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800 Camp Street Neighborhood (Indianapolis, IN)
The Camp Street neighborhood became predominately African American in the 20th Century.  The residents included Kentucky natives such as 23-year old widow Susan Neely and her 16-year old brother Arthur, who was a tailor. Anna Poole was a 53 year old  domestic worker who was also a widow.  For more see Ransom Place Archaeology, IUPUI Archaeology Field School; the historical research was conducted by Dr. Susan Sutton's [ssutton@iupui.edu] Spring 2000 Urban Anthropology Class. See IUPUI 2003 Archaeology Field School for information on African Americans from Kentucky who lived on Agnes Street, such as Edmund and Mary Moore.
Subjects: Communities, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Adamstown (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1949
The community was placed at the bottom of a hill on what was the edge of Lexington, KY, in the 1870s. By 1880 there were 65 African American families in the community. Adamstown was on Adams Street, located near what is today Euclid Avenue. The neighborhood was removed in preparation for the building of the University of Kentucky's (UK) Memorial Coliseum in 1949-1950. Quoted in an Atlanta newspaper, UK Coach Adolph Rupp remembered seeing the community when he first arrived on campus in 1930; he counted 55 homes. 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; D. Kindred, "Memories of the old master revived," The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, 04/02/1985, Sports section, p. C4; and reference to Adamstown removal in B. L. Mastin, "Home is where the art is[:] Mason, 71, uses skills creatively at his house," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/04/1995, Lifestyle section, p. 10.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

African American Communities in Warren County, KY
Sunnyside, Freeport, and Oakland were three African American communities in Warren County, KY, developed after the Civil War. In 2001, the city of Oakland was awarded a grant from the African American Heritage Commission to complete the study of the community Sunnyside. The resulting report, Writ Upon the Landscape: an architectural survey of the Sunnyside Community, reveals that the African American section of Sunnyside grew to the point that it merged with the white section of Sunnyside. There are presently 53 buildings and the Loving Union CME Church and its cemetery. The community also had a one room schoolhouse with grades 1-8 that was torn down in 1948. Sunnyside is located 5 miles southwest of Freeport, an African American community that had a two-room schoolhouse, Woodland School. One room held grades 1-3 and the other grades 4-8; the school was closed after integration, and the building was used as a restaurant and for social entertainment. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church, established in 1870, is still in use. The communities of Freeport and Oakland were separated by a railroad track, with Freeport on the north side. Mrs. Virgie M. Edwards was a teacher at the School in 1916; she was a member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association. The names of other Oakland teachers are listed in the KNEA Journal from 1916-1935 [available online]. For more see Transpark: a collapse of dreams, by the City of Oakland, Kentucky; and the following articles from the News section of the Daily News - J. Dooley, "Oakland gets grant to fund study - work will cover history, heritage of Sunnyside," 07/26/2001; A. Carmichael, "Historic Oakland mill being dismantled - lumber will be used by famed Nashville-based builder," 08/30,2003; A. Harvey, "Black History: woman remembers Freeport's heyday," 02/22/2004; A. Carmichael, "A lifetime of teaching - Warren County woman has passion for education," 08/01/2005; and J. Niesse, "Freeport endangered by transpark project," Letter section, 04/25/2001.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Sunnyside, Freeport, Oakland, Warren County, Kentucky

"African American Heritage Guide: history, art & entertainment," Lexington, KY
Start Year : 2010
The African American Heritage Guide was published by the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum, Inc. in Lexington, KY, and funded in part by the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau. Included are 14 historic districts that may be viewed on a walking or driving tour. The majority of the districts are profiled in the publication, along with a map on the center pages. The latter pages contain horse racing history, including brief biographies of trainers and jockeys, cemetery entries, rural community entries, and information on public art and public events. The booklet also provides a very informative overview of the individuals who owned the homes and businesses featured in the publication. The African American Heritage Guide is available at the Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum. See also M. Davis, "Booklet full of black history - Heritage Guide painstakingly researched," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/11/2010, City/Region section, p. A3. Copies of the African American Heritage Guide are available at the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Additional information provided by Yvonne Giles:


Subjects: Communities, Genealogy, History, Historians, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Breckinridge County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1956
Between 1866 and 1870, there were at least two Freemen Schools in Breckinridge County, one in Cloverport and one in Hardinsburg [see the NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. In 1867, a Colored School in Breckinridge County was burned on December 24 [source: Index to Miscellaneous Documents of the Senate of the United States, 1871, p.49]. In 1880, Stark Bradford was the school teacher in Hardinsburg; W. H. Talbot was the teacher in Bewleyville; and Ada Willis was the teacher in Stephensport [source: U.S. Federal Census]. From 1895-97, there were 14 colored schools in Breckinridge County and all were in session for 5 months [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.248-252]. The average attendance was 339 students for both school terms, and they were taught by 16 teachers. By 1907 there were eleven colored schools reported by the school superintendent, Joel H. Pile [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1905-1907, p.99]. Included in the list below are the county schools that existed in 1909 and 1910 [source: "County Board of Education," The Breckinridge News, 01/27/1909, p.3; and "Governor Willson...," The Breckinridge News, 03/02/1910, p.5]. The Class 3 colored high school was located in Hardinsburg in 1925, W. C. Jackson was principal, and the school had 1 teacher and 10 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-26, p.40]. In 1933, Breckinridge County student Nora A. Poole came in 10th place at the spelling contest directed by G. H. Brown of Louisville during the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Conference [source: "Fifth General Session," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1933, vol.4, issue 1, pp.8-9]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Breckinridge County were Hazel Beard in Hardinsburg, and Chester Luney, Jens E. Miller, and Orlie Scoth in Irvington [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as "integrated and white" in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.422, were Breckinridge County High School and Irvington School.

  • Colored Schools (14)
  • Stephensport School
  • Bewleyville School
  • Cloverport School
  • Cloverport Freedmen School
  • Colored Graded School (city)
  • Colored Normal School
  • Garfield School
  • Gleandeane School
  • Hardinsburg Freedmen School
  • Hardinsburg School
  • Irvington School
  • McQuady School
  • Robards School

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

African American Schools in Christian County, KY
Start Year : 1845
End Year : 1952
Between 1845 and 1856, 40 school districts were sketched in Christian County, KY, by Enoch A. Brown, the County School Commissioner (who was white), according to Claybron W. Merriweather's, "Hopkinsville Colored Schools," pp. 293-295 in A History of Christian County, Kentucky, from Oxcart to Airplane, by C. M. Meacham. After the Civil War, the number of districts were increased from 40 to 84 by G. A. Champlin, the new commissioner. Between 1866-1870, there was a Freedmen School in Hopkinsville [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. By 1881 there were 41 colored school districts with 23 schools, most of which were log buildings in poor condition. The Booker T. Washington Colored School was located on 2nd Street in Hopkinsville. In 1884, G. A. Champlin wrote "The Colored Schools," an essay that appeared on p. 252 in Counties of Christian and Trigg, Kentucky. According to Champlin, the first colored common schools in 1875 were located within five school districts, and there were 500 school-age children counted in the colored school census. The schools were a result of the Kentucky Colored School Law, which provided the bare minimum of school funding from taxes and fines collected from colored people. Similar information about the colored schools during the year 1876 was included in Charles J. Petrie's thesis, The History of Education in Christian County, pp.93-98. According to Petrie, the County Commissioner's report showed that there were only two teachers in the colored schools, and prior to 1881, most of the colored schools were not free and the best schools were located in Hopkinsville. The Booker T. Washington School was constructed in 1882, a two story frame structure, and in 1930 a third story was added [source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 5, File: Christian County, Christian County Education by Mrs. Mamie Hanbery, 11/14/1938, p.11]. By 1889, there were 55 teachers at the colored schools, the male teachers earned an average of $44.76 and the female teachers earned an average of $35.70 [Petrie, p.96]. The leaders of the Christian County Colored Teachers Association in 1891 were Ephraim Poston, president; T. C. Woosley, vice president; Miss Augusta Brewer, secretary; T. S. Gaines, assistant secretary; and P. A. Hamby, treasurer [Petrie, p.98]. In 1899 there were 54 colored school districts [source: Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 06/23/1899, p. 5], one of which was Crofton Colored School with teacher George Robinson [source: "Crime of Cain," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 12/31/1899, p. 1]. In 1890, A. H. Payne was principal of the Colored school in Hopkinsville and there were six teachers [Petrie, pp.135]. The school was considered the best colored school in the county, it operated within the common school system with a nine month term and with a Colored school board. In 1908, the school was placed under the white school board and supported by Negro property taxes [Petrie, p.122]. The school held grades 1-8 in a two-story building on E. Second Street. In 1912, the school was moved back under the county system and two years of high school were added. The trustees were Edward M. Glass, Frank Boyd, and Ned Turner. Julien Colored School was also a county school [source: Dr. Stanley Dean," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 04/17/1906, p. 8]. Teacher Nina Anglin was removed from the Lafayette Colored School in 1906, and she filed suit against the superintendent and the trustees [source: "Circuit court," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 10/25/1906, p. 1]. The Clarksville Colored School was one of three schools to receive an improved chemical fire extinguisher in 1910 [source: "Here and there," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 08/30/1910, p. 4]. The number of school districts had increased from 52 in 1890, to 54 in 1900, to 75 in 1910 [Petrie, p.132]. There was an average attendance of 2,034 students in 1909 [Petrie, p.134]. Attucks High School was built in 1916 at First and Vine Streets and the school had the first four-year high school for Negroes in Hopkinsville [Petrie, p.183]. The early principals were L. A. Posey, J. W. Bell, P. Moore, and B. E. Perkins [Kentucky Education Collection (KEC), Series 1, pp.11-12]. The county school system contracted with the city school board for students to attend Attucks High School [KEC, Series 1, p.9]. In 1939, the Attucks High School had 227 students, 11 teachers, and 35 students graduated [Petrie, p.188]. The Male & Female College in Hopkinsville, KY, opened in 1883 [now Hopkinsville College of the Bible]. In 1896 there were 70 colored teachers in the county schools [source: "Colored institute this week," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 08/18/1896, p. 1]. During the 1911 election of colored trustees, Peter Postell and Lucian Dade were re-elected, and George Leavell became the newly elected trustee [source: "The Colored election," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 05/09/1911, p. 8]. In 1909, a colored graded school and high school were opened in Pembroke, and the school served as a training school for teachers up to 1924 [Petrie, p.122]. In 1914, the legality of the staff election for the Pembroke Colored School was called into question, and the finding was in favor of the school [source: 2nd paragraph of "Railroad case begun," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 06/06/1914, p. 1]. In 1924, the Pembroke School was moved back to the county administration and the school's two-year high school course continued until 1929. The high school was re-established in 1936 and operated under the independent graded school system with one or two teachers and 20-25 students. At the end of 1911, the colored school house near Sinking Fork was burned by an incendiary [source: "Suspicious fire," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 12/07/1911, p. 8]. In 1912, Ephraim Poston had almost completed the school census of colored children and found that there were 1,396 students, which was 188 more students than had been incorrectly counted the previous year, all of which meant that the schools would receive about $800 more from the state [sources: "Colored school census," 05/11/1912, p. 5, and "1411 Colored children," 05/18/1912, p. 4, both articles in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian]. It was expressed in Petrie's thesis that the school census for colored children may have been "padded" [p.132]. The Zion Colored School was destroyed by fire in 1916, the fire started by a stranger in town who went by the name of Katherine Denton. She was badly burned and later died from her injuries [source: "Woman died Thursday," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 12/02/1916, p. 1]. In 1928, there were five male teachers and 51 female teachers in the colored schools, and in 1937, the average attendance was 1,055 students [Petrie, pp.178 &180]. The names of other colored schools in Christian County, KY, can be found on pp. 292-293 in A History of Christian County, Kentucky, from Oxcart to Airplane, by C. M. Meacham, who was also editor of the Hopkinsville Kentuckian newspaper. There is also a list of the schools and the names of the head teacher/principal during the 1938-39 school term, all on p.23 of Christian County Education by Mrs. Mamie Hanbery, 11/14/1938, within the Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 5, File: Christian County. In 1940, there were at least 90 Negro teachers in the schools of Christian County [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The names of the schools, including those that held classes in churches, are listed below. A later school, the Fort Campbell Dependent School, was the first school in Christian County to be listed in the Kentucky Public School Directory (1952-53, p.418) as having both white and colored students, though the term "integrated" was not used. The second school to be listed with students of both races was in the 1954-55 directory, the SS. Peter and Paul School, a parochial school in Hopkinsville [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1954-55, p.563]. Both schools are listed as integrated in the 1956-57 directory. All of the schools in Christian County are listed as integrated in the Kentucky School Directory, 1963-64, pp.101-102.

