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Packer, Zuwena "ZZ"
Birth Year : 1972
Zuwena Packer was born in Chicago and grew up in Louisville, KY, where she attended Seneca High School. Packer published her first story in Seventeen Magazine. She is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has won a number of awards and recognitions for her writing, and has taught English. She now lives in California with her family. Zuwena Packer is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.), Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), and the University of Iowa (MFA). For more see "The ABC's on ZZ," Courier-Journal (Louisville), Features, 03/03/2003; "Robert Birnbaum talks with the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere," on identitytheory.com, 04/29 /2003; and "ZZ Packer" in World Authors 2000-2005 (2007).

See photo image of Zuwena Packer at her Facebook page.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Paducah (KY) Emancipation Day Reunion
August 8 is noted as the day when Western Kentucky African Americans learned that slavery had ended and therefore is a day of celebration for families in Paducah, KY. In 2005, the Emancipation celebration was held in conjunction with the Ware Pettigrew family reunion. Events include the Emancipation Day Parade. For more see G. Thomas, "Kentucky Emancipation Day Reunion," News Channel 6 (NBC), 08/06/2005; and for the 2008 celebration, see A. Shull, "Eighth of August focuses on churches," Paducah Sun, 08/03/08, State and regional section.

 
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Page, Gregory D. "Greg" (football)
Birth Year : 1948
Death Year : 1967
Greg Page was from Middlesboro, KY. In 1966 he was one of the first two African Americans who signed to play football at the University of Kentucky. He was injured during practice and died six weeks later from a paralyzing neck injury; he did not play in any games. The University of Kentucky Greg Page apartments are named in his honor. For more see "Football Player's Legacy Lives On," Kentucky Kernel, 02/06/01.

See photo image of Greg Page's parents being honored on Parent's Night at Commonwealth Stadium.

 
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Page, Gregory E. "Greg" (boxing)
Birth Year : 1958
Death Year : 2009
Page was born in Louisville, KY. A gifted boxer, he won the national Amateur Athletic Union heavyweight championship in 1977 when he was a junior in high school. He won it again in 1978 prior to his high school graduation. After graduation, Page turned pro. He was touted as the next Ali. But after his father's death, Page ran into contract and financial troubles. He defeated Gerrie Coetzee of South Africa for the 1984 WBA heavyweight title, then lost the title five months later. He also began to lose his property and took a break from boxing. Page boxed off and on, filed for bankruptcy, and later left boxing again and held a full-time job painting dental equipment. In 2001, at the age of 42, Page left his day job to prepare for a boxing career comeback. He suffered permanent brain damage in a bout with Dale Crowe in Erlanger, KY, in March 2001. Greg Page was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. For more see "Greg Page" on the Inductees, Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame website; Greg Page time-line articles in the Courier-Journal (Louisville), June 12-15, 2005; W. Graves, "New regulations close to reality," The Kentucky Post, 03/23/2006; D. T. Lovan, "Former boxing champ Greg Page dies in Louisville," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/27/2009; and B. W. Baye, "Special Tribute, Boxing Royalty, Greg Page" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed., pp.49-50. See video Greg Page vs Gerrie Coetzee RD 8 on YouTube.

Subjects: Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / South Africa / Erlanger, Kenton County, Kentucky

Page, Lucy and Edward (Ned)
Lucy and Ned Page were slaves from Lexington, KY. Their quest for freedom was the first case to test the Ohio Constitution concerning slaves, fugitive slaves, and indentured persons. In 1804 Lucy and Ned were brought to Ohio along with the family and slaves of Colonel Robert Patterson, founder of Lexington, KY, and Cincinnati, OH. Both Dr. Andrew McCalla and Patterson had bought land near Dayton on which they planned to have a permanent home for their families and their slaves. The Ohio Constitution prohibited slavery but allowed for fugitive slaves to be recaptured, and stated that only free persons could become indentured. The constitution had more than a few ambiguities as to when a slave would become a free person in Ohio in reference to slaves visiting the state for an undetermined time period, as well as for enforcing the time period a slave (now indentured freeman) would be bound for service. Slave owners from Virginia and Kentucky who moved to Ohio had not had a problem keeping their slaves/indentured servants indefinitely. So, McCalla and Patterson planned for their slaves, once in Ohio, to be referred to as indentured persons, and knowing that Lucy and Ned Page would attempt an escape, had a bill of sale showing that Patterson had sold Lucy and Ned to McCalla. Less than a year after Patterson's first load of belongings arrived in Ohio, the plan began to unravel. Patterson's slave, William Patterson, went before the Court of Common Pleas clerk to have his name placed in the Record of Black and Mulatto (free) Persons. Sarah Ball did the same. In 1805, whites in Dayton encouraged Moses and two other slaves to leave Patterson's farm. With the help of attorneys George F. Tennery and Richard S. Thomas, Moses filed an affidavit saying that he was being held as a slave and forced to work at the Patterson farm. Patterson challenged Moses' claim, stating that Moses, a slave, had helped with the move to Ohio, but that he actually belonged to his brother-in-law, William Lindsay, and under the contract terms, Moses was to return to Kentucky to his life as a slave. The court decided in Patterson's favor, and within days Lindsay arrived in Ohio and took Moses back to Kentucky. Lucy and Ned Page also filed an affidavit, but unlike Moses' case, there was evidence that Lucy and Ned Page were Patterson's slaves before leaving Kentucky. When the case went to court, Patterson changed his story, saying that the Pages were actually indentured servants. The courts decided in favor of the Pages. Patterson and McCalla devised a plan to take the Pages by force back to Kentucky, as had been done with Moses. But, when McCalla and slave catcher David Sharp arrived in Dayton, their efforts were resisted by a group of whites and Ned Page, who had armed himself with a pistol. Sharp was arrested for breach of peace and McCalla filed civil suits in the federal district courts. Lucy and Ned Page left Dayton for an unknown location. McCalla's suits were tied up in the courts for ten years. For more see E. Pocock, "Slavery and Freedom in the Early Republic: Robert Patterson's Slaves in Kentucky and Ohio, 1804-1819," Ohio Valley History, vol. 6, issue 1 (2006), pp. 3-26; and for what was thought to be the first case (1808), see The First Fugitive Slave Case of Record in Ohio, by W. H. Smith.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Page, Theodore R.
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1984
Born in Glasgow, KY, Theodore R. Page was also known as Ted and Terrible Ted. He played right field and first base from 1923-1937. He batted .362 in 1932-1933, and his lifetime average was .335; he also averaged .429 in exhibition games against major-leaguers. He was an all-round athlete who declined a college football scholarship in exchange for a contract with baseball's Toledo Tigers. Page had a temper and once knocked two teeth out of a teammate's mouth during a disagreement. For more see The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by J. A. Riley.

See photo image of Ted Page on a baseball card at the Allegheny Cemetery website.

See photo image of Theodore R. "Ted" Page at the Find a Grave website.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Pallbearers (Versailles, KY)
Start Year : 1929
The body of Mrs. Susanna Preston Hart Camden (1867-1929), wife of former U.S. Senator Johnson N. Camden, Jr. (1865-1942), was carried to the burial site in Frankfort, KY, on the shoulders of six African American men. The six men were servants at Spring Hill Farm in Woodford County, KY, where four of the men had been born; they were the children of former slaves at the plantation. Spring Hill was originally owned by the Shelby family; Isaac Shelby, for whom Shelby County, KY, was named, was Kentucky's first governor. Mrs. Camden was a descendant of Governor Shelby. For more see "Mrs. Camden buried; servants bearers," New York Times, 01/14/1929, p. 19. 

  See photo image of Camden Home on Spring Hill Farm in Kentucky Digital Library Image Collections.
Subjects: Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Woodford County and Shelby County, Kentucky

Palmer, Zirl A.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 1982
Zirl A. Palmer was the first African American to own a Rexall franchise in the United States. The store, located on Main Street in Lexington, KY, was bombed on September 4, 1968. Palmer was also the first African American pharmacist in Lexington and the first African American to become a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, named to the board by Governor Wendell Ford. Palmer was a graduate of Bluefield State College and Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy. For more hear the Zirl Palmer interview (info.) in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky Special Collections; and "University of Kentucky. Board of Trustees," Lexington Leader, 08/24/1972, p. 1.

See photo image of Zirl Palmer in the Kentucky Digital Library Image Collections.

Access Interview Read about the Zirl A. Palmer oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Panic in Hopkinsville, KY
Start Year : 1856
At the end of 1856, a messenger from Lafayette, KY, came to Hopkinsville, KY, seeking help in defending Lafayette against an expected attack by 600 African Americans from the Iron District on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers; Hopkinsville formed Vigilance Committees and posted armed guards in response. Eight to ten thousand slaves worked in the iron works. The telegraph poles were cut down, leaving the city cut-off from communications. African Americans thought to be members of the plot were hanged, shot, or jailed in Kentucky and Tennessee. A white man who had been "passing" was discovered during the roundup of African American men. The man had been painting himself black and living among the African Americans for some time. He was accused by his captors of being the prime instigator and organizer of the insurrection and was taken into the woods and whipped to death. The anticipated insurrection never occurred. For more see "Negro Insurrections in Southern Kentucky and Tennessee," New York Daily Times, 12/11/1856, p. 1; and additional New York Daily Times' articles from 1856: December 12, 23, 25, and 27.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lafayette and Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Tennessee

Panic in Owen County, KY
Start Year : 1861
A messenger from Owen County arrived in Frankfort, KY, on May 10, 1861. The messenger was notifying the governor that 300-400 African Americans had armed themselves and formed a company. The telegraph lines had been cut. The messenger said that when whites attempted to disarm the African Americans, several men were killed. A messenger had also arrived in Indiana with the story that an African American insurrection had occurred in Owen and Gallatin Counties. It was said that two or three white men were leading the African Americans. Troops in both Kentucky and Indiana were put on standby. The following day it was reported that a woman had seen two African American men with guns and had notified her minister, who in turn had sounded the alarm. The story had created a panic in Boone County, also. For more see "Important from Kentucky: reported Negro Insurrection in Owen County," New York Daily Times, 05/11/1861, p. 1; and "The reported Negro insurrection in Owen County, Kentucky, etc.," New York Daily Times 05/12/1861, p. 8.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Boone, Owen, and Gallatin Counties, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Indiana

Paris, Malinda Robinson
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1892
She was born Malinda Robinson in Paris, KY. Her mother, who was free, had been born in Maryland; her father, a slave, had been born in Kentucky. Malinda was the sixth of their nine children. Her parents fought in the Kentucky court system for 14 years to keep the children from being enslaved. The mother finally stole away in the night with all of the children at the insistence of her husband, whom they never saw again. The family settled in Terre Haute, IN. Malinda married William Paris when she was 18 years old, and the couple eventually moved to Canada, then to Detroit. William had escaped to Canada through the Underground Railroad; he was born free and had been captured and put into slavery several times before the move to Canada. For more see her obituary in the St. Clair Republican, 10/27/1892; and the Malinda Paris memorial in Pioneer and Historical Collections, vol. XXII (1893).
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Maryland /Terre Haute, Indiana / Detroit, Michigan

Paris, William H., Jr. "Bubba"
Birth Year : 1960
William H. Paris,Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, and played football at DeSales High School, where he was team captain and an MVP. At 6'6", 300 pounds, Paris went on to play offensive tackle at the University of Michigan, where he was All-Big Ten, All-American, and All-Academic. He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft and played all but one season of his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers, 1983-1990. In 1991, Paris played for the Indianapolis Colts. During his time with the 49ers, the team won three Super Bowls. He is the father of the former University of Oklahoma basketball players Courtney and Ashley Paris. Bubba Paris, an ordained minister and motivational speaker, lives in California. For more see Bubba Paris, at databaseFootball.com; bubbaparis.org; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.

See photo image of William "Bubba" Paris at the University of Michigan Library website.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Football, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Park Club No.1 [Tyrone Park and Picnic Grounds]
Start Year : 1911
In 1911, the Lexington Park Club No.1 leased a tract of land in Tyrone, KY, and converted it into a park and picnic area for Colored people. The park was located on the Kentucky River, there was a large building for meetings and the land contained a natural spring. Charles Kirtley was the contact person for bookings, his address was 626 Congress Street in Lexington, KY. Tyrone, first known as Streamville in 1869, was located three miles outside of Lawrenceburg, KY. There were two African Americans in Tyrone in 1900, Clara and Charlie Jordan, and by 1920, there were 22, most with the last name Boller, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Park Club No.1 in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 05/21/1911, p.6.
Subjects: Parks
Geographic Region: Tyrone, Anderson County, Kentucky

Parker, Frank
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1954
Frank Parker was a horse trainer. He was born in Kentucky in October of 1874, and later lived in Kalamazoo, MI [source: Michigan Death and Burial Index]. Parker was the son of Mary Carlisle Parker and Edward Parker. Frank Parker is buried in Lexington, KY.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kalamazoo, Michigan / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Parker, John P.
Birth Year : 1827
Death Year : 1900
Parker was born a slave in Virginia, son of a white father and a slave mother. He was sold south at 8 years of age but was able to purchase his freedom in 1845. Parker settled near Ripley, OH, where he became an Underground Railroad conductor. He is credited with assisting more than 1,000 escaped slaves across the Ohio River from Kentucky to Ohio. Parker was also a businessman and an inventor: he was one of the few African Americans to receive patents before the year 1900. For more see His Promised Land: the Autobiography of John Parker, ed. by S. S. Sprague; and Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons.
Subjects: Freedom, Inventors, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Virginia / Ripley, Ohio / Kentucky

Parker, Johne M.
Johne M. Parker was born in Montgomery, AL. An associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, she has been with the University of Kentucky since 1997. She received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she wrote her dissertation, An analytical and experimental investigation of physically-accurate synthetic images for machine vision design. She co-authored Physically accurate synthetic images for computer vision system design. In 2005, Parker became the first person from Kentucky selected as an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Congressional Fellow, the oldest engineering society fellows program in the nation. The program enables fellow recipients to devote a year working with the federal government, providing engineering and technical advice to policy makers in Congress, federal agencies, and the White House. Parker spent the 2005-2006 academic year in D.C. For more see K. Johnson, "Engineering Professor to Advise Congress," University of Kentucky News, 06/24/05. For more on the ASME Congressional Fellows Program, see the Federal Government Fellowships Programs.
Subjects: Authors, Engineers, Migration North, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Montgomery, Alabama / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Parker, Noah
Birth Year : 1850
Noah Parker was an African American minister born in Kentucky around 1850 to Cato and Winnie Parker. Noah Parker died after 1880, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, he was a preacher. In the rural area of Clintonville, Kentucky, in the late 1800s it was rare to find an African American male listed with an occupation other than farm hand or laborer. Clintonville, KY. was established around 1800 by George and John Stipp. First known as Stipp's Crossroads, this community was later named Clintonville in 1831. Noah Parker was instrumental in organizing the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church that is located on Clintonville Road. The actual congregation was formed in 1860 by residents of what would become the community of Boonetown, an African American community also located on Clintonville Road. The land was given to local African Americans after the Civil War by George Boone. Noah Parker was the first minister to this religious group of African Americans, even before there was a church building. Around 1873, the residents of Boonetown built the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. According to population statistics from the 1870 U.S. Federal Census there were approximately 339 blacks and mulattoes in the Clintonville, KY precinct. This population number grew to approximately 446 by 1880 according to the U.S.Federal Census. Today the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church is still in the original building and, according to Mrs. Ora Mae Jacobs, the eldest member of the church, there is still a small and active congregation. Few personal or historical facts have been found about Noah Parker. However, he was an early African American minister who showed leadership skills and was able to read and write. Led by men of such strong leadership, it was not uncommon for African American churches to become the foundation for early black schools in rural areas of Kentucky. Churches such as Pleasant Valley Baptist Church served as a benevolent organization, caring for the ill and indigent, and a meeting place to discuss community issues.

