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

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Louisville, KY

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

In the table below are the names of many African Americans who were employed as shoemakers, repairers, and shoe shiners in Louisville, KY during the year 1920. Louisville had the largest population of African Americans in Kentucky, and hundreds were employed in the shoe care business prior to 1920 and after 1920. There were quite a few shoemakers in Louisville, but the majority of them were not African Americans. In Louisville, the making of shoes was a skill possessed by a few African American men, and there were many more descendants of immigrant families who were also skilled shoemakers. In 1920, there were about 15 African American shoemakers and repairers in Louisville, which was a little less than the 20 or so in Lexington and Paducah. All three cities had the highest concentration of African American shoemakers in the state (not counting those in the prisons). 

As was happening in other locations around the state, the African American shoemakers in Louisville were transitioning over to shoe repairers. The business of handmade shoes was competitive, plus, there were at least five shoe manufacturers and four shoe wholesalers [source: p.2237 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920]. These were businesses that did not depend on prison labor contracts in order to maximize their profits, as was the case in the shoe factories in Frankfort and Eddyville.

In Louisville, the employees at the shoe manufacturer and wholesale businesses were people from the general public, including a few African American men hired as laborers and even fewer women laborers (listed below). African Americans were also hired as porters, maids, and janitors in shoe stores and shoe shine parlors. More African American teen boys were employed as shoe shiners in Louisville than in any other city or town in Kentucky. In Louisville, African American shoe shiners did not tend to stay in the business very long, according to the census records and city directories. But in spite of the turnover and regardless of age, there continued to be more African American shoe shiners in Louisville than any other Kentucky location because the size of the population afforded the labor supply and demand, and shining shoes was one of the more readily accessible lines of employment for African American men and boys.

