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

Abercrumbie, P. Eric
Born in Falmouth, KY, Abercrumbie developed the Black Man Think Tank and is the national president of the John D. O'Bryant Think Tank for Black Professionals in Higher Education on Predominantly White Campuses (JDOTT). A professor at the University of Cincinnati (UC), his focus academically and professionally is black males in America. Abercrumbie is also Director of Ethnic Programs and Services at UC. He was voted one of the Outstanding Community Leaders of the World by the U. S. Jaycees. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Adams, John Tyler "J.T."
Birth Year : 1911
J. T. Adams was born in Morganfield, KY. His father taught him to play guitar when he was 11 years old. Adams later moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he played at parties and local clubs. He recorded with Mr. Shirley Griffith on the Bluesville label in 1951. Some of his songs were "A" Jump, Bright Street Jump, Indiana Avenue Blues, and Naptown Boogie. For more see Blues Who's Who, by S. Harris.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

African American Library Employees, WPA, NYA, & Kentucky, 1940
Start Year : 1940
Though Louisville, KY, had been a leader in the training of Negro librarians beginning in 1912, by 1940 those efforts had come to an end. The training program at the Louisville Western Branch Library ended in 1931. Also gone were the 1932 library training program started by Eliza Atkins [Gleason] at the Louisville Municipal College and the 1936 state training agency housed at the Municipal College for the training of Negro library employees [source: Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones, pp. 94-95]. The continuation of the Western Branch library training program at Hampton Institute Library School ended in 1939 [now Hampton University]. The Atlanta University library school would open in 1941 [now Clark Atlanta University]. In 1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt was reelected, the country was still experiencing the Great Depression with record unemployment, and in Europe, it was the second year of what would become known as World War II. Employment was hard to come by, including library jobs, though Louisville was still the one location in Kentucky that offered the most employment opportunities for Negro librarians and library employees, which included teens and young adult library assistants who were hired via the National Youth Administration (NYA). Some of the adult librarians and library assistants were hired via the Work Projects Administration. Changes had taken place with the federal programs by 1940; the NYA, a New Deal program created during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term, was no longer a part of the WPA; it moved to the Federal Security Agency with the passage of the Reorganization Act of 1939. Also in 1939, the Works Progress Administration was renamed the Work Projects Administration; both were referred to as the WPA. The WPA was a New Deal agency (a federal assistance program) that employed mostly men for public works projects. The WPA Library projects mostly hired women. The library projects were sponsored by the public library commissions or boards of education in the participating states. There was a qualified workforce in Kentucky: the Negro librarians were some of the most educated women in the state and the race. Below are the names, education levels, and additional information about African Americans in and from Kentucky who were employed as librarians and library assistants in 1940; WPA and NYA workers are indicated. - - [sources: 1940 U.S. Federal Census; Wilson Bulletin for Librarians, April 1938; and Library Extension Under the WPA, by E. B. Stanford]. [See also NKAA entries for the National Youth Administration (Kentucky), Colored Libraries, and African American Schools].

 

NYA=National Youth Administration

WPA=Work Projects Administration

 

Anna Allen (b. 1924), daughter of Booker Z. and Viola Allen / completed 8th grade / Lancaster, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Anne Anderson (b. 1907), wife of Charles W. Anderson, Jr. / completed 4th year of college / Frankfort, KY / Librarian, Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]

Alice Baker (b. 1924), daughter of Lone and Nellie Baker / completed 9th grade / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Beulah Bolan (b. 1891), widow / completed 2nd year of college / Louisville, KY / Librarian, public school

Gwendolyn Blakley (b. 1918), daughter of William and Martha Blakley / completed 3rd year of college / Chicago, IL (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, reading project

Lorella Bradford (b. 1917), grandniece of Charles Batts / completed 3rd year of college / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, college

Jesse M. Brashear (b. 1922), daughter of John W. and Fanny Brashear / completed 9th grade / Hardin County, KY / Library Assistant, school

Frances Bush (b. 1909), daughter of Brize and Nettie Bush / completed 1st year of college / Cincinnati, OH (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, public library

Sallie Churchville (b. 1904), single / completed 4th year of college / Louisville, KY / Librarian, public library

Minnie Cooper (b. 1884), widow / completed 3rd year of college / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, public library

James Cowherd (b. 1916), son of Lee and Stella Cowherd / completed 12th grade / Indianapolis, IN (born in Kentucky) / Library Assistant, NYA Literary Project

Bessie Crenshaw (b. 1920), daughter of Samuel and Bessie Crenshaw / completed 1st year of college / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Anna Dell (b. 1896), divorced / completed 4th year of college / Louisville, KY / Librarian, public school

Julius Dickerson (b. 1909), divorced / completed 3rd year of college / Louisville, KY / Librarian, WPA, public library

Thelma Dunlap (b. 1923), daughter of Johnie Ross / completed 11th grade / Paducah, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Gertrude Durett (b. 1911), single / completed 4th year of college / Louisville, KY / Librarian, Toy Library

Clara Frank (b. 1902), single / completed 10th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, WPA

Sophia Freeman (b. 1898), widow / completed 12 grade / Indianapolis, IN (born in Kentucky) / Library Assistant, high school

Thelma P. Froman (b. 1923), daughter of John Des and Minnie Froman / completed 11th grade / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Wyetta Gilmore (b. 1906), married / completed 4th year of college / Indianapolis, IN (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, public library

Vivian Glass (b. 1904), divorced / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, public library

Lillian C. Hall (b. 1891), wife of John Wesley Hall / completed 4th year of college / Indianapolis, IN (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, Attucks High School

Willa Hall (b. 1918), daughter of Bessie and Gabie Hall / completed 1st year of college / Indianapolis, IN (born in Kentucky) / Library Assistant, NYA Project

Margaret Hampton (b. 1916), single / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, public library

Rachel D. Harris (b. 1869), widow / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, public library

Beatrice Hatchett (b. 1921), daughter of Elisha Hatchett / completed 12th grade / Henderson, KY / Library Assistant, school work program

Hattie Hays(b. 1886), widow / completed 12th grade / Fulton County, KY / Librarian, school project

Robert Jackson (b. 1911), husband of Naomi Jackson / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, WPA Recreation Center

Marjorie Johnson (b. 1906), married / completed 6th year of college / Paducah, KY / Librarian, school

Mary Jones (b. 1919), single / completed 10th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, WPA Library

Cordelia Knight (b. 1920), daughter of Patrick and Emma Knight / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, Municipal College Library

Naomi Lattimore (b. 1904), wife of John A. C. Lattimore / completed 5th year of college / Louisville, KY (born in Illinois) / Librarian, public and college libraries

Hariett Lawson (b. 1907), single / completed 4th year of college / Gary, Indiana (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, public school

Evelyn Lewis (b. 1914), single / completed 1st year of college / Chicago, IL (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, WPA Project

Pearl Lewis (b. 1890), widowed / completed 8th grade / Letcher County, KY / Librarian, WPA Office

Charlotte Lytte (b. 1913), single / completed 12th grade / Springfield, OH (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, public college

Eva Mallory (b. 1901), wife of Robert A. Mallory / completed 1st year of college / Minneapolis, MN (born in Kentucky) / Librarian

Esther Maray (b. 1920), daughter of Caroline Maray / completed 12th grade / Cleveland, OH (born in Kentucky) / Library Assistant, NYA

Charles Marrs (b. 1917), son of Charles and Julia Marrs / completed 12th grade / Chicago, IL (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, public library

Ruth McCoy (b. 1916), single / completed 4th year of college / New Orleans, LA (born in Kentucky) / Library Assistant, university

Elnora McIntyre Muir (b. 1886), married / completed 5th year of college / Louisville, KY (born in Tennessee) / Library Assistant, public library

Mamie Melton (b. 1897), widowed / completed 8th grade / Washington, PA (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, neighborhood house

Carolyn E. Mundy (b. 1908), wife of John Mundy / completed 4th year of college / Louisville, KY (born in Tennessee) / Librarian, public school

Mary Myall (b. 1907), single / completed 4th year of college / Xenia, OH (born in Kentucky) / Librarian, university library

Hugh Osborne, Jr. (b. 1919), married / completed 4th year of college / Paducah, KY (born in Alabama) / Librarian, judge's office

Hugh Osbourne (b. 1919), single / completed 7th year of college / Louisville, KY (born in Alabama) / Law Librarian, Court of Appeals

Alice Parker (b. 1912), married / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, WPA

Noverta Peoples (b. 1922), daughter of John B. and Leana N. Peoples / completed 11th grade / Paducah, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Lizzie Pierce (b. 1882), wife of B. L. Pierce / completed 11th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, public library

Pruline Pigeon (b. 1910), wife of Barbee Pigeon / completed 8th grade / Indianapolis, IN / Librarian, WPA

Lizzie S. Price (b. 1878), wife of Henry M. Price / completed 2nd year of college / Louisville, KY / Librarian, free public library

Elmarie Robinson (b. 1911), single / completed 11th grade / Covington, KY / Librarian, public school

Rose Sellers (b. 1921), daughter of Oliver P. and Mary Sellers / completed 1st year of college / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Georgia Shipley (b. 1921), daughter of Lovie and Jerry Shipley / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, library project

Gertrude Silves (b. 1902), widow / completed 3rd grade / Louisville, KY / Librarian, Ribhi (sp) Library

Bessie R. Stone (b. 1917), married / completed 5th year of college / Frankfort, KY / Library Assistant, Kentucky State College for Negroes [now Kentucky State University]

Lee Ella Watkins (b. 1918), daughter of Virginia Watkins / completed 12th grade / Louisville, KY / Library Assistant, NYA

Bruce Weaver (b. 1917), single / completed 2nd year of college / Louisville, KY (born in Indiana) / Library Assistant, school library

Garnett Witherspoon (b. 1911), wife of James Witherspoon / completed 2nd year of college / Paducah, KY (born in Illinois) / Librarian, college

Thelma Yancey (b. 1914), single / completed 4th year of college / Lexington, KY (born in Montana) / Librarian, college

Hortense H. Young (b. 1904), wife of Coleman Milton Young II / completed 4th year of college / Louisville, KY (born in Texas) / Librarian, Municipal College Library

Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA), National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American Shoe Shiners and Shoe Repairers in Lexington, KY, 1930-1947
Start Year : 1930
End Year : 1947
By 1920, there were approximately 50,000 shoe repair shops in the United States. In Lexington,KY, there were many African Americans who supported their families as shoe repairers, shoe shiners, and shoe finishers. The making, repairing and caring of shoes were trades taught in Kentucky's African American normal and industrial institutes, orphanages, and schools for students with disabilities. During the economic depression, when jobs were few and the purchase of new shoes had drastically declined, skilled workers in other trades turned to shoe repair and shoe shining as a source of income. Very limited research has been done on these occupations, but very good documentation can be found in reference to Lexington, KY, and African Americans employed in the shoe care and repair market. Below are some of their names for the years 1930-1947. Many were WWI and WWII veterans. The information comes from Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directories, U.S. Federal Census Records, military registration records, death certificates, and other sources as noted.

[See also the NKAA entries African American Shoe Makers and Shoe Repairers in Lexington , KY, prior to 1900; African American Shoe Makers in Kentucky; and African American Shoe Makers from Kentucky.]

  • William Anderson was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe and Hat Shop (1939 directory). William and Luvenia Anderson lived at 252 E. 3rd Street (1940-41 directory).
  • William E. Anderson (b.1873) was a shoe shiner for M. Churchill Johnson. He had been a porter at his father's barber shop at the corner of Main and Upper Streets, according to his WWI draft registration card. Anderson lived at 321 E. 2nd Street (1940-41 directory) with his father Will Anderson. [see also NKAA entry Suter Brothers, Barbers]
  • Robert Arthur was a shoe repairman at Ben Snyder Inc. Robert and Mary Arthur lived at 668A Charlotte Court (1942 directory).
  • Thomas Atkins was a shoe shiner at Woodland Barber Shop. He lived at 543 E. 2nd Street (1937 directory).
  • Edward Bailey was a shoe shiner at E E Harber Shoe Repair Company. He lived at 150 N. Eastern Avenue (1947 directory).
  • Roosevelt Ballard was a shoe repairman at E E Harber Shoe Repair Company. He lived at 389 Patterson Street (1945 directory).
  • James W. Beatty was a shoe shiner at 204 Deweese Street (1942 directory).
  • Benjamin Bibbs (b.1880) was a shoe shiner at N Y Hat Cleaners (1931 directory). According to his WWI draft registration card, Bibbs had been a tinner at State University on Limestone [now University of Kentucky], and he and Lena Bibbs lived at 167 E. 7th Street.
  • William Bibbs was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. He lived at 716 N. Limestone Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Coleman Bledshaw was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. He was the husband of Artemesia Bledshaw, and the couple lived at 530 Lawrence Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Daniel Boone was a shoe shiner for Clyde R. Clem. Boone lived at 558 N. Upper Street (1937 directory).
  • Robert Brookter was a shoe repairman for Mrs. Sadie Bederman. He lived at 501 Patterson Street (1945 directory). [The last name Brookter was more common in Louisiana and Mississippi, than in Kentucky.]
  • Willie Brown (b.1916) was a shoe shiner at a shoe shining parlor in Lexington, KY. He and his wife Alice Brown lived at 374 E. 2nd Street. Willie Brown lived in Hopkinsville, KY, in 1935 (1940 U.S. Federal Census).
  • William Huston Bradshaw (b.1877) was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe Shop. He lived at 274 E. 2nd Street (1940-41 directory), and was the husband of Susie Bradshaw, according to his WWI draft registration card. 
  • Matthew Buckner was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. Buckner lived at 448 Ohio Street (1937 directory).
  • Thomas Henry Buckner (b.1878) was a shoe shiner. He lived at 450 Chestnut Street (1943-44 directory). He had been a waiter at the Phoenix Hotel in downtown Lexington, according to his WWI draft registration card, and lived at 824 Charles Avenue with his wife Mollie Buckner.
  • Titus Buckner (1855-1936) was a shoe repairman (1931 directory). He had also been a shoemaker and was listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82. Buckner was also a minister. Reverend Titus Buckner was born in Fayette County, KY. He was the husband of Julia Buckner, b.1856 in KY. The couple lived at 196 Eddie Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Titus Buckner was a widower by 1920, and Mattie Titus is listed as his wife in the 1931 city directory. Titus Buckner is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY, according to his death certificate.
  • Jesse Cawl (1911-1971) was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe Shop at 244 E. Short Street (1942 directory). He was born in Jefferson County, KY, and Eugene Booker is listed as his mother on the birth certificate. Cawl was a WWII veteran, he enlisted in Cincinnati, OH, on January 22, 1943, according to his Army enlistment record. Cawl died in Louisville, KY.
  • Felix Chapman (1906-1966) was a shoe maker in 1940 (U.S. Federal Census). He was also a shoe repairman and shoe finisher for Charles H. McAtee. Chapman lived at 366 E. 2nd Street (1939 directory and 1940-41 directory). He was later a shoe repairman at E E Harber Shoe Repair Company, and lived at 545 Wilson Street (1945 directory). Chapman had been a chauffeur and lived at 336 E. Short Street (1927 directory). Chapman died in Bourbon County, KY.
  • Marcus Caldwell was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. Marcus and Sarah Caldwell lived at 507F S. Aspendale Drive (1939 directory).
  • Robert D. Claybourne (b.1880) was a shoe repairman at McGurk's Shoe Shop. He lived with his wife, Lollia Claybourne, and family at 357 Wilson Street (1947 directory). Claybourne, born in KY, had been a shoemaker at a shoe store in Louisville according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.
  • Farris Craig (b.1890) was a shoe shiner for Fred D. Bostic. Craig lived at 352 Poplar Street (1937 directory). He is listed with his wife Anna H. Craig, and his step-daughter in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He had been a porter in a barber shop owned by William Johnson in Lexington, KY, according to his WWI draft registration card. Craig was born in Danville, KY, the son of John and Jessie Craig, according to the 1900 Census.
  • Kenneth Craig (1923-1945) was a shoe repairman for Samuel Bederman. He lived in Versailles, KY (1943-44 directory). Craig was born in Buffalo, NY, the son of Clayton Coleman and Roy C. Craig, Sr., and according to his death certificate, his parents were Kentucky natives. Kenneth Craig died of tuberculosis in Lexington, KY.
  • Joseph Davis was a shoe repairman employed by Samuel Bederman. Davis lived at 324 Hickory Street (1931 directory). He was later a shoe shiner at Harber Shoe Repair Company, and lived at 501D N. Aspendale Avenue (1940-41 directory).
  • John Doty was a shoe shiner at Broadway Shine Parlor. He lived at 468 Kenton Street (1942 directory).
  • Loyal R. Drye (1901-1975) was a shoe shiner at Five Minute Hat Shop. Loyal and his wife Eliza lived at 178 Race Street (1931 directory). He died in Cincinnati, OH.
  • Jessie Edwards was a shoe shiner for Samuel Bederman. He lived at 327 Chestnut Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Ceola Evans (b.1913) was a shoe shiner at a shoe shining parlor. He and his wife Bessie Mary Spencer Evans and their two children lived with the Spencer family at 562 E. Third Street (1940 U.S. Federal Census).
  • Alphonso Fair was a shoe shiner employed by William T. Hurst. Alphonso and Mayme Fair lived at 446 Ash Street (1931 directory).
  • Nathaniel C. Farmer was a shoe repairman at 306 E. 2nd Street (1931 directory).
  • William Fisher was a shoe shiner at Broadway Shine Parlor. He lived at 197 Deweese Street (1947 directory).
  • Thomas Foster was a shoe shiner at Harber Shoe Repair Company. Foster lived at 313 Henry Street (1939 directory).
  • Lawrence Fox was a shoe shiner for Martin Berlin. Fox lived at 427 Kenton Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Mitchell Garth (b.1881) was a shoe shiner. He worked from his home at 133 W. Water Street (1937 directory). Garth was born in Alabama, and had been a janitor while a boarder at the home of Samuel Young on Corral Street, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.
  • James A. Graves (b.1891) repaired shoes at his home, 523 S. Spring Street (1931 directory). He was born in Kentucky, the son of Florida Graves, according to the 1920 U.S. Census. James Graves later repaired shoes at 211 Deweese Street (1937 directory). James was the husband of Abbie Graves. The city directory entry reads "Shoe Repair Shop, I Doctor Shoes, Heel Them and Save Their Soles" (1945 directory).
  • Patrick Green was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe Shop (1947 directory).
  • Walker Green was a shoe finisher at McGurk's Shoe Shop. He lived at 726 Chiles Avenue (1945 directory).
  • Peter Harley was a shoe shiner at 164 Race Street (1943-44 directory).
  • Sam Harris (b.1880) was a shoe repairman at a shoe shop. He and his wife Deedie lived on 533 Jefferson Street in Lexington (1940 U.S. Federal Census).
  • Samuel M. Harrison (1874-1951) was a shoemaker and shoe repairman at 535 Jefferson Street, and he lived at 533 Jefferson Street (1931 directory). Harrison was born in Fayette County, KY, the son of Martha Allen Harrison and Essix Harrison, according to his death certificate. He was the husband of Cordelia Harrison. By the 1940s, Samuel Harrison had expanded his shoe repair business to include the making of artificial limbs (1943-44 directory). Samuel M. Harrison is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY.
  • John F. Holman was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe & Hat Shop. He lived at 150 N. Eastern Avenue (1943-44 directory).
  • Henry E. Howe (1911-1984) was a shoe finisher at a shoe shop in 1930 when he was living with his grandmother Mary Howe at 275 E. 4th Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He was later a shoe repairman at 607 N. Limestone, and was married to Nannie Howe. The couple lived at 275 E. 4th Street (1937 directory). A few years later, Henry Howe lived at 332 Ohio Street (1942 directory) with his wife Louise P. Howe (1945 directory), and he was still repairing shoes on N. Limestone.
  • Alex Hutsel was a shoe shiner employed by Samuel Bederman. Hutsel lived at 350 Deweese Street (1942 directory).
  • William Irvin was a shoe shiner for Robert E. Parris. Irvin lived at 549 Thomas Street (1937 directory).
  • Christ Jackson was listed as a laborer who lived at 180 Correll Street [Corral Street] in the R. C. Hellrigle and Co's Lexington City Directory 1877-78, and he was later a shoe shiner at Broadway Shine Parlor (1939 directory). Christ and Lillie Jackson lived at 309 Coleman Street (1939 directory and 1940-41 directory).
  • James L. Jackson was a shoe shiner who lived at 217 E. 2nd Street (1942 directory).
  • Robert Jackson was a shoe repairman for Sol Bederman. He and his wife Annabelle Jackson lived at 219 E. 2nd Street (1945 directory).
  • Roy Jackson was a shoe shiner at 314 Corral Street (1931 directory).
  • Robert E. Johnson was a shoe shiner for Samuel Bederman. He lived at 436 Kenton Street (1943-44 directory).
  • Shirley B. Johnson was a paperhanger when he and his wife Sidney lived at 553 Ohio Street (1931-32 directory). Shirley Johnson was later a shoe shiner at O K Barber Shop, and the couple lived at 145 Prall Street (1939 directory).
  • Chester Jones was a shoe repairman at 559 White Street (1937 directory). He was later a shoe shiner at the Lexington Shoe Hospital (1939 directory).
  • Lloyd Jones was a shoe finisher and shoe repairman at McGurk's Shoe and Hat Shop. Lloyd and Mary Jones lived at 684C Charlotte Court (1943-44 directory & 1945 directory).
  • Oliver Jones was a shoe shiner at 371 Corral Street (1937 directory).
  • William C. Jones repaired shoes at 243 Lee Street. He and his wife Callie C. Jones lived at 923 Whitney Avenue (1931 directory).
  • John L. Lawrence was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. John and Mary Lawrence lived at 450 N. Upper Street (1940-41 directory).
  • David Lee was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe & Hat Shop. He lived at 736 N. Broadway (1943-44 directory).
  • Spurgeon L. Lewis (1911-1985) was a shoe shiner at Unique Shine Parlor. Lewis lived at 326 E. 2nd Street (1937 directory) with his parents, Henry S. and Elizabeth T. Lewis. There was a family of eight listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.
  • Joseph B. Lyons, Sr. was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. Joseph and Sam Ella Lyons lived at 182 Eddie Street (1937 directory). They later lived at 507D S. Aspendale Drive (1942 directory). [He was the father of Donald W. Lyons, Sr. and Joseph B. Lyons, Jr.]
  • Robert Hamilton McClasky (b.1881) was a shoemaker at his home at 209 South Broadway, and was the husband of Clara M. McClasky, according to his WWI draft registration card. He is listed as a widow in the 1920 Census, he was sharing his home, 207 S. Broadway, with his brother John E. McClasky (b.1891) who was a shoe repairman. Both brothers were born in Kentucky. Robert McClasky was later a shoe repairman at 207 S. Broadway (1931 directory), and would become the owner of Tuskegee Shoe Shop, which had a separate entry in the city directory (1945 directory). The shop was located at his home. The directory entry reads "Tuskegee Shoe Shop, (c; Robert H. McClasky), 35 Years of Dependable Service, Shoe Repairing, and Rebuilding." He was the husband of Birdie McClasky (1945 directory).
  • Andrew McGee (1894-1942) was a shoe shiner for John K. Reeder. McGee lived at 346 Corral Street (1939 directory). He is listed in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census as a barber. He had earlier been a porter at Wiley & Fields, at the corner of Main and Broadway, according to McGee's WWI registration card. Andrew McGee was born in Kentucky, the son of Pollie Lee and William McGee, according to his death certificate. He lived with his grandmother when he was a child; Jane Lee was a widow who lived on Constitution Street in Lexington, KY, according to the 1900 Census. Andrew McGee was a WWI veteran and is buried in the National Cemetery in Nicholasville, KY.
  • Michael Miegel was a shoe shiner at Broadway Shine Parlor (1947 directory).
  • William Mells was a shoe shiner for Martin Berlin (1940-41 directory). He later shined shoes at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. William and Jean Mells lived at 248 Jefferson Street (1942 directory). Jean Hamilton Mells was a 47 year old widow when she died in 1948, according to her death certificate.
  • Thomas Mells (1900-1967) was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners. Mells lived at 122 W. 4th Street (1942 directory), and later lived at 248 Jefferson Street (1943-44 directory). He died in Lexington, KY, according to the Social Security Death Index.
  • Thomas Mullen was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe Shop. He lived at 351 E. 3rd Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Robert Mundy (1915-1976) and Thomas L. Mundy (1916-1983) were brothers, both were shoe shiners at Harber Shoe Repair Company. Robert was the husband of Ruth Mundy and the couple lived at 419 Chestnut Street. Thomas Mundy lived at 243 Ann Street (1937 directory). The brothers were born in Kentucky, the sons of George and Sally Mundy. The family of seven is listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, they lived on Mary Street in Lexington, KY.
  • Edward M. Neal, Jr. was a shoe repairman at 508 Thomas Street (1937 directory).
  • Raymond Nichols was a shoe shiner for Henry Howe (above). Nichols lived at 738 N. Broadway (1939 directory).
  • Kenneth A. Paige (1903-1961) was a shoe repairman at 322 Chestnut Street in the 1930s. Kenneth and his wife Anna J. Paige lived at 219 W. 7th Street (1931 directory). Kenneth Paige is listed in the Lexington city directory for almost two decades, including his employment at E E Harber Shoe Repair Company (1942 directory). Paige was also a shoe repairman at Pinkston's, and lived at 351 Corral Street (1945 directory). He was owner of "Paige's Shoe Repair Shop, The House of Souls and Heels." The business was located at 211 Deweese Street (1947 directory).
  • Charles Palmer did shoe repairs at his home, 445 Chestnut Street. He was the husband of Anna B. Palmer (1931 directory).
  • John Nimrod Paul was born in 1885 in Russell County, KY. He was the husband of Emma Grider Paul, born in 1892 in Cumberland, KY. The couple lived in Russell Springs, KY, according to John Paul's WWI registration card. John Paul had a shoemaker's shop in Russell Springs according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. By 1930, the family of six lived in Lexington, KY, and John Paul did shoe repairs from their home at 457 Georgetown Street (1931 directory).
  • Felix Pearsall (1922) was a shoe shiner for Charles H. McAtee (1939 directory). He was the son of Katherine Pearsall who was a widow when listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.
  • Gilbert W. Potter (1910-1954) was a shoe shiner for Sol Bederman, and he and his wife Virginia lived at 667C Charlotte Court F (1945 directory). He had been a waiter (1937 directory), and was later a porter at Drake Hotel (1939 directory). Gilbert W. Potter served in the U.S. Army during WWII, he enlisted in Cincinnati, OH, October 23, 1942, according to his enlistment record.
  • William Reed (b.1924) was a shoe shiner in a barber shop. He was the son of Susy Reed. The family lived at 349 Wilson Street (1940 U.S. Federal Census).
  • Albert Rogers was a shoe shiner at Harber Shoe Repair Company. Rogers lived at 230 E. 2nd Street (1937 directory).
  • Jesse Ross shined shoes at N Y Hat Cleaners. He lived at 731 Whitney Avenue (1931 directory).
  • Paul L. Seals (1930-1985) was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe Shop. He lived at 500C N. Aspendale Drive (1947 directory). Seals was the son of Robert P. and Marjorie R. Seals, the family of four is listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census.
  • Harry Shields was a shoe repairman. He lived at 248 E. Short Street (1942 directory). Shields was later a shoe repairman at Tuskegee Shoe Shop (1947 directory). He was the husband of Sarah Shields.
  • David Singleton was a shoe shiner for Sol Bederman. He lived at 248 E. 5th Street (1937 directory).
  • Jerry Smith was a shoe shiner at 118 W. Vine Street. He was the husband of Beatrice T. Smith (1947 directory).
  • John Smith repaired shoes at 401 1/2 Race Street. He and his wife Mary Smith lived at 562 Thomas Street (1931 directory).
  • Rudolph Smith was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe & Hat Shop. He lived at 374 E. 2nd Street (1943-44 directory). He was later a shoe shiner at E E Harber Shoe Repair Company, and lived at 428 Ash Street (1945 directory).
  • Thornton Smith was a shoe shiner at 390 Patterson Street. Smith lived at 721 Noble Avenue (1942 directory).
  • George W. Stewart was a shoe repairman at 337 N. Limestone. George and Leona P. Stewart lived at 341 N. Limestone (1937 directory).
  • George A. Stone was a shoe shiner and a shoe repairman at Harber Shoe Repair Company. Stone lived at 532 Emma Street (1939 directory), and later lived at 425 N. Upper Street (1943-44 directory).
  • A second George A. Stone was a shoe finisher at 417 E. 2nd Street. He was the husband of Rose L. Stone (1943-44 directory), the couple lived at 309 E. 2nd Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Albert Taylor was a shoe shiner. He lived at 133 Water Street (1940-41 directory).
  • Dillard Taylor (1884-1939) did shoe repairs at 801 Whitney Avenue. He was married to Lizzie Taylor (1931 directory). Dillard Taylor was born in Scott County, KY, the son of Litha Redd and George Taylor, according to his death certificate. He was buried in Georgetown, KY.
  • George T. Taylor (1900-1952) was a shoe repairman. He lived at 322 Chestnut Street (1942 directory). Taylor was later a shoe repairman at Third Street Bargain Store. George and Rosa Taylor lived at 316 Deweese Street (1945 directory). According to his death certificate, George T. Taylor was also a shoemaker. He was born in Macon, GA, the son of Eugenia and Lee Taylor. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY.
  • Ella B. Thomas was one of the few women who were employed as a shoe repairer. The business was at 337 N. Limestone, and Thomas lived at 341 N. Limestone (1931 directory).
  • James Tribble was a shoe shiner at McGurk's Shoe & Hat Shop. He lived at 753 Loraine Avenue (1943-44 directory).
  • Sanford Vinegar was a shoe shiner for George Miner. He lived at 477 W. 4th Street (1937 directory).
  • E. Waldo was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners located at 321 Wilson Street (1942 directory). He was the husband of Corine Waldo.
  • Joseph E. Walker was a shoe shiner. Joseph and Mozelle Walker lived at 157 N. Eastern Avenue (1945 directory).
  • Virgil Washington was a shoe repairman employed by Sol Bederman. Washington lived at 309 E. 6th Street (1931 directory).
  • Thompson Webb was a shoe shiner at Unique Shine Parlor. He was the husband of Hattie Webb (1939 directory).
  • Earl White was a shoe shiner for Sol Bederman. White lived at 702 Lindbergh Court (1940-41 directory).
  • Joseph White was a shoe repairman for Samuel Bederman. White lived at 343 E. 2nd Street (1937 directory).
  • Albert Wilkerson was a shoe shiner at State Cleaners. He lived at 413 Elm Street (1937 directory)
  • Jesse Williams was a shoe repairman at Harber Shoe Repair Company. Jesse and Clara Williams lived at 205 E. Euclid Avenue (1937 directory).
  • Jesse Williams, Jr. was a shoe repairman at E E Harber Shoe Repair Company. He lived at 248 Roosevelt Boulevard (1943-44 directory).
  • William Wilson was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters & Cleaners (1937 directory).
  • William Winchester was a shoe shiner at Lexington Hatters and Cleaners (1940-41 directory).
  • Harry E. Worsham was a shoe shiner at Lexington Shoe Hospital. Worsham lived at 445 Chestnut Street (1942 directory). He was later a shoe repairman for Mrs. Sadie Bederman (1945 directory).
  • Nathaniel Young was a shoe shiner at Martin's Barber Shop. Nathaniel and Luella Young lived at 108 York Street (1939 directory).

See 1907 photo image of shoe shiner on Lexington, KY street in University of Louisville Libraries: Digital Archives. For more information on shoe repairing in general, see The Shoe Industry by F. J. Allen. For more general information on African American shoe shiners see Encyclopedia of African American Business, v.2, K-Z, edited by J. C. Smith. See also Establishing and Operating a Shoe Repair Business by J. G. Schnitzer and C. R. Budd.


Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Russell Springs, Russell County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Alabama / Cincinnati, Ohio / Macon, Georgia / Louisiana / Mississippi / Buffalo, New York

Aikens, Julia E. Jackson
Start Year : 1901
End Year : 1993
In 1959, Julia Aikens became the first African American switchboard operator at the U.S. Post Office in South Bend, Indiana. Born in Hancock County, KY, she was married to Arthur Aikens; the couple moved to South Bend, IN, in 1946. Julia Aikens was a graduate of Knox Beauty College and Grigg's Business School in Chicago. She had owned a beauty shop. Aikens also served as a WAAC and a WAC during World War II, enlisting March 23, 1943, in Columbus, OH. For more see the Julia Aikens' entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and the Julia E. Aikens Collection at the Northern Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Postal Service, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Hancock County, Kentucky / South Bend, Indiana

Alexander, Henry
Birth Year : 1802
Henry Alexander was a slave from Mayslick, KY, who purchased his freedom when he was 21 years old. He was a merchant and is listed in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census as a free man. Henry and his wife, Lucy Alexander, had a daughter, Maria Ann Alexander, who graduated from Oberlin College with a Literary Degree in 1854 and taught for a while in Covington, KY. Maria married Mifflin W. Gibbs, and the couple moved to Vancouver Island, Canada. Mifflin Gibbs would become the first African American judge in the United States. Harriet A. Gibbs was one of the couple's five children. For more see F. Fowler, "Some undistinguished Negroes," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 4 (Oct. 1920), p. 485.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Vancouver Island, Canada

Alexander, Lucy
Birth Year : 1803
Lucy, who was born in Kentucky, was the wife of Henry Alexander. Though Henry had purchased his freedom at the age of 21, it is not known if Lucy had aways been free or was freed sometime after her birth; she is listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census as a free person. Lucy and Henry worked strenuously to earn money to send their children to school. Their daughter, Maria A. Alexander, graduated from Oberlin College with a Literary Degree in 1854. Maria married Mifflin W. Gibbs, and the couple moved to Vancouver Island, Canada. Mifflin Gibbs would become the first African American judge in the United States. Harriet A. Gibbs was one of the couple's five children. For more see They stopped in Oberlin: Black residents and visitors of the Nineteenth Century, by W. E. Bigglestone.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Oberlin, Ohio / Vancouver Island, Canada

Allen, Anthony, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Anthony Allen was a horse trainer from Lexington, KY, who lived in Baltimore, MD. He was born in 1857, the son of Daniel and Caroline Allen [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census and 1870 Freedman's Bank Record #239]. In 1900, Anthony Allen was the husband of Mary F. Allen; the family of four lived in Baltimore, MD, on Cathedral Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]; they had lived at 936 Brevard Street earlier [source: R. L. Polk & Co.'s Baltimore City Directory for 1900, p. 82]. In 1910 there were five children in the family, and in 1920 the family of six lived at 122 Patapsco Avenue [source: U.S. Federal Census; and Baltimore City Directory, 1920, p. 349]. In 1920, Anthony Allen spent part of the year as a horse trainer in Delaware County, PA, and part of the year in Baltimore, MD [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1930, Anthony Allen was listed with no job title; his wife Mary was the proprietor of a lunch room [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Anthony Allen is named in the last paragraph of the article, "They will live as long as racing does," Capital Plaindealer, 12/20/1936, p. 6. There are a number of articles in the Sun and listings in the Daily Racing Form with Anthony Allen listed as a horse trainer.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Allen, James A.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1922
James A. Allen was the first African American police detective in Cincinnati, OH. He was born in Greenupsburg [Greenup], KY, the son of Frank and Jane M. Allen [source: Ohio Death Record, for James A. Allen]. James A. Allen came to Cincinnati after working on steamboats for several years. He was a coachman for Robert J. Morgan in Walnut Hills, Cincinnati. Robert J. Morgan would become the Police Commissioner for Cincinnati. James A. Allen was still his coachman in 1886, according to Williams Cincinnati Directory, and by 1887, he was a Cincinnati policeman. A few years later he was named a detective. By 1892, there were 11 African Americans employed by the Cincinnati Police Department. James A. Allen was the only one who was a detective, along with eight patrolmen and two turnkeys who were African Americans [source: "Personal mention," Plaindealer, 08/12/1892, p. 6]. James A. Allen is listed in the 1900 Census as a detective who was single and lived alone, and he was mistakenly listed as white. His first wife had been Lugusta Adams Allen. His second wife was Maude I. Goodson Allen, born around 1882 in Mississippi, and according to the 1910 and 1920 census records, the couple lived on Richmond Street with their son James A. Allen, Jr. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and Images of America: Cincinnati Police History, by C. Mersch and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum.
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Greenupsburg [now Greenup], Greenup County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Anderson, Ezzrett, Jr.
Birth Year : 1920
Ezzrett Anderson, Jr. was born in Nashville, AR, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. He became one of the first African Americans from a predominantly African American school to play professional football when he joined the Los Angeles Dons in 1947. Anderson had attended Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY, where he played football. He also played professional football with the Los Angeles Mustangs. He played for the Hollywood Bears in the Pacific Coast League when they won the title. He also played in the Canadian Football League for seven seasons (1948-1954) and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2010. In addition to playing football, Ezzrett Anderson, Jr. was also an actor and appeared in 20 Hollywood films. For more see Smith, T., "Outside the pale; the exclusion of Blacks from the National Football League, 1934-1946," Journal of Sport History, 15, no. 3 (Winter 1988); and Pro Football Hall of Fame, General NFL History: African-Americans in Pro Football.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Football, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Nashville, Arkansas / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Canada

Anderson, John James [AKA James S. Anderson] [Anderson's Administrator v. Darland]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1919
Known as James S. Anderson in Kentucky, Dr. Anderson was a doctor of herbal medicine. He was described by his daughter, Irene Anderson Elder, as part black and part Choctaw Indian. Dr. Anderson came to Somerset, KY, from Kingston, TN; he had also had a practice in Chattanooga, where he met Irene's mother, a nurse named Mary Bowman, who was white. Mary gave birth to Irene in 1914 in a home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga. Irene was reared by her maternal grandmother in Lenoir City, TN; she was Irene's protector. Several years later her grandmother died, and Irene went to live with a foster family. Her father, James Anderson, had moved to Somerset, KY, not too long after Irene was born. In Kentucky, he was sometimes regarded as a Negro and at other times as a Choctaw Indian. Anderson established a tuberculosis treatment clinic, Unity Hill Sanatorium, a three story structure with over 100 beds, 65 rooms, a parlor with a piano, and a grocery store in the basement. He came to be considered a wealthy man with $100,000 in the Somerset bank. When Mary Bowman came down with tuberculosis, she came to Somerset to be a patient at Unity Hill for six months. She was still alive when Dr. James S. Anderson died of hypostatic pneumonia or was murdered November 19, 1919; it is still unclear exactly how he died, though pneumonia is given as the cause on his death certificate. After his death, M. L. Jarvis was appointed curator of Anderson's estate. Unity Hill Sanatorium was sold to a group of businessmen who changed the operation to Watnon (or Watson) Sanatorium, a cancer treatment clinic with separate buildings for Negro patients. In 1924, the clinic had closed and the campus became the new location for the Somerset School of Business. Irene Anderson Elder never benefited from her father's wealth. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more information see L. A. Kochtik, "Irene's journey: a good life and a bad life," Appalachian Life Magazine, issue 51 (February), pp. 6-8; "Cancer Sanatorium opened at Somerset, Ky.," The Somerset Journal, 01/30/1920, p. 8; and Anderson's Administrator v. Darland, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 192 Ky. 624; 234 S.W. 205; 1921 Ky.

Additional information: James S. Anderson's birth name was John James Anderson, he was born in Reidville, SC, February 12, 1872 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. He was the son of Henry and Dorcas Drummond Anderson. Dr. Anderson was the husband of Ann Mary Crumly; the couple married in 1897, filed for divorce in 1915, and the divorce was final in 1918 [source: Hart and Dudek Family Tree; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. Dr. Anderson is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Harrodsburg, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Reidville, South Carolina / Kingston, Lenoir, and Chattanooga, Tennessee / Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Anderson, Sandford Woodford and Polly Ann
Sanford Anderson, Sr. (b.1836) was born in Kentucky, the son of a slave woman and her white master named Woodford. His mother was sold after he was born, and Anderson was given his freedom and his father's last name. When he was a young man, Sanford left his father's plantation and went to work on the Anderson farm; he then took the name Anderson as his last name. He married a slave named Polly Ann (b.1842) and established a blacksmith business. The family moved to [Springheld] Springfield, Ohio, in 1877 and Anderson supported his family with his new blacksmith business. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the couple is listed with nine children, and all living in the Mad River District in Ohio. Dorothy Evans Bacon was the great-granddaughter of Sanford and Polly Anderson. Highlights of the Anderson family history can be found in the article "The Bacons: a fighting spirit on the color line," Newsweek, Special: Fiftieth Anniversary Issue, vol.101, issue 10, February, 1983, pp. 33-34, 36. The article includes a photo of Dorothy Evans [Bacon] and her parents.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Blacksmiths, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / [Springheld] Springfield, Ohio

Anderson, William Louis
Birth Year : 1868
William L. Anderson was born in Dover, KY. He was editor of several newspapers: the Cincinnati American Reformer (1892-1894), Rostrum (1897-1902), and the Cincinnati Pilot (1911-1912). He was also a publisher of books. Anderson was also an alternate delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in Chicago in 1912. He was the husband of Sarah Elizabeth Anderson [source: U.S. Passport Application #448711]. In Novemer of 1918, William L. Anderson applied for a passport in order to travel to France for YWCA work [source: U.S. Passport Application #43510], on the application, Anderson gave his birthdate as August 31, 1868. On a second application made July 2, 1924, Anderson gave his father's name as Louis Anderson, born in Dover, KY [source: U.S. Passport Application #448711]. William L. Anderson was to visit five European countries for business and travel, and return to the United States within three months. In 1930, Anderson and his wife lived on Stone Street, in Cincinnati, OH, and they lived on Richmond Street in 1940, according to the U.S. Federal Census records. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Dover, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Archives of Ontario (Canada)
The archives is a program of the Ontario Ministry of Government Services. The archives are made up of a number of collections, including government records, genealogical records, an art collection, and sound and moving images. The exhibit, Black Canadian Experience in Ontario 1834-1914: Flight, Freedom, Foundation, included the stories of former Kentuckians, such as Solomon Moseby and the Emancipation of Susan Holton. Holton and her children were taken to Ohio by Mary Kirk and given their freedom in 1848. The family moved on to Canada. For more information contact the Archives of Ontario.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, National Resources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ontario, Canada

Arnold, Adam S., Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Arnold is a Lexington, KY, native who became the first African American faculty member at the University of Notre Dame. In 1957, Arnold was hired as a professor of finance, receiving tenure in 1961. He remained at the school for 30 years. In 2002 he received the William P. Sexton Award for outstanding service to the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Arnold received his Ph.D. in finance in 1951 and his MBA in 1948, both from the University of Wisconsin. He is a U.S. Army veteran, having served during WII. For more see "Arnold honored with Sexton Award," Notre Dame Business Magazine Online, Issue 11, 2004.

Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Notre Dame, Indiana

Ashford, Mary B.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1997
Ashford, born in Kentucky, was a poet, teacher, and advocate for equality. The Mary B. Ashford Senior Citizens Daycare Center in New Haven, CT, was named in recognition of Ashford's more than 40 years of community service and volunteerism. Ashford also compiled a scrapbook containing the history of her family; the book was donated to a Kentucky archive. The Mary B. Ashford Outreach Support Project was established at the Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church. For more see S. A. Zavadsky, "Community remembers Mary B. Ashford," New Haven Register, 05/14/1997, Local News section, p. a3.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New Haven, Connecticut

Atkins, Calvin Rupert and Dora G. Graham Atkins
Calvin R. Atkins (1870-1923) was born in Hadensville, KY. He was the husband of Dora G. Graham Atkins (1875-1923), who was born in Pembroke, KY. In 1895, Calvin Atkins became a certified teacher for the Todd County Colored School District [see his copy of certification, IHS]. Dora Atkins was also a certified teacher in Todd County [copy of certification, IHS]. In 1900 the family had moved to Anderson, IN, according to the U.S. Census. Dr. Atkins practiced medicine there for a few years, and in 1904, the family moved to Indianapolis. Dr. Atkins received his license to practice in Indianapolis on August 2, 1905; he was an 1895 graduate of Howard University Medical School [now Howard University College of Medicine], according to the 16th Annual Report of the Indiana State Board of Medical Registration and Examination [full view at Google Book Search]. Dr. Atkins was a physician for the Flanner House, which was founded in 1898 to provide health, social, and educational assistance to African American families migrating from the South to Indianapolis [archival information, IHS]. His dedication to the Flanner House is mentioned in a speech given by Aldridge Lewis around 1918 [digital copy of speech, IHS]. He was one of the promoters and vice president of Lincoln Hospital, a hospital for African Americans founded in 1909 in Indianapolis on North Senate Avenue. The hospital had both doctors and dentists, and there were 12 rooms that could hold up to 17 patients. The hospital also had a nurses training program. Dr. Atkins was involved in establishing a similar hospital in Marion, IN. Dr. Atkins was a prominent member of the city of Indianapolis for 19 years before he was murdered in June of 1923. For more see "Calvin R. and Dora G. Atkins" entry in Who's Who in Colored America 1927; Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century, by Thornbrough and Ruegamer; the Papers of Calvin R. Atkins and the Dora Atkins Blackburn Papers, some items available online in the digital collections at the Indiana Historical Society; "Suspected slayer who shot himself soon after murder dies," The Indianapolis Star, 06/18/1923, p. 16.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Hadensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Autobiography of a Female Slave, by Mattie Griffith
Start Year : 1856
The Autobiography of a Female Slave was written by Owensboro, KY, native Mattie Griffith. The book was initially thought to be a Kentucky slave narrative, and even today it is still occasionally mistaken as such. Martha "Mattie" Griffith was a white abolitionist who wrote the book in hopes of raising money to emancipate her slaves and resettle them in a free state. A few weeks after the book was published, Griffith admitted writing the story based on real life incidents that she had witnessed. The Louisville Courier denounced the book as abolitionist propaganda. The book did not sell well, but Griffith received money from the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1858 that she used to free and resettle her slaves. Griffith and her sister, Catherine, had inherited their slaves from their deceased parents, Catherine and Thomas Griffith, who died in 1830. The girls were raised by family members in Louisville, KY, and around 1854 they were both living in Philadelphia, PA, where Mattie wrote her book. Beginning in 1859, she wrote a serialized anti-slavery novel with a mulatto heroine from Kentucky: "Madge Vertner," published in the National Anti-Slavery Standard newspaper, July 1859-May 1860. In 1866, Mattie Griffith married Albert Gallatin Browne from Massachusetts. She died in Boston in 1906. This entry was suggested by James Birchfield, Curator of Rare Books at the University of Kentucky Libraries. For more information see the Mattie Griffith Browne entry in the American National Biography Online database; Slippery Characters, by L. Browder; and J. M. Lucas, "Exposed Roots: from pseudo-slave narratives to The Wind Done Gone, the authenticity of representations of black history has always been in question," 02/27/2002, at Indyweek.com (Independent Weekly).
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration North, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Boston, Massachusetts

Ayres, John H.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1931
John H. Ayres was born in Paris, KY, and moved to Cincinnati, OH, in 1891. He was the business manager of the National Chronicle newspaper in Winchester, KY, and was recognized for his singing talent at the Wehrman Avenue Christian Church in Cincinnati [source: Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney]. He is most remembered for his work with the United Brothers of Friendship (U. B. F.). Ayres was a National Grand Camp Officer, N. K. C., Cincinnati, OH [source: History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr., p. 131]. In 1896, at the U. B. F. Lodge Meeting, J. H. Ayres was elected State Grand Master and Deputy Grand National Knight Commander with special jurisdiction over Ohio [source: "U. B. F. Lodge Meeting," Freeman, 08/15/1896, p. 6]. Ayres organized the U. B. F. in Cleveland, OH, in 1898, with H. C. Jackson as head of the lodge [source: "News/Opinion," Cleveland Gazette, 02/12/1898, p. 3]. John Ayres was employed as a janitor, and he and his wife, Maggie L. Ayres (b. 1862 in KY), are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They were the parents of Jane C. Ayres, born 1896 in Kentucky. In the 1910 Census, the family of three lived on Gilbert Avenue, and J. H. Ayres was a porter at the post office. By 1930, Maggie and John Ayres were living on Kerper Avenue. See also "Phyllis Wheatley Literary," Freeman, 05/02/1896, p. 8.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bacon, Louis
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1967
Bacon, a trumpeter and singer, was born in Louisville, KY, and reared in Chicago. He left Chicago to play with Zinky Cohn in Michigan and moved on to New York in 1928. He performed and recorded with Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Chick Webb, and Louis Armstrong. In 1938, he contracted tuberculosis and was forced to take a break from music. He returned in 1939 and toured Europe and recorded with Willis Lewis and Freddy Johnson. He returned to the United States in 1941. His lung problems returned, so he gave up playing the trumpet around 1947, although he played on occasion in the late 1950s. In his final years, he was an ambulance driver. Bacon's trumpet playing can be heard on a number of recordings, including Bessie Smith: the world's greatest blues singer; Cootie Williams and His Orchestra, 1941-1944; and I'm Shooting High. For more see "Louis Bacon" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and Louis Bacon at Answers.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Baker, Bettye F.
The following information comes from Dr. Bettye F. Baker, a native of Louisville, KY, who lived on South Western Parkway; the family home was built by Samuel Plato. Dr. Baker was a member of the first African American Girl Scout Troop in Louisville, Troop 108. The troop leader, Ms. Sarah Bundy, lived in the 27th Street block of Chestnut Street. Dr. Baker was the first African American to represent Kentucky at the Girl Scout National Encampment in Cody, Wyoming, and the first African American president of the Kentucky State Girl Scout Conference. She won 3rd prize in the Lion's Club essay contest, "Why I love America," in 1951, but was denied entry into the Brown Hotel to receive her prize at the Lion's Club luncheon. The luncheon was moved to the Seelbach Hotel so that Dr. Baker could receive her prize [see Time article online]. Dr. Baker was among the first African Americans to attend the University of Louisville (U of L), where she earned her undergraduate degree. She was the first African American voted into the U of L Home Coming Queen's Court in 1958. She earned her doctorate in educational administration at Columbia University, her dissertation title is The Changes in the Elementary Principals' Role as a Result of Implementing the Plan to Revise Special Education in the State of New Jersey. Dr. Baker is the author of What is Black? and has published a number of articles, poems, and two juvenile novels that are currently in-print. Her most recent book, Hattie's Decision, will be published in 2010. Dr. Baker has been a columnist with Vineyard Gazette since 2005, she writes the Oak Bluffs column, opinion, and book reviews, all under the byline Bettye Foster Baker. Dr. Baker lives in Pennsylvania. See "Kentucky: sweet land of liberty," Time, 04/16/1951. For more information contact Dr. Bettye F. Baker.

See photo image of Dr. Bettye F. Baker by Gettysburg College, a flikr site.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Homecoming Queens, Pageants, Contests, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cody, Wyoming / Pennsylvania

Baker, McHouston "Mickey"
Birth Year : 1925
Mickey Baker, born in Louisville, KY, spent his younger years in orphanages and learned to play music in school bands. In 1940, he ran away to New York. Baker is a guitarist who has played on hundreds of recording sessions, including those of Ray Charles and Ivory Joe Hunter. Some of his songs are Animal Farm, Baker's Dozen, Hey Little Girl, and Love is Strange. His album Wildest Guitar was released in 2003. For more see Blues Who's Who, by S. Harris; and Mickey Baker at the allmusic website. View 1962 video of Mickey Baker, "What'd I Say" at Ina.fr.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Ball, Richard
Birth Year : 1874
Richard Ball was an amateur cyclist from Louisville, KY. He was one of the competing African American cyclist in Kentucky, and said to be one of the fastest. In 1899, he went to Indianapolis to compete in a race. Ball was employed as a waiter at the Galt House Hotel [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1898, p.116]. Richard Ball was born in Tennessee, the son of Mary Ellis, and he was the husband of Maggie Ball [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. His past time as a cyclist, then called a wheelman, was not a main source of income for Richard Ball. In Louisville, colored wheelmen belonged to the Union Cycle Club, said to be the largest African American cycling club in the South [source: Ethnicity, Sport, Identity edited by J. A. Mangan and A. Ritchie, p.20]. Colored wheelmen were barred from membership and from participating in events sponsored by the Louisville Wheelmen, and from membership to the League of American Wheelmen (L. A. W.). The color line was an issue that came up at the biannual 1894 L. A. W. Convention held in Louisville, KY; Louisville attorney, Colonel William W. Watts, put forth the motion that would limit L. A. W. membership to whites only. The vote was split 108 for, 101 against, but a two thirds majority was need, so the motion was brought forward the following year and it passed. In June of 1894, the L. A. W. chairman explained that the vote had only denied Colored wheelmen membership, not the right to participate in L. A. W. sponsored races, nor did it impact a cyclist's amateur status. For more see Richard Ball in the column "Spokes from a wheel" on p.2 of the Indianapolis Recorder, 06/17/1899; Highway History: The Road to Civil Rights, The League of American Wheelmen, a Federal Highway Administration website; and "Colored wheelmen may race," The Roanoke Times, 06/15/1894, p.2 [article available online at Chronicling America].
Subjects: Migration North, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Banks, Charles Anthony, Sr. [Kentucky Trojans Basketball Team]
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2004
The Kentucky Trojans were a semi-pro basketball team in Lynch, KY, coached by Charles A. Banks, Sr. in the mid to late 1940s. The trainer was George "Piggy" Smith. Little is known about African American semi-pro basketball teams in Kentucky prior to the 1960s. Charles A. Banks, Sr. was born in Greenville, GA, the son of Flora Martin and Frank Banks. By 1930, the family had moved to Lynch, KY, they lived on Fifth Street, and Frank Banks was a coal loader in the coal mines, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Charles Banks attended school in Lynch and was the valedictorian of his 1937 high school graduating class. He would become a coal miner with U.S. Steel. Charles A. Banks moved to Youngstown, OH, in 1951. He was a foreman with U.S. Steel for 32 years. For more see "Charles Anthony Banks, Sr., 84," The Vindicator, 10/23/2004, p.9; and see the photo image of the Kentucky Trojans basketball team at the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections.

Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Greenville, Georgia / Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky / Youngstown, Ohio

Banks, Johnella Barksdale
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 1990
Banks was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and reared in Detroit, MI. She was a graduate of Wayne State University (BA), Provident Hospital School of Nursing (Chicago), Boston University (MA), and Catholic University (Ph.D.). Banks was a nursing faculty member at Howard University and lived in Silver Spring, MD. She is considered one of the African American nurses who achieved greatness: her career is included in the written history of Black nurses. Banks was a past president of the National Black Nurses Association of the Greater Washington Area. The Johnella Banks Memorial Scholarship was named in her honor, and the Johnella Banks Member Achievement Award is presented by the Association of Black Nursing Faculty, Inc. For more see "Johnella Banks, 61, Howard professor," The Washington Times, 12/12/1990, Metropolitan section, p. B4; and Johnella B. Banks in The Color of Healing; a history of the achievements of Black nurses, by B. F. Morton.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Nurses
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Silver Spring, Maryland

Banks, William Venoid
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1985
In 1975, William V. Banks, born in Geneva, KY, was the first African American to own and operate a television station in the United States, WGPR-TV in Detroit, MI. He also became the owner, in 1964, of the first black radio station in Detroit, WGPR-FM. Banks was a graduate of Lincoln Institute, Wayne State University (1926), and the Detroit College of Law (1929) [now Michigan State University College of Law]. He also became an ordained minister after completing his studies at the Detroit Baptist Seminary in 1949. Banks founded the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons and Eastern Star, serving as its supreme president. He also founded the Universal Barber College and the International School of Cosmetology in 1957. A biography of Banks' life, A Legacy of Dreams, was written by S. T. Gregory. For more see "Founder of 1st black-owned TV station dies," United Press International, 08/26/1985, Domestic News section.

See photo image of William V. Banks on p.23 of Jet, December 30, 1985-January 6, 1986.
Subjects: Barbers, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Lawyers, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Geneva, Henderson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Barber, Paul Peter
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1929
Barber was born in Louisville, KY, the child of slaves. His last name was Smith until he was 4 years old, when Barber was sold to Philetus Swift Barber. On the Barber Farm in Bardstown, KY, Paul learned to train, ride, race, and care for the horses. He went to Ottawa, Canada, around 1885, one of the first African Americans to become a permanent resident of Ottawa. In 1892 he married Elizabeth Brown, a white woman twenty years younger than he. Their marriage is thought to have been the first interracial marriage in Ottawa. They had five children: Paul Jr., John (Jack), Joe, Tom, and Mary. Paul Barber, Sr. supported his family with wages from his job as a horse trainer. When the automobile replaced the horse, Barber worked as a laborer for the city of Ottawa. For more see T. Barber, "The Kentucky gentleman was a pioneer black resident," The Ottawa Citizen (newspaper), 02/05/2001, p. D4.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Ottawa, Canada

Barbour, James Bernie
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1936
J. Bernie Barbour was born in Danville, KY, and it was thought that he died in New York. Barbour actually died in Chicago, IL, on April 11, 1936 [his name is misspelled as "Bernie Barfour" on the death certificate ref# rn11543], and his burial is noted with Central Plant Ill. Dem. Assn. Barbour was an 1896 music education graduate of Simmons University (KY), and he graduated from the Schmoll School of Music (Chicago) in 1899. Both he and N. Clark Smith founded a music publishing house in Chicago in 1903; it may have been the first to be owned by African Americans. Barbour also worked with other music publishing companies, including the W. C. Handy Music Company. He was a music director, and he played piano and sang in vaudeville performances and in nightclubs and toured with several groups. He composed operas such as Ethiopia, and spirituals such as Don't Let Satan Git You On De Judgment Day. He assisted in writing music for productions such as I'm Ready To Go and wrote the Broadway production, Arabian Knights Review. Barbour also organized the African American staff of Show Boat. J. Bernie Barbour was the son of Morris and Nicey Snead Barbour. He was the husband of Anna Maria Powers, they married May 29, 1909 in Seattle, WA [source: Washington Marriage Record Return #15629]. According to the marriage record, Anna M. Powers was a white or colored musician from New York. For more see Profiles of African American Stage Performers and Theatre People, 1816-1960, by B. L. Peterson; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-1929; and "J. Berni Barbour" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / New York, New York / Chicago, Illinois

Barnes, Margaret Elizabeth Sallee
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Margaret E. S. Barnes, born in Monticello, KY, later moved to Oberlin, OH. She was editor of the Girl's Guide and of the Queens' Gardens, official publication of the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. The organization was developed in the early 1930s by Barnes, who also served as the president. Barnes also was in charge of a million dollar drive for funds at Wilberforce University; in 1939 she had been appointed a trustee at Wilberforce by Ohio Governor John Bricker. A building on the campus was named in her honor and Barnes received an honorary doctor of humanties degree. She was a leader among African American women in the Republican Party and was a delegate-at-large for the Republican State Convention in 1940. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club, established in 1930, was named in her honor. The club belonged to both the national and the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. One of the organization's efforts was to provided college scholarships for the outstanding African American student in the graduating class at Elyria [Ohio] High School. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club was the oldest African American women's club in Elyria and was still functioning in the 1990s. Margaret E. Barnes was a 1900 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and taught school for four years in Harrodsburg, KY, before marrying James D. Barnes and moving to Oberlin, OH, in 1904. She was the mother of five children, one of whom was Margaret E. Barnes Jones. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992, part 1, ed. by L. S. Williams (.pdf); and C. Davis, "Barnes club helps black youngsters achieve goals," Chronicle Telegram, 06/05/1990, p.9.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Oberlin, Ohio

Barnes, Shelby D., "Pike"
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1908
Shelby D. "Pike" Barnes was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2011. He was born in Beaver Dam, KY, the son of Joseph Barnes and Susan Austin Barnes [source: Ohio County Marriage Record, for Shelby D. Barnes]. Pike Barnes became a jockey when he was 14 years old. Barnes had a number of noted achievements in the racing industry. In 1888, he won the first race of the Futurity aboard Proctor Knott. The win was one of his 206 victories in 1888, a record number of wins by a jockey in the United States for one year. Barnes also had the most wins in 1889 with 170. Barnes would go on to win other big races such as the Belmont Stakes, but he soon gave up racing. In 1891, Barnes owned a farm in Beaver Dam, KY and was contemplating whether he would ride again [source: "Epitome of horsemen," Freeman, 11/14/1891, p. 2]. In 1908, Barnes was part owner of a saloon in Columbus, OH, when he died from consumption (tuberculosis). The Paragraphic News column in the Washington Bee, 01/18/1908, p. 1, noted that "[i]t is reported that Shelby Barnes, better known as "Pike" Barnes, died without any money, not withstanding he won $100,000 as a jockey." He is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as "Pike Barnes," the husband of Mary Barnes, a cook, who was born in August of 1873 in Kentucky. Her previous name was Mary C. Pennman; she had been married to James Pennman prior to marrying Shelby Barnes [source: Ohio County Marriage Records]. The couple married in 1897 and lived on E. Elm Street in Columbus, OH, according to the 1900 Census. Their marriage certificate is dated June 16, 1906. For more see T. Genaro, "Shelby Pike Barnes to join the racing Hall of Fame on August 12," The Saratogian, 08/05/2011, Sports section; and "Reported death of Pike Barnes," Daily Racing Form, 01/15/1908, p. 1.

See photo image of Shelby D. "Pike " Barnes and additional information at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Barnett, Peter W.
Birth Year : 1871
Peter W. Barnett was an author, educator, journalist, publisher, veteran, and musician. He was born in Carrsville, Livingston County, KY, the son of Sarah (b. 1840) and Peter Barnett (1830-1898). [Peter Sr. is listed as white in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census.] Peter W. Barnett taught school in Kentucky. He was educated in Kentucky and Indiana, moving in 1891 to Indiana to attend high school. He went on to become a student for two years at Indiana State Normal in Terre Haute [now Indiana State University]. He was employed at Union Publishing Company, the company that published the first labor paper in Indianapolis; the company later moved its headquarters to Chicago. During the winter of 1896, Barnett opened a night school in Indianapolis. Barnett was also a reporter and representative for the African American newspaper, Freeman. Barnett and J. T. V. Hill [James Thomas Vastine Hill] published the Indianapolis Colored Business Chart Directory in 1898, the goal of which was "to promote industry and race patronage and to encourage business enterprise." J. T. V. Hill was an African American lawyer in Indianapolis, opening his office in 1882 [source: Encyclopedia of Black America, by W. A. Low and V. A. Clift]. He was the first African American to be admitted to the Indianapolis Bar. Peter Barnett would become his understudy while in the service. Barnett was 28 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, on March 13, 1899. He was assigned to the 24th Infantry, Company L. In December of 1899, while stationed at Ft. Wrangle, Alaska, Peter Barnett, who had been studying law under J. T. V. Hill, gave it up because there were no resource facilities available to him in Alaska. He began to study music and organized a group of musicians (soldiers) that he named the Symphony Orchestra of Company L, 24th Infantry. Most of the men could not read music. Barnett was discharged from the Indiana Colored Infantry on March 12, 1900, at Fort Wrangle, Alaska [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. For more see "Peter Barnett..." in the last paragraph of the article "Camp Capron Notes," Freeman, 10/01/1898, p. 8; "Night School," Freeman, 10/24/1896, p. 8; On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; quotation from "Local Notes," Freeman, 12/11/1897, p. 4-Supplement; and "From Alaska," Freeman, 12/30/1899, p. 9.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Carrsville, Livingston County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Barr, Henry
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1902
Barr, a barber, was the first African American to build a commercial building in Watertown, NY, prior to 1910 when there 76 African Americans in the community. Barr had arrived in Watertown in 1865; he was an escaped slave from Kentucky and had been living in Montreal before moving to New York. Barr had a chicken farm and owned a dry cleaners and clothes dying shop before building the three story building named Barr Block. He was a successful businessman and leader in the African American community. He was one of the first Board of Trustee members of what is today Thomas Memorial AME Zion Church. The Henry Barr Underground Railroad Community Development, Inc. was named in his honor. For more see L. L. Scharer, "African-Americans in Jefferson County, New York; 1810-1910," Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, vol. 19, no. 1 (Jan. 31, 1995), pp. 7ff.; and J. Golden, "Blacks have long had faith in Watertown," Watertown Daily Times, 02/26/1995, Lifestyles and Leisure section, p. G1.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Watertown, New York

Bate, Langston F.
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1977
Langston Fairchild Bate was born in Danville, KY, the son of Ida W. and John W. Bate. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the age of 26 from the University of Chicago, later heading the chemistry departments at Lincoln University in Missouri, Virginia State College, and Miner Teachers College in Washington D. C. [which merged with two other colleges to form the present day University of the District of Columbia]. Bate was chair of the chemistry department at Miners College from 1944-1954. He published several articles in science journals. Langston F. Bate was a normal graduate from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and is believed to be the first to earn a Ph. D. For more see Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons; "Langston Bate, Division Head at Miners College," Washington Post, 07/17/1977, Obituaries section, p. 49; and see the last paragraph of the article "Two Kentucky State College graduates...," The Crisis, vol.57, no.11, p.736. Additional information provided by Kenneth Bate, son of Langston F. Bate.
Subjects: Chemists, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Beam, Ulysses S. and John W. Beam
Dr. U. S. Beam (1868-1942) was the first African American physician to practice in Lima, OH. Born in Kentucky, he was an older brother of Dr. Augustus G. Beam. Both were graduates of the Louisville National Medical College and maintained a medical practice together in Lima, OH, for a brief period in 1906. Dr. U. S. Beam had previously practiced in Muncie, IN, moving to Lima in 1892. He was a wealthy doctor in Lima, where he spent the remainder of his life except for a brief period when he was forced to returned to Kentucky in 1909. Dr. Beam left Lima after his brother, John W. Beam (born in KY -d.1909), a lawyer and real estate agent, was arrested for the murder of widow Estella Maude Diltz, who was white. There were rumors of a lynching party being formed, and Dr. Beam, whose wife was white, feared there would be retaliation towards him. Also, the U.S. Marshall had a subpoena for Dr. Beam pertaining to another matter. Dr. Beam closed his medical practice and fled to Kentucky with his father, Hines Beam, who had come to Lima to secure an attorney for his son, John. In November 1909, John W. Beam was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the Ohio Penitentiary; it was reported that he committed suicide while in prison, December 1909. Dr. Ulysses Beam returned to his practice in Lima, where he is listed in the U.S. Federal Census for 1910, 1920, and 1930. He died at his home in 1942 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, OH. For more see "Dr. Beam Gone," Lima Times Democrat (05/26/1909), p. 8; and "Dr. Beam dies in home after long illness," The Lima News (10/12/1942), p. 4. For more on John W. Beam's case, see "Suicide faked by slayer to avoid possible lynching," Chicago Tribune (05/25/1909), p. 2; "Declare Beam sane in every single particular," The Lima Daily News (10/25/1909), p. 1; "Beam sentenced by Judge Bailey," The Lima Daily news (11/05/1909), p. 5; and "Thomas Dillion helped Beam pave way to eternity," The Lima Daily News (12/14/1909), p. 1.
Subjects: Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Suicide
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Muncie, Indiana / Lima, Ohio

Bean, Walter Dempsey
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2007
Bean was born in Midway, KY, to James Ennis and Lula G. Rollins Bean. He was a 1935 graduate of Kentucky State University and earned his MS at Butler University in 1954. He was a teacher, principal, and supervisor with the Indianapolis Public Schools, and the first African American administrator and recruiter for African American teachers. He helped integrate the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity at Butler University In 1956 when he became the first African American chartered member. He was also the second African American member of the USA American Association of School Personnel Administrators. In 1986, the Kentucky State Alumni Association voted Walter D. Bean one of 100 outstanding alumni. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans 1985-2006; and Walter D. Bean in The Indianapolis Star "Obituaries," 04/12/2007, p. B04.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Beason, Tyrone
Birth Year : 1972
Tyrone Beason was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1972. He is a graduate of Bowling Green High School, where he started his journalism career as an editorial page editor and cartoonist for the school newspaper, Purple Gem. He was also a teen columnist for the Daily News (Bowling Green). In 1993, Tyrone Beason was a student at the University of Kentucky when he became the first African American editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel. Beason is presently a reporter with the Seattle Times. He is also doing research for his book on African American life in 1960s Paris. In 2010, Tyrone Beason won the Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize in Journalism. For more see "A sense we were future players," The Kentucky Kernel, 02/18/98; and contact Tyrone Beason.

See photo image of Tyrone Beason and more about his 2010 Darrell Sifford Memorial Prize in Journalism.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Seattle, Washington

Beckwith, Anna M. Logan
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1964
Mrs. Anna M. Logan Beckwith was a pharmacist in Cincinnati, OH. In 1928, she purchased the Peerless Pharmacy, located on Alms and Chapel Streets. Beckwith was considered a leading member of the Colored citizens in Cincinnati and is mentioned in Negro Employment in Retail Trade: a study of racial policies in the department store, drugstore, and supermarket industries, by Bloom, Fletcher, and Perry. Beckwith is also included in The Negro in the Drugstore Industry, by F. M. Fletcher. Anna Beckwith was born in Berea, KY, the daughter of Elijah and Amanda Logan. The family of six is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; Elijah Logan was a widower. Anna Logan moved to Cincinnati in 1903. She was the wife of Carl Beckwith, a mail carrier (1881-1971) from West Virginia. In 1910 the Beckwith family lived at 5304 Central Avenue in Madisonville, OH, [source: William's Hamilton County Directory for 1909-10]. The household included Anna, Carl, their daughter, and Anna's brother, Phocia [or Foshen] Logan (b. 1882 in KY), a barber who owned his own shop [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1920, the Beckwiths had a second daughter and the family lived in Cincinnati, OH. Anna Beckwith was still managing her drugstore in 1930 [source: U.S. Federal Census], and the family had moved to Wyoming, OH. Anna and Carl Beckwith are listed in William's Hamilton County (Ohio) Directory for the years 1939-1944, but there is no mention of the pharmacy. Anna Beckwith was a graduate of Berea College. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Postal Service, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bell, Charles W.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1910
Charles W. Bell, who may have been a slave, was born in Kentucky on August 12, 1848 [source: Ohio Death Certificate, File #44018]. Bell was an educator, a newspaper man, and a pen artist in Cincinnati, OH. He was the husband of Ophelia Hall Nesbit Bell (b.1847 in Jackson, MS), who was a school teacher in Cincinnati. The couple lived at 1112 Sherman Avenue after they were married. By 1870, the family of four lived in the northern section of the 7th Ward in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Charles Bell was a graduate of the Cincinnati School of Design. He was employed by the Cincinnati School System from 1868-1889; he was the superintendent of writing in the Colored public schools beginning in 1874 with an annual salary of $1,000, and was later also the special teacher of writing for some of the schools attended by white children. Bell also served as president of the Garnet Loan and Building Association. He was one of the editors of the Colored Citizen newspaper in Cincinnati, and he published a newspaper titled Declaration in the 1870s when it was the only African American newspaper in Cincinnati. He was also a columnist for the Commercial Gazette, the column was an early version of the Colored Notes. Charles Bell was also a politician, and had put forth the name of George W. Williams for the Ohio Legislature, but was one of many African Americans who turned against Williams when he pushed through the bill to close the Colored American Cemetery in Avondale, OH. In 1892, while Charles W. Bell was serving as treasurer of the Colored Orphan Asylum, it came to light that more than $4,000 were missing. Charles and Ophelia Bell mortgaged their home at 76 Pleasant Street for $3,000, and Charles Bell was to make restitution for the remaining $1,623.87. Also in 1892, Charles Bell established a newspaper publication called Ohio Republican. According to the Census, by 1910, the Bells were living on Park Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio with their daughters Alma and Maggie. Charles Bell was employed as a clerk in an office. Ten years later, Ophelia was a widow living with Alma and her husband James Bryant, along with Maggie and two of James Bryant's nieces. Charles W. Bell died August 22, 1910 in Cincinnati, OH, and is buried in the Union Baptist Cemetery [source: Ohio Death Certificate, File #44018]. For more see Ophelia Hall Nesbit in The Geneva Book by W. M. Glasgow [available online at Google Book Search]; see Charles W. Bell in George Washington Williams: a biography by J. H. Franklin; Charles W. Bell in Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 by M. S. Haverstock et. al.; see "At a meeting of the Columbus, O., Board of Education...," Cleveland Gazette, 08/10/1889, p.2; "Disbanded," Freeman, 06/20/1891, p.4; "Burned $1,623.87," Cleveland Gazette, 03/19/1892, p.1; "The Ohio Republican...," Plaindealer [Michigan], 09/23/1892, p.3; and G. B. Agee, "A Cry for Justice" [dissertation] [available online at ETDS].
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bell, Jesse B.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1998
Jesse Bell was the fist African American doctor at Jewish Hospital [now Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare] in Louisville, KY; he began in 1958, followed by Dr. William M. Moses in 1959. In 1980 Bell became the first African American president of the Jewish Hospital medical staff. In 1965 he was the first African American to be named to the University of Louisville (U of L) Board of Overseers. Bell, born in Tallulah, Louisiana, was the son of Ella and John Bell. He completed high school at Alcorn College [now Alcorn State University] and was a graduate of Morehouse College and Meharry Medical College. He had had a private practice in Frankfort, KY, and later was employed at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville before opening a private practice. Dr. Bell also served as director of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital from 1941-1946. For more see A Legendary Vision: the history of Jewish Hospital, by B. Zingman and B. L. Anster; "First Negro on University of Louisville Board," Jet, vol. 29, issue 4 (11/04/1965), p. 26; and Jesse Burnett Bell at the U of L Magazine website.

Access Interview The Jesse B. Bell oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Tallulah, Louisiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ben (former slave)
Cleveland, OH, was founded in 1796. Ben, an escaped slave who had lived on the Young Farm in Kentucky, is recognized as the first African American in Cleveland. He came to the city in 1806 after the family he was with drowned in a lake and Ben almost froze to death. It was thought that Ben left Cleveland and moved to Canada. His story, including his near capture, are told on p. 12 of Cleveland's Harbor, by J. C. Ehle, W. D. Ellis, and N. A. Schneider. An earlier account can be found on pp.339-343 in the Early History of Cleveland Ohio by C. Whittlesey [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Canada

Bennett, Norvel
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1945
Norvel Bennett was a sergeant with the Indianapolis Police Department when he died in 1945. He had been with the department since 1925. He received two citations in 1929, the latter for helping capture a burglar found after hours in a Kroger store. Bennett received a citation for helping to solve several cases in 1942, and he was appointed an investigator of the detective department. He was promoted to sergeant in 1944. Norvel Bennett was a native of Princeton, KY. He was a veteran of World War I, having served in France as a corporal with the 436th Engineers. He was the husband of Eula Bennett. He was a clerk and a janitor in Indianapolis before becoming a police officer [source: Indianapolis City Directory, 1918-1926]. Norvell Bennett was one of the few African American men on the Indianapolis Police Force from 1925-1945. For more see "Sergeant Norvel Bennett," Indianapolis Recorder, 09/22/1945, p. 1; "Chief Worley commends officer," Indianapolis Recorder, 03/09/1929, p. 1; and "Women and Minorities" on the Indianapolis Police Department History website.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Benson, William, Sr. "Bud"
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1937
William "Bud" Benson was team manager of the Lynch Grays, a Negro baseball team in Lynch, KY (Harlan County). Bud Benson was also a coal miner, he was born in Marion, AL, the son of Mary Jane Naves Benson (1857-1929) and Pinkington Benson, Sr. (1850-1932). It was not uncommon for miners to also be baseball players on teams that were supported by the coal companies. The teams were segregated. The Lynch Grays baseball team was sponsored by the U.S. Coal and Coke Company [source: Diamonds in the Rough (thesis) by D. R. Bowden, p.43]. In some newspaper sources, the team is referred to as the Lynch Demons, and in 1935, the team was considered the best colored baseball team in Kentucky; they had a record of 34-1 [source: see NKAA entry]. The team may have had a different name some seasons, or there may have been more than one team. The history of the team goes back to at least 1924, when they were referred to as the Lynch colored team with no specific name [see NKAA entry]. It was several years later that Bud Benson was playing for and managing the Lynch Grays, he was with the team from the time he came to Kentucky in the 1920s, until shortly before his death from pneumonia on June 10, 1937. Bud Benson was 39 years old when he died and his body was removed to Marion, Alabama for burial [sources: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No.38; and phone conversations and email correspondence with Bud Benson's granddaughter Mary Sanders]. In addition to being team manager, Bud Benson also was the hind catcher. Bud Benson's family members own a photograph of the Lynch Grays baseball team that was taken around 1935, according to Benson's grandson James Spate. Bud Benson is on the far left side of the photograph with the word "manager" on his shirt. William "Bud" Benson had played baseball before he came to Kentucky, according to his granddaughter Mary Sanders. He came to Kentucky and had been here a few years when his mother died two weeks before Christmas in 1929. After his mother's death, Bud Benson's wife went to Alabama and got his daughter Lucy and brought her back to Kentucky. The family's move to Kentucky was part of the larger migration of African American coal miners and their families from Alabama to the eastern Kentucky coal mining counties. Bud Benson brought with him, his wife Emma Costin Benson, and they were the parents of William Benson, Jr. (1929-1953*). The family was later joined by Bud's 9 year old daughter Lucy Benson. Bud's daughter was by his previous wife Sarah Moore Benson who died in childbirth. His daughter returned to Alabama after her father's death in 1937. Bud Benson's older sister, Ella A. Benson Green also moved to Lynch, she was the wife of J. H. Green, and she died in Lynch on April 23, 1939. Her body was removed for burial in Marion, AL [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered No. 109]. An older brother Nathan Benson (b. c1884), also moved to Harlan County, KY, he was employed as a coal loader [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Nathan Benson, widowed, brought with him from Marion, AL, eight other family members, and there were two lodgers from Marion, AL, who lived with the family at #22 P.V. & K. Camp. Nathan Benson moved to Kentucky after 1935, according to the census records. Another relative was Rev. William B. Benson, the uncle of Bud Benson. Rev. Benson lived in Harlan County, and he and his wife Narcississ (1878-1947) lived on Kentucky Avenue and are listed in the 1930 and the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. Rev. William B. Benson was born around 1869 in Alabama and died in Harlan County, KY, on December 7, 1941 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death]; the death certificate does not give the city location of his burial, but the name of the cemetery was Hill Crest. His wife, Narcississ Johnson Benson, was born in Alabama, her parents were from Virginia, and she died in Peoria, IL, on March 2, 1947, and is buried in the Springdale Cemetery [source: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. William Benson's daughter, Julia Mae Lee (1920-2011), also lived in Kentucky, she is buried in Cumberland, KY (Harlan County) [source: U.S. Social Security Death Index; and information from William Benson's grandson James Spate]. For the Benson family members, and many other families, the migration/recruitment to Kentucky was for employment in the coal mines. They were seeking better wages and living conditions. Playing baseball was a fun activity that was supported by the coal companies with the intent of creating a stronger bond between the employee and the workplace, with hopes of keeping out the perceived interferences such as unions and the idea of unionizing. If a coal miner could play baseball, then that was an added incentive for him to be hired. *William Benson, Jr. was born in Lynch, KY, and was killed during the Korean War; the heavily decorated serviceman is buried in the Lynch Cemetery. All of the Benson family members came to Kentucky after the year 1920 [source: U.S. Federal Census].
Subjects: Baseball, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Marion, Alabama / Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Bentley, Daniel S.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1916
Reverend Daniel S. Bentley was born in Madison County, KY. Bentley attended Berea College and later left Kentucky for Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh, he founded The Afro-American Spokesman newspaper, owned by the Spokesman Stock Company, of which Bentley was president. During this time, Bentley was also pastor of the Wylie Avenue A.M.E. Church in Pittsburgh. Bentley also authored Brief Religious Reflections in 1900. Rev. D. S. Bentley died suddenly in the pulpit of his church, St. Paul A. M. E. in Mckeesport, PA, on November 12, 1916 [source: "Dr. Bentley Dead," Cleveland Gazette, 12/09/1916, p.2]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Centennial Encyclopedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others (Philadelphia: 1816), p. 38, at Documenting the American South website; and The Afro-American Press and Its Editors, by I. G. Penn (1891) [available full view at Google Book Search].

A brief bio and picture of Rev. Daniel S. Bentley are on pp.186-187 in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert [available full text at Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh and Mckeesport, Pennsylvania

Berry, Ella
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1939
Ella Berry was born in Stanford, KY, and grew up in Louisville. She was the daughter of Dave Tucker and Mathilda Portman [source: Chicago Death Record, for Ella Berry]. Berry moved to Chicago where she was one of the leading African American women political and social activists. She would become president of the Cornell Charity Club, she had been a member of the organization since 1913. She was a suffragist and became the state organizer of the Hughes Colored Women's Clubs of the National Republican Headquarters in 1919. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden appointed her an investigator for the Chicago Commission on Race Relations. She was also president of the Women's Second Ward Protective League, and a federal census enumerator in 1920. Ella Berry was the first African American to be employed by the Chicago Department of Welfare, she was a home visitor. She was elected to the Order of the Eastern Star, and served three terms as president of the Grand Daughter Ruler of the Daughters of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, which was the highest office a woman could hold in the organization. Berry used her positions within the various organizations to campaign for African American votes and for women's votes during presidential elections. She traveled between Louisville and Chicago networking and making political connections between the two cities. Ella Berry was the wife of William Berry. For more see the Ella Berry entry and picture in chapter six in The Story of the Illinois Federation of the Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; For the Freedom of Her Race by L. G. Materson; and photo of Ella Berry [online] in the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Berry, Isaac, Sr.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1914
Isaac Berry, Sr. was a violin player who was born a slave in Garrard County, KY. He was willed to one of his owner's daughters. The daughter married James Pratt, and the family moved to Missouri. With the permission of Mrs. Pratt, Berry ran away and James Pratt posted a $500 reward for Berry, dead or alive. Berry made his way to Ypsilanti, MI, [see George McCoy] by following the railroad tracks, the trip taking him three weeks. Members of the Underground Railroad helped Berry to make his way on to Detroit, then to Canada. Berry's daughter, Katy Pointer, was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in 1864, and the family moved to Mecosta, MI, in 1877. Isaac Berry, Sr. was a blacksmith and a carpenter, he was the husband of Lucy, who was born in New York; both are last listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The Berry family was among the early settlers of Morton Township in Mecosta, MI, where Isaac Berry built a school for Negro children and other structures. Isaac Berry, Sr. was born March 10, 1831 and died January 11, 1914 [source: Michigan Certificate of Death at Seeking Michigan, online digital archive]. For more see Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson; and A northside view of slavery. The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, by B. Drew (1856).
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blacksmiths, Inheritance, Carpenters, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Missouri / Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Mecosta, Michigan / Canada

Berry, Joyce Hamilton
Birth Year : 1938
Dr. Joyce Hamilton Berry, a psychologist, was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. She was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Lucille and Sam Hamilton. Her father owned his own business, Sterling Barber Shop, at 181 Deweese Street. Her father was also one of the investors of the African American Hustlers baseball team in Lexington, KY. Dr. Joyce Berry attended (old) Dunbar elementary and high schools. She started school when she was five years old and finished high school in three years, graduating at the age of 15. She started college when she was 16 years old at Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], where she majored in English and minored in physical education. For her master's degree, Dr. Berry attended the University of Kentucky, starting in 1962 and completing her master's degree in 1964. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology in 1970. She now has a private practice in Washington, D.C. For more information about Dr. Joyce Hamilton Berry, request the oral history recording [info] at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Dr. Berry is listed in the title Fifty years of the University of Kentucky African-American Legacy, 1949-1999, by the University of Kentucky. There are a number of articles in Ebony that include advice and commentary from Dr. Berry.

Access Interview Joyce Hamilton Berry, read the transcript and listen to the oral history recording at the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Berry, T. L.
Birth Year : 1892
Dr. T. L. Berry was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Louis and Josephine Berry. He was a physician in Murray, KY, according to his World War I Registration Card, and was born October 17, 1892. Berry was also the Surgeon in Chief at Winnie Scott Hospital in Frankfort. From 1915-1959, the hospital primarily served African Americans. Dr. Berry left Kentucky in 1924 to join the staff of Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, and he was a member of the Cincinnati Medical Association. Berry was a 1910 graduate of Male and Female College, where he earned his A.B., and a 1915 graduate of Meharry Medical College. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Berry, Theodore M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 2000
Theodore M. Berry was born in Maysville, KY, to a white father and an African American mother. Berry was the first African American graduate of Woodward High School in Cincinnati, OH. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Berry was also a civil rights attorney with the NAACP. He was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1950 and as vice mayor in 1955, then became the city's first African American mayor in 1972. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Theodore M. Berry Cincinnati's First Black Mayor, Dies at age 94," Jet, 11/06/2000.

See photo images and additional information about Theodore M. Berry at "A Timeline of His Life and Works," a University of Cincinnati website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Mayors
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bibb, Charles Leon
Birth Year : 1921
Leon Bibb was born in Louisville, KY. A World War II veteran, Bibb became a classically-trained singer who performed folk music in Greenwich Village in the 1950s and 1960s. He relocated to Vancouver, Canada, where he continued to perform. Bibb appeared in three films with Sidney Portier and was an opening act for Bill Cosby in the 1960s. He was blacklisted for playing in Russia. Bibb had a successful Broadway career, including his performance in the production Lost in the Stars. He also toured with Finian's Rainbow. In 2006 he headlined a concert in Port Coquitlam, Canada. Leon Bibb is the father of Eric Bibb, a blues singer and songwriter. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. For more see Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts, 2nd ed., by E. Mapp; In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling; and J. Warren, "Bibb performs with Coastal Sound," The Tri-City News (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada), 11/15/2006, Arts section, p. 31.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Fathers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Greenwich Village, New York City, New York / Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bibb, Henry W.
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1854
Henry Walton Bibb was born a slave in Shelby County, KY, to Mildred Jackson, a slave, and James Bibb, a white politician. Henry Bibb taught himself to read and write. He had many failed escape attempts, which eventually led to his being sold. Bibb was last owned by Indians before he escaped to Detroit, Michigan. He became an abolitionist lecturer and later moved to Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where he edited the Voice of the Fugitive newspaper. He also organized the Refugee Home Society for runaway slaves. For more see Narrative of the life and adventures of Henry Bibb, an American slave, by H. Bibb [available online at the Documenting the American South website]; The Kentucky Encyclopedia; and "Death of Henry Bibb," New York Daily Times, 08/19/1854, p. 3.

   See photo image of Henry W. Bibb at the Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Bibbs, Junius A.
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1980
Junius Bibbs was born in Henderson, KY. He attended high school in Terre Haute, Indiana, and college at Indiana State University, where he was a star football and baseball player. As a baseball player in the Negro Leagues, where he was also known as Rainey and Sonny, he played shortstop and first, second, and third base; his career began in 1933 with the Detroit Stars and finished in 1944 with the Cleveland Buckeyes. Bibbs was a good line-drive hitter, hitting to all fields; in 1936, he hit .404. Bibbs joined the Kansas City Monarchs in 1938, and the team went on to win three Negro American League pennants, 1939-1941. After his baseball career, Bibbs taught and coached at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1998, Bibbs was inducted into the Indiana State University Hall of Fame.  For more see The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by J. A. Riley.

Additional information provided by Rebecca Bibbs 11/16/2012: Junius Bibbs was a football star at Indiana State Teachers College [now Indiana State University] in 1935 and was thought to be the only African American playing football at the collegiate level in the state of Indiana. In 2011, Junius Bibbs was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. See R. Rose article "Indiana Hall of Famer Junius Bibbs put education first," Indianapolis Recorder, 07/21/2011 [online]. Junius Bibbs was the son of Lloyd and Catherine Carr Bibbs, and the grandson of Maria Carr.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Terre Haute, Indiana / Indianapolis, Indiana

Bingham, Walter D.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2006
Rev. Walter D. Bingham became, in 1966, the first African American to lead the Kentucky Association of Christian Churches. Five years later, he became the first African American named to the top post of the Christian Church (Church of Christ) as moderator of the denomination of 1.5 million members. Bingham's first vice moderator was Mrs. H. G. Wilkes, the first woman moderator. Bingham was minister of the Third Christian Church [now Third Central United Christian Church] in Louisville, KY. A native of Memphis, TN, he was a 1945 graduate of Talladega College and earned his divinity degree from Howard University in 1948. He taught at Jarvis Christian College and was a pastor in Oklahoma before arriving in Louisville, KY in 1961. He was the husband of librarian Rebecca Taylor Bingham, and the son of Lena and Willie Bingham. For more see "Louisville minister heads church group," Lexington Herald, 04/21/1966, p. 1; "Born in slavery era; church elects first Black man national moderator," Lexington Herald, 10/20/1971, p. 31; and P. Burba, "Rev. Walter Bingham dies; was pioneer with Disciples of Christ," Courier Journal, 04/16/2006, News section, p. 4B.