  • Attucks High School
  • Banneker School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.848]
  • Barkers Mill School
  • Beech Grove School
  • Booker T. Washington School
  • Blue Springs School [photo image, p. 12, Rosenwald Schools]
  • Brent Shop School
  • Canton Heights School
  • Carver School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-61, p.848]
  • Caskey School
  • Cedar Bluff School
  • Center Point School
  • Chopped Hickory School
  • Clarksville School
  • Crofton School
  • Dyers Chapel School
  • Durretts Avenue School
  • Elmo School
  • Edgefield School
  • Fairview School
  • Forks of Road School
  • Foston's Chapel School
  • Gainesville School
  • Garrettsburg School
  • Gee School
  • Gracey School
  • Hensleytown School
  • Herndon School
  • Hopkinsville Freedmen School
  • Hopkinsville School
  • Julien School
  • Kelly School
  • Kentucky Trade Institute Automotive Mechanics for Colored Men [source: "Announcing the opening of the Kentucky Trade...," Kentucky New Era, 08/24/1949, p.10]
  • Lafayette School
  • Male & Female College
  • Massies Chapel School
  • Moonlight School
  • McClain's Chapel School
  • Mt. Herman School
  • Mt. Vernon School
  • New Zion School
  • Oak Grove School
  • Pee Dee School
  • Pleasant Green School
  • Pleasant Grove School
  • Pleasant Hill School
  • Pembroke School
  • Reeves Chapel School
  • Salem School
  • Sinking Fork School
  • Spring Hill School
  • Walnut Grove School
  • West Union School
  • White Oak Grove School
  • Zion Hope School

See image of Attucks High School on postcard at University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Lexington and Fayette County, KY
Start Year : 1798
End Year : 1956
Often mentioned as one of the early schools for African Americans in Lexington, was a school taught by a white man from Tennessee around 1830. But an even earlier school was a Sunday school taught in 1798 at the old home of Colonel Patterson on High Street [source provided by Yvonne Giles: "A Sunday School," Kentucky Gazette, 10/16/1798, p.3. col.2]. Between 1866 and 1870, there were at least four schools supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands [see the NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. In 1867 two of the schools in Lexington were Howard School on Church St and Mitchell & Talbott School on Upper Street. In 1867, the Independent African Church School had been opened by Rev. Frederick Braxton, and H. C. Marrs left the colored school in Lagrange, KY, to teach at Braxton's school in Lexington [source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.116]. In 1880 the colored teachers in Lexington and Fayette County were C. J. Braxton at South Elkhorn (son of Rev. Frederick Braxton); William Jackson at Briar Hill; John Jackson at Sandersville; George Newman; and in Lexington there was Chapman Mourse; Annie Warde; S. Jane Washington, who was teaching prior to the Civil War and had her own school; Mary B. Hawkins; Louisa McMillan; J. A. Ross; Ella Ross; Julia Shows; Lou Simpson; Lucy W. Smith; Ada Trotter; Sarah M. Turner; and Emily O. Warfield [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first commencement for the Fayette County colored schools was held at the courthouse on June 1, 1894 [source: Programme: 1st Commencement of Fayette County Colored Schools]. The graduates were Cora B. Simpson, Coleman Greene, Sallie Coleman, Mary Greene, all from Uttingertown School. Frank Byrd and Bessie J. Cooper graduated from Fort Spring School. G. S. Johnson, Green Seals, Garfield Sanders, and Claude W. Strider were all graduates from Cadentown School. In 1896, there were 16 colored schools in Fayette County [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-1897, pp.347-351]. Five of the schools were held for five months and 11 of the schools were in session for more than five months. One of the schools was a training school for colored teachers. The average attendance at all of the schools was 1,011 students who were taught by 16 teachers (one teacher at each school). The teachers' average monthly pay was $70 for male teachers and $52 for female teachers.  In 1925, the colored high school was located at Dunbar School in Lexington and W. H. Fouse was the principal [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.39]. The school was rated an "A" high school. The Maddoxtown School was a county training school for teachers, L. W. Taylor was the principal [p.65]. In 1925, there were four teachers who taught at the Maddoxtown training school which had a 4 year high school. The teachers' average salary was $1,088 for a nine month term; it was the highest average salary of all the teachers at the colored training schools in Kentucky.  The supervisor of the industrial teachers in Fayette County in 1925 was Mrs. E. Birdie Taylor [p.66]. In 1925, there were 13 colored elementary schools in Fayette County, with 1 high school, all taught by 18 teachers [p.67]. In Lexington, there were 39 elementary teachers and 15 high school teachers [p.69]. By 1932, there were high schools at Douglas School, rated an "A" high school with 5 teachers; at Russell School, an unrated high school with 7 teachers; and at Dunbar School, rated an "A" high school with 13 teachers [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1932-33, p.45]. In 1940, there were 113 Negro teachers in Fayette County [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1955, there were two schools listed as having white and colored students: Kentucky Village and University School, both state schools [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, pp.209-210]. The following year, there were several schools listed as integrated: Athens-Shelby, Briar Hill, Bryan Station (integrated & white), Clays Mill, Kenwick, Lafayette Sr. High, Linlee, Russell Cave, Yates, Kentucky Village, Ashland, Henry Clay, Johnson, Lexington Jr., and Lexington Catholic High School [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, pp.426-427].

City Schools

  • Bethesda Normal and Industrial school - [established by Rev. O. L. Murphy on the corner of Alford and Smith Streets - source: Lexington Leader, 12/04/1906, p.1, c.2] - provided by Y. Giles
  • Canadian and Ohio Industrial School - [opened at Colored Methodist Church at Race and Corral Streets - source: Lexington Leader, 08/31/1907, p.1. c.2] - provided by Y. Giles
  • Carver School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.853]
  • Chandler Normal School [photo]
  • Christian Church School (on 4th Street, became Mitchell & Talbert School)
  • Colored Industrial School (Negro WCTU)
  • Colored School No. 2
  • Colored School No. 3
  • Constitution Street School
  • Corral Street Normal (1868), supported by the American Missionary Association - [source: Congressional Serial Set, Executive Documents of the House, 2nd Session of 46th Congress, 1879-'80, v.2, Education no.1, part 5, v.3, p.80 (online in Google Books)]
  • Douglass School
  • Dunbar School
  • Forest Hill School
  • Fourth Street School
  • Independent African Church School (Frederick Braxton entry in NKAA)
  • Jane Washington School (on 2nd Street, opened prior to the U.S. Civil War) (supported by Lawyer Andrew Bush)
  • Ladies of the Episcopal Church School [source: Kentucky Gazette, 12/28/1867, p.3]
  • Lexington Freedmen School
  • Lexington High School (supported by the Freedmen's Bureau)
  • Lexington Polytechnic Institute [source: Kentucky Leader, 0/15/1894, p.7]
  • Lexington Sabbath School (established by the Episcopal Church & supported by the Freedmen's Bureau)
  • Lower Street School (1883)
  • Patterson Street School
  • Mitchell & Talbott School [Mrs. E. Belle Mitchell-Jackson and Mrs. Talbert]
  • Pleasant Green Church School (closed around 1876, and reopened as Patterson St. School)
  • Russell School No. 1
  • St. Andrew's Colored Episcopal Parochial School [source: Lexington Daily Transcript, 02/01/1891, p.7]
  • St. Peter Claver School
  • St. John's School (opened 1888) [source: Lexington Daily Press, 06/18/1889, p.4]
  • Sunday School (1798)
  • Booker T. Washington School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.853]

County Schools

For more see The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 by C. G. Woodson; Maydwell's Lexington City Directory 1867; Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9; "Colored school location," Leader, 08/10/1883, p.1; "Colored county schools," Leader, 09/06/1903, p.3 and other articles in the Lexington Leader newspaper between 1895-1911; and Educational History of the Negroes of Lexington (thesis) by William Henry Fouse, which includes information on teacher  S. Jane Washington. See Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky 1917-1932 by A. Turley-Adams, Kentucky Heritage Council and Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. See also Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, pp.106-107 & 111-114].


  See 1929 photo image of students in the lunch line at Maddoxtown Colored School at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Paris and Bourbon County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1961
Some of the early colored schools in Bourbon County were built and supported by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands between 1866 and 1870 [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. The Negro common schools began around 1874, according to James R. Welch in his thesis titled The History of Education of Bourbon County. In 1880, the school teachers were George Nelson in North Middletown; Eugene Jones, Reuben Butler, and Henry L. Gowen in Paris; Elisha Lewis in Millersburg; A. Wm. Knowx in Clintonville; and Annie Trotter in Hutchison [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The following comes from Welch's thesis: In 1881, there were 1,765 colored school age children counted in the school census, and not many of them attended school. There were 16 colored school districts, with 15 schools. In 1885, there were 22 colored schools. In 1886, there were 24 colored schools, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, pp.227-230. All of the schools were held in full session [5 months] up to the 1893-94 school year, which was about a decade prior to the beginning of a continuing decrease in the number of schools and students [source: The History of Education of Bourbon County]. The number of school districts held constant between 1890 and 1908, with 22 to 24 colored school districts and a daily attendance from a high of 1,063 students in 1893-94, to a low of 532 students in 1902-03. The attendance numbers picked up, but started to slip again in 1906. From 1908-1919, the number of colored schools decreased from 20 to 12. The following is a compilation of newspaper items on the history of Paris and Bourbon County colored Schools; the articles contained quite a bit more information than was printed in most other Kentucky newspapers for the same time period. Reverend Graves, who died in 1902, had come to Paris, KY in 1901 to become principal of the Paris Western Colored School. There were 248 students and seven teachers, and the numbers would remain consistent for the next several years. The prior year there was a high school graduating class of eight: Katie L. Long, Anna E. Parker, Fannie B. Buford, Dora B. Kimbrough, Jimmie R. Fields, James B. Woodward, and Keatha R. Williams. Graduation ceremonies were initially held at the Opera House in Paris, KY, with admission costs of 10 cents, 15 cents, and 25 cents. A smaller school system was the Millersburg Colored School, where in 1901 there were three graduates: Frank R. Lewis, Lucile Jefferson, and Hattie B. Mayburry. Manual training was introduced in the Paris school in 1907 with 26 men and boys enrolled in the newly established night school; the Colored teachers' wages for the year totaled $2,550. Mrs. Nettie H. Grant was the school principal at the Claysville Colored School in 1907, which was the year that the Colored Bourbon County Teachers' Association held their meeting at the school [source: "Colored Bourbon County Teachers' Association," Bourbon News, 11/12/1907, p.4, col.6]. In Paris, at the end of the school year in 1909, there were two graduations, one for 7th graders held at a local African American church and one for high school graduates held in the school auditorium. In 1909, new colored schools were scheduled to be built in Ruddles Mills and Jacksonville. The following year, several colored schools in the county were consolidated: Ruddles Mills School with Glentown School; Millersburg School with Shipptown School (the school location was undecided); and Houston School with Amentsville School. By 1910, a new school was being built in Centerville, and the Sidville School was to be repaired if church members would agree to help raise funds for the repairs. In 1915, Cora W. Stewart reported that the Paris Colored Moonlight School was one of the best in the state for Negroes [source: Cora Wilson Stewart and Kentucky's Moonlight Schools by Y. H. Baldwin]. See photocopy image of Cumensville School on p.12 at Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932 [.pdf]. The following is additional information from Welch's thesis. The total number of students had continued to decrease. During the 1908-09 school term the average elementary school attendance was 587 colored students, and by the end of the 1932-33 term, the average attendance was 296. An industrial training school opened in Little Rock in 1914, it was established with support from the Slater Fund. It was developed into the Bourbon County Training School for colored persons in 1918, and was also referred to as the Little Rock Training School. For more see The Bourbon News articles - "Colored School Commencement," 06/12/1900, p. 1.; "Millersburg," 02/15/1901, p. 2; "Commencement items of the Paris High Schools," 05/31/1901, p. 3; "New board elects teachers," 07/05/1901, p. 3; "A tribute," 05/02/1902, p. 5; "City Schools," 09/09/1902, p. 5; "Meeting of school board," 06/14/1907, p. 1; "Expenditures," 07/16/1907, p. 8; "800 pupils," 10/08/1907, p. 6; "Calendar of Colored School," 06/04/1909, p. 1; "School Improvement League in session," 08/24/1909, p. 3; "County School Board," 11/16/1909, p. 4; "County School Board meets," 05/10/1910, p. 1; and "Recent meeting of the County Board," 08/12/1910, p. 1.

 

In 1925, G. W. Adams was principal of Western School which had 9 elementary teachers and 5 teachers at the Class 1 Level B high school that had an enrollment of 112 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, pp.41 & 69]. In 1940, the Negro school teachers in Bourbon County were Mattie F. Alexander, Howard Allen, Minerva Bedford, Charles R. Bland, Nora S. Bland, Sallie F. Brooke, Charles Buckner, Jessie Buford, Mary Butler, Nannie Butler, John Derrickson, Dewese Grant, Dorothy Hankins, Ola Delle Jacobs, Mary Elizabeth Kellis, Anna McBonner (sp), Carrie Murray, William Reed, Minnie Steele, Ennis Toles, Elizabeth Thomas, Archie Thomas, Mattie Whaley, Betty Williams, Lily Mae Williams, Clara Mae Woods, and Willa Wright [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as integrated in Bourbon County were Bourbon County High School, North Middletown High School, and Paris Independent 7th Street Schools, all in the Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.842.
 

  • Amentsville School
  • Baptist Church School (James. M. Thomas' School) [source: History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin & R. Peter, p.119]
  • Bourbon County Training School [Little Rock]
  • Brentsville School
  • Browntown School (submitted by Myke Carter; photo image by The Feedman)*
  • Caneridge School
  • Centerville School
  • Claysville School
  • Clintonville School
  • C. M. Clay's School [source: "The New School Law," Bourbon News, 07/14/1908, p.1]
  • Cumensville School
  • Currentsville School [source: "Counties aided on extension of terms," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January 1932, v.2, no.2, p.24]
  • Glentown School
  • Houston School
  • Hutchison School
  • Jacksonville School
  • Jackstown School [source: "The New School Law," Bourbon News, 07/14/1908, p.1]
  • Little Rock School
  • Methodist Church School (Reuben Butler's School) [source: History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky by W. H. Perrin & R. Peter, p.119]
  • Monterey School
  • Millersburg School
  • Millersburg Freedmen School
  • Moonlight School
  • North Middletown School
  • Paris American Missionary Association School
  • Paris Freedmen School
  • Ruckerville School
  • Ruddles Mills School
  • Shipptown School
  • Sidville School
  • Western School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.842]

 See photo image of Clintonville Colored School building at Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
 
*Browntown was an African American Community on Townsend Valley Road in Bourbon County, KY, from the 1800s-sometime in the 1900s [source: The Feedman, Browntown Church Flickr site].
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky

African American Schools in Powell County, KY
Start Year : 1886
End Year : 1956
There were three African American schools in Powell County, KY, in 1886, according to the Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. In 1906, the examination for Colored school teachers was held in Stanton, KY [source: "Examination for colored school teachers...," Clay City Times, 06/24/1906, p. 3]. Within the Powell County Educational Division No. 1, the teacher at West Bend Colored School was Valeria Samuels in 1916, and the Clay City Colored School teacher had not been selected [source: "Teachers selected," Clay City Times, 06/08/1916, p. 4]. In 1925, there were 2 colored schools, one in West Bend and one in Clay City, each with one teacher, and there were 69 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.68]. The Clay City School was replaced with Rosenwald school that was built 1926-27 [source: Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932, p.66]. In 1927, Scott Mitchell was the teacher at West Bend Colored School, which included a two year high school [sources: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association,  April 20-23, 1927, p. 53, and April 8-21, 1928, p. 19]. By 1932, there were still 2 colored elementary schools with a total of 80 students, and the West Bend Colored High School which had 9 students taught by one teacher [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1932-1933, p.57]. The school term 1932-33 was the last for the West Bend High School; though the high school students continued to be counted in the Kentucky Public School Directory. Perhaps the high school students attended school in a nearby county.  In 1941, Allie Gentry was the principal at West Bend Colored School [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 11, issue 2, p. 19]. By 1943, one of the two colored schools was closed [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1943-44, p.541]. The last colored school in Powell County, believed to be the West Bend School, was noted in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1959-60, p.806; there were 14 students enrolled in the school that was taught by one teacher. According to the title Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, pp.65-66, the West Bend Colored School was a Rosenwald School located on Turley Road, built between 1917 and 1920, and the school closed in 1960. The school had closed during school integration in Powell County. The process had started with the Powell County High School noted as being "white & integrated" in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57, p.445, and the following year the same school is listed as integrated in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1957-58, p.642.

