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African American Cemeteries Online - Kentucky
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: 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 Cemetery No. 2 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1869
End Year : 1976
The cemetery has been located at 419 E. 7th Street since 1869 when, according to The Kentucky Leader (02/03/1892), the Union Benevolent Society No. 2 formed "to take care of the sick, bury the dead and perform other deeds of charity." The organization purchased four acres in November 1869; the charter from the Legislature permitted the operation of a cemetery in 1870. In 1875 another four acres were purchased. The official name of the cemetery became Benevolent Society No. 2 of Lexington, Kentucky. Well over 6,000 men, women, and children are interred in the cemetery, and 100 have been identified as U.S. Colored Troops of the Civil War. The information in this entry comes from African American Cemetery No. 2, a flier published by African Cemetery No. 2, Inc. (Feb. 2005). Board member Yvonne Giles has been researching the history of the cemetery and completed the publication titled Stilled Voices Yet Speak in 2009. There is also a film about the cemetery titled Eight Acres of History: Lexington's African Cemetery No.2, produced by the Lexington Public Library Cable Channel 20. For more information about the cemetery, Juneteenth celebrations, and other events, see African Cemetery No. 2 or contact the African Cemetery No. 2, Inc., P. O. Box 54874, Lexington, Kentucky 40555. See also S. Lannen, "Reliving Slavery," Lexington Herald Leader, 6/19/05, City&Region section, p.B1; and M. Riegert and A. Turkington, "Setting stone decay in a cultural context: conservation at the African Cemetery No. 2, Lexington, Kentucky, USA," Building and Environment, vol. 38, issues 9-10 (September-October 2003), pp. 1105-1111.



*NOTE: There are five subpages at the African Cemetery No.2 website: A Brief History ; Grave Markers - Names A-Z ; Horsemen Names ; Newsletter ; Veterans.

 

 
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Benevolent Societies, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Allensworth, James L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1922
Reverend James L. Allensworth, Sr. was a pastor, veteran, and respected man; he was also the first African American coroner in Hopkinsville, KY. He owned a single lot of land on Lovier Street, according to the city property tax list for 1893 and 1894. He was manager of the Good Samaritan Association in Hopkinsville [see NKAA entry Colored Lodges - Hopkinsville, KY]. He was editor of The Baptist Monitor newspaper while it was located in Hopkinsville [source: "Papers published by Negroes" in Chapter 13 of A History of Christian County Kentucky, by C. M. Meacham]. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1905, he ran for re-election as the county coroner, and his son James Allensworth, Jr. (1872-1927), was named for the position of constable [source: "Nominated for magistrate, and Jim Allensworth, Jr., for constable," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 09/12/1905, p. 1]. Allensworth, Sr. was re-elected as coroner in 1905 and 1909 [source: "Slate went through easy," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 04/27/1909, p. 1]. He was first elected to the position of coroner in 1894 and in 1895 held an inquest into the death of a man who was hit by a train while walking down the tracks [source: "A stranger killed," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 01/22/1895, p. 1]. He is listed among Christian County's first elected Negro officials [see NKAA entry], and he served as the coroner of Hopkinsville until 1920. Rev. Allensworth's duties included cutting down the bodies of lynched persons and burying them, one case being that of "Booker" Brame, who was said to have been lynched by an unknown party [source: "Coroner cuts down body," Springfield Sun, 04/19/1909, p. 1]. Rev. Allensworth was the husband of Gracie McComb Allensworth; they married in May of 1899 [source: "County Corner weds," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 06/02/1899, p. 5]. Gracie McComb Allesnworth is listed on James's military pension record. His previous wife was Minerva Perkins Allensworth. Rev. Allensworth, his wife, and their four children are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Rev. Allensworth was a Civil War veteran, having served with the 13th Heavy Artillery division of the U.S. Colored Troops. According to his enlistment record, James L. Allensworth, Sr. was born in Christian County, KY, around 1845; he enlisted in Bowling Green, KY, on September 24, 1864. He may have been a slave prior to enlisting in the military; his parents were listed as unknown on his death certificate.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Atkins, Charles "Speedy"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1928
He was known as "Speedy" because he was a very fast tobacco worker. He has also been referred to as Henry Atkins in print publications. His grave marker reads Charles Atkins, 1875-1928. Atkins had moved to Paducah, Kentucky, from Tennessee, and one day while fishing he drowned in the Ohio River. His body was turned over to African American funeral home director A. Z. Hamock, who prepared Atkins' body with an experimental super-preservative. The experiment left Atkins body mummified. Pleased with the results, Hamock put the mummified Atkins on display. It was not until 1994 that Atkins was finally buried in Maplelawn Cemetery in Paducah. Numerous television programs and newspapers around the country have highlighted the story of Speedy Atkins. For more see Charles Atkins at Find A Grave.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Tennessee / Ohio River

Aunt Charlotte and King Solomon
Aunt Charlotte was a slave brought to Lexington, KY, in the late 1700s. She was freed and inherited property after her owners died. She supported herself by selling fruit and baked goods at the open market. She and William "King" Solomon had known each other in Virginia, and Aunt Charlotte's story is tied to his in the literature. Solomon was a white vagrant who supported his drinking with wages earned as a digger of cisterns, graves, and cellars. In the spring of 1833, as punishment for his vagrancy, local officials put Solomon up for sale as a slave for one year; at the end of that year he was to return to court. Aunt Charlotte purchased Solomon for $13; she outbid two medical students who were investing in a future cadaver. Aunt Charlotte set Solomon free, and he promptly managed to get liquor, later making his way back to Aunt Charlotte's home, where he passed out on a Thursday. He woke on a Saturday to find that many had died or were dying of cholera while others were evacuating the city. Aunt Charlotte was preparing to leave, but when Solomon refused to go, she would not leave him. People were dying quicker than they were being buried--the gravediggers had deserted the city. Solomon took up his shovel and began burying the dead. His dedication probably prevented further spread of the disease. Both Solomon and Aunt Charlotte survived the epidemic. When Solomon returned to court, the judge shook his hand and others thanked him for his heroic deeds. Solomon died in the poorhouse in 1854; he is buried in the Lexington Cemetery. In 1908 a large tombstone was placed at his grave. It is not known what became of Aunt Charlotte. For more see "King Solomon of Kentucky" in Flute and Violin and other Kentucky Tales, by J. L. Allen; and "King Solomon, Heroic Gravedigger" in Offbeat Kentuckians, by K. McQueen.
Subjects: Alcohol, Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Virginia

Ballard, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1954
William Henry Ballard, born in Franklin County, KY, was one of the first African Americans to open a drug store in the state: Ballard's Pharmacy was established in Lexington, KY, in 1893. Ballard was also a historian; he is the author of History of Prince Hall Freemasonry in Kentucky, published in 1950. He came to Lexington when he was 17 years old, having previously lived in Louisville where he graduated from a public school. He was also a graduate of Roger Williams University [in TN]. Ballard was a school teacher in Tennessee and in Kentucky. He earned his B.S. in Pharm., D. in 1892 in Evanston, IL. In addition to owning his own drug store, Ballard was also director of Domestic Realty Company, and president of Greenwood Cemetery Company, both in Lexington. He served as president of the Emancipation and Civic League, and was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1898. He was the son of Matilda Bartlett Ballard and Dowan Ballard, Sr. He was married to Bessie H. Brady Ballard, and the couple had six children. Their oldest son, William H. Ballard, Jr. was a pharmacist in Chicago, and two of their sons were physicians. William H. Ballard is buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington, KY [photo]. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; W. H. Ballard, "Drugs and druggists," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 10th Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, August 18-20, 1909, reel 2, frames 186-189; and Dr. William Henry Ballard, Sr. in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Negro Business League, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Barlow, William D.
Barlow, from Summer Shade, KY, was a caretaker and Baptist minister. In 1970 he became the first African American elected to office in Metcalfe County, serving as a constable. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 3, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky

Bentley, Denise
Bentley is from Louisville, KY. In 2002, she was the first African American woman to be elected President of the Louisville Board of Aldermen. Bentley was a mortician in California for 10 years prior to returning to Louisville. She served as Alderman of the 9th Ward, West End, in Louisville for eight years, 1997-2005. Bentley resigned from the council to serve as the liaison between the Louisville Metro and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government councils, a position within Governor Fletcher's administration. For more see J. Bruggers, "Bentley scores landslide over 2 Democratic foes," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 05/29/02, News section, p. 05A; SR50; and "Governor Ernie Fletcher Appoints Louisville Metro Council Woman," a Ky.gov Electronic Archives Press Release, 02/23/05.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bethea, Rainey
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1936
Rainey Bethea, an African American, was originally from Roanoke, Virginia. When he was 22 years old, he was charged with the murder and rape of a 70 year-old white woman in Owensboro, KY. He was convicted of rape, and on August 14, 1936, Bethea became the last person in the United States to be executed before the public. It was estimated that about 20,000 people were on hand to witness his hanging. An unsuccessful appeal for Bethea's life had been made by African American lawyers Charles Eubank Tucker, Stephen A. Burnley, Charles W. Anderson, Jr., Harry E. Bonaparte, and R. Everett Ray. Bethea's death warrant was signed by Governor Albert B. "Happy" Chandler. Rainey Bethea was buried in an unmarked grave in Owensboro. For more see The Last Public Execution in America, by P. T. Ryan; and K. Lawrence, "1936 Hanging remains last public execution," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/24/2004, Section S, p. 49; and listen to "Last public execution in America" and view the photo gallery on National Public Radio (NPR).