See photo image and additional information about Rev. Walter D. Bingham at Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Birch, Ernest O. and Edward E. [Birch Bros.]
The Birch brothers, Ernest (1884-1951) and Edward (1887-1974), were born in Winchester, KY. They were the youngest two sons of Jane and Samuel Birch, who was a barber. Their oldest brother was Arthur Birch, he was a hotel porter, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The family of five lived at 125 E. Third Street in Winchester. Ernest and Edward Birch would go on to create a partnership in 1908 known as Birch Brothers, an architecture business in Cincinnati, OH. They were not licensed in Ohio, but are recognized as two of the earliest African American architects in the city. Ernest Birch was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], where he first studied to become a teacher, and later switched to carpentry. Edward Birch studied architecture engineering at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute [now Hampton University]. According to the 1910 census, the two brothers were managing their business and were lodgers at the home of William and Eliza Ford on West Canal Street [Eliza Ford was b.1867 in KY]. By 1920, Ernest was the husband of Corenna Birch, b.1891 in KY, and she is also listed as Ernest's wife on his WWII Draft Registration Card in 1942, a period when Ernest was employed by the Rubel Baking Company. He is listed as an architect at 3146 Gaff Avenue in the 1946 William's Cincinnati (Ohio) City Directory. Also in 1920, Edward Birch was the husband of Susie B. Whittaker, b.1890 in KY, and Edward was employed as a Pullman Porter. The couple and Susie's sister lived on Mountfort Street in Cincinnati. Edward Birch was previously married to Eva Downey, b.1890 in KY, and they had a son named Augustine E. Birch, b.1908 in KY. The couple divorced in 1916, and Eva and her son Augustine are listed as living in Winchester, KY in the 1910 census and 1930 census. Edward Birch is listed as a draftsman at 1123 Yale Avenue in the 1936-1937 William's Cincinnati Directory. He is credited for designing the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. For more see the Ernest Octavius Birch entry and the Edward Eginton Birch entry, both in African American Architects, 1865-1945 edited by D. S. Wilson.
Subjects: Architects, Barbers, Businesses, Migration North, Pullman Porters
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bishop, James L.
Birth Year : 1870
In 1902 the Socialists Party nominated one of it's first African American candidates for the U.S. Congress, James L. Bishop from Kentucky. Members of the Socialists Party had demanded that the party take a stronger stand for the rights of Negroes. Bishop had moved to Indiana, prior to the year 1900. With his nomination in 1902, he was to represent the 5th District of Clinton, IN. Bishop was a coal miner, a clergyman, and a trade unionist, he was president of the local Central Labor Union of Clinton, IN. He was the husband of Galveston Bishop (b.1879 in TN), they had married in 1897, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. He was later married to Rosa Bishop (b.1886 in WV), according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. James L. Bishop received 745 votes, but was not successful in his bid for the U.S. Congress. [The first African American member of the Indiana Legislature was James Sidney Hinton, 1881 House of Representatives.] For more see "Nominated for Congress," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/18/1902, p.1; and Marxism in United States History Before the Russian Revolution (1876-1917) by O. C. Johnson.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Clinton, Indiana

Black History Gallery [Emma Reno Connor]
The Black History Gallery is located in Elizabethtown, KY. The gallery items comprised the personal collection of Emma Reno Connor, a schoolteacher first in Kentucky and later in New York. She collected pictures, articles, biographies, and other materials pertaining to African Americans. The items were used in her classes because there was little information in school textbooks about African Americans. Since Connor's death in 1988, her family has managed the museum in her childhood home in Elizabethtown. Emma R. Connor was the author of a book of poems titled Half a Hundred. For more information, contact: Black History Gallery, 602 Hawkins Drive, Elizabethtown, KY 42701, 270-769-5204 or 270-765-7653. For more on Emma Reno Connor see the online video "A Teachers Legacy," Kentucky Life Program 905; and "Black history collection took lifetime to amass," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/12/1991, Lifestyle section, p. B6.
See the video "A Teachers Legacy" online at Kentucky Life Program 905.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Genealogy, History, Historians, Migration North
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / New York

Black, John L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 2004
John L. Black, Sr., born in Burgin, KY, was the son of Robert and Bertha Black; Bertha died in 1934 after becoming ill with sickle cell anemia and tuberculosis. John Black was a retired stationary engineer for the Cincinnati Public Schools and a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Local #20. In 1991, he became the first African American president of an IUOE Local #20. For more see "John Lincoln Black" in vol. 1 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and The Cincinnati Post, obituaries, 06/24/2004, News section, p. A14.

Access Interview Listen to Samuel Black remembering his father in A Father, a Son, and a Ten-cent Mistake, 09/29/2006, StoryCorps: Recording America at NPR.org.
 
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North, Union Organizations, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Burgin, Mercer County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Blackburn, Thornton and Ruth (or Lucie)
The Blackburns were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They had been settled in Detroit, Michigan, for two years when, in 1833, Kentucky slave hunters captured and arrested the couple. The Blackburns were jailed but allowed visitors, which provided the opportunity for Ruth to exchange her clothes - and her incarceration - with Mrs. George French; Ruth escaped to Canada. The day before Thornton was to be returned to Kentucky, the African American community rose up in protest. While the commotion was going on, Sleepy Polly and Daddy Walker helped Thornton to escape to Canada. The commotion turned into a two day riot and the sheriff was killed. It was the first race riot in Detroit, and afterward the first Riot Commission was formed in the U.S. Once in Canada, Thornton designed, built, and operated Toronto's first horse-drawn carriage hackney cab and cab company. He was born in Maysville, KY in 1812. Ruth died in Canada in 1895. For more see The Detroit Riot of 1863; racial violence and internal division in Northern society during the Civil War, by A. S. Quinn; I'v Got a Home in Glory Land by K. S. Frost; and Thornton and Lucie Blackburn House.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Toronto, Canada

Blakey, William Arthur "Buddy"
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2010
William A. Blakey was born in Louisville, KY, and was a graduate of Knoxville College and Howard University Law School. He was recognized for the development of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Act - Title 111B-HEA, which was passed during his tenure as Senior Legislative Assistant to Senator Paul Simon. Blakey also oversaw the HBCU Student Loan Default Exemption through Congress. For more than 15 years Blakey served as the Washington counsel of the United Negro College Fund. In recognition of his advocacy for HBCUs, Blakey was inducted into the National Black College Hall of Fame in 2001. William A. Blakey and Associates, established in 2005, was located in Washington, D. C. For more see "Washington attorney inducted into Black College Hall of Fame," Black Issues in Higher Education, vol.18, issue 22 (12/20/2001), p. 17; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006; and articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education. See also K. Mangan, "William Blakey, lawyer for Black colleges, dies at 67," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/14/2010.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Blanton, John W.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2003
John W. Blanton, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of John O. and Carolyn Steward Blanton. He was a retired General Electric Aircraft Engines executive. He received GE's Gerald L. Phillippe Award for distinguished public service in 1981 and was inducted into the GE Aircraft Engine's Propulsion Hall of Fame in 1991. He was president of the Urban League Board of Greater Cincinnati and was an original member and former president of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA). Blanton was a 1943 mechanical engineering graduate of Purdue University. He is buried in Cincinnati, OH. For more see K. Andrew, "Obituary: John Blanton, 81, GE executive," Cincinnati Enquirer, 05/11/2003, Metro section, p. 5B; and "John W. Blanton" in vol. 1 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Migration North, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Blewitt, Kenneth G., Jr.
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1986
Kenneth G. Blewitt, Jr. was thought to be the first African American in the U.S. to manage a major movie theater and live entertainment house. Beginning in 1939, he was general manager of the Regal Theatre in Chicago, and said to have provided the best entertainment in the city. Blewitt had started as an usher at the Regal in 1929 and advanced to become a manager for Balaban & Katz, which was later the ABC Great States, Inc., owner of the Regal Theatre. He was also named manger of the Roosevelt Theatre in 1968. During WWII, Blewitt agreed to show the all-Negro newsreels at the the Regal, as long as the reels were not derogatory to the Negro race. In 1942, he was named head of the Negro division of the USO shows. Kenneth G. Blewitt, Jr. was born in Bowling Green, KY, and moved to Chicago in 1926. He was the son of Kenneth, Sr. and Maggie Blewitt [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. He was the husband of Lucille Edmondson Blewett [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Kenneth G. Blewitt was born October 14, 1910, and died in July of 1986 [source: U.S. Social Security Index]. For more see the "Kenneth G. Blewitt" entry in the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather; "The all-Negro news reel...," Plaindealer, 11/06/1942, p.3; and "USO head," Jet, 08/14/1952, p.11 [available online at Google Book Search]. *The last name is also spelled "Blewett" and "Bluett" in the U.S. Census and other sources.
Subjects: Migration North, Theaters [outside Kentucky]
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Blythe, James Louis "Jimmy"
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1931
James L. "Jimmy" Blythe was born in Lexington, KY, according to his death certificate [source: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, FHL Film No. 1893066]. He was the son of Rena Stoodel and Richard Blythe. When he was a teen, Jimmy Blythe moved to Chicago, where he spent the rest of his life. Blythe was an accomplished musician and composer. Considered one of the first Boogie Woogie piano players, he was also well-versed in most other styles. He led studio bands for several companies in Chicago. Blythe made his first recordings in 1924, including Chicago Stomp, and made many piano rolls in the 1920s; he also did a few solos and was recorded accompanying a number of singers. He died of meningitis and is buried in the Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago, IL.  For more see Jimmy Blythe in Grove Music Online; Jimmy Blythe in The Rough Guide to Jazz, by D. Fairweather, B. Priestley, and I. Carr; and James "Jimmy" Blythe at redhotjazz.com.


  Listen to Jimmy Blythe - The Enigma at PRX.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Bond, Howard H.
Birth Year : 1938
Howard H. Bond, a consulting firm executive, was born in Stanford, KY, to Frederick D. and Edna G. Coleman Bond. He is a 1965 graduate of Eastern Michigan University (BA) and a 1974 graduate of Pace University (MBA). He has worked with a number of companies, including Ford Motor Company, where he was a labor supervisor; Xerox Corp., as a personnel manager; and Playboy Enterprises, Inc., as a vice president. He was also a council member candidate for the city of Cincinnati in 2003. Today he is managing director of the Phoenix Executech Group, having founded the company in 1977. And he is chairman and CEO of Bond Promotions and Apparel Co. in the Over-the-Rhine area of Cincinnati. Bond is also a community activist and educator. He has taught leadership and social responsibility classes at Northern Kentucky University and is a former elected member of the Cincinnati Board of Education. He has also served as president of the African American Political Caucus of Cincinnati and is a founding member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Bond is also a 33rd degree Mason, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and a number of other organizations. He has received a number of awards. Bond is a U.S. Army veteran. For more see "Five receive Lions awards from Urban League," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 02/12/2006, Metro section, p. 5B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2006.

See photo image and additional information about Howard H. Bond at the 2003 smartvoter.org website.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bond, J. Max, Jr.
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2009
J. Max Bond, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was an internationally recognized architect and a fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture at Harvard University. His designs include the Bolgatanga Library in Ghana, Africa, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Museum in Alabama. Bond established and became director of the Architects Renewal Committee of Harlem and from 1980-1986 was commissioner of the New York Planning Committee. He taught at and was a former dean of the architecture school at the City University of New York (CUNY). Bond was the co-author of New Service Buildings, Harvard University... and was co-author of the newspaper Harlem News. He was the son of J. Max Bond, Sr. and Ruth E. Clement Bond and the grandson of James M. Bond. For more see Who's Who in America, 47th ed. - 52nd ed.; L. Duke, "Blueprint of a life, Architect J. Max Bond Jr. has had to build bridges to reach ground zero," Washington Post, 07/01/2004, p. C01; and D. W. Dunlap, "J. Max Bond Jr., Architect, Dies at 73," New York Times, 02/19/2009, Obituary section,p.20. See also The Directory of African American Architects, sponsored by the City for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati.

Access Interview Read about the J. Max Bond, Jr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Architects, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Bond, Leslie Fee, Sr.
Birth Year : 1928
Leslie Fee Bond, Sr., born in Louisville, KY, moved with his family to Galesburg, IL, when he was 10-years-old. Like his father, Leslie F. Bond, Sr. is a family practitioner and also a surgeon. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and Meharry Medical College. After finishing medical school, Bond opened his practice in St. Louis, MO, where he is also an outspoken community leader. He served on the Physicians-Pharmacists Advisory Committee to Medicaid for 20 years. He was selected by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan to serve on the St. Louis Police Board. In 2007, Bond received the Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award from the St. Louis American Foundation. His son, Leslie F. Bond, Jr., was the first African American chairman of the St. Louis Election Board in 1993. For more see Lift Every Voice and Sing: St. Louis African Americans in the Twentieth Century, by D. Wesley, W. Price, and A. Morris; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996/97; and M. Schlinkmann, "First Black will head election board," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 02/23/1993, News section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Galesburg, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

Booker, Elzey
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1937
Elzey Booker was a horseman in Chicago, IL. He was born in Allen County, KY, and died in Bremen, IL on July 30, 1937 [source: Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. He is buried in Rest Vale Cemetery in Chicago.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Allen County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Bottoms, Lawrence Wendell
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1994
In 1963, Lawrence W. Bottoms was the first African American moderator of the Regional Kentucky Synod and local Louisville Presbytery. He was also the first to lead a state synod in the south. In 1974, he was elected the first African American to be named the Southern Presbyterian Moderator, the top post in the denomination. Lawrence W. Bottoms had been a Presbyterian minister since 1938 when he became pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY. He lived in Louisville from 1938 to 1949 [source: Carson's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory and Carson's Louisville (Jefferson County, Ky.) City Directory]. Lawrence W. Bottoms was born in Alabama, the son of Wilbur M. and Augusta Bottoms [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see G. Cornell, "Church post to Black Georgia pastor," Fort Scott Tribune (Kansas), 06/22/1974, p. 8; Through Conflict to Victory, by L. W. Bottoms; "Southern Presbyterians elect first Black leader," Jet, 07/04/1974, p. 44; D. Brackenridge, "Lawrence W. Bottoms: the church, Black Presbyterians, and personhood," Journal of Presbyterian History, vol. 56, no. 1, (Spring 1978); "1st Negro to head Southern Presbyterian Synod," Jet, 06/28/1962, p. 23; and "Church leader to talk here Sunday," Kingsport Times, 05/15/1953, p. 2.

 

See photo image of Lawrence W. Bottoms on p. 44 in Jet, 06/28/1962.

 
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bowen, James Lyman
Birth Year : 1842
Bowen, born in Liberty, KY, was a chef for Buffalo Bill and had fought against Sitting Bull. His reputation for helping settle the West was well known: Bowen was received by royalty during his tour of Europe. He settled in Danville, IL, where he celebrated his 90th birthday in 1932. His name has also been written as James Lyman Brown. For more see Africa's Gift to America, by J. A. Rogers; and Henry Brown, "He rode with Buffalo Bill," The Chicago Defender, 10/30/1948, p.A2.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky / Danville, Illinois

Bowles, Joseph William
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1942
Bowles, born in Mississippi, was named a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Bradley; he was the first African American to be named a Kentucky Colonel. Bowles was also described as a Republican leader. For more see "Death Roll" in The Negro Handbook 1944 compiled and edited by F. Murray.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Boyd, Henry
Birth Year : 1802
Death Year : 1866
Henry Boyd, who was born a slave in Kentucky, was an inventor, carpenter, and a master mechanic. He invented the corded bed - The Boyd Bedstead. His profits from his carpentry work also allowed him to buy his own and his family's freedom. In 1843 he was among the most successful furniture makers in Cincinnati, Ohio. For more see The Mis-education of the Negro, by C. G. Woodson; Created Equal, by J. M. Brodie; C. G. Woodson, "The Negroes of Cincinnati prior to the Civil War," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 1, issue 1 (Jan. 1916), p. 21; and History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880 by G. W. Williams.
Subjects: Businesses, Inventors, Migration North, Carpenters, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bradberry, Henrietta Mahim
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1979
Henrietta Mahim Bradberry was born in Franklin, KY, and lived in Chicago, IL. She was a housewife and also an inventor who held two patents. The first, received in 1943, was for a bed rack attachment that allowed for the airing-out of clothes. The second patent, received in 1945, was for a pneumatically operated device that allowed for the firing of torpedoes from beneath the water surface. Henrietta M. Bradberry was the wife of William Bradberry [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census], the couple lived on Champlain Avenue. For more see p. 136 in The Inventive Spirit of African Americans, by P. Carter Sluby.
Subjects: Inventors, Migration North
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Brady, Bessie May
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1912
Bessie M. Brady (Thomas), born in Frankfort, KY, was an actress with William and Walker Abyssinia Company in 1906 [Egbert "Bert" A. Williams and George Walker]. Brady would later become a vaudeville performer in Chicago. She performed with Leana Mitchell, touring the vaudeville circuits and performing at the height of their careers at the Grand and Monogram Theaters in Chicago. Bessie Brady's mother, Johnsonia Buckner Brady, from Frankfort, KY, died in Chicago in 1899 [source: Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index]. The Brady family had moved to Chicago after 1880 according to the U.S. Federal Census records. In 1900, there were ten family members and they lived on Wabash Ave in Chicago. The family included Bessie's father, Horace Brady who was a musician and he had run a saloon in Frankfort, KY, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Her brother, Charles H. Brady, was also a musician. Bessie Brady died September 13, 1912, after an operation at the Roosevelt Hospital in New York [source: "Obituary: Pretty Bessie Brady dies in New York," Freeman, 09/28/1912. Her body was brought back to Chicago for burial. She was the wife of vaudevill performer James M. "Icky" Thomas. For more see "Bessie Brady" in Blacks in Blackface, by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Branegan, George [Poynts vs. Branegan]
According to author Charles Lindquist, it was reported in the Michigan Freeman on October 13, 1839, that slaveholders from Kentucky had tried and failed three times to seize a slave named George Branegan who was living in Adrian, Michigan, and later they failed in Jonesville. When the slaveholders took Branegan into custody in Jonesville, they were confronted by a vigilance committee that prevented them from taking him back to Kentucky. The case went to court: Poynts vs. Branegan. When the authenticated laws of Kentucky, showing that one man could own another, could not be produced in one hour as requested by the judge, Branegan was set free. For more see The Antislavery-Underground Railroad Movement: in Lenawee County, Michigan, 1830-1860 by C. Lindquist.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Jonesville and Adrian, Michigan

Brauham, James L.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1922
James L. Brauham was a horseshoer who was born in New Castle, KY, and died in Chicago, IL [source: Cook County, Illinoise Death Index]. He was the son of Leory Brauham and Emily Smith Brauham.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

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, and Chautauquas, Migration North, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio

Brennen, David A.
In 2009, David A. Brennen was named the dean of the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Law, making him the state's first African American law school dean since the desegregation of Kentucky higher education. Brennen will be the 16th dean of the UK College of Law. He has more than 15 years experience in classroom teaching, is the co-founder and co-editor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, and is editor of the electronic abstracting journal, Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, published by the Social Science Research Network in the Legal Research Network series. He has a number of research publications and is co-author of the 2008 statutory supplement to The Tax Law of Charities and Other Exempt Organizations. David Brennen graduated with a finance degree from Florida Atlantic University and earned his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida. He has served as the assistant general counsel in Florida's Department of Revenue and as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools. Additional information for this entry was provided by Michelle Cosby, librarian at the UK College of Law Library. For more see "College of Law names David A. Brennen as Dean," University of Kentucky News, 04/09/2009. For the earlier history see the NKAA entries Central Law School (Louisville, KY) and Albert S. White.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brent, George
Birth Year : 1821
George Brent was born near Greensburg, KY; he and his parents were slaves owned by Louis C. Patterson. Brent's father gained his freedom and moved to Lexington, KY, where he secured a note for the purchase of his son. George Brent then moved to Lexington, was employed as a blacksmith and became a freeman when he paid off the note of $1,200 at the end of three years. A year prior to his freedom, George Brent married Mildred Smith, a free born woman from Campbellsville, KY. In 1837, the Brent family moved to Illinois, eventually settling in Springfield at 1417 East Adams Street. Springfield had become the capital of Illinois in 1837 thanks to the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and several others. The Brent family was among the first African Americans to settle in Sangamon County. George Brent became an ordained minister in 1864 and the following year was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Springfield. The church was formerly known as the Colored Baptist Church, that was started in 1838 [more information at the Zion Missionary Baptist Church website]. The first church building was constructed under the directorship of Rev. George Brent. He and three others made the bricks from which the church was built; Rev. Brent and the three men were owners of the brick yard. Rev. Brent was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church until 1887. George and Mildred Brent had four children in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, February of that year, two of the children were killed when they were struck by lightning [see George Brent at Find A Grave]. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities by Inter-State Publishing Company (Chicago) [full-text available at Google Book Search]; and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.

*The last name is spelled as Brents and Brentz in the census records.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town, Free African American Slave Owners, Killed by Lightning
Geographic Region: Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Brim, John
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2003
John Brim was born in Hopkinsville, KY. He taught himself to play the guitar and the harmonica. In 1941 he moved to Indianapolis, then on to Chicago. Brim owned a dry cleaning business and a record store in Chicago. He was also a blues vocalist, song writer, and guitarist. He worked with "Sonny Boy" Williamson, Muddy Waters, and others. Brim had a number of recordings in the 1950s; his songs include Be Careful, Ice Cream Man, and Tough Times. His wife was Grace Brim (1924-1999), blues drummer and vocalist. John Brim played at the 1997 Chicago Bluesfest. In 2000 he performed on the album Jake's Blues. For more see Blues Who's Who, by S. Harris; and R. K. Elder, "Simplicity, eloquence shaped bluesman's style," Chicago Tribune, 10/08/2003, Obituaries section, p. 10. 

See photo image and additional information about John Brim at website by Hiroshi 'Edogawa Slim' Takahashi.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinios

Britton, Arthur Eugene and Lillian Smith
Arthur Britton (b.1875 in Kentucky), was African American, Crow, and Cherokee. He grew up near Maysville and had attended college in Louisville (probably Simmons) before moving to Chicago, where he worked as a clerk in a manufacturing company. He was there during the "Red Summer" of 1919. He and his wife, Lillian Smith (b.1882 in Kentucky), were the parents of four children, the youngest being Irene Britton Smith (1907-1999), a noted composer and school teacher in Chicago. Arthur and Lillian Britton separated in 1917. For more see H. Walker-Hill, "Black women composers in Chicago: then and now," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 12, issue 1, (Spring, 1992), pp. 13-14; Funeral program for Irene Britton Smith, Chicago: Griffin Funeral Home, 02/18/1999, vertical file at the Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago; Black Women in America, 2nd ed., by D. C. Hine; and From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American women composers and their music, by H. Walker-Hill.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Brooks, Corrinne Mudd
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2008
Brooks organized the first African American girl scout troop in Fort Wayne, IN. The history of African American girl scout units has not been thoroughly researched, and it is not known how many units existed in the U.S. Up to the 1950s, girl scouts were segregated by race. In the state of Indiana, the first girl scouts were formed in New Albany in 1919; the organization became a council in 1923. Brooks was an active member of the Limberlost Girl Scout Council as well as the Urban League, the Commission on the Status of Women for the State of Indiana, and the YWCA. She was also the comptroller at the YWCA. Corrinne Brooks was the wife of James W. Brooks. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Loretta Douglas Mudd (1897-1928), who was born in Fort Wayne, and James Mudd (1881-1968), who was born in Springfield, KY. The family moved from Kentucky to Fort Wayne in 1915 and lived on Wallace Street, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. When Loretta Mudd died, Corrinne became the mother of the household; she was the oldest of her six siblings. She was also an athlete, the first girl in her high school to receive a sweater for her participation in basketball and soccer. She graduated from Central High School in 1933. She won the Civic Men's Scholarship, which was used for her courses at Indiana University Extension, located in downtown Fort Wayne. Brooks took a turn at politics: an unsuccessful candidate for the Indiana House of Representative in 1954 and 1956, she went on to become a coordinator for the Indiana voter registration drive in preparation for the 1960 presidential election, helping to register over 43,000 voters; Senator John F. Kennedy invited her to a National Conference on Constitutional Rights and American Freedom in New York. She was also founder of the Martin Luther King Living Memorial. For more on Corrinne Brooks, see her entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and "Corrinne Brooks always active in helping others," The Journal Gazette, 02/06/1996, People section. A picture of Corrine Brooks is on p. 120 in Ebony, 09/1983 [available in Google Book Search]. For more on the girl scouts see the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website; and for a more detailed accounting of African American girl scout history, see the "Josephine Groves Holloway" entry in Notable Black American Women, by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Athletes, Athletics, Civic Leaders, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana / Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Brown, Beatrice Sandra
Birth Year : 1950
Death Year : 2013
Dr. Beatrice S. Brown was an educator, mental health director, musician and music director, evangelist and ordained minister, author, and leader. In 1969, she founded the Black Diamond Choir, now a one-hour credit course at the University of Louisville; she was founder and president of the Daughters of Zion International Women of Prayer World Ministries Inc. in Louisville, KY; and she was Mother Evangelist at Tabernacle of Praise Church of God in Christ in Louisville. Much of Dr. Brown's career took place in New York; she left Kentucky in 1978 for the Bronx, where she joined the Holy Temple Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Within the church she was a missionary in Home Missions and in the Foreign Mission in Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria, all in Africa [source: obituary program "In Loving Memory of Dr. Beatrice Sandra Brown," September 23, 2013, at Tabernacle of Praise Church of God in Christ in Louisville]. Dr. Brown had an extensive vita; the following comes from Who's Who of American Women, 1987-2000 (subscription database): 1997- Founder, president, and CEO of BSB Wholistic Psychological Wellness Center of New York and Consulting Firm; 1994-1997 Director of the girls unit facility at the Jewish Board Family and Children Services; 1994-1997 Founder and director of the Mt. Vernon African American Music Arts Festival; 1990 Research faculty member at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, Africa; 1989- Assistant professor of special education and early childhood development at City University of New York; 1989-1991 Director coordinator of children day treatment program at Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center; 1986- Founder, director Museum Arts Institute Creative Expression for Children, Brown Educational Institute; 1984- Performing arts consultant at New York State Council for Arts; 1983-1988 School teacher at New York Public Schools; 1983-84 Director, music teacher Holmes Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, NY; 1982-84 Music director at AC-BAW Center for Arts; 1978- Music and choral director at Holy Temple Church; 1976-78 Counselor at the Louisville Sheltered Workshop; 1972- Director, music director Museum Arts of Creative Expression; 1969-1975 Choral director, music teacher at the University of Louisville. Dr. Beatrice S. Brown held a BMEd from the University of Louisville (1972); MA, PhD from Columbia Pacific University (1987); Postdoctoral course of instruction certificate from Albert Einstein College of MedicineMontefiore Medical Center (1998); and Post-graduate certificates in psychological-behavioral therapy from the Center of Mental Health, New York City (1995) [source: Who's Who of American Women, 1987-2000 (subscription database)]. She also had a M.Div., and was a professor at the College of New Rochelle and at Concordia University, both in New York [source: p.57 in Case Studies in Evangelism by B. S. Brown]. Dr. Brown had a number of articles and was the author of Images of America: Louisville's Historic Black Neighborhoods (2012); Wisdom Woman Prosperous, Wealthy, Honored (2010); Women's Financial Health: God's provision in financial crisis (2010) with Sandy B. Dulichan; The Seven Law Curriculum for Positive Thinking and Behavior in Children and Adolescents; and Case Studies in Evangelism: effective principles in reaching others (2008). Dr. Beatrice S. Brown was the daughter of Thomas and Irene Brown; and the sister of Dr. Marilyn G. Brown-Anderson. This entry and many of the sources were submitted by Juanita L. White.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City and Mt. Vernon, New York / Ethiopia, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Nigeria, all in Africa

Brown, Marie Spratt 
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1943
Her name is given as Marie Spratt Brown on the cover of The K.N.E.A. Journal, 1936, vol. 6, issue 2, and there is a brief biography on p.2.  Her name is also given as "Maud" in various issues of the KNEA Journal. Brown was a Louisville, KY, schoolteacher who in 1898 became the first woman president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association. Her term ended in 1900. The next and last woman president, Lucy H. Smith, took office in 1945. Brown was a 1931 graduate of A & I State College [now Tennessee State University] and earned her master's degree at Fisk University. One of the earliest listings of her name is on p.178 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1888; Marie S. Brown lived at 2204 W. Madison Street. Marie Spratt Brown died in Evansville, IN and was buried in Louisville, KY. While in Evansville, she lived at 432 S. Evans Avenue [source: Bennett's Evansville (Vanderburgh County, IND.) City Directory, v.1943, p.90]. For more see The Kentucky Negro Education Association, 1877-1946, by H. C. Russell; and "Two honored and revered...," on p.24 of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, v.14, no.3.

 

  See cover of The K.N.E.A. Journal, 1936, vol. 6, issue 2.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brown, Phil H.
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1923
Phil H. Brown was the appointed Commissioner of Conciliation in the U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Negro Economics. News of his appointment was listed under the heading of "Politics" in M. G. Allison's article "The Horizon" in The Crisis, June 1921, vol.22, issue 2, whole number 128, p.80 [available online at Google Book Search]. The Division of Negro Economics was established in 1918 to mobilize Negro workers and address their issues during WWI. The program came about after much pressure from Negro leaders. It was the first program to assist Negro workers and acted as an informal employment agency. George Haynes, of the Urban League, was named director and continued at the post until the program was discontinued in 1921, when Haynes left the office. Phil H. Brown replaced Haynes in 1921 with the new title of Commissioner of Conciliation. He was assigned the task of making a special study of Negro migration to the North and the cause of the migration. Brown delivered an address on his findings at the International Labor Conference in Toronto, Canada. Brown continued to serve as the Commissioner of Conciliation until his sudden death in November 1923. He died of a heart attack at his home, 1326 Riggs St. N.W in Washington, D.C. Funeral services were conducted at Brown's home by Rev. J. C. Olden and Rev. T. J. Brown. Phil H. Brown's body was sent to Hopkinsville, KY, for burial; he considered the city to be his home town. Brown was born in Ironton, OH, and he had previously lived in Washington, D. C. while working at the Government Printing Office (GPO). He then moved to Hopkinsville, KY, where he was a Republican leader. He was employed by the Republican National Committee during the presidential elections from 1908-1920. Brown was also an associate of W. C. Handy; he wrote a commentary that accompanied Handy's 1922 published sheet music "John Henry Blues." [Handy's first wife, Elizabeth, was a Kentucky native.] Phil H. Brown was also a recognized journalist and publisher in Kentucky; Brown had owned a printing company located at Tenth and Chestnut Streets in Hopkinsville. He was editor of the newspaper Major in 1902 and the Morning News in 1903. He also published the Saturday News. Brown had an association with the Chicago Daily News, The New York Journal, and the New York Sun. He also wrote articles for many other publications. In 1916, Brown's printing company published the book The Awakening of Hezekiah Jones by J. E. Bruce. Phil H. Brown was married to Dorothea "Dolly" R. Brown, b.1872 in Pennsylvania, and died in 1924. Prior to their second move to Washington, D.C., the couple had lived on North Liberty Street in Hopkinsville, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. For more see A History of Christian County Kentucky from Oxcart to Airplane by C. M. Meacham; Colored Girls and Boys Inspiring United States History and a Heart to Heart Talk About White Folks by W. H. Harrison, Jr.; "Phil H. Brown dies suddenly in Washington," The Afro American, 12/07/1923, p.1; and U.S. Department of Labor Historian, J. MacLaury, "The Federal Government and Negro Workers Under President Woodrow Wilson," paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Society for History in the Federal Government, 03/16/2000, Washington, D.C. [available online].
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Ironton, Ohio / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Brown, Russell S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1981
Russell S. Brown, Sr. was born in London, KY, the son of Bartlett and Alice Brown. The family moved to Kansas when Russell was a teen. A minister, between 1920 and 1925, he founded the First Community House for Soldiers in Memphis, Tennessee, the first in the south. He also served as chaplain at the Fulton County Jail and conducted services at the Atlanta Federal Prison. In 1929, he was elected to the City Council of Cleveland and appointed a trustee with the State Department by Gov. Cooper. Brown was the second African American to serve on the City Council of Cleveland. He left Cleveland in 1933 and moved to Denver, CO, and was the only African American to have his picture included in the Denver Daily Posts Hall of Fame. He was general secretary the AME Church and served as the financial officer for 28 years. Rev. Brown died in Chicago in 1981. He was the husband of Floy Smith and the couple had three children. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927 & 1933-37; see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; see Rev. Russell S. Brown in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and "Rev. Russell S. Brown, Sr., former A.M.E. secy., dies," Jet, 09/03/1981, p.25.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: London, Laurel County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Fulton County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia / Cleveland, Ohio / Denver, Colorado

Brown, Thelma Waide
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1975
Brown was born in Ashland, KY. She toured as a concert and opera singer and was a music and voice instructor for more than 25 years in the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt College [now Roosevelt University]. She was considered one of the most respected concert singers and teachers in the Chicago area and was sought out for private lessons. For more see African American Concert Singers Before 1950 by D. G. Nettles; and "Obituaries" in The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 4, issue 3 (Autumn, 1976), p. 344.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Broyles, Moses
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1882
Moses Broyles was a slave who was born in Maryland, according to the 1880 U.S. Census. His mother's name was Mary and his father's name was Moses. Moses Jr. was sold at the age of three or four to a slave owner named John Broyles in Kentucky, and he lived in McCracken County, and later worked in Paducah to purchase his freedom for $300. White children he played with had taught him to read, and Moses Broyles also had the gift to recite, sing, and give speeches. While still a slave, he began preaching in Paducah, and helped build the first Colored Baptist meeting house in Paducah. Moses Broyles would become a religion leader and an education leader among African Americans in Indianapolis, IN. Broyles purchased his freedom when he was an adult and left Kentucky, he moved to Lancaster, IN, in 1854. He was a prominent student at Eleutherian Institute in Lancaster, where many of the students were from Kentucky. In addition to his education, Broyles also learned furniture-making. Broyles would become a minister and led the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis from 1857-1882. He also led in the establishing of several other churches in Indiana, and helped found the Indiana Baptist Association. He also taught school in Indianapolis, teaching at one of the first schools in the city for African Americans. He is author of the 1876 title The History of Second Baptist Church. The church prospered under Broyles leadership, and the congregation increased from 30 to 630. Broyles was a Republican and pushed for African Americans to align themselves with the Republican Party. Moses Broyles was the husband of Francis Broyles, and in 1880 the couple had seven children [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived on Blake Street in Indianapolis. For more see J. C. Carroll, "The Beginnings of public education for Negroes in Indiana," The Journal of Negro Education, vol.8, no.4, Oct. 1939, pp.649-658; Second Baptist Church Collection, 1912-1985 at the Indiana Historical Society[user info .pdf]; T. Sturgill, "Celebrating Black History Month: Three stories of survival," The Madison Courier, 02/16/2011 [article online at The Madison Courier.com]; and see Moses Broyles in the various entries in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer and R. G. Barrows.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Maryland / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lancaster and Indianapolis, Indiana

Bruner, Peter
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1938
Peter Bruner was born a slave in Winchester, KY. After several attempts at running away, he finally succeed in 1864 by enlisting in the Union Army at Camp Nelson, KY. For 2 1/2 years, he served in the 12th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment - Company G. Bruner next settled in Ohio, where he attended school and married. He was later employed at the Western Seminary near Oxford, Ohio, and also worked at Oxford College and Miami University. [Oxford and Western were merged into Miami University.] Peter Bruner is buried in the Woodside Cemetery in Oxford, Ohio. For more see A Slave's Adventures Toward Freedom; Not Fiction, but the True Story of a Struggle, by P. Bruner [full-text available at UNC University Library Documenting the American South website].

See several photo images of Peter Bruner at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Oxford, Ohio

Bryant, Carolyn
Birth Year : 1934
Carolyn Bryant, MSN, RN, was born in Lexington, KY, and grew up in Muskegon Heights, MI. She is a founding member of the the Detroit Black Nurses Association, June of 1972. The organization is a chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, Inc. Beginning in 1957, when Carolyn Bryant received her nursing license, she worked as a nurse in various locations and has been a college nursing instructor. Bryant is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. She served as Vice President for Nursing in the Reserve Officers Association, and was the Burn Educator for the U.S. Army Reserve Corps. For more see the Carolyn Bryant entry in The Color of Healing by B. F. Morton. For more about the Detroit Black Nurses Association, Inc. see the entry on p.62 in Maricopa County, AZ Sheriffs by Turner Publishing Company.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Muskegon Heights, Michigan

Bryant, Isabella
Birth Year : 1890
In 1917, United States District Court Judge John Raymond Hazel ruled that Isabella Bryant was a U.S. citizen because her father, a former slave from Kentucky, had become a U.S. citizen when slaves were emancipated in Kentucky. At the time, Isabella Bryant was living on Caledonia Avenue in Rochester, New York. Her case was represented by lawyer Edwin C. Smith, who had asked the courts to grant Bryant the writ of habeas corpus. Isabella Bryant knew that her father was born in Kentucky around 1854. His name was Henry Bryant, he was a Methodist, and was born in the United States [source: Canada Census, 1901]. He was the husband of Ellen Bryant and the family of seven lived in Hamilton, where Isabella was born around 1890. Her father was never naturalized as a Canadian citizen; therefore, the courts determined that he was an American citizen and so was his daughter; therefore, Isabella Bryant could not be deported from the United States. The U.S. Department of Labor had described Isabella Bryant as an unwed mother of two children; supposedly, the first child was born in Canada and the second in the United States. Isabella Bryant had visited her sister, Mrs. Matilda Taylor, in July of 1915. Her sister lived at 11 Egerton Street in Rochester, NY [source: Immigration Card 446-E ; 07/25/15]. Isabella Bryant's immigration card describes her as an African(Blk) woman standing 5 feet 8 inches tall. Also on the card is her mother's name and address: Ellen Johnson, 101 Carolina Street, North Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is not known how long Isabella Bryant stayed in the U.S. before returning to Canada, but in August of 1915 she immigrated to the U.S. She arrived at the port of Buffalo, NY, according to the List Or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission, Sheet No. 14, a U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service form. Isabella Bryant is listed as African (Blk), and her Canadian address is the same as her mother's address in North Hamilton. She entered the U.S. and lived in Rochester, NY, for two years, then the U.S. Department of Labor ordered her deported because she was said to be an undesirable alien who would probably become a public charge. Bryant refused to leave and hired lawyer Edwin C. Smith. The case was another example of the citizenship question concerning former slaves. Also, the Immigration Act of 1917 [info] had passed in February of 1917 to further ban undesirables from entering and/or remaining in the United States. In Isabella Bryant's case, having a child out of wedlock had made her an undesirable alien, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This was the time period during World War I, just prior to the United States sending American troops into battle. The ruling by Judge John R. Hazel allowed Isabella Bryant to remain in the United States. She was still living in Rochester, NY, in 1920 and is included in the U.S. Census, where she is listed as white and single; she was employed as a domestic. There are no children listed with Isabella Bryant on the immigration forms or in the 1920 Census. For more see "Slave's daughter is an American," The Post Express, 04/12/1917, p. 33.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Hamilton, Ontario, Canada / Rochester, New York

Buckner, Nathaniel "Nat"
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1932
Nat Buckner was born in Elizabethtown, KY, around 1858 on the plantation of Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner (Kentucky Democratic Governor, 1887-1892). Nat Buckner was a well-respected citizen of Montpelier, Indiana, where he had lived for 25-30 years. Buckner had left Kentucky after his wife died, around 1890; they had no children. Nat was a restaurant cook in Indianapolis and in Montpelier, which is how he became so well-known and respected in both cities. For more on Nat Buckner and his family see "Nat Buckner died Tuesday," The Montpelier Herald, 06/02/1932, p. 1. For more on Simon Bolivar Buckner, see the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Indianapolis and Montpelier, Indiana

Burdette, John
Birth Year : 1896
At the age of 25, John Burdette left his hometown, Lexington, KY, seeking employment and the opportunity to further his singing career in Chicago. [He was actually born in Garrard County, KY, according to his WWII Draft Registration Card.] Burdette was one of several lodgers living on South Parkway, including Ernest Covington, who was also from Kentucky, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Burdette sang part-time, and both he and Covington were employed full-time as elevator operators; Covington at an official building and Burdette in a furniture store on Wabash Avenue. Burdette's big break came in 1930 when he won a local contest at the Oriental Theater, singing the song "Old Man River." Burdette was declared the best baritone among the competitors. He would next sing at the Chicagoland Music Festival at Soldiers' Field and was invited back to perform for the next three years. Burdette was also a jubilee singer and in 1934 won the audience over with his rendition of "Old Man River." Burdette was still singing professionally in the 1950s; he was a member of the first integrated chorus in Grant Park Concert's Cole Porter High Program, held in Chicago, August 18-19, 1951. The guest star, Etta Moten, an African American soprano from Weimar, TX, was one of the four featured performers who were accompanied by the chorus that included African American members John Burdette and Albert Yarborough. Burdette's entire singing career took place in Chicago. For more see "Former Lexington Negro wins singing contest at Chicago," Lexington Leader, 08/17/1930, p. 16; J. B. Lieberman, "Mundy-led jubilee singers delight audience," Daily Illini, 01/16/1934, pp. 1 & 5 [online at Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection website]; and "Moten, Etta: soprano" in 1952 Negro Year Book, ed. by J. P. Guzman, p. 56.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Burks, Kathryn L. Wright
Birth Year : 1937
Death Year : 1990
Kathryn Burks was the first African American student teacher in Franklin, IN (1958) and the first to teach high school in that city (1966). She was a graduate of Franklin College and Indiana University and taught school for more than 30 years in Indiana, first in Gary, and later in Franklin. She was a member of the Franklin College Board of Trustees. The Kathryn Burks Endowed Scholarship was established at the school. Burks was born in Springfield, KY, the daughter of Naomi M. Summers Wright and William H. Wright. For more see the Kathryn L. Wright Burks entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and the Kathryn Burks Endowed Scholarship website at Franklin College.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky / Franklin, Indiana

Burleigh, Angus A.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1939
Angus A. Burleigh was the first adult African American to attend and graduate from Berea College in Berea, KY. Burleigh had been born free, the son of an English sea captain and an African American woman, but after his father's death the family was sold into slavery, first in Virginia, then in Kentucky. Burleigh ran away and joined the Union Army when he was 16 years old. In 1866, he had finished his stint with the Army and enrolled at Berea with the encouragement and support of John G. Fee. After his graduation in 1875, Burleigh immediately left Kentucky and headed north, where he would spend the rest of his life preaching and teaching. For more see "Hasan Davis and the story of A.A. Burleigh," Kentucky Life, Program 807. Hasan Davis gives a phenomenal live performance of A. A. Burleigh's life in The Long Climb to Freedom. You have got to see it! Program 807 is available at the UK Young Library Audio Visual Services.

See photo image of Angus Burleigh at the Long Climb to Freedom website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Burley, Daniel G.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1962
Daniel Burley was born in Lexington, KY, and later moved to Chicago. He was a musician and journalist who is still remembered for his column "Everybody Goes When the Wagon Comes." Burley was editor of several newspapers, including the South Side Civic Telegram in 1932. For a while he was employed by the Johnson Publishing Company and in 1960 produced the magazine Salaam, which was similar to Jet. Burley was also a boogie woogie and jazz pianist. In 1946 he had a group called Dan Burley and the Skiffle Boys. He also played with other greats such as Brownie McGhee and Lionel Hampton. Burley can be heard playing piano on the album South Side Shake, 1945-1951. In addition to being a musician, Burley was also a disc jockey at stations WWRL and WLIB. He was also a composer and authored Dan Burley's Original Handbook of Harlem Jive (published in 1945). For more see Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 241: American Sportswriters and Writers on Sport, ed. by R. Orodenker; and Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Listen to clips of Dan Burley's performances, MP3 Downloads for sale at Amazon.com.