  • Clay City School
  • Stanton School
  • West Bend School

  See the 1927 photocopy image of the Clay City Colored School on p. 40 in Rosenwald Schools in Kentucky, 1917-1932.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, African American Schools in Kentucky (Counties A-Z)
Geographic Region: Powell County, Kentucky: Clay City, West Bend, Stanton

African American Schools in Warren County, KY
Start Year : 1800
End Year : 1958
One of the earliest schools for slaves in Kentucky was established by Peter Tardiveau (d.1817), a Revolutionary War volunteer from Bordeaux, France. Tardiveau was a friend and fellow Revolutionary War veteran of Robert E. Craddock. The school was located in Warren County, KY, around 1800 for the slaves of Robert E. Craddock [see NKAA entry Willis Russell]. One of the first schools for the freemen was established between 1866 and 1870 in Bowling Green with support from the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools]. The school teacher was run out of town. During this same time period, a school was held within the Stoney Point Missionary Baptist Church which was established in 1866 [see NKAA entry Stoney Point]. The school was moved in 1908 to a newly built school house in Stoney Point, and the school continued to serve the community for about 20 more years before it was closed and the children were bused to the Smith Grove School. In 1880, the colored teachers in Warren County were Andrew Bowles; Frances Buckley in Woodburn; George D. Loving; C. R. McDowell; Tobias Sweeney; Willis Tisdale; J. B. Henderson; Maria J. Mayo; and Alex Williams [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1895, the Simmons Memorial College was in operation, headed by Robert Mitchell [see NKAA entry American Baptist Home Missionary Schools; and Rev. Robert Mitchell in Lexington Herald, 10/08/1926, p.16]. In total, there were 30 colored schools in Warren County in 1895 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.712-715]. Warren County had the highest number of colored schools recorded in the 1895-1897 biennial report of the Kentucky Superintendent, more than any other Kentucky county. All but one of the schools were held for 5 months, and the remaining school was held for more than 5 months. Each of the schools had one teacher and the male teachers' average monthly pay was $39.93, 1895-96, and $31.56, 1896-97. The female teachers average monthly pay was $37.93, 1895-96, and $27.41, 1896-97. The average attendance was 709 students, 1895-96, and 863 students, 1896-97. In 1902 a school was opened in the Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, KY. The school was later moved into a building on State Street and named Bowling Green Academy. Other communities with colored schools were Sunnyside, Freeport, and Oakland [see NKAA entry African American Communities in Warren County, KY]. In the 1930s, a report completed by Kathryn S. Coleman lists twelve colored schools in Warren County, along with the enrollment numbers, and the number of teachers per school. The title of the report is "Public Schools," and on pp.10-11 is the section titled "Warren County, Colored Public Schools" [source: Kentucky Education Collection, Series 1, Box 25, 0000UA129, File: Warren County, at the University of Kentucky Special Collections]. Within the Shake Rag District in Bowling Green was the State Street High School [see NKAA entry Shake Rag]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Warren County were Robert Barlow, Christine Barlow, E. Hortense Bathnic(?), Ethel Buford, Virginia Cabell, Lula Carpenter, Clara Cole, Addie J. Edmonds, Lutisha Frierson, Willie Gossom, Lena Hudson, C. A. Hutcherson, Latter Huston Cox, Eva Kuykendall, Lila Bell Lee, Frances Luvalle, Charity McCrutchen, Emma Milligan, Mabel Moore, Frank Moxley, Claude Nichols, Alroma Nichols, Mattie Patticord, A. L. Poole, Ethel Ray, A. P. Williams, Delorese Williams, Clara Bell Yarbrough, and Henry Yost [source: U.S. Federal Census]. St. Joseph School was the first to be listed as having "white & colored" students, on p.230 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1955-56, and the school is the first to be listed as integrated on p.1021 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1958-59. For more on the school integration in Warren County listen to the George Esters interviews (High Street School) within the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project at the Kentucky Historical Society website.

  • Colored Schools (30)
  • Peter Tardiveau School on Craddock Plantation
  • Freedmen School
  • Stoney Point Missionary Baptist Church School
  • Smith Grove School
  • Simmons Memorial College (Baptist)
  • Bowling Green Academy (Presbyterian)
  • Loving Union School (in Sunnyside)
  • Woodland School (in Freeport)
  • Kepley School (in Oakland)
  • Oakland School
  • State Street High School
  • High Street School
  • Bristow School
  • Cosby School (in Alvaton)
  • Rockfield School
  • Woodburn School
  • Salem School (in Rockfield)
  • Dellafield School (in Bowling Green)
  • Robert Mitchell School for Ministers
  • H. D. Carpenter School [source: Kentucky School Directory, 1961-62, p.891]

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

African American Schools in Woodford County, KY
Start Year : 1866
End Year : 1956
A Colored School in Midway, KY, had its exhibition attacked by a mob on July 31, 1868 [source: Index to the Miscellaneous Documents of the Senate of the United States, 1871, p. 49]. The school may have been one of the two Freedmen Schools in Woodford County established between 1866 and 1870 [see NKAA entry Freedmen Schools, Kentucky]. In the Kentucky superintendent's reports for the years 1881-1886, there were 16 colored school districts; the Versailles Colored School was said to be a model school [source: Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1881-1886]. In 1880, the teachers in Woodford County included Jason Jefferson, Mary Taylor, P. Bronham, J. C. Hawkins, and George Jackson, all in Versailles, and Wallace Lewis in Midway [source: U.S. Federal Census]. According to the Simmons Elementary School website [no longer available], the Simmons School existed in the late 1890s along with the Woolridgetown School and 17 other colored schools in Woodford County. When the Woolridgetown School burned, students attended school at a church in Big Spring Bottom. Within the Hifner Photo Collection are pictures of all the Colored schools in Woodford County in 1892, including Simmons and Big Spring. The collection was created for the educational exhibit at the World's Fair and is available online via the Hifner Collection at the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections web page. During the 1895-97 school terms, there were as many as 18 colored schools, and the average attendance was 525, 1895-96, and 628, 1896-97 [source: Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1895-97, pp.739-742]. There were 20 teachers in the colored schools, and the average monthly pay for male teachers was $55.82, 1895-96, and $41.78, 1896-97. For the female teachers, the average monthly pay was $48.19, 1895-96, and $27.57, 1896-97. Various colored schools in Woodford County are mentioned in issues of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, available full-text in the Kentucky Digital Library - Journals. In 1916, the teachers listed in the journal were Emma D. Hale and Katie Hancock in Midway; and Pearl E. Arnold in Versailles [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, pp.24-29]  In 1925, the Simmons Street School in Versailles had a Class 1 high school with J. L. Bean as principal, and the high school had 2 teachers and 59 students [source: Kentucky Public School Directory, 1925-1926, p.41]. There was no colored high school in the county among the 9 elementary schools taught by 11 teachers [p.68]. In Versailles, there were 5 elementary teachers and two high school teachers [p.69]. In 1940, the Negro teachers in Woodford County were Jennie A. Bean, Gladys Carter, W. J. Christy, Ada B. Crawford, Elene Jackson, Rose I. Johnson, Ethelbert McClesky, Emma Minnie, Lula Rowland, Ada Scruggs, and Robin Stepp [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The first schools to be listed as integrated are Versailles High School, St. Leo, and Midway Independent Schools, all on p.449 in the Kentucky Public School Directory, 1956-57. See also the KHS to Dedicate Historical Marker to Honor Midway Colored School, a Kentucky.gov website.

  • Colored Schools (19)
  • Big Spring Bottom School (church)
  • Davistown School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Elm Bend School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Fermantown School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Fort Spring School
  • Frazier School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Jacksontown School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Midway School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Midway School (Hadensville, 1911-1958)
  • Midway Freedmen School
  • Milville School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Mortonsville School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Mount Vernon School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Nashville School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Simmons School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Versailles School [photo in Hifner Collection]
  • Versailles Freemen School
  • Woolridgetown School

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

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

Allensworth, Allen [Allensworth, California]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1914
Allen Allensworth was born a slave in Louisville, KY, the son of Levi and Phyllis Allensworth. He escaped and became a nurse during the Civil War and later joined the Navy and became a chief petty officer. After the war, he returned to Kentucky and became a schoolteacher, an ordained minister, and a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1880 and 1884. He was appointed chaplain of the 24th Infantry by President Cleveland and received promotion to lieutenant colonel. In 1890, Allensworth moved to California and established a company to assist African Americans in their migration to California. The town of Allensworth was developed, the first and still the only California town founded by African Americans. Today the area where the town once stood is Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park. Allen Allensworth was the husband of Josephine Leavell Allensworth, also a Kentucky native. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; "Rev. Allen Allensworth, A.M." on pp.198-199 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in KentuckyHistory of Allensworth, CAFriends of Allensworth; and for more about Allen Allensworth's military career see his entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier by F. N. Schubert.

See photo image of Allen Allensworth on p.189 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Parks, Religion & Church Work, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Nurses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Allensworth, California (no longer exists)

Ariel/Hall (Camp Nelson, KY)
After the Civil War, the refugee camp at Camp Nelson became the community known as Ariel. The school, Ariel Academy, was founded in 1868, with initial funding support coming from the Freedmen's Bureau and teachers supplied by the American Missionary Association. The school was led by Howard Fee, son of John G. Fee and Gabriel Burdette, a former slave from Garrard County, KY. The community of Ariel was later named Hall. For more see Historic Jessamine County, The Hall Community, an official Jessamine County website; and A Utopian Experiment in Kentucky: integration and social equality at Berea, 1866-1904, by R. B. Sears.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Camp Nelson, Jessamine and Garrard Counties, Kentucky / Ariel, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Hall, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Bluster, Missouri Quisenberry
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1994
Missouri Quisenberry Bluster was a school teacher for more than 40 years at the Oliver School in Winchester, KY. For many of those years she taught first grade during the time Oliver was a segregated school for African American children. She is remembered as a disciplinarian who cared about the children. Bluster and her parents, William and Mamie Custard Quisenberry, were born in Winchester, KY. She was the wife of Rev. Climiton Bluster (1893-1961), who was born in Alabama. Missouri Bluster, a graduate of Kentucky State University and Wilberforce University, also served as president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women's Clubs. The Quisenberry family has been in Clark County since the early history of the state, and records of the African American Quisenberrys can be found in the slave schedules and birth records, including that of a baby girl born in 1853 to a slave woman and slave owner Roger Quisenberry. [Roger Quisenberry of Clark County owned at least 11 slaves, according to the 1850 slave schedule.] Several of the African American Quisenberry men served with the Colored infantries during the Civil War, and after slavery ended, the families settled in the communities of Blue Ball, Ford, Germantown, Kiddville, and Winchester. For more about Missouri Quisenberry Bluster, see A. D. Johnson, "Winchester teacher stressed discipline, love," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/09/1986, City/State section, p. B1.

Access Interview Read about the Missouri Q. Bluster oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.

Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Blue Ball, Ford, Germantown, Kiddville, and Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Board, Sally [Petersburg, Kentucky]
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1892
Sally Board was born in Fort Harrod, KY; her mother was a slave who had been purchased (or loaned) in 1790 to care for widower Phillip Board's children. A few years later Sally was born; Phillip Board was her father and owner. By 1810, Sally's mother was no longer at the Board farm, but Sally remained. As an adult, she married a slave named Peter, and his name became Peter Board. Land that Sally either purchased or received from her father was developed into a small African American community called Petersburg. Sally was eventually freed, and she then purchased her husband's freedom. Their children, however, remained slaves until after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. In 1878, when Sally was 72 years old, she and the whole community of Petersburg moved to the new territory and settled in Morton City [Jetmore today], Hodgeman County, Kansas, abandoning Petersburg. Today Petersburg is part of the Kentucky community know as Nevada. For more information about Sally, the Board family, and other Exodusters, including the family of Eliza Broadnax Bradshaw, see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill. [Ray Pleasant is an African American and John Neill is White; they are cousins, both descendants of Phillip Board.]
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Fort Harrod (Old Fort Harrod State Park), Mercer County, Kentucky / Petersburg, Mercer County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Nevada, Mercer County, Kentucky / Morton City (now Jetmore), Kansas

Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown (Berea, KY)
African Americans were able to buy land in the Bobtown, Farristown, and Middletown communities after the Civil War. This change was in part due to the influence of Rev. John G. Fee. Farristown was founded in 1835, named for the Farris families who lived in the area. Middletown is so named because it is about midway between Farristown and Berea. Bobtown is the oldest of the three communities, originally founded around 1769 when it was called Joe Lick. The name was changed around 1872 in honor of African American resident Uncle Bob Fitch. Each of the communities had an African American church: First Baptist Church in Middletown was organized in 1894, Farristown Baptist Church in 1883, and New Liberty Baptist Church in Bobtown in 1866. For more information and photos see Early History of Black Berea, by Berea College, or contact the Berea College Library.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Bobtown (was Joe Lick), Madison County, Kentucky / Farristown, Madison County, Kentucky / Middletown, Madison County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Bradley, Mollie McFarland [Midway Colored School]
Birth Year : 1933
Mollie M. Bradley is a historian and writer who was born in Jefferson City, TN, the daughter of Leroy and Emma Cunningham McFarland. She is past matron of Cecelia Dunlap Grand Chapter, O.E.S., P.H.A. She is the author of A Bright Star: a biography of Cecelia Dunlap, and she wrote several articles for the Order of Eastern Star publication The Phyllis Magazine. The magazine is the voice of the Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society, PHA Inc., which was organized in 1983, and Mollie Bradley served as the first executive secretary. The Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society, PHA Inc. researches and studies the history of the Prince Hall Eastern Stars. Mollie Bradley is also a contributing writer for The Woodford Sun during Black History Month; her husband had been the Black History Month contributing writer, and after he died in 2004, Mollie Bradley took over the writing of the articles. Though born in Tennessee, Mollie Bradley was raised in Bourbon County, KY, by her aunt and uncle, Jennie P. Harris and Reverend James C. Harris, pastor of Zion Baptist Church [previously part of the African Baptist Church] in Paris, KY. Mollie Bradley is a graduate of Western High School in Paris, KY, and Central State University, where she majored in journalism. She was the wife of the late Walter T. Bradley, Jr. from Midway, KY; they owned the first laundrette in that city. Customers could leave laundry to be cleaned and folded, and the laundry would be ready to be picked up later in the day. Customers could also do their own laundry. Three washers and three dryers were available with a cost of 25 cents per wash load and 10 cents per dry cycle. The laundrette was located in the building that the couple owned and lived in, which had been the Midway Colored School, located in Hadensville from 1911-1954. The school had grades 1-8. Prior to being used as a school, the building was home to the Colored Baptist Church [later named Pilgrim Baptist Church], which had 900 members. The church building was constructed in 1872 by the Lehman Brothers, a German Company. The congregation outgrew the building and it was sold to Woodford County in 1911 to be used as the Colored School. In 1936, it was sold to the Midway Board of Education and became the Midway Elementary School for Colored children. In 1954, the school was closed and the children were bused to Simmons School in Versailles, KY. The Bradleys purchased the school building in 1959. They leased space within the building to a number of businesses, including a beauty shop and a shoe shop. There had also been a lodge hall, lodge offices, and apartments. Mollie Bradley also taught piano lessons; her mission was to provide lessons to those who wanted to learn but could not afford piano lessons. Her husband, Walter T. Bradley, Jr., and their sons also played the piano. On June 25, 2011, the Midway Colored School was honored with a Kentucky Historical Society Marker. Mollie M. Bradley is a member of the Midway Women's Club. For more information read the press release, KHS to Dedicate Historical Marker to Honor Midway Colored School, 06/13/ 2011, a Kentucky.gov web page.

