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Birch, Augustine Edward
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 2000
Birch, born in Winchester, KY, was the son of Eva Downey Birch and Edward Eginton Birch. He was a supervisor for the Apprentice Information Center of the Cincinnati Bureau Employment Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Birch was director of the Cincinnati Apprenticeship Information Center in 1969 when it was one of three centers in Ohio, and one of 35 centers in the United States. Access to the apprentice training programs was suppose to be a step toward getting hired in the trade industries. June 1963, the Cincinnati NAACP had charged that racists practices barred Negroes from journeymen jobs and participation in the union-controlled apprenticeship training programs in the building trades industry. May of 1965, only 100 Negroes had been allowed entrance into the 11 apprenticeship centers in the U.S. The efforts to desegregate the centers had been a long and ongoing fight. Augustine Birch retired in 1977 as an intake supervisor for the Cincinnati Apprentice Information Center. His other employments included supervisor with the Cincinnati Recreation Department and employee counselor at Wright Aeronautical Corp. Birch was a 1931 graduate of Kentucky State University, he was class president, a featured tenor soloist, and had participated in the college choir. He was a member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Kentucky State University Alumni Association, and served as chair of the scholarship committee beginning in 1975. The Augustine Birch Scholarship is named in his honor. Birch was also a Tuskegee Airman with the U.S. Air Force during WWII, he enlisted in Indiana on October 8, 1943, according to his military enlistment record. For more see "Here are addresses of the U.S.A.'s 35 Apprenticeship Information Centers," The Machinist, 04/17/1969, p.8; and see "Deaths - Augustine Birch, 92, was job counselor," The Cincinnati Post, 08/25/2000, News section, p.19A. For more of the segregated Apprenticeship Information Centers, see H. Hill, "The Negro wage earner and apprenticeship training," Crisis, June-July 1961, vol.68, issue 6, pp.335-341[online at Google Book Search]; H. Hill, "Job crisis in the urban north," Crisis, November 1965, p.565-572 [online at Google Book Search]; R. Marshall and V. M. Briggs, Jr., "Negro participation in Apprenticeship Programs," The Journal of Human Resources, 1967, vol.2, issue 1, pp.51-69.
Subjects: Aviators, Employment Services, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Colored Bureau of Education, Frankfort, KY
Start Year : 1914
In January of 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education in Frankfort, KY, "to supply teachers who are prepared to teach and can not find a place...." -- [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In March of 1914, the Bureau endorsed the work of Miss Elnora B. Lee, assistant principal of the Hardinsburg Public School [source: "--Miss Elnora B. Lee...," Freeman, 03/07/1914, p. 4]. The Colored Bureau of Education was a forerunner to the National Colored Teachers' Agency established in Louisville, KY in 1928.
Subjects: Employment Services
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Foley, Shirley, Jr.
Birth Year : 1916
Born in Louisville, KY, Mr. Shirley Foley, Jr. was a 1938 graduate of Fisk University and a 1940 graduate of Indiana University. Foley was married to the late Mary Frances Eaves, who was also from Louisville. He lived in Silver Spring, MD. Foley worked for the federal government for 38 years, including a tour of duty in the Pentagon's Department of Defense, and later was with the U.S. Department of Labor. He also did a two year temporary assignment in the U.S. Virgin Islands, assisting in the establishment of the Federal Office for Alien Employment Certification. Foley retired from the U.S. Department of Labor as a Manpower Development Specialist and traveled all over the world. He is the great-grandson of Pvt. Calvin Byrd (a.k.a. Calvin Brown), a slave born in Louisville, who ran away and enlisted in the 108th Infantry in 1864. Foley is also the nephew of Esther Maxwell Barrens. This information came from Mr. Shirley Foley, Jr. For an overview of Alien Employment Certification, see A. Weber, "The Role of the U.S. Department of Labor in Immigration," International Migration Review, vol. 4, issue 3 (Summer 1970), pp. 31-46.