Access Interview
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Burton, Evans, Jr. [W. E. "Buddy" Burton]
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1976
Burton was born in Louisville, KY. He was a vocalist who also played a number of music instruments, including the piano and the drums. In the early 1920s, Burton moved to Chicago, where he played and recorded with Jelly Roll Morton. He also made his own recordings as a soloist in 1928, a few recordings as a band member, and duets with Kentucky native Jimmy Blythe and others. Burton disappeared from the music scene in 1936 and returned to Louisville in 1965. For more see Buddy Burton in Classic Jazz, by S. Yanow; and W. E. "Buddy" Burton at redhotjazz.com. View images and listen to W. E. "Buddy" Burton singing "No One But You" on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Butler, Darraugh Clay
Birth Year : 1955
Butler was born in Paducah, KY, to Theodore M. and Mary E. Glore. She is president of D. Butler Management Consulting in Cincinnati, OH. Butler founded the company in 1996 to encourage economic inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses with the corporate and government sector. Butler's company is tops in the region for economic inclusion and has garnered a number of awards. In 2004, a second consulting office was opened in the Atlanta, GA area. For more see W. Hicks, "D. Butler Management Consulting delivers economic inclusion results," 09/04/2007, at North College Hill News at Cincinnati.com; G. Verna, "Small businesses made team at ballpark project," Business Courier of Cincinnati, 09/19/2003, online at bizjournals.com; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2000.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Atlanta, Georgia

Butts, William A.
Birth Year : 1933
William A. Butts served as president of Kentucky State University, 1975-1982. He favored the Council on Higher Education's plan to keep Kentucky State as a small liberal arts college with one graduate program. Enforcing the new strategic plan caused him to fall out of favor and led to his resignation in 1982. The following comes from the transcript of the Oral History with Dr. William A. Butts at the University of Southern Mississippi, Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, 03/03/1976. William A. Butts was born near Kilmichael, MS, the son of Sylvester and Virginia Butts. He is a U.S. Army veteran. He earned a B.S. in political science in 1957 from Mississippi Vocational College, and his Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. See also the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library.

 

 

See photo image of Dr. William A. Butts on p. 20 of Jet, April 29, 1976.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kilmichael, Mississippi / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Cabell Brothers (Pharmacists)
Atwood Cabell, born 1897 in Tennessee, was the first African American pharmacist in Henderson, KY. His brothers Roger W. (1893-1972) and Delmo also became pharmacists. Delmo Boutell Cabell (1895-1977), born in Madisonville, KY, was the first African American pharmacist in Providence, KY, beginning around 1917. Roger died in Henderson, KY, and Delmo died in Detroit, MI. The Cabell Brothers are related to George and Aaron Cabell. For more on Delmo Cabell, see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37. For more on the Cabell Family, visit the Henderson County Public Library Genealogy and Family Files.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Caldwell, John Martin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Born in Henry County, KY, Reverend Caldwell was the son of Anna Hobbs Caldwell and John Martin Caldwell, Sr. Beginning in 1932, he was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Evansville, IN, continuing in that position for 57 years. Caldwell was a 1949 graduate of Evansville College [now University of Evansville] and completed his theology degree at Simmons University (Louisville). He received a citation from President Roosevelt for his service on the draft board during World War II. Caldwell was also a member of the masons, and he was the author of the annual publication Zion Pulpit. In 1967, he became the the first African American elected official in Evansville, IN: he was elected to the City Council and served three terms. Caldwell was also president of the Evansville NAACP for 15 years, leading the fight to integrated businesses and the University of Evansville. He was a member of the group that sued the city of Evansville to stop segregated housing. Caldwell received the first Mayor's Human Rights Award in 1977. The housing projects, formerly Sweeter public housing, were renamed the Caldwell Homes and Terrace Gardens in memory of John Martin Caldwell. For more see the John Martin Caldwell entry in the Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and "The Rev. John Caldwell," Evansville Courier, 09/28/1999, Metro section, p. A3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

Calvin and Porter Townships (Cass County), Michigan
Around 1840, escaped slaves, mostly from Kentucky, found their way to Calvin and Porter in Michigan. Quakers had established the settlements, and when slave owners attempted to reclaim the slaves, their efforts were resisted and the communities continued to grow. Ex-slaves from the Saunders' plantation in West Virginia moved to Calvin in 1849 and became the majority of the township's population. Over the years the population spilled over into Porter. Both Calvin and Porter are located in the South Bend/Mishawaka metro area of Michigan on the Indiana border. Today Calvin's population is about 2,000, Porter's about 3,800. For more see the reprint by Booker T. Washington, "Two Generations Under Freedom," The Michigan Citizen, 12/19/1992, vol. XV, issue 4, p. A12;  Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson. For more on the raids led by Kentucky slave owners see B. C. Wilson, "Kentucky kidnappers, fugitives, and abolitionists in Antebellum Cass County, Michigan," Michigan History, vol.6, issue 4, pp. 339-358.  See also the Perry Sanford entry.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Calvin and Porter, Michigan / West Virginia / West Bend, Indiana

Campbell, Charles
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2000
Campbell, born in Covington, KY, later moved to Buffalo, NY, where he was the first African American car salesman at Mernan Chevrolet and the first to manage a General Tire store; he later retired from General Mills. He was an Army veteran and served during World War II, obtaining the rank of corporal. After serving in the Army, Campbell returned to New York and earned an industrial relations degree from the University of Buffalo, Millard Fillmore College. He was a founding member of the Delta Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Buffalo. For more see "Charles Campbell," Buffalo News, 03/13/2000, News section, p. 6A.
Subjects: Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Campbell, William Joseph
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1912
William [W. J.] Campbell was a politician, a member and organizer of the Knights of Labor, a delegate and leader of the United Mine Workers of America, and a civil rights leader. The Knights of Labor, a labor organization, was founded as a secret society in Philadelphia, PA, in 1869. According to the organization's website, as of 1881, the Knights of Labor were no longer secret, and by 1886 the membership included 50,000 African American workers and 10,000 women workers. W. J. Campbell fought for improved race relations in coal towns and for interracial unions. He would become the representative of the Kentucky District of the United Mine Workers of America. W. J. Campbell was born in Morgan County, AL, the son of William Campbell and Bethiah Jones Campbell [source: W. J. Campbell's KY death certificate]. His family was poor; his father died when he was a boy. W. J. Campbell was hired out to a man who allowed him to attend and finish school in Huntsville, AL. Campbell became a teacher at the school he had attended. In 1880, he moved to Birmingham, AL, where he studied barbering and would become a barber. In 1881, he left barbering for the coal mines in Pratt City, AL. He became an advocate for the rights of African American miners, and in 1881 was secretary of the newly organized Knights of Labor in Pratt City. A year later, he was organizer-at-large, and established the first Knights of Labor in Birmingham and Montgomery. He established the beginnings of the United Mine Workers and the Federation of Mine Laborers, Division 10, in Chattanooga, TN. The division included Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. W. J. Campbell was also a politician; he was the elected secretary of the Republican Committee of Jefferson County, AL, in 1882 and was also an elected delegate to the Republican State Convention. In 1892, he was an elected delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention for Alabama. W. J. Campbell got married in 1889 and left Alabama in 1894 to settle in Central City, KY. Campbell was a miner and a barber, and his wife was a teacher at the Colored common school. Campbell organized Republican national league clubs for African Americans and whites. He was a delegate to the National Republican League Convention, and in 1901 was a member of the Republican State Campaign Committee. In 1898, Campbell drafted the Miners' Pay Bill of Kentucky that was passed by the Kentucky Legislature; it replaced the two weeks pay bill that had failed. In 1900, Campbell was a delegate to the National United Mine Workers of America [UMWA]. The UMWA was founded in Columbus, OH, in 1890, resulting from the merger of the Knights of Labor Trade Assembly No. 135 and the National Progressive Union of Miners and Mine Laborers. The constitution of the UMWA barred discrimination based on race, religion, and national origin. In 1901, Campbell became the secretary-treasurer of UMWA District 23 and is said to be the first African American at the post within the UMWA. He came to Lexington, KY in July of 1901 to settle a matter with W. D. Johnson, editor of The Standard newspaper. In 1904, Campbell was a member of the executive office of the UMWA, serving as a cabinet officer of John Mitchell. He was also president of Afro American National Protective Union, which sought to organize a National Labor Union. In 1912, Campbell would serve as president of the National Negroes' Industrial and Protective Union of America. William J. Campbell was the husband of Sallie L. Waddleton of South Carolina; the couple last lived in Drakesboro, KY. Campbell was a Mason, a member of the Odd Fellows, and a member of the A.M.E.Z. Church. He died November 28, 1912, and is buried in Smith Chapel Cemetery in Drakesboro, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate]. For more see the Knights of Labor website; the Brief History of the United Mine Workers of America website; The Challenge of Interracial Unionism, by D. Letwin; "W. J. Campbell...," Freeman, 01/24/1903, p. 4; "Birmingham: Victory won by the Warrior [AL] miners," Huntsville Gazette, 09/13/1884, p. 3; "Mr. W. J. Campbell," Huntsville Gazette, 02/13/1886, p. 2; "Mr. W. J. Campbell" in the Personals column of the Freeman, 01/20/1900, p. 8; "W. J. Campbell of Central City, Ky...," Freeman, 07/20/1901, p. 4; "W. J. Campbell," Freeman, 02/08/1902, p. 8; picture of W. J. Campbell on p. 1, biography on p. 4 of the Freeman, 03/01/1902; "Important Points great events in the suburban districts," Freeman, 03/01/1902, p. 4; "Mr. W. J. Campbell, miner," Freeman, 04/23/1904, p. 4; and "National Negroes' Industrial and Protective Union of America," Freeman, 01/27/1912, p. 6.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Barbers, Education and Educators, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Morgan County, Alabama / Central City and Drakesboro, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Cannon, Frank R., Sr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1988
Frank R, Cannon, Sr. was born in Jessamine County, KY, the son of Lizzie and Simon Cannon. The family owned a farm on Lexington Pike in Keene, KY. Frank Cannon was the first African American member of the Jessamine County (KY) Board of Education. He was an educator and had served as principal of Rosenwald-Dunbar School in Jessamine County, and was later principal of the Lincoln Heights School System in Ohio. He would become superintendent of the school system, before leaving Lincoln Heights to teach in the Cincinnati School System. Cannon returned to Kentucky and was president of the Jessamine County Retired Teachers Association, before becoming president-elect of the Central Kentucky Retired Teachers Association. He was also Master of Central Lodge #91 F. & A.M. of Nicholasville. He owned Cannon's Fixit Shop, Inc. Frank R. Cannon, Sr. was a graduate of Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky; he was one of the first 17 African American teachers to attend UK. He was the husband of Ora Belle Hamilton, who was a school teacher. For more see "Frank R. Cannon, Sr." entry in A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky edited by R. Fain; and "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 26.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Keene, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lincoln Heights, Ohio

Capers, Jean M.
Birth Year : 1913
Jean Murrell Capers was born in Georgetown, KY. Her family moved to Cleveland, OH, when she was a child. Capers was a teacher in the Cleveland schools before becoming an attorney in 1945. She is a education graduate of Western Reserve University [now Case Western Reserve University]. She was assistant police prosecutor from 1946 until 1949, when she became the first African American elected to the Cleveland City Council. The N.C.N.W. recognized her as one of the 10 outstanding women in public service in 1950. She was the director and organizer of the Central Welfare Association. Capers later became a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 2006, Capers, at 93 years of age, was the oldest practicing member of the National Bar Association. She has received a number of awards, including the 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Nettie Cronise Lutes Award [article online at Call & Post website]. Jean M. Capers is a law graduate of the Cleveland Law School [which merged with the John Marshall School of Law in 1945 to become the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd edition, ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and "Capers oldest member to attend annual convention," National Bar Association Law E-Bulletin, vol. 14, issue 1 (August 2006). Photos of Jean Capers are in the African Americans of Note in Cleveland database.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Judges
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Caroline (escaped slave) [Donnell v. State]
Start Year : 1847
End Year : 1852
Caroline was a runaway slave from Trimble County, KY, who made a daring escape with her four children in 1847. Escorts in the Underground Railroad helped the family reach the Greenbriar Settlement in Indiana (near the Decatur County/Franklin County line), where they were captured and locked in a livestock feed house. Owner George Ray had posted a reward for the family, and he sued Luther Donnell for rescuing the family from the feed house and helping them toward freedom in Canada. For more see Hoosier farmer gave costly help to fleeing slave and her children at Indianapolis Star Library Factfiles website, indystar.com; and pictures of the historical marker at IN.gov.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Trimble County, Kentucky / Greenbriar Settlement, Decatur County, Indiana / Canada

Carpenter, Charles William
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1971
Charles W. Carpenter, born in Stanford, KY, was the son of Amanda and James Carpenter. In 1901, the family moved to Indianapolis, IN, a year after the death of James Carpenter. William worked at various jobs during the day and attend public school at night. He was the valedictorian of his 1909 graduating class at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University]. He studied chemistry with Dr. G. W. Carver and was associated with Dr. B. T. Washington and his wife; during the summer of 1908, Carpenter worked at the Washington's summer home on Long Island. He studied theology at Wilberforce and at Garrett Biblical Institute [now Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary], completing his studies in 1912. Carpenter was a minister first in Detroit, and later served at churches in Minnesota, Indiana, and Illinois, before settling in Ann Arbor, MI, as pastor of the Second Baptist Church for 37 years. He retired on his 80th birthday in 1966. Carpenter was recognized for his leadership in the community; the Common Council of Ann Arbor passed a resolution commending him for his outstanding community service. He had helped integrate the Ann Arbor Kiwanis and served on the board of directors. He was elected vice president, and later president, of the Ann Arbor Ministerial Association. The Charles W. Carpenter Papers, 1909-1970, are at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. For more see Second Baptist Church Centennial, 1865-1965 by the Second Street Baptist Church (Ann Arbor, MI); and Charles W. Carpenter at Bentley Historical Library website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Ann Arbor, Michigan

Carr, George W.
Birth Year : 1864
In 1913, Rev. George W. Carr, became the second pastor of the Hillsdale Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan. Carr was born in Tennessee, and lived in Liberty, KY. His parents and his wife were from Kentucky, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. In 1900, George W. Carr was a minister at the Second Baptist Church in Indianapolis, IN. Years later, while in Lansing, Carr was a minister and also a property owner. He is remembered for increasing the Sunday School enrollment: the church received $250 for having the greatest increase of Sunday School scholars in the city. Carr also appointed the first Sunday School superintendent and church historian. Hillsdale, the first African American Baptist Church in Lansing, is today known as Union Missionary Baptist Church. Also in 1913, Rev. Carr led the religious exercises at the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives. For more see the last paragraph "Rev. G. W. Carr of Liberty, Ky..." in the column "Marion flashes," Recorder (Indianapolis, IN), 03/17/1900, p.1; see p. 253 of the 1913 Journal of the Michigan House of Representatives [available full-text at Google Book Search]; p. 311 of the 1913 Journal of the Michigan Legislature, Senate; and the Michigan Manual of Freemen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf, on the Western Michigan University website].
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lansing, Michigan

Carroll, Robert "Bob"
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1952
Carroll, born in Louisville, KY, was a tenor saxophonist who played with the Kentucky Derbies and Jonah Jones' first band, Tinsley's Royal Aces; both were bands in Louisville, KY. Carroll later joined Benny Carter's band in the 1920s and played at the Arcadia Ballroom in New York. In 1934, he was a soloist with Don Redman's band and was in the film short, Don Redman and his Orchestra. Carroll played on a number of recordings with various bands, including that of Fats Waller. Carroll was an army veteran, having served during World War II. For more see Robert Carroll, an Answers.com website; a picture of Tinsley's Royal Aces on p. 163 in The World of Swing, by S. Dance; and "Bob Carroll" in the Oxford Music Online Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Carter, Leon J., III
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1984
Leon John Carter, III was born in Bowling Green, KY. His poems were published in several magazines, and his first book of poems was titled Black Windsongs. He is the son of Lillie Mae Bland Carter. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-3rd ed.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Carter, Lillie Mae Bland
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1982
Lillie Mae Carter was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of John and Maude W. Husky Bland. She was a graduate of Tennessee State university and was employed in the Toledo, Ohio, school system. Carter is the author of a number of books, including a book of poems, Black Thoughts, and the anthology, Doing It Our Way. She is the mother of Leon J. Carter, III. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Toledo, Ohio

Casey, Albert A., Sr. "Al"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2005
Albert Aloysius Casey, Sr. was born in Louisville, KY, an orphan who was later adopted. He became a guitarist when a teen, then left Louisville for New York. He played with the bands of Fats Waller, Teddy Wilson, and others. He also played for Billie Holiday. Among his recordings are Jumpin' With Al, Jivin' Around, and Buck Jumpin'; he eventually participated in more than 200 recordings. For more see One Thousand Great Guitarists, by H. Gregory; The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 1st ed.; and A. Bernstein, "Al Casey dies at 89; guitarist for Fats Waller," Washington Post, 09/14/2005, p. B06. 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Cayce, James B.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1971
James B. Cayce was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Paul and Mamie Cayce. He was an instructor at Simmons University in Louisville from 1940-1942. During that same time period, he supervised the division of activities within the Department of Public Welfare in Louisville. Cayce was executive director of the Washington Community Association in Hamilton, Ohio, from 1942-1943. He was also a minister and pastored at several churches. Cayce was also editor of the Ohio Baptist News from 1948-1950, authored Negroes and The Cooperative Movement (1940), and wrote a number of articles and editorials. Cayce moved from Ohio to Pittsburgh, PA, where he was the respected pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church from 1950-1971. He was a active member and recruiter of the NAACP and he corresponded with Martin Luther King, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Ebenezer Baptist Church celebrates its rich history," New Pittsburgh Courier, 07/17/2008, p.B2; and The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. by M. L. King, et al.

See photo image of Rev. James B. Cayce at Carnegie Museum of Art website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chambers, William A.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1995
William Alexander Chambers was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Nannie V. Chambers. He later relocated to Indianapolis, where he became an aspiring fiction writer and journalist. He served as editor of three African American weeklies: the Indianapolis Recorder, the Freeman, and the Indianapolis Ledger. Chambers was also a writer for the Indiana Herald. The William A. Chambers 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.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky /Indianapolis, Indiana

Chappell, Roy M.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2002
Roy M. Chappell, a Tuskegee Airman, was born in Williamsburg, KY. Chappell attended high school in Monroe, Michigan; he was the only African American in his graduating class. He next attended Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] where he majored in chemistry; he left school his junior year to join the service during World War II. His aviation career began when he was a volunteer with the 477th Bombardment Group, and he later served at Godman Field at Fort Knox, KY. He participated in the Freedman Field Mutiny when 104 African American officers protested for equal treatment in the military. After his military service, Chappell settled in Chicago. He graduated from Roosevelt College [now Roosevelt University] and taught elementary school for 30 years; he was also a post office supervisor. The Roy M. Chappell Community Education Center at Kentucky State University was named in his honor. A historical marker, honoring Roy M. Chappell, is at the Briar Creek Park on South Second Street in Williamsburg, KY [note from Laurel West, Williamsburg City Council Member]. For more see HR1074 92 General Assembly and Roy Chappell Biography in The History Makers.
Subjects: Aviators, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Postal Service, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky / Monroe, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois

Chappell, Willa B.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1992
Willa Brown Chappell was born in Glasgow, KY, the daughter of Hallie Mae and Eric B. Brown. She left Kentucky for Gary, Indiana, and in 1932 graduated from Indiana State Teachers College [now Indiana State University]. She earned her master aviation certificate from Aeronautical University in 1936, her master's degree from Northwestern University in 1938, and her commercial pilot certificate and instructor's rating and radio license from Coffey School of Aeronautics in 1939. Chappell was employed as a school teacher before becoming a pilot: she taught at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana, 1927-1932. In 1939 she was a federal coordinator of civilian pilot training. Chappell settled in Chicago. She was the first African American woman to become licensed as a pilot in the U.S. and the first African American in the Civil Air Patrol. Chappell founded the National Airmen Association of America and trained more than 200 students who became Tuskegee pilots. She and her husband, Cornelius Coffey, owned and operated the first flight school for African Americans. Chappell was also a political activist, in 1945 she organized the Young Republican Club of the Second Ward of Chicago. She was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1946. For more see Willa Brown and Willa Brown Chappell, websites created and maintained by the Aviation Museum of Kentucky; the Willa B. Brown entry in the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather; and K. Heise, "Willa Chappell, pioneer Black pilot," Chicago Tribune, 07/21/1992, Chicagoland section, p. 9.

  See photo image of Willa B. Brown [Chappell] at flickr by Black History Album.
Subjects: Aviators, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana / Chicago, Illinois

Chenault, Hortenius
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1990
Hortenius Chenault was born in Richmond, KY, his family later moved to Ohio. He was a graduate of Morehouse College in Georgia and a 1939 graduate from Howard University Dental School. Dr. Chenault passed the New York State dental exam with the highest score to date. From 1939-1987, his dental practice was located in Hempstead, Long Island, in New York. He was the husband of Anne Quick and the father of four, including Kenneth I. Chenault, who was named president and chief operating officer of the American Express Company in 1997. For more see the Kenneth Chenault entry in Current Biography (1988); "Hortenius Chenault, Dentist, 80" in The New York Times, 12/20/1990; and A. Bianco, "Ken Chenault: the rise of a star" (Cover Story), BusinessWeek, 12/21/1998.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Ohio / Hempstead, Long Island, New York

Childers, Lulu V.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1946
Lulu Vere Childers was born in Dry Ridge, KY. She studied voice at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she earned her B. Mus. degree. Childers was a teacher at Knoxville College in 1896. She continued to perform, singing contralto in a 1908 concert organized by E. Azalia Hackley at the Philadelphia Academy of Music. She went on to become founder and director of the Howard University School of Music [now Department of Music], 1909-1942. She accomplished major successes with the Howard Orchestra, Band, Choral Society, Women's Glee Club and Men's Glee Club. Lulu Vere Childers Hall is located in the Arts Building at Howard University. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; Catalogue of Officers and Graduates, by Oberlin College (1905) [full view available via Google Book Search]; and A History of Three African-American Women Who Made Important Contributions to Music Education Between 1903-1960 (thesis) by D. R. Patterson.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Dry Ridge, Grant County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Chittison, Herman
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1967
Herman Chittison was born in Flemingsburg, KY, then left Kentucky to attend school in Tennessee when he was 13 years old. He was the son of Charles and Sarah Chittison. After completing high school, Herman Chittison enrolled at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1925, but he soon left school to pursue his music career. Chittison was a self-taught jazz pianist who had studied chemistry in college. Once his music career took off, he traveled to New York, then played in Europe and Egypt and toured with Louis Armstrong. Chittison returned to the U.S. during World War II. For seven years he played on the weekly CBS radio series, Casey, Crime Photographer. For more see Biographical Dictionary of Jazz, by C. E. Claghorn; Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 9th ed., ed. by L. Kuhn; and F. E. Lockwood, "Flemingsburg Jazz pianist lives on in ebony and ivory, musician's artistry reached across racial divide," Lexington Herald Leader, 02/26/2000, Main News section, p. A1.

See photo image of Herman Chittison at the Library of Congress Digital Collections.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / New York / Europe / Egypt

Churchill, Leroy O.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1987
Leroy O. Churchill was the first African American guard at the Bridewell Prison in Chicago, IL, and he was also the first to become a captain. Churchill was head of the 1st division of the west cell-house, where he supervised eight guards and 445 inmates of whom 40% were African Americans. Churchill reported directly to Warden Fred K. Hoehler. "Bridewell" is an English term from the 1500s for "jail" or "house of corrections." The earliest Bridewell Prison was located in London, England [info]. Bridewell, the city jail of Chicago, was built in 1852 as a short-term facility for offenders of minor crimes. In 1959, when it held 1,700 prisoners, Leroy O. Churchill was one of the six captains at the facility. Churchill was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Roscoe Conkling Churchill and Elizabeth B. Churchill, a hairdresser. The family moved to Chicago in 1920, then returned to Paducah after Roscoe Churchill died. The Churchill family had been in Paducah for several generations; family members are listed in the 1914-1915 Caron's Paducah City Directory as living at 1036 Washington Street; the residents included Ora; Marshall Sr. (1866-1911); Emma (b. 1867); Loyd (b.1889); Roscoe (b. 1885); and Sherman Churchill (1887-1927). When the family moved back to Kentucky, Leroy attended Lincoln High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, track, and boxing. He was awarded an athletics scholarship to attend West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] where he was an outstanding football player. After his graduation, Leroy Churchill returned to Chicago, and in 1948 successfully completed the civil service exam, ranking second, and was appointed a guard at Bridewell Prison. He received the rank of captain in 1951. Leroy O. Churchill was the husband of Mary Hopkins Churchill, a beautician; the couple had two sons. For more see R. Ottley, "Negro guard captain aids his charges in Bridewell," Chicago Daily Tribune, 03/14/1959, p. W Part 5 - p. 12F; the Cook County Jail History website; and see photo image of Bridewell Prison at Encyclopedia of Chicago [online].

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Clark, Elmer S., Jr.
Birth Year : 1929
Elmer S. Clark, Jr. is a noted horseman, and a former athlete, educator, and coach. He was the first African American to become a peri-mutual judge of harness racing in the United States. Clark was sponsored by the Sportsman's Park when he attended the Harness Horse School in Columbus, Ohio, which prepared him to become a peri-mutual judge. He was also a paddock, placing, and senior Judge over the Chicago Trotting Horse Circuit. In addition, Clark was owner and trainer of his own racehorses beginning in 1962, he received his trainer's license in Chicago and raced his thoroughbred horses in locations such as Chicago, Detroit, and Atlantic City, and he raced his horses in Canada. He bought yearlings and trained them himself. His first horse was named Calico, and a few of the other horses were named Super Chief, Road Man, and the last horse he owned was Mr. Bo Jo. Clark was fairly successful with his racehorses, and had 30-40 winners including the horse Tide Me Over, and in 1990, he retired from the horse industry. Elmer S. Clark, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Elmer S. (d.1984) and Mary F. Ross Clark. He was raised in Lexington, KY. His father, Elmer S. Clark, Sr., was a jockey and trainer who won the first race at North Aurora Exhibition Park [later Aurora Downs] near Chicago. In the 1930s, Clark Sr. was issued a jockey's license in Florida and may have been the first African American to receive such a license in that state, but it was revoked when it was learned that Elmer S. Clark, Sr. was an African American. His racing career ended and Elmer S. Clark, Sr. moved to New York where he had a limousine service. His son, Elmer Jr., was around horses most of his life, and uncles on both sides of the family were grooms. When he was a teenager, Clark Jr. was an exercise rider at Keeneland, and he also worked on Calumet Farm. He was mentored by Ben Jones, and worked with the horses Citation, Coaltown, Ponder, and many others. He worked with African American trainers and grooms such as Henry and Ernest Louden, Theopilus Irivn, and William Perry Smith who was the trainer for Burnt Cork, a horse that ran in the 1943 Kentucky Derby. Clark left the racetrack to go to college, he was the first member of his family to attend college. He enrolled at Kentucky State [now Kentucky State University] in 1948 on a football scholarship; he had graduated from old Dunbar High School in Lexington, where he was coached in football by Norman Passmore and in basketball by S. T. Roach. In college, Clark was the quarterback of the football team that won the 1948 post-season tournament known as Little Brown Jug, the opponent was Tennessee State A & I [now Tennessee State University]. His team also won the Vulcan Bowl in January of 1949, playing against North Carolina A & T. After one year at Kentucky State College, Clark went back to working with horses for a year, and in 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served until 1953. Clark boxed some while he was in the Army. He fought in three battles during the Korean War and received an Honorable Discharge. Clark then returned to Kentucky State College where he was on the boxing team, the track team, the football team, and he was an assistant for the basketball team. He lettered in basketball, football, and boxing. After graduating from Kentucky State College in 1956, S. T. Roach informed Clark about three job openings. Clark took the teaching job in Franklin, KY, where he was also the school's football and basketball coach. While in Franklin, he met and married Catherine Sloss, and in 2012, the couple had been married for 54 years. Catherine Sloss was also a school teacher in her home town of Franklin. After one year of teaching in Franklin, Elmer and Catherine Clark moved to Chicago where Catherine was hired as a teacher in the Chicago Public School System, and Elmer was employed at Schlitz Brewing Company. He was the first African American to work for the advertising and marketing department at Schlitz. His territory was from 120th Street to the Loop and Clark promoted the beer from the brewery to the wholesalers. After four years with Schlitz, Elmer S. Clark, Jr. also became a school teacher, he taught at Dunbar High School in Chicago and he coached football and basketball. He was teaching school during the same period that he was buying and racing his racehorses. Elmer S. Clark, Jr. was recognized by the Bluegrass Black Business Association in 1993 as an outstanding African American owner and trainer of thoroughbred horses. In 1996, Clark was recognized at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, MD as an outstanding racehorse owner and trainer. This entry was suggested by Gregory Clark, the son of Catherine and Elmer S. Clark, Jr. Gregory Clark provided background information and copies of literature, letters, and an article citation. Additional information was acquired via a telephone interview with Elmer S. Clark, Jr. on 01/24/2012. See also Elmer S. Clark trainer record at Equibase.com; see Elmer S. Clark Jr. in the online Daily Racing Form dated between 1977-1987; see M. Davis, "Horseman knows the Rest of the Story," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/10/2004, p.C1; and L. Shulman, "Last of a breed," Blood-Horse, 03/08/2003, pp.1392-1394 & p.1396.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Boxers, Boxing, Education and Educators, Football, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Clark, John T.
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1949
John T. Clark was born in Louisville, KY, the son of John R. and Sallie Clark. He graduated in 1906 from Ohio State University with a focus in sociology and economics. Clark returned to Louisville, where he was an instructor at Central High School (1907-1913). He left Louisville to become housing secretary in New York City (1913-1916). He was a contributing author to the 1915 collection, "Housing and Living Conditions among Negroes in Harlem." Clark held a number of posts with the National Urban League and its state chapters from 1916 to1949, including bringing the National Urban League to Pittsburgh in 1917 and becoming executive secretary of the St. Louis Urban League, beginning in 1926. Also a member of the American Social Workers Association, Clark was elected the third vice president of the National Conference of Social Work in 1940. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. The John T. Clark files of the Urban League of St. Louis are available at the Washington University of St. Louis Library.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / St. Louis, Missouri

Clarke, John Milton and Lewis Garrard
The Clarke brothers, John Milton (1820-1902) and Lewis (1818-1897), were born in Madison County, KY. Their father was a white weaver from Scotland. Their mother, Letitia Campbell, was the daughter of plantation owner Samuel Campbell. John and Lewis were at times seen as white slaves. The brothers escaped in 1842, Lewis to Dawn, Ontario (he later returned to Oberlin); and John to Cambridge, where he became the first African American elected to a public office on the Cambridge Common Council. The character George Harris in Uncle Tom's Cabin was based on Lewis Clarke. For more see Cambridge Historical Commission; Narrative of the sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke, by L. G. Clark and M. Clark [full-text at the website by S. Railton & University of Virginia]; and Literature in The Economist, 02/13/1847, p. 183.

See image of Lewis Clarke from frontispiece of Narrative of the Sufferings of Lewis Clarke by L. Clarke, at NYPL Digital Gallery.

See image of J. Milton Clarke from Narratives of the Sufferings of Lewis and Milton Clarke by L. G. Clark, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Ontario, Canada / Oberlin, Ohio / Cambridge, Massachusetts

Coe, James R. "Jimmy" [Jimmy Cole]
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2004
James R. Coe was born in Tompkinsville, KY, but grew up in Indianapolis, where he spent his entire music career. He could play a number of instruments, but performed most often on the baritone and tenor saxophone. He also studied the clarinet. Coe played and recorded with Jay McShann's band as a replacement for Charlie Parker. He also recorded with other groups, sometimes under the name Jimmy Cole. He used his birth name 'Coe' with his own groups: Jimmy Coe and His Orchestra, and Jimmy Coe and His Gay Cats of Rhythm. He served in the U.S. Army, 1943-1945 and played in the 415th Band. By the mid 1960s, Coe was teaching music in the Indianapolis public schools and also was working for the Marion County juvenile courts and the U.S. Postal Service. For more see The Jimmy Coe Discography, a Clemson University website; and J. Harvey, "Jimmy Coe , well-known jazz musician and band leader, dies," The Indianapolis Star, 02/28/2004, City State section, p. B01. 


Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Tompkinsville, Monroe County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Cole, I. Willis
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1950
I. Willis Cole was born in 1887 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a graduate of Le Moyne Junior College [now Le Moyne College]. When Cole came to Kentucky, he was a salesman who shortly thereafter became the founder of the African American newspaper, the Louisville Leader, the leading African American newspaper in Louisville. Cole used the medium to protest discrimination toward African Americans. He was a supporter of the Garvey Movement and served as the regional director of the National Negro League. In 1921, Cole was unsuccessful in his campaign for the Kentucky Senate. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; River Jordan: African American Urban Life in the Ohio Valley, by J. W. Trotter & J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930, by G. C. Wright; and p. 363 of The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers: 1826-August 1919, by R. A. Hill, M. Garvey, & the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

See photo image of I. Willis Cole at Hall of Fame 2001, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cole, James H. and Mary D.
When James Cole died, he was the wealthiest African American in Michigan. He had been a slave born in 1837 in Mississippi. He had escaped and settled in Detroit. On his way to freedom, Cole passed through Kentucky and was aided by a slave family. He had been in Detroit a few years when he met a young girl who was a member of the Kentucky family that had helped him during his escape. Cole and the 13 year old girl, Mary D. (born 1850 in Kentucky), were later married; they would become the parents of several children, one of whom was Thomas A. Cole, the father of Florence Cole Talbert, a noted concert and operatic soprano, who performed in Kentucky in 1922. She was sponsored by the Progressive Choral Society of Bowling Green, KY. The recital took place at State Street Baptist Church. Talbert was assisted by Charles R. Taylor, a Howard University student, and R. Lillian Carpenter was the pianist. The Cole family fortune was earned by James H. Cole who was a carpenter, blacksmith, and real estate investor. James and Mary Cole are listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Turner, "In retrospect: Florence Cole Talbert - Our Divine Florence," The Black Perspective in Music, vol.12, issue 1 (Spring, 1984), pp. 57-79. For more on Florence Cole Talbert, see "The Progressive Choral Society of Bowling Green, Ky...," The Crisis, April 1922, v.23, issue 6, p.274; Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks; and The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. L. Beasley.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Coleman, George
Birth Year : 1798
Death Year : 1908
Coleman was a famous jockey in the 1830s. He rode in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other locations. He had been a slave in Kentucky who belonged to the Lindsay Family. In his later years, Coleman was a member of the circus managed by Dan Rice. He eventually settled in Seguin, TX, where he died. For more see "Former slave dead at 110," The Washington Post, 07/18/1908, p. 1.
Subjects: Circus, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Washington D.C. / Seguin, Texas

Coleman, William Johnson "Bill" (musician)
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1981
Bill Coleman, born in Centerville, KY, was the son of Robert H. Coleman and Roberta Johnson Coleman. The family moved to Cincinnati, OH, when William Coleman was a child. He later became a trumpet player, spending most of his adult life in Paris, France. Coleman was a jazz musician who taught himself how to read music. He toured all over Europe and a bit in Asia, returning occasionally to the U.S. to perform. His playing style was compared to Jabbo Smith's. Coleman recorded with some of the greats, including Fats Waller. The album Bill Coleman in Paris, 1936-1938 highlights some of his playing and singing. Bill Coleman later returned to France, where he continued to perform until his death in 1981. His book, Trumpet Story, tells of his music career and his travels, the title was published in French in 1981, and in English in 1989. Bill Coleman was the nephew of John A. Coleman, Sr. For more see Grove Music Online [available on the University of Kentucky campus and off campus via the proxy server]; and The World of Jazz Trumpet: a comprehensive history & practical philosophy, by S. Barnhart.

See photo images of Bill Coleman in the Library of Congress, American Memory, William P. Gottlieb - Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Centerville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cinicnnati, Ohio / Paris, France, Europe

Coles County, Illinois [Anthony and Jane Bryant]
The African American settlers of Coles County, Illinois, came from Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, all around 1840. The settlers from Kentucky included Isom and Lucy Anne Bryant (Lucy was from Kentucky); the Derixson (or Derrickson) Family, escaped slaves from Nicholas County, Kentucky; and Mr. and Mrs. George Nash (George was from Kentucky). A famous slavery case that took place in Coles County involved Anthony Bryant, a free man, and his wife Jane Bryant, a slave, and her four children [some sources say six children]. Slave owner Robert Matson, from Bourbon County, wanted to take Jane and the children from Coles County back to Kentucky, and he enlisted the help of lawyers U. F. Binder and Abraham Lincoln. Matson lost the case, and the Bryant Family moved to Liberia, Africa. For more see History of Negro Slavery in Illinois and of the Slavery Agitation in that State, by N. D. Harris (1904); and J. W. Weik, "Lincoln and the Matson Negroes," Arena, v.17, 1896-97 Dec-Jun, pp.752-758 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Court Cases, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Nicholas County, Kentucky / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Coles County, Illinois / Liberia, Africa

Collins, Iona Wood
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2003
Iona Wood Collins was born in Paris, KY; her family moved to Maryland when she was a child. Collins was one of the first African American librarians with the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, working there from the late 1930s to the early 1940s. Following the birth of her daughter in 1945, Collins reopened the previously closed Little School, a private preschool in Baltimore for African American children. She owned and managed the school for 35 years, later opening the Park Hill Nursery. Collins was a graduate of Howard University and attended the Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] library science school before transferring to Columbia University, where she earned her library degree. She was the daughter of Nellie Virgie Hughes Wood and Francis Marion Wood, former president of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and Baltimore's first superintendent of Colored schools. For more see J. D. Rockoff, "Iona Wood Collins, 89, one of the first black librarians at Enoch Pratt," The Sun (Baltimore, MD), 12/28/2003, LOCAL section, p. 3B.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Baltimore, Maryland

Colonization Conspiracy (East St. Louis, IL)
Start Year : 1916
Prior to the East St. Louis race riots of 1917, a conspiracy took place when Democrats charged that Republicans were colonizing Negroes from the South to increase the power of the G.O.P. The state of Illinois was a doubtful win for the Woodrow Wilson presidential campaign, so, the idea was cooked up to accuse the Republicans of vote fraud among Negroes and also of importing southern Negroes to be used as strikebreakers and union busters. It was a tactic that had been used without much success in previous elections. For the 1916 election, there was a colonization investigation with the supposed findings, by Assistant Attorney General Frank Dailey, that over the previous year, 300,000 Negroes of voting age had been colonized in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Ten to twelve thousand had settled in East St. Louis. The Department of Justice agents interviewed many of the so-called colonists and found that they had come North seeking higher wages more so than politics. But, the newspapers were told that the colonists had been brought North as illegal voters; the jobs never existed, and there was a guilty party in Kentucky: "unscrupulous Republican politicians in Northern Kentucky had given labor contractors the names of Negroes who were to be duped." For more see E. M. Rudwick, "East St. Louis and the "Colonization Conspiracy" of 1916," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 33, issue 1 (Winter, 1964), pp. 35-42 [quotation from page 40]; and "The Colonization Conspiracy," chapter 2 of Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917, by E. M. Rudwick.
Subjects: Hoaxes, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: East Saint Louis, Illinois / Kentucky

Colored Emigration Movement
Start Year : 1830
End Year : 1856
Colored emigrationists worked toward the development of a plan for free Colored persons to leave the United States, both before and after the Fugitive Slave Bill became law in 1850. Geographic locations that were considered for settlements included Canada, Liberia, Haiti, Santo Domingo, British West Indies, California, Mexico, and Central America, and they were among the same locations considered by the colonizationists and abolitionists. September 20, 1830, the Convention of Coloured Persons met in Bethel Church in Philadelphia, PA, to "consider the propriety of forming a settlement in the province of Upper Canada, in order to afford a place of refuge to those who may be obliged to leave their home, as well as those inclined to emigrate with the view of improving their condition" [source: Richard Allen, "Movements of the people of colour," Genius of Universal Emancipation, April 1831, vol.11, p.195]. The name of the organization was modified with the influence of William Cooper Nell, an integrationist in Boston, MA. The Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People, and Their Friends, was held in Troy, NY, October 5-9,1847. Delegate representatives were appointed from the northern states of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and the southern or border state of Kentucky was represented by Andrew Jackson (Colored). Within the organization, Jackson was a member of the Executive Committee on the National Press for the Free Colored People of the United States. The committee was to investigate the creation of a unified press that would help advance the colored race. In addition to planning for emigration, the convention members sought to establish business and economic independence by trading with Jamaica and Africa. Attending members included Frederick Douglass, who was an anti-colonist and anti-emigrationist, and two fugitive slaves from Kentucky, Lewis Hayden and William W. Brown. In 1854, the National Emigration Convention of Colored People was held in Cleveland, OH, August 24-26, led by Martin R. Delany. In addition to emigration for free Colored persons, the idea was expanded to the creation of a Colored nation. Most of the delegates were from Pittsburgh, PA, and the others came from Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Canada. Those opposed to emigration, such as Frederick Douglass, were not invited or welcomed at the 1854 convention. The convention was held again in 1856. As the country moved toward the Civil War, the attention of the national Colored emigrationists was focused less on leaving the United States, and more on the uncertainty of what might happen in the United States. Emigration of free Colored persons was not a new idea, small colonies from the United States existed before the convention met in Philadelphia in 1830, see the NKAA entries Freemen Community on Samana Bay (Dominican Republic), Town near Amherstburg, Ontario, and Kentucky, Canada. For more about later colonies see the NKAA entry Proposed American Negro Colony in New Granada. See also William Cooper Nell, Selected Writings 1832-1874, by D. P. Wesley and C. P. Uzelac; "Proceedings of the National Convention of Colored People and Their Friends, held in Troy, N.Y., 6-9 October 1847" in Minutes and Proceedings of the National Negro Conventions, 1830-1864 by H. H. Bell; see "National Emigration Convention of Colored People" in The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History online; H. H. Bell, "The Negro Emigration Movement, 1849-1854: a phase of Negro nationalism," The Phylon Quarterly, vol.20, no.2, 2nd Qtr., 1959, pp. 132-142; and H. H. Bell, "Negro Nationalism: a factor in emigration projects, 1858-1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol.45, no.1 (Jan., 1962), pp. 42-53.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Colonies, Colonization
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Troy, New York / Cleveland, Ohio

Colston, Lugusta Tyler
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2008
Lugusta T. Colston, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of Wiley College and received her undergraduate library degree from Wayne State University. She was the librarian at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, FL, for more than 30 years, and had also taught at the Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia, SC. In 1940, she was one of the seven founding members of the the Miami Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was also a founding member of the Greater Miami Chapter of Links, an international women's civic organization, and was involved in several community organizations that included her leading role with the Minority Involvement Committee of the Miami-Dade County Division of the American Cancer Society. Lugusta T. Colston was the daughter of Mattie Mason Tyler and Charles W. Tyler. Lugusta T. Colston was a sister to Jimmie Tyler Brashear. Since the 1999 death of her husband, Nathaniel Colston, Lugusta T. Colston had been living in Southfield, MI. She is buried in Lexington, KY. For more see E. J. Brecher, "Veteran librarian at Booker T. Washington," Miami Herald, 03/09/2008, Metro and State section, p.5B.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbia, South Carolina / Miami, Florida / Southfield, Michigan

Conley, Nellie [Madam Sul-Te-Wan]
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1959
Nellie Conley, an actress, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Silas Crawford Wan and Cleo de Londa. In 1983, she was posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Conley went by the name Madame Sul-Te-Wan, acting in early films such as Birth of a Nation and later films such as Carmen Jones and Tarzan and the Trappers. Prior to moving to California and acting in films, Conley had moved from Louisville to Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, she formed "The Black Four Hundred," an acting company that employed 16 performers and 12 musicians. The company was successful, as was a minstrel company that Conley established. Conley soon married and eventually moved to California. Two years later, she had just given birth to her third son when her husband left her. Her money was gone, so for a period of time Conley had to rely on charity. Times got better when she was hired by Kentucky native D. W. Griffith for the movie The Clansman; her pay was three dollars a day and increased to five dollars a day. She and D. W. Griffith remained friends for the rest of their lives, and she had bit parts in seven of his films. She also continued to perform in vaudeville, silent films, and talkies [films with sound]. In 1949, Conley married Anton Ebenthur, who was French; the couple married five years before interracial marriages were legal in California. According to writer Victor Walsh, Conley and Ebenthur were active members of Club Miscegenation in Los Angeles. [It has also been written that Conley was the mother of Ruby Dandridge (1900-1987) and the grandmother of Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965).] For more see Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 18: Sept. 1992-Aug. 1993; Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts, 1st ed., by E. Mapp; The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. Beasley; and V. Walsh, "Women's History Month: Madame Sul-Te-Wan; Hollywood's first African American actress," Oakland Post, 03/19/1997, p. 8.