Access Interview
Subjects: Executions, Lawyers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Roanoke, Virginia

Bishop, Daisy H. and Charles Maceo
Daisy Carolyn Hitch Bishop (1897-1990) and Charles Maceo Bishop (1898-1990) resided in Paris, KY, for most of their lives. Daisy was born in Falmouth, KY, the daughter of Carrie B. and Edward J. Hitch. Charles, a musician, was born in Paris, the son of Georgie A. Small Bishop (1874-1953) and Charles W. Bishop (b. 1867). Charles Maceo was a World War I veteran. He and Daisy were married November 30, 1919, and initially lived with Daisy's family in Newtown, an African American community in Paris. Charles Maceo learned to play music while a student at Western School for Colored children in Paris. He played drums, saxophone, and piano. His mother, Georgie A. Small Bishop, encouraged him to play music; her father, George Small (1822-1879?), had also been a musician. He was killed when Georgie was a child and her mother, Martha Wallace Small (b. 1832), raised the family alone. At the age of 15, Charles Maceo began teaching music, saving $1,500 by the time he graduated from high school. His services were in demand throughout Central Kentucky, and he also performed in nearby states. Charles Maceo performed with local orchestras and with night club and gambling house bands in Bourbon County and surrounding counties. He played (volunteered) during services at the Martin and Hurley Funeral Home from the day the business opened up till the death of the owner. He also played for churches, at the insistence of his mother. Charles Maceo Bishop was organist for the St. Paul Methodist Church for more than 50 years, beginning in 1918. 

Read about the Access InterviewDaisy Carolyn Bishop oral history interview, and the Access Interview Charles Maceo Bishop oral history interview, both available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Black Herman's Actual Death
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1934
Black Herman was the stage name of Benjamin Rucker, an African American magician, illusionist, root doctor, and medicine man. He was born in Amherst, VA. He claimed his medicines could stamp the devil out of a tortured soul, and during his performance, a tortured soul from the audience (his brother or a friend), would drink the potion and be cured. Black Herman would hold up a snake or some other creature as proof of the devil's exit. Black Herman also performed stage illusions including his own death and resurrection. An audience would witness a supposedly dead Black Herman in a coffin, and when the coffin was being transported for burial, Black Herman would slip out of the coffin and leave town. When the coffin was retrieved from the ground a week or so later, Black Herman would arrange to get back into the coffin, and when the coffin was placed before an audience, he would step out of the coffin looking the picture of health. As he had claimed, some thought Black Herman was beyond death. However, on April 17, 1934, Black Herman was performing in Louisville, KY, when he collasped and died on stage. Some audience members refused to believe that he was actually dead, they expected him to reappear from his coffin in a week or so. According to his death certificate, Benjamin Rucker's body was received at Cooper Undertakers on W. Chestnut Street in Louisville. Once the body was prepared, there were so many viewers that the body was then taken to the train station where spectators could view the body for 10 cents per person before Rucker's body and coffin were taken by train to New York. The burial took place in Woodlawn Cemetery. Benjamin Rucker was the son of Pete and Louise Williams Rucker. For more see Black Herman's Secrets of Magic-mystery and Legerdemain by Black Herman; and the Black Herman entry in Vaudeville Old & New by F. Cullen et al.
Subjects: Hoaxes, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Amherst, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Botts, Henry [Bason]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1946
Henry Botts owned the first funeral home for African Americans in Montgomery County, KY, according to the Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, pp. 12-13. Henry Botts was a city councilman in Mt. Sterling, KY, in 1902, the year his wife, Sarah Davis Botts, died [source: "Deaths," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 11/26/1902, p. 7]. The couple had married in 1897, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, and both had children from their previous marriages: Henry's children, George Anne Botts, 14, and Callie May Botts, 9; and Sarah's daughter, Roberta Hammons, 6, and the son she had by Henry, Gunoa Hensley Botts, 2. Sarah Botts was buried in Olive Hill Cemetery in Mt. Sterling. She had been a school teacher in Bath, Bourbon, Clark, and Montgomery Counties, KY. Henry Botts next married Emma Oldham Botts, and they had a daughter named Fannie [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Henry Botts was a politician and a businessman. He and Peter Hensley were owners of the Montgomery Grocery Company [source: second notice under "Holiday presents," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/10/1901, p. 7]. In 1905, Henry Botts was selected to be the Montgomery County Coroner Republican candidate at the Montgomery County Republicans Convention; the selection was not well received by some in Montgomery County and nearby counties, and Botts declined the position, but his name remained on the straight ticket [source: articles in The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 08/30/1905 - "Republicans in convention," p. 2, "Notice," p. 3, and "The Negro and politics," 09/20/1905, p. 2]. By 1913, Henry Botts was one of two African American City Council members in Mt. Sterling, the other being Sanford Juett, who retired and was replaced by E. W. Stockton, also an African American [source: "Winchester's hysteria," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/10/1913, p. 8]. Botts and Stockton were councilmen of the third ward. Henry Botts retired as a councilman in 1919 [source: "Retired councilmen," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/22/1919, p. 17]. In 1914, Henry Botts had been one of the men from the C.M.E. Church to sign his name to a letter to the editor of the Mt. Sterling Advocate in an attempt to keep the peace between the races; there had supposedly been an earlier letter written by a colored person threatening harm to Mt. Sterling police in retaliation for the mistreatment of colored persons by members of the police force [source: "A letter from colored citizens," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 01/28/1914, p. 8]. By 1922, Henry Botts was having health problems and had to have one of his legs amputated below the knee [source: "A Correction," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 05/12/1921, p. 4]. The following year he was an elections officer while serving as an elections judge of the 3rd ward in Mt. Sterling [source: "Election officers," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 08/03/1992, p. 1]. According to his Kentucky death certificate (#27217), Henry Botts was born in Bath County, KY, on February 26, 1859, the son of Caroline Botts and Joseph Sunthimer. Henry Botts died December 19, 1946. Henry's mother, Caroline Botts, born around 1825 in Kentucky, was a free mulatto woman living in Bath County in 1850, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and she is listed in the 1870 Census with a son Henry's age, but with the name Bason [or Boson] Botts.
Subjects: Businesses, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Bath County, Kentucky / Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Breckinridge, Thomas, and Holmes - Undertakers (Xenia, OH)
Start Year : 1902
In 1902, three former teachers from Kentucky opened an undertaking business in Xenia, OH. One of the owners, Prof. A. W. Breckinridge (b. 1863 in Kentucky), had served as principal of the Colored schools in Midway, KY, for 17 years and was a former president of the Kentucky Colored Teachers Association [later named the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA)]. His wife, Annie, was a teacher at the school. Breckinridge had also owned a grocery store in Midway. A second owner, J. D. Thomas, had been a teacher in Kentucky colored schools for 20 years. He was the former assistant secretary of the Colored Fair Association of Bourbon County. The third owner, F. E. Holmes, had also taught school in Kentucky, but had left for employment with the U.S. Revenue Service. He was a graduate of the School of Embalming in Cincinnati. For more see "Interesting Doings in Colored Society," [Xenia] Daily Gazette, 07/03/1902, p. 2.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio

Brock, Richard
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1906
Richard Brock, born a slave in Kentucky, was given as a wedding present to the daughter of his master. The daughter moved to Houston, Texas, and brought Brock with her. Brock would become a leader in the Houston community: he owned a blacksmith business and became a land owner, he helped found two churches, and had part ownership of the Olivewood Cemetery. The cemetery was the first for African Americans within the Houston city limits. In 1870, Brock became the first African American Aldermen in the Houston city government. Brock is listed as a mulatto in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, and he and his wife Eliza (b.1837 in Alabama) were the parents of five children. They would have five more children. Richard Brock was co-founder of the first masonic lodge in Houston for African Americans and he helped found Emancipation Park. In 1900, Richard Brock was a widow living with three of his daughters and two grandchildren. The Richard Brock Elementary School in downtown Houston is named in his honor. For more see "Exhibit honors former slaves who emerged as pathfinders,"Houston Chronicle, 02/08/1987, Lifestyle section, p. 1.

