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1878 Abdallah Park "Colored" Fair (Harrison County, KY)
Start Year : 1878
"I wonder how many who read this will remember when our colored citizens gave a fair at Abdallah Park? Along about 1878, I put it, and I was there. My father allowed his stable boy to show some stock and sent me along to act as kind of fiduciary agent." For more about the fair and additional history, see "African-American Life in Cynthiana - 1870 - 1940," Harrison Heritage News, February 2004, vol. 5, no. 2 (published monthly by Harrison County Historical Society. PO Box 411, Cynthiana, KY 41031).
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Parks
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky

Adams, Henry
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1873
Henry Adams was a Baptist leader in Louisville, KY, where he established the first African American Church. He also set up a school for African American children; the school survived while other schools established for African Americans by white ministers were being destroyed. Rev. Adams was born in Franklin County, KY. He was the father of John Quincy "J. Q." Adams. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; "Rev. Henry Adams" on pp.196-197 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.

See photo image of Rev. Henry Adams in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Fathers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

African American Blacksmiths in Kentucky
Start Year : 1880
A discussion of the number of African American blacksmiths in the U.S. can be found in the Negroes in the United States (1904), by W. E. B. DuBois, pp. 63-64 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. DuBois noted that there were 10,988 African American blacksmiths in 1890; the numbers had decreased to 10,100 by the year 1900. The total was moving toward that of 1880 when the U.S. Federal Census listed 8,130 African American blacksmiths, of which 642 had been born in Kentucky and 521 lived in Kentucky.
Subjects: Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American Performer at Louisville (Colored) Sängerfest
Start Year : 1881
Sängerfest (or singer's festival) is a German cultural festival, first held in the United States in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1849. [Also spelled as Säengerfest.] In 1866 a festival was held in Louisville, KY; the New York Times reported it was to be the largest festival ever in the U.S. In 1881 there was a festival held at the Grand Opera House in Louisville, and included Amelia Tilghman, an African American singer, teacher, journalist, poet, and composer. Tilghman had a leading role, she was the prima donna soprano of the Sängerfest. There was objection from some Colored citizens of Louisville because the German term "Säengerfest" had been used by newspapers to name their 1881 Grand Union musical festival. The committee members of the 1881 Louisville Colored Säengerfest were William H. Gibson, president; H. C. Weeden, secretary, and N. R. Hapen, musical director. Hundreds of singers were expected to perform. For more see The Encyclopedia Britannica: a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature, and general information, volume VI, by H. Chisholm (1910) [available online via Google Book Search]; "The Louisville Sangerfest," New York Times, 07/20/1866, p. 5; Amelia Tilghman in Piano Music by Black women composers, by H. Walker-Hill; The Music of Black Americans: a history, by E. Southern; "Louisville Saengerfest," People's Advocate, 01/29/1881, p.1; and "Louisville item. The Saengerfest," People's Advocate, 05/14/1881, p.2.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

African American Schools - Catlettsburg Colored Common School District (Boyd County, KY)
Start Year : 1873
End Year : 1944
The Catlettsburg Colored Common School District was established by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1873. The district included the area beginning at the Ohio River at the mouth of Horse Branch. There was a poll tax on every male 18 years old or older within the district, and widows with children were also taxed. The tax was not to exceed $2. Students attending the school had to live in the specified district and be at least 5 years old and not over 25 years old. In 1887, the school term was five months. An African American minister, the Reverend John R. Cox of the AME Church, was the first truant officer in Catlettsburg. Cox was a former slave born in Catlettsburg in 1852. The school district existed for 38 years before an act was established in 1912 to repeal the act that had established the Colored Common School District in Catlettsburg. Four Colored families were counted in Catlettsburg in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, most of whom did not have children. The number of children had more than doubled by 1920; Miss Agnes H. Lockwood was the school teacher in 1923; and in 1925, there was a school census of 20 school age children for the one colored school that had one teacher [sources: U.S. Federal Census; Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, p.66;and Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.69]. The Colored school district in Cattletsburg may have been discontinued, but the colored school of Catlettsburg operated as part of the Ashland Colored school system. In the 1937 Polk's Catlettsburg City Directory, Daisy Keeton is listed as principal of the Catlettsburg Colored School at 170 E. Panola Hill. The school was still listed in the directory as late as 1944. For more see "Chapter 653" in the 1873 Acts Passed at the...session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, pp. 193-194 [full-text available at Google Book Search]; and Common School Laws of Kentucky: 1922, by the Kentucky Department of Education. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.

  • Colored School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Adair County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1956
As early as 1880, there was a colored school in Adair County, KY; Kittie Miller was the teacher in Columbia [source: U.S. Federal Census]. There continued to be colored schools according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, school year ending June 30th, 1886 and June 30th, 1887, pp.68 & 123. There are references to the schools in William G. Aaron's thesis History of Education in Adair County, Kentucky. By 1895, there were 13 colored schools, 5 in log buildings, and 8 in frame buildings [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.194-197]. The average attendance was more than 300 students taught by 13 teachers 1895-96, and 14 teachers 1896-97. In 1912, the Columbia Colored School was taught by Parker Jackman; he had been teaching since shortly after the end of the Civil War and was one of the first African American teachers in Adair County and Russell County. There were as many as 14 colored schools in Adair County, but the number decreased to 10 by 1933 [Aaron, p.112]. In 1917, bids were accepted for the building of a colored school in Kelleyville [source: "Notice," Adair County News, 07/25/1917, p.4]. In 1920, bids were accepted for the building of the Elroy Colored School in District G, Division 2 [source: "To Contractors," Adair County News, 01/28/1920, p.4]. In 1921, the colored teachers earned between $65-$75 per month, and in 1931, they earned between $44-$56 per month [Aaron, p.86]. Attendance ranged from 384 students in 1901 to 161 students in 1931 [Aaron, p.89]. The Columbia County High School for colored students opened in 1925; the school was funded by the County Board of Education and cost $3,800 [Aaron, p.107]. There was also the Rosenwald School built on Taylor Street and named Jackman High in honor of Parker Jackman. There were 10 high school students for the 1931-32 term. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Adair County were R. L. Dowery, Arena Duvall, Mares Grider, Sottie Harris, Pabla Hughes, Viven Johnson, Bessie Lasley, Mollie Lasley, Stephen Samuel, Nina Mae Vaughan, Ida White, Paralee White, and Ora Lee Willis [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Integration of the schools in Adair County occured in 1956 after parents of Negro studens filed a lawsuit via the NAACP (James A. Crumlin, Sr.), [sources: "Court orders Adair Board to end segregation, Leader, 12/01/1955; and Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.41].

  • Colored Schools (14)
  • Columbia School
  • Jackman High School
  • Kelleyville School
  • Elroy School
  • Knifley #2 School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.839]
  • Montpelier School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.839]
  • Pellyton #2 School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.839]

  See photo image of Columbia School c.1926 on p.73 in Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1923 by The Kentucky Heritage Council.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Adair County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Allen County, KY
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1962
As early as 1874, there were five colored school districts in Allen County, KY, and two of them had schools that were in operation when the common school report was published in 1876 [source: Legislative Document No. 2: Report of the Auditor of Public Accounts of the State of Kentucky for the fiscal years ending Oct. 10, 1874, and October 10, 1875, pp. 173-172]. Jesse M. Hudson was a school teacher in Scottsville, KY, (according to the list on p. 30 of the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916). There were at least five colored school teachers in Allen County, KY, in 1919, when the County Illiteracy Agent, Elizabeth Baker, secured their pledge for a Moonlight School [source: Day By Day County Illiteracy Agent's Record Book, Allen County, KY]. The colored Moonlight School was held at the Zion School in Scottsville. There was also a county colored school in Maynard, it was a Rosenwald School built next to the Caney Fork Baptist Church around 1922. The school was closed in 1933 when the Allen County colored schools were merged with the colored city school in Scottsville. A photo of the Maynard School and additional history is available at the Flickr site by Kenny Browning. The teachers mentioned at the Flickr site are Garnett Holder, Jessie Hudson, Clara Whitney, Sarah Hughes, and Nintha Shipley Ponds. Other Scottsville school teachers mentioned in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal are Miss Lottie M. Hughes, Miss Lucy V. Lee, and Mrs. Chlora B. Whitney (all in the April 18-21, 1923 issue). The Negro teachers in Allen County listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census were Nintha Ponds, principal of the Maynard School, and Geannie P. Smith at the Scottsville School. The Scottsville Independent schools were the first to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63, p.100.

  • Colored Schools (5)
  • Zion School
  • Maynard School
  • Moonlight School
  • Scottsville School 

See a photo of the Maynard Colored School, a Flickr site by Kenny Browning.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Allen County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Anderson County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1963
There were colored schools in Anderson County, KY prior to the year 1900 and the exact date of the first colored school is not known. In 1880, 21 year old John Trunt(sp) was listed in the U.S. Federal Census as a school teacher who lived in the East District of Lawrenceburg, but there is no indication as to where the school was located. Trunt(sp) was a boarder with the John Penny family. {Trunt may not be the correct spelling of the last name, it is difficult to read the handwriting of the census taker}. There were still colored schools in Anderson County in 1895, according to the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky...for the two years beginning July 1, 1895 and ending June 30, 1897, there were five districts, each with one school that was taught five months per year. Three of the school buildings were frame structures, and the other two schools were taught in churches or other buildings. The colored schools were under the county system. There were six teachers and an average of 113 students attending school on a regular basis. By 1901, there were still five districts with five schools and six teachers [source: Biennial Report...beginning July 1, 1899 and ending June 30,1901]. One of the schools was taught more than five months. In 1901, there were four school buildings, one made of log and three frame structures, and the fifth school was taught in a church, or rented building, or in the teacher's home. The average attendance was 169 students for the school year 1899-1900, and the teachers earned an average of $46.61 per month. There was an average attendance of 135 students from 1900-1901, and the teachers earned an average of $41.55 per month. For both years, the Negro teachers earned more than the white teachers. There was one student from Anderson County who graduated from the State Normal School for Colored Persons for the scholastic year 1900 and 1901 [now Kentucky State University]. In 1916, there were two teachers listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916: Mary W. Coleman [known as Mrs. Wally], p.26; and J. C. Diggs, p.27. By 1926, Raymond I. Pleasant had replaced J. C. Diggs and the Lawrenceburg Colored School was located in the Grove, it was Pleasant's first teaching job and he would become principal of the school. His wife, Catherine Utterback Pleasant taught at the Georgetown School in Anderson County, the school was in the African American community of Georgetown located off Lock Road in the area known today as the Georgetown School Road. Catherine and Raymond Pleasant are listed in the History and Families, Anderson County, Kentucky, by Turner Publishing, p.139. By 1935, William Coleman was a teacher and would become principal of the Lawrenceburg Colored School [source: KNEA Journal, v.6, no.1, p.52]. Prior to his arrival, Raymond I. Pleasant and Mary Coleman had added an unaccredited 2 year high school to the Lawrenceburg Colored School and there were 3 students [sources: Turner Pub., p.136; and KNEA Journal, Feb. 1931, v.1, no.3, p.11, and v.2, no.1, p.24]. William and Mary Coleman continued the unaccredited high school department, though in 1936, the school was still referred to as a city elementary school [source: KNEA Journal, October-November 1936, p.40]. Mrs. Lorelia C. Spencer was a teacher at the school in 1938 and she was principal of the high school department [source: KNEA Journal, v.9, no.1-2, p.52, and v.9, no.3, p.14]. According to historian Gary Brown, it was also in 1938 when the Lawrenceburg Colored School in the Grove burnt down and the new school was built on Lincoln Street. W. M. Thomas was a teacher at the school, and he left in 1939 to become principal of the Knob City High School in Russellville, KY [source: KNEA Journal, Jan.-Feb 1940, v.10, no.2, p.34]. L. L. Owens was principal of the Lawrenceburg Colored School in 1940 [source: KNEA Journal, October-November 1940, v.11, no.1, p.32]. Mrs. C. B. Daily was principal in 1945 [source: KNEA Journal, April-May 1945, v.16, no.2-3, p.29]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Anderson County were William Coleman, Catherine Pleasant, and L. L. Owens [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1949, William M. Coleman was principal of the junior high grades of the Lawrenceburg Colored School [source: KNEA Journal, March 1949, p.19]. The Anderson County colored schools were consolidated around 1950 and students from the county were bused to the Lawrenceburg Colored School on Lincoln Street. William M. Coleman would again be named principal of the school. There was never an accredited high school for Negro children in Anderson County and the unaccredited high school department at the Lawrenceburg Colored School were dropped in 1945. According to Lawrenceburg resident Ethel Thurman and historian Gary Brown, Anderson County paid for Negro high school students in Lawrenceburg to be bused to Lincoln Institute in Shelby County and to Simmons High School in Versailles, and there were a few students bused to the old Dunbar High School in Lexington. The Anderson County Schools began to integrate in 1963 when Negro high school students were given the option of attending the white high school in Lawrenceburg, or Lincoln Institute, or the high school in Versailles. According to historian Gary Brown, the following year, all other grades were integrated, and Robert Bird was the Superintendent of Schools. For this entry, assistance with geographic locations and names, the names of teachers, and school integration information were also provided by Jane Jones and Cathy L. Green.

  • Colored Schools (5)
  • Georgetown School
  • Lawrenceburg School (burnt in 1938)
  • Lawrenceburg School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Anderson County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Barren County, KY
Start Year : 1875
End Year : 1957
According to Richard Alsup Palmore's thesis, History of Education of Barren County, Kentucky, p. 109, "In the early history of Negro schools in Barren County it was difficult to maintain the schools. There were no school buildings and practically no funds with which to provide buildings. Salaries for teachers were extremely low and there were no qualified teachers." Palmore got his information from the 1875 Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, by R. H. Collins. The school teachers in 1880 were Vina Woods and Hardy O. Jones in Glasgow; and Samuel Nuckols in Roseville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In spite of the poor condition of the schools, there continued to be colored schools in Barren County; they are mentioned in the 1886 superintendent's report. The schools were still in poor condition in 1891; most of the schools were held in churches [source: A History of Blacks in Kentucky, vol. 2, by Lucas and Wright, p. 108]. From 1892-1918, there were more than 20 colored schools in Barren County, with a high of 27 schools from 1892-1894, and a low of 18 schools in 1918 [Palmore, pp. 110-111]. In 1911, there was also a Colored Moonlight School at Union Hill [see the NKAA entry for Moonlight Schools]. Glasgow Colored School was considered the best colored school in the county; there was a graded school and instruction in high school subjects along with instruction in home economics and manual training [Palmore, p. 116]. A male principal oversaw four female teachers. The Glasgow Colored School had the only high school for Negroes in Barren County. Another school mentioned in Palmore's thesis, on p. 117, is The Ratliff Industrial Institute, an independent secondary school that was supported and managed by the Colored people of Glasgow. The school was established in 1926 and closed around 1931. The Negro teachers in Barren County in 1940 were Clara Anderson, Margaret Anderson, Queva Barlow, Irene I. Brents, Artanzie Britt, Susie Lee Curry, Green V. Curry, Clara C. Farmer, George Mitchell, Mary Lucy Murrell, Richard Sewell, Willa Southers, Luska Twyman, and John Moss Wood [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, were the Caverna Independent Schools, 1957-58, listed on p.615. Below is a list of colored schools in Barren County that includes those schools listed by Sandi Gorin on the Kentucky African Americans Griots website and the schools listed on p. 212 of the Barren County Heritage: a pictorial history of Barren County, Kentucky, compiled by the South Central Kentucky Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. and edited by C. E. Goode and W. L. Gardner, Jr. For more information about the colored schools, students and teachers of Barren County, see Barren County African-American Schools by Sandi Gorin at the Kentucky African Americans Griots website; the Ralph Bunch Community Center Oral History Project (FA455) at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives: there are ten interviews with African Americans who attended the segregated Ralph Bunche School in Glasgow, Kentucky; and the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.211-215.

  • Moonlight School
  • Glasgow School
  • Ratliff Industrial Institute
  • Bakers School
  • Boyds Creek School
  • Georgetown School
  • Rocky Hill School
  • Hiseville District
  • Jacksonville District
  • Shady Glen District
  • Harlow's Chapel District
  • Walton Academy District
  • Pleasant Oak Ridge District
  • Horse Well (Little Kettle) District
  • Cave City District
  • Glasgow Junction District
  • Gum Springs (Slash) District
  • Buck Creek District
  • Lucas District
  • Statenfield (Buck) District
  • Chestnut Ridge District
  • Poplar Grove (Black Hill) District
  • Paynesville District
  • Pleasant Union District
  • Oak Grove District
  • Boyd's Creek District
  • Queen's Chapel (White's Chapel) District
  • Bristletown District
  • Duke District
  • Beckton District
  • Henrytown District
  • Temple Hill District
  • Baptist Normal School
  • Park City School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.840]
  • Ralph Bunch School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.840]
  • Horse Cave Elementary and High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.419]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Bath County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1963
In 1880, there were at least two colored schools in Bath County, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census, Elijah Grigsby was the teacher in Owingsville and Walace Smith was the teacher in Sharpsburg. By 1886, there were eight colored schools in Bath County, KY [source: NKAA entry for African American Schools, 1886], and in 1897, there were ten schools, according to the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky...July 1, 1895 and ending June 30, 1897, pp.216-219. All were rural elementary schools under the county school system. The schools were in session for nine months, and there were nine frame school houses and one made of logs. There were 11 school teachers, two of whom were female, and the Owingsville school teacher was M. C. Lasswell. In 1897, the average monthly salary for the female teachers was $32.91, and the wages of the male teachers was an average of $31.84 per month. The average attendance was 152 students in 1897, and four students graduated (from 8th grade). The number of colored schools had declined by 1925, there were six schools with seven teachers [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67], and the numbers had declined again by the 1936-37 school term when there were four teachers, and there were three teachers during the 1940-41 term. The names of teachers at the Owingsville School can be found in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal for the years 1925-1941. The Negro teachers in Bath County in 1940 were Carrie L. Clemons, Alice Dotson, Everrett Jones, and Anna M. Jones [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The following information comes from the Bath County News-Outlook newspaper. The newspaper copies and the research were provided by the Bath County Memorial Library in Owingsville, KY. -- In 1953, there were 32 students enrolled in the Owingsville Colored School, and 75 students at the Bethel and Sharpsburg colored schools [article: "1500 are enrolled in county schools," 09/10/1953, p.1]. Mrs. Nannie M. Powell was the teacher at the Owingsville Colored School as early as 1953, and Mrs. Carie Lee Clemmons and Mrs. Mary F. Williams were the teachers at Sharpsburg Colored School [article: "Owingsville School," 09/03/1953]. Beginning in 1958, Mrs. Clemmons and Frank C. LaPrelle were the teachers at the Sharpsburg Colored School [articles: "Teachers placed," 04/30/1958; "Bath County schools to open Monday, August 29," 08/25/1960; and "County schools start Sept. 7, teacher list is announced," 07/26/1962]. In 1954, it was recommended that contractual arrangements be made for Negro high school students to attend the Negro high schools in adjacent counties or Lincoln Institute in Shelby County [article: "Negro schools," 02/18/1954]. The Owingsville Colored School on Harrisburg Street was the last one-room school house in Bath County, the school had students in grades 1-8 [article: photo caption "One big family," 01/12/1961], the school building was sold to George Harris for $1,555 in 1963 [article: photo caption "'Little Red Schoolhouse' auctioned to high bidder," 10/24/1963]. The Sharpsburg Colored School property was on the south side of Montgomery Street in Sharpsburg, and was to be sold at public auction after the Owingsville Colored School was sold [article: "5 Surplus schools go under auction hammer," 10/10/1963]. -- There was never a high school for Negro students in Bath County. The schools in Bath County were integrated during the 1963-64 school term [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1963-64, p.94].

  • Colored Schools (10)
  • Owingsville School
  • Sharpsburg School
  • Bethel School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Bath County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Boone County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1956
There was at least one school in Boone County in 1880; Melisse Clore was the teacher in Florence, KY according to the U.S. Federal Census. In 1882, the Kentucky Legislature passed an act for the benefit of the colored schools in Petersburg, KY, granting that lots 172 and 173 be used for schools for the colored children. The lots had belonged to Samuel Yowell, who died without any heirs in 1872 and the property was taken over by the state. Petersburg is an unincorporated community in Boone County, KY. It is not known if a school house was ever built on the lots. In 1883, the African Americans in Florence, KY, had a picnic benefit for their school [source: Boone County Recorder, 05/30/1883]. In 1894, the Hopewell Baptist Church in Beaverlick was also used as a school [source: Mr. Robert Lett, "Hopewell Baptist Church," former website at the Boone County Public Library]. By 1886, there were 9 colored schools in Boone County with an average attendance of a little over 100 students taught by 8 teachers 1895-96, and 9 teachers 1896-97 [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886; and Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.222-226]. In 1891, the school superintendent had complained that the schools were poorly financed and there were no school buildings amongst the three districts and the school sessions were held in churches [source: A History of Blacks in Kentucky, v.2 by G. C. Wright, p.108]. In 1895, there were nine districts and the schools were still being held in church buildings. In 1911, the average salary for the teachers was $42.31 per month [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1911, p.48]. Blanche Robinson was a teacher in Boone County in 1935, and Wallace Strader was the principal of Boone County High School, located in Burlington, KY, in 1937 [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal - October-November, 1935, v.6, no.1, p.21 and January-February, 1937, pp.14 & 16]. In 1954, there were 11 students in the Burlington Colored School, and there were two students attending Lincoln Institute, their tuition was paid by the school board ["Walton-Verona parents vote integration now," Louisville Courier Journal 07/09/1954 - online at nkyviews.com]. There was also a colored school in Idlewild. Most of the schools in Boone County were listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.420.

  • Colored Schools (9)
  • Boone County High School
  • Burlington School
  • Idlewild School
  • Hopewell Baptist Church School
  • Florence School
  • Beaver Lick School [source: "Counties aided on extension of terms," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January 1932, v.2, no.2, p.24]
  • Walton School

See photo image of colored school near Idlewild at the Northern Kentucky Views website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Boone County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Campbell County, KY
Start Year : 1873
End Year : 1955
Within Mary Lee Caldwell's thesis, History of Education of Campbell County, KY, p.44, it was stated that all African Americans in Campbell County lived in Newport, which was not entirely true. African Americans also lived in Ft. Thomas, Alexandria, and Dayton. The African American children from these communities attended the colored school in Newport. The school was established around 1873 and Elizabeth Hudson was the teacher [source: History of the Public Schools of Newport, Kentucky by James L. Cobb]. The school was located in a cottage near Saratoga Street and Washington Avenue. In 1880, the colored teachers in Campbell County were Emma Dyonne in Highland; and Annie Henderson, Lulu Henderson, and Minnie Mosby in Newport [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Campell County was one of the few counties to not have any data for the colored schools in the commmon school report statistics within the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.272-275. There continued to be very little or no statistical data in each of the biennial reports for the colored schools into the early 1900s, though there was one or more colored schools in Campbell County, KY in the late 1800s and early 1900s. In 1916, the teachers were Emma J. Blanton, W. S. Blanton, A. J. Cox, and L. A. Ellis [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.25-27 & 39]. In 1936 the school was placed under the independent graded districts [source: Caldwell, p.45], by which time the school had been moved to Southgate Street, and the school was named Southgate Colored School. In 1941, there were 131 students taught by four teachers for grades 2-8, and first grade was taught at Corinthian Baptist Church in Newport. There was also a three-year high school from 1901- 1920, and it was taught by one teacher. After 1920, the Newport Board of Education provided the high school students with transportation and tuition to William Grant Colored High School in Covington, KY. The Southgate School was closed in 1955 when the Campbell County Schools began to integrate [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p.206.

  • Newport School
  • Highland School
  • Southgate School
  • Corinthian Baptist Church School
  • Southgate High School (1901-1920)

See photo image of the Southgate school [near bottom of page] at Nothern Kentucky Views website.

See photo image of students and additional information about Southgate School at rootsweb. 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Campbell County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Carroll County, KY
Start Year : 1879
End Year : 1961
When R. W. Bevarly was completing his master's thesis in 1936, articles about the colored schools of Carroll County in 1879 were located in the Carrollton Democrat newspaper; the colored school at Liberty Station was attended by children in the day and by adults at night; in Carrollton, Maggie Woods was the teacher [source: History of Education in Carroll County by R. W. Bevarly, p.66]. There were three schools in 1880, the teachers were Ady Pack in Ghent, and Maggie Woods in Carrollton and Prestonville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1881 there were 226 students in the four colored schools [source: Bevarly, p.50]. In 1882 there were 268 students in the schools located in Carrollton, Ghent, Above Ghent, and Liberty Station [source: Bevarly, p.51]. There were five colored school districts in 1885: No.1 Carrollton, No.2. Ghent, No.3 Lynan Craigs, No.4 Sanders, and No.5 Worthville [source: Bevarly, p.30]. All of the schools were under the county school board with the largest colored school in Carrollton and James K. Polk was the teacher. Polk was a graduate of Gaines High School in Cincinnati, OH [source: Bevarly, p.66]. He taught at the colored school for one year and was replaced by J. E. Jackson, and in 1889 Jackson was replaced by Fred W. Burch, also a graduate of Gaines High School. There continued to be five colored schools in Carroll County until 1900 when there was six, and by 1933, there were two [source: Bevarly, p.94]. Dunbar Colored School, in Carrollton, was a brick building and was under the city school board, Bessie Whitacker was the teacher and had a monthly salary of $69, while her husband Dudley Whitacker had a salary of $75 for teaching at the Ghent Colored School that was held in a rented building that was in poor condition [source: Bevarly, p.94]. After WWII, a new colored school building was constructed in Ghent and it served as the county school for all African American children. There was never a colored high school in Carroll County, and the city and the county provided transportation for high school students attending Lincoln Institute [source: A History of Carroll County, Kentucky: containing facts before and after 1754 by M. A. Gentry, p.53]. The school systems of Carroll County began to integrate in the 1960s, starting with the first grade students [source: "Schools due to integrate at Carrollton," Louisville Courier-Journal, 04/22/1961]. The schools listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1961-62, were the Carrollton Elementary and High School on p.846.

  • Carrollton School
  • Prestonville School
  • Dunbar School
  • Ghent School
  • Above Gent School
  • Lynan Craigs School
  • Sanders School
  • Worthville School
  • Liberty Station School

See photo image of Dunbar Colored School, Hawkins and Ninth Street, at the Carrollton Schools website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Carroll County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Carter County, KY
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1956
For many decades there was only one colored school in Carter County, KY, beginning as early as 1874 when the Grayson colored school was mentioned in volume 1 of History of Kentucky by L. Collins and R. Collins. In 1886, the colored school was included in the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, school year ending June 30, 1886 and June 30, 1887, p.166. There was not a school building; the school was held in a church and had an average attendance of 20 students. The school still existed in 1891 and was still held in a church, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, four scholastic years ended June 30, 1891, p.166 [online at Google Books]. In 1906, there were two colored schools, and by 1908, the two colored school districts (two schools) had been consolidated [source: History of Education in Carter County by D. W. Qualls pp.65 & 85]. Between 1890 and 1930, the student enrollment fluctuated from a high of 35 to a low of 16 [source: History of Education in Carter County, pp.94-95]. The school teacher did not have a college education, but was state certified for the years 1916-1919. The students were in grades 1-7; there was not a colored high school in Carter County. W. R. Calloway was the teacher at the Grayson Colored School until 1922 [source: "Grayson," The Bourbon News, 07/21/1922, p.7]. With the continued decrease in the number of colored school children, Qualls stated in his thesis that there would soon be no need for a colored school in Carter Count; however, there continued to be one colored school listed for Carter County in the Kentucky Public School Directory from 1925-1949. The first school to be listed as "integrated & white" was the Prichard School in Grayson [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.424]. The Gregoryville School is listed in the 1961-62 directory as a Negro school on Rt. 1 in Grahn.

  • Colored Schools (2)
  • Grayson School
  • Gregoryville School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.847]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Grayson, Carter County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Casey County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1958
In 1880 there were four colored school districts in Casey County, KY, with two schools and 190 students on the enrollment list [source: History of Education in Casey County, Kentucky, Lloyd Bryant Cox, p.111]. In 1885, there were five colored schools [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1896, pp.295-298]. The average attendance was 80 students 1895-96, and 113 students 1896-97. In 1890, there were still five colored schools, each with one teacher, and there were 94 students on the enrollment list. There were six schools during the 1901 and 1902 school terms [source: Cox, p.112]. By 1914, there were two schools, one in Liberty and one in Indian Creek, and by 1931, there was an average attendance of 23 students for both schools [source: Cox, p.113-114]. High school students from Casey County went to the colored high school in Stanford, KY. In 1936, there was one colored school in the county [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1936-37, p.41]. Beginning in 1957, there were no colored schools listed for Casey County in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1957-58, p.620.  The following year, the Liberty Independent Schools were first to be listed as integrated [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1958-59, p.996].

  • Colored Schools (5)
  • Liberty School
  • Indian Creek School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Casey County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Crittenden County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1956
In 1880, 20 year old Belle Clark, and James Johnson were school teachers in Marion, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1890, Lollie Bingham was the school teacher at the Marion Colored School. There were two school districts, and Simpson Colored School was led by Adella Pippin. In 1894, there were eight colored school districts in Crittenden County, Ky; there had been nine districts, but no.9 was merged into no.6. A new school district had been added in southwest Marion in 1894. The school house was to be built on the farm of A. H. Cardin; he had donated the land and was to pay half the cost of constructing a school building. The trustees were Sam Parmer, John Hatcher, and William Braddock. In 1895, the Marion Colored School had 166 students, 33 more than the previous year. By 1933, there were two colored schools in Crittenden County, according to John S. Brown in his thesis titled History of Education of Crittenden County, Kentucky, p.58. The school in Marion was under the city school system, and there was a school in the county. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Cirttenden County included Verna Cofield and Laura Mitchell [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The colored school in the county continued until the 1946-47 school term when there were only five students enrolled in the school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, p.634]. The schools in the city of Marion began to integrate during the 1956-57 school year [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.425]. For more see "The Marion Colored School...," Crittenden Press, 05/09/1895, p.3; "For the school year ending June 30, 1894," Crittenden Press, 03/01/1894, p.3; "The colored school opened Monday," Crittenden Press, 09/11/1890, p.1; "Marion had two colored school districts." Crittenden Press, 09/18/1890, p.1; and "A colored school district...," Crittenden Press, 01/11/1894, p.3.

  • Cardin School
  • Marion School
  • Colored Schools No.1-9
  • Simpson School
  • Rosenwald School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.850]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Fleming County, KY
Start Year : 1884
End Year : 1956
As early as 1884, there were colored schools in Fleming County, KY, when the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act to support the schools with fines and forfeitures from the courts [source: Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, v.1, Chapter 356, pp.652-653]. In 1886 there were six colored school districts in Fleming County, the schools were held in churches [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. During the 1909-10 school term, there were 241 students in the colored schools, grades 1-8 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Kentucky, 1909-1911, Part I, p.14]. The average monthly salaries for the Negro teachers during the 1911-12 school term was $67 for the male teachers, which was the highest salary in the county, and $39.91 for the female teachers, which was the lowest salary in the county [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1911-1913, p.47], and there were at least 6 colored schools [p.56], and the colored high school was located in Flemingsburg, it was rated as a 2nd class high school [p.330]. In 1923, the six Fleming County teachers listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, were Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Adams in Flemingsburg [p.49], Miss Bertha Brown in Flemingsburg [p.52], Mr. Abel N. Hewitt in Shurburne [p.62]; Mrs. Alma Iles in Flemingsburg [p.63]; and Mr. E. L. Moore in Flemingsburg [p.69]. In 1925, there were three colored elementary schools and one high school, with a total of seven teachers, two of whom taught in the high school, all in the rural area of Fleming County [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67]. Three of the teachers were listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 22-25, 1925: Mrs. Romania Flournoy in Nepton [p.58]; Mr. E. L. Moore in Flemingsburg [p.70]; and Miss Emma L. Walker in Flemingsburg [p.80]. In 1936, there were two colored elementary schools, one in Nepton and one in Flemingsburg, both listed on p.39 in A Study of School Attendance Areas in Fleming County, Kentucky by the Department of Education , Frankfort, KY, 11/01/1936 [within the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 15]. The Nepton School had one teacher and the Flemingsburg School had three teachers. The colored high school was closed by 1936 and the students attended the colored high school in Maysville, KY [A Study, pp.24-25]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Fleming County were Lucy Herrington, Blossom Lee Martin, and Wardell White [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1955, there were still two colored schools in Fleming County with 57 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p.210]. The Fleming County High School was integrated in 1956 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.427], and the city schools began to integrate in 1959 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1959-60, p.786]. After the schools integrated, there was a a court case that went before the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1964 to determine the rightful owners of the property where a colored school had been located, for more see "Fleming County Board of Education et. al., Appellants, v. Martha V. Anna Hall, Widow, et. al, Appellees."

  • Colored Schools (6)
  • Shurburne School
  • Nepton School
  • Flemingsburg School
  • Flemingsburg High School (closed in 1936)

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Grant County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1956
As early as 1880, there was a colored school in Grant County, KY; the teacher was Peter Farwell [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The date of the first Negro school report in Grant County is said to be 1881 according to Samuel Elmore King's 1934 thesis titled A History of Education in Grant County, Kentucky, p.61. There was one school and one school district located in Dry Ridge [source: King, p.65]. There was a school census of 100 Negro children. One of the colored schools was located in Williamstown in 1891, the teacher was Miss Grace Lewis [source: "The Williamstown Colored School," Williamstown Courier, 01/19/1891, last page]. By 1892, there were five colored schools and two were taught in school houses [source: King, p.62]. In 1895, there were four school districts [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky , pp.380-383]. All of the schools were held in frame buildings. There was an average attendance of 84 students 1895-96, and 74 students 1896-97. There was 1 teacher at each school. The number of school districts was reduced to three by 1905, and a County Institute for Colored Teachers was held in Grant County in 1907-1908 [source: King, p.64]. There would be only the one colored school in Dry Ridge by 1934, and Zadah Thompson was the teacher [source: King, p.89]. The Dry Ridge Consolidated Colored School was restored as a project of the Northern Kentucky African-American Task Force and the building opened in June of 2011 as the Grant County Black History Museum [source: N. Jameson, "White woman's passion leads to black history museum," Associated Baptist Press, 06/20/2011]. The museum was burned down by an unknown arsonist in October 2012 [source: "Arson destroys Black History Museum in Grant County," kypost.com, 10/15/2012]. The first school to be listed as integrated in Grant County schools was the Williamstown Independent School in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.428.

  • Colored Schools (5)
  • Dry Ridge School
  • Williamstown School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Grant County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Graves County, KY
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1956
Prior to the end of slavery, there were no colored schools in Graves County, KY, according to the thesis of Hubert H. Mills, The History of Education of Graves County, p.64, and there were very few slave owners who taught their slaves reading, writing, and arithmetic. An early school was attempted by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands between 1866 and 1870, the freedmen were beaten and whipped, and the teacher was run out of town [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools]. The first colored schools and capita for Negro students came in 1875, followed by the first school report in 1879 [source: Mills, p.65-66]. There were 12 county school districts with 11 schools that were in session for two months with an average of 276 students who attend the schools on a regular basis. There were 7 log school buildings, 3 frame, and 1 box, with 10 male teachers and 2 female teachers. The male teachers' salaries were $18.68 per month and the female teachers earned $15.67 per month. In 1880, the teachers were Mary Boone, Sandy H. Slayam, and Andrew Carman [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1922, both the male and female teachers were earning $81.90 per month, and in 1937, they were earning $85.51 per month [source: Mills, p.79]. The highest number of colored schools in Graves County was 20 in 1905; 18 frame buildings and two log buildings [source: Mills, p.67]. In the city of Mayfield, in 1908, two elementary schools were established for Negro children, one in east Mayfield and one in southwest Mayfield. In 1917, the two schools were merged and a high school was added [source: Mills, p.147]. A new school had been constructed in 1917, in preparation for the school merger; the building was a two-story brick structure with 12 rooms and located on eight acres of land in southeast Mayfield. The school was named Dunbar Colored School. The building cost $35,000 of which $1,600 was contributed by the Rosenwald Fund. In 1927, a gymnasium and auditorium were constructed in a separate building and was financed by a $40,000 bond issue voted on by the people of Mayfield. In 1928, Dunbar Colored School had an enrollment of 89% of the elementary school-age, Negro, children in the city of Mayfield.  This was one of the highest enrollment percentages of African American elementary students in the state of Kentucky. The students were taught by five teachers, all of whom met the requirement of two years of normal school training and two years of teaching experience. There were 86 students in the high school in 1928, and four graduated. From 1917-1928, there were 31 total graduates from Dunbar Colored High School, and half of the graduates had gone on to college [source: Mills, p.146]. The high school students were taught by four teachers, one of whom was the principal, and all met the requirement of a college degree and two years of teaching experience. The grade school teachers earned an average salary of $70 per month; high school teachers earned $85 per month; and the principal earned $125 per month [source: Mills, pp.145-146]. There were 12 colored schools in the county in 1928, and nine of the schools had male teachers and three with female teachers. The school term was seven months. The newest county school building had been constructed 1926 in Water Valley and the Rosenwald Fund contributed $400 toward the cost of construction. Hickory Colored School was built in 1925. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Graves County were Christine Crawford, Asbury Dawson, Artice England, Henry T. Frazell, Mary Anna Frizzell, George Hale, Jesse K. Killebrew, Salene Murphy, Ruby Sapp, Henry H. Schofield, Brady M. Schofield, Fredrick E. Stiger, Ocala Taylor, Bonnie Taylor, Inez C. Utterback, Myra Williams, and Verna Word [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Mayfield High School for whites was the first school to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.429]. 