Subjects: Employment Services, Immigration, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Silver Spring, Maryland

Hayes, Charles Marion, Sr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1970
Charles M. Hayes, Sr., from Springfield, KY, was a founder of the Gibraltar Health and Accident Insurance Company in Indianapolis, IN. He was the first president and actuary of the company. Hayes had worked in insurance in Kentucky; in 1917, he was superintendent of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company in Hopkinsville, KY [source: Hayes' WWI Draft Registration Card]. He had also served as Dean of West Kentucky Industrial College (now West Kentucky Community and Technical College). Hayes was a WWI veteran, having served with the 92nd Division in France as part of the A. E. F. (American Expeditionary Forces). He had been commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant at the first Officers Training School at Fort Des Moins, IA. After an honorable discharge from the service, Hayes and his wife moved to Cincinnati, OH, and Hayes was employed as an insurance superintendent [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1924, the couple had moved to Indianapolis, and Charles M. Hayes, Sr. was president of the Gibraltar Insurance Company when he sailed to France and Great Britain on business [source: Hayes' U.S. Passport Application, July 2, 1924]. By 1930, the Hayes family members were Charles M. Hayes, Sr., his wife, and son, and they lived on Capitol Avenue in Indianapolis [source: U.S. Federal Census]. From 1940 until his retirement in 1957, Hayes was employed as an interviewer in the U.S. Employment Service and Indiana Employment Security Division. The service division was often accused of segregated and discriminatory hiring practices. Charles M. Hayes attempted to explain the agencies hiring procedures in the Indianapolis newspapers. Hayes was also a member of the NAACP Indianapolis Branch. He was a graduate of Lincoln University (PA) and did graduate work at Columbia University and Indiana University. He was the son of William T. Hayes, and the husband of Eunice M. Hayes (1894-1966) from Hopkinsville, KY. Eunice Hayes was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and had taught school in Hopkinsville. For more see "Charles M. Hayes, Sr.," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/29/1970, p.6; "Eunice M. Hayes," Indianapolis Recorder, 06/25/1966, p.3; "Charles M. Hayes" in W. A. Chambers' column titled "Some People" Say - - In Our Town," Indianapolis Recorder, 01/04/1958, p.2; C. M. Hayes, "Local hiring technique explained by USES aide," Indianapolis Recorder, 07/07/1945, pp.18 & 19 [photo image of Charles M. Hayes included in article]; and "Segregated U.S. Employment Office plans, generally denied by all officials," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/28/1943, pp.1 &3.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Employment Services, Migration North, Military & Veterans, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Springfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Jackson, Lee Arthur
Birth Year : 1950
Jackson was the first African American to head the Kentucky Association of State Employees (KASE/AFT - Local 4590), an employee union; Jackson has been its president since 1990. He was program supervisor at the Department for Employment Services in Lexington, KY. He has since retired from state employment. Jackson was born in Lynch, KY, the son of Sylmon J. and Marie Stokes Jackson. He is a 1973 graduate of the University of Kentucky. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2006.