See photo image and additional information about Nellie Conley at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Interracial Marriage and State Laws, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / California

Connors, Charles Raymond "Chuck"
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1994
Connors, born in Maysville, KY, was a bass trombonist who studied at the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C. He earned a MusB degree in 1956 from the Boston Conservatory. Connors played with Dizzy Gillespie and was employed at other non-music related jobs before joining the Duke Ellington Orchestra, 1961-1974. He was recorded on film with the group, including the documentary Mexican Suite in 1972, and The Duke Live in Europe 1963-64. Connors's performances can be heard on the albums Soul Call, Ellington 65, hits of the 60's, and many other Ellington albums. Connors also recorded with Teresa Brewer and with Mercer Ellington, who was Duke Ellington's son. Mercer took over the orchestra after his father's death in 1974. It is believed that Chuck Connors lived in Cincinnati, OH, after he retired from performing. For more see "Chuck Connors" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and he is included in the picture on p. 332 in Music is My Mistress, by D. Ellington.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Conwill, Houston
Birth Year : 1947
Born in Louisville, KY, Houston Conwill is a multi-talented painter and sculptor. He has received many awards, including the Prix de Rome Fellowship in 1984 and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in 1987. He collaborated on the creation of a terrazzo and brass project, Rivers, for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Houston Conwill is the brother of artist and poet Estelle Conwill Majozo. For more see The African American Almanac, 9th ed.; St. James Guide to Black Artists, ed. by T. Riggs; and Art at the Edge, by H. Conwill and S. Krane.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North, Sculptors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

Cook, Isabel and John Hartwell
It has been mistakenly assumed that the Cooks were Kentucky natives. John Cook was born around 1838 in Washington, D.C., his family was free. Isabel Marion Cook was born in 1843 in Tennessee. Both were graduates of Oberlin College. The couple came to Kentucky in 1864 when John was hired as a school teacher in Louisville. In 1867, they moved to Washington, D. C. where John Cook had accepted the position of chief clerk with the Freedmen's Bureau. The family, which included extended family members, lived east of 7th Street, according to the 1870 U.S Federal Census. John Cook worked during the day and attended college at night. He was a member of the first class of ten graduates from Howard University Law School in 1871. He would become a professor and dean of the school for two years prior to his death from tuberculosis in 1878. John and Isabel Cook were the parents of musician Will [William] Marion Cook. For more see A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and Swing Along by M. G. Carter. 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Washington, D.C / Tennessee / Kentucky

Cooke, Charles L. "Doc"
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Charles Lee Cooke earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in music from the Chicago College of Music in 1926. He was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate in music. He began writing music compositions when he was a child in Louisville and had organized an eight piece band by the time he was 15. His family moved to Detroit, MI, when he was 18. Cooke played the piano and was the conductor and director of the Chicago Dreamland Ballroom Orchestra during the 1920s. He was better known as a conductor than for his playing. When his career as a conductor in Chicago ended, Cooke moved to New York, where he was an arranger at R.K.O. and Radio City Music Hall. According to his WWI Draft Registration Card, Charles Lee Cooke was born 09/03/1887. For more see Charles "Doc" Cooke at redhotjazz.com; Charles "Doc" Cooke at Answers.com; and Doc Cook [Cooke, Charles L.] at Grove Music Online. View image and listen to Doc Cook's Dreamland Ballroom Orchestra - Sidewalk Blues (1926) on YouTube.


 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois / New York, New York

Cooper, Opal D.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1974
Opal Cooper was born in Cromwell, KY, to Louis and Ellen Cooper. The family moved to Chicago, and by his late teens, Opal Cooper was a professional tenor soloist, performing in concerts and recitals. In 1915, he appeared in Darkydom, a musical that opened in Harlem as a part of Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles' vaudeville act. Cooper continued performing until he enlisted in the army, where he served as a drum major during World War I. His unit returned to the U.S. in July 1919. Six months later, Cooper took a job with the Seth Weeks Jazz Band so he could return to Europe. Realizing how much money they could make, Cooper and the other musicians formed their own group, the Red Devils, and their itinerary included various European cities. When the group broke up in 1923, Cooper remained in Europe and continued to perform with other performers. He returned to live in the U.S. at the beginning of World War II. Cooper could play a number of instruments, and he continued to sing and perform into the 1960s, later becoming a cab driver. The Opal D. Cooper Papers are at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. For more see chapter 26 in Lost Sounds: blacks and the birth of the recording industry, 1890-1919, by T. Brooks. See photo images of Opal D. Cooper and The Red Devils at Passport Photos - Jazz Musicians on flickr.

Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Cromwell, Ohio County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Europe

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

Cosby, Laken, Jr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2014
Laken Cosby, Jr. is a graduate of Lousiville Central High School, he was born in Alabama. In 1988, he became the first African American chairman of the Jefferson County School Board. Cosby was also appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education in 1994 by Governor Brereton Jones; Cosby was vice chairman of the board for three terms. In 2002, Cosby was not reappointed to the board by Governor Patton. Laken Cosby, Jr. was the son Maudie B. Cosby and Laken Cosby, Sr. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He was also owner of the Laken Cosby Real Estate Company. For more see "Cosby is Jefferson County board's first black chairman," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 36; M. Pitsch, "Longtime advocate of school reform replaced on board," Courier-Journal, 05/11/2002, News section, p. O1A; and A. Wolfson, "Laken Cosby Jr., civil rights leader, dies at 83," Louisville Courier-Journal, 06/14/2014, online obituary.
 
See photo image and additional information about Laken Cosby, Jr. at Hall of Fame 2012, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Huntsville, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cotton, John A.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1943
Born in Manchester, KY, Reverend John Adams Cotton was the second African American President of Henderson Institute in Henderson, N.C. (1903-1943). The school, which existed from 1891-1970, was known as Henderson Normal and Industrial Institute until 1903, when Cotton changed the name to Henderson Institute. Cotton was educated at Berea College and Knoxville College and was a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He was the husband of Maude Brooks. In 1903, the Cottons came to Henderson, N.C. from Cleveland, Ohio; Rev. Cotton had been transferred by the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America to replace Rev. Jacob Cook, who had died. Henderson Institute was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1995. Rev. John A. Cotton was the son of Nelson Cotton and Silphia Carroll Cotton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Minutes of the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of America, by United Presbyterian Church of America, General Assembly (1958); Vance County, North Carolina, by A. D. Vann; and "John Adams Cotton" in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration East
Geographic Region: Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Henderson, North Carolina

Covell, Henry
Birth Year : 1850
Henry Covell is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a horse jockey in Boston, MA. Born around 1850 in Kentucky, Covell was the husband of Helen Covell, a laundrywoman who was born in Massachusetts.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Boston, Massachusetts

Covington, Glen E.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 1988
Glen E. Covington was a singer and pianist. He had also been captain of the basketball team at Central High School in Louisville, KY, and was awarded a basketball scholarship to Tennessee State College [now Tennessee State University]. Covington was born in Irving (probably Irvine), KY, grew up in Louisville, lived in Indianapolis, and died in Cleveland, OH. He was a nightclub pianist and singer who performed throughout the United States. His career as a professional performer began after he graduated from Tennessee State and won first place on an Aurthur Godfrey "Talent Scout Show." For more see "Glen E. Covington," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 16, issue 2 (Autumn 1988), p. 244; the Glen Covington entry in vol. 3 of the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and "Glen E. Covington, Singer, 61," The New York Times, 09/30/1988, p. B7.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Irving [probably Irvine], Estill County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Cox, Johnson Duncan
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Johnson D. Cox, born in Kentucky, was a teacher at Governor Street School in Evansville, Indiana. He was the husband of Eugenia D. Talbott Cox (b.1879 in Indiana) and the father of Alvalon C. Cox, and Elbert Frank Cox (1895-1969), the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics. Johnson D. Cox would later marry school teacher Ethel Cox (b.1893 in Indiana), they are listed in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, where it is also noted that Johnson D. Cox attended one year of college and his wife had completed four years of college. Johnson D. Cox was a teacher and school principal in Evansville for 40 years. He was the son of Calvin and Annie Cox, and in 1880, the family lived in Allensville, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1900, Johnson D. Cox was a school teacher in Pigeon, IN, and he and Eugenia had been married for five years and had two sons. The family was living in Evansville when the 1910 Census was taken, and Johnson D. Cox was employed as a school teacher. His son, Elbert Cox, began his teaching career at the Colored high school in Henderson, KY in 1917. He taught mathematics and physics for a year before leaving to join the Army during World War I. Elbert would go on to become a great educator. He was married to Beulah Kaufman, whose father, Lewis Kaufman (b.1853 in Indiana), had been a slave in Kentucky. Once freed, Lewis Kaufman left Kentucky for Princeton, Indiana, where he owned a blacksmith shop. For more see J. A. Donaldson and R. J. Fleming, "Elbert F. Cox: an early pioneer," The American Mathematical Monthly, vol.107, issue 2, (Feb., 2000), pp. 105-128; and "Evansville Honors the first Black Ph.D. in mathematics and his family, by T. M. Washington in Notices of the AMS, v.55, no.5, pp.588-589.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Pigeon, Evansville, and Princeton, Indiana

Craine, W. C. [William C.]
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1919
William C. Craine, born in Harrodsburg, KY, is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as an actor. At the time, Craine was living in Chicago on Evanston Avenue in a boarding house along with other actors and entertainers. Craine, who was also a singer, a tenor, had sung with and managed the Shattuck and Mendelsohn Quartettes [source: "Principal comedians and vocalists engineering fun and song with the Big Minstrel Festival," The Freeman, 12/30/1899, p.9]. Craine was the principal tenor soloist with the Big Minstrel Festival in 1899. The prior year, he was with Harry Martell's Company "South Before the War" [source: "Stage. The Freedman post office," The Freeman, 10/15/1898, p.5, column 3, item 5]. While with the company, Craine was a special representative (writer) with The Freeman newspaper, and one of his articles appeared in the paper on 04/08/1899, p.5, column 3, item 1]. In September of 1899, Craine performed in Rusco and Holland's Big Minstrel Festival that opened in St. Louis, MO [source: "The Stage, edited by J. Harry Jackson. The Freedman post office," The Freeman, 09/16/1899, p.5, column 4, item 3]. Craine was with the Big Minstrel Festival until the winter of 1900 when he stayed in Boston, MA, but did not mention to the media that he was getting married [source: The Freeman, 11/03/1900, p.5]. William C. Craine was the husband of Bertha Simmons, who was an actress, she was born in Virginia; the couple married in Boston, MA on December 26, 1900 [source: Massachusetts, Marriage Register, 1900, p.327]. It was the first marriage for William (33) and the 2nd marriage for Bertha (35). They were married by Henry H. Jones, Minister of the Gospel, 80 Oakland Place, Brockton, MA. In 1901, William C. Craine was performing in Buffalo, NY [source: The Freeman, 07/13/1901, p.5]. He also performed at the Pan American, Toronto Minstrel Exposition and the London Canada Exhibition [source: The Freeman, 09/21/1901, p.5]. In 1904, Craine was director of the show titled "A Trip to Africa," starring John Larkin as the king and Dora Patterson as the queen [source: "The State by Woodbine," The Freeman, 10/29/1904, p.5]. The show did not receive a favorable review in The Freeman. [John Larkin would become the producer of the musical "A Trip to Africa" and in 1910, he and Sissieretta Jones were the stars of this successful show billed under the heading of "Black Patti Musical Comedy Company." John Larkin played the role of King Rastus and Raz Jinkins, and Sissieretta Jones (aka Black Patti) played the role of Princess Lulu. -- source: Blacks in Blackface by H. T. Sampson] And though the show was a success, by 1910, William Craine was no longer singing or performing professionally; he was a waiter and his wife Bertha was the housekeeper at a lodging home they managed on Acton Street in Boston [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. William C. Craine is listed as a waiter in the Boston Directory, 1909, p.469, up to the 1920 directory, p.462; living first on Acton Street, then at 28 Holyoke. William C. Craine died in Winthrop, MA, March 11, 1919 [sources: Massachusetts, Death Index and "Gave home for aged people," Savannah Tribune, 10/30/1920, p.1]. He left the home at 90 West Cottage Street in Boston, MA, for the aged, to be run by the board of William C. Craine, Inc.: Rev. H. Jones, President; Mr. O'Bryant, Vice President; Mrs. Bertha Craine, Treasurer; Mr. A. H. Scales, Superintendent; and Rev. Mrs. S. E. Deveaux, Matron and Secretary. William C. Craine was the son of Phillip (born around 1827) and Susanna Jones Craine (c.1830-1879), according to information William C. Craine provided prior to his marriage. Looking at the 1870 U.S. Census, Susan Craine is listed without a husband, but with the children. At this time, no record has been found in the census of Phillip Craine who was a Civil War veteran and had been the slave of John Bush in Mercer County, KY, when Phillip enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 29, 1864, at Camp Nelson, KY [source: "Records of Musters made by Capt. U. C. Kenney,"  p.371, no. 1751, No. on roll - 18, in the U.S. Descriptive Lists of Colored Volunteer Army Soldiers, 1864]. Phillip Craine served with the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry; he stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, was 37 years old, and was born on a farm in Mercer County, KY. He is listed on various records as the father of William Craine; Belle Craine (1855-1916), a grocer in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered #1054]; Joseph Craine (1867-1925), a grocer and later a janitor in Louisville [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered #4634]; and George E. Craine (1858-1929), a musician and a storekeeper in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death Registered #4489]. The two other children, Pilandrer Craine and Anna Craine are included in the household in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census [last name spelled Crane]. After the death of their mother Susanna Craine in 1879 [source: Kentucky Death Records], William C. Craine and his brother Joseph were raised by their sister, Belle Craine [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census - last name spelled Crane]. Both Belle and her mother Susan were laundry women; the family had moved to 4 Green Street in Louisville, KY by 1878 [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1878, pp.176 & 177 - their last name is spelled Crane]. In 1891, Belle Craine served as secretary of Zion Temple No.1 [source: "Society Directory" on p.4, column 4, in the Ohio Falls Express newspaper, 07/11/1891]. Both Joseph and William were grown and on their own. William C. Craine had started working as early as 1882, he was a laborer according to Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1882, p.207. By 1884 he was a waiter at the Sandiford Hotel, then was a waiter at the St. Cloud Hotel, before leaving Louisville around 1889 [sources: Caron's Dirctory of the City of Louisville, 1884, p.209 through 1889, p.260 - the last name is many times spelled Crane or Crain]. 
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Boston, Massachusetts

Crawford, Don L.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2000
In 1961, Don L. Crawford became the first African American to be elected a Dayton City Commissioner. He was also the first person to be both a commission clerk and executive assistant to the commission, he retired in 1990. Crawford was also recognized for his public speaking ability. Born in Clinton, KY, he was a mathematics and physics graduate from Kentucky State University. Crawford left Kentucky for Dayton after his college graduation. He was a high school mathematics teacher and basketball coach before joining the U.S. Navy during WWII. In 1946, he became a social work administrator and later became more involved in the local politics. A park and Don Crawford Plaza were named in his honor. For more see A. Robinson, "Ex-commissioner Crawford dies," Dayton Daily News, 12/14/2000, p.1B; and MS-332 Don L. Crawford Papers at Wright State University Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Education and Educators, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Migration North, Military & Veterans, Parks
Geographic Region: Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Crawford, James Columbus and Henrietta Arnold
James (b.1872) and Henrietta Crawford (b.1873) were born in Fayetteville, Georgia. James' mother had been a slave and remained on the plantation after her freedom. James and Henrietta were married and had a family when they left Fayetteville some time after the year 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. They migrated north to Louisville, KY. Two of their grandchildren are Raymond Ponder and Alberta O. Jones. Information provided by Ms. Nicole M. Martin, the Crawford's great, great granddaughter.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Fayetteville, Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Crawley, Elizabeth Gore Curtis "Lizzie Jane"
Birth Year : 1868
Elizabeth Crawley was a leader in the Colored Women's Movement in Chicago, IL, and was also an active member of social work and welfare efforts. She was chair of the executive board of the District Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and had chaired the organization's social improvement department. She was chair of the Ideal Women's Club, and was a board of directors member of the Phillis Wheatly Home. She was a chartered member of the Imperial Art Club, and chaired the East Side Woman's Club. Crawley was born Elizabeth Gore in Nelson County, KY, the daughter of James and Miranda Gore. The family moved to Louisville where Elizabeth attended school. Her first husband, William Curtis, died in 1899; the couple had a daughter and a son. Elizabeth and her children lived with her parents on Rose Lane in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, and Elizabeth was a laundry woman. She and her son moved to Chicago in 1903. She married Walter Crawley, from Virginia, in 1906 and her occupation is given as a dressmaker in the 1910 Census. By 1920, the household on E. 36th Street included Lizzie and her husband Walter, her son William Curtis and his wife Alma, their daughter Elizabeth, and Lizzie's widowed mother, Miranda Gore. The Crawleys are listed in the 1940 Census where it is noted that Elizabeth completed one year of high school and Walter completed four years. For more see the Lizzie Jane Crawley entry in chapter six of The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; and Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.

See photo image of Lizzie Jane Crawley at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Crenshaw, Walter Clarence, Jr.
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 1969
Born in Millersburg, KY, Walter C. Crenshaw, Jr. was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and taught in the Canton (Ohio) City School System. He was later appointed Executive Director of the Canton Area Housing Authority. Crenshaw Middle School and a park in Canton are named in his honor. Walter C. Crenshaw, Jr. was the son of Anna Frances Williams Crenshaw and Walter C. Crenshaw, Sr. For more see the Crenshaw Middle School website; and C. M. Jenkins, "Canton educator tills, waters young minds...," Akron Beacon Journal, 09/26/1993, Metro section, p. B1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Parks, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Canton, 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

Cross, Clarence
Birth Year : 1916
Clarence Cross, an architect, was born n Allensville, KY, the son of Ameila Tinsley Cross and Napoleon Cross. Napoleon was a farmer and supported the family of five that included Amelia's mother Jane Tinsley, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In 1927, the family moved to Kokomo, IN, where Clarence Cross completed high school. He was a student at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University] and completed one year before enlisting in the U.S. Army on January 14, 1942, at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, according to his enlistment record. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1946, Cross enrolled again at Tuskegee Institute and was a 1949 architecture graduate. He was a registered architect in Ohio and Indiana, and had a private practice while also employed by the Base Civil Engineering for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He retired from the Air Force Base in 1971. Cross was a founding partner in 1969 of the firm Cross, Curry, de Weaver, Randall and Associates; the firm was dissolved in 1997. Some of Cross' work includes his role as designer of the Second Baptist Church in Ford City, PA, and the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Dayton. For a more detailed account of the Clarence Cross biography and his accomplishments, see his entry in African American Architects, a biographical dictionary, 1865-1945 edited by D. S. Wilson.
Subjects: Architects, Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Kokomo, Indiana / Dayton, Ohio

Crosswhite, Adam and Sarah
In 1844 the Crosswhites and their four children escaped from Carroll County, Kentucky, and made their way through the Underground Railroad to the African American community in Marshall, Michigan. The community was made up of about 50 residents, most of whom were escaped slaves from Kentucky; the town of Marshall had about 200 residents. By 1847, the Crosswhite family had been located by Francis Giltner, who intended to claim his slaves and return them to Kentucky. On behalf of Giltner, Francis Troutman led a party of four to the Crosswhite home. The party was confronted by a crowd of African Americans and whites that numbered more than 150 people. Troutman and his comrades would not back down, so they were arrested for assault, battery, and housebreaking. The Crosswhites escaped to Canada. Francis Giltner sued the leaders of Marshall for the cost of the escaped slaves. The U.S. Circuit Court of Michigan decided in favor of Giltner. The Crosswhites would later return to settle in Marshall. Adam Crosswhite was born around 1800 and died in 1878, and Sarah Crosswhite was born around 1796; the couple is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, still living in Marshall. For more see J. H. Yzenbaard, "The Crosswhite case," Michigan History, vol. 53, issue 2 (1969), pp. 131-143; J. C. Sherwood, "One flame in the inferno: the legend of Marshall's Crosswhite affair," Michigan History, vol. 73, issue 2 (1989), pp. 40-47; and Case No. 5,453 - Giltner v. Gorham et. al - in Book 10 of The Federal Cases, pp.424-433 [full text at Google Books].

See photo image of Adam Crosswhite and additional information about he and his wife Sarah Crosswhite, at the Seeking Michigan website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Carroll County, Kentucky / Marshall, Michigan / Canada

Cullen, Countee LeRoy
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1946
Countee L. Cullen was probably born in Louisville, KY, but his birthplace is also given as New York. Cullen was unofficially adopted by Rev. Frederick and Carolyn Cullen; his last name was Porter prior to the adoption. Cullen earned his bachelor's degree from New York University, his master's from Harvard University. During his prime he was the most popular African American poet and literary figure of his time. He won more literary prizes than all other African American poets in the 1920s. Cullen had won his first contest in high school with the poem, "I Have a Rendezvous With Life." His first wife, Yolande DuBois, was the daughter of W. E. B. DuBois. His most famous student (he taught high school) was James Baldwin. For more see the Countee Cullen Papers at Dillard University's Will W. Alexander Archives, and Countee Cullen and the Negro Renaissance, by B. E. Ferguson.

See photo image and additional information about Countee L. Cullen at Poetry Foundation website.
 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cummings, James L.
Birth Year : 1926
James L. Cummings was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Andrew and Fannie Robbie Cummings. He is a graduate of Lane College, 1948, and Butler University School of Religion, 1959. Cummings was pastor of Trinity Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, IN. He was one of the three founders of the Indianapolis Citizen's Group in 1964. The organization would become known as Citizens Forum with the goal to create block clubs to help improve city neighborhoods with community support. The model was expanded to other cities in Illinois and throughout the United States, and received many awards for its effectiveness. Cummings also served as president of the Indianapolis Ministerial Association, and was chosen as the Alpha's Man of the Year in 1960. He was a member of the masons, and was awarded a Hall of Fame citation from the Crispus Attucks High School for his community service. For more see "James L. Cummings" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; and "Citizens Forum" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. Bodenhamer et al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Curd, Kirksey L.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1967
Born in Fulton, KY, Kirksey L. Curd became a physician, earning his medical degrees from Cornell University in 1912 and Pennsylvania University in 1917, then practicing in Philadelphia, PA, where he would spend the rest of his life. He was the first African American to receive the D. V. M. degree from Cornell University. Curd was also president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a World War I veteran. He was the son of Curtis and Ida Curd. The family, along with extended family members, all moved from Kentucky to Perry, OK, when Kirksey Curd was a child. They are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1930-32.

See photo image of Dr. Kirksey L. Curd at ChronicleOnline, article by J. K. Morrissey, "Cornell perspectives: CU played key role in educating first black veterinarians," 02/18/2011, a Cornell University website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Perry, Oklahoma / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cyrus, Mary Clark
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1908
Mary Clark Cyrus, born free in Kentucky, moved to Detroit, MI, with her husband in 1844. She is recognized for her role as a leader in the Underground Railroad as a member of the the Detroit Anti-Slavery Society. For more see Hine Sight: Black Women and the Re-Construction of American History, by D. C. Hine.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Daniel, Wilbur N.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1999
Wilburn N. Daniel was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Fannie and Nathan Daniel. Reverend Wilbur N. Daniel was the first African American student to be accepted at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, from which he graduated with honors in 1957. The school's African American Cultural Center is named in Daniel's honor. Daniel was a civil rights activist and a pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. Prior to enrolling in the graduate school at Austin Peay, he had earned an undergraduate degree from American Baptist Theological Seminary [American Baptist College] in Nashville and another from Tennessee State University. Daniel would leave Tennessee for Chicago, where he was pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church and served two years as president of the Chicago NAACP. He sponsored a housing development in Chicago and and in Fort Wayne, IN. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1964. For more see Austin Peay State University African American Cultural Center; A. Ritchart, "Supporting heroes," The Leaf-Chronicle, 02/16/2006, Local section, p. 1B; Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and the Rev. Wilburn Daniel entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather.

See photo and additional information at "Biography of Dr. Wilburn N. Daniel," Austin Peay State University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois

Danner, Margaret E.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1984
Born in Pryorsburg, KY, Danner moved to Chicago when she was young and later attended Loyola University and Northwestern University. She received the John Hay Whitney Fellowship for "Far From Africa: four poems," published in Poetry: a Magazine of Verse in 1951. In 1956 she became the first African American to be named assistant editor of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. Her first collections of poems were published in 1960. She founded Boone House in Detroit for poetry gatherings and readings by African American poets. In 1966 she was a presenter at the World Exposition of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal. Her work was praised as an "Africa-based voice of Blackness." For more see the Oxford Companion to African American Literature, edited by W. L. Andrews, et al.
Subjects: Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Pryorsburg, Graves County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Detroit, Michigan

Darby, (Blind) Teddy
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1975
Born Theodore Roosevelt Darby in Henderson, KY, he was a blues singer and guitarist who performed in Chicago in the 1930s but was most known for performing in St. Louis. His music was recorded between 1929-1937. As a younger man he did time in a reform school and workhouse for bootlegging. He was a long time associate of Peetie Wheatstraw. He eventually lost his sight to glaucoma. For more see The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., edited by C. Larkin; and St. Louis Blues Musicians. View the image and listen to Blind Teddy Darby - Lawdy Lawdy Worried Blues 1929 on YouTube.


Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / St. Louis, Missouri

Darnes, Rebecca and William
The Darneses were activists and community leaders in Cincinnati, OH. William Darnes, a barber, was born in 1809 in Pennsylvania. Rebecca, his wife, described as a mulatto, was born in 1811 in Kentucky. Both she and her husband were free, according to the 1850 Census. Her mother was born in Maryland. The Darneses were fairly well-off real estate owners in Cincinnati. William had been a Master Mason at the St. Cyprian Lodge in Pittsburgh, PA. When he arrived in Cincinnati, he had applied for admission to the white lodge and was denied. William Darnes would become a founding member of the St. Cyprian Lodge in Cincinnati, which was approved in 1847. In 1849, it would become the first African American grand lodge in Ohio. Rebecca was a member of the Daughters of Samaria and a member of the Society of Friends. Around 1844, she and her husband had joined others, including Salmon P. Chase, to assist in Lydia P. Mott's efforts to establish a home for orphaned and homeless Colored children in Cincinnati. The Darneses also helped raise Alexander G. Clark (1826-1891), who was William Darnes's nephew and would become a civil rights leader in the West. For more see Frontiers of Freedom, by N. M. Taylor; History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880, vol. 2, by G. W. Williams [available full text at Project Gutenberg and Google Book Search]; African American Fraternities and Sororities, by T. L. Brown, G. Parks and C. M. Phillips; and "Alexander G. Clark" in the Encyclopedia of African American Business, by J. C. Smith, M. L. Jackson and L. T. Wynn. [*Rebecca Darnes was an aunt, by marriage, to Alexander G. Clark. His mother, Rebecca Darnes Clark, has been described as African.]
Subjects: Barbers, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennsylvania / Cincinnati, Ohio

Darrell, Betty L.
Birth Year : 1934
Betty L. Darrell was born in Louisville, KY, to Jerome and Cleoda Mason McDonald. She was among the first African Americans to attend the University of Louisville, from which she graduated with a BA in 1955. Darrell lso received an MA from Washburn University in 1969. She was a schoolteacher in Louisville and later served as the director of the Racial Justice Association and Project Equality, both in New York, and was director of the New York/New Jersey Minority Purchasing Council. From 1984-1995, Darrell was director of the Minority Business Enterprise Development of Pepsi Cola North America. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2000; T. Deering, "Pepsi sponsors luncheon to link minority firms," Sacramento Bee, 07/10/1992, Business section, p. B1; G. A. Drain, "NBL plans coalition to solve Black entrepreneur's problems," Michigan Chronicle, 02/08/1994; and J. D. O'Hair, "Pepsi appoints director," Michigan Chronicle, March 1995.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York / New Jersey

Davids, Tice
Davids was a Kentucky slave who successfully escaped to Ohio in 1830. The term "Underground Railroad" is thought to have been coined based on his escape. His owner had been pursuing Davids but lost track of him in Ohio. It is said he claimed that Davids disappeared as if swept away on an underground railroad. For more see The Virtual Underground Railroad Experience: and "The Railroad and its passengers," chapter 1 in Stories of the Underground Railroad by A. L. Curtis [provided online by the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Davis, Ellen
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1927
Ellen Davis was the daughter of John Davis, an Irishman [John J. Cummins is listed as the father on her death certificate]. She was from Fayette County, KY, and had been a slave belonging to the mother of wealthy horseman John T. Hughes (1840-1924) of Fayette County. When Davis was about 18 years old, she had a son by Hughes, who never married. Their relationship was temporarily interrupted during the Civil War, but resumed in 1872, when Davis became free and after J. T. Hughes' mother had died. The relationship continued until 1924 when J. T. Hughes died. In his will, he left $30,000 to various persons, and his faithful colored man, Alex Rankin, received 96 1/2 acres of land [Alex Rankin d.1935, his wife Nannie d.1939, they are buried in African Cemetery No.2]. Ellen Davis received the mansion Elkton and hundreds of acres of farmland plus all of the home belongings, farm equipment, and stock. Their son, Robert Henry Hughes, who had spent most of his life in Buffalo, NY, received 160 acres. The remainder of the estate went to the Midway Orphan's Home. The will was contested and the case went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, December 1925. The will was allowed to stand as written and Ellen Davis, in a situation very similar to that of Margaret Pryor, was thought to be the wealthiest Negro woman in Kentucky. But unlike Pryor, 80 year old Davis sold the estate that neighbored thoroughbred farms that belonged to wealthy men such as John E. Madden, Samuel D. Riddle, and Joseph E. Widener, who bought 587 acres. Payne Whitney, a relative of J. T. Hughes from New York, bought the Elkton mansion and 277 acres. Ellen Davis died at the age of 84 in Fayette County, KY, on December 8, 1927. According to her death certificate, she is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. For more see "Bayless v. Hughes' EX'Rs et al. (Court of Appeals of Kentucky. Dec. 15, 1925)," South Western Reporter, vol. 278, pp. 162-163; "Made richest Negress in South by court," New York Times, 12/17/1925, p. 13; and "New property cost breeders $326,000," New York Times, 03/01/1926, p. 14. The Rankins' death dates and cemetery information provided by Yvonne Giles - "The Cemetery Lady".
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Davis, William Henry
Birth Year : 1872
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Davis graduated from Louisville Colored High School in 1888 [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He taught himself shorthand and typewriting, then was employed by the law firm Cary & Spindle. He was also a private secretary for Louisville Mayor Todd and owned a thriving shoe store in Louisville. He taught typewriting and shorthand in the Colored schools because African Americans were excluded from the classes taught in Louisville. In 1899 he moved his family to Washington, D.C., and in 1902 was awarded a Doctorate of Pharmacology from Howard University. Dr. Davis went on to hold many posts with the federal government and opened the Mott Night Business High School. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Dr. William H. Davis in the John P. Davis Collection.


Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Decker, Charles E.
Birth Year : 1913
Charles E. Decker, a Republican, was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1946 and finished his term in 1948. He was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election. Decker was the only African American from Evansville [Vanderburgh County] to be elected to the Indiana Legislature. Decker also served as president of the Vanderburgh County Congress of Industrial Organizations (C.I.O.). He was the first Negro arbitrator for an Indiana labor dispute [source: p.64 in The History of Evansville Blacks by D. W. Sprinkles]. Decker was a member of the International Harvester Local 1106 in Evansville in 1952, and was one of the leaders to head the Indiana Republican party campaign for votes. Beginning in 1953, Decker was appointed director of Fair Employment Practices Commission. He is mentioned on several occasions in the organization's newsletter and he is also listed in the Roster of State and Local Officials of the State of Indiana. Charles E. Decker was born in Kentucky, the son of Edward and Inez Decker, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family of four lived on William Street in Evansville, IN. In 1930, Charles E. Decker was a waiter at a hotel in West Baden, IN, and in 1940, he was a waiter at a hotel in Evansville, IN [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He was the husband of Eloise Decker. For more see Charles E. Decker on p.13 in the online publication "Hoosier History: This Far By Faith: Black Hoosier Heritage: Early Rural Communities," a Indiana Humanities Council website [.pdf]; "Indiana County elects first state assemblyman," The Afro-American, 11/24/1946, p.27; and "GOP names labor leaders in drive for workers' vote," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/30/1952, p.1.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

Dehaven, Burrell B.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1941
Born in Hardinsburg, KY, Dehaven became a dentist. He was founder and president of the Capitol City Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association (Ohio). He was the only African American dentist from Columbus to serve in the Dental Corp during World War I. For more see Who's Who in Colored American, 1933-37; and African American Dental Surgeons and the U.S. Army Dental Corps: A Struggle for Acceptance, 1901-1919, by John M. Hyson, Jr.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Deppe, Louis B.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1976
Louis B. Deppe, born in Horse Cave, KY, was a baritone concert and solo singer who was mentored by Madame C. J. Walker. Deppe grew up in Springfield, OH, and at the age of 16 was taken to New York by Madame Walker for voice training. He served in the U.S. Army and afterward toured with Anita Patti Brown. He was close friends and a performance partner with Earl Hines, and he directed his own groups, including Lo[u]is B. Deppe and His Plantation Orchestra. Deppe also performed in Broadway musicals. His first name has been spelled "Lois" in some sources. For more see "Louis Deppe" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern; and a photo of Deppe's Seranaders at redhotjazz.com.


Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

Dickerson, Bernice C.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 2009
Bernice C. Dickerson won her first Adairville council race in 1983 when she was 70 years old; she would win 11 elections. At the age of 92, Dickerson was the oldest elected and serving official in Kentucky. Dickerson was honored as a Kentucky Admiral by State Senator Joey Pendleton and January 15, 2006, was proclaimed "Bernice Dickerson Day" in Logan County. Bernice Dickerson was born in Montgomery County, TN, the daughter of Elijah and Sarah Winston Clark. She was a gradute of the University of Kentucky. For more see R. Dearbone, "Councilwoman recognized," 01/16/2006, by WBKO 13 (ABC); "Dickerson to be honored at 20th Annual Dr. MLK Jr. Unity Walk," News-Democrat & Leader, 01/15/2006;  SR 116 (BR1550) - J. Pendleton, G. Neal; and "Mrs. Bernice" in the Community section of the News-Democrat & Leader, 01/16/2009, p.A8.

See photo image and additional information about Bernice Dickerson in the 2009 article "Adairville loses prominent citizen; Bernice Dickerson dies at age 95," by P. Cassady at newsdemocratleader.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, TN / Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky

Dickerson, Roger Quincey "R. Q."
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1951
Dickerson was born in Paducah, KY, and grew up in St. Louis. He played trumpet with several groups at the Cotton Club in New York, beginning with Robinson's Bostonians in the early 1920s and ending with Cab Calloway's Orchestra in 1931. Dickerson remained in New York as a cab driver. He can be heard playing on the recordings Early Black Swing, Prohibition Blues, and Riverboat Shuffle. For more see "R. Q. Dickerson" in Classic Jazz: the musicians and recordings that shaped jazz, 1895-1933, by S. Yanow; and in the Oxford Music Online Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / New York

Dickinson, Blanch T.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1972
Born in Franklin, KY, Blanch Taylor Dickinson attended Bowling Green Academy and Simmons University (KY) and was later a school teacher. She was the daughter of Thomas and Laura Dickinson, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. She would become a Harlem Renaissance poet. Her poetry appeared in anthologies and periodicals such as The Crisis, Chicago Defender and Louisville Leader. Her biography appeared in Opportunity, vol. 5 (July 1927), p. 213. Also in 1927, Dickinson won the Buckner Award for ""conspicuous promise"; she was living in Sewickley, PA at that time. Blanch Dickinson was the wife of Verdell Dickinson (1898-1978), he was a truck driver who was born in Trenton, KY. The couple lived on Centennial Avenue in Sewickley, PA in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1940, Blanch Taylor (Dickinson) was listed in the census as a widow and she was back in Simpson County, KY, living with her father Tom Taylor and her widowed aunt Carol Lockhart; Blanch Taylor (Dickinson) is listed in the 1940 Census as a school teacher. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta; Harlem Renaissance and Beyond. Literary biographies of 100 black women writers, 1900-1945, by L. E. Roses and R. E. Randolph; and "Negroes get prizes for literary work" in the New York Times, 05/08/1927, p. 19.

Additional information provided by Gayla Coates, Archives Librarian at the Simpson County Kentucky Arhcives: Blanche Taylor Dickinson died in 1972 and is buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Simpson County, KY.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Sewickley, Pennsylvania / Trenton, Todd County, Kentucky

Diggs, Elder Watson
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1947
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Elder W. Diggs graduated from Indiana's Normal [now Indiana State University], where he was one of the founding members of Kappa Alpha Psi, established on January 5, 1911. Diggs served as the Grand Polemarch (president) of the fraternity during the first six years and was awarded the organization's first Laurel Wreath in 1924. The fraternity sought "to raise the sights of Negro youth and stimulate them to accomplishments higher than might otherwise be realized or even imagined." Diggs was the first African American graduate from the IU's School of Education, and he went on to become a school principal in Indianapolis, leaving that job to serve in World War I. After the war Diggs was instrumental in having the Indiana constitution amended to permit Negro enlistment in the Indiana National Guard. Diggs returned to his job as principal and earned his master's degree in education from Howard University in 1944. After his death on Nov. 8, 1947, the Indianapolis school where he had served as principal for 26 years was named the Elder W. Diggs School #42. For more see Founder: Elder Watson Diggs, by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; and a pencil drawing of Elder W. Diggs by Vertine Young available in the Indiana Historical Society's Great Black Hoosier Americans collection.

See photo image and additional information about Elder Watson Diggs at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Indiana

Douglass, William J.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1938
William J. Douglass was a businessman in Cincinnati, OH. He was owner of the Palace Grill Restaurant at 2966 Gilbert Avenue. He had also been the director and vice-president of The Liberian Haberdashery Company, a wearing apparel business that was formed in 1919 as a $5,000 corporation. There were two stores located in Cincinnati. Thomas B. Richmond was the attorney for the business. Richmond owned his own law business. He was born 1886 in British Guiana, came to the U.S. in 1905, and became a citizen in 1912 [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. The establishing of a corporation by African American men in Cincinnati, OH, was big news that was carried in the Crisis and in African American newspapers as far west as Washington state where the story was published in Cayton's Weekly newspaper. The corporation papers were filed August 27, 1919, and the business was listed in the Annual Report of the Secretary of State to the Governor and General Assembly of the State of Ohio, year ending June 30, 1920, p.64 [online at Google Books]. William J. Douglass was born in Madison County, KY, the son of Benjamin and Hattie Carpenter Douglass. He was the husband of Mary Banks Douglass who was also from Kentucky; they married in 1900. The couple lived on Gilbert Avenue, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Ten years later, William J. Douglass was still a restaurant proprietor. He was married to Ida Douglass, and the family of three lived on Churchill Avenue. William J. Douglass died February 20, 1938, according to the Ohio Certificate of Death file# 9938. For more about The Liberian Haberdashery see the first paragraph under the heading "Industry" in Cayton's Weekly, 10/18/1919, p.3. For more about William J. Douglass, see his entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Dowe, Jessica
Birth Year : 1956
From 2003-2005, Dr. Dowe practiced medicine in Munfordville, KY, the first African American to do so; she practiced with Dr. James Middleton at the Family Medicine Clinic of Hart County. Dr. Dowe is also one of the original board members of the Munfordville YMCA. She is also a speaker with the American Medical Association (AMA) Minority Affairs Consortium, "Doctors Back to School," a program that encourages elementary children to consider medicine as a career. Dr. Dowe has a number of publications and many years experience as a pharmaceutical and toxicology researcher, and she serves as an investigator in clinical pharmacology research for a number of companies. She has also served as Medical Services Director at the Jefferson County Department of Corrections. Dr. Dowe presently practices medicine in Elizabethtown, KY, and is a clinical instructor in Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. She is also a charter member for the first Faith-based Recovery Program for Addiction in Elizabethtown; the program is associated with the First Baptist Church, which is led by Reverend B. T. Bishop. Dr. Dowe was born in Alabama and is the daughter of Jessie and Janie Dowe. She graduated in 1978 from Dillard University with a degree in chemistry, earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Howard University, and attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her MD in 1996. This information is taken from, with permission, the curriculum vita of Dr. Jessica Dowe. Contact Dr. Dowe at Xavier Healthcare in Elizabethtown, KY, for more information.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Researchers, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Alabama

Drury, Theodore
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1943
Born in Kentucky, Drury was a singer and music promoter. A teacher of voice and piano, elocution, and French conversation, he co-produced, with the African American company, Bizet's Most Famous Grand Opera, Carmen, in 1900. He was a singer in and the director of the Theodore Drury Opera Company, which performed regularly from 1900-1910 for Black and White audiences. The company had been formed in New York in 1889. Drury also organized an all African American orchestra. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York

Dunbar, Joshua
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
An escaped slave from Shelby County, KY, Dunbar served with two Massachusetts Colored Regiments during the Civil War. He separated from his wife, Matilda Dunbar, in 1874. He was the father of Paul L. Dunbar. Johshua Dunbar was born in Garrard County, KY. He was a slave who last lived in Shelby County, prior to joining the Union Army. He received an honorable discharge in October 1865, and was employed as a plasterer. Dunbar was admitted to a U.S. National Home for Disabled Veterans in Dayton, OH, in 1882. According to the Home's records, Joshua Dunbar died August 16, 1885. He is buried on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs Center on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio. For more see L. Dempsey, "Dunbar's dad may rest with dignity," Dayton Daily News, 01/25/04, Local section, p. B1.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Dunbar, Matilda
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1934
Mother of Paul Laurence Dunbar, she was born Matilda Murphy in Shelby County. She left Kentucky after the ratification of the 13th Amendment freed all slaves in Kentucky. Dunbar, who outlived her son by 28 years, kept his library until her death. Dunbar House is the first publicly-owned historic site to honor an African American (Dayton, OH). In 2006, the grave of Matilda's youngest child and only girl, Elizabeth Florence Dunbar, was placed next to her mother's grave in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton Ohio. The child had died at the age of 2 from sickness and malnutrition and was buried in a potter's field. Shortly after Elizabeth's death, Joshua Dunbar and Matilda divorced. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed.; African American Women: a Biographical Dictionary (1993), by D. Salem; and M. McCarty, "Dunbar family together," Dayton Daily News, 02/12/06, Local section, p. B1.

