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

African American Horsemen, Articles in Kentucky Newspapers

(start date:  -  end date: ) 

The horse industry in Kentucky has generated billions of dollars for the state. Within Kentucky's historical newspapers are the names of African American jockeys, trainers, and other horsemen who contributed to that industry. Their names can be found in relation to winning, losing, success, marriage, injury, death, crime, or some combination of each and all. While there are a lot of articles, they represent only a small portion of the total number of names; the majority of the men's names were never in print until they died, after which, it may or may not have been mentioned that they were part of the horse industry. To date, there is not a source that gives all their names, and only a few are mentioned in books. It is the more famous individuals with recent books dedicated to their lives. In old newspapers, it was these same indivuduals who had articles written about them in sections of the papers other than the "Colored Notes." A real show of success or acceptance was not having it mentioned in the article that the man was "colored." Then, around 1970, local newspapers started to do away with the practice of "Colored Notes" and mentioning the race of African Americans. Some newspapers made the change gradually, and for others, it was a very slow transition. This entry includes only a few of the names of horsemen found in Kentucky historical newspapers, from 1879-1952. This entry is meant to highlight the use of newspaper sources for filling in the gaps about the lives and deaths of Kentucky's African American horsemen. Note also that the articles give an indication of how the individual horsemen may have been regarded in terms of notoriety. For future research, suggested search terms for historical newspaper articles about African American horsemen are colored and Negro combined with Kentucky and other terms such as jockey, trainer, trotter, and horseman. 

 

NAME

OCCUPATION

WORKED FOR

CITATION

NOTES

Louis Augustus (b.1874)

Horseman

  

The Evening Bulletin, 01/10/1890, p.1

From Harrodsburg, KY, 15-16 years old. Left thigh fractured in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

Dudley Allen (1845-1911)

Trainer

 

Leader,   10/23/1911, p.12

Death Notice.

Tom Bacon (-1899)

Trainer

 

Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 10/13/1899, p.1

Death Notice.

Lloyd Baxter (b.1873)

Horseman

 

The Hickman Courier, 01/13/1890, p.1

From Frankfort, KY, 16-17 years old. Braised back in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

Frank Bayless (-1892)

Jockey

 

Leader, 01/14/1906, p.7

Death Notice.

Tom Britton (1870-1901)

Jockey

 

Leader, 08/08/1892, p.2

Injured in race.

French Brooks (1856-1943)

Trainer

E. F. Clay

The Bourbon News, 03/08/1910, p.8

Delivered filly to John E. Madden.

Edward Dudley Brown "Brown Dick" (1850-1906)

Jockey, Trainer, Race Horse Owner

 

The Paducah Sun, 05/11/1906, p.2

Death Notice.

John Brown (b.1857)

Horseman

 

Leader, 12/17/1911, p.4

Wife threw a going away party for him.

Hiram Burns (1876-1952)

Saddle Horse Rider, Trainer of Trotters

 

Herald-Leader, 09/07/1952, p.3

Death Notice. Died in Georgetown, KY.

Jim Burnside (-1891)

Trainer

 

Semi-weekly Interior Journal (Stanford), 07/31/1891, p.1

Death Notice.  Died from drinking too much bad whisky, according to the coroner's inquest.

Ed Caldwell (1863-1912)

Trainer

 

Leader, 02/19/1912, p.7

Death Notice.

R. E. Campbell (1859-1919)

Trainer, Race Horse Owner

E. J. Baldwin

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville), 08/13/1889, p.3

Owner of the horse Protection, winner of the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey.

Anderson Carr (1864-1912)

Horseman

 

Semi-weekly Interior Journal (Stanford), 10/20/1893,   p.1

From Stanford, KY. While in Danville, managed to regain control of his runaway horse and buggy.

Harold M. Childs (1863-1941)

Trainer, Trotters & Harness Horses

Ben F. White / Assistant with Charles Marvin for Joseph W. Bailey

Herald-Leader, 01/12/1941, p.11; & 01/10/1941, p.7

Death Notice. Iowa native who lived in Lexington. He died in Iowa City, Iowa.

Sanford Chinn (b.1889)

Jockey

 

Leader, 09/03/1907, p.7

Participated in race at Colored Fair, September 10-14, 1907.

