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Chiles, James Alexander [Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO]
Birth Year : 1860
J. Alexander Chiles was one of eight children, including his twin brother, John R. Chiles, who gave him financial assistance while he was a student at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and the University of Michigan Law School. Chiles moved to Lexington, KY, in 1890 to open a law office at 304 W. Short Street. His business was a success; Chiles is sometimes referred to as the first African American lawyer in Lexington. By 1907, he was one of four African American lawyers in the city. Chiles argued in the Supreme Court case against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for desegregation of railroad coaches after he was removed by force to the Colored coach in spite of his first class ticket from Washington D.C. to Lexington. Chiles was also an active member of the Colored Seventh Day Adventist congregation in Lexington; he was a trustee, deacon, and treasurer of the first church built in 1906 at the corner of Fifth and Upper Streets. His wife, Fannie J. Chiles, was the first librarian for the church. Elder Alonzo Barry was pastor. James A. Chiles was born in Virginia, the son of Richard and Martha Chiles. In 1910, James and Fannie Chiles planned to move from Lexington to Richmond, VA. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO, 218 U.S. 71 (1910) [full-text online by Justia]; and "Lawyer J. Alex Chiles" in the Colored Notes of the Lexington Leader, 01/02/1910, p.2.

*Name sometimes spelled Childes.*

See 1895 photo image of J. Alexander Chiles at Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Clay, Henry (former slave)
Birth Year : 1861
Clay was born to slaves in Louisville, KY, and in 1892 left for New Orleans to join a railroad construction crew that was transported to Guatemala, Central America. The crew of 75 men were to build a railroad from Puerto Barrios to Guatemala City. The pay was to be in Guatemalan silver at $10 per day per worker, but none of the men got paid because the contractor ran off with the silver and left the crew stranded. Clay remained in Guatemala for 39 years. He was one of the last three crew members still alive when he returned to the United States in 1931. Many of his fellow crew members had died fighting during the revolts in Guatemala; revolutionists were recruited with the promise of $150 in silver and a rifle. Clay had preferred to fish for a living rather than fight as a Guatemalan revolutionary. For more see "Old Negro returns, ends 39-year exile," New York Times, 07/15/1931, p. 21.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans / Puerto Barrios and Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America

Claysville and Other Neighborhoods (Paris, KY)
Claysville was established by African Americans at the end of the Civil War on what was then the outskirts of Paris, KY. The community was located on land that was purchased from Samuel H. Clay, whose farm bordered the area on one side. Claysville was more of a separate community than other African American neighborhoods within Paris: it included churches, stores, and businesses. The main entrance was off Main Street, under a one lane railroad viaduct hemmed on one side by a two story building, on the other side by a stream. The entrance is still in use. The back entrance was off Winchester Street. The Branch School for African American children, where inventor Garrett A. Morgan, Sr. was educated, was located in Claysville. The community has been renamed Garrett Morgan's Place, and a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 1493] was rededicated in 2000, but most still refer to the area as Claysville. The community name was spelled Clayville on the Sanborn Maps of Paris, Bourbon County [available at Kentucky Digital Library]. A Colored school house can be found on sheet two of the Oct 1901 map. The school was located on Trilby Street, Lot H. Beginning in the 1970s, Urban Renewal razed the old structures in Claysville, new homes and housing projects were constructed, and a park was added down by the stream. Many of the present residents are descendants of Claysville's earliest home owners. Other African American areas used to exist in Paris: Cottontown, off Main Street just past the railroad overpass heading toward Millersburg, down by the creek; Newtown and Judy's Alley, off High Street heading toward Lexington (homes in both areas were replaced by housing projects); and Singles Alley, off Eighth Street heading toward Georgetown, all of its older homes torn down. Ruckersville or Ruckerville, bound by Lilleston Ave., Second Street, and a creek, had a large number of African Americans. The land is thought to have been part of the Grimes' farm at one time. The old homes were razed by Urban Renewal in the 1970s and 1980s and new homes and apartments were constructed and a park was added down by the creek. Little or nothing has been published about these areas, but a visit with the various community members will garner much more information. For more on Claysville see Famous Inventor, 1877-1963, in the Kentucky Historical Marker Database; and search using the term "Claysville" in the newspaper, Bourbon News, available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers and at Chronicling America.
Subjects: Communities, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink and Summer Palm Garden (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1907
End Year : 1908
During the roller skating rink craze in the early 1900s, it was reported that the first Colored skating rink would be built in Lexington, KY, in 1907 [see "Lewis McClanahan," Interior Journal, 03/05/1907, p. 3]. It may have been the first Colored rink in Kentucky, but it was not the first in the United States. The push for the rink in Lexington was led by Lewis McClanahan, who was from Hustonville, KY. (His name is spelled "Louis" in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.) McClanahan was born in 1873 in Ohio. He had come to Kentucky when he was a child, and most of his life he had been a servant for the Weatherford family in Hustonville. In 1907, McClanahan partnered with John Clay for the building of the skating rink. Clay is described as a wealthy Negro from Lexington, KY. Residents of East Third Street circulated a petition that was forwarded to the Mayor, asking that the skating rink not be built in their neighborhood. Just prior to the skating rink opening, the Bluegrass Amusement Company, made up of white business men, filed articles of incorporation as owners of the skating rink. The skating rink was completed March 1907. In April there was a complaint that white spectators had been admitted to the Colored skating rink, and McClanahan and Clay, the managers, were asked by the Lexington Leader newspaper to respond to the complaint. The skating rink, estimated to have cost $10,000, was located on Third Street, just beyond the C. & O. Railway crossing on the old Ransom property. The rink was destroyed by fire in November 1908. After the Lexington Colored skating rink was built, several smaller cities in Kentucky also built Colored skating rinks. For more see the following Lexington Leader articles: "Skating rink," 02/28/1907, p. 9; "Skating rink," 03/17/1907, p. 15; "Petition," 03/20/07; "Colored skating rink," 03/28/1907, p. 1; the statement "The colored skating rink at Lexington was destroyed by fire this week," The Winchester News, 11/14/1908, Colored Column, p. 2; and "Skating rink burns," The Citizen, 11/19/1908, p. 7.
Subjects: Railroad, Railway, Trains, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Earlington, KY)
In 1910, a Colored skating rink was located across the street from the Louisville & Eastern Interurban Rail line Station in Earlington, KY. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church Sunday School used the facility for its Christmas entertainment on December 24-25, 1910. Superintendent William Killebrew and his assistants were in charge of the arrangements. For more, see the paragraph about the celebration in the Colored News section of The Bee (Earlington newspaper), 12/16/1910, p. 4, and 12/23/1910, p. 4. By the beginning of the new year, several Colored churches and Colored persons in Earlington had signed a petition to condemn the dances and perceived rowdiness that had taken place at the skating rink. The indecent entertainment was said to be destroying the lives and character of young Negroes in Earlington. See the Colored Column paragraph "There is a petition signed...," in The Bee, 01/24/1911, p. 2. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church continued to use the skating rink for its events. The skating rink was also used for a banquet by the Zadok Lodge #80 F. & A. M. The organization paid honor to two visitors to the city, Professor E. B. Davis, Grand Master of F. & A. M. of Kentucky, and Ms. Maggie Freeman, Royal Grand Matron of the Eastern Stars. See the Colored Column paragraph "Prof. E. B. Davis...," in The Bee, 06/30/1911, p. 7.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Cook, George
Birth Year : 1863
Born in 1863 in  Louisville, Kentucky, George Cook was a cook for Buffalo Bill Cody and a chef on a private dining car of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. He was known as "Honest Mister Cook." For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Corbin, KY (1919)
Start Year : 1919
On October 29, 1919, in the railroad town of Corbin, KY, a white man was attacked and robbed by two white men with painted black faces. The next day a vigilante mob took revenge on the African American community, searching homes and businesses and eventually forcing the African American railroad workers into boxcars and shipping them south to Knoxville. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad (L&N) had hired the men, along with European immigrants, to expand the railroad in Corbin. The town of Corbin suddenly had a lot of new people, and there was tension. An increase in crime was attributed to the more recent African American residents. The day of the riot, some White employers hid African Americans. After the railroad workers were shipped out, many African Americans left Corbin out of fear; few remained in the city. For more see K. O. Griggs, "The Removal of Blacks from Corbin in 1919: Memory, Perspective, and the Legacy of Racism," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 100, issue 3 (Summer 2002), pp. 293-310; R. Henson, Trouble Behind: A Film About History and Forgetting, Cicada Films (1990); and coverage in various Kentucky newspapers. See also National Public Radio (NPR) "Kentucky town re-examines its racial history," July 3, 2007.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Corbin, Whitley County, Kentucky