  • Colored Schools (20)
  • Dunbar School
  • Hickory School
  • Mayfield Schools (2)
  • Water Valley School
  • Pleasant Hill School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.856]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Graves County

African American Schools in Grayson County, KY
Start Year : 1877
End Year : 1956
In 1940, the available records indicated that the first colored school in Grayson County, KY, was located in Leitchfield, according to the thesis of E. E. McMullin, History of Education in Grayson County, p.79. There is mention of the school on p.293 in Collin's Historical Sketches of Kentucky. History of Kentucky, published in 1877. There were never more than three colored schools in Grayson County. There was never a colored high school in Grayson County. In 1901, there were two colored schools [source: McMullin, p.54]. During the 1895-97 school terms, there were four schools, each with one teacher, and three of the schools were taught for five months: the average attendance was 102 students the first year, and 86 students the second year [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.390-393]. In 1908, there were three colored schools, one each in Leitchfield, Grayson Springs, and Caneyville [source: McMullin, p.126]. By 1940, there was only the one colored school in Leitchfield which had been under the county until 1934 [source: McMullin, p.79]. There were 18 students and the teacher was Miss Annie Clements [source: McMullin, p.79] and, in 1945 she was Mrs. Annie C. Johnson and still the Leitchfield Colored School teacher [source: KNEA Journal, v.16, April-May 1945, no.2-3, p.29]. The first schools to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.429, were the Leitchfield Independent Grade and High Schools.

  • Colored Schools (4)
  • Leitchfield School
  • Grayson Springs School
  • Caneyville School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Grayson County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Henry County, KY
Start Year : 1871
End Year : 1956
From 1871-1875, Elijah P. Marrs taught at a colored school in New Castle, KY, the school was in session from January-June of each year [source: Life and History of the Reverend Elijah P. Marrs, pp.88-108]. Other Negro teachers at the colored schools were Ben Booker at Jericho, George Ecton at New Castle, John Styles at Eminence, and Ada Straws at Pleasureville [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1886, the New Castle School was opened by the Church of Christ; the property where the school stood was purchased in 1884 and the church constructed the school two years later [source: Churches of Christ by J. T. Brown, pp.173-174]. Dr. J. M. Mainwaring was the teacher for one year. T. August Reid was the school president the following year and continued up to 1892 when the school closed. From 1895-1897, Henry County had 10 colored school districts with one school in each district [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, pp.434-438]. The schools had an average attendance of 342 students with 12 teachers, 1895-96, and an average of 371 students with 13 teachers, 1896-97. A few years later, during the 1910-11 school term, there were 410 students [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent, p.111]. Mrs. Essie Gaskins was the teacher at the Campbellsburg School in 1916 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.28 (NOT Campbellsville)]; along with Elizabeth Jenkins [p.30] and A. L. McKane [p.31] at New Castle; Olivia A. Long [p.32] and R. D. Roman [p.35] at Eminence; and Lula M. Willis [p.38] at Pleasureville. By 1925, there were 6 colored elementary schools with 8 teachers and 326 students enrolled in the rural schools [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67]. Five years later, the colored school in Eminence had an average attendance of 76 students in the elementary grades, taught by 2 women teachers who earned total salaries of $978, and there was a Class III high school with three students taught by one male teacher who earned a total salary of $704 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1930-1931, p.67]. The Negro teachers in Henry county in 1940 were Nannie M. Armstrong, Hattie Clackson, and Louis Spradling [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Both the county and city schools in Henry County remained segregated until integration began at the Eminence High School for whites during the 1956-57 school term, according to the Kentucky Public School Directory, p.432.

  • New Castle Colored School [taught by Elijah P. Marrs, 1875]
  • New Castle School [Church of Christ, 1886-1892]
  • Colored Schools (10)
  • Jericho School
  • Campbellsburg School
  • New Castle School
  • Eminence School
  • Pleasureville School
  • King Street School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1957-58, p.628]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Jackson County, KY
Start Year : 1882
The Pine Grove College in Jackson County, KY, was founded by Berea College in 1882. It was an integrated school. Colored and white children had been attending the same school even before Pine Grove College was established. There is not a record of a colored public school in Jackson County, KY [sources: Kentucky Public School Directory; Kentucky School Directory; Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky; and Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky]. Jackson County was established in 1860, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1870 there were six African American children between the ages of 5 and 10, they lived in Horse Lick and Coyle. In 1900, there were nine African American children between the ages of 10 and 18, they lived in Horse Lick and Pond Creek. It is not known when Pine Grove College closed. In the 1940 U.S. Census, there are no African American children of school age.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Jackson County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Larue County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1956
In 1880, Molly Clagett was a teacher in the colored school in Hodgenville, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census]. There is a paragraph written about the colored schools in Larue County, KY, on page 72 in the 1885-1887 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky. By 1895, there were 4 colored schools, and the following year, there were 5 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1895-1897, pp.484-487]. Each of the schools had one teacher. The school term was five months and all the buildings were frame structures. The average student attendance was 106 in 1895-96, and 113 in 1896-97. In 1919, there was a Colored Moonlight School held in the school house in Buffalo, KY, the teacher was Bessie Ford, and there were 12 students [see NKAA entry African American Moonlight Schools]. Some of the teachers at the colored schools are listed in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal: B. H. Larke in Hodgenville (1916, p.31); Miss Lucile Curle in Upton (1928, p.37); Rev. Claud and Mrs. Cecilia Taylor in Hodgensville (1929, p.55); and Mr. Amos Lasley in Hodgensville (1935, p.58). There was not a high school for Negro students, the students attended Bond-Washington High School in Hardin County. Below are the names of the colored schools that were in Larue County, KY, [sources: Old Schools in LaRue County by Edward Benningfield, and the 1914-1915 Census of LaRue County Schools (Colored Schools) by L. L. Salsman and C. L. Owens]. The Negro teachers in Larue County in 1940 were Lucy Curle, Meaner Hughes, Amos Lasley, Cecil Lasley, Omer Lasley, Mabel Lasley, and Ollie Lasley [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The schools in Buffalo, Hodgenville, and Magnolia, were listed as white and integrate in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.436. It would take several years of effort for all of the schools in Larue County to be desegregated in 1967.

  • Buffalo School
  • Hodgenville School
  • Knob School
  • Lincoln Springs School
  • Lyons Station School
  • Moonlight School in Buffalo
  • Orrender School
  • Upton School
  • Siberia School
  • Georgetown School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-61, p.870]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Larue County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Lee County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1961
In 1880, Carter Lightfoot was a teacher at the colored school in Lee County, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Five years later, during the 1885-86 school term, there were two colored schools, one was held in a church and the other in a log building [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. There is a paragraph written about the schools on p. 72 of the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, school-year ending June 30, 1886 and June 30, 1887, pp.499-502]. The average attendance at the colored schools was 45 students for 1885-86, and 37 for 1886-87. In 1903, the Beattyville Industrial Institute opened; the school had previously been located in Keene, KY, and was named Keene Industrial Institute. By 1915, there was one colored school in Lee County [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1913-1915, p.38]. Mr. G. A. Chandler was the school teacher in 1923 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, p.54]. During the 1927-1928 school term, there was again 2 colored elementary schools in Lee County [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, p.63]. The schools had one male teacher and one female teacher, and the teachers earned a total salary of $608, and the average attendance for both schools was 30 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory,1930-1931, p.74]. There would again be only one colored school in Lee County in 1939 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1939-40, p.508]. In 1940, Lena Lightfoot was the only Negro teacher in Lee County who was listed in the U.S. Federal Census. In 1948, the Green Hill School and the teacher, Mrs. L. E. Embry, held membership in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, v.17, no.2, pp.26 & 27]. The first school to be listed as integrated was Lee County High School on p.872 in the Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Lee County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Leslie County, KY
Start Year : 1883
End Year : 1943
There was only one colored school in Leslie County, KY, and it existed as early as 1883, when H. C. Napier, the school commissioner, failed to report that there were 11 colored children attending school in the county [source: Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, 1883, chapter 405, p.731]. As a result of the oversight, the Superintendent of Public Instruction authorized that $15.40 be withdrawn from the common school fund and be paid to the teacher of the Leslie County colored school, approved March 17, 1884. Eleven years later, there was still one colored school in Leslie County, according to the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1895-1897, pp.504-507. There was one teacher for an average of 31 students 1895-96, and for 33 students 1896-97. In 1925, there were 12 students in the school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67]. The listing for a colored school in Leslie County came and went in the 1930s; on p.51 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1935-36 there is a listing of one school, but there was not listing for 1936-37, though the one school was listed again starting on p.51 in the 1937-38 directory and continuing until the 1942-43 directory. The school was not listed in the 1943-44 directory. During the year 1943, the Asher v Huffman case went before the Kentucky Court of Appeals in an attempt to allow Bruce Asher to attend the Leslie County School for white children, rather than forcing him to attend a colored school. There were 2 Negro students counted in Leslie County as late as 1958, according to the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1958-59, p.1011, and there were no schools in the county listed as integrated prior to 1965 according to the 1964-65 directory.

  • Colored School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Leslie County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Lewis County, KY
Start Year : 1885
End Year : 1959
In 1885, there was one colored school in Vanceburg, KY, the school was held in a church [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. At times, there were two colored schools, one in each of the colored districts, though the County Superintendent was not always able to verify that the schools were in session, and he wrote that the majority of the colored students did not go to school on a regular basis [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1885-1887, p.128 and pp.193-194]. By 1895, there were two schools with an average attendance of 19 students 1895-96, and an average of 11 students 1896-97 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.513-516]. There was one teacher at each school. The average attendance was about the same for the next several years. The average salaries for the teachers were $33.66 from 1909-10, and $33.08 from 1910-1911 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1909-11, p.49 and p.151]. By 1925, there was one colored school in Lewis County [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67]. The Lewis County Schools started to integrate during the 1959-60 school term, according to the Kentucky Public School Directory, p.799, and Indian School was the first to be named as integrated in the 1961-62 directory, p.874.

  • Colored Schools (2)

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Lewis County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Livingston County, KY
Start Year : 1879
End Year : 1961
There were colored schools in Livingston County as early as 1879 when the county clerk collected 95 cents and the sheriff's office collect $135.95, both for the Colored School Fund, and funds were withdrawn for the Negro teachers total pay of $108.96 [source: Auditor's Report, School Fund - Colored, p.135, p.138, and p.149 in the 1879/1881 Biennial Report of the Auditor of Public Accounts of Kentucky - online at Google Books]. In 1895, there were 6 colored schools in Livingston County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.523-527]. The average attendance was 125 students 1895-96 and taught by 7 teachers, and 138 students 1896-97 taught by 6 teachers. Male teachers' average monthly pay was $42.00 during 1895-96, and $26.78 during 1896-97.  Female teachers' average monthly pay was $25.50 during 1895-96, and $20.34 during 1896-97.  By 1905, there were still six colored schools, one in each district [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1905-1907, p.343]. In 1910, the trustees of the Grand Rivers Colored Common School District C, took its case against school superintendent Charles Ferguson to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The trustees, who won the appeal, were fighting to share in the 1909 school tax Livingston County received from the Illinois Central Railroad Company [source: "Commonwealth, for use of Trustees of Grand Rivers Colored Common School District C, v. Ferguson et. al." in The Southwestern Reporter, v.128, June 8-July 6, 1910, pp.95-96 - online at Google Books]. At one point in time, there were as many as seven colored school districts according to the title Livingston County, Kentucky, p.114. The colored schools were listed as sub-district schools, A, B, C, D, E, F, and Beach Hill. In 1925, there were five colored schools in Livingston County with a total of 116 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.67], and two years later, there were four colored schools [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1927-1928, p.81]. The Negro teacher in Livingston County in 1940 was Clara N. Moore [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The Livingston County schools started to integrate in 1961 with Livingston Center High School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.875].


See photo image of colored school in Smithland, KY, at Explore UK.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Livingston County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Lyon County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1962
In 1880, there were at least two colored schools in Lyon County, KY. William M. Smith was the teacher in Eddyville, and William Silvie was the teacher in Parkersville, both according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1886, the county had 11 colored school districts, with most of the school sessions held in churches [see the NKAA entry African American Schools 1886]. In 1895 another colored school district was added, bringing the total to 12 colored schools with seven log buildings and three frame buildings; nothing was mentioned about the other two school buildings in the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1895-1897, pp. 532-535. There was one teacher at each school with the average attendance of more than 250 students for all 12 schools each school term. From 1899-1903, there was one student from Lyon County, KY, studying at the Normal School for Colored Persons in Frankfort, KY [source: Biennial Report, 1899-1901, p. 144, and 1901-1903, p. 81]. The average attendance at the Lyon County colored schools fluctuated from year to year; during the 1906-1907 school term, the average attendance was 200 students [source: Biennial Report, 1905-1907, p. 407]. The teachers' average monthly salary was $27.00 in 1906 [source: Biennial Report, 1905-1907, p. 431], and in 1910, $45.55 for male teachers and $34.58 for female teachers [source: Biennial Report, 1909-1911, p. 151]. There was a school in the African American community of Kansas in Lyon County, and pictures of the school children and what is thought to be the remains of the school house can be viewed at a Flickr site by The Nite Tripper. In 1916, Lucy Bond and R. H. Bond were the school teachers at the Eddyville colored school [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p. 25]. In 1925, there were seven colored schools in Lyon County [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 68]. In 1940, there were at least three Negro teachers in Lyon County: William Henderson in Eddyville; Christine Holland in Eddyville; and James Mathew in Kuttawa [source: U.S. Federal Census]. During the 1962-63 school term, the Lyon County Elementary School in Eddyville became the first integrated school in Lyon County [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63, p. 140].

  • Parkersville School
  • Eddyville School
  • Colored Schools (12)
  • Kuttawa School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 876]
  • Oakland School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 876]
  • Kansas School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Lyon County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Magoffin County, KY
Start Year : 1881
End Year : 1941
There was never more than one colored school in Magoffin County, KY, according to author Edgar W. Bailey in his thesis, History of Education in Magoffin County, pp. 34-35, 64-66. In 1881, there were 25 colored students in the school, and $14.50 was appropriated to the school by the state. The school was mentioned in the 1886 Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. For some years the school was taught in one section of Magoffin County for half a school term, and then taught in another section of the county for the latter half of the school term. The school had elementary grades only and was supported by the state for the most part, with very little local support. There was never a colored high school in Magoffin County. Author Bailey explains that, "Negro population is very sparse in the county. The colored census is gradually decreasing." --p.67. Between 1884 and 1931, the highest number of colored students who attended school was in 1902 with 17 students. The lowest number was 3, for the years 1914-16 and 1917-18. The teachers' average salary ranged from to a low of $19.77 during the 1896-97 term, to a high of $36.75 during the 1911-12 school term. In 1925, there were no data for the colored school in Magoffin County in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926. By 1930, there was again one school listed with an average attendance of 9 students taught by one teacher who earned $518 for the school year [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1930-1931, p.78]. In 1935, Mr. Erin Patrick, in Gullett, was one the three teachers in Magoffin County, according to the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1935, v.6, no.1, p.45 & p.61. In 1938, there were still three Negro teachers in Magoffin County, according to the "1938 K.N.E.A. Membership by counties" in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1938, v.9, no.1-2, p.54]. The three teachers continued to be noted in the Kentucky Public School Directory until the 1941-42 directory. The first school in Magoffin County to be listed as integrated was the Kentucky Mountain Gospel Crusade School, on p.120 in the Kentucky School Directory, 1964-65.

  • Colored School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Magoffin County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Marshall County, KY
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1928
The colored school districts in Marshall County, KY, were established in 1866, but with no schools until 1874, which was the only year that the two schools were open according to the thesis of Tullus Chambers, History of Education in Marshall County, p.39. The reason given for the closing of the schools was that there were too few students. Though attendance may have been low, there were more than a few Negro children in the county; according to the U.S. Federal Census, there were more than 100 Negro children in Marshall County between 5 and 18 years old in 1870 and in 1880. In 1886, there were still 3 colored school districts [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. There is a photo image online of the Walnut Grove, No.2 Colored School, the picture was taken between the 1880s and 1890s [source: Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Electronic Records Archives]. There were still more than 100 Negro children of school age in Marshall County in 1900, according to the census records, but the numbers would be greatly reduced as Negroes left Marshall County for other locations. The last colored school is listed in the Kentucky Public School Directory for 1927-1928, p.64; it was a county school with eight students and one teacher. In 1935, Tullus Chambers noted that there were only 5 Negro children in Marshall County, and the prior year, one of the children had attended the colored school in McCracken County because there was no longer a colored school in Marshall County [p.57]. The child's tuition had been paid by the Marshall County Board of Education. There was only one child of school age listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census and none in the 1940 Census. In 1938, there was a colored school at the Negro Village Site in Gilbertsville, KY; the school was part of he African American community that had been established by the Tennessee Valley Authority for work on the Kentucky Dam Project [see NKAA entry Negro Village Site]. The school was not included in the public school directory. The first school to be listed as integrated in Marshall County was St. Paul X, on p.141 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1962-63.

  • Colored Schools (2)
  • Negro Village School
  • Walnut Grove School [photo image at KDLA Electronic Records Archives

 

There are African American children on the far right of the picture of school children in Marshall County, KY. The photo image is in the Cora Wilson Stewart Photographic Collection, ca. 1900-1940, within the Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Marshall County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Metcalfe County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1963
In 1880, a colored school in Edmonton, KY, employed a 30 year old teacher named Ellen J. Butler, a widow who was a boarder with the John Jones family [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1886, there were seven colored school districts in Metcalfe County, KY [see the NKAA entry for African American Schools 1886]. Thomas J. Ray was a teacher in Edmonton as early as 1916 and at least as late as 1923 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p. 34; and April 18-21, 1923, p. 72]. There were still seven colored schools in 1925, all elementary schools, with one teacher each [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 68]. The following year, another colored school was opened, and there were nine teachers at the eight schools [source: Kenucky Public School Directory, 1926-1927, p. 82]. In 1931, there were 10 Negro teachers in the Metcalfe County schools [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November, 1931, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 19]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Metcalfe County included Zenobia Brewes and Lola A. Mitchell [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Another teacher was Robert Lee Smith, who retired in 1942 [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, November-December, 1942, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 7]. During the 1942-43 school term, the number of colored schools had fallen to six [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1942-1943, p. 1116]. The Metcalfe County High School was listed as the first integrated school in Metcalfe County in the Kentucky School Directory, 1963-64, p. 134].

  • Colored Schools (8)
  • Edmonton School
  • Blue Springs School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 880]
  • Cedar Top School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 880]
  • Summer Shade School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p. 880]

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Metcalfe County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Ohio County, KY
Start Year : 1878
End Year : 1962
In 1878, there was a bill in the Kentucky Senate to authorize the building of a colored school in District 1 of Ohio County [source: Journal of the Regular Session of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, December 1877, p.764]. The bill was said to have passed due to the Democrat vote, according to the article "Colored voters remember..." in the Hartford Herald, 08/01/1877, p.2. The school teacher at the Hartford Colored School in 1880 was Joe C. H. Taylor and the school year began in September [source: Hartford Herald, "The colored school...," 09/01/1880, p.3]. Prof. McDowell from Bowling Green, KY was the teacher at the Hayti Colored School [source: "Prof. McDowell...," Hartford Herald, 09/10/1884, p.3]. In 1886 there were 11 colored schools in Ohio County, according to the Kentucky Superintendent Report, and by 1899 there 8 school districts reported in the article "Statistics" in the Hartford Republican, 06/02/1899, p.3. In 1892, there was an investigation by the Hartford Herald on behalf of the colored schools and the colored teachers who had not received their pay. The newspaper reviewed the bookkeeping of the Ohio County school superintendent and determined the colored teachers were owed their pay [source: "In case a suit is brought..." and "Cowering beneath the Herald's revelations" both in the Hartford Herald, 10/26/1892, p.2] The debate about the disposition of the colored school fund became a political disagreement between the Democrats and Republicans as to which had done more for the Negro. Other schools in Ohio County included Rockport Colored School in District 9 with P. A. Gary as the teacher [source: "Report," Hartford Republican, 11/17/1893, p.4]. The Sulphur Springs Colored School teacher was Samantha Bracken during the 1893-94 school year [source: "Program," Hartford Republican, 01/19/1894, p.2]. There was a colored school in McHenry as early as 1894 when Miss Charlotte Eidson was the teacher [source: "McHenry Colored School," Hartford Republican, 01/19/1894, p.1]. L. W. Smith was the McHenry school teacher in 1904 [source: "The Guess candle," Hartford Herald, 01/20/1904, p.3]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Ohio County were Delois Eidson, Kenneth Eidson, William C. Jackson, Mittie K. Render, and Ethel Tichenor [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as integrated were  Beaver Dam Elementary and High School; Hartford Elementary and High School; and Wayland Alexander School, all on p.147 of the Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63

  • Bruce School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.883]
  • Hayti School
  • Hartford School
  • McHenry School
  • Rockport School
  • Sulphur Springs School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Ohio County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Owen County, KY
Start Year : 1877
End Year : 1958
During the 1877-78 school term, there was a total of three colored schools in Owen County, KY, according to the thesis of Capitola Simpson, History of Education in Owen County, p.111-119. One school was located in Owenton and two in New Liberty, and the following school year, two more schools were established, one in Harrisburg (Long Ridge) and one in Dallasburg. In 1880, two of the teachers were Joseph Johnston and Robert Langford, both in New Liberty [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Gratz Colored School was added during the 1881-1882 year and over the next few years there were also schools in New Columbus, Sparta, Monterey, Maple Grove, and Buck Run. The earlier schools were taught in churches, and later in log cabins, frame buildings, and a box building. The teachers were brought in from other states because it was felt that there were no qualified Negro teachers in the county. The schools were in session two or three months in the 1880s; five months starting with the 1893-94 school terms; and six months starting with the 1907-08 school term when there was an average school attendance of 145 students. The teachers' average monthly salary during the 1893-94 term was $33.00 for Negro male teachers and $25.00 for Negro female teachers. The salaries would fluctuate over the years, and during the 1908-09 school term, the average monthly salary for Negro males was $32.00 and Negro females earned $30.00. By 1912, the number of colored schools decreased to seven; there were five schools in 1913; and four in 1915 [source: Simpson, p.222-228]. The average daily attendance for the term 1915-1916 was 100, and by 1929-1930, the average attendance was 86, with 15 students in high school. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Owen County were Daisy Fitzgerald, Priscilla Henry, and Ethel Ware [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The schools in Owen County began to integrate in 1958 with Owen County High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1958-59, p.1017]. 

  • Owenton School
  • New Liberty School
  • Harrisburg School
  • Dallasburg School
  • Gratz School
  • New Columbus School
  • Sparta School
  • Monterey School
  • Maple Grove School
  • Buck Run School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Owen County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Pike County, KY
Start Year : 1875
End Year : 1956
The colored school in Pike County, KY, was established prior to 1875, according to Herbert Woodson Crick in his thesis, History of Education in Pike County, Kentucky, p. 47. The school was located in Pikeville. In the 1890s, Effie Waller Smith was a teacher at the Pikeville Colored School. There were 63 Negro children and one Negro teacher in Pike County in 1890; 83 students in 1910; 87 students in 1920; and 83 students in 1930 [source: Crick, p. 106]. The Pikeville Colored School offered two years of high school. There were four teachers in the county colored schools. William R. Cummings was principal of the Perry A. Cline School in 1938 when he wrote "History of the Perry A. Cline High School," which appeared on p. 49 of the KNEA Journal, vol. 9,no. 1-2. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Pike County were Edwin Pearson who was a grade school teacher in Millard; Albert J. Cummings; Jesse Wyler; and Mary L. Whitefield [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The Perry A. Cline School would become a four year high school and then close in 1966 when the Pike County schools were fully integrated. Prior to that, the Pikeville College Trg. School was listed as having "white & colored" students in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p.227. The following year Belfry School was listed as having "white & integrated" students, and there were three schools listed as integrated: Majestic, Mullins, and Pikeville High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.445]. 

  • Perry Cline School
  • Pikeville School
  • Pike County Schools (4)
  • McAndrews School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.886]
  • Northside High School on Hellier Street, 1929-1932 [source: M. F. Sohn, "The Black Struggle for Education and Learning," Appalachian Heritage, v.16, Fall 1987, pp.35-42]

   See photo image of 1938 Pikeville Negro School in Kentucky Digital Library-Images.



   See photo image and bio of W. R. Cummings on p. 16 in KNEA Journal, January/February 1942, vol. 12, no. 2.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Robertson County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1946
As early as 1880, there was a colored school in Mt. Olivet, KY; William Crosby was the school teacher and he was also a farm worker according to the U.S. Federal Census. William Crosby was a Kentucky native, he was a husband, and father of three. In 1886, there were two colored schools in Robertson County, KY, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction [see NKAA entry African American Schools, 1886]. During the two year period 1895-97, there were still two colored schools in the county [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97,  pp.657-660]. There was one teacher at each school and the school terms lasted five months. Both the male and the female teacher earned $24.39 the first school year, and during the second year, they each earned $19.17. At one school, classes were held in a log building, and the other school was held in a frame building. There were 34 students enrolled for the school term 1895-96, and 39 enrolled for the 1896-97 term; less than half the students attended school on a regular basis. By 1907, there was only one colored school in Robertson County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1905-1907, pp.166-167].  Mr. R. L. Diggs was the school teacher at the Mt. Olivet Colored School in 1923 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, p.56]. Beginning in 1947, the colored school in Mt. Olivet was no longer listed in the Kentucky Public School Directory [source: 1947-48 volume, p.488]. Integration of the student population began in 1956, according to the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.446; the Deming School is listed as integrated with 5 Negro children in the school census.

  • Colored Schools (2)
  • Mt. Olivert School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Robertson County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Taylor County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1956
As early as 1880, there was a colored school in Taylor County, KY; the teacher was Robert Hubbard at the Campbellsville school [source: U.S. Federal Census]. There were still schools during the 1886-87 school term [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1888, p.130]. In 1895, there were 10 colored schools in Taylor County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.689-692]. The average attendance was 281 students during the 1895-96 school term, and 252 students during the 1896-97 school term. There were 11 teachers. In 1916, the following school teachers were listed in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916: Fannie B. Gaddie and J. H. Gaddie, Saloma (p.28); Norian E. Harris, Campbellsville (p.29); Ethel Von Lewis, Campbellsville (p.31); C. B. Nuckolls [or Nuchols], Campbellsville (p.33); and Maxwell Philpott, Campbellsville (p.34). Mrs. G. E. Philpott taught the Colored Moonlight School in Campbellsville, beginning in 1915, with students between the ages of 18 and 55 [source: "Mrs. G. E. Philpott...," Freeman, 02/13/1915, p.3]. Robert L. Dowery conducted night school for colored soldiers at Camp Zachary Taylor during WWI. In 1937, there were seven, one room, colored elementary schools in Taylor County, KY, according to the thesis of John Albert Jones, History of Education in Taylor County, p.77. One of the schools was in Campbellsville and in 1939 that school was replaced by the newly constructed Durham School, grades 1-12; the school received funding from the Rosenwald Fund and it housed the second high school for African Americans in Taylor County [source: Images of America: Campbellsville by DeSpain, Burch, and Hooper, p.92-93]. The earlier high school, Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes, existed in 1922 when teacher C. B. Nuchols [or Nuckolls] left the school for a teaching job with Booker T. Washington School in Ashland, KY [see NKAA entry African American Schools in Boyd County, KY]. The Taylor County Industrial High School, located in Campbellsville, was established between 1911 and 1919, and was funded by the John F. Slater Fund [source: A History of Education in Kentucky by W. E. Ellis, p.179]. Margaret Ray was the teacher at the Taylor County Industrial School in 1925, the term of service was 9 months and the school received $450 from the Jeanes Fund [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.66]. Also in 1925, C. V. Haynes was the principal of the Taylor County Training School in Campbellsville  [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.41 & 65]. The training school was a Class 3, two year high school with 1-3 teachers and 6 students. The high school was in session for 9 months and the teachers' average salary was $630. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Taylor County were Flora Bell, Ethel Lewis, Rodney K. Ivery, Ortie L. Miller, Helen Miller, Margaret Ryan, and Melvin Strong [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1955, the school named Our Lady of Perpetual Help was the first to be listed as having "white & colored" students, on p.229 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56. The Negro student at the school was Wallace Williams, who would become an Olympic marathon runner. The following year, Our Lady of Perpetual Help would become the first school in Taylor County to be listed as integrated [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.447]. In 1961, basketball player Clem Haksins transferred from Durham High School to Taylor County High School, which was the year Taylor High School was listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.890. See also the unpublished manuscript [1939-1940] titled "Public Education in Taylor County (con.)" by Nelle B. Crawley, 507 Central Avenue, Campbellsville, KY., p.4, section Colored:, in the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 25, 0000UA129, File: Taylor County Education, at the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

  • Colored Schools (10)
  • Taylor County Industrial High School for Negroes
  • Durham School
  • Campbellsville Colored Moonlight School
  • Camp Zachary Taylor Colored Night School
  • Taylor County Training School
  • Shady Grove School
  • Burdick School
  • Smith Ridge School
  • Saloma School
  • Sweenyville School
  • Old Pitman School
  • Pleasant Union School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Trigg County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1962
In 1880, D. M. Brown was a school teacher at the colored school in Cadiz (Trigg County), KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Brown was from Tennessee; he was married, and had three children. By 1886, there were 3 colored school districts in Trigg County [source: see NKAA entry for African American Schools, 1886]. In 1887, Rev. Wendell H. McRidley founded and was the first president of the Cadiz Normal and Theological College. The number of colored schools continued to grow, and in 1895, there were 19 colored schools in Trigg County, with two of the schools were in session for more than 5 months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.698-702]. Nine of the schools were held in log buildings and 10 were held in frame structures. The average attendance was 1,218 students, who were taught by 21 teachers, 1895-96, and 1,054 students taught by 22 teachers, 1896-97. The teachers' average monthly wages were $67.18 for males and $43.00 for females, 1895-96; and $46.70 for males and $31.40 for females, 1896-97. In 1900, the teacher at the Montgomery colored school was George Danden from Tennessee [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The class 2 high school for Negro students was located in Cadiz, the principal was J. E. Bush in 1925 [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p. 39]. The high school had 2 teachers and 23 students. There were 14 teachers at the 13 elementary schools [p.68]. Mrs. Thelma Brooks was the school teacher at the Cerulean Colored School in 1935 [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, (1935), v.6, no.1, p.50]. Fourteen year old, Lillie H. Bingham was a student at the Cerulean School in 1935 when she won the 1st prize of $10.00 in the student spelling bee held during the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Conference in Louisville, KY [source: "Elementary School Department," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, v.6, no.1, p.21]. In 1940, there were seven Negro teachers in Trigg County, according to the U.S. Federal Census: Martha Caudle, Susa A. Cunningham, Susa Mae Cunningham, Lillie V. Curlin, Plumb Maston, Cora P. Reed, and Reuben Tinsley. The Trigg County High School is the first school to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1962-63, p.155.

 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Trigg County, Kentaucky

African American Schools in Union County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1957
As early as 1880, there were colored schools in Union County, KY; the teachers were Mollie Kirk, and Pamelia H. Wynn in Caseyville [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1886, there were 9 colored school districts and 6 of them had schools; three of the school districts were too poor to afford schools [see NKAA entry for African American Schools, 1886]. By 1895, there were 11 school districts, nine of the districts had a school, and 2 of the schools were in session for more than 5 months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.707-710]. Two of the schools were held in log buildings and 7 were held in frame buildings. There were 13 teachers in the 9 schools. The schools had an average attendance of 368 students 1895-96, and 389 students 1896-97. During the two year term of 1899-1901, the teachers' average monthly wages were $45.11 the first year, and $35.50 the following school term [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1899-1901, p.15]. In 1931, there was a colored high school in Sturgis, KY, with an average daily attendance of 10 students taught by one teacher [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1931-1932, p.74]. There was also a colored elementary school at Sturgis with an average daily attendance of 91 students taught by 2 women teachers.  Dunbar School was located in Morganfield, and was named for poet Paul L. Dunbar. There had been a colored high school in Morganfield since 1932 when there were 14 students taught by 1 teacher [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1932-1933, p.58]. There were three teachers in the Dunbar High School in 1941 and two grade school teachers; the high school students from around the county were transported by bus to Dunbar High School [source: "Dunbar Colored High School," information by C. L. Timberlake, Principal of School, and reported by Sarah D. Young of Sturgis, typed 05/20/1941. Found within the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 25, File: Union County]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Union County were John M. Hoke, Alphonso Lovelace, Elizabeth McCulley, Amos Parker, Emma Peppin, Mary L. Reed, John Robinson, Hattie Robinson, Dorothy Slaughter, Clarence Timberlake, and George Wakefield [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1955, there were four graduates from the Blessed Martin School located near Waverly, KY [source: Union County Advocate, 05/19/1955]. The graduates were Joseph Curry, Betty Chambers, Hershel Harris, and Frances Hammond. The total student enrollment was 26 high school students who were taught by one teacher [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, p.229]. There was also an elementary school with an enrollment of 51 students taught by 2 teachers. The colored school in Uniontown had an enrollment of 13 students taught by one teacher [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.448]. The Sturgis school for whites was the first to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1957-58, p.644]. For more about the desegregation of the Sturgis School see Sturgis and Clay: showdown for desegregation in Kentucky education by John M Trowbridge and Jason Lemay. 

  • Colored Schools (9)
  • Caseyville School
  • Blessed Martin School
  • Dunbar School 
  • Sturgis School
  • Uniontown School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Union County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Webster County, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1957
As early as 1880, there were colored schools in Providence, Webster County, KY; the teachers were Kentucky natives C. Haughton, born around 1858, and Mandy Stanley, born around 1863 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. There were 11 colored schools with 12 teachers in 1895, and 2 of the schools were held in a log building, and 9 were held in a frame building [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.725-728]. The average attendance was 277 for 1895-96, and 355 for 1896-97. The male teachers' average monthly wages were $40.97 and females received $37.86, 1895-96; and the following school term, males received $33.99 and females received $30.69. In 1900, Ida Bell Shackleford was a school teacher in Dixon [source: U.S. Federal Census]. During the 1905-1907 school terms, the average attendance was 471 students, and the teachers average monthly salaries were $44.76 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1905-1907, pp.407 & 431]. In 1916, Webster County colored teachers included Owen Brooks and William D. Brooks, both in Dixon, and J. V. Coleman in Providence [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.25 & 26]. By 1925, there were 9 colored rural schools in Webster County, and the school in Providence had 4 elementary teachers and 3 teachers in the Class 1 high school [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.41 & 68-69]. W. O. Nuckolls was the principal of the high school, which had 30 students. In 1931, the Webster County Training and Rosenwald City High School was constructed in Providence, KY, with W. O. Nuckolls as principal [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1931, v.1, no.3, p.16]. In 1938, the new Sebree Colored School was constructed by the WPA [source: waymarking.com]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Webster County were Curtis Bishop, Vatula Bishop, Gurner Bishop, Owen Brooks, Laura Campbell, Claudine Drake in Slaughtersville, Francis Finley, Geneva Fergurson, Leslie Hayes Jr., Comagell Marton, Gertrude Mitchell, Ovenus Mitchel, Dorothy Mitchell, Helen Nuckolls, Martha Helen Nuckolls, Harvey Saieva, James R. Shearer, Virginia Springfield, Deborah Woolfork, and Louis Woolfork [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In December of 1956, the Sturgis and Clay school systems were directed by U.S. District Judge Henry L. Brooks to submit their desegregation plans by February 4, 1957. Both school systems complied and in September of 1957, Negro students were admitted to the schools. For more about the desegregation of the Clay Elementary School see the NKAA entry James and Teresa Gordon (siblings).

  • Colored Schools (11)
  • Providence School
  • Dixon School
  • Sebree School [source: Goodman-Paxton Photographic Collection at UK Special Collections]
  • Slaughtersville School
  • Webster County Training and Rosenwald City High School (in Providence)

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Webster County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Whitley County, KY
Start Year : 1883
End Year : 1956
In 1883, the American Missionary Association (AMA) opened a church and a school in Williamsburg, KY, that was attended by both Negroes and whites [see NKAA entry Williamsburg (KY) Colored Academy]. In 1885, there was a school teacher at the colored schools, the teacher was a normal school graduate [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, end of school years, June 30, 1886 and June 30, 1887, p.110]. Ten years later, 1895-96, there were 5 colored schools with 7 teachers, and the following term, there were 8 schools, each with one teacher [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.729-733]. The schools were open 5 months of each year. The average attendance was 85 students 1895-96, and 100 students 1896-97. The teachers' average monthly wages were $26.89 for 1896, and the following school term, the teachers' wages were $21.12 for males and $19.78 for females. By 1925, there were 4 colored schools in rural Whitley County, each with one teacher, and 1 colored school in Williamsburg with one teacher [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.68-69]. Though, according to the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 22-25, 1925, p.50, there were two teachers at the Williamsburg Colored School: Henry W. Bond and his daughter Ruth A. Bond. There were three Negro teachers listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census: Benjman Barrus, Evelyn Griffey, and Thelma Lewis. The Williamsburg Independent Schools were the first to be listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.449. For additional information about the teachers of the Williamsburg Colored School see the NKAA entry Williamsburg (KY) Colored Academy.

  • AMA School
  • Williamsburg School
  • Colored Schools (8)

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Whitley County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Wolfe County, KY
Start Year : 1885
End Year : 1925
In 1885 the colored school in Wolfe County had 55 students [source: "Our county schools," The Hazel Green Herald, 04/01/1885, p. 3]. In 1886 the school was included in the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. P. E. Davenport was the school teacher in 1891 [source: "The Following endorsement ...," The Hazel Green Herald, 12/11/1891, p. 5]. In 1897, Prof. Austin from Paris, KY, was the school teacher at the Daysboro Colored School [source: The Hazel Green Herald, "Prof. Austin began teaching the colored school Monday," and "Prof. Austin of Paris...," 12/09/1897, p. 1]. It was the only colored school in the county [source: Document No. 11, Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kentucky, 1895-1897, pp. 733-737]. The building was a log cabin with furniture worth $20; it was to seat the 43 students studying at the elementary level. Wolfe County had no high school for African Americans. The teacher, Prof. Austin, was paid $24.57 per month. W. C. Crawford, also from Paris, became a school teacher in Wolfe County in 1898 [source: "W. C. Crawford, of Paris...," The Hazel Green Herald, 07/28/1898, p. 3]. During the school term 1901-02, the average attendance at Wolfe County colored common schools was 19 students and the teacher's average monthly pay was $22.32, and during the following school term, the average attendance was 8 and the teacher's average monthly pay was $24.48 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1901-1903, pp.329 & 355]. During the 1911-12 school term, there were 22 students enrolled in grades 1-8 of the colored school, and the teacher's average monthly pay was $37 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1911-1913, pp.14 & 49]. The following year, the enrollment was 25 [p.112]. By 1925, no schools were listed for Wolfe County in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926. There were no schools listed for Wolfe County in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1916-1952; perhaps the teacher in Wolfe County did not participate in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association. There is a single notation of Wolf County Schools being integrated on p.449 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, though the notation does not appear again; all schools in Wolfe County are designated as "white" in the subsequent issues of the Kentucky Public School Directory and the Kentucky School Directory.

