In the 1930s, Clark Sr. was issued a jockey's license in Florida and may have been the first African American to receive such a license in that state, but it was revoked when it was learned that Elmer S. Clark, Sr. was an African American. His racing career ended and Elmer S. Clark, Sr. moved to New York where he had a limousine service. His son, Elmer Jr., was around horses most of his life, and uncles on both sides of the family were grooms. When he was a teenager, Clark Jr. was an exercise rider at Keeneland, and he also worked on Calumet Farm. He was mentored by Ben Jones, and worked with the horses Citation, Coaltown, Ponder, and many others. He worked with African American trainers and grooms such as Henry and Ernest Louden, Theopilus Irivn, and William Perry Smith who was the trainer for Burnt Cork, a horse that ran in the 1943 Kentucky Derby. Clark left the racetrack to go to college, he was the first member of his family to attend college. He enrolled at Kentucky State [now Kentucky State University] in 1948 on a football scholarship; he had graduated from old Dunbar High School in Lexington, where he was coached in football by Norman Passmore and in basketball by S. T. Roach. In college, Clark was the quarterback of the football team that won the 1948 post-season tournament known as Little Brown Jug, the opponent was Tennessee State A & I [now Tennessee State University]. His team also won the Vulcan Bowl in January of 1949, playing against North Carolina A & T. After one year at Kentucky State College, Clark went back to working with horses for a year, and in 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served until 1953. Clark boxed some while he was in the Army. He fought in three battles during the Korean War and received an Honorable Discharge. Clark then returned to Kentucky State College where he was on the boxing team, the track team, the football team, and he was an assistant for the basketball team. He lettered in basketball, football, and boxing. After graduating from Kentucky State College in 1956, S. T. Roach informed Clark about three job openings. Clark took the teaching job in Franklin, KY, where he was also the school's football and basketball coach. While in Franklin, he met and married Catherine Sloss, and in 2012, the couple had been married for 54 years. Catherine Sloss was also a school teacher in her home town of Franklin. After one year of teaching in Franklin, Elmer and Catherine Clark moved to Chicago where Catherine was hired as a teacher in the Chicago Public School System, and Elmer was employed at Schlitz Brewing Company. He was the first African American to work for the advertising and marketing department at Schlitz. His territory was from 120th Street to the Loop and Clark promoted the beer from the brewery to the wholesalers. After four years with Schlitz, Elmer S. Clark, Jr. also became a school teacher, he taught at Dunbar High School in Chicago and he coached football and basketball. He was teaching school during the same period that he was buying and racing his racehorses. Elmer S. Clark, Jr. was recognized by the Bluegrass Black Business Association in 1993 as an outstanding African American owner and trainer of thoroughbred horses. In 1996, Clark was recognized at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, MD as an outstanding racehorse owner and trainer. This entry was suggested by Gregory Clark, the son of Catherine and Elmer S. Clark, Jr. Gregory Clark provided background information and copies of literature, letters, and an article citation. Additional information was acquired via a telephone interview with Elmer S. Clark, Jr. on 01/24/2012. See also Elmer S. Clark trainer record at Equibase.com; see Elmer S. Clark Jr. in the online Daily Racing Form dated between 1977-1987; see M. Davis, "Horseman knows the Rest of the Story," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/10/2004, p.C1; and L. Shulman, "Last of a breed," Blood-Horse, 03/08/2003, pp.1392-1394 & p.1396.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Boxers, Boxing, Education and Educators, Football, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Clark, John T.
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1949
John T. Clark was born in Louisville, KY, the son of John R. and Sallie Clark. He graduated in 1906 from Ohio State University with a focus in sociology and economics. Clark returned to Louisville, where he was an instructor at Central High School (1907-1913). He left Louisville to become housing secretary in New York City (1913-1916). He was a contributing author to the 1915 collection, "Housing and Living Conditions among Negroes in Harlem." Clark held a number of posts with the National Urban League and its state chapters from 1916 to1949, including bringing the National Urban League to Pittsburgh in 1917 and becoming executive secretary of the St. Louis Urban League, beginning in 1926. Also a member of the American Social Workers Association, Clark was elected the third vice president of the National Conference of Social Work in 1940. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. The John T. Clark files of the Urban League of St. Louis are available at the Washington University of St. Louis Library.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / St. Louis, Missouri

Clark Stonewall's Children [Monticello, KY]
Start Year : 1955
In July of 1955, the children of Clark Stonewall are thought to be the first African Americans to attend a previously all white school in Kentucky. The children, ages 6-15, attended Griffin School in Monticello, KY, with 35 white children, grades 1-8. The school term ran from July to February, Griffin starting a few months before many other Kentucky schools. The Stonewall children had been home-schooled prior to their enrollment; Clark Stonewall and his wife refused to bus their children to Travis Elementary for Colored children. [Travis School was named for Oneth M. Travis, Sr.] The Stonewall family were the only African Americans in the southeast section of Wayne County. Griffin School was a one-room facility with no electricity; it was heated with a coal stove. Marie Blevins was the teacher; the previous teacher had requested a reassignment rather than teach at an integrated school. News about the school and the integration of the students was reported throughout the United States. The school was in poor condition, and the reports generated letters and donations, the latter of which were used to replace the front door of the school, add new desks, and purchase other needed items for the school. During the summer of 1955, the school board discussed the desegregation of Monticello High School and Wayne County High School. For more see "1st 6 Negroes enter state public school," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 7/19/1955; "Integration in Kentucky," Jet, 8/11/1955, p. 25; "6 Negro children go to desegregated school in Kentucky," St. Joseph News-Press, 7/19/1955, p. 2; "Kentucky integrates first public school," The Afro-American, 7/30/1955, p. 2; S. Caudill and P. Burba, "Black History Month | July 19, 1955: Griffin School," Courier-Journal.com (Louisville), 2/2/2010; and "Wayne County to start desegregation in fall," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 6/16/1955. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools in Wayne County, KY and the entries for African American Schools.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky

Clark, Yvonne Young
Birth Year : 1929
Yvonne Young Clark is a pioneer for women engineers. She was the first woman to earn an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at Howard University in 1951, and was the first woman to complete the masters degree in engineering management at Vanderbilt University. Clark was the first woman professor in the College of Engineering and Technology at Tennessee State University and has taught at the school for more than 50 years. Prior to her move to Nashville, there had not been a professional African American woman engineer in the city. She was the first female engineer at the Ford Motor Company glass plant in Nashville, where she did a one year internship after her graduation from Vanderbilt University. Her work career began with Frankford Arsenal-Gage Laboratories in Philadelphia, and with RCA in New Jersey. Clark has received a number of awards, including the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Society of Women Engineers in 1997. In 2008, an event was held by Tennessee State University to honor Clark for her years of dedication and service to the school. Yvonne Young Clark was born in Houston, TX, and raised in Louisville, KY. She is the daughter of librarian Hortense Houston Young and Dr. Coleman M. Young Jr. She is the wife of William F. Clark, Jr. who was a biochemistry professor at Meharry Medical College. For more see "She is teaching Mechanical Engineering," Plaindealer (Topeka), 01/27/1956, p.1; "Yvonne Young Clark of Nashville, Tennessee...," Jet, 09/30/1971, p.48 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Yvonne Young Clark" in Sisters in Science by D. Jordan.
Subjects: Engineers
Geographic Region: Houston, Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Clarke, Anna Mac
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1944
Anna M. Clarke, born in Lawrenceburg, KY, was a graduate of the Lawrenceburg Colored School and a 1941 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. She was one of the first African American woman from Kentucky to enlist during World War II, the first to become an officer, and the first African American WAC over an all-white regiment. Clarke led the protest that desegregated the Douglas Army Airfield theater. A Kentucky Historical Marker [#1970] has been placed on the Lawrenceburg courthouse lawn in her memory. Anna Mac Clarke is buried in Stringtown, KY. For more see Women in Kentucky-Military; LWF Communications website, Anna Mac Clark answering the call to arms; WWII and the WAC by J. M. Trowbridge; and J. M. Trowbridge, "Anna Mac Clark: a pioneer in military leadership," Cochise Quarterly, vol. 26 (Winter 1996).

  See photo image and additional information about Anna M. Clarke at "Lest We Forget," a Hampton University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Douglas Army Airfield, Arizona / Stringtown, Anderson County, Kentucky

Clarke, Daniel
Death Year : 1872
Clarke was born in Africa. When he was a child, he was captured by slave traders and brought to the U.S. He first lived in Clark County, KY, then came to Frankfort, KY, as a servant to U.S. Congressman and later Kentucky Governor James Clarke. At the end of Gov. Clarke's term (1836-1839), Daniel Clarke continued as a servant to all of the following Kentucky governors until his death in 1872. At some point prior to his death, the Kentucky Legislature passed a law giving Daniel Clarke a pension of $12 per month. A joint resolution was introduced by Senator Webb in honor of Daniel Clarke's years of dedicated service to Kentucky governors. For more see "Death of the Kentucky Governor's Servant," New York Times, 02/29/1872, p. 5. Also thought to be the same Daniel Clarke at rootsweb.com.
Subjects: Freedom, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Africa / Clark County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Clarke, John Milton and Lewis Garrard
The Clarke brothers, John Milton (1820-1902) and Lewis (1818-1897), were born in Madison County, KY. Their father was a white weaver from Scotland. Their mother, Letitia Campbell, was the daughter of plantation owner Samuel Campbell. John and Lewis were at times seen as white slaves. The brothers escaped in 1842, Lewis to Dawn, Ontario (he later returned to Oberlin); and John to Cambridge, where he became the first African American elected to a public office on the Cambridge Common Council. The character George Harris in Uncle Tom's Cabin was based on Lewis Clarke. For more see Cambridge Historical Commission; Narrative of the sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke, by L. G. Clark and M. Clark [full-text at the website by S. Railton & University of Virginia]; and Literature in The Economist, 02/13/1847, p. 183.

See image of Lewis Clarke from frontispiece of Narrative of the Sufferings of Lewis Clarke by L. Clarke, at NYPL Digital Gallery.

See image of J. Milton Clarke from Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke by L. G. Clark, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Ontario, Canada / Oberlin, Ohio / Cambridge, Massachusetts

Clay County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Clay County is located in southeastern Kentucky in the Cumberland Mountains and is surrounded by seven counties. During the 1800s, Clay County was the major salt producer for the state of Kentucky. The county was formed in 1807 from portions of Madison, Floyd, and Knox Counties, and is named for Green Clay from Virginia, he was a veteran of the War of 1812 and the American Revolutionary War. Green Clay was a surveyor in Kentucky, and later became a Kentucky Representative in the Virginia House of Delegates. He was also a member of the Kentucky Legislature. The town of Greenville was also named for Green Clay, but the name was later changed to Manchester, which is the county seat. The name change was in honor of Manchester, England. The 1810 Clay County population was 428 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and increased to 6,303 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 51 slave owners
  • 349 Black slaves
  • 82 Mulatto slaves
  • 58 free Blacks
  • 118 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 85 slave owners
  • 215 Black slaves
  • 139 Mulatto slaves
  • 49 free Blacks
  • 209 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 366 Blacks
  • 176 Mulattoes
  • About 25 U.S. Colored Troops listed Clay County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Clay County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History of Clay County, Kentucky, 1767-1976 by K. Morgan and H. S. Morgan; Clay County, Kentucky: history and families by the Clay County Genealogical and Historical Society; and Appalachians and Race by J. C. Inscoe.
See photo image of the Colored Graded School in Manchester, KY, at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Clay County, Kentucky

Clay, Henry (former slave)
Birth Year : 1861
Clay was born to slaves in Louisville, KY, and in 1892 left for New Orleans to join a railroad construction crew that was transported to Guatemala, Central America. The crew of 75 men were to build a railroad from Puerto Barrios to Guatemala City. The pay was to be in Guatemalan silver at $10 per day per worker, but none of the men got paid because the contractor ran off with the silver and left the crew stranded. Clay remained in Guatemala for 39 years. He was one of the last three crew members still alive when he returned to the United States in 1931. Many of his fellow crew members had died fighting during the revolts in Guatemala; revolutionists were recruited with the promise of $150 in silver and a rifle. Clay had preferred to fish for a living rather than fight as a Guatemalan revolutionary. For more see "Old Negro returns, ends 39-year exile," New York Times, 07/15/1931, p. 21.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans / Puerto Barrios and Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America

Clay, John T.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1934
John T. Clay was a jockey who was injured riding War Jig on the Kentucky Association Track; the injuries ended his riding career, but he then became a successful trainer and was described as a wealthy man who owned real estate [source: "The Negro jockey on the American turf," The Freeman, 11/11/1905, p. 6]. He had ridden for Major Barak G. Thomas and was one of the persons named in Thomas' will [source: "Fortune for former slave," New York Times, 05/22/1906, p. 1]. In 1907, Clay partnered with Lewis McClanahan for the building of the Colored Skating Rink in Lexington, KY [see NKAA entry Colored Skating Rink and Summer Palm Garden]. John T. Clay is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Harry Clay; his mother's maiden name was Reese, according to Kentucky Death Certificate File #5998, Registered #234. He was the husband of Caddie Clay and the father of John and Barak Clay. In 1900, the family lived on Constitution Street in Lexington [source: U.S. Federal Census]. John T. Clay was employed by the U.S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier, according to the 1910 Census and his death certificate. By 1920, the family lived on East Second Street, and in 1930, John T. Clay was a widower [sources: U.S. Federal Census].
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Postal Service, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Clay, Kenneth H.
Birth Year : 1939
Kenneth Clay grew up in Louisville, KY. In the 1960s he opened the Corner of Jazz, the first African American culture shop in Louisville. In 1978, he co-founded the Renaissance Development Corporation, a cultural arts administrative organization that promoted Black art and culture in Kentucky. In 1983 Clay joined the staff of the Kentucky Center for the Arts, where he remained for more than 21 years. He received the Chicago Kuumba Theater's 1993 Liberation Award for Presenting African American Artists and the 1999 Governor's Community Arts Award. In July 2004, Clay left the Kentucky Center for the Arts and became a freelance arts consultant. He is president of Ken Clay & Associates. For more see "Ken Clay takes a bow," Courier-Journal, 30 May 2004; Kenneth Clay in Kentucky Minority Artists Directory, 1982; and Ken Clay in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.103.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Businesses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clay, Theodore H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1843
Theodore H. Clay, Sr. was born in Fayette County, KY, his father was from Virginia and his mother was from Kentucky. Clay grew up in Lexington and became one of the early African American horse trainers who owned his own business, [as was Dudley Allen]. Clay is listed as Colored in the Sheppard's Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874, owner of a breaking and training stable on Deweese Street opposite Correll [Corrall] Street. He is the only "Colored" person listed under the heading 'Horse Trainer' on p.234 of the 1873-74 city directory. His account record at the U.S. Freedmen Bank dated May 26, 1871, gives his occupation as a self employed trainer, and includes his wife's name, Louisa, a child named Brice, and a brother named Marshall. The Clays lived on Deweese Street. The family is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census and includes the name of a second son named Theodore, and their property was valued at $800. The Clay family would leave Kentucky and move to Kansas. In 1880 they lived in Shawnee, KS: Theodore and Maria Louisa Clay (b.1848 in KY) and their three sons, all born in Kentucky, Brice Henry Clay (b.1868), Theodore H. Clay, Jr. (b.1870), and Edward Marshall Clay (b.1873). Theodore, Sr. supported the family as a farmer. By 1900, Theodore Clay was a widower living at 545 Tracy Street in Kansas City, MO, his occupation was listed in the census as farmer. He is last listed in the 1910 census, when Theodore shared his home with his son Edward and his family.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Shawnee, Kansas / Kansas City, Missouri

Claybourne, Jack
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1960
In 1941, Jack Claybourne won the Kentucky Negro Wrestling Championship from Hallie Samara in Louisville, KY. The following year he lost the title to King Kong Clayton. Jack Claybourne won the Negro World Heavyweight, and the Light Heavyweight Wrestling Titles in the United States. He was a recognized champion in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Jack Claybourne was born in Mexico, Missouri, according to author T. Hornbaker in Legends of Pro Wrestling. Jack Claybourne committed suicide in Los Angeles, CA on January 7, 1960. For more on Jack Claybourne see D. Burkholder, "Black History Month: Pro Wrestling's Black Stars, Part 1," OnlineOnslaught.com, 02/05/02; Jack Claybourne in Obsessed With Wrestling; and Black Stars of Professional Wrestling by J. L. D. Shabazz.


Subjects: Wrestling, Wrestlers, Suicide
Geographic Region: Mexico, Missouri / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Claybrook v Owensboro
In the late 1800s, Edward Claybrook (1821-1896) and others sued the City of Owensboro, KY, and others to prevent a segregated method of using taxes to pay for public education. Only taxes collected from African Americans were to be used for educating African American children in the city. For white children, the sum of $9,400 was available for two well-built schools, 18 teachers, and the 9-10 month school session. For African American children, $700 provided the one inferior school, three teachers, and a school session of about three months. In 1883, U. S. Circuit Judge John Barr ruled that the method of distributing school funds was unfair. "If I am correct in my conclusion, all that colored children in Owensboro are entitled to is the equal protection of the laws, in that a fair share of this fund be applied toward the maintenance of the common schools especially provided for colored children. In this view the only remedy is in equity.... United States courts have heretofore enjoined state officers from obeying state laws which were declared to be unconstitutional." For more see Claybrook and others v. City of Owensboro and others, District Court, D. Kentucky, 16 F.297 U.S. Dist. 1883; and Claybrook v. Owensboro by L. A. Coghill (thesis).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Claysville and Other Neighborhoods (Paris, KY)
Claysville was established by African Americans at the end of the Civil War on what was then the outskirts of Paris, KY. The community was located on land that was purchased from Samuel H. Clay, whose farm bordered the area on one side. Claysville was more of a separate community than other African American neighborhoods within Paris: it included churches, stores, and businesses. The main entrance was off Main Street, under a one lane railroad viaduct hemmed on one side by a two story building, on the other side by a stream. The entrance is still in use. The back entrance was off Winchester Street. The Branch School for African American children, where inventor Garrett A. Morgan, Sr. was educated, was located in Claysville. The community has been renamed Garrett Morgan's Place, and a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 1493] was rededicated in 2000, but most still refer to the area as Claysville. The community name was spelled Clayville on the Sanborn Maps of Paris, Bourbon County [available at Kentucky Digital Library]. A Colored school house can be found on sheet two of the Oct 1901 map. The school was located on Trilby Street, Lot H. Beginning in the 1970s, Urban Renewal razed the old structures in Claysville, new homes and housing projects were constructed, and a park was added down by the stream. Many of the present residents are descendants of Claysville's earliest home owners. Other African American areas used to exist in Paris: Cottontown, off Main Street just past the railroad overpass heading toward Millersburg, down by the creek; Newtown and Judy's Alley, off High Street heading toward Lexington (homes in both areas were replaced by housing projects); and Singles Alley, off Eighth Street heading toward Georgetown, all of its older homes torn down. Ruckersville or Ruckerville, bound by Lilleston Ave., Second Street, and a creek, had a large number of African Americans. The land is thought to have been part of the Grimes' farm at one time. The old homes were razed by Urban Renewal in the 1970s and 1980s and new homes and apartments were constructed and a park was added down by the creek. Little or nothing has been published about these areas, but a visit with the various community members will garner much more information. For more on Claysville see Famous Inventor, 1877-1963, in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database; and search using the term "Claysville" in the newspaper, Bourbon News, available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers and at Chronicling America.
Subjects: Communities, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Clayter, Henry
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Henry Clayter was the son of Lizzie McGee and John Clayter. In 1906, Henry Clayter, described as a mulatto with white skin, attempted to elope with 15 year old Ora Gardner, a white hotel waitress. They had been seeing each other secretly at the hotel for two years. Clayter was about 30 years old and an Army veteran who, according to the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, had served in the 24th Infantry, 1901-1904. He had just returned from the military when he took up with 13 year old Gardner. Interracial dating relationships in Kentucky had led to the lynching of African American men. Marriage between Blacks and whites was illegal in Kentucky for all involved, including the licensing clerk and the minister or judge. Clayter and Gardner attempted to get a marriage license in Illinois in 1906 but were denied because Gardner was underage. They were living together in Chicago at 563 State Street when both were arrested and taken to Louisville, KY. The authorities feared that Clayter would be lynched if returned to Irvington, KY, where he was to stand trial. The news of the couple's return to Kentucky had led to threats of violence between whites and Blacks in Irvington, and there was fear of a race riot. The whole affair of Clayter and Gardner was described as sensational and extraordinary in the newspapers. With extra security in place, Clayter was tried in Irvington and found guilty of carnal knowledge of a female less than 16 years old. He was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years in prison, but the sentence was later commuted by the governor; Clayter was released from Eddyville Prison in 1911. He married Mary Miller in Indiana in 1915 and died a widower in 1952 in Louisville, according to the Kentucky Death Records. Gardner was placed in a reform school and at the age of 18 was living at her parents' home in Hardinsburg, KY, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see chapter 2, "Race Relations" in A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; "Negro lover," The Breckinridge News, 08/01/1906, p. 8; and A. Avins, "Anti-miscegenation laws and the Fourteenth Amendment: the original intent," Virginia Law Review, vol. 52, issue 7 (Nov. 1966), pp. 1224-1255.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Hardinsburg and Irvington, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clayton, Alonzo
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1917
Alonzo Clayton was born in Kansas City, Kansas, to Robert and Evaline Clayton. One of the two youngest jockeys to win the Kentucky Derby, Clayton was 15 years old in 1892 when he won the Derby riding Azra. He died of chronic tuberculosis in California. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., Supp. ed. by M. M. Spradling; The Great Black Jockeys, by E. Hotaling; and Alonzo Clayton at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture website.

See photo image and additional information about Alonzo Clayton at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Kansas City, Kansas / Kentucky / California

Clayton, Denise
Birth Year : 1952
Judge Denise Clayton was born in Louisville, KY. In 2000, Clayton became the first African American woman appointed to a circuit judgeship in Kentucky when Governor Paul Patton appointed her to the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 7. Clayton graduated from the University of Louisville Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1976. In 1996, she became the second African American woman judge in the state; she was a Family Court judge. In 2007, Judge Clayton became the first African American woman on the Kentucky appeals court; the appointment was made by Governor Ernie Fletcher. Judge Clayton is the granddaughter of Atwood S. Wilson. She is a graduate of Defiance College and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. For more see the Louisville Defender, 10/12/00; "Historic choice, new circuit judge has broken barriers before," Lexington Herald Leader, 10/20/2007, Commentary section, p. A12; and "The Honorable Denise Clayton" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed.