Sources: 1870 and 1880 U. S. Federal Census for Bourbon County, KY; Kentucky Place Names by Robert M. Rennick; Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky by Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc. and The Kentucky Heritage Council; Interview with William Brown of Paris, KY; oral history interview with Ora Mae Jacobs, longtime resident of Clintonville, KY; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891 by Marion B. Lucas. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library.
Subjects: Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: (Boonetown) Clintonville, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Parker, Perry
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1936
Born in Lexington, KY, Perry Parker was one of the founders and chairman of the Pullman Porter's Benefit Association of America, Inc. Parker started as a porter, advancing to a special investigator for the Pullman Company, where he was employed for 41 years. After his death, Perry Parker was honored during the annual memorial services held in New York for Pullman veterans and ex-veterans. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; J. H. Hogans, "Among railroad and Pullman workers," The Afro-American, 05/26/1942, p.8; and A. Philip Randolph: a biographical portrait, by J. Anderson.
Subjects: Pullman Porters
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Parker, Titus
Birth Year : 1833
Death Year : 1913
Titus Parker was one of the first African American coal miners in Earlington, Kentucky [source: "Uncle Titus Parker dead," The Bee, 05/09/1913, p.4]. Parker worked for the St. Bernard Coal Company. His exact age was not known, but he is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census with a birth year of 1833. He is listed as a farmer in Seminary, KY, the husband of Sarah Parker, and the father of five children. In the 1880 Census, Titus Parker and his family were living in Hecla, KY, where Titus was a coal miner. His new wife was Charlotte Prather; the couple had married in November of 1878 [source: Kentucky Marriages Index]. In the 1900 Census, Tittus Paker had retired from the coal mines and was bottoming chairs. His third wife was Meta Parker; the couple was married in 1883 and lived in Earlington. Titus Parker was a former slave born in Todd County, KY [source: J. Phillips, "Locomotive Blasts," The Bee, 04/11/1895, p.2]. His name appears in documents during the Civil War. Titus Parker fought for the Confederacy. His enlistment date was October 1, 1861 in Hopkinsville, KY, and his service started on October 17, 1861, found on p.532 within the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, Confederate Kentucky Volunteers, War 1861-1865. Parker was a private in Company K, Kentucky First Cavalry Regiment. He mustered out October 17, 1862 [source: U.S. Civil War Soldier Records]. 
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Todd County, Kentucky / Earlington, Hecla, and Seminary, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Parker, Walter Elwood, Sr.
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 2013
In 1974, W. Elwood Parker, Sr. became the first African American on the Paris, KY, City School Board. He was also the first African American on the Paris Police force. He was the son of Cordelia and Clara M. Gist Parker. He was a veteran of the Korean War and a graduate of Jackson State University. While in high school, W. Elwood Parker, Sr. was a member of the first football team at Western High School in Paris, KY [source: "Western High School" newspaper clippings provided by Lora Washington at the Kentucky African American Griots website]. The team was coached by William B. Reed. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, p. 25, and "Cosby is Jefferson County board's first black chairman," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, p. 36, both by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. See the Walter Elwood Parker, Sr. obituary at the Lusk-McFarland Funeral Home webpage.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Parker, William C.
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 2008
William C. Parker, from Cairo, Illinois, was the Vice Chancellor of Minority Affairs at the University of Kentucky, from 1984-1990. His responsibilities included the recruitment and retention of minority students; he was also a diversity adviser to the university. He led the development of the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education. Dr. Parker, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, had taught at a number of schools and had been employed at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) before coming to Kentucky. After his retirement, he established Parker & Parker, a human resources consulting firm that worked with hundreds of schools throughout the United States. Dr. Parker was also an adjunct professor at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He was a professional speaker and had received many awards for his leadership. He wrote a number of articles, books and other publications such as the video, Formula for Success. Dr. Parker was a two-time graduate of Illinois State University and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia Pacific University. He was the son of Magdelene Reynolds Parker, a Cairo school teacher, and Clarence H. Parker. For more see "William C. Parker" in Pulaski County, Illinois, 1987, by the Pulaski County History Book Committee; and B. Musgrave, "Longtime educator dies," Lexington Herald Leader, 06/02/2008.

 

Access Interview Read about the William C. Parker oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database. 

 

  See photo image of William C. Parker at UKnowledge website.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cairo, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Parks, Suzan-Lori
Birth Year : 1964
Suzan-Lori Parks was born in Fort Knox, KY, but lived in a number of states; her father was in the military. This playwright has received a number of awards, including the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Topdog/Underdog. She wrote the screenplay for Girl 6 and is author of a number of books, including Getting Mother's Body: a novel and Venus. Parks is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. For more see Women of Color, Women of Words; Biography Index, vols. 20-26; and Contemporary Black Biography. Profiles from the international black community, vol. 34.

See photo image of Suzan-Lori Parks at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors
Geographic Region: Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade Counties, Kentucky

Parrish, Charles H., Jr.
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1989
In 1951, Charles H. Parrish, Jr. was the first African American faculty member at the University of Louisville (U of L) after the segregated school, Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, was closed. Parrish was also the first African American faculty member at a white school in the South. A sociologist, he chaired the Sociology Department. Parrish was also a civil rights activist. The Charles Parrish, Jr. Papers are at the U of L. A Kentucky Historical Marker [#2008] has been placed at the U of L Belknap Campus in his honor. For more see History of Blacks in Kentucky, by G. C. Wright; and The Charles H. Parrishes, by L. H. Williams.


Access Interview Listen to the recording and read the transcript to the Charles H. Parrish, Jr. oral history interviews at the University of Louisville Libraries.

See photo image of Charles H. Parrish, Jr. at the University of Louisville website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Sociologists & Social Scientists
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Parrish, Charles H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1931
Charles H. Parrish, Sr. was born into slavery in Lexington, KY, to Hiram, a teamster, and Henrietta Parrish, a seamstress. Charles Parrish became pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Louisville, KY; president of Eckstein Norton College; and later president of Simmons University (KY). He founded the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children. In 1905, he attended the World Baptist Alliance in London, England, and in 1912 was named a fellow in the British Royal Historical Society as a result of his research in Palestine. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on the University of Kentucky campus and off-campus via the proxy server]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams; and "Reverend Charles Henry Parrish" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote.

See photo image of Charles H. Parrish, Sr. and students in the 1920s, in the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pasquall, Jerome Don
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1971
Jerome D. Pasquall was born in Fulton, KY, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He played the saxophone, clarinet, and mellophone. Pasquall played with many bands, including the riverboat bands of Charlie Creath and Kentucky native Fate Marable. He also played and recorded with Doc Cooke's Dreamland Orchestra while studying at the American Conservatory in Chicago. Pasquall studied at the New England Conservatory, graduating in 1927, and was lead alto saxophone with Fletcher Henderson's band. He played the clarinet and saxophone on a number of fox trot recordings from 1920s-1930s, including the 1924 song Moanful Man, Fox Trot, by Cooke's Dreamland Orchestra, and the 1936 song Where There's You There's Me: Fox Trot, by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra. For more see "Jerome Don Pasquall" in the Oxford Music Online Database. Listen to a sample of Jerome Pasquall on clarinet and alto sax on the song Black Maria recorded by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra in 1927, a Amazon.com website.
Access Interview
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Passmore, Norman L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2003
Norman L. Passmore, Sr. was born in Columbus, GA. He was an exceptional student who played quarterback on the Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] football team that won national championships in 1934 and 1937. He graduated from Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky. He later was the head football coach of the old Lexington Dunbar Bearcats, beginning in 1951 and continuing for 16 years, accumulating a record of 98 wins, 16 losses, and 6 ties while winning three state titles. He also coached for one season at Kentucky State College. He retired as principal of Henry Clay High School in 1984. Passmore was also a pastor and a World War II veteran. For more see M. Davis, "A classic game for a classic educator," Lexington Herald-Leader, section C, l8/29/04; and J. Hewlett, "Long time educator dies at 87 - N. L. Passmore Sr. taught at Dunbar," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/19/2003, City&Region section, p. B1. See also the sound recording interview of Norman Passmore in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1980 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky.

Access Interview Read about the Norman L. Passmore, Sr. oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Football, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Columbus, Georgia / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Patton, Humphrey Cornelius, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Humphrey C. Patton was born in Louisville, KY. He was editor of The Owl, a Detroit weekly tabloid. He was also the only African American line officer (1st Lieutenant) with the 350th regiment, FAAEF. He was the son of Dr. William Patton and Maggie C. Patton, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, when the family was living in Maysville, KY. He was a student at Howard University prior to his military enlistment, according to his draft registration card. Humphrey was the husband of Ruby Lee Holland Patton, born 1895 in CA. The couple married in Washington, D.C. on November 30, 1917, according to the District of Columbia Marriage Index. In 1920, Humphrey Patton was a mechanic at an auto factory in Detroit, he and his family lived on Fredrick Avenue. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1923
End Year : 1967
The following information comes from Julian Jackson, Jr., Historian of the (old) Dunbar Alumni Association. The original school was a wooden structure named Russell High School. In 1921, William H. Fouse was instrumental in convincing the city of Lexington and the Education Board to build a new school for Negro children. Two years later the school was completed at 545 North Upper Street, with W. H. Fouse as the principal. The school was named after poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, whose mother Matilda and father Joshua were from Kentucky. The funding for the school was unusual because it came from taxes on both African Americans and whites. (In 1921, Lexington tax dollars for education were still somewhat segregated.) The school was the first African-American high school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, one of eight such schools in the South. Fouse also helped create the first school bank and the first insurance program within Dunbar. He also helped develop regional literacy and art competitions, and the school had a championship debate team, sponsored by alumnus Cecil Posey. Dunbar students also participated in two interracial debate competitions: The Thrift Competition, supported by the Thrift Service Company of New York, which offered $75 in prize money; and the Bible Study Contest, sponsored by the YMCA and the YWCA. The Dunbar boys' team won $61 in prize money and took first place in the statewide interracial debate competition in which the girls' team placed second. Dunbar served the African American community for 44 years with three different principals: W. M. Fouse, 1923-1938; P. L. Guthrie, 1938-1966; and Clara Wendell Stitt, 1966-1967. Students who attended Dunbar received a well-rounded, quality education, the majority graduated on time, and many went on to college. Former students with additional information may contact Julian Jackson, Jr. at (859) 255-6328 or jrattler49@aol.com. See also R. Bailey, "Lexington's Black community found magic at Dunbar," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/16/1986, p.B1. See also the NKAA entry African American Schools in Lexington and Fayette County, KY. See also, the three files labeled "Fouse Papers (W. H. Fouse)" in the Fayette County section of Box 7 of the Kentucky Education Collection, Series I.
 
See the photographs taken at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, 540 North Upper Street, Lexington, KY, images in Explore UK.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Payne, Clarence H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1965
Dr. Clarence H. Payne was one of two African Americans appointed to the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1937. He served on the medical staff for more than 20 years. He had practiced medicine in Chicago for about 15 years and specialized in chest diseases. Prior to his appointment at the sanitarium, Dr. Payne had served in the U.S. Army and was among the first African Americans to attend the Negro Officer's Training School in Des Moines, Iowa. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant and served with the 365th Infantry during WWI. When WWII began, Dr. Payne and Dr. Roscoe Conklin were summoned to the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for a conference on integrating the U.S. Armed Forces. Dr. Payne was twice elected the Illinois Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he was the first African American elected to that post. Dr. Clarence H. Payne was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Nora L. and Aaron H. Payne II. He attended school in Louisville, KY, and was a 1911 graduate of Fisk University and a 1921 graduate of Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago [now part of Rush University]. For more see "Clarence H. Payne" on page 7 of the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Payne, Gary D.
Birth Year : 1948
Born in Paducah, KY, Payne attended Lincoln Institute, Pepperdine University, and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1978. In 1988, he became the first African American judge in Fayette County. Payne is the son of Sara Cooper Payne and William J. Payne. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 7th-13th editions.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Payne, George W.
Birth Year : 1888
Born in Union, KY, George W. Payne was an engineer with the Mt. Vernon (Indiana) Water, Light, and Power Co. beginning in 1906. He was regarded as one of the best engineers and engine repairman in southern Indiana. He was the son of Jefferson and Alice Benson Payne. He was a member of Butler's Cornet Band, and was a member of the Technical and Electrical Engineers Association of America. George W. Payne was the husband of Ethel Payne and he couple had five children when they were listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census living on East Sycamore Street in Mt. Vernon, IN. For more see Who's Who of Colored America, 1915.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Union, Boone County, Kentucky / Mount Vernon, Indiana

Payne, Thomas R., Jr. "Tom"
Birth Year : 1951
Born in Louisville, KY, Thomas R. Payne, Jr. was the first African American recruited and signed to play basketball at the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1969. Payne, a 7'2" center, had played for Shawnee High School in Louisville. UK had tried to recruit 15 African American players, but Payne was the first to accept the offer. He averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds during the 1970-1971 season, then went pro, signing with the Atlanta Hawks. In 1972 he was convicted of rape in Georgia and Kentucky and spent the next 11 years in prison. He tried to return to basketball but was again convicted of rape in California in 1986. For more see J. R. McGill, "Kentucky a Leader in Integrating SEC Sports," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/31/90, Sports section, p. D14; and M. Story, "Prison Awaits Payne in Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/02/2000, Sports section, p. C1.
Subjects: Basketball
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Peeples, Porter G.
Birth Year : 1947
Porter G. Peeples was born in Lynch, KY. When he became director of the Lexington (KY) Urban League, he was the youngest Urban League director in the U.S. He continues to lead and to advocate for the needs and rights of the disadvantaged in Lexington. Peeples is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. For more see Porter Peeples in Living the Story, Film Interviews at the Kentucky Historical Society; Porter Peeples Biography at The HistoryMakers.

  View the interviews, read the transcript, and listen to the audio of Porter G. Peeples in the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project at the Kentucky Historical Society.

Access Interview Read about the Porter G. Peeples oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Pegram, Amelia Blossom
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Amelia Blossom Pegram is a teacher, writer, performer, and poet. She began teaching in South Africa, then left the country in 1963. She studied acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has acted on stage, radio, and television in England and the United States. Pegram came to the U.S. in 1972. She has won many awards, including the Louisville Board of Alderman Literary Award. She is author of several books, including Our Sun Will Rise: poems from South Africa, and she is included in Conversations with Kentucky Writers II. For more see Biography Index A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 20 (Sept. 1991-Aug. 1995); and the Amelia Blossom Pegram at the South African Women for Women Annual Awards website.

See photo image of Amelia Blossom Pegram and additional information at the KET Website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Education and Educators, Poets
Geographic Region: Cape Town, South Africa / England, Europe / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pendleton, Clarence M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1988
Born in Louisville, KY, and raised in Washington, D.C., Pendleton was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first African American chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1981-1988). Pendleton replaced Arthur S. Flemming, who was dismissed by President Reagan. Pendleton had been the director of the San Diego Urban League and was later an opponent of school busing and affirmative action. He changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 1980. Over the next eight years he lived part time in Washington, D.C. and part time in San Diego, where he died suddenly in 1988. His father had been the first swimming coach at Howard University, where Pendleton received his B.S. and his Master's degree in education. He later took over as the swimming coach at Howard, and the team won 10 championships in 11 years. For more see Current Biography (1984); and J. McQuiston, "Clarence M. Pendleton, 57, dies, Head of Civil Rights Commission," The New York Times, 06/06/1988, p. A1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Pendleton County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Pendleton County, located in north-central Kentucky, was formed in 1798 from portions of Campbell and Bracken Counties. It is bordered by five counties and was named for Edmund Pendleton from Virginia, who was a delegate to the first Continental Congress. The county seat is Falmouth, named for Falmouth, VA. The 1800 county population was 1,613, according to the Second Census of Kentucky: 1,371 whites, 240 slaves, and 2 free coloreds. The population increased to 10,019 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 127 slave owners
  • 462 Black slaves
  • 46 Mulatto slaves
  • 36 free Blacks [most with last names Monday and Southgate]
  • 2 free Mulattoes [Elsey Hues and Charity Sothgate]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 121 slave owners
  • 335 Black slaves
  • 89 Mulatto slaves
  • 24 free Blacks [most with last name Monday]
  • 17 free Mulattoes [most with last name Southgate]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 503 Blacks
  • 127 Mulattoes
  • At least 8 U.S. Colored Troops listed Pendleton County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see the Pendleton County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; An Account of the Life of James Bradley, Black Abolitionist, website by Pendleton County Genealogy Project; see "Charity's House" in African American Historic Places by B. L. Savage and C. D. Shull; see Chapter 7 in I've Got a Home in Glory Land by K. S. Frost; and The Grave of a Forgotten Soldier, by H. R. Seibert, Jr. [online], article originally published in Northern Kentucky Heritage Magazine, (Autumn/Winter 1994), v.2, issue 1.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Pendleton County, Kentucky

Penn, Anna Belle Rhodes
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1930
Anna Belle Rhodes Penn was born in Paris, KY, the only child of William and Sophia Rhodes. The family moved to Lynchburg, VA, when Anna was a small child. Educated by private teachers, she is a graduate of Shaw University. Penn was a school teacher and noted essayist and poet. Her published works include "Grief Unknown," and her handwritten collection includes "Light Out of Darkness." She was the wife of I. Garlan Penn, with whom she had seven children: Anna, Marie, Louise, Elizabeth, Georgia, Irvine, Jr., and Wilhelmina. The family moved to Cincinnati, where Anna Belle Rhodes Penn was a well-known social worker. For more see "Anna Belle Rhodes Penn" in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors; and The Life and Times of Irvine Garland Penn, by J. K. Harrison and G. Harrison.

See halftone photomechanical print of Anna Belle Rhodes Penn at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lynchburg, Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio

Penny, Joe [Pennytown, Missouri]
Birth Year : 1812
Pennytown was located eight miles southeast of Marshall, Missouri; it had been established by Kentucky native and ex-slave, Joe Penny. In 1850, Penny arrived in Missouri, and in the 1860s he purchased eight acres for $160. He settled on a portion of the land and further divided the remainder into lots that were sold to other African American settlers. Joe Penny had come to Missouri as the slave of Jackson Bristol, and later became a free man. He married Harriett Butler, born 1815 in Virginia. In 1880, the Pennys were a family of seven that included Harriett's children and grandchildren, and Joe was a farmer, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The Pennytown community continued to grow as adjoining land was purchased by other African Americans. By 1900, 40 families lived in the 64-acre community with a total population of 200. There were two churches, lodges, a school and a store. The community ceased growing after a few decades, and families began to leave Pennytown for better jobs and educational opportunities in nearby cities. The last family left in 1943, and the older residents left behind eventually died. Today, the one remaining building is the First Freewill Baptist Church. Every year a reunion of Pennytown descendants is held at the church, a tradition that began at the end of World War II. The compiler of the community history collection was Josephine Jackson Lawrence (1929 - 1992); the collection is housed in the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection - Columbia at the University of Missouri. See also Pennytown, by the Friends of Pennytown.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennytown, Saline County, Missouri (no longer exists)

Perkins Family [Jockeys and Horse Trainers]
Four members of the Perkins family are noted for their success in the horse racing industry: James "Soup" Perkins, William "Will" Perkins, Edward "Eddie" Perkins, and Frank Perkins. The following is additional information about the family. 