See photo image of Matilda Dunbar at Wikimedia.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Duncan, Clark and Julia
Born in 1849 in Logan County, KY, Clark Duncan was a hotel employee in Springfield, IL; he was a member of the community of African Americans who had migrated from Kentucky to Springfield. Clark Duncan was the son of George Duncan and Louisa Orendoff [later Stevens] (b.1835 in KY); it is not known if the family was free or enslaved. During the Civil War, Clark Duncan had served with the 15th Colored Infantry and he was 1st Sargent with Company B of the 6th Colored Cavalry. After the war for a few years, he alternated living in Springfield, IL, and Russellville, KY. He was married to Springfield native Julia Chavious, the daughter of Malan Chavious (d. 1879), who was from Kentucky and had been a barber in Springfield. Julia Chavious Duncan was Grand Treasurer of the Grand Court of Illinois. Clark Duncan was a Knight Templar, a Mason, and Senior Warden in Lodge No. 3. Like George Stevens and other African Americans in Springfield, Clark Duncan voted for Ulysses S. Grant during the 1868 presidential election. The Duncan family lived at 312 N. Thirteenth Street in Springfield, IL. Clark Duncan died April 7, 1929 in Springfield, IL, according to the Illinois, Deaths and Still Births, 1916-1947, at FamilySearch.com. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago) [available online at Google Book Search]; and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Barbers, Voting Rights, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

Duncan, Cruz [Cruz McClusky]
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1916
In 1910, Cruz Duncan was appointed an aid on the staff of Commander in Chief Van Sant of the G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic). Duncan was a former slave by the name of Cruz McClusky. He escaped slavery in Kentucky and joined the Union Army in Pennsylvania, serving with the 8th U.S. Colored Infantry and surviving the Civil War. After the war, he changed his last name to Duncan and returned to Kentucky. He married Mary Beal (also from Kentucky) with whom he had three children; Mary's daughter, Florence Keller, also lived with them. They lived in Louisville, KY, until 1871, then moved to Indianapolis, IN, where the family lived at 23 Columbia Street. Duncan was employed as a laborer. He became a minister and also held all of the leadership positions with the G. A. R. Martin R. Delany Post [Colored] in Indianapolis. He was one of the first African Americans to be elected to the National Encampment. For more see "Wooden Indian inspires; starts Negro in ministry," The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910, p. 12; and "No color line allowed", New York Times, 08/07/1891, p. 1. A picture of Cruz Duncan appears on p. 12 of The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Duncan, Henry J. "Hank"
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1968
Duncan, born in Bowling Green, KY, was a pianist. It was said he could hold his own going head to head with Fats Waller. Duncan led the Kentucky Jazz Band, based in Louisville; he moved the band to Detroit, Michigan, in 1919. He also played with Fess Williams, King Oliver, and recorded with Sidney Bechet. For more see The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz; and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies, by L. Feather & I. Gitler.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Duncan, John Bonner
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1994
Duncan was born in Springfield, KY, leaving the state in 1930 to attend Howard University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He was also a 1938 graduate and distinguished alumni of the Robert H.Terrell Law School. A government employee, he served from 1952-1961 in the appointed position of Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the D.C. governing board in 1961; he was the first African American commissioner of the District of Columbia. In 1964, he was reappointed to the position by President Lyndon B. Johnson and served until 1967. At the end of his second term, Duncan was appointed assistant to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for Urban Relations. He retired from government in 1969. Duncan was a community and civic leader in a large number of organizations, including the NAACP and the Washington Urban League, and he served on the board of the United Negro College Fund. The John B. Duncan Papers are available at George Washington University. For more see "John B. Duncan, 84, 1st black commissioner," Obituaries, Washington Times, 06/23/1994, Section C, p. C8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky / Washington D. C.

Duncan, R. Todd
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1998
Born in Danville, KY, Robert Todd Duncan was the son of John Duncan and Lettie Cooper Duncan, who was a music teacher. The family moved to Indianapolis when Todd was a boy. After graduating from high school, Duncan earned his B.A. from Butler University and an M.A. in teaching from Columbia University Teaching College. He taught at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes from 1925-1930 and at Howard University from 1931-1945. He played Porgy in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, breaking the color barrier in American opera. Duncan also appeared in the films Syncopation and Unchained. For more see Blacks in Opera, by E. L. Smith; Who is Who in Music, 1941; and Current Biography, 1942. View images and listen to Todd Duncan, Ann Brown "Bess, You Is My Woman" Original Porgy and Bess (1940) on YouTube.

Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Dunham, Norman Earle
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1951
Norman E. Dunham was a physician and surgeon in Covington, KY; he served on the staff of Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. Dunham was one of a few African American doctors from Kentucky who were on the hospital staff [including, T. L. Berry and Richard P. McClain]. His wife, Sadie Lyerson Dunham, from Tennessee, was a school teacher in Cincinnati. The couple lived in Covington on Russell Street [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. They later moved to E. 611 W. Court Street in Cincinnati and moved again to E. 813 Mound Street [source: 1940-1951 volumes of Williams' Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory and Williams' Cincinnati (Ohio) City Directory]. Norman Dunham was a member of the executive committee of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a member of the Tri-City Medical Association. He was a mason and served as the medical examiner for the United Brothers of Friendship. Norman E. Dunham was born in Scott County, KY, according to his draft registration card, and he grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Levi and Lula Dunham. He attended a colored school in Lexington and was a graduate of the academy at Clark University [now Clark Atlanta University]. Dunham completed his pre-med course at Fisk College [now Fisk University], 1914-1917. He returned to Kentucky, where he was a partner in a farming operation in Louisville, KY, in 1917 when he completed his draft registration card. Dunham left farming and went into the military and served as a private in the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) [source: Mary E. Smith Cemetery record]. The SATC was a new program that replaced ROTC during World War I. SATC was a nationwide military program started by the Committee on Education and Special Training of the War Department. The program trained commissioned and non-commissioned officers on 157 college and trade school campuses that were under contract with the War Department. The men in the program were college students as well as men from the general population. [For more about African Americans entrance in the SATC see "Where the Color Line was Drawn" in chapter 23 of Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War, by E. J. Scott.] After his time in the military, Dunham attended Meharry Medical College and graduated in 1921 with an M.D. Norman E. Dunham died August 7, 1951 and is buried in the Mary E. Smith Cemetery in Elsmere, KY [source: "Mary E. Smith African American Cemetery, 1950-1967," a one page .pdf document found online within the Northern Kentucky Genealogy Database at the Kenton County Public Library website]. For more information about Norman E. Dunham see his entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Covington and Elsmere, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Dunlap, Mollie E.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1977
Born in Paducah, KY, Dunlap received her library degree from the University of Michigan in 1931. She was an instructor at Wilberforce University (1918-1923), returning in 1947. Dunlap was also a librarian at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina (1934-1947). She was also assistant editor of the Negro College Quarterly (1944-1947), authoring several bibliographical studies of Negro literature that were published in the journal. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Notable Black American Women, Book II, ed. by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio / Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dunnigan, Alice A.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1983
Alice A. Dunnigan was born near Russellville, KY. She is a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University] and for a few years after her graduation, she filled her summers by taking classes at West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY. During the first half of her life, Dunnigan was a school teacher; she had been teaching since she was 18 years old. She was also a writer and journalist, writing her first newspaper column at the age of 14. When the school term ended in 1935, she was hired as a reporter in Louisville. Dunnigan left Kentucky in 1942 when the Louisville school where she had been teaching was closed and then continued her career as a reporter in Washington, D. C. She was also a reporter for the Associated Negro Press, serving as chief of the Washington Bureau; she was the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials and the first African American member of the Women's National Press Club. In addition to being an educator and journalist, Dunnigan was also a civil rights activist. In her hometown of Russellville, she pushed for African American women to be hired by the WPA, and she used her position as a white house correspondent to forward the issues and concerns of African Americans, she also served as the educational consultant on President Johnson's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Dunnigan was the author of The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians and four other books. For more see A Black Woman's Experience, by A. A. Dunnigan; Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Women Who Made a Difference, by C. Crowe-Carraco; and N. J. Dawson, "Alice Allison Dunnigan," The Crisis, July-August, 2007, pp.39-41 [available online at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Alice Dunnigan from Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, via Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Durham, John G.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1999
Durham had been the oldest African American veteran in Illinois. He was born in Kentucky, the son of Thomas F. and Mary L. Durham. The family lived in Ireland, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. John Durham was a cook in the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1936, Durham had settled in Aurora, IL, where he co-founded the American Legion Post 798, the first for African Americans in Aurora. The post had been closed for a few years when Durham died, but it was scheduled to re-open with a Buffalo Soldier museum. Durham was also commander of the Kane County Council of the American Legion and later commander of the 11th District Council. He was the first African American Santa Claus in Aurora and was a member of the Aurora Police Auxiliary and Chamber of Commerce. For more see M. Hogarth, "Taps calls vet home," Beacon News, 08/18/1999, News section, p. A1.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Ireland, Taylor County, Kentucky / Aurora, Illinois

Durham, John Stephens
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1919
Durham, said to be from Kentucky (his birth place has also been given as San Domingo and Philadelphia), was the United States Minister to Haiti (1891-1892); he had replaced Frederick Douglass, who had resigned. The appointment was made during the Harrison Administration. Durham had been the Consul at San Domingo (1890-1891). He was an 1886 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the first African Americans to graduate from the school. Durham was a civil engineer; a journalist with the Bulletin, a Philadelphia newspaper; and author of at least two books, Diane, Priestess of Haiti and To Teach the Negro History: a suggestion. In 1897, Durham married Constance McKenzie, a white woman who had been the director of the Porter School Kindergarten in Philadelphia. For more see "The West Indies," The Quarterly Register of Current History, vol. 1 (1892), pp. 439-440; "The New Minister to Haiti," New York Times, 09/06/1891, p. 1; and "School teacher weds a Negro," New York Times, 07/02/1897, p. 10.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Duval, Edward
Birth Year : 1852
Edward Duval, born in Kentucky around 1852, was a jockey in Springfield, OH, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.

Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

Ecton, George French
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1929
George F. Ecton was a slave born in Winchester, KY, the son of Antonia and Martha George Ecton. He and a friend received forged freedom papers and made their way to Cincinnati in 1865. They were employed as deck hands on the Sherman (ship). Ecton soon returned to Cincinnati, where he was employed at a number of locations. He also came down with small pox there but recuperated and began attending a school taught by Miss Luella Brown. In 1873, he left Cincinnati for Chicago, where he managed the Hotel Woodruff dining room. While in Chicago, Ecton ran for and was elected to a seat in the 35th General Assembly. He was also the owner of property worth $10,000. Ecton married Patti R. Allen (b. 1855) in 1877; she was also from Winchester, KY. George F. Ecton died September 17, 1929 and is buried in the Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago [source: Illinois Death Certificate #rn26889]. For more see "Hon. George French Ecton" in Men of Mark, by W. J. Simmons and H. M. Turner [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois

Ecton, Virgil E.
Birth Year : 1940
Virgil E. Ecton was born in Paris, KY. He is a graduate of Indiana University (1962) and Xavier University. For 31 years he was employed at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and served as the Executive Vice President and COO before leaving the organization in 2001 to become Vice President of University Advancement at Howard University. Ecton is known for his exceptional fund raising ability: he raised more than 1.6 billion dollars while employed at UNCF. He is a founding member of the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives' Certification Board. In 2011, Ecton was appointed vice president for federal affairs at Tuskegee University. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.

See photo image and additional information about Virgil E. Ecton at the Tuskegee University website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Edison, Harry "Sweets"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1999
According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Harry Edison was born in Beaver Dam, KY, and Edison confirms this in his 1993 interview for the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program NEA Jazz Master [transcript available online at smithsonianyazz.org]. Harry was the son of Wayne Edison and Katherine Meryl Borah Edison. Wayne Edison left his family when Harry was a small child, and Harry and his mother moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Harry learned to play the trumpet. He played with a number of bands and joined the original Count Basie Band in 1938, the night that the regular trumpeter, Bobby Moore, became ill, so Harry took his place. He remained with the band for 12 years. It was Lester Young who nicknamed him "Sweetie Pie" in appreciation of the way he played music; Count Basie shortened the nickname to "Sweets." Edison left the Basie band in 1950 and went on to play with other bands, including those of Coleman Hawkins and Buddy Rich. He was later signed by Capitol Records and recorded with Frank Sinatra on songs such as "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" and "Songs for Swingin' Lovers." He played in sessions with Sinatra for 14 years, including with the Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra. Edison later recorded with European groups as well as on the Granz's Verve label. Edison received a number of awards: in 1983, he was the first to receive tribute from the Los Angeles Jazz Society, and he received a second tribute in 1992. Edison also received a Duke Ellington fellowship to Yale University. For more see the Edison, Harry "Sweets" entry in the American National Biography Online (subscription database).

See photo image of Harry "Sweets" Edison and additional information at the PBS website.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Los Angeles, California

Edrington, Gustavus V.
Birth Year : 1813
Gustavus V. Edrington was an escaped slave from Kentucky. When his owner attempted to take him back to Kentucky, the Brookville, IN, community came to his rescue. Edrington had come to Brookville by way of Butler County, OH, where he married Malinda Jefferson in 1838. Malinda was born in 1823 in Ohio, and Edrington was born in Virginia in 1813; they were both described as Mulattoes. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Iowa, where their four children were born; Iowa was a free state. In 1850, the year their fourth child was born, the Edringtons moved to Brookville, Franklin County, IN. They are listed as free in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Gustavus owned a barbershop. Brookville was a fairly new town: the area had been inhabited by several American Indian tribes before the Moravian missionaries settled there in 1801. Franklin County was incorporated in 1811. Many families were drawn to the area when construction was started on the Whitewater Canal in 1834; it would become a major avenue for waterway transportation. And the population jumped again with the building of the Duck Creek Aqueduct in 1848. There were 2,315 heads-of-households in 1830, and 17,979 persons in 1850, including 115 free Blacks (nine born in KY) and 104 free Mulattoes (five born in KY). Slavery had been prohibited in the Indiana territory by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, but it allowed the reclaiming of fugitive slaves. Settlers from Kentucky and Virginia who owned slaves ignored the ordinance, and the Indiana territorial legislature created laws that circumvented the ordinance, thus allowing for both slavery and indefinitely indentured servants. The abolitionist members of the legislature gained control around 1809 and were able to overturn many of the pro-slavery and indentured servant laws. Gustavus Edrington had been in Brookville about six years when his owner and a posse from Kentucky arrived and identified Edrington as a fugitive slave; he was put in jail and was to be taken back to Kentucky and slavery. News of his capture spread fast, and when night fell, the men of Brookville went to the jail and released Gustavus Edrington. They next found the men from Kentucky and told them to leave town or they would be hanged--the men left town. Edrington continued his barber business in Brookville until some time during the Civil War when he moved to Centerville, IN, and opened a barbershop and a soda fountain. For more see "Slave hunters got rebuff at Brookville," Greensburg Daily News, 11/27/1936, p. 4; "Bury me in a free land: the Abolitionist Movement in Indiana," by Gwen Crenshaw (an IN.gov website).

Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky / Butler County, Ohio / Iowa / Brookville, Franklin County, Indiana / Centerville, Indiana

Elliott, Noah
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1918
Elliott, born in Greenup County, KY, was the first African American doctor to practice in Athens County, Ohio. His physician's training was by way of an apprenticeship. He had been a hospital steward in the 26th U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War. Elliott's second wife was Mary A. Davidson, sister of Olivia Davidson, the wife of Booker T. Washington. The Washingtons were married in Elliott's home in 1886. For more see Noah Elliott at cordingleyneurology.com; and chapter 9 of Stories of Medicine in Athens County, Ohio, by G. E. Cordingly.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Greenup County, Kentucky / Athens County, Ohio

Ellison, Fanny McConnell
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2005
Fanny M. Ellison was born in Louisville, KY, to Ulysses and Willie Mae Brock McConnell; her parents divorced before Fanny was a year old and she and her mother moved to Colorado, then to Chicago. Fanny Ellison was the wife of Ralph Ellison (1913-1994), author of the 1953 National Book Award title, Invisible Man. Both were divorced when they met in 1944; they married in 1946. Fanny Ellison had attended Fisk University and graduated from the University of Iowa; she was involved in the theater, politics, and civil rights. In 1938, she founded the Negro People's Theater in Chicago, and in 1943 she moved to New York, where she was an assistant to George Granger, Director of the National Urban League. She supported her husband, Ralph, while he was writing what would become his only published novel. Fanny Ellison edited and typed the book manuscript that her husband had written in longhand, and she did the same for the second manuscript that he was unable to finish before his death. The second novel, Juneteenth, was published in 1999 with the permission of Fanny Ellison. For more see "Fanny McConnell Ellison dies at 93," an MSNBC website; and D. Martin, "Fanny Ellison, 93; helped husband edit 'Invisible Man'," The New York Times, 12/01/2005, Metropolitan Desk section, p. 9.

See photo image of Fanny M. Ellison and Ralph Ellison at the Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Migration North, Migration West, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Colorado / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Elster, Jesse
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1950
Jesse Elster was a prominent baseball player and manager of the Grand Rapids Colored Athletics Team. He was born in Kentucky and moved to Grand Rapids in 1904. In 1914, Elster and Stanley Barnett formed the Colored Athletic Businesses Association (CABA). The organization supported the baseball team. Elster was still team manager in 1949 when the last articles about the team appeared in Michigan newspapers. Jesse was the husband of Mamie E. Bellis Elster (b.1887 in MO - died 1920), and he later married Emma V. Young, b.1883 in VA. The family of five is listed in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, and they lived at 439 James Avenue in Grand Rapids, according to Polk's Grand Rapids (Kent County, Mich) City Directory. Jess Elster and his son Russell were truck drivers for a furniture shop. His son Eugene was a shoe shiner. Elster's first name has been spelled different ways, he signed as "Jesse Elster" on his WWI draft registration card. For more see African Americans in the Furniture City by R. M. Jelks; The Negro Leagues Revisited by B. P. Kelley; and "Face Muskegon Club Sunday," Record-Eagle, 07/01/1949, p.15.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Businesses, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Grand Rapids, Michigan

Elzy, Robert James
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1972
Born in Lexington, KY, Elzy was a 1909 graduate of Fisk University and completed his graduate work at Columbia University and New York University. He was assistant principal and a teacher at Joseph K. Brick School in North Carolina, then taught for a year at State Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. Elzy left Kentucky to practice social work in Brooklyn, New York. He was the founder and executive secretary of the Brooklyn Urban League, chaired the Colored Case Committee of the Bedford and Ft. Green districts of the Brooklyn Bureau of Charities, and was treasurer of the Brooklyn Social Service League. Robert J. Elzy was the husband of Louise Voorhees Elzy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29 and 1950; and "Robert Elzy of Urban League, champion of Black welfare, dies," New York Times, 02/20/1972, p. 68.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Migration East, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Brooklyn, New York

Eubanks, Henry T.
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1913
Henry T. Eubanks, born in Stanford, KY, was elected to the Ohio General Assembly in 1903 and 1908. Prior to his election, he had worked as a waiter in Louisville, and several other cities, and he had a barber shop in Cleveland. He was the first African American vice president of the Ohio League of Republican Clubs. For more see H. T. Eubanks in The Biographical Annals of Ohio. 1902- by W. A. Taylor et al. [available full view at Google Book Search]; and A Ghetto Takes Shape by K. L. Kusmer.

See photo image of H. T. Eubanks on p.420 in The Biographical Annals of Ohio. 1902- by W. A. Taylor, at Google Books.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Evans, W. Leonard, Jr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2007
Evans, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of William L., Sr. and Beatrice Evans. Evans Jr. was raised in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1935. He was president and senior partner of the New York ad agency Evans and Durham, Inc., which specialized in the Negro market. Beginning in 1948, he was an account executive and supervisor for the Chicago advertising agency Arthur Meyerhoff Associates, Inc. He was president of the marketing consult firm, Leonard Evans Associates of Chicago, from 1951-1961. He was an advertising executive with Ebony and later helped co-found the National Negro Network (a radio network) in 1953. He was president of Chicago-based Tuesday Publications, Inc., publishers of Tuesday Magazine, founded in 1961, it is an insert in 22 major newspapers. The magazine focused on the positive contributions of African Americans. Evans retired in the 1970s and lived the remainder of his life in Arizona. For more, see "Tuesday publisher is Ad Club speaker," Milwaukee Star, 11/22/1969, p.7; The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; "William Leonard Evans, Jr." in The Negro Almanac; vol. 3 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and T. Jensen, "W. Leonard Evans, Jr.: 1914-2007 - founded Tuesday Magazine, National Negro Network," Chicago Tribune, 06/27/2007, Metro section, p. 9.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration West, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Arizona

Evans, William L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1886
Born in Louisville, KY, Evans received an A.B. from Fisk University in 1909, took advanced study at Columbia University, from 1910 to 1911, and earned his M.A. from the University of Buffalo in 1930. He was Industrial Secretary of the Chicago Urban League, 1919-1923, worked with Plato and Evans Architectural Firm, 1923-1927, and was executive secretary of the Buffalo Urban League, beginning in 1927. Evans had also been a teacher before moving to Buffalo. He was a member of the Buffalo Commission in the New York State Commission Against Discrimination. Evans was the author of three articles: "Federal Housing Brings Racial Segregation to Buffalo," "Race, Fear and Housing," and "The Negro Community in 1948." He was the father of W. Leonard Evans, Jr. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37 & 1950; and Strangers in the Land of Paradise, by L. S. Williams.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Architects, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Buffalo, New York

Exum, William
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1988
William Exum, born in Illinois, was the first African American varsity football player at the University of Wisconsin. He was both an outstanding track star and student at Wisconsin, completing his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate. His father's family had originally come from Mississippi and Tennessee, and his maternal grandmother was from Kentucky, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. William Exum's family settled in Gary, Indiana; after he graduated from high school, he left Indiana to attend school in Wisconsin. In 1949 Exum was hired as head of the Kentucky State University (KSU) Physical Education Department and later was made head of the Athletics Department, sometimes coaching various sports teams. In 1964 he coached the KSU men's cross country team to an NCAA Division II championship. He was the manager of the United States Track and Field teams at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. In 1978 the National Association of College Directors of Athletics inducted him into the Hall of Fame. Exum retired from KSU in 1980. The William Exum Athletic Center at KSU was named in his honor in 1994. William Exum was the son of William (b.1868 in MS) and Ruth Exum (b.1876 in IL). For more see N. C. Bates, "Exum a great athlete and coach," Post-Tribune (IN), 02/06/2003, Neighbors section, p. B2.

See photo images and additional information at the UWBadgers.com website.

Access Interview Read about the William Exum oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Track & Field, Migration East, Migration South, Olympics: Athletes, Games, Events
Geographic Region: Illinois / Mississippi / Tennessee / Gary, Indiana / Wisconsin / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Ferguson, Denver and Sea (brothers)
Denver Darious Ferguson (1895-1957) and Sea Ferguson (1899-1974) were born in Brownsville, KY, the sons of Samuel H. and Mattie Whitney Ferguson. Denver was a journalist and established The Edmonson Star News. He was also a WWI veteran then moved to Indianapolis in 1919 and owned a printing company. Sea, a college graduate, followed his brother to Indianapolis and worked in his printing company. The brothers would leave the printing business, and around 1931 they began establishing entertainment businesses on Indiana Avenue: Trianon Ballroom, Royal Palm Gardens, the Cotton Club, and Sunset Terrace Ballroom. They also established Ferguson Brothers' Booking Agency and brought many big name African American entertainers to Indianapolis, and some lesser known names including Kentucky natives Jimmy Coe and Gene Pope. The Ferguson brothers also owned Ferguson Hotel. They are recognized for making Indianapolis a major stop on the African American entertainment circuit. Denver Ferguson was said to be quite a wealthy man up to WWII [source: "Denver Ferguson, pioneer businessman dies," Indianapolis Record, 05/18/1957, pp.1&7]. Sea Ferguson is said to have become a millionaire as a result of his real estate business. He was also an officer with the The National Negro Bowling Association (TNBA). Sea Ferguson is said to be the 3rd African American to build a bowling center; Ferguson's Fun Bowl opened in March 1941 at 750 N. West Street in Indianapolis, IN. For more see "Sea Ferguson's Fun Bowl," The African Diaspora Archaeology Network, March 2008 Newsletter, p.9 [online .pdf].
Subjects: Bowlers and Bowling, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Brownsville, Edmonson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Ferguson, Thelma B.
Birth Year : 1959
Ferguson, born in Memphis, TN, was the first African American woman to be named President of Chase Bank Kentucky. The appointment was made in 2005, and in 2008 Ferguson was promoted to the new position of Market Manager for the Metro New York area with JP Morgan Chase & Co. It is believed that Ferguson was also the first African American woman to head a major bank in Kentucky. For more see "Chase's promotion of Ferguson is well received," Business First, 07/29/2005 [available online]; and Thelma Ferguson in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.64-65.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration North
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Fields, Holloway, Jr.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2006
Holloway Fields, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY. In 1951, he became the first African American student to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) and from the UK College of Engineering with an electrical engineering degree. Fields was valedictorian of his 1945 graduating class at old Dunbar High School; he also was president of the student council and captain of the football team. He first enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology and then transferred to the University of Kentucky following the U.S. District Court decision forcing the University of Kentucky to become desegregated. Fields went on to become an engineer with the General Electric Company, retiring in 1991. Fields was also a World War II veteran and a resident of Syracuse, NY, where he died. Holloway Fields was the son of Holloway Sr. and Margaret Fields. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Montmullin Street at the home of Rosie Bryant, who was Holloway Fields' maternal grandmother. For more see "Holloway Fields, Jr., UK's first Black graduate, passes away," UK News, 02/28/2006 [available online]; and "First black to earn bachelor's degree from UK dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/01/2006.

See photo image and additional information at the UK College of Engineering website.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Syracuse, New York

Finn, Marvin
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2007
Marvin Finn was an internationally known urban folk artist who lived in Louisville, KY. He began making toys as a child in Clio, AL, where he lived with his family, including 12 siblings. After coming to Kentucky in 1940, he worked at various jobs, carving toys as time allowed. After his wife died in 1966, he began making toys full-time. His work was highlighted in 1985 when the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery opened in Louisville. For more see Marvin Finn: Wizard of whimsical whittling; Folk Artists Biographical Index, 1st ed., edited by G. H. Meyer; and P. Burba, "Fans flocked to his work; artist Marvin Finn dies," Louisville Courier-Journal, 01/31/2007, News section, p. 1B.


Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North
Geographic Region: Clio, Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Fisher, Lester C.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1926
Lester C. Fisher, born around 1891, was a horse groomer from Kentucky. He was employed at the Fairmont Jockey Club in Madison County, IL [source: Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. Fisher died July 16, 1926 in Collinsville, IL.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Collinsville, Illinois

Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen M.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1923
Dr. Fitzbutler graduated from the Louisville National Medical College in 1892. She was the first woman of color to earn a medical degree in Kentucky; she went on to practice medicine in Louisville with her husband, Dr. Henry Fitzbutler. Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, and after marrying Henry, the Fitzbutler family lived in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada before moving to the U.S. Sarah died in Chicago in 1923, according to her death certificate. She was the mother of Dr. Mary Fitzbutler Waring and several other children. For more see "Henry Fitzbutler: Detroit's First Black Medical Student," by L. L. Hanawalt, Detroit in Perspective: a Journal of Regional History (Winter 1973), pp. 126-140; and In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Fletcher, Theodore Thomas Fortune, Sr.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1988
T. Thomas Fortune Fletcher, Sr. was an educator and a poet. He lived for ten years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he established and was principal of Medane Alem Secondary School for boys. He was also a professor of English at the Haile Selassie First University. Fletcher was born in Nicholasville, KY, the son of Robert and Mattie B. Spillman Fletcher. T. T. F. Fletcher, Sr. earned his English and journalism graduate degree from Columbia University, and his Ph. D. from New York University. His 1945 dissertation is titled Robert Bage, a Representative Revolutionary Novelist. When Fletcher was an undergraduate at Fisk University, several of his poems, including "Night" and "White God," were published in 1927 in Ebony and Topaz: a collectanea, edited by Charles S. Johnson. His other poems were published in a number of sources including three poems in The Crisis in July of 1935: "To one who died in the spring," "Request," and "I have found beauty infinitely sad" [poems online in Google Book Search]. Fletcher was also an international traveler, he was living in New York when he arrived from France in 1928, from Italy in 1934, from Scotland in 1936, and from Egypt in 1947 [source: New York Passenger List]. Fletcher was an associate professor of English at Lincoln University in Missouri prior to his taking a special leave and sailing to Ethiopia in July of 1946, at the invitation of the Imperial Ethiopian Government. When Fletcher returned to the U.S. in 1956, he was hired as an English Professor, and would become a dean, at Cheyney State University. He retired from the school in 1974. One of his former students was newsman Ed Bradley (1941-2006). Theodore Thomas Fortune Fletcher, Sr. was the husband of Jeane Simon (1908-1997), from New York, and the father of Theodore Jr. For more see p.704 in The American Negro Reference Book by J. P. Davis; "Only sense of humor keeps Harlem Poet living, he says," Baltimore Afro-American, 01/25/1930, p.2; "Party given for principal," Baltimore Afro-American, 04/14/1951, p.10; "Sigma Gamma Rho ships to Addis Ababa," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/25/1953, p.6; and J. Nicholoson, "Theodore Fletcher, Cheyney Scholar," Philadelphia Daily News, 04/13/1988, Local section, p.71.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / New York / Missouri / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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

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

Fortson, Bettiola Heloise
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1917
Bettiola Fortson was a poet, essayist, and suffragist. She was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of James Fortson. At the age of nine, she was a boarder with the William Evans family on E. 13th Street in Hopkinsville, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. When she turned 12, she went to live with her aunt, Toreada Mallory, on Armour Avenue in Chicago, IL. When her aunt went abroad, Fortson lived with her mother, Mattie Arnold, in Evansville, IN, where she attended Clark High School. The family of four lived on Oak Street (Mattie, who was a widow, and her children Robert, Bettie, and James Jr.) [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bettiola Fortson would become a poet and was poet laureate of her high school class, she graduated in 1910, and returned to Chicago where she worked in the feather industry and owned her own millinery business. She was a journalist and president of the University Society Club, 2nd vice president of the Alpha Suffrage Club, and city organizer of the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was the author of the 1915 title Mental Pearls: original poems and essays. For more see Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer; Six Poets of Racial Uplift by E. T. Battle et. al.; Black American Writers Past and Present by T. G. Rush; and "Miss Bettiola Fortson," Broad Axe, 08/01/1914, p.2 [picture with article].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Migration North, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Evansville, Indiana

Fountain, Pierson
Birth Year : 1838
Death Year : 1910
Pierson Fountain and his family were among the earliest settlers in Harlan, Iowa, and later in Douglas, Iowa. Pierson Fountain owned 200 acres of land in Douglas, and he and his family were the only African Americans in Shelby County, Iowa. Pierson was a farmer and his wealth came from working the land. He was said to be one of the most influential men in the area. Pierson Fountain was born in Meade County, KY, the son of William and Maria Fountain according to author E. S. White [source: Past and Present of Shelby County, Iowa, v.2. by E. S. White, pp.876-877]. The family was enslaved in Kentucky and Pierson escaped to Indiana [source: The Barber and Lacey Families of Kirkman, Iowa by D. Williams]. According to author E. S. White, Pierson Fountain left Kentucky in 1861 and lived in Noblesville, IN. On May 31, 1863, Pierson Fountain enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Infantry [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records]. After his discharge from the Army, Pierson Fountain, his wife Elizabeth Ann Roberts Fountain, and their son Augustus, were living in Harlan, Iowa, with Charles Kidd [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. Charles Kidd was a white man, which may have played into the entire household being listed as white in the census. Also, author E. S. White did not mention in his book that Pierson Fountain was a black man. In the census records, 1880-1910, the Fountain family is listed as Black. In 1900, Charles Kidd was again living with the family and was listed as white in the census. Pierson and Elizabeth Fountain were the parents of four children, Augustus, Ida, Jessie, and Edward. Pierson Fountain was a member of the G. A. R. and he was a Mason. For more see "Prominent colored man," Evening World-Herald, 08/18/1910, p.3.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Meade County, Kentucky / Harlan and Douglas, Iowa

Fowler, Robert A. [Colored Railway Employees' Beneficial Association of America}
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1930
Robert A. Fowler, a Pullman Porter, was employed by the Pullman Car Company in Cincinnati, OH, according to his World War I registration card. He and his family lived at 3015 Kerper Avenue. Fowler was the founder and organizer of the Colored Railway Employees' Beneficial Association of America around 1909. The organization was incorporated in Cincinnati, Ohio. Fowler was born in Georgetown, KY, the son of William and Luella Burden Fowler. He was the husband of Laura Bell Watson Fowler, who may have been his first wife. In 1920, Robert Fowler was the husband of Ella D. Fowler (b.1877 in LA) and the father of Watson Fowler (b.1904 in KY), all according to the U.S. Federal Census. Robert Fowler died January 16, 1930, and was buried in Georgetown, KY on January 30, 1930, according to the Ohio Death Index. In the 1930 Census, Ella D. Fowler is listed as a widow with two children and still living at 3015 Kerper Avenue. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Migration North, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Francis, Lelia Iles
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1999
Lelia I. Francis was born in Salt Lick, KY. She and her husband, Charles Francis, moved to Dayton, Ohio, in 1943. In 1947, Lelia I. Francis became the first African American realtor in Ohio and the second in the United States; she was a real estate broker for more than 50 years. She also helped establish the Unity Bank and an African American mortgage company. Francis was also an activist: she was one of the marchers arrested in 1967 for a protest that attempted to get more African Americans hired in downtown stores. Lelia I. Francis was a graduate of Kentucky State University and taught in rural schools in Kentucky before moving to Ohio. For more see J. H. Smith, "Lelia Iles Francis Dies, she was the first black realtor in Ohio and fought for job opportunities and better schools," Dayton Daily News, 07/26/1999, METRO section, p. 3B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Salt Lick, Bath County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

French, John B.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1931
John B. French was a politician, activist, singer, and business owner. He was the first African American to be appointed to the Industrial Commission of Illinois. The appointment came from Governor Len Small in 1922. The Industrial Commission acted on cases received from employees who had been injured on the job and were seeking compensation, and cases presented by persons seeking compensation for family members who had been killed on the job. French was a member of the commission branch that made the final decision on the cases. During World War I, he had also served on the Chicago Housing Committee and the Committee on the high cost of food. In 1920 he was a member of the Chicago Board of Examiners, and he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for County Commissioner. French was the husband of Carrie Dennie; the couple had married in 1886 in West Bend, Kansas, while John was performing as an elocutionist with the Wilberforce Concert Company. Carrie French, educated at Oberlin College, was a soprano soloist. John French had also been a Jubilee singer, a bell boy, a shipping clerk, a caterer, the manager of Buildings and Grounds at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University], and steward at a country club. When he was named to the Industrial Commission in 1922, he was owner of a restaurant on Broadway named French's Pastry. In 1930, John French was among the group of Colored leaders in Chicago who were asked to meet with the Woolworth Company attorney, E. H. Williams. There was a problem; three of the Woolworth stores in the south side Colored district of Chicago were being picketed and boycotted. The Chicago Whip had organized the demonstration to force the Woolworth Company to hire Negro employees in the stores that were primarily supported by Negro patrons. John and Carrie French did not live on the south side--they lived at 4650 Winthrop Avenue, on the north end of Chicago. John had moved beyond Hubbard Street, where he had once lived with his family when they moved to Chicago from Kentucky just after the Civil War. John B. French, his mother, and all of his siblings were born in Kentucky. The family is listed as mulattoes in the census records beginning in 1870. John's wife, Carrie Dennie French, was born in 1862. Her mother was a Kentucky native who had migrated to Illinois, where Carrie was born. For more see "Hon. J. B. French makes record in state position," Chicago World, 10/29/1925, p. 3; "John B. French" on page 6 in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather; "The Mr. John B. French...," Cleveland Gazette, 01/09/1886, p. 1; and "Leaders hold conference with Woolworth attorney," Plaindealer, 08/29/1930, p. 1.

See photo image of John B. French at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

See photo image of Carrie Dennie French at the flickr website by puzzlemaster.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Frison, King D.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1981
Born in Alabama, Frison was a coal miner. He was the first African American member of the Benham (KY) City Council, elected in 1975 and re-elected in 1977. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 15.
Subjects: Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Benham, Harlan County, Kentucky

Fuqua, Harvey
Birth Year : 1929
Harvey Fuqua was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Lillian Fuqua. [Chicago has also been given as his birth location.] He was married to Gwen Gordy, a sister of Berry Gordy. Fuqua, who is still recording today, has had an extensive career as a singer, songwriter, record producer, talent scout, developer, and manager. He was owner of Tri-Phi Records and Harvey Records and helped develop Motown Records in Detroit, MI. He founded the Moonglows, a doo-wop group, with Bobby Lester (who was from Louisville, KY), Alexander Graves, and Prentiss Barnes; he sometimes shared the lead vocals with Lester. Fuqua and Lester had sung together in high school, and Fuqua had sung with Barnes in Cleveland when they were members of the group, Crazy Sounds, the group who would become the Moonglows. In Detroit, the Moonglows gave Marvin Gaye his start, and Fuqua helped produce the song "Sexual Healing" plus a number of other songs by other artists [Gaye's father was from KY]. The Moonglows were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He served as the road manager for Smokey Robinson and is credited with discovering Sylvester, for whom he produced the single "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)." Fuqua left Motown for RCA Records in the early 1970s. This entry was suggested by Tiffany Bowman, a family member of Harvey Fuqua's who lives in Louisville, KY. For more see Harvey Fuqua, a Wikipedia entry; Fuqua performing "Don't Be Afraid of Love" on YouTube; the Harvey Fuqua entry in The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd. ed., edited by C. Larkin; Notable Black American Men, Book II, by J. C. Smith; and Encyclopedia of Rock, by P. Hardy, et al.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

Gaines, Harris B., Sr.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1964
Born in Henderson, KY, Gaines was Assistant State's Attorney in Cook County, Illinois (1925-1928) and a member of the Illinois State Legislature (1928-1935). Gaines represented the 1st District of Chicago. He was the husband of Irene Mcoy Gaines (1892-1964), and the father of Illinois State Representative Charles E. Gaines (1924-2000). The Harris B. Gaines and Irene M. Gaines Papers are held at the University of Illinois Archives. [The Social Security Death Index gives his birth date as April 6, 1888.] For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Gamble, Joseph Dunbar
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 2005
Gamble, born in Browder, KY, the son of Bessie Breckner Gamble. The family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, when Joseph was a child. Around 1960, Gamble and his mother, Bessie, were on their way to a church revival in Phoenix, Arizona, when their car broke down in New Mexico. Gamble liked the area so much that he went back to Fort Wayne, packed up his family, and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1961. He became the first African American licensed contractor in the city, sole owner of Abdullah Construction from 1967-1986, incorporating the company as Gamble, Gamble, Gamble, and Gamble Construction Company in 1986. Joseph Gamble was also president of the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP from 1962-1966, advocating for fair housing legislation. He was founder and director of the Albuquerque Afro-American Cultural Center. In 1999 he was awarded the Carnis Salisbury Humanitarian Award. For more see L. Jojola, "Contractor was Noted Civil Rights Activist," Albuquerque Journal, 06/23/2005, Obituaries section, p. D13.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Historians, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Browder, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana / Albuquerque, New Mexico

Garrett, Matt
Matt Garrett, the son of Vivian Maddox, was born in Newport, KY. He graduated from Lincoln Grant High School and West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University]. In 1970 he was the first African American to bowl a 300 game (at the Southland Bowling Alley in Flint, Michigan). Winner of the TNBA National Doubles title and TNBA All Event Title, he was inducted into the Flint Bowling Hall of Fame in 1992. For more see 2001 Award Winner at Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame, a Flint Public Library website.

 
Subjects: Bowlers and Bowling, Migration North
Geographic Region: Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Flint, Michigan

Garrison-Corbin, Patricia
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2009
Born in Louisville, KY, Patricia Garrison-Corbin was the first African American female Sloan Fellow at MIT. She was the founder, chair and chief executive officer of P. G. Corbin & Company, the first African American female-owned Wall Street financial services corporation. In 1982 she became the first African American female officer in public finance at Drexel Burnham Lambert. Patricia Garrison-Corbin died of breast cancer in October 2009, she had lived in Center City Philadelphia, PA. She was the daughter of William and Ruby Garrison, and the wife of James D. Corbin. For more see "Corbin's Key to Success," The Bond Buyer, 10/31/02; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; and J. F. Morrison, "Patricia G. Corbin, financial whiz, dies at 62," Philadelphia Daily News, 10/21/2009, Local section, p.26.

See photo image of Patricia Garrison-Corbin and additional information at WKU website.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gaunt, Wheeling [or Whelan]
Birth Year : 1812
Death Year : 1894
Wheeling Gaunt was a slave born in Carrollton, KY, the son of a white merchant and a slave mother who was sold down South when Gaunt was a small child. Gaunt bought his freedom from lawyer John F. Gaunt in 1845 for $900, and he also bought his wife, Amanda Smith Knight (b.1821), and his brother, Nick. Wheeling Gaunt and his family moved to Yellow Springs, OH, where he became a wealthy man. Prior to his death, he donated nine acres of land to the city with the stipulation that the income from the land be used to distribute 25 pounds of flour to Yellow Springs' widows at Christmas. In the 1950s the amount of flour was decreased and the widows receive 10 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of sugar. The tradition has continued for more than a century. For more see S. Deal, "Wheeling Gaunt: our remarkable patron. What we know. What we think" [.pdf], 03/17/2005; "Widows the benefactors of century-old tradition," by CNN interactive, December 1996; and "Ex-slave honors widows from grave," The Cincinnati Post, 12/17/1996, News section, p. 45A.

See photo image of Wheeling Gaunt in the Ohio Memory Collection online.
 
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Yellow Springs, Ohio

Gavlin, Chrystel L. C.
Birth Year : 1968
Chrystel Gavlin is a 1986 graduate of Jessamine County High School in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, in 1990 and graduated from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1996. She was the Assistant State's Attorney for Dupage County in Wheaton, IL, the second African American to hold that post. In 2001, Gavlin opened her own law practice in Joliet, IL. For more see "February is Black History Month," The Jessamine Journal, 02/23/2006, p. A8.

See photo image of Chrystel Gavlin, Board of Trustees at the University of St. Francis website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Joliet, Illinois

Gaylord, Harry A.
Birth Year : 1967
Over more than a century, Harry A. Gaylord was one of the very few African American Kentuckians to become a law librarian; the first was Issac E. Black in 1869. Gaylord, born in Concord, NC, was reared in Lexington, KY, the son of librarian and Kentucky native Ruth B. Gaylord and the late Harry Gaylord. He is a graduate of Lafayette High School (in Lexington) and the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned a B.A. in architecture. Finding that the architecture market was on a downswing, Gaylord took a job as a library assistant at a Chicago law firm. After four years of doing legal research (1991-1996), he earned his M.S. in Library Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1997 and was immediately hired as a librarian with the Supreme Court of Illinois in Springfield, IL. Gaylord is presently the librarian at BTSB Bookstore in Jacksonville, IL. Gaylord is an active member of the African American Librarians of Springfield. He is author of several articles in Online Information Review and the tribute "Classie Murray had great career at library," Springfield State Journal-Register (3/20/2007), Editorial section, p. 7. A survey of African American Law Librarians is included in Celebrating Diversity: a legacy of minority leadership in the American Association of law libraries, by C. A. Nicholson, R. J. Hill, and V. E. Garces (2006). Information provided by Harry A. Gaylord and Ruth B. Gaylord.

See photo image of Harry Gaylord at the BTSB Bookstore website.
Subjects: Architects, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Concord, North Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago and Springfield, Illinois

Gibbons, Harriet
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 1992
Harriet Gibbons was born in Louisville, KY. A graduate of Kentucky State University and the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY, she taught black history at Albany High School, and in 1974 was named principal of the alternative high school, Street Academy, both in Albany, NY. Gibbons was selected to fill a vacancy on the city school board and in 1979 became the first African American woman elected to the post, remaining on the board for ten years. Also in 1979, Gibbons was named director of the Office of Equal Opportunity for the city of Albany, staying with the job till 1985. She next became director of the Affirmative Action Office at the New York Department of Health, retiring from the position in 1989. She had also been a caseworker with the Albany County Department of Social Services and was the first African American woman to head a city agency, the Albany (NY) YWCA. After her death in 1992, the Street Academy was renamed Harriet Gibbons High School. The school closed in 2010. In 2012, Harriet Gibbons was posthumously inducted into the Albany City School District Hall of Fame. For more see R. Wexler, "Harriet Gibbons, 68, Former Director of Albany Agency," The Times Union, 04/21/1992, Local section, p. B7.