See photo image and additional information about Judge Denise Clayton at the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clayton, Edward T.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1966
Edward T. Clayton was born in Louisville, KY. He was sports editor of The Hawks Cry, a Tuskegee Air Field GI publication, 1944-1945. Clayton was also sports editor of The Louisville Defender, 1945-1948, and an associate editor with Ebony and Negro Digest. He was the first editor of Jet magazine. Clayton won the Wilkie Award in 1947 for revealing illegal taxicab services in Louisville. He was author of three books in 1964: The Negro politician, his success and failure; Martin Luther King: the peaceful warrior; and The SCLC Story. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clayton, Eugene Scott, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
In 1945, Eugene Clayton was the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to a seat on the Louisville City Council. Clayton was Alderman for the 12th Ward. He was the son of Scott and Susie Clayton, and in 1910, the family of seven lived in Louisville on Eleventh Street. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clayton, Theodore
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1976
A self-taught artist, Theodore Clayton worked with scrap metal such as spikes, machine parts, horseshoes, and nails. For more see Kentucky Minority Artists Directory, 1982.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Clement, Emma C. Williams
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1952
Emma Clarissa Williams Clement lived in Louisville, KY. At the age of 71, she became the first African American to be named Mother of the Year. The recognition was made on Mothers Day, May 12, 1941, after Clement was select for the honor by the Golden Rule Foundation. Clement, born in Providence, RI, was the wife of George Clement, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Louisville, and the mother of Rufus E. Clement and Ruth E. Clement Bond. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "News from our file: fifty years ago," Marysville Journal-Tribune, 05/02/1996, p. 4.

See photo image of Emma C. W. Clement and her family at the Corbis Images website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Providence, Rhode Island / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clement, Rufus E.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1967
Rufus E. Clement was born in Salisbury, NC; his family moved to Louisville, KY, when he was a small child. Clement would become the first dean of the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes (1931-1937) [subsumed by the University of Louisville], and later the longest serving president of Atlanta University (1937-1957 & 1966-1967). Clement was the author of many articles on Negro education, history, and politics as well as a published reviewer of current issues publications. In 1953, Clement was elected to the Atlanta Board of Education, making him the first African American to be elected to public office in Atlanta since Reconstruction, and the first on the city's education board. He was the son of Emma Clement and George Clement, Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Louisville. He was the brother of Ruth E. Clement Bond. Rufus E. Clement's records and papers are at the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center. The Louisville Municipal College archives are at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; [Dr. Rufus E. Clement] in the Statesville Daily Record newspaper, 05/15/1953; Worldwide Interesting People: 162 History Makers of African Decent, by G. L. Lee; and the video Rufus E. Clement and Horace M. Bond recorded in 1955 as part of the Chronscope Series by Columbia Broadcasting System.

See photo images and additional information about Rufus E. Clement at the University of Louisivlle website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration South, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Salisbury, North Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Cleveland Kentucky State College Club
The Cleveland Kentucky State College Club members were graduates of Kentucky State College who lived in Cleveland, OH. Beginning in 1953, the club gave an annual Derby Ball. The 1957 ball was held at the Carlton House in Cleveland and Johnnie Blakes Orchestra provided the music. There were hundreds of guests. Evelyn Morgan was chair of the Dance Committee and assisted by Gilbert Britt, Mary Grinage, and John Long. The 1957 officers of the Cleveland Kentucky State College Club were Elmer Collins, president; Jeanette Polk, recording secretary; Lillian Gantt, corresponding secretary; William Stovall, treasurer; Rose Clayhourne, reporter; and Mary Collins, historian. For more see "Kentucky St. grads have traditional Derby Ball," Cleveland Call and Post, 05/11/1957, p.3B.
Subjects: Balls, Promenades, Socials
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Clinton County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Clinton County is located in south-central Kentucky, on the Tennessee border and neighboring three Kentucky counties. The county was formed in 1835 from portions of Cumberland and Wayne Counties, and was named for DeWitt Clinton who was a U.S. Senator and the Governor of New York. The county seat is Albany; some of the earliest settlers came to the area from Albany, NY. There were 631 [heads of households] counted in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 5,523 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 78 slave owners
  • 233 Black slaves
  • 29 Mulatto slaves
  • 35 free Blacks [most with the last name of Cowan or Cozens]
  • 3 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 77 slave owners
  • 181 Black slaves
  • 78 Mulatto slaves
  • 10 free Blacks
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 202 Blacks
  • 108 Mulattoes
  • About 18 U.S. Colored Troops listed Clinton County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Clinton County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; and Clinton County, Kentucky: a pictorial history by Clinton County Historical Society.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Clinton County, Kentucky

CME Publishing House in Kentucky
Start Year : 1873
End Year : 1882
In 1873, the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church Publishing House moved from Memphis, TN, to 103 Fifth Street in Louisville, KY. The company managers were looking for a more economical location when they came to Louisville and hired Rev. J. W. Bell as the book agent. After nine years, the company moved to Jackson, TN, and H. P. Porter became the book agent. The CME Publishing House was established in 1870 as a publishing body and depository for the church literature. For more see Black Book Publishers in the United States: a historical dictionary of the presses, 1817-1990, by D. F. Joyce; and The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by C. H. Phillips [available online at UNC Documenting the American South].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cobb, Lewis Arthur Gill "Shoe Shine"
Birth Year : 1966
Death Year : 2009
Lewis Cobb was a modern day, professional shoe shiner who promoted his business in downtown Lexington, KY. [His first name has also been written as Louis in various articles.] Cobb was well known by business owners and others who worked or frequented the downtown area. It was a rare sight to see an African American shoe shiner soliciting business on the streets of Lexington in the 21st Century, most had disappeared during the early decades of the 1900s [1907 picture of African American shoe shiner on Lexington street]. Shoe making and repairs, and shoe care had been predominately slave trades in Kentucky prior to the Civil War. After slavery ended in Kentucky with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, African American shoe makers were abundant in Lexington. By the 1930s, there were more than one hundred African Americans in Lexington who earned a living as self-employed shoe shiners and repairers, or they were employed within businesses such as cleaners, barbershops, hat shops, horse industry businesses, train and bus stations, and shoe stores. When Lewis Cobb started his shoe shine business in Lexington, it was said that he could be controversial, often humble, and offered a bit of philosophy, therapy, and spiritual inspiration while shining an individual's shoes. Not everyone welcomed Cobb's presence and when authorities received complaints, Cobb was ticketed by the police for operating his business without a peddler's license. With the help of attorney Gaitwood Galbraith, the charges were dropped; shoe shiners are not peddlers. But that did not prevent Cobb from receiving tickets for jaywalking and other infractions. Over time, Cobb refined his approach toward potential customers, the ticketing eventually stopped, and Cobb became well known in downtown Lexington. Lewis Cobb had learned the shoe shine business from a professional shoe shiner in Washington, D. C who also went by the name "Shoe Shine". Cobb had moved to D.C. from Virginia. He lived in Virginia for ten years and while there he established Cobb's Cleaning Service. Prior to living in Virginia, he had earned a college degree in North Carolina. Cobb was a native of Lexington and graduated from Bryan Station High School. He grew up in the Charlotte Court housing projects [now the Arbor Grove neighborhood]. In 2002, Lewis Cobb returned to Kentucky from D.C. and began his shoe shine business that summer. Two years later, he met Erin McAnallen-Wilson, a University of Kentucky student who completed a documentary about Cobb's life. The film, Can't Stop the Shine, was shown at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington on May 25, 2006. Lewis Cobb was the son of Betty Beatty and William A. Cobb. Information about his life was provided by his sisters Velma Johnson, Valois Lewis, and Arletta Taylor. Articles about Lewis Cobb include C. Thompson, "Shoeshine pro becomes subject of documentary," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/23/2006, section D, p.1; and J. Brammer, "Shoeshine, well-known in downtown Lexington is remembered as a character," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/12/2009, City/Region section, p. A3.
Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cocaine and Negroes in Kentucky, 1898-1914
Start Year : 1898
End Year : 1914
Cocaine was an accepted and easily accessible drug prior to 1914, it was also used in whiskey shots, syrups, tonics, cigars, nasal sprays, and many many other products. When it became illegal in 1914, classified as a hard narcotic, there was a very racist side to the prohibition. Dr. Christopher Koch from Pennsylvania warned, "Most of the attacks upon white women of the South are the direct result of the cocaine-crazed Negro brain." The fear of a crazy, super strong Black man on cocaine existed long before cocaine became illegal, the fear had intensified during the period of enforced segregation, challenges to voting laws, the push for Negro political, social, and civil rights, and increased lynchings in the South. During the last decade of the 1800s, crimes attributed to Negroes were often assumed to be linked to drug use. Police departments in the South began requesting larger caliber guns that could stop the so-called cocaine-crazed Negro. In Kentucky, July 1907, the State Board of Pharmacy began a crusade against druggist who sold cocaine to Negroes, it was an effort to stem the crime of supposed violence committed by Negroes in Kentucky and other Southern states. Warrants had been issued against druggists A. F. Solbrig and H. F. Cohn, Jr., both from Louisville. In 1903, The Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic, a journal, suggested that it was the Negro and prostitutes (the lower class persons) who were most likely to have a cocaine habit, and Negroes with habits were most likely to commit crimes. But rather than hang the Negro, the article stated that it was the white druggist who should be hanged for selling cocaine to Negroes. It was also said that the states of Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, were thought to have many of the "medico-pharmaceutical rascals," and supposedly, things had gotten so bad in Kentucky that the once loyal Colored servants could no longer be trusted. In 1898, the Bulletin of Pharmacy warned that there was a cocaine-craze among Negroes taking place in Louisville, Lexington, and Shelby County. For more see the video recording titled Hooked: illegal drugs and how they got that way by the History Channel et. al.; Dr. E. H. Williams, "Negro cocaine fiends are a new Southern menace," The New York Times, 02/08/1914, p.SM12; Snowblind: a brief career in the cocaine trade by R. Sabbag; White Mischief: a cultural history of cocaine by T. Madge; "Anti-cocaine crusade," The Pharmaceutical Era, 1907, vol.38, p.116 [available online at Google Book Search]; "The Cocaine Curse and the Negro," The Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic, 1903, vol.89, pp.599-602 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Horrible," Bulletin of Pharmacy, 1898, vol.12, p.139 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Coe Colony (Cumberland County, KY)
Start Year : 1866
In 1866, Ezekiel and Patsy Ann Coe purchased land on Coe Ridge, located on the back of Coe Plantation in Cumberland County, KY. Ezekiel (born around 1817 in North Carolina) and Patsy (born around 1825) were of African, Indian, and White lineage and had been slaves. They reclaimed their children, who had been slaves owned by various members of the white Coe family. When brought together, Ezekiel and Patsy's family made up a small, prosperous community, the nucleus of Coe Colony. Added to their numbers were a few other African Americans and white women. White agitators tried to drive the colony out of the area, resulting in murders on both sides and a race feud in 1888. The Coe family remained on the ridge for almost a century, farming and logging prior to the Great Depression. They later took on the business of running moonshine and other activities that brought federal agents and law officers to the area. For more see The saga of Coe Ridge; a study in oral history, by W. L. Montell; KET Productions' Kentucky Life Program 518, The 'Afrilachians'The Chronicles of the Coe Colony, by S. Coe; and L. Montell, "Coe Ridge Colony: a racial island disappears," American Anthropologist, New Series, vol.74, issue 3 (Jun., 1972), pp.710-719.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Coe Ridge, Cumberland County, Kentucky

Coe, James R. "Jimmy" [Jimmy Cole]
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2004
James R. Coe was born in Tompkinsville, KY, but grew up in Indianapolis, where he spent his entire music career. He could play a number of instruments, but performed most often on the baritone and tenor saxophone. He also studied the clarinet. Coe played and recorded with Jay McShann's band as a replacement for Charlie Parker. He also recorded with other groups, sometimes under the name Jimmy Cole. He used his birth name 'Coe' with his own groups: Jimmy Coe and His Orchestra, and Jimmy Coe and His Gay Cats of Rhythm. He served in the U.S. Army, 1943-1945 and played in the 415th Band. By the mid 1960s, Coe was teaching music in the Indianapolis public schools and also was working for the Marion County juvenile courts and the U.S. Postal Service. For more see The Jimmy Coe Discography, a Clemson University website; and J. Harvey, "Jimmy Coe , well-known jazz musician and band leader, dies," The Indianapolis Star, 02/28/2004, City State section, p. B01. 


Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Tompkinsville, Monroe County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Coffey, Alvin A.
Birth Year : 1822
Death Year : 1902
Born in Mason County, KY, Alvin A. Coffey was a slave who was first owned by Margaret Cook. In 1834, he was sold to Henry Duvall, and was later owned by a Dr. Bassett, whom he accompanied along with other members of a party who were journeying to California in 1849. Coffey earned enough money in California to purchase his freedom and that of his wife, Mahala, and their 5 children, who were still in Missouri. But the doctor took the money from Coffey. They both returned to Missouri in 1851. Still a slave, Coffey would return to California 1854 and by 1857 had again earned enough money to purchase his freedom and that of his family; they eventually all moved to Red Bluff, California. Coffey was a homesteader in Tehama County, and his five sons followed in his footsteps: they all prospered. His descendants would continue to prosper for several generations. Alvin A. Coffey was the only African American member of the California Society of Pioneers. He was the son of Larkin Coffey and Nellie Cook. For more see Pioneers of Negro Origin in California, by S. B. Thurman; and contact The Society of California Pioneers about the Autobiography and Reminiscence of Alvin Aaron Coffey.

 

*Additional information and corrections provided by Jeannette L. Molson, the great great granddaughter of Alvin A. Coffey, and the family historian of over 30 years researching Alvin Aaron Coffey:

 

One, Alvin Coffey emancipated his wife and five children in 1857. The remaining three children were born in California starting with his son, Charles Oliver Coffey, who was the first of his children born free on 22 Dec 1858.  Verification of the emancipation of his five children, and wife, can be found at the Saint Louis Circuit Court, Vol. 26, page 37 in St. Louis MO. When Alvin Coffey and Dr. Bassett returned to Mo it was in 1851, not 1850.  Basset was the owner who kept Coffey's earnings.  Third, Alvin Coffey returned to California a second time still a slave, but he was not accompanied by his new owner.  His new owner trusted that Coffey would keep his word and allowed him to return to California alone.  When he saved the required amount of $1,000 to purchase his freedom, he did so by notifying his owner that he had the money and the owner, trusting Coffey, sent his freedom papers before receiving a cent.  After his return to Missouri to purchase his wife and five children, Coffey made his last trip back to California in 1857 with his wife, children, and their emancipation papers in hand.

See the photo image and additional information about Alvin A. Coffey at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky / Missouri / Red Bluff, California / Tehama County, California

Cofield, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1940
In 1991, William Cofield was the first African American appointed to the Franklin County Board of Education; he was then elected to the board three times. Since 1986, he has been president of the Kentucky NAACP Conference, and has also served as president of the Franklin County NAACP Branch. In 2004, Cofield was named president of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members. Cofield was born in LaGrange, GA, and his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was a child, and they returned to Georgia when he was a teen. He is a graduate of Fort Valley State University, Tuskegee University, and worked on his doctorate [ABD] at Ohio State University. Cofield moved to Frankfort, KY in 1973, and was a professor at Kentucky State University. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and M. Davis, "An ardent advocate for kids, education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/27/2004, City&Region section, p.C1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Board of Education
Geographic Region: LaGrange, Georgia / Franklin County, Kentucky

Coggs, Pauline Redmond
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Pauline Coggs was born in Paris, Kentucky, the daughter of Rev. John B. and Josephine B. Redmond. The family moved to Chicago, where Coggs graduated from high school and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology at the University of Chicago. She earned a master's degree in social work at the University of Pittsburgh. Coggs was the first African American woman to head the Washington, D.C. Urban League. She also directed the youth activities department in the Chicago Urban League, 1936-1940. She was a part-time instructor in the Department of Social Work at Howard University, 1943-1944, and later became the assistant executive secretary of the Wisconsin Welfare Council, 1947-1948. Coggs was the author of "Race Relations Advisers - Messiahs or Quislings," Opportunity, 1943. She was a confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt. The governor of Wisconsin appointed her to the Wisconsin Civil Rights Commission. Pauline R. Coggs was the aunt of Wisconsin Senator Spencer Coggs. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. created the Pauline Redmond Coggs Foundation, Inc. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; C. Stephenson, "Striving to combat myths and ignorance never goes out of style," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/04/02, B News section, p.02; and F. Thomas-Lynn, "Coggs 'silent strength' behind political dynasty," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/28/2005, B News section, p. 07.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Chicago, Illinois / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Colbert, Jesse B.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1936
Reverend Jesse B. Colbert was a nationally known leader and minister of the AMEZ Church as well as a lawyer and civil rights leader. He was the first president of the Varick Christian Endeavor Movement [information], and he was author of The Origin and Progress of the Christian Endeavor Movement in the World and in the A. M. E. Zion Church in America [information, p. 9]. Colbert was also a civil rights leader before and after he came to Kentucky. In 1894, he was vice president of the American Liberty Defense League, an anti-lynching organization in Washington, D.C. [source: "The American Liberty Defenc[s]e League," Washington Bee, 10/06/1894, p. 2]. Jesse B. Colbert was born in 1861 in Lancaster, SC, the son of Sarah House Colbert and Tillman Colbert. He was the husband of Margaret A. Davis Colbert; the couple married in North Carolina on July 3, 1888 [source: North Carolina Marriage Collection]. Jesse and Margaret Colbert lived in a number of locations in the United States [information]. In 1910, they were living in Chicago, where Jesse was an [AME] Zion minister, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1911, the couple was living in Kentucky, and Jesse was the AMEZ presiding elder over the Louisville District, a position he held until 1917 [sources: "Rev. J. B. Colbert...," Bee, 05/19/1911, p. 4; and Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville]. He was editor of the Louisville Columbian newspaper [source: "It seems that the Louisville Columbian...," Freeman, 06/14/1913, p. 3]. He was a member of the Fraternal Day Movement that sought to bring together all of the groups that were fighting for the rights of the Colored people in Louisville [source: "Kentucky's metropolis. Talking segregation.," Freeman, 07/25/1914, p. 8]. He was a member of the Legal Committee of the Louisville NAACP Branch and co-author of the 1918 publication, "History of Louisville Segregation Case and the decision of the Supreme Court" [source: Papers of the NAACP, Part 5, Campaign against residential segregation, 1914-1955 ;, reel 4, fr. 0752-0813]. Jesse B. Colbert was also editor of the first and second editions of The Historical Hand Book and Illustrated Directory of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church [source: "New books by leading thinkers," Savannah Tribune, 01/29/1916, p. 1]. In 1918, Jesse B. Colbert was listed in the Louisville city directory as a lawyer with an office at 505 Green Street. From 1928-1936, he was listed as an employee of the National Employment Bureau [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory]. He was also an agent for the National Colored Teachers' Agency, a division of the National Teachers' Agency in Louisville. Jesse B. Colbert died in Louisville, KY, on December 14, 1936 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, Registered No. 5776]. The day of his funeral, the flag at the Louisville courthouse was flown at half mast as a show of respect [source: "At half mast for colored resident," Capital Plaindealer, 01/03/1937, p. 7].

  See photo image of Rev. J. B. Colbert on p. 257 and additional information in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, by J. W. Hood.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lancaster, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cole, I. Willis
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1950
I. Willis Cole was born in 1887 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a graduate of Le Moyne Junior College [now Le Moyne College]. When Cole came to Kentucky, he was a salesman who shortly thereafter became the founder of the African American newspaper, the Louisville Leader, the leading African American newspaper in Louisville. Cole used the medium to protest discrimination toward African Americans. He was a supporter of the Garvey Movement and served as the regional director of the National Negro League. In 1921, Cole was unsuccessful in his campaign for the Kentucky Senate. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley, by J. W. Trotter & J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930, by G. C. Wright; and p. 363 of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: 1826-August 1919, by R. A. Hill, M. Garvey, & the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

See photo image of I. Willis Cole at Hall of Fame 2001, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cole, James H. and Mary D.
When James Cole died, he was the wealthiest African American in Michigan. He had been a slave born in 1837 in Mississippi. He had escaped and settled in Detroit. On his way to freedom, Cole passed through Kentucky and was aided by a slave family. He had been in Detroit a few years when he met a young girl who was a member of the Kentucky family that had helped him during his escape. Cole and the 13 year old girl, Mary D. (born 1850 in Kentucky), were later married; they would become the parents of several children, one of whom was Thomas A. Cole, the father of Florence Cole Talbert, a noted concert and operatic soprano, who performed in Kentucky in 1922. She was sponsored by the Progressive Choral Society of Bowling Green, KY. The recital took place at State Street Baptist Church. Talbert was assisted by Charles R. Taylor, a Howard University student, and R. Lillian Carpenter was the pianist. The Cole family fortune was earned by James H. Cole who was a carpenter, blacksmith, and real estate investor. James and Mary Cole are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Turner, "In retrospect: Florence Cole Talbert - Our Divine Florence," The Black Perspective in Music, vol.12, issue 1 (Spring, 1984), pp. 57-79. For more on Florence Cole Talbert, see "The Progressive Choral Society of Bowling Green, Ky...," The Crisis, April 1922, v.23, issue 6, p.274; Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks; and The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. L. Beasley.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Coleman, Fielding "Toke"
Birth Year : 1948
From Harrison County, KY, Toke Coleman was one of the first three African American basketball players at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in 1966. (The other two were Bobby Washington and Garfield Smith.) The San Diego Rockets chose Coleman in the 10th round of the 1970 NBA draft. Coleman was an outstanding basketball player at EKU, as he was during his public school playing days in Harrison County. During his senior year of high school, the 6'3" Coleman averaged 22 points and 15 rebounds, and his team made it to the quarterfinals of the Kentucky high school basketball tournament. He is an inductee of the Kentucky Men's Basketball 10th Region Hall of Fame. Toke Coleman was a brother to the late Louis Stout. Information from W. E. Ellis, 1906-2006 A Century of Opportunity, an EKU publication (removed website); and 1970 NBA Player Draft. See "Toke Coleman, Harrison net ace, enrolls at Eastern," Park City Daily News, 09/16/1966, p.13;

See photo image of Toke Coleman provided by plfemiag, a fanbase.com website.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Coleman was one of the early African American surgeons in the U.S. Army. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and Jamye Harris Coleman, and the brother of Jamye Coleman Williams. Coleman, Jr., a physician and a minister, graduated from Fisk University and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1944 and his D. D. from Monrovia College (Liberia) in 1955. He served as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1953-1955 and was Commanding Officer of the 765th Medical Detachment. He was Chief Physical Examiner with the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and Battalion Surgeon of the 47th Armored Medical Bn 1st Armored Division. Coleman was a member of the integrated Montgomery County Medical Society in Clarksville, TN, and in addition to serving as pastor of a number of churches, he was a representative on the A.M.E. Church Medical Missions Board National Council of Churches. He was licensed to preach in 1939. For more see "Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr." in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams. For more about the Coleman family and the AME Church see The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee

Coleman, George
Birth Year : 1798
Death Year : 1908
Coleman was a famous jockey in the 1830s. He rode in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other locations. He had been a slave in Kentucky who belonged to the Lindsay Family. In his later years, Coleman was a member of the circus managed by Dan Rice. He eventually settled in Seguin, TX, where he died. For more see "Former slave dead at 110," The Washington Post, 07/18/1908, p. 1.
Subjects: Circus, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Washington D.C. / Seguin, Texas

Coleman, Gertrude W.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2007
Dr. Gertrude W. Coleman was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2007 in recognition of her activism during Louisville school busing when she insisted that African American children be treated fairly. Coleman was also president of the Black Women of Political Action, and was on the board of the Park DuVall Health Center and fought for funding for health care. In 1992, the Black Women of Political Action joined with other civic organizations to encourage African Americans in Louisville to get out and vote; a symbolic chain of human voters stretched from downtown Louisville into the African American neighborhood in West End. For more see "Dr. Gertrude W. Coleman" at the 2007 Hall of Fame, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website; and "Louisville voters reach out to encourage Black turnout," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/02/1992, City/State section, p. B2.