Fox, Robert and Samuel
The Fox brothers owned a grocery store and one of the three leading undertaking businesses in Louisville, KY. Their undertaking business would eventually be merge with that of J. H. Taylor. In 1870, the Fox brothers and Horace Pearce went against the public streetcar policies when they boarded the Central Passenger's car at Tenth and Walnut Streets. All three men were removed from the car and jailed and their case would be resolved in U.S. District Court. Robert Fox (b.1846) and Samuel Fox (b.1849 ), both born in Kentucky, were the sons of Albert and Margaret Fox. For more see History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.; and the entry Streetcar Demonstrations.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Jim Crow, Corrections and Police, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Fulton KY's Historic African American Railroaders Oral Histories & More
The following information is from the Fulton KY's Historic African American Railroders website.

 

"The Oral History Project is a series of ten oral history interviews with Fulton’s Illinois Central workers and/or family members,  that focuses on the everyday lives of the African American Illinois Central Workers of the Historic Fulton KY Railroad Station. The 1940 -1970 heyday of the railroad is the primary era of interest for the project, though some of the subjects began their work on the railroad, earlier and some later.

 

The interview videos and 240 pages of photos and backstories are archived by the Kentucky Oral History Commission for 300 years and the videos are available for continuing research and general public use (a research fee is charged) as interested."

 

  See list of interviews and photographs at Fulton KY's Historic African American Railroaders Oral History website.
Subjects: Railroad, Railway, Trains, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky

Green, Elisha W. [Green v. Gould]
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1893
Elisha W. Green was born in Bourbon County, KY. He was a slave of John P. Dobbyns as well as a pastor in Maysville, KY, and Paris, KY. He was allowed regular travel between the two cities, traveling by train and stage, sometimes passing without incident but at other times denied admittance or attacked. After gaining his freedom, Green later had a whitewashing business and learned a number of skills in order to earn income for his family. He led in the building of an all African American community, Claysville, in Paris, KY. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green..., by E. W. Green [available online at UNC Documenting the American South]; and C. L. Davis, "Green v. Gould (1884) and the Construction of Postbellum Race Relations in a Central Kentucky Community," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 105, issue 3 (Summer 2007), pp. 383-416.

See image of Elisha W. Green on frontispiece page of Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green... by E. W. Green, at Documenting the American South.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

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

Groves, Junius G.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1925
Junius Groves was born a slave in Green County, KY, or Louisville, KY. He walked to Kansas City in 1897, where he worked for 40 cents per day. Groves was able to save enough money to purchase a nine acre farm in Edwardsville, KS, which enabled him to later purchase a 500 acre produce farm there. At one time he produced more potatoes than any other farmer in the world, the harvest so large that a private railroad track was built on his land by Union Pacific Railway for shipping the produce. Groves was known as the "Potato King of the World." He also founded the community of Groves Center, KS, in 1913. For more see Junius K. Graves (sic) in The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and the Junius G. Groves entry on the Kansapedia website, by the Kansas State Historical Society.


Subjects: Agriculturalists, Agriculture, Produce, Businesses, Migration West, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Green County or Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Kansas City and Edwardsville, Kansas

Hayden, Lewis [Grant]
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1889
Lewis Hayden was born into slavery in Lexington, KY; his name at birth was Lewis Grant. He escaped and left Kentucky with the help of abolitionists Calvin Fairbank and Delia Webster. On January 4, 1845, Webster received a sentence of two years hard labor for her part in the escape; she was pardoned on February 24, 1845. Also during February, Fairbank was sentenced to 15 years. Hayden, who had relocated to Canada, changed his name from Lewis Grant to Lewis Hayden. The Hayden family soon returned to the U.S. Lewis, an abolitionist, worked with his wife, Harriet, to challenge racial segregation on railroads in Massachusetts and provide for runaway slaves passing through Boston. Lewis also gained some degree of wealth and raised $650 to purchase his freedom and to help Fairbank get out of prison. Fairbank was pardoned on August 23, 1849. Lewis Hayden was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1873, which was seven years after the state's first African American Legislators Charles Lewis Mitchell and Edward Garrison Walker. For more see Black Bostonians, by J. O. Horton and L. E. Horton; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; and Delia Webster and the Underground Railroad, by R. P. Runyon.

See image of Lewis Hayden at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Railroad, Railway, Trains, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Canada / Boston, Massachusetts