One other note, in Louisville, African Americans and family members did not stay in the shoemaking or shoe care business the 35-40 years to half a century or more as seen in Lexington and a few other cities. In Louisville, they got into the business, and they got out of the business when there was better employment. Those who stayed on longer included Robert Clayborne, 32 years; John G. Hayes, 26 years; Edward Partee, 25 years; and Jessie Baker, 22 years. 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
George Allen (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Allen (b.1878) Shoe Shiner Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Allen (b.1892) Shoemaker Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Allen (b.1899) Shoemaker Sam Sapoquick - 1802 W. Walnut 1917 WWI Draft Card Missing left leg
William H. Allen (b.1893) Shoemaker Paris Shoe Repair Co. - 1306 W. Walnut 1920 U.S. Census; and p.99 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
James D. Anderson (b.1906) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Jessie Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Repairer Shoe Repair Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Jesse Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Shiner Schieber Shoe Shop - 1100 W. Liberty Street 1921 p.131 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1921  
Jessie Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Shiner Schieber Shoe Shop - 1102 W. Liberty Street 1935 p.204 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1935  
Jesse Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Repairer Friedman's Shoe Store - 204 W. Market Street 1942 p.143 in Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory 1942; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
George Ballot (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Otho Barnes Shoe Shiner KY Hat Cleaners - 318 S. Fourth Street 1920 p.141 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Harry Bauchman (b.1897) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
James Beard Shoemaker & Repairer 1015 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Harry Bell (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Charles Bridges Shoe Shiner Owns Shoe Shine Parlor - 709 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Edward Bridwell Shoe Shiner Owns Shoe Shine Parlor - 101 W. Liberty Street 1920 p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Eulissus Boling (b.1873) Porter Shoe Store 1920 U.S. Census  
Hobert Boone (b.1900) Glue Machine Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Albert Bowles Shoe Shiner 911 Cedar 1920 p.214 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Carl Brown Shoe Shiner W. D. Martin - 323 Cassin Street 1920 p.241 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John Brown Shoe Shiner G. L. Bimbas - 816 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.246 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William Brown (b.1905) Laborer Shoe Store 1920 U.S. Census  
Hewitt Burt Shoe Shiner 1128 W. Chestnut Street 1920 p.274 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Willie Caufman (b.1895) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert D. Clayburn (1879-1948) Boot Black William Selicos - 674 Center Street 1915 p.312 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915  
Robert D. Claybourne (1879-1948) Boot Black American Shoe Co. - 305 S. Fourth Street 1917 WWI Draft Card Broken right hip
Robert D. Clayborne (1879-1948) Shoemaker 633 Cedar Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.324 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Robert D. Clayborn (1879-1948) Shoe Repairer Re-Nu Shoe Shop - 421 S. Fourth Street 1928 p.506 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1928  
Robert D. Clayborne (1879-1948) Shoe Shiner Re-Nu Shoe Shop - 421 S. Fourth Street 1933 p.416 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1933  
Robert D. Claybourne (1879-1948) Shoe Repairer Moved to Lexington, KY. McGurk's Shoe Shop - 104 E. Main Street 1947 p.120 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1947; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.20343, Registrar's No.936  
Ada Cooper (b.1891) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert Creel (b.1906) Shoe Shiner Louis Hondales - 1939 Cedar Street 1920 p.364 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Henry Dale (b.1903) Boot Black Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Edd Dartice (b.1885) Shoe Shiner City - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Fred Douglas (b.1895) Shoe Shiner Hotel - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
George W. Driver (b.1868) Shoemaker & Repairer 1040 S. 16th Street 1920 p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Elza William Dudley (1892-1939) Shoemaker & Repairer 753 S. 1st Street 1920 p.437 & p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Elza W. Dudley (1892-1939) Shoe Repairer 755 S. 1st Street 1921 p.448 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1921 Find A Grave
Henry Duncan (1904) Porter Shoe Shine Stand 1920 U.S. Census  
Carol Emmery (b.1902) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Earnest Evans (b.1896) Shoemaker Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Shelley George (b.1903) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Leon Gibson Shoe Shiner Lobby of Inter-Sou Life Bldg. - 609 W. Liberty 1920 p.562 & p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Oscar Gould (b.1906) Laborer Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Saw Green (b.1880) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William A. Grigsby Shoe Shiner KY Hat Cleaners - 318 S. Fourth Street 1920 p.605 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Daniel Grubbs (b.1864) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Henry Otto Warren Gwinn (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Curtis Hart Shoe Shiner ss E Broadway al e of Preston Street 1920 p.652 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John B. Hayden (b.1903) Shoemaker Apprentice W. H. Hunter - 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.661 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Porter Hayden (b.1905) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Boot Black 316 5th Street 1908 p.658 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1908  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Shoe Shiner 537 1/2 W. Market Street 1922 p.726 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1922  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Shoe Shiner 226 W. Jefferson Street 1931 p.857 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1931  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Shoe Shiner 226 W. Jefferson Street 1934 p.830 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1934  
William B. Hayes (1902-1988) Shoe Shiner Manager of J. G. Hayes Shoe Shine Co. - 1935 W. Madison Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.653 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William B. Hayes (1902-1988) Shoe Shiner J. G. Hayes - 1935 W. Madison Street 1934 p.831 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1934; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
Roosevelt Haynes Shoe Shiner G. L. Bimbas - 540 S. Ninth Street 1920 p.664 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Thomas G. Hines Shoemaker W. H. Hunter - 536 W. Kentucky Street 1920 p.705 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John Hinkle (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Vance Hoglesby Shoe Shiner 928 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.715 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John W. Holt (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
John W. Holt (b.1905) Shoe Shiner 617 S. 13th Street 1922 p.791 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1922  
Alfred E. Hood (b.1879) Shoemaker Self-employed in Lancaster, KY 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card  