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coleman, John A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1936
John A. Coleman, a community leader born in Centerville, KY, was the son of George and Ann Sharp Coleman. He was a builder, a school teacher, and a musician. According to author and musician Bill Coleman, his uncle John built his own house and many of the homes in what was then an all African American community known as Centerville. John Coleman was first in the community to have electricity in his home. Though he is listed in the Census as a laborer, John Coleman also served as a teacher in the Centerville Colored School, which was a one room structure that served students in grades 1-8. The school was mentioned in a 50 year survey that was completed and published by Dr. C. H. Parrish in 1926. The Centerville School held classes about five months out of the year, the same as many of the common schools founded after the Civil War in small African American communities in Kentucky. In addition to being a school teacher, John Coleman was a musician; he and two of his brothers were members of a local music group. John Coleman played the cornet, Ernest Coleman played the tuba, and Robert Henry Coleman (Bill Coleman's father) played the snare drum. According to the U.S. Federal Census, the Coleman family had been in Centerville at least since the end of slavery (and probably before that). John Coleman and his wife, Kitty [or Kittie] Bachelor Coleman, were still living in Centerville in 1930; they were the parents of four children: Mattie Coleman Hersey, Ida B. Coleman, John A. Coleman Jr., and Cora M. Coleman. For more see Dr. C. H. Parrish, "A fifty year survey," Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 21-24, 1926, pp. 23-24 [available full-text in the Kentucky Digital Library]; and Trumpet Story, by Bill Coleman.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Centerville, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Coleman, Louis, Jr.
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2008
Reverend Louis Coleman, Jr., from Louisville, KY, was one of Kentucky's most recognized civil rights activist and an outspoken advocate. He was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2000. Coleman was a graduate of Central High School, Kentucky State University, and Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was an athlete, having played baseball and football at K-State, and he later signed to play professional baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He helped lead the lawsuit that challenged the lack of African American coaches in Kentucky high schools. He called for the boycott of Pepsi products from the Winchester, KY, plant due the complaints concerning the plants' lack of hiring and retention of African American employees. Rev. Coleman advocated fairness and equality throughout the state of Kentucky. He was head of the Justice Resource Center in Louisville. For more see A. Clark, "Rev. Louis Coleman dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/2008; and K. Cengal, "Civil rights activist Louis Coleman is dead," Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/05/2008.

See photo image and additional information of Rev. Louis Coleman, Jr. at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coleman, Robert Alfonzo
Birth Year : 1932
Robert A. Coleman, a civil rights activist, was born in Hopkinsville, KY. He was a postal carrier in Paducah, KY, and the first African American president of the Paducah Local of the National Association of Letter Carriers. He was also the first to chair the executive board of the state association. Coleman was a city commissioner in Paducah beginning in 1973 and also served as mayor pro tem for six years. He is a 32-Degree Mason and past Master of Stone Square Lodge #5. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. In 2005, Coleman was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. In 2009, the Blackburn Park in Paducah, KY, was renamed the Robert Coleman Park. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006; and the Robert A. Coleman interview [text and audio] in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, Oral History Project.

See photo image and additional information on Robert A. Coleman at Hall of Fame 2005, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Coleman, Ruth A.
Birth Year : 1950
Ruth Coleman became the first African American woman graduate of the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky in 1977. She was the only African American in her classes and one of just two women in a couple of her classes. In addition to being a civil engineer graduate, Coleman also has an associate degree in engineering technology from Lexington Technical Institute [now Bluegrass Community and Technical College] and was a math major at Transylvania University for two years. She graduated from Bryan Station High School in 1968. Coleman was employed at the Kentucky Department of Transportation's Division of Bridges [now Kentucky Transportation Cabinet]. She was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Cleo J. and Samuel O. Coleman, Sr. This entry was submitted by Rhetta Coleman Young, sister to Ruth Coleman. For more see J. Swartz, "Woman makes inroads in Engineering School," Lexington Herald, 05/23/1977, Lifestyle section, p. A-9.
Subjects: Engineers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Coleman, William David (Liberia)
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1908
William D. Coleman was born in Fayette County, KY. He was a slave who gained his freedom then settled in Liberia, Africa. Coleman was Vice President of Liberia before becoming its 12th president (1896-1900). He first completed President J. J. Cheeseman's term and was then elected to the presidency. His dates have also been given as 1869-1900. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. DunniganThe Political and Legislative History of Liberia, by C. H. Huberich; and William David Coleman, a Liberia Past and Present website.

See image of William D. Coleman at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Coleman, William Johnson "Bill" (musician)
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1981
Bill Coleman, born in Centerville, KY, was the son of Robert H. Coleman and Roberta Johnson Coleman. The family moved to Cincinnati, OH, when William Coleman was a child. He later became a trumpet player, spending most of his adult life in Paris, France. Coleman was a jazz musician who taught himself how to read music. He toured all over Europe and a bit in Asia, returning occasionally to the U.S. to perform. His playing style was compared to Jabbo Smith's. Coleman recorded with some of the greats, including Fats Waller. The album Bill Coleman in Paris, 1936-1938 highlights some of his playing and singing. Bill Coleman later returned to France, where he continued to perform until his death in 1981. His book, Trumpet Story, tells of his music career and his travels, the title was published in French in 1981, and in English in 1989. Bill Coleman was the nephew of John A. Coleman, Sr. For more see Grove Music Online [available on the University of Kentucky campus and off campus via the proxy server]; and The World of Jazz Trumpet: a comprehensive history & practical philosophy, by S. Barnhart.

See photo images of Bill Coleman in the Library of Congress, American Memory, William P. Gottlieb - Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Centerville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cinicnnati, Ohio / Paris, France, Europe

Colerane, Horace Donia, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1922
In 1913, Colerane became the first African American elected to the Winchester (KY) City Council. Colerane, a minister and a plasterer, represented the 4th ward, a predominately African American district. He was the husband of Elizabeth Combs Colerane (b.1856 in Kentucky); they were married in 1878. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Second Street in Winchester. For more see "Negro qualifies," Lexington Leader, 12/03/1913, p. 5.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Coles County, Illinois [Anthony and Jane Bryant]
The African American settlers of Coles County, Illinois, came from Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, all around 1840. The settlers from Kentucky included Isom and Lucy Anne Bryant (Lucy was from Kentucky); the Derixson (or Derrickson) Family, escaped slaves from Nicholas County, Kentucky; and Mr. and Mrs. George Nash (George was from Kentucky). A famous slavery case that took place in Coles County involved Anthony Bryant, a free man, and his wife Jane Bryant, a slave, and her four children [some sources say six children]. Slave owner Robert Matson, from Bourbon County, wanted to take Jane and the children from Coles County back to Kentucky, and he enlisted the help of lawyers U. F. Binder and Abraham Lincoln. Matson lost the case, and the Bryant Family moved to Liberia, Africa. For more see History of Negro Slavery in Illinois and of the Slavery Agitation in that State, by N. D. Harris (1904); and J. W. Weik, "Lincoln and the Matson Negroes," Arena, v.17, 1896-97 Dec-Jun, pp.752-758 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Court Cases, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Nicholas County, Kentucky / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Coles County, Illinois / Liberia, Africa

Coletown (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1834
Coletown is located on Walnut Hill Road in Lexington. Prior to the formation of the community, the land belonged to Sarah Johnson. Johnson willed ten acres to Milley Cole in 1834; Cole had been a slave owned by Johnson's brother, Horatio Johnson. The land was subdivided among the heirs of Milley Cole, and thus began Coletown. In 1971, there were 30 people living in the community. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith; and Historical Communities Near Lexington, a Bluegrass Community & Technical College website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Coletown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

College of the Scriptures, Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1945
The following information comes from the College of the Scriptures website: The College of the Scriptures was incorporated on May 17, 1945, and began its classes with two students in September, 1945. R. Tibbs Maxey, Jr. was elected President and Dr. George Calvin Campbell, Vice president. A founder of the school was Isaiah Moore (1882-1972). The school was located at 709 West Magazine Street in Louisville, KY [today it is located at 4411 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY]. When the school opened in 1945, it was believed to be 'the only school in the nation incorporated for the sole purpose of training Negro ministers for the Christian Church' [source: 'Negro Bible College opens,' The Christian Science Monitor, 09/29/1945, p. 11]. The College of the Scriptures was one of the first two colleges established by the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ to make an impact in the African American communities [source: The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, by D. A. Foster]. The second such school was the Christian Institute in Winston-Salem, N.C., organized by Robert L. Peters. The school struggled in the beginning, then closed, and was later reopened and renamed Winston-Salem Bible College. For more information see I Remember Brother Moore. by R. T. and N. Maxey; A Design for the Christian Education Department of The College of the Scriptures, Louisville, Kentucky, by T. W. Mobley (thesis); and Kurio, The College of the Scriptures yearbook.

 

See photo image of Robert Tibbs Maxey, Jr (1910-2002) and Dr. George C. Campbell (1872-1949) on an advertisement card for The College of the Scriptures at the Kentucky Digital Library (part of the Sallie Price Family Papers at the University of Kentucky).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Collins, Alfred "Sonny"
Birth Year : 1953
Sonny Collins was born in 1953 in Madisonville, Kentucky.  He played football at Madisonville High School as a running back. He was one of the top rushers in the state, accumulating 6,200 yards from 1968-1971. Collins was also a running back at the University of Kentucky from 1972 to 1975, where he is the career rush leader with 3,835 yards, one of the top five season rushers, and one of the top ten scorers. Collins' jersey was retired in 1991, and he was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons as the 8th pick of the 2nd round of the 1976 NFL draft. In a game against San Francisco, Collins set a record when he rushed 31 times for 107 yards. A knee injury ended his career after one year with the Atlanta Falcons. For more see the Sonny Collins' listings in the KHSAA State Football Records; Sonny Collins on the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Membership Archive; N. Comer, "Troubled children get new pals UK football great recruits mentors," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/24/1991; and J. Clay, "John Clay: Ex-Cat Collins - full-time biker and granddad - smooth as ever," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/26/2012.
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Collins, Iona Wood
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2003
Iona Wood Collins was born in Paris, KY; her family moved to Maryland when she was a child. Collins was one of the first African American librarians with the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, working there from the late 1930s to the early 1940s. Following the birth of her daughter in 1945, Collins reopened the previously closed Little School, a private preschool in Baltimore for African American children. She owned and managed the school for 35 years, later opening the Park Hill Nursery. Collins was a graduate of Howard University and attended the Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] library science school before transferring to Columbia University, where she earned her library degree. She was the daughter of Nellie Virgie Hughes Wood and Francis Marion Wood, former president of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and Baltimore's first superintendent of Colored schools. For more see J. D. Rockoff, "Iona Wood Collins, 89, one of the first black librarians at Enoch Pratt," The Sun (Baltimore, MD), 12/28/2003, LOCAL section, p. 3B.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Cologne, Texas
Start Year : 1898
The community of Cologne is located on U.S. Highway 59 in Goliad County, Texas. Former slaves Jim Smith and George Washington are credited with establishing the African American settlement. The first settlers, five families of former slaves from Tennessee and Kentucky, moved to the area in 1870. First known as Centerville, the community's name was changed to Cologne when the post office was established in 1898; the post office was discontinued in 1925. In 1997, as the community was preparing for the Juneteenth celebration, the population was estimated to be 85. For more see C. Clack, "Juneteenth, born of slavery, evolves into free-form day of joy," San Antonio Express-News, section SA Life, p. 1E; Cologne, Texas, by C. H. Roell, at the Texas State Historical Association website; Cologne, Texas at TexasEscapes.com; and From These Roots by F. D. Young.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cologne (was Centerville), Goliad County, Texas

Colonization Conspiracy (East St. Louis, IL)
Start Year : 1916
Prior to the East St. Louis race riots of 1917, a conspiracy took place when Democrats charged that Republicans were colonizing Negroes from the South to increase the power of the G.O.P. The state of Illinois was a doubtful win for the Woodrow Wilson presidential campaign, so, the idea was cooked up to accuse the Republicans of vote fraud among Negroes and also of importing southern Negroes to be used as strikebreakers and union busters. It was a tactic that had been used without much success in previous elections. For the 1916 election, there was a colonization investigation with the supposed findings, by Assistant Attorney General Frank Dailey, that over the previous year, 300,000 Negroes of voting age had been colonized in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Ten to twelve thousand had settled in East St. Louis. The Department of Justice agents interviewed many of the so-called colonists and found that they had come North seeking higher wages more so than politics. But, the newspapers were told that the colonists had been brought North as illegal voters; the jobs never existed, and there was a guilty party in Kentucky: "unscrupulous Republican politicians in Northern Kentucky had given labor contractors the names of Negroes who were to be duped." For more see E. M. Rudwick, "East St. Louis and the "Colonization Conspiracy" of 1916," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 33, issue 1 (Winter, 1964), pp. 35-42 [quotation from page 40]; and "The Colonization Conspiracy," chapter 2 of Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917, by E. M. Rudwick.
Subjects: Hoaxes, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: East Saint Louis, Illinois / Kentucky

Colored A. & M. Fair Association
Start Year : 1869
End Year : 1930
Annual exhibition. [Lexington, Ky.?: the Association, 1869?- ]. The Lexington Colored Fair, held off of Georgetown Road in Lexington, Kentucky, was the largest African American fair in the state. Copies of exhibition catalogs are available at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library, call number S555 .K45.
Subjects: Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Bureau of Education, Frankfort, KY
Start Year : 1914
In January of 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education in Frankfort, KY, "to supply teachers who are prepared to teach and can not find a place...." -- [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In March of 1914, the Bureau endorsed the work of Miss Elnora B. Lee, assistant principal of the Hardinsburg Public School [source: "--Miss Elnora B. Lee...," Freeman, 03/07/1914, p. 4]. The Colored Bureau of Education was a forerunner to the National Colored Teachers' Agency established in Louisville, KY in 1928.
Subjects: Employment Services
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Colored Christian Church (Midway, KY)
Start Year : 1834
What is thought to be the first Negro Christian Church in the United States was founded as a congregation in 1834. It was later named the Midway Colored Christian Church, then renamed the 2nd Christian Church of Midway. According to former historian, Mrs. Katherine Johnson, the initial congregation was made up of colored members of the white churches at New Union, Grassy Spring, and Georgetown, KY. Meetings were held at the Kentucky Female Orphan School, where one of the members would volunteer to lead the weekly services. Alexander Campbell, a slave who was purchased by the white Christian Church for $1000 in order to become the preacher and manager of the congregation's affairs. A log cabin church was later built for the members on the banks of Lee's Branch. Under Campbell's leadership, the church soon had 300 new members and the congregation outgrew the log cabin. In 1872, the congregation purchased the Presbyterian Church building on Stephens Street, and that church was replaced by a new building in 1906. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker; History of the Midway Colored Christian Church, by K. Johnson (1955); and "Old slave church remembered," Lexington Leader, 12/27/1976, p.A9. See also the entry for the Stone-Campbell Movement in Kentucky.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway, New Union, and Grassy Spring, Woodford County, Kentucky / Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Colored Circles and Colored Notes (Lexington Newspapers)
Start Year : 1898
End Year : 1969
"Colored Notes," a column found in mainstream newspapers throughout the United States, contained information about African Americans; the column was often located on the back pages next to the want ads. The articles ranged in length from a few sentences to an entire column or more. The term "Colored Circles" was used in the late 1890s in the Daily Leader, and predated the use of the term "Colored Notes" in the Lexington Leader beginning around 1904. "Colored Notes" had been a part of the Lexington Herald since 1921, and the merged publication the Sunday Herald-Leader. In the late 1950s, rumblings of opposition arose toward the use of the term "Colored" and the segregating of news in the Lexington newspapers. In the early 1960s, CORE and other civil rights organizations demanded that the notation "Colored Notes" be removed and that news about African Americans be incorporated with all other news. On the opposing side, there was a push by some to keep the news separate, including African Americans who felt that if "Colored Notes" disappeared, then journalism would return to the days when there was no news at all about African Americans in the mainstream newspapers. The Lexington newspapers were not inclined to remove "Colored Notes," so the heated debate continued. Finally, a readership vote was solicited in 1964, and it was reported that the final tally showed that readers wanted "Colored Notes" to continue. It would take another five years of disagreement before the newspapers begrudgingly relented, and the term and the segregation of the African American news within "Colored Notes" was discontinued in the Lexington newspapers. For more see "Colored Circles," Daily Leader, 02/07/1898, p.2; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 03/04/1904, p.7; "The Lexington, Ky., Herald has added a column of "Colored News Notes" to its edition," The Crisis, July 1921, vol.22, issue 3, p.130; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 04/22/1940, p.10; "Colored Notes and Obituaries," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/12/1964, p. 9; and "Colored Notes to be eliminated," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/01/1969, p. 22.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Clinics (Bowling Green, KY)
The Warren County Colored Health Clinic is listed in Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory for 1937-38. The clinic was located at the State Street School at 204 State Street. G. M. Wells was director and Sophia Smith was the nurse. Few cities in Kentucky had a separate clinic facility for African Americans, before and after the 1930s. Listed in the 1941-1949 directories is the State Street Baptist Church Child Health Conference for Colored Children at 350 State Street, it is listed as an association and as a welfare organization. In 1941, Dr. Lewis Fine was listed as being in charge of the conference. State Street Baptist Church was led by Rev. R. H. Johnson in 1941. The Colored Welfare and Community Center was located at 229 State Street.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Colored Column (Winchester Newspaper)
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1912
The Winchester News began publishing in 1908, which was the same year that the newspaper included the "Colored Column." The column initially consisted of one paragraph, but soon grew in length and included news about African Americans in Winchester, as well as those in other Kentucky cities and the national news. The newspaper was sold in 1912 and the name changed to Winchester Sun. Full text of the "Colored Column" is available in the Winchester News for the years 1908-1910 in the Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers and in Chronicling America. For a history of the newspaper, see Winchester News, a Kentucky Digital Library website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Colored Department (Paducah Newspaper)
Start Year : 1896
End Year : 1898
In 1896, the Paducah Daily Sun newspaper was purchased by Frank M. Fisher and a new column, "Colored Department," was added. The column included items such as births, church news, and masonic lodge news. In 1897, the submitted information for the column was to be left at the store of J. W. Moore, and from there it would be delivered to the newspaper [source: Paducah Daily Sun, 01/09/1897, p. 3]. By November of 1897, the submitted items could be left with C. W. Merriweather at 221 S. 7th Street in Paducah; Merriweather would take the information to the newspaper [source: Paducah Daily Sun, 11/10/1897, p. 3]. The "Colored Department column" can be read online in the 1896 issues of the Paducah Daily Sun newspaper within the Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers. Other issues that include the column from 1896-1898 are available online at Chronicling America. In 1898 the Colored Department column ceased to be published; owner Frank M. Fisher merged the Paducah Daily Sun with the Weekly Sun, resulting in the Paducah Sun [source: About Paducah Sun at the Chronicling America website].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Colored Emigration Movement
Start Year : 1830
End Year : 1856
Colored emigrationists worked toward the development of a plan for free Colored persons to leave the United States, both before and after the Fugitive Slave Bill became law in 1850. Geographic locations that were considered for settlements included Canada, Liberia, Haiti, Santo Domingo, British West Indies, California, Mexico, and Central America, and they were among the same locations considered by the colonizationists and abolitionists. September 20, 1830, the Convention of Coloured Persons met in Bethel Church in Philadelphia, PA, to "consider the propriety of forming a settlement in the province of Upper Canada, in order to afford a place of refuge to those who may be obliged to leave their home, as well as those inclined to emigrate with the view of improving their condition" [source: Richard Allen, "Movements of the people of colour," Genius of Universal Emancipation, April 1831, vol.11, p.195]. The name of the organization was modified with the influence of William Cooper Nell, an integrationist in Boston, MA. The Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People, and Their Friends, was held in Troy, NY, October 5-9,1847. Delegate representatives were appointed from the northern states of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and the southern or border state of Kentucky was represented by Andrew Jackson (Colored). Within the organization, Jackson was a member of the Executive Committee on the National Press for the Free Colored People of the United States. The committee was to investigate the creation of a unified press that would help advance the colored race. In addition to planning for emigration, the convention members sought to establish business and economic independence by trading with Jamaica and Africa. Attending members included Frederick Douglass, who was an anti-colonist and anti-emigrationist, and two fugitive slaves from Kentucky, Lewis Hayden and William W. Brown. In 1854, the National Emigration Convention of Colored People was held in Cleveland, OH, August 24-26, led by Martin R. Delany. In addition to emigration for free Colored persons, the idea was expanded to the creation of a Colored nation. Most of the delegates were from Pittsburgh, PA, and the others came from Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Canada. Those opposed to emigration, such as Frederick Douglass, were not invited or welcomed at the 1854 convention. The convention was held again in 1856. As the country moved toward the Civil War, the attention of the national Colored emigrationists was focused less on leaving the United States, and more on the uncertainty of what might happen in the United States. Emigration of free Colored persons was not a new idea, small colonies from the United States existed before the convention met in Philadelphia in 1830, see the NKAA entries Freemen Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic), Town near Amherstburg, Ontario, and Kentucky, Canada. For more about later colonies see the NKAA entry Proposed American Negro Colony in New Granada. See also William Cooper Nell, Selected Writings 1832-1874, by D. P. Wesley and C. P. Uzelac; "Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People and Their Friends, held in Troy, N.Y., 6-9 October 1847" in Minutes and Proceedings of the National Negro Conventions, 1830-1864 by H. H. Bell; see "National Emigration Convention of Colored People" in The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History online; H. H. Bell, "The Negro Emigration Movement, 1849-1854: a phase of Negro nationalism," The Phylon Quarterly, vol.20, no.2, 2nd Qtr., 1959, pp. 132-142; and H. H. Bell, "Negro Nationalism: a factor in emigration projects, 1858-1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol.45, no.1 (Jan., 1962), pp. 42-53.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Troy, New York / Cleveland, Ohio

Colored Fair at Stamping Ground, KY
By the year 1900, the Colored Fair in Stamping Ground, KY, had become an annual event. The event was held at Wash's Woods. For more see "Stamping Ground," Frankfort Roundabout, 09/15/1900, p. 1.
Subjects: Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas
Geographic Region: Stamping Ground, Scott County, Kentucky

The Colored Home of the Friendless (Paducah, KY)
The home was located at 1404 Rudy Street in Paducah, KY, it was a orphanage for African American children, and is listed in the 1939 Paducah, KY, Consurvey Directory, v.2. Mary Belle Purdle Merriweather (1878-1947, born in Caldwell County, KY) was the matron of the home. She was the wife of WWI veteran Luke Merriweather (1877-1921).
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Colored Ladies' Soldiers Aid Society (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1864
The Society provided aid to Colored soldiers in the Union Army. Similar groups had formed in other states, and it is believed that after the Civil War the Louisville organization was involved with developing a school for children and assisted with the building of a hospital. In 1865, the Colored Ladies' Soldier's and Freeman's Aid Society participate the first 4th of July celebration parade by free persons in Louisville. For more see Natural Allies: women's associations in American history, by A. F. Scott; and p.129 in Autobiography of James L. Smith by J. L. Smith [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Libraries in the Charlotte Court and Aspendale Housing Projects, Lexington, KY (Fayette County)
Start Year : 1940
Charlotte Court was the first segregated housing projects in Lexington, KY. The completed complex had 52 apartment buildings in 1939, the year residents submitted a request to the Manchester Street Library for a colored branch on the grounds of the housing projects. The request was accepted and the branch opened in March of 1940. It was the second colored library in Lexington. The branch was managed by a separate library board made up of Negro members only. The library contained 250 duplicate books received from the Manchester Street Library. Both the Charlotte Court Colored Branch and the Manchester Street Library operated as an independent organization that was NOT connected to the Lexington Public Library. The Manchester Street Library was managed by the Junior League, a women's organization. The Junior League had established a library in the Abraham Lincoln School. The school was attended by white students only. In order to continue to provide the students with library books during the summer months, the Manchester Street library was established in 1939 with 500 books in a nearby storeroom. After the Charlotte Court branch opened, the Manchester Street Library received a request for a lending library in Aspendale, a segregated housing projects on the east side of Lexington. The Aspendale branch library was also managed by a separate library committee. The library was located in the recreation room of the Charles Young Community Center on East Third Street, with Mrs. Harrietta Jackson as librarian [source: Herald-Leader photo collection at UK Special Collections, Audio-Visual Archives, Series 1.13, Item 68]. Both the Aspendale and the Charlotte Court libraries submitted their monthly reports to the Manchester Street Library Committee. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; A. K. Buckley, "The Manchester Street Library, Lexington," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, v.9, pp.27-29; and "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1940 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division. Prior to the Charlotte Court Library was the Fayette County Rural Service Library, Negro Efforts. See also Colored Reading Room, Lexington Carnegie Public Library, and Colored Libraries in Charlotte Court and Aspendale Housing Projects.