Access Interview Read about the Mollie M. Bradley oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.

Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Communities, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Jefferson City, Tennessee / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Hadensville in MIdway, Woodford County, Kentucky

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 


Poor House Pond

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

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

Brucetown (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1865
Located on the northeast side of Lexington in what was a low field, the community of Brucetown was established by W. W. Bruce in 1865. The land was subdivided and provided for the homes of African Americans employed by Bruce; Brucetown was adjacent to Bruce's hemp factory. In 1878, a white mob killed three African American men in Brucetown; the murdered men were suspected of having knowledge of the murder of a white man killed two weeks prior. The three dead men were Tom Turner, who was shot, and Edward Claxton and John Davis, both of whom were hanged; a man named Stivers had been hanged earlier for the crime. In 2001, the ninth Brucetown Day celebration was held on Dakota Street in Lexington, sponsored by the Brucetown Neighborhood Association. For more information and maps 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; "Mob Violence in Kentucky," The New York Times, 01/18/1878, p. 1; and "Brucetown plans annual festival," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/08/2001, Bluegrass Communities section, p. 2.
Subjects: Communities, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Brucetown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cedar Creek and Mill Creek, KY
The Cedar Creek Black Cemetery is located in Hardin County, KY. Buried there are the descendants of the former slaves who lived in the area. After gaining their freedom, an African American community was established around the cemetery, along with the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a school. There was a second African American community near Wright Cemetery. According to author Gary Kempf, there are two cemeteries behind the Wright Cemetery where African Americans were buried. The land that held the communities and the cemeteries was taken over for the expansion of Fort Knox Military Reservation. For more see The Land Before Fort Knox by G. Kenpf.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cedar Creek, MIll Creek, Fort Knox, Hardin County, Kentucky

Church Street (Walton, KY)
According to the history page at the Walton, KY, website, a small African American community was developed by former slaves in North Walton after the Civil War, and the community founded the Zion Baptist Church in 1872. The Steele and Ingram families are mentioned as long-time residents of the community. Walton is located in Boone County in Northern Kentucky. For more see the Walton, Kentucky, history page, 1850s-1890s.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Walton, Boone County, Kentucky

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

Coe Colony (Cumberland County, KY)
Start Year : 1866
In 1866, Ezekiel and Patsy Ann Coe purchased land on Coe Ridge, located on the back of Coe Plantation in Cumberland County, KY. Ezekiel (born around 1817 in North Carolina) and Patsy (born around 1825) were of African, Indian, and White lineage and had been slaves. They reclaimed their children, who had been slaves owned by various members of the white Coe family. When brought together, Ezekiel and Patsy's family made up a small, prosperous community, the nucleus of Coe Colony. Added to their numbers were a few other African Americans and white women. White agitators tried to drive the colony out of the area, resulting in murders on both sides and a race feud in 1888. The Coe family remained on the ridge for almost a century, farming and logging prior to the Great Depression. They later took on the business of running moonshine and other activities that brought federal agents and law officers to the area. For more see The saga of Coe Ridge; a study in oral history, by W. L. Montell; KET Productions' Kentucky Life Program 518, The 'Afrilachians'The Chronicles of the Coe Colony, by S. Coe; and L. Montell, "Coe Ridge Colony: a racial island disappears," American Anthropologist, New Series, vol.74, issue 3 (Jun., 1972), pp.710-719.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Coe Ridge, Cumberland County, Kentucky

Coletown (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1834
Coletown is located on Walnut Hill Road in Lexington. Prior to the formation of the community, the land belonged to Sarah Johnson. Johnson willed ten acres to Milley Cole in 1834; Cole had been a slave owned by Johnson's brother, Horatio Johnson. The land was subdivided among the heirs of Milley Cole, and thus began Coletown. In 1971, there were 30 people living in the community. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith; and Historical Communities Near Lexington, a Bluegrass Community & Technical College website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Coletown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cologne, Texas
Start Year : 1898
The community of Cologne is located on U.S. Highway 59 in Goliad County, Texas. Former slaves Jim Smith and George Washington are credited with establishing the African American settlement. The first settlers, five families of former slaves from Tennessee and Kentucky, moved to the area in 1870. First known as Centerville, the community's name was changed to Cologne when the post office was established in 1898; the post office was discontinued in 1925. In 1997, as the community was preparing for the Juneteenth celebration, the population was estimated to be 85. For more see C. Clack, "Juneteenth, born of slavery, evolves into free-form day of joy," San Antonio Express-News, section SA Life, p. 1E; Cologne, Texas, by C. H. Roell, at the Texas State Historical Association website; Cologne, Texas at TexasEscapes.com; and From These Roots by F. D. Young.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cologne (was Centerville), Goliad County, Texas

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

Community Memories: A Glimpse of African American Life in Frankfort, KY Project [Kentucky Historical Society - oral histories]
The "Community Memories" project is one of the KHS Digital Collections [Kentucky Historical Society] available online. The photographs and the oral history collection features a glance at the life of African Americans in Frankfort, Kentucky. The community's families, neighborhoods, and occupations, as well as religious and educational traditions are revealed in this collection of photographed and oral history interviews shared by local residents in 1995.
Subjects: Communities, Photographers, Photographs, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Davistown (Garrard County, KY)
The community, referred to in Kentucky Place Names as a Negro settlement, is located in Bryantsville, KY, near the Boyle County line on Fisher Ford Road, east of the Dix River, about 7.5 miles north of Lancaster. The community was named after W. M. Davis, owner of the tract of land that was subdivided. Source: R. M. Rennick, Kentucky Place Names, p. 78.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Davistown, Garrard County, Kentucky

Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana
In the 1870s a small group of African Americans left Kentucky and settled in Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana. They were the forerunners; by 1880, the bulk of the African American population in Montana had come from Kentucky, including the Johnson, Broose and Dodgeston families. Montana would become a state in 1889. For more see C. McMillen, "Border state terror and the genesis of the African-American community in Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana, 1870-1890," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 79, issue 2 (1994), pp. 212-247.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana

Dixville and Other Communities in North Middletown, KY
One of the earliest mentions of the African American community of Dixville is a 1901 newspaper article in The Bourbon News. The community is also mentioned in Jacqueline Sue's book, Black Seeds in the Blue Grass. Dixville is located in North Middletown, KY, on the main road that heads toward Mt. Sterling. Albert B. Wess, Sr. was reared in Dixville: he was born on Deweese Street in Lexington and the family moved to Dixville when he was a small child. His father was a prominent member of the Dixville community, owning several homes and the Tom Wess Grocery Store. The store was in operation long before Albert Wess and his twin sister, Alberta, were born in 1923, and the store closed a year before Tom Wess died in 1936. The 2nd Christian Church was across the street from the store and nearby was a UBF&SMT [United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten] Lodge Hall. Tom Wess belonged to the lodge. The present day church in Dixville is Wiley Methodist Church. In 2007, the first Annual Dixville Picnic was held. Three other African American communities were located in North Middletown. One was Kerrville (1), on Highway 460 about one mile outside North Middletown. The Francis M. Wood High School, grades 1-8, was located in Kerrville (1), and Florence H. Wess (d.1932), mother to Albert Wess, was one of the schoolteachers and the music teacher; she also played piano at the church. Kerrville (2) was next to the other Kerrville; and Smoketown was one mile on the other side of North Middletown, heading toward Little Rock. A few of the families that lived in these communities had the last names of Carter, Cason, Mack, Kenney, Green, McClure, Butler, Fields, Dorsey, and Gibbs. This information comes from Albert B. Wess, Sr. See the article in The Bourbon News, 11/19/1901, p. 5. If you have more information about Dixville or the other communities, please contact Michell Butler.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Dixville, Kerrville, Smoketown, North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Elm Tree Lane and Kinkeadtown (Lexington, KY)
The west side of Elm Tree Lane was part of the Templeton Subdivision in 1889. Around 1914, the east side of the street became Elm Tree Heights. Kinkeadtown was bottomland that included more recently Illinois, Kinkead, and Mosby Streets; it was around the area where Elm Tree Lane intersects with Fourth and Fifth Streets. The land had been subdivided by abolitionist George B. Kinkead in 1870 and sold exclusively to African Americans. Populated by about 20 families in 1880, it grew to include over 300 residents. The section of Elm Tree Lane and the remainder of Kinkeadtown, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, were purchased by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government in the 1990s. The shotgun and T-plan houses were demolished in preparation for the extension of Rose Street. 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.; "Kinkeadtown: Archaeological Investigation of an African-American Neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky," Archaeological Report 377 by Nancy O'Malley, University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology; Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association; and N. O'Malley, "The pursuit of freedom: the evolution of Kinkeadtown, an African American post-Civil War neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky," Winterthur Portfolio-A Journal of American Material Culture, vol. 37, issue 4 (Winter 2002), pp. 187-217.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fergus Falls (Otter Tail County, Minnesota)
Around 1849, 40 free African Americans, most from Virginia and Kentucky, arrived near what is today St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota had recently been organized as a territory, and small groups of Kentuckians would continue to make their way to the area for the next half century. In 1896, real-estate agents distributed fliers to Kentucky African American veterans visiting the fairgrounds in St. Paul; the fliers highlighted Fergus Falls as a good settlement area. About 50 African Americans from Kentucky moved to Fergus Falls in 1897, joining others who had been there since the end of the Civil War. The community was described in a newspaper article as "the first exclusive Colored colony in Minnesota." The family of activist Mary Lee Johnson, who was born in Kentucky, moved to the area sometime after 1910. The lack of suitable homesteads and employment led many to leave the area. By 1970 only 15 residents remained in the African American community of Fergus Falls. For more see the quote in the article "Colored colony," Illinois Record, 05/14/1898, p.2; African Americans in Minnesota, by D. V. Taylor; and P. Miller, "Activist Mary Lee Johnson dies," Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities, 10/12/1997, News section, p. 7B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Communities, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky / Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, Minnesota

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

Forest Hill School (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1907
End Year : 1910
On Tuesday, September 3, 1907, the Lexington City School No.4, known as Forest Hill School, was opened on College Street, located between Georgetown Street and Newtown Street. The school was held in the five rooms of a rented cottage. The building was to be a temporary accommodation until the school board built a new school building. Forest Hill School was open to Colored children who lived in the communities of Smithtown, Yellmantown, Newtown, Peach Orchard, and Forest Hill, and those who lived on the following streets: Jefferson, West Short, Main, Second, Third, Fourth, Ballard, Todd, Georgetown, Maryland, Payne, and Henry. The school principal was D. I. Reid, assistant principal was Julia A. Watkins, and the teachers were Mary E. Buckner and Florence E. Hardin. The school was open only three years, it was abolished in 1910, and the students were to attend Russell School. In spite of the school being closed, the plans for the construction of the Forest Hill School remained in place. In 1907, Forest Hill School was one of the many schools that were opened for Colored children in Lexington during the first decade of the 1900s. The need for more schools and better education was a cause that touched the lives of African Americans throughout Lexington. In 1911, community members approached the Lexington School Board and asked that the Forest Hill School be reopened. The request was denied, but there was still the promise of a new school building. By 1915, the new school still had not been completed, and a group of prominent Colored people in Lexington wrote the Lexington School Board, and pushed for improved schools and education for Colored children, and they wanted the Forest Hill School to be completed as was planned. The school board responded by accepting bids for the construction of the school. James F. Fitzgerald was the successful bidder for the plumbing and the cost was estimated at $1,054, it was the lowest of four bids. The estimated cost of the school was $20,000. In spite of the bids, however, the Forest Hill School building was never constructed. For more see "Forest Hill School," Leader, 04/10/1910, p.24; "New school," Lexington Leader, 09/01/1907, p.18; "Supt. M. A. Cassidy," Lexington Leader, 06/20/1910, p.5; "What about Forest Hill Negro School?," Lexington Leader, 06/11/1911, p.5; and p.119 in A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and "Kentucky: Louisville and vicinity," Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting, July 3, 1915, v.72, issue 1, p.32 [available online at Google Books]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Former Kentucky Slaves form town near Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada
Start Year : 1817
According to the Abolitionist, as early as 1817 a community of about 150 escaped slaves from Kentucky had made their home in Upper Canada. The former slaves had escaped at various times. They were witnessed by Captain Stuart, who lived in Upper Canada between 1817-1822. When Stuart returned to the area in 1828, the population had doubled. The former slaves had formed a town (name unknown) on a tract of land purchased a few miles from Amherstburg, Canada. For more see p. 37 of the Abolitionist, vol. 1, issue 3 (March 1833) [available at Google Book Search]. Author Betty DeRamus mentions in her book that Amherstburg was a well-known haven for escaped slaves, but the city was not always a safe place for them. For more see Forbidden Fruit, by B. DeRamus; and An Enduring Heritage, by R. E. Reindeau. For earlier accounts of Amherstburg as a receiving station for escaped slaves, see The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, by W. H. Siebert.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada

Fort Spring (Fayette County, KY)
Formerly referred to as Slickaway and Reform, the community was located on Versailles Road. The more recent name, Fort Spring, is from a local tavern that had a spring under it; the tavern had been used as a fort during the Civil War. The community was established by white residents, and in 1826 Henry and Patty Sthreshley sold 1 1/2 acres of land to freeman Henry Clark. A few other African Americans moved to the area. Following the Civil War, adjoining land owned by Mr. H. W. Worley may also have been sold to African Americans, which added to the population of the community. By 1882, Fort Spring had 100 African American residents, making them the majority in the community. For more see the Kentucky Atlas & Gazetteer, and Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Fort Spring (Slickaway, Reform), Fayette County, Kentucky