  • Daysboro School

Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Daysboro, Wolfe County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers from Kentucky
Start Year : 1880
The following is a list of African American shoe makers who were born in Kentucky and lived in other states. The information comes from the 1800 U.S. Federal Census, except where noted otherwise. [See also Kentucky shoe makers and Lexington, KY, shoe makers.]

Illinois

  • George T. Smith (b.1834) was a shoe maker who lived in Paris with his wife Jennie Smith (b.1861 in MS).

Indiana

  • F. M. Green (b.1844) was a boot and shoe maker who lived in Evansville. He was a widower with four children, and a boarder lived with them on 5th Street.
  • James Lee (b.1840) was a shoe maker who lived in Jeffersonville with his wife Amy (b.1846 in KY), their two children, and James' mother. The family lived on Broadway.
  • Anthony McDougal (b.1843) was a shoe maker who lived in Jeffersonville. He was the husband of Elizabeth McDougal (b.1852 in KY). The family of five and two boarders lived on Indiana Avenue.
  • Henry Patton (b.1858) was a shoe maker who was a prisoner in Michigan City.
Iowa
  • Philip Reeves (b.1844) was a shoemaker who had learned his craft as a slave in Kentucky. In 1900, he lived 211 N. Eighth Street in Keokuk with is wife Jennie (b.1845 in GA) and their son Wesley (b.1871 in IA). Philip Reeves is highlighted in a 1905 article in The Freeman, 10/14/1905, p.4. He is described as a popular shoemaker and shoe repairer at the business address of 317 Johnson Street.

Kansas

  • James Bradley (b.1845) was a shoe maker who lived in Atchison City on 3rd Street. He was the husband of Sina Bradley (b.1849 in KY).
  • Alexander Gregg (1824-1904) was known in Kansas as Deacon Gregg, he was a boot and shoe maker who was born in Kentucky. Gregg left Kentucky and first settled in Missouri, then moved on to Kansas where he was one of the founders of the Baptist Church in Lawrence in 1862. He was the husband of Mary F. Gregg (b.1839 in MO). The couple lived on Tennessee Street with their children, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "In Memory of Deacon Gregg," Plaindealer, 02/26/1904, p.4.
  • John Page (b.1850) was a shoe maker who lived in Leavenworth with his parents Richard and Anna Page who were both born in Virginia. The family lived on Miami Street.
Michigan

  • Peter Fisher (b.1859 in KY) was a shoe maker who was the son of William (b.1815 in KY) and Harriet Fisher (b.1818 in KY). The family of six lived in Greenfield.

Mississippi

  • Tom Broadwaters (b.1841), a shoe maker, was the husband of Laura Broadwaters (b.1852 in LA). The family of three lived in Vicksburg.
  • Thomas Monday (b.1855) was a shoe maker who lived in Wilkinson County with his wife Nancy (b.1858 in MS) and their five children.
  • Thomas Payne (b.1825) was a shoe maker who lived in Vicksburg with his wife Eliza Barnett (b.1839 in MS). They shared their home with an orphan and three boarders.

Missouri

  • George Brenson (b.1816) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Judy Brenson (b.1813 in KY), and the family of five lived in Pierce City.
  • Newton Harden (b.1847) was a shoe maker who lived in Jefferson City.
  • Samuel Lewis (b.1857) was a shoe maker who lived in Jefferson City.
  • Jefferson Pierce (b.1840) was a shoe maker who lived in Joplin with his wife Sarah (b.1841 in KY), their six children and a boarder.
  • Presley Steward (b.1821) was a shoe maker. He lived in Linneus with his wife Ellen (b.1836 in MO) and their seven children.

Ohio

  • Joseph Grubbs (b.1828) was a shoe maker who lived in Xenia with his wife Eliza (b.1832 in VA). The couple lived on Lexington Street.
  • Albert Parks (b.1888 in Carlisle, KY) was a shoe repairer in Cincinnati, OH, having opened his business in 1922. He was the son of John W. and Laura Parks, and was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Source: Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney

Tennessee

  • Charles Bailey (b.1822), a shoe maker, was the husband of Emily Bailey (b.1825 in TN). The family of six lived in Montgomery County.
  • Thomas Ball (b.1828) was a shoe maker who lived in Milan with two nieces.
  • A. J. Cox (b.1831) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Mary Cox (b.1836 in TN). The family of eight lived in Murfreesborough.
  • Ben Henderson (b.1844) was a shoe maker who lived in Chattanooga with his wife Hanah (b.1852 in NC), their three children, Hanah's mother, and a boarder.
  • David Masterson (b.1850) was a shoe maker who lived in Roane County. He was the husband of Charlotte Masterson (b.1856 in TN). The family of five lived on Lowly Street.
  • Daniel Settles (b.1829) was a shoe maker who lived in Nashville. He was a widower and lived on Cherry Street.

Washington, D.C.

  • Edward Bean (b.1851) was a shoe repairer who lived on 21st Street, N.W.

Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers in Kentucky [not Lexington]
Start Year : 1880
The following is a list of shoe makers from the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, except where noted. These are shoe makers who were born in Kentucky or lived in Kentucky. The list does not include those who lived in Lexington, KY, or those who lived outside Kentucky. [There is a separate entry for Lexington shoe makers before 1900, African American Shoe Shiners and Shoe Repairers in Lexington, KY, 1930-1947, and for Kentucky shoe makers who lived in other states.]

Allen County

  • Berry Walker (b.1838 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Kittie Walker (b.1840 in KY), and the family of eleven lived in Scottsville.

Ballard County

  • Arche Booker (b.1841 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived in Blandville.

Bath County

  • Sims McElhany (b.1805 in KY) was a shoe maker, and he and his wife Fanny were also servants for the Crooks Family. They all lived in Tanyard.

Bourbon County

  • John Jones (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Millersburg. He was the husband of Clara Jones (b.1830 in KY), and supported a family of eight.

Boyle County

  • John Baughman (b.1849 in KY) is listed in the census as a shoe maker who is crippled. He was the husband of Lizzie Baughman (b.1857 in KY), and supported a family of five. The family lived in Danville. 
  • Samuel W. Brumfield (b.1827 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Danville with his family of six. He was the husband of Sarah A. Brumfield (b.1834 in KY).
  • Alex Burton (b.1832 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Danville. He was the husband of Mattie E. Burton (b.1852 in KY), and supported a family of four. The family lived on Lebanon Pike.
  • William Caldwell (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker who was a widower supporting a family of five.
  • R. Cowan (b.1820 in KY) is listed in the census as a shoe cobbler who lived in Danville. He was the husband of Harriet Cowan (b.1823 in KY). The family of six lived on Lexington Avenue.
  • Henry Mack (b.1833 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Mary Mack (b.1831 in KY), and supported a family of five.
  • Timothy Masterson (b.1832 in KY) was a shoe maker who supported a family of seven. He was the husband of Lucinda Masterson (b.1844 in KY).

Christian County

  • Jessie Hart (b.1855 in TN) is listed in the census as a shoe cobbler who lived in Garretsburg.

Clark County

  • Robert Banks (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Anna M. Banks (b.1825 in KY). The family of five lived in Winchester.
  • James Robinson (b.1858 in KY), a shoe maker, was the son of Peter and Minerva Robinson. The family of seven lived in Winchester.
  • Jordon Stogdon (b.1837 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Lottie Stogdon (b.1847 in KY), and the family of eight lived in Blue Ball.

Floyd County

  • James Weaver (b.1873 in KY) was the owner of a shoe shop in Wheelwright, KY. He repaired shoes. He was the husband of Lucinda Weaver (b.1899 in VA). The couple lived on Otter Creek Road. [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]

Franklin County

  • Baker Clark (b.1828 in KY) was a shoe maker in Frankfort. He was the husband of Betty Clark (b.1832 in KY), and the family of three lived on Wilkerson Street.
  • Henry Rodman (b.1851 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Mary E. Rodman (b.1858 in KY). The family of six lived on Clinton Street and shared their home with four boarders.
  • Benjamine Spencer (b.1854 in KY) was a shoe maker in Frankfort. He was the son of Frank and Caroline Spencer, and the family of seven lived on Clinton Street.
  • John Stanley (b.1840 in CT) was a shoe maker incarcerated in the Frankfort Penitentiary.
  • Henry Thompson (b.1848 in KY) was a shoe maker incarcerated in the Frankfort Penitentiary.

Garrard County

  • Dennis Brown (b.1800 in MD) was a shoe maker who lived in Lancaster. He was the husband of Neoma Brown (b.1802 in KY), and they had a son.
  • Henry Mason (b.1825 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Harriet Mason (b.1844 in KY), and the family of seven lived in Lancaster.
  • Jettie E. Knox ( -1898), a shoe maker, Knox was killed by Lancaster Postmaster J. I. Hamilton over a loan dispute. Knox had come from North Carolina about a year before his death [source: "About 10:30 o'clock Wednesday,..." in the column "Lancaster, Garrard County" on p.1 of Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, 09/11/1896]. Jettie Knox was the husband of Ella B. Cook, a school teacher in Stanford, KY [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple married in Danville, KY, July 28, 1896 [source: Kentucky Marriages Index].

Grant County

  • Hary Powers (b.1744 in VA) was listed in the census as a 106 year old widower who was shoe maker.

Green County

  • George Edwards (b.1843 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Greensburg. He was the husband of Esther Edwards (b.1852 in KY), and supported a family of seven.

[Harrison County]

  • Leander Agers (b.1799 in MD) was an earlier shoe maker and property owner listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. He was head of a family of eight, husband of Susan Agers (b.1803 in KY), with four sons who were also shoe makers: Wiley, Leander Jr., Peter, and Daniel Agers.

Henderson County

  • Leander Ward (b.1856 in KY) was a shoe maker in Henderson. He was the husband of Frances Ward (b.1856 in KY) and the family of four lived on Elm Street.
  • Green Willingham (b.1821 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Edy Willingham (b.1810 in KY) and the couple lived in Hebbardsville.

Hickman County

  • William Jackson (b.1849 in TN) was a shoe and boot maker who lived in Columbus.

Hopkins County

  • Miles Nourse (b.1832 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Madisonville with his wife Rachel (b.1840 in KY), their son, and a boarder.

Jefferson County

  • James Alcorn (b.1838 in KY) was a boot and shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was a boarder with the Williamson Family on West Walnut Street, South Side.
  • Jerry Ballinger (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was the husband of Mary Ballinger (b.1832 in KY), and the family of four lived on Brook Street.
  • George Bright (b.1844 in KY) was shoe maker who lived in Louisville on Floyd Street.
  • W. H. Hunter (1882-1938, born in SC) was a shoe maker and a shoe repairer, and a teacher. His shop was located at 1401 W. Chestnut and he advertised his business in the Louisville Leader. Hunter is listed in the city directory from 1917-1938. [sources: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920, p.2238; Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1936, p.2662; and ad in The Louisville Leader, 11/10/1917, p.2]
  • R. J. Johnson (b.1854 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was the husband of Nannie Johnson (b.1860 in KY), and the family of four lived on Market Street.
  • Sam Mattingly (b.1827 in KY), a shoe maker, was a widower who lived in Louisville on Magazine Street.
  • Francis Smith (b.1835 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville with his wife Susan Smith (b.1847 in KY). The couple shared their home with two boarders on Ninth Street, West Side.
  • Washington Vanduke (b.1805 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was a widower and lived on Oldham Street.

Jessamine County

  • Galvin Pugh (b.1840 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Syntha Pugh (b.1856 in KY). The family of five lived in Nicholasville.
  • John Wheeler (b.1820 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Nicholasville. He was the husband of Luisa Wheeler (b.1840 in KY).

Marion County

  • Simon Irvine (b.1834 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Lebanon. He was the husband of Emma Irvine (b.1843 in KY), and the family of five lived on Chandler Street.
  • David Lee (b.1831 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Loretto. He was the husband Harriet A. Lee (b.1831 in KY).
  • Josiah Yokum (b.1820 in KY) was a boot and shoe maker who lived in Lebanon. He was widower who lived with his two young sons on Republican Street.

Monroe County

  • Jerry Kirkpatrick (b.1822 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Tompkinsville. He was the husband of Jane Kirkpatrick (b.1850 in KY), and supported a family of five.

Montgomery County

  • Anderson Taul (b.1853 in KY) was a shoe maker in Mt. Sterling. He was a boarder with the Everett Family.
  • Ben Tipton (b.1845 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Mt. Sterling.
  • James Willis (b.1840 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived in Mt. Sterling. He was a boarder with the Everett Family.

Nelson County

  • Hans Brown (b.1825 in KY) was a shoe maker who supported a family of eight. He was the husband of Adaline Brown (b.1827 in KY).

Nicholas County

  • Horace Baker (b.1839 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Sarah Baker (b.1840 in KY), and the family of four lived in Henryville.
  • Henry Lawson (b.1820 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Carlisle. He was the husband of Manda Lawson (b.1820 in VA).

Pulaski County

  • Henry Owens (b.1824 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Silva Owens (b.1839 in KY), the family of five lived in Somerset.

Scott County

  • Reason Baker (b.1826 in VA) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Lidia Baker (b.1829 in MD) and supported a family of eight.
  • Cupid Bradford (b. - d.1871) was a shoe maker who was killed in Stamping Ground, KY [source: Involvement of Blacks in Scott County Commerce by A. B. Bevins, p.3].
  • Henry Scott was a boot and shoe maker in Scott County in 1870 [source: Involvement of Blacks in Scott County Commerce by A. B. Bevins, p.3 {second pagination}].

Simpson County

  • Alfred Foster (b.1840 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Franklin. He was a boarder with the Creekmore Family.

Todd County

  • Thomas Johnson (b.1825 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived in Allensville. He was the husband of Sallie Johnson (b.1833 in KY), and supported a family of four.

Warren County

  • Thornton Cole (b.1823 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Hadley with his sister and brother-in-law and their four children.

Wayne County

  • Patrick Kindrick (b.1833 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Mill Springs. He was the husband of Marthey Kindrick (b.1840 in KY), and supported a family of five.
  • William Sandusky (b.1842 in KY) was a shoe and boot maker who lived in Monticello. He was divorced and supported a family of four, they lived on West Street.

See photo image of Benjamin F. Spencer shoe shop in Frankfort, KY, photo part of the Spencer Family Papers in Explore UK.
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Africa in Fort Scott, Kansas [George Tivis]
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1900
From 1880-1900, there was said to be a Negro colony that lived near Fort Scott, Kansas, according to an article by H. V. Cowan titled "Cattle now graze at site of early Negro settlement" in The Fort Scott Tribune and The Fort Scott Monitor newspaper, October 22, 1960, pp.1&2 [article online at Google News]. The settlement called "Africa" was established by former slaves and credited to Mr. and Mrs. George Tivis from Kentucky, and their children Melinda, Richard, Alvin, George Jr., and Esther. According to the newspaper article, some of the children were married and had families of their own, and by 1900, all had moved away from the settlement, with some going on to Oklahoma. Looking back in time using census records, there is the question of which George Tivis founded the settlement, because there were three African American men from Kentucky named George Tivis who lived in or near Fort Scott (Bourbon County), Kansas before the year 1900. The first one is listed in the 1885 Kansas State Census; George Tivis, was born around 1810 in Kentucky, and there was his wife L. Tivis, born around 1814 in South Carolina, and two other family members, A. Tivis and W. Tivis, both born in Kentucky. The family lived in Marion (Bourbon County), Kansas in 1885. They were among the more than 500 African Americans who were living in Fort Scott, Kansas, between 1880 and 1885, and about 77 of them were born in Kentucky. There were four African Americans with the last name Tivis, and of the four, Harry Tivis was the only one born in Kentucky [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]; therefore George Tivis (born around 1810) was either not included in the 1880 census, or he arrived sometime after the 1880 U.S. Census was taken. The second George Tivis from Kentucky was living in Mississippi with his wife and two daughters in 1880, according to the U.S. Federal Census. This particular George S. Tivis was born in April of 1843 in Kentucky, and his wife Mary Tivis was born in Georgia in December of 1851. The couple had at least 7 children: Lizzie Tivis; May Tivis White who was married to George White from Missouri; James; George Jr.; Esther; Richard; and Elisha [sources: 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. The oldest four children were born in Mississippi and the last three were born in Kansas. George, Mary, and their children did not arrive in Fort Scott, Kansas until some time after George Jr. was born around 1884; the family is not listed in the 1885 Kansas State Census. A third George Tivis from Kentucky is listed in the 1905 Kansas State Census. He was born around 1851 and was the husband of Amanda who was born around 1853 in Kentucky. The couple had three children: Cordelia, John, and Dalia. The family may have been in Fort Scott as early as 1885, around the year that Cordelia Tivis was born. In any event, by 1910, there is only one George Tivis listed in the U.S. Federal Census for Fort Scott, and he is the husband of Mary. In 1916, Mary and George Tivis lived at 707 S. Broadway [source: p.204 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Fort Scott City Directory, 1916]. George Tivis (also spelled Tevis), born in 1843, was a Civil War veteran; he served with the 122nd Regiment of the U.S. Colored Troops, Company G [source: U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865]. He was born in Franklin [County?], KY and enlisted in Lexington, KY on June 30, 1864 [source: U.S. Descriptive Lists of Colored Volunteer Army Soldiers, 1864]; George Tivis was a slave when he enlisted. The last of George and Mary's children to live in Fort Scott was John Richard Tivis who died in 1966, leaving Elisha Tivis as the sole survivor of the children [source: "John Richard Tivis" in the Deaths-Funerals section of The Fort Scott Tribune and The Fort Scott Monitor, 04/04/1966, p.6 [article online at Google News]. Elisha Tivis lived in Kansas City, Kansas. It has yet to be determined if the three men from Kentucky named George Tivis were related.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Africa, Fort Scott, Kansas

Agricultural and Mechanical Association of the Colored People of Bourbon County
Start Year : 1874
On January 16, 1874, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky passed an act for the benefit of the Agricultural and Mechanical Association of the Colored People of Bourbon County. The act, referring to the organization's colored fair, prohibited booths and the selling of refreshments or liquor within a half mile of the fairgrounds while the fair was in progress. The fair was held in Millersburg, KY. For more see Chapter 58 of the Laws of Kentucky in Acts Passed at...Session of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth, printed in 1874 at the Kentucky Yeoman Office in Frankfort, KY [available full view via Google Book Search] .
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Among the Colored Citizens (Frankfort Newspaper)
Start Year : 1883
End Year : 1892
As early as February 17, 1883, The Frankfort Roundabout newspaper had a column titled "Colored Department" on p.4. "[Under this head we will publish weekly items of interest to our colored citizens.]" The column fell to the wayside until about 1886-1890s when it was titled "Among the Colored People," then changed to "Among the Colored Citizens." The column was initially located on the front page, but was later moved to the latter pages. The content included news of visitors and vacations, church news, deaths, entertainment, and graduations. The full text of the columns is available online within the Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers and Chronicling America.
Subjects: Colored Notes in Kentucky Newspapers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Anderson, John James [AKA James S. Anderson] [Anderson's Administrator v. Darland]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1919
Known as James S. Anderson in Kentucky, Dr. Anderson was a doctor of herbal medicine. He was described by his daughter, Irene Anderson Elder, as part black and part Choctaw Indian. Dr. Anderson came to Somerset, KY, from Kingston, TN; he had also had a practice in Chattanooga, where he met Irene's mother, a nurse named Mary Bowman, who was white. Mary gave birth to Irene in 1914 in a home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga. Irene was reared by her maternal grandmother in Lenoir City, TN; she was Irene's protector. Several years later her grandmother died, and Irene went to live with a foster family. Her father, James Anderson, had moved to Somerset, KY, not too long after Irene was born. In Kentucky, he was sometimes regarded as a Negro and at other times as a Choctaw Indian. Anderson established a tuberculosis treatment clinic, Unity Hill Sanatorium, a three story structure with over 100 beds, 65 rooms, a parlor with a piano, and a grocery store in the basement. He came to be considered a wealthy man with $100,000 in the Somerset bank. When Mary Bowman came down with tuberculosis, she came to Somerset to be a patient at Unity Hill for six months. She was still alive when Dr. James S. Anderson died of hypostatic pneumonia or was murdered November 19, 1919; it is still unclear exactly how he died, though pneumonia is given as the cause on his death certificate. After his death, M. L. Jarvis was appointed curator of Anderson's estate. Unity Hill Sanatorium was sold to a group of businessmen who changed the operation to Watnon (or Watson) Sanatorium, a cancer treatment clinic with separate buildings for Negro patients. In 1924, the clinic had closed and the campus became the new location for the Somerset School of Business. Irene Anderson Elder never benefited from her father's wealth. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more information see L. A. Kochtik, "Irene's journey: a good life and a bad life," Appalachian Life Magazine, issue 51 (February), pp. 6-8; "Cancer Sanatorium opened at Somerset, Ky.," The Somerset Journal, 01/30/1920, p. 8; and Anderson's Administrator v. Darland, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 192 Ky. 624; 234 S.W. 205; 1921 Ky.

Additional information: James S. Anderson's birth name was John James Anderson, he was born in Reidville, SC, February 12, 1872 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. He was the son of Henry and Dorcas Drummond Anderson. Dr. Anderson was the husband of Ann Mary Crumly; the couple married in 1897, filed for divorce in 1915, and the divorce was final in 1918 [source: Hart and Dudek Family Tree; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. Dr. Anderson is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Harrodsburg, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Reidville, South Carolina / Kingston, Lenoir, and Chattanooga, Tennessee / Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Atkins, Charles "Speedy"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1928
He was known as "Speedy" because he was a very fast tobacco worker. He has also been referred to as Henry Atkins in print publications. His grave marker reads Charles Atkins, 1875-1928. Atkins had moved to Paducah, Kentucky, from Tennessee, and one day while fishing he drowned in the Ohio River. His body was turned over to African American funeral home director A. Z. Hamock, who prepared Atkins' body with an experimental super-preservative. The experiment left Atkins body mummified. Pleased with the results, Hamock put the mummified Atkins on display. It was not until 1994 that Atkins was finally buried in Maplelawn Cemetery in Paducah. Numerous television programs and newspapers around the country have highlighted the story of Speedy Atkins. For more see Charles Atkins at Find A Grave.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Tennessee / Ohio River

Atwell, Joseph Sandiford
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1881
Rev. Joseph S. Atwell, from Barbados, was the first colored man ordained a Deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Kentucky, according to his obituary on p.5 of the New York Times, 10/10/1881. Rev. Atwell was Rector at St. Phillips Protestant Episcopal Church on Mulberry Street in New York City when he died of typhoid fever in 1881. He had attended Codrington College in Barbados, and came to the United States in 1863 to attend the Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated in 1866 and next came to Kentucky where he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Smith. Rev. Atwell was a missionary worker in Kentucky and next went to Petersburg, VA, where he was ordained a priest in 1868 and became Rector of the St. Stephen's Church and was head of a parish school. He then went to Savannah, GA, in 1873 and was Rector of the St. Stephen's Church. He went to New York in 1875. Rev. Joseph S. Atwell was the husband of Cordelia Jennings Atwell, a mulatto from Pennsylvania, and the father of Joseph, Robert, and Earnest Atwell [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived at No.112 Waverley Place.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Immigration, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Barbados, Lesser Antilles / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Kentucky / Virginia / Savannah, Georgia / New York

Bacon, Mamie
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1950
Mamie Bacon was born in Shelbyville, KY, the daughter of John and Belle Howard. She was the organizer and founder of the Independent Sons and Daughters of America. Bacon was extremely active with a number of women's organizations, including the H. H. of Ruth, Good Samaritans, she was Past Grand Worthy Inspectrix and Grand Worthy Lecturer of Ohio Grand Court of Calanthe, and she served as Supreme Representative to the Biennial Session of the Supreme Court of Calanthe in Louisville, KY, in 1925. Mamie Bacon was the wife of H. Leonard Bacon, and the couple is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Baker, David
Birth Year : 1881
Born in Louisville, KY, Baker invented scales that were used in elevators to prevent overloading. He was also co-inventor of the streetcar transom opener in 1913, the high water indicator for bridges in 1915, and a number of other inventions. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and The Pride of African American History: inventors, scientists, physicians, engineers..., by D. Wilson and J. Wilson.
Subjects: Inventors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ball, Richard
Birth Year : 1874
Richard Ball was an amateur cyclist from Louisville, KY. He was one of the competing African American cyclist in Kentucky, and said to be one of the fastest. In 1899, he went to Indianapolis to compete in a race. Ball was employed as a waiter at the Galt House Hotel [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1898, p.116]. Richard Ball was born in Tennessee, the son of Mary Ellis, and he was the husband of Maggie Ball [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. His past time as a cyclist, then called a wheelman, was not a main source of income for Richard Ball. In Louisville, colored wheelmen belonged to the Union Cycle Club, said to be the largest African American cycling club in the South [source: Ethnicity, Sport, Identity edited by J. A. Mangan and A. Ritchie, p.20]. Colored wheelmen were barred from membership and from participating in events sponsored by the Louisville Wheelmen, and from membership to the League of American Wheelmen (L. A. W.). The color line was an issue that came up at the biannual 1894 L. A. W. Convention held in Louisville, KY; Louisville attorney, Colonel William W. Watts, put forth the motion that would limit L. A. W. membership to whites only. The vote was split 108 for, 101 against, but a two thirds majority was need, so the motion was brought forward the following year and it passed. In June of 1894, the L. A. W. chairman explained that the vote had only denied Colored wheelmen membership, not the right to participate in L. A. W. sponsored races, nor did it impact a cyclist's amateur status. For more see Richard Ball in the column "Spokes from a wheel" on p.2 of the Indianapolis Recorder, 06/17/1899; Highway History: The Road to Civil Rights, The League of American Wheelmen, a Federal Highway Administration website; and "Colored wheelmen may race," The Roanoke Times, 06/15/1894, p.2 [article available online at Chronicling America].
Subjects: Migration North, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Baptist Women's Educational Convention
Start Year : 1883
African American Baptist women in Kentucky gathered in 1883 to develop an organization dedicated to raising funds to support Simmons University in Louisville, KY. Simmons was the first higher education institution in Kentucky specifically for African Americans. The meeting was named the Baptist Women's Educational Convention, and Amanda V. Nelson, a member of the First Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, was elected president. The convention was the first state-wide organization of African American Baptist women in the United States. Most of the members were teachers who came from practically every African American Baptist Church in the state. Following the lead in Kentucky, an Alabama women's Baptist educational organization was formed next, and the trend continued in other states during the last two decades of the century. For more see Righteous Discontent, by E. B. Higginbotham.

See photo image of Baptist Women's Educational Convention Board on p.139 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Barbour, James Bernie
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1936
J. Bernie Barbour was born in Danville, KY, and it was thought that he died in New York. Barbour actually died in Chicago, IL, on April 11, 1936 [his name is misspelled as "Bernie Barfour" on the death certificate ref# rn11543], and his burial is noted with Central Plant Ill. Dem. Assn. Barbour was an 1896 music education graduate of Simmons University (KY), and he graduated from the Schmoll School of Music (Chicago) in 1899. Both he and N. Clark Smith founded a music publishing house in Chicago in 1903; it may have been the first to be owned by African Americans. Barbour also worked with other music publishing companies, including the W. C. Handy Music Company. He was a music director, and he played piano and sang in vaudeville performances and in nightclubs and toured with several groups. He composed operas such as Ethiopia, and spirituals such as Don't Let Satan Git You On De Judgment Day. He assisted in writing music for productions such as I'm Ready To Go and wrote the Broadway production, Arabian Knights Review. Barbour also organized the African American staff of Show Boat. J. Bernie Barbour was the son of Morris and Nicey Snead Barbour. He was the husband of Anna Maria Powers, they married May 29, 1909 in Seattle, WA [source: Washington Marriage Record Return #15629]. According to the marriage record, Anna M. Powers was a white or colored musician from New York. For more see Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960, by B. L. Peterson; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-1929; and "J. Berni Barbour" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / New York, New York / Chicago, Illinois

Barker, Samuel Lorenzo
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1971
According to the Kentucky Birth Records, Professor S. L. Barker was born in Christian County, KY, the son of Ellin Sumers? and Bob Barker. [Tennessee is also given as his birth location in the Census Records.] Barker is best remembered as an education leader. In Owensboro, KY, he was a school teacher and principal of Dunbar School, and he became principal of Western High School in 1934. He was a long-time member and leader in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA), first serving as assistant secretary in 1916. He was the 2nd District organizer for the Association of Colored Teachers beginning in 1925. He was the KNEA reporter in 1928, served on the Board of Directors 1930-1935, and was president of the board 1939-1940. He chaired the Legislative Committee in 1933, ran unsuccessfully for president of the association in 1935 and 1937, and in 1939 successfully became president of KNEA, serving 1939-1941. He also served on the Kentucky governor's committee for higher education for Negroes in 1940. Professor S. L. Barker served on various KNEA committees until the organization was subsumed by the Kentucky Education Association in 1956. In his political life, Barker served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Kentucky in 1952. S. L. Barker was the husband of Callie Coleman Barker (b. 1878 in TN), who was a teacher and seamstress. They were the parents of nine children, one of whom was Roberta L. Barker Woodard, who is listed in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al. For more on Samuel Barker see the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1916-1952. For more on the Second District Association of Colored Teachers of Kentucky see "Colored Column" in The Bee, 12/05/1911, p. 2. Both sources are available full-text at the Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Barnes, Margaret Elizabeth Sallee
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Margaret E. S. Barnes, born in Monticello, KY, later moved to Oberlin, OH. She was editor of the Girl's Guide and of the Queens' Gardens, official publication of the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. The organization was developed in the early 1930s by Barnes, who also served as the president. Barnes also was in charge of a million dollar drive for funds at Wilberforce University; in 1939 she had been appointed a trustee at Wilberforce by Ohio Governor John Bricker. A building on the campus was named in her honor and Barnes received an honorary doctor of humanties degree. She was a leader among African American women in the Republican Party and was a delegate-at-large for the Republican State Convention in 1940. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club, established in 1930, was named in her honor. The club belonged to both the national and the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. One of the organization's efforts was to provided college scholarships for the outstanding African American student in the graduating class at Elyria [Ohio] High School. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club was the oldest African American women's club in Elyria and was still functioning in the 1990s. Margaret E. Barnes was a 1900 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and taught school for four years in Harrodsburg, KY, before marrying James D. Barnes and moving to Oberlin, OH, in 1904. She was the mother of five children, one of whom was Margaret E. Barnes Jones. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992, part 1, ed. by L. S. Williams (.pdf); and C. Davis, "Barnes club helps black youngsters achieve goals," Chronicle Telegram, 06/05/1990, p.9.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Oberlin, Ohio

Barnes, Shelby D., "Pike"
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1908
Shelby D. "Pike" Barnes was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2011. He was born in Beaver Dam, KY, the son of Joseph Barnes and Susan Austin Barnes [source: Ohio County Marriage Record, for Shelby D. Barnes]. Pike Barnes became a jockey when he was 14 years old. Barnes had a number of noted achievements in the racing industry. In 1888, he won the first race of the Futurity aboard Proctor Knott. The win was one of his 206 victories in 1888, a record number of wins by a jockey in the United States for one year. Barnes also had the most wins in 1889 with 170. Barnes would go on to win other big races such as the Belmont Stakes, but he soon gave up racing. In 1891, Barnes owned a farm in Beaver Dam, KY and was contemplating whether he would ride again [source: "Epitome of horsemen," Freeman, 11/14/1891, p. 2]. In 1908, Barnes was part owner of a saloon in Columbus, OH, when he died from consumption (tuberculosis). The Paragraphic News column in the Washington Bee, 01/18/1908, p. 1, noted that "[i]t is reported that Shelby Barnes, better known as "Pike" Barnes, died without any money, not withstanding he won $100,000 as a jockey." He is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as "Pike Barnes," the husband of Mary Barnes, a cook, who was born in August of 1873 in Kentucky. Her previous name was Mary C. Pennman; she had been married to James Pennman prior to marrying Shelby Barnes [source: Ohio County Marriage Records]. The couple married in 1897 and lived on E. Elm Street in Columbus, OH, according to the 1900 Census. Their marriage certificate is dated June 16, 1906. For more see T. Genaro, "Shelby Pike Barnes to join the racing Hall of Fame on August 12," The Saratogian, 08/05/2011, Sports section; and "Reported death of Pike Barnes," Daily Racing Form, 01/15/1908, p. 1.

See photo image of Shelby D. "Pike " Barnes and additional information at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Barnett, Peter W.
Birth Year : 1871
Peter W. Barnett was an author, educator, journalist, publisher, veteran, and musician. He was born in Carrsville, Livingston County, KY, the son of Sarah (b. 1840) and Peter Barnett (1830-1898). [Peter Sr. is listed as white in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census.] Peter W. Barnett taught school in Kentucky. He was educated in Kentucky and Indiana, moving in 1891 to Indiana to attend high school. He went on to become a student for two years at Indiana State Normal in Terre Haute [now Indiana State University]. He was employed at Union Publishing Company, the company that published the first labor paper in Indianapolis; the company later moved its headquarters to Chicago. During the winter of 1896, Barnett opened a night school in Indianapolis. Barnett was also a reporter and representative for the African American newspaper, Freeman. Barnett and J. T. V. Hill [James Thomas Vastine Hill] published the Indianapolis Colored Business Chart Directory in 1898, the goal of which was "to promote industry and race patronage and to encourage business enterprise." J. T. V. Hill was an African American lawyer in Indianapolis, opening his office in 1882 [source: Encyclopedia of Black America, by W. A. Low and V. A. Clift]. He was the first African American to be admitted to the Indianapolis Bar. Peter Barnett would become his understudy while in the service. Barnett was 28 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, on March 13, 1899. He was assigned to the 24th Infantry, Company L. In December of 1899, while stationed at Ft. Wrangle, Alaska, Peter Barnett, who had been studying law under J. T. V. Hill, gave it up because there were no resource facilities available to him in Alaska. He began to study music and organized a group of musicians (soldiers) that he named the Symphony Orchestra of Company L, 24th Infantry. Most of the men could not read music. Barnett was discharged from the Indiana Colored Infantry on March 12, 1900, at Fort Wrangle, Alaska [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. For more see "Peter Barnett..." in the last paragraph of the article "Camp Capron Notes," Freeman, 10/01/1898, p. 8; "Night School," Freeman, 10/24/1896, p. 8; On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; quotation from "Local Notes," Freeman, 12/11/1897, p. 4-Supplement; and "From Alaska," Freeman, 12/30/1899, p. 9.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Carrsville, Livingston County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Barrens, Esther Maxwell
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1954
Barrens was born in Pulaski, Tennessee and is buried in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Fannie and Washington Maxwell, and the wife of Kentucky native Charles Barrens. Esther graduated in the first Nurse Training Class of Meharry Medical College in 1906. She came to Louisville in 1907 and took the job of Head Nurse Supervisor of the Negro Division of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a tuberculosis hospital. Due to the shortage of nurses in the Negro Division, Barrens was often the only nurse on duty; therefore, she began training nurses to work in the hospital. She also pushed for Negro children in the hospital to also receive education and to be included in activities. Barrens worked with the Sunday school groups and the Sunshine Center Tuberculosis Clinic, established in 1927. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Meharry Alumni Association and served on the Kentucky State Board of the Parent-Teacher Association. Barrens was employed at Waverly for 28 years. She had married Charles Barrens in 1908, and by 1910 her parents and one other family member had moved to Louisville, KY, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, they all shared a home. Information submitted by Mr. Shirley J. Foley (Ms. Barrens' nephew). For more information on Esther Barrens' employment at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, contact the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Pulaski, Tennessee / Nashville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Beckwith, Anna M. Logan
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1964
Mrs. Anna M. Logan Beckwith was a pharmacist in Cincinnati, OH. In 1928, she purchased the Peerless Pharmacy, located on Alms and Chapel Streets. Beckwith was considered a leading member of the Colored citizens in Cincinnati and is mentioned in Negro Employment in Retail Trade: a study of racial policies in the department store, drugstore, and supermarket industries, by Bloom, Fletcher, and Perry. Beckwith is also included in The Negro in the Drugstore Industry, by F. M. Fletcher. Anna Beckwith was born in Berea, KY, the daughter of Elijah and Amanda Logan. The family of six is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; Elijah Logan was a widower. Anna Logan moved to Cincinnati in 1903. She was the wife of Carl Beckwith, a mail carrier (1881-1971) from West Virginia. In 1910 the Beckwith family lived at 5304 Central Avenue in Madisonville, OH, [source: William's Hamilton County Directory for 1909-10]. The household included Anna, Carl, their daughter, and Anna's brother, Phocia [or Foshen] Logan (b. 1882 in KY), a barber who owned his own shop [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1920, the Beckwiths had a second daughter and the family lived in Cincinnati, OH. Anna Beckwith was still managing her drugstore in 1930 [source: U.S. Federal Census], and the family had moved to Wyoming, OH. Anna and Carl Beckwith are listed in William's Hamilton County (Ohio) Directory for the years 1939-1944, but there is no mention of the pharmacy. Anna Beckwith was a graduate of Berea College. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Postal Service, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Berry, Ella
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1939
Ella Berry was born in Stanford, KY, and grew up in Louisville. She was the daughter of Dave Tucker and Mathilda Portman [source: Chicago Death Record, for Ella Berry]. Berry moved to Chicago where she was one of the leading African American women political and social activists. She would become president of the Cornell Charity Club, she had been a member of the organization since 1913. She was a suffragist and became the state organizer of the Hughes Colored Women's Clubs of the National Republican Headquarters in 1919. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden appointed her an investigator for the Chicago Commission on Race Relations. She was also president of the Women's Second Ward Protective League, and a federal census enumerator in 1920. Ella Berry was the first African American to be employed by the Chicago Department of Welfare, she was a home visitor. She was elected to the Order of the Eastern Star, and served three terms as president of the Grand Daughter Ruler of the Daughters of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, which was the highest office a woman could hold in the organization. Berry used her positions within the various organizations to campaign for African American votes and for women's votes during presidential elections. She traveled between Louisville and Chicago networking and making political connections between the two cities. Ella Berry was the wife of William Berry. For more see the Ella Berry entry and picture in chapter six in The Story of the Illinois Federation of the Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; For the Freedom of Her Race by L. G. Materson; and photo of Ella Berry [online] in the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Berryman, John Leroy
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1940
Dr. J. L. Berryman was a dentist in Lexington, KY, and was prominent in the African American community. He and Dr. W. T. Dinwiddie were two of the earliest African American dentists in Lexington. Dr. Berryman was born in Jessamine County, KY, attended school in Lexington, and was a graduate of Meharry Medical and Dental School [now Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry]. He was a member of the Bluegrass Medical Association. Dr. Berryman opened his dental office in Lexington in 1906 and continued his practice until his death in 1940. He was the husband of Edith Berryman, and the father of Grace, Elanor, and Carolyn Berryman, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. Berryman was a Sunday School teacher at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, a member of the Progressive Club and the IBPOE of W, and treasurer of Lexington Lodge #27. For more see "Dr. Berryman passes; veteran Negro dentist," Lexington Leader, 04/04/1940, p. 20.