See photo image and additional information about Harriet Gibbons in the article by C. Miller, "Keeping my promise...and then some," 06/28/2012, at timesunion.com.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Board of Education, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Albany, New York

Gibbs, Clinton
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1970
Clinton Gibbs was one of the musical leaders in Cincinnati, OH, who prepared the chorus each year for the June Festival for Negro Music [The Enquirer, 02/20/2005, p. D1, by J. Gelfand]. The event was an outdoor choral festival that was held in Cincinnati for almost two decades, starting in 1938. Clinton Gibbs was born in Petersburg, KY, the son of Frances Christopher Gibbs and James Gibbs. The family moved to Cincinnati and lived on Wayne Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Francis was a widow who did laundry to help support the family of five. Clinton Gibbs studied piano at Holderoach College, and he studied organ under Prower Symon. Clinton Gibbs also gave private piano lessons at his home and taught piano classes at Douglass School. He was on the faculty of the Lillian Aldrich Thayer Settlement School of Music. He was the organist choirmaster at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and director of the Queen City Glee Club. Gibbs was secretary of the True American Lodge No. 2 F. & A. M. and belonged to the King Solomon Consistory No. 20 Scottish Rite. He directed the Cincinnati Masonic Chorus at the 100th Annual Communication of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio [source: The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio, 1849-1960, by C. H. Wesley, chapter 14]. He was vice president of the Cincinnati division of the National Association of Negro Musicians. Clinton Gibb's birth year in the census records ranges from 1891-1893. According to his World War I draft registration card, he was born August 7, 1893, and he had had a hip disease that left one of his legs shorter than the other. His World War II draft registration card gives his birthday as August 7, 1892. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and p. 24 in the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Petersburg, Boone County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Gillard, Howard Harvey
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1971
Howard Gillard was born in Falmouth, KY, the son of Belle and Edward Gillard. The family was living in Milford, OH, in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Howard Gillard became a lawyer. His office was located at 265 1/2 S. High Street in Columbus, OH. He served as the receptionist and assistant secretary to governors of Ohio. In 1906, Gillard was appointed Messenger in the Ohio Executive Department and was still at that post in 1919. He was also a special writer for the Sunday Dispatch (Ohio). For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Journal of the Senate of the...General Assembly of the State of Ohio [full-text available via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Columbus and Milford, Ohio

Givens, Mrs. Fanny Rosalind Hicks and James Edward Givens
Mrs. Fanny R. Hicks Givens was an artist, songwriter, educator, and police matron. She was born in 1872 in Chicago, IL; her parents were Kentucky natives who had migrated North. In the early 1890s, Givens was living in Louisville, KY, she was head of the art department at State University [later known as Simmons University, KY]. The art department had 23 students and their works were exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She painted a portrait of John R. Walter, Minister of Madagascar and presented it to President Harrison. The portrait was hung in the White House. In 1895, Fanny R. Hicks married James Edward Givens. James Givens was born in 1861 in Greenwood, VA, the son of Jefferson and Mary Ann Dickerson Givens. James Givens was a graduate of Harvard College. He arrived in Louisville in 1892 to become a Latin and Greek instructor at State University. He was later a Latin and English professor at Louisville Colored High School [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He was founder of New South, a weekly newspaper published in Louisville beginning in 1894. From 1898-1900, James E. Givens was the second president of the State Normal School for Colored Persons (later known as Kentucky State University) [see the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library webpage]. He was a storekeeper when he died of typhoid fever in 1910 at his home, 507 Jacob Street, in Louisville, KY, according to the Kentucky Death Records. James Givens was buried in the Eastern Cemetery in Louisville. Prior to his death, he was attended by Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee, husband to Bertha Whedbee, the first African American woman to be employed by the Louisville Police Department. In 1920, the Givens family was living on Finzer Street in Louisville, KY: Mrs. Givens, her daughter Fanny, niece Evaline Williams, and nephew James E. Givens. Mrs. Fanny R. Givens was a portrait artist, and in 1915 she attempted to raise $100,000 to build an Art Institute for the development of Negro artists. She was also a songwriter, on March 23, 1908, she had received a copyright for the words and the song titled "Hallelujah! Christ is Risen," [C 177237]. She was also chair of the Ways and Means Committee in Louisville. She sailed to Liberia, Africa, leaving from the Baltimore port aboard the ship Byron, December 10, 1921, according to her passport application. In 1923, Mrs. Givens and her daughter Fanny were missionaries for the National Baptist Convention, and were to sail to Sweden, the British Isles, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, according to their U.S. Passport. They were to leave the Port of New York on June 30, 1923, sail to their destinations aboard the Olympic, and return to the U.S. within one year. In 1930, Mrs. Givens would become one of the first African American women to be hired by the Louisville Police Department. Fanny R. Hicks Givens died of breast cancer in Louisville in 1947, according to her death certificate, she was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Mrs. Fanny R. Givens on p.202 in The Crisis, v.18, no.4, August 1919, [available at Google Book Search]; p.366 in Catalog of Copyright Entries, new series volume 3, nos 1-5, January 1908, by Library of Congress Copyright Office [available at Google Book Search]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930 by L. H. Williams; "Mrs. Fannie R. Givens" on pp.252-253 of the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr. See the James Edward Givens entry in Harvard College, Class of 1892-1896, Secretary's Report, No.11 by Harvard College [available at Google Book Search]; see "James Edward Givens" entry in Harvard College Class of 1892, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Report, 1892-1917 by Harvard College; and "Prominent Colored Educator" in The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 03/23/1910, p.1.

 


   See photo image of Fanny R. Givens at Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Great Lakes Region website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Greenwood, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Givens, Reuben, and Ruth Newby Givens Roper
Givens and Roper are the parents of actress Robin Givens, former wife of heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson, and Stephanie Givens, former professional tennis player. Both Reuben Givens and Ruth Newby Givens Roper are Lexington natives. Reuben was a star baseball and basketball player at Douglass and Lafayette High Schools. He was coached by Charles H. Livisay at Douglass. In 1962, Givens averaged 24.7 points in basketball, winning the Fayette County scoring title, but he did not receive the trophy after the sponsor backed out. He was the first African American basketball player at Lafayette; Douglass High was closed as part of the school system's integration plan. Givens graduated from Lafayette in 1964, the same year he married Ruth Newby. The family lived in New York, where Reuben Givens was tending his options as a professional basketball and baseball player. Ruth had been living in New York with her mother since her parents had divorced when she was a small child; she met Reuben while visiting family in Lexington. Reuben and Ruth Givens divorced in 1969. Reuben Givens, who still resides in New York, is the son of Betty and Dave Givens, the nephew of professional baseball player Lou Johnson, and a brother of University of Kentucky basketball player Jack Givens. For more see the Lexington Herald-Leader articles: B. Reed, "Robin Givens' dad a former Douglass High star," 10/20/1988, Sports section, p. C1, and "Robin Givens' parents are Lexington natives," 10/15/1988, Sports section, p. D17.
Subjects: Baseball, Basketball, Fathers, Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Gloucester, John
Birth Year : 1776
Death Year : 1822
John Gloucester was born a slave in Kentucky. He was a gifted singer and the first African American minister of the first African American Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Before his church was built, Gloucester would sing outside, and when a crowd had gathered, he would begin preaching. In Kentucky, Gloucester had been owned by Reverend Gideon Blackburn, a leader in the Kentucky Presbyterian denomination. When Gloucester was ordained a minister, he was given his freedom. He preached throughout the United States and abroad, raising enough money to buy the freedom of his wife and children. The family settled in Philadelphia around 1807. For more see The Negro Church. Report of a Social Study..., edited by W. E. B. DuBois [full text at UNC Library, Documenting the American South]; and A Popular History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, by J. H. Patton.

See image of John Gloucester at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Glover, Clarence E.
Birth Year : 1947
Clarence E. Glover was born in Horse Cave, KY, and played basketball and baseball at Caverna High School. He was named All-State and All-American in basketball. Glover played college basketball at Western Kentucky University and helped lead the team to the 1971 NCAA Final Four. The team lost to Villanova in double overtime, 92-89. Glover was a 6'8" forward and averaged 8.4 points per game. He was the first round, tenth pick, of the Boston Celtics in the 1971 NBA Draft, and played for one season, averaging 2.6 points per game. He played with the Hartford Capitols in the CBA (Continental Basketball Association) from 1972-1974. Clarence Glover went on to become a high school teacher, basketball coach, and a high school principal. He earned his graduate degree from Butler University, and he is a co-founder of Frenchburg Academy, an alternative school in Frenchburg, KY. He is the assistant principal of Farnsley Middle School in Louisville, KY. Clarence Glover was inducted into the 2007 WKU Athletic Hall of Fame. For more see Clarence Glover at Basketball-Reference.com; "All-Star fever hits Bowling Green" at visitbgky.com; "What the Hell Happened to...Clarence Glover?" at the celticslife website.

See photo images and video with Clarence Glover at the celticslife website.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frenchburg, Menifee County, Kentucky

Gomez, Hazel E. J. Thompson
The following information comes from In Darkness With God, by A. L. Gomez-Jefferson. The author's mother was Hazel Gomez (1891- 1983), born in Toledo, OH, the wife of Bishop Joseph Gomez (1890-1979). Bishop Gomez [or Gomes], of the AME Church, was also a civil rights leader and pioneer; he was born in Antigua. Hazel Gomez's maternal grandfather was John Dent, a slave born in Paducah, KY. John escaped from slavery by taking his master's horse and riding to Ohio, a free state, where he met and married [Mt.] Sterling, KY, native Sara Jane Grubb. The Dents had twelve children; one of their daughters, Julia Anne, was Hazel Gomez's mother. On the paternal side of her family, Hazel Gomez's grandfather, George Henry Thompson, was born in 1804 in Madagascar, an island nation off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. His birth name was Hari Orara, but it was changed when he was sold into slavery in Kentucky. He escaped and settled in Philadelphia. In 1826, he married 14 year old Eliza Elizabeth Ford, who was white, and they moved to Canada, where they had eleven children. Their son, George Thompson, was Hazel Gomez's father.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Ohio / Madagascar, Africa / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Canada

Gordon, Robert L.
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2007
Gordon was born in Lexington, KY, to Alice Gordon Williams and Roscoe Demus. He was a graduate of Edward Waters College and the College of Finger Lakes. He had been a teacher and baseball coach and also played basketball with the Harlem Astronauts. Gordon had also worked for the Ford Motor Company in labor relations and left the company to become president of his own business, Premier Personnel Placement Consultant, Inc. He was a member of President Reagan's Task Force on the Private Sector and was the former Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He was listed as one of the 100 Most Influential Blacks by Ebony magazine. Gordon was Personnel Director of the City of Highland Park, MI, before becoming City Manager of Inkster, MI. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; Robert L. Gordon in "Obituaries," Ann Arbor News, 06/15/2007, p. A13; and M. Tippen, "Former City Manager Robert Gordon dies," Journal Newspapers Online, 06/14/2007.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Highland Park and Inkster, Michigan

Gough, John
Birth Year : 1816
Death Year : 1906
Gough had been a slave in Graves County, KY; he moved to Illinois and married Kentucky native Louisa Smith. One of their children, Belle Gough Micheaux (1856-1918), was the mother of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951); Oscar was an author and later established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux see African-Americans in Motion Pictures, the Past and the Present, by Long Island University Library; and The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Grandparents, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Graves County, Kentucky / Illinois

Gough, Louisa Smith
Birth Year : 1833
Death Year : 1913
Gough, the daughter of Louis Hardin and Betty Smith, had been a slave in Graves County, KY. She later moved to Illinois and married Kentucky native John Gough in 1866. One of their children was Belle Gough Micheaux (1856-1918), mother of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951), an author who established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux see The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Graves County, Kentucky / Illinois

Gowens, Henry Lytle, Jr.
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1953
Born in Lexington, KY, Henry L. Gowens, Jr. became an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at the Mercy-Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia and served as president of the Pennsylvania Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association. He published several articles, including "Eserin in ophthalmology," Journal of Ophthalmology, Otology and Laryngology, vol. 20, 1914. He was among the first ten African Americans to become a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was the husband of Beulah E. Gowens (b.1890) from Philadelphia, PN. The couple bought a home in what had been an all white neighborhood and a suit was filed by a former owner of the home. Judge Curtis Bok of the Common Pleas Court dismissed the suit. Dr. Gowens was the son of Henry L. Gowens, Sr. Prior to his marriage, Dr. Gowens was head of his family, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The family lived on 13th Street N. in Philadelphia, PN. Henry Gowens, Sr. was a school professor; Dr. Gowens had a private medical practice; his sisters Modina and Virginia were school teachers; and his brother Willard was an artist. All of the family members were born in Kentucky. In 1920, Henry Sr. was a clerk with the U.S. Government, and he, his wife Florence, and daughter Modina were living in Washington, D.C. In 1930, Williard Gowens was also living with the family in D.C. Henry L. Gowens, Jr. was a graduate of Howard University and received his medical degree in 1908 from Hahnemann Medical College [now Drexel University College of Medicine]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; see pp.310-311 in Anyplace But Here by A. W. Bontemps and J. Conroy; and "Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr.," New York Times, 01/04/1953, p.78.

See photo image of Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr. at the "Images from the History of Medicine a the National Library of Medicine.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gragston, Arnold
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1938
Gragston was born Christmas Day on the Jack Tabb Plantation in Mason County, KY. Tabb allowed Gragston and other male slaves to visit nearby farms, and it was while Gragston was out "courtin'" that he received his first offer to become an Underground Railroad conductor by taking a pretty girl across the river to Ripley, OH, where she would be met by other conductors. That was in 1860, and for the next four years Arnold would carry slaves by boat across the Ohio River, making three or four trips a month from Dover (Mason County), KY, to Ripley. All during this time, Gragston remained in slavery, never receiving any kind of payment for helping others to freedom. His days as a conductor ended in 1864, the night he was pursued after returning to the Kentucky side of the river. He dared not return to the Tabb Plantation for fear of being caught; Gragston hid in the woods and fields, sometimes sleeping in the trees and in hay piles. The riverbank was being guarded, so Gragston waited for the right opportunity, then he and his wife slipped across the Ohio River to Ripley. They eventually moved on to Detroit, MI, where they remained as their family grew to include 10 children and 31 grandchildren. For more see Arnold Gragston in the Gutenberg EBook, Slave Narratives, vol. 3, Florida Narratives; and "Bracken County marker to honor abolitionist, slave," Kentucky Post, 06/21/2002.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Dover, Mason County, Kentucky / Ripley, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

Grainger, Porter Parrish
Birth Year : 1891
Porter P. Grainger was a prolific songwriter, a pianist and arranger, and on occasion a singer. He can be heard playing piano on records of noted musicians and singers during the 1920s and 1930s. Porter Grainger was born in Bowling Green, KY, on October 22, 1891; he and his sister Ursula were raised by their grandparents, Patience and Joseph Coleman, in Hickory Flat, Kentucky [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census, where the last name is spelled "Granger"; and World War II Draft Registration Card #2841, 1942]. Much has been written about Porter Grainger's musical career, but not much is known about his life prior to 1916. In 1908, Porter and his sister Ursula were living in Bowling Green on State Street; they were among the seven persons with the last name Granger listed on p. 122 of the Bowling Green, Ky. City Directory, 1908, vol. 1. At the time, Porter was a porter at Farnsworth & Stout. By 1912, Porter Grainger was living in Louisville, KY, working as a waiter, and in 1913, his name again spelled as "Granger," he was working as a laborer [sources: p. 518 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville, 1912; and p. 537 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville, 1913]. On November 7, 1914, Grainger, living in Chicago, married Alies Kieth [source: Cook County, Illinois, Marriage Indexes]. According to All Music Guide to the Blues, edited by V. Bogdanov, et. al., p. 206, Grainger's professional music career started as early as 1916. On his World War I Draft Registration Card #89, dated June 5, 1917, Porter Granger (he spelled his name without an "i") listed his occupation as a composer of songs in Chicago, IL. He was still living in Chicago in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1924, he was living in New York where he and Robert Ricketts were partners in Grainger & Ricketts, located at 1547 Broadway [source: p. 1010, Polk's Trow's New York, 1924-25: Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronxs, vol. 134]. Grainger & Ricketts is listed under the heading of "Music Publishers and Dealers" on p. 2727 of R. L. Polk & Co.'s 1925 Trow's New York City Classified Business Directory: Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx. Grainger also worked for Bessie Smith: in 1928 he was the musical director, composer, and arranger of her musical show, Mississippi Days. He was also the writer of her first released recording, Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness If I Do and Alberta Hunter's Downhearted Blues [source: I Went Down to St. James Infirmary, by R. W. Harwood, pp. 13-20]. Grainger published a number of musical scores and performance scripts. He worked with a number of performers, appearing on recordings such as Fats Waller and His Rhythm, 1926; Ethel Waters, 1938-1939; Edna Hicks,1923; Duke Ellington: the Beginning, 1926-1928; The Duke in Harlem, 1926; and many, many more. In 1929, he was the piano accompanist for singer Mamie Smith in the movie, Jailhouse Blues. In 1940, Porter Grainger was a boarder at the home of Viola Albury on 7th Avenue in New York City [source: U.S. Federal Census]. It is not known when Porter Grainger died; one of his last documents was his 1942 World War II Draft Registration Card. For more listen to the recording of Porter Grainger: in chronological order, 1923-1929, published by RST Records in Vienna, Austria (which has hundreds of other recordings); see the musical score 'Tain't Nobody's Bus'ness If I Do: blues, by Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, and the many other scores; De Board Meetin: the script and music, by Porter Grainger and Leigh R Whipper; and the Leigh Rollin Whipper Papers at the New York Public Library. Porter Grainger and B. Ricketts were the authors of the musical score How to Sing and Play the Blues Like the Phonograph and Stage Artists, written in 1926.

 

 
See "Mamie Smith - Jail House Blues (1929) .MPG" on YouTube.

 

 

 
Listen to radio broadcast of Billie Holiday singing "T'ain't nobody's business if I do" written by Porter Grainger & Everett Robbins.  

 

 
See photo image of Porter P. Grainger in "I Went Down to the St. James Infirmary" blog dated Monday, March 29, 2010. (see notes below)

*NOTE: Porter Parrish Grainger (also spelled as Granger) should not be confused with Percy Grainger.

*NOTE: Robert Ricketts, partner in Grainger & Ricketts, was born c. 1885 in Ohio and his parents were born in Kentucky [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. Robert Ricketts was African American and is listed as 40 years old in the 1925 New York State Census. Robert Ricketts died November 26, 1936 in Manhattan, NY [source: New York Death Certificate #25601].
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green and Hickory Flat, Warren County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York, New York

Grant, Travis "The Machine"
Birth Year : 1950
Travis Grant was born in Clayton, AL, and played basketball at Barbour County High School. He played college ball at Kentucky State University, where he led the team to three consecutive NAIA Championships: 1970, 1971, and 1972. He led the team in scoring his freshman year in 1969. The teams were coached by Lucias Mitchell. ESPN journalist Mary Buckheit referred to Grant as the "most prolific scorer in college basketball history." Grant has won a number of awards and holds the NCAA All-Divisions all-time record for field goals in a career (1,760). He also held NAIA records for Career Points Average (33.4) and is fourth on the NCAA All-Divisions list for total points in a season with 1,304 points. He is 11th for single-season average with 39.5 points in 1972. In a game against Northwood, Travis Grant scored 75 points. He was selected first round, 13th pick, by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1972 NBA Draft. Grant played for four seasons in both the NBA and the ABA, averaging 15.7 points per game. During the 1973-74 season, he averaged 25.2 points per game while playing for the San Diego Conquistadors. in 2009, Travis Grant was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City, MO. After his basketball career, Grant became a high school teacher and coach, and in 2008 was an assistant principal and athletic director at Stephenson High School in Atlanta, GA. For additional information see "College basketball's all-time scorer lives in obscurity," by M. Buckheit, 02/22/08, at ESPN.com [available online]; Travis Grant at Lakers.com; M. Story, "A man, a machine and a champion - in 1971, KSU's Grant played on arguably the best team in KY," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/26/2009, Sports section, p. B2; and Travis Grant in Basketball, by D. L. Porter. This entry was submitted by Lacy L. Rice, Jr.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Clayton, Alabama / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Green, Emma Cason
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1983
Green, born in North Middletown, KY, was the daughter of James and Rebecca Cason. Her husband was Charles Green, also from Bourbon County. Emma Cason Green attended Kentucky Classical and Business College in North Middletown and later moved to Indiana. A dressmaker who also wrote poetry, she had some of her poems published in Attempting to Express My Thoughts, compiled by J. Curtis. She also wrote the History of the Second Christian Church, North Middletown, Ky. Emma Cason Green has a headstone in the Prescott Pike Cemetery in North Middletown, KY, that gives her birth year as 1886. The Emma Cason Green Papers are housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see "Emma Cason Green" in Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indiana

Green, Nancy
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1923
Born a slave in Montgomery County, KY, Nancy Green was the world's first living trademark: she was the original "Aunt Jemima." It has been said that Green did not develop the pancake mix, while an article in the Negro Star newspaper states that a milling company in St. Louis obtained the pancake recipe from Green, but there are no details as to the agreement [source: "Mrs. Nancy Green of "Aunt Jemima" fame, is dead," Negro Star, 09/14/1923, p.1]. Nancy Green did not own the pancake company. Green was first introduced as Aunt Jemima at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She received a lifetime contract and traveled all over the country promoting Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix until her death in 1923. The pancake company was sold to the Quaker Oats Company in 1925. The image of Aunt Jemima on the pancake box continued. During the 1950s, there was outspoken criticism. Since that time the image has received a number of upgrades. Nancy Green left Kentucky for Chicago when she was hired as a nurse for the Walker family whose children grew up to become Chicago Circuit Judge Charles M. Walker and Dr. Samuel Walker. Green was the first African American missionary worker and an organizer of the Olivet Baptist Church, one of the largest African American churches in Chicago. She died in a car accident in 1923. For more see Nancy Green, the original "Aunt Jemima", an African American Registry website; Notable Black American Women. Book III, ed. by J. C. Smith; and "Aunt Jemima, victim of auto," Urbana Daily Courier, 10/27/1923, p. 7 [full-text of article in Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection].


 
  See image of Nancy Green as Aunt Jemima at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Nurses
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

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

Griffin, Edna
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2000
Edna Griffin, born in Kentucky and reared in New Hampshire, later moved to Des Moines, Iowa. In 1948 she was refused an ice cream cone in the Katz Drug Store because they did not serve African Americans. Griffin led sit-ins, picketed the drug store, and sued the store owner. She won her civil case and was awarded $1. Griffin went on to found the Iowa Congress for Racial Equality and participated in the March on Washington in 1963. For more see T. Longden, "Edna Griffin," Des Moines Register, 01/28/2001, Metro Iowa Famous Iowans section, p. 1B; and Edna Griffin Papers, a University of Iowa website.

See photo image and additional information about Edna Griffin at "Famous Des Moines Citizens: Edna Griffin, 11/06/2008, at the Living Downtown Des Moines website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Migration West, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New Hampshire / Des Moines, Iowa

Griffin, Mabel and Emma [The Griffin Sisters]
Mabel (born around 1870) and Emma (1873-1918) Griffin were born in Louisville, KY. They were the highly popular vaudeville performers known as the Griffin Sisters who toured throughout the United States, including Alaska, the western tour to California and back, and the southern tour that included Kentucky. They began performing as members of John Isham's Octoroons Company and toured with several other companies before organizing their own theater booking agency in 1913 in Chicago. They had been considered premiere performers and broke theater attendance records while with the Sherman H. Dudley agency, created in 1912 as the first African American operated vaudeville circuit. The Griffin Agency was one of the earliest to be managed by African American women, and they also had a school of vaudeville art. Emma Griffin encourage African American performers to use either the Dudley Agency or the Griffin Agency. The sisters also opened the Alamon Theater in Indianapolis, IN, in April of 1914. They managed the Majestic Theater in Washington, D.C. in June of 1914. The sisters were listed as mulattoes, along with their brother Henry, who was a musician, and their grandmother Mary Montgomery, all in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census when the family lived in Chicago. For more see "The Griffin Sisters" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern; A. Knight, "He paved the way for T.O.B.A.," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 15, issue 2, pp. 153-181; the ad "S. H. Dudley: The Griffin Sisters," Freeman, 03/08/1913, p.5; see the ad "Griffin Sisters Theatrical Agency," Freeman, 12/20/1913, p.6; see ad "Griffin Sisters Theatrical Agency and School of Vaudeville Art," Broad Axe, 02/07/1914, p.3; "Griffin Sisters open the Alamo," Freeman, 04/25/1914, p.1; "Majestic Theater," Washington Bee, 05/30/1914, p.5; and "Emma Griffin dead," Washington Bee, 09/14/1918, p.4.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Washington, D. C.

Gulley, Rosemarie C.
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 1994
Rosemarie C. Gulley, born in Louisville, KY, was the first woman and the youngest person to become executive director of the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI). The organization was formed in 1942, and encouraged African Americans living in the inner city to vote in regional and state elections. Gulley joined the Chicago staff of IVI in 1965, and advanced to executive director, 1969-1972. She had moved with her family from Louisville to Chicago in 1956. Gulley was a graduate of Roosevelt University. Following her years with IVI, in 1972 she became one of the first African American television reporters in Chicago; Gulley was the consumer and education reporter at WLS-TV until 1979. She was co-host of the television talk show Feminine Franchise and was later named director of community relations. The Feminine Franchise was produced by Theresa Gutierrez, who was also the other co-host of the series. The program was the first weekly feminist television program. Both Gutierrez and Gulley were pioneers in television; Gutierrez was one of the first Hispanic women in television journalism. Gulley left WLS-TV in 1985 to become director of media relations at the Chicago Transit Authority. Rosemarie Gulley was the daughter of Marie S. and Ernest Lee Gulley, Sr. For more see the [Rosemary] C. Gulley entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather; B. Austin, "Rosemarie Gulley - the girl scout promise? I still take it very seriously," Chicago Tribune, 04/19/1987, p.3; and "CTA media director Rosemarie Gulley," Chicago Tribune, 06/24/1994. For more on Theresa Gutierrez see her entry in Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975 edited by B. J. Love.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Television, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Hall, George Edgar
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1931
Born in Greenville, KY, Hall was YMCA Secretary in Washington D. C. in 1918, according to his passport application. He was appointed Assistant District Attorney of New York County, NY, in 1929. Hall was the son of James Henderson Hall and Lizzie Elliot Hall. He was a 1921 graduate of Howard University with a Bachelors of Law. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and George Edgar Hall entry in the catalogue of the Howard University Bulletin, vol.1, issue 1, June 1921, p.250 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / New York

Hall, Leula Wallace
Birth Year : 1939
Leula Wallace Hall is an educator, administrator, minister, former high school basketball coach, and former jazz singer. She was born in the coal camp town of Valles Creek [now Hartwell] in McDowell County, WV. She is the oldest child of the late Bonnie Goddard Wallace and Theodore Wallace Sr. The family moved from West Virginia to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Lexington, KY, where Leula Hall attended old Dunbar High School. She learned to sing in church, and was a professional jazz singer. Her stage name was Toni Wallace. She sang with the local group known as The House Rockers. She also sang with the Eugene Barr Trio, and she was an Ikette, singing with Ike and Tina Turner. She was one of the backup singers on the 1963 single release of Tina's Dilemma. Leula Hall came back to Lexington, KY, when her singing career ended. She went back to Dunbar High School and graduated in 1965, nine years after her classmates. She enrolled at Transylvania University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 1973, and began teaching social studies at Lafayette High School. She was also the basketball coach for the girls' team. She coached the team a year before Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 went into effect in Lexington schools. Leula Hall had also coached a girls' community basketball team, the team members were her daughter and her daughter's friends. The team did not have a name. Opponents were teams such as the Transylvania women's team, the Sayre School team, and a girls team from Ashland, KY. Leula Hall had played basketball in Alabama when she stayed with her grandmother. In Lexington, she was a player/coach once; she dressed out with her community team during a game against Sayre School when foul trouble left her with only four players on the floor. In addition to coaching and teaching at Lafayette High School, Leula Hall continued her education and earned her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. In 1975, she moved with her husband to Detroit, MI, and earned her Ph.D. in educational sociology at Wayne State University. She earned a second doctorate in pastoral counseling. While in Detroit, Leula Hall was director of an after school leadership program for high school students in the Region One Student Resource Center, it was a federally funded program. All of her students graduated from high school. Hall was next a school community agent with the city school system, she was a liaison between the school and the community, and would become an assistant director, then a director of Area E (formerly Region 6) in 1984. The area included 42 schools with students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Hall's duties included fund raising and helping to convince the community to pass property taxes (millage elections) to pay for the schools. In 1991, Leula Hall became director of Adult Education in the Detroit City School System. She was the lead researcher, and later director, of the African Heritage Cultural Center's exhibit and display. The event drew up to 80,000 visitors. Leula Hall also established the Christ Church Christian Disciples Ministry at 18336 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MI. In 2001, she retired, closed her church, and returned to Lexington. She has taught part-time at Kentucky State University. Leula Hall is the mother of three children, Ronald, Daryl, and Candyce. Her daughter Candyce Edwards was also a professional singer with the group "Al Hudson and One Way." The group had five top ten hits, and the biggest hit was the song Cutie Pie, which reached #4 on the R&B Charts in 1982. Information for this entry comes from the Leula Wallace interviews that are housed in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. The interviews are restricted. Leula Wallace Hall is the sister of Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. and Thomas C. Wallace. See also An analysis of the local school principals and local school-community relations committee members' perceptions of the influence of community-relations members in decision-making policies at the local school level in Region Five, Detroit Public Schools by Leula Wallace Clark; and "Praise revival for women starts tonight," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/07/1997, p.15.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Leula Wallace Hall oral history interviews at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.

See image and listen to recording of Tina's Dilemma.

See image and listen to recording of Cutie Pie.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: [Valles Creek] Hartwell, McDowell County, West Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Hall, Lillian Childress
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Lillian C. Hall became the first African American librarian in Indiana and, in 1915, the first admitted to the Indiana State Library School. She was the librarian at the Cherry Street Branch Library in Evansville (1915-1921), the Dunbar Branch Library in Indianapolis (1921-1927), and the Attucks Branch Library, beginning in 1927. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Who's Who in Library Service. A biographical directory of professional librarians of the United States and Canada, 3rd ed., edited by D. E. Cole.

*The following update was provided by Michele Fenton.

Lillian Childress Hall retired from Attucks in 1956. She passed away on April 23, 1958 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, also in Indianapolis. She was the mother of William H. Childress, Jr. (her son with her first husband, William Childress). William H. Childress, Jr. served in the Kentucky General Assembly. Sources: Indianapolis Star, April 25, 1958, p. 23 ("Mrs. Hall Succumbs; Ex-Attucks Librarian); Library Journal, v. 83, no. 12, p. 1895; Who's Who in Colored America (1950).
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Evansville and Indianapolis, Indiana

Halliburton, Cecil D.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1956
Halliburton was born in Hickman, KY, the son of George T. and Mattie Halliburton, and he was the husband of Mary Jane Adams Halliburton. A social scientist and journalist, Cecil Halliburton received his A.B. degree from Lincoln University in 1923, attended graduate school at the New York School of Social Work in 1930, and earned an M A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1933. He was a member of the social science department at St. Augustine's College from 1930-1950. He became President of Voorhees School and Junior College in 1950. He is the author of History of St. Augustine's College (1937) and served as editor and columnist with the Carolinian (NC) and the Philadelphia Tribune. Cecil Halliburton died in Nashville, TN, in 1956. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Migration South
Geographic Region: Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Halliday, Thelma Dorothy Yancey
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Thelma Dorothy Yancey was one of the first African Americans in Kentucky to earn a library college degree. She was born in Great Falls, Montana on October 12, 1912 and moved to Lexington, KY after her father became ill. She attended Chandler School and Lincoln Institute in Kentucky. She later attended Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University] and went to Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] where she received her Bachelor's in Library Science in 1938. She was one of the school's first library graduates from Kentucky [source: Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones, p.83]. Prior to receiving her library degree, she was an assistant librarian at Kentucky State Industrial College [Kentucky State University], and read a paper, "Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind and the Negro," during the 1937 Annual KNEA Librarians' and Teacher-Librarians' Conference in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, v.8, no.1, p.21]. Thelma Yancey was employed as a librarian in Pine Bluffs, Alabama. She was later librarian at Dunbar High School up to 1955 or 1956. She married Neil Lilburn Halliday Sr. (formerly of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) and had two children - Antoinette "Toni" and Neil Jr. Neil Halliday was a mail carrier in Lexington, KY. When her husband got a job with the US Postal Service in Washington, D.C., the family moved to D.C. Thelma D. Yancey Halliday was librarian at Anacostia High School and Cardoza High School in D.C. She was later employed by Howard University, where she was in the reference department under Maurice Thomas and head librarian Dr. Paul Reason. She later accepted a position setting up the library for the Small Business Development Center under Dr. Wilfred White, and the library became part of the Howard University School of Business. She received her Masters Degree in Library Science from Catholic University. She retired from Howard University, and remained an active member of the American Library Association after her retirement. She was a golden soror of Delta Sigma Theta. She was author of the annotated bibliography The Negro in Business and the title City Directories of Black Businesses: a list, and was editor of Against the Tide by Ann Heartwell Hunter, the book is a history of Kentucky and Kentucky State University. Thelma D. Yancey Halliday was the granddaughter of Jordan Carlisle Jackson Jr. and E. Belle Mitchell Jackson; the daughter of Charles H. Yancey and Minnie Carlisle Jackson Yancey; and the sister of Sadie Mae Yancey and Myrtle Yancey Mitchell. This entry was submitted by Toni H. Schooler, daughter of Thelma D. Yancey Halliday.
Subjects: Authors, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Postal Service, Migration East
Geographic Region: Great Falls, Montana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Hamilton, Robin and Ramey Hensley (siblings)
Robin and Ramey Hamilton were sister and brother, and both were educators from Mt. Sterling, KY. Robin Hamilton (1896-1975) was a long time school teacher in the Mt. Sterling colored schools. She also wrote the Colored Notes column in the Mt. Sterling Advocate [source: "Colored Notes (by Robin Hamilton)," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/08/1918, p.4]. During the early years of her teaching career, she served as secretary of the 1917 School Institute for Colored Teachers [source: Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/04/1917, p.8]. In 1921, she married Fountain Davis, a plasterer [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. Robin Hamilton Davis continued teaching and was supervisor of domestic arts at the Montgomery County Training School [source: KNEA Journal, 1933, v.3, no.3, p.13]. She would later become  principal of the school, and in 1948 she represented the school as a member of the Educational Research Committee of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association [source: Montgomery County, Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974 by S. A. Harris, p.18; and KNEA Journal, 1948, v.20, no.1, p.18]. Robin Hamilton Davis died in Detroit, MI, January 15, 1975 [source: Social Security Death Index]. Her brother Ramey H. Hamilton (1900-1940) was the first principal of the DuBois School in Mt. Sterling, KY [source: Montgomery County, Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974 by S. A. Harris, p.17]. He was the principal until shortly before his death on October 22, 1940. He died at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate #23239]. Ramey H. Hamilton received his education at Lincoln Institute, he was there in 1918 when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card [see also, "Mr. Ramey Hamilton..." in Colored Notes, Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/15/1918, p.4]. Ramey H. Hamilton would become a teacher at Lincoln Institute [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 22-25, 1925, p.60]. By 1930, he was married to Marietta Gibson Hamilton, they had a 2 year old daughter named Robin Frances Hamilton, who was born in Kentucky [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived in Okmulgee, OK, where Ramey was a teacher in the public schools. When the DuBois School opened in Mt. Sterling, KY, in 1936, Ramey H. Hamilton was hired as the school principal. Both Robin and Ramey Hamilton were born in Mt. Sterling, KY, they were the children of Bertha Mack Hamilton and Benjamin G. Hamilton. The family lived in Harts in 1910 and in Smithville in 1920, both locations are in Montgomery County [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Their father, Benjamin Hamilton (1876-1951), supported his family as a carpenter and a plumber who owned his own shop. He was an elections officer in 1904 [source: "Elections Officers," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/21/04, p.6]. See also African American Schools in Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County, KY. This entry was suggested by Charles Jones of Mt. Sterling, KY. 

For more on Benjamin Grant Hamilton see the rootsweb page by his grandson Freeman Grant Chambers.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Harts and Smithville, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Okmulgee, Oklahoma / Detroit, Michigan

Hampton, Kym
Birth Year : 1962
Born in Louisville, KY, Kym Hampton graduated from Iroquois High School in 1980, where she was a basketball and track star. She played college ball at Arizona State University, scoring over 2,000 points and setting eight career records, graduating in 1984 with a degree in theatre. She was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame in 1989. She is also ninth on the NCAA's all-time career rebounds list. Hampton played professional basketball outside the U.S. for 13 years, and during her final year with the Italian League in 1996, was the leading rebounder. The WNBA team, New York Liberty, signed Hampton during the Elite Draft in 1997; she was the first African American player from Kentucky in the WNBA. The New York Liberty team was runner-up in the finals against the Houston Comets in the 1997 and 1999 WNBA Championship games. Hampton retired from the league in 1999 after a knee injury, taking her career in other directions with modeling, acting, the music business, basketball camps, and public speaking. In 2005 she was inducted into the Dawahares'/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. For more see J. Demling, "Hall of Famer Hampton finds there's a spotlight after basketball," Courier Journal, 03/16/2005.

See photo image of Kym Hampton at the Diamond and Company website.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Migration West, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona / Italy, Europe / New York

Handy, Elizabeth P.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1937
Elizabeth Virginia Price Handy was born in Henderson, KY, the daughter of Jim and Betty Price. She wrote poetry but was never published. She was the first wife of blues composer and musician William C. (W. C.) Handy (1873-1958), with whom she had six children: Lucille, William Jr., Katherine, Florence, Elizabeth, and Wyer. Elizabeth Handy died in New York City. Hours before her death, she had been taken by ambulance to the Knickerbocker Hospital on March 11, 1937; she was suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Because she was African American, she had to wait outside in the ambulance for 55 minutes, while her husband W. C. Handy, and her physician, Dr. Farrow R. Allen, tried to get her admitted. The admitting clerk had informed them that Negroes were not admitted to the private ward. W. C. Handy had to pay $63 before Elizabeth was admitted [the usual charge was $6 per day]. Elizabeth Handy died two hours after she was admitted to the hospital. The New York NAACP, led by Roy Wilkins, assistant secretary, requested that New York Mayor LaGuardia investigate the Knickerbocker Hospital policies concerning Negro patients. Walter Mezger, superintendent of the hospital, told the media that the hospital did not discriminate toward Colored patients; the discrimination that had taken place was that of the admitting clerk, a long time employee who had used bad judgment and had since been transferred from the hospital. For more see The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, by M. Arnett; and "Hospital accused by Negro society," The New York Times, 03/27/1937, p.30.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers, Poets, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / New York, New York

Happy, Jesse
Immediately after the first race riot in Canada, a reaction to the attempted return of runaway slave Solomon Moseby to the United States, the Canadian government received a request in 1837 for the extradition of another Kentucky escaped slave, Jesse Happy. Happy had escaped four years earlier, and the horse that he had ridden away on had been left on the U.S. side of the border. Happy had written his former master, David Castleman of Fayette County, telling him where to find the horse. In the U.S., stealing, in this particular case horse-stealing, was considered a serious enough offense for Happy to be returned to Kentucky. But that was not so in Canada; the matter was forwarded to the Law Officers of the Crown in London, England: "Since slavery did not exist in Canada the crime of escape could not exist there and the use of the horse in Happy's case had been to effect escape and not for theft." Happy was not extradited to Kentucky and remained free in Canada. No other extradition requests for runaway slaves were made to Canada until after the Ashburton Treaty (1842) was settled between Britain and the U.S. For more see pp. 170-171 in The Blacks in Canada: a history, 2nd ed., by R. W. Winks; W. R. Riddle, "The Fugitive Slave in Upper Canada," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 3 (July 1920), pp. 340-358; J. M. Leask, "Jesse Happy: a fugitive slave from Kentucky," Ontario History, vol. 54, issue 2 (1962), pp. 87-98; and J. H. Silverman, "Kentucky, Canada, and Extradition: the Jesse Happy case," The Filson Club History Quarterly, vol. 54 (1980), pp. 50-60.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Canada / London, England, Europe

Hardin, Boniface
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 2012
Born in Louisville, KY, Boniface Hardin grew up in Bardstown, KY, and Indianapolis, IN. He became a Benedictine monk in 1953. He established Martin College in 1977 [now Martin University], to educate low income minority adults. The school, which has existed for more than 30 years, started with just two students; today Martin University has about 1,600 students. The school is the only predominately Black university in Indiana. Hardin has also been an outspoken advocate for civil rights. In 2002, Hardin, who speaks 16 languages, was named International Citizen of the Year by the International Center of Indianapolis. For more see the 1983 Boniface Hardin interview in the People of Indianapolis collection at Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory; and B. Harris, "Award honors global vision - International Center to recognize founder and longtime leader of Martin University," The Indianapolis Star, 11/14/2002, City State; Biography section, p. B03.

See photo image of Rev. Boniface Hardin at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Harlan, Robert J.
Birth Year : 1816
Death Year : 1897
Robert J. Harlan was born in Harrodsburg, KY, child of a slave mother and Judge James Harlan (father of John M. Harlan - Plessy v. Ferguson). He was the second American to own and race horses in England. He lost his wealth during the Civil War. Harlan spoke out for the ratification of the 15th Amendment. He was a member of the Ohio Legislature and worked with two others to gain the repeal of the Black laws. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.

  See photo image and additional information on Robert J. Harlan at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / England, Europe / Ohio

Harlem Race Track Employees from Kentucky
Start Year : 1894
End Year : 1904
Initially named the Harlem Jockey Club, the track was located in the Village of Harlem, Proviso Township, suburb of Chicago, IL. It was later known as the Harlem Race Track in Forest Park, located near 12th and Hannah Streets. Harlem was a community of 15 houses in 1866, and was incorporated as a village in 1884. The population in 1900 was 4,085. The horse race track operated 1894-1904; it was established by gamblers George Hankins and John Condon. One of the early African American residents of Proviso Township was William Robenson (b.1840 in KY), a hotel cook. By 1900, practically all of the African Americans from Kentucky, who lived in the Proviso Township, were employed at the Harlem Race Track. Below are some of their names and occupations.

Source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census

Cooks

  • Marvin Blair (b.1877)
  • John McGorman [or McGowan] (b.1876)
  • John Young (b.1858)
Grooms

  • Albert Bell (b.1875)
  • Alis Calarneys (b.1874)
  • Hy Carrington (b.1860)
  • Casper Cash (b.1867)
  • M. Dudley (b.1872)
  • John Griffen (b.1869)
  • William Hanson (b.1876)
  • C. Jackson (b.1878)
  • Milt Kennedy (b.1862)
  • Isaac Lewis (b.1867)
  • J. Madison (b.1878)
  • William Mason (b.1874)
  • John C. Smith (b.1875)
  • John Stepp (b.1873)
  • W. Wells (b.1881)
Jockeys
Stable Boys
  • E. Anderson (b.1882)
  • William Crow (b.1880)
  • George Green (b.1883)
  • Sam Kennedy (b.1880)
  • Steve Porter (b.1884)
  • S. Porter (b.1884)
Trainers

  • William Reid (b.1869)
  • Charles Gather (b.1858)
Horse racing was banned in Chicago in 1905, and the Harlem Race Track was used for auto racing.