 

 See photo image of the Aspendale Branch of the Manchester Street Library in the Charles Young Community Center in Lexington, KY, image within UKnowledge.
Subjects: Housing Authority, The Projects, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Ashland, KY
Start Year : 1901
End Year : 1902
The following lodge was listed in the Ashland and Catlettsburg Directory 1901-1902.

  • Knights of Pythias met at 924 W. Central Avenue

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Bowling Green, KY
Start Year : 1938
The following Colored lodges are listed in the 1937-38 edition of Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory.

Colored lodges that met at 606 College Street:

  • Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World - Spreading Oak Lodge No. 602
  • Masonic - Ancient Land Mark No. 93 F. & A. M.
  • Masonic - St. James Lodge No. 28 F. & A. M.
  • Eastern Star - Star of Venus, Chapter 12. Laura Dawson, Secretary
  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows - Bowling Green Lodge No. 1599. F. S. Abel, Secretary
  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows - House of Ruth No. 76. Mattie Brown, Secretary
  • Knights of Pythias - Court of Calanthe No. 12. Mary W. Potter, Secretary
  • Knights of Pythias - Diamond Lodge No. 23. G. T. Douglas, Secretary

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Covington and Newport, KY
Start Year : 1920
End Year : 1921
The following Colored lodges are listed in the Directory of Covington Newport and Vicinity also Cincinnati Business Directory 1920-21.

Newport

  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows Dunbar Lodge No. 1885 met at 319 W. 4th Street

Covington
  • Below are the Colored lodges that met at the corner of Russell Avenue and Harvey Street
  • American Protestant Association - Queen Esther Court No. 1
  • Covington Lodge No. 6
  • Hod Carriers Union No. 1 - Trade Union
  • United Order True Reformers


  • Below are the Colored lodges that met at the Odd Fellows Hall on Electric Avenue
  • Carmel Temple No. 66
  • Covington Lodge No. 35
  • Covington Temple No. 6 - Sisters of the Mysterious Ten
  • David's Camp No. 7
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - Crispus Attuck Lodge No. 1650
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - Household of Ruth
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - Patriarchie No. 21
  • Grand Council No. 51
  • Knights of Pythias - Covington Lodge No. 6
  • Knights of Pythias - Eclipse Uniform Rank No. 3
  • Knights of Pythias - Independent Order Court of Calanthe No. 7
  • Masonic - Durgin Chapter No. 6, R. A. M.
  • Masonic - Kenton Chapter No. 40
  • Masonic - Kenton Lodge No. 16
  • Queen of Sheba Temple No. 97
  • United Brothers of Friendship

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Frankfort, KY
Start Year : 1914
End Year : 1916
The following list of Colored lodges comes from Caron's Frankfort Directory For the Year 1914-1915-1916.

Colored lodges that met at Odd Fellows Hall, 329 W. Clinton Street, except where otherwise noted:

Grand United Order of Odd Fellows

  • Capital City Lodge No. 1597
  • Industrial Legion No. 3102
  • Patriarchie Lodge No. 41
  • Past Grand Masters Council No. 88
  • Household of Ruth No. 170
  • Juvenile Society No. 540

Knights of Pythias:
  • B. K. Bruce Lodge Co. D. (Uniform Rank). Met at 421 Washington Street
  • Pride of Frankfort No. 15 (Uniform Rank)
  • Young Men's Pride No. 12
Masonic
  • Constantine Commandery No. 15, K. T.
  • Meridian Sun Lodge No. 25, F. & A. M.
  • Tyrian Chapter No. 16, R. A. M.

Eastern Star
  • Mizpah Chapter No. 3251

Colored Lodges that met at the United Brothers of Friendship Hall at 535 Wilkinson Street, except were otherwise noted:

Good Samaritans
  • Martha Tabernacle No. 55
Sisters of the Mysterious Ten
  • Zion Temple No. 20. Met at Odd Fellows Hall
  • Ruth Temple No. 22
  • Rebecca Temple No. 13 (Juveniles)
United Brothers of Friendship
  • Charity Lodge No. 3
Grand Army of the Republic
  • George W. Monroe Post No. 44

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Henderson, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1887
The earliest Colored lodges in Henderson, KY, are listed on p. 502 of History of Henderson County, Kentucky, by E. L. Starling. The book was published in 1887 and is available online at Google Book Search.

  • St. John's Lodge No.4 (Masonic) - founded in 1866
  • Camby Lodge No.1642 (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) - founded in 1875
  • United Brothers of Friendship - founded in 1871
  • Pride of Kentucky Lodge No.105 - founded in 1880
  • Bias Lodge No.8 - founded in 1879
  • Pledies Chamber No.1 (Women) - founded 1880
  • Sons and Daughters of Zion, Lincoln Lodge No. 1 - founded in 1887

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Henderson County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Hopkinsville, KY
Start Year : 1914
End Year : 1916
The names of the Colored lodges below come from Caron's Hopkinsville Directory For the Years 1914-1915-1916.

Colored lodges that met at Friendship Hall, 28 West Second Street:

  • Grand Army of the Republic - Liewellyn Baker Post No. 200
  • Household of Ruth No. 112
  • International Order of Twelve - Rising Star Temple No. 43
  • Knights of Pythias - Court of Calanthe (Ladies' Auxiliary)
  • Knights of Pythias - Pennyroyal Lodge No.20
  • Knights of Pythias - R. N. Lander Company No. 20 (Uniform Rank)
  • Knights of Wise Men - Prelate Chamber No. 1
  • Ladies' Relief Corps - Liewellyn Baker Post 120
  • Masonic - King Lodge No. 41
  • Mystic Tie Lodge No. 1907
  • Order of Eastern Star - Naomi Chapter No. 12
  • Sisters of the Mysterious Ten - Musadora Temple No. 38
  • United Brothers of Friendship - Freedom Lodge No. 75

Colored lodges that met at Good Samaritan Hall on Campbell Street, southwest corner of Second Street:
  • Home Protective Association - Crown Council No. 80. Robert Stegar, secretary
  • Good Samaritan Association. James Allensworth, Jr., manager.

Other Colored lodges:
  • Union Benevolent Society. Henry Guynn, secretary. Met on east side of New Greenville Road, north of city limits.

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1872
An early listing of the Colored lodges in Louisville, KY, can be found in Caron's Annual Directory of the City of Louisville for 1872. The lodges are listed at the end of the list of white lodges under the heading "Secret and Benevolent Societies." There is also a note on pp. 47 and 48: [These Lodges claim to work under a Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of England.]

Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons

  • Mount Moriah Lodge No. 1 - meets on Third Street, southeast corner of Market Street. Moses Lawson, Master; Thomas Mead, S. W.; Isaac Colbert, J. W.; N. B. Rogers, Treasurer; and William H. Gibson, Secretary
  • St. Thomas Lodge No. 2. George A. Schaefer, Master; Octavius Young, S. W.; John Bullock, J. W.; Hampshire Comack, Treasurer, Alexander Provett, Secretary
  • Meriwether Lodge No. 2. George Taylor, Master; Q. B. Jones, S. W.; Thomas J. Johnson, J. W.; N. Bonaparte, Treasurer; M. J. Davis, Secretary; Washington Lewis, Tyler
  • Grand Lodge of Kentucky. John C. N. Fowles, Grand Master; George A. Schaefer, Grand Secretary
Independent Order of Odd Fellows
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - meets on Third Street, southeast corner of Market Street.
  • Union No. 1341. B. Preston, N. G.; James Stepney, V. G.; C. Bazel, O. G.; Edward Williams, N. F.; E. Adams, P. S.; H. M. Cephas, E. S.; Thomas Cross, Chaplain; F. Kirkman, Treasurer
  • St. John's No. 1364. N. Thompson, N. G.; William Bell, V. G.; Alfred Hill, Secretary; Oscar Bell, N.P.; J. H. Johnson, P. S.
  • St. Luke No. 1371. Bascom Pinnell, N. G.; George Mathews, V. G.; W. H. Lawson, P. S.; Frank Gray, Chaplain, J. H. Davis, Treasurer
See also the NKAA entry Masonic Lodges in Louisville, KY.

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Madisonville, KY
Start Year : 1932
End Year : 1933
The following Colored lodge was listed in A. E. Waltrip's City Directory of Madisonville, Kentucky, 1932-1933.

  • Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) - met at the IOOF Building at 414 N. Church Street.

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Owensboro, KY
Start Year : 1889
End Year : 1890
The following information comes from Bennett and Co.'s Owensboro City Directory 1889-90.

Masons met at Hall No. 7 on Frederica Street.

  • Guiding Star Lodge No. 14
  • Verbena Court No. 8 (Colored Ladies)
Independent Order of Odd Fellows met at Hall No. 7 on Frederica Street.
  • Owensboro Lodge No. 1892, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
United Brothers of Friendship met at Hall No. 501 on West Third Street
  • Charity Lodge No. 5
  • United Brothers of Friendship Lodge No. 7
  • Elizabeth Temple No. 7
  • Woolfolk Camp No. 7
  • St. Martha's Temple No. 8
  • Royale House of Queen Esther No. 15
  • Past Master's Council No. 23
  • Diamond Start Lodge No. 119
Sisters' Temple or The Mysterious Ten met at 501 West Third Street.
  • Love Temple No. 83
Knights of Tabor met at 501 West Third Street.
  • K. of T. Lodge No. 251
Other Lodges that met at Hall No. 614 on West Third Street.
  • Union Benevolent Society No. 2
  • Union Benevolent Society No. 1 (Colored Young People)
  • Union Benevolent Society No. 1 (Colored Sisters)
  • Union Star Brass Band
Other Lodge that met at Hall No. 501 on West Third Street.
  • Owensboro Twilight Brass Band

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Paducah, KY
Start Year : 1896
End Year : 1919
An early listing of the Colored lodges is on p. 3 of the Paducah Daily Sun, 11/16/1896. The Masonic Hall was located at 224 Broadway, where meetings took place on the third floor. Later lists can be found in Caron's Paducah Directory For the Years 1914-1915 and For the Years 1918-1919. Below is a combined list of the Colored lodges found in both directories.

Colored Lodges that met at the Odd Fellows Hall on Adams Street:

Colored Lodges that met at the Masonic Temple at 501-505 S. 7th Street:
  • Eastern Light Chapter
  • International Order of 12, Queen Sara Tabernacle No.30
  • Johnathan and David Friendship Assembly No.1
  • Knights of Pythias, Court of Calanthe (Ladies Auxiliary)
  • Knights of Pythias, Cymbolene Lodge No.19
  • Knights of Pythias, Echo Lodge
  • Knights of Pythias, Juvenile Lodge
  • Knights of Pythias, Keystone Lodge
  • Mt. Zion Lodge No.6
  • Pride of Paducah
  • Pride of the Purchase No.12 (Co. H. Uniform Rank)
  • Queen Esther Chapter No. 4 (Order of Eastern Star)
  • Queen of the South Chapter
  • Stone Square Lodge No.5
  • Susannah Chapter No. 2 (Order of Eastern Star)
Colored Lodges:
  • Daughters of Zion Hall, located at 619 South Eighth Street
  • Hodd Carrier's Hall, located at 126 1/2 Kentucky Avenue

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Paris, KY
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1917
There are listings of the Colored Lodges in Paris, KY, in The Inter-State Directory Company's Directory of Paris and Bourbon County Gazetteer For the Year 1908 and W. H. Hoffman's City Directory of Paris, Kentucky, 1917. Below is a combined list of the lodges from both volumes.

Colored Lodges that met at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall:

  • G. A. R. - John Brown Post No. 68

Colored Lodges that met at the United Brothers of Friendship Hall at 308 W. Eighth Street:

  • Bourbon Star Lodge No. 1697, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
  • Callilee Temple No. 32, SMT [Sisters of the Mysterious Ten]
  • Daughters of Tabor - Rose of Sharon Tabernacle No. 99
  • Garfield Company A, Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias
  • Good Samaritan Lodge No. 37, United Brothers of Friendship
  • Hiram Lodge No. 7, F. & A. M.
  • Household of Ruth Lodge No. 1849, Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
  • Jewell Court No.5, Court of Calathe
  • Lillian Juvenile Temple
  • Order of the Eastern Star - Jeptha Chapter No. 5
  • Phoenix Lodge No. 7, Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World
  • St. Pythias Lodge No. 1, Knights of Pythias

Colored Lodges that met at Marble Hall on South Main Street:

  • John Brown WRC No. 15
  • McKinley Camp No. 4, Sons of Veterans

Other Colored Lodges

  • Fraternal Union of America No. 96. Met at Knights of Pythias Hall at 529 South Main Street. Margaret C. Wood, Secretary.
  • Messiah Commandery No. 3, K. T. (Masons)
  • Zerrubabel Chapter No. 5 RAM (Masons)

*Two of the earliest colored lodges in Paris were Hiram Lodge No.5 Masons, organized in 1867, and Knights Templar, organized in 1867 [source: History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin & R. Peter, p.119]
Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Colored Lodges - Winchester, KY
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1913
The names of the following Colored lodges come from Inter-State Directory Company's Directory of Winchester and Clark County Gazetteer For the Year 1908 and Caron's Winchester Directory For the years 1911-12-13.

Colored lodges that met at the United Brothers of Friendship Hall at 16 North Highland Street:

  • Gates City Lodge No. 22
  • Good Samaritans - Rose of Sharon Lodge No. 24
  • Good Samaritans - Resolute Lodge No. 10
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - Winchester Diamond Lodge No. 2077
  • Mosac Lodge No. 25, F. & A. M.
  • Sisters of the Mysterious Ten - Electric Temple No. 60
  • United Benevolent Society
  • United Brothers of Friendship - Eureka Lodge No. 60

Colored lodges that met at Odd Fellows Hall at 22 North Highland:
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - Household of Ruth No. 285
  • Grand United Order of Odd Fellows - Juvenile Society No. 101

Other Colored lodges:
  • Benevolent Society No. 1. Met at Main and Broadway
  • Grand Army of the Republic - George Henson Post. Met at different places
  • Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World - Shackleford Lodge No. 66. United Brothers of Friendship club rooms 22 South Maple
  • United Benevolent Hall was located at 5 East Broadway

Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Colored Marriage Books, Trimble County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1911
The marriage books were found in the Bedford Courthouse, and the entries are handwritten. Included with the marriages are declarations of living together, a consent letter, and an affidavit. A groom and bride index is available online via The Kentucky GenWeb Project.
Subjects: Genealogy, History
Geographic Region: Bedford, Trimble County, Kentucky

Colored News (Berea newspaper)
Start Year : 1913
End Year : 1913
The "Colored News" column ran for a few issues in 1913 in Berea, KY's Citizen newspaper. The Citizen, founded in 1899, was sponsored by Berea College. The paper was initially a recruitment tool for white students. See "Colored News," Citizen, 08/28/1913, p. 4; 09/11/1913, p. 4; and 12/11/1913, p. 4. Available online, 1899-1920, at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers and Chronicling America.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Colored News (Middlesboro newspaper)
Start Year : 1933
End Year : 1950
The "Colored Notes" column was printed in the Middlesboro Daily News on August 27, 1931, p. 4. Two years later, the "Colored News" column was printed in the same newspaper and continued until 1950. The column contained news about African Americans in Middlesboro, KY. The newspaper was first published in 1920; the name was changed in 1981 to Daily News. See "Colored Notes," Middlesboro Daily News, 08/27/1931, p. 4; and "Colored News," in issues of the Middlesboro Daily News from 07/01/1933, p. 3, to 08/16/1950, p. 8.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Colored Notes (Mt. Stering Newspaper)
Start Year : 1918
In October of 1918, Robin Hamilton was the writer for "Colored Notes" in the Mt. Sterling Advocate newspaper. By November, between each item of the column was an ad for hats and clothing. The column was still being published in 1922. The Mt. Sterling Advocate was first published as a weekly paper in 1890, founded by John H. Mason and Dr. C. W. Harris. The paper is still in print today. See "Colored Notes," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 11/12/1918, p.8 and later issues. Available online full text, 1891-1922, at Chronicling America and Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Colored People's Column, and Colored News (Earlington Newspaper)
Start Year : 1893
Almost from the beginning, a Colored news column appeared in The Bee, a semi-weekly Republican newspaper in the mining town of Earlington, KY. The newspaper was first published in 1889, and the column, "Colored People's Column," appeared as early as 1893, and "Our Colored Citizens," appeared in 1900. By 1902, it was named "News for the Colored People" written by Reverend J. H. Gough. The column was limited to 1,000 words and the coverage area included Earlington, Mortons Gap, and Hecla, KY. African American readers were encouraged to subscribe to The Bee. The column was to appear in each newspaper issue, but would be omitted if space was needed for other news. Around 1903, the column was headed "Colored News" or "Colored Column" until it was finally decided that "Colored News" would be the heading. The Bee existed for almost 50 years, and "Colored News" can be found on the latter pages of most issues. Full text of the newspaper is available for the years 1898-1910 at Kentucky Digital Library and Chronicling America. For more about the history of the newspaper, see The Bee, a Kentucky Digital Library website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Earlington, Mortons Gap, and Hecla, all in Hopkins County, Kentucky