Hope, Dennis D.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1929
Dennis D. Hope was a journalist and political activist in Topeka, Kansas; he served as the editor and publisher of the Sunday Sun. The newspaper was published on an irregular schedule. Dennis D. Hope also severd on the county central committee in Topeka. Before coming to Kansas, Hope had been a slave, he was born in Boyle County, KY, on November 22, 1849 [source: "Dennis D. Hope (cut)," Plaindealer (Topeka), 12/19/1902, p.5]. Gaining his freedom at the close of the Civil War, Hope attended a colored school in Boyle County for three years, attending three months of each year. He probably attended one of the four schools established by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, between 1866 and 1870. In 1870, Dennis and 14 year old Sarah Hope lived at the home of Willis and Matilda Rogers in Boyle County, KY [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census].  Dennis D. Hope later lived for a brief period in Indianapolis, IN, then returned to Kentucky, before moving on to Topeka, Kansas in 1878, where he worked as a laborer for the Santa Fe R. R. Co. He left the railroad company after five years and went to work as a janitor at the First National Bank. In 1902, he had been at the bank for 18 years. In 1894, Dennis D. Hope was selected as a delegate for the Republican State Convention, he represented the 35th district of Shawnee County [source: "Republican Convention," The Globe-Republican, 06/01/1894, p.7, column 3]. Hope was a prominent member of the African American community of Topeka and was a member of several social organizations, including Shawnee Lodge #1923, the Knights of Tabor, and he was treasurer of the District Grand Lodge Kansas #17. He was a member of the 5th Ward Roosevelt Republican Club. In 1894, Dennis D. Hope was appointed chairman of the county central committee, the appointment was made by Aaron P. Jetmore, candidate for county attorney, and the appointment was said to be one of honor for Hope who was a respected citizen and a representative of the Negro race; A. B. Jetmore, father of Aaron P. Jetmore, had been president of the Freedmen's Relief Association in Topeka, KS, and many of the newly arriving Negroes in 1882 had not forgotten his generosity [source: "Let reason govern," The Kansas Blackman, 06/15/1894, p.1]. Dennis Hope is listed as a laborer on p.104 of Sam Radges' Sixth Biennial Directory of the City of Topeka for 1882; he lived at 24 Quincy Street. By 1902, he owned his own home. Dennis D. Hope was the husband of Millie Hope (b.1855 in KY), the couple lived at 1314 Washington Avenue [source: Polk's Topeka (Kansas) City Directory, 1929-30, p.237]. Dennis D. Hope died in1929 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Topeka, KS.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Boyle County, Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Jackson, Jordan C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1918
Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY, the son of James Ann and Jordan C. Jackson, Sr. An attorney and an African American Republican leader in Kentucky, Jordan Jr. was the first African American undertaker in Lexington, along with his partner William M. Porter. Jackson eventually bought out Porter. Prior to getting into the undertaking business, Jackson was editor of the American Citizen newspaper. He also contracted with the federal government to carry mail from the train to the post office. He was chairman of the committee behind the creation of Douglass Park in Lexington, KY. He was married to Isabelle Mitchell Jackson and brother of John H. Jackson. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; and Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p. 136.

See photo image of Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. on page 513 in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People by G. F. Richings, at the UNC Documenting the American South website.
 
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

"Jim Crow Car"
Start Year : 1902
In 1902, Mrs. Lulu Thurman won her lawsuit against Southern Railroad in the Lexington, KY, courts. She had originally asked for $10,000 in damages because the train conductor had thought Mrs. Thurman was a Negro and had forced her to ride in the Jim Crow car. Mrs. Thurman was able to prove to the courts that she was white and the jury awarded her $4,000. For more see "Woman gets $4,000 verdict," New York Times, Special to the New York Times, 04/18/1902, p.1.

  See photo image of a Jim Crow car for Negroes only, Fayetteville, NC, 1929, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Jim Crow, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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, Louis
Birth Year : 1852
Louis Jones was born on the Cassiday Plantation near Bowling Green, KY. About a year before his father died, Jones and his mother were sold to an owner in Okolona, MS. His father, John T. Jones, was married to Nancy J. Cassiday. While in Mississippi, Jones was freed. As an adult, he had a series of jobs, including, in 1881, working as a janitor in the Office of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission in Springfield, IL. Jones was a member of the African American community that had migrated to Springfield. He belonged to the Masons Blue Lodge No. 3, and his wife, Ada Chavons Jones, was a member of Shiloh Court No. 1 and Eastern Star Chapter No. 2. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago); and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Okolona, Mississippi / Springfield, Illinois

Kentucky Colored Fairs
Start Year : 1869
End Year : 1910
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture attempted to collect data on the associations that held fairs in Kentucky, but, for the most part, the data was not reported. The second report was published in 1879, wherein three Colored fair associations and their fairs were reported: Shelby, Bourbon, and Clark Counties. They are listed on p. 419 of the Second Annual Report of the State Bureau of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Statistics (1879), by W. J. Davie [available full-text at Google Book Search]. In addition to the three counties listed in the annual publication, there were many more Colored fairs that took place around the state beginning in the late 1800s. The fairs created business for the cities in which they were held and for the railroad companies. When a Colored fair was held, many times there would be special train services offered from various cities around the state to the fair location, sometimes with reduced round trip rates.