Free Negro Farm (Meade County, KY)
Start Year : 1847
End Year : 1931
The Free Negro Farm was located near the segregated community of Stithton in Hardin County, KY. Around 1918, African Americans from Louisville were brought to the area as laborers for the construction of Fort Knox. The laborers were greeted by an armed mob that had to be dispersed before the laborers were led to the Free Negro Farm in Meade County. There are several different accounts of the origin of the Free Negro Farm. The community predated the existence of Stithton and continued long after Stithton became defunct during the development of Fort Knox. The Free Negro Farm was an African American community situated on about 300 acres of land from as early as 1847 to 1931. There is also speculation that the community is much older and was established by Hardin County's first freeman, General Braddock, who was freed in March of 1797. There is also speculation that the community was started by freeman Pleasant Moreman, whose descendants remained in the community until around 1931. For more see P. W. Urbahns, "More Moremans, Pleasant Moreman: the Free Negro of Meade County" Ancestral News, vol .19, issue 3 (Fall 1994), pp. 101-104.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Free Negro Farm, Meade County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Stithton, Hardin County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Meade and Hardin Counties, Kentucky

Free Station (Owen County, KY)
Start Year : 1847
Tom Frazier was the first slave to be freed in Owen County, KY, in 1825. He had been owned by members of the Hardin family and Benjamin F. Hawkins. The next slave to be freed was Tobias in 1827; he had been owned by Alexander Guthrie. By 1843, there were 1,143 slaves in Owen County, including those owned by Susannah Herndon Rogers. In 1847, Rogers' will emancipated her slaves, and her property was divided into 10 lots and given to her former slaves, all of whom had the last name Locust. The community that was formed became known as Free Station. In 1849, it became law in Kentucky that a security bond must be posted for every slave who was freed. The law would stall the emancipation of Rogers' brother's slaves [James Herndon]. For more see Mountain Island In Owen County, Kentucky: the settlers and their churches, by J. C. Bryant.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Free Station, Owen County, Kentucky

Freemen Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic)
Birth Year : 1824
In 1824, an isolated community of about 200 freemen (or escaped slaves) from Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Kentucky was established on Samana Bay as a colony of the Haitian Republic. It has also been written that Haitian President Jean Pierre Boyer conspired with abolitionists in Pennsylvania to finance the passage and resettlement of the former slaves as a strategic move to strengthen his rule. Boyer and his forces had overthrown the previous government of Spanish Haiti in 1822 and slavery had again been abolished. There were a series of rebellions, and Boyer was overthrown in 1843. Haiti became independent in 1844. The Dominican Republic also became independent from Haiti in 1844, and the territory included Samana Bay and the American inhabitants. There would be several attempts by Haiti to retake the Dominican Republic, and the Dominican government sought protection by attempting to become annexed to either Spain or the U.S. During the American Civil War, there were plans by the Lincoln Administration to purchase the country, but the plans fell through. In 1874, Samana bay and inlet were purchased by an American company, backed by the U.S. Government. Samana was redeveloped into what was to become an independent country. The ownership lasted for one year; the company overextended its finances and was not able to pay the annual rent owed to the U.S. Government, so the treaty was revoked. At various points throughout the 19th Century and the early 20th Century, the U.S. Government pursued the idea of annexing the Dominican Republic and leasing Samana Bay to be used as a naval station; Congress vetoed the plans. The U.S. did not establish a presence in the Caribbean until the Spanish-American War. For more see American Negro Songs, by J. W. Works; Central and South America, by A. H. Keane and C. R. Markham [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Adventure Guide to the Dominican Republic, by H. S. Pariser. See Samana.org website.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / South Carolina / Pennsylvania / Haiti / Samana Bay, Dominican Republic

Freetown, Kentucky
Start Year : 1846
Located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, around 1846 it became the first African American community in Monroe County, KY. The community members were the freed slaves of William Howard, who gave them 400 acres to build homes. Albert Martin gave the land for the church, which was also built in 1846. For more see Mount Vernon AME Church in African American Historic Places by B. L. Savage and C. D. Shull.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches
Geographic Region: Freetown (Gamaliel), Monroe County, Kentucky

Garden of Eden (Fort Worth, TX)
Start Year : 1860
Garden of Eden is a historically Black community in Fort Worth, TX, that was settled by freed slaves from Kentucky and Tennessee around 1860. There were 54 households along the Trinity River. Today, the community has a population of 20, descendants of the original settlers. The Garden of Eden had fallen on hard times until the neighborhood association was developed in 2004. Since then the area has been designated a historic neighborhood. Garden of Eden received the 2004 Neighborhood of the Year Award. A cookbook, Recipes from Out to the House, contains a history of the community. In 2008, the city of Fort Worth began adding water and sewer lines to the church; others rely on septic tanks. For more see J. Milligan, "Historically black neighborhood reclaiming paradise," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 03/10/2008, Domestic News section; and Garden of Eden Neighborhood Association website.

See photo images and additional information about the Garden of Eden community in the article "In the Garden of Edan," by T. Vita, 02/25/2005, at the Preservation website.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tennessee / Garden of Eden, Fort Worth, Texas

Godfrey, Linda R.
Birth Year : 1947
Linda R. Godfrey, born in Lexington, KY, has been a leader on several fronts since graduating in 1965 from old Henry Clay High School [on Main Street], where she was a member of the second integrated class to graduate from the school. Godfrey, a nurse, has worked at several locations in Lexington and is presently a case manager and diabetes nurse specialist at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital off Cooper Drive, providing outreach and care coordination for returning combat veterans. She is a retired Army Nurse, having served (1985-2000) with the 475th MASH hospital unit out of Frankfort, KY. Godfrey also taught health education classes at multiple military hospitals throughout the U.S. and in Japan, Ecuador, and Barbados. She also served as an Army nurse in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. She received an Army commendation medal and has received a number of awards for her work with veterans, including the Federal Woman of the Year in 2000. In Lexington, Godfrey was a board member of Hospice when the program was being developed in 1977, coordinating the volunteers. For 13 years she taught pediatric nursing and basic medical surgical nursing at Kentucky State University and today is a part-time lecturer for the clinical labs and nursing programs. Godfrey also teaches health education and diabetes classes throughout the year at local churches. She has served two terms as president of the Northside Neighborhood Association, one of the oldest and largest neighborhood associations in Lexington. Godfrey, one of the original members, is past chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission of the Fayette-Urban County Government and is completing her second term as vice-chair of the Fayette-Urban County Planning Commission. Linda Godfrey is a graduate of Appalachian School of Practical Nursing [which was on Warren Court in Lexington, KY], where she earned her LPN degree in 1968. In 1972, she earned her RN degree from Lexington Community College [now Bluegrass Community and Technical College] and in 1980 graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She is a charter member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Delta Psi Chapter. Godfrey, who grew up in Kinkeadtown, attends the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Pricetown, founded by her great grandfather, Matthew Garner. Pricetown is one of the Negro hamlets founded at the end of slavery. This entry was submitted by William Anthony Goatley with detailed information from Linda Godfrey.

 

Access InterviewLisen to the online interview with Lind R. Godfrey (Part 1 and Part 2), interviewed by Mike Jones, 07/27/2002, at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kinkeadtown, Pricetown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Iraq / Japan / Ecuador / Barbados

Goodlowtown, Goodloetown, or Goodloe (Lexington, KY)
Goodlowtown was a community in itself, established around 1871; by 1887 it had grown to include Gunntown and Bradley Street Bottoms. It was the largest Negro residential area in Lexington. The community was located on bottomland that had been used during the Civil War for mule stalls. The Colored Normal School was located in Goodloetown, with J. G. Hamilson as principal and Miss Mary E. White was a teacher, according to the Lexington City Directory, 1873 and 1874. Today Goodloe is a predominately low-income African American neighborhood partially shielded from view by Thoroughbred Park in downtown Lexington. The area includes portions of DeWeese, Race, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Streets. 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; and P. Hobgood, "Constructing Community: an Exhibition of the Voices of Goodloetown," Kaleidoscope: University of Kentucky Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship, vol. 4 (2006), pp. 39-44.
Subjects: Communities, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Grider, Katie
Birth Year : 1858
Katie Grider was a 52-year old widow who left Kentucky and lived in Missouri, before settling in the African American town of Brooklyn, Illinois. Free persons and escaped slaves from St. Louis, Missouri, established Brooklyn in 1830 in St. Clair County. In 1910 Grider was a successful businesswoman: the owner of a tavern, restaurant, and boardinghouse. She was one of two persons who owned a restaurant in the town. Grider lived on 8th Street where she operated her business, and according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, her 23 year old daughter, Lottie, lived with her. Lottie was born in Missouri. For more see America's first Black town: Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915, by S. K. Cha-Jua; and Guest Viewpoint, B. L. Betts, "Brooklyn's proud past is foundation for future," Belleville News-Democrat, 03/06/2007, Local/National section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Brooklyn, Illinois

Henryville (Nicholas County, KY)
Henryville has been referred to as a "Negro Settlement" and a "Shacky Village." The community probably existed prior to 1879 when Henryville and its residents were not included within the city limit boundaries of Carlisle for political and corporation reasons and so as not to taint the census count. In an 1898/99 State Board of Health report, Henryville was said to be on the north side of the county, along KY 32, between the community of Stoney Creek and the town of Carlisle. Nicholas County had been hit with an outbreak of yellow chicken pox, and there was to be a house-to-house inspection in order to vaccinate everyone, revaccinating if necessary. Guards were placed on the roads leading into the communities in order to contain the spread of the disease by travelers. In 1930, about 250 people lived in Henryville, which still had no running water. A brief description of the community is given on p. 27 of The GI Generation, by F. F. Mathias; see also the health report of B. W. Smock, Health Inspector, in the Biennial Report of the State Board of Health of Kentucky 1898/99, pp. 148-149 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth of Kentucky volume II, 1880, p. 1098 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Both Fishers Station and Henryville are discussed in the interviews completed for the Nicholas County Memorial Library Oral History Collection, 1976-1986.

See Henryville School submitted by L. D. Jackson at the rootsweb website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Henryville, Nicholas County, Kentucky

Hoard, J. H. [Hoardsville, Oklahoma]
Birth Year : 1862
Reverend Hoard was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and in 1899 moved to Okmulgee, OK, to become pastor of the First Baptist Church. Okmulgee is 30 miles from Tulsa. Hoard was the husband of Clara Locke Hoard, with whom he had 11 children. Rev. Hoard was also pastor of the Union Baptist Church in Grayson, Oklahoma. He farmed his land next to the Henryetta gas and oil fields. He was chair of the Educational Board of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, a member and moderator of the Southwest Creek and Seminole District Association, and the Hoardsville postmaster. Hoard had come to Oklahoma during the period author M. C. Hill describes as the "Great Black March Westward" that began in 1890 and peaked in 1910. Most came from eight southern states, including Kentucky. This was also the period when small all-Negro communities were developed, and there was an attempt to make Oklahoma an all Negro state. Hoardsville is usually not mentioned as one of the better known all-Negro communities. Hundreds of Negroes were arriving in Oklahoma each day, looking for utopia but finding that there were ongoing clashes between Negroes, Native Americans, and Whites. For more see "Reverend J. H. Hoard" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote; and M. C. Hill, "The All Negro Communities of Oklahoma," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 31, issue 3 (July 1946), pp. 254-268.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Postal Service, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Hopkins County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Hopkins County, located in western Kentucky and surrounded by five counties, was created in 1806 from a portion of Henderson County. It was named for Samuel Hopkins, a lawyer, Kentucky Senator, and Revolutionary War veteran; several of the early settlers in the Hopkins County area were Revolutionary War veterans who had received land grants from Virginia. Madisonville, which became the county seat of Hopkins County in 1808, was named for James Madison, who later became the fourth President of the United States. During the early 1800s, there was also a community named Charleston in Hopkins County; it was named for a former slave and tavern owner named Free Charles. The Hopkins County population was 414 [heads of households] in the 1810 U.S. Federal Census, and it grew to 9,866 by 1860, excluding slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 555 slave owners
  • 1,815 Black slaves
  • 335 Mulatto slaves
  • 16 free Blacks [most with last name Herrin]
  • 34 free Mulattoes [most with last names Earle, Lewis, and Oakley]
1860 Slave Schedule
  • 457 slave owners
  • 1,451 Black slaves
  • 557 Mulatto slaves
  • 10 free Blacks
  • 20 freee Mulattoes [many with last names Baker and Fisher]
1870 U.S. Federal Census
  • 1,458 Blacks
  • 340 Mulattoes
  • About 83 U.S. Colored Troops listed Hopkins County, KY, as their birth location.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
  • Charleston, Hopkins County, Kentucky: 41 African Americans, many with last name Metcalf; and 16 Mulattoes with the last names Bishop, Morris, Paravel, and one Smouthers. Total population 1,575. According to the title Kentucky Place Names, by R. N. Rennick, (p. 56), there was a post office in Charleston from 1855-1909 and a coal loading station that was on the Illinois Central Railroad line.
For more see the Hopkins County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; Non-White Marriage Index 1866-1914, by the Hopkins County Genealogical Society (KY); NAACP Administrative File, Part 20, White resistance and reprisals, 1956-1965; and History of Hopkins County, by M. K. Gordon.
Subjects: Communities, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J], Kentucky Land Grants
Geographic Region: Hopkins County, Kentucky

Ishmaelites of Kentucky
There are two discussions about the existence of the the Tribe of Ishmael.

According to earlier sources, between 1785 and 1790, an Islamic denomination called Ishmaelites was first noticed in Nobel County (now Bourbon County), KY. The group was led by Ben and Jennie Ishmael. Individual members were of a multiracial background of African, Native American, and poor whites. The first generation included escapees from slavery and the Indian Wars, all having made their way to Kentucky from Tennessee, North & South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. In the early 1800s, the Ishmael's son John led the group across the Ohio River to the area that today is part of Indianapolis; soon afterward the group became a nomadic community. They were viewed as odd and referred to as gypsies. The group was suspected of having a high infant death rate, and in the 1880s it was common for the children to be taken away from their parents. Adult members were arrested on an array of charges, then imprisoned, committed, or bound to servitude. By the late 1800s, three-fourths of the patients at the Indianapolis City Hospital (a mental institution) were from the Tribe of Ishmael. In 1907 the compulsory sterilization law was passed in Indiana, and the procedure was used to further reduce the number of new births by Ishmaelite members. For more see Black Crescent: the experience and legacy of African Muslims in the Americas, by M. A. Gomez, pp.196-200; and O. C. M'Culloch, "The Tribe of Ishmael: a study on social degradation," Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction at the Fifteenth Annual Session Held in Buffalo, NY, July 5-11, 1888, pp. 154-159. See also The Tribe of Ishmael: a group of degenerates... at the Eugenics Archive website.