Alfred Hood (1877-1963) Shoemaker Moved to Louisville - Samuel Sapoznick - 506 S. 18th Street 1918 p.702 in Carson's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1918  
Alfred Hood (1877-1963) Shoemaker 931 Walnut Street 1920 p.723 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920 Find A Grave
William H. Hunter (b.1882) Shoemaker & Repairer 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1920 p.749 & p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William H. Hunter (b.1882) Shoe Repairer 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1926 p.2828 in Carson's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1926  
William H. Hunter (b.1882) Shoe Repairer 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1937 p.2675 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1937  
Samuel Jackson, Jr. (b.1896) Shoe Shiner Hotel - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Albert N. Johnson Shoemaker W. H. Hunter - 536 W. Kentucky Street 1920 p.775 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Albert N. Johnson Shoe Repairer 6th Street Shoe Repair Shop - 823 S. 6th Street 1931 p.994 in Carson's Louisville City Directory for 1931  
Henry Johnson Shoe Shiner Owns Shoe Shine Parlor - 904 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Melvin Johnston Shoe Shiner 613 W. Main Street 1920 p.785 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Norman Jones (b.1900) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sam B. Jones (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Otis Kellis (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Herbert Linton (1903-1982) Boot Black Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Herbert Linton (1903-1982) Shoe Shiner Roy E. Steele - 2707 W. Walnut Street 1932 p.1101 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1932; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
David Lyon (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sylvester Martin (b.1897) Porter Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Kid Maupin Shoe Shiner 618 S. Ninth Street 1920 p.970 & p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Alice May (b.1902) Maid Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
John Miller (b.1860) Shoemaker Shoe Repair Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Henry E. Murphy Shoe Shiner 1642 Beargrass 1920 p.1078 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Prince Murry Shoe Shiner es 7th al s of Walnut 1920 p.1081 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Isem Osborne (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Ralph H. Overall (1873-1940) Shoemaker & Repairer 631 Cedar Street 1920 U.S. Census; p.2239 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920; Kentucky Certificate of Death State File No.28950, Registrar's No.5290  
Edward Partee (b.1882) Shoe Shiner & Porter D. P. Haager - 1124 W. Green Street 1914 p.1070 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1914  
Edward Partee (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Louis Hondales - 331 W. Market Street 1920 p.1144 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Edward Partee (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Ky Hatters - 441 S. 8th Street 1939 p.1300 in Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory 1939  
Ruby Peak (b.1898) Clerk Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sylvester Perdue (b.1900) Shoe Shiner Hotel - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Calley Perry (b.1894) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Earl L. Radford Shoe Shiner The Liberty - 912 W. Liberty 1920 p.1200 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Earnest Rapier (b.1872) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Molly Reed (b.1870) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Harry Reeves (b.1902) Boot Black & Porter Thomas Reeves - 1107 W. Chestnut 1919 p.1175 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1919  
Harry Reeves (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Thomas Reeves - 415-421 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.1218 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Boot Black Henry Watterson Hotel - 1107 W. Chestnut 1916 p.2012 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1916  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Boot Black & Watchman Henry Watterson Hotel - 1107 W. Chestnut 1918 p.2015 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1918; and WWI Draft Registration Card  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Boot Black & Porter Henry Watterson Hotel - 1107 W. Chestnut 1919 p.1176 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1919  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Owns Parlor - 415-421 W. Walnut Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.1218 & p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William Reynolds (b.1875) Shoe Repairer Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Reynolds (b.1875) Shoemaker 1205 W. Walnut Street 1922 p.1357 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1922  
John T. Robertson (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Shelby Scott (b.1905) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Roosevelt Shammel (b.1904) Boot Black Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Matthew Sherrill Porter Boston Shoe Company - 912 W. Madison Street 1920 p.1352 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Clarence Smith (b.1878) Shoe Shiner Depot - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Nathaniel Smith (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Thomas Smith (b.1872) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sarah J. Sparks (b.1882) Maid Boston Shoe Company - 912 W. Madison Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.1399 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Jim Spears (b.1884) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert Spears (b.1900) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
James Sutton (b.1870) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Elmore Taylor (b.1881) Shoe Shiner Louis Hondales - 331 W. Market Street 1920 p.1458 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Louis Thaupmans (b.1870) Shoe Shiner Depot - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Bud Thomas (b.1881) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Ernest Walters (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Ky Hat Cleaners - 942 S. Eleventh Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.1537 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
James S. Williams (b.1896) Shoe Repairer Government - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Judge Williams (b.1889) Cobbler Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Judge Williams (b.1889) Shoemaker & Shoe Repairer Phillip Yoffe - 903 W. Chestnut 1930 U.S. Census; and p.2106 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930  
Judge Williams (b.1889) Shoe Repairer M. J. Gavronsky - 1204 W. Walnut Street 1934 p.1894 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1934  
Elmo Woolridge (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Clarence D. Young Shoe Shiner Thomas Reeves - 415-421 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.1640 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Shoemakers in Kentucky Prisons (A Leading U.S. Industry)
NKAA Source: Caron's directory of the city of Louisville (annual)
NKAA Source: Caron's Louisville city directory (annual)
NKAA Source: Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) city directory (annual)
NKAA Source: Caron's Louisville city directory (annual)
NKAA Source: Polk's Lexington city directory (serial)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African AmericanShoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Louisville, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 20, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/3118.

Last modified: 2017-08-22 17:06:47