  • Mother: Mattie Maupins Perkins - born around 1855 in KY - died October 13, 1904 in Lexington, KY; former slave of Major Flournoy in Fayette County, KY; wife of John Jacob Perkins; mother of Frank, Carrie, Elizabeth "Eliza", William "Will", James "Soup", and Edward "Eddie" Perkins. [sources: 1880 and the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; KY Death Certificate #8066; Porter & Jackson Funeral Home, buried in African Cemetery #2; Obit in "Colored," Lexington Leader, 10/16/1904, p.2; "Court house news," Lexington Leader, 10/23/1904, p.6; and Emerson & Dark's Lexington Directory].
  • Father: John Jacob "Jake" Perkins - born around 1845 in KY - died January 26, 1913 in Lexington, KY; former slave of Major Flournoy in Fayette County, KY; horseman; husband of Mattie Perkins; father of Frank, Carrie, Elizabeth "Eliza", William "Will", James "Soup", Edward "Eddie", and Walter Perkins. [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; KY Death Certificate #1043; Williams & Reed Funeral Home, buried in African Cemetery #2; Obit in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 01/26/1913, p.5].
  • Son: Frank Perkins - born around 1871 in KY - murdered by Thomas Christian, October of 1900; race horse trainer [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; "Frank Perkins," Lexington Leader, 10/09/1897, p.5; "Trial is on," Lexington Leader, 03/05/1901, p.1; "Shot down in his own door," Lexington Leader, 10/07/1900, p.1; and "Case passed," Lexington Leader, 10/11/1900, p.5].
  • Daughter: Carrie J. Perkins Lawrence Bulett - born around 1873 in KY; lived in Chicago, IL [source: 1880 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census; "Will Perkins succumbs," Daily Racing Form, 04/19/1927, p.12].
  • Daughter: Elizabeth "Eliza" Perkins - born around 1877 in KY - died January 17, 1896 on Thomas Street in Lexington, KY. [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; KY Death Certificate #966; Death notice, "Eliza Perkins," Lexington Leader, 01/18/1896, p.8].
  • Son: William "Will" Perkins - born around 1879 in KY - died April 17, 1927 in Lexington, KY; jockey, race horse trainer and owner; Claughton Funeral Home, buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington; [sources: KY Death Certificate #15241; and see his NKAA entry].
  • Son: James "Soup" Perkins - born in 1880 in KY - died August 10, 1911 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; jockey; husband of Frankie Perkins; [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; several articles in the Lexington Leader; and see his NKAA entry].
  • Son: Edward H. Perkins - born August 2, 1888 in KY - died August 7, 1952 in Lexington, KY; also called Eddie Perkins; stable agent for Will Perkins; WWI veteran; Claughton Funeral Home, buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY; [sources: 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census; WWI Draft Registration Card; KY Death Certificate #52 16492; and see Will Perkins NKAA entry].
  • Walter W. Perkins, born January 9, 1889 in KY - died August 10, 1987 in Lexington, KY; son of John Jacob Perkins; [sources: Social Security Death Index; and John Perkins' Obit in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 01/26/1913, p.5].

Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Perkins, James (policeman)
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 1984
James Perkins was born in Woodford County, KY, the son of Bertie and Willie Perkins, Sr. He was a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and Western Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College]. Perkins was the first African American sergeant, lieutenant, and captain with the Lexington Police Department. Perkins joined the force in 1952 and retired in 1984. For more see J. Hewlett, "Former policeman James Perkins dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/12/1984, Obituaries section, p. B7. See his photo at the Lexington History Museum - In Black and White Photographic Collection. See also James Perkins in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Projects, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky.

Access Interview  Read about the James Perkins oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database. 
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Perkins, James "Soup" (jockey)
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1911
James Perkins, one of the two youngest jockeys to win the Kentucky Derby, was 15 years old in 1895 when he won the Derby riding Halma. Perkins was born in Lexington, KY, and his parents, Jacob and Mattie Perkins, were the slaves of Major Flournoy. Perkins died in Hamilton, Ontario. He was a brother to horse trainers Frank and Will Perkins. For more see The Great Black Jockeys, by E. Hotaling; Black Maestro: the epic life of an American legend, by J. Drape; and "Soup Perkins, last noted Negro rider," the Lexington Leader, 09/12/1911, p. 10. See also the Perkins Family entry in the NKAA Database.

See photo image of James Perkins and other jockeys at BlackJockeys.org.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Perkins, William "Will"
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1927
William "Will" Perkins, a thoroughbred race horse owner, a race horse trainer, and former jockey, was the brother of horse trainer Frank Perkins, and jockey James "Soup" Perkins. Will Perkins was not a gifted jockey, but he excelled as a trainer. In 1926, he was trainer of more winning horses (82 races) than any other trainers in the U.S. During his 16 year career as a trainer, he had 655 winners. He was trainer of the horse Billy Kelly that won the Idle Hour Farm Stakes, the Bashford Manor, the Flash, and the U.S. Hotel Stakes. Will Perkins was trainer for W. F. Polson, J. K. Knight, Senator Allie W. Young, George Baker, and many others. Will Perkins was part owner of the horse General Haldeman, the winner of the Queen City Handicap at Latonia in 1926. The Will Perkins Stable was located on Third Street in Lexington, KY, in 1918, and his brother, Edward Perkins was the stable agent. Will Perkins was born in Fayette County, KY, and was survived by his brother Edward and his sister Carrie J. Perkins Bulett who lived in Chicago. Their parents were Jacob and Mattie Perkins and the family of seven is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census [Jacob, Mattie, Frank, Carrie, Elizabeth, William, and a new born (James)]. In 1899, the family members Carrie, James, William, and their mother Mattie lived at 240 N. Upper Street [source: 1898-99 Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory, pp.675-676]. For more see "Will Perkins, race horse man, dies," Lexington Leader, 04/18/1927, p.6; and "Will Perkins succumbs," Daily Racing Form, 04/19/1927, p.12. For more about the Perkins family members in the horse industry, see the "Trainer" notebook at the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum in Lexington, KY, and the Perkins Family entry in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Perpetual Motion Machine (Franklin, KY)
Start Year : 1874
In 1874, the New York Times repeated a story from the Franklin Patriot newspaper about an African American man who had invented what he referred to as a "perpetual motion" wagon. The machine was to be shown at the fair in September, but a few days before the fair, the inventor was taking his machine to be registered and was thrown from the apparatus and killed. The machine was not damaged in the accident, and it was still scheduled to be shown at the fair. Perpetual motion had been a scientific fascination for centuries, and the African American in Franklin, KY, was not the first to be killed by his invention; James Bagby, a Virginia pioneer from Scotland, had also died while working with his perpetual motion machine. For more see "A Kentucky Story," New York Times, 09/14/1874, p. 5. For more about the Bagby Family, see the Emmett Wooten Bagby entry in History of Kentucky, by Kerr, Connelley, and Coulter [available full-text at Google Book Search]. See also Perpetual Motion, by W. J. G. Ord-Hume and H. A. Ord.
Subjects: Inventors
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Perry County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Perry County, located in southeastern Kentucky, was formed in 1820 and named for Oliver Hazard Perry, a naval officer during the War of 1812. Hazard is the county seat, founded in 1821. It was originally named Perry until the name was changed to Hazard in 1854. Both county seat names were in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry. The 1830 county population was 488 [heads of households], and the population increased to 3,877 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 33 slave owners
  • 85 Black slaves
  • 32 Mulatto slaves
  • 1 free Black (Joseph Williams)
  • 8 free Mulattoes (Henry Williams, Hiram Freeman, his wife and five children)
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 28 slave owners
  • 45 Black slaves
  • 28 Mulatto slaves
  • 0 free Blacks
  • 13 free Mulattoes [11 with last name Couch, 2 Stacy]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 77 Blacks
  • 7 Mulattoes [4 Crawford, Morgan, Sumler, Walker]
  • At least 5 U.S. Colored Troops listed Perry County, KY, as their birth location.
For more see Perry County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Britt Combs Collection [Dr. C. Britt Combs]; and NAACP 1940-55 legal file, mob violence, James Robinson [i.e., Robertson], 1942. See the photo image of the Negro School in Hazard in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Perry County, Kentucky

Perry, Julia A.
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 1979
Perry was born in Lexington, KY, one of the five daughters of Dr. Abe Perry and America Lois Heath Perry. The family moved to Akron, Ohio, when Julia was a child. She was a two-time graduate of Westminster Choir College [now Westminster Choir College of Rider University]. She received two Guggenheim fellowships and a number of other awards during her career. Perry composed many works, including two one-act operas and a three-act opera-ballet, The Selfish Giant (published in 1964), for which she won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Prize. She taught in the music department at Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] and at Florida A&M, and she was a visiting lecturer at Atlanta University Center [now Clark Atlanta University]. Perry's career began to decline when she suffered her first stroke at the age of 46. She is buried in the Glendale Cemetery in Akron; the birth date on her tombstone, 1927, is incorrect. For more see "Julia Perry" in From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American women composers and their music, by H. Walker-Hill; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Classical Musicians, by N. Slonimsky; and Black Women in America. an historical encyclopedia, ed. by D. C. Hine.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Akron, Ohio

Perry, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1946
William H. Perry, Sr. was born in Indiana. After the death of his father, he and his mother moved to Louisville, KY. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, becoming a teacher at the school following his graduation in 1877. He was also a graduate of the Illinois Medical College. In 1908 Perry became the first African American physician to receive his license by passing the Kentucky State Board of Medical Examiners. He was also one of the co-founders of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. The Perry School in Louisville was named in his honor posthumously in 1952; Perry had been head principal of the school, 1891-1927. The school was later merged with the Roosevelt School, and the name was changed to the Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School. William H. Perry, Sr. was the husband of Ana Ridley, from Nashville, a concert pianist and vocalist. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Professor William H. Perry, Sr. passes," KNEA Journal, vol. 18, issue 1 (1946), pp. 12-13. Mark Shepard provided additional information from the Personal Papers of William H. Perry, part of the grass-roots collection at the Lost Creek Historical Society.

See photo image of William H. Perry, Sr. at Wabash Valley Visions & Voices website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Peter (Vigo)
Death Year : 1785
Peter, a slave owned by Francis Vigo, was one of the first African Americans to be executed in Kentucky. On August 24, 1785, in Louisville, he was hanged on a charge of theft-stealing. He had been accused of stealing from Robert Watson and Company, though Peter said that he was innocent. For more see J. B. Hudson, "References to slavery in the public records of early Louisville and Jefferson County, 1780-1812," The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 73, issue 4, (October 1999), pp. 343-344.
Subjects: Executions
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Peters, Percy R., "P. R."
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1933
P. R. Peters was a prominent citizen in the African American community in Louisville, KY. He was editor and publisher of the Columbian Herald, a weekly newspaper in Louisville, KY, with offices at 1104 Green Street. He was also editor of the Columbian newspaper [also know as the Louisville Columbian]. He had been a physician until his license was revoked in 1916 for charges of unlawfully prescribing cocaine, morphine, and opium; there was a new movement throughout the U.S. to stop the illegal distribution of habit-forming drugs. Dr. Peters was also fined $250. Around 1908, Dr. Peters served as a school medical inspector and a neighborhood sanitation inspector, both for African Americans in Louisville. He was second vice president of the National Negro Press Association in 1910 [source: "The Louisville Columbian...," Freeman, 04/30/1910, p.2]. Percy R. Peters was born in Mississippi and he was the husband of Priscilla Peters (b.1873 in MS), the couple was married in 1893 according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. Peters would regain his physician's license and he is listed as a general practitioner in the 1930 Census when the family of four was living on Jefferson Street in Louisville. Dr. Percy R. Peters died November 19, 1933 [source: KY Death Certificate #26359]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; the Dr. P. R. Peters entry in the Kentucky Medical Journal, vol. 14 (January 1916-December 1916), p. 93 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and p. 11 of the Biennial Report of the State Board of Health of Kentucky, 1906-1907 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Petersburg (Jefferson County, KY)
Located on Shepherdsville Road in Louisville, KY, the community was known as Wet Woods, a swampy area that was settled by Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis in the 1820s, 1830s, or possibly the 1850s. Tevis had been a slave on the Hundley Plantation, and after she was freed she was the first to purchase land in what would become Petersburg. The community got its name from Peter Laws, who purchased land in Wet Woods and settled in the area at the end of the Civil War. Soon afterwards other freed slaves built homes in the area. In the 1830s, German immigrants had settled in Newburg, the community just south of Petersburg. Over time the entire area became known as Newburg, and with residential and commercial growth and urban renewal, the community was greatly expanded to include more than 3,000 African American residents. For more see E. Sheryl, "19th Century Louisville: Free Black Hamlets," The Courier-Journal, 05/19/2004, Neighborhoods section, p.01A; and Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis entry in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Petersburg/Newburg, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Petersburg (Mercer County, KY)
The community, named for Peter Board, was an African American community located near Fort Harrod in what is known today as Nevada, KY. Petersburg was established by Sally and Peter Board, former slaves who were able to purchase their freedom but not their children's freedom. The land for the community came from Sally's father and owner, Phillip Board. In 1878, all of the residents left Petersburg and moved to Kansas, participating in the Exoduster Movement. For more see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Petersburg / Nevada, Old Fort Harrod State Park, Mercer County, Kentucky / Kansas

Peterson, Roy Phillip
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1998
Born in Alexandria, LA, Roy P. Peterson lived in Lexington, KY. He was the Deputy Executive Director for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Higher Education [now the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education], and temporarily left Kentucky in 1985 to become the Interim President of Tennessee State University. Upon his return in 1987, Peterson was named Executive Assistant Director for Educational Attainment at the Kentucky Council on Higher Education. He is credited with the development of a number of programs, including the Governor's Minority Student College Preparation Program; the Southern Regional Education Board's Compact for Faculty Diversity; and the Committee on Equal Opportunities. He was appointed by Gov. Wallace Wilkinson to the Governor's Task Force for the Arts, and in 1995, Gov. Paul E. Patton appointed him Secretary of the Cabinet for Education Arts and Humanities. The Milner Award was presented to Peterson posthumously in 2000. Peterson, a biology and liberal arts major, was a 1957 graduate, cum laude, of Southern University. He earned a master's degree in reproductive biology in 1961 at the University of Oregon, and his Ph.D. in endocrinology in 1967 at the University of Iowa. For more see Musical Heritage Celebration, February 27, 2004 and March 3, 2006, both by the Musical Heritage Celebration Committee; and J. Hewlett, "Education Secretary Roy Peterson, 64, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/29/1998, City & Region section, p. B1.

See photo image of Roy P. Peterson and additional information at the Ky.gov e-archives website. 
Subjects: Biologists, Education and Educators, Migration North, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Alexandria, Louisiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

"Petition of Colored People of [Owensboro] Kentucky"
Start Year : 1867
In July 1867, Chief Agent A. W. Lawvill, of the Bureau Refugees, Freemen and Abandoned Lands, forwarded a petition to Congress from the Colored people of Owensboro, KY, concerning unjust taxation by state authorities. African Americans were being taxed $4, while Whites were taxed $2. The complaint also addressed the issue of the school trustees being given the power to decide if there would be a school for Colored children. The petition was signed by 52 African Americans from Owensboro, KY. For more see House of Representatives, Ex. Doc. No. 70, 40th Congress, 2nd Session: Freedman and Taxation: Communication from the Commissioner of Freemen's Affairs, Petition of colored people of Kentucky in relation to unjust taxation by State authority.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Pettigrew, L. [Luella] Eudora
Birth Year : 1928
Luella E. Pettigrew was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of Corrye L. Newell Williams and Warren C. Williams, the first African American agricultural agent in Christian County. She is a graduate of West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University] and Southern Illinois University. Pettigrew was a professor at several universities, then for six years served as associate provost at the University of Delaware before being named president of SUNY College at Old Westbury in 1986. She was the first African American woman to become president of a SUNY campus; she retired in1998. She was also the first African American to become chair of a department at Michigan State University, 1974-78, and the first to become a central administrator at the University of Delaware. 1981-1986. Pettigrew's initial career plan was to become a concert pianist; she earned her BMus in 1950. She switched career paths when she was in her early 30s, leaving Kentucky to enroll at Southern Illinois, where she earned a masters in counseling and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. For more see S. C. Schaer, "Positive thinker L. Eudora Pettigrew sunny-old Westbury's president, is both a role model and a commanding presence," Newsday (Melville, NY, Nassau and Suffolk edition), 08/19/1990, The Newsday Magazine section, p. 08; Campus History, an Old Westbury website; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006; and K. Grossman, "Dr. L. Eudora Pettigrew," The Crisis, October 1991, vol.98, no.8, pp.27-29.

See photo image of L. Eudora Pettigrew near the bottom of the SIU Alumni Association website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / New York

Peyton, Atholene Mary
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1951
The following information was submitted by Dr. John van Willigen, retired Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky.

 

The early 20th Century produced the earliest Kentucky cookbook written by an African American. The author, Miss Atholene Peyton, had deep roots in Louisville, where her Peytonia Cook Book was published in 1906. Her work has attributes consistent with the domestic science movement, which influenced many aspects of the food-related occupations of the pre-World War I era. Most recipes in the Peytonia Cook Book are presented in the format that was introduced by the famous Boston Cooking School cook books. As is typical of domestic science oriented cook books, the recipes are described as thoroughly tested and presented with standard, precise measures. And like other cook books with this orientation, the Peytonia Cook Book had didactic purposes. Peyton includes a teacher’s discussion of waitress service oriented toward employment in upper-class homes or elegant restaurants. It is the work of a culinary expert, not a housewife. She includes some branded products in some recipes including Quaker Oats, Vissman’s bacon and sausage, White Seal ginger ale, Cox’s gelatin, Burnett’s flavoring extracts, and Baker’s Chocolate. In a few cases Miss Peyton expresses advice about the nutritive qualities of some ingredients. The Cookbook itself includes a very warm introduction by Miss Nannie H. Burroughs, Corresponding Secretary, of the Woman’s Convention, auxiliary to the National Baptist Convention. Atholene Peyton, born in Louisville, was a 1898 graduate of Louisville’s segregated Central High School, where she later became domestic science teacher and advisor to the Girl’s Cooking Club. She also taught domestic science at the Neighborhood Home and Training School for Colored Boys and Girls in Louisville and the summer session of the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D. C. Miss Peyton was listed in the U.S. Census as a teacher, and her father, William T. Peyton, was listed as a physician.