According to more recent sources, the Tribe of Ismael is a myth, and Ben and Jennie Ishmael were Christians. One of the current sources is the 2009 title Inventing America's "Worst" Family by Nathaniel Deutsch. The book traces how the Ishmael Family, a poor Christian family that included a Civil War veteran, was used as a representation of the urban poor in the late 1800s, then during the 1970s, became a very much admired family credited with founding an African American Muslim movement and community. For additional information see E. A. Carlson, "Commentary: R. L. Dugdale and the Jukes Family: a historical injustice corrected," BioScience, vol.30, issue 8 (August 1980), pp. 535-539; R. Horton, "Tribe of Ishmael" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, by D. J. Bodenhamer, et al.; and E. F. Kramer, "Recasting the Tribe of Ishmael," Indiana Magazine of History, v.104 (March 2008), pp.36-64 [available online in IUPUI Scholar Works Repository].
Subjects: Communities, Early Settlers, Freedom, Hoaxes, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Nobel County (Bourbon County), Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Tennessee / North Carolina / South Carolina / Virginia / Maryland

Jackman, Catherine
Birth Year : 1902
Jackman, born in Kentucky, was one of the first African American women to graduate from Centre College in Danville, KY. She was a school teacher in the Danville Public Schools, and was a member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association as early as 1928 and 1929. She later became a seamstress in the Rainbow Cleaners. Her husband, John Jackman was a bricklayer. The family lived in Colored Town, an African American community on the edge of Danville. In the late 1920s, the family lived on Lebanon Pike, and in 1930 their address was on Cowan Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Catherine Jackman's job at the cleaners would lead to her raising her employer's daughter, the girl's name was Mildred House. For more see the preface of Environmental Justice: creating equality, reclaiming democracy, by K. S. Shrader-Frechette.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Colored Town, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Jonesville (Bowling Green, KY)
End Year : 1964
The following information comes from K. S. Parsley, "Jonesville: Reclaiming a History," a former Western Kentucky University website. Jonesville was an African American community that adjoined the former Western Kentucky State College campus. It was then a middle class neighborhood that stretched from Dogwood Drive to the railroad tracks; today's Big Red Way was the southern boundary. The community was well-established with grocery stores, beauty shops, and other service businesses. Approximately 70 families were in the community in 1950. The community was also home to many of the first African American students attending Western Kentucky University; African American students were not allowed to live on campus. As the university grew, Jonesville stood in the way of the need to expand the campus. In 1964 the Urban Renewal Commission condemned the Jonesville properties, then took over the properties and sold the land to Western Kentucky University at a cheaper price than would have been paid to the property owners. Most of the former Jonesville residents remained in Bowling Green, and the story of Jonesville continues to be told. A Kentucky Historical Marker # 2052 was paid for by Western Kentucky University and placed at the corner of Big Red Way and University Boulevard to commemorate the history and mark the former location of Jonesville. For more information listen to the oral history interview about Jonesville by Nancy Richey and Sue Lynn McDaniel with Angela Townsend, available at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives; and watch the documentary film about Jonesville, produced by Aimee Briley, at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.  

See the 2008 video titled "Jonesville: An Neighborhood in Bowling Green, Kentucky" directed by Aimee Briley, featuring Lavinia Gatewood, Maxine Ray, and Sandy Staebell, video posted to Vimeo by Gordon Van Ness.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Kentucky, Canada [D. Washington]
The town of Kentucky located in Canada, may or may not be the same community that was established around 1817 by escaped slaves from Kentucky and located near Amherstburg, Ontario [see NKAA entry about that community]. In the early 1800s, there was a town named Kentucky in Canada; D. Washington was born there in 1823. Washington was living in Southfield, Michigan when he was listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, along with his wife Mary and their three children. The community of New Kentucky was established around 1860 in New Chatham, Canada.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Kentucky, Canada [no longer exists]

Kentucky Colony in Washington D.C.
The term "Kentucky Colony" can be found in many sources in reference to a group of Kentuckians living in a particluar area outside the state of Kentucky. The term was also used to refer to the "Kentucky Colony" neighborhood in Washington, D.C. on 10th Street between R and S Streets. The residents were members of the "Kentucky Colony" organization, a networking, society and support group of African Americans from Kentucky who had migrated to Washington, D.C. [There was also a group of whites in Washington, D.C. who were from Kentucky and were referred to as a "Kentucky Colony."] It is not known exactly when the African American Kentucky Colony organized, but they existed in the late 1890s and beyond 1912. The members were fairly well off, and in 1909 were led by Louisville, KY, native H. P. Slaughter [source: see H.P. Slaughter in column "The Week in Society," Washington Bee, 08/07/1909, p.5]. Slaughter was employed by the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C. Other male members of the Kentucky Colony included James H. Black, William L. Houston, William H. Davis, Shelby J. Davidson, W. H. Wright, Charles E. Payne, Oscar W. Miller, J. C. Vaughn Todd, Louis P. Todd, Leslie Garrison Davis, Alex Payne, and Eugene Jennings [source: "Our Kentucky Colony," Colored American, 08/23/1902, p.9]. The members socialized with one another, and assisted other African Americans of similar means who were coming from Kentucky to live in Washington, D.C. It was the Colored newspapers in Washington, D.C. that first used the term "Kentucky Colony" in print, referring to African Americans in Washington, D.C. "Bluegrass visitors," an article in the Colored American, 07/23/1898, p.7, reported that the group had entertained a delegation of educators from Kentucky who were in D.C. for a National Education Association Meeting. A reception was held for the visitors at the home of Mrs. Anna Weeden, at 1731 10th Street NW. Mrs. Weeden was a widow born 1864 in KY, she owned a boarding house and shared her home with her son Henry and her sister Francis Starks, both of whom were also born in Kentucky. Another article, "Addition to our Kentucky Colony," Colored American, 01/27/1900, p.3, announced the arrival of William H. Davis from Louisville, KY, and his successful passing of the civil service exam, his new job with the government, and his past employment experience. In the Washington Bee column, "The Week in Society," 08/17/1901, p.5, there was mention of the group having entertained a contingency of young women referred to as "charming school maidens of the old Bluegrass State." The Kentucky Colony also kept ties to family and friends in Kentucky. In 1908, the group presented a 24-piece silver set to the newlyweds Jeanette L. Steward and James H. Black who were married on April 15, 1908 at the home of the bride's parents, Mrs. and Mr. W. H. Steward [source: "Our Kentucky Colony give star present at the Black-Steward wedding in Falls City," Washington Bee, 05/02/1908, p.5]. Both Jeanette and James Black were born in Kentucky. James had lived in Washington, D.C. for a few years beginning in 1902 when he was employed at the Government Printing Office [source: "The territory on 10th Street..." in the column "City Paragraphs," Colored American, 05/10/1902, p.15]. After they married, the couple remained in Louisville where James was a post office clerk, his wife Jeanette owned a cafeteria, and they shared their home with school teachers Mary and Myrtle Black [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1912, several members of the Kentucky Colony were in Kentucky as reported in the Freeman, an Indiana newspaper, "Quite a number of the Kentucky Colony, of Washington, D.C., are in the city to cast their votes" [source: Lee L. Brown, "Everybody talking election," Freeman, 11/02/1912, p.8].
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Migration North, Postal Service, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Kentucky Ridge, Nevada County, California
Start Year : 1851
The African American community at Kentucky Ridge, California, was NOT founded or populated by former slaves from Kentucky. The community was located in Nevada County, California, near Bidney Springs. It was established by Colonel William F. English, a former plantation owner from Georgia. In 1851, English moved with colleagues and slaves to California, where they were unsuccessful as quartz miners. The male slaves were then used as placer miners and the females became washer women. Colonel English died in 1853, and the slaves were eventually freed. For more see Blacks in Gold Rush California, by R. M. Lapp; and A History of Black Americans in California, a National Park Service website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Kentucky Ridge, Nevada County, California

Kentucky Slave Narratives
The memories of former Kentucky slaves were recorded as part of the 1936-1938 Federal Writers' Project, Slave Narratives: a folk history of slavery in the United States from interviews with former slaves - Kentucky Narratives. The title is available full-text online at Project Gutenberg and includes a brief glimpse of the lives of former slaves such as Eliza Ison, who lived in the African American community of Duncantown in Garrard County; George Scruggs of Calloway County, a slave of racehorse owner Vol Scruggs; and Reverend John R. Cox of Boyd County, minister of the Catlettsburg A.M.E. Church and also the city's first African American truant officer.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Knight, Mattye Breckinridge Guy
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1986
Knight, a teacher, civic and community leader, and musician, is remembered for leading the drive to get new homes to replace those lost in the mudslide at Sanctified Hill in Cumberland, KY. Knight had also lost her home in the slide. She received a number of awards for her leadership, including a HUD award in 1979. Knight taught for more than 30 years in Franklin County, Lebanon, and Harlan County. She taught English, history and music in the public schools and was the minister of music, director of education, and a Sunday school teacher at her church. Knight also founded the Greater Harlan County Community Center. She was a graduate of Mayo-Underwood High School and Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], both in Frankfort, and Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] in Virginia. For more see J. Hewlett, "Mattye Knight Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/28/1986, Obituaries, p. B15. Also see the entry Sanctified Hill, Cumberland, KY.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Sunday School, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Cumberland, Harlan County, Kentucky

Knott County (KY) Free Blacks and Free Mulattoes, 1900-1920
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1920
Knott County, located in eastern Kentucky, was formed from portions of Perry, Letcher, Floyd, and Breathitt Counties in 1884. It is surrounded by six counties and was named for Governor James P. Knott, who was also a U.S. Congressman. The county seat is Hindman, founded in 1884, and named for the Lieutenant Governor James P. Hindman. The county population in 1900 was 8,776. Knott County was formed after Kentucky slaves were freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment; therefore, below are the number of Blacks and Mulattoes for 1900-1920.

1900 U.S. Federal Census

  • 169 Blacks
  • 0 Mulattoes
  • All lived in the community of Carr, Knott County, KY.
1910 U.S. Federal Census
  • 143 Blacks [majority with the last names of Adams, Christian, Combs, Cowles, Francis, Hagans, or Williams]
  • 6 Coloreds [last names Adams, Cowles, Francis, or Williams]
  • 5 Mulattoes [all with last name Hagans]
  • All lived in Lower Carr, Knott County, KY, except two who lived in Troublesome, Knott County, Ky.
1920 U.S. Federal Census
  • 150 Blacks
  • 0 Mulattoes
  • All lived in Lower Carr, Knott County, KY.
  • About 8 Blacks and 2 Coloreds registered for WWI in Knott County, Kentucky.
For more see the Knott County entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by J. E. Kleber; History and Families, Knott County, Kentucky, Turner Publishing Company; and Community and Neighborhood Groupings in Knott County by M. D. Oyler.
Subjects: Communities, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Knott County, 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

Little Africa (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1870
This community, previously referred to as Needmore, was the African American section of Parkland in Louisville. By the 1920s it included several hundred homes as well as businesses and schools. In the 1870s, Joseph S. Cotter, Sr. became the first African American resident in the Homestead settlement. Little Africa began to disappear in the 1940s when the Housing Authority began work on the Cotter Home Project. Today a Kentucky Historical Marker notes the area where Little Africa once existed. For more see About Park DuValle Village Home-Owners Neighborhood Association, and the Kentucky Historical Marker Database #2074.
Subjects: Communities, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Little Georgetown (Fayette County, KY)
Located on Parkers Mill Road in Fayette County, one version of the community's beginning states that a George Waltz gave land to ex-slaves following the Civil War. It has been debated as to whether the community was named after George Waltz or after a freeman named George Washington who owned a portion of the land and divided it into lots in 1877. At that time, the community had three other African American land owners: F. Smith, J. Edmunds, and M. Overstreet. The word "Little" was added to the name of the community to differentiate it from the city of Georgetown, KY. Over the years, Little Georgetown grew to include 90 residents on 34 acres. The expansion of the Lexington Bluegrass Airport nearly wiped out the community. A picture of the Little Georgetown Colored School, dated 1929, is available in the Kentucky Digital Library - Images. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith; Historical Communities Near Lexington, a BCTC website; and J. Duke, "Rural Fayette communities cling to life of yesterday," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/11/1985, Main News section, p. A1.

  See photo images of Little Georgetown Colored School in Fayette County, KY. Images at Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Communities, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Little Georgetown, 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

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


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

Magowan, James E.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1933
The following information comes from the James E. Magowan archival file at the Montgomery County Historical Society and Museum in Mt. Sterling, KY. James E. Magowan was a successful businessman and a community leader. He was born in Montgomery County, the son of Amanda and John Wesley Magowan, and a brother of John, Noah, Susan, and Emily Magowan. The family lived in Smithville, KY. James Magowan, his brothers, and sister, Susan, all attended the Academy at Berea. As an adult, James Magowan was a real estate agent, loans and collecting agent, notary public, carpenter, contractor, and owner of the Magowan Theater and the colored skating rink in Mt. Sterling. James Magowan developed the Lincoln View Cemetery next to Olive Hill Cemetery in Smithville. The Lincoln View Cemetery opened on April 1, 1929, with James Magowan as president, his son, Jesse E., 1st vice president, and his wife, Lizzie, his daughter, Sarah, and his son-in-law and daughter, Watson D. Banks and Estella Magowan Banks, board members. James Magowan established a subdivision for African Americans next to the cemetery, and he owned and managed the waterline to the homes, charging a monthly fee for the service. He established the Mt. Sterling Colored Fair Association in 1909. He was owner of the James E. Magowan Grocery Store, which was located within the J. E. Magowan Hall (built in 1914) at the corner of East Locust and Fox Streets. James Magowan leased-out the grocery store and other space within the building. Additional information about James E. Magowan comes from "Achievements of the late James E. Magowan" on pp. 23-24 in Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. James E. Magowan was a school teacher for six years. He led the effort to extend the gas line into Smithville, and in 1915 he was president of the organization that had a sidewalk completed from the city limits of Mt. Sterling to the entrance of Olive Hill Cemetery. James Avenue in Mt. Sterling was named in his honor. James E. Magowan is buried in the Lincoln View Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, KY.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Communities, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Carpenters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Notary Public, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Meaux Settlement (Anderson County, KY)
Meaux Settlement was an African American community established in Anderson County, KY, by Jane Anderson Meaux. The community was established prior to Meaux's death in 1844, and is mentioned on p.205, v.4 of History of Kentucky by W. E. Connelley and E. M. Coulter. All of her slaves were to be freed if they agreed to go live in Liberia, Africa. Those who refused were to remain enslaved after her death. James M. Priest, who would become Vice President of Liberia in 1864, had been one of Meaux's slaves. The Anderson County community was still known as Meaux Settlement in 1913 [source: "Historic Happenings in Kentucky," Lexington Leader, 02/02/1913, p.1]. For more see "To Liberia," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1909, p. 9.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Anderson County, Kentucky

Migration to Kentucky District of Detroit, MI
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1950
Beginning in 1860, the majority of the African American population that had migrated to Detroit lived on the eastside of the city. A large number of the residents had been born in Kentucky, which is how a portion of the eastside became known as the Kentucky District. In addition, according to author B. R. Leashore, in 1860 almost two-thirds of the African American females living as domestics with white families were also from Kentucky. By 1910, those who could afford better housing left the overcrowded district and moved north of Kentucky Street to a middle-class area. The poorer African Americans and Polish residents were left in the Kentucky District, located on Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois Streets, between St. Antoine and Hastings. The streets did not extend to the thoroughfare that led to the more illustrious neighborhoods until the 1950s. The Kentucky District had the worst housing and sanitation in Detroit, and the area was filled with saloons, prostitution houses, and alley vice. The more desperate families had built old sheds or moved stables into the alleys that had been service-ways to the stables and used for the removal of ashes, trash, and garbage. A school was built in the area so that the nearby schools would not be integrated with the children from the Kentucky District. For more see B. R. Leashore, "Black female workers: live-in domestics in Detroit, Michigan, 1860-1880," Phylon, vol. 45, issue 2, (2nd Qtr., 1984), pp. 111-120; Before the Ghetto, by D. M. Katzman; and Residential Mobility of Negroes in Detroit 1837-1965, by D. R. Deskins, Jr.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Detroit, Michigan / Kentucky

Monroe County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Monroe County is located in south-central Kentucky on the Tennessee state line and is bordered by four Kentucky counties. It was formed in 1820 from portions of Barren and Cumberland Counties and is named for James Monroe, fifth president of the United States. Tompkinsville, which became the county seat in 1820, is named for Daniel Tompkins, who was Vice President during the Monroe administration. Tompkinsville was first known as Watson's Store, founded in 1809, receiving its present name in 1819. The land for the town was owned by Thomas B. Monroe, a cousin of President James Monroe. The 1820 county population was 723 [heads of households], according to the U.S. Federal Census, and the population increased to 7,629 by 1860, excluding the slaves. Below are the number of slave owners, slaves, and free Blacks and Mulattoes for 1850-1870.