**[IBPOE of W = Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World]

**[Progressive Club = social organization that assisted in addressing community problems and needs.]
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Fraternal Organizations, Sunday School, Dentists
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Blackburn, Charles H. "Jack"
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1942
Charles Henry Blackburn was born in Versailles, KY. He was a boxer who went by the name Jack. Blackburn weighed 135 pounds, but his fast hands and legs, along with his hooks and jabs, allowed him to fight bigger and heavier men. He claimed to have fought nearly 400 bouts between 1901 and 1923, losing few of them. In 1909 Blackburn was arrested for the murder of Alonso Polk and also charged with attempted murder for shooting Polk's wife and his own wife, Maude Pillion. Blackburn served nearly five years of a 15 year sentence; while in the pen he was the boxing instructor for the warden and his sons. Blackburn continued to box for another decade after his release. After his retirement, he was a boxing trainer/manager for many boxers, including Joe Louis, who named his daughter, Jacqueline, after Jack Blackburn. For more see Jack Blackburn, a cyberboxingzone website; The Boxing Register. International Boxing Hall of Fame official record book, 2nd ed., by J. B. Roberts & A. G. Skutt; and Joe Louis: the Great Black Hope, by R. Bak. Blackburn is in the picture on p. 59 in Bak's book. See full length photo of Charles H. Blackburn at boxrec.com.


 
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky

Blanton, John Oliver, Jr.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1962
J. O. Blanton, Jr. was born in Versailles, KY, on Christmas Day in 1885, according to his WWI Draft Registration Card. He was the son of John, Sr. and Eliza Blanton [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. He was president of the American Mutual Savings Bank in Louisville, KY. The building was built by Samuel Plato in 1922, the same year that William H. Wright launched the business. Blanton was also director of the Mammoth Building and Loan Association and a professor of mathematics at Central High School in Louisville for 12 years. Blanton was also involved with the Louisville Urban League, which was founded in 1959. His wife was Carolyn Steward Blanton; they were the parents of John W. Blanton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Blanton, William Spencer
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1945
Reverend William Spencer Blanton was a Baptist minister, an educator, and an education leader. He was born in Woodford County, KY, the oldest of eight children born to John and Eliza Woodley Blanton, and according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Versailles, KY. William S. Blanton attended the colored school in Versailles and was a teacher at the school while studying at Kentucky State Normal School [a teacher training school, now Kentucky State University]. He was a 1906 graduate of Kentucky State Normal and also a graduate of Simmons University (Kentucky), and he was earning his master's degree at the University of Cincinnati when he died in 1945 [source: "The Late W. S. Blanton," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1945, v.17, no.1, p.12]. Blanton had been a teacher in the Kentucky colored schools in Henderson, Columbus, Shelbyville, Newport, and in Frankfort where he was also principal of the Mayo-Underwood High School, a building that was the result of Blanton's campaign efforts for a new school. He upgraded the school to an accredited high school and it was listed with the Southern Association, an accrediting body for high schools. He also led the campaign for the new school building in Shelbyville, and he secured funding for a new playground in Newport. Blanton taught during the summers at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], he also served as a dean at the school, and at the time of his death, he was a teacher at the Oliver Street School in Winchester, KY [source: "Professor W. S. Blanton Passes," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, April-May, 1925, v.16, no.2-3, p.25; and Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky for 1914, 1915, and 1916, p.49]. Blanton had twice served as president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, 1935-1936 and 1936-1937, and he was chairman of the College and High School Department in the mid-1920s. He was a member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Board of Directors as early as 1916 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.1].  Blanton was also a Mason.  He was a short man, standing 5 feet 4 1/4 inches when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Versailles, KY, on October 7, 1898 [source: U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914]. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, having served with the 24 Infantry. Blanton received an Honorable Discharge on January 31, 1899, at Fort Douglas, Utah. Blanton was a private and received the remarks of "Very Good" in reference to his military service.  William Spencer Blanton died April 6, 1945 at the W. A. Scott Memorial Hospital in Frankfort, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, State File No. 9802]. He was the husband of Etta R. Banks Blanton, she was also a school teacher in Kentucky. The couple lived at 200 Blanton Street in Frankfort, KY. Blanton Street was in the "Craw" area of Frankfort [source: "A petition of numerous citizens of "Craw" was presented...," The Weekly Roundabout, 07/17/1880, p.4].

 

  See photo image of William Spencer Blanton on p.12 of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1945, v.17, no.1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky

Booker, Jim
Birth Year : 1872
Jim Booker was born in Jessamine County, KY. He was a hoedown fiddler with Taylor's Kentucky Boys, an integrated group that recorded Gray Eagle in 1927. Booker also played and recorded with his family band, the Booker Orchestra, which included his brothers Joe and John both of whom played the fiddle and the guitar; the group played rag-time and blues. Booker also recorded Salty Dog and Camp Nelson Blues in 1927. Jim Booker was born in February of 1872, the son of James and Sarah Booker, according to the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Violin, Sing The Blues For Me: African-American Fiddlers 1926-1949 (Old Hat CD-1002) by Old Hat Records; and Kentucky Mountain Music Classic Recordings of the 1920s and 1930s, Old Time Herald, vol. 9, issue 2, Reviews.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky

Bourbon County (KY) Protective Union of Color
Start Year : 1880
The Bourbon County Protective Union of Color was formed in 1880 in reaction to the William Giles case. The article in the Weekly Louisianian referred to the group as representing the "manliness of the Colored citizens of Kentucky." Giles was charged with shooting with malicious intent to kill. Rev. George W. Hatton, pastor of the St. Paul M. E. Church, was the leader of the small group of African American men who sought legal representation for Giles, and noted that there were no African Americans on the grand jury for the case, and as a result the case was moved to the U.S. Circuit Court. To ensure that other African Americans received their rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, the Bourbon County Protective Union of Color was formed and it was to be a permanent organization. The initial members were Rev. Hatton as president; James Thomas, vice president; J. C. Graves, secretary; and the committee on banking, H. C. Smith, J. M. Porter, James Thomas, and W. C. Craig. Protective unions had been formed by African Americans in Kentucky prior to 1880, but these were in conjunction with workers' rights. For more see "Paris, Kentucky," Weekly Louisianian, 05/08/1880, p.1 [reprinted from the Ohio Falls Express].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Fraternal Organizations, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Bowles, Eva Del Vakia
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1943
Bowles was born in Albany, OH, the daughter of John H. and Mary J. Porter Bowles. Her first employment was teacher at the Chandler Normal School in Lexington, KY; Bowles was the first African American teacher at the school. She was secretary of the YWCA Subcommittee on Colored Work when the first Conference on Colored Work was held in Louisville, KY, in 1915. Bowles was a leader in the YWCA. For more see the Eva Del Vakia Bowles entry in Black Women in America [database].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Albany, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Boyd County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Boyd County was created in 1860 from portions of Greenup, Carter, and Lawrence Counties. The county seat is Catlettsburg. Boyd County is surrounded by three Kentucky counties and the Ohio and West Virginia state borders. The county was named for Linn Boyd, who, although born in Tennessee, was a member of the Kentucky Legislature, a U.S. Congressman, and Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. There were 5,888 persons counted in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Boyd County, excluding the slaves. Below are the figures for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 197 slave owners
  • 74 Black slaves
  • 54 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks
  • 7 free Mulattoes [all with the last name Bolts]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 240 Blacks
  • 116 Mulattoes
  • About 5 U.S. Colored Troops listed Boyd County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 326 Blacks
  • 193 Mulattoes
For more, see Boyd County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; The Early History of Boyd County Kentucky, by J. L. Smith; and The History of Boyd County, Kentucky [videocassette] by WOWK-TV.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C]
Geographic Region: Boyd County, Kentucky

Boyd, Francis A.
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1872
Francis A. Boyd was born in Lexington, KY, to Nancy and Samuel Boyd, free African Americans. Reverend Francis Boyd was author of Columbiana: or, The North Star, Complete in One Volume (Chicago: Steam Job and Book Printing House of G. Hand, 1870). His biography and criticism can be found in Early Black American Poets, pp. 76-77. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Poets
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brady, Bessie May
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1912
Bessie M. Brady (Thomas), born in Frankfort, KY, was an actress with William and Walker Abyssinia Company in 1906 [Egbert "Bert" A. Williams and George Walker]. Brady would later become a vaudeville performer in Chicago. She performed with Leana Mitchell, touring the vaudeville circuits and performing at the height of their careers at the Grand and Monogram Theaters in Chicago. Bessie Brady's mother, Johnsonia Buckner Brady, from Frankfort, KY, died in Chicago in 1899 [source: Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index]. The Brady family had moved to Chicago after 1880 according to the U.S. Federal Census records. In 1900, there were ten family members and they lived on Wabash Ave in Chicago. The family included Bessie's father, Horace Brady who was a musician and he had run a saloon in Frankfort, KY, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Her brother, Charles H. Brady, was also a musician. Bessie Brady died September 13, 1912, after an operation at the Roosevelt Hospital in New York [source: "Obituary: Pretty Bessie Brady dies in New York," Freeman, 09/28/1912. Her body was brought back to Chicago for burial. She was the wife of vaudevill performer James M. "Icky" Thomas. For more see "Bessie Brady" in Blacks in Blackface, by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Brady, St. Elmo
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1966
St. Elmo Brady was born in Louisville, KY. He was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States, earning his degree at the University of Illinois (UI) in 1916 for work in Noyes Laboratory [at UI]. He taught at Tuskegee University, Howard University, Fisk University, and Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He was the first African American admitted to the chemistry honor society, Phi Lambda Upsilon. For more see Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons.
Subjects: Chemists, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Braxton, Frederick [Bracktown] [Main Street Baptist Church]
Death Year : 1876
Rev. Frederick Braxton, born in Kentucky, was a slave, a blacksmith, and became pastor of the First African Church in 1854. In 1864, the church was located on Short Street, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1864-65. Rev. Braxton succeeded Elder London Ferrill, who had organized the congregation in 1822; Elder Ferrill died in 1854. During Rev. Braxton's tenure, the church continued to grow and had over 2,000 members by the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. The following year the First African Church split, with 500 members following Rev. Braxton as he founded the Independent African Church. The new church was located at the corner of Main and Locust Streets, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1864-65, and for a brief period, Rev. Braxton was pastor of both his new church and the First African Church. New church members were baptized in the Poor House Pond that was located in the southern part of Lexington [the pond was also used for the baptisms of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church]. In 1867, Rev. Braxton organized a school with nearly 300 students at the Independent African Church; it was managed by Negro teachers. Later the Independent African Church was located at the corner of Main and Merino Streets, according to the Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874. The name of the church would be changed to Second Colored Baptist Church (1876), to Main Street Independent Baptist Church, and then later renamed the Main Street Baptist Church. Rev. Braxton was also a land owner: he owned part of the Stonetown property on Leestown Pike in Fayette County, KY, where the community that became known as Bracktown (named for Rev. Braxton) was established. He began purchasing land in 1867 and continued up through 1874. Rev. Frederick Braxton died January 31, 1876. He was the husband of Keziah "Kessie" Ware Braxton, and they were the parents of Cary Braxton (d. 1913) and Charly J. Braxton (d. 1923) [source: Kentucky Death Certificates]; Molly Braxton (d. 1876) and Merritt (d. 1901) [source: Yvonne Giles]; Henderson A. W. Braxton [source: Freedmen's Bank Record]; Betsy Braxton; Sara J. Braxton; and Ella Braxton [source: 1870 U.S. Census]. After Rev. Braxton's death, his widow, Keziah, and daughter Betsie (or Betsy) Braxton, lived on Bolivar Street, the 2nd house east of Broadway [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. Keziah (or Kesiah) Braxton died in 1898 [source: Yvonne Giles - Death Certificate #3041]. For more see A History of Kentucky Baptist, Vol. 2, by J. A. Spencer; A Brief History of the First Baptist Church (Black), by H. E. Nutter (1940), a Baptist History Homepage website; "Under the law...," Lexington Observer and Reporter, 10/02/1867, p. 3; "Five thousand people," The Kentucky Leader, 04/18/1892, p. 7; Kentucky Place Names, by R. M. Rennick; and "A Hamlet and a Railroad Town" within the African Americans in the Bluegrass website. For a photo image of Rev. Frederick Braxton, see the First Baptist Church Souvenir Bulletin in the Sallie Price Collection at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library. See photo image of baptism at the Lexington Work House Pond [also called the Poor House Pond] in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

 

Deed BooK - Braxton Property on Leestown Road, Lexington, Kentucky.  Information provided by Yvonne Giles.

  • Deed Book 43 p.561 01/16/1867 7 acres
  • Deed book 43 p.425 04/10/1867 4 acres
  • Deed Book 45 p.160 02/22/1868 3 acres
  • Deed Book 47 p.62   04/01/1869 7 acres
  • Deed Book 53 p.295 05/20/1874 19 acres
  • Deed Book 53 p.393                   2 acres

 

Braxton family members buried in African Cemetery No.2.  Information provided by Yvonne Giles.

  • Frederick Braxton d. 01/31/1876
  • Mollie Braxton d. 03/11/1876
  • Kesiah (Keziah) Braxton d. 09/14/1898
  • Cary W. Braxton d. 03/31/1913
  • Mary Ellen Prior Braxton [wife of Cary W.] d. 11/09/1924
  • Charles (Charly) Jefferson Braxton d. 06/05/1923
  • Charles C. Braxton [son of Charles J.] d. 03/02/1917
  • Katherine Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1880 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Nora Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1888 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Margaret Braxton [daughter of Charles J.] d. 1887 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Fred Braxton [son of Charles J.] d. 1887 *may be buried in African No.2
  • Maria Edmonds Braxton [wife of Charles J.] d. 07/26/1931
  • Merritt Braxton d. 01/01/1901

 


Poor House Pond

See photo image of Rev. Frederick Braxton in the right hand column on p.191 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at NYPL Digital Gallery.

 
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington and Bracktown, Fayette County, Kentucky

Britt, Allen [Frankie and Johnny]
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1899
Allen Britt was born in Kentucky, according to his death certificate. It is believed that he is the character referred to as Johnny in the popular song Frankie and Johnny. The song, composed by Bill Dooley, was originally titled Frankie and Al (or Albert), until Britt's father became enraged that his son's name was being used in the song, and the name Johnny was used instead. Allen Britt was a piano player, he was shot on October 15, 1899, and died a few days later at the City Hospital in St. Louis, MO. He is buried in an unmarked grave in St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis. Britt was shot by his girlfriend, Frankie Baker (1876-1952), after the two got into a fight. Britt's name is also given as Albert in some sources. He was the son and only child of George and Nancy Britt (both from Tennessee), the family had moved to St. Louis in 1891. Frankie Baker, born in St. Louis, was acquitted of shooting Allen Britt and she left St. Louis, eventually settling in Portland, OR, where she shined shoes for a living. She had two unsuccessful law suits, one against Mae West and Paramount Pictures for the use of her name in the film She Done Him Wrong, and in 1938, she sued Republic Pictures for their 1936 film Frankie and Johnny. After Baker lost the suit, Republic Pictures claimed ownership of the story. Frankie Baker became sick later in life and also suffered from mental illness. She was placed in the East Oregon Hospital where she died. Frankie Baker and Allen Britt's family did not benefit from the popularity of the story "Frankie and Johnny." The tale has been song on commercial phonograph recordings and records, presented in plays, minstrels, in literature, newspaper articles, poems, paintings, ballets, movies, and all other mediums. For more see Hoecakes, Hambone, and All that Jazz by R. M. Nolen; Body and Soul by P. Stanfield; and The Devil's Music by G. Oakley.

See photo image of Frankie Baker on p.52 in Jet, 01/24/1952.

Listen to Frankie and Johnnie by Ethel Waters on YouTube.
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Britt, Hardin B.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1963
Born in Brownsville, KY, Hardin B. Britt was a trained gospel singer. He was the son of Thomas and Julia Britt. After attending the Negro common school in Edmonson County, Hardin Britt graduated valedictorian from State University [Simmons College, Louisville], and he also graduated from Eckstein Norton University. He was the leading soloist at the Baptist World's Congress held in London England; Hardin's performance was reviewed in the Christian Herald, July 1905, "A Sweet Colored Singer." By 1920, Britt had settled in Louisivlle, Kentucky, according to the U.S. Census, he lived on Finzer Street where he boarded with Lucy Burton, a cook, and her niece, Rosa Stone, a school teacher. Britt was earning a living as a gospel singer. In 1937, he was a music teacher living at 2424 W. Walnut Street, according to Caron's Louisville City Directory, 1937, p.263. Hardin B. Britt died in Louisville in 1963 [source: Kentucky Death Index]. For more see Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States by S. W. Bacote.

 

  See photo image of Hardin B. Britt, middle of left hand column, on p.100 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Bownsville, Edmonson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brown, Clara
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1885
Clara Brown was born in Virginia. She and her three children were sold separately, and Clara was brought to Kentucky. She purchased her freedom in 1858 and moved to Missouri before moving on to Colorado, where she became involved in several business ventures, including opening a laundry and investing in mines. Brown profited from her investments and returned to the east to bring 34 of her relatives out west. Much later she was able to find only one of her children. For more see The Book of African American Women: 150 Crusaders, Creators, and Uplifters, by T. Bolden.

See photo image of Clara Brown at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky

Brown, Lee L.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1948
Lee L. Brown was born in Spring Station, KY. He was owner of a stenography school in Louisville, KY, and also owned Brown's Leather Shop. Brown was a correspondent for Dobson's News Service and editor and an organizer of the Louisville News. He was a representative of the Negro Press Association of Chicago. Brown was a two-time candidate for the Kentucky State Legislature, once in 1913 and again in 1935. Lee L. Brown was the son of Richard and Lucy Alexander Brown [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census; and Lee L. Brown's Kentucky Death Certificate]. He was the husband of Etta C. Brown [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple last lived at 1014 West Chestnut Street in Louisville. Lee L. Brown died at the Louisville Red Cross Hospital on August 17, 1948. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Spring Station, Woodford County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brown, Phil H.
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1923
Phil H. Brown was the appointed Commissioner of Conciliation in the U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Negro Economics. News of his appointment was listed under the heading of "Politics" in M. G. Allison's article "The Horizon" in The Crisis, June 1921, vol.22, issue 2, whole number 128, p.80 [available online at Google Book Search]. The Division of Negro Economics was established in 1918 to mobilize Negro workers and address their issues during WWI. The program came about after much pressure from Negro leaders. It was the first program to assist Negro workers and acted as an informal employment agency. George Haynes, of the Urban League, was named director and continued at the post until the program was discontinued in 1921, when Haynes left the office. Phil H. Brown replaced Haynes in 1921 with the new title of Commissioner of Conciliation. He was assigned the task of making a special study of Negro migration to the North and the cause of the migration. Brown delivered an address on his findings at the International Labor Conference in Toronto, Canada. Brown continued to serve as the Commissioner of Conciliation until his sudden death in November 1923. He died of a heart attack at his home, 1326 Riggs St. N.W in Washington, D.C. Funeral services were conducted at Brown's home by Rev. J. C. Olden and Rev. T. J. Brown. Phil H. Brown's body was sent to Hopkinsville, KY, for burial; he considered the city to be his home town. Brown was born in Ironton, OH, and he had previously lived in Washington, D. C. while working at the Government Printing Office (GPO). He then moved to Hopkinsville, KY, where he was a Republican leader. He was employed by the Republican National Committee during the presidential elections from 1908-1920. Brown was also an associate of W. C. Handy; he wrote a commentary that accompanied Handy's 1922 published sheet music "John Henry Blues." [Handy's first wife, Elizabeth, was a Kentucky native.] Phil H. Brown was also a recognized journalist and publisher in Kentucky; Brown had owned a printing company located at Tenth and Chestnut Streets in Hopkinsville. He was editor of the newspaper Major in 1902 and the Morning News in 1903. He also published the Saturday News. Brown had an association with the Chicago Daily News, The New York Journal, and the New York Sun. He also wrote articles for many other publications. In 1916, Brown's printing company published the book The Awakening of Hezekiah Jones by J. E. Bruce. Phil H. Brown was married to Dorothea "Dolly" R. Brown, b.1872 in Pennsylvania, and died in 1924. Prior to their second move to Washington, D.C., the couple had lived on North Liberty Street in Hopkinsville, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. For more see A History of Christian County Kentucky from Oxcart to Airplane by C. M. Meacham; Colored Girls and Boys Inspiring United States History and a Heart to Heart Talk About White Folks by W. H. Harrison, Jr.; "Phil H. Brown dies suddenly in Washington," The Afro American, 12/07/1923, p.1; and U.S. Department of Labor Historian, J. MacLaury, "The Federal Government and Negro Workers Under President Woodrow Wilson," paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Society for History in the Federal Government, 03/16/2000, Washington, D.C. [available online].
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Ironton, Ohio / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Brown, William W.
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1884
William Wells Brown was born in Lexington, KY. His mother, Elizabeth, was a slave; his father, George Higgins, was white. Since his mother was a slave, Brown too was a slave. He eventually escaped and made his way north, where he participated in abolitionist activities. He wrote a play, poems, songs, and books, including Clotel, the first novel published by an African American. Brown was also a historian and practiced medicine. For more see From Slave to Abolitionist by W. W. Brown and L. S. Warner; and Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself [full-text at UNC University Library Documenting the American South].

See image of William Wells Brown from frontispiece of the title Narrative of William W. Brown, a fugitive slave, at Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Broyles, Moses
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1882
Moses Broyles was a slave who was born in Maryland, according to the 1880 U.S. Census. His mother's name was Mary and his father's name was Moses. Moses Jr. was sold at the age of three or four to a slave owner named John Broyles in Kentucky, and he lived in McCracken County, and later worked in Paducah to purchase his freedom for $300. White children he played with had taught him to read, and Moses Broyles also had the gift to recite, sing, and give speeches. While still a slave, he began preaching in Paducah, and helped build the first Colored Baptist meeting house in Paducah. Moses Broyles would become a religion leader and an education leader among African Americans in Indianapolis, IN. Broyles purchased his freedom when he was an adult and left Kentucky, he moved to Lancaster, IN, in 1854. He was a prominent student at Eleutherian Institute in Lancaster, where many of the students were from Kentucky. In addition to his education, Broyles also learned furniture-making. Broyles would become a minister and led the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis from 1857-1882. He also led in the establishing of several other churches in Indiana, and helped found the Indiana Baptist Association. He also taught school in Indianapolis, teaching at one of the first schools in the city for African Americans. He is author of the 1876 title The History of Second Baptist Church. The church prospered under Broyles leadership, and the congregation increased from 30 to 630. Broyles was a Republican and pushed for African Americans to align themselves with the Republican Party. Moses Broyles was the husband of Francis Broyles, and in 1880 the couple had seven children [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Blake Street in Indianapolis. For more see J. C. Carroll, "The Beginnings of public education for Negroes in Indiana," The Journal of Negro Education, vol.8, no.4, Oct. 1939, pp.649-658; Second Baptist Church Collection, 1912-1985 at the Indiana Historical Society[user info .pdf]; T. Sturgill, "Celebrating Black History Month: Three stories of survival," The Madison Courier, 02/16/2011 [article online at The Madison Courier.com]; and see Moses Broyles in the various entries in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer and R. G. Barrows.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Maryland / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lancaster and Indianapolis, Indiana

Brumfield, Sophia M. "Sophie" Overstreet
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1933
Sophia M. Overstreet, from Camp Nelson, KY, was the last African American student employee at Berea College Library prior to the school becoming segregated in 1904. She would continue her education and graduate from Fisk University; Shopia boarded with the Pinkston family in Nashville, TN, while she was a student in 1910. Sophia was the daughter of William S. Overstreet and Jane Jackson Overstreet. In 1900 the family of nine lived in Lee, KY. Sophia's sisters, Mary and Cordelia, were school teachers. Sophia Overstreet died April 4, 1933, she was the wife of Rev. T. M. Brumfield, and the couple had resided in Nashville, TN [source: Tennessee, Deaths and Burials Index FHL Film No.1876799]. According to her death notice, she was born August 13, 1882. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; and Black America Series: Berea and Madison County, by J. G. Burnside, p. 41.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Camp Nelson and Lee, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Bryant, Clarence W.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1899
Bryant, born in Covington, KY, was a famous winning jockey who had ridden for the well-known turfman, Byron McClelland (1855-1897), from Lexington, KY. Bryant died of heart disease at 92 Race Street in Lexington, KY, on April 21, 1899, according to his death certificate. The family entry in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census indicates he was the son of William and Mary Bryant. For more see "One Famous Jockey Dead," The Marble Rock Weekly, 04/27/1899, p. 2. A picture of McClelland and his African American employees is available at the Bloodhorse.com website. For more see the Byron McClelland entry, History of Kentucky, by Kerr, Connelley, and Coulter, p. 375 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Buchanan, Walter S.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1939
Walter S. Buchanan was hired as president of Kentucky State University (K-State) in 1912, but he never arrived at the school; therefore, Green P. Russell was hired in his place. W. S. Buchanan was born in Troy, AL, the son of Frederick and Harriet Buchanan (Artis) [sources: 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. When hired by K-State, W. S. Buchanan was serving as the second president of Alabama A & M College (now Alabama A & M University), his tenure was 1909-1921. The first president of Alabama A & M was William H. Councill, who served from 1890 until his death in 1909. His son-in-law Walter S. Buchanan, who was married to Councill's daughter, Ida. The couple is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census as living on the Alabama A & M campus along with several family members. In 1912, though Buchanan had applied to be president of K- State and he had accepted the position, it was much too difficult for him to leave Alabama A & M. One of the reasons being the continued fight for funding for Alabama A & M to continue to exist as a college. One funding battle being the fight for the school to receive Smith-Lever funding [see online United States v. State of Alabama]. "When Buchanan became president he inherited a campus with twenty-two buildings including classrooms, dormitories, and shops. Buchanan also inherited a deficit in the school's budget. The state budget was $4,000 with a federal sum of $11,000. The two budgets totaled $15,000, about $5,000 short of the college's needs for annual expenses." - - [source: p.13 of the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, NPS Form 10-900 (Rev. 10-90), Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Historic District, 11/20/2001 (online .pdf)]. In 1919, Alabama A & M was downgraded to a junior college, and in 1921, Buchanan resigned. W. S. Buchanan was a 1907 graduate of Harvard College where he earned a B.A.S, and he received an honorary degree from Selma University in 1911 [source: "Life directors, life and active members, Alabama" N. E. A. Bulletin, September 1917, vol.6, no.1, p.101]. There is no record of Walter S. Buchanan resigning from Kentucky State University in 1912, and he was never affiliated with the school after 1912. Contact Alabama A & M University Library for additional information on the tenure of Walter S. Buchanan.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Troy and Normal, Alabama / Kentucky

Burnette, Atlas Crawford
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1960
A. C. Burnette, born in North Carolina, was the first African American employed by the University of Kentucky Agricultural Extension Service, where he began work in 1919 and retired in 1944. He was in charge of Negro extension work in Kentucky. Burnette was a 1903 graduate of North Carolina A&M College [now North Carolina State University] and taught at the school for a few years after his graduation. Burnette had several other jobs before he arrived in Kentucky just prior to the building of Lincoln Institute. He helped clear the fields for the construction of the school, and once the school was in operation, he taught agriculture for six years. He left the state for a brief period, then returned to head the Kentucky State College Agricultural Department [now Kentucky State University] for three and a half years before becoming an agent with the UK Agricultural Extension Service in 1919. He was hired by Dean Thomas P. Cooper. Burnette had an assistant in Madison County. Among his many responsibilities, Burnette assisted with the development of 4-H for Negro youth, which grew to have more than 5,000 members. He organized the Negro Club in Madison County, KY. Also during his tenure, the number of meat cattle owned by Negro farmers more than tripled and food crop production doubled. After his retirement, Burnette was replaced by John Finch. In 1947, A. C. Burnette Day was held in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1952, there were three African American agricultural agents and six home demonstration agents, all serving 32 counties. In those counties with few Negro farmers, all farmers were served by the white county agent. According to A. C. Burnette's WWI Draft Registration Card submitted to the Local Board of Franklin County, KY, and dated September 12, 1918, he was born February 28, 1885 and was the husband of Florence Bradley Burnette. A. C. Burnette died October 7, 1960 and is buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington, KY. For more see J. T. Vaughn, "Farm agent fears work cut life span from 100 to 80," Lexington Leader, 06/16/1952, p. 8. See also The College of Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Kentucky, by J. A. Smith; and the Thomas Poe Cooper Papers at the University of Kentucky's Special Collections Library.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Education and Educators, Migration West
Geographic Region: North Carolina / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Burroughs, Nannie H.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1961
Nannie Burroughs moved to Louisville, KY, in 1900 to become secretary and bookkeeper of the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention. That same year she founded the National Baptist Women's Convention. Burroughs was an activist for African American women's rights. When the National Training School for Women opened in 1909 in Washington, D.C., she became director and held the post for the rest of her life. Burroughs brought the cause for improvements in industrial conditions for African American women to the forefront of the National Association of Colored Women. She helped found the National Association of Wage Earners. For more see Biographical Dictionary of Modern American Educators, by F. Ohles, et al.; and African American Women: a biographical dictionary, by D. S. Salem.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Bush v. Kentucky (John Bush vs The Commonwealth of Kentucky)
Start Year : 1879
End Year : 1884
The murder trials of John Bush (c.1847-1884) were an ongoing "tug of war" for a few years; it was a matter of race and jury selection in Kentucky. In January of 1879, John Bush was accused of shooting 13 year old Anna Vanmeter in the thigh. Bush was a Kentucky-born African American who lived in Fayette County, KY. Anna Vanmeter, who was white, died a week or so after being shot. She had been sharing a bed with her sister who had scarlet fever. The defense claimed that Anna Vanmeter died from scarlet fever and not the wound to her thigh [source: "Special to the Courier-Journal," Lexington, Feb. 5., Courier-Journal, 02/06/1884, p. 4]. John Bush's case went to the Lexington grand jury and the all-white jury could not come to a verdict. In May of 1879, a second trial was held and an all-white jury convicted John Bush of capital murder and sentenced him to death. The case was appealed and the Kentucky Supreme Court reversed the verdict and ordered a new trial. Bush's attorney asked that the case be moved to the U.S. Circuit Court. The request was denied and John Bush was again found guilty and sentenced to death by an all-white jury at his third trial. Bush asked for a writ of habeas corpus for the U.S. Circuit Court for Kentucky. A motion was filed that the case be removed to a federal court on the grounds that Kentucky laws exclude Negroes from grand and petit juries. The federal court agreed with the defendant, and John Bush was released. When John Bush was taken back to Lexington, KY, he was arrested and placed in jail; he is listed as married and incarcerated in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. In December of 1880, the State of Kentucky charged John Bush with the same offense, and in May of 1881, Bush was tried for the fourth time by an all-white jury, convicted, and sentenced. An appeal was filed in 1882, and the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed the judgment. The case was then taken up to the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting in the reversal of the Kentucky Supreme Court's judgement on January 29, 1883. The Opinion of the Court by Justice Harlan: The defendant's conviction and sentence violated the Constitution because the laws of Kentucky expressly precluded Negroes from serving on grand and petit juries. While the U.S. Supreme Courts' decision in "John Bush v. The Commonwealth of Kentucky" is still recognized and discussed in the field of law, there is no mention of the fact that there was no enforcement of the decision and the state of Kentucky ignored the decision. On November 21, 1884, John Bush was hanged in the Lexington jail yard [source: "John Bush's execution," Lexington Leader, 01/06/1890, p.8]. John Bush's defense counsel was L. P. Tarleton, Jr., a lawyer, former sheriff, and a race horse owner in Lexington, KY. Jockey Isaac Murphy rode for Tarleton Jr., Swiney, and McIntyre. John Bush had been a domestic servant for Lexington lawyer William Preston, according to the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. He is listed as a farmhand who lived at 167 Correll Street in Lexington, on p.55 in Prather's Lexington City Directory, for 1875 and 1876. For more see "Bush v. Kentucky" {107 U.S. 110 (1883)} on p.86 in the Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment in the United States by L. J. Palmer; Jury Discrimination by C. Waldrep; and Bush v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, a Cornell University Law School website.
Subjects: Executions, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See photo image of Emma C. W. Clement at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Providence, Rhode Island / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Davis, William Henry
Birth Year : 1872
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Davis graduated from Louisville Colored High School in 1888 [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He taught himself shorthand and typewriting, then was employed by the law firm Cary & Spindle. He was also a private secretary for Louisville Mayor Todd and owned a thriving shoe store in Louisville. He taught typewriting and shorthand in the Colored schools because African Americans were excluded from the classes taught in Louisville. In 1899 he moved his family to Washington, D.C., and in 1902 was awarded a Doctorate of Pharmacology from Howard University. Dr. Davis went on to hold many posts with the federal government and opened the Mott Night Business High School. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Dr. William H. Davis in the John P. Davis Collection.


Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Dean, Dora [Dora Dean Babbige Johnson]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1949
Dean, whose birth name was Dora Babbige, was born in Covington, KY. She was known in vaudeville as "The Black Venus." She was married to Charles E. Johnson, and they performed as a couple, often billed as the creators of the Cake Walk dance. Dean and Johnson were a stylish and graceful dance team who perfected the Cake Walk into a high-stepping swank. They also performed soft shoe and wing dancing; they were stars of "The Creole Show," emphasizing couples dancing. Dean and Johnson were the first African American couple to perform on Broadway. They were also the first to perform in evening attire; they were the best dressed couple on stage. Dean was described as possessing a plump, striking figure; she posed for German painter Ernest von Heilmann, and the painting was unveiled in 1902 at the coronation of King Edward VII and exhibited at the Paris Expo. The couple was also the first to use steel taps on their shoes and the first to use strobe lighting. Beginning in 1903, they lived and performed mostly in Europe and some in Australia and the U.S. They returned home in 1913. The couple had divorced in 1910, and once back in the U. S. they continued performing but did not perform together for a long while. In 1930, Dean had an acting role in the film Georgia Rose, an all African American talkie by white director Harry Gant. Dean and Johnson reunited as a team and a couple in 1934, and both retired by 1942. They spent the remainder of their lives in Minneapolis, MN. For more see Tap Roots, by M. Knowles; "Dora Dean" in the Biographical Dictionary of Dance, by B. N. Cohen-Stratyner; and vol. 2 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration West, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Europe / Australia / Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dehaven, Burrell B.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1941
Born in Hardinsburg, KY, Dehaven became a dentist. He was founder and president of the Capitol City Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association (Ohio). He was the only African American dentist from Columbus to serve in the Dental Corp during World War I. For more see Who's Who in Colored American, 1933-37; and African American Dental Surgeons and the U.S. Army Dental Corps: A Struggle for Acceptance, 1901-1919, by John M. Hyson, Jr.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Diggs, Elder Watson
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1947
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Elder W. Diggs graduated from Indiana's Normal [now Indiana State University], where he was one of the founding members of Kappa Alpha Psi, established on January 5, 1911. Diggs served as the Grand Polemarch (president) of the fraternity during the first six years and was awarded the organization's first Laurel Wreath in 1924. The fraternity sought "to raise the sights of Negro youth and stimulate them to accomplishments higher than might otherwise be realized or even imagined." Diggs was the first African American graduate from the IU's School of Education, and he went on to become a school principal in Indianapolis, leaving that job to serve in World War I. After the war Diggs was instrumental in having the Indiana constitution amended to permit Negro enlistment in the Indiana National Guard. Diggs returned to his job as principal and earned his master's degree in education from Howard University in 1944. After his death on Nov. 8, 1947, the Indianapolis school where he had served as principal for 26 years was named the Elder W. Diggs School #42. For more see Founder: Elder Watson Diggs, by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; and a pencil drawing of Elder W. Diggs by Vertine Young available in the Indiana Historical Society's Great Black Hoosier Americans collection.