See photo image and additional information about Richard Brock at Texas Trail Blazers, a Defender Network.com website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration West, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Buffalo Soldiers reburied in New Mexico [Thomas Smith and David Ford]
Start Year : 2009
Thomas Smith and David Ford were two of the three lost Buffalo Soldiers whose remains were reburied in the Santa Fe National Cemetery in New Mexico, July 2009; their remains had been left behind by the Army more than one hundred thirty years ago. Smith died in 1866, he was from New Market, KY. Ford died in 1868, he was from Taylor County, KY. The third soldier was Levi Morris from Akron, OH, he died in 1877. The soldiers had served in the remote outposts on the Western frontier. Their bodies were found during a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation investigation of cemetery looting at Fort Craig in southern New Mexico. For more see M. Dabovich, "Military welcomes home long-lost Buffalo Soldiers," Lewiston Morning Tribune, 07/19/2009, p.A2.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: New Market, Marion County, Kentucky / Taylor County, Kentucky

Burnam, Cedric C.
Birth Year : 1955
Cedric Burnam was born in Bowling Green, KY. In 2003 he became the first African American elected to the Warren County Fiscal Court; he was the District 2 Magistrate. Burnam is owner of Burnam and Sons Mortuary in Bowling Green. For more see Amy Bingham, "Warren County Officials Sworn In," Channel 13 WBKO, Bowling Green, KY; and J. Gaines, "New county magistrates tour offices," Daily News (Bowling Green) newspaper, 12/18/2002, News section.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Cabell, George C.
Birth Year : 1860
George Cabell was born in Henderson, KY. He was a brother of Aaron Cabell, for whom he drove a grocery wagon. George acquired his own grocery and general merchandise business in 1895. He was still managing his store in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He was also director of the Cemetery and Burial Company in Henderson. George C. Cabell was married to Lovenia Dixon Cabell. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson 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

Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials
Start Year : 1885
The large African American population in Christian County, along with the strength of the Republican Party in the county, made it possible for some of the state's earlier political elections to be won by African American candidates in Hopkinsville, KY. Edward Glass was elected to the City Council in 1885 and re-elected continuously until 1907. By 1898, the following were also elected to office: James L. Allensworth, County Coroner; Kinney Tyler, Deputy Jailer; John W. Knight, Constable; and J. C. Lyte, Pension Examiner. In 1916, T. H. Moore was re-elected for the third time as Magistrate of the 1st District of Christian County. The elections of African Americans was not always welcomed: there were beatings and objections. One such case is the election of William Leveritt for County Physician in 1898; his appointment was approved by the county judge, which enraged many whites because Leveritt would be examining white family members, in particular white women. For more see Violence in the Black Patch of Kentucky and Tennessee, by S. Marshall; p. 35 of the Negro Year Book, by M. N. Work [full-text at Google Book Search]; and "The people of Christian County...," p. 95 of American Medico-surgical Bulletin, vol. 12, 1898 [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

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

Copeland, Ivanora B.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1929
Ivanora B. Lindsey Copeland was the organizer and Past Matron of the St. John's Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star (O. E. S.) in Cincinnati, OH. She was a leading member of several women's organizations, including her tenure as Past G. A. C. and P. W. of the International O. E. S. Ivanora Copeland was also a funeral director; she shared the business with her husband, William Copeland (1848-1931), who was a member of the Ohio Legislature from 1888-1889. Ivanora Copeland was the former wife of Cyrus DeHart [source: "Was his wife, Mrs. W. H. Copeland was Mrs. Cyrus DeHart - She gets one half of $9,000," Cleveland Gazette, 05/16/1891, p. 1]. William and Iva B. Copeland are listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, and Ivanora's occupation is listed as hairdresser. Ivanora Copeland was born in Mayslick, KY, the daughter of Joseph and Maria Lindsey. She attended Berea College. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Crittenden, Breckenridge
Birth Year : 1883
Born in Midway, KY, Breckenridge Crittenden attended Cincinnati Embalming College in 1914 before becoming a funeral director in Lexington for nine years, then moved on to become a funeral director in Cincinnati. Crittenden was also general manager of the Imperial Finance Co. He was the son of Laura and Harry Crittenden, and the husband of Ella Banks Crittenden. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1930-32.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Dils Cemetery
Located in Pikeville, KY, Dils Cemetery is thought to be the first integrated cemetery in Eastern Kentucky. For more see Appalachian Quarterly, June 1998, p. 99.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky

Farris, Samuel
Birth Year : 1845
Samuel Farris was born in Barren County, KY. At a young age, he was taken to Mississippi to work on a cotton plantation. After his master died, Farris attempted to make his way back to Kentucky but ended up in Alabama, then later made his way to Memphis. He worked on steamboats for 13 years, then changed his occupation to undertaking. His business was located at 104 DeSoto Street in Memphis, according to the Memphis, TN, City Directory for 1890 and for 1891. In the 1890s Samuel Farris was a member of the A.M.E. Church and considered a wealthy businessman -- worth $15,000. For more see the Samuel Farris entry in Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings... by James T. Haley, pp. 207-208 [UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

  See photo image of Samuel Farris on p.208 of the Afro-American Encyclopaedia by J. T. Haley.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Migration South
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee

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

Gaines, Emma
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1949
Emma Gaines was an African American leader who was a native of Kentucky and lived and died in Kansas. She led educational and social efforts as an officer of a number of organizations. For 30 years she was president of the Baptist Women's Convention of Kansas and was among the first members of the Kansas Federation of Colored Women's Clubs when it was formed in June of 1931. She was president of the General Missionary Society, president of the Mothers Conference, and held several other positions at Shiloh Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. She was also a delegate for 30 years to the National Baptist Women's Convention, founded by Nannie Burroughs in 1900. Emma Gaines was a member of the Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention and was elected vice president in 1897. She was director of the Negro Festival Choir in Topeka and led the group through numerous performances in Topeka and surrounding cities. She was one of the first officers of the National Training School for Women founded in Washington, D. C. in 1909; the school was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Gaines was a Grand Chief Preceptress of the Pearly Rose Tabernacle No. 77, Daughters of the Tabernacle, and served as president of the Daughters of Liberty. In 1899, she was elected Queen Mother of the International Order of Twelve. Emma Gaines was the wife of Thomas Gaines; both were born in Kentucky and had been slaves. Their son, Benjamin P. Gaines, was also born in Kentucky. The family left Kentucky around 1887 and settled in Topeka, Kansas. Beginning in 1927, they were the owners of Gaines and Son Funeral Home, and in 1937, the family lived above the business at 1182 Buchanan Street. The business was initially located at 305 Kansas Street when the Gaines purchased it from the Topeka Undertaking Company, which was owned by the Goodwin family from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Emma Gaines died in 1949. In 1954, the cornerstone of the Gaines Memorial Chapel was put into place, marking the beginning of construction of the church that was named in honor of Emma Gaines. The church was located on Baptist Hill across the street from Kansas Technical Institute [which later merged with Kansas State University]. For more see "The Story of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gaines," Capital Plaindealer, 01/10/1937, p. 1; "The Baptist State Convention," Parsons Weekly Blade, 09/04/1897, p. 4; "Mrs. Emma Gaines...," Plaindealer, 09/29/1899, p. 3; "New organized undertaking firm has purchased former Topeka Undertaking Company," Plaindealer, 01/07/1927, p. 1; and "Lays cornerstone of Gaines Memorial Chapel," Plaindealer, 07/23/1954, p. 4.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Giles, Yvonne Y.
Birth Year : 1944
Born in Lexington, KY, Yvonne Giles was the first African American woman elected to the La Grange City Council, in 1986, and then re-elected in 1987. She is the director of the Isaac Hathaway Museum, that was located in the Lexington History Center [the old court house] in Lexington. In July 2011, the Museum moved to Georgetown Street in the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center that is housed in the building that served as the Lexington Colored Orphan Industrial Home. Yvonne Giles is also known as the "Cemetery Lady" because she is one of the leaders in the effort to preserve the history and integrity of African American cemeteries in Lexington. She is the author of Stilled Voices Yet Speak, a history of African Cemetery No.2 in Lexington, KY. She has published many  brochures on African American history in Lexington, and made significant contributions to Lexington tourism publications. For more see "Hopkinsville has 3 blacks on city council," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 25; Y. Giles, "African American Burials; Fayette County's storied past," Ace Weekly (April 26, 2007), p. 9; and M. Davis, "Search for the dead," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/06/02, Main News section, p. A1. Also see entries for Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum and African Cemetery No. 2.
Subjects: Genealogy, History, Historians, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky

Greenwood Cemetery (Owensboro, KY)
Start Year : 1906
End Year : 1976
In 2006, the Greenwood Cemetery in Owensboro, KY, turned 100 years old. The 16-acre cemetery was established in January 1906 by a group of African American men who purchased the land for $3,000, and in February of that year the group was incorporated as the Greenwood Cemetery Association. The land was paid in full in November 1906, the African American cemetery serving the community for 70 years before burials were ceased in 1976. It contains more than 2,000 graves; the actual number is still being researched. After 1976, the Greenwood Cemetery was abandoned, became overgrown with weeds and was vandalized. Beginning in 1992 the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Committee, led by Wesley Acton and Emily Holloway, worked to restore the cemetery. Greenwood Cemetery, 1821 Leitchfield Road, Owensboro, KY, by Jerry Long, tells of the history and restoration of the cemetery and includes a list of the gravestones, death certificates, and obituaries from Owensboro newspapers and other sources. The Greenwood Cemetery database of burials, available at the Daviess County Public Library, will continue to be updated; send contributions to Jerry Long in the Kentucky Room of the Daviess County Public Library or to members of the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Committee. For more information see the following articles in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer: K. Lawrence, "Cemetery more crowded than thought," 03/03/2005; and R. B. Jones, "Cemetery project in the works," 12/28/2005. Copies of Greenwood Cemetery, 1821 Leitchfield Road, Owensboro, KY may be purchased from the Greenwood Cemetery Restoration Committee, 3514 Christie Place, Owensboro, KY 42301.
Subjects: Authors, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Hickman, Willianna Lewis and Daniel
Scott County, KY natives and former slaves, Daniel (1841-1917) and Willianna Hickman left Kentucky with their six children, part of the 140 Exodusters heading to Nicodemus, Kansas. In her narrative about the trip, Willianna Hickman tells of a measles outbreak and how the families followed the trails made by deer and buffalo because there were no roads. When they arrived at Nicodemus, she was shocked to see that families were living in dugouts. The Hickman family continued on to their homestead, 14 miles beyond Nicodemus, to Hill City. Minister Daniel Hickman organized the First Baptist Church, the Second Baptist Church, and the WaKeeney Baptist Association. He was elected the first county coroner. The Hickman family moved to Topeka in 1903. For more see the Willianna Hickman entry in We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by D. Sterling, pp. 375-376; and the Daniel Hickman entry in vol. 4 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Nicodemus, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Hill City and Nicodemus, Kansas

Houston, Walter Scott, Sr.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1927
Walter S. Houston, Sr. was a prosperous businessman in Cincinnati, OH. Born near Owensboro, KY, he was the son of Robert and Maggie Houston. He was the husband of Grace Harding Houston, also from Owensboro, KY; she died a few years after the couple married. Houston's second wife was Anna Mae Lee, a public school teacher in Cincinnati. Walter S. Houston, Sr. owned property, a cigar booth, a grocery store near the corner of Wayne and Wyoming Streets, and an undertaking business that he managed with his wife and his son, Walter S. Houston, Jr. The Houston and Son Funeral homes were located at 2813 Gilbert Avenue and later at 108 N. Wayne Avenue, according to William's Cincinnati (Ohio) City Directory for the years 1948 and 1951. Walter S. Houston, Sr. was a member of the United Brothers of Friendship (U.B.F.). For more information see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

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

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

Jones, Charles Edward
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Charles E. Jones was the owner of Jones Funeral Home in Covington, KY, where he was born. He was the son of E. I. and Amanda Jones. He assisted in the push to get Lincoln-Grant High School built; the school auditorium was named in his honor. Jones was also an active church member, a former president of the Covington NAACP Branch. He was a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming. Jones was a 32nd Degree Mason, and served as Deputy Grand Commander of the State of Kentucky Masons, and was the Past Royal Grand Patron of Eastern Star of Kentucky. He was an Oddfellow, belonged to the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, Mosaics and True Reformer, and the United Brothers of Friendship. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Many tried, few defeated William Grant in '50s, '60s, The Cincinnati Post, 02/23/1998; J. Reis, "Jones led church, social causes," The Kentucky Post, 02/02/2004; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Jones, William A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1968
Jones was a minister who helped lead the Civil Rights Movement in Lexington, KY, via the Lexington Chapter of Congress of Racial Equity (CORE), which was developed in Jones' Pleasant Green Baptist Church - the oldest African American church west of the Allegheny Mountains. Jones' strategy - voting en bloc - helped to confirm the victory of Harry N. Sykes as Lexington's first African American City Councilman in 1963 and Mayor pro tem in 1967. Jones was thought to be  the first African American to be buried in the Lexington Cemetery [the first was actually Charles Skillman]. For more see 2001 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame - Inductees from Lexington; andThe one hundred seventy-fifth anniversary celebration of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky, Sunday, October 24 thru Sunday, November 28, 1965 ... William Augustus Jones, Sr., pastor.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Kentucky Cemetery Records Database (online)
Start Year : 2000
The following is taken from the introduction of the Kentucky Cemeteries Database site at the Kentucky Historical Society. "The Cemetery Preservation Program's database is a continuation of the work started by the Attorney General's Office in 2000." Entries are sorted by county name; each entry gives the cemetery name and location. A notes field may contain information about African Americans' (including slaves and free persons) burials. The listing of cemeteries will be updated quarterly as additional entries are added. For more information contact the Kentucky Historical Society.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Lexington National Cemetery, Lexington, KY: Grave Registration, United States Colored Civil War Soldiers and Employees
Source: Director, Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Camp Nelson, Kentucky.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Louisville (KY) Cemetery
Start Year : 1886
The Louisville Cemetery is a historic African American cemetery that was incorporated by seven prominent men in 1886: A. J. Bibb, W. P. Churchll, William Henry Gibson Sr., Felix Johnson, Bishop William H. Miles, Henry Clay Weeden, and Jesse Merriwether. The cemetery was originally 31 acres, and is located on Poplar Level Road in the Camp Zachery Taylor area of Louisville, KY. Buried in the cemetery are many well know African Americans such as Atwood Wilson, former president of Kentucky State University, and blues guitarist Sylvester Weaver. Kentucky Historical Marker #1992 stands at the entrance of the cemetery. For more see Louisville Cemetery at waymarking.com; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Debbie Sharp.


Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Madison (Chinn Slave)
Death Year : 1860
The following information comes from the article "Madison, the bell ringer" by Neva Williams in the Harrodsburg Herald, published the week of February 21-28, 1991. A copy of the article was provided by the Harrodsburg Historical Society (Marilyn B. Allen). Madison, the slave and servant of Christopher Chinn, was the first African American buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg, KY. Prior to his death in 1860, Madison had been the janitor and bell ringer at the Methodist Church for whites. He rang the bell before church services and he rang it when members of the church died. Chinn wanted Madison's funeral services to be held at the Methodist Church, but many of the members objected. Madison's funeral was held at the African Methodist Church with Rev. George L. Gould, from the white church, conducting the services. The funeral took place on September 3, 1860 and the bell at the Methodist Church was rang to note the death of Madison. Though there was opposition, Madison was buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery within the lot owned by Christopher Chinn. According to the article by Neva Williams, an ordinance was passed by city trustees that prohibited the burial of other African Americans in Spring Hill Cemetery. Christopher Chinn was wealthy, a trustee at the Methodist Church, and in 1860, he was 69 years old and a county judge according to the U. S. Federal Census. He died January 9, 1868. For more information, see a copy of the funeral notices that Christopher Chinn had printed announcing the services and burial of Madison, the notice is at the Harrodsburg Historical Society.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer 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

McFarland, Richard L., Sr. "R.L."
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2002
Richard L. McFarland, Sr. was born in Owensboro, KY. He was valedictorian of his 1935 graduating class at Western High School in Owensboro. McFarland was the first African American to be elected to the Owensboro City Commission, in 1985, and he served six terms. He was pastor of the Mt. Calvary Baptist Church for 46 years, and he and his wife owned McFarland Funeral Home. In 1975, Rev. McFarland was among the group of ministers who traveled to Monrovia, Liberia, Africa where they baptized more than 800 persons [source: 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, p.15]. In 1992, the Owensboro Human Relations Commission created the Rev. R. L. McFarland Leadership Award in his honor. In 1998, a tree and a plaque were placed in the Owensboro English Park to honor Rev. McFarland. For more see R. L. McFarland within the article "Middlesboro city councilwoman top vote-getter," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 28; J. Campbell, "Williams' bid opened door for black leaders, he earned a spot on fall ballot," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 10/28/05, p. 19; and K. Lawrence, "McFarland, former mayor pro tem dies at 85 minister opened door for Black politicians," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/14/2002, p. 1.