1850 Slave Schedule

  • 190 slave owners
  • 697 Black slaves
  • 134 Mulatto slaves
  • 17 free Blacks [most with last names Fulkes and Howard]
  • 7 free Mulattoes [last names Speakman, Page, Kingrey, Fulkes, and Bedford]

1860 Slave Schedule

  • 200 slave owners
  • 775 Black slaves
  • 150 Mulatto slaves
  • 9 free Blacks [last names Howard, 1 Jackson, 1 Taylor]
  • 9 free Mulattoes [most with last name Speakman, 2 Howard, 1 Colter, 1 Chism]

1870 U.S. Federal Census

  • 599 Blacks
  • 143 Mulattoes
  • About 15 U.S. Colored Troops listed Monroe County, KY as their birth location.

Freetown

  • Around 1845, Freetown (or Free-town) was established for the freed slaves of William Howard, a wealthy slave owner in Monroe County. Freetown was the first African American community in the county, established on the land that had been provided by William Howard. A roadside historical marker has been placed near the Mount Vernon Church, which also served as a school for the Freetown community. There is also a cemetery near the church.

 
For more see Monroe County in The Kentucky Encyclopedia, edited by J. E. Kleber; South Central Kentucky Vital Statistics, by M. B. Gorin; The Saga of Coe Ridge, by W. L. Montell; Black Heritage Sites, by N. C. Curtis; and the Cora Mae Howard oral history interview by James Kelly Shirley (FA 474), at Western Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M]
Geographic Region: Monroe County, Kentucky

Mountain Island (Owen County, KY)
Start Year : 1850
Mountain Island, in Owen County, KY, was an early white settlement, beginning in the late 1700s. At that time, the area was located in Scott County [Owen County would not be formed until 1819]. Mountain Island is located where Eagle Creek forks into two branches, reconvening on the other side of the island. James Herndon, a bachelor, owned a mill, tavern, and slaves on the island. Flooding, which washed out the roads leading to the island, had begun to make it less ideal as a community. In 1850, Herndon, who still lived on the island, began the attempt to emancipate his slaves, as his sister, Susan Herndon Rogers, had done, but his case was stalled in the courts. The slaves would not be freed until after James Herndon's death in 1853. His will not only freed his 23 slaves but also left them and their heirs Herndon's estate, 125 acres on Mountain Island. The land was to be theirs forever, as stated in Herndon's will. Neighbors put up the security bonds required by Kentucky law for each freed slave. The former slaves had the last names of Carroll, Vinegar, Smith, and Warfield. This entry was suggested by Yvonne Giles. For more see Mountain Island In Owen County, Kentucky: the settlers and their churches, by J. C. Bryant.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Mountain Island, Owen County, Kentucky

"Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region" by P. C. Smith
Start Year : 1972
Several African American communities discussed in this work are listed in the NKAA Database. Other communities mentioned in the work are: Brentsville, Centerville, and Clintonville (all in Bourbon County); Dixtown and Keene (both in Jessamine County); Frogtown, Jimtown, Jonestown, and Willa Lane (all in Fayette County); Davistown, Huntertown, and Russelltown (all in Woodford County); Pea RidgeWatkinsville, and Zion Hill (all in Scott County); and Hootentown and Peytontown (both in Madison County). Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms is available at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Negro Hamlets (photography)
Start Year : 2001
While working on a horse racing research project, photographer Sarah Hoskins learned of the Negro Hamlets in the Bluegrass area of Kentucky. Since 2001, she has been photographing the hamlets around Lexington, Kentucky. The hamlets were developed after the Civil War and the emancipation of Kentucky slaves; a track of land would be divided into lots that were sold or given to former slaves who were employed by the land owner. For some, the land owner was also the former slave owner. By Hoskins earlier count, there are 29 remaining hamlets. She had taken about 11,000 black and white photographs of the area and the people who lived in the hamlets. By 2010, Hoskins was at the end of the project. For more about Hoskins' project see C. Gibson, "A very living past," American Legacy, 2005, vol. 11, issue 2, pp. 34-36, 40, 42; and Photographer finds kinship with a Black homeplace at NPR, April 2010 [NPR Story audio and The Home Place video].
Access Interview


Subjects: Communities, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Negro Village Site (Marshall County, KY)
Start Year : 1938
The Negro Village Site was part of the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Kentucky Dam Project. The following information comes from the Forrest C. Pogue Public History Institute (website removed), by Bill Mulligan at Murray State University (KY). Kentucky Dam Village is located in Gilbertsville, KY, and the Kentucky Dam Village District is part of the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park. During the late 1930s, the workers' villages were constructed for the TVA's Kentucky Dam Project. The Negro Village was established in 1938 and removed after the dam was completed in 1945. The temporary homes had been built by Negro builders at Pickwick Landing Dam and barged downstream to the Kentucky Dam. The local people did not want the community to become a long term addition to the county. There were 19 homes, a recreation building, two dormitories and a school, which was a converted farm house. The dormitories were under-utilized, and there were not enough homes because the workers brought their families with them. Some of the families found housing in nearby towns. The village was placed away from the white village, which was in accordance with TVA policy to help keep peace between the races. Nonetheless, there were racial and social tensions between the Black and white workers, so much so that complaints were filed by the local Black Chapter of the Hod Carriers Union. Louisville had one of the largest chapters of the union, which was dominated by African Americans. The Black chapters of the Hod Carrier Unions supported the employment rights of the African American workers on TVA dam projects. In 1940 there were two fights that led to the Thanksgiving Strike that shut down the project for three days. Three workers were fired, but after reconciliations, the men were rehired. For more information, visit the Forrest C. Pogue Public History Institute site or contact the Murray State University Libraries or the Tennessee Valley Authority. See E. L. Rousey, "The Worker's life at Kentucky Dam, 1938-1945," Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 71, issue 3 (1997), pp. 347-366.
Subjects: Communities, Parks, Union Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Gilbertsville and Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Marshall County, Kentucky

New Kentucky, Chatham Township, Canada
Start Year : 1860
Author R. W. Winks described New Kentucky as one of the short-lived all-Negro towns established by escaped slaves from border states. The town, established in 1860, was located in Canada. An earlier town named Kentucky was established in Canada in the early 1800s. For more see p. 245 of Blacks in Canada: a history, by R. W. Winks; and mention of the town at the website Kentiana: Negro Colonies in Kent County, by V. Lauriston.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: New Kentucky, Chatham Township, Canada (no longer exists)

New Zion, Kentucky
Start Year : 1868
In 1868, Calvin Hamilton and Primus Keene bought 23 acres and sold plots to other freemen; this area developed into the community of Briar Hill, KY, later named New Zion. The community is located in southern Scott County and extends into Fayette County. Family members of Hamilton and Keene still live in New Zion. The community has a Kentucky Historical Marker [number 1938]. For more see M. Davis, "Settlement tales part of Fayette heritage," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/10/1999, KyLife section, p. J1.

See Kentucky Historical Marker #1938
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: [Briar Hill] New Zion, Scott County and Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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

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

Parker, Noah
Birth Year : 1850
Noah Parker was an African American minister born in Kentucky around 1850 to Cato and Winnie Parker. Noah Parker died after 1880, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, he was a preacher. In the rural area of Clintonville, Kentucky, in the late 1800s it was rare to find an African American male listed with an occupation other than farm hand or laborer. Clintonville, KY. was established around 1800 by George and John Stipp. First known as Stipp's Crossroads, this community was later named Clintonville in 1831. Noah Parker was instrumental in organizing the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church that is located on Clintonville Road. The actual congregation was formed in 1860 by residents of what would become the community of Boonetown, an African American community also located on Clintonville Road. The land was given to local African Americans after the Civil War by George Boone. Noah Parker was the first minister to this religious group of African Americans, even before there was a church building. Around 1873, the residents of Boonetown built the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. According to population statistics from the 1870 U.S. Federal Census there were approximately 339 blacks and mulattoes in the Clintonville, KY precinct. This population number grew to approximately 446 by 1880 according to the U.S.Federal Census. Today the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church is still in the original building and, according to Mrs. Ora Mae Jacobs, the eldest member of the church, there is still a small and active congregation. Few personal or historical facts have been found about Noah Parker. However, he was an early African American minister who showed leadership skills and was able to read and write. Led by men of such strong leadership, it was not uncommon for African American churches to become the foundation for early black schools in rural areas of Kentucky. Churches such as Pleasant Valley Baptist Church served as a benevolent organization, caring for the ill and indigent, and a meeting place to discuss community issues.

Sources: 1870 and 1880 U. S. Federal Census for Bourbon County, KY; Kentucky Place Names by Robert M. Rennick; Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky by Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc. and The Kentucky Heritage Council; Interview with William Brown of Paris, KY; oral history interview with Ora Mae Jacobs, longtime resident of Clintonville, KY; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891 by Marion B. Lucas. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library.
Subjects: Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: (Boonetown) Clintonville, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Penny, Joe [Pennytown, Missouri]
Birth Year : 1812
Pennytown was located eight miles southeast of Marshall, Missouri; it had been established by Kentucky native and ex-slave, Joe Penny. In 1850, Penny arrived in Missouri, and in the 1860s he purchased eight acres for $160. He settled on a portion of the land and further divided the remainder into lots that were sold to other African American settlers. Joe Penny had come to Missouri as the slave of Jackson Bristol, and later became a free man. He married Harriett Butler, born 1815 in Virginia. In 1880, the Pennys were a family of seven that included Harriett's children and grandchildren, and Joe was a farmer, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The Pennytown community continued to grow as adjoining land was purchased by other African Americans. By 1900, 40 families lived in the 64-acre community with a total population of 200. There were two churches, lodges, a school and a store. The community ceased growing after a few decades, and families began to leave Pennytown for better jobs and educational opportunities in nearby cities. The last family left in 1943, and the older residents left behind eventually died. Today, the one remaining building is the First Freewill Baptist Church. Every year a reunion of Pennytown descendants is held at the church, a tradition that began at the end of World War II. The compiler of the community history collection was Josephine Jackson Lawrence (1929 - 1992); the collection is housed in the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection - Columbia at the University of Missouri. See also Pennytown, by the Friends of Pennytown.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennytown, Saline County, Missouri (no longer exists)

Petersburg (Jefferson County, KY)
Located on Shepherdsville Road in Louisville, KY, the community was known as Wet Woods, a swampy area that was settled by Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis in the 1820s, 1830s, or possibly the 1850s. Tevis had been a slave on the Hundley Plantation, and after she was freed she was the first to purchase land in what would become Petersburg. The community got its name from Peter Laws, who purchased land in Wet Woods and settled in the area at the end of the Civil War. Soon afterwards other freed slaves built homes in the area. In the 1830s, German immigrants had settled in Newburg, the community just south of Petersburg. Over time the entire area became known as Newburg, and with residential and commercial growth and urban renewal, the community was greatly expanded to include more than 3,000 African American residents. For more see E. Sheryl, "19th Century Louisville: Free Black Hamlets," The Courier-Journal, 05/19/2004, Neighborhoods section, p.01A; and Eliza Curtis Hundley Tevis entry in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom
Geographic Region: Petersburg/Newburg, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Petersburg (Mercer County, KY)
The community, named for Peter Board, was an African American community located near Fort Harrod in what is known today as Nevada, KY. Petersburg was established by Sally and Peter Board, former slaves who were able to purchase their freedom but not their children's freedom. The land for the community came from Sally's father and owner, Phillip Board. In 1878, all of the residents left Petersburg and moved to Kansas, participating in the Exoduster Movement. For more see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Petersburg / Nevada, Old Fort Harrod State Park, Mercer County, Kentucky / Kansas

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

Pricetown, Nihizertown, and Centerville (Fayette County, KY)
Located on Todds Road in Fayette County, the Pricetown land was divided into lots by owner Dr. S. Price. The lots were sold to African Americans at the end of the Civil War. The exact date the community was established is not known, though there are records in the Fayette County deed books as early as 1873. A church was established in 1881. Nihizertown and Centerville are adjoining communities to Pricetown, and the three combined communities had more than 100 people at one time. For more see Negro Hamlets and Gentlemen Farms: a dichotomous rural settlement pattern in Kentucky's Bluegrass Region, by P. C. Smith; and Historical Communities Near Lexington, a Bluegrass Community & Technical College website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky

Roberts Settlement (Indiana)
Start Year : 1800
Roberts Settlement is one of several African American farm neighborhoods formed in the early 1800s. The community of Roberts was named for the family members who were free-born early pioneers of the Roberts family from Northampton County, NC. They began settling in Indiana in the 1830s, and by the 1870s others had joined them, both free-born and ex-slaves from Kentucky and North Carolina. Those from Kentucky included Jacob Davis, who owned 130 acres in Roberts Settlement, and landowners John Roads and Edmund Hurley. For more see Southern Seed, Northern Soil, by S. A. Vincent; and H. Wiley, "Keeping history alive," The Indianapolis Star [online at Indystar.com], 01/31/1993.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Roberts Settlement, Indiana / Northampton County, North Carolina / Kentucky