See photo image and additional information about Elder Watson Diggs at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Indiana

Doneghy, Edward "Ed"
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1930
In November of 1930, Ed Doneghy was shot and killed at the Turkey Pen Precinct by Joe Hayden, a Democratic election challenger. The disagreement between Doneghy and Hayden was reported in the newspapers to have been a "trivial" matter about Negroes voting at the booth. Hayden claimed he shot Doneghy in self-defense. Hayden was arrested, he posted bond, and return to work at the election booth. Ed Doneghy was a carpenter, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Mollie Caldwell Doneghy (1871-1931) and the couple had several children. For more see "Kentucky Negro shot during quarrel at election booth-voting is spotty," Sheboygan Press, 11/04/1930, p.1; "50 years ago today '30," The Lewiston Journal, 11/04/1980, p.5; and The Hayden Family by C. Hayden, v.1-2, p.190.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Dorsey, William Henry "Billy"
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1920
William Henry "Billy" Dorsey was born October 5, 1878 in Louisville, KY, where he received his musical training. He was a bandleader and music arranger in vaudeville performances and was most noted in Chicago. In 1915, Dorsey traveled to England with a troupe that included his wife, Lizzie; they remained there for four years. He returned to the U.S. due to health problems and settled in Arizona. William Henry Dorsey died February 29, 1920 from tuberculosis. He was the son of Daniel and Celia Dorsey [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see William "Billy" Dorsey in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona

Dougherty, Charles "Pat"
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1940
Dougherty was born in Summer Shade, KY. A baseball pitcher, his career began in 1909 with the West Baden Sprudels in Indiana and ended in 1918 with the Chicago American Giants. He was the top left-handed pitcher of his era and also a good-hitter. For more see The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by J. A. Riley; and Pat Dougherty at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - eMuseum.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky

Douglass, William J.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1938
William J. Douglass was a businessman in Cincinnati, OH. He was owner of the Palace Grill Restaurant at 2966 Gilbert Avenue. He had also been the director and vice-president of The Liberian Haberdashery Company, a wearing apparel business that was formed in 1919 as a $5,000 corporation. There were two stores located in Cincinnati. Thomas B. Richmond was the attorney for the business. Richmond owned his own law business. He was born 1886 in British Guiana, came to the U.S. in 1905, and became a citizen in 1912 [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. The establishing of a corporation by African American men in Cincinnati, OH, was big news that was carried in the Crisis and in African American newspapers as far west as Washington state where the story was published in Cayton's Weekly newspaper. The corporation papers were filed August 27, 1919, and the business was listed in the Annual Report of the Secretary of State to the Governor and General Assembly of the State of Ohio, year ending June 30, 1920, p.64 [online at Google Books]. William J. Douglass was born in Madison County, KY, the son of Benjamin and Hattie Carpenter Douglass. He was the husband of Mary Banks Douglass who was also from Kentucky; they married in 1900. The couple lived on Gilbert Avenue, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Ten years later, William J. Douglass was still a restaurant proprietor. He was married to Ida Douglass, and the family of three lived on Churchill Avenue. William J. Douglass died February 20, 1938, according to the Ohio Certificate of Death file# 9938. For more about The Liberian Haberdashery see the first paragraph under the heading "Industry" in Cayton's Weekly, 10/18/1919, p.3. For more about William J. Douglass, see his entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Dunbar, Joshua
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
An escaped slave from Shelby County, KY, Dunbar served with two Massachusetts Colored Regiments during the Civil War. He separated from his wife, Matilda Dunbar, in 1874. He was the father of Paul L. Dunbar. Johshua Dunbar was born in Garrard County, KY. He was a slave who last lived in Shelby County, prior to joining the Union Army. He received an honorable discharge in October 1865, and was employed as a plasterer. Dunbar was admitted to a U.S. National Home for Disabled Veterans in Dayton, OH, in 1882. According to the Home's records, Joshua Dunbar died August 16, 1885. He is buried on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs Center on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio. For more see L. Dempsey, "Dunbar's dad may rest with dignity," Dayton Daily News, 01/25/04, Local section, p. B1.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Duncan, Alzona John
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1950
Duncan was one of the very few African American pharmacists in Kentucky in the early 1900s. He was born in Bowling Green, KY, in 1871. In 1900, he was managing a drug store in Columbus, OH, while a boarder at a home on N. Champion Avenue, according to the U.S. Census. He was the husband of Julia Jones Duncan (1884-1953), who was born in Ohio. In 1910, the family of six was living in Covington, KY, on W. Tenth Street; Alzona Duncan was owner of a drug store. By 1916, the Duncan family was living in Louisville, KY, where their youngest daughter, Lucie L. Duncan, was born on August 8, according to the Kentucky Birth Index [see the Lucie Lennora Duncan Beverly entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project by D. C. Hine, et al.]. The family lived in Little Africa, where Alzona Duncan owned and operated a drugstore. He was also recognized as mayor of the community and was president of the Parkland Improvement Club. Little Africa was located in Louisville, KY. Alzona Duncan is listed in the 1939 and 1940 volumes of Caron's Louisville City Directory as living at 3621 Virginia Avenue and working as a pharmacist at Central Drug Company. The company had been established in 1932 by African Americans Frank L. Moorman and Dr. J. C. McDonald [see Moorman information on the University of Louisville Library website]. For more on Duncan in Little Africa see J. C. Pillow, "Parkland: Homestead was rise of Little Africa" at courier-journal.com, originally published in 1989.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Early African American Political Candidates, Bourbon County, KY
Start Year : 1867
End Year : 1873
In 1867, an African American man ran for deputy on the Republican ticket. The man was on the ticket with Allen H. Bashford, who was the great-grandfather of Edward F. Prichard, Jr. Bashford was running for sheriff, and both he and the African American man lost their bids for office, and an effigy of Bashford was hung in front of the courthouse [source: "The Ed Prichard Oral History Interviews," an article by Kenneth H. Williams in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, summer/autumn 2006, v.104, nos.3&4, p.404]. In 1873, Jacob M. Porter ran for constable in Paris, KY [source: "Election for constable - a darkey on the track," Paris True Kentuckian (newspaper), 05/07/1873, p.3, col.1; and Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.55]. In his thesis, C. B. King took from the newspaper article that J. M. Porter was the first African American candidate to run for office in the Paris District. Porter was actually preceded by Bashford's running mate in 1867. J. M. Porter removed his name from the election in 1873, because the white "Radical Democrats," as they were named in the newspaper article, did not support him and had found their own candidate, J. A. Logan. The African American Radical Democrats were in favor of Porter as the candidate and there was a split within the party. J. M. Porter was an active civic leader among African Americans in Paris, KY. He was the son of Jefferson Porter, Sr.; his father had been a slave and inherited property along with his freedom [see Jefferson Porter in NKAA Database, entry 1 and entry 2). J. M. Porter, born in 1848, was an officer within Hiram Lodge, No. 5, Masons; the Knight Templars; and the Knights of Friendship, all in Paris [source: History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky by Perrin and Peter; and the 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. J. M. Porter was also an activist; he was a member of the banking committee within the Bourbon County (KY) Protective Union of Color that was formed in 1880 in reaction to the William Giles case. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Early Schools for Negro Deaf and Blind Children
Start Year : 1884
In 1884, the Kentucky School for Negro Deaf was established in Danville, KY, as a division of the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb. The Colored Department was managed by Morris T. Long, William J. Blount, Frances Barker, and Mabel Maris. The first African American student, admitted in 1885, was 25 year old Owen Alexander from Owenton, KY; he remained at the school for one year. He had become deaf at the age of 3 after having scarlet fever. The Kentucky Institute for the Education of the Negro Blind was located in Louisville, KY, in 1886. Both schools are listed in Adjustment of School Organization to Various Population Groups, by R. A. F. McDonald [full view available via Google Book Search]. For more about the early years of the Danville school, see volume 1 of Histories of American Schools for the Deaf, 1817-1893, edited by E. A. Fay. See also G. Kocher, "Diplomas bring tears of joy - blacks who attended from 1930 to 1955 get overdue awards," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/04/2011, p.A1. See photo image of the Kentucky School for the Blind Colored Department Building at the American Printing House for the Blind website. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Owenton, Owen County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Election Day Riot (Frankfort, KY)
Start Year : 1871
On the evening of August 7, 1871, the election polls had just closed when a race riot developed between African American and white voters in Frankfort, KY, at the market-house precinct. It was the second year of voting for African American men in Kentucky, and tension was high. After a scuffle, whites and African Americans took cover on separate sides of Broadway and began shooting and throwing rocks and boulders at each other across the railroad tracks that ran down the center of the street. Police Captain William Gillmore and Officers Jerry Lee and Dick Leonard rushed to the scene; Gillmore was killed and Lee and Leonard were injured. Other police arrived, but they were driven back. A Mr. Bishop, who was also white, was killed, and several others on both sides were injured. State Troops were ordered into downtown Frankfort to bring the rioting under control. An African American, Henry Washington, who supposedly fired the first shot, was apprehended for the murder of Captain Gillmore. Frankfort Mayor E. H. Taylor, Jr. had appointed the state militia to guard the jailhouse. After the State Troops had gone, the militia dispersed when about 250 armed and masked white men stormed the jailhouse at mid-morning and removed Washington and another African American man, Harry Johnson, who was accused of the rape of a Mrs. Pfeifer. Both men were hanged. For more see "Kentucky Elections. Rioting reported in various places - Two whites killed in Frankfort - Negro prisoners lynched," New York Times, 08/09/1871, p. 1; and "A Democratic riot," printed in the New York Times, 08/15/1871, p.6, from the Louisville Commercial, August 10, 1871.
Subjects: Voting Rights, Lynchings, Corrections and Police, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Elizabethtown (KY) Emancipation Day
Start Year : 1882
The 1882 celebration held in Elizabethtown, KY, was joined by African Americans from southern Illinois. The event is noted as the first recorded Emancipation celebration for southern Illinois. For more see S. K. Cha-Jua, America's first Black town: Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915, p. 104.
Subjects: Freedom, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky

Elster, Jesse
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1950
Jesse Elster was a prominent baseball player and manager of the Grand Rapids Colored Athletics Team. He was born in Kentucky and moved to Grand Rapids in 1904. In 1914, Elster and Stanley Barnett formed the Colored Athletic Businesses Association (CABA). The organization supported the baseball team. Elster was still team manager in 1949 when the last articles about the team appeared in Michigan newspapers. Jesse was the husband of Mamie E. Bellis Elster (b.1887 in MO - died 1920), and he later married Emma V. Young, b.1883 in VA. The family of five is listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, and they lived at 439 James Avenue in Grand Rapids, according to Polk's Grand Rapids (Kent County, Mich) City Directory. Jess Elster and his son Russell were truck drivers for a furniture shop. His son Eugene was a shoe shiner. Elster's first name has been spelled different ways, he signed as "Jesse Elster" on his WWI draft registration card. For more see African Americans in the Furniture City by R. M. Jelks; The Negro Leagues Revisited by B. P. Kelley; and "Face Muskegon Club Sunday," Record-Eagle, 07/01/1949, p.15.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Businesses, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Grand Rapids, Michigan

Elzy, Robert James
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1972
Born in Lexington, KY, Elzy was a 1909 graduate of Fisk University and completed his graduate work at Columbia University and New York University. He was assistant principal and a teacher at Joseph K. Brick School in North Carolina, then taught for a year at State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. Elzy left Kentucky to practice social work in Brooklyn, New York. He was the founder and executive secretary of the Brooklyn Urban League, chaired the Colored Case Committee of the Bedford and Ft. Green districts of the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, and was treasurer of the Brooklyn Social Service League. Robert J. Elzy was the husband of Louise Voorhees Elzy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29 and 1950; and "Robert Elzy of Urban League, champion of Black welfare, dies," New York Times, 02/20/1972, p. 68.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Migration East, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Brooklyn, New York

Engine Co. #8 (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1872
The #8 firehouse was located at 725 S. 13th and Maple Streets in Louisville. The house had been built in 1872 and was used by an all-white fire company until December, 1923, when ten African Americans were hired for Louisville's first African American fire department. In 1937 a second African American firehouse was established at Roseland and Jackson Streets. Roy Stanley was the first African American to ride out of an integrated fire house in Louisville. For more see M. Young, "Exhibit features Black firefighters," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, p. 2.
Subjects: Firefighters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Firmatown (Woodford County, KY)
Start Year : 1877
(Also known as Fermantown.) There are two accounts of how Firmatown came to be: The first states the land was given to freemen by their former master, the second that an African American man named Furman won 18 acres in a lottery with a ten cent ticket. In either case, in 1877 there was a landowner named Furman living in Firmatown, along with R. Peters, R. Brown, and H. Smith. By the turn of the century there were 150 people in the community. An 1892 picture of the Fermantown Colored School is included in the Hifner Photo Collection at the Kentucky Historical Society website. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith.
Subjects: Communities, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Firmatown (Fermantown), Woodford County, Kentucky

Fouse, Elizabeth B. Cook
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse was an advocate for African American women's opportunities and equal rights. A schoolteacher who was active in social and religious activities, she served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women and was founder of the Phillis Wheatley YWCA in Lexington, KY. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In 1944 Fouse was appointed by Governor Simeon Willis to serve on the Kentucky Commission for the Study of Negro Affairs. She was married to W. H. Fouse. For more see Jesus, Jobs, and Justice, by B. Collier-Thomas; and the Fouse Family Papers in the Kentucky Digital Library.


See photo images of Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse and others, in the Collection Inventory [click on links at the bottom of the page] in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fowler, Robert A. [Colored Railway Employees' Beneficial Association of America}
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1930
Robert A. Fowler, a Pullman Porter, was employed by the Pullman Car Company in Cincinnati, OH, according to his World War I registration card. He and his family lived at 3015 Kerper Avenue. Fowler was the founder and organizer of the Colored Railway Employees' Beneficial Association of America around 1909. The organization was incorporated in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fowler was born in Georgetown, KY, the son of William and Luella Burden Fowler. He was the husband of Laura Bell Watson Fowler, who may have been his first wife. In 1920, Robert Fowler was the husband of Ella D. Fowler (b.1877 in LA) and the father of Watson Fowler (b.1904 in KY), all according to the U.S. Federal Census. Robert Fowler died January 16, 1930, and was buried in Georgetown, KY on January 30, 1930, according to the Ohio Death Index. In the 1930 Census, Ella D. Fowler is listed as a widow with two children and still living at 3015 Kerper Avenue. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Migration North, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Frankfort, KY, Klan Violence
Start Year : 1871
On March 25, 1871, a letter was sent to the U.S. Congress asking for protection from the Ku Klux Klan for the newly-freed African Americans in Kentucky. The letter was from Colored citizens of Frankfort & vicinity, signed by Henry Marrs, a teacher; Henry Lynn, a livery stable keeper; N. N. Trumbo, a grocer; Samuel Damsey; B. Smith, a blacksmith; and B. T. Crampton, a barber. The letter contained a list of 116 incidents of beatings, shootings, hangings, tarring and feathering, and other violence that had taken place around the state. For more see Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States, vol. 2, ed. by H. Aptheker.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Lynchings, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Franklin Colored Benevolent Society No.1 (Franklin, KY)
Start Year : 1874
The Act to incorporate the organization was passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in February 1874, with R. R. Burnley as president; William Butts, vice president; John H. Perdue [or Purdue], secretary; and King Boisseau as treasurer. The organization purpose was "intellectual, moral, and social improvement of its members, and works of benevolence and charity." [John H. Purdue may be the great great grandfather of John J. Johnson. For more see Chapter 486 of the 1874 publication Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly, pp. 543-544 [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Fraternal Organizations, Grandparents, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Fredric, Francis Parker
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1881
Francis Parker was a house slave born in Faquier County, Virginia, and at about the age of 14 he was brought to Mason County, KY, by his owner. Parker was about 45 years old when he escaped and was recaptured and whipped. About five years later, with the aid of a farmer who was opposed to slavery, Parker again escaped, this time through the Underground Railroad. He made his way to Canada and got rid of the his owner's last name, Parker, and became Francis Fredric. He gave public speeches against slavery. He married an English woman and in 1857 they moved to Liverpool, England. Francis Fredric had learned to read and write after his escape from Kentucky and in 1863 he wrote two versions of his autobiography Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky, or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America. He returned to the United States in 1865, and Reverend Francis "Frederick" wrote a third version of his autobiography. The Rev. Frederick lived in Baltimore, Maryland, at 11 Lambert Street, and is last listed in the 1881 Wood's Baltimore City Directory.

See the photo image and additional information about Francis Fredric at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Authors, Freedom
Geographic Region: Faquier County, Virginia / Mason County, Kentucky / Canada / Liverpool, England, Europe / Baltimore, Maryland

Freeman, Maggie L.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1917
Maggie L. Freeman was an educator and an early African American woman school principal in Bourbon County, KY. She was born in Bourbon County, the daughter of Mary and Willis Freeman. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1910, she was a high school teacher at the Colored School in Paris, living with her father. Freeman had been a teacher at the school since 1903 when she was elected as one of the six teachers under principal J. C. Stone. She became the principal of the Bourbon County Training School around 1911. The school was located in Little Rock and was still in operation in 1933. Maggie L. Freeman left Kentucky and was a teacher in Florida. She died in West Palm Beach, FL, on December 19, 1917 and was buried three days later in Paris, KY [source: Florida Deaths Index]. For more see "Teachers Elected," The Bourbon News, 05/15/1903, p. 5; and "Bourbon County Training School" on pp. 264-265 in Negro Education by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, Bulletin 1916, NO. 39, Volume II [available full-text in Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration South
Geographic Region: Paris and Little Rock, Bourbon County, Kentucky / West Palm Beach, Florida

George, S. H.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1936
S. H. George was considered a wealthy physician, politician, and business man in Paducah, KY. He was born in Kentucky. His mother died when he was three years old, and S. H. George was forced to earn his way at an early age. He was a school teacher for several years, and later graduated from Walden University (TN) and Meharry Medical College. He returned to Paducah and opened his medical practice, and is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Nettie McClaine (1889-1935), who was born in Decatur County, TN. Nettie was a trained nurse. The couple shared their home with Nettie's mother Susan Jobe Hoskin, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. George was involved in several businesses, including a skating rink. August 1909, during the Emancipation Day celebration, Dr. George charged Daniel Hopwood with trying to pass a bad dollar at the Paducah Colored Skating Rink, located at 10th and Broadway; the rink was in financial trouble in 1909. The counterfeiting case against Hopwood was dismissed from the Paducah courts due to insufficient evidence. Several years later, Dr. George was a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention. His first term was in 1920; the Kentucky Republican State Convention had been undecided as to which African American would be a delegate-at-large, and after a four hour discussion, Dr. George was selected. Also in 1920, Dr. George was co-owner of the newly incorporated Home Drug Company in Paducah. The other two owners were John W. Egester and C. M. Bolden. That same year, Dr. George was owner and manager of the Hiawatha Theater, a picture house at 432 S. 7th Street in Paducah. He paid $10,000 for the business. In 1927, in Washington D.C., Dr. S. H. George was re-elected Grand Esteemed Leading Knight of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order Of Elks of the World (IBPOEW); he was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Pythian, a member of the Court of Calanthe, and vice president of the Pythian Mutual Industrial Association of Kentucky. In 1928, he was again a Republican National Convention delegate. Dr. S. H. George died June 23, 1936, his death notice is on p.155 in An Economic Detour by M. S. Stuart. Dr. George was a founding member, a stockholder, and a 21-year elected member of the board of directors of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. For more see "Pick Kentucky delegates," New York Times, 03/04/1920, p.17; "No conviction in counterfeiting cases," The Paducah Evening Sun, 08/17/1909, p.3; see "S. H. George..." on p.16 in NARD Journal, v.30, 1920; African American Theater Buildings by E. L. Smith; "J. F. Wilson re-elected head of Negro Elks," The New York Times, 08/26/1927, p.14; and see S. H. George in The National Cyclopedia of the Colored Race edited by C. Richardson [available online at Internet Archive].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Gillard, Howard Harvey
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1971
Howard Gillard was born in Falmouth, KY, the son of Belle and Edward Gillard. The family was living in Milford, OH, in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Howard Gillard became a lawyer. His office was located at 265 1/2 S. High Street in Columbus, OH. He served as the receptionist and assistant secretary to governors of Ohio. In 1906, Gillard was appointed Messenger in the Ohio Executive Department and was still at that post in 1919. He was also a special writer for the Sunday Dispatch (Ohio). For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Journal of the Senate of the...General Assembly of the State of Ohio [full-text available via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Columbus and Milford, Ohio

Glass, James G.
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1962
Dr. Glass was one of the longest practicing physicians in Henderson, KY, where he practiced for 50 years. Glass was a physician and surgeon. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Edward W. and Sallie E. McReynolds Glass. He graduated from Clark Embalming School, Walden University, and received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in 1906. Prior to opening his practice, Glass was in the undertaking business with his father, Edward Glass. He practiced medicine for a year in Hopkinsville, 1908-1909, then moved his business to Henderson, KY. He was the husband of Ora H. Kennedy Glass, a community leader in Henderson, KY. For more see the James Garfield Glass entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race by F. L. Mather [available full view at Google Book Search]; and Dr. James G. Glass on p.84 of Journal of the National Medical Association, vol.55, issue 1, January 1963 [available online].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Gowens, Henry Lytle, Jr.
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1953
Born in Lexington, KY, Henry L. Gowens, Jr. became an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at the Mercy-Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia and served as president of the Pennsylvania Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association. He published several articles, including "Eserin in ophthalmology," Journal of Ophthalmology, Otology and Laryngology, vol. 20, 1914. He was among the first ten African Americans to become a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was the husband of Beulah E. Gowens (b.1890) from Philadelphia, PN. The couple bought a home in what had been an all white neighborhood and a suit was filed by a former owner of the home. Judge Curtis Bok of the Common Pleas Court dismissed the suit. Dr. Gowens was the son of Henry L. Gowens, Sr. Prior to his marriage, Dr. Gowens was head of his family, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The family lived on 13th Street N. in Philadelphia, PN. Henry Gowens, Sr. was a school professor; Dr. Gowens had a private medical practice; his sisters Modina and Virginia were school teachers; and his brother Willard was an artist. All of the family members were born in Kentucky. In 1920, Henry Sr. was a clerk with the U.S. Government, and he, his wife Florence, and daughter Modina were living in Washington, D.C. In 1930, Williard Gowens was also living with the family in D.C. Henry L. Gowens, Jr. was a graduate of Howard University and received his medical degree in 1908 from Hahnemann Medical College [now Drexel University College of Medicine]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; see pp.310-311 in Anyplace But Here by A. W. Bontemps and J. Conroy; and "Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr.," New York Times, 01/04/1953, p.78.

See photo image of Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr. at the "Images from the History of Medicine a the National Library of Medicine.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Graves, George L.
Birth Year : 1879
August 1912, George L. Graves was among the six mine employees returning to the United States aboard the ship Seguranca from Veracruz, Mexico [source: List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival, August 2, 1912, p.14]. The ship docked at New York, New York. The men had been working on one of the oil wells in the Veracruz area, and may have returned to the U.S. due to the rebellion against President Francisco I. Madero during the Mexican Revolution. George L. Graves was 33 years old and single, he was born in Harrodsburg, KY. He was one of many Americans who lived in Mexico and were employed by the American-owned oilfield companies. This was prior to the Tampico Affair in 1914 and the invasion of Veracruz by American troops. For more about the American presence in Mexico and the oil industry see The Ecology of Oil by M. I. Santiago; Oil, Banks, and Politics by L. B. Hall; and A. Kahn, "The dynamics of color : mestizaje, racism, and blackness in Veracruz, Mexico" in Shades of Difference by E. N. Glenn.
Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Mexico

Green, Emma Cason
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1983
Green, born in North Middletown, KY, was the daughter of James and Rebecca Cason. Her husband was Charles Green, also from Bourbon County. Emma Cason Green attended Kentucky Classical and Business College in North Middletown and later moved to Indiana. A dressmaker who also wrote poetry, she had some of her poems published in Attempting to Express My Thoughts, compiled by J. Curtis. She also wrote the History of the Second Christian Church, North Middletown, Ky. Emma Cason Green has a headstone in the Prescott Pike Cemetery in North Middletown, KY, that gives her birth year as 1886. The Emma Cason Green Papers are housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see "Emma Cason Green" in Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indiana

Griffin, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1879
From Paris, KY, Griffin was a railroad dining car waiter. He was the husband of Lorena Griffin and the father of James S. "Jimmy" Griffin (1917-2002), who became the first African American sergeant of the St. Paul, Minnesota, police force in 1955; captain in 1970; and after a discrimination lawsuit, deputy chief in 1972. For more see Jimmy Griffin, one of St. Paul's finest!; and Jimmy Griffin, a son of Rondo: a memoir, by J. S. Griffin and K. J. C. McDonald.
Subjects: Fathers, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / St. Paul, Minnesota

Hall, Henry E. [Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company]
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1936
Henry E. Hall, a Kentucky native, and William H. Wright, a lawyer from Alabama, were the founders of Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. Hall was born in Henderson, KY, the son of Burell and Millie Hall. In 1880, the family of eight lived on Audubon Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Henry Hall attended the local colored school and worked in a tobacco factory. He was a graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University]. Hall would return to Henderson, where he was a school teacher during the school year and worked in a tobacco factory when school was not in session. In 1911, Hall founded the insurance company National Benevolent Union of Kentucky. He did not have a license to operate an insurance company, and was forced to sell the business, which was purchased by Atlanta Mutual, and Hall was hired as the state manager for Kentucky. He would later take on the duties of manager of the health and accident department of the Standard Life Insurance Company of Atlanta until the company was forced out of Kentucky in 1914. Shortly after the company's exit from the state, Hall and Wright formed the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company, but the state of Kentucky would not license the company. Hall and Wright took their case to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and won. The Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company was officially launched July 12, 1915 at an office on 6th and Liberty Streets in Louisville, KY, with Hall, Wright, Rochelle Smith, and B. O. Wilkerson. The business prospered, and soon district offices were located in Lexington, Paducah, Bowling Green, and Hopkinsville. The main office was replaced by a three-story brick building at 422 S. 6th Street in Louisville. The business continued to prosper and a new six-story building was constructed at 604-12 W. Walnut Street in Louisville. In 1926, William H. Wright died and Henry Hall took over as sole president of Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. The company expanded with offices in Indiana and Ohio. In 1930, the Arkansas branch was sold to Southwestern Insurance Company of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The company weathered the depression years in the 1930s. Henry E. Hall died in 1936, and the company continued. It was the largest African American owned business in Kentucky. In 1992, the company merged with Atlanta Life and the Kentucky offices were closed. Henry E. Hall was the husband of Emma Hall; the couple had four daughters, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. The family lived on Chestnut Street in Louisville in their home, which was worth $5,000. For a more complete history about the business see "The Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company, Louisville, Kentucky" on pp. 150-156 in An Economic Detour: a history of insurance in the lives of American Negroes, by M. S. Stuart; Encyclopedia of Louisville by J. E. Kleber; and C. G. Woodson, "Insurance business among Negroes," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 14, no. 2 (April 1929), pp. 202-206. See also the NKAA entry for Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company.

 

  See photo image of Henry E. Hall, top of right hand column, on p.80 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County

Hampton, Pete George
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1916
Born in Bowling Green, KY, Pete G. Hampton was the first African American to be recorded playing a harmonica. According to his 1905 passport application, Hampton was also a variety actor, and he had an artificial right eye. He recorded as a banjo soloist and singer, the recordings were made in Britain and Germany between 1903-1911. He recorded, toured and lived in Europe with his wife, Laura Bradford Bowman. It is said that he recorded more than any other contemporary African American. In 1913 Hampton, his wife, and her father returned to the United States, where Hampton died three years later. For more see Who was the first blues harp player to record? by Pat Missin; the Laura Bowman entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; and a more detailed biography and photo image see K. Mason, "Pete G. Hampton," The Amplifier Online, 04/02/2010. Listen to Pete Hampton performing "Dat Mouth Organ Coon", link from Vintage Harmonica 78s website.
Access Interview
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Europe

Handy, Elizabeth P.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1937
Elizabeth Virginia Price Handy was born in Henderson, KY, the daughter of Jim and Betty Price. She wrote poetry but was never published. She was the first wife of blues composer and musician William C. (W. C.) Handy (1873-1958), with whom she had six children: Lucille, William Jr., Katherine, Florence, Elizabeth, and Wyer. Elizabeth Handy died in New York City. Hours before her death, she had been taken by ambulance to the Knickerbocker Hospital on March 11, 1937; she was suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Because she was African American, she had to wait outside in the ambulance for 55 minutes, while her husband W. C. Handy, and her physician, Dr. Farrow R. Allen, tried to get her admitted. The admitting clerk had informed them that Negroes were not admitted to the private ward. W. C. Handy had to pay $63 before Elizabeth was admitted [the usual charge was $6 per day]. Elizabeth Handy died two hours after she was admitted to the hospital. The New York NAACP, led by Roy Wilkins, assistant secretary, requested that New York Mayor LaGuardia investigate the Knickerbocker Hospital policies concerning Negro patients. Walter Mezger, superintendent of the hospital, told the media that the hospital did not discriminate toward Colored patients; the discrimination that had taken place was that of the admitting clerk, a long time employee who had used bad judgment and had since been transferred from the hospital. For more see The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, by M. Arnett; and "Hospital accused by Negro society," The New York Times, 03/27/1937, p.30.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers, Poets, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / New York, New York

Harris, Emma E. "The Mammy of Moscow"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1937
Harris, an actress and singer, told others that she was from Kentucky, but she gave Augusta, GA as her birth place on her 1901 U.S. Passport Application. She was to return to the U.S. in two years, but Harris lived much of her life in Moscow, Russia. She left the U.S. from Brooklyn, NY, where she had been a church choir director. She left with the "Louisiana Amazon Guards [or Gods]", a six-woman theater troupe, with a seventh woman as a reserve. The group toured Germany. Harris later became a member of the "Six Creole Belles" [which may have been the same group under a different name and management]; they toured Poland and Russia before disbanding, and all but two members returned to the U.S. in 1905 because of the revolutions taking place in Russia. Harris then formed the "Emma Harris Trio," a singing group that continued performing in various European cities. Years later, the trio broke up and Harris was stuck in Siberia, where she taught English for a living before returning to performing as a concert soloist in Russia. Harris had studied voice at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She also served as a nurse in the Ukraine during the Civil War, worked with the American Relief Association, and later was a speaker for the International Red Aid. Harris remained in Moscow with her husband and manager, Ivanovitch Mizikin. She knew Stalin and was a friend of Maxim Gorky's. She spoke fluent Russian and gave speeches against the Scottsboro Boys case when she was over 60 years old. Harris was also an excellent cook of culturally diverse meals and liked to entertain; she had many connections for getting food during the period when food was rationed in Moscow. Harris returned to the U.S. in 1933 and died in Brooklyn in 1937. For more see "The Mammy of Moscow" in The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, vol. 9: Essays on Art, Race, Politics, and World Affairs, by L. Hughes, et al.; and R. E. Lotz, "The Louisiana Troupes in Europe," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 11, issue 2 (Autumn 1938), pp. 133-142.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Nurses, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Augusta, Georgia / Moscow, Russia, Europe / Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Hathaway, Isaac S.
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1967
Isaac S. Hathaway was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Robert Elijah Hathaway and Rachel Scott Hathaway. His father, Robert E. Hathaway, had been a slave of Garret Davis, a U.S. Senator from Bourbon County. Isaac S. Hathaway was a sculptor; the Booker T. Washington and Carver Washington half dollars were designed by Hathaway, the first African American to design a U.S. coin. He constructed a model for the Wayne suicide case in 1904 and made reproductions for the Smithsonian Institute of the Bath-Furnace meteorite that fell in Sharpsburg, KY, in 1904. He was the first African American to be shown in a movie newsreel working professionally. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Isaac Hathaway, a pioneer in sculptor! a website by The African American Registry. See also the NKAA entry for the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum in Lexington, KY.

  See photo images at "The Hathaway Family and Isaac Scott hathaway" at the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Sculptors, Movies and Films, Suicide
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Headspeth, Woody
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1941
In 1899, Woody Headspeth was considered the "fastest colored rider in the country," except for the Major, [Marshall W. Taylor], according to the article "Woody Headspeth has secured..." in the column "Spokes from a wheel" in the Recorder (Indianapolis, IN), 10/21/1899, p. 2. He had raced once in Chicago at the Ravenswood track, where he came in third. He also had ridden in the bicycle races held at the Colored Fair in Lexington, KY, and always finished first, and he rode at the Newby Oval in Indianapolis, IN. Headspeth's fastest times in 1899 were the mile at 1.493-5, and the two mile at 3.39 flat with his teammate Jack Robinson. The year 1899 was also when Woody Headspeth married Winnie Partee, daughter of Samuel Partee and Charity Dotson Partee, on March 18 in Marion County [Indianapolis], IN. Woody's birth location is given as Kentucky on the marriage certificate along with the birth year 1880, as well as his father's name, Frank "Hedgepath" [source: Indiana Select Marriages, 1790-1992, FHL Film Number 413541 & 499380].

 

In 1900, Woody Headspeth and Reese Lewis, from Tennessee, were employed as bicycle repairmen in Chicago; they roomed at the home of Frank Harris, from Kentucky, and Mamie Harris, from Georgia [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Woody Headspeth was living in Indianapolis in 1901; he is listed on p. 503 of R. L. Polk & Co.'s Indianapolis City Directory for 1901. In 1901, in Springfield, OH, Woody Headspeth won the six-day, 135 1/2 mile race at the Coliseum with a time just two seconds behind the world record [source: "Woody Headspeth's Victory," in the column "Sport" edited by Breakaway in the Freeman, 10/05/1901, p. 7]. He was again a champion in 1902 at Pabst Park in Milwaukee, WI [source: "Headspeth a star: colored rider wins five-mile and ten-mile motor-paced bicycle race,"Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 09/04/02, p. 5]. Winnie "Hedgepeth" was still living in Indianapolis in 1902; she is listed on p. 507 of the R. L. Polk & Co.'s Indianapolis City Directory, 1902 as living at 758 W. 13th Street. Woody Headspeth was still racing in the United States, but he was about to become an expatriate in Europe.

 

Woody Headspeth was still a young man; his birth, according to the 1900 U.S. Census, took place in March 1882 in Kentucky, but according to his U.S. Passport Application dated September 14, 1905, he was born June 14, 1881, in Indianapolis, IN. There is other conflicting information on other passports belonging to Woody Headspeth. In 1905, he was already living in Paris, France, when he submitted his passport application to the U.S. Embassy there. On his application, he lists bicycle rider as his occupation, Paris, France as his temporary residence, and Indianapolis, IN, as his permanent address; he was requesting a passport from the U.S. Embassy for travel to Russia. In 1908, Woody Headspeth submitted another U.S. Passport Application to the American Embassy in Paris, France; his occupation was listed as professional cyclist; his birthday as June 15, 1881; and again he was seeking the passport to travel to Russia [application dated March 2, 1908]. There was a fourth U.S. Passport Application, dated June 22, 1921. The name on that application is spelled Woody "Hedspath," son of Frank "Hedspath" who was born in "Levenon, KY" [Lebanon, KY] and was deceased. Woody's birth date is given as June 15, 1884. According to the application, Woody Headspeth had visited the U.S. in 1904 and still gave Paris, France, as his temporary address at 30 rue Nollet, and his permanent address as Indianapolis, IN. His occupation was bicycle racing and he intended to visit several other European countries. According to his 1921 application, his previous passport (the third application) had been granted by the American Embassy in Berlin, Germany, on September 3, 1903. The date may be a typo; Woody Headspeth had applied for an emergency passport in Berlin, Germany, on September 3, 1913. According to that application, Woody Headspeth was a "bicycle-rider" with no passport, "which I have left at home." His permanent residence was Indianapolis, IN; He stated he had last left the U.S. in April of 1908 and was at present temporarily sojourning in Berlin, Germany. He wanted the passport to travel to Russia on business. Accompanying the application was a certificate that Woody Headspeth was a professional cyclist who was a member of the National Cycling Association of the United States.

 

It is not known when Woody Headspeth's career as a bicyclist ended in Europe. Woody Headspeth died in Portugal on April 16, 1941, at the Hospital Curry Cabral in Lisbon [source: Report of the Death of an American Citizen, American Foreign Service, May 8, 1941, Ser. No. 1221]. He died from typhus and intestinal tuberculosis and was buried in Lisbon, Portugal in the Bemfica Cemetery on April 21, 1941, grave #3303. His effects were to be burned on the advice of the attending physician. Woody Headspeth had in his possession his last American passport, No.3419, issued in Paris, France on February 4, 1941; he was a "member of the Repatriation Group 14 from Paris [France] under Red Cross auspices. Personal effects were old, mostly in poor condition, and almost valueless. Deceased was destitute." When Woody Headspeth was rescued from France, it was during WWII and the Germany Army had occupied Paris.

 

Relatives listed on the death report of Woody Headspeth was a daughter, Mlle. Genevieve Le Maitre Hedspath at Maria Boven, par Rostenem, Cotes-du-Nord, France; and the daughter's mother, Mlle. Rosalie Le Maitre, c/o M. Lallines, à Ker. Two telegraphs were sent with the notice of Woody Headspeth's death, one to his daughter on April 22, 1941, and one to Jim Gibson on April 19, 1941.

 

Additional Sources:

 

Zeidler Miklós, "Egy régi pálya a polgári korban – a Millenáris Sporttelep: VERSENYPÁLYA A CSÖMÖRI ÚTON," KORALL 7-8, p. 125. [Hungarian]. Woody Headspeth is referred to as the black "Lightning Man" in reference to a 1906 race he won in Hungary.

 

ax10.art - art trade on the internet [Hungarian]. Postcard with photo image of Woody Headspeth. "Woody Headspeth, African American cyclist. World Champion"

 

Circuit Club Stamp & Coin Auctions. Postcard with photo image of Woody Headspeth in Hungary. Lot#22934. "50 kilométeres motorkerékpár verseny a Millenáris versenypályán Woody Headspeth világbajnok részvételével / 50 km motorbike championship in Hungary with Woody Headspeth" [Hungarian].