Subjects: Employment Services, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Johnson, Lillian E. Russell Bakeman
Birth Year : 1872
Lillian E. Russell was born in Kentucky and moved to Detroit, Michigan. She was the daughter of Wilbur L. Gordon Russell (mother) and William Russell [source: Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925]. After attending high school and business college in Detroit, she became a bookkeeper and stenographer. She was married to George C. Bakeman around 1895, and they were divorced by 1910, and Lillian and her daughter were living with her mother, Wilbur L. Russell, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Her name was Lillian E. Johnson by 1920 and she was once again living with her mother; Lillian had remarried and was a widow, and was employed as a stenographer at a law office. She was considered a member of the middle class within the African American community in Detroit, and was selected as a board member of the Detroit Urban League; at the time she was employed as a bookkeeper for a physician. She was one of the early African American members of the Detroit Urban League's integrated board at a time when the organization worked hand-in-hand with its financier, the Employer's Association, to supply Detroit industries with African American laborers from the South. The Detroit Urban League was established in 1910. Lillian E. Johnson was living with her brother in 1940, his name was Samuel H. Johnson, and the family of four lived on Alger Street in Detroit [U.S. Federal Census]. Johnson was employed as a bookkeeper with a newspaper. Bakeman's brief biography is included in the Michigan Manual of Freemen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online in .pdf format on the Western Michigan University website]. For more about the Detroit Urban League Board when Bakeman was a member, see Internal Combustion: the races in Detroit, 1915-1926, by D. A. Levine.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Employment Services, Migration North, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

National Colored Teachers' Agency, Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1928
At the end of the 19th Century, teacher employment agencies developed in the United States, and in 1914, the National Association of Teachers' Agencies (NATA) was formed by the National Education Association (NEA), which was segregated. The NATA members were school-related agencies only; membership was not open to commercial teachers' employment agencies. All of the agencies had the dual role of finding employment for educators and directing employers to the best educators. African American teachers belonged to the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools (NATCS), founded in 1904. Predating NATCS was the development of the commercial colored teachers' employment agencies in the late 1800s. The agencies flourished around 1915 when numerous agency ads could be found in issues of the Crisis. Around 1930, the number of ads and agencies was greatly reduced with the onset of the Great Depression. In June of 1930, Marion C. Davis sent a letter to the Crisis inquiring as to where she might find a colored teachers' agency or bureau; it had been a while since there were agency ads in the Crisis [read digital image of letter online]. The colored teachers' employment agencies were independent of one another and had slight name variations, such as the Interstate Colored Teachers' Agency in Richmond, VA; the Southern Colored Teachers' Agency located in Dallas, formerly the Texas Colored Teachers' Agency; the Colored Teachers' Agency in Washington, D.C., one of the oldest agencies; and the Colored Teachers' Agency in Alabama. In 1928, the National Colored Teachers' Agency in Louisville, KY, was located at 632 W. Walnut Street. This particular agency was a division of the National Teachers' Agency in Louisville. Jesse B. Colbert (1861-1936) was the general manager of the colored division. Colbert placed ads in publications such as the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association that read, "Now is the time to enroll for a position for the next school term. We secure positions for teachers in any state in the Union desired."-- [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, issue 04/18-21/1928, p. 19]. Jesse B. Colbert was an agent for the colored division of the National Teachers' Agency while also an employee of the National Employment Bureau in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville]. The National Employment Bureau was a free employment service provided by the government. The National Colored Teachers' Agency was a business that charged fees. It is not known how long the National Colored Teachers' Agency existed in Louisville. See also the NKAA Database entry Colored Bureau of Education, an earlier teachers' employment agency in Frankfort, KY.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Employment Services
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Simpson, Abram Lyon
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1956
Simpson, born in Louisville, KY, was a chemistry professor at Morris Brown College prior to WWI, where he unsuccesfully attempted to organize a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in 1914. He was later president of Allen University in South Carolina (serving 1932-1937) and was acting president of Bethune-Cookman College [now Bethune-Cookman University] from 1937-1939. He also served as supervisor and counselor in the United States Employment Services (U.S.E.S.) in Washington, D.C. Simpson composed the Alpha Phi Alpha National Hymn. A veteran of World War I, he was the youngest African American Army captain at the age of 23. He is thought to be one of the characters in and the inspiration behind his friend Joseph S. Cotter, Jr.'s poem "On the fields of France." Simpson graduated from Wilberforce University (in 1914) and the University of Chicago. He was the son of James Edward and Lida Simpson, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived on West Broadway. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1950; Lost Plays of the Harlem Renaissance, 1920-1940, by J. V. Hatch and L. Hamalian; and Complete History of the Colored Soldiers in the World War: authentic story of the Greatest War..., Bennett and Churchill, 1919 [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Employment Services, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Columbia, South Carolina / Daytona Beach, Florida / Washington, DC / Chicago, Illinois / Wilberforce, Ohio