 

*Additional information: Atholene Peyton never married; her mother was Mary Pope Clark Peyton [source: Death Certificate, Register's No. 2065, Atholene Peyton].
Subjects: Authors, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Phillips, Joseph "Joker"
Birth Year : 1963
Joker Phillips became the first African American head football coach at the University of Kentucky, January 6, 2010. Phillips, a Kentucky native, was born in Franklin, where he became an outstanding football player at Franklin-Simpson High School. He was quarterback on two of the school's 3A championship teams. He next attended the University of Kentucky where he was a wide receiver on the football team, 1981-1984. Phillips caught 75 passes for 935 yards and nine touchdowns. He played two seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, and one season with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. After his professional football career, Phillips was an assistant for several college football teams and returned to Kentucky in 2004 as the offensive coordinator under Rich Brooks. In 2010, Phillips was one of three African American head football coaches hired at Kentucky universities: Charlie Strong at the University of Louisville, and Willie Taggart at Western Kentucky University. November 4, 2012, after a three year record of 12-23, UK Athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced in an open letter (on football website) that Phillips would be dismissed at the end of the season. Phillips was hired by the University of Florida as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for the Gators' football team [source: C. Low, "Gators strengthen staff with Joker Phillips," 12/03/2012, online at ESPN] .  For more see B. W. Jones, "The Joker Phillips Timeline," Kentucky Kernel, 01/06/2010; "States hiring of Black coaches is very impressive," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 01/15/2010, Opinions section; C. Westerhaus, "Minority coaching ranks on the rise," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 01/13/2010, Opinion section, p.A15; M. Story, "For those who came before - UK football's Black pioneers appreciate Phillip's ascension," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/10/2010, Sports section, p.C2; and the 2010 interview "Coach Joker Phillips," program #533 [available online] on Connections With Renee Shaw at Kentucky Educational Televisions (KET).
Subjects: Football
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Phoebe (Rainey)
Death Year : 1808
Phoebe, a slave, was one of the first females executed in Kentucky, hanged in 1808 for a murder committed in Garrard County. For more see the Kentucky section of Executions in the U.S. 1608-2002:The ESPY File [.pdf].
Subjects: Executions
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky

Pickard, Joseph
Pickard, a barber, was an escaped slave from Kentucky. He had settled in Lockport, NY, when in the fall of 1823, two slave catchers from Kentucky took him into custody. The people of Lockport would not allow Pickard to be taken back to Kentucky, and the case went to court. Lockport had a number of Quaker residents who were opposed to slavery. When Pickard attempted to escape from the courtroom by jumping out a window, he was aided by Irish canal workers, employees of the Quaker brothers Joseph and Darius Comstock. The prior year the Christmas Eve Riot in Lockport was blamed on the Irish workers having had too much to drink and getting rowdy. John Jennings was killed, which led to the first trial in Lockport. The case of Joseph Pickard took place the following year, and it almost led to a second riot. When Pickard jumped out the window, the Kentucky slave catchers went after him with pistols drawn. There was a brief standoff between the canal workers and the slave catchers before Pickard was again taken into custody and returned to the courtroom. After the case was heard, Pickard was released due to lack of proof that he was the property of a Kentucky slave owner. The slave catchers promptly left Lockport. The Joseph Pickard case is believed to be the first and only fugitive slave case in Lockport, NY. For more see Lockport: historic jewel of the Erie Canal by K. L. Riley; and 1823b. Fugitive Slave Case, Lockport on The Circle Association's African American History of Western New York State, 1770-1830 website.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lockport, New York

Pickett, Wilson, Jr.
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2006
In 2006, Wilson Pickett, Jr. was buried in an Evergreen Cemetery mausoleum in Louisville, KY [source: Find A Grave]. He was born in Prattville, AL, and died in Reston, VA. He had lived in Louisville when his mother moved there from Alabama, and he was laid to rest next to his mother in the Evergreen Cemetery. Wilson Pickett, Jr. was a singer and songwriter, known for such hits as In the Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. For more information, see "Wilson Pickett laid to rest in Kentucky," TimesDaily, 01/29/2006, p. 2B; Wilson Pickett biography website; Wilson Pickett in Contemporary Musicians: profiles of the people in music, volume 10, by J. M. Rubiner; and Wilson Pickett in African Americans in the Performing Arts, by S. Otfinoski.

 

 

See the video and listen to "Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour" on YouTube.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Prattville, Alabama / Reston, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pike County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Pike County, located in far eastern Kentucky, is bordered by four Kentucky counties, the Virginia state line and the West Virginia state line. Pike County was formed in 1821 and is named for Zebulon M. Pike, an explorer; Pikes Peak is also named in his honor. Pike County is one of the major coal producing counties in the United States. The county seat is Pikeville, founded in 1823 and also named for Zebulon M. Pike. The county population was 433 [heads of households] in 1830, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 7,325 by 1860, excluding slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 29 slave owners
  • 44 Black slaves
  • 58 Mulatto slaves
  • 3 free Blacks [2 with last name Polly, 1 Campbell]
  • 15 free Mulattoes [most with last name White, 4 Dottan, 1 Huffman, 1 Rutherford]

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 29 slave owners
  • 37 Black slaves
  • 60 Mulatto slaves
  • 5 free Blacks [all with last name Polly]
  • 35 free Mulattoes [last names Collins, Polly, Slone, and White]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 64 Blacks
  • 32 Mulattoes
  • At least 7 U.S. Colored Troops listed Pike County as their birthplace.

For more see Pike County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, by J. E. Kleber; Curriculum Resources: African American History in Pike County, with Emphasis on the Historical African American Section of Dils Cemetery, by M. F. Sohn and K. K. Sohn; and "The saga of the Polly family..." in The Black Laws: race and the legal process in early Ohio, by S. Middleton. See the photo image of the Negro School in Pikeville in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images.



Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Pike County, Kentucky

Pikeville Colored Branch Library (Pike County, KY)
Start Year : 1945
End Year : 1946
The Pikeville Colored Branch Library was opened in 1945 in the Perry Cline Colored School. School principal William R. Cummings served as the librarian and selected books for the library from the Pikeville Public Library. The library was a short-lived venture; a disagreement between the school and the public library led to the colored library being closed in 1946. William R. Cummings left the Perry Cline Colored School for a teaching job in Dayton, OH [source: KNEA Journal, November 1945, v.17, no.1, p.26]. The Red Robin Library in Robin, KY, provided services to Negroes beginning in 1945, the library was owned by the Eastern Coal Company. No annual reports were received from the library after 1946. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1945 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division from the Pikeville Public Library, and the report submitted from the Red Robin Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Robin and Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky

Pillow, Faith
Birth Year : 1954
Death Year : 2003
Born in Louisville, KY, Pillow was a singer and songwriter of blues, jazz and folk. Her 30-year career included ten years in Europe. She opened for Muddy Waters for three years. Pillow died unexpectedly during surgery at the University of Louisville Hospital. She was the daughter of Lucien and Archie Johnson Pillow. For more see Faith Pillow and listen online to her songs, at Faith Pillow website.
Access Interview
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Europe

Pine Grove College (Jackson County, KY)
Start Year : 1882
Pine Grove College was a grade school founded by Berea College in Jackson County, KY, in 1882. The school was open to the white and the "slightly colored" children in the community who had been attending school together; their families had been attending the same church, Walnut Chapel, founded by Rev. John G. Fee. The school had been built in response to the Kentucky school law that mandated common schools be segregated. As a result, there were so few colored children that no school district was organized for them. Pine Grove College was an alternative to the state-run common school, and allowed for children of both races to attend school together. Reverend William Kendrick of Oberlin had purchased the land for the new school building, and there were a number of financial supporters. The school was managed by a board of trustees and run by Berea teachers, Maria Muzzy and Kate Gilbert. For more see E. H. Fairchild, "Pine Grove College, Kentucky," The American Missionary, 08/01/1882, vol. 36, issue 8, pp. 240-242 [available full-text online at Making of America by Cornell University Library]. See also entries for African American Schools in Jackson County, KY, and African American Schools, both in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Jackson County, Kentucky

Pineville Colored Branch Library (Bell County, KY)
Start Year : 1946
The Pineville Public Library provided services to Negroes with a branch library, and for those who lived in the county area, there were ten deposit stations, according to the 1946 Library Annual Report. The location of the branch and stations was not included in the report. The Pineville Public Library had also reported in the 1942 Library Annual Report that there were unrestricted library services to Negroes. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Pineville, Bell County, Kentucky

Pittman, William Sidney
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1958
William S. Pittman was the son-in-law of Booker T. Washington. He was born in Alabama and was a graduate of Tuskegee Institute (1897) [now Tuskegee University] and Drexel Institute (1900) [now Drexel University], where he earned his architecture and mechanical drawing degrees. He would become one of the most accomplished architects in the United States. In 1909, Pittman designed two buildings at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]: the Trade School Building and Hume Hall, which is still standing and houses the President's Office. The Trade School Building, renamed Hathaway Hall during President Atwood's tenure, was used for mechanical and trades classes, workshops and exhibits, and the printing office; it also housed an electric dynamo that provided light to the campus. The building was razed in 1967 and replaced with a new Hathaway Hall. At the completion of his work at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons, Pittman received a letter of endorsement from the Kentucky Superintendent of Education. Pictures of the buildings and more information are available in the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute Annual Catalogues and the R. B. Atwood Papers at CESKAA, Kentucky State University. Additional information provided by B. Morelock at CESKAA. For more on Pittman, see Pittman, William Sidney at The Handbook of Texas Online website; William Sidney Pittman: Drexel's Class of 1900, a Drexel University website; and the Booker T. Washington Papers [online] at the University of Illinois Press.

See photo image of William S. Pittman at Drexel University Libraries Digital Collections.
Subjects: Architects
Geographic Region: Alabama / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Plato, Samuel M.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1957
Samuel M. Plato was born in Alabama, the son of James and Katie Hendrick Plato. He was the husband of Nettie M. Lusby Plato (b.1879 in KY). They are listed in the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Prior to his marriage, Plato entered State University of Louisville in 1898, and two years later moved to Pennsylvania to enroll in an architecture course. After having finished the course, Plato moved to Marion, IN. One of the first African American architectural designers and building contractors, Samuel Plato built over 39 post offices throughout the U.S. He was one of the few African Americans to receive contracts to build defense homes during World War II. Plato came to Louisville from Marion, IN, around 1921 and would eventually remained in Louisville for the rest of his life. Contrary to what has been written, Plato's first wife Nattie M. Lusby Plato did not die in Marion, IN; she died in Louisville, KY, October 9, 1924, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, according to her death certificate. Plato's second wife Elnora Davis Lucas Plato (1890-1975) was not from Indiana, she was a Kentucky native and died in Washington, D.C., according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see Samuel M. Plato in African American Architects by D. S. Wilson; Samuel M. Plato, 1882-1957: a collection of accomplishments, by L. I. Neher and B. D. Shutt; 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 "Samuel M. Plato," Black History News & Notes, 1992, no.47-54, p.4. The Plato Family Papers, 1924-1967, are available at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, KY.

See photo image and article about Samuel M. Plato, by Pen Bogert at the Filson Historical Society website. 
Subjects: Architects, Migration North, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alabama / Marion, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pleasant, Mae Barbee Boone
Birth Year : 1919
Mae Barbee Boone Pleasant, a Kentucky native, is the daughter of Minnie Burks and Zelma Barbee. She is the author of Hampton University: Our Home By the Sea, a history of the school. Pleasant was an administrative assistant to five presidents of Hampton University. She was also very socially active on campus and within the Hampton community. Pleasant received a number of awards, including twice being named "Woman of the Year" when the school was known as Hampton Institute, and receiving the Humanitarian Award given by the Peninsula Chapter of the Virginia Conference for Community and Justice in 2007. Pleasant is a graduate of Tennessee State University and Hampton University. For more see K. F. McLoughland, "An educating read about HU," Daily Press, 02/07/1993, Outlook section, p. F5; and Who's Who Among African Americans (2008).
Subjects: Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration East
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Hampton, Virginia

Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture
Start Year : 2007
For the state of Kentucky, Pluck! is a first. It was published three times a year by Northern Kentucky University from 2007-2009, then published at the University of Kentucky. Pluck! is an academic journal that focuses on diverse regional arts and culture in the Appalachian region, including literature, images, essays, articles, and poetry. Frank X Walker, from Danville, KY, is editor and publisher. The journal is the second of its kind; it was preceded by Black Diamonds, first published in 1978 in West Virginia by Edward J. Cabbell. Black Diamonds was a digest of the life and culture of African Americans in Appalachia. Cabbell was the first African American to earn a master's degree in Appalachian Studies. Frank Walker's interview with Cabbell can be found in the inaugural issue of Pluck!.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / West Virginia

Plymouth Congregational Church (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1877
The Plymouth Congregational Church was established in 1877; members initially met in a home in Louisville until an older Jewish synagogue was purchased on Jefferson Street. In 1891, Rev. Everett G. Harris became pastor, and the American Missionary Association purchased land at the corner of Seventeenth and West Chestnut Streets, where a church was constructed in 1902. In addition, the Plymouth Settlement House was completed in 1917; it was a social welfare agency that served children, had a dormitory for young women new to the city in search of work, and provided services to the community. The Plymouth Congregational Church was a meeting place for African Americans of the middle and upper classes. A new church was constructed in 1930, referred to as the "New Plymouth." It has been said that the church was the most exclusive Negro church in Louisville. For more see B. D. Berry, Jr., "The Plymouth Congregational Church of Louisville, Kentucky," Phylon, vol. 42, issue 3, pp. 224-232.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Plymouth Settlement House (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1917
The 1890s mark the beginning of the Settlement House Movement in the United States, but for African Americans the movement began at the turn of the century with the Frederick Douglass Center in Chicago, 1904. More than a decade later the Plymouth Settlement House in Louisville became a part of the movement. The building was located at 1624-26 W. Chestnut Street, next door to the Plymouth Congregational Church. It had taken the church pastor, Reverend Everett G. Harris, six years to raise funding for the Settlement House. The three-story structure included an auditorium, an assembly room, classrooms, a kitchen, and a 14-room dormitory and parlor for the young women who lived on the third floor. The women were considered "decent" and were selected renters who had come to the city seeking employment. Their weekly room charge was $1.75, and the dormitory was accessible from a separate entrance on the side of the building. There was an employment service in the Settlement House that placed the women in homes as domestic helpers. In 1919, the Settlement House became part of the Louisville Welfare League. The center offered classes that prepared young women for domestic service, marriage and motherhood. Plymouth Settlement House also included a day care for children, a Boy Scout program, and a community Sunday School. As a part of the Welfare League, the Settlement House no longer came under the direction of the church, so a new governing board was established. Rev. Harris, a Howard University graduate from Virginia, remained superintendent of the Plymouth Settlement House and pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church. For more see Everett G. Harris in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; G. D. Berry, Jr.; "The Settlement House Movement and the Black Community in the Progressive Era: the example of Plymouth Settlement, Louisville, Kentucky," Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, vol. 21 (1990), pp. 24-32; and Plymouth Settlement House and the Development of Black Louisville,1900-1930 [dissertation], by B. D. Berry.
Subjects: Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Poetry Broadside Collection
Start Year : 1945
End Year : 1972
This collection contains limited edition broadsides, many signed, from Black Sun Press, Unicorn Press, Pommegranite, Gehenna, and Kriya Press, among others. Poets represented include Nhat Hanh, Langston Hughes, Jorge Luis Borges, Diane di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Fuhara ya Sanifer. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries.
Subjects: Authors, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Poindexter, Henry, Sr. [Anderson v Poindexter]
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1889
The decision in the Anderson vs Poindexter case, made by the Supreme Court of Ohio, was viewed by some as in direct opposition to the U.S. Constitution. In the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the Dred Scott case, Scott, who had temporarily lived in a free state, was denied his freedom because it was concluded that all African Americans, slaves and freemen, were not citizens of the U.S., and therefore could not sue in federal court. In a somewhat similar case, Henry Poindexter, the slave of John Anderson in Campbell County, KY, was given his freedom by the Supreme Court of Ohio. For many years, Poindexter had been allowed to hire himself out in Ohio with Anderson's permission. In 1848, Poindexter made an agreement with Anderson to purchase his freedom. Poindexter received promissory notes from Anderson that specified the cost of Poindexter's freedom; he was valued at about $1,000. Poindexter was the principal of the notes and the sureties were Thomas C. Gowdy, Jackson White, and Francis Donaldson. Once in Ohio, Poindexter and the cosigners refused to pay Anderson the amount of the notes, and Poindexter declared his freedom because Ohio was a free state. Anderson filed suit in the state of Ohio to regain his slave. In 1856, the Supreme Court of Ohio found that Henry Poindexter was a free man. Contrary to the U.S. Constitution, Poindexter was not an escaped slave, nor was he passing through Ohio to another destination; in Ohio he was a free person, and in the opinion of Justice Ozias Bowen, Poindexter had been free since the first time he set foot on Ohio soil; returning to Kentucky had not made him a slave again. He was free when he made the contract with Anderson, and in Kentucky, contracts were not legal between a master and his slave; therefore the contract was void. Henry Poindexter was born in Alabama and was the husband of Harriet Poindexter (b. 1828). The family is listed as free and living in Fairfield, OH, then Hamilton, OH, beginning with the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was employed as a laborer. According to the U.S. Colored Troops enlistment records, on January 30, 1865, in Dayton, OH, Henry Poindexter enlisted as a private in Company B, 16th U.S. Colored Infantry. After his service in the Union Army, Poindexter returned to Hamilton, where he died December 10, 1889 and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. His grave is part of the African American Civil War Memorial. A headstone was provided by the U.S. Government at some point prior to 1903. For more see An Imperfect Union, by P. Finkelman; the second paragraph of "The News" in the Syracuse Daily Courier, 05/18/1857, p. 2; and "In the Supreme Court of Ohio. Poindexter et al. vs Anderson, et al.," The American Law Register (1852-1891), vol. 6, issue 2/3 (Dec., 1857 - Jan., 1858), pp. 78-122.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Alabama / Campbell County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio

Polin, Edward, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2005
Polin was born in Washington County, KY, the son of Edward Sr. and Sarah Polin. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived on Kentucky State Highway 152. Edward Polin, Jr. is thought to be the first African American from Kentucky to enlist in the U. S. Marine Corps. Polin served in World War II, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946. He is buried in the Springfield Cemetery Hill in Springfield, KY. For more see "Edward Polin, first black Marines enlistee from Kentucky, dies at 84," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/02/05, section B, p. 4.
See the photo image of the uniform that belonged to Edward Polin, Jr. while he was in the U.S. Marine Corps., held at the Kentucky Historical Society.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Polk, James Knox (former slave)
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1918
This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles, with additional research and sources provided by Brenda Jackson.