 

Nemzetközi kerékpár-verseny. 1906 Június. [Hungarian].

 

Porfelhőlovagok: a magyar kerékpározás története az első világháborúig. 2012. ápr. 18. Németh Balázs [Hungarian].
Subjects: Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Chicago, Illinois / Paris, France, Europe / Russia, Europe / Berlin, Germany, Europe / Lisbon Portugal, Europe

Henson, Josiah
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1883
Josiah Henson was brought to the Riley Plantation in Owensboro, KY, as a slave, he escaped to Canada and returned many times to lead his family and others to freedom. He spoke at abolition meetings. Henson is believed to have been portrayed as the Uncle Tom character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. For more see The Life of Josiah Henson, by J. Henson; and American Biographies, by W. Preston.

See photo image of Josiah Henson at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Canada

Holland, George W.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1929
George W. Holland was born in Ruddles Mills, KY. He taught school in Kentucky, then in 1895 moved to Springfield, OH, where he was employed as a postal clerk. George W. Holland later became head of the postal division of Crowell Publishing Company. [The Crowell Publishing Company, located in Springfield, OH, was owned by Lexington, KY, native John Stephen Crowell (1850-1921). In 1934, the company merged to become Crowell-Collier Publishing Company.] In addition to being an employee at the publishing company, George W. Holland was also president of the Colored Men's Council and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of 1924. Maude Holland was the wife of George W. Holland, and she was deceased when George W. Holland was injured in a car accident on September 15, 1929 and died five days later [source: State of Ohio, Certificate of Death File #56683]. He is buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, OH. For more about George Holland see Chapter 9 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley. For more about the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company see the company records, 1931-1955 at New York Public Library.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ruddles Mills, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

Hopkinsville College of the Bible (Hopkinsville, KY)
Start Year : 1883
The school was founded in 1883 during a meeting of the First District Baptist Association at the Green Valley Baptist Church in response to the need for a training center in the area for more African American teachers and preachers. The school was initially called Male and Female College, then reopened as Southwestern Kentucky Institute before becoming Hopkinsville College of the Bible. The school remains open today. For more information see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 and contact the Hopkinsville College of the Bible.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Hopkinsville Male and Female College
Start Year : 1883
End Year : 1915
P. T. Frazer was the principal of the school until it closed some time around 1915 due to a lawsuit between Frazer and the school trustees. The school, owned by Baptist associations, had six teachers. Located on five acres of land, it was an elementary and high school that could house up to 50 boarders. When the school closed, there was an 11th grade high school available to Colored students in Hopkinsville, KY, that was supported by the city. For more see p.277 of Negro Education, by T. J. Jones [available online at Google Book Search]; and Annual catalogue of the Hopkinsville M. & F. College, Hopkinsville, Kentucky. For the school's continuation see the entry Hopkinsville College of the Bible. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Hueston, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Hueston was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Bettie H. Treacy; his family later moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and an active community leader in Kansas City. He also lived part-time in Gary, Indiana. He served as president of the National Negro Baseball League, beginning in 1927, after Rube Foster was committed to the Kankakee Asylum in Illinois. In Gary, Indiana, Hueston served as magistrate judge and helped establish the African American-owned Central State Bank. He was appointed by President Hoover to the National Memorial Commission for the building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture that was to have been built in 1929. He left Indiana in 1930 for Washington, D.C. to become Assistant Solicitor with the U.S. Post Office. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; The Josh Gibson Foundation website; Take up the Black Man's Burden: Kansas City's African American Communities, 1865-1939, by C. E. Coulter; M. Strimbu, "Library exhibit depicts Gary's rich, varied history," Post-Tribune, 07/24/1997, Gary Neighbors section, p. NB4; and "William C. Hueston, 81, Government Attorney," Washington Post, 11/27/1961, City Life section.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Judges, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Kansas / Gary, Indiana / Kankakee, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Hughes, Green Percy
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1930
Hughes was born seven miles outside of Paris, KY, the son of William Henry Hughes, from Vermont, and Delphia Finch Hughes, from Indiana. Green P. Hughes was the husband of Sue B. Hughes, born 1887 in KY, and the family of six lived on Walnut Street in Louisville, KY in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In 1921, Green Hughes founded and organized the successful business, Domestic Life and Accident Insurance Co., in Louisville, serving as its president. He had retired from the insurance business when he committed suicide August 7, 1930, according to his death certificate, and is buried in Louisville. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Suicide
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hughes, James Nathaniel
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1934
Hughes was born in Charlestown, Indiana. He was the father of Langston Hughes and the son of Emily Cushenberry and James H. Hughes. James H. was a former slave whose mother was a slave; her father was Silas Cushenberry, a Jewish slave trader from Clark County, KY. James H. Hughes' father was also a slave. He was the son of Sam Clay, a distiller from Henry County, KY. It is not known exactly when the Hughes family left Kentucky, where their four oldest children were born, but it is believed the family left prior to the Civil War. Their son, James Nathaniel Hughes, lived in Louisville for a brief period, where he passed the postal civil service exam but was not hired by the post office. He eventually moved on to Oklahoma, where he married Carrie Langston in the late 1890s. After their first child died in 1900 and Langston Hughes was born in 1902, James left his family. He settled in Mexico, never to return to the United States; he remarried, practiced law, and was a land owner. For more about the Hughes Family see Langston: My Cousin, by the Hughes Family Interest, Inc.; F. Berry, Langston Hughes, pp. 1-2; Langston Hughes of Kansas, by M. Scott [excerpt from Kansas History, vol. 3, issue 1 (Spring 1980), pp. 3-25]; The big sea: an autobiography, by L. Hughes; and The Life of Langston Hughes, vol. I: 1902-1941, by A. Rampersad. Additional information for this entry was provided by Marjol Collet, Director of the Langston Hughes Family Museum in Gary, Indiana.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Mothers, Postal Service, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Charlestown, Indiana / Clark County, Kentucky / Henry County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oklahoma / Mexico

Hummons, Henry L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1956
Henry Lytle Hummons was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Mary Ellen and Thomas Hummons. He graduated from the Indianapolis Medical School in 1902 and opened his practice the following year. He founded and was a clinical physician at the Tuberculosis Clinic, Flanner House, in Indianapolis from 1919-1931. It was the first free tuberculosis clinic in the city. Hummons also founded the Senate Avenue Y.M.C.A. in Indianapolis. He was among the first African American professionals to buy homes on California Street in Indianapolis in the 1920s. The area was excavated by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Archaeology Field School. For more see H. L. (Henry Lytle) Hummons Papers at the Indiana Historical Society; Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and IUPUI Archaeology Field School.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Hunter, William H.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1938
William H. Hunter was a shoe maker and an industrial arts teacher from South Carolina. He is credited as the person who introduced shoe making as an industrial arts subject in the Negro public schools in Louisville, KY [source: "K. N. E. A. Kullings," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January-February 1939, v.9, no.2-2, p.28].  Hunter learned his trade at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University] and is listed as a former student on p.28 in the 1910 title Industrial Work of Tuskegee Graduates and Former Students During the Year 1910 by M. N. Work, Division of Research and Records, Tuskegee Institute, Ala.  According to the publication, Hunter had been at his trade for 7 years and was earning $15 per week. In 1917, Hunter was a shoe maker at the Boston Shoe Company in Louisville, and he lived at 1920 W. Madison [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1917, p.727]. In 1930, Hunter was a teacher at Jackson Street Junior High School [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1024]. William H. Hunter died November 28, 1938 in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate #27559]. He was the husband of Willie Hunter (b.1882 in GA).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Importing Negro Miners/Strikebreakers from Kentucky
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1899
Negro strikebreakers were first employed in 1855 by the steamship company Morgan Line. In the late 1800s, when white coal miners would go on strike, there were several instances when mine owners imported non-union Negro miners from Kentucky and other southern states as replacements. According to authors Greene and Woodson, importing Negro strikebreakers had increased the number of Negro mine workers; there was a demand for experienced miners, this was especially true during the 1922 coal strike, and Negro miners were drawn to the higher wages. In spite of the labor demand and the promise of higher wages, the arrival of Negro miners/strikebreakers many times led to confrontations with striking miners and union leaders. Below are a few instances of Negro miners from Kentucky being imported to other states during the late 1800s.

  • Hocking Valley, OH - 1874 - when the regions white miners went on strike due to lower wages and unfair company policies, mine owners could not break the strike and Negro miners were brought in from the South. It was the first time that a large number of Negro miners had been used to break a strike. The 400-500 men came from the mining districts of Memphis, Louisville, and Richmond. For mine operator John Martin, bringing in the Negro miners was the "great triumph over Trades-Unions." When news of the Negro miners circulated through Nelsonville, New Straitsville, and other nearby communities, the Negro miners were confronted by the striking miners and their families. More than 100 Negro miners crossed the picket line to join the striking miners, and once funding was provided, they left Nelsonville. Those who remained were resented, as were the mine operators. Some of the white miners went back to work, and there were fights between the white miners and the Negro miners, and as a result, more Negro miners left the area. For more see H. G. Gutman, "Reconstruction in Ohio: Negroes in the Hocking Valley Coal Mines in 1873 and 1874," Labor History, vol 3, issue 3, pp.243-264, quote on page 256.
  • Chicago, IL - June 1877 - Wilmington & Vermillion Coal Company at Braidwood - Alanson Sweet, champion wage cutter, cut the wages of Braidwood miners twice in 1876, and announced another cut for spring of 1877, followed by a cut in the winter of 1877. Fifteen hundred miners struck for higher wages. The coal company hired armed guards, and Sweet announced that the striking miners would not be paid for their last month of work. June of 1877, Sweet imported Negro miners from Kentucky and West Virginia. "With the mines filled with colored men, it is believed that the Company will not be burdened with the expense of another strike for many years." In retaliation, the strikers ran 400 Negro miners and their families out of town. Two Illinois militia regiments escorted them back into town. By November, several hundred striking miners returned to work and accepted the cut in wages. Most of the Negro miners returned home, while a few continued working in the Braidwood mine. See 1877: Year of Violence by R. V. Bruce, quote on page 384.
Negro miners from Kentucky who were still in Braidwood in 1880, from the U.S. Federal Census:
  1. Nilson Clark (b.1859)
  2. George Collins (b.1855)
  3. Benjamin Cox (b.1840)
  4. Hanson Edwards (b.1855)
  5. George Ewbanks (b.1858)
  6. James Harris (b.1835)
  7. George Hulbart (b.1857)
  8. William Jones (b.1849)
  9. Amos Rogers (b.1850)
  10. Charles Smith (b.1857)

  • Terre Haute, IN - December 1897 - Cabel Mining Company - the Indiana state labor commissioners criticized the company for declining the proposal from their striking miners and importing 100 Negro miners from Kentucky (75 from Hopkins County), and for posting armed guards at the mine. In spite of the condemnation, the Cabel Mining Company imported even more Negro miners from Kentucky to take the place of the striking miners. See p.18 in First Biennial Report of the Indiana Labor Commission, 1897-98 [available at Google Book Search]; "Indiana labor commissioners severely critici[s]e importers of Colored miners," Alton Telegraph, 12/09/1897, p.5; and "More Negro miners," The Indiana State Journal, 12/08/1897, p.2.
  • Arkansas and the Indian Nation Territory - March 1899 - the miners went on strike for better wages and working conditions, and when the mine managers could not convince them to return to work, the coal companies came together and organized a group of agents who were dispatched to Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama to gather both white and Negro strikebreakers. The coal companies were the Choctaw Coal and Railroad Company, Southwestern Coal and Improvement Company, Kansas and Texas Coal Company, Central Coal and Improvement Company, and Western Coal and Mining Company. For more see A History of the Coal Miners of the United States by A. Roy.
  • Mansfield, AR - April 1899 - federal court Judge Rogers issued an injunction that prevented striking miners at Huntington, AR, from interfering with the Negro miners imported from Kentucky for work in the mines owned by the Kansas and Texas Coal Company. The governor of Arkansas had instructed the sheriff of Huntington to stop all future transports of Negro miners from being unloaded within the state. Judge Rogers had the U.S. Marshals serve the sheriff with an injunction. See "Clash over Negroes," Hutchinson News, 04/25/1899, p.2.
  • Evansville, IN - June 1899 -Sunnyside Mine - 30 Negro miners were approaching the mine when they were ambushed by armed striking miners. Armed guards returned fire. Two Negro miners were expected to die from their wounds, while the rest were sent back to Kentucky the following day. See "Strikes Elsewhere," The Independent (NY), June 29, 1899, vol.51, issue 2639; and "Battle at a mining camp," New York Times, 06/22/1899, p.2.
For more see 1917 photo of African American strikebreakers from Kentucky and a second photo, both at Ball State University Digital Media Repository [online]; The Negro Wage Earner by L. J. Greene and Carter G. Woodson, quote on p.293; W. C. Whatley, "African-American strikebreaking from the Civil War to the New Deal," Social Science History, vol.17, issue 4 (Winter, 1993), pp.525-558; Black Coal Miners in the United States by P. Nyden; and E. Arnesen, "Specter of the Black strikebreaker: race, employment, and labor activism in the industrial era," Labor History, vol.44, issue 3 (August 2003), pp.319-335.

Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Alabama / Arkansas / Illinois / Indiana / Indian Nation Territory / Ohio / Tennessee/ Virginia / West Virginia

Independent Colored Clubs Movement
Start Year : 1885
End Year : 1922
In response to the discontent of African Americans with the longstanding political parties, Independent Colored Clubs were formed throughout the United States as early as 1885, and as late as 1922. One of the early Independent Colored Clubs in Kentucky was formed in Paris, KY in January of 1887. The club, renamed the Independent Party of the Colored Race, maintained the right to act only with political parties that would guarantee Colored people the fullest rights of free American citizens. One of the main points of contingency was education and decent schools for Colored children. The initial meeting of the Independent Colored Club of Paris was held at the 2nd Baptist Church; the meeting was described in the newspaper as a "mass meeting"; the club was said to have 600 members. For more see "Paris, Ky." in the column "Independence in Kentucky" on p.1 of the New York Freeman, 02/05/1887. Even earlier clubs were formed in 1885. The Independent Colored Club of Staunton, VA was formed in September of 1885, and intended to vote for the Democratic state ticket. For more see "Political Notes" in Peninsula Enterprise, 09/12/1885, p.2. Another club in 1885, was the East End Independent Colored Club in Springfield, OH. Sam Spears was the president, and Sam Garrett was secretary. The club had about 40 members. For more see "A New colored club," Springfield Globe-Republic, 09/16/1885, p.3. The Young Men's Colored Independent Political Club was located in Omaha, NE, in 1886 [source: The Omaha Daily Bee, 11/02/1886, p.6, column 1]. In 1887, the Independent Club of Colored Virginians, located in Washington, D.C., was formed with colored men from the state of Virginia with the object for "the improvement of the general condition of the colored people of the State and the preservation of the good name and welfare of the Commonwealth." For more see The Washington Bee, 09/10/1887, p.1, bottom of column 3 & columns 4-5. In 1888, Independent Colored Clubs were being formed in West Virginia, which was seen as a revolt against the Republican Party. There was thought to be 10,000 colored voters in West Virginia, which could give the Democrats a victory. For more see The Weekly Herald [Baltimore], 04/27/1888, p.4, column 1, item 9]. Other Independent Colored Clubs mentioned in local newspapers, were located in New York City, NY, and Helena, MT, in 1888; New Hope, VA, in 1889; the Colored Citizens' Independent Club in Los Angeles, CA, and in San Francisco, CA, both in 1890; the Independent Colored Club establishd by John W. Robbins in Grand Rapids, MI, in 1890 [source: R. M. Jelks, "Making opportunity: the struggle against Jim Crow in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1890-1927, Michigan Historical Review, v.19, no.2, Fall 1993, pp.36 & 38]; St. Paul, MN, in 1892; Anaconda, MT in 1894; the Independent Colored Club of Homestead, PA, in 1895; Seattle, WA, 1896; Independent Colored Political Club in Des Moins, IA, and the Independent Colored Club in Kansas City, MO, both in 1897. In Nicholasville, KY, the Independent Club of Colored Voters was formed by R. C. O. Benjamin in 1897. For more see "The Colored Independent," Richmond Climax, 10/13/1897, p.1. Still more clubs at the turn of the century were the The Colored National Independent Political Club in Point Pleasant, VA in 1900; and the Independent Colored Men's Club in Salt Lake City, UT in 1901. In 1908, the Young Men's Independent Club, Colored, was held in Marion, KY, at the home of William M. Goodall, 414 Center Street. For more see "President and War Secretary Taft characterized as enemies," Crittenden Record=Press, 07/02/1908, p.7. In Louisville, KY, in 1909, the Independent Colored Political League was formed with headquarters in the U. B. F. Hall at 9th and Madison Streets [source: "Negroes have knives sharpened for Vaughn," Louisville Courier-Journal, 05/19/1909, p.4]. There was a club in Omaha, NE, in 1910 known as the Independent Colored Political Club. In 1910, the Independent Colored Club of Winchester met at Orren Bate's store in Poyntersville to declare A. Floyd Byrd the Democratic nominee. The club was said to have a membership of leading Colored citizens, including Orren Bates, and Jim Nickels and Dennis Daniel as the secretaries. For more see "Negroes from Byrd Club," Winchester News, 11/01/1910, p.1. Clubs mentioned in later newspaper articles were the Independent Progressive Colored Club and the Good Citizens League of Indiana, both formed in 1912 in Indianapolis, IN; Colored Independent Club in Tulsa, OK, and in Hillsboro, NC, both in 1914; the Independent Colored Club of Lima, OH, in 1919; and the Henry Ford for President, Independent Colored Club No.1, said to have formed in Birmingham, AL in 1922 [source: "Can you beat it?," The Appeal, 06/03/1922, p.2].

 

  • 1885 - Springfield, OH - East End Independent Colored Club
  • 1885 - Staunton, VA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1886 - Omaha, NE - Young Men's Colored Independent Political Club
  • 1887 - Paris, KY - Independent Colored Club (renamed) Independent Party of the Colored Race
  • 1887 - Washington, D.C. - Independent Club of Colored Virginians (members from Virginia)
  • 1888 - Helena, MT - Independent Colored Club
  • 1888 - New York, NY - Independent Colored Club
  • 1888 - West Virginia - Independent Colored Clubs
  • 1889 - New Hope, VA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1890 - Grand Rapids, MI - Independent Colored Club
  • 1890 - Los Angeles, CA - Colored Citizens' Independent Club
  • 1890 - San Francisco, CA - Colored Citizens' Independent Club
  • 1892 - St. Paul, MN - independent Colored Club
  • 1894 - Anaconda, MT - Independent Colored Club
  • 1895 - Homestead, PA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1896 - Seattle, WA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1897 - Des Moins, IA - Independent Colored Political Club
  • 1897 - Kansas City, MO - Independent Colored Club
  • 1897 - Nicholasville, KY - Independent Club of Colored Voters
  • 1900 - Point Pleasant, VA - Colored National Independent Political Club
  • 1901 - Salt Lake City, UT - Independent Colored Men's Club
  • 1908 - Marion, KY - Young Men's Independent Club, Colored
  • 1909 - Louisville, KY - Independent Colored Political League
  • 1910 - Omaha, NE - Independent Colored Political Club
  • 1910 - Winchester, KY - Independent Colored Club
  • 1912 - Indianapolis, IN - Good Citizens League of Indiana (Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church)
  • 1912 - Indianapolis, IN - Independent Progressive Colored Club
  • 1914 - Hillsboro, NC - Colored Independent Club
  • 1914 - Tulsa, OK - Colored Independent Club
  • 1919 - Lima, OH - Independent Colored Club
  • 1922 - Birmingham, AL - Henry Ford for President, Independent Colored Club No.1

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kenucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / United States

Irvin, Theophilus, Sr.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1967
Theophilus Irvin, Sr. was a horse trainer who was born in Clark County, KY, the son of Laura and Rev. Dudley Irvin. His birth date is given as October 22, 1882 in the Social Security Death Index and on Irvin's WWI Draft Registration Card. He was the husband of Ada Bell Morton Irvin and the family lived at 511 Chestnut Street in Lexington, KY. Irvin worked at the racetrack, he was employed by Will Perkins Stables. He was also listed in the 1910 U.S. Census as a foreman at the racetrack. Irvin and his previous wife, Lou J. Shelton Irvin, were living with his wife's family on Thomas Street. In the 1920 census, Ada B. Morton Irvin is listed as Theophilus Irvin's wife and the couple had two sons [they would later have more children, including Theophilus Irvin, Jr.]. By 1932, Theophilus Irvin, Sr. was employed as a janitor at the Lexington Telephone Company and the family lived at 549 Thomas Street in Lexington, KY [source: Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory]. The telephone company was later owned by Bell Telephone and Irvin continued working at the telephone company until his retirement. He died in 1967. For more see the obituary of Theophilus Irvin, Sr., "Retired employee of Bell Telephone Co." Lexington Herald-Leader, p.15, C1.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Clark County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

1860 Slave Schedule

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

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

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

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

Source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census

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

Source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville

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

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

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

Source: Owensboro City Directory (Evansville, IN)

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

Source: Owensboro City Directory(Cleveland, OH)

  • Ernest Smith (1901-1902 directory)

Source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census

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

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

      Harlem Village, Cook County, Illinois

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

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

Source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census

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

Source: Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory

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

Source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Kentucky African American Musicians in Illinois (Chicago)
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1950
One strand of the African American migration from the south to northern cities involved musicians who were seeking more opportunities and larger venues that would give them greater exposure and recognition. The following is a list of some of the musicians who were born in Kentucky and lived in Illinois. These are individuals who made their living playing musical instruments.  Most of the musicians listed below were men who lived in Chicago in the late 1800s up to the end of the 1940s. Some of them became more well known than others. There are a few women in the list. There were hardly any African American women from Kentucky who made their living playing music in a town or city in Illinois, though there were a number of women singers and performers from Kentucky.  Sources: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index; Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index; U.S. Census Records; NKAA entries; and U.S. Social Security Death Index.

 

Withers Abernathy (b. 1906 KY - lived in Peoria, IL) [1940 Census]

Adlade Adams (b. 1917 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles "Cane" Adams (b. KY - lived in Chicago)

Boyd Atkins (b. 1900 Paducah, KY - d. 03/01/1965 Chicago)

Louis Bacon (b. 11/01/1904 Louisville, KY - d. 12/1967, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York)  

Bernie Barbour (b.1881 Danville, KY - d. 04/11/1936 Chicago) - {last name misspelled in the death index as "Barfour"}

Jeffrie Bellamy (b. 1888 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Robert Berkley (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Henry and Louise Berkley

James L. Blythe (b. 05/20/1901 Lexington, KY - d. 05/13/1941 Chicago)

George Richard Boarman (b. 02/01/1869 Wallingford, Hardin County, KY - d. 03/26/1942 Chicago) - son of Charles Boarman and Anice Neighbors Boarman

Thomas Boom (b. 1859 KY - lived in Villa Ridge, IL) [1880 Census] - son of A. and Martha Boom

James Bottoms (b. 1909 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles Noliner Brady (b. 02/09/1878 Frankfort, KY - d. 02/18/1920 Chicago) - son of Horace Brady and Johnsonia Buckner Brady, brother to Bessie May Brady

John Brim (b. 04/10/1922 Hopkinsville - d. 10/01/2003 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Gary, IN)

Clarence Brown (b. 1904 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Paul Brown (b. 1916 KY - lived in Blairsville, IL) [1940 Census]

Woodrow Bruewer (b. 1910 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Daniel G. Burley (b. 11/1908 Lexington, KY - d. 10/29/1962 Chicago)

Buddie Burton (b. 1890 Louisville, KY - d. 1976 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Louisville) [1940 Census] - {first name also spelled "Buddy."}

Sammie Butler (b. 1906 Henderson, KY - d. 05/08/1944 Chicago) - son of Mary Butler

Alexander Calmese (b. 1891 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Herbert Clerdy (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

J. Glover Compton (b. 1884 Harrodsburg, KY - d. 06/11/1964 Chicago) - son of Laura L. Bowman Compton and J. Glover Compton, Sr.

Charles L. Cooke (b. 09/03/1887 Louisville, KY - d. 12/25/1958 grew up in Detroit, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) 

James Coudelton (b. 1913 KY - lived in Chicago)  [1940 Census]

George Crittenden (b. 11/13/1873 KY - d. 07/05/1911 Chicago) - son of A. Crittenden and Anna Cowan Crittenden

Douglas Crosberry (b. 1842 KY - d. 03/17/1911 Chicago)

Teddy Darby (b. 03/02/1906 Henderson, KY - d. 12/1975 lived in Chicago, died in East St. Louis)

Billy Dorsey (b. 10/05/1878 Louisville, KY - d. 02/29/1920 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Arizona, buried in Louisville) - son of Daniel and Celia Smith Dorsey

Theory Drye (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago)

Clarence Duncan (b.1880 Midway, KY - d. 07/17/1930 Chicago) - son of Joseph Duncan and Sallie White Duncan

John Dunkins (b. 1889 Bowling Green, KY - d. 12/03/1925 Chicago)

George Edwards (b. 08/16/1873 Louisville, KY - d. 09/26/1937 Chicago) - son of Thomas Edwards

Herman Edwards (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles Eidson (b. 1896 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Logan Eubanks (b. 1898 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Luther Gafford (b. 1912 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

M. C. Gambles (b. 1908 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Harlan Graham, Sr. (b. 1910 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

William H. Griffin (b. 10/14/1878 Louisville, KY - d. 11/22/1932 Chicago) - son of Harry Griffin and Belindia Duncan Griffin

Lionel Hampton (b. 04/20/1908 Louisville, KY - d. 08/01/2002 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) - son of Gladys M. Morgan Hampton and Charles E. Hampton

Roger Haycraft (b. 1860 Louisville, KY - d. 10/13/1888 Chicago)

Wilbur Highbough (b. 1876 KY - d. 12/20/1892 Chicago)

James Howell (b. 1880 KY - d. 11/19/1913 Chicago) - son of William Howell

Charles Jackson (b. 1881 KY - d. 10/30/1928 Chicago) - son of Al and Louise Jackson

Willie M. Jefferson (b. 1910 KY - lived in Blairsville) [1940 Census]

Harry Johnson (b. 1894 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Meade Lux Lewis (b. 09/04/1904 Louisville - 06/1964 grew up in Chicago, died in Minnesota) - son of Hattie and George Lewis

George Lipscomb (b. 1879 KY - d. 05/05/1901 Chicago)

William Logan (b. 1896 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Sarah McLawler (b. 1926 Louisville, KY - lived in Chicago, lives in New York)

George Mitchell (b. 03/08/1899 Louisville, KY - d. 05/1972 Chicago)

Robert Montgomery (b. 1903 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

George Henry Moseley (b. 03/1897 Louisville, KY - d. 03/25/1922 Chicago) - son of Thornton Moseley and Lavinia German Moseley

James Olher Harrison Norris (b. 12/02/1894 KY - d. 06/13/1918 Springfield) - son of John Norris and Mollie Trailor Norris

Joseph Osbone [Osborne] (b. 1895 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Anna Osbone [Osborne]

French Owen, Jr. (b. 1881 KY - d. 09/06/1912 Chicago) - son of French Owen, Sr. and Emma Burnell Owen

Jerome Don Pasquall (b. b. 1902 Fulton County, KY - d. 10/1971 grew up in St. Louis, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) 

Herman Patterson (b. 1897 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

John Pollard (b. 1870 KY - d. 12/24/1914 Chicago) - son of Bryant Pollard

Eugene Powers (b. 1854 KY - d. 01/28/1897 Chicago)

Greenville Raby (b. 1916 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Junes Rancy (b. 1870 KY - d. 03/07/1899 Chicago)

William Reeves (b. 1894 Winchester, KY - d. 03/26/1936 Chicago) - son of Samuel Reeves and Mary Haggard Reeves

Claude Rhodes (b. 1900 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Hellen Rhodes Harding

Claude Rhodes (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

William K. Riley (b. 1874 KY - d. 01/03/1917 Chicago) - son of John R. Riley

Henderson Smith (b. 1858 Frankfort, KY - d. 09/21/1923 Chicago) - son of William and Maria Smith 

Ray Skivers (b. 1906 KY - lived in Joliet, IL) [1940 Census]

James Strange (b. 1905 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Ethel M. Swayne (b. 1898 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Harry Swift (b. 1884 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

John L. Thomas (b. 09/18/1902 Louisville, KY - d. 11/07/1971 Chicago) [1940 Census]

John Thompkins (b. 1894 New Castle, KY - d. 01/06/1942 Chicago) - son of Elijah Thompkins

Johnny Wells (b. 1905 KY - d. 11/25/1965 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York)

Robert Williams (b. 06/10/1894 KY - d. 02/03/1923 Chicago) - son of Calvin Williams and Lizzie Herley Williams

Stanley R. Williams (b. 04/10/1894 Danville, KY - d. 12/17/1975 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) - son of Maria Jane Durham

James H. Wilson, Sr. (b. 12/19/1880 Nicholasville, KY - d. 10/02/1961 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Alabama) - son of Jacob and Hester Wilson

Preston Winston (b. 1903 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Britt Woodson (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Illinois

Kentucky Conference (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1873
The Kentucky Conference of the AME Church was established on September 27, 1873 in Louisville, KY, under Bishop Daniel A. Payne. The officers of the conference were Rev. Robert G. Marshall, John W. Asbury from the Ohio District, and Charles Porter. Six sub-committees were formed, and a fire-proof safe was purchased by the trustees of Asbury Chapel (Louisville, KY) for the deposit of the Kentucky Conference archives. In 1880, the West Kentucky Conference split from the main conference, which resulted in the Kentucky Conference with 60 preachers, and West Kentucky Conference with 36 preachers. For more see History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (The Black Church in Action) by H. D. Gregg.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA)
Start Year : 1877
End Year : 1956
The organization was formed when State Superintendent of Public Instruction H. A. Henderson gathered 45 Negro educators and trustees to form the State Association of Colored Teachers. In 1913 it was renamed the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA). This representative body of Kentucky's Negro educators was an influential lobbying group for education issues. Annual conferences were held in Louisville, KY. In response to desegregation, the organization was renamed the Kentucky Teachers Association, though it was still referred to in general conversation as KNEA. In 1956, KNEA was subsumed into the formerly all white Kentucky Education Association. KNEA was the predecessor to present day organizations such as the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education. For more see The Kentucky Negro Education Association, 1877-1946 by H. C. Russell, Sr.; and the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal [available full-text via the Kentucky Digital Library and in paper at Kentucky State University Library]. For information on the prior education organization see Kentucky State Colored Educational Convention. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky State Colored Educational Convention
Start Year : 1868
End Year : 1877
African Americans from Kentucky and neighboring states would come together at a number of meetings to plan for the educational future of the race. A convention had been held in 1868 in Owensboro, KY, where Marshall W. Taylor was named president. The 1869 convention was held in Louisville, KY, at Benson's Theater. Seven hundred delegates were in attendance with Reverend H. J. Young of Louisville serving as convention president. A convention was held in Fayette County in 1875, led by African American ministers and Reverend E. H. Fairchild, President of Berea College. The purpose of these meetings was not only to address educational needs but also to coordinate the issues and present them to the Kentucky Legislature to encourage better funding for Negro schools and teachers. The result was the development of the state-recognized Colored Teachers' State Association and the State Colored Educational Conventions, the first of which was held in Frankfort, KY, in 1877. The organization name would later become the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, and from 1916 -1929, the conventions would be recorded in the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association. For more see Kentucky State Colored Educational Convention, held at Benson's Theater, Louisville, Ky., July 14, 1869; A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; Proceedings of the State Colored Educational Convention held at Frankfort, Kentucky, August 22, 1877; and Proceedings of the State Colored Educational Convention (1800s). See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Kentucky Superintendent of Public Instruction Day Books - Colored
Start Year : 1874
End Year : 1906
The Day Books document the financial transactions of the Kentucky Superintendent with county school administrators, including school commissioners, board officials, settlement of the school fund, and salaries paid. The books are also a source for documenting the counties with colored schools, including those schools located within the city limits but overseen by the county superintendent. See the Kentucky Department of Education's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Day Book - Colored, 1874-1892 and Superintendent of Public Instruction, Day Book - White / Colored, 1893-1906. See also the NKAA entries for African American Schools.
Subjects: Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Laine, Joseph Fields, Sr.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1967
Joseph Laine, from Winchester, KY, founded the Laine Medical Clinic. He practiced in both Lexington and Louisville. Laine was a graduate of Berea College and Meharry Medical College. He was the husband of Mattie R. Laine. According to Laine's WWI Draft Registration Card, he was born in 1879. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lange, Laura J. Vance
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1948
Reverend Lange was the first African American woman ordained an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was born in St. Matthews, KY, and attended grade school in Jefferson County followed by three years at a private school. She was a graduate of Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary] and was ordained a deacon in 1926 by Bishop Theodore Henderson in Cincinnati, OH, and ordained an elder by Bishop M. W. Clair in 1936. She was a pastor at various churches in Kentucky, including churches in the towns of Eddyville, Smithland, and Harned. Her death certificate gives the following information: she was the widow of Clarance Lange, daughter of Mary Humble and Alford Vance, Lange was a diabetic, and she died at the Red Cross Hospital in Louisville. For more information and Lang's picture see History of Lexington Conference, by Dr. D. E. Skelton.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Saint Matthews and Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Laurey, Albert "Kid Ashe"
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1955
Albert Laurey was a 5'9" featherweight boxer in Cincinnati, OH. His World War II draft registration gives his birth location as Flemings County, KY. He went by the name Kid Ashe and "The Pork Chop King." Wendell P. Dabney, in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, pp. 134-135, states that Albert Laurey, a child orphan, came to Cincinnati from Kentucky. He got a job as a newsboy, one of the few colored boys to carry newspapers in Cincinnati. Dabney described Laurey as a terrific fighter who soon became King of Newsboys. Kid Ashe began fighting professionally in 1899. In 1900, the sports column in the Freeman newspaper mentioned that Kid Ashe was looking for a fight engagement [source: Ned Lmo Bee, "Sport time," Freeman, 11/10/1900, p. 7]. There are several articles in the Freeman newspaper about Kid Ashe's bouts. According to the Box Rec website, Kid Ashe had a record of 10 wins with 6 KOs, 13 loses with 2 KOs, and 15 draws. He was managed by Louis Smith and Harry Gordon. Albert Laurey was the husband of Georgia Laurey, who was born in Ohio. [NOTE: last name spelled both Laurey and Lauray in the census records.]
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North
Geographic Region: Flemings County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Lawson, Raymond A.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1959
Born in Shelbyville, KY, Lawson became a concert pianist. He completed his college courses in music and his B.A. at Fisk University. Lawson also received training in Munich, Germany. He was a soloist in the G-minor Concerto of Saint-Saens with the Philharmonic Society in 1911 and 1918. He also taught piano; his children were two of his students. His son, Warner, would become dean of the School of Music at Howard University. Lawson was honored in many cities in the U.S. and abroad and received a number of awards. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Leavell, Louis A.
Birth Year : 1874
Louis A. Leavell was a teacher, a lawyer, and an inventor. He was a teacher in Colored District "A" in Lancaster, KY, in 1898. He was removed from the job because 25% of the number of colored children in the district did not attend school for more than 20 consecutive days. In 1901, Leavell was a lawyer in Lexington, KY, and was also the editor of the Twentieth Century Literary Digest, published in Harrodsburg, KY. The Lexington Leader newspaper referred to the publication as one of the best colored literary magazines. In 1902, Leavell was back at the Lancaster Colored School, he was the school principal and the student attendance was at a high. Leavell was also admitted to the bar in Lancaster, and is thought to be the first African American in that organization.  Also in 1902, an article was published in The American Telephone Journal about a telephone answering and recording machine that L. A. Leavell had invented, but did not have the funding to manufacture the machine. The previous year he had filed for a patent on his buggy brake that worked on the hubs of the front wheels with best results on rubber tires. By 1905, Leavell had left Kentucky and moved to New York and was admitted to the bar. His office was located at 104 W. 30th Street in New York City. He was a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and ran unsuccessfully for the New York Legislature, and for U.S. Congress in 1922 and 1924.  He was also unsuccessfully in his bid for New York City magistrate in 1925. For more information see "Change in Colored school," Central Record, 01/07/1898, p.1; "A Colored magazine," Leader, 04/07/1901, p.3; "Colored Notes," Leader, 03/26/1905, p.2; "Lawyer L. A. Leavell...," Central Record, 10/16/1902, p.1; "An Automatic recorder," The American Telephone Journal, vol. 6, no.4, 07/26/1902, p.53; and "A Good invention," Central Record, 08/22/1901, p.3. See Louis A. "Lavelle" in Emancipation: the making of the black lawyer, 1844-1944 by J. C. Smith, Jr.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Inventors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Leslie County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1880-1910
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1910
Leslie County was formed in 1878 from portions of Clay, Harlan, and Perry Counties. It is located in southeastern Kentucky in the Eastern Coal Field region and is surrounded by four counties. The county was named for Kentucky Governor Preston H. Leslie, who was later territorial governor of Montana. The county seat is Hyden, named for Kentucky Senator John Hyden. Leslie County was formed after slaves in Kentucky was freed by the 13th Amendment. Below are the number of African Americans in the county in 1880, 1900, and 1910

1880 U.S. Federal Census

  • 11 Blacks [most with last name Walker, 2 Entoush, 1 Dosier, 1 Combs]
  • 11 Colored children [Source: Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, v.1, p.731, Chapter 405, March 17, 1884 - online at Google Book Search]
1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • 76 Blacks
1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 14 Blacks
  • 4 Colored [Comett, Fuggle, Pennigton, and Rauss]
  • 122 Mulattoes
For more see Leslie County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Leslie County, Kentucky

Lewis, Cary Blackburn, Sr.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1946
Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was a newspaper journalist and editor.  He was born in Louisville, KY, in 1878, the son of Plummer Sr. and Mattie Lewis [source: Illinois, Deaths and Still births Index; and 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. He is buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago, IL. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was best known as the managing editor of the Chicago Defender for ten years, 1910-1920, and he was also a sports editor [source: "Obituary 4 - -  No Title. Cary B. Lewis," New York Times, 12/10/1946, p.31]. He had been a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before becoming a journalist with the Indianapolis Freeman where he covered sports and national news [source: When to Stop the Cheering? by B. Carroll]. Lewis was a prolific writer and had hundreds of articles in both the Indianapolis Freeman and the Chicago Defender. While many of the articles were about the lives of Negroes in Kentucky, Indiana, Chicago, and those in the national news, Lewis also kept the public informed about Negro baseball games. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was active in the establishment of the Negro National Baseball League (NNL). In 1920 he was elected secretary of the NNL in preparation for the 1921 circuit season and he played a major role in developing the constitution for the new league [source: Rube Foster in His Time by L. Lester]. In 1907, Lewis had also been named secretary of the unsuccessful National Colored League of Professional Baseball Clubs in Indianapolis. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was the husband of Bertha Mosley Lewis in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. [In the Chicago death index, Cary B. Lewis' birthdate is given as July 15, 1888, though he is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a 2 year old. On his WWII draft registration card, Lewis gives his birthdate as July 15, 1880, and at the time, he was employed at the Poro College of Annie M. Malone. His father, Plummer Lewis, was a Civil War veteran; he served with the 28th U.S. Colored Infantry, according to the U.S. Colored Troops U.S. Service Records].
Subjects: Baseball, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Lewis, George Garrett
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1880
In 1880, Lewis won the Kentucky Derby riding Fonso. The industry's first foul was claimed after the race. Lewis died a few weeks later at his home in Hutchison Station, KY; he had been injured in an accident that occurred while he was racing in St. Louis, Missouri. George Garrett Lewis was the brother of jockey Oliver Lewis. For more see African-Americans in the Thoroughbred Industry, a Paris-Bourbon County Public Library website; and Black Winning Jockeys in the Kentucky Derby by J. R. Saunders and M. R. Saunders.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Hutchinson Station, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Logan, Greenbury
Birth Year : 1799
Death Year : 1880
Greenbury (or Greenberry) Logan was born in Kentucky, the son of David Logan, who was white. Greenbury may or may not have been a slave, though he was free when he left Kentucky for Missouri, where he was married and had five children. In 1831, Logan moved to Texas and became a blacksmith on the Bingham Plantation; he was one of the first African Americans to settle in Texas. He purchased the freedom of a slave name Caroline and married her. Logan fought at Velasco and later joined the Texas army and fought at Bexar, where he was wounded in the shoulder and lost use of one arm. No longer able to be a blacksmith, Logan and his wife opened a successful boarding house in Brazoria. The Constitution of 1836 stipulated that all freemen were to leave the Republic of Texas; Logan, like Nelson Kavanaugh, filed a petition with Congress, asking that he be allowed to remain in Texas. Whether the Texas Congress replied or not, the Logans remained in Texas, but their financial success began in decline in 1839. By 1845 they had lost all of their property. For more see Greenbury Logan, by N. Thompson, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; several articles in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, including H. Schoen, "The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas," vol. 41, issue 1, pp. 83-108; and In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, by Q. Taylor.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Brazoria, Texas

Louisville Weekly Planet (newspaper)
Start Year : 1872
The Louisville Weekly Planet newspaper was founded in Louisville, KY, in November of 1872 by T. F. Cassels and Nathaniel R. Harper. The newspaper was described as non-sectarian, and was thought to be a new venture for Colored men, which was not entirely true. An article in the Weekly Louisianian gives the names of earlier newspapers outside Kentucky. There was also an earlier newspaper in Kentucky, The Colored Kentuckian, founded in 1867 by Philip H. Murry and J. P. Sampson. Cassels and Harper's newspaper, Louisville Weekly Planet, was published for a few years during the 1870s. For more see "Louisville Weekly Planet," Weekly Louisianian, 12/07/1872, p.2.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville's Colored Orphans' Home
Start Year : 1877
End Year : 1908
Prior to the formation of the Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children, African American churches established and supported another orphanage in Louisville, KY. Louisville's Colored Orphan's Home was located at the Taylor Barracks on Third and Oak Streets. The home was moved to Eighteenth and Dumesnil Streets in 1878, continuing operations solely with the support of the African American community until 1908. For more see "Colored Orphans' Home" in The Encyclopedia of Louisville. See also the entry Kentucky Home Society for Colored Children.