  • In 1869, the Lexington Colored Fair, the largest in the state, was held on Georgetown Pike. It may have been the first Colored fair in Kentucky. [See the 1869 Lexington Colored Fair entry in NKAA.] [Lexington is located in Fayette County.]
  • In 1870, the first colored fair for Simpson and Logan Counties was held. The fair did well for three years, netting $3,000 in 1870, then the profits fell off. The fair had been organized by the Agriculture and Mechanical Association in Simpson and Logan Counties. Two of the founders of the organization were Elijah P. Marrs and his brother H. C. Marrs. The project was started with $750 the brothers raised by selling 50 subscriptions (stock) that went for $15 each. H. C. Marrs was president, E. P. Marrs, secretary, and James Flint and James Tyree secured the property for the fair. The men purchased 42 acres for $4,200. When the profits began to fall, E. P. Marrs sold his stock. [Source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p. 134.]
  • In 1874, the Kentucky General Assembly set restrictions against selling beverages and alcohol within one mile of the Bourbon County Colored Fair. The fair was managed by the Agricultural and Mechanical Association of the Colored People of Bourbon County. [See the Agricultural and Mechanical Association of the Colored People of Bourbon County entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1878, a Colored Fair was held in Abdallah Park in Harrison County. [See the Harrison County Colored Fair entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1879, a Colored Fair had been held in Clark County. In 1910, the Clark County Colored Fair Association was formed with President J. C. Hopewell, Vice-President John Pervine, Recording Secretary C. H. Curry, Corresponding Secretary H. P. Alexander, Treasurer J. W. Bates, and Assistant Treasurer Woodson Miller. The organization planned their first fair for 1911.
  • In 1897, a Colored Fair was held in Springfield. The fair was raided by Sheriff Baughman and his posse due to gaming operations: "sure things," a wheel of fortune," bee hive," and the "tin horse steal." In 1900, the Washington County Colored Fair Association held their fair September 20-23. The fair was referred to as the Springfield Colored Fair and as the Washington County Colored Fair. In 1902 and 1903 the fair was a loss financially and attendance was down.
  • In 1898, the Danville Colored Fair was held August 24-27. [Danville is located in Boyle County.]
  • In 1898, the Stanford Colored Fair was held September 30-October 1. [Stanford is located in Lincoln County.]
  • In 1899, the Louisville Colored Fair was held during the month of August. Round trip train fare was available from Mt. Vernon to Louisville for August 25 and 26. In 1900, the L & N Railroad service provided a special rate from Hopkinsville, with return on August 15 and 16 from Louisville. In 1910, the Louisville Colored Fair Association held its fair September 21-24. The Illinois Central provided round trip train service from Hopkinsville to Louisville for $5.38. [Louisville is located in Jefferson County.]
  • In 1900, Professor J. F. Gray from Russellville, traveled to Earlington to advertise the second fair to be held in Guthrie, October 11-13, by the Guthrie Colored Fair Association. [Guthrie is located in Todd County.]
  • In 1900, the Hustonville Colored Fair Company had a loss of 35 cents on its fair held August 15-18. The fair included a cake walk and a baseball game. [Hustonville is located in Lincoln County.]
  • In 1900, the Illinois Central provided round trip train service from Hopkinsville to Paducah for the Colored Fair, September 12-14. In 1908, a Colored fair association was formed in Paducah with the intention of having a fair in either August or September of 1909. [Paducah is located in McCracken County.]
  • In 1900, the first Colored Fair was held in Richmond by the Young Men's Agricultural and Mechanical Association. The event was held at the Richmond Fair Grounds, August 23-25. In 1901, E. M. Embry was president of the organization, and B. F. Stone was secretary. [Richmond is located in Madison County.]
  • In 1900, the Shelbyville Colored Fair was held September 5-7, one week after the Shelbyville Fair for whites. Southern Railroad offered services at low rates from various cities to Shelbyville. In 1924, the New Colored Shelby County Association, Inc. held their third annual fair. [See the New Colored Shelby County Fair Association, Inc. entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1900, the Stamping Ground Colored Fair was again being held at Wash's Woods. [See the Stamping Ground Colored Fair entry in NKAA.] [Stamping Ground is located in Scott County.]
  • In 1901, the Newburg Colored Fair was held in September. The Illinois Central provided round trip service from Hopkinsville, with a transfer in Princeton, then on to Louisville, with a return on September 6, at $2.50. [Newburg is located in Jefferson County.]
  • In 1901, the Owensboro Colored Fair was held August 29-31. For those attending the fair from Beaver Dam, a round trip train ticket cost $1.25. In 1903, the Owensboro Colored Fair was held in October. [Owensboro is located in Daviess County.]
  • In 1902 and in 1903, the Lincoln County and Garrard County Colored Fair Association held its fair at the Stanford Fair Grounds. In 1903 the fair was held August 27-29 in the woodlands on Danville Avenue, the property of Mrs. Nora M. Goodknight. The fair association officers were W. M. Jones, President; Alex Miller, Vice-President; W. H. Harris, Secretary; and J. Miller Broaddus, Assistant-Secretary. In 1905, the combined county fair was held in Lancaster, August 24-26. By 1906, the union was dissolved and Lincoln and Garrard Counties were holding their own Colored fairs in their respective counties.
  • In 1903, the Colored Fair held in Frankfort was not a success. In 1905, the Frankfort Colored Fair was held September 12-16. During the fair, the Ninth Battalion, Ohio National Guard, an all African American unit, was to hold their annual encampment in Lexington rather than Frankfort. Lexington officials had sought and received permission from Kentucky Governor Beckham to allow the Ninth Battalion to enter the state bearing arms. In 1906, the Colored Fair Association held its fair at Glenwood Park, September 6-8. By 1908, the organization name had changed to the Frankfort County Colored Agricultural and Industrial Association. [Frankfort is located in Franklin County.]
  • In 1904, the Henry County Colored Fair was held September 29-October 1. The L&N Railroad sold tickets to Eminence at a rate of one fair plus 25 cents for the round trip. [Source: "Eminence, Ky." in the column "L. and N. Special Rate Column within the Lexington Herald, 10/02/1904, p. 3].
  • In 1905, the Harrodsburg Colored Fair was held, and in 1906 the Harrodsburg Colored Fair Association was included in the List of National, State, and Local Commercial Organizations, compiled by the Interstate Commerce Commission, p. 172 {Google Book Search}. [Harrodsburg is located in Mercer County.]
  • In 1905, the Scott County Colored Fair was held August 9-12.
  • In 1905, the Midway Colored Fair was held at the end of August, 1905. [Source: "The Midway Colored Fair...," Lexington Herald, 09/14/1905, p. 8.] [Midway is in Woodford County.]
  • In 1906, the Hardin County Colored Fair was held in Elizabethtown, September 28 and 29. The L&N Railroad offered round trip service from Mt. Vernon to Elizabethtown for $3.85.
  • In 1906, the Nelson County Colored Fair was led by 78 year old Jarvis Wilson.
  • In 1907, the Christian County Colored Fair was held in Hopkinsville at the Horse Show grounds in September.
  • In 1907, the success of the combined Lincoln and Garrard County Colored Fairs prompted a separate Colored Fair in Lancaster, August 8-10. The Lancaster Fair Association was led by African Americans from Lancaster and Garrard County. The fair was canceled for 1910 by the association president George Morgan and secretary James B. Williams due to a misunderstanding about the cost of renting the fair grounds. [Lancaster is located in Garrard County.]
  • In 1907, the first Laurel County Colored Fair was held September 27 and 28 in London. It was during the baseball game that Russell Dyche, editor of the London Sentinel, was struck by a baseball and taken to Louisville, KY, for eye surgery.
  • In 1908, a Colored Fair Association was being formed in Berea; it had hoped to hold a fair in September of that year. The Berea Fair Association voted to rent the fair grounds to the Colored association. [Berea is located in Madison County.]
  • In 1908, the Knox County Colored Fair Association was incorporated in July and planned to hold its first fair, a two day event, a few months later. The association executive members were President Jeff Etter, Vice President J. W. Mullins, Secretary Mary L. Jones, and Treasurer J. J. Croley. The Knox County Colored Fair Association was one of the few in Kentucky to have a woman on the executive committee.
  • In 1909, the Montgomery County Colored Fair Association had its fair at the Mt. Sterling Fair Grounds, September 22-25. [See the Montgomery County Colored Fair Association entry in NKAA.]
  • In 1910, the Glasgow Colored Fair was held October 6-9. [Glasgow is located in Barren County.]
  • In 1901, a Colored Fair Association was formed in Nicholasville, and the first meeting was held at the Knights of Pythias fair grounds on September 2 and 3. Nicholasville is located in Jessamine County. See Colored fair association...in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 08/07/1910, p. 16.

