From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Jessup, Charles

(born: April 18, 1885) Charles Jessup was a professional baseball player from Hopkinsville, KY. Jessup was a pitcher in the Negro League from 1907-1911. He played for the Chicago Union Giants (ERA 3.0) and the Minneapolis Keystones (ERA 3.75). From 1910-1911 there were no stats in the Negro League Database, though he was a pitcher for the Chicago Union Giants. Charles Jessup was the son of Bell Baker, according to the 1910 U.S. Census when the family was living in Joliet, IL. Charles, his mother, brother Arthur Jessup, and a boarder lived at 306 Monroe St. It is not known when the family moved from Hopkinsville to Joliet.

Charles Jessup is listed as a laborer on p.291 in the R. L. Polk & Co. Joliet City Directory, 1905-1906. He is listed as a baseball player in the 1908 and 1909 city directories. By 1912, Charles Jessup was no longer playing baseball, he was employed as a porter, according to his entry on p.269 in the R. L. Polk & Co.'s 1912 Joliet City Directory. By 1920, Charles Jessup was working at a steel mill, and in 1930, he was a moulder at the mill [sources: 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census].

During WWII, Charles Jessup worked at Sanderson and Porter, the Elwood Ordinance Plant that was a U.S. Army ammunition plant where munitions such as artillery shells, bombs, and mines were loaded. Charles Jessup was the husband of Jessie Jessup, and the couple had four sons and a daughter [source: 1940 U.S. Census]. He was last listed in the 1956 Joliet city directory.

SOURCES: Birth date and location found in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index in Ancestry; see Charles Jessup at the Negro Leagues Database website; see Charles Jessup in Early Black Baseball in Minnesota by Todd Peterson; see Charles Jessup in Early Pioneers of the Negro Leagues: William S. Peter by the Center for Negro League Baseball Research, Dr. Layton Revel (online .pdf); Charles Jessup's WWII Draft Registration Card in Ancestry; and D. Pugsley, "Joliet Arsenal," a Michigan Tech webpage.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: R. L. Polk & Co. Joliet City Directory, 1905-1906
NKAA Source: R. L. Polk & Co.'s 1912 Joliet City Directory
NKAA Source: Early Black baseball in Minnesota : the St. Paul Gophers, Minneapolis Keystones and other barnstorming teams of the deadball era
NKAA Source: Early pioneers of the Negro Leagues: William S. Peter

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Jessup, Charles,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 30, 2023,

Last modified: 2022-08-24 13:14:38