Access Interview Read about the Richard L. McFarland oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Businesses, Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Miles, William H.
Birth Year : 1828
Death Year : 1892
William Henry Miles was born in Springfield, KY, the slave of Mrs. Mary Miles, who died in 1854 and willed William his freedom--but he was not freed until 1864. He was licensed to preach in 1857 and married Frances E. Arnold in 1859. Miles had been a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church, a black church, but he later returned to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and developed the Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church, a denomination separate from the white church. In 1870, Miles was elected to the episcopacy, the highest position of any African American in the church, and during his lifetime was the senior Bishop of the CME Church. He is credited with organizing conferences and strengthening the CME Church. He helped organize the Louisville Colored Cemetery Association and served as the organization's first president. Miles Memorial College [now Miles College], in Birmingham, Alabama, was named in his honor; the plans for the school began in 1898, and it began operating in 1900. Miles Tabernacle in Washington, D.C. was renamed Miles Memorial Church [now Miles Memorial CME Church] in 1894; Bishop Miles had purchased the land for the church. There was also a manuscript, Autobiography of Bishop Miles, which was to have been published by the CME Publishing House. Bishop William H. Miles was buried in the Louisville Colored Cemetery. For more see The History of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in America, by C. H. Phillips [available online at the UNC Documenting the American South website]; Miles College: the first hundred years, by Miles College Centennial History Committee; and The Rise of Colored Methodism, by O. H. Lakey.

See photo image of William Henry Miles at the Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Birmingham, Alabama / Washington, D.C.

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

Negro Jury in Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1872
In 1872, a Negro jury was summoned in Louisville, KY, by the coroner for the case involving the stabbing death of John Wagner. William Reynolds was found guilty of stabbing Wagner on the steamer Robert Burns in May of 1872. The jury is thought to be the first Negro jury in Kentucky. This information comes from "The First Negro jury in Kentucky," New York Times, 06/21/1872, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nutter, Homer
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1989
Reverend Homer Nutter was a minister, an undertaker, and civil rights leader who fought to end discrimination at downtown businesses in Lexington, KY. He was born in Harrison County, KY, and raised in Paris, KY; in 1900, the Nutter Family lived on 8th Street in Paris, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Rev. Nutter was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington for 50 years; he replaced Rev. Robert Mitchell in 1926 and retired in 1976. He was a two-time graduate of Simmons University [Simmons College]. Kentucky Governor Wetherby appointed Rev. Nutter to the Governor's Advisory Committee on Education Desegregation. He was also a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University and the Board of Trustees at Simmons University. He served in the U.S. Army during WWI as a company clerk. Homer Nutter was the husband of Ida B. Coleman Nutter and the son of Harrison and Ameila Nutter. For more see "Lexington Civil Rights Leader Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/10/1989, City/State section, p. B1.

 

Access Interview Read about the Homer Nutter oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Old Danville Road Cemetery
Located in Jessamine County, it was the first African-American cemetery restored in the Jessamine County Historical and Genealogical Society restoration project, which began in 1999. Interred in the small cemetery is the family of Edward Bridges, a Civil War soldier of Company L, 5th Colored Cavalry. Bridges died in 1921. The cemetery is located on farmland that he owned, and the property is still owned by family members. For more see J. Barmmer, "From Beneath the Shadows," Lexington Herald-Leader, section B, 09/13/04.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky

Owensboro Area Obituary Index
Start Year : 1890
This database is not exclusively African American in focus; it has been added to this site as a source for locating obituary information. The database is an online index of obituaries taken from the Owensboro Messenger and the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer. The index was developed by and is maintained by the Daviess County Public Library in Owensboro, KY. Presently, the online database covers the time periods: 1842-1919, 1920-1989, and 1990-present.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Pallbearers (Versailles, KY)
Start Year : 1929
The body of Mrs. Susanna Preston Hart Camden (1867-1929), wife of former U.S. Senator Johnson N. Camden, Jr. (1865-1942), was carried to the burial site in Frankfort, KY, on the shoulders of six African American men. The six men were servants at Spring Hill Farm in Woodford County, KY, where four of the men had been born; they were the children of former slaves at the plantation. Spring Hill was originally owned by the Shelby family; Isaac Shelby, for whom Shelby County, KY, was named, was Kentucky's first governor. Mrs. Camden was a descendant of Governor Shelby. For more see "Mrs. Camden buried; servants bearers," New York Times, 01/14/1929, p. 19. 

  See photo image of Camden Home on Spring Hill Farm in Kentucky Digital Library Image Collections.
Subjects: Freedom, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Woodford County and Shelby County, Kentucky

Pickett, Wilson, Jr.
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2006
In 2006, Wilson Pickett, Jr. was buried in an Evergreen Cemetery mausoleum in Louisville, KY [source: Find A Grave]. He was born in Prattville, AL, and died in Reston, VA. He had lived in Louisville when his mother moved there from Alabama, and he was laid to rest next to his mother in the Evergreen Cemetery. Wilson Pickett, Jr. was a singer and songwriter, known for such hits as In the Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. For more information, see "Wilson Pickett laid to rest in Kentucky," TimesDaily, 01/29/2006, p. 2B; Wilson Pickett biography website; Wilson Pickett in Contemporary Musicians: profiles of the people in music, volume 10, by J. M. Rubiner; and Wilson Pickett in African Americans in the Performing Arts, by S. Otfinoski.

 

 

See the video and listen to "Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour" on YouTube.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Prattville, Alabama / Reston, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Porter, Arthur D., Sr.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1942
Porter was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of Fannie Allen Porter and Woodford Porter, according to his death certificate. He was the owner of the A. D. Porter & Sons Funeral Home in Louisville, KY, which was founded in 1907. He had moved to Louisville to attend Central High School. In 1921, Porter became the first African American to run for mayor; he ran as a member of the Lincoln Independent Party. He was the husband of Imogene Porter, and the father of Woodford R. Porter Sr. According to the U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on South Fifteenth Street in Louisville in 1910, and on Chestnut Street in 1920. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, J. E. Kleber, ed.; and Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Porter, William M.
Birth Year : 1850
Porter, born in Tennessee, was an undertaker in Lexington, KY. In 1905, he had been in business with J. C. Jackson for about 13 years. Porter came to Lexington from Cincinnati, OH, where at one time he had been the only African American undertaker in the city. Porter spoke during the convention of the National Negro Business League in New York, pointing out that he had been a hackman for 31 years before becoming an undertaker, and that it was not unusual for hackmen to make $12 or $15 per day because "the street cars were not so convenient." By 1920, Porter was again living in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Wm. M. Porter, "Undertaking," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 6th Annual Convention, New York City, New York, August 16-18, 1905, reel 1, frame 529; and The Negro in Business by B. T. Washington.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Migration South, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Porter, Woodford Roy, Sr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 2006
In 1958, Louisville, KY, native Woodford R. Porter, Sr. became the first African American elected to the Louisville Board of Education. He was later president of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. Porter, a mortician, was the owner of A. D. Porter and Sons Funeral Home. He was the first African American member of the YMCA Metropolitan Board. Porter was the son of Imogene Stewart Porter and Arthur D. Porter, Sr., the family is listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Woodford Porter was a WWII veteran. He was the husband of Harriett Bibb Porter. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., Supp., edited by M. M. Spradling; "A Special Tribute to Woodford R. Porter, Sr.," Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.39-42; and E. M. Talbott, "Woodford R. Porter Sr. (1918-2006)," The Courier-Journal, 08/02/2006, Forum section, p.11A.