See photo image of children and Colored Orphan's Home from Weeden's History of the Colored people of Louisville, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lovett, Wilson Stephen
Birth Year : 1885
Wilson S. Lovett was president of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, which was established in 1921 with $50,000. It was the first African American bank in Kentucky. In 1928 the bank had assets of over $600,000. Lovett was also a civil rights activist who was a member of the NAACP and a member of the committee that led to the African American voters' repeal of the first bond effort to expand the University of Louisville. Wilson Lovett was born in New York, the son of Wilson and Annie E. Stevens Lovett, and he grew up in Pennsylvania [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Ohio Marriages Index]. He was married to Dorothy Payne Lovett (1896-1927), who was born in Kingston, Jamaica; the couple was married in 1924 in Franklin, OH. Wilson Lovett had worked as a stenographer in Alabama, he was employed in the Savings Department of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Negro Star, 01/27/1933]. Lovett founded the men's basketball team at Tuskegee Institute and was the first head coach from 1908-1909. The team was undefeated, winning all three of their games [see Golden Tigers website]. Wilson Lovett came to Kentucky from Memphis, TN [sources: Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927]. In 1915, he was director of Standard Life Insurance Company in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915, p.900], which was prior to the establishment of the First Standard Bank. When he left the bank in 1929, Wilson Lovett became treasurer of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company. During that same year, he served as secretary of the National Negro Bankers Association. In 1930, Wilson Lovett was president of the Standard Reality Corporation in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1256], and president of the Credential Bond and Mortgage Company in Cleveland, OH [source: Cleveland (Ohio) City Directory, 1930, p.1056], all while living in Chicago, IL. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Wilson Lovett shared his home in Chicago with Henry McGasock, from Kentucky; they lived at 608 E. Fifty-first Street in Chicago. In the census, Lovett is listed as the treasurer of a life insurance company. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Two dead, another injured," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927, p.1; "Business," Negro Star, 08/02/1929, p.1; "Program of National Negro Bankers Association," Plaindealer, 08/02/1929, p.4; and "Boom Wilson Lovett for Register of the Treasury," Negro Star, 01/27/1933, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Basketball, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: New York / Pennsylvania / Tuskegee, Alabama / Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Cleveland, Ohio

Lowery, Perry G.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1942
It is thought that Perry G. Lowery was born in Kentucky and his family later moved to Kansas. He was the first African American graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music. Lowery played the cornet and was a band leader, playing with a number of bands and in vaudeville and circuses, directing the side show of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band. He is known for the band composition, Prince of Decora Galop. Perry G. Lowery was the husband of Carrie Lowery (1884-1943), the couple married in 1916 [source: Ohio, County Marriages]. He was the son of Andrew and Rachel Liggins Lowery Lowery [source: Perry G. Lowery in the Ohio Deaths Index]. For more see Showman: the life and music of Perry George Lowery, by C. E. Watkins.

See photo image with Perry G. Lowery and other band members at Kansas Memory website.
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas

Lyon County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Lyon County, located in western Kentucky, was formed in 1854 from a portion of Caldwell County and is bordered by five counties. It was named for Chittenden Lyon, who was born in Vermont and came to Kentucky when he was a child. He was a Kentucky Representative and Senator, and a U.S. Representative. The county seat of Lyon County is Eddyville, which was established in 1798 by David Walker, a Revolutionary War veteran who had received a land grant. The town was named for the eddies in the nearby stream. Eddyville was first established as the seat of Livingston County in 1799, and was later the seat of Caldwell County, before being named the seat of Lyon County in 1854. The 1860 county population was 4,214, according to the U.S. Federal Census, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 195 slave owners
  • 902 Black slaves
  • 195 Mulatto slaves
  • 34 free Blacks
  • 10 free Mulattoes
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,306 Blacks
  • 118 Mulattoes
  • About 85 U.S. Colored Troops listed Lyon County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,102 Blacks
  • 390 Mulattoes
For more see the Lyon County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; Predestinarian Baptist Church Records, 1865-1891 from Predestinarian Baptist Church (Lyon County, Ky.); Marriage Books (indexed), 1854-1987 from Lyon County (Ky.). County Clerk; and Tax Assessment Books, 1863-1911 from Lyon County (Ky.). County Clerk.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M], Kentucky Land Grants
Geographic Region: Lyon County, Kentucky

Lytle, Elizabeth
Birth Year : 1873
Mrs. Elizabeth Ecton Lytle was born in KY, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. She was the second African American teacher in Gary, IN. She was hired in 1910, two years after Everett Simpson had been hired to head the 12th Street Avenue school for Negro children. The school system had a policy that married women could not be school teachers, but special consideration was given to Mrs. Lytle, who taught grades 1-3. There was not a large number of Negroes from Kentucky living in Gary in 1910, and Lytle was the only one who was a school teacher. Others who migrated to Gary were employed by the mines, mills, and industries. The school for Negro children was developed as a result of the growing Negro population. By 1930, there were 825 Negroes from Kentucky living in Gary, and 21 of them had graduated from Roosevelt School by 1936, the same year that 39 students from Kentucky were enrolled in Gary Schools [kindergarten through senior class]. All of the 21 graduates had entered the school in 1929 and all of their fathers' were truck drivers. Lytle was retired from the Gary Schools by 1936. In 1940, she lived with her sister Anna Meadows and James Ecton, both were from Kentucky [source: U.S. Federal Census]. For more see A History of the Growth of the Negro Population of Gary Indiana (thesis) by J. F. Potts; Children of the Mill by R. D. Cohen; and Gary's Central Business Community by D. Millender.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

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

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

 

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

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

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


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

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

1860 Slave Schedule

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

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

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

1880 U.S. Federal Census

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1860 Slave Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1860 Slave Schedule

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

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


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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Colored Press Association/American Press Association, 1881-1909; National Negro Press Association, 1909-1939
Start Year : 1881
End Year : 1939
The first organizational meeting of African American editors and publishers was held in Louisville, KY, in 1881. The next two meetings, held in Washington, D.C., resulted in the formation of the National Colored Press Association. In 1887 the organization's annual meeting was again held in Louisville, the proceedings covered by the Courier Journal, beginning August 9. The organization's name was eventually changed to American Press Association (APA). John "J.Q." Adams, from Louisville, KY, was the first president of the APA. The APA became defunct, and in 1909 the National Negro Press Association (NNPA) was organized, and its first convention was held in Louisville. Members were African American editors and journalists coming together to strengthen the influence of the African American press. The Negro Business League had inspired the association, which became an affiliate member of the league. In 1940, the National Negro Press Association was coming to an end when the National Newspaper Publishers Association (also NNPA) was established. For more see The Negro Press in the United States, by F. G. Detweiler; A History of the Black Press, by A. S. Pride & C. C. Wilson II; the National Newspaper Publishers Association website; and "Minutes of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Session of the National Negro Press Association Held in Louisville, KY, April 11-14, 1928," available in the Black Culture Collection, by Micro Photo Division, Bell & Howell Co., 1972.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Negro Jury in Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1872
In 1872, a Negro jury was summoned in Louisville, KY, by the coroner for the case involving the stabbing death of John Wagner. William Reynolds was found guilty of stabbing Wagner on the steamer Robert Burns in May of 1872. The jury is thought to be the first Negro jury in Kentucky. This information comes from "The First Negro jury in Kentucky," New York Times, 06/21/1872, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nero, Elijah
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1956
Elijah Nero was a jockey and horse trainer in Lexington, KY [source: 1920 & 1930 U.S. Federal Censuses]. He was the son of James and Gertrude Nero. He is listed in the 1900 census as a 19 year old jockey, born March of 1881; the family lived on Mt. Mullen Street in Lexington [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Elijah Nero was the husband of Eva Haggard Nero, and he was the father of Gertrude M. Nero Morbley. In 1923, the family lived at 315 E. Third Street; Elijah Nero is listed in the city directory as a colored horseman [source: Lexington City Directory, 1923, p. 600]. Elijah Nero is last listed in the 1955 directory, when the family was living at 547 E. Third Street [source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY) City Directory, p. 464]. Elijah and Eva's son, Ruford Nero, who lived with his parents, was a horseman with Darvis Stevens. Elijah Nero died April 9, 1956 in Lexington, KY [source: Kentucky Death Index].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Nicodemus Company
Start Year : 1877
The seven-member company formed to develop the town of Nicodemus in 1877. S. P. Roundtree, the company's secretary, was an African American minister from Kentucky; he was branded on one cheek when a boy because the master's son had taught him how to read. W. R. Hill, the company's treasurer, was a white man from Indiana who had experience developing towns. W. H. Smith, the company's president, was an African American born in Tennessee. Ben Carr, vice president, was an African American. The others were Jerry Allsap, Jeff Lenze and William Edmona, all from Kentucky. W. R. Hill and W. H. Smith later became business associates in the development of the Hill City Town Company. For more see The Origins and Early Promotion of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indiana / Tennessee / Hill City, Kansas

Nicodemus, Kansas
Start Year : 1877
The community of Nicodemus was founded in 1877 by a group of African Americans from Lexington; two years later there were over 600 people. The first families to arrive lived in dugouts, homes dug into the earth. The population continued to grow until the anticipated railroad bypassed the town, and then the population began to decrease. There are about 100 people living in the town today. Nicodemus is a National Historic Landmark, the only entirely African American community in Kansas. For more see Going Home to Nicodemus, by D. Chu and B. Shaw; and The Origins and Early Promotions of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.

See photo images of Nicodemus at the African-American Mosaic, a Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Olden, James Clarence "J.C."
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1967
James C. Olden was a Baptist minister and a civil rights leader in Louisville, KY. He was born in Murfreesboro, TN, the son of George Olden who had been a slave in Oldham County, KY, before running away to join the Union Army during the Civil War. Rev. J. C. Olden came to Kentucky around 1949 and developed the Militant Church Movement (MCM) in Louisville. MCM was a civil rights organization that led in many protest campaigns, including the Interracial Hospital Movement that initiated the desegregation of Kentucky hospitals in 1953. Rev. Olden also led in the 1953 effort to bring Everett Lee, Jr. [Sylvia Olden Lee's husband] to Louisville, where he become the first African American to direct a white orchestra, and the first orchestra director to perform before an integrated audience in Louisville. Rev. Olden had been a civil rights activist prior to coming to Kentucky; in 1948, while a visiting minister at Salem Methodist Church in Harlem, NY, he led a national campaign against segregation in transportation. J. C. Olden was a graduate of Fisk University, where he sung in a quartet with Roland Hayes, Lem Foster, and Charles Wesley. He was a second tenor in Hayes' Apollo Quartet in 1910. In 1913, Olden married Sylvia Alice Ward (b.1889 in New Orleans, LA), a pianist and vocalist; they had met while students at Fisk. Sylvia Ward had turned down a singing position with the Metropolitan Opera in 1913, because the job came with the stipulation that she not tell anyone that she was Colored. Many years later, the first African American with the New York Metropolitan Opera would be Sylvia Olden Lee (1917-2004), musician, vocalist, and vocalist coach; the daughter of Sylvia and Rev. J. C. Olden. Sylvia O. Lee grew up in Washington, D.C. where her father was pastor of the Plymouth Colored Congregational Church. The Oldens were also international travelers. In 1926, Rev. Olden and his wife returned to the U.S. from Southampton, England, aboard the ship Majestic, according to the New York Passenger Lists. For more see To Stand and Fight by M. Biondi; and "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach" 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)].

See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murfreesboro, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oldham County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

1860 Slave Schedule

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Sample, Prince A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1878
Born in Mt. Sterling, KY, Prince Albert Sample was one of the founders and organizers of the Pullman Porters Benefit Association of America, Inc. and served as its comptroller. He was an investigator and welfare worker for the Pullman Co. in New York City at the Penn Terminal. He had also been president of the Jersey City NAACP Branch and a member of the Odd Fellows. Sample was assistant editor of the Wisconsin Advocate and special correspondent for the Evening Wisconsin. He was business manager and city editor of the Wisconsin Weekly Advocate. He was also a candidate for the New Jersey Legislature, and was a WWI veteran. Prince and his wife Bertha, from North Carolina, lived at 101 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He was the son of Rev. P. A. Sample, Sr., pastor of the C. M. E. Church in Allensville, KY. Prince Albert Sample, Jr. was a graduate of the University of Michigan. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; K. McCray, "Pullman Porters: the best job in the community, the worst job on the train" [pdf], a James Mason University website; "A Southern Trip," Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 06/16/1904, p.4.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Jersey City, New Jersey / Wisconsin

Seal, Catherine
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1930
Seal was born in Hustonville, KY. Although illiterate, she led one of the largest religious cults in the United States, the Church of the Innocent Blood, which was an interracial faith. She believed that women made better leaders. She had thousands of female followers, both black and white, and she focused on caring for unmarried pregnant women. They prayed to the image of a Black Jesus. Seal's ministry was in New Orleans, LA, where her church was built. In 1930, Mother Catherine told her followers that she needed to go home to fight a spirit; she died a few hours after she arrived in Lexington, KY. She was listed as living on Charbonnet Street in New Orleans in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. After Seal's death, Mother Rita took charge as head of the church, temporarily, warning that if the church were sold, then New Orleans would be destroyed by a flood. The property was sold in 1931 because Mother Catherine left no will. There were no unpaid debts or taxes, so the proceeds from the sale went to the Louisiana State Treasury. For more see African-American Religious Leaders, by N. Aaseng; and "Physicking Priestess" in Time, vol. 17, issue 16 (04/20/1931), pp. 63-64.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Hustonville, Lincoln County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Shipley, Reuben
Birth Year : 1811
Death Year : 1873
Shipley was born around 1811 in Kentucky, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and later moved to Missouri with his master. While there, he married a slave woman with whom he had two boys who became the property of his wife's owner. Around 1850, Shipley left Missouri and traveled to Oregon with his master. He became a free man and attempted to buy the family he had left in Missouri. But Shipley learned that his wife had died, and her owner refused to sell Shipley his sons. Shipley remained in Oregon and purchased 80 acres of land in Corvallis. He married Mary Jane Holmes, and they had six children. Shipley deeded two acres of his land to the county for a cemetery on the condition that African Americans would also be buried there. The land transfer for the Mt. Union Cemetery was completed in 1861. Shipley, his wife, and her second husband, R. G. Drake, are all buried in the cemetery. For more see chapter 6, "A few Colored men in Oregon: Blacks in Oregon 1850-1900" in A Peculiar Paradise, by E. McLagan.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Corvallis, Oregon

Shultz, Arnold
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1931
Shultz was born in Racine, KY, and buried in the Morgantown, KY, Colored Cemetery. He was a blues guitarist and fiddler who is credited as a major influence on white guitarists in western Kentucky. There are no recordings of Shultz's music. He was the son of Dave and Lizzie Shultz, both of whom were born in Ohio County, KY, according to Arnold Shultz's death certificate. For more see Old Family Photo Album, an African American Web Connection website; and Kentucky Country: folk and country music of Kentucky, by C. K. Wolfe.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Racine, Ohio County, Kentucky / Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky

Simmons College (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1879
Simmons (at times referred to as Simmons University) is the oldest African American college in Kentucky. Shortly after the formation of the State Convention of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, Elisha W. Green suggested that the newly formed organization focus on establishing a college for African Americans in Kentucky. A school was opened briefly in 1874, headed by Elder A. Berry. On November 25, 1879, a permanent school was established in Louisville at Seventh and Kentucky Streets, headed by the Marrs brothers, Elijah P. and J. C. The school, State University, was much later renamed Simmons University. In 1931 part of the campus was sold for the establishment of the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and Simmons was reorganized into the Simmons Bible College. The Simmons Bible College Records and Simmons University Records, 1869-1971 are collected in an archive that includes school catalogs, yearbooks, promotional literature, scrapbooks, and photographs, together with minutes and other publications of the school's sponsoring agency, the General Association of Kentucky Baptists, formerly the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky. The archive is available in the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections. For more about the history of Simmons University, see Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams.

See photo image of Simmons University faculty and students in the 1920s, within the Univeristy of Louisville Libraries Digital Collections website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Simms, James N.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1932
James N. Simms was born in 1871 in Port Royal, KY. He was the first African American graduate of the Indiana Law School [source: "No color line," Freeman, 05/29/1897, p.8]. A lawyer, he compiled Simms' Blue Book of National Negro Business and Professional Directory, published in Chicago in 1923. A photo of Simms can be viewed at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.


Subjects: Authors, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Port Royal, Henry County, Kentucky

Skanks, Eva B. Allensworth
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1968
Eva B. Allensworth Skanks was the first woman appointed a Notary Public in New Mexico. Skanks was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Allen Allensworth and Josephine Leavell Allensworth. She was a graduate of Girls High School in San Francisco, CA. She was the wife of Harrie B. Skanks, the couple married June 16, 1909 in Los Angeles, CA. They had a daughter named Louise Skanks. [Eva Skanks is listed as white in the 1910 and the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.] Eva Skanks died December 14, 1968 in Los Angeles, CA [source: California Death Index]. For more see "Eva Allensworth Skanks," Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition, p.11.
Subjects: Migration West, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Slaughter, Henry P.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Henry P. Slaughter was a leading journalist and the editor of the Lexington Standard. He also edited The Odd Fellows Journal, a Philadelphia newspaper. A holder of law degrees from Howard University, Slaughter was employed as compositor by the Government Printing Office (GPO) in D.C. He also collected papers and publications on the life and history of African Americans. The large collection (over 10,000 volumes) was sold to the Clark Atlanta Library. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. R. L. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith.

See photo image of Henry P. Slaughter at the Georgia Stories website.
Subjects: Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, DC

Small, George
Birth Year : 1851
Death Year : 1876
George Small was born in Fayette County, KY. He was 21 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Lexington, KY, on February 12, 1872. He served with the 9th Cavalry, Company L, until his death March 24, 1876. Private George Small and two other Buffalo Soldiers from Fort Union, Private Anthony Harvey from Canada, and Private John Hanson from Maryland, were all killed in a shootout with Gus Heffron and David Crockett at Henry Lambert's Bar in the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM. David Crockett was the nephew or grandson of frontiersman David "Davy" Crockett (1786-1836). After the shootout, David Crockett, the younger, and Agustus "Gus" Heffron left Cimarron and were on the run for a few months. They returned to Cimarron during the summer and were arrested, tried, and set free after the charges were dismissed. The men claimed self-defense, and there was a lack of evidence in the case. October of 1876, Crockett and Heffron again returned to Cimarron, got drunk and terrorized the town, resulting in a sheriff's posse killing Crockett and capturing Heffron. Heffron later escaped from jail and disappeared from history. George Small and John Hanson were buried at Fort Union, NM. For more see George Small in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; A. L. Lee, "Black Landmarks in the Un-Black West," 07/24/2005, an AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum website; Santa Fe Trail Research Site: Fort Union Historic Resource Study, chapter seven: The Third Fort Union: Construction and Military Operations, part two (1869-1891); and "David Crockett y Gus Hefferson...," The Daily New Mexican, 08/18/1876, p. 4 [article in Spanish].
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / Cimarron and Fort Union, New Mexico

Smith, Effie Waller
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1960
Effie Waller Smith was born in Pike County, KY, the daughter of Sibbie and Frank Waller, a blacksmith. Smith earned her teaching certificate at Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She was a school teacher in Pike County and was certified by Superintendent Perry A. Cline in the early 1890s. Effie W. Smith was well-read in classical literature, she published three books of poetry, and her poems also appeared in literary magazines. She stopped publishing her work in 1917 at the age of 38. Her husband, Deputy Sheriff Charles Smith, had been killed in 1911 while serving a warrant, they were married two years. Effie W. Smith left Kentucky for Wisconsin in 1918 and is buried in the city of Neenah. A Kentucky Historical Marker [#1959] was placed at the police department in Pikeville in honor of Effie Waller Smith. For more see The Collected Works of Effie Waller Smith; Effie W. Smith in Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Effie W. Smith in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; "State honors Black poet...," Lexington Herald Leader, 12/11/01, p. B3; "Effie Waller Smith: An Echo Within the Hills," The Kentucky Review, Vol. 8, issue 3 (Autumn 1988), pp. 26-46; and W. R. Cummings, "History of the Perry A. Cline High School," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 9, no. 1-2 (Oct.-Nov. 1938), p. 49. See photo image and bio of Effie Waller Smith on pp. 131-132 in The Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship, by J. J. Pipkin.

See photo image of Effie Waller Smith at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets, Corrections and Police, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Pike County, Kentucky / Neenah, Wisconsin

Smith, Ella Cowan and Josephus [Joseph] William
Birth Year : 1873
Both Ella and Joseph Smith were born in 1873 in Lexington, KY, where their parents had been slaves. In 1878, when both were five years old and their families were free, the families moved to Atchison, Kansas; they were members of the Exodusters leaving Lexington for Kansas. Their families later moved on to Oklahoma during the Land Rush. For more about the Smith Family see Echoes of Yesterday, by Josephus (Joseph Smith) [available online .pdf an iwitnesstohistory.org website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Atchison, Kansas / Oklahoma

Smith, James E. "J.E."
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1969
Smith was elected State Representative for the 42nd District, serving 1964-1968, and was a delegate to the 1964 Democratic Presidential Convention. He was president of the National Negro Insurance Association and co-founder of the Domestic Life and Accident Insurance Company. Smith graduated from Jacksonian College in Jackson, Michigan. He was the husband of Vera Smith and father of Charlotte McGill. The family lived in Louisville, KY. For more see the Smith/McGill Family Papers, 1879-1987 at the University of Louisville; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Smith, Thomas J.
Birth Year : 1871
Smith was born in Ballard County, KY. He was principal at the Colored high school in Versailles, KY (1896-1917) while serving as a pastor in Dayton, OH. He was also pastor at Zion Baptist Church in Paris, KY (1912-1917). Smith served as historian for the Kentucky State Teachers Association (1900-1917). He wrote The Boy Problem in Church, School, and Home, published by State Normal Press in 1903. African American men within the Baptist denomination made it their mission to better guide African American boys and young men for the sake of the race as a whole. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and A. M. Hornsby, "The Boy problem: North Carolina race men groom the next generation: 1900-1930," The Journal of Negro History, vol.86, issue 3 (Summer, 2001), pp.276-304.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Spencer, Moses
Death Year : 1877
Spencer was listed as a free person in William's Lexington [Kentucky] Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, Volume I, 1859-60, compiled by C. S. Williams, Lexington, [Kentucky]: Hitchcock & Searles, 1859. At one time, he was Lexington's most successful African American businessman. Spencer was a secondhand furniture dealer whose business was located on Main Street. He owned a slave. After the Civil War, he sold the furniture business and opened a new store on Short and Market Streets. For more see Lexington, Heart of the Bluegrass, by J. D. Wright.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Spicer, Jack, Sr.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1925
In 1918, Jack Spicer, Sr. was sworn in as the coroner of Lee County, KY, which made him the first African American to hold an office in the county [source: "Negro official in Lee County," The Clay City Times, 01/17/1918, p.1].  Jack Spicer is listed as coal miner in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. He was born March 31, 1875, according to the WWI Registration Card, and worked for the Beattyville Fuel Company.  He was the husband of Margaret Spicer. According to his death certificate [Registered No. 787], Jack Spicer was born in Jackson, KY, the son of Patsy Strong.  He was a minister at the time of his death in Lexington, KY, October 19, 1925.
Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Spring Valley, Illinois
Start Year : 1884
Located in northern Illinois, the town was built by the Spring Valley Coal Company and the Spring Valley Townsite Company in 1884. Men from Europe, northern Africa, and the United States were employed to work the mines, including a small group of African Americans from Kentucky. Homes for all African Americans were located two miles outside of town due to a local ordinance forbidding them within the city limits. The Spring Valley Coal Company was the state's largest coal producer. Lockouts and strikes were common occurrences at the mines, and in 1895 racial tension escalated when Italian miners attacked African American miners and their families, forcing them to abandon their homes. As news of the rioting spread to Chicago, African Americans put out a call to arms. Illinois Governor Altgeld and Spring Valley Mayor Delmargo intervened and restored calm. The African American miners from the south and their women were blamed for the trouble. By 1910, there were 32 nationalities in Spring Valley; the population included 230 African Americans, two-thirds of whom were Kentucky natives, according to author Paul Debono. When the mines closed, many took work at the resorts where hotel employees played baseball as entertainment for the resort guests; Spring Valley has been noted as playing a contributing role in the development of Negro League baseball. For more see The Indianapolis ABCs: history of a premier team in the Negro Leagues, by P. Debono; Black Coal Miners in America: race, class, and community conflict, 1780-1980, by R. L. Lewis; and the following articles in the New York Times: "A Race riot in Illinois: Italians attack the Negroes at Spring Valley," 04/05/1895, p. 8; "Rioters hold full sway," 08/06/1895, p. 3; "All Negroes driven out," 08/07/1895; "Chicago Negroes call to arms," 08/07/1895; "Spring Valley Negro war ended," 08/08/1895; "Negroes may return to Spring Valley," 08/09/1895; "Arrested for shooting Negro laborers," 08/17/1895; "Negroes arming for Spring Valley," 08/19/1895; and "Cause of the Spring Valley riots: Negroes said to have been responsible for the trouble," 08/26/1895. See also chapter 5, "Making the Italian other," in Are Italians White?, by J. Guglielmo and S. Salerno.
Subjects: Baseball, Communities, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Spring Valley, Illinois / Chicago, Illinois

Steed, Maggie M.
Birth Year : 1877
In 1909 Steed, a widow, built the first hotel in Paducah, KY, owned and operated by and for African Americans: The Hotel Metropolitan at 724 Jackson Street. The list of guests who stayed at the hotel include Louis Armstrong, Chick Webb, and Ike and Tina Turner. In 2007, the Metropolitan Hotel Museum Project received $50,000 in state funds to complete the renovation of the building that will also be used as a bed and breakfast. Maggie Steed was the widow of Henry Steed who was born in Tennessee. She too was born in Tennessee and came to Paducah, KY in 1893. For more see Hotel Metropolitan: Paducah, Kentucky; and "Mrs. Maggie M. Steed" on p.211 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky. See also The Development of an African American Museum: anthropology and museum practices at work (dissertation) by M. D. Hernandez
 
 
Subjects: Businesses, Bed & Breakfast, Hotels, Inns
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Stewart, Fannie B. C.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1957
Fannie Belle Caldwell Stewart was from Louisville, KY. In 1898, she married George P. Stewart, who co-founded the Indianapolis Recorder in 1897 and became sole owner in 1899--it is one of the oldest newspapers in the U.S. When George Stewart died in 1924, Fannie took over the newspaper as owner and publisher. She is credited with keeping the newspaper within the Stewart family for another 64 years. The newspaper was sold to Eunice Trotter in 1988. For more see the George P. Stewart Collection, 1894-1924, at the Indiana Historical Society; and The Indianapolis Recorder: a history of a Negro weekly newspaper, by H. Harlin.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Stewart, Logan H.
Birth Year : 1879
Born in Union County, KY, Stewart became a real estate operator and builder. He led the real estate movement in Evansville, Indiana. African Americans owned less than $10,000 in real estate in 1900; that increased to more than $100,000 in 1926. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; and We Ask Only a Fair Trial: a history of the Black community of Evansville, by D. E. Bigham.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Union County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

Still, Sina Williams
Birth Year : 1874
Sina Williams Still was a beauty culturist in Cincinnati, OH. She was born in Midway, KY, the daughter of Henry and Mary Williams. Sina Still completed a course in beauty culture in Louisville, KY, and moved to Cincinnati around 1900. She established her business around 1916 using the Poro System developed by Annie Turnbo Malone. (During the Civil War, Malone's parents left Kentucky and settled in Illinois. See Turnbo Family entry in the NKAA Database.) The Poro System was developed in Malone's Poro College in St. Louis, MO, where women were trained to become independent saleswomen of beauty and haircare products [source: Marcus Garvey Life and Lessons, edited by R. A. Hill and B. Bair, p. 406]. Sina Still was president of the Poro Club in Cincinnati; the club was founded and organized by Mrs. Callie Parrish in 1919. Sina Still was also a member of the Household of Ruth and a manager of the Orphan Asylum in Cincinnati. She was the wife of Louis (or Lewis) Still (b. 1870 in AL); the couple married in 1896. Sina Still had two daughters from her previous marriage. For more on Sina Still see her entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney. For more about the Poro Club in Cincinnati see Three Negro Pioneers in Beauty Culture, by G. L. Porter. For more information about the Poro System see E. M. Phillips, "Ms. Annie Malone's Poro: addressing whiteness and dressing black-bodied women," Transforming Anthropology, vol. 11, issue 2, pp. 4-17.
Subjects: Businesses, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Straws, David
Birth Year : 1799
Death Year : 1872
Straws, born in Kentucky, purchased his freedom from slavery and was listed as a freeman in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census. (He was also listed in the 1830 U.S. Census). Straws moved to Louisville, KY, where he opened a barbershop. He also had real estate holdings and provided funds for the establishment of the Fourth St. Colored Methodist Church. He was the husband of May Straws. Author W. H. Gibson, Sr. gives Straws' death date as 1868. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Suter Brothers, Barbers
Start Year : 1871
End Year : 1908
Andrew and Richard Suter were born near Midway, KY, two of at least eight children born to Charles and Winnie Suter. Prior to becoming a businessman, Andrew Suter (b. 1847) served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He returned to Midway, KY, and in 1870 married Kentucky native Ellen P. Clark (1857-1918 [source: Still Voices Yet Speak]). Also in 1870, Andrew Suter had an account with the Freedman's Bank in Lexington [source: Freedman's Bank Records], and the following year he became a barber in Lexington, KY, staying in business for 37 years. For a few of those years, Andrew and his brother, Richard Suter (b. 1842), were in business together, "S., R. & A.," and their shop was located in the basement at 2 S. Upper Street [source: Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876]. By 1878, Andrew Suter and William Anderson were in business together as "Suter and Anderson"; the barber shop was located on the corner of Upper and Main Streets [source: R. C. Hellrigle and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1877-78]. Richard Suter, who was also a chiropodist (foot doctor), was doing business on his own and in 1882 was a barber in the Phoenix Hotel [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. "Suter and Anderson" continued to thrive within the barbering business. Andrew Suter had a Colored servant, Amy Ferguson, who was employed at his home [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. By 1898, "Suter and Anderson" had several other employees: William Anderson Jr., Clarence Suter (Andrew's son), Henry Dupee, and Churchill Johnson. During the same period, Richard Suter and McCagih Robinson had a barbering business, "Suter and Robinson," in the basement of a building at the corner of Main and Limestone Streets [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9]. In addition to being a barber, Andrew Suter was a member of the Colored First Baptist Church in Lexington. He was re-elected treasurer of the church in June of 1904, at which time he had been treasurer for 27 years. Suter was dedicated to his duties, and in August of 1904, when the church split, he refused to recognize the departing members' vote to make him their treasurer. Andrew Suter was also a mason,  treasurer of Mt. Carmel Chapter No. 3 R A M, and treasurer of Bethany Comandery No. 2 [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9]. Andrew, Richard, and Clarence B. Suter are all buried in African Cemetery No. 2 according to their death certificates, and Ellen Suter is also buried there, according to the book Still Voices Yet Speak. Andrew Suter died of heart disease on July 29, 1908. He and his family had lived at 916 Lexington Avenue. His son, Clarence B. Suter, died of Bright's Disease on January 26, 1904, and his brother, Richard Suter, died of pneumonia on April 10, 1913. Andrew Suter's daughter, Katie Suter Miller, was born in 1877 and died May 28, 1929, and was also buried in African Cemetery No. 2. For more see "Andrew Suter," Lexington Leader, 07/29/1908, p. 7; and "Andrew Suter's position," Daily Leader, 08/14/1904. For more about the Suter family members buried in African Cemetery No. 2, see Still Voices Yet Speak, by Y. Giles.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tandy, Vertner W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1949
Born in Lexington, KY, Vertner W. Tandy was the first African American to be licensed as an architect in the state of New York. He was well-known throughout the U.S. One of his local works is Webster Hall on Georgetown St. in Lexington. In New York, he was a designer on the Abraham Lincoln Houses and the housing projects on Lexington Avenue and 135th Streets, and his works included the St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church on W. 133rd Street. Tandy was also the first African American to be commissioned as an officer in New York during World War I. He was a 1904 graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University], and a 1908 graduate of Cornell University School of Architecture. He helped found the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell. He was the son of Henry A. Tandy and Emma E. Brice Tandy, both Kentucky natives, and the husband of Sadie Tandy, born 1890 in Alabama. In 2009, a Kentucky historical marker was placed in the location where the Tandy home had been located in Lexington, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, Deceased, by H. F. and E. R. Withey; "Vertner W. Tandy," The New York Times, 11/08/1949, p.31; and M. Davis, "Fraternity puts its founder on map," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/15/2009, City/Region section, p.1.

See photo image of Vertner W. Tandy at BlackPast.org.