John T. Clay (1859-1934)

Jockey, Trainer

 

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville), 06/14/1894,   p.3

Intended to file $10,000 lawsuit in Lexington against L&N Railroad because he was put out of the Smoking Car under the Separate Coach Law. The article mentions that Clay was almost white and had been allowed to ride in the Smoking Car when he boarded the train in Illinois.

Harry Colston

Trainer, Race Horse Owner

Harper

The South Kentuckian (Hopkinsville), 11/11/1879, p.2

Owner of Irish King, winner of Stallion Stake in Louisville, and won first in his class at the National Fair in Washington, D.C.

William Crawford (-1883)

Trainer

Speak's Stables

Semi-weekly Bourbon News, 12/21/1883, p.1

Death Notice. Died suddenly from heart disease.

James Crutcher (-1896)

Jockey

 

Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 04/28/1896, p.4

Death Notice. From Lexington. Killed in an accident on a train in Lebanon Junction, KY.

George Darnaby (1887-1940)

Horseman

C. V. Whitney

Leader, 09/18/1940, p.17

Death Notice.

Charles Decemberly

Trainer

 

Leader, 09/25/1952, p.17

Worked in Mt. Olivet, KY.

Green Dunham (b.1833)

Jockey

 

The Hickman Courier, 11/10/1899, p.4

16 year old from Richmond, KY, accidently drank concentrated lye thinking it was whisky.

Walter Eldridge (1900-1940)

Trainer

Ben White

Leader, 11/21/1940, p.17

Death Notice.

Walt Fletcher (b.1859)

Trainer

 

Daily Public Ledger (Maysville), 10/29/1904, p.1

Lost control of his horse and cart on Market Street in Maysville and crashed into the buggy of Miss Ellen Kirk.

Ben Forrest (1877-1931)

Trainer

 

Leader, 08/24/1931, p.12

Death Notice.

Chester Frakes (b.1888)

Trainer

Catesby Woodford, Bourbon County & John Ireland, Lexington

The Bourbon News, 11/10/1911, p.4

From Bourbon County, KY. Married widow of James "Soup" Perkins, Frankie Perkins.

Robert Garner (b.1865)

Horseman

 

Leader, 11/20/1911, p.8

Wife died, Sallie Garner

Frank Givens (b.1876) [misspelled as Givenson]

Horseman

 

The Hickman Courier, 01/13/1890, p.1

From Covington, KY. Received cuts in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City. 

Fred Gordon (1915-1940)

Horseman

 

Leader, 10/28/1940, p.11

Death Notice. From Maddoxtown.

Morris Green (1871-1890)

Horseman

 

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville),   01/10/1890, p.1

Death Notice. From Frankfort, KY. Killed in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

Pat Green, Sr. (1842-1907)

Trainer

R. R. Pepper & others

The Frankfort Roundabout, 01/19/1907, p.5

Death Notice.

Hamilton [misspelled as Mamilton]

Jockey

Matt Allen, Hearst Stables

The Climax (Richmond, KY), 01/16/1889, p.2

Signed to ride for Hearst Stables at 106 pounds at $6,000 for the season.

Pearl Harris

Jockey

 

The Climax (Richmond, KY), 12/30/1896

From Paris, KY. Accidentally blew his hand off with a cannon firecracker.

John Hathaway(-1905)

Jockey

 

The Hazel Green Herald, 01/05/1905, p.1

Death Notice. Hanged in Winchester, KY, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Etta Thomas. First legal hanging in Clark County since 1851.

P. L. Hensley (1858-1926)

Trainer

 

The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 03/16/ 1922, p.1

Assisting in preparations at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds race track.

George Hurley

Horseman

 

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville),   01/10/1890, p.1

From Cynthiana, KY. Broken arm in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

Thomas M. Irvin (1865-1949)

Trainer

 

Leader, 04/15/1930, p.17

Wife died, Maggie Irvin.

Alexander Jones (1863-1924)

Trainer

George Stoll

Leader, 05/16/1913, p.11

Wife died, Mary Lilliard Jones.

James R. Jones "Dutch" (1875-1950)

Horseman

 

 

Leader, 04/24/1950, p.14

Death Notice.