See photo image of Woodford R. Porter, Sr. and additional information at the U of L Today website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Board of Education, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Presbyterian Cemetery (Lexington, KY)
End Year : 1889
In 1889, the Lexington Presbyterian Cemetery on North Limestone Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, was officially closed. A vote had been taken by the Presbyterian Church congregations to close the cemetery and remove the remains to the Lexington Cemetery and the Colored Cemetery. The Presbyterian Cemetery had belonged to both the First and the Second Presbyterian Churches, and it had been the main burial ground in the city for more than 50 years. But in latter years the cemetery was neglected and eventually declared a nuisance; there had been no burials since 1879. The Kentucky Legislature allowed the Churches to sell the cemetery in 1887, and it was purchased by Scott and Skillman for $8,000. The buyers were responsible for the proper removal and reburial of all bodies, and all headstones and other markers were to be properly moved with the bodies. At least three hundred of the interred were African Americans, and their remains were re-interred in African Cemetery No.2. For more see "Second Presbyterian congregation votes...," Lexington Transcript, 03/18/1887, p.2; "Removing the dead," The Kentucky Leader, 05/20/1889, p.5; and "Presbyterian graveyard sold to Scott & Skillman...," Lexington Transcript, 03/24/1887, p.4.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Prescott Pike Cemetery (North Middletown, KY)
Start Year : 1894
The land for the cemetery was sold in 1894 by Mary and Charles Meng to the cemetery trustees: Dave Biddle, Thomas Ransom, Aaron Kenney, Harvey Wess, and George Lindsey. The cemetery, then known as the North Middletown Colored Cemetery, was located on Prescott Turnpike Road in North Middletown, KY. Today it is known as the Prescott Pike Cemetery. The committee that cares for the property includes Betty Mae Black, Michell Butler, and three great-grandchildren of Thomas Ransom, Nancy Brown Kenney, Dorothy Reed Royce, and Thomas Howard Butler. Contact Michelle Butler for the Prescott Cemetery Newsletter and additional information.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Ransom, Riley Andrew
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1951
Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom was born in Columbus, KY. He was one of the first African American doctors in Fort Worth, Texas. Ransom was a cousin to Bishop Isaac Lane, founder of Lane College in Tennessee. Ransom initially attended Lane College but soon transferred to Southern Illinois State Normal University [now Southern Illinois University at Carbondale] where he earned his undergraduate degree. In 1908 he graduated from the Louisville National Medical College [the school closed in 1912] as valedictorian of his class. Ransom took his state board of medicine in Oklahoma City and later settled in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was the first African American surgeon in Tarrant County. He also helped establish the first hospital for African Americans, the Booker T. Washington Sanitarium. Dr. Ransom is buried in the New Trinity Cemetery in Fort Worth; in 1986 the cemetery was declared a historical site. Markers at the site pay honor to the 100-year-old cemetery and the contributions of Dr. Ransom. For more see B. R. Sanders, “Doctor left record of early struggles” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 09/19/2003, METRO section, p. 1B; and “Black History Month” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 02/15/1994, METRO section, p. 11.

See photo image of Dr. R. A. Ransom at The Portal to Texas History website.

See historical marker with additional information on Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom at waymarking.com.
 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Reid Slave Cemetery (Hawesville, KY)
Within the Reid Family Cemetery, the last rows, 11-17, are designated as the Slave Cemetery. The location is described as being on "a high hill overlooking Highways 334 and Muddy Gut Road, on a farm owned by Stephen Emmick. Cemetery is in poor condition." It was noted that there were sandstone markers at most of the slave graves, but no names were recorded in the report published in Forgotten Pathways, Quarterly of the Genealogical Society of Hancock County, vol. IV, issue II (Fall 1987), p. 36.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Hawesville, Hancock County, Kentucky

Robb, Jackson
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1977
Jackson Robb was an undertaker, musician, owner of a dance school, and community leader in Frankfort, KY. Jackson was born in Frankfort, the son of Mary E. Jackson Robb and Thomas K. Robb. He was the husband of Kathryn Taylor Robb. The Robb family was considered wealthy: Jackson owned the family funeral home business that his father started in 1900 on Clinton Street in Frankfort. The family was also associated with politicians, such as Kentucky House Member Mae Street Kidd, who sometimes stayed at their home; and heavyweight boxer Joe Louis. In November 1940, Jackson Robb, and Joe Louis and his trainer Jack Blackburn and secretary, Freddie Guinyard, were involved in a car accident on the way to Kentucky State Industrial College [now Kentucky State University] to congratulate the football team on the invitation to play Morris Brown College in a bowl game. A photo of Jackson Robb is included in the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collection. For more see "Joe Louis escapes death in auto crash with undertaker," Lowell Sun, 11/20/1940, p. 79; Passing for Black, by W. Hall; and Community Memories, by W. L. Fletcher, et. al.

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Robb, Thomas K.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1932
Born in Frankfort, KY, Thomas K. Robb worked in lumber and was Yard Master at Burnside, Williamstown, and Louisville, all Kentucky communities. In 1896 he was elected Lumber Inspector for the Frankfort Penitentiary by the State Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, beating out the other 11 competitors, who were all white. He and Lucas B. Willis were partners in an undertaker business in 1897, and Robb became the sole owner of the business in 1900 when Willis moved to Indianapolis [source: "Lucas B. Willis" on p.287 in Who's Who of the Colored Race edited by F. L. Mather]. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Robb and several other members of his family lived with his mother and stepfather, Bias Combs, on East Main Street in Frankfort, and after opening his undertaker business, Robb lived on Lewis Street. In 1918, Robb's undertaker business and his livery stable were destroyed by fire, resulting in $5,000 in damages [source: "Kentucky Notes," The National Underwriter, 1918, v.22, p.11]. Robb rebuilt and continued to have a prosperous business. Thomas K. Robb was the son of Kate Kenney Robb Combs and James Robb, and the husband of Mary E. Jackson Robb. Mary and Thomas lived at 300 Clinton Street according to Thomas K. Robb's death certificate, and Thomas Robb's funeral was handled by undertaker George W. Saffell. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Logging, Lumbering, Lumber Business, Lumber Employees
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Burnside, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Williamstown, Grant County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Roll of Honor, Colored Soldiers, Kentucky
Start Year : 1868
Roll of Honor No.XVII is a register of the Civil War dead, 1861-1865. "Quartermaster General's Office, General orders no. 20, June 9, 1868," from the title page. This is a government publication that lists the names of 13,573 Union soldiers. The men are buried in national and public cemeteries in Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia. Included are Colored soldiers buried in Kentucky.

Kentucky Cemeteries:

  • Eastern Cemetery in Louisville, KY
  • Mill Springs National Cemetery in Nancy, KY [info .pdf]
  • Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington, KY [info.]
  • Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, KY [info .pdf]
  • Lexington National Cemetery in Lexington, KY [info.]
  • Tompkinsville National Cemetery in Tompkinsville, KY
  • Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville, KY [info .pdf];
  • Frankfort City Cemetery in Frankfort, KY
For more see Roll of Honor by United States Army Quartermaster's Department.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nancy, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Tompkinsville, Monroe County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin

Saffell, Daisy M. and George William Saffell
In 1912, Daisy Saffell (1875-1918), an "expert" embalmer in Shelbyville, KY, spoke on behalf of the National Negro Funeral Directors' Association during the 13th Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League in Chicago. Saffell estimated that there were 1,100 Colored undertakers and embalmers in the United States. [*Saffell is listed as a mulatto from Shelbyville, TN, in The Mulatto in the United States by E. B. Reuter, p.303* available full view at Google Book Search]. Saffell's death certificate lists Kentucky as both her birth and death location. She was born in Louisville, KY, where she attended school. She attended Roger Williams University and was later a graduate of Fisk University. Daisy Saffell taught for 15 years in Frankfort, KY, then left to become principal of the Lawrenceburg Colored School. She left teaching and enrolled in Clark's College of Embalming in Cincinnati, OH. With the completion of the program, Saffell became the second African American woman who was a licensed embalmer in Kentucky [Minnie Watson was first]. Daisy Saffell, who was an accomplished pianist, was editor of the Kentucky Club Woman, secretary of the District Household of Ruth of Kentucky, secretary of the Colored Funeral Director's Association of Kentucky, and treasurer of the National Association of Colored Funeral Directors. Named in her honor, the Daisy M. Saffell Colored Hospital was located in Martinsville, a community in Shelbyville, KY. Daisy Saffell was the daughter of Lizzie Travis, and in 1897 became the wife of undertaker George William Saffell (1876-1953). Daisy's funeral arrangements were handled by Thomas K. Robb, and Robb's funeral arrangements were handled by George W. Saffell. George was born in Kentucky, the son of Addie Weisger Saffell and George Saffell, according to his death certificate. In 1900, he had been a barber teacher and Daisy was a school teacher, they lived in Frankfort, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1910, the couple had moved to Shelbyville, KY, where George was an undertaker and Daisy was a school teacher until she too became an undertaker. George Saffell was owner of the Calvary Cemetery, and he also had an ambulance service; the hearse was used as an ambulance. After Daisy's death, George Saffell married Mildred Stone in 1939. She would become a partner in the business after completing the Melton Mortuary School in Louisville, KY. George Saffell died in 1953. and Mildred continued managing the businesses. For more see "National Negro Funeral Directors' Association," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 13th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 21-23, 1912, reel 2, frames 575-576; "Mrs. Daisy Saffell" on p.291 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; "Race progress in Kentucky: broad achievements of Mrs. Daisy M. Saffell," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/22/1913, p.2; and "Saffell Funeral Home" by G. Graham on pp.170-171 in The New History of Shelby County Kentucky.