James Knox Polk, according to his obituary, was born into slavery January 21, 1845, on the Bosque Bonita farm, owned by Abraham Buford in Woodford County, KY. His mother, Margie Johnson, chose to name him for the newly elected President of the United States. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Abraham Buford joined the Confederacy, taking James Polk with him to serve as a hostler - handler of the horses. He remained throughout the war with Buford. Polk returned to Woodford County and married Mary Bohannon in 1868. They were parents of Reuben Buford, Ellen, James Henry, Lee Christy, John Knox and Dolly Polk. James K. Polk studied and became an ordained minister in 1871. He founded the Pilgrim Baptist Church at Midway, KY, on the second Sunday in January, 1872. He also became a pastor at the African Baptist Church of Christ in Mortonsville around 1873. The church's name was changed to Polk Memorial to honor the minister who served the congregation for 45 years. Polk was a member and served as moderator twice of the Kentucky General Association of Baptists and served as a delegate to the Colored People's Convention of 1898 at Lexington during the Separate Coach Protest. Comment in his obituary: "Reverend James K. Polk was faithful and devoted to his ministry, a good citizen, a man of integrity and force of character, of kindliness, humility and courtesy." Polk died January 27, 1918, and was buried in Woodford County.

Sources:
Death Certificate #5945, Woodford County, KY.
Obituaries - Lexington Leader, January 29, 1918, p. 5, col. 3; Woodford Sun, January 31, 1918, plus photo.
Polk Memorial Baptist - Woodford Sun, October 30, 2003, p. A3.
Kentucky Historical Society Highway Marker Program, June 22, 2008, Marker #2239.
Brenda Jackson, researcher and family member

Note:
Brenda Jackson found an 1870 census record indicating a James Polk serving in the USCT, 25th Infantry in Texas. No mention of his service was made in his obituary.
1880 Woodford County Census Index, p. 408.
1900 Woodford County Census Index, p. 167A.
1910 Woodford County Census Index, p. 238B.

Additional Sources:
"The degree of D. D. was conferred on Rev. J. K. Polk...," Blue-Grass Clipper, 02/03/1903
"Mrs Margie Johnson, colored, aged 76..." in the column "In and About Versailles.," Woodford Sun, 02/10/1898.
"Polk Memorial Church Celebrating 98th Year," Woodford Sun, 10/04/1951.
"Zebulah Baptist Church (Disbanded)" on p. 34 in Scott County Church Histories: a collection, edited by A. B. Bevins and J. R. Snyder.
More on Confederate General Abraham Buford in Marking Time in Woodford County, Kentucky. by D. C. Estridge and R. D. Bryant; and Dr. M. Myers, "General Abraham Buford: fearless cavalryman," Kentucky's Civil War, 1861-1865, 2011 Sesquicentennial Edition, pp. 32 & 36-38.

 

  See photo image of James Knox Polk, bottom left, on p.163 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Midway and Mortonsville, Woodford County, Kentucky

Polk, John Knox
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1936
John K. Polk was a physician who ran his own hospital in Lexington, KY. Dr. Polk opened his medical practice at 148 Deweese Street, maintaining it on his own from 1921 to 1931, and was later joined by Dr. J. R. Dalton. The Polk-Dalton Pharmacy was also located within the same building as the hospital, which is still standing -- Kentucky Historical Marker #1928 notes the importance of the operations. Dr. Polk was the husband of Annie Chandler Polk. He was from Versailles, KY, where he attended the colored common school, and he went on to graduate from medical school at Howard University. Dr. Polk died in Lakeland, FL, where he had moved due to his health. Dr. Polk was the son of James and Carrie Polk, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family of eight lived on Lexington Street in Versailles, KY. [His father, James Polk, was a preacher.] For more see "Dr. John Polk Dies," Woodford Sun, 03/19/1936; "Markers celebrate Deweese Street history," Lexington Herald-Leader, section B, 09/13/04; "Clinic named for 2 black doctors," Lexington Herald-Leader, City/Region section, 03/05/2008, p.B2; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1927. Additional information and sources provided by Brenda Jackson.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Lakeland, Florida

Polk, Syree Luther
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1967
In 1889, when William Leveritt was elected the Colored City Physician of Paducah, KY, the position was segregated. [See NKAA entry Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials.] In 1939 it was still segregated when Dr. S. L. Polk became the Colored City Physician. During the late 1930s, he was the only African American among the Paducah City Officials listed in the Paducah Kentucky Consurvey City Directory. Dr. Polk shared the title of City Physician with Dr. Robert C. Overby, the physician for whites. In the early 1940s, Dr. Polk is listed as a physician and city health officer in Caron's Paducah KY City Directory. Dr. Polk was born in Tennessee, and had a medical practice in Hickman, KY, in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. His wife Jennie M. Polk (1903-1969), also a native of Tennessee, was a school teacher in Hickman. The couple lived on Moulton Street. Dr. Polk's first name has been spelled Sywre, Syre, and Syree. When the couple moved to Paducah, they lived at 900 Tennessee Street. According to the Kentucky Death Index, the Polks died in Paducah, KY.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Pompey
Death Year : 1778
Pompey was an interpreter for the Shawnee chief Blackfish, whose scouts captured Daniel Boone in 1778. Boone escaped, and Ft. Boonesborough was attacked. Pompey fought alongside the Indians; Daniel Boone is credited with the shot that killed Pompey. It is believed that Pompey was a former slave from Virginia and had lived among the Shawnee for some time. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; and T. F. Belue, "Did Daniel Boone kill Pompey," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 67, issue 1 (1993), pp. 5-22.
Subjects: Early Settlers
Geographic Region: Virginia / Fort Boonesborough State Park, Madison County, Kentucky

Ponder, Flora B.
Birth Year : 1930
Born in Elkton, KY, Ponder was head nurse of Recovery and the Intensive Care area at Louisville (KY) General Hospital from 1957-1959 and head nurse at the Louisville and Jefferson County Health Department from 1959-1965. She was director of nurses at Park-Duvalle Community Health Center. Ponder also assisted in establishing health services in western Louisville. In 1955, Ponder was one of the first African American registered nursing students at Louisville General Hospital, and was the first to live in the student nurses home. She is the wife of Raymond Ponder. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; and the NKAA Database entry for Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing, Integrated.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Elkton, Todd County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ponder, Raymond
Birth Year : 1929
Raymond Ponder was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Betsy Crawford and Hessy Ponder; Alberta Jones was his first cousin. Ponder began his career as a firefighter in 1954 and was promoted to sergeant in 1963. He was the first African American fire inspector in the city of Louisville. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1965, captain in 1966, major in 1970, and became the first African American district fire chief before retiring in 1977. He is the husband of Flora Bell Ponder. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton. Additional information provided by Ms. Nicole M. Martin.
Subjects: Firefighters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Poole, Harold
Birth Year : 1943
Harold Poole was born in Louisville, KY. He attended Shortridge High School in Indiana, where he was the starting quarterback on the football team and a star athlete on the track and wrestling teams. Poole was 19 years old when he won the Mr. Universe competition. The next year he was the first African American to win the Mr. America competition. He was the youngest contender in the inaugural Mr. Olympia competition in 1965, and is the only person to have competed in the first three Mr. Olympia competitions. He has won a number of bodybuilding awards. Poole retired from competition in 1992. For more see 2004 IFBB Hall of Fame Inductees; and J. Roark, "Featuring 2004 Hall of Fame Inductee: Harold Poole," Flex, November 2004.
See photo image at Harold Poole.com
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Body Building, Football, Track & Field, Wrestling, Wrestlers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indiana

Pope, Gene
In 1938, Gene Pope established his band at West Kentucky College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY. According to an article in Billboard, Pope's orchestra specialized in club and ballroom music, and their first job was at Bud Shepherd's night club in Vincennes, IN, and they next played at the Cotton Club in Indianapolis, IN. The band played at the Cotton Club for three years; the club was owned by Kentucky natives Denver and Sea Ferguson. In 1943, Gene Pope and his orchestra were managed by the Ferguson Brothers' Booking Agency and the group played in Indianapolis, New York, Chicago, and Springfield, IL. Also in 1943, saxophone player Vincent Stewart joined the Gene Pope Orchestra, Stewart had been playing with Pha Terrell and Clarence Love. For more see "Gene Pope and His Orchestra," The Billboard Music Year Book 1943, p.160 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Ex-Terrell saxman joins Gene Pope," The Afro-American, 03/27/1943, p.10.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Porter, Arthur D., Sr.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1942
Porter was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Fannie Allen Porter and Woodford Porter, according to his death certificate. He was the owner of the A. D. Porter & Sons Funeral Home in Louisville, KY, which was founded in 1907. He had moved to Louisville to attend Central High School. In 1921, Porter became the first African American to run for mayor; he ran as a member of the Lincoln Independent Party. He was the husband of Imogene Porter, and the father of Woodford R. Porter Sr. According to the U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on South Fifteenth Street in Louisville in 1910, and on Chestnut Street in 1920. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, J. E. Kleber, ed.; and Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Porter, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dr. B. F. Porter was 3rd Assistant Physician at the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum in Louisville, KY, in 1896; he was the first African American doctor at the facility. Porter was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the husband of Elizabeth Porter (1843-1910, born in CT) and the father of Wiley Porter (b. 1877 in KY). Dr. Porter received his medical degree in 1878 and was an 1899 graduate of the College of Hypnotism. The family had lived in Columbia, SC, where Dr. Porter was a minister before coming to Kentucky, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The Porter's employed two African American servants who worked at their home. While Dr. Porter was employed at the asylum, he and his family lived in the housing provided by the institution. The Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum had been established in 1874 as a state house for "feeble minded children." A third of the appropriations for the facility were to be used for the Colored inmates, who were to be kept in a separate ward from the white inmates. The facility had formerly been the State House of Reform for Juveniles. Dr. Porter's appointment to the institution by Kentucky Governor William O. Bradley caused a bit of alarm throughout the state when it was reported that Dr. Porter would be treating both Colored and white children. An article by the asylum superintendent, H. F. McNary, was published in The Medical News, reassuring all that Dr. Porter would only be treating the more than 200 Colored patients. With McNary's published letter, The Medical News editor gave the journal's approval to the hiring of Dr. Porter. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Porter was also pastor of the African Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. By 1910, the Porter Family had left Kentucky for Carbondale, IL, where Dr. Porter practiced medicine, was minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and was a member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. The family employed one African American servant. Dr. Porter was also a veteran; he was a barber when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 10, 1864, and served with the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary, according to his military service records. For more see "Colored Medical Doctors as Attendants in Insane Asylums," The Medical News, vol. 68, January-June 1896, p. 622 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Rev. B. F. Porter," The Daily Free Press, 12/22/1911, p. 5; and Marie Porter Wheeler Papers at the University of Illinois at Springfield. For more about the Asylum see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, Regular Session, December 1873, Chapter 287, pp. 29-30 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Massachusetts / Columbia, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Porter, Jacob M.
Birth Year : 1848
Jacob M. Porter was one of the first African Americans to run for political office in Paris, KY [see NKAA entry Early African American Political Candidates, Bourbon County, KY]. With permission, the following entry comes from the unpublished letter written by Mrs. Rogers Bardé, titled "Porter Children." Mrs. Rogers Bardé is a researcher in Bourbon County, KY. 

 

"Jacob M. Porter was born in August 1848 (Census 1900). He married Josie M. Palmer in Bourbon County, Ky on 23 Mar 1871 (Colored Marriage Book, 1, page 56). In 1870 in Bourbon County, Ky he lived with his father and was listed as a grocer, along with his father and brother, Beverly. In the 1900 census he was listed as a bank clerk, and lived in Indianapolis, on California Street. He and his wife Josie had two children; William, born Nov 1873 and Edward, born Apr 1883. In 1900 he owned his own home, without a mortgage. He lived in the same house in 1910 and 1920 (listed in the moving business in both censuses); by 1930 Josie was a widow in the same house, living with their son, who by now was listed as Edgar, instead of Edward; Edgar was listed as single. In the 1930 census Josie was head of the house and a widow, and Carrie V. White was listed as her daughter and a widow. I found Carrie, born Dec 1871, married to Maurice White in the 1900 census in Indianapolis on Market Street, in Center Township. They had no children." 

 

Jacob M. Porter was the son of Jefferson Porter [see NKAA entries 1, 2, and 3 for more on Jefferson Porter].
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Porter, Jefferson
Birth Year : 1820
Death Year : 1885
Jefferson Porter had been a slave; he was described as a Mulatto in the U.S. Federal Census. He was born about 1820 in Kentucky and died in Bourbon County, KY, before October 12, 1885. Jefferson Porter was freed by Lucy Porter's will in 1846 in Bourbon County. The will specified that Jefferson Porter was to get a shop and a bakehouse and the ground on which they stood, located between her house and the house of Mrs. Sidney Shannon. He also received a lot adjoining Abram Spears' property, two carriages, a wagon, horses and gear, harness and other equipage, and all provender and grain. In return, Jefferson Porter was to pay all of Lucy Porter’s funeral expenses and help support her daughter, Polly Cook, and Polly's children until the children were old enough to support themselves. Not much is known about Lucy Porter; she could not be found as head of household in any previous U.S. Federal Census Records for Bourbon County. Looking at the early census and tax records, it is hard to determine exactly to whom Lucy Porter was married: the records only listed the head of household. No marriage record for Lucy Porter was found in the Bourbon County (KY) Courthouse. What is known is that she freed Jefferson Porter, and he operated a business, owned property, and built a house in a predominately white neighborhood. This was quite an accomplishment for an African American in the pre-Civil War era when the majority of African Americans in Bourbon County, KY, were slaves. According to the 1850 Slave Schedule of Bourbon County, there were approximately 245 free African Americans compared to 7,071 African American slaves. In the 1860 Census of Bourbon County, Jefferson Porter was listed as a confectioner who had $4000 in real estate and $3000 in personal estate. The value of Jefferson Porter's real and personal property are quite high compared to that of other free African Americans in Bourbon County. Charles S. Brent, a banker, and Abram Spears, a railroad agent, were neighbors of Jefferson Porter, and both are listed as white in the 1880 Census. Spears and Brent lived near Main Street in downtown Paris, KY. It is likely that at this time Jefferson Porter lived in the bakehouse or shop that was left to him in Lucy Porter’s will. On April 13, 1865, Jefferson Porter purchased a one and half acre lot from James and Bridget Fee. No house is mentioned in the deed; therefore, it is assumed that Jefferson Porter built the house at 317 West Seventh Street after the purchase of the property. A house is mentioned in later deeds. According to the 1870 Census of Bourbon County, the Jefferson Porter family was living in the 1st Ward of Paris. West Seventh Street was located in the 1st Ward, and the Porter family was probably living in the West Seventh Street house. No wife is listed in this census, and no marriage record for Jefferson Porter has been found for this time. In various census records a woman named Cynthia Harrison is living with Jefferson Porter. Cynthia Harrison's age varies so much in these records, however, that it is hard to determine if she could have been his wife or the mother of his children. In the 1850 Census of Bourbon County she is listed as 40 years old; by 1860 she is listed as being 35 years old. She does not appear in the 1870 Census, but in the 1880 census she is in the household with Jefferson Porter and listed as being 90 years old. It is believed that some of his children were living with Jefferson Porter in the 1870 Census, even though relationships are not given. Jefferson Porter is listed as a grocer living in the same household as Jacob Porter, a 23 year old male, Beverly Porter, a 28 year old male, Anna Porter, a 28 year old female, and Lucy Porter, a 25 year old female. The exact relationship of Cynthia Harrison to the Porter family cannot be determined at this time because she does not consistently appear with them in the records. The family was fairly well off; by 1870 Jefferson Porter had increased his real estate to $4000 and his personal estate to $5000. The 1877 Beers Atlas of Paris, Kentucky shows Jefferson Porter's house on West Seventh Street. In the 1880 Census, Jefferson Porter and Cynthia Harrison are listed as boarders in the household of Sallie Jones, a Mulatto, who was a widowed seamstress with two children. It cannot be determined if Jefferson Porter and the others are living at the West Seventh Street house. Jefferson Porter did not leave a will in Bourbon County, KY, however, it was court ordered that his estate be settled on October 12, 1885, in Bourbon County (KY) Court Order Book W, page 139. The Jefferson Porter family included heirs Beverly and Susie Porter, Jacob M. and Josie Porter, William and Eva Porter, Jefferson Jr., Georgia Porter, Adam and Lucy Smoot, Anna Scott, and Sallie Porter. The heirs sold the house and lot to J. M. and Annie E. Thomas and W. R. and Carrie Thomas for $1,660 on September 22, 1886. In the November 24, 2010 edition of the Bourbon County Citizen newspaper, the house of Jefferson Porter was described as a 3,000 square foot brick home with a grand staircase and six fireplaces. The house was on the St. Mary's School's Holiday Tour of Homes on December 5, 2010. The house is still standing today and is currently owned by Martin Marderosian.