John Johnson (-1931)

Horseman

Harrye Payne Whitney

Leader, 06/24/1931, p.14

Death Notice. From Lexington. Died in New York

Lucien Johnson (1876-1937)

Trainer

 

The Bourbon News, 09/30/1919, p.1

Heroic deed to save a child.

Alexander Kelly

Trainer

Dr. McMillan

The Bourbon News, 07/03/1883, p.1

Trained a blind horse that worked better with an open bridle than a blind bridle.

George Keys (1882-1932)

Horseman

Hal Price Headley

Leader, 05/16/1932, p.11

Death Notice.

Howard Lee (1857-1915)

Horseman

 

Leader, 01/04/1915, p.3

Death Notice.

Marshall Lilly

Trainer, Jockey, Exerciser

Greentree Stable of Mrs. Payne Whitney / Worked with Brown Dick

Leader, 10/30/1931, p.6

Father worked for James A. Grinstead.

Henry Mack (1853-1906)

Trainer

 

Leader, 10/28/1906, p.2

Death Notice.

James E. Medley (1887-1940)

Conditioned Horses, Break & Train Trotters

Castleton Farm

Leader, 10/22/1940, p.13

Death Notice.

Robert Miller

Horseman

 

Leader, 02/04/1912, p.6

Mother died, Susan Nelson.

Isaac Murphy (1861-1896)

Jockey, Thoroughbred Owner

Ehret Stable; Self Employed

Leader, 07/14/1892, p.3; The Evening Bulletin, 05/15/1891

Half owner of the horse Kingman a derby winner in Louisville.

Alfred Neil (-1896)

Jockey

Baldwin Stable

Daily Public Ledger (Maysville),   05/04/1896, p.2

Death Notice. Alfred Neil was killed in Louisville by Louis Drake who was a white horse trainer for Hankins and Johnson.

Noah

Jockey

 

The Hazel Green Herald, 10/24/1895, p.1

From Hazel Green, KY. Victorious at the Hazel Green Fair Race.

Norman (-1893)

Trainer

 

Daily Public Ledger (Maysville), 04/05/1893,   p.1

Death Notice. From Frankfort. Shot and killed by William Gray. 

Will F. Overton

Race-rider

From Chicago

Leader, 09/21/1891, p.5

In town to wed Lucy Britton, sister to jockey Tom Britton.

Frank Perkins (1871-1900)

Train Thoroughbreds

 

The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/09/1900, p.6; and Daily   Public Ledger (Maysville),   05/07/1901, p.2

Death Notice. Brother of Soup Perkins. Killed by Thomas Christian who was given a life sentence.

William Perkins (1879-1927)

Trainer & Jockey

 

Herald (Lexington), 04/19/1927, p.1

Death Notice. Brother of Soup Perkins.

"Snow"

Jockey

 

The Paducah Evening Sun, 10/09/1909, p.6

Said to be overweight, "Snow," a colored jockey, was allowed to participate in the Paducah Fair and Races. He rode the horse Enrica and a stir was caused in the bookies camp.

James Pulley (1877-1940)

Horseman

 

Leader, 11/11/1940, p.11

Death Notice.

Harry Ray

Jockey

 

The Climax (Richmond, KY), 07/15/1896, p.4

Cleared of stealing a diamond ring from Pearl Britton - - Lexington, KY.

Lem Snyder [misspelled as Sydner]

Trainer

 

The Mt. Sterling Advocate,   03/16/1922, p.1

Assisting in preparations at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds race track.

James Stone (-1893)

Jockey


   

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville),   04/27/1889, p.1

Tried for the death of New York bartender Henry Miller.

Archie Strange

Trotting Horse Trainer

 

Leader, 07/06/1911, p.9

Mother died, Harriet Strange.

Cassius Clay “Cash” Tankersley (1866-1886)

Jockey for Barak G. Thomas

 

The Big Sandy News, 06/03/1886, p.4

Death Notice. Died after being thrown from horse at Latonia Track.

William Taylor

Horseman

 

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville),   01/10/1890, p.1

From Covington, KY. Broken arm in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

William H. Thomas (-1890)

Horseman

 

The Evening Bulletin (Maysville),   01/10/1890, p.1

Death Notice. From Cynthiana, KY. Killed in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

Harry Thompson

Horseman

 

Leader, 04/02/1928, p.12

Death Notice.