For more see "Look out for them" in the News-Leader, 09/02/1897, p. 2; "Colored Fair at Danville" in the Central Record, 07/15/1898, p. 1; "The Stanford Journal says..." in the Central Record, 09/16/1898, p. 1; "One fair for the round trip..." in the Mount Vernon Signal, 08/25/1899, p. 3; "Our Colored citizens" in The Bee, 10/04/1900, p. 7; "The Hustonville Colored Fair Company..." in the Central Record, 08/23/1900, p. 1; "The Catalogues for the colored fair" in the Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, 07/27/1900, p. 3; "Special rates via L & N..." in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 08/10/1900, p. 8; "Account of Colored Fair..." in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/07/1900, p. 8; "The first Colored fair ever..." in the Citizen, 08/29/1900, p. 1; "Low rates via Southern Railroad" in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 08/28/1900, p. 1; "Colored Folks" in the News-Leader, 09/20/1900, p. 1; "Colored fair here" in the Richmond Climax, 08/08/1900, p. 3; "Louisville return $2.50" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 08/16/1901, p. 7; "On account of Owensboro Colored Fair..." in the Hartford Herald, 08/21/1901, p. 1; "The Colored fair held here..." in the Frankfort Roundabout, 10/03/1903, p. 8; "Big Colored Fair" in the Central Record, 04/24/1903, p. 1; "John and Edmund Holland attended the Owensboro Colored Fair Saturday" in The Bee, 10/08/1903, p. 6; "Allowed to bear arms" in the Citizen, 07/27/1905, p. 7; "Colored Fair in Lancaster" in the Central Record, 06/30/1905, p. 1; "Reduced tickets to Scott County Colored Fair. Georgetown, Ky" in The Blue-grass Blade, 08/06/1905, p. 3; "Colored People's Fair" in The Frankfort Roundabout, 08/18/1906, p. 2; "Reduced rates" in the Mount Vernon Signal, 09/14/1906, p. 3; "Proud of his record" in the Springfield Sun, 04/25/1906, p. 1; "The colored fair will be held..." in the Central Record, 07/19/1907, p. 1; "The First annual exhibition..." in the Citizen, 09/12/1907, p. 8; "Colored Fair" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/21/1907, p. 1; "Shattered Glass" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 10/01/1907, p. 4; "Berea and vicinity" in the Citizen, 03/12/1908, p. 3; "Knox County Colored Fair Association" in the Mountain Advocate, 06/26/1908, p. 3; "Colored citizens may have a fair next fall" in The Paducah Evening Sun, 05/26/1908, p. 6; "Colored Fair," Mount Sterling Advocate, 09/15/1909, p. 6; "Glasgow colored fair, October 6, three days" in the Hartford Herald, 07/27/1910, p. 1; "Louisville Colored Fair Ass'n" in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/24/1910, p. 4; "Colored Column: On the night of October 27..." in the Winchester News, 10/29/1910, p. 4.

**All articles and additional information are available online at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers.
Subjects: Businesses, Colored Fairs, Black Expos, and Chautauquas, Fraternal Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Lee's Row and Davis Bottom (Lexington, KY)
This area of Lexington is also referred to as Davis Bottoms, and of late, Davistown. Writer J. Kellogg called Lee's Row an "antebellum Negro settlement." It is one of the oldest and poorest areas of Lexington; today the entire area is separated by the Versailles Road viaduct from the Irishtown neighborhood. Lee's Row and Davistown were developed by African Americans at the end of the Civil War on what was at that time the periphery of the city at the bottom of a steep hill along the railroad tracks. In 1880 there were 45 households in Lee's Row and 30 households in Davistown; when combined the neighborhoods made up one of Lexington's nine Negro neighborhood clusters. White families started to move into the area in the early 1900s, making up 50% of the population by the 1950s. Forty years later, whites constituted 65% of the residents. In 2003 plans were developed to raze the homes in lower Davistown in preparation for the extension of Newtown Pike and a 155-unit housing development, playgrounds, a park, and other development. For more see J. Kellogg, "The Formation of Black Residential Areas in Lexington, Kentucky, 1865-1887," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 48, issue 1 (Feb. 1982), pp. 21-52; "Negro Urban Clusters in the Postbellum South," Geographical Review, vol. 61, issue 3 (July 1977), pp. 310-321; "Live in 'The Bottom,' they stay because it feels like home, neighbors say," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/15/1995; and "Neighborhood will be razed for road extension - Davistown meets Newtown Pike longtime residents anxious about changes," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/15/2003.
Subjects: Communities, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lower Street (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1844
The area was platted in 1844, and the least expensive lots were sold to African Americans following the end of the Civil War. The neighborhood was located on the western side of Lexington, backed by railroad tracks [off present day Broadway near the railroad overpass]. The Lower Street School, one of the three main schools for African Americans, was in place by 1888. The street name was changed in 2004 from Lower Street to Patterson Street. Information for this entry comes from J. Kellogg, "The Formation of Black Residential Areas in Lexington, Kentucky, 1865-1887," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 48, issue 1 (Feb. 1982), pp. 21-52; "Ask us - answers to your burning questions," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/01/2004, Communities section, p. D1; and D. Wilkinson, "Achievement gap inseparable from the history of inequality from slavery on, African Americans have faced uphill struggle for education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/26/2001, Opinions and Ideas section, p. J1.
Subjects: Communities, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lynching in Wickliffe, KY
Start Year : 1903
Friday, October 16, 1903, Tom Hall's partially nude body was found hung in a tree in Wickliffe, KY. Hall was thought to be a man from Mississippi who had come first to Mayfield, KY, then on to Paducah, to work on the new Cairo division of the Illinois Central Railroad. A disagreement had occurred between two young white men and a group of African Americans at the Paducah-Cairo train depot platform, Sunday night, October 11. There was an exchange of gunfire. One of the white men, Crockett Childress, was shot in the chest, but survived, though rumors circulated that Childress was dead. Tom Hall was shot in the arm. [It was assumed he was a.k.a. Bob Douglas, who was wanted for a shooting in Mississippi.] Hall claimed he was innocent; he said that he was only a bystander who had gotten shot at the train depot. It was decided that there would be less disturbance if Hall were jailed in Wickliffe. On Tuesday, October 12, in response to the shooting, all African Americans were forced to leave Kevil, KY. Friday morning, about 1:15 a.m., a group of about 35 masked white men took Hall from jail and hanged him. For more see "Quickest of lynchings occurs at Wickliffe," Daily News Democrat (Paducah, KY), 10/16/1903, vol. 35, issue 12, front page; and "Kentucky Negroes forced to flee," Washington Post, 10/14/1903, p. 8.
Subjects: Lynchings, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Wickliffe and Kevil, Ballard County, Kentucky

Magowan Brothers and the Reporter (Mt. Sterling, KY)
Start Year : 1904
End Year : 1913
The Reporter Newspaper

  • The Reporter newspaper was published in Mt. Sterling, KY, by the brothers John D. Magowan and Noah W. Magowan. It was the first newspaper owned and operated by African Americans in the city of Mt. Sterling; the Mt. Sterling Advocate newspaper ran an article welcoming The Reporter. The paper was recognized as a strong voice for the Negro in Kentucky, and in 1907 when the Negro Press Association, Kentucky was formed with 14 members, N. W. Magowan was named president. One of the goals of the association was to solidify the Negro vote in the upcoming presidential election. The Reporter took on the cause. The newspaper had been established in April of 1904 as a weekly publication with Noah W. Magowan as editor, Reverend W. H. Brown and Reverend J. W. Smith associate editors, and John D. Magowan manager. [The Magowan brothers are mentioned in many sources by their first and middle initials and last names.] In January of 1908, as president of the Negro Press Association, Kentucky, N. W. Magowan made a call to all Negro press members in Kentucky to meet at the Kentucky Standard newspaper office in Louisville to discuss the political situation in the state, in reference to the presidential election and the selection of Negro delegates to the National Republican Convention. In March of 1908, The Reporter ran an editorial against William H. Taft, from Cincinnati, OH, who was campaigning to become President of the United States. The editorial was described by fellow Negro editor, W. D. Johnson of the Lexington Standard, as "unmanly, unkind, and intended to rouse race feelings against Mr. Taft." Not only did the two editors disagree about Taft, but Magowan and Johnson were two of the Negro candidates for delegate-at-large to the Republican Convention. The other candidates were J. E. Wood, editor of the Torchlight in Danville; R. T. Berry, editor of the Kentucky Reporter in Owensboro; Dr. E. W. Lane of Maysville; W. J. Gaines, Grand Master of the U. B. of F. [United Brothers of Friendship] in Covington; W. H. Steward, editor of the American Baptist in Louisville; and Dr. E. E. Underwood, editor of the Bluegrass Bugle in Frankfort. W. D. Johnson was expected to be the selected delegate among the Negro candidates. During the election, J. D. Magowan was an election officer in Mt. Sterling. When Taft became President in 1909, W. D. Johnson was rewarded for his loyalty: he was assigned to the General Land Office in Washington, D.C. Just prior to his appointment, N. W. Magowan, who had been against Taft as a presidential candidate, wrote an editorial in the Lexington Leader proclaiming W. D. Johnson's support of Taft was a forward-thinking decision, and he championed Johnson's right to a political reward for his loyalty. Magowan's good words about Johnson in the Lexington Leader were not an indication that the Reporter had changed its mission; in 1909, a letter from Berea College President William G. Frost was published in The Reporter in response to the argument presented by Rev. Morris of the Centenary Methodist Church of Lexington, who had said "the old Berea College ought to have been turned over to the Negroes." N. W. Magowan had been among the Berea graduates who attended the 1908 meeting at Berea College, hoping to adopt resolutions that would give Negroes the opportunity to help establish a new colored college if the Supreme Court did not set aside the Day Law [source: "Colored graduates meet," Citizen, 04/09/1908, available full-text at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers].