Tolbert, Hardin
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1966
Hardin Tolbert was an outspoken newspaper publisher, journalist, and civil rights activist. On more than one occasion, he was also accused of getting the story or the facts wrong. Tolbert was publisher of the Frankfort Tribune and The Star and was a correspondent for the Freeman (Indianapolis, IN). He was said to be the only African American in Kentucky who earned his living solely from his work as a newspaper correspondent [source: "Hardin Tolbert...," Freeman, 06/21/1913, p. 1]. Tolbert's office was at 425 Washington Street in Frankfort in 1911, and he later conducted business for the State Bureau at the People's Pharmacy at 118 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY. His business was also known as the Tolbert Publicity Bureau. In 1912, Tolbert expanded the operation and appointed William Baxter as regular correspondent of the Freeman in Shelbyville, KY, with headquarters in the Safell and Safell Funeral Home [source: "Mr. Baxter...," Freeman, 05/04/1912, p. 1]. In 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education, an employment agency for Negro teachers [source: first paragraph of "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In November of 1914, Hardin Tolbert was arrested for publishing an article that criticized President Green P. Russell of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]; President Russell had senior student Willie Mea Toran arrested for her speech and petition against Russell's rule over the school, and student Vera Metcalf from Hopkinsville, KY, was kicked out of the dorm for not signing a petition that was in support of President Russell [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 11/14/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert also criticized three white men on the school board who endorsed President Russell's actions: Dr. C. A. Fish, George L. Hannon, and former mayor J. H. Polsgrove. All four men, Russell, Fish, Hannon, and Polsgrove, swore out warrants for the arrest of Hardin Tolbert, and he was jailed. State Superintendent Barksdale Hamlett provided the bail of $250 for Tolbert's release. Tolbert was charged with making false statements and fomenting trouble, all of which was summed up in the courtroom by the Commonwealth Attorney who said that Tolbert, a black man, had no right to criticize a white man; Tolbert was fined $10 and costs [source: "Calls colored editor "Nappy Headed Black Brute," Cleveland Gazette, 11/28/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert continued his criticism and also participated in the attempt to desegregate the Ben Ali Theater in 1915 and the Strand Theater in 1916, both in Lexington, KY. Hardin Tolbert would eventually leave Kentucky. In 1920, he was editor of the Cincinnati Journal [source: "Editor Hardin Tolbert...," Cleveland Gazette, 07/03/1920, p. 3]. The newspaper was located at 228 W. 8th Street; Tolbert also had a room at 636 W. 9th Street [source: William's City of Cincinnati Directory, 1919-1920, p. 2013]. Hardin Tolbert was born in February, 1880 in Shelbyville, KY, according to his World War I and World War II draft registration cards; he died June 3, 1966 in Martinsburg, WV, according to the West Virginia Certificate of Death #66008064.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Migration East, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Martinsburg, West Virginia

Van Dunk, Frances Gunner
Birth Year : 1894
Born in Lexington, KY, Van Dunk was a teacher from 1915-1918. She held several posts with the Y.M.C.A. before becoming an employee of the New York State Employment Service in 1938 and advancing to branch manager in 1944. For more on Frances Van Dunk see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. For more on the Employment Service see The New Deal and the unemployed: the view from New York City, by B. Blumberg.
Subjects: Employment Services, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Vaughn, Postelle A.
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1988
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Vaughn became a teacher and principal in North Carolina and Indiana schools. He began working for the Pennsylvania State Employment Service in 1938 as a senior interviewer, advancing to the position of office manager in 1943. The service was located at 253 N. Broad Street in Philidelphia, PA. In 1941, Vaughn was supervisor of Negro Research and Placement when he gave testimony to the Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration. Vaughn was also author of several articles, including "Stone Wall and Brown Hands," Brown American, 1940. He was the bridge editor for the Philadelphia Tribune. For more see Testimony of Postel Vaughn 5787, Statement by Postelle A. Vaughn 5787, and Testimony of Postelle A. Vaughn, resumed 5792, in Hearings Before the Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, House of Representatives, 77th Congress, Part 14, Trenton Hearings, June 27 and 28, 1941; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. For more on the Employment Service, see Public Employment Service in the United States, by R. C. Atkinson, et al.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration East
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Indiana / Pennsylvania

 

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