Lewis Thompson

Horseman

 

The Hickman Courier, 01/13/1890, p.1

From Harrodsburg, KY. Fractured bone in foot in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

John Todd (-1908)

Jockey

Talbott Brothers

The Bourbon News, 07/10/1908, p.8

Death Notice. 14 year old jockey from Paris, KY, died of tubercula meningitis in Cincinnati, OH. {Death Certificate says he   was 16 years old.}

John H. Washington

Horseman

 

The Hickman Courier, 01/13/1890, p.1

From Spring Station, KY. Bruised in train collision in St. Louis, MO, while helping to transport race horses from Latonia to Kansas City.

William Walker (1860-1933)

Jockey; Race Horse Betting

 

The Climax (Richmond, KY),   12/11/1889, p.2

Won big at betting.

Edward Walls "Shorty" (1893-1940)

Horseman

C. Van Dusen

Leader, 10/22/1940, p.13

Death Notice.

Willis Wheeler (1875-1940)

Horseman

 

Leader, 10/12/1940, p.10; and Leader, 11/15/1912, p.12

Death Notice. Death Notice for wife, Amelia Wheeler.

H. S. Williams "Shack" (1860-1913)

Horseman

 

Leader, 01/12/1913, p.2

Death Notice.

Isaac Williams (1880-1930)

Trainer

 

Leader, 09/25/1930, p.17

Death Notice.

Ansell Williamson (b.1810)

Trainer

 

Leader, 11/23/1914, p.3

Father of Mrs. Mary A. Cohn, wife of Hamilton Cohn.

Ed Willis (1870-1930)

Trainer and superintendent

Patchen Wilkes Farm / R. P. Pepper in Frankfort

Leader, 03/10/1914, p.8; & Leader, 12/06/1930, p.8

Resigned from Patchen Wilkes. Death Notice.

Jimmy Winkfield (1882-1974)

Jockey

Russia and Poland

Leader, 06/07/1904, p.7; The Citizen (Berea), 06/09/1904, p.3

Jockey in Russia. "Colored Jockey Won Derby" [Warsaw Derby in Poland].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Mercer County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bourbon County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about McCracken County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lincoln County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mason County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Clark County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Harrison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Wolfe County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mercer County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Woodford County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Bullitt County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Boyle County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Scott County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Harrodsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Paris, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Paducah, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Stanford, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Maysville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Richmond, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Covington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Marion, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Maddoxtown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Winchester, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Cynthiana, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Hazel Green, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Harrodsburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Spring Station, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lebanon Junction, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Danville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Georgetown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Allen, Dudley
NKAA Entry: Britton, Thomas M., Sr. "Tom"
NKAA Entry: Brown, Edward D. "Brown Dick"
NKAA Entry: Campbell, Robert E., aka "Bob" Allen
NKAA Entry: Clay, John T.
NKAA Entry: Perkins, James "Soup" (jockey)
NKAA Entry: Hathaway, John [Hathaway v Commonwealth]
NKAA Entry: Hensley, Peter Lee
NKAA Entry: Mack, Henry
NKAA Entry: Murphy, Isaac [Burns]
NKAA Entry: Britton, Thomas M., Sr. "Tom"
NKAA Entry: Perkins, James "Soup" (jockey)
NKAA Entry: Perkins, William "Will"
NKAA Entry: Stone, James "Colle"
NKAA Entry: Walker, William, Sr. "Billy"
NKAA Entry: Williamson, Ansel
NKAA Entry: Willis, Edward D. (horse trainer & newspaper man)
NKAA Entry: Winkfield, Jimmy
NKAA Source: The Evening bulletin (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Hopkinsville Kentuckian (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Hickman courier (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Bourbon news (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Paducah sun (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Semi-weekly interior journal (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Evening bulletin (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The South Kentuckian (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Semi-weekly Bourbon news (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Hickman courier (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Daily public ledger (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Frankfort roundabout (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Climax (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Hazel Green herald (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Mt. Sterling advocate (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Lexington herald (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Paducah evening sun (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Big Sandy news (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“African American Horsemen, Articles inKentucky Newspapers,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 26, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/3126.

Last modified: 2017-08-24 15:45:47