Rounds, Ned and Ellen [Honey Island, Mississippi]
Ned (1825 - ?) and Ellen (1835 - died between 1880 and 1900) were slaves born in Kentucky and were either sold or taken down South. They were owned by Peter James, Sr. and lived on the Stonewall Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. After he was freed, Ned Rounds became one of the largest landowners in the community he helped found, Honey Island, MS. Ned could not read or write, but he could count: he served as a banker for residents of Honey Island. He was a wealthy man who had been a slave and was the son of slaves who were also born in Kentucky. By 1910, the succeeding generation of the Rounds family had heavily mortgaged the land. The family wealth was lost and family members began leaving Honey Island, moving to northern locations. For more on the history of the Rounds family see Honey Island, by J. Hunter.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Communities, Freedom, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Honey Island, Mississippi

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

 

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

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

Salsbury Free Negro Settlement (Muhlenberg County, KY)
Start Year : 1860
The community was located south of Greenville, KY. Thomas (d. 1848) and Rebecca Salsbury (d. 1860) had willed the land to their former slaves, and soon to be freed slaves, who were age 25 or older. The Salsbury's had no children. All of the former slaves who received land had the last name Salsbury. In total, there was 560 acres. Most of the land was eventually sold to whites as the African American Salsbury family members left the settlement. Thomas and Rebecca Salsbury also sent some of their freed slaves to the Republic of Liberia. Dr. Guy Otha Saulsberry was a descendant of the Salsbury slaves. For more see Around Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, A Black History, by L. S. Smith (the book covers 1795 to 1979); and Searching for the Roots, Grafting the Branches: the Saulsbury [sic] Family of Kentucky, a Black History of Roots Lost in Slavery (thesis), by C. S. Johnson.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats
Geographic Region: Salsbury Free Negro Settlement, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky (no longer exists)

Sanctified Hill (Cumberland, KY)
In 1972, families of the African American community Sanctified Hill lost their homes and investments in a mudslide. Neighbors described how the homes started to come apart, basements sunk into the mud, and the entire community began to slide downhill toward a white neighborhood. The homeowners were ordered to evacuate the area. Insurance companies called the incident an act of God, which meant the homeowners could not file claims. The homeowners said the incident was the result of neglect: with heavy rains, the abandoned underground coal mine tunnels had collapsed and caused the slide. City officials determined that there was not enough destruction to warrant natural disaster assistance. The homeowners formed the Sanctified Hill Disaster Committee and took their cases to Washington, D.C. They spoke with the President of the United States and his aides, and federal funding was appropriated from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Thirty-two homes and 10 housing units [debt free] were built on land located in Cumberland that was leased from the University of Kentucky. The new community was named Pride Terrace. In 2007, the Cumberland City Council reviewed a 2005 draft proposal asking that Sanctified Hill be used as a campground for ATVs and other recreational and all-terrain vehicles. For more see A. Portelli, "Between Sanctified Hill and Pride Terrace: urban ideas and rural working-class experience in black communities in Harlan County, Kentucky," Storia Nordamericana, issue 7, no. 2 (1990), pp. 51-63; C. Hoffman, "Appalachian Scene: a voice for Appalachia," Appalachia Magazine, January-June 2003 [available online at the ARC website]; and D. Lee-Sherman, "Council rejects dispatching services – Special meeting planned to discuss allowing ATV traffic in Cumberland," Harlan Daily Enterprise, 02/15/2007, News section, p. 1. Also see the entry for Mattye Knight.
Subjects: Communities, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Cumberland, Harlan County, Kentucky

Shake Rag (Bowling Green, KY)
The Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, KY, was an African American community with families, schools, businesses, and churches. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The community was settled by former slaves, families and soldiers who had fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. A large portion of Bowling Green's domestic employees lived in Shake Rag. The Southern Queen Hotel and Covington-Moses home, located in Shake Rag at 140 State Street, is still the only African-owned hotel in Bowling Green. It was built in 1906 by James Covington, and family members still live in the home. Prior to school integration, State Street High School was where African American students in Bowling Green attended school. In 2008, the 5th Annual Shake Rag Heritage Festival was held by the New Era Planning Association, an organization that is working to revitalize the Shake Rag District. For more see ShakeRag: a pictorial history from 1946 to 1967, by D. Thompson and K. R. Singleton; and the following articles from the Daily News (Bowling Green): J. Dooley, "Visitors' bureau highlights Shakerag area," 10/08/2002, News section; A. Carmichael, "Shake Rag looks toward resurgence," 08/17/2003, News section; A. Harvey, "Shake Rag's festival returns - fifth annual event pays tribute to BG's historic black area," 05/15/2008, Feature section; and B. Speakman, "Celebrating Shake Rag," 05/17/2008, (bgdailynews.com).
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Bed & Breakfast, Hotels, Inns, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shake Rag (Bowling Green), Warren County, Kentucky

Shankle, James and Winnie [Shankleville, Texas]
James Shankle (1811 - 1887), born in Kentucky, was the husband of Winnie (1814 - 1883), born in Tennessee; they were both the slaves of Isaac Rollins in Wayne County, Mississippi. Winnie and her children by Isaac Rollins were sold, and James Shankle became a fugitive when he went looking for them. After many months of searching, he found them in Texas, and Winnie's new owner also purchased James. After they became free, James and Winnie bought land and founded the African American town of Shankleville. They would become the parents of six more children, one of whom married Stephen McBride, founder of McBride College, which was located in Shankleville. The school existed from 1883 to 1909. For more see Shankleville, Texas, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; and "James and Winnie Brush Shankle" in vol. 7 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tennessee / Wayne County, Mississippi / Shankleville, Texas

Sleettown (Perryville, KY)
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1931
Sleettown was an African American community developed after the Civil War on 96-acres near Perryville, KY. During the war, the land had been used as a staging ground for the Confederate Army during the Battle of Perryville, the largest Civil War battle in Kentucky. The history of Sleettown was collected and written by Perryville Mayor Anne Sleet and Mary Q. Kerbaugh. The Sleet Family's earliest known ancestors were Warner and Octavia Sleet. Their sons, Henry, Preston, and George, led in the development of Sleettown. The community had a general store, eating places, and a cemetery. As younger residents began leaving for employment in the city, the population steadily decreased until the last person left Sleettown in 1931; only one old house remains standing. Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Moneta Sleet was a member of the Sleettown family. In 2007, the Kentucky Parks Department purchased the land where Sleettown had existed. The site will be used to tell the history of both the Battle of Perryville and Sleettown. For more see A. Jester, "Sleettown tells a part of the tale," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/30/2001, KyLife section, p. J3; G. Kocher, "Perryville's next mayor - Anne Sleet adds new chapter to family's proud history in Boyle County," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/27/2006, Main News section, p. A1; and "Sleettown to become part of historic site," Lexington Herald-Leader, City&Region section, p. B3.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Parks
Geographic Region: Sleettown [no longer exists] and Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Smith, James T. "Jimmy"
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1999
James T. Smith, born in Maceo, KY, was a national track athlete in Indiana and was considered by some to be the best black long distance runner in the United States. Smith attended high school in Evanston, IL, and in 1934, became a student at Indiana University. He was not an outstanding track athlete in high school, but he excelled in college. James T. Smith was a member of the four mile relay team and set the national collegiate record by running his leg in 4 minutes and 14 seconds. In 1936, he set the mile record at the Indiana State Intercollegiate Track Meet with a time of 4 minutes and 11 seconds; it was the Indiana collegiate record for 29 years. Smith also won the National Junior A. A. U. Cross Country Championship his freshman year. He was the co-captain of the Indiana University Cross Country Team and was a member of the All-American Cross Country Team. He was selected for the Big Ten All-Star Track Team. In 1938, he broke the Big Ten record for the two mile run. James T. Smith's college track coach was E. C. Hayes. The Achievement Commission of Kappa Alpha Psi awarded James T. Smith the Gold Key for outstanding achievement by an undergraduate member of the fraternity. Smith put himself through college by working at various jobs on and off campus. He was a business major and graduate from Indiana University in 1938. He became a public accountant and was owner of Smith's Big 10 Grocery. His brother Lannie Smith assisted him with his grocery business. James T. Smith was the first president of the black organization the Indy Trade Association. In 1982, he graduated from Christian Theological Seminary and became an associate pastor at the Light of the World Christian Church. In 1998, James T. Smith graduate from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH, with a doctorate of ministry. For more see C. B. Ashanin, "Thankful for the life of Rev. James T. Smith," Indianapolis Star, 12/25/1999, p.A22; J. Cebula, "Ministry born of little sister's suffering," Indianapolis Star, 12/12/1998, p.D8; "Rev. James T. Smith to be honored," Indianapolis Recorder, 05/04/1985, p.10; R. Woods, "Grocers love for people makes successful business," Indianapolis Recorder, 01/15/1966, p.11; see 'Now there is Jimmy Smith...' in the article "World of Sports" by Frank M. Davis in the Plaindealer [Kansas], 05/07/1937, p.3; see 'The Achievement Commission...' in the article "Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity discusses national problems at conclave," Negro Star, 01/15/1937, p.3; "Smith looms out as a formidable candidate for Indiana University track," Indianapolis Recorder, 11/24/1934, p.2; and G. J. Fleming, "After Jimmy graduates, what?," The Crisis, August 1938, v.45, no.8, pp.264 & 277.



*Maceo, Kentucky was settled after the Civil War by former slaves, according to author Robert M. Rennick. The land was provided by the freedmen's former owners. One of the earlier names of the community was Powers Station in honor of Colonel J. D. Powers of Owensboro. In 1897, the community was renamed Maceo for Capt. Alonzo Maceo who was a Cuban mulatto killed during the Cuban revolt against Spain. Source: Kentucky Place Names by R. M. Rennick, p.183.

Subjects: Businesses, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Communities, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Maceo, Daviess County, Kentucky / Evanston, Illinois / Indianapolis, Indiana

Smithtown (Lexington, KY)
The community, developed by African Americans at the end of the Civil War, is bordered by North Broadway, West Fourth, Jefferson, and West Sixth Streets. John Shelby, former Los Angeles Dodgers first base coach, grew up in Smithtown. 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.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Smithtown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Stoney Point (Warren County, KY)
Start Year : 1848
According to author J. W. Cooke, the African American community of Stoney Point actually began in 1848 when John White died; six of his slaves were freed, and they were allotted land, livestock and other necessities needed to establish their independent livelihoods. In 1866, some of previously freed families were still living in the area that had become known as Stoney Point, though the boundaries of the community had continuously changed as lots and adjoining lands were bought and sold. Other former slaves from the local area who were Civil War veterans were among the new landowners. The Stoney Point Missionary Baptist Church was established in 1866 and also served as a school before the new schoolhouse was built in 1908. The schoolhouse was used for a couple of decades before it was closed and the children of Stoney Point began attending school in Smiths Grove. For more see J. W. Cooke, "Stoney Point, 1866-1969," The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 50, issue 4 (1976), pp. 337-352.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Stoney Point and Smiths Grove, Warren County, Kentucky

Stradford, John the Baptist "J. B."
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1935
Stradford was born a slave in Versailles, KY, the son of Julius Caesar Stradford. The J. B. Stradford family moved to Tulsa, OK, in 1899. J. B. was a graduate of Oberlin College and Indiana Law School. He and his wife, Augusta, had lived in several cities, including Lawrenceburg, KY, before settling in Tulsa. J. B. became the richest African American in Tulsa via his rooming house, rental properties, and the largest African American-owned hotel in the United States. He initiated the development of Greenwood, a prosperous neighborhood referred to as "the Black Wall Street." By 1920 the political, racial, and economic times were on a downward turn in Tulsa. On May 30, 1921, a story circulated that an African American man had assaulted a white woman, and there were rumors of a lynching. The next day Whites and African Americans armed themselves and met outside the Tulsa County Courthouse. A scuffle led to an exchange of gunfire and the beginning of the infamous Tulsa Race Riot. All 35 blocks of Greenwood were burnt to the ground. It was one of the worst riots in the nation's history. Twenty African American men, including J. B. Stradford, were indicted for starting the riot. Stradford jumped bail and left Tulsa. He later became a successful lawyer in Chicago. In 1996, the charges were officially dropped against Stradford. For more see "Oklahoma Clears Black in Deadly 1921 Race Riot," New York Times, 10/26/1996, p. 8; and Death in a Promised Land: the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, by S. Ellsworth.


   See Tulsa Race Riot Photographs at the University of Tulsa Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Lawyers, Migration West, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Tulsa, Oklahoma / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

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

Taylortown (Lexington, KY)
The community was developed in the late 1860s, growing to encompass lots on Margaret Wickliffe Preston's property. Preston was the widow of William Preston. In 1889, two years after her husband's death, Preston sold lots at the front of her property. Her home and the lots were bound by Jefferson, Second, Third, and Georgetown Streets. 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; and Property Owned by Margaret Wickliffe Preston (1819-1898) of Kentucky, a KCTC website.
Subjects: Communities
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Uttingertown-Columbus (Lexington, KY)
Both towns were developed for African Americans after the Civil War. Uttingertown was created in 1869 when Samuel Uttinger divided his land to sell it in lots. In May 2005 the Union Benevolent Society (UBS) Lodge #28, located on Uttingertown Lane, was restored by the UK's Center for Historic Architecture and Preservation with a grant from the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission. Columbus was developed when Clarence H. Crimm divided his land and sold it in lots in 1893. The towns are located off Royster Road in Lexington. For more see Project Completed in Uttingertown, by the University of Kentucky Public Relations; and Historical Communities Near Lexington.
Subjects: Communities, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Zion Hill (Scott County, KY)
Also referred to as a village, Zion Hill is located in the southern part of Scott County off of Paynes Depot Road, near the Woodford/Fayette County line. The community was developed prior to the end of slavery, according to Ponice Raglin Cruse, a former resident and collector of the community's history. Lenerson was the original name of the community. The land had been deeded to the African American residents by a farm and slave owner named Harris, who was from Virginia. Lenerson grew to include over 200 acres with approximately 45 homes and two stores, one of which housed the post office that existed from 1900-1903. With a population of 250 or more persons, it remained a fairly well-off African American community until the late 1990s. Whitney Young, Sr. attended the colored grade school in Lenerson; later the community had a one-room schoolhouse, Rosenwald School. It is thought that the community name was changed to Zion Hill while the post office was still in operation, perhaps around the time that the original Zion Hill Baptist Church was constructed. In 1945, the Zion Hill Rosenwald School was closed and the children were bused to the White Sulfur Elementary School and the Ed Davis High School, both in Scott County (see Betty W. Davis). Today, Zion Hill receives phone service from Fayette County; mail from Woodford County; and water, police, and fire department services from Scott County. Information submitted by Ponice Raglin Cruse and her father Reverend Floyd B. Raglin. Contact Ms. Cruse about pictures, deeds, and other historical information pertaining to Zion Hill.
Subjects: Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Zion Hill (Lenerson), Scott County, Kentucky

 

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