See photo image of Daisy Saffel[l] at the bottom of the left hand column on p.42 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Negro Business League, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky

Shipley, Reuben
Birth Year : 1811
Death Year : 1873
Shipley was born around 1811 in Kentucky, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and later moved to Missouri with his master. While there, he married a slave woman with whom he had two boys who became the property of his wife's owner. Around 1850, Shipley left Missouri and traveled to Oregon with his master. He became a free man and attempted to buy the family he had left in Missouri. But Shipley learned that his wife had died, and her owner refused to sell Shipley his sons. Shipley remained in Oregon and purchased 80 acres of land in Corvallis. He married Mary Jane Holmes, and they had six children. Shipley deeded two acres of his land to the county for a cemetery on the condition that African Americans would also be buried there. The land transfer for the Mt. Union Cemetery was completed in 1861. Shipley, his wife, and her second husband, R. G. Drake, are all buried in the cemetery. For more see chapter 6, "A few Colored men in Oregon: Blacks in Oregon 1850-1900" in A Peculiar Paradise, by E. McLagan.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Corvallis, Oregon

Skillman, Charles
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1888
Charles Skillman was the first African American to be buried in the Lexington Cemetery. Skillman, born in Kentucky, was a shoe and boot maker. He is listed in Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876. His first wife was Emma Skillman (b. 1850 in KY); the couple is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. His second wife was Caroline Skillman (b. 1850 in KY) [source: Civil War Pension Index]. Charles Skillman was a Civil War veteran; he enlisted June 24, 1864 in Lexington, Kentucky, and served in Company C, U.S. Colored Troops, 114 Infantry Regiment. He was a member of the Charles Somner Post, No. 68, G. A. R. Charles Skillman died in April of 1888, and his funeral was attended by about 100 members of the Charles Somner Post and about 1,000 attendees in all. He was the first African American buried in the government quarter of the Lexington Cemetery. For more see "G. A. R. Internment," Lexington Morning Transcript, 04/19/1888, p. 4.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Slave Deaths due to Cholera, 1850 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule
Start Year : 1850
The federal mortality schedules, for which data were first collected in 1849, included the cholera deaths of slaves, many listed by name. Prior to 1870, it had been the free African Americans who were listed in the U.S. Federal Census by name, while slaves were listed in the Slave Schedules by sex and age under the names of their owners. The mortality schedules were published 1850-1880, and the number of overall deaths in the U.S. were under reported in the data collection. There were hundreds of deaths in Kentucky due to cholera before, after, and during the year 1850. Cholera is an infection of the small intestine caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae (more info at MedlinePlus). In 1850, as the U.S. was striving for better public health measures, doctors were still searching for the exact cause of the disease, how it was transferred and how it could be treated and prevented. A nationwide cholera epidemic had taken place in 1848-49. Former U.S. President James K. Polk died of cholera in 1849 after a visit to Louisiana. His presidency was followed by that of 12th U.S. President Zachary Taylor, who died of cholera in 1850. [He was born in Virginia and grew up in Kentucky.] Mary A. Fillmore, daughter of the 13th U.S. President, Millard Fillmore, died of cholera in 1854. Lucy Ware Webb Hayes (whitehouse.gov), the wife of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, lost her father to cholera in 1833 when he came to his hometown, Lexington, KY, to free the slaves that he had recently inherited. In addition to Dr. James Webb, his mother, father, and brother also died of cholera. After the 1830s cholera epidemic, there were publications written for southerns on the medical treatment of cholera in slaves. With the second epidemic in the late 1840s, there was a request for a publication on what was considered an effective treatment by Dr. C. B. New. In 1850 he published Cholera: observations on the management of cholera on plantations, and method of treating the disease [available online]. Included in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule are 71 black slaves in Kentucky who died of cholera, most from Scott, Warren, and Woodford Counties; the schedule also lists the death of seven Kelly slaves in Warren County, in June 1850. There were also 16 mulatto slave deaths in Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Union and Warren Counties. S. M. Young, a free mulatto woman from Scott County, also died of cholera in 1850. For more see The Health of Slaves on Southern Plantations, by W. D. Postell; Observations on the epidemic now prevailing in the City of New-York, by C. C. Yates [available full-text at Google Book Search]; Cholera; its pathology, diagnosis, and treatment, by William Story [available full-text at Google Book Search]; T. L. Savitt's Medicine and Slavery; and Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records, by L. D. Szucs and M. Wright. See also the list of Cholera deaths in Lexington, KY, [Whites and Blacks] for the year 1833, a rootsweb site, and for the year 1849.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Slaves of William "Billy" Stafford
Prior to the Civil War, Stafford was a slave owner who owned land around the Big Sandy River in Johnson County, KY. When slaves died, they were buried on the land. "The graves were located about one hundred feet down in the lower [corner] of the cemetery below the family burials." This information comes from E. R. Hazelett, "Slave burials in Johnson County," Sandy Valley Heritage, vol. 23, issue 2 (June 2003), p. 16.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Johnson County, Kentucky

Spicer, Jack, Sr.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1925
In 1918, Jack Spicer, Sr. was sworn in as the coroner of Lee County, KY, which made him the first African American to hold an office in the county [source: "Negro official in Lee County," The Clay City Times, 01/17/1918, p.1].  Jack Spicer is listed as coal miner in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. He was born March 31, 1875, according to the WWI Registration Card, and worked for the Beattyville Fuel Company.  He was the husband of Margaret Spicer. According to his death certificate [Registered No. 787], Jack Spicer was born in Jackson, KY, the son of Patsy Strong.  He was a minister at the time of his death in Lexington, KY, October 19, 1925.
Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Spradling, William Wallace
Birth Year : 1866
Death Year : 1940
Born in Louisville, KY, Spradling owned more real estate in Louisville than any other African American. He was Vice President of the Louisville Cemetery Association and Director of the Falls City Realty Co. He served as vice president of First Standard Bank, the first African American bank in Kentucky. Spradling was a delegate to the convention that nominated Republican Mayor Grinstead in 1907. He was the son of Washington and Henrietta Richardson Spradling, and the husband of Mary E. Wilson Spradling (1876-1964), who was born in KY. The couple had lived at 501 Rose Lane Street, according to William Spradling's death certificate. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Stonestreet, Frederick M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1931
F. M. Stonestreet, Sr. was born in Kentucky, the son of Lucinda "Lucy" Stonestreet (1837-1897), a widow who was also born in KY. The family moved to Missouri, then on to Kansas in 1862. Fred Stonestreet and his family members may have been slaves in Kentucky. Their last destination was Topeka, KS, where Fred, his mother, and grandmother, Matilda Miller (b.1800 in KY), all lived on Madison Street. Lucy Stonestreet took in washing and ironing to support the family, according to the Topeka City Directory for 1868-69. In 1880, Fred Stonestreet, Sr. worked at the statehouse in Topeka, and in 1883, he was reassigned as a messenger. In 1902, he was the marshal of the city courts in Topeka. Prior to becoming a marshal, he was the first African American fireman in Topeka. He had also won the 1894 election to become a constable, was re-elected in 1896, and when the city court was developed, he was appointed a marshal by Kansas Governor Stanley, and won the election to become the first elected marshal of Topeka. In 1892, Stonestreet was listed on p.26 of the Eight Biennial Report of the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Historical Society for his donation of a book [online at Google Books]. Fred Stonestreet was the husband of Mary Frances "Fannie" Stonestreet (1862-1909). In 1885, the couple had a one year old son, Fred Jr., and shared their home with Fred Sr.'s mother and great-grandmother, according to the Kansas State Census. The family was also listed in the 1895 Kansas State Census, Matilda Miller had died, and Fred and Fannie had two more children. In 1897, Fred's mother, Lucy Stonestreet, died. By 1900, Fred and Fannie had four children, and they would lose their youngest child, Clarence (b.1899), to illness. In 1903, Fred was co-owner of an undertaking business with G. W. Hamilton: "Stonestreet & Hamilton, Successors to J. M. Knight. Undertakers and Funeral Directors" [source: ad in Plaindealer, 10/02/1903, p.3]. Fannie and Fred had their last child, Bernice, in 1905. Fannie died in 1909. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Fred was still an undertaker and was assisted by his sons Fred, Jr. (b.1882) and Wilbur (b.1889). He had a new business partner and the business was named "Stonestreet and Gaines, Undertakers and Embalmers [source: ad in Plaindealer, 03/04/1910, p.8]. Fred Jr. died in 1912. Fred Sr. and Wilbur became the owners of the Stonestreet and Sons funeral business. In 1920, Fred and Wilbur were still in business, and Fred and his youngest daughter, Bernice, were living with Fred's oldest daughter Daisy and her family on Woodward Avenue. Bernice, who was a sickly child, died in 1922. Wilbur died in 1930. Fred Stonestreet outlived all but one of his children, Daisy Stonestreet Carper (1893-1985). Fred Stonestreet was a leading politician and businessman in Topeka, he was a land owner, and was active in the community. He belonged to several organizations, including serving as secretary of the Mt. Moriah No. 5 A. F. and A. M., in 1894 he was elected high priest of Lincoln Chapter No.2 R.A.M., and he was president of the Benjamin Banneker Club. In 1892, he was a delegate to the Kansas Republican Convention that was held in Hutchinson. For more see "A card on the Stonestreet matter," Topeka Tribune, 07/15/1880, p.1; "Topeka whispers," Western Recorder, 06/21/1883, p.3; "After a long and painful illness, Mrs. Lucinda Stonestreet...," Enterprise, 02/27/1897, p.3; "Clarence Stonestreet ...," Plaindealer, 08/02/1901, p.3; "F. M. Stonestreet..." Plaindealer, 12/19/1902, p.7; "Gone but not forgotten, Mrs. Mary Frances Stonestreet...," Plaindealer, 05/14/1909, p.5; "The Funeral of Fred M. Stonestreet, Jr...," The Topeka Daily Capital, 01/15/1912; "Obituary, Bernice Zerelda Stonestreet," Plaindealer, 04/21/1922, p.2; "Wilbur F. Stonestreet local undertaker dead," Plaindealer, 05/30/1930, p.1; "Local news," Topeka Call, 05/08/1892, p.1; 8th item in the column "Capital city news," Leavenworth Herald, 05/19/1894, p.2; and "Mr. Fred M. Stonestreet passed away...," Plaindealer, 02/06/1931, p.1.
Subjects: Businesses, Firefighters, Migration West, Corrections and Police, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Topeka, Kansas