SOURCES: Will of Lucy Porter, Bourbon County (KY), Will Book M: page 430, 1850, 1860, at the courthouse in Bourbon County, KY. The 1870 U.S. Federal Census of Bourbon County (KY); 1850 Slave Schedule of Bourbon County (KY). The Bourbon County (KY) Court Order Book W, page 139; Bourbon County, (KY) Deed Book 69, page 276; Bourbon County, (KY) Deed Book 53, page 223; all at the courthouse in Bourbon County, KY. The Bourbon County Citizen, Wednesday, November 24, 2010 edition. The 1877 Beers Atlas of Paris, Kentucky. Personal interview with Martin Marderosian, current owner of the home Jefferson Porter built at 317 West Seventh Street in Paris, Ky. Jefferson Porter is mentioned in Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915, by Loren Schweninger. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott, Paris Bourbon County Public Library.

See 2nd and updated entry Jefferson Porter and Jefferson Porter (Chain of Title for 317 W. 7th Street), both are NKAA Database entries.

Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Porter, Jefferson (2nd entry)
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
This entry was researched, written and submitted by Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968

Jefferson Porter, (b.1817-20?-1885), was probably born in Paris or Bourbon County. He was a slave who was manumitted by Lucy Allentharpe Porter's will in 1846. [Researcher Rogers Barde found Lucy A. Porter's marriage record, she was married to James Porter in 1801. She was widowned by 1840 and there is a federal census record for her as head of household.] In addition to his freedom, Jefferson Porter received the bake house and shop that stood on the outskirts of Paris where the entrance to the present country club is located. Lucy Porter died between January 20 and April 7, 1846. Her bequest was unusually generous and even more so considering she was giving property to a man of color. From these beginnings, Jeff Porter became an entrepreneurial businessman who amassed a very respectable estate by the time he died in 1885 and his heirs sold off his assets. Jefferson Porter was a successful confectioner and grocer in Paris,KY, he was one of the founding members of Cedar Heights Cemetery in Paris. Land transfers in the Bourbon County Clerk’s office document the real estate that Jeff Porter bought and sold during his lifetime. He sold the lot Lucy Porter left him in 1847 to Margaret Barnett whose husband was a tailor. Although the 1850 census lists him as owning real estate valued at $600, his next land purchase was not filed until 1855 when he bought a house and lot on Main Street that had once been owned by another African American businessman, Carter Lightfoot. He continued to buy and sell property in Paris for the remainder of his life, ultimately owning at least ten lots, virtually all with existing buildings that could be rented out. He had bought another house and lot on the southeast side of the Maysville Turnpike and the east side of Stoner Creek in 1856 and sold it to another man of color, William Brand, in 1859, making a profit of $150 in the resale. In 1860, a few months after he was censused, he purchased a lot on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets from three Masonic Lodges that was probably adjacent to his lot since the deed also conveyed title to an additional three feet where a wall of Porter’s building encroached. All of these properties were in east Paris in an area known as “Cottontown” for the cotton mills located there. However, Porter pursued other commercial land opportunities on Main and High Streets and entered into agreements and leases with prominent white businessmen. In 1865, he made a significant purchase on Old Georgetown Road (now 7th Street) where he built a large, two story brick house that still stands. The next year, he invested in half of a lot in McGinty’s Addition that he subdivided, selling half of the lot to Gabriel Arnold, an African American blacksmith. All of these and other land transactions and business deals were profitable ventures for Jefferson Porter, allowing him to reinvest the proceeds into his house and other improvements. Census takers were required to identify skin color as part of their duties. According to the 1870 directions, census marshals and their assistants were to be “particularly careful reporting the class Mulatto,” as “the word is here generic, and includes quadroons, octaroons, and all persons having any perceptible trace of African blood.” Jeff Porter was consistently identified as mulatto in the census, indicating that his skin color was light. His manumission certificate provided additional information about Jefferson Porter’s appearance. He was a tall man, six feet in height, and had a large scar about the size of a dollar below his left knee. All of the family members except for Katy Harrison were also identified as mulatto; Katy’s skin color was listed as black. Jefferson Porter was working as a grocer in 1870 with $4000 in real estate and $5000 in personal estate. The Porter household also included a 25 year old black farm laborer, William Harlan, and a 30 year old (male) mulatto school teacher, Kelly Thompson. It’s not clear if Jeff Porter was still living in the house on W. 7th Street in 1880. He may have moved so that one of his children could live there. Or he may have allowed Sallie Jones to live there in return for taking care of the household. Jefferson Porter died in 1885 and his heirs sold all of his property and moved elsewhere. A list of his personal property taken after his death reflected his status as a grocer and confectioner, listing such items as show cases, a soda fount and stand, counter scales, candy jars and other household furnishings, valued at $353.62. He owned three lots, including his house, in Paris at the time of his death which his heirs sold. Jefferson Porter was not only a successful confectioner and grocer but he also purchased real estate for resale at a profit. Although he never learned to read or write, he was obviously astute enough to make a comfortable living and amass assets at a time when prosperity eluded many African Americans. The bequest he received from Lucy Porter was instrumental in providing him with resources that helped him to establish his business but his business acumen was key to his continued success and steadily increasing prosperity. References: Bourbon Manumission Book, Bourbon County Clerk’s Office. Bourbon County Deed Book 54, p. 21 (his house on West 7th Street) and other deeds including the property he owned in Claysville.

See earlier entry Jefferson Porter and Jefferson Porter (Chain of Title for 317 W. 7th Street), both are NKAA Database entries.

 
Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Porter, Jefferson (Chain of Title for 317 West Seventh Street, Paris, KY)
Start Year : 1817
End Year : 1885
This entry was researched, written and submitted by

Nancy O’Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968 
 

  • Chain of Title for 317 West Seventh Street, Paris, Kentucky
  • 2008-present  Ron Wilfer, Deed Book 275, p. 429 (6/19/08) *(Martin Marderosian and Ron Wilfur are partners, but Wilfur is the one who actually purchased the house and it is in his name).

from

  • 1957-2008 William Leonard Long family (2 generations)

Robert Wood Watson family

Current property description: Begin at point on south side of 7th St. at corner to Mrs. Dorothy Talbott Foster and outer margin of pavement, along street N59W 94 ft. 11/12 inches to corner of property owned by Heirs of Lunceford Talbott; thence with Talbott line S17 ½ W 228 feet to corner formally owned by John Connell; thence with Connell line S77E 94 feet 11/12 inches to corner of Mrs. Dorothy Foster; thence with Foster N19 ½ E 208 feet to the beginning.

Robert Wood and Mable N. Watson and William Leonard and Louesa W. Long were conveyed the property in 1957 to be held jointly. Robert Watson died and Mable inherited his interest as surviving spouse. Mable died next and left her interest to Louesa Long (Will Book AA, p. 316). Louesa died in 1999 and property went to her husband, William, Sr. William, Sr. died intestate on May 1, 2002, and William, Jr. received the property by Affidavit of Descent (Deed Book 249, p. 447). The deed was transferred on December 2, 2002 by William Long, Jr. and his wife to Jim Lovell, trustee, and Lovell conveyed the property back to the Longs in order to allow the surviving spouse to inherit by survivorship (Deed Book 249, p. 448).

from

  • 1950-1957 S.H. and Amy Beatrice Mattox (Deed Book 135, p. 651)

from

  • 1948-1950 Nolen Allender and wife (Deed Book 129, p. 313) June 29, 1950

from

  • 1932-1948 O.P. Wills family (Deed Book 116, kp. 157) June 27, 1932

O. P. Wills bought the property for $2600 from Nannie S. Ardery’s heirs (Ben B. and Josephine Ardery, Fayette and Lois Ardery, S.S. and Mary Ardery, all of Paris, Ky; Margaret Ardery, George Ardery, unmarried of Colorado, and John Ardery of New York City). Wills died intestate on December 7, 1941, leaving his daughter, Cleo Wills Sumpter, as his sole heir. O.P. Wills lived and died in Winchester, Clark County, so probably never lived in the house.

from

  • 1911-1932 Nannie S. Ardery family (Deed Book 98, p. 88) June 30, 1911
Nannie S. Ardery bought the property from the Heirs of Sophia Overby (Guy Overby, Hazel Overby, Edward and Alma Overby). The property description included the house on a lot that began at Mrs. James Mernaugh’s corner on the southwest margin of 7th Street, running thence N59W 158 feet 11/12 inches to John Connell’s corner; S17 ½ W 228 feet to another corner of Connell; S77E 152 feet 2 inches to a Mernaugh corner; N19 ¼ E 175 feet to the beginning. This deed referenced a Lot no. 1 on a diagram. The Mernaugh house is still standing at 301 W. 7th Street and now houses the Paris Board of Education offices. James Mernaugh served as City Marshall in the 1880s and police chief in the 1890s.

from
  • 1887-1911 Sophia Overby family (Deed Book 70, p. 170) December 1887

Sophia Overby was married to W.T. Overby who received her estate for life via her will (Will Book U, p. 129). Sophia’s will was written on February 28, 1903 and proved in court on August 18, 1903. Following W.T.’s death, the Overby offspring received the remainder of the estate.

from 

  • 1886-1887 J.M. and Annie E. Thomas, W.R. and Carrie Thomas (Deed Book 69, p. 276) September 22, 1886; purchase price was $1660

Deeds include mention of a house and lot from this point forward to the present.

The property description included the house and lot and began at a point in the middle of Old Georgetown Road now Chestnut Street (later 7th Street) at corner to Hanson’s Spring lot at 1, thence N61 ½ W 8/76 poles to the middle of the street at 2; thence N82W 6.24 poles to the middle of the street at 3, corner to Miss McGee; then with the McGree line, leaving a 15 foot passageway between it and Ruth Breckinridge’s lot, S3W 19.92 poles to a stake near a small locust at 4, corner to Luke Connelly; thence with Connelly’s line N73E 4 poles to a stake corner to Ann Scott at 5; thence N7 ¾ E 4.40 poles to Sam Rice’s corner at 6; thence with Sam Rice’s line N79E 8.12 poles to Hanson’s spring lot at 7; thence N10 ½ E 12.64 poles to the beginning.

from 

  • 1865-1886 Jefferson Porter family (Heirs included Beverly and Susie Porter, Jacob M. and Josie Porter, William and Eva Porter, Jefferson, Jr. and Georgia Porter, Adam and Lucy Smoot, Anna Scott, and Sallie Porter)

Jefferson Porter was a free man of color who was manumitted by Lucy Porter’s will in 1846. She specified that he was to get a shop and bake house and the ground on which they stood that was located between her house and the house of Mrs. Sidney Shannon as well as stables and lots adjoining Abram Spears, two carriages, a wagon and all the horses and gear, harness and other equipage, and all provender and grain. In return, Jefferson was to pay all her funeral expenses and help support her daughter, Polly Cook and her children until the children were old enough to support themselves. Lucy Porter died between January 20 and April 7, 1846. From these beginnings, Jeff Porter became an entrepreneurial businessman who amassed a very respectable estate by the time he died in 1885 and his heirs sold off his assets. No house was mentioned in the deeds from the 1865 purchase by Porter back to earlier owners. It appears very likely that Jeff Porter built the house between 1865 and 1870. This date range is supported by several historic maps.

from

  • 1864-1865 James and Bridget Fee (Deed Book 54, p. 21) April 13, 1865; purchase price was $600

The Fees sold the northeast half of a 3-acre lot that fronted on Old Georgetown Road and was bound on the west by John L. Walker, on the east by Charles Talbott’s Heirs and ran to near the center of the Talbott lot between the Old Georgetown dirt road and the Paris-Georgetown Turnpike so as to include 1 ½ acres. Porter was given the use of water from a well on the Fees’ land.  

  • 1859-1864 George W. and Winnifred Williams (Deed Book 53, p. 223) September 8, 1864; purchase price was $695 for 3 acres.

The Fees bought three acres for $695 in 1864 and sold half that amount the following year to Porter for $600, a remarkable markup in price per acre. While one might argue that the increase in price per acre can be explained by a house having been built on the Porter lot by the Fees, another explanation is equally and perhaps more plausible. The increase in price might have been related to Porter’s racial classification. No house was mentioned in the Williams to Fee or the Fee to Porter transactions and the survey language suggests an unimproved lot was sold. It was not uncommon for whites to sell property to people of color at higher than market value. Since whites controlled most of the real estate market, they were in a position to demand higher prices, particularly given the post –Civil War attitudes that influenced where people of color were allowed to live. These attitudes resulted in a much greater degree of residential segregation than had been the case prior to the Civil War.

from

  • ????-1859 Jane C. Berry’s Heirs (Deed Book 50, p. 634) April 12, 1859

Jane C. Berry owned a considerable amount of property in the Paris and Bourbon County area. She sold off various lots in Paris, including one to John Lyle Walker and her heirs sold the rest after her death. Her heirs included Berryman and Elizabeth Hurt, Richard N. and Mary Jane Conner, William N. and Anne Amelia Sudduth, and George Hamilton, all of Bath County. They sold a larger parcel on Old Georgetown Road to the Williams who subdivided it and sold the 3 acres to the Fees. Additional deed research is necessary to determine how Jane C. Berry acquired the property. She may not have been a Bourbon County resident. 

See also the NKAA entries for Jefferson Porter and Jefferson Porter (2nd entry).
Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Porter, Ora F.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1970
Ora F. Porter was born in Sugar Grove, KY. In 1916 she became the first registered nurse in Bowling Green, KY. She received her nursing degree from Tuskegee University School of Nursing [now Tuskegee University, School of Nursing and Allied Health]. She was the daughter of Sarah J. Porter. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Women in Kentucky; and the oral history interview by Robert J. Gates (FA168) with Oral F. Porer's nieces, Alice Ruth and Shella Proctor, the file and recordings are available at Wesern Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses
Geographic Region: Sugar Grove and Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Porter, Otho Dandrith
Birth Year : 1864
Death Year : 1936
Porter was born in Logan County, KY, the son of Robert Henry and Amanda Poston Porter. During his college years at Fisk University, he roomed with W. E. B. DuBois. Porter was an 1895 graduate of Meharry Medical College. He established his medical practice in Bowling Green, KY. Porter was president of the People's Grocery Co., and from 1900-1901 he was president of the National Medical Association. He also helped organize the Kentucky Medical Society of Negro Physicians and Dentists. Otho D. Porter was the husband of Carrie Donna Bridges from Mississippi. According to Porter's death certificate, the couple lived at 439 State Street in Bowling Green, KY. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Dentists
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Mississippi

Porter, Troy, Sr.
Birth Year : 1855
Porter was born in Fayette County, KY, the son of Winnie Porter. The family of four was living in Paris, IL, in 1865 and are listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. Porter became an engineer in the areas of plumbing and gas and steam fitting. He established his own business and was also appointed superintendent of the city water works in 1883. In 1885 he was the first African American to be elected town clerk of Paris. In 1880, Porter was the husband of Belle J. Porter, born 1855 in IN, and in 1900, he was the husband of Cora B. Porter, born 1873 in IN. For more see Afro-American Encyclopaedia: or, the thoughts..., by J. T. Haley [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / Paris, Illinois

Porter, William Edward "Bill"
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1985
William E. Porter, born in Stanley, KY, was the second son of James Lester Porter and Edna Mae Hazelwood Porter. The family left Daviess County when William was a small child and moved to Gary, IN, where his father worked in the steel mills; the family later moved to Lima, OH. William Porter was a star athlete at Central High School in Lima, where he played football and set a number of track records. In 1936, he enlisted in the Army and served in North Africa during World War II, later serving in Italy with the 92nd Infantry, 366th Regiment, Company B. Porter was a 1st Lieutenant and was awarded a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, and Bronze Star for his service in World War II. During the Korean War, he was a Captain; he received a second Purple Heart and a Silver Star during that conflict. After his retirement in 1958, Major William Porter began his second career with the ROTC and served as a military police instructor in Kansas City, MO, and Monrovia, Liberia, Africa, while still on active duty. Porter died in November 1985 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. William E. Porter was the grandson of McDonald and Elvira Porter and the great-grandson of Richard Hazelwood. This entry was submitted by Denyce Porter Peyton. For additional information see Lima News articles 1933-1936 and 1958.

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Stanley, Daviess County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana / Lima, Ohio

Porter, William M.
Birth Year : 1850
Porter, born in Tennessee, was an undertaker in Lexington, KY. In 1905, he had been in business with J. C. Jackson for about 13 years. Porter came to Lexington from Cincinnati, OH, where at one time he had been the only African American undertaker in the city. Porter spoke during the convention of the National Negro Business League in New York, pointing out that he had been a hackman for 31 years before becoming an undertaker, and that it was not unusual for hackmen to make $12 or $15 per day because "the street cars were not so convenient." By 1920, Porter was again living in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Wm. M. Porter, "Undertaking," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 6th Annual Convention, New York City, New York, August 16-18, 1905, reel 1, frame 529; and The Negro in Business by B. T. Washington.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Migration South, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Porter, Woodford Roy, Sr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 2006
In 1958, Louisville, KY, native Woodford R. Porter, Sr. became the first African American elected to the Louisville Board of Education. He was later president of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. Porter, a mortician, was the owner of A. D. Porter and Sons Funeral Home. He was the first African American member of the YMCA Metropolitan Board. Porter was the son of Imogene Stewart Porter and Arthur D. Porter, Sr., the family is listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Woodford Porter was a WWII veteran. He was the husband of Harriett Bibb Porter. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., Supp., edited by M. M. Spradling; "A Special Tribute to Woodford R. Porter, Sr.," Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.39-42; and E. M. Talbott, "Woodford R. Porter Sr. (1918-2006)," The Courier-Journal, 08/02/2006, Forum section, p.11A.