The Move to Washington, D. C.

  • In 1910, N. W. Magowan left The Reporter newspaper to become a clerk for the Census Bureau [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census], having received his appointment in April of 1910 [source: "Appointment at Washington," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/13/1910, p. 2]. W. D. Johnson had left the Lexington Standard newspaper and moved to Washington, D.C., and N. W. Magowan and his wife were regular guests at the Johnson home. The Reporter continued to be managed by J. D. Magowan until his death in 1913. His brother remained in Washington, D.C., and in January of 1915, N. W. Magowan delivered the principal address during the installation exercises of the Charles Sumner Post and Woman's Relief Corp. N. W. Magowan was a member of the Committee on Ways and Means of the National Emancipation Commemorative Society. By 1920, he was employed as a clerk at the post office and was elected president of the Post Office Relief Association. N. W. Magowan, his wife Mary, their son Paul (1911-1984), and a boarder all lived on Q Street [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census].

Noah and Mary Magowan

  • Mary W. Magowan (1870-1940) was from Bourbon County, KY; she had been a school teacher in Mt. Sterling, and in 1904 she was the Grand Worthy Counselor of the Independent Order of Calanthe. Noah W. Magowan was born October 26, 1868 in Mt. Sterling, KY, the son of John Wesley Magowan and Amanda Jackson Magowan [source: History of the Anti-Separate Coach Movement in Kentucky, edited by Rev. S. E. Smith, p. 171, available full-text at Kentucky Digital Library - Books]. Noah Magowan was a Berea College graduate and is listed as a student on p. 8 in the Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Berea College, 1889-90 [available online at Google Books]. N. W. Magowan was also a teacher beginning in 1887, and in 1890 was a teacher at the Colored Western School in Paris, KY [source: "A Tribute," Bourbon News, 05/02/1902, p. 5, available full-text at Kentucky Digital Library - Newspapers]. In 1892, he was elected a member of the State Central Committee, a group established to defeat the Separate Coach Bill in Kentucky [trains]. N. W. Magowan was a notary public in Mt. Sterling in 1896; he is listed on p. 902 in the Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky [available online at Google Books].

John D. and Mayner D. Magowan

  • John D. Magowan was born April 26, 1877 in Montgomery County, KY, and died July 15, 1913 [source: Certificate of Death]. He was one of at least five children of John Wesley Magowan (d. 1895), a Civil War veteran whose last name had been Brooks, and Amanda Trimble Jackson Magowan (d. 1925) [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; Civil War Veterans Headstone Records; Kentucky Death Record]. The John W. Magowan family lived in Smithville, located in Montgomery County, KY. After he was married, John D. and his wife, Mayner D. Magowan (b. 1879 in KY), lived in Harts, also located in Montgomery County, KY [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. In addition to being a newspaper printer and publisher, John D. Magowan was a member and officer of the Colored Knights of Pythias in Mt. Sterling.

Sources

  • "Dr. Frost," Lexington Leader, 02/28/1909, p. 16; "The Negroes in Kentucky...," American Baptist, 04/15/1904, p. 2; "The Reporter, The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/13/1904, p. 6; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 07/15/1913, p. 9; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 05/09/1904, p. 21; "Negro editor," Lexington Leader, 03/08/1908, p. 4; "Call to Negro editors," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1908, p. 10; "Negro pressmen," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 01/15/1908, p. 7; "Mrs. Mary E. Magowan...," Freeman, 03/15/1940, p. 7; "The contest in Kentucky this week...," Freeman, 04/25/1908, p. 1; "Editor W. D. Johnson," Freeman, 03/12/1910, p. 1; "West Washington," Washington Bee, 01/30/1915, p. 4.; "Lincoln's birthday," Washington Bee, 02/20/1915, p. 1; "Election of officers," Washington Bee, 12/18/1915, p. 4; "Colored Knights of Pythias here," Paducah Evening Sun, 07/27/1909, p. 5; and "Election officers," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/06/1909, p. 8.

Note

  • The dates for the Reporter are given as 1904-1915 in Bibliographic Checklist of African American Newspapers (2008), by B. K. Henritze, p. 58.
  • The following information was provided by Holly Hawkins, Montgomery County Historical Society: Amanda and John Wesley Magowan had five children, Noah William (1869-1945); James Edward (1870-1933); Susan Francis (b.1873); John D. (1877-1913); and Emily (b.1879). All of the sons and Susan attended the Academy at Berea. John D., James, and Noah are all buried in the Magowan Family plot in the Smithville cemetery.

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Harts, and Smithville, all in Montgomery County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Oliver Scott's Refined Negro Minstrels
Start Year : 1890
End Year : 1904
The company had previously been the A. G. Field's Colored Minstrels; Oliver Scott purchased the company in the 1890s. The company did not originate in Kentucky but disbanded in Middlesboro, KY, in 1904. "While the show was in progress, the manager caught the 9:30 train and left town, owing 22 people two weeks' salary." For more see The Ghost Walks: a chronological history of blacks in show business, 1865-1910, by H. T. Sampson. View a theatrical poster of Oliver Scott's Refined Negro Minstrels at the Library of Congress (image may be enlarged).


Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

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

Race War in Mayfield, KY
Start Year : 1896
A couple of days before Christmas 1896, white citizens of Mayfield, KY, were preparing for an attack in response to a report that up to 250 armed African Americans were seeking revenge for the lynching of Jim Stone and the "whitecapping" of African American families. The reports had come from Water Valley and Wingo, KY, and other nearby towns. White women and children in Mayfield were ordered off the street by 6:00 p.m. Homes were barricaded. A dispatch was sent to Fulton, KY, asking for a reinforcement of white men, and guards were posted at the railroad station. When a report arrived stating that African Americans were also arming themselves in Paducah, KY, the fire bell was rung in Mayfield and a defense was positioned in the public square to await the attack. The reinforcements from Fulton arrived by train a little after midnight. Will Suett, an 18-year-old African American, was also at the train station and was gunned down. Shots were fired at three other African Americans. Hundreds of shots were fired into buildings and into the trees. Four homes were burnt down. By Christmas Eve, the threat was over. The reinforcements were sent home. A mass meeting was called, and a petition signed by more than 100 African Americans asked for peace between the races. Three people had been killed, one being Will Suett, who had arrived by train from St. Louis; he was returning home to spend Christmas with his family in Mayfield. For more see "All Mayfield under arms: excitement over the Kentucky race war," New York Times, 12/24/1896, p. 1; and "Peace reigns at Mayfield: Colored people petition for harmony and the race war is over," New York Times, 12/25/1896, p. 5.
Subjects: Lynchings, Migration West, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Water Valley, and Wingo, Graves County, Kentucky / Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Railroad Strike and Riot (Somerset, KY)
Start Year : 1911
In March of 1911, a riot occurred in Somerset, KY, when Negro strikebreakers were hired to replace the striking white railroad firemen. Railroad service between Somerset, KY, and Chattanooga, TN, came to a stand still. Days later, negotiations between the white firemen and the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railroad had allowed the lines to open somewhat, but the embargo continued on the Cincinnati line between Oakdale, TN, and Somerset, KY. According to the railroad company, it was reported in the New York Times that an agreement was made in July 1910 between the railroads and the white firemen; one of the three lines between Nashville and Oakland would employ only Negro firemen who would not be promoted to engineers. On March 9, 1911, white firemen on the various lines went on strike after the railroad company refused to honor their demand for all Negro firemen to be fired within 90 days. When the white firemen went on strike, the railroad company brought in Negro strikebreakers. It was reported in the Mount Vernon Signal that eight Negro firemen were killed on the Queen & Crescent line, which was a division of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad. Sympathizers of the white firemen had held up three freight trains of the Queen and Crescent Railroad in King's Mountain, KY. Two deputy sheriffs were shot and killed while guarding the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific coal chutes in Stearns, KY. After locomotive cab windows were shot out of trains passing through Somerset, KY, the railroad company covered the windows with steel plates. A Pulaski County circuit judge ordered that 500 deputies be sworn in to help bring a halt to the attacks. For more see "American railway strike riot," The Financial Times, 03/14/1911, p.8; "Railroad strike still on, New York Times, 03/19/1911, p.16; "Two deputies slain in railroad strike," New York Times, 03/14/1911; "Call 500 deputies for strike duty," The Free Lance, 03/18/1911, p.4; and "Ten men are reported to have been killed...," Mount Vernon Signal, 03/17,1911, p.3.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / King's Mountain, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Stearns, McCreary County, Kentucky / Oakdale, Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee / Cincinnati, Ohio

Redd, Thomas
Birth Year : 1866
Death Year : 1944
Thomas Redd was a civil rights leader in the the railroad industry. A brakeman on the Illinois Central Railroad, he was based in Louisville, KY. Redd had been with the company since 1895. Due to his persistent appeals for fairness to Negro railroad employers, Redd was known as a troublemaker among the company officials. He was a member of the Louisville Chapter Lodge #10 of the Association of Colored Railway Trainmen and Locomotive Firemen (ACRTLF), founded in 1912. Redd was elected chair of the organization's grievance committee in 1920 and later became president. The Illinois Central did not recognize the organization. Redd fought for more than a decade to secure equal pay, job security, and employment advancement for Colored railroad employees, but with little success, so he launched an even larger campaign that led to the development of the International Association of Railway Employees (IARE). The IARE held a conference in Chicago in 1934, and all Black railroad organizations were invited to send delegates. A second meeting was held in Washington, D.C., and Redd was named president of IARE, an umbrella organization with 28 member organizations from 16 states, including Kentucky. With legal representation by attorneys Charles Hamilton Houston and Joseph Waddy, and after years of fighting, the IARE would begin to see changes made to the labor laws. Thomas Redd was born in Hart County, KY, the son of William James Redd and Mary Ophelia Redd, according to his death certificate. He was the husband of Annie Redd. In 1900, the family of three lived on Gallagher Street in Louisville. Redd was a widower when he died in Louisville on July 22, 1944. For more see Brotherhoods of Color, by E. Arnesen.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Union Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Rioting at the Dix River Dam Project Site
Start Year : 1924
On November 1924, the Kentucky National Guard's Troop A-54 Machine Gun Squadron arrived at the Dix Dam hydroelectric project site to defuse a situation in the employee camps. White workers and farmers on one side were pitted against African American workers on the other side. The camps were located in Mercer County, KY, and the clash between the two stemmed from the murder of a white employee, 21 year old newlywed Edward Winkle. About 300-500 of the 700 African American employees had been driven from their camp partially dressed, some without shoes. The men were being driven to the Burgin railroad depot by armed white men when Marshal J. T. Royalty and Sheriff Walter Kennedy, of Mercer County, took control of the situation. Suffering from exposure, the African American men returned to their camp escorted by one unit of the National Guard, and at the request of the construction contractors another unit remained on guard at the dam. African Americans John Chance and John Williams were arrested for the murder of Winkle. Work on the dam began in 1923 and was completed in 1927. The dam was the largest rock-filled dam in the world. It is still in use today. For more, see "White man killed, Negroes menaced: Kentucky mob threatened workers after slaying of laborer on electric dam," New York Times, 11/11/1924, p. 25; and the newspaper article in the Fresno Bee, 11/10/1924. For more about the dam see the Herrington Lake Conservation League website.

See 1930 photo image of Dix River Dam at University of Louisville Libraries, Herald-Post, Digital Collections.
Subjects: Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mercer County, Kentucky / Dix Dam, Mercer and Garrard County, Kentucky / Burgin, Boyle County, Kentucky