Colored Reading Room, Lexington Carnegie Public Library (Fayette County, KY)
Start Year : 1905
End Year : 1949
When the Lexington Carnegie Public Library opened in 1905, there was a Colored Reading Room and Negroes were allowed to check out books. "This room is one of the most pleasant of the library, and furnished, in unison with all the others, with handsome table and chairs of weathered oak. It is situated near the reference room, and opposite the reading room to the left of the front entrance." The Colored Reading Room was the beginning of public library services for African Americans in Lexington, KY, and the room was rarely used. In 1949, the Laura Carroll Branch, a colored library, was opened on Georgetown Street in Lexington, and the main library removed the sign for the Colored Reading Room and added small signs to two tables that were reserved for colored students. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; and 5th report (p.14) and 7th report (pp.11-12) of the Annual Report of the Lexington Public Library, Lexington, KY. See also Fayette County Rural Library Service, Negro Effort, and Colored Libraries in Charlote Court and Apendale Housing Authority.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Scholarship - University of Kentucky, Senior Class of 1908
Start Year : 1908
In 1908, the Kentucky Legislature passed the bill that changed the name of State College to Kentucky State University, today know as the University of Kentucky. In addition to the name change, the Legislature appropriated $500,000 for the college and the two normal schools. During that same period, there was an attempt by the 1908 senior class at State University to provide an endowed scholarship fund for African American students to attend the school. According to the yearbook, The Kentuckian 1908, (p. 135), "Closing the year we received a staggering blow by the refusal of the college authorities to accept a gift of $75,000 from the class, to endow a colored scholarship." The class was very much ahead of the times; State University was still segregated in 1908, with no African American students. There is no mention of the offering in the archived papers of then President James K. Patterson nor in the Board of Trustees' archived records. Though the University had received an increase in appropriations from the state, $75,000 would have been a lot of money for that time period; an equivalent amount in the year 2010 would be a little more than $1.6 million. The 1908 senior class leaders were Thomas R. Bryant, Class President; Helen L. McCandless, Vice President; Hattie Boyd, Secretary; James F. Battaile, Treasurer; and Ruben M. Holland, Class Representative. The Kentuckian 1908 is available online at the Explore UK website.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink and Summer Palm Garden (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1907
End Year : 1908
During the roller skating rink craze in the early 1900s, it was reported that the first Colored skating rink would be built in Lexington, KY, in 1907 [see "Lewis McClanahan," Interior Journal, 03/05/1907, p. 3]. It may have been the first Colored rink in Kentucky, but it was not the first in the United States. The push for the rink in Lexington was led by Lewis McClanahan, who was from Hustonville, KY. (His name is spelled "Louis" in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.) McClanahan was born in 1873 in Ohio. He had come to Kentucky when he was a child, and most of his life he had been a servant for the Weatherford family in Hustonville. In 1907, McClanahan partnered with John Clay for the building of the skating rink. Clay is described as a wealthy Negro from Lexington, KY. Residents of East Third Street circulated a petition that was forwarded to the Mayor, asking that the skating rink not be built in their neighborhood. Just prior to the skating rink opening, the Bluegrass Amusement Company, made up of white business men, filed articles of incorporation as owners of the skating rink. The skating rink was completed March 1907. In April there was a complaint that white spectators had been admitted to the Colored skating rink, and McClanahan and Clay, the managers, were asked by the Lexington Leader newspaper to respond to the complaint. The skating rink, estimated to have cost $10,000, was located on Third Street, just beyond the C. & O. Railway crossing on the old Ransom property. The rink was destroyed by fire in November 1908. After the Lexington Colored skating rink was built, several smaller cities in Kentucky also built Colored skating rinks. For more see the following Lexington Leader articles: "Skating rink," 02/28/1907, p. 9; "Skating rink," 03/17/1907, p. 15; "Petition," 03/20/07; "Colored skating rink," 03/28/1907, p. 1; the statement "The colored skating rink at Lexington was destroyed by fire this week," The Winchester News, 11/14/1908, Colored Column, p. 2; and "Skating rink burns," The Citizen, 11/19/1908, p. 7.
Subjects: Railroad, Railway, Trains, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Earlington, KY)
In 1910, a Colored skating rink was located across the street from the Louisville & Eastern Interurban Rail line Station in Earlington, KY. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church Sunday School used the facility for its Christmas entertainment on December 24-25, 1910. Superintendent William Killebrew and his assistants were in charge of the arrangements. For more, see the paragraph about the celebration in the Colored News section of The Bee (Earlington newspaper), 12/16/1910, p. 4, and 12/23/1910, p. 4. By the beginning of the new year, several Colored churches and Colored persons in Earlington had signed a petition to condemn the dances and perceived rowdiness that had taken place at the skating rink. The indecent entertainment was said to be destroying the lives and character of young Negroes in Earlington. See the Colored Column paragraph "There is a petition signed...," in The Bee, 01/24/1911, p. 2. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church continued to use the skating rink for its events. The skating rink was also used for a banquet by the Zadok Lodge #80 F. & A. M. The organization paid honor to two visitors to the city, Professor E. B. Davis, Grand Master of F. & A. M. of Kentucky, and Ms. Maggie Freeman, Royal Grand Matron of the Eastern Stars. See the Colored Column paragraph "Prof. E. B. Davis...," in The Bee, 06/30/1911, p. 7.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Paducah, KY)
In 1909, the Paducah Colored skating rink was up for sale. The 55 ft. lot, which had cost $4,000, was being sold for $2,500. In 1910, the rink was still in existence when the Colored revival was held there in September. The rink was located on Tenth Street. The revival was held by Lena Mason from Philadelphia, PA, with assistance from Reverend G. W. Robinson, pastor of the African Methodist Evangelical Church in Paducah. For more see "Real estate bargains," The Paducah Evening Sun, 04/03/1909, p. 5; and "Colored revival starts," The Paducah Evening Sun, 09/21/1910, p. 5.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Paris, KY)
The City Board of Health closed the Paris Colored skating rink temporarily in 1908. Mayor James M. O'Brien issued a notice to the chief of police for the rink to be closed until further notice. The rink drew its nightly attendance from Bourbon County, which, along with several surrounding counties, had cases of smallpox. Closing the skating rink was a precaution that would hopefully prevent the spread of the disease to the entire community. For more see the articles "Vaccination in order" and "Colored skating rink closed" in The Bourbon News, 03/13/1908, p. 5.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Winchester, KY)
Thanksgiving night, 1910, the Colored skating rink in Winchester, KY, was the scene of gunfire by deputy policeman, John Ballard, who was shooting at John Smith, an African American who worked at the skating rink. Ballard accused Smith of telling lies on him, and when Ballard drew his gun, there was a scuffle. Smith was able to get away without being injured. Ballard was charged with malicious shooting without wounding. The case was held over to the grand jury. For more see "Ballard held to grand jury," The Winchester News, 12/02/1910, p.1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Colored Soldiers Monument
Start Year : 1924
Also called the Kentucky African American Civil Veterans Monument, the Colored Soldiers Monument is located in the Green Hill Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky.  It was erected by the Woman's Relief Corps No. 8, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) in July, 1924, the only monument to Kentucky African American Civil War soldiers.  A total of four such monuments exist in the U.S.  The monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Colored Statue Performer
Start Year : 1885
It was reported in the New York Clipper newspaper that Charles "Barney" Hicks, manager of Kersands' Colored Minstrels, introduced the first colored statue performer, Apollo, on the minstrel stage in Louisville, KY. Hicks was the first African American to organize a company of African American minstrels; in 1865 the group of ex-slaves was known as the Georgia Minstrels. For more about the statue performer see the New York Clipper, 6/20/1885. For more on Charles Hicks see The Ghost Walks; a chronological history of blacks in show business, 1865-1910, by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Swimming Pool (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1924
End Year : 1955
The city swimming pools in Louisville, KY, were off limits to African Americans until the Colored Swimming Pool was constructed at 17th and Magazine Streets in 1924. This was probably the first public/city swimming pool in Kentucky that was specifically for African Americans. The Colored Swimming Pool and the playground, located on the west side of Louisville, are credited to the community leadership effort of William H. Sheppard. The pool was manged by Kenneth Bower as early as 1926 [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville, Ky. for 1926, p.483], and the following year William H. Sheppard died. In his honor, the playground and pool were named the William Sheppard Park. For more than 25 years the pool continued to be designated in the city directory as the Colored Swimming Pool. From 1929-1930, Benjamin Gill was manager of the pool [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1929, p.497; and 1930, p.493]. Julius Dickerson was the manager in 1931 [p.467]. In 1939, the pool was listed as being located on the corner of 16th Street [source: Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory, 1939, p.383]. The listing for 1949 was "Sheppard Park Colored Swimming Pool" on p.484 of Caron's Louisville (Jefferson County, KY.) City Directory. The Louisville city parks, including the pools, were desegregated in 1955. In the 1956 city directory, the word "colored" was dropped and the listing read "Sheppard Park Swimming Pool" [p.1022]. For more on the desegregation of Louisville city parks and pools see Freedom on the Border by C. Fosl and T. E. K'Meyer; and The Substance of Things Hoped for, the Evidence of Things Not Seen (thesis) by R. M. Lee.
Subjects: Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Union Benevolent Society No.1 and No.2 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1843
According to author Jacqui Malone, the Union Benevolent Society was formed in 1843 by free African Americans in Lexington, KY, to bury the dead, care for the sick, and give support to orphans and widows. The organization received support from whites who permitted a lodge run by slaves in 1852. The organization also secretly participated in the Underground Railroad, assisting in the escape of slaves. The organization was also referred to as the Lexington Colored People's Union Benevolent Society No 1. The Union Benevolent Society, No.2, of Colored People of Lexington, was incorporated in 1870. The organization had existed for a number of years. In 1870, the executive members were James L. Harvey, President; Jordan C. Jackson, Vice President; Henry King, Secretary; and Leonard Fish, Treasurer. For more information on the Colored Union Benevolent Society No.1 see Steppin' on the Blues: the visible rhythms of African American dance, by J. Malone. For more about Benevolent Society No. 2 see chapter 699 of Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, 1869, pp.349-351 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Fraternal Organizations, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Voters' Leagues
Start Year : 1891
The Colored Voters' Leagues were politically influential civil rights organizations first established in the 1890s. In Kentucky, there was an Independent Colored Voters' League of Kentucky in 1899, they presented a bouquet of flowers to Senator William J. Goebel when he spoke before the Turner Society in Louisville, KY; Goebel was the Democratic nominee for Kentucky Governor [source: "German voters," The Evening Bulletin, 10/28/1899, p.3]. However, the Kentucky Colored Voters' League was a much later development, it was established in 1935, according to the Guide to Civilian Organizations. Fayette County, Kentucky by the U.S. Work Projects Administration in Kentucky, January 1943, p.11. The organization was said to have 2,500 members, and was open to "any registered male colored voter." The purpose was "To promote civic and legal interest of the members." The president was Charles P. Riley; Frank Tatman, Secretary; and J. Rice Porter, Chairman. The office terms were indefinite. The organization's office was located at 233 E. Second Street in Lexington, KY, and is listed in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, v.1939, p.136, and in v.1942, p.95. At Western Kentucky University Library, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives are two letters written in 1933 by Sherman Parks from Madisonville, KY, to Joseph F. Garnett in Hopkinsville, KY. "Parks, as an officer in the Hopkins County and Kentucky Colored Independent Voters Leagues, requests assistance, including monetary aid to promote the recruitment of African-Americans to Kentucky’s Democratic Party." - - source: bibliographic record for Sherman Parks Manuscripts. Around the country, the work of the various state organizations can be found in African American newspaper articles. One of the earliest Colored Voters' Leagues was formed in 1891 in Pittsburgh, PA, when a call was made to overthrow the politicians [source: "A Colored Voters' League," The New York Times, 12/27/1891, p.1]. By 1898, there were organizations in several states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia [source: "In organization is power," Colored American, 03/26/1898, p.1]. In 1903, a Colored Voters' League was established in Kansas, "to look well towards the rights and protection of the Negro" [source: "The Legislature employe[e]s," Plaindealer, 03/06/1903, p.1]. In 1905, there was a call at the New York Colored Republican Club for the formation of a political organization known as the National Colored Voters' League that was to have state associations [source: "Colored Voters' League: form political organization of national scope," The Deseret Evening News, 02/18/1905, p.8; and "Negroes of New York...," Freeman, 03/18/1905, p.4]. The 1912 endorsement by the Colored Voters' League in Cook County, IL, had helped Honorable Joseph S. LaBuy to be elected to the Municipal Court of Chicago [source: "Hon. Joseph S. LaBuy, Democratic candidate for Judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago," Broad Ax, 11/01/1924, p.6]. In 1920, the United Colored Voters' League of Detroit held it's first annual dinner [source: "Cleveland social and personal," Cleveland Gazette, 02/07/1920, p.3]. In 1928, the Independent Colored Voters' League of Waco, TX, joined the Houston NAACP in filing a petition in federal court to restrain the Democratic Party from barring Negroes from voting in the primaries [source: "N.A.A.C.P. to fight newest Texas attempt at Negro disfranchisement," Plaindealer, 08/10/1928, p.1].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / United States

Colored/Negro Baseball Teams in Kentucky
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1924
There have been a number of amateur Negro baseball teams in Kentucky, some playing for the simple fun of the game, others belonging to leagues associated with churches and organizations. The majority of the audiences were African American fans. Games were played against nearby Negro teams and those from other states. Mentioned here are only a few of the teams that existed during the first decades of the 1900s, beginning with the Hickman Colored baseball club that traveled to Columbus, OH, in 1900 and defeated a team 20 to 5. The Cloverport Rooters defeated the Tell City, IN, baseball team in 1904 and the Lewisburg Giants in the summer of 1908. The Hardinsburg Colored Team boasted that they were the best team in the county in 1904 and welcomed all challengers. The Berea Colored baseball team took on the Negro school varsity team in 1904. Ben Boyd's baseball team, from Paducah, was undefeated in three games against the Memphis Monarchs in 1904. An earlier Paducah team, in 1901, defeated the Colored club from Charleston, MO, in a game played in Cairo, IN. The Paducah team was trounced by the Metropolis, IL, team in 1901. They defeated a St. Louis, MO, team in 1903, and it was noted that whites attended the game. There are many more articles about Paducah's Colored baseball teams in the Paducah Sun newspaper. In 1909, the Stanford Colored ball team defeated the Turnersville team. The Hartford Colored team was twice defeated by the Madisonville team during the summer of 1911. In 1924, the Colored baseball team at Middlesboro (Bell County) played the Lynch (Harlan County) team. For more see "The Colored baseball club...," Hickman Courier, 06/29/1900, p. 4; The Breckinridge News articles "Win from Tell City," 06/29/1904, p. 1, and "Colored Baseball Games," 07/01/1908, p. 1; "Berea and vicinity, The Citizen, 06/02/1904, p. 6; the Paducah Sun articles "Won three straight," 06/27/1904, p. 2, "Paducah won the game," 07/22/1901, p. 4, "The Metropolis Herald reports...," 07/23/1901, p. 4, and "Colored team of Paducah defeats St. Louis," 05/19/1903, p. 2; "The Stanford Colored ball team...," Interior Journal, 06/15/1909, p. 3; "The Colored baseball team..," Hartford Herald, 06/14/1911, p. 5; and "Middlesboro colored team[s] plays Lynch," Middlesboro Daily News, 07/07/1924, p.4.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Kentucky: Hickman, Fulton County / Cloverport & Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County / Lewisburg, Logan County / Berea, Madison County / Paducah, McCracken County / Stanford & Turnersville, Lincoln County / Hartford, Ohio County / Madisonville, Hopkins County

Colston, Lugusta Tyler
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2008
Lugusta T. Colston, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of Wiley College and received her undergraduate library degree from Wayne State University. She was the librarian at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, FL, for more than 30 years, and had also taught at the Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, SC. In 1940, she was one of the seven founding members of the the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was also a founding member of the Greater Miami Chapter of Links, an international women's civic organization, and was involved in several community organizations that included her leading role with the Minority Involvement Committee of the Miami-Dade County Division of the American Cancer Society. Lugusta T. Colston was the daughter of Mattie Mason Tyler and Charles W. Tyler. Lugusta T. Colston was a sister to Jimmie Tyler Brashear. Since the 1999 death of her husband, Nathaniel Colston, Lugusta T. Colston had been living in Southfield, MI. She is buried in Lexington, KY. For more see E. J. Brecher, "Veteran librarian at Booker T. Washington," Miami Herald, 03/09/2008, Metro and State section, p.5B.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbia, South Carolina / Miami, Florida / Southfield, Michigan

Columbia Colored Library (Adair County, KY)
Start Year : 1908
In 1908, school teacher Parker Jackman and others establish a colored library in Columbia, KY. Jackman placed an ad in the Adair County News, 12/09/1908, p.1, col.5, to encourage the completion of the library. "Professor Parker Jackman is anxious to complete the colored library which was started several months ago. He has collected a number of books and there are many other persons about town who have promised to contribute, but they have not as to yet done so." The article does not give the location of the library. There is no record of the library in the Kentucky Library Commission reports. The other library in town was the Columbia Library which was segregated between 1911 and 1956, and a Miss Anderson was the teacher/librarian at the Columbia Colored School in 1935 [source: Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones].
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Columbia (KY) Temperance Society
Start Year : 1840
Columbia Temperance Society in Adair County, KY, was probably the first white temperance society in Kentucky to have an African American member. The organization was formed in 1839 at the Baptist Church. In 1840, there were 139 members of which 44 were women, one of whom was a slave. Columbia was the first Kentucky town to prohibit the sale of alcohol. For more see Mythic Land Apart, by J. D. Smith and T. H. Appleton; and V. Kolbenschlag, 1839 entry in "Walking tour of Columbia," Columbia Magazine, issue 13 [available online].
Subjects: Alcohol
Geographic Region: Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Combs, George Robert
Birth Year : 1882
In 1920, George R. Combs, a Republican, was thought to be the first African American councilman in Nicholasville, KY, when he was elected to represent the Herveytown Ward. But, Andrew McAfee had been elected a city councilman in 1898. Combs, a Kentucky native, managed a grocery store and was an undertaker in Nicholasville, according to his WWI draft registration card. He was the husband of Lula M. Combs (b.1883 in KY), and the family of three lived on Hervey Street. Herveytown was an African American community on the east side of Main Street in Nicholasville, it was named after James Hervey, a banker, who had owned most of the land where the community was located. For more see Herv[e]ytown Ward under heading "Politics" in The Crisis, vol.19, issue3, January 1920, p.149 [online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Combs, Richard "Tallow Dick"
Combs, a barber, was from Beattyville, KY. He was one of the ten men initially charged with complicity in the murder of William Goebel. While on his deathbed, Goebel had been named Governor of Kentucky following a very controversial and contested governor's race. Richard Combs was the only African American linked to the murder; though there was testimony during the trial that two Negroes had been hired to kill Goebel. W. H. Watts, a Negro janitor of the Adjunct General's Office in the Kentucky Executive Building, also testified in the case [it had only been since 1872 that Negro testimony was accepted in a Kentucky court]. Goebel had won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1899, was shot and mortally wounded January 30, 1900, while outside the Kentucky State Capitol Building, and died February 3, 1900. A senator from Kenton County, KY, he was sometimes described as ruthless, at other times as a reformer. As a reformer, he pushed for a number of changes, including more rights for women and Negroes, and he wanted to do away with lotteries and pool halls. For more see William Goebel in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; "Goebel suspects indicted," from Frankfort, KY in the New York Times, 04/19/1900, p. 1; "Prison cell for Powers," New York Times, 08/19/1900, p. 1; The First New Dealer, by U. Woodson; and V. Hazard, "The Black testimony controversy in Kentucky, 1866-1872," The Journal of Negro History, vol.58, issue 2 (April 1973), pp. 140-165.
Subjects: Barbers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Kenton County, Kentucky

Committee on Negro Housing [Robert H. Hogan]
Start Year : 1931
In April 1931, Robert Hogan was appointed to the Committee on Negro Housing of the President's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership, by President Hoover and R. P. Lamont, the Secretary of Commerce. The committee was chaired by Nannie H. Burroughs. The conference was held December 2-5, 1931, in Washington, D.C. Hogan, born 1883 in Georgia, was a contractor who lived on Fifth Street in Lexington, KY. He was one of 1,000 representative citizens from 48 states who participated in the conference. The Committee on Negro Housing, formed prior to the conference meeting, had been given the directive to advise the conference on the housing needs of Negroes. The committee had been created due to the Great Migration of Negroes from the south to northern cities. After four years of privately-funded research, the findings were published in 1932 in Negro Housing: Report of the Committee of Negro Housing. For more see "Lexington man named to Hoover committee," Lexington Leader, 04/10/1931, p. 20; "Committee on Negro Housing" in Organizing Black America, by N. Mjagkij"; and the Statement announcing the White House Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership, September 15, 1931," in the American Presidency Project [available online].
Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Georgia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / United States

Community Memories: A Glimpse of African American Life in Frankfort, KY Project [Kentucky Historical Society - oral histories]
The "Community Memories" project is one of the KHS Digital Collections [Kentucky Historical Society] available online. The photographs and the oral history collection features a glance at the life of African Americans in Frankfort, Kentucky. The community's families, neighborhoods, and occupations, as well as religious and educational traditions are revealed in this collection of photographed and oral history interviews shared by local residents in 1995.
Subjects: Communities, Photographers, Photographs, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Community Voice (newspaper)[Donald Cordray]
Start Year : 1987
End Year : 2001
The Community Voice newspaper was founded in Lexington, KY, by Donald L. Cordray (born 1952 in Lexington), who was also the editor and publisher. The biweekly publication focused on the African American community in Lexington, and had a circulation of 10,000, mainly in Lexington and Louisville. It was one of the first African American newspapers in Lexington since the early 1900s, and would be followed by the newspaper Key Newsjournal in 2004. For more see M. Ku, "Black voice to fall silent for a while April expansion planned for minority newspaper," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/20/2001, Main News section, p.A1; and "Newspaper to shut down," The Kentucky Post, 02/21/2001, News section, p.9A.
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentuckyk

Compton, J. Glover
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1964
J. Glover Compton, born in Harrodsburg, KY, was a noted ragtime jazz pianist and entertainer. He was the husband and, for a time, musical partner of vocalist Nettie Lewis. Beginning in 1902, Compton performed in the theater in Louisville, KY. He moved on to Chicago in 1910, where he later led the band known as J. Glover Compton and the Syncopaters. Compton had at one time worked with the Whitman Sisters before traveling abroad. In 1928, while in Paris, France, Compton took a bullet in the leg when a disagreement erupted between musicians Sidney Bechet and Mike McKendrick and the two exchanged gunfire. Two pedestrians were also shot, but no one was killed. Compton had been traveling in Europe for a couple of years with the Palm Beach Six when the group settled in Paris, and Compton later worked with Crickett Smith. On the day of the shooting, Compton, said to be the instigator, reported that Bechet had fired the first shot. Compton was McKendrick's friend. Both Bechet and McKendrick were arrested and sentenced to 15 months in jail. They later settled their differences, but Bechet, who lived the last decade of his life in Paris, never forgave Compton. In 1939, Compton returned to the U.S. and performed again in Chicago with Jimmie Noone. In the 1950s, he owned and operated a bar in Chicago. J. Glover Compton was the son of Laura L. Bowman Compton and John Glover Compton, Sr. [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. For more see "No one in any big time way" in Some Hustling This!, by M. Miller; and the J. Glover Compton Biography, by E. Chadbourne at Answer.com.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Paris, France, Europe

Confederate Reunion, 1900 (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1900
From May 30 to June 6, 1900, the Confederate Reunion was held in Louisville, KY. It was estimated that a hundred thousand visitors attended the reunion, one of whom was Mingo Evans, heralded as a Negro hero from Alabama. Mingo, a slave of the Evans family, accompanied Joe Evans to Virginia in 1861 with the 9th Alabama. Joe was killed in the first battle of Manassas, and Mingo took his place. Mingo was injured and discharged from the military and sent home, taking with him the skull of a Yankee soldier. When Union soldiers came for the skull, Mingo hid in the mountains until the end of the Civil War. He had paid his own way to the reunion in Louisville, traveling with the veterans of Camp Horace King. For more see the Mingo article in The Adair County News, 06/06/1900, p. 2, col. 3; and A. Shaw, "The Confederate Reunion at Louisville," The American Monthly Review of Reviews, 1900, v.22, Jul-Dec, p. 20-21 [full view available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Alabama / Virginia

Conference of the Presidents of Negro Land Grant Colleges
Start Year : 1923
End Year : 1955
Conference of the Presidents of the Negro Land Grant Colleges was established January 15-16, 1923 and ended December 31, 1955 [source: Organizing Black America, by N. Mjagkij, pp. 164-165]. The conference was formed during the Southern Conference on Education in Negro Land Grant Colleges held at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The group was formed to help the members address challenges unique to Negro land grant institutions, and they sometimes joined forces with the conference for white land grant colleges to take issues, such as funding and hiring, to the U.S. government. Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University) was a member school. A program from the 25th annual session (October 21-23, 1947) is in the Kentucky State University Library, Special Collections. The names of the member schools and their presidents, as listed in the program, are given below. For more information about the organization, see Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Presidents of Negro Land-Grant Colleges; chapter 14 - Against the Grain in W. E. B. Du Bois, 1919-1963, by D. L. Lewis; The Conference of Negro Land-Grant College Presidents in The Atlanta University Publications, new series, No. 22, 1943; and the program, Conference of the Presidents of Negro Land Grant Colleges, 25th Annual Session, October 21, 22, and 23, 1947. Theme: Extending the Services of the Negro Land Grant Colleges.