See photo image of Woodford R. Porter, Sr. and additional information at the U of L Today website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Board of Education, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Porterfield, Rosella F.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2004
Rosella F. Porterfield was born in Daviess County, KY. She was a teacher and the first African American librarian in the Elsmere-Erlanger School System in northern Kentucky. She retired from the Elsmere-Erlanger System. The Elsmere Park Board rededicated the Rosella French Porterfield Park in 2002. She is referred to as the Rosa Parks of Northern Kentucky. In 1955, while head teacher at the African American School, Wilkins Heights, Porterfield approached the Elsmere superintendent and said that it was time to integrate the schools. The request was taken to the school board and approved. Porterfield was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial School [now Kentucky State University]. In 2007, Rosella French Porterfield was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. For more see "Civil-rights pioneer Porterfield honored," The Enquirer (Cincinnati.com), 07/25/02; and C. Meyhew, "Rosella Porterfield, 85, helped integrate schools," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/10/2004, Metro section, p. 4C.

See photo image and additional information about Rosella F. Porterfield within Northern Kentucky Views Presents (.pdf).
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Daviess County, Kentucky / Elsmere and Erlanger, Kenton County, Kentucky

Postell, Peter, Sr. [Peter Glass]
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1901
Postell (spelled Postel in some sources) was a former slave who was born in South Carolina according to census records. He owned a merchant business in Hopkinsville, KY, and was considered quite wealthy. He was often referred to as "The Richest Negro in the South." His estate was valued at $500,000. During slavery, Postell, had the name Peter Glass. He was brought to Kentucky from North Carolina, and he later escaped and joined the Union Army during the Civil War, serving with the 16th U.S. Colored Infantry, according to his military service record, he was in the brass band. Postell had enlisted in Clarksville, TN, in January of 1864, and North Carolina was listed as his birth state. He returned to Kentucky after the war and opened a grocery store in Hopkinsville and is listed in the 1870 U.S Federal Census as Peter Postell. He was the husband of Pauline Buckner Postell, b.1851 in Christian County, KY, [her father was born in S.C.]. Peter Postell was the son of Mrs. C. Kirkpatrick, who was born around 1819 in South Carolina. According to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the Postell household consisted of Peter, his wife and four children, his mother, her husband and their son, and a boarder. Peter and Pauline Postell had several more children before Peter died in 1901. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the the Documenting the American South website; "A Rich Negro," The Adair County News, 08/21/1901, p. 1; and "Death of a wealthy Negro," New York Times, 05/23/1901, p.1.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: South Carolina / North Carolina / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Poston, Ephraim
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1951
Poston was born in Clarksville, TN, the son of Ephraim and Louisa Rivers Poston. In Kentucky, he was an educator, poet, author, and journalist. Poston was a graduate of Roger Williams University in Nashville, TN. He taught school in Wickliffe, KY, and was a professor and Dean of Men at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University] for two years, before leaving to become principal at Pembroke High School. He was the author of Manual on Parliamentary Proceedings (1905), and Pastoral Poems (1906). His "Political Satires," a series, was published in the Hopkinsville newspaper, Kentucky New Era, from 1908-1912. Poston managed his family newspaper, the Hopkinsville Contender, with his children. He was the husband of Mollie Cox Poston and the father of Ted, Robert, and Ulysses Poston. After Mollie Poston's death, Ephraim later married Susie E. Forrest (1880-1966) and the couple lived in Paducah, KY. He taught at West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College], and she was a teacher at Lincoln Grade School, according to the 1939 Paducah Kentucky Directory. For more see the Ephraim Poston entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Dark Side of Hopkinsville, by T. Poston.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Clarksville, Tennessee / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Poston, Ersa Hines
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Ersa H. Poston was born in Mayfield and raised in Paducah, KY, after her mother's death. She was the daughter of Vivian Johnson Hines (1905-1925, died of tuberculosis) and Robert Hines. Ersa Poston was one of the highest-ranked women in the federal government, having been appointed a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission by President Carter in 1977. Prior to the appointment, Poston was director of the New York State Office of Economic Opportunity, 1965-67, and president of New York State Civil Service Commission, 1967-75. She served as vice president of the National Urban League. Ersa Hines Poston was the former wife of John Clinton and Ted Poston; the marriages ended in divorce. She was a 1942 graduate of Kentucky State University, and earned her master's in social work at Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University] in 1946. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., Supp., edited by M. M. Spradling; The Negro Almanac. A reference work on the African American, 5th ed.; and A. Berstein, "New York, U.S. Civil Service Administrator," The Washington Post, 01/22/2009, Metro section, p.B5.

See photo image and additional information on Ersa H. Poston from the The Boston Globe at boston.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / New York

Poston, Mollie Cox
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1917
Poston was born in Oak Grove, KY, the daughter of Joseph and Hattie Peay Cox. She taught in the county and city schools in Kentucky and was one of the first appointed supervisors of the Negro industrial schools in the state (1913). Mollie Poston was a graduate of Roger Williams University in Nashville, TN, and M. & F. College and Hopkinsville Industrial School, both in Hopkinsville, KY. She was the mother of Robert, Ulysses and Ted Poston, and the wife of Ephraim Poston. For more see the Mollie Poston entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915 [available full view at Google Book Search]; and Dark Side of Hopkinsville, by T. Poston.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Mothers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Oak Grove, Christian County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Poston, Theodore R. A. M.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1974
Poston was known as Ted, but his full name was Theodore Roosevelt Augustus Major Poston. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY. The first African American reporter for The New York Post, he covered many of the race disputes in the South. He lost two teeth while covering the Scottsboro case. He wrote The Dark Side of Hopkinsville, which was published posthumously. Poston was a 1928 graduate of Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial College [now Tennessee State University]. He was the brother of journalists Robert and Ulysses S. Poston, the son of Mollie Poston and Ephraim Poston, and the husband of Ersa Hines Poston. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Ted Poston: Pioneer American Journalist, by K. A. Hauke; and Ted Poston at The Library of America website, reportingcivilrights.org.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kenucky

Poston, Ulysses and Robert
Robert (1895-1924) and Ulysses S. Poston (1892-1955) were older brothers of Ted Poston, the sons of Mollie Poston and Ephraim Poston, all from Hopkinsville, KY. The brothers owned and edited The Hopkinsville Contender and later, The Detroit Contender. Both were associated with Marcus Garvey, and while with him in New York, U. S. Poston created The Negro World, a successful African American daily paper, then later created The New York Contender. U. S. Poston was a 1915 graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial School [now Kentucky State University]. Robert Poston was assistant secretary-general of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). He was head of a delegation that went to Liberia in 1924 to talk with the government; Poston died of pneumonia on the return trip to the U.S. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; "Ulysses S. Poston, real estate man. Former newsman, a crusader for Negro Rights dead - wrote for Magazines," New York Times, 05/15/1955, p. 23; and Dark Side of Hopkinsville, by T. Poston. For more on Robert Poston see "Lady Augusta Savage, a Garvyite wife, 1923-1924" in New Negro Artists in Paris: African American painters and sculptors in the City of Light, 1922-1934, by T. A. Leininger-Miller.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / New York

Potter, Mary E.
Birth Year : 1888
Potter was born in Bowling Green, KY. A physician, she was a faculty member of the Louisville National Medical College. Potter organized the Fraternal Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1922 and founded and organized the Women's Business, Civic and Political Club in 1925, which met in Louisville and published the Women's Business, Civic and Political Journal. She was the wife of Joseph U. Potter, an automobile mechanic who was born 1891 in KY. In 1920, the couple was renting a home on Walnut Street in Louisville, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Potter, R. G. (1901-1987) Collection
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1930
This collection contains 13,700 photographs. Potter was a salesman and sometimes photographer who collected local history photographs from the period 1880-1930. He then copied and peddled the images for use as decoration in Louisville businesses, hotels, and restaurants. The collection includes images of African Americans. Available at the University of Louisville Libraries' Photographic Archives.
Subjects: Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Powell, Colin L.
Birth Year : 1937
Powell was born in New York. He was appointed the United States Secretary of State in 2000. After graduating from the National War College, Powell commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY, in 1976. He is the author of My American Journey. For more see Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 28, ed. by A. Henderson.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky

Powell County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Powell County is located slightly east of central Kentucky. It was formed in 1852 from portions of Clark, Estill, and Montgomery Counties, and named for Kentucky Governor Lazarus W. Powell. Powell County is surrounded by three counties. It is home to one of the last Native American villages in the state. The county seat is Stanton, named for U.S. House Member Richard M. Stanton in 1852. The 1860 county population was 2,132, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 3,647 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 32 slave owners
  • 101 Black slaves
  • 24 Mulatto slaves
  • 20 free Blacks [last names Holley, Johnson, Anderson, 2 Abbott, 1 Brandenburg]
  • 4 free Mulattoes [2 Johnson, 1 Clarke, 1 Miltson]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 191 Blacks
  • 45 Mulattoes
  • At least 8 U.S. Colored Troops listed Powell County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 269 Blacks
  • 10 Mulattoes [last name Kelly, 1 Harris]
For more see the Powell County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; and Powell County, Kentucky: a pictorial history, by the Powell County Pictorial History Book Committee.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Powell County, Kentucky

Powell, Ruth M.
Birth Year : 1912
Powell was born near Madisonville, KY. She published Lights and Shadows, a comprehensive history of the American Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1964. In 1979 she published Ventures in Education with Black Baptists in Tennessee. Powell graduated from J.C. Smith University in 1940 and Tennessee State University in 1953. For more see Who's Who in Religion, 2nd ed.
Subjects: Authors, Historians, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Powell, William Jennifer, Sr.
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1942
William J. Powell, Sr. was born William Jennifer in Henderson, KY; he had a sister named Edna Jennifer. Their father died, and their mother moved to Chicago and married Mr. Powell, who adopted the children. After high school, William Powell enrolled at the University of Illinois at Champaign [now University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] but left in 1917 to join the U.S. Army. At the end of World War I, he returned to college and earned his electrical engineering degree. In 1928 he left Chicago to enroll in the Warren School of Aeronautics in Los Angeles. Powell learned to fly, and his lifetime goal was to encourage African Americans to become pilots. He saw the field as a way for African Americans to get ahead economically by becoming part of the air age and to help break down the racial barriers in public transportation. Powell was the successful owner of Craftsmen of Black Wings, Inc., an aviation company that offered flying lessons. He also made the documentary film, Unemployment, the Negro, and Aviation (1935); published the trade journal Craftsmen Aero-News (1937-1938); and organized all-black air shows with pilots such as Betsy Coleman and Hubert Fauntleroy Julian. Powell wrote an autobiography, Black Wings (1934). He was the husband of Lucylle Powell and the father of William Jr. and Bernadyne Powell. William Powell, Sr. was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. For more see Black Aviator: the story of William J. Powell, a new edition of William J. Powell's 1934 Black Wings; and see William Jennifer Powell in Encyclopedia of African American Business History, by J. E. K. Walker.

See photo image and additional information about William J. Powell, Sr. at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Authors, Aviators, Businesses, Engineers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Los Angeles, California

Powers, Georgia D.
Birth Year : 1923
Born in Springfield, KY, Georgia Davis Powers was the first African American and woman in the Kentucky Senate (1967-1988); she served five four-year terms. She was also the first African American woman on the Jefferson County Executive Committee, where she pushed for, among other reforms, an Equal Rights Amendment resolution and the Displaced Homemaker's law. Powers is the author of Celia's Land: a historical novel. The Georgia Powers Collection is at the Kentucky State University Library's Special Collections and Archives. For more see Women in World History. A Biographical Encyclopedia and I Shared the Dream, by G. D. Powers. See also the NKAA entry for Celia Mudd.


Access Interview
Read about the Georgia Davis Powers oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database. 



See photo image and additional information about Senator Powers at the African American Registry website.

 

View video of Georgia Davis Powers at KET (Kentucky Educational Television) Living the Story website.
Subjects: Authors, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Pralltown (Lexington, KY)
The Pralltown neighborhood is named after Woodford County native John A. Prall (1827-1907) who was a lawyer, judge, and a member of the Kentucky Senate. The Pralltown neighborhood was developed between 1868 and 1877. It is the oldest African American neighborhood in Lexington. Pralltown was initially located on bottomland that was prone to flooding and hemmed in by railroad tracks. It is located across Limestone Street facing the University of Kentucky campus. In 1940 it contained over 200 homes. In more recent times, the residents have been in an ongoing battle to prevent the neighborhood from becoming a new housing area for University of Kentucky students. For more see L. Becker, "Fighting for a living history," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/30/1998, and more than 50 other articles in the newspaper; J. Kellogg, "The Formation of Black Residential Areas in Lexington, Kentucky, 1865-1887," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 48, issue 1 (Feb. 1982), pp. 21-52; and "Negro Urban Clusters in the Postbellum South," Geographical Review, vol. 61, issue 3 (July 1977), pp. 310-321.
Subjects: Communities, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Presbyterian Cemetery (Lexington, KY)
End Year : 1889
In 1889, the Lexington Presbyterian Cemetery on North Limestone Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, was officially closed. A vote had been taken by the Presbyterian Church congregations to close the cemetery and remove the remains to the Lexington Cemetery and the Colored Cemetery. The Presbyterian Cemetery had belonged to both the First and the Second Presbyterian Churches, and it had been the main burial ground in the city for more than 50 years. But in latter years the cemetery was neglected and eventually declared a nuisance; there had been no burials since 1879. The Kentucky Legislature allowed the Churches to sell the cemetery in 1887, and it was purchased by Scott and Skillman for $8,000. The buyers were responsible for the proper removal and reburial of all bodies, and all headstones and other markers were to be properly moved with the bodies. At least three hundred of the interred were African Americans, and their remains were re-interred in African Cemetery No.2. For more see "Second Presbyterian congregation votes...," Lexington Transcript, 03/18/1887, p.2; "Removing the dead," The Kentucky Leader, 05/20/1889, p.5; and "Presbyterian graveyard sold to Scott & Skillman...," Lexington Transcript, 03/24/1887, p.4.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Presbyterian Community Center Records
Start Year : 1898
Founded in 1898 by seminarians as Hope Mission Station, a summer Sunday school for African American children, the center evolved into a settlement house for the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, KY, and was joined by Grace Mission. The collection pertaining to the mission includes a biographical sketch of the Rev. John Little (1874-1948), founder and director of the center for 50 years, and documentation of the center's activities and its role as an outpost in the federal government's war on poverty. The records are available at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Settlement House Movement in Kentucky, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Prescott Pike Cemetery (North Middletown, KY)
Start Year : 1894
The land for the cemetery was sold in 1894 by Mary and Charles Meng to the cemetery trustees: Dave Biddle, Thomas Ransom, Aaron Kenney, Harvey Wess, and George Lindsey. The cemetery, then known as the North Middletown Colored Cemetery, was located on Prescott Turnpike Road in North Middletown, KY. Today it is known as the Prescott Pike Cemetery. The committee that cares for the property includes Betty Mae Black, Michell Butler, and three great-grandchildren of Thomas Ransom, Nancy Brown Kenney, Dorothy Reed Royce, and Thomas Howard Butler. Contact Michelle Butler for the Prescott Cemetery Newsletter and additional information.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Prewitt, Clifton B.
Birth Year : 1826
Prewitt was born a slave in Scott County, KY. He did not attend school. When freed from slavery, he hired himself out, which enabled him to buy a farm. After 18 years of farming, he went into real estate. He bought and sold for speculators and earned a considerable amount of money, enough for him to own more than twenty houses, which he rented to both African Americans and whites. He was the husband of Harriett Prewitt (b.1830 in KY), and in 1880, the family lived in Boston (Scott County),KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Clifton Prewitt was the father of Martha Prewitt, who was the wife of W. D. Johnson. Only two of his 14 children were alive in 1897. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Boston, Scott County, Kentucky

Price, Geneva Stark
Birth Year : 1958
In 2003 Dr. Geneva S. Price became the first African American and second woman to be elected president of the Kentucky Association of Secondary School Principals. Dr. Price was the Human Resource Specialist at Western High School in Louisville, KY. In 2010, Dr. Price was appointed president of the Greater Louisville Alliance of Black School Educators (GLABSE), formed in 1993, which is an affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).

See photo image of Dr. Geneva Stark Price near the bottom of the page of v.5, issue 4, May 2011, online issue of the Jefferson County Public Schools, Global Connections.
 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Price, John
In the winter of 1856, John Price and another slave, Frank, fled from owner John P. G. Bacon in Mason County, KY. Price was injured during the escape, so he and Frank had to lay up in Oberlin, OH. Slave catchers learned of their whereabouts in 1858, and Price was captured in East Oberlin and taken to the town of Wellington, Ohio. A rescue party made up of abolitionist whites, free blacks, and fugitive slaves confronted the captors, and after a small riot Price was rescued. Price made his way to Canada and was never heard from again. The rescue party faced court hearings, fines, and imprisonment. The entire incident is referred to as the Wellington Rescue. For more see The 1858 Oberlin-Wellington Rescue: a reappraisal, by R. M. Baumann.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky / Oberlin and Wellington, Ohio / Canada

Price, Julius Elliott, Sr.
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 1983
In 1955, Julius E. Price, Sr. was the first African American from Kentucky to be appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by a Kentucky Congressman. Price was from Louisville, KY, and had just graduated from high school when he received the appointment from Senator Earle C. Clements. Price attended West Point for one year, then he got married and transferred to Wabash College. Price was the second African American student at the school and the second to graduate. He returned to Louisville where he would become president of Mammoth Life Insurance Company; Price's grandfather had been a founding member of the company. For more see "Kentucky Boy, 17, appointed to West Point," Jet, 06/02/1955, p.4 [available at Google Book Search]; and R. Wedgeworth, "Contradictions in American life: the inaugural John W. Evans Lecture" at Wabash College, 10/01/2008 [available online].