Tandy, Opal L.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1983
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Tandy later moved to Indiana. He was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1956. A journalist for the Indianapolis Recorder and Hoosier Herald, he later purchased and changed the name of the Hoosier Herald to the Indiana Herald. He was also a WWII veteran, and served as deputy coroner of Marion County, IN for 22 years. He was the husband of Mary Bryant Tandy. The Opal L. Tandy Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society, and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 2nd & 3rd ed.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Taylor, J. H.
Taylor came to Louisville, KY, in 1865; he was the first African American mortician in Louisville. His undertaking business was one of the leading three for African Americans; the other two were owned by The Fox Brothers and Minnie and William Watson. Taylor's business was later merged with R. C. Fox's [The Fox Brothers]. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Businesses, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Turner, Samuel
Death Year : 1901
Dr. Turner's death in 1901 was the first suicide on record for an African American in Kentucky. It was thought that he hanged himself due to the shame of being indited for vending lottery tickets. His half nude body was found in the early morning, in the highest tree, 50 feet above ground, in Flora Park in Louisville, KY. The park was located at South and Ormsby Streets. Turner's death was also reported as a lynching. For more see "Suicide: of Dr. Samuel Turner this morning," Newark Daily Advocate, 06/29/1901, p. 1; "He hanged himself high," The Atlanta Constitution, 06/30/1901, p.2.
Subjects: Lynchings, Medical Field, Health Care, Parks, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Gambling, Lottery, Suicide
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Watson, Minnie and William
Minnie Watson was a mortician, the top student in the 1892 graduating class of the Clark School for Embalming, one of three African Americans in the class and the only woman. She was the wife and assistant to William Watson, a funeral home owner at 312 North Ninth Street in Louisville, KY. Their business was one of the three leading undertaking operations for African Americans in Louisville; the other two were owned by the Fox Brothers and J. H. Taylor. For more see "Mrs. Minnie Watson," in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Webster, Benjamin Sweeney, Sr.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1987
Webster was a Kentucky native, the son of James and Marie L. Webster. A mortician and salesman, Benjamin was the father of poet Toi Derricotte (b. 1941 in Detroit, MI) and the husband of Antonia Baquet (Webster) Cyrus until they divorced in 1953. The Webster Family owned the Webster Funeral Home in Detroit, MI. For more see M. Salij, "The poetry of black and white Detroit native Toi Derricotte reaches inside herself to write about race," 04/27/2001, and "Antonia Cyrus: family historian, animal lover," 10/20/2001, both articles in the Detroit Free Press. For more on Derricotte see the Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Poets, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Willis, Lucas B.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1930
Lucas B. Willis was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Sam and Appaline Willis. He was the organizer and vice-president of the Kentucky State Funeral Director's Association, organizer and executive secretary of the Independent National Funeral Directors Association, and organizer and executive secretary of the Sisters of Charity of the State Burial Fund of Indiana. Willis was the husband of Cora L. Willis, who was also a Kentucky native. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1910 the couple lived on Camp Street in Indianapolis. Lucas owned an undertakers establishment and Cora was a public school teacher. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and "Lucas B. Willis" in the articles "Vital statistics - Deaths" and "Notice of Appointment," both on p.7 of the Indianapolis Recorder, 04/05/1930.
Subjects: Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Wood, John Edmund [Torch Light newspaper]
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1929
Reverend J. Edmund Wood was born in Hiseville, KY, the son of Fannie Myers Wood and William H. Wood. He was the husband of Ella B. Redd Wood, the couple married in 1891 and had five children. He was a brother to Francis M. Wood. Rev. Wood died of tuberculosis, December 15, 1929, according to his death certificate. Prior to his death, he had been a school teacher and a minister in Munfordville, Woodsonville, Bardstown, and Elizabethtown, all locations in Kentucky, and he served as president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association in 1899. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Danville, KY, for 31 years, and he also served on the Danville City Council. He was a leader in the Baptist Church, serving as president of the National Baptist Convention for six years. The 46th Annual Session, in 1926, was held in Indianapolis, IN. Wood was secretary of the South District Baptist Association for 35 years, and was the moderator of the General Association of Kentucky Baptist for nine years. In 1912, he was elected a delegate at large and attended the Republican National Convention in Chicago. While at the convention, he spoke out to the media in response to the comments made about the disloyalty of Colored delegates from the South. Rev. Wood was also an undertaker, a printer, and he was editor of the Torch Light [or Torchlight], a weekly newspaper that was published in Danville, KY, until the headquarters was moved to Lexington in 1910, at 434 West Main Street. Subscribers were allowed to pay for the newspaper with eggs, chickens, lard, and other food items. The newspaper was in operation as early as 1904 [source: Freeman, 09/17/1904, p. 1], and Rev. Wood was editor for more than 26 years. In 1907, Rev. Wood was the National Grand Chief of the Independent Order of the Good Samaritans, and he also had been the State Grand Chief. In 1910, he was chairman of the executive board of the Insurance Department of the Odd Fellows. He was elected treasurer of the Kentucky Negro Press Association at the 2nd Annual Session in 1916. Rev. Wood was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University], he was a 1903 graduate of National Correspondence College in Vincennes, IN, and a 1908 graduate of State University [Simmons College in KY]. Rev. Wood was a trustee at State University for 20 years. For more see Dr. J. Edmund Wood in The Crisis, March 1930, vol. 37, issue 3, p. 97; "Predicting a Roosevelt bolt," New York Times, 06/18/1912, p. 2; "Baptist throng to the Hoosier convention city," Plaindealer, 09/10/1926, p. 1; "It's nice to be a Kentucky editor...," in the "Short Flights" column by R. W. Thompson in Freeman, 05/13/1911, p. 2; "At Kentucky's capital, Freeman, 04/20/1912, p. 4; T. Richardson, "Ink-Lings of the Ink-Slingers," Freeman, 01/19/1907, p. 3; "The 2nd Annual Session of the Kentucky Negro Press Association," Freeman, 09/09/1916, p. 1; John Edmund Wood, pp. 158-219, in The President Speaks: annual addresses delivered to the National Baptist Convention of America, 1898-1986, edited by M. C. Griffin; "In 1899 Rev. J. E. Wood was elected President.," Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, 04/21-24/1926, p. 32, 2nd paragraph [available online in the Kentucky Digital Library]; and "The Torchlight," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1910, p. 2.


See photo images of Mrs. Ella B. Wood and Rev. J. E. Wood in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Hiseville, Barren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

 

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