 

1947 Colleges and Presidents of the Conference

  • Alabama (Normal) A. & M. Institute, President J. F. Drake
  • Arkansas (Pine Bluff) State College, President L. A. Davis
  • Delaware (Dover) State College, President H. D. Gregg
  • Florida (Tallahassee) A. and M. College, President W. H. Gray, Jr.
  • Georgia (Fort Valley) Fort Valley State College, President C. V. Troup
  • Kentucky (Frankfort) State College, President R. B. Atwood
  • Louisiana (Scotlandville) Southern University, President F. G. Clark
  • Maryland (Princess Anne) Princess Anne College, President J. T. Williams
  • Mississippi (Alcorn) A. & M. College, President W. H. Pipes
  • Missouri (Jefferson City) Lincoln University, President S. D. Scruggs
  • North Carolina (Greensboro) A. & T. State College, President F. D. Bluford
  • Oklahoma (Langston) Langston University, President G. L. Harrison
  • South Carolina (Orangeburg) State College, President M. F. Whittaker
  • Tennessee (Nashville) A. & I. State College, President W. S. Davis
  • Texas (Prairie View) State University, President E. B. Evans
  • Virginia (Petersburg) State College, President L. H. Foster
  • West Virginia (Institute) State College, President J. W. Davis

1947 Associate Members

  • Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, President R. E. Clement
  • Bordentown Manual Training School, Bordentown, NJ, President W. R. Valentine
  • Hampton Institute, Hampton, VA, President R. P. Bridgman
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C., President M. W. Johnson
  • Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, AL, President F. D. Patterson
  • Wilberforce University, College of Education and Industrial Arts, Wilberforce, OH, President C. H. Wesley

1947 Life Member

  • W. R. Banks, Prairie View University, Texas

1947 Officers of the Conference

  • Luther H. Foster, Virginia State College, President
  • Lawrence A. Davis, Arkansas State College, Vice-President
  • Rufus B. Atwood, Kentucky State College, Secretary
  • Felton G. Clark, Southern University, Treasurer

Subjects: Education and Educators, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Washington, D.C / Kentucky

Conley, Jess
Conley, considered the last African American jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby, was actually one of the last. Conley finished 3rd aboard Colston in 1911. He had competed in the Derby two times before: in 1898 aboard Han d'Or (finishing 4th), and in 1899 aboard Mazo (finishing 3rd). Henry King would be the next African American jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby in 1921, and Marlon St. Julien rode in 2000. For more see Black Maestro, by J. Drape; and R. A. Frister, "Forgotten heroes: Black winners of the Kentucky Derby," Ebony, May 1989, pp.82-87 [available online at Google Books].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Conley, Nellie [Madam Sul-Te-Wan]
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1959
Nellie Conley, an actress, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Silas Crawford Wan and Cleo de Londa. In 1983, she was posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Conley went by the name Madame Sul-Te-Wan, acting in early films such as Birth of a Nation and later films such as Carmen Jones and Tarzan and the Trappers. Prior to moving to California and acting in films, Conley had moved from Louisville to Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, she formed "The Black Four Hundred," an acting company that employed 16 performers and 12 musicians. The company was successful, as was a minstrel company that Conley established. Conley soon married and eventually moved to California. Two years later, she had just given birth to her third son when her husband left her. Her money was gone, so for a period of time Conley had to rely on charity. Times got better when she was hired by Kentucky native D. W. Griffith for the movie The Clansman; her pay was three dollars a day and increased to five dollars a day. She and D. W. Griffith remained friends for the rest of their lives, and she had bit parts in seven of his films. She also continued to perform in vaudeville, silent films, and talkies [films with sound]. In 1949, Conley married Anton Ebenthur, who was French; the couple married five years before interracial marriages were legal in California. According to writer Victor Walsh, Conley and Ebenthur were active members of Club Miscegenation in Los Angeles. [It has also been written that Conley was the mother of Ruby Dandridge (1900-1987) and the grandmother of Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965).] For more see Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 18: Sept. 1992-Aug. 1993; Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts, 1st ed., by E. Mapp; The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. Beasley; and V. Walsh, "Women's History Month: Madame Sul-Te-Wan; Hollywood's first African American actress," Oakland Post, 03/19/1997, p. 8.

See photo image and additional information about Nellie Conley at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Interracial Marriage and State Laws, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / California

Connections with Renee Shaw (KET)
Start Year : 2005
Renee Shaw is the host, co-producer, writer, and managing editor of "Connections with Renee Shaw." The intent of the program is to show the positive side of what is happening in Kentucky communities and the people who are making it happen. The interviews are archived and available to the public at the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) website. The archive is a very good resource of local people, places, and events, most of which will not be found elsewhere.
Subjects: Resources Dedicated to Kentucky African Americans [Statewide]
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Connors, Charles Raymond "Chuck"
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1994
Connors, born in Maysville, KY, was a bass trombonist who studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C. He earned a MusB degree in 1956 from the Boston Conservatory. Connors played with Dizzy Gillespie and was employed at other non-music related jobs before joining the Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1961-1974. He was recorded on film with the group, including the documentary Mexican Suite in 1972, and The Duke Live in Europe 1963-64. Connors's performances can be heard on the albums Soul Call, Ellington 65, hits of the 60's, and many other Ellington albums. Connors also recorded with Teresa Brewer and with Mercer Ellington, who was Duke Ellington's son. Mercer took over the orchestra after his father's death in 1974. It is believed that Chuck Connors lived in Cincinnati, OH, after he retired from performing. For more see "Chuck Connors" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and he is included in the picture on p. 332 in Music is My Mistress, by D. Ellington.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Consumers: Slavery Era Insurance Registry
The California Department of Insurance provides a registry of slave insurance that includes slaves owned in Kentucky. The registry has the insurance company names, policy numbers, and the names of the slaves and slaveholders. The information is available as web pages, and also available in .pdf.
Subjects: Slave Injury and Death Reimbursement & Insurance
Geographic Region: Kentucky / California

Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky
Start Year : 1866
The First Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky was held in Lexington, KY, March 22-26, 1866. The convention was held in Ladies Hall on Church Street. The organization was to be temporary, according to the recorded proceedings. George Perry was named chairman and Henry Scroggins was named secretary. The organization had been formed first and foremost to address the Kentucky Legislature on the issue of voting rights for African American men. Other concerns included morality, education, temperance, frugality, industry, and the overall well being of African Americans in Kentucky. Initially, the organization did not push for total equality, but rather was organized with the intent of taking one step at a time toward gaining civil rights and justice. They established the Kentucky State Benevolent Association with Henry King as chairman, Madison C. Johnson as vice president, Henry Scroggins as recording secretary, James H. Campbell as corresponding secretary, and George Perry as treasurer. There was also an executive committee that was given the power to call a convention whenever they thought it necessary; they were the managers of the association. Convention members who arrived late or left the meeting early were fined. There was an exceptionally high expectation that all who had committed to the convention would arrive on time and remain for the duration of the meeting. Delegates came from all over the state. There was also a list of honorary members, beginning with Rev. John G. Fee. A petition was raised to pay the Ladies' Educational Association for the use of their building, Ladies Hall. The petition passed and the Ladies received $25, which was $8 more than they had asked. The Benevolent Association bought stock in the Colored Citizen newspaper, which was recognized as the voice of African Americans in Kentucky. Recognition was also given to Charlotte Scott, former slave of Dr. Rucker in Virginia; Scott was leading the campaign for the erection of the National Colored Men's Monument in memory of President Lincoln. Twelve hundred copies of the Proceedings of the First Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky were printed and forwarded to prominent men such as President Andrew Johnson. For several years, William J. Simmons served as chair of the executive committee of the Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky, with one of his re-elections taking place in 1875. He chaired the committee that led in presenting grievances to the Kentucky Legislature. In 1886, his speech before the Legislature on the injustices put upon the Colored people of Kentucky was described as a masterpiece; the Kentucky Legislature order that 2000 copies be printed. It was the first time that an African American addressed the Kentucky Legislature about the plight of African Americans in Kentucky. For more about the establishment of the organization, see the Proceedings of the First Convention of Colored Men of Kentucky [available at Google Books]. For more on the text of William J. Simmons' speech, see pp. 48-50 in Men of Mark by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner [available at Google Books]; and Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Convention of Colored Newspaper Men
Start Year : 1875
Peter H. Clark chaired a meeting in Cincinnati, OH, August 4 & 5, 1875, that called for the organization of the Convention of Colored Newspaper Men. Clark (1829-1925), born in Ohio, was an abolitionist writer and speaker and an educator. In 1849, he was the first teacher in Cincinnati's newly established public schools for Colored children, and he established the first Colored high school. Clark was highly regarded as an educator and as a political activist who could inspire Colored people to vote in Cincinnati. In 1875, Clark wanted to form an organization that would strengthen and correct the reporting of news about Colored people in the United States, particularly in the South. At the 1875 meeting, it was planned that the Convention of Colored Newspaper Men would also produce an 18 volume publication on the true history of the Colored people in the United States. Months after the meeting, Clark sounded the call for membership via articles in Colored newspapers, the articles detailing a plan of representation for each state and territory. For Kentucky, there were to be 12 representatives. Clark's plans did not materialize, but the stage was set for bringing together Colored newspapers in order to strengthen their operations and the Colored perspective of news reporting about Colored people. For more see P. H. Clark, "A Call for a National Convention of the Colored People of the United States," The Colored Tribune, 04/18/1876, p. 4 [available online at GALILEO Digital Initiative Database]; A. R. Rivera, "Afro-American Press Association" in Organizing Black America, by N. Mjagkij; Proceedings of the Convention of Colored Newspaper Men, Cincinnati, OH, 04/04/1875; and P.S. Foner, "Black participation in the Centennial of 1876." Phylon, vol. 39, issue 4 (4th Qtr., 1978), pp. 283-296.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: United States

Convention of Colored Republicans (or Colored Border State Convention)
Start Year : 1868
In 1868, a call was made by African American Republican leaders from Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, for the Convention of Colored Republicans. The meeting was held in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 4, 1868. The initial purpose of the meeting was to organize African American men in the border states for the fight for equal rights. The call came as a result of the dissatisfaction toward the Chicago Convention that had not given African American men the right to take part in the deliberations. Chicago Convention members had "remembered the rights of the loyal citizens of the so-called reconstructed states." The Convention of Colored Republicans, which continued after the first meeting in 1868, was a national organization with state branches that included New York, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, South Carolina, Ohio, and Illinois. The Colored Republican Convention in Kentucky was held in Frankfort, KY, in 1870, with almost 100 counties represented. A national convention was held in Washington, D.C. in 1888 to discuss the political and social conditions of all African Americans and the rights and privileges of citizenship. Chapters of the Convention of Colored Republicans were still active in the 1930s. For more see, "A call has been issued...," The Daily News and Herald, 06/19/1868, issue 143, col. A; and a quotation from "Convention of Border State Colored Men," The New York Times, 06/12/1868, p. 5. For more about the Chicago Convention see The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1868, vol. 8, by D. Appleton and Company [available at Google Book Search]; "Colored Republican Convention in Kentucky," Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, 03/03/1870, issue 53, col. D.; and A Colored Convention," Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 12/10/1888, p. 2.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: United States / Baltimore, Maryland / Delaware / West Virginia / Missouri / Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Chicago, Illinois

Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky
A convention of Free Negroes was organized in Philadelphia by James Forten in 1813. The National Convention of Free Negroes was called in 1830 by Arthur Tappan and Simeon S. Jocelyn. The convention members were anti-colonizationist, against deporting former slaves and free persons, and stood for the abolition of slavery and for equal citizenship to all free persons. The Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky was also established with branches in various cities. The exact starting date of the organization is not known, and very little has been written about the group. According to an article in The Lima Argus newspaper, in 1847, the Kentucky Convention of Free Negroes and the Kentucky Colonization Society had agreed that a representative party of free Negroes from Kentucky would be allowed to go to Liberia for one year to inspect the colony, then return to make a full report to their constituencies. Persons were nominated from Lexington, Maysville, Danville, Richmond, and Louisville. The purpose of the proposed plan was to convince more free Negroes in Kentucky to migrate to Liberia. The chosen delegates were Stephen Fletcher, J. Merriwether, H. Underwood, and A. Hooper. They left the United States in 1847, and returned August 1848, along with S. Worrell, a North Carolina delegate. The Kentucky delegates' report on the Liberia Colony was favorable, the colony was healthy and prospering satisfactorily. However, Jesse Merriwether wrote an unfavorable report and advised against emigration to Liberia. For more see The Chronological History of the Negro in America, by P. M. Bergman and M. N. Bergman; "Convention of Free Negroes," The Lima Argus, 07/27/1847, p. 2; and "Arrival of the Liberia Packet," The Adams Sentinel, 08/14/1848, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Conventions of the Colored Christian Churches in Kentucky
Start Year : 1872
There were three divisions to the annual Convention of the Colored Christian Churches of Kentucky: the State Missionary Convention, with male delegates; the Sunday School Convention, with both male and female delegates; and the Kentucky Christian Women's Board of Missions (C.W.B.M) Convention, with female delegates. The first to be organized was the State Missionary Convention, in 1872 in Lexington, KY. The goal was to organize state work in missions and develop a total brotherhood program. The Convention purchased The Christian Soldier newspaper for $100; the paper was to continue as the organ of the Brotherhood. R. E. Pearson was editor and manager, and D. I. Reid was printer. The newspaper was published monthly and cost subscribers 50 cents per year. The paper was to support itself and did not last very long. The organization's next paper began publication in 1921: the Christian Trumpet. The Convention also gave annually to the Louisville Bible School. The school, opened in 1873 to educate Negro ministers, was originally located on 7th Street in Louisville, KY. The Sunday School Convention was organized in 1880 to bring together Sunday School workers to promote the program and learn methods of teaching and managing Sunday School. Few men attended the conventions. The Christian Women's Board of Missions (C.W.B.M.) Convention was also organized in 1880 to help the church have a complete program through home and foreign missions. The group was closely connected to the Louisville Bible School, making annual donations, raising funds and pushing for a girls' school that was never built. They also gave funding to The Christian Soldier newspaper in hopes that the C.W.B.M. column would continue. Later they campaigned for subscriptions to World Call and encouraged members to read the Gospel Flea. When male delegates attended the C.W.B.M. Convention, the men were not recognized; it was a women's only organization. For more see Negro Disciples in Kentucky, 1840-1925 (thesis), by C. Walker.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Conwill, Houston
Birth Year : 1947
Born in Louisville, KY, Houston Conwill is a multi-talented painter and sculptor. He has received many awards, including the Prix de Rome Fellowship in 1984 and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 1987. He collaborated on the creation of a terrazzo and brass project, Rivers, for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Houston Conwill is the brother of artist and poet Estelle Conwill Majozo. For more see The African American Almanac, 9th ed.; St. James Guide to Black Artists, ed. by T. Riggs; and Art at the Edge, by H. Conwill and S. Krane.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North, Sculptors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Cook, George
Birth Year : 1863
Born in 1863 in  Louisville, Kentucky, George Cook was a cook for Buffalo Bill Cody and a chef on a private dining car of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. He was known as "Honest Mister Cook." For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cook, Isabel and John Hartwell
It has been mistakenly assumed that the Cooks were Kentucky natives. John Cook was born around 1838 in Washington, D.C., his family was free. Isabel Marion Cook was born in 1843 in Tennessee. Both were graduates of Oberlin College. The couple came to Kentucky in 1864 when John was hired as a school teacher in Louisville. In 1867, they moved to Washington, D. C. where John Cook had accepted the position of chief clerk with the Freedmen's Bureau. The family, which included extended family members, lived east of 7th Street, according to the 1870 U.S Federal Census. John Cook worked during the day and attended college at night. He was a member of the first class of ten graduates from Howard University Law School in 1871. He would become a professor and dean of the school for two years prior to his death from tuberculosis in 1878. John and Isabel Cook were the parents of musician Will [William] Marion Cook. For more see A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and Swing Along by M. G. Carter. 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Washington, D.C / Tennessee / Kentucky

Cooke, Charles L. "Doc"
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Charles Lee Cooke earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in music from the Chicago College of Music in 1926. He was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in music. He began writing music compositions when he was a child in Louisville and had organized an eight piece band by the time he was 15. His family moved to Detroit, MI, when he was 18. Cooke played the piano and was the conductor and director of the Chicago Dreamland Ballroom Orchestra during the 1920s. He was better known as a conductor than for his playing. When his career as a conductor in Chicago ended, Cooke moved to New York, where he was an arranger at R.K.O. and Radio City Music Hall. According to his WWI Draft Registration Card, Charles Lee Cooke was born 09/03/1887. For more see Charles "Doc" Cooke at redhotjazz.com; Charles "Doc" Cooke at Answers.com; and Doc Cook [Cooke, Charles L.] at Grove Music Online. View image and listen to Doc Cook's Dreamland Ballroom Orchestra - Sidewalk Blues (1926) on YouTube.


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

Cook-Parrish, Mary Virginia
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1945
An education and religious leader, Mary V. Cook-Parrish spoke before the American Baptist Home Mission Society on 'Female Education' in 1888. She was a professor at the Kentucky Baptist College, then known as State University [later Simmons University]. She became a journalist in 1886 with The American Baptist while at the same time editing a column with The South Carolina Tribune, writing under the pen name Grace Ermine. She spoke out on women's suffrage and full equality in employment, education, social reform, and church work. Cook-Parrish was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Ellen Buckner. She was the wife of Charles H. Parrish, Sr. Cook-Parrish's death certificate has her age as 77 years old. Additional information can be found in the Charles Parrish, Jr. Papers at the University of Louisville Libraries. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Africana: the encyclopedia of the African and African American experience, edited by K. A. Appiah and H. L. Gates, Jr.; and "Prof. Mary V. Cook, A.B." in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors.

See image of Prof. Mary V. Cook from The Afro-American Press and its Editors by I. Garland Penn, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cooper, Opal D.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1974
Opal Cooper was born in Cromwell, KY, to Louis and Ellen Cooper. The family moved to Chicago, and by his late teens, Opal Cooper was a professional tenor soloist, performing in concerts and recitals. In 1915, he appeared in Darkydom, a musical that opened in Harlem as a part of Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles' vaudeville act. Cooper continued performing until he enlisted in the army, where he served as a drum major during World War I. His unit returned to the U.S. in July 1919. Six months later, Cooper took a job with the Seth Weeks Jazz Band so he could return to Europe. Realizing how much money they could make, Cooper and the other musicians formed their own group, the Red Devils, and their itinerary included various European cities. When the group broke up in 1923, Cooper remained in Europe and continued to perform with other performers. He returned to live in the U.S. at the beginning of World War II. Cooper could play a number of instruments, and he continued to sing and perform into the 1960s, later becoming a cab driver. The Opal D. Cooper Papers are at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. For more see chapter 26 in Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks. See photo images of Opal D. Cooper and The Red Devils at Passport Photos - Jazz Musicians on flickr.

Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Cromwell, Ohio County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Europe

Cooper, Priscilla Hancock
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Louisville, KY, Priscilla Cooper became a poet/performer, author, and teacher. As a teenager, she worked for the Louisville Defender newspaper. She is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri and American University Washington, D. C. Her first volume of poetry, Call Me Black Woman, was published in 1993. Cooper has numerous publications and productions and has edited three anthologies. She also teaches writing. She and Dhana Bradley-Morton founded the Theater Workshop of Louisville. They have also presented creative collaborations, the first of which was a poetic concert in 1981, I Have Been Hungry All of My Years. This was followed by Four Women and God's Trombones, and they also performed in Amazing Grace in 1993. Both are featured in the KET Production, Words Like Freedom/Sturdy Black Bridges, a poetic concert featuring African-American writing and music. Since 1998, Cooper has been the teacher of the Anti-violence Creative Writing Program, "Writing Our Stories," sponsored by the Alabama Department of Youth Services and the Alabama Writers Forum. In 2005, Cooper was awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature by the Alabama State Council. In 2006, she received the Coming Up Taller Award by the U.S. President's Committee in the Arts and Humanities. Cooper is the vice president of Institutional Programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. For more see B. Brady, "Architecturally Sound," CityBeat, vol. 6, issue no. 33, 2000; and Meet Priscilla Hancock, a Red Mountain Theatre Company website.

See photo image of Priscilla Hancock Cooper at Red Mountain Theatre Company website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Migration South, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama

Cooper, Ron
Birth Year : 1962
Ron Cooper was the first African American head football coach at the University of Louisville (U of L). He came to U of L in 1993 from Eastern Michigan University, where he had been the head football coach with a two year record of 9-13. He had also been the defensive coordinator at Murray State University, 1987-88. Cooper was at U of L for three years before being fired in December 1997; the team's record was 7-4 the first year, 5-6 the second, 1-10 the third. When he came to U of L, Cooper was one of five African American head football coaches at Division I-A schools, and at the age of 31, he was also the youngest. After leaving U of L, Cooper was hired as the head football coach at Alabama A&M, where he coached 1998-2001. The A&M team played in the 2000 championship game of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and that year they led the nation in rushing defense. In his coaching career, Cooper has led teams to six bowl games. Ron Cooper was born in Huntsville, AL, and is a 1983 graduate of Jacksonville State University, where he lettered all four years in football. He earned his master's degree in 1986 at Appalachian State University. For more see G. Frenette, "Untapped talent pool Blacks often passed over for top spots," The Florida Times-Union, 12/15/1997, Sports section, p. B-1; The University of Louisville, by D. D. Cox and W. J. Morison; and Ron Cooper at LSUsports.net. See also the NKAA Database entry for Charles R. Strong, the second African American head football coach at U of L.


Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Huntsville, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Copeland, Ivanora B.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1929
Ivanora B. Lindsey Copeland was the organizer and Past Matron of the St. John's Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star (O. E. S.) in Cincinnati, OH. She was a leading member of several women's organizations, including her tenure as Past G. A. C. and P. W. of the International O. E. S. Ivanora Copeland was also a funeral director; she shared the business with her husband, William Copeland (1848-1931), who was a member of the Ohio Legislature from 1888-1889. Ivanora Copeland was the former wife of Cyrus DeHart [source: "Was his wife, Mrs. W. H. Copeland was Mrs. Cyrus DeHart - She gets one half of $9,000," Cleveland Gazette, 05/16/1891, p. 1]. William and Iva B. Copeland are listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, and Ivanora's occupation is listed as hairdresser. Ivanora Copeland was born in Mayslick, KY, the daughter of Joseph and Maria Lindsey. She attended Berea College. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Copeland, Mayme L.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1970
Mrs. Mayme L. Copeland was the rural supervisor in the State Department of Education; her office was located in Frankfort, KY. She was one of two African American education administrators in the South whose salaries were partially paid by the Southern Education Foundation. During her career, Copeland was supervisor of Christian and Todd County Schools and head of the Rural Department of the American Teachers Association. She was recognized in Mabel Carney's article on rural education for her outstanding work in teacher training for one-teacher schools. She was the wife of Dr. Thomas H. Copeland, and was a member of Iota Phi Lambda. Dr. Thomas Copeland was presiding elder of the Hopkinsville District. Mayme Copeland was a 1933 graduate of Kentucky State College, and in 1937 earned her Master's degree in rural education from Columbia University. She was secretary of the Woman's Connectional Council of the Colored Methodist Church (CME). She retired from the Kentucky State Department of Education in 1947 after 44 years of service, and having been the longest serving African American employee. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; M. Carney, "Rural education in American Universities, 1944-45," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 15, issue 1 (Winter 1946), p. 98; W. G. Daniel, "Current trends and events of national importance in Negro education - Section A: General Activities," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 7, issue 2 (April 1938), p. 221; "Kentuckian gets high post," Capital Plaindealer, 09/11/1937, p.3; "Prominent Kentucky school teacher will retire July 1," Plaindealer, 06/20/1947, p. 3; and "Mrs. M. L. Copeland plans retirement," KNEA Journal, March-April 1947, vol. 18, no. 2, p. 7 [available online].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Corbin, KY (1919)
Start Year : 1919
On October 29, 1919, in the railroad town of Corbin, KY, a white man was attacked and robbed by two white men with painted black faces. The next day a vigilante mob took revenge on the African American community, searching homes and businesses and eventually forcing the African American railroad workers into boxcars and shipping them south to Knoxville. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N) had hired the men, along with European immigrants, to expand the railroad in Corbin. The town of Corbin suddenly had a lot of new people, and there was tension. An increase in crime was attributed to the more recent African American residents. The day of the riot, some White employers hid African Americans. After the railroad workers were shipped out, many African Americans left Corbin out of fear; few remained in the city. For more see K. O. Griggs, "The Removal of Blacks from Corbin in 1919: Memory, Perspective, and the Legacy of Racism," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 100, issue 3 (Summer 2002), pp. 293-310; R. Henson, Trouble Behind: A Film About History and Forgetting, Cicada Films (1990); and coverage in various Kentucky newspapers. See also National Public Radio (NPR) "Kentucky town re-examines its racial history," July 3, 2007.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Corbin, Whitley County, Kentucky

Corbin v Marsh (Nicholas County, KY)
Start Year : 1865
The Militia Act of 1862 [from Selected Statutes] initially authorized men of African descent as laborers for the Federal Army and Navy, but the men would become soldiers. The act granted freedom to the men and their mothers, wives, and children. In October 1865, the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Kentucky decided the act of Congress was unconstitutional. The case was to be taken to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and if necessary, to the U.S. Supreme Court for final adjudication. But it was in Nicholas County, KY, where the case of Corbin v. Marsh was taken to the Kentucky Appeals Court. The judgment affirmed that the act was unconstitutional and not law on December 11, 1865. Judge Williams dissented from the majority of the court. No opinion was sought from the U.S. Supreme Court. For more see Select statutes and other documents illustrative of the history of the United States, 1861-1898, by W. MacDonald [full-text at Google Book Search]; "The Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Kentucky, has decided the act of Congress freeing the wives and children of colored soldiers, unconstitutional," Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, 10/10/1865, issue 238, Col. C; and Corbin vs Marsh 63 Ky. 193; 1865 Ky. 2 Duv. 193.
Subjects: Freedom, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Nicholas County, Kentucky

Cornett, Valerie C.
Birth Year : 1977
In 1995, at the age of 17, Valerie Cornett became the first African American homecoming queen at Hazard High School in Hazard, KY. For more see "Black students make history at high schools in Kentucky and Alabama," Jet, vol. 89, issue 2 (11/20/1995), p. 25.
Subjects: Homecoming Queens, Pageants, Contests
Geographic Region: Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky

Cosby, Kevin Wayne
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Kevin W. Cosby is the son of the late Clora E. and Laken Cosby, Jr. Since 1979, Rev. Kevin W. Cosby has served as senior pastor of the St. Stephen Church in Louisville, the largest African American church in Kentucky and one of the largest churches in the United States. Cosby is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and United Theological Seminary. He is the 13th president of Simmons College in Louisville, serving in that position without a salary. Cosby is author of several books, including the co-authored Get Off Your Butt! messages, musings, and ministries to empower the African American Church. Rev. Cosby has received a number of awards, including his recognition in 1992 by the U.S. Senate for his dedication to community and race relations, and in 2007 he was one of the two recipients of the Louisvillian of the Year Award. For more see the Congressional Record, "Rev. Kevin Wayne Cosby," 05/13/1992, 102nd Cong. 2nd. Sess., 138 Cong Rec S 6615; "AdFed names Cosby, Kelly its Louisvillians of the year," at bizjournals.com, 07/17/2007; and Connections with Renee Shaw, program #303 - Rev. Dr. Kevin W. Cosby [available online], 10/06/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television).

See photo and additional information about Rev. Dr. Kevin Wayne Cosby, at speakers section of the 34th Annual Alexander/Pegues Minister's Conference at shawuniversity.edu.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cosby, Laken, Jr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2014
Laken Cosby, Jr. is a graduate of Lousiville Central High School, he was born in Alabama. In 1988, he became the first African American chairman of the Jefferson County School Board. Cosby was also appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education in 1994 by Governor Brereton Jones; Cosby was vice chairman of the board for three terms. In 2002, Cosby was not reappointed to the board by Governor Patton. Laken Cosby, Jr. was the son Maudie B. Cosby and Laken Cosby, Sr. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He was also owner of the Laken Cosby Real Estate Company. For more see "Cosby is Jefferson County board's first black chairman," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 36; M. Pitsch, "Longtime advocate of school reform replaced on board," Courier-Journal, 05/11/2002, News section, p. O1A; and A. Wolfson, "Laken Cosby Jr., civil rights leader, dies at 83," Louisville Courier-Journal, 06/14/2014, online obituary.
 
See photo image and additional information about Laken Cosby, Jr. at Hall of Fame 2012, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Huntsville, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cotter, Joseph S., Jr.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1919
Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, to Maria F. and Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. A graduate of Louisville Central High School, he was enrolled at Fisk University when he became sick and was sent home, where he later died of tuberculosis. His sister, Florence Olivia Cotter, was also enrolled in Fisk when she came down with tuberculosis; she died in 1914. Cotter, Jr. was a gifted poet and playwright; he wrote The Band of Gideon and other Lyrics, published in 1918; a book of one act plays; and a number of unfinished sonnets. For more see Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1940, by J. V. Hatch and L. Hamalian; and Negro Poets and Their Poems, by R. T. Kerlin.

See photo image of Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Authors, Poets, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Cotter, Joseph S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1949
Joseph Seaman Cotter, Sr. was born in Bardstown, KY, the son of Michael Cotter (Scottish Irishman) and Martha Vaughn Cotter. He founded the Paul Laurence Dunbar School in Louisville, KY, and was principal at several Louisville schools. Cotter published five volumes of poetry and a collection of plays, composed music, and was known for his storytelling. He was the father of poet Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. (1895-1919). The Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. Papers are located at Kentucky State University. For more see Southern Black Creative Writers, 1829-1953, by M. B. Foster; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Early Black American Poets, by W. H. Robinson, Jr.

See photo image and additional information about Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. at the Louisville Free Public Library website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cotton, John A.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1943
Born in Manchester, KY, Reverend John Adams Cotton was the second African American President of Henderson Institute in Henderson, N.C. (1903-1943). The school, which existed from 1891-1970, was known as Henderson Normal and Industrial Institute until 1903, when Cotton changed the name to Henderson Institute. Cotton was educated at Berea College and Knoxville College and was a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was the husband of Maude Brooks. In 1903, the Cottons came to Henderson, N.C. from Cleveland, Ohio; Rev. Cotton had been transferred by the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America to replace Rev. Jacob Cook, who had died. Henderson Institute was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1995. Rev. John A. Cotton was the son of Nelson Cotton and Silphia Carroll Cotton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Minutes of the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America, by United Presbyterian Church of America, General Assembly (1958); Vance County, North Carolina, by A. D. Vann; and "John Adams Cotton" in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Henderson, North Carolina

Coulter, Francine T.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Danville,KY, Francine Coulter was elected to the Danville Independent School Board in 1977. She was the first African American ever elected to the school board. Coulter was a stenographer with South Central Bell. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 24.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Covell, Henry
Birth Year : 1850
Henry Covell is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a horse jockey in Boston, MA. Born around 1850 in Kentucky, Covell was the husband of Helen Covell, a laundrywoman who was born in Massachusetts.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Boston, Massachusetts

Covington Desegregated Library and Services (Kenton County, KY)
Start Year : 1901
The Covington Public Library, in Covington, KY, was the first desegregated public library in the state. The building was constructed in 1900, and in 1901 the library board of trustees minutes read, "The library in all its parts shall be open to every man, woman, and child in Covington, free upon compliance with these rules." The library board had also ruled that there would be no list of prohibited books. In 1940, the Covington Public Library was one of five public libraries in a southern state that offered full privileges to all at the main public library. The other four public libraries that offered services with no race restrictions were located in Texas: Brady, Corpus Christi, El Paso, and Pecos. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; and "Board of Trustees Rules, January 1901" an unpublished manuscript at the Kenton County Public Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Brady, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Pecos, Texas

Covington, Glen E.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 1988
Glen E. Covington was a singer and pianist. He had also been captain of the basketball team at Central High School in Louisville, KY, and was awarded a basketball scholarship to Tennessee State College [now Tennessee State University]. Covington was born in Irving (probably Irvine), KY, grew up in Louisville, lived in Indianapolis, and died in Cleveland, OH. He was a nightclub pianist and singer who performed throughout the United States. His career as a professional performer began after he graduated from Tennessee State and won first place on an Aurthur Godfrey "Talent Scout Show." For more see "Glen E. Covington," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 16, issue 2 (Autumn 1988), p. 244; the Glen Covington entry in vol. 3 of the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and "Glen E. Covington, Singer, 61," The New York Times, 09/30/1988, p. B7.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Irving [probably Irvine], Estill County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Covington Tigers Baseball Team (Covington, KY)
According to writer Jim Reis of The Kentucky Post, it is not known when the Covington Tigers were organized, but they were mentioned in the newspaper as early as 1918. Although not in a league, the team played both African American and white teams. On June 24, 1918, the team beat the African American team from Camp Sherman, Ohio; about 2,000 people attended the game at Federal Park. In 1919, the team moved to Newport, KY. For more see J. Reis, "Baseball, church played key roles in black history," The Kentucky Post, 02/10/1997, p. 4K.
Subjects: Baseball, Parks
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky

Covington, Virgil
In 1999, Virgil Covington received a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. He was principal of the Winburn Middle School in Lexington, KY, the first school in its district to be wired for the Internet. Covington also initiated the Winburn Community Academy, a safe after-school program for children. In 2002, Covington was suspended by Superintendent Robin Fankhauser, who claimed the suspension was not disciplinary. Covington announced his retirement in May 2002; he had been employed in education for 27 years. For more see Virgil Covington at the Milken Family Foundation website and "Winburn Principal to Retire," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/22/2002.


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

Cowan, Brenda D.
Birth Year : 1963
Death Year : 2004
Brenda D. Cowan was born in Sturgis, KY. In 1992, she became the first African American woman firefighter in Lexington, KY. Cowan was killed in the line of duty, February 13, 2004. She was the daughter of Ella and Rev. Tabb Cowen, Sr. She was a sister of Fred Cowan. See Lexington Herald-Leader, Feb. 14-20, 2004.

See photo images and additional information about Brenda D. Cowan at the LexingtonKY.gov website.
Subjects: Firefighters
Geographic Region: Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cowan, Fred
Birth Year : 1958
Fred Cowan was born in Sturgis, KY. The 6' 8" center/forward was a member of the University of Kentucky basketball team from 1977-1981; in his freshman year the team won the NCAA Championship. Cowan played in a total of 111 games during his college career, scoring a total of 975 points. He scored a career high 44 points against Clemson in 1979. Cowan is listed as one of the top 100 players of all time at the University of Kentucky. He was selected by the Houston Rockets in the sixth round of the NBA 1981 draft but chose to play basketball in Japan, which he did for 10 years. He has had a number of businesses, including a demolition company. Today Cowan is a mortgage broker and owner of Statewide Mortgage Services in Madisonville and Lexington, KY. He is a brother of the late Brenda Cowan. For more see C. R. Hallstaff, "UK Basketball 100 years; Top 100 Players of All Time," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/24/2002, Sports section, p. O2X; and M. Davis, "He won't die rich, and he's not trying," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/10/2005, HealthFamily section, p. E1.

See photo image of Fred Cowan at bigbluehistory.net.
Subjects: Basketball, Businesses, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Sturgis, Union County, Kentucky / Japan, Asia

Cox, Fannie M.
Birth Year : 1959
In 2007/2008, Fannie Cox became the third* African American president of the Kentucky Library Association (KLA). It was during her tenure that Louisville, KY, was the host city for the state's second national library conference (the first being the 1917 American Library Association Conference). The 2008 meeting was a combined event with the KLA Conference, Kentucky School Media Association, the National Diversity in Libraries Conference, and the Southeastern Library Association Conference. In 2005, she coordinated with the Western Branch Library Support Association for the successful joint banquet for the recognition of the centennial anniversary of KLA and the Western Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. In addition to having been president of KLA, Fannie Cox has served in several leadership positions, including chair of the Special Library Section. She initiated the Conference Proceedings, the online Advocacy Clearinghouse, and the Poster Sessions, which she also chaired. She has received appointments to various ALA committees, including ALCTS Leadership Development, Collection Development and Electronic Resources, and the Advocacy Training Subcommittee. She was the recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries Fellowship in 2000 and the National Science Foundation Fellowship in 1999. Fannie Cox is an associate professor and serves as Outreach and Reference Librarian at the University of Louisville. She earned her B.A. in 1982 and her MLS in 1998, both from Indiana University. She earned a MPA in 1992 from Kentucky State University. Fannie Cox, the daughter of the late James and Rosa Cox, was born in Indianapolis, IN. This information was taken with permission from the vita of Fannie M. Cox. For more information contact Fannie Cox at fmcox@louisville.edu.

*The first African American to become president of KLA was Rebecca T. Bingham from Indianapolis, IN, and the second was Barbara S. Miller from Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cox, Johnson Duncan
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Johnson D. Cox, born in Kentucky, was a teacher at Governor Street School in Evansville, Indiana. He was the husband of Eugenia D. Talbott Cox (b.1879 in Indiana) and the father of Alvalon C. Cox, and Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969), the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Johnson D. Cox would later marry school teacher Ethel Cox (b.1893 in Indiana), they are listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, where it is also noted that Johnson D. Cox attended one year of college and his wife had completed four years of college. Johnson D. Cox was a teacher and school principal in Evansville for 40 years. He was the son of Calvin and Annie Cox, and in 1880, the family lived in Allensville, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1900, Johnson D. Cox was a school teacher in Pigeon, IN, and he and Eugenia had been married for five years and had two sons. The family was living in Evansville when the 1910 Census was taken, and Johnson D. Cox was employed as a school teacher. His son, Elbert Cox, began his teaching career at the Colored high school in Henderson, KY in 1917. He taught mathematics and physics for a year before leaving to join the Army during World War I. Elbert would go on to become a great educator. He was married to Beulah Kaufman, whose father, Lewis Kaufman (b.1853 in Indiana), had been a slave in Kentucky. Once freed, Lewis Kaufman left Kentucky for Princeton, Indiana, where he owned a blacksmith shop. For more see J. A. Donaldson and R. J. Fleming, "Elbert F. Cox: an early pioneer," The American Mathematical Monthly, vol.107, issue 2, (Feb., 2000), pp. 105-128; and "Evansville Honors the first Black Ph.D. in mathematics and his family, by T. M. Washington in Notices of the AMS, v.55, no.5, pp.588-589.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Pigeon, Evansville, and Princeton, Indiana

Cox, Wesley
Birth Year : 1955
Wesley Cox, a 6'6" forward, was an outstanding basketball player from Louisville, KY, in the 1970s.  He attended Male High School and was named Mr. Basketball in 1973. Cox played his college ball at the University of Louisville (U of L), 1973-77, and started all four years of his college career [see Wesley Cox Profile, a U of L website]. He played center his first season and was named the 1974 Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Year. Cox scored 1,578 career points, averaging 13.9 points per game. During his four years at U of L, the basketball team had a 90-25 record and went to the NCAA Tournament three times. They were a final four team in 1972 and 1975. Cox was selected by the Golden State Warriors during the first round of the 1977 NBA Draft, and played for two years. For more see Sports legends of the 'Ville: the 1970's Card [Sports], a louisville.com website; and Wesley Cox at Basketball-Reference.com.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coxe, Gloucester C.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1999
Gloucester Coxe resided in Louisville; he was a native of Carlisle, PA. His parents were accomplished watercolorists. He was a display artist for the Lyric and Grand (Colored) Theaters and an illustrator at the Fort Knox Training Aid Center, from which he retired after 20 years. He continued to paint and produced a series of creative works, including the Ebony, Gemini, and Mandela series. For more see interviews and other materials in the University of Louisville Art Library; and "Gloucester Coxe, 92," Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries section, p. B2.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration South, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Carlisle, Pennsylvania / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coxton Black Sox (baseball)
The Black Sox baseball team was from Coxton, KY, located in Harlan County. In the spring of 1928, the team was preparing for the season and looking for opponents. Team members included manager Leo Nelson, first baseman Charles Tyler, second baseman Copeland, third baseman Branner(?), short stop Nixon, and outfielders Scoat, Jones, and Pinkie. Source: "Coxton, KY., Black Sox." The Chicago Defender, 03/24/1928, p.9.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Coxton, Harlan County, Kentucky

Craft, Rebecca
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1945
A schoolteacher from Versailles, KY, Rebecca Craft graduated from Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She and her husband, John, moved to San Diego, California, in 1910. Rebecca Craft led the fight against segregation and discrimination so that African American police and school teachers could be hired in San Diego. She also formed the Women's Civic Organization and was president of the San Diego NAACP. The civic organization served as a social welfare agency that also did fund-raising. Rebecca Craft was the aunt of Cecil H. Steppe. For more see G. Madyun, "In the Midst of things: Rebecca Craft and the Woman's Civic League," The Journal of San Diego History, vol. 34, issue 1 (Winter 1988) [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

Craft, Thomas, J. Sr.
Birth Year : 1924
Thomas J. Craft, Sr. was born in Monticello, KY, the son of Wonnie Alta Travis Craft and Thomas M. Craft. For generations, his family had lived near Albany, KY. Thomas J. Craft, Sr. graduated from the Colored school in Monticello and started college in 1941, but he was drafted before he finished and served with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He returned to Monticello, then went on to completed his bachelor's degree in 1948, his master's degree in 1950, and his Ph.D. in 1963. His research involved transplants, skin grafts and the problem of graft rejection. Craft conducted research with amphibians and discovered a correlation between the release of stress hormones and the rejection of skin grafts. He held tenured positions at several universities and was inducted into the Central State University Hall of Fame in 1993. Craft was a nephew of Oneth Travis, Sr. For more see African Americans in Science, Math and Invention, by R. Spangenbur and K. Moserand; and Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century, by J. H. Kessler, et al.
Subjects: Biologists, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky

Craig, Susan Mary
Birth Year : 1827
Susan Mary Craig was one of the first African American teachers in Mercer County, KY, according to information William McKinley Wesley obtained from Ellen T. Craig Harris (b. 1855 in KY) in preparation for his 1929 thesis, The History of Education of Mercer County, Kentucky. (Susan Mary Craig's name is sometimes written as Mary Susan Craig in Wesley's thesis.) Susan Mary Craig was a teacher before the Civil War. Her father was white, and Craig received her education at a white school in Harrodsburg, KY. She opened a school after the war, and her students were her children, including Ellen T. Craig Harris along with another daughter and son; and James Harris, the husband of Ellen T. Harris [p. 186]. The school was located on Fort Street. Sallie Ann Taylor is recognized as the first African American teacher in Mercer County, and according to Wesley's thesis [p. 187], Taylor started teaching school after Susan Mary Craig died. This could mean that Taylor continued teaching at the school that Craig had established. There was also a teacher named Landonia Simms from Ohio. Simms had been hired by Susan Craig to teach the classes that were beyond Craig's level of education. It was during this time that Craig's school was moved to Greenville Street. Susan Mary Craig was the wife of Ransom Craig, a barber and Baptist minister in Harrodsburg and owner of $800 worth of real estate. The family members are all listed as mulattoes and free persons in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. In the 1860 census, Ellen T. Craig Harris is listed as the youngest child of the Craig family. In the 1870 census, the household does not include Susan Mary Craig, and by 1880, Ransom Craig had remarried and his wife was Celia Craig (b.1832 in KY). His daughter, Ellen T. Craig Harris would become a school teacher and opened a school in her home. According to the information Ellen Harris provided to William Wesley, there were 40-50 students who paid $1 per month to attend the school. If there were two children in the same family, the cost was $1.50 per month [p. 187]. Ellen T. Craig Harris was the wife of James T. Harris. The couple had several children and Ellen's niece, Mattie Elliott, also lived with the family; they are all listed in one household in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. In 1920, Mattie M. Elliott became principal of the Harrodsburg Colored School. Elliott was the granddaughter of Susan Mary Craig. (Mattie Elliott's name is given as Maynette Elliott in Wesley's thesis and in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal.) Mattie M. Elliott was born in November of 1890 in Mercer County, KY, and she and other members of the Harris family are listed as white in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. See also the NKAA entry African American Schools in Mercer County, KY and the entries for African American Schools in Kentucky.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Craine, W. C. [William C.]
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1919
William C. Craine, born in Harrodsburg, KY, is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as an actor. At the time, Craine was living in Chicago on Evanston Avenue in a boarding house along with other actors and entertainers. Craine, who was also a singer, a tenor, had sung with and managed the Shattuck and Mendelsohn Quartettes [source: "Principal comedians and vocalists engineering fun and song with the Big Minstrel Festival," The Freeman, 12/30/1899, p.9]. Craine was the principal tenor soloist with the Big Minstrel Festival in 1899. The prior year, he was with Harry Martell's Company "South Before the War" [source: "Stage. The Freedman post office," The Freeman, 10/15/1898, p.5, column 3, item 5]. While with the company, Craine was a special representative (writer) with The Freeman newspaper, and one of his articles appeared in the paper on 04/08/1899, p.5, column 3, item 1]. In September of 1899, Craine performed in Rusco and Holland's Big Minstrel Festival that opened in St. Louis, MO [source: "The Stage, edited by J. Harry Jackson. The Freedman post office," The Freeman, 09/16/1899, p.5, column 4, item 3]. Craine was with the Big Minstrel Festival until the winter of 1900 when he stayed in Boston, MA, but did not mention to the media that he was getting married [source: The Freeman, 11/03/1900, p.5]. William C. Craine was the husband of Bertha Simmons, who was an actress, she was born in Virginia; the couple married in Boston, MA on December 26, 1900 [source: Massachusetts, Marriage Register, 1900, p.327]. It was the first marriage for William (33) and the 2nd marriage for Bertha (35). They were married by Henry H. Jones, Minister of the Gospel, 80 Oakland Place, Brockton, MA. In 1901, William C. Craine was performing in Buffalo, NY [source: The Freeman, 07/13/1901, p.5]. He also performed at the Pan American, Toronto Minstrel Exposition and the London Canada Exhibition [source: The Freeman, 09/21/1901, p.5]. In 1904, Craine was director of the show titled "A Trip to Africa," starring John Larkin as the king and Dora Patterson as the queen [source: "The State by Woodbine," The Freeman, 10/29/1904, p.5]. The show did not receive a favorable review in The Freeman. [John Larkin would become the producer of the musical "A Trip to Africa" and in 1910, he and Sissieretta Jones were the stars of this successful show billed under the heading of "Black Patti Musical Comedy Company." John Larkin played the role of King Rastus and Raz Jinkins, and Sissieretta Jones (aka Black Patti) played the role of Princess Lulu. -- source: Blacks in Blackface by H. T. Sampson] And though the show was a success, by 1910, William Craine was no longer singing or performing professionally; he was a waiter and his wife Bertha was the housekeeper at a lodging home they managed on Acton Street in Boston [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. William C. Craine is listed as a waiter in the Boston Directory, 1909, p.469, up to the 1920 directory, p.462; living first on Acton Street, then at 28 Holyoke. William C. Craine died in Winthrop, MA, March 11, 1919 [sources: Massachusetts, Death Index and "Gave home for aged people," Savannah Tribune, 10/30/1920, p.1]. He left the home at 90 West Cottage Street in Boston, MA, for the aged, to be run by the board of William C. Craine, Inc.: Rev. H. Jones, President; Mr. O'Bryant, Vice President; Mrs. Bertha Craine, Treasurer; Mr. A. H. Scales, Superintendent; and Rev. Mrs. S. E. Deveaux, Matron and Secretary. William C. Craine was the son of Phillip (born around 1827) and Susanna Jones Craine (c.1830-1879), according to information William C. Craine provided prior to his marriage. Looking at the 1870 U.S. Census, Susan Craine is listed without a husband, but with the children. At this time, no record has been found in the census of Phillip Craine who was a Civil War veteran and had been the slave of John Bush in Mercer County, KY, when Phillip enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 29, 1864, at Camp Nelson, KY [source: "Records of Musters made by Capt. U. C. Kenney,"  p.371, no. 1751, No. on roll - 18, in the U.S. Descriptive Lists of Colored Volunteer Army Soldiers, 1864]. Phillip Craine served with the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry; he stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, was 37 years old, and was born on a farm in Mercer County, KY. He is listed on various records as the father of William Craine; Belle Craine (1855-1916), a grocer in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered #1054]; Joseph Craine (1867-1925), a grocer and later a janitor in Louisville [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered #4634]; and George E. Craine (1858-1929), a musician and a storekeeper in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered #4489]. The two other children, Pilandrer Craine and Anna Craine are included in the household in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census [last name spelled Crane]. After the death of their mother Susanna Craine in 1879 [source: Kentucky Death Records], William C. Craine and his brother Joseph were raised by their sister, Belle Craine [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census - last name spelled Crane]. Both Belle and her mother Susan were laundry women; the family had moved to 4 Green Street in Louisville, KY by 1878 [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1878, pp.176 & 177 - their last name is spelled Crane]. In 1891, Belle Craine served as secretary of Zion Temple No.1 [source: "Society Directory" on p.4, column 4, in the Ohio Falls Express newspaper, 07/11/1891]. Both Joseph and William were grown and on their own. William C. Craine had started working as early as 1882, he was a laborer according to Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1882, p.207. By 1884 he was a waiter at the Sandiford Hotel, then was a waiter at the St. Cloud Hotel, before leaving Louisville around 1889 [sources: Caron's Dirctory of the City of Louisville, 1884, p.209 through 1889, p.260 - the last name is many times spelled Crane or Crain]. 
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Boston, Massachusetts