See photo image of Julius E. Price, Sr. on p.136 in Ebony, May 1975.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Price-Cordery, Barbara
Birth Year : 1948
Death Year : 2002
Born in Louisville, KY, Price-Cordery was the first African American woman elected to chair the Kentucky Derby Festival. She passed away, however, before serving as chair of the festival. Price-Cordery was honored posthumously with the Distinguished Service Award. She was also founder of the First African Heritage Weekend Series and was the first African American employee of The Voice newspaper in Louisville. For more see HR 247 (BR 2886) - R. Meeks (Word doc.).
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pricetown, Nihizertown, and Centerville (Fayette County, KY)
Located on Todds Road in Fayette County, the Pricetown land was divided into lots by owner Dr. S. Price. The lots were sold to African Americans at the end of the Civil War. The exact date the community was established is not known, though there are records in the Fayette County deed books as early as 1873. A church was established in 1881. Nihizertown and Centerville are adjoining communities to Pricetown, and the three combined communities had more than 100 people at one time. 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: Fayette County, Kentucky

Priest, James M.
Death Year : 1883
James M. Priest was the slave of Jane Anderson Meaux. Jane A. Meaux was born 1780 in St. Asaph [later Fort Logan], Lincoln County, District of KY, and died in Jessamine County, KY, in 1844. Prior to her death, she educated and freed one of her slaves, James Priest. She sent Priest to Liberia, Africa, to evaluate the situation of the former slaves. When he returned, Priest was sent to school, 1840-1843; he graduated to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. He returned to Liberia and was the first foreign missionary from McCormick Theological Seminary at New Albany [Indiana]. Priest would become the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, 1864-1868. He was serving as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia when he died in July of 1883. Jane Anderson Meaux stipulated in her will that all of her slaves were to be freed under the condition that they go to live in Liberia. For more see p.205 of History of Kentucky, edited by C. Kerr et al.; p.9 of A History of the McCormick Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church, by L. J. Halsey; pp.562-63 of Maxwell History and Genealogy, by F. A. W. Houston et al. [all available full-text at Google Book Search]; see Settlers to Liberia "April 1843" at The Ships List website; and "The death of James M. Priest...," Arkansaw Dispatch, 07/28/1883, p.2. A daguerreotype portrait [online] of Priest is available at the Library of Congress.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Judges, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Saint Asaph [Stanford], Lincoln County, Kentucky / Jessamine County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Primo Carnera v Ed "Bearcat" Wright (boxing)
Start Year : 1930
The Kentucky Derby brings a large number of spectators to Louisville, KY, and in 1930, the racing weekend's activities included boxing matches. At top billing was Primo Carnera and Edward "Bearcat" Wright, two heavyweight boxers. The fight was to take place at the Louisville American Legion Post. [Carnera was also a professional wrestler from 1946-1961. Wright was NOT a professional wrestler.] Carnera (1906-1967) was a 6 ft. 6 in. Italian boxing champion who had come to the United States at the beginning of 1930. For the Louisville fight, he weighed in at 285 lbs. Carnera's nickname was "Ambling Alp." His opponent, Texan Ed Wright (1897-1975), was a 6 ft. 1 in. African American boxer who fought out of Omaha, Nebraska. He had a fairly successful career, including the knock-out win over 50-year-old Jack Johnson in 1928. In 1930, Wright weighed in at 220 lbs. Wright's manager Jim Dougherty and the fight promoters ignored the fact that Carnera had been banned from fighting in California and New York due to suspicious victories; Carnera was an attraction who would bring in large door receipts. Wright was not expected to win the bout. Things were going as planned until a little more than a week before the fight, when the American Legion and the Kentucky State Athletic Board of Control cancelled the fight. Carnera was suspended by the National Boxing Association while they investigated his previous knockout wins. The fight was rescheduled for July 17, 1930, in Omaha, Nebraska; Carnera won by a knock-out in the fourth round. Shortly after the fight, Carnera, who had entered the U.S. on a six month visa and had overstayed his time, was ordered out of the U.S. He appealed to the Labor Department, and his stay was extended until the end of the year; he would eventually become a U.S. citizen. Carnera returned to Louisville in 1932 to fight Jack Taylor, who he knocked out in the second round. There was rumor and speculation that Carnera was owned by gangsters and that his fights were fixed. In 1935, Carnera was beaten by a technical knock-out in the sixth round by "The Brown Bomber," African American boxer Joe Louis. The fight was billed by the media as a duel between Italian fascism and American democracy. For more see Taboo, by J. Entine; "Canera's fight cancelled," Daily Illini, 04/26/1930, p. 8 [article full-text in Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection]; "Carnera wins plea to stay until Dec. 31," New York Times, 08/03/1930, p. 22; "Primo Carnera suspended; action follows investigation of knockouts by NBA," New York Times, 05/17/1930, p. 20; and Beyond the Ring, by J. T. Sammons.

Edward "Bearcat" Wright at cyberboxingzone.com

Primo Carnera at cyberboxingzone.com

 
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Princeton Colored Branch Library (Caldwell County, KY)
Start Year : 1944
End Year : 1953
The Princeton Colored Branch Library was located in the Dotson High School, and opened October 1, 1944. The shelves were filled with books withdrawn from the Princeton public library. The principal's wife, Mrs. E. R. Hampton was hired as the librarian. The Princeton Board of education provided the room, heat, and lighting. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1944-1953 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division from the George Coon Memorial Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky

Proposed American Negro Colony in New Granada
Start Year : 1861
End Year : 1864
àIn 1861, President Lincoln, an admirer of the late Kentuckian Henry Clay, asked that Congress approve a plan for the colonization of all Negroes. A warm climate or tropical location was preferred: Texas, Florida, Mexico, Haiti, Liberia, or the lands [coal fields] in New Granada claimed by the Chiriqui Improvement Company [in present day countries within Central and South America]. In preparation for the emigration, slaves were to be gradually emancipated, beginning with the Border States [including Kentucky]. But that idea was dropped because it did not appeal to the members of Congress from the Border States. Still, the Chiriqui lands in New Granada were seen as the ideal locations for a loyal and U. S.-controlled colony of Negroes. In 1862, a group of freemen, the first ever to be invited to the White House, arrived to hear Lincoln’s request for their help in promoting the colony among other freemen. There was great opposition to the colony from Central American governments, especially in Costa Rica. The Bogotá [Colombia] government, led by Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, was in favor of the colony. The official Bogotá representative, Pedro A. Herrán, son-in-law of Mosquera, was in Washington. In Colombia, the U.S. Minister was Garrard County, KY, native Allan A. Burton. Several of the prior ministers had also been from Kentucky, beginning with former Congressman Richard Clough Anderson, Jr. from Louisville, who served in Colombia from 1823 until his death in 1826. Though the idea of a Negro Colony was welcomed by the Bogotá government, it was not a viable plan and was therefore suspended in 1862. The colonization fund was abolished in 1864. Haiti was no longer an option after the failure of the Ile à Vache Colony experiment in 1863. Liberia was eliminated when Lincoln issued the final Proclamation of Emancipation on January 1, 1863. For more see P. J. Scheips, “Lincoln and the Chiriqui Colonization Project,” The Journal of Negro History, vol.37, issue 4 (Oct., 1952), pp. 418-453; M. Vorenberg, “Abraham Lincoln and the Black politics of colonization,” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association [available online], vol. 14, issue 2 (Summer 1993); Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States: during its first century, by C. Lanman, p. 593 [full view at Google Book Search]; and W. D. Boyd, “James Redpath and American Negro Colonization in Haiti, 1860-1862,” The Americas, vol.12, issue 2 (Oct., 1955), pp. 169-182. See Central and South American Immigration Association and Equal Rights League of the Western Continent. For information on earlier Haitian colony see Freeman Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic).

*New Granada included present day Colombia, Ecaudor, Panama, and Venezuela.

See map of Viceroyalty of New Granada at Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas / Florida / Mexico / Ile a Vache, Haiti / Liberia / Costa Rica, Central America / Bogota, Colombia, South America

Pruitt, Earle E.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1959
Earl E. Pruitt, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of Minnie Forrest Pruitt and Richard Pruitt. In 1910, the family of five lived on O'Hara Street with Minnie's mother, Maria Forrest. Earl Pruitt was a Pullman Porter with the L&N Railroad before he became manager of the College Court Apartments, U.S. Housing Authority, in Louisville from 1937-1940. From 1940-1944, he managed the Beecher Terrace Housing Projects, the largest housing projects complex in Kentucky at that time. Pruitt was also the public relations commissioner of the National Association of Housing Officials and public relations assistant in the Louisville Municipal Housing Commission. He went to London, England, to lecture on public housing and spoke on the subject on the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC). For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. The finding aid to the Earle Pruitt Papers is available on the Kentucky Digital Library website. For more on the U.S. Housing Authority see To Create a U.S. Housing Authority, 75 H806-1, Aug. 3-6, 1937, pp. iii-316, U.S. G.P.O.
Subjects: Housing Authority, The Projects, Pullman Porters, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pryor, Albert Conklin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Pryor was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Albert C. Pryor, Sr. and Minnie Moreland Pryor. Pryor, Jr. graduated from Le Moyne College in 1942 and taught at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] before earning a master's degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. In 1954 he became the first African American hired to teach high school in the Springfield, MA, school system. Pryor earned his Ph. D. in 1963 from the University of Connecticut, and in 1967 he was hired as a full professor at Western New England College, where he created and developed the school's social work program; he retired from there in 1983. The Al Pryor Award for Social Work was named in his honor. Pryor wrote the thesis, The reactions of Negro veterans to their military experiences, and was co-author of The Negro population of Kentucky at mid-century. For more see "Albert C. Pryor, Jr.," The Republican (newspaper), 02/05/2005, Obits section, p. B04.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Springfield, Massachusetts

Pryor, Margaret
Birth Year : 1835
Death Year : 1910
Margaret Pryor was the richest African American woman in Kentucky as a result of the fortune she inherited from her former owner, horse breeder Major Barak G. Thomas (1826-1906). Thomas, who also raced his horses, had left smaller inheritances to others, including $1,000 to his African American jockey and trainer, John T. Clay, and another $1,000 to Clay's sons, Johnnie and Barak. The will was protested by Thomas's family and friends but was allowed to stand as written. Maj. B. G. Thomas had been born in South Carolina; in 1912 his family moved to Lexington, KY. After making his wealth in the horse industry, and with the onset of failing health, Thomas had sold his stud farm and settled in his city home at 194 West Main Street, where he passed away in 1906. His home was next door to the Henry A. Tandy family home. After Maj. Thomas's death, Margaret Pryor remained in the home and welcomed visitors from throughout the U.S. When she died in 1910, she was buried in Greenwood Cemetery [now Cove Haven Cemetery] in Lexington, though Maj. Thomas had stipulated in his will that she be buried beside him in the then segregated Lexington Cemetery. Margaret Pryor's will was challenged in the Fayette Circuit Court by her heirs, Mary Walker and others. The will was allowed to stand as written. The wills of both Maj. Thomas and Margaret Pryor were reported in all of the major newspapers and many smaller papers in the United States. In 1911, the Atlanta Constitution newspaper reported that Pryor had no children and four women who lived in Macon and Eatonton, GA, were claiming to be Pryor's sisters and were seeking to claim $50,000 that the sisters said was left to them by Pryor. All of the sisters were supposedly once owned by Skelton Napier of Macon, GA. For more see "Major Barak G. Thomas is dead," The Thoroughbred Record, 05/19/1906; "Will of Major Thomas," The Thoroughbred Record, 05/26/1906; "Death of rich ex-slave," Washington Post, 05/13/1910, p. 11; "Margaret Pryor's will," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/14/1910, p. 6; and "Negroes claim estate of wealthy sister," Atlanta Constitution, 01/24/1911, p. 5.

*Maj. Barak G. Thomas's home at 194 West Main Street had been renumbered to 646 West Main Street by 1907. The property faces the corner of present day Main Street and Old Georgetown Street.
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Macon and Eatonton, Georgia

Public Health Reports, Kentucky Colored Persons
Start Year : 1896
End Year : 1970
The following information is a sample of what is available in Public Health Reports (1896-1970) concerning African Americans.

Birth statistics and infant mortality: 1920, vol. 36, no. 43 (Oct. 28, 1921), pp. 2680-2686.

  • 1920 - 4,141  births  572 deaths
  • 1919 - 4,079  births
Malaria in the United States: its prevalence and geographic distribution, vol. 30, no. 22, (May 28, 1915), pp. 1603-1624.
  • 1914 - 1,287 cases (July-December) (by county)
Mortality from cancer: 1920, vol. 27, no. 1 (Jan. 6, 1922), pp.1-2
  • 1920 - 142  deaths
  • 1919 - 146  deaths
  • 1918 - 130  deaths

Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Kentucky

"Public Meeting of the Colored Citizens of Detroit" [Crosswhite Affair]
Start Year : 1848
In response to the federal court decision in the fugitive slave case brought forward by a Kentucky slave owner in reference to the The Crosswhite Affair, in December of 1848 a mass meeting was called by African Americans in Detroit to discuss their relations to slavery in America. The meeting was held at City Hall. A report of the meeting was printed as an article titled "Public meeting of the Colored citizens of Detroit," in Frederick Douglass' Paper, 12/29/1848, p.2. George De Baptiste, (never a slave) from Virginia, was named chair of the gathering; Benjamin F. Dade, secretary; and the vice presidents were Rev. M. J. Lightfoot (former slave) from Virginia; James Maten; and Richard Gordon. Henry Bibb (former slave) from Kentucky; William Lambert (never a slave) from New Jersey; and Edward J. Cooper were assigned to the committee that would draft the resolutions. The full text of the resolutions is included in the newspaper article in Frederick Douglass' Paper. "...Resolved, That we hold liberty dearer than we do our lives, and we will organize and prepare ourselves with the determination, live or die, sink or swim, we will never be taken back into slavery. Resolved, That we will never voluntarily separate ourselves from the slave population in the country, for they are our fathers and mothers, our sisters and our brothers, their interest is our interest, their wrongs and their sufferings are ours, the injuries inflicted on them are alike inflicted on us; therefore it is our duty to aid and assist them in their attempts to regain their liberty... Resolved, That this meeting appoint a committee to draft a petition to Congress praying for the repeal of the *law of 1793, relative to the recapture of fugitive slaves." [*Fugitive Slave Act of 1793]  For more on Rev. M. J. Lightfoot see "A slave revisits the plantation," The Evening Telegram, 06/02/1874, p.1 [online].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Pulaski County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Pulaski County was formed in 1798 from portions of Green and Lincoln Counties. The area was settled by veterans of the American Revolutionary War; they named the county for Casimir Pulaski, who was born in Warsaw, Poland, and was known as the "Father of the American Cavalry." Casimir Pulaski died fighting in the Battle of Savannah in 1779. There are seven counties named Pulaski in the United States. In Kentucky, Somerset became the seat of Pulaski County in 1801, named by settlers from Somerset County, New Jersey. The Pulaski County, KY, population in 1800 was 3,161, according to the "Second Census" of Kentucky; 2,928 whites, 232 slaves, and 1 free colored. The population increased to 15,831 by 1860, according to the U.S. Federal Census. This did not include the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 269 slave owners
  • 1,193 Black slaves
  • 7 Colored slaves [one owned by John Long and six owned by William Tarter]
  • 105 Mulatto slaves
  • 15 free Blacks [last names Buster, Madnel, Moderal, Simpson, Weaver, and Wellens]
  • 12 free Mulattoes [most with last name Roper, and one Drew, Hays, Keeney, and Simpson]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 285 slave owners
  • 1,150 Black slaves
  • 180 Mulatto slaves
  • 18 free Blacks [most with last names Buster and Moderal]
  • 34 free Mulattoes [most with last names White and Stevens]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 946 Blacks
  • 133 Mulattoes
  • About 33 U.S. Colored Troops listed Pulaski County, KY, as their birth location.
For more, see Pulaski County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Free Frank, by J. E. K. Walker; and A History of Pulaski County, Kentucky, by A. O. Tibbals. See the photo image of the Negro high school in Pulaski County in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Pulaski County, Kentucky

Purce, Charles L.
Birth Year : 1856
Charles L. Purce was president of Selma University (1886-1893) and State University (Simmons University) in Louisville, KY. He was considered one of the best educators in the country, credited with the rapid growth of State University. Purce was born in Charleston, SC, the son of Stephen Sr. and Fannie Purce. He was an 1883 graduate of Richmond Theological Seminary [later merged with Wayland Seminary to become Virginia Union University]. For more see Charles L. Purce in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings, online at the Documenting the American South website; and A Story of a Rising Race: the Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship, by J. J. Pipkin.

See photo image of Charles L. Purce from The Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship by J. J. Pipkin, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Charleston, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Pyles, Charlotta G. M.
Birth Year : 1806
Death Year : 1880
Charlotta G. M. Pyles was born in Tennessee; her mother was a Seminole Indian and her father a slave, so Charlotta was also a slave. Pyles and her children lived on a plantation near Bardstown, KY. After one of Charlotta's sons, Benjamin, was sold, her owner, Frances Gordon, took Pyles and her remaining family from Kentucky to Iowa, where they were freed. Pyles raised $3,000 in six months and returned to Kentucky to buy her two sons-in-law. While in Iowa, she also assisted runaways on their way to Canada. For more see Charlotta Gordon MacHenry Pyles in Digital Schomburg: African American Women Writers of the 19th Century; and Pyles' picture in Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, by H. Q. Brown, p. 22, full-text at the Documenting the American South website.


Subjects: Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Iowa / Canada

 

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