Streetcar Demonstrations (Louisville, KY) [R. Fox v. The Central Passenger Railroad Company]
Start Year : 1870
The streetcar companies in Louisville, KY, had discriminating policies toward African Americans and in 1870 it led to a protest movement. Horace Pearce and the brothers, Robert and Samuel Fox, boarded a Central Passenger streetcar at Tenth and Walnut Streets, they deposited their fares and sat down. They were told to leave, but refused. Other streetcar drivers were called to the scene, and the Fox brothers and Pearce were kicked and knocked about, then thrown off the streetcar. Outside, a crowd of African Americans hurled mud clods and rocks at the car and encouraged the men to reboard because they had a federal right to ride the streetcars. When the police arrived, the three men were taken off the car, put in jail, and charged with disorderly conduct. Reverend H. J. Young posted their bail. At their hearing, no African Americans was allowed to testify, and each of the three men was fined $5. A lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court: R. Fox v. The Central Passenger Railroad Company. At the trial, the jury decided in favor of the three men and they were each awarded $15 for damages. In spite of the decision, as more African Americans tried to board the streetcars, they were thrown off, leading to more protests and near riots. Louisville Mayor John G. Baxter called a meeting and it was decided by the streetcar companies that all persons would be allowed to ride any of the routes. For more see M. M. Noris, "An early instance of nonviolence: the Louisville demonstrations of 1870-1871," The Journal of Southern History, vol.32, issue 4, (Nov., 1966), pp. 487-504.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tandy, Charlton H.
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1919
Charlton Hunt Tandy, born in a house on Main Street in Lexington, KY, was the son of John L. (b.1805) and Susan Tandy (b.1815), both Kentucky natives. The family was listed as free in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. John is listed as a whitewasher, he had purchased his freedom in 1833. His son, Charlton, born three years later, was named after Lexington's first Mayor, Charlton Hunt (the son of John W. Hunt, the first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains). Charlton Hunt Tandy was listed as one of the family's nine children in 1850, he was raised in Lexington, and as a young man, he and family members assisted escaped slaves across the Ohio River into Ohio. Charlton moved to Missouri in 1859, where he would become captain of the 13th Missouri Colored Volunteer Militia, Company B, known as Tandy's St. Louis Guard. After the war, he fought for equal access on public transportation in St. Louis, which allowed African Americans to ride inside the horse-drawn streetcars rather than riding on the outside by hanging onto the rails. In 1879, Tandy helped raise thousands of dollars to help former slave families who were moving to the West [Exodusters]; Tandy was president of the St. Louis Colored Relief Board. In 1880 Tandy testified before the Congressional Voorhees Committee about the exodus of African Americans from the South. He became a lawyer in 1886 by passing the Missouri Bar Exam and was permitted to practice law in both the district court and the U. S. Supreme Court. President Grant appointed Tandy to the St. Louis Custom House, making him the first African American to be employed there. Tandy was also a U.S. Marshall under President Harrison's administration, serving as special agent of the General Land Office and as a timber inspector. He served as vice president of the Missouri State Republican League and in 1894 was elected to a House seat by the Republicans of the Thirty-second Senatorial District, but he was not allowed to serve. Charlton Tandy was the husband of Anna E. Tandy, who was also born in Kentucky. A community center, a park, and a St. Louis Zoo train engine [of the Zooline Railroad] have been named in Tandy's honor. For more see The New Town Square, by R. Archibald; The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters, by B. M. Jack; Missouri Guardroots [.pdf]; news clippings about Tandy in the University of Missouri-St. Louis Western Historical Manuscript Collection; "A great exodus of Negroes," New York Times, 08/12/1880, p. 5; and "Lexington Negro," Lexington Leader, 08/01/1906, p. 5.

 See photo image and additional information at blackpast.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era], Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Taylor, Preston
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1931
Preston Taylor was born in Louisiana; his parents, Zed and Betty Taylor, were slaves who moved (or were brought) to Kentucky a year after he was born. In 1864 Preston Taylor enlisted in the army. After his service years, he went to Louisville, KY, where he was employed in the marble yards. He later became a pastor at the Christian Church in Mt. Sterling, KY. He was chosen as the General Evangelist of the United States by his denomination. Though African Americans had been excluded from Reconstruction efforts, Taylor was able to secure a contract to build sections of the Big Sandy Railway from Mt. Sterling to Richmond, Virginia. He also purchased property in New Castle, KY, where he established the Christian Bible College. Around 1884 Taylor moved to Nashville, TN, where he was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the city. For more see Preston Taylor (1849-1931), by the Tennessee State Library; "Elder Preston Taylor, co-founder. First Treasurer, One Cent Savings Bank and Trust Company," The Tennessee Tribune, 04/22-28/2004, p. 2D; and "The Athens of the South: pen picture of the life of Rev. Preston Taylor," Freeman, 07/04/1896, p.1.

  See photo image of Preston Taylor at "Anniversary Edition: House Divided," a Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Vernon, George Kemp
George Kemp Vernon was a noted chef aboard special trains and coaches. Vernon was from Louisville, KY, a graduate of Central High School. He studied cooking in Italy, France, Spain, and Germany. In 1905, he was referred to as the "...noted young chef of Chicago and Louisville" in the article "New York City news," in Broad Axe, 07/15/1905, p.1; Vernon was visiting friends at 149 W. 53rd Street in New York. A week later, there was an article in the same newspaper announcing that Vernon had been hired by the New York Pullman Company for service to the private cars [source: "Special New York letter and comment," Broad Axe, 07/22/1905, p.2]. Vernon had been the personal chef of Francis S. Peabody [info.], the founder of Peabody Coal in Chicago. In 1908, Vernon was employed by J. Pierpont Morgan [info.] on a special car in California. An article about George K. Vernon was published in the Courier-Journal (Louisville) in 1908 and reprinted in the Freeman within the article "Louisville, KY.," 03/28/1908, p. 2. See also "We are indebted to the Los Angeles elite chronicler...," Los Angeles Herald, 02/25/1908, column 4, p.4,
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Migration West, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York / California

Wheelwright, KY - Colored Section
Start Year : 1918
The Wheelwright Company Housing Project included housing for African Americans, known as the Colored Section. African Americans had first come to the town to work on the railroad at the close of World War I. The railroad was being constructed by the B&O (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), one of the oldest railroads in the United States, and was later purchased by the C&O (Chesapeake and Ohio Railway). When the railroad was completed, the African American men were kept on to work in the mines. Some of the men lived at the boarding house owned by Hilton Garrett (1895-1991), an African American from Birmingham, AL. Garrett had come to Kentucky on his own, and after saving enough money, he was able to bring his wife, brother, and another man to Wheelwright. The town of Wheelwright had been established in 1916 by the Elkhorn Coal Company, and was named after the president of Consolidated Coal Company, Jere H. Wheelwright. The miners were of all races and nationalities, and African Americans were recruited from the North and the South. In the mines, the men were integrated, but they were segregated outside the mines. A black deputy was hired for the Colored section of town known as Hall Hollow. Wheelwright was not listed as a separate town in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In the 1930 census, of the 226 African Americans listed as living in Wheelwright, more than 100 were men from Alabama. Wives and children were also listed in the census. Segregation was the norm between African Americans and Whites. Among the African Americans who lived in the Colored section, there was distinction and confrontations between those from the North and those form the South. There was not a school building for African American children, so grade school was held in the Colored church. A high school, Dunbar High, was built in 1936. Mrs. Mannie N. Wilson was a high school teacher before the building was completed, and in 1935, she was listed in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal. When Inland Steel owned the city of Wheelwright, the homes were upgraded, the streets were paved, and recreation facilities were built. All was segregated. Library services were provided to African Americans around 1943 via the library for whites. Photographs, such as a 1946 photo, show the street in the Colored section of the housing project. There is also a photo of the shift change at a mine. These and other photo images are available in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images. For more see the Wheelwright Collection and other collections at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections; Black Coal Miners in America, by R. L. Lewis; the Kentucky Coal Education website Wheelwright Kentucky, Floyd County; and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones. Also contact the Floyd County Public Library.

 
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Migration South, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Birmingham, Alabama / Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky

 

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