Crawford, Don L.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2000
In 1961, Don L. Crawford became the first African American to be elected a Dayton City Commissioner. He was also the first person to be both a commission clerk and executive assistant to the commission, he retired in 1990. Crawford was also recognized for his public speaking ability. Born in Clinton, KY, he was a mathematics and physics graduate from Kentucky State University. Crawford left Kentucky for Dayton after his college graduation. He was a high school mathematics teacher and basketball coach before joining the U.S. Navy during WWII. In 1946, he became a social work administrator and later became more involved in the local politics. A park and Don Crawford Plaza were named in his honor. For more see A. Robinson, "Ex-commissioner Crawford dies," Dayton Daily News, 12/14/2000, p.1B; and MS-332 Don L. Crawford Papers at Wright State University Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Education and Educators, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Migration North, Military & Veterans, Parks
Geographic Region: Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Crawford, James Columbus and Henrietta Arnold
James (b.1872) and Henrietta Crawford (b.1873) were born in Fayetteville, Georgia. James' mother had been a slave and remained on the plantation after her freedom. James and Henrietta were married and had a family when they left Fayetteville some time after the year 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. They migrated north to Louisville, KY. Two of their grandchildren are Raymond Ponder and Alberta O. Jones. Information provided by Ms. Nicole M. Martin, the Crawford's great, great granddaughter.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Fayetteville, Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Crawley, Elizabeth Gore Curtis "Lizzie Jane"
Birth Year : 1868
Elizabeth Crawley was a leader in the Colored Women's Movement in Chicago, IL, and was also an active member of social work and welfare efforts. She was chair of the executive board of the District Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and had chaired the organization's social improvement department. She was chair of the Ideal Women's Club, and was a board of directors member of the Phillis Wheatly Home. She was a chartered member of the Imperial Art Club, and chaired the East Side Woman's Club. Crawley was born Elizabeth Gore in Nelson County, KY, the daughter of James and Miranda Gore. The family moved to Louisville where Elizabeth attended school. Her first husband, William Curtis, died in 1899; the couple had a daughter and a son. Elizabeth and her children lived with her parents on Rose Lane in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, and Elizabeth was a laundry woman. She and her son moved to Chicago in 1903. She married Walter Crawley, from Virginia, in 1906 and her occupation is given as a dressmaker in the 1910 Census. By 1920, the household on E. 36th Street included Lizzie and her husband Walter, her son William Curtis and his wife Alma, their daughter Elizabeth, and Lizzie's widowed mother, Miranda Gore. The Crawleys are listed in the 1940 Census where it is noted that Elizabeth completed one year of high school and Walter completed four years. For more see the Lizzie Jane Crawley entry in chapter six of The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; and Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.

See photo image of Lizzie Jane Crawley at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Crenshaw, Jesse
Birth Year : 1946
Jesse Crenshaw was born in Glasgow, KY. In 1978 he became the first African American lawyer appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, joining Hancey Jones, an African American who was over the Western District of Kentucky. Crenshaw has been consecutively elected to the Kentucky General Assembly since 1993 as Representative of House District 77 (Fayette County). For more see Who's Who in American Politics, 14th-17th ed.; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

See photo image of Jesse Crenshaw at Legislative Research Commission website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Crenshaw, Walter Clarence, Jr.
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 1969
Born in Millersburg, KY, Walter C. Crenshaw, Jr. was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and taught in the Canton (Ohio) City School System. He was later appointed Executive Director of the Canton Area Housing Authority. Crenshaw Middle School and a park in Canton are named in his honor. Walter C. Crenshaw, Jr. was the son of Anna Frances Williams Crenshaw and Walter C. Crenshaw, Sr. For more see the Crenshaw Middle School website; and C. M. Jenkins, "Canton educator tills, waters young minds...," Akron Beacon Journal, 09/26/1993, Metro section, p. B1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Canton, Ohio

Crews, Cookie
Cookie Crews, from Hardy, KY, is the first African American female to be named a warden in Kentucky. Her most recent appointment came in November 2009 when she was named warden of the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR), the state's largest prison. Her career began in January 1984 when she was a correctional officer at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW). Crews was continuously promoted over the years, and in 2002 she was named Deputy Warden III at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (LLCC), where she also served as acting warden for seven months. In 2004, she was named warden of the Frankfort Career Development Center. In May 2006 she was named acting warden at KCIW, becoming the warden a month later. Cookie Crews is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where she majored in corrections and public relations. In May of 2012, Crews was promoted to Health Services Administrator with the Department of Corrections. In 2012, she also served as president of Southern States Correctional Association (SSCA). For more, see the Kentucky.gov press releases "Department of Corrections: Cooke Crews promoted to warden at Kentucky State Reformatory," 11/17/2009, and "Cookie Crews promoted to health services administrator," 05/30/2012, both press releases were issued by the Department of Corrections.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Hardy, Pike County, Kentucky

Crittenden, Breckenridge
Birth Year : 1883
Born in Midway, KY, Breckenridge Crittenden attended Cincinnati Embalming College in 1914 before becoming a funeral director in Lexington for nine years, then moved on to become a funeral director in Cincinnati. Crittenden was also general manager of the Imperial Finance Co. He was the son of Laura and Harry Crittenden, and the husband of Ella Banks Crittenden. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1930-32.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Crittenden County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Crittenden County, located in southwest Kentucky, is named for Kentucky Governor John Jordon Crittenden, who resigned before his term as governor was completed. The county was established on April 1, 1842, and is bordered by the Ohio River and five Kentucky counties. The county seat is Marion, named for Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War veteran from South Carolina. In the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, 5,604 person were counted in the county and there was an increase to 7,817 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 190 slave owners
  • 720 Black slaves
  • 116 Mulatto slaves
  • 14 free Blacks
  • 15 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 226 slave owners
  • 702 Black slaves
  • 234 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks [most with last name Yeaky]
  • 11 free Mulattoes [most with the last name of Going or Thralkeld]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 619 Blacks
  • 161 Mulattoes
  • About 70 U.S. Colored Troops listed Crittenden County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the entry for Crittenden County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Crittenden County, Kentucky: volume 1 by T. Tucker; and Crittenden County, Kentucky History and Biographies by L. Collins and W. H. Perrin.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Crittenden County, Kentucky

Crocker, Cynthia
Cynthia Crocker had been a teacher for 26 years when she received the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 1999. Crocker initiated the statewide Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) at Noe Middle School in Louisville, KY. Crocker also initiated the Parent Laptop Checkout Program as a way to provide technology and training to families without computers. For more see Cynthia Crocker at the Milken Family Foundation website.


Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cross, Clarence
Birth Year : 1916
Clarence Cross, an architect, was born n Allensville, KY, the son of Ameila Tinsley Cross and Napoleon Cross. Napoleon was a farmer and supported the family of five that included Amelia's mother Jane Tinsley, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In 1927, the family moved to Kokomo, IN, where Clarence Cross completed high school. He was a student at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University] and completed one year before enlisting in the U.S. Army on January 14, 1942, at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, according to his enlistment record. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1946, Cross enrolled again at Tuskegee Institute and was a 1949 architecture graduate. He was a registered architect in Ohio and Indiana, and had a private practice while also employed by the Base Civil Engineering for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He retired from the Air Force Base in 1971. Cross was a founding partner in 1969 of the firm Cross, Curry, de Weaver, Randall and Associates; the firm was dissolved in 1997. Some of Cross' work includes his role as designer of the Second Baptist Church in Ford City, PA, and the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Dayton. For a more detailed account of the Clarence Cross biography and his accomplishments, see his entry in African American Architects, a biographical dictionary, 1865-1945 edited by D. S. Wilson.
Subjects: Architects, Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Kokomo, Indiana / Dayton, Ohio

Cross, Dorothy
Birth Year : 1943
The education associations in Kentucky were segregated until May 1956 when the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) was subsumed by the Kentucky Education Association (KEA) -- the organization was subsumed, not the officers or the members. The first African American hired by KEA was Dorothy Cross, who, at the time (1965), was a 22 year old senior at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] majoring in education; she was to serve as editorial assistant and associate editor of the KEA Journal. Cross, from Hopkinsville, KY, was a graduate of Attucks High School. She was to start her new job the day after she graduated from Kentucky State College. In 1974, Dorothy Cross was still editor of the Kentucky School Journal (formerly the KEA Journal) [source: Gebbie House Magazine Directory, 1974]. For more see "Kentucky Education Assn. hires first Negro," Jet, vol. 28, issue 6 (05/20/1965), p. 14; and "Kentucky group hires 1st Negro," Washington Post Times Herald, 05/06/1965, p. A2.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Cross, Oscar
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1999
Born in Fulton, KY, Oscar Cross was the first African American juvenile officer in Paducah, founding the Boys Club of Paducah in 1949 for African American boys. He served as director for 50 years and is credited as a leader in bringing about the first interracial board of directors of the Boys Club in Paducah, Inc. In 1980, the club was renamed the Oscar Cross Boys Club of Paducah. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

See photo image and additional information about Oscar Cross at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Cross, William R.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1997
Born in Bardstown, KY, William R. Cross became the city's first African American school board member in 1960, and in 1971, he became the vice-chairman of the Bardstown Board of Education. William R. Cross was the son of Alexander "Thomas" Cross and Sally Duncan Cross. He was the husband of Evelyn L. Cross. William R. Cross was employed at the Early Times Distillery and the J. T. S. Distillery. 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.

Access Interview Read the transcript and listen to the William R. Cross oral history interview by Dixie Hibbs, 09/27/1988, at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky

Crosswhite, Adam and Sarah
In 1844 the Crosswhites and their four children escaped from Carroll County, Kentucky, and made their way through the Underground Railroad to the African American community in Marshall, Michigan. The community was made up of about 50 residents, most of whom were escaped slaves from Kentucky; the town of Marshall had about 200 residents. By 1847, the Crosswhite family had been located by Francis Giltner, who intended to claim his slaves and return them to Kentucky. On behalf of Giltner, Francis Troutman led a party of four to the Crosswhite home. The party was confronted by a crowd of African Americans and whites that numbered more than 150 people. Troutman and his comrades would not back down, so they were arrested for assault, battery, and housebreaking. The Crosswhites escaped to Canada. Francis Giltner sued the leaders of Marshall for the cost of the escaped slaves. The U.S. Circuit Court of Michigan decided in favor of Giltner. The Crosswhites would later return to settle in Marshall. Adam Crosswhite was born around 1800 and died in 1878, and Sarah Crosswhite was born around 1796; the couple is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, still living in Marshall. For more see J. H. Yzenbaard, "The Crosswhite case," Michigan History, vol. 53, issue 2 (1969), pp. 131-143; J. C. Sherwood, "One flame in the inferno: the legend of Marshall's Crosswhite affair," Michigan History, vol. 73, issue 2 (1989), pp. 40-47; and Case No. 5,453 - Giltner v. Gorham et. al - in Book 10 of The Federal Cases, pp.424-433 [full text at Google Books].

See photo image of Adam Crosswhite and additional information about he and his wife Sarah Crosswhite, at the Seeking Michigan website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Carroll County, Kentucky / Marshall, Michigan / Canada

Crouch, Hubert B.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1980
In 1943, ten men of science from historically black colleges established what would become the Association of Science Teachers in Negro Colleges and Affiliated Institutions (ASTNCAI). One of the members was Hubert Branch Crouch, a zoologist who taught at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], beginning in 1931. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1936. It had been in 1931, while attending the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, that Crouch got the idea to form a national organization of African American scientists. He also formed the Council of Science Teachers within the Kentucky Negro Educational Association. For more see W. M. King, "Hubert Branch Crouch and the origins of the National Institute of Science," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 79, issue 1 (1994), pp. 18-33.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Zoologists
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Crowders, Reuben [Ernest Hogan]
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1909
Born in Bowling Green, KY, in the Shake Rag District, Crowders became known as Ernest Hogan, comedian, actor, dancer, songwriter,and playwright. Crowders composed many songs, including the controversial song All Coons Look Alike to Me. He introduced the pasmala dance in the 1890s and was regarded as an exceptional dancer and the best dancing comedian. He produced Rufus Rastus in 1905, and The Oyster Man in 1907. Crowders was an actor in both productions; he was a leading actor of his time. He became ill during the run of The Oyster Man and later died of tuberculosis; he is buried in Bowling Green, KY. His last name is also spelled Crowder or Crowdus in various sources. A documented chronology of Crowders' career is included in The Ghost Walks, by H. T. Sampson. For more see African Americans in California Sheet Music; The First Rock and Roll Record; Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern; and Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston. View Ernest Hogan - The Father of Ragtime hosted by Andy Stahl, a Kentucky Blues History Corner video by the Kentucky Blues Society on YouTube.


 
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Crumlin, James A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2004
Reverend James A. Crumlin, Sr. was born in South Carolina. He came to Louisville, KY in 1944. A graduate of Howard University, he earned his law degree from the Robert H. Terrell Law School in Washington, D.C. Crumlin is remembered for a number of successes, including the appeal to the Kentucky Legislature to amend the state law for African American doctors and nurses to be admitted to state hospitals for training. The bill was passed in 1948 while Crumlin was president of the Louisville NAACP. Crumlin was also one of the lawyers for the plaintiff in the lawsuit to integrate the University of Kentucky. He was the lawyer for a number of school integration cases in Kentucky. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and B. Paulastaff, "Rev. James A. Crumlin, Sr. dies," Courier-Journal, 08/28/2004, News section, p. O7B.

Access Interview Read about the James A. Crumlin, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses, Court Cases
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Crump, Steven
Birth Year : 1957
Steven Crump, a news reporter and an award-winning documentary filmmaker, was born in Louisville, KY. He has won a number of awards for his work. Crump is a reporter with WBTV 3 in Charlotte, NC. He has produced more than 20 documentaries that focus on African Americans and the Civil Rights Era. The titles include Forgotten at the Finish Line, Souls of Passage, Nickles from Heaven, Airmen and AdversityLessons from the Lunch Counter, and Louisville's Own Ali, which was recognized as a 2008 NABJ Salute to Excellence Award title. The documentaries are aired at WTVI (Charlotte, NC) and have also aired on other educational and public television stations around the U.S. Crump is a graduate of Trinity High School in Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University. This entry was submitted by Suzanne D. Cordery. For more see M. Washburn, "Steve Crump's documentary takes us to landmarks of Civil Rights Era," The Charlotte Observer, 01/18/2009, Carolina Living section, p.1E; "New ASC Award honors lifetimes of creativity," The Charlotte Observer, 09/21/2008, Carolina Living section, p.3E; and L. M. Imuhammad, "Louisville's own Ali," The Courier-Journal, 01/15/2007, Features section, p.1E.

See photo image and additional information about Steven Crump at wbtv.com.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Television, Migration East, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Charlotte, North Carolina

Cruse, Charles Plummer "C. P."
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1985
Cruse was one of the first African American police officers in Lexington, KY, in the 1940s and 1950s; he served for about 15 years on the police force. He had also served as 1st District Constable. In 1973 he was the second African American to run for Fayette County Sheriff; Cruse was unsuccessful in his campaign. Charles P. Cruse was the husband of Clemintena Cruse. He was born in Fayette County, the son of Charles H. (an insurance agent) and Jenny Irvin Cruse; the family lived on Chestnut Street. For more see "Services held for one of first Black officers," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/25/1985, Obituaries section, p. D13.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cullen, Countee LeRoy
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1946
Countee L. Cullen was probably born in Louisville, KY, but his birthplace is also given as New York. Cullen was unofficially adopted by Rev. Frederick and Carolyn Cullen; his last name was Porter prior to the adoption. Cullen earned his bachelor's degree from New York University, his master's from Harvard University. During his prime he was the most popular African American poet and literary figure of his time. He won more literary prizes than all other African American poets in the 1920s. Cullen had won his first contest in high school with the poem, "I Have a Rendezvous With Life." His first wife, Yolande DuBois, was the daughter of W. E. B. DuBois. His most famous student (he taught high school) was James Baldwin. For more see the Countee Cullen Papers at Dillard University's Will W. Alexander Archives, and Countee Cullen and the Negro Renaissance, by B. E. Ferguson.

See photo image and additional information about Countee L. Cullen at Poetry Foundation website.
 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cumberland County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1870
Cumberland County is located in south-central Kentucky, bordered by the state of Tennessee and five Kentucky counties. The county was formed in 1798 from a portion of Green County, and is named for the Cumberland River that flows through the county. The county seat, Burkesville, was incorporated in 1846. It was named for Samuel Burk, a citizen in the community. The city had been known as Cumberland Crossings prior to the name change to Burksville. The county population was 3,284 in the Second Census of Kentucky 1800; 3,012 whites, 236 slaves, and 36 free coloreds. By 1860, the population had increased to 5,927, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 295 slave owners
  • 1,150 Black slaves
  • 332 Mulatto slaves
  • 45 free Blacks 
  • 0 free Mulattoes
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 273 slave owners
  • 1,213 Black slaves
  • 203 Mulatto slaves
  • 47 free Blacks
  • 192 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,288 Blacks
  • 251 Mulattoes
  • About 32 U.S. Colored Troops listed Cumberland County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Cumberland County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Cumberland County, Kentucky Yesterday and Today by R. Wooten; and History of Cumberland County by J. W. Wells.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Cumberland County, Kentucky

Cummings, James L.
Birth Year : 1926
James L. Cummings was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Andrew and Fannie Robbie Cummings. He is a graduate of Lane College, 1948, and Butler University School of Religion, 1959. Cummings was pastor of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN. He was one of the three founders of the Indianapolis Citizen's Group in 1964. The organization would become known as Citizens Forum with the goal to create block clubs to help improve city neighborhoods with community support. The model was expanded to other cities in Illinois and throughout the United States, and received many awards for its effectiveness. Cummings also served as president of the Indianapolis Ministerial Association, and was chosen as the Alpha's Man of the Year in 1960. He was a member of the masons, and was awarded a Hall of Fame citation from the Crispus Attucks High School for his community service. For more see "James L. Cummings" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; and "Citizens Forum" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. Bodenhamer et al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Cunningham, James C.
Birth Year : 1787
Death Year : 1877
James C. Cunningham was a free-born Caribbean violinist, band leader and dance teacher. He came to Louisville, KY, in 1835 and formed a band that played at various events, including a ball for President-elect Zachary Taylor. Cunningham also played a role in the underground railroad. He was born in the West Indies and served in the British Navy. He was the father of James R. Cunningham. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber: and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Freedom, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / West Indies

Cunningham, James R.
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1943
James R. Cunningham was a cornetist and band leader. He toured England in the 1890s and performed for Queen Victoria. He had one of the first African American brass bands. He was the son of James C. Cunningham. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cunningham, Raoul
Birth Year : 1943
Raoul Cunningham was born in Louisville, KY. He fought to bring down racial barriers in public accommodations and housing. When he was 14 years old, he was a member of the NAACP Youth Chapter, assisting with voter registration and participating in picketing segregated establishments in Louisville. He organized a Young Democrats chapter when he was a student at Howard University. Cunningham was president of the D.C. Federation of College Young Democrats and vice president of the Young Democrats Club of America. He is the state coordinator for the NAACP. In 2006, Cunningham received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Award, given each year in Louisville. For more read the Raoul Cunningham biography and watch his interview at the KET Living the Story website; S. Sheldonstaff, "Activist Raoul Cunningham honored," Courier-Journal, 01/13/2006, News section, p. O3B; and M. Starks, "Raoul Cunningham" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd. ed., p. 63.

See photo image of Raoul Cunningham at Hall of Fame 2003, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.

 

Access Interview Read about the Raoul Cunningham oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.        
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cunningham, Thomas L.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Thomas Lee Cunningham was the first African American Kentucky graduate from the United States Air Force Academy, Class of 1967. Information acquired from the Association of Graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Curd, Kirksey L.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1967
Born in Fulton, KY, Kirksey L. Curd became a physician, earning his medical degrees from Cornell University in 1912 and Pennsylvania University in 1917, then practicing in Philadelphia, PA, where he would spend the rest of his life. He was the first African American to receive the D. V. M. degree from Cornell University. Curd was also president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a World War I veteran. He was the son of Curtis and Ida Curd. The family, along with extended family members, all moved from Kentucky to Perry, OK, when Kirksey Curd was a child. They are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1930-32.

See photo image of Dr. Kirksey L. Curd at ChronicleOnline, article by J. K. Morrissey, "Cornell perspectives: CU played key role in educating first black veterinarians," 02/18/2011, a Cornell University website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Perry, Oklahoma / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Curry, Paul H.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2004
In 1969, Paul H. Curry was elected to the Horse Cave City Council, then re-elected in 1971. He was the city's first African American councilman. Paul H. Curry was the son of George and Gracie Smith Curry. 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. 12; and Paul H. Curry in the obituaries of the Glasgow Daily Times, 10/22/2004, p.2.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky

Cyrus, Mary Clark
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1908
Mary Clark Cyrus, born free in Kentucky, moved to Detroit, MI, with her husband in 1844. She is recognized for her role as a leader in the Underground Railroad as a member of the the Detroit Anti-Slavery Society. For more see Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History, by D. C. Hine.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

 

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