See photo image of Kentucky Historical Marker at wjohnston flickr site.
Subjects: Architects, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Taylor, James T. "Big Jim" [Harrods Creek, Kentucky]
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1965
Taylor developed the Harrods Creek community in Jefferson County, KY. He purchased the land in 1919 and sold lots to African Americans. The Jacob School was built in 1916, named for Jefferson Jacob, a former slave. Students came from Harrods Creek and nearby African American communities such as The Neck and Happy Hollow, both of which no longer exist. The school and the community are recognized with a Kentucky Historical Marker [#2038]. James Taylor, raised by his grandmother, grew up to become a farmer, a school bus driver, a road and bridge builder, and president of the James T. Taylor Real Estate Co. Wilson Lovett was vice president of the company, Joseph Ray, Sr. secretary, and Abram L. Simpson manager. For more see B. Pike, “Looking back: subdivision may be named after early developer,” Courier-Journal, 08/28/2002, Neighborhoods section, p. 1N; and D. R. Smith, “Cover Story: 40059,” The Lane Report, September 2006.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Harrods Creek, Jefferson County, Kentucky / The Neck and Happy Hollow, Jefferson County, Kentucky [no longer exist]

Terrell, William H.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1946
William Terrell was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Samuel S. and Martha Smooth Terrell. William Terrell lived in Chicago where he formed a real estate partnership, Murry & Terrell, and later the partnership of Anderson & Terrell. He was president of both the A-T Varnish Remover Co. and the Standard Literary Society. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Terry, Woodford H.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1960
Woodford H. Terry was a plumber and carpenter who was a furniture maker in Bowling Green, KY for a few years. In Clarksville, TN, he was the chief builder at The American Tobacco Company plant. In 1909, Terry moved to Los Angeles, CA and did general contracting work. There was a new builders law enacted in California in 1912, and that year Terry passed the General Builders License exam. He constructed a number of buildings in California, including the Vernon Avenue A. M. E. Church in Pasadena, CA, and the Trinity Baptist Church in Southern California. Woodford H. Terry was the son of Henry and Rachael Eggner Terry. He was born in Birmingham, KY, a town that was intentionally removed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the development of Kentucky Lake in the 1940s. Long before the town disappeared, Woodford H. Terry's family moved to Clarksville, TN, where Woodford attended the city schools. He earned his master's certificate in plumbing in 1894 via a correspondence course at Smith Trade School located in Nashville, TN. He was also an apprentice carpenter with American Tobacco Company in Clarksville, TN. In 1908, Terry vacationed in California and liked the area so much that he moved there the following year. In 1910, he married Jessie Sayers and the couple had three children. [Jessie Sayers Terry was the first African American member of the City Housing Commission in Los Angeles, CA.] In addition to his work as a plumber and carpenter in California, Woodford H. Terry was also the director and treasurer of the Unity Finance Corporation. He died in Los Angeles on December 27, 1960 [source: California Death Index]. For more see Woodford H. Terry on p.13 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; and Two Case Studies of African American Architect's Careers in Los Angeles, 1890-1945: Paul R. Williams, FAIA and James H. Garrott, AIA by W. H. Henderson.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration West, Migration South, Carpenters, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Birmingham, Marshall County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Clarksville, TN / Los Angeles California

Tevis, Elizabeth C. H.
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1880
Tevis was born a slave in Jefferson County, KY. She was freed from slavery in 1833 and inherited land. She married but had a prenuptial agreement to protect the ownership of her property. Tevis was one of the few African Americans to own slaves in Jefferson County; she hired out children acquired from the slave market. Tevis was the first resident in the community known as Petersburg in Jefferson County. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Inheritance, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tipton, Manuel
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
Manuel Tipton was well respected in Montgomery County, KY. He is said to have been the first person who learned to strip grass seed with a hand stripper and later with a stripper pulled by horses, according to Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. Manuel Tipton had a rock breaking business; the rocks were used for the building of fences and bridges. In 1905, he helped build Howards Mill Pike [source: "Howards Mill Pike," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/06/1905, p. 5]. He also helped lay the gas lines in Mt. Sterling, Midway, and Frankfort, KY. Manuel Tipton worked for the gas company, according to his Certificate of Death. He also served as an election officer in Smithville, KY, during the 1921 primary election [source: "Election officers named Saturday," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 07/19/1921, p. 1]. Tipton Avenue and the housing projects, Manuel Tipton Court, both in Mt. Sterling, KY, were named in his honor. Manuel Tipton was the son of Buford and Lutie Jones Tipton. He was the husband of Nora Lee Johnson Tipton; the family lived in Smithville in Montgomery County, according the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Manuel Tipton was buried in Olive Hill Cemetery, according to his death certificate. For more information, see "Montgomery County Pioneers - The Tipton Family" on pp. 20-21 of Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris.
Subjects: Businesses, Housing Authority, The Projects, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Tisdale, Clarence
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1945
Born in Louisville, KY, Tisdale toured with the McAdoo Jubilee Singers in Australia and New Zealand. The group also sang in England and France before returning to the U.S. in 1910. In 1914 Tisdale was a member of the Right Quintette; the group had four recordings in 1915. Tisdale also recorded by himself. He was living in New York in 1920, rooming with playwright Jessie Shipp and his son Jessie Jr., according to the U.S. Federal Census, the three lived on W. 131st Street. [Jessie Shipp, Sr.'s mother, Ellen Shipp, was a Kentucky native.] Tisdale was still living in New York in 1930, he formed his own trio in the 1940s just prior to his death. Tisdale was the son of Carrie Tisdale, who was matron of the Colored orphan home in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Clarence was a printer at the home, which was located on 18th Street in Louisville. For more see Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Australia / New Zealand / England, Europe / France, Europe / New York

Tolbert, Hardin
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1966
Hardin Tolbert was an outspoken newspaper publisher, journalist, and civil rights activist. On more than one occasion, he was also accused of getting the story or the facts wrong. Tolbert was publisher of the Frankfort Tribune and The Star and was a correspondent for the Freeman (Indianapolis, IN). He was said to be the only African American in Kentucky who earned his living solely from his work as a newspaper correspondent [source: "Hardin Tolbert...," Freeman, 06/21/1913, p. 1]. Tolbert's office was at 425 Washington Street in Frankfort in 1911, and he later conducted business for the State Bureau at the People's Pharmacy at 118 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY. His business was also known as the Tolbert Publicity Bureau. In 1912, Tolbert expanded the operation and appointed William Baxter as regular correspondent of the Freeman in Shelbyville, KY, with headquarters in the Safell and Safell Funeral Home [source: "Mr. Baxter...," Freeman, 05/04/1912, p. 1]. In 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education, an employment agency for Negro teachers [source: first paragraph of "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In November of 1914, Hardin Tolbert was arrested for publishing an article that criticized President Green P. Russell of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]; President Russell had senior student Willie Mea Toran arrested for her speech and petition against Russell's rule over the school, and student Vera Metcalf from Hopkinsville, KY, was kicked out of the dorm for not signing a petition that was in support of President Russell [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 11/14/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert also criticized three white men on the school board who endorsed President Russell's actions: Dr. C. A. Fish, George L. Hannon, and former mayor J. H. Polsgrove. All four men, Russell, Fish, Hannon, and Polsgrove, swore out warrants for the arrest of Hardin Tolbert, and he was jailed. State Superintendent Barksdale Hamlett provided the bail of $250 for Tolbert's release. Tolbert was charged with making false statements and fomenting trouble, all of which was summed up in the courtroom by the Commonwealth Attorney who said that Tolbert, a black man, had no right to criticize a white man; Tolbert was fined $10 and costs [source: "Calls colored editor "Nappy Headed Black Brute," Cleveland Gazette, 11/28/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert continued his criticism and also participated in the attempt to desegregate the Ben Ali Theater in 1915 and the Strand Theater in 1916, both in Lexington, KY. Hardin Tolbert would eventually leave Kentucky. In 1920, he was editor of the Cincinnati Journal [source: "Editor Hardin Tolbert...," Cleveland Gazette, 07/03/1920, p. 3]. The newspaper was located at 228 W. 8th Street; Tolbert also had a room at 636 W. 9th Street [source: William's City of Cincinnati Directory, 1919-1920, p. 2013]. Hardin Tolbert was born in February, 1880 in Shelbyville, KY, according to his World War I and World War II draft registration cards; he died June 3, 1966 in Martinsburg, WV, according to the West Virginia Certificate of Death #66008064.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Migration East, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Martinsburg, West Virginia

Tribble, Andrew
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1935
Andrew Tribble was born in Richmond, KY, where he also attended school. Andrew and Amos Tribble were the sons of Alice Tribble, and they were all boarding with a family in Union (Madison County) in 1880, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Andrew Tribble is noted as one of the greatest female impersonators in theater, with a career that spanned 40 years. As a child he was a member of the pickaninny band In Old Kentucky. He later moved to Chicago and joined the Pekin Theatre. One night he dressed in drag and did a performance that the audience loved. He was cast in Cole and Johnsons' musical Shoo-Fly Regiment. His most popular character was Lilly White, a washerwoman. For more see A History of African American Theatre, by E. Hilland; and African American Performance and Theater History: a critical reader, ed. by H. J. Elam, Jr. and D. Krasner.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Richmond and Union, Madison County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

True Reformers
Start Year : 1872
End Year : 1930
The True Reformers began in 1872 as an affiliated organization for African Americans who were not allowed to become members of the Independent Order of Good Templars in Kentucky. The initiative is said to have come from Colonel John J. Hickman (who was white), from Lexington, KY. Hickman is remembered for his temperance advocacy and leadership in the United States, and the Good Templar lodges he organized in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. Hickman did not oversee the True Reformers in Kentucky and other southern states, these were independent lodges managed by African Americans, and the lodges limped along during the first decade, several folded. In 1881, William Washington Browne, a former slave born in Virginia, was elected head of the Grand Fountain of the True Reformers in Virginia, and he is credited for the revival of the True Reformers. He developed the Virginia organization into a successful fraternal insurance society that owned businesses, including a bank and the newspaper The Reformer. The structure of the Virginia organization was applied to True Reformers in northern cities and in cities located in upper southern states. The True Reformers continued to exist until the early 1930s, around the beginning of the Great Depression. William Browne's success with the True Reformers was due to his ability to redirect the True Reformers away from temperance and prohibition, to more practical issues that African Americans faced. The organization was a trend setter for the operation of other African American fraternal organizations and it impacted the insurance business by redefining premium terms and benefits, and how they were handled by a national organization. True Reformers promoted self-help and introduced African Americans in 20 states to business, management, and entrepreneur practices. The True Reformers Hall in Louisville, KY, was located at 822 W. Walnut Street, according to the 1909 city directory. For more see D. T. Beito, "To advance the "Practice of Thrift and Economy": fraternal societies and social capital, 1890-1920," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Spring 1999, vol.29, issue 4, pp.585-612; see the entry "Grand United Order of the True Reformers" in Organizing Black America by N. Mjagkij; The Black Lodge in White America by D. M. Fahey; and Twenty-Five Years History of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, 1881-1905 by W. P. Burrell and D. E. Johnson. For more on Colonel John J. Hickman, see his entry in History of Boone County, Missouri by the St. Louis Western Historical Company, 1882, pp.881-883 [available at Google Book Search]
Subjects: Alcohol, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Virginia / United States

U. S. Congressional Hearings on Northern Emigration
Start Year : 1879
End Year : 1880
So many African Americans [Exodusters] were moving to Nicodemus, Kansas, that the U. S. Congress held hearings to find out why. A Select Committee was appointed by the Senate on December 15, 1879, charged with finding out why African Americans were emigrating north, especially those going to Nicodemus. The committee interviewed 153 African Americans (none from Kentucky) from January 19, 1880 to February 23, 1880. The investigation had ten summary points, the first being that the exodus was not the work of Republican leaders from the North. For more see "Report and Testimony of Select Committee to Investigate the Causes of the Removal of the Negroes From the Southern States," U.S Senate, Executive Document no. 693, 46th Congress 2nd Session, GPO 1880. Available at the University of Kentucky Libraries, Storage.
Subjects: Migration North, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas

Union Benevolent Society No.1 (Versailles, KY)
Start Year : 1876
The Union Benevolent Society No.1 in Versailles, KY, had existed for several years before it was approved by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky on March 3, 1876. It was described as a society for Colored persons. The organization provided charity and and mutual relief for its members. The board members were Henry C. Brown, President; Henry Jackson, Vice President; H. P. Mason, Recording Secretary; and Nelson Hicks, Treasurer. The official name of the organization became "The Benevolent Society, No.1, of Versailles, Kentucky." For more see chapter 336 in Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Passed, Regular Session of the General Assembly, December 1875.
Subjects: Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky

United States v. Reese, et al, 92 U.S. 214
Start Year : 1875
This case was the first big test of voting rights under the 15th Amendment of 1870 that gave African American men the right to vote. In Kentucky, an African American man named William Garver had been denied voting rights in a municipal election, and the voting official was indicted. The indictment was based on the Enforcement Act of 1870, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Enforcement Act unconstitutional: Congress did not have the power to seek punishment for the denial of voting rights on any grounds and could only legislate against discrimination based on race. The decision allowed southern states to deny voting rights to African Americans due to poll taxes, literacy and other tests. The indictment of election officials and others was considered an error of the Circuit Courts of the United States (Kentucky). For more see United States v. Reese, 92 U.S. 214 (1875) [full text online at Justia.com].
Subjects: Voting Rights, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Van Horn, James
Birth Year : 1804
Death Year : 1880
James Van Horn, a farmer, was among the wealthiest African Americans in Connersville, IN, prior to the year 1900. He was born in Pendleton County, KY, the slave of Josiah Thrasher. The Thrasher family is listed in the "Second Census" of Kentucky for the year 1800. In the 1820 Census Thrasher has one slave and in the 1830 Census no slaves. According to the History of Fayette County Indiana, James Van Horn escaped from Josiah Thrasher around 1825. Van Horn's mother was a slave, and his father was German. After his escape to Indiana, Van Horn stayed with John Thrasher, the son of his former owner, for about a year. Working various jobs, Van Horn was able to save enough money to buy his freedom and eventually purchased 121 acres of land. In 1842 he married Nancy Foster (b. 1822 in Ohio), and the couple had nine children. James Van Horn and his family are listed as free in the U.S. Federal Census as early as 1850 [name spelled Vanhorn]. Just prior to his death, Van Horn was a widower when he and his son Charles were listed as living in the same household in the 1880 Census. For more see James Van Horn on p. 326 of History of Fayette County, Indiana [available online at Google Books]. See also James Van Horn [and the misspelling James Van Home] in A History of the Thrasher Family by M. Thrasher.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Pendleton County, Kentucky / Connersville, Indiana

Vaughn, George L.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
George L. Vaughn was born in Kentucky, where he attend both elementary and high school. He was a graduate of Lane College and Walden University Law School [located in Tennessee, closed in 1925], and was later a 1st Lieutenant in the Artillery during World War I. Vaughn moved to St. Louis, where he practiced law and in 1916 became the first president of the Mound City Bar Association, a bar association for African American lawyers; the St. Louis Bar Association did not admit African Americans. In 1919, Vaughn helped found the Citizen Liberty League to help identify and elect more African Americans to public office. In 1936, Vaughn was appointed Justice of the Peace for the 4th District of St. Louis. Vaughn is most remembered for taking on the Shelley Restrictive Covenant Case, a landmark civil rights case involving J. D. Shelley, an African American who had purchased a home in a white neighborhood in 1945. The neighborhood association served Shelley with an eviction notice, and the St. Louis African American real estate brokers association hired Vaughn to fight the notice. Vaughn won the trial, but the case was then taken to the Missouri Supreme Court, which upheld the eviction. With the support of the real estate brokers association, Vaughn appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1948 the Supreme Court ruled in Shelley's favor. In 1957 the 660-unit George L. Vaughn Public Housing Project was named in Vaughn's honor. For more see "George Vaughn," in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 34, issue 4, (Oct., 1949), pp. 490-491; Lift Every Voice and Sing, by D. A. Wesley, W. Price and A. Morris; and "George L. Vaughn," in West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edited by S. Phelps and J. Lehman, vol. 10, 2nd edition. See the U.S. Supreme Court, Shelley V. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948), at the FindLaw website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Housing Authority, The Projects, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Judges, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / St. Louis, Missiouri

Wallace, Count X.
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1880
Wallace, a barber and musician, played the violin at parties and other gatherings. He was born in Kentucky and was a freeman living in Fayette, Mississippi, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Judge Frank A. Montgomery recorded his meeting with Wallace in his book Reminiscences of a Mississippian in Peace and War, published in 1901 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Wallace had been in Port Hudson, LA, when the Union Army seized the area in 1863 and gained control of the Mississippi River. The forces included two regiments of Colored soldiers, the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guard. Wallace was a servant to the Union officers, and when the soldiers were to leave, they had planned to take Wallace with them, but Wallace requested and received a parole from his servant duties. He had shown the parole certificate to Judge Montgomery. In his civilian life, Wallace had been fairly well off, with $2,000 in personal property; he was also a slave-owner. He is listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule as owning a 35 year old female; Wallace was one of 28 slave owners in Fayette, MS. When he died in 1880, his property went to his 30 year old wife, Nelly [or Nellie], and their five children: Edgar, Gaitwood, Floyde, Mary, and Stanton.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fayette, Mississippi

Wallace, Felix "Dick"
Birth Year : 1884
Felix Wallace was born in Owensboro, KY, the son of Sarah J. Wallace. Felix was considered one of the greatest all-time shortstops and the best second baseman. He also played third base. Wallace's baseball career began in 1906 and ended in 1921; he first played with the Paducah Nationals and went on to play for several different teams, spending the last two years with the Hilldale Daisies. A consistent hitter, he batted .348 in 1914. His greatest asset was his fielding. Wallace worked as a tobacco steamer when not playing baseball during the early part of his career. For more see The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by J. A. Riley.
Subjects: Baseball
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Ware, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1872
Ware was born in Lexington, KY. He was a fraternal worker at Main St. Baptist Church in Lexington and Antioch Baptist Church in Cincinnati. He founded the Welfare Association for Colored People of Cincinnati in 1917, serving as president 1917-1920. He was also a long-time president of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) of Cincinnati, beginning in 1920. He was the husband of Lucie Ware, born 1878 in KY; in 1920 the family of 11 lived on Barr Street in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The family moved to Cincinnati in 1903. William Ware, Sr. was the son of Alfred and Jane Ware. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29, and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio

Warley, William [Buchanan v. Warley]
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1946
Warley fought for African Americans' right to vote and wrote about African Americans' contributions to history. He was editor of the Louisville News, which he founded in 1913, using the paper to speak out against segregated street cars and school inequality. Warley was also president of the NAACP Louisville, KY, Chapter in 1917 when he and Charles H. Buchanan challenged the legitimacy of the Louisville ordinance that mandated segregated housing. Warley won the U.S. Supreme Court decision giving African Americans the right to acquire, own, and live on property without race discrimination. For more see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; and R. Wigginton, "But he did what he could: William Warley leads Louisville's fight for justice, 1902-1946," Filson History Quarterly, vol. 76, issue 4 (2002), pp. 427-458.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Voting Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Warren, William
Birth Year : 1876
Born in Georgetown, KY, Warren was the first Kentucky African American to lead a military band (Ninth Cavalry). For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Washington, Isam McDaniel "Mack"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1957
Isam [or Isom] M. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY. He was the youngest son of Rebecca Neal Washington and Isam Washington. Isam M. Washington married Arbella Weeks from Massac County, Illinois; they were the parents of Roy L. Washington and the grandparents of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. Isam M. Washington was a minister at several churches in Illinois; he helped raise funds for the building of the St. James Church in Lawrenceville and the St. Peter A.M.E. Church in Decatur. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Massac County, Illinois / Lawrenceville and Decatur, Illinois

Washington, Rebecca Neal
Death Year : 1885
Rebecca Neal Washington was born a slave in Lovelaceville, KY. She was the first wife of Isam Washington, the mother of Isam McDaniel Washington, the grandmother of Roy L. Washington, and the great grandmother of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987), by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Mothers, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky

Webster County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1860-1880
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1880
Webster County, located in western Kentucky, was formed in 1860 from portions of Henderson, Hopkins, and Union Counties. It is bordered by five counties and was named for Daniel Webster, a U.S. Congressman who opposed the War of 1812. The seat of Webster County is Dixon, which was incorporated in 1861 and named for Archibald Dixon, a U.S. Senator from Kentucky and the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky. The 1860 Webster County population was 6,449, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and excluding the slaves. The population increased to 14,249 by 1880. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1860-1880.

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 256 slave owners
  • 790 Black slaves
  • 293 Mulatto slaves
  • 11 free Blacks [most with the last name Tye, 3 Brooks, 1 White]
  • 22 free Mulattoes [most with the last names Brooks, Hambleton, Lisle, and Rose]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 923 Blacks
  • 367 Mulattoes
  • About 18 U.S. Colored Troops listed Webster County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,154 Blacks
  • 0 Mulattoes
For more see the Webster County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Jesse Oliver Mays Collection; and "Samuel Watson" in Homeless, Friendless, and Penniless: the WPA interviews with former slaves living in Indiana, by R. L. Baker.
See the photo image of the Sebree Colored School at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z]
Geographic Region: Webster County, Kentucky

Wendell, Thomas T.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1953
Dr. Thomas T. Wendell was born in Nashville, TN, the son of Alfred and Clare Wendell. He was a physician in Lexington, KY, for half a century, and was a full time doctor for Negro patients at Eastern State Hospital until his retirement in the spring of 1952. When Eastern State completed the new hospital building for Negro patients in 1953, it was named the Wendell Building in honor of Dr. Thomas Wendell. The facility was to be a fully functioning hospital with the capacity to house 350 patients and housing for 30 live-in employees. In addition to being a doctor, Wendell was also a pharmacist, he had received both degrees from Meharry Medical College. He also led the effort to build the old Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in 1922. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; "Negro building at Eastern to be named for Dr. Wendell," Lexington Leader, 03/05/1953, p.24; and the Thomas T. Wendell Collection at the Kentucky Historical Society Library.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Nashville, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

West, James
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1885
Seventeen year old James West was a jockey from Madison County, KY. He died April 17, 1885 in Chicago, IL [source:  Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index]. He is buried in the Oak Cemetery in Chicago.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

West Kentucky Conference and West Kentucky Conference Branch (African Methodist Episcopal Church)
Start Year : 1880
The West Kentucky Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church ((AME) became independent from the AME Kentucky Conference in 1880 at Richmond, KY, under Bishop J. P. Campbell. The first conference was held the following year in Paducah, KY. The West Kentucky Conference Branch, a women's missionary organization, was organized in 1908 in Franklin, KY, by Bishop C. T. Shaffer. For more information about the West Kentucky Conference and the West Kentucky Conference Branch and its sub-units, see pp.396-397 and p.430 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Whedbee, Bertha P.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1960
Bertha Whedbee, is considered the first African American woman police officer to be hired by the Louisville Police Department, March 22, 1922. Whedbee had campaigned for the position by circulating a petition that was signed by voters. Her employment came with the stipulation that she work only with members of her race. Whedbee was born in West Virginia, and was the wife of Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee (1863-1940, born in North Carolina). The couple married in 1898, and the family lived at 2832 West Chestnut Street in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr.; and "Louisville Police Department" by M. O. Childress in The Encyclopedia of Louisville by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

White, Churchill
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1949
White was living in Talmage, KY, when he invented the hemp brake machine for which he received patent #1358907 on November 16, 1920. He was born in Mercer County, the son of Churchill and Sallie Herman White. For more see Hemp Brake, by C. White [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Inventors
Geographic Region: Talmage, Mercer County, Kentucky

White, David French
Birth Year : 1872
David F. White was an educator and minister who combined the two professions: he believed that the Bible should be a part of the course work in schools and that teachers should be Christians. In 1920 he was pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church in Norfolk, VA. White was born in Berea, KY, and he attended Berea College for a year before graduating from Tuscaloosa Institute for Training Colored Ministers [later named Stillman Institute, now Stillman College] and Knoxville College (in 1903). He was principal of Athens Academy and was pastor of the United Presbyterian Church, both in Athens, TN, which began his tenure as a school principal and a minister in several locations: Indianapolis, IN, where he was also active at the YMCA, where he taught Bible classes; Richmond, VA; Prairie, AL; and Cleveland, TN. In 1911, Rev. White resigned from his position as pastor of the Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis to join with Fred B. Smith in the "Men and Religion Forward Movement" headquartered in New York [source: Rev. D. F. White...," Freeman, 06/24/1911, p. 8]. The movement was to bring more men and boys into the church; there was a fear that women had become the dominate membership and would soon sway church policies and decision-making. In 1920, while in Norfolk, VA, in addition to being a minister, Rev. White was director of the YMCA, a probation officer, and a member of the juvenile court. For more see "David French White" in History of the American Negro, Virginia Edition, edited by A. B. Caldwell, and in Black Biography, 1790-1950: a cumulative index by R. K. Burkett, et. al.; and "Y.M.C.A. notes," Freeman, 09/26/1908, p. 8. See the online reprint of W. T. Stead, "The Men and Religion Forward Movement," The Review of Reviews, April 1912.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Tuscaloosa and Prairie, Alabama / Athens, Cleveland,and Knoxville, Tennessee / Indianapolis, Indiana / Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia

White, Perry
Death Year : 1877
White was shot and killed by Cassius M. Clay on Sunday, September 30, 1877. White and his mother were former slaves, and with the end of slavery, White's mother, a cook, had been employed by Clay until, according to Clay, he found that she was "robbing him of silver plate and other articles." Clay was on his way to a Negro church near Richmond, KY, to hire another cook, when his path crossed with that of Perry White. According to Clay, White was shot because he threatened Clay's life. Clay turned himself over to the authorities; he was tried, and the jury gave the verdict of justifiable homicide. According to author K. McQueen (Cassius M. Clay: Freedom's Champion, p. 31), "The shooting of White seems to have been a turning point in Clay's mental health." For more see "Cassius M. Clay's ready pistol," New York Times, 10/02/1877, p. 1; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (1888), vol. 1, by J. G. Wilson and J. Fiske [available full view via Google Book Search]; and Cassius M. Clay: "Freedom's Champion" by K. McQueen.
Subjects: Freedom
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

The White Slave by Bartley Theo Campbell
Start Year : 1882
End Year : 1918
The White Slave was a play written by Bartley Campbell who was white, the play opened on April 3, 1882 at the Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York City. The story is of a young woman named Lisa, who believes that she is an octoroon slave. Lisa's white lover/previous owner helps her escape from her new owner, and Lisa learns that she is the illegitimate daughter of a white woman and an Italian man. Her mother was in Italy when she died after giving birth to Lisa, and Lisa's father moved on to France. Lisa was delivered to her grandfather, Judge Hardin in the United States. Judge Hardin, who owned Big Bend Plantation in Kentucky, did not want anyone to know that his dead daughter had had an illegitimate child by a foreigner. He gave the baby to his quadroon slave, Nance, to be raised as her daughter. Once Lisa knows the truth about her past, she marries her lover/former owner, who is also her grandfather's adopted son named Clay. The couple returns to Kentucky and regains ownership of the Big Bend Plantation and the slaves. The White Slave was one of several racial melodramas in the late 1800s, and it repeated the long established plight of the tragic octoroon. It was Bartley Campbell's biggest success and was performed on stage for more than 35 years. The White Slave was written during more successful times for Bartley Campbell, he had been a journalist. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1840, and wrote for the Pittsburgh Post in the late 1850s . He had also worked for newspapers in Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Louisville, KY. Campbell was also an author while employed as a journalist. He gave up journalism in 1871 to become a playwright and was very successful. Campbell died in 1888; he had been declared insane in 1886 and was placed in State Hospital in New York. For more on Bartley T. Campbell see The Cambridge History of American Theatre by D. B. Wilmeth and C. W. E. Bigsby; and Bartley Campbell by W. H. Claeren. For more on the history of the term "white slave" see Sisters in Sin by K. N. Johnson. For more about the play, see the entry "Re-Viewing The White Slave" in African American Performance and Theater History by H. J. Elam, Jr. and D. Krasner; and The White Slave and Other Plays by B. Campbell and N. Wilt.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses
Geographic Region: New York City, New York / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / Kentucky

Whittaker, Richard Salinthus
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1977
Kentucky native Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, a physician and surgeon, was founder of the Dunbar Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, in 1924. The facility was managed by Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, his brother Dr. J. T. [James Thomas] Whittaker (1876-1934), and Dr. Charles S. Diggs (1875 -1938) who was born in Mississippi. The hospital served the African American community in Los Angeles for 14 years; it was closed after the death of Dr. Diggs in 1938. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker then returned to his private practice and he was on the staff of Angeles Hospital and the Rose-Netta Hospital that was founded by Kentucky native Dr. N. Curtis King. Dr. Whittaker was born in Carrollton, KY, the son of Scott and Cecelia Whittaker. He was the husband of Esther King Whittaker and the father of James Salinthus Whittaker (1912 -1938) who was a mortician. Dr. Whittaker's education began in a colored school in Carroll County, KY, and he was a 1904 graduate of a college in Louisville (probably Simmons University) where he earned an A.D. degree, and he earned his M.D. at the Louisville National Medical College. He completed three months of post-graduate studies at Howard University. His first practice was in Kansas where several members of the Whittaker family had moved. His brother Dr. J. T. Whittaker is listed in the 1905 Kansas State Census for the town of Coffeyville. His parents, Scott and Cecelia Whittaker, and sister Mary, are listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census for Coffeyville. All of the family members were born in Kentucky, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when the family of seven was living in Owen County, KY, [Richard Whittaker's first name is given as "Robert"]. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker and his wife Esther were living in Coffeyville in 1910, according to the U.S. Federal Census [Dr. Whittaker's first name is again listed as "Robert]. The couple is also listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census along with their 3 year old son (b.1912). Both Esther and the child were born in Kansas. In 1922, Dr. Whittaker moved his practice and family to Pasadena, CA, then on to Los Angeles, CA, in 1923. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker was a member of several organizations including Sigma Pi Phi, Knights of Pythias, National Medical Association, and the NAACP. He died in Los Angeles on February 15, 1977. For more information see Dr. Richard Salinthus Whittaker on p.31 of Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Coffeyville, Kansas / Pasadena and Los Angeles, California

Williams, Earl
Birth Year : 1885
Williams was born in Cynthiana, KY. A physician and surgeon, he was also the president of the Board of Education in Lovejoy, Illinois. He was the force behind two new schools being built and an increase from four to 17 in the number of teachers in the school system. Williams was employed on the staff of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Granite City, Illinois. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Board of Education, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Lovejoy and Granite City, Illinois

Williams, John
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1924
John Williams was a race horse trainer who was born in Lexington, KY, in February, 1875 [source: Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. He was the son of Warren Williams and Rose Worsham Williams. John Williams died February 28, 1924 and is buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago, IL.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Williamsburg (KY) Colored Academy
Start Year : 1883
End Year : 1955
In 1883, the American Missionary Association (AMA) opened a church and a school in Williamsburg, KY, that was attended by both Negroes and whites. The effort was to be a copy of what had taken place at Berea. When some of the white children left the school in protest of the mixed attendance, AMA refused to change the policy, and the white children returned. The school would eventually be for whites only. The Williamsburg Colored Academy was opened for Negro children at some point in the 1880s. It began as a one room cabin for grades 1-8. Though it was claimed that there were few Negro children in the area, the school continued to grow, and by 1889 it was written that there were 307 students, Report of the Commissioner of Education [available at Google Book Search]. Rev. Henry Bond was the sole teacher of the school during the early 1900s. He is listed as a member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association in the association's 1923 journal. Other teachers included Jane Arthur (mother of Henry Bond), Miss Mae Jones, Miss Ruth Bond (daughter of Henry Bond), Miss Mamie Smith, Viola Shields, Thelma Smoot Lewis, Benjamin O. Burrus Sr., and Professor Holliday S. Skillman. The Williamsburg Colored School was closed some time after 1958. According to historian, Karen McDaniel, the high schools integrated in 1955, but the African American students continued in grades 1-8 at the Williamsburg Colored School until some time after 1958. Also, thanks to McDaniel for the following information: a c.1938 photo taken in front of the schoolhouse, with teacher Thelma Smoot and the school children, is in the title Whitley County, Kentucky, History and Families, 1818-1993. The colored school building has since been converted into a residence, it is located on Hickory Street [renamed Roy Chappell Street]. This entry was suggested by Carrie Stewart, a 1942 graduate of the Williamsburg Colored School. For more see the Annual Report of the American Missionary Association, 1883, pp.23,51-52; American Missionary, vol. 37, issue 12 (Dec. 1883), pp. 376-382; and The Bonds, by R. M. Williams. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky

Willis, Floyd W.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1951
Born in Crestwood, KY, Willis became a physician who did x-ray and radium work in Mercy Hospital, Cook County, IL. He was a visiting lecturer in x-ray at Meharry Medical College Clinics, 1920-1921, and a roentgenologist at Fort Dearborn Hospital. Floyd Willis was the son of Lavenia and Lee A. Willis, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, the family was living in Chicago in 1910, and Floyd was an artist and landscaper. In 1920, he was a doctor and the husband of Kentucky native Mable Gordon Willis. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and Blacks in Science and Medicine by V. O. Sammons. A picture of Dr. Willis is available online at NYPL Digital Gallery.

Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Crestwood, Oldham County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illilnois / Nashville, Tennessee

Willis, Frank R.
Birth Year : 1874
Willis, from Louisville, KY, raised poultry; his chickens won national and international awards, including the World's Champion Cockerel award at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and Frank R. Willis in the following Crisis articles, "Industry," v.13, no.1, November 1916, p.29, and "Industry," v.19, no.2, December 1919, p.82..
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Willis, Lucas B.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1930
Lucas B. Willis was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Sam and Appaline Willis. He was the organizer and vice-president of the Kentucky State Funeral Director's Association, organizer and executive secretary of the Independent National Funeral Directors Association, and organizer and executive secretary of the Sisters of Charity of the State Burial Fund of Indiana. Willis was the husband of Cora L. Willis, who was also a Kentucky native. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1910 the couple lived on Camp Street in Indianapolis. Lucas owned an undertakers establishment and Cora was a public school teacher. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and "Lucas B. Willis" in the articles "Vital statistics - Deaths" and "Notice of Appointment," both on p.7 of the Indianapolis Recorder, 04/05/1930.
Subjects: Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Wilson, James Hembray, Sr. (musician/band director)
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Born in Nicholasville, KY, James Hembray Wilson was a noted band director and musician, he played the cornet. He was a faculty member at Alabama A&M College [now Alabama A & M University] 1903-1904, he took over the school band, succeeding W. C. Handy, the former band director. Wilson left the school to tour with Billy Kersands and the Georgia Minstrels. Wilson returned to the school in 1907 to remain there until his retirement in 1951. He had been a musician in Jacob Litt's 'In Old Kentucky' Company in 1896, bandmaster in Al Martin's Uncle Tom's Cabin from 1897-1899, cornetist in Mahara's Minstrels in 1899, and worked with many other groups. He became the first African American treasurer at Alabama A&M in 1947 and served as the first African American postmaster at the school from 1919-1942. The James Hembray Wilson Building, located on the Alabama A&M campus, houses the James Hembray Wilson State Black Archives Research Center and Museum. James Hembray Wilson was the son of Hester and Jacob Wilson, and the husband of Eveline Wilson. He graduated from high school in Cincinnati, OH, and from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He died in Normal, Alabama on October 2, 1961 [source: Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "New Acquisitions" on p.3 in the Newsletter of the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments, Fall 2006, no.29 [online .pdf]; and Alabama A&M Wilson Building under the headline "Why is it named that" by D. Nilsson on p.6 in Pen & Brush, February 2003, vol.43, issue 4 (newsletter of the Huntsville/North Alabama Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication and others).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Huntsville and Normal, Alabama

Wilson, William H.
Birth Year : 1879
Wilson, born in Murray, KY, was a school teacher, a pharmacist, and a physician. He was the son of Lina Beauraguard. Wilson was a graduate of State Normal School in Frankfort, KY; a 1903 graduate of Berea College; and received his M.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in 1910. He taught public school for 12 years, then was a pharmacist in Chicago before moving back to Kentucky to practice medicine, first in Clayton, then in Henderson. For more see the William H. Wilson entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Clayton, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Winkfield, Jimmy
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1974
Born in Chilesburg [later Uttingertown] in Fayette County, KY, Jimmy Winkfield was the youngest of 17 children. He was the last African American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, in 1901 and 1902. Winkfield left the U.S. after a contract dispute and became a national riding champion in Russia and a trainer in France. He retired from racing in 1930 and died in France in 1974. In 2004 he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. For more see The Great Black Jockeys and Wink: the incredible life and epic journey of Jimmy Winkfield, both by E. Hotaling; and Jimmy Winkfield, a National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame website.

See photo image and additional information at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Chilesburg (Uttingertown), Fayette County, Kentucky / Russia, Europe / France, Europe

Wood, Francis M.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1943
Francis Wood was born in Barren County, KY, the son of Fannie Myers Wood and William H. Wood, and a brother to Rev. J. Edmund Wood. He taught in various African American schools in Kentucky and served as principal of Western High School in Paris, KY for 12 years [he lived at 401 Lillleston Avenue in Paris]. He was also president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) for 10 years and of the Kentucky Negro Industrial Institute (now Kentucky State University) from May 1923 to June 1924. In 1925 he became supervisor and later director of the Baltimore Colored Schools. In 1934 he was elected president of the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools and established a permanent office in Washington, D.C. Francis M. Wood Alternative High School (Baltimore) is named in his honor. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; "Office of the President Records" in the Kentucky Digital Library; and "Dr. Francis M. Wood, educator, 65, dead," The New York Times, 05/09/1943, p. 40.


See photo image and additional information in "Francis Wood left legacy in education," article by G. Kinslow in Glasgow Daily Times, 02/21/2010 [available online].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Yowell, Samuel [Petersburg Colored School]
Birth Year : 1791
Death Year : 1872
Samuel Yowell [also spelled Youell] was a property owner in Petersburg, KY. He was born in Virginia and is listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census as a freeman who was a weaver. Included in his household was Jane Yowell, born in 1810 in Virginia. In the 1870 Census, Samuel Yowell's occupation is listed as a fisherman, and there are two children living with him and Jane: 12 year old Mat Yowell and 5 year old Amanda Yowell, both born in Kentucky. Samuel Yowell died in Petersburg in 1872 without any heirs, so his property, lots 172 and 173, became the property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1882, the Kentucky Legislature passed "An Act for the benefit of the colored schools in Petersburg, Kentucky," granting that lots 172 and 173 be used for the schools. Petersburg was established in 1800 and is an unincorporated community in Boone County, KY. In 1880, the population was 1,377 with 98 African Americans. For more see "Laws of Kentucky," Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Chapter 1019, pp. 464-465 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration West, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Petersburg, Boone County, Kentucky

 

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