For more about Harlem see the enty in Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, v.1 by N. Bateman and P. Selby [available at Google Book Search]; and History of Cook County, Illinois, v.2 edited by W. A. Goodspeed and D. D. Healy [available at Google Book Search]. For more about the race track see "Horse Racing" in the Encyclopedia of Chicago [online]. See photo of men riding horses at Harlem Race Track at American Memory.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Village of Harlem, Proviso Township, Chicago, Illinois

Harmon, Martha
Birth Year : 1841
In 1911, Martha Harmon, a widow, held the distinction of being the oldest student in the public schools in the state of New York. The board of education awarded Harmon two gold medals, one for the accomplishments of her studies, and the second for her attendance record. She had been born a slave in Kentucky. She lived at 198 W. 134th Street with her widowed daughter Mary O. Watson (b.1863 in KY) and her grandson Arthur Harmon, and two lodgers, one of whom was Richard McPherson (1883-1994), aka Cecil Mack, a lyricist and music publisher from North Carolina. For four years Harmon had attended public night school no. 157 at 125th Street and Manhattan Avenue. The school was in session from October to April of each year. Harmon walked to school each day, never missed a class, and was late only once. She had moved from Kentucky to Dayton, OH, where she spent most of her adult life before moving to New York. For more see Martha Harmon in "Items of race interest," The Freeman, 05/06/1911, p.2; and "70 years old she wins two medals," Cleveland Gazette, 06/24/1911, p.1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / New York

Harris, Emma E. "The Mammy of Moscow"
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1937
Harris, an actress and singer, told others that she was from Kentucky, but she gave Augusta, GA as her birth place on her 1901 U.S. Passport Application. She was to return to the U.S. in two years, but Harris lived much of her life in Moscow, Russia. She left the U.S. from Brooklyn, NY, where she had been a church choir director. She left with the "Louisiana Amazon Guards [or Gods]", a six-woman theater troupe, with a seventh woman as a reserve. The group toured Germany. Harris later became a member of the "Six Creole Belles" [which may have been the same group under a different name and management]; they toured Poland and Russia before disbanding, and all but two members returned to the U.S. in 1905 because of the revolutions taking place in Russia. Harris then formed the "Emma Harris Trio," a singing group that continued performing in various European cities. Years later, the trio broke up and Harris was stuck in Siberia, where she taught English for a living before returning to performing as a concert soloist in Russia. Harris had studied voice at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She also served as a nurse in the Ukraine during the Civil War, worked with the American Relief Association, and later was a speaker for the International Red Aid. Harris remained in Moscow with her husband and manager, Ivanovitch Mizikin. She knew Stalin and was a friend of Maxim Gorky's. She spoke fluent Russian and gave speeches against the Scottsboro Boys case when she was over 60 years old. Harris was also an excellent cook of culturally diverse meals and liked to entertain; she had many connections for getting food during the period when food was rationed in Moscow. Harris returned to the U.S. in 1933 and died in Brooklyn in 1937. For more see "The Mammy of Moscow" in The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, vol. 9: Essays on Art, Race, Politics, and World Affairs, by L. Hughes, et al.; and R. E. Lotz, "The Louisiana Troupes in Europe," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 11, issue 2 (Autumn 1938), pp. 133-142.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Nurses, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Augusta, Georgia / Moscow, Russia, Europe / Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Harris, Kevin L.
Birth Year : 1975
Kevin Harris was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Margaret Jones and the late John L. Harris, both from Paris, KY. Kevin Harris is a jazz pianist who plays contemporary and traditional music. He has been featured on National Public Radio's Jazz with Eric in the Evening [WGBH Jazz and Blues streams] and was invited by the mayor of New Orleans to perform for the Alpha Phi Alpha Forum at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Each year, the Kevin Harris Project trio performs throughout the United States. The trio includes Harris, Steve Langone, and Keala Kaumeheiwa. The ensemble has performed educational programs designed for grades K-12 to introduce various styles of improvised music and cultural awareness. Harris is also a music teacher, giving instruction in trumpet, piano, and jazz band at the Cambridge Friends School in Boston, Massachusetts; he also provides private music instruction. He has started five separate band programs throughout the Greater Boston area. Kevin Harris is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Morehead State University, and the New England Conservatory of Music. His first album, Patient Harvest, was released in 2002, his second, The Butterfly Chronicles, in 2007. For more information see The Kevin Harris Project, and J. Perry, "For jazz trio, a conversation in musical notes [online article version]," The Boston Globe, 04/17/2009, Scene & Heard section. View photographs and videos of performances at the Kevin Harris Project website. 


Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Boston, Massachusetts

Harrison, Tom
Born a slave in Kentucky, Harrison escaped to Ohio around 1854 after his two brothers were sold downriver. Harrison ended up in London, Ontario, Canada, where he met and married his wife. After seeing a play with Edwin Booth playing the role of Richard III, the couple named their son Richard Booth Harrison (1864-1935); he became a famous actor playing in Negro shows, including Shuffle Along and Carmen Jones, and played the role of 'De Lawd' in the film Green Pastures. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and The Papers of Winston Coleman.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ohio / London, Ontario, Canada

Hart, Henry
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1915
Henry Hart was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Frederick Hart, from Boone County, and Judith Brown, from Frankfort. Henry Hart moved to Cleveland, OH, when he was 14 years old and there learned to play the violin. He later lived in New Orleans, where he was employed as a violin player and where he met his wife, Sarah, a pianist. The couple moved to Evansville, IN, in 1867, where Henry Hart was employed as a barber and also performed as a musician. Hart formed the Alabama Minstrels in 1872; the group included Kentucky native Tom McIntosh. Hart's minstrels performed in blackface by using burnt cork. By 1885, the Hart Family was living in Indianapolis, performing as a family string orchestra. The Harts had five daughters: Estelle, Lillian [who died as an infant], Myrtle, Hazel, and Willie. Myrtle became a concert harpist and toured the United States, billed as the only colored harpist in the world. Hazel, also a musician, was a school principal in Indianapolis. She died in a bus accident in 1935; the Hazel Hart Hendricks School is named in her honor. For more see Henry Hart, a Wikipedia website; and "Henry Hart" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.

See photo image of Henry Hart from the Indianapolis News, 04/06/1901
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Harvey, Henry
Birth Year : 1820
Henry Harvey, born around 1820 in Kentucky, was an ornamental painter in Ironton and Springfield, OH, he was one of the early African American artist in Ohio. He was the husband of Rebecca Harvey (b.1827 in NC). The couple was probably free (not slaves) and are listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census as Mulattoes. For more see the Henry Harvey entry in Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 by M. S. Haverstock et. al.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Springfield and Ironton, Ohio

Haskin, Vera A. Harrison
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2005
Vera Harrison [Haskin] was an officer over the unit of African American WACs at Fort Knox, KY, in 1945. She had been a member of the first WAACs Officer Cadet School at Ft. Des Moins, IA in 1942 and was a member of the advance group of WAACs at Fort Huachuca, AZ. She was executive officer of the old 33rd Post Headquarters Company. At Fort Knox, KY, Harrison was Company Commander, and in England and France, she was Commanding Officer of Company C, and Central Postal Director, Company C. In England, the WACs who had been at Fort Knox became a part of the 6888 Postal Unit, the only African American women's military unit to go overseas during WWII. Vera A. Harrison was born in 1919 in Sadieville, KY, the daughter of Anna M. and Bradley Harrison. In 1930, the family of six lived in Hamilton, OH, on Wallace Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Bradley Harrison supported his family as a laborer at a foundry. Vera Harrison enlisted at Fort Hayes on July 18, 1942, according to her enlistment record. She was a graduate of a four year college and was employed as a secretary. Photos and additional information on Vera Harrison Haskin are available at the National Association of Black Military Women website. For more see "WAC overseas postal unit does good job in handling mail," New York Amsterdam News, 05/05/1945, p.8A. For information on earlier WAC unit in Kentucky see Myrtle D. Anderson and Margaret E. B. Jones entries in the NKAA Database.

Vera Haskin at the National Association of Black Military Women website.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Sadieville, Scott County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

Hathaway, Quinella Watson
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 2000
Hathaway was born in Kentucky, the daughter of Thomas and Helen J. Watson. Her family moved to Indiana, Chicago, and then Maywood, IL, in 1907. She was the only African American student in both her elementary and high school graduating classes; the Watson Family was among the first African American families to live in Maywood. Hathaway was also one of the first African American students at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her husband, Walter Hathaway, was the first trustee in Maywood. Quinella W. Hathaway was the grandmother of Glenn "Doc" Rivers, former NBA basketball player and coach of the 2008 NBA champions, the Boston Celtics. For more see L. Roche, "Living legend hits 100," Maywood Herald, 06/16/1999, Local News section, p. 8; and the "Ruth L. Sampson" obituary in the Maywood Herald, 03/23/2005, news section, p. 69.
Subjects: Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Maywood, Illinois

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

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

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

Headspeth, Woody
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1941
In 1899, Woody Headspeth was considered the "fastest colored rider in the country," except for the Major, [Marshall W. Taylor], according to the article "Woody Headspeth has secured..." in the column "Spokes from a wheel" in the Recorder (Indianapolis, IN), 10/21/1899, p. 2. He had raced once in Chicago at the Ravenswood track, where he came in third. He also had ridden in the bicycle races held at the Colored Fair in Lexington, KY, and always finished first, and he rode at the Newby Oval in Indianapolis, IN. Headspeth's fastest times in 1899 were the mile at 1.493-5, and the two mile at 3.39 flat with his teammate Jack Robinson. The year 1899 was also when Woody Headspeth married Winnie Partee, daughter of Samuel Partee and Charity Dotson Partee, on March 18 in Marion County [Indianapolis], IN. Woody's birth location is given as Kentucky on the marriage certificate along with the birth year 1880, as well as his father's name, Frank "Hedgepath" [source: Indiana Select Marriages, 1790-1992, FHL Film Number 413541 & 499380].

 

In 1900, Woody Headspeth and Reese Lewis, from Tennessee, were employed as bicycle repairmen in Chicago; they roomed at the home of Frank Harris, from Kentucky, and Mamie Harris, from Georgia [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Woody Headspeth was living in Indianapolis in 1901; he is listed on p. 503 of R. L. Polk & Co.'s Indianapolis City Directory for 1901. In 1901, in Springfield, OH, Woody Headspeth won the six-day, 135 1/2 mile race at the Coliseum with a time just two seconds behind the world record [source: "Woody Headspeth's Victory," in the column "Sport" edited by Breakaway in the Freeman, 10/05/1901, p. 7]. He was again a champion in 1902 at Pabst Park in Milwaukee, WI [source: "Headspeth a star: colored rider wins five-mile and ten-mile motor-paced bicycle race,"Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 09/04/02, p. 5]. Winnie "Hedgepeth" was still living in Indianapolis in 1902; she is listed on p. 507 of the R. L. Polk & Co.'s Indianapolis City Directory, 1902 as living at 758 W. 13th Street. Woody Headspeth was still racing in the United States, but he was about to become an expatriate in Europe.

 

Woody Headspeth was still a young man; his birth, according to the 1900 U.S. Census, took place in March 1882 in Kentucky, but according to his U.S. Passport Application dated September 14, 1905, he was born June 14, 1881, in Indianapolis, IN. There is other conflicting information on other passports belonging to Woody Headspeth. In 1905, he was already living in Paris, France, when he submitted his passport application to the U.S. Embassy there. On his application, he lists bicycle rider as his occupation, Paris, France as his temporary residence, and Indianapolis, IN, as his permanent address; he was requesting a passport from the U.S. Embassy for travel to Russia. In 1908, Woody Headspeth submitted another U.S. Passport Application to the American Embassy in Paris, France; his occupation was listed as professional cyclist; his birthday as June 15, 1881; and again he was seeking the passport to travel to Russia [application dated March 2, 1908]. There was a fourth U.S. Passport Application, dated June 22, 1921. The name on that application is spelled Woody "Hedspath," son of Frank "Hedspath" who was born in "Levenon, KY" [Lebanon, KY] and was deceased. Woody's birth date is given as June 15, 1884. According to the application, Woody Headspeth had visited the U.S. in 1904 and still gave Paris, France, as his temporary address at 30 rue Nollet, and his permanent address as Indianapolis, IN. His occupation was bicycle racing and he intended to visit several other European countries. According to his 1921 application, his previous passport (the third application) had been granted by the American Embassy in Berlin, Germany, on September 3, 1903. The date may be a typo; Woody Headspeth had applied for an emergency passport in Berlin, Germany, on September 3, 1913. According to that application, Woody Headspeth was a "bicycle-rider" with no passport, "which I have left at home." His permanent residence was Indianapolis, IN; He stated he had last left the U.S. in April of 1908 and was at present temporarily sojourning in Berlin, Germany. He wanted the passport to travel to Russia on business. Accompanying the application was a certificate that Woody Headspeth was a professional cyclist who was a member of the National Cycling Association of the United States.

 

It is not known when Woody Headspeth's career as a bicyclist ended in Europe. Woody Headspeth died in Portugal on April 16, 1941, at the Hospital Curry Cabral in Lisbon [source: Report of the Death of an American Citizen, American Foreign Service, May 8, 1941, Ser. No. 1221]. He died from typhus and intestinal tuberculosis and was buried in Lisbon, Portugal in the Bemfica Cemetery on April 21, 1941, grave #3303. His effects were to be burned on the advice of the attending physician. Woody Headspeth had in his possession his last American passport, No.3419, issued in Paris, France on February 4, 1941; he was a "member of the Repatriation Group 14 from Paris [France] under Red Cross auspices. Personal effects were old, mostly in poor condition, and almost valueless. Deceased was destitute." When Woody Headspeth was rescued from France, it was during WWII and the Germany Army had occupied Paris.

 

Relatives listed on the death report of Woody Headspeth was a daughter, Mlle. Genevieve Le Maitre Hedspath at Maria Boven, par Rostenem, Cotes-du-Nord, France; and the daughter's mother, Mlle. Rosalie Le Maitre, c/o M. Lallines, à Ker. Two telegraphs were sent with the notice of Woody Headspeth's death, one to his daughter on April 22, 1941, and one to Jim Gibson on April 19, 1941.

 

Additional Sources:

 

Zeidler Miklós, "Egy régi pálya a polgári korban – a Millenáris Sporttelep: VERSENYPÁLYA A CSÖMÖRI ÚTON," KORALL 7-8, p. 125. [Hungarian]. Woody Headspeth is referred to as the black "Lightning Man" in reference to a 1906 race he won in Hungary.

 

ax10.art - art trade on the internet [Hungarian]. Postcard with photo image of Woody Headspeth. "Woody Headspeth, African American cyclist. World Champion"

 

Circuit Club Stamp & Coin Auctions. Postcard with photo image of Woody Headspeth in Hungary. Lot#22934. "50 kilométeres motorkerékpár verseny a Millenáris versenypályán Woody Headspeth világbajnok részvételével / 50 km motorbike championship in Hungary with Woody Headspeth" [Hungarian].

 

Nemzetközi kerékpár-verseny. 1906 Június. [Hungarian].

 

Porfelhőlovagok: a magyar kerékpározás története az első világháborúig. 2012. ápr. 18. Németh Balázs [Hungarian].
Subjects: Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Chicago, Illinois / Paris, France, Europe / Russia, Europe / Berlin, Germany, Europe / Lisbon Portugal, Europe

Henderson, Angelo B.
Birth Year : 1962
Death Year : 2014
Angelo B. Henderson was born in Louisville, KY.  He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism. He received the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished feature writing for "Crime Story," which featured the lives of those affected by an attempted robbery and the death of the robber; Henderson was the deputy Detroit bureau chief at the Wall Street Journal. He has received a number of other awards, including the National Association of Black Journalists Award for outstanding coverage of the African American condition. He was inducted into the University of Kentucky Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2005. The previous year, Henderson became the associate pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield, Michigan. He also became associate editor of Real Times LLC, the nation's largest African-American newspaper chain. Angelo B. Henderson died February of 2014. For more see Angelo Ink, Henderson's media consulting firm; Angelo Henderson in the History Makers website; and Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 8-18.

See the video "Detroit 2020 Person of the week Angelo Henderson" on YouTube.

 
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit and Southfield, Michigan

Henderson, Louis B.
Birth Year : 1904
Born in Maysville, KY, Henderson grew up in Springfield, Ohio. He was a chemical engineering graduate from Case Institute of Technology [now Case Western Reserve University]. He had been employed in West Virginia at the Weirton Steel Company in the metallurgical department and later moved to Stubenville, Ohio. Henderson was a life-long Mason and in 1952 was awarded 33rd Degree by the United Supreme Council. In 1955 he was Grand Master. For more see Chapter 16 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accpeted Masons of the State of Ohio, 1849-1960 by C. H. Wesley.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration North, Migration East, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Weirton, West Virginia / Stubenville, Ohio

Henry, Ragan A.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2008
Henry was born in Sadieville, KY, the son of Augustus and Ruby Henry. He was an African American pioneer in radio and television station ownership. In 1993, the Regan Henry Group was responsible for 26 owned and leased radio stations. Henry published The National Leadership newspaper, then, in 1989, became president of Broadcast Enterprises National, Inc. He was a partner of the law firm Wolf, Black, Schorr, and Solis-Cohen. Henry spent much of his life in Philadelphia, PA. He earned an A.B. degree at Harvard College in 1956 and an L.L.B. from Harvard Law School in 1961. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army. For more see The Negro Almanac, 4th-9th eds.; Who's Who in Entertainment; and J. A. Gambardello, "A Pioneering media mogul and lawyer," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 08/08/2008, Obituaries section, p.A01.
Subjects: Businesses, Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Radio, Television
Geographic Region: Sadieville, Scott County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Henson, Josiah
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1883
Josiah Henson was brought to the Riley Plantation in Owensboro, KY, as a slave, he escaped to Canada and returned many times to lead his family and others to freedom. He spoke at abolition meetings. Henson is believed to have been portrayed as the Uncle Tom character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. For more see The Life of Josiah Henson, by J. Henson; and American Biographies, by W. Preston.

See photo image of Josiah Henson at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Canada

Herod, Henry Louis and Elizabeth Frances
The Herods, Henry (1875-1935) and Elizabeth (1881-1953), were Kentucky natives: Elizabeth was born in Millersburg, and Henry may have been born there, also. The couple was married in 1899 and shared their home with Henry's 15 year old nephew, all living on W. 13th Street in Indianapolis, IN, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was pastor of Second Christian Church, later known as Light of the World Christian Church; he was pastor for 37 years, 1898-1935. He is credited with increasing the membership and developing educational and cultural importance among the church members and advancing community projects. He was Superintendent of the Indianapolis Flanner House from 1925-1935. He was a political leader in Indianapolis and served as secretary of the Interracial Committee of the Council of Social Agencies. Henry was a member of the First Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Nu [see p. 46 of A History of the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter 1911-1949  (.pdf format)]. Henry was a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Butler College, Department of Liberal Arts and Culture [now Butler University]. Elizabeth was also active in the community, serving as secretary of the Indiana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs and as president of the Indianapolis Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was also active with the Indianapolis YWCA and was a delegate to the national convention in 1924. For more see the Elizabeth Herod entry in "Kentucky Biographical Sketches" in Lifting as They Climb, by E. L. Davis; and "Indianapolis Y.W. representative to Buenos Aires here," The Indianapolis Star, 06/07/1924, p. 7. See Henry Herod in the Indiana Medical Journal, 1902, vol. 21, issue 1, p. 527 [available at Google Book Search]; and Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century, by E. L. Thornbrough and L. Ruegamer.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Higgins, Chester A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1946
Chester Higgins, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY, and grew up in New Brockton, AL. He is a graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. A staff photographer with the New York Times, he also wrote The Black Woman, Drums of Life and a number of other books. He appeared in the documentary film, BrotherMen. His photographs have appeared in Look, Life, Time and numerous other publications. Higgins resides in New York, he is the son of Veridee Young Smith and award winning journalist Chester A. Higgins, Sr. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, and Current Biography (2002).

See photo image and additional information about Chester Higgins, Jr. at the Kentucky Educational Television, BrotherMen website.

See photo image and additional information about Chester Higgins at The HistoryMakers website. [Higgins was born in Lexington, KY according to the Kentucky Birth Index. Original data at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives.]
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Photographers, Photographs, Migration South, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New Brockton, Alabama / New York

Higgins, Chester A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2000
Higgins was born in Chicago and raised in Lexington, KY. A World War II veteran, he attended Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and the University of Louisville. He served as a reporter, writer, and editor for a number of publications, including the Louisville Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, the Detroit Courier, the NAACP magazine Crisis, and Jet. In 1967, the National Newspaper Publishers awarded Higgins first place in the feature news category. Higgins was also involved in a number of organizations, including serving as Executive Secretary of the Louisville National Negro Labor Council, and he was Special Assistant to Benjamin Hooks, the first African American to become the Federal Communications Commissioner. Higgins taught at Malcom X College in Chicago and at Michigan State University. He was the father of Chester Higgins, Jr. For more see L. Estrada, "Chester Higgins Sr., Jet magazine editor," Chicago Sun-times, 05/29/2000, News section, p. 47; and Kentucky HR168.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hinton, Clarence David
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2008
Clarence D. Hinton was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the son of Davis and Elsie Trumbo Hinton. The family lived on Back Street in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and later moved to Peoria, IL, where Hinton was an outstanding student and star athlete. He was a graduate of Northwestern University, where he also played football and was later inducted into the school's athletes' hall of fame. He was a member of the football team that won the 1936 Big Ten Conference Championship. Clarence Hinton would become a physician in otolaryngology (ears, nose, throat, head and neck surgery), he was clinical assistant at Howard University Medical School [now Howard University College of Medicine], 1945-1950, where he had received his M.D. in 1942. The Otolaryngology Clinic was relatively new to Howard University. Hinton would became a resident physician at Philadelphia General Hospital in 1950. He was later chair of the otolaryngology division at Howard University Hospital from 1963-1979, and chair of the otolaryngology department at Children's National Medical Center from 1978-1980. He was the first African American to chair the Washington D. C. Medical Society Otolaryngology Section. Hinton retired in 1990 but was still active in medicine at Howard University Hospital. Hinton was a WWII Army veteran, he had served as a medical doctor. He was the husband of ViCurtis Gray Hinton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Ear, nose, throat Doctor Clarence David Hinton, 91," The Washington Post, 10/04/2008, Metro section, p.B6. 
 
See photo image of Clarence D. Hinton at the Peoria County Home Page website.
Subjects: Football, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Peoria, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Holland, George W.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1929
George W. Holland was born in Ruddles Mills, KY. He taught school in Kentucky, then in 1895 moved to Springfield, OH, where he was employed as a postal clerk. George W. Holland later became head of the postal division of Crowell Publishing Company. [The Crowell Publishing Company, located in Springfield, OH, was owned by Lexington, KY, native John Stephen Crowell (1850-1921). In 1934, the company merged to become Crowell-Collier Publishing Company.] In addition to being an employee at the publishing company, George W. Holland was also president of the Colored Men's Council and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of 1924. Maude Holland was the wife of George W. Holland, and she was deceased when George W. Holland was injured in a car accident on September 15, 1929 and died five days later [source: State of Ohio, Certificate of Death File #56683]. He is buried in the Ferncliff Cemetery in Springfield, OH. For more about George Holland see Chapter 9 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley. For more about the Crowell-Collier Publishing Company see the company records, 1931-1955 at New York Public Library.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ruddles Mills, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

Holland, Helen Shelby
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1983
Holland was born in Hickman, KY; her family moved to South Bend, IN, in 1918. She graduated from Central High School in 1926, the same year that she was named Athlete of the Year. Holland was the first African American salesperson employed by a major department store in South Bend. She was the wife of Burnsy Holland. For more see the Helen Holland entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and the Helen Holland Collection at Northern Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Migration North
Geographic Region: Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / South Bend, Indiana

Holland, James P.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1998
James Phillips Holland was the first African American from Kentucky to be named to West Point Military Academy. He was 19 years old when the nomination was made by Republican Senator John Sherman Cooper, with recommendation by Kentucky State College President R. B. Atwood. Born in Bowling Green, KY, Holland was valedictorian of his graduating class at State Street High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1956 and his master's degree (1958) and PH. D. (1961) in endocrinology from Indiana University. He was a professor of Zoology at Indiana University, where his research explored how reproductive physiology is influenced by thyroid gland activity. The James P. Holland Memorial Lecture Series was established in 2000 at Indiana University; the school also offers the James P. Holland Fellowship in Biology. For more see "Senator names first Kentucky Negro to West Point," Jet, 03/25/1924, p.6 [article available full text at Google Book Search]; and Scientists in the Black Perspective, by H. A. Young and B. H. Young.

See photo image and additional information about James P. Holland on the Department of Biology website at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Zoologists
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Indiana

Holmes, David S., Jr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1994
Holmes was born in Covington, KY. He was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, serving 1959-1974. In 1974 he was elected to the Michigan Senate and remained a senator until his death in 1994. He was the father of Michigan Senator Patricia A. Holmes. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Michigan

Hood, Robert E.
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1994
Hood was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Blanche and George R. Hood. He was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was the first African American president of the student body. He was also a graduate of General Theological Seminary, the University of Chicago and the Oxford University. In 1984, he was an administrative assistant to Bishop Desmond Tutu: Hood was a historian in the areas of religion and race. He had been a professor at the General Theological Seminary, and prior to his death, was director of the Center for African American Studies at Adelphi University. Hood was also author of Must God Remain Greek?: Afro cultures and God-talk, Begrimed and Black: Christian traditions on Blacks and blackness, and several other books. For more see "Dr. Robert E. Hood, theologian, 58, dies," New York Times, 08/12/1994, p. A21; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-1997.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Long Island, New York

hooks, bell [Gloria Jean Watkins]
Birth Year : 1955
She was born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of Rosa Bell and Veodis Watkins, but goes by the name bell hooks, which she prefers to spell without capitalization. hooks is a professor, feminist, cultural critic, poet, and author of more than 30 books, including Ain't I a Woman, Breaking Bread, and four children's books that include Happy to be Nappy and Be Boy Buzz. She is considered one of the foremost African American intellectuals. hooks is a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Hopkinsville, Stanford University (B.A.), the University of Wisconsin at Madison (M.A.), and the University of Santa Cruz (Ph.D.). After almost 30 years of teaching in California, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio, in 2004 she returned to Kentucky to join the faculty at Berea College as a Distinguished Professor in Residence. For more see Feminist Writers, ed. by P. Kester-Shelton; The African American Almanac, 8th & 9th ed.; Current Biography: World Authors 1900-1995 (updated 1999) [available via Biography Reference Bank]; and bell hooks, feminist scholar, on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #416 [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Poets, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / California / Connecticut / New York / Ohio / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Hopkins, Telma
Birth Year : 1948
Telma Hopkins was born in Louisville, KY. She was a session singer in Detroit, mostly with the Motown label, before she became a member of the group Tony Orlando and Dawn (Michael Anthony Orlando Cassivitis, Joyce Vincent and Telma Hopkins). Their 1970 single "Knock Three Times" sold a million copies the first month after it was released, but their biggest hit was "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," in 1973. The group had a television program from 1974-1976 before their break-up in 1977. Telma Hopkins went on to have a successful career as a sitcom actress in television shows such as "Gimme a Break" and "Family Matters" plus guest appearances on other shows. She was the character Daisy in the television mini-series "Roots: the Next Generation." For more see Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 25, Sept. 1999 - Aug. 2000; TV Guide, vol. 51, issue 46 (November 15-21, 2003), p. 15; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1989-2006. View Telma Hopkins in Half & Half - No More Tears.wmv on YouTube.


Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Television
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Horn, Bobby Joe "Bob Nighthawk Terry"
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1977
Horn was born in Franklin, KY. His on-the-air name was Bob 'Nighthawk' Terry. Horn was a prominent disc jockey of Black radio in Washington, D.C. at stations WOL-AM, 1965-1971, and WHUR-FM, 1971-1975. He had attended the New York School of Announcing and Speech then worked as an on-air personality, producer, host, program director, and manager at a number of radio stations before coming to D.C. He was voted Best Air Personality of the Year, WOL-AM, 1966-1970. Horn left radio to form his own entertainment company and in 1977, he disappeared. In the 2007 movie, Talk to Me, Cedric the Entertainer plays the role of Bob 'Nighthawk' Terry. For more see The Washington Post articles, T. S. Robinson and C. Schauble, "Disc jockey was officials suspect victim of murder," 03/15/1978, Metro section, p. C1; "Missing persons: 5 unsolved cases," 10/23/1983, First Section, p. A16; and F. Ahrens, "A century's strongest signals," 12/28/1999, Style section, p. C1. See also Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business, by F. Dannen; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2000.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Radio, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Horton, John Benjamin
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1997
Born in Georgia, Colonel J. B. Horton came to Kentucky in 1940 to become an advertising salesman with the Louisville Defender newspaper, then advanced to advertising director. Horton left the newspaper in 1954 and founded J. Benjamin Horton & Assoc., Inc., Advertising and Public Relations Consultants. He also published three magazines: Louisville Buyers Guide, News Digest, and Kentucky Negro Journal. He also published books: Not Without Struggle, Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers in Kentucky, and Old War Horse of Kentucky. For more see Horton's biography, Flights from Doom.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Houston, Allan W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1944
Known as Wade Houston, he was one of the first African American basketball players at the University of Louisville. He graduated in 1966 and was inducted into the Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. Head coach of the Louisville Male High School men's basketball team in 1975, Houston compiled a 90-12 record while guiding the team to a state championship. He returned to the University of Louisville in 1976 to become the first African American assistant men's basketball coach. In 1989 he became head coach at the University of Tennessee, the first African American head coach in the Southeastern Conference. Houston compiled a 65-90 record over the five years at Tennessee. Houston, born in Alcoa, TN, is the husband of Alice Kean Houston, and the father of Allan Houston. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 7-17; and Wade and Alice Kean Houston in Who's Who of Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.80-81.
Subjects: Basketball, Fathers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Alcoa, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Knoxville, Tennessee

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

Howard, John Dalphin
Birth Year : 1869
Howard was born in Shelbyville, KY, the son of John and Delia Belle Board Howard. He was the editor and publisher of the National Domestic Magazine (1896-1898) and in 1912 founded the Indianapolis Ledger, which was published into the 1920s. He also wrote a crime adventure serial published in the Freeman (Indianapolis) newspaper. Howard was married to Anna Marie Everett from Mount Sterling, KY. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Howard, Theodore R. M.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1977
Howard, born in Murray, KY, was a graduate of the College of Medical Evangelists [now Loma Linda University] in Los Angeles, CA. He was medical director of the Riverside Sanitarium in California (1937-1939), then left to become surgeon-in-chief at Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou, MS, (1942-1947), which would become the largest hospital in the state for African Americans. He was also founder and chairman of the United Order of Friendship of America in Bayou. In 1947 he became surgeon-in-chief and chief medical examiner of the Friendship Clinic in Bayou. Dr. Howard was an outspoken civil rights advocate in Mississippi. He delivered the eulogy at Medgar Evers' funeral. Howard left Mississippi in 1956 to become medical director of Fuller Products Co. in Chicago, and he was also named president of the National Medical Association. His decision to come north was made exactly one year after the death of Emmett Till; Howard had been lecturing throughout Mississippi about the killing, and his life had been threatened. The White Citizens Council had place a $1,000 hit on Howard, who had become quite wealthy with hundreds of acres of farmland and an entire block of homes. Howard felt that he did not know whom to trust anymore, white or black. His clinic was sold to members of the United Order of Friendship, and Dr. Howard broke all ties with the Democratic Party. Dr. Howard was the son of Arthur Howard (b.1890 in TN) and Mary Chandler Howard (b.1892 in KY). In 1910, both parents worked as laborers in a tobacco factory, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Their second son, Willie Mason Howard, died of pneumonia in 1914, he was 15 months old according to his death certificate. By 1920, Mary had married Maurice Palmer (b.1888 in TN) and they had two children. Maurice Palmer was a laborer in a tobacco factory, and the family, including Theodore Howard, lived in Pool Town in Murray, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; D. Wright, "His life in danger, medic quits Dixie to fire salvos from North," Jet, vol. X, issue 16 (1956), pp. 12-15; Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons; Medgar Evers, by J. Brown; and Black Maverick by D. T. Beito and L. R. Beito. Listen to the tribute to Dr. T. R. M. Howard, by Jacque Day at WKMS at Murray State University.
Access Interview
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California / Mound Bayou, Mississippi / Chicago, Illinois

Hubbard, Theodore C.
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1904
Theodore C. Hubbard was the first African American to enlist at Camp Lincoln with the Illinois National Guard; he was an orderly under Edgar P. Tobey, captain of Battery D. Hubbard joined the Union Army in 1861, the only African American soldier at the camp until the formation of the 9th Battalion of Chicago in 1893. The battalion would later become the 8th Illinois, the first Negro regiment sent to Cuba during the Spanish-American War. At the time of his enlistment, Theodore C. Hubbard was a fugitive slave who was born in Kentucky. After the war, he served as the official messenger of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago from 1887-1904. He was the husband of Amanda Hubbard. In 1900, the family of four lived on 30th Street in Chicago, sharing their home with four boarders, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Hubbard was a commander of the John Brown Post No. 60 G.A.R., colonel of the commander in chief's staff of the G.A.R., and a member of the 19th Illinois Veteran's Club. For more see Theodore C. Hubbard in "Telegraphic Brevities," Grand Rapids Tribune, 04/27/1904, p. 2; and Illinois Writer's Project, "Camp Lincoln," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, vol. 34, issue 3 (Sept. 1941), pp. 281-302.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Hueston, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Hueston was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Bettie H. Treacy; his family later moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and an active community leader in Kansas City. He also lived part-time in Gary, Indiana. He served as president of the National Negro Baseball League, beginning in 1927, after Rube Foster was committed to the Kankakee Asylum in Illinois. In Gary, Indiana, Hueston served as magistrate judge and helped establish the African American-owned Central State Bank. He was appointed by President Hoover to the National Memorial Commission for the building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture that was to have been built in 1929. He left Indiana in 1930 for Washington, D.C. to become Assistant Solicitor with the U.S. Post Office. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; The Josh Gibson Foundation website; Take up the Black Man's Burden: Kansas City's African American Communities, 1865-1939, by C. E. Coulter; M. Strimbu, "Library exhibit depicts Gary's rich, varied history," Post-Tribune, 07/24/1997, Gary Neighbors section, p. NB4; and "William C. Hueston, 81, Government Attorney," Washington Post, 11/27/1961, City Life section.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Judges, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Kansas / Gary, Indiana / Kankakee, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Humes, Helen
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1981
Born in Louisville, KY, Humes made her first recording in 1927 in St. Louis. She then moved to New York and worked with the Vernon Andrades Orchestra. She replaced Billie Holiday in the Count Basie Band, recorded tunes for film and television, and appeared in the film Simply Heaven [Langston Hughes]. Humes moved to California in the 1940s and when her career slowed in the 1960s, returned to Kentucky. Humes' career picked up in the 1970s. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; and Contemporary Musicians, vol. 19, by S. A. McConnel.

Access InterviewListen to the Helen Humes Oral History (includes transcript) at the University of Louisville Libraries.


View Helen Humes with Dizzy Gillespie c.1947 on YouTube.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Television, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri / New York / California

Hummons, Henry L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1956
Henry Lytle Hummons was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Mary Ellen and Thomas Hummons. He graduated from the Indianapolis Medical School in 1902 and opened his practice the following year. He founded and was a clinical physician at the Tuberculosis Clinic, Flanner House, in Indianapolis from 1919-1931. It was the first free tuberculosis clinic in the city. Hummons also founded the Senate Avenue Y.M.C.A. in Indianapolis. He was among the first African American professionals to buy homes on California Street in Indianapolis in the 1920s. The area was excavated by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Archaeology Field School. For more see H. L. (Henry Lytle) Hummons Papers at the Indiana Historical Society; Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and IUPUI Archaeology Field School.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Hunn, Vanessa L.
Birth Year : 1958
Vanessa Hunn, a native of Lexington, KY, is the daughter of Demosthenes and Verline Hunn. A social worker for more than 20 years, in 2006 Vanessa Hunn became the first African American to earn a Ph. D. from the University of Kentucky College of Social Work; she was also the first to be admitted to the social work doctoral program at UK. Also in 2006, Hunn was the only recipient chosen nationwide to receive the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Research from the Council on Social Work Education. The fellowship is for doctoral students preparing for leadership positions in mental health and substance abuse fields. Hunn's research examines "Depression, Self-Efficacy, Income, and Child Outcomes in African American Welfare Recipients." She is also the recipient of the Lyman T. Johnson Torch of Excellence Award and is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society. In fall 2007, she became an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Southern Indiana. In addition to her Ph. D. in social work, Hunn earned both her bachelor's and master's from the University of Kentucky, where she also taught in the social work program. Vanessa L. Hunn is presently an assistant professor of Social Work at Northern Kentucky University.

See photo image and additional information about Dr. Vanessa L. Hunn at the Northern Kentucky University website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Highland Heights, Kentucky

Irons, Sandra Jean
Birth Year : 1940
Irons was born in Middlesboro, KY, to Roy and Rosa Green Carr. She is a graduate of Kentucky State University, and Purdue University. Prior to becoming an educator, she was a social worker with the Ohio Department of Social Welfare. In 1971, she became president of the Gary, IN, Teachers Union and continues as president today. Since 1974, she has been a vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO (AFT). She was the first vice president of the NW Indiana Federation of Labor in 1987, and became president in 1995. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2006.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Social Workers, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

Isbell, Louis
Birth Year : 1818
Isbell was free born in Kentucky and at the age of 20 moved to Chicago. He participated in Chicago's first recorded sports competition in a race between Isbell, a Native American named White Foot, and a man on a horse; Isbell won the race. According to author Perry Duis, who cited articles in the Chicago Post and the Chicago Democrat, Isbell was the fastest and most popular runner in the Chicago area for ten years. He retired and became a full-time barber after coming in second in a race in 1847 that took place before more than 1,000 spectators. For more see Challenging Chicago: coping with everyday life, 1837-1920, by P. R. Duis, pp. 171-172.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

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

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

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

Jackson, Alfred M.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1888
Alfred M. Jackson was a horse trainer who was born in Lexington, KY, around 1850 and died in Chicago, IL, March 22, 1888 [source: Cook County, Illinois Deaths Index]. He and his wife, Fannie Jackson, lived on South First Street in Terre Haute, IN, in 1880 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Alfred M. Jackson is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Chicago.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Jackson, Earl, Jr.
Birth Year : 1938
Born in Paris, KY, the son of Earl, Sr. and Margaret Elizabeth Cummins Jackson, Earl Jackson, Jr. is a microbiologist who retired in 1995 from Massachusetts General Hospital. A 1960 graduate of Kentucky State University, he was named to its Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni in 1988. Jackson has received a number of recognitions, including being named in Who's Who in the World, 1998, 2000, 2002, & 2006; Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare 1998-2007; and Who's Who in Science and Engineering, 1992-2007. Jackson resides in Texas. For more see Who's Who in America, 1997-2003.
Subjects: Biologists, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

Jackson, Edward C.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1912
Edward C. Jackson, a slave, was born in Lexington, KY. In 1850 he married Matilda C. Blair, who was free and who had also purchased his freedom. The couple moved to Xenia, OH, where they owned a grocery store, and during the Civil War, they moved to Springfield, OH, where they owned a second-hand store. By 1868, the couple had moved back to Xenia, where Jackson became one of the first African American city council members. He was also a trustee on the Board of Wilberforce University and was a member of the Wilberforce Lodge Free and Accepted Masons. Jackson and his wife had eight children, and he was the uncle of John H. and Jordan Jackson Jr. For more see "Born a slave in Lexington," Lexington Leader, 02/11/1912, p. 2.

*Additional information provided by Yvonne Giles: Edward C. Jackson's wife's name is misspelled [Malinda C. Blain] in the obituary notice found in the Lexington Leader, her name was Matilda C. Blair [source: Deed book #35, p213, 12 October 1858; taxes and fees paid May 1859]. She signed a contract with George W. Sutton for the purchase of her husband Edward Jackson on 12 October 1858. She paid $800, four hundred down and four hundred by May 1859 even though the contract was for three years. The contract makes no mention that Matilda C. Blair is a 'free woman of color.' The contract called for a deed of emancipation to Edward Jackson once all money had been received.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Springfield, Ohio

Jackson, Horace "Stonewall"
Horace Jackson was from Louisville, KY, and later moved to Cincinnati, OH. He was a middleweight boxer who fought under the the name Stonewall Jackson. In April 1934, he was scheduled to fight Cincinnati middleweight, Smokey Maggard. The bout was to take place as an eight round main event in PAC Arena in Piqua, OH. Jackson was an inexperienced boxer, he was described as a slugger and swinger, with a wild and unorthodox style, fighting from a half crouch position. He had been boxing for little more than two years, learning from experience. His first fight took place February 22, 1932, when he won against Jackie Raymond in Milford, OH. Jackson's first loss was to Bobby Millsap in Covington, KY, April 18, 1933. His 1934 fight against Smokey Maggard was promoted in the local newspapers, tickets were sold at G. & G. Autoparts and Fred Loefflers in Piqua, OH. Admission was 44, 72, and 91 cents. Women could take any seat for 44 cents. The referee was Earl Smitley. Jackson lost the fight by decision. His last bout was in Louisville, KY, November 25, 1935, in a loss to Frank Glover. Stonewall Jackson's overall record was 13 wins with 6 knockouts, 10 losses with 2 knockouts, and 7 draws. For more see "Hard-hitting Kentucky boxer to face Maggard Tuesday eve," The Piqua Daily Call, 04/07/1934, p.9; and the Stonewall Jackson boxing record at boxrec.com.
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Piqua, and Milford, Ohio /

Jackson, James (horse trainer)
Birth Year : 1946
Jackson, from Lexington, KY, and the son of Lucian Jackson, is the first African American trainer to saddle a starter in the Kentucky Oaks; Gallant Secret placed third in the 2005 run for the Kentucky Lilies. Jackson was the leading trainer in Michigan for 25 years; he left Kentucky when he was 22 years old, seeking better opportunities in Detroit. He became the nations 6th leading trainer in 1996, and in 1995 was 3rd in number of wins. Jackson and his family moved back to Lexington in 1998. For more see M. Walls, "Back in state, back in the money, - trainer Jackson gains notice by lighting up the board," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/20/2001, Sports section, p. D1.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Jackson, Reid E., Sr.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1991
Reid E. Jackson, Sr. was born in Paducah, KY, and raised in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Julia Reid and George Washington Jackson. Reid Jackson was a graduate of Central High SchoolWilberforce University (B.A.) and Ohio State University (M.A. & Ph.D.). He held a number of posts at a number of schools before becoming the administrative dean at Wilberforce University in 1949. He was secretary of the Southern Negro Conference for Equalization of Education Opportunities, 1944-1946; editor of the Sphinx, Alpha Phi Alpha, in 1945; and author of a number of articles, including "Educating Jacksonville's Tenth Child," Opportunity (July 1935). Jackson retired from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was the father of Annette Dawson and Dr. Reid Jackson, II (1940-2001), and brother to Dr. Blyden Jackson. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Reid Jackson, Sr., 83, was MSU professor," The Sun (Baltimore, MD).


See photo image of Reid E. Jackson in the KNEA Journal, vol. 18, no. 2 (March/April 1947), p. 13. [.pdf].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio / Baltimore, Maryland

Jasmin, Ernest A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2004
Born in Florida, Ernest A. Jasmin became the first African American chief prosecutor in Kentucky when he was elected Commonwealth Attorney in 1987. He created a narcotics unit with four prosecutors for the handling of drug cases and established prosecutor training seminars. Jasmin earned degrees from Florida A & M and the University of Louisville Law School. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1967, and in 2004 he received the Trailblazer Award from the Louisville Bar Association. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; "Kentucky's first Black Commonwealth's Attorney," The Louisville Defender, 03/13/1992; and "First Black to serve as state prosecutor - Ernest Jasmin had number of prominent cases," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/02/2004, City & Region section, p. C4.

See photo image and additional information [inlcuding an unreferenced copy of information above] on Ernest A. Jasmin at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Florida / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jernagin, Cordelia J. Woolfolk
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
In 1924, Cordelia J. Woolfolk, born in Frankfort, KY, was a claims adjuster at the National Benefit Insurance Company in Washington, D.C. She was considered a woman who had landed a high position job. The insurance company was founded by Samuel W. Rutherford in 1898, it was an African American-owned business. Cordelia J. Woolfolk had previously worked for an insurance company in Frankfort, KY. According to a 1924 article by Charles E. Stump in the Broad Axe newspaper in Chicago, Cordelia Woolfolk had advanced in the insurance business from her job in Frankfort to her job in Washington, D.C. [source: "Charles E. Stump, the slick old time traveling correspondent...," Broad Axe, 04/19/1924, p.3, paragraph 6 of article]. Prior to working in insurance, she was a school teacher in Bagdad, KY. Cordelia J. Woolfolk was in Washington, D.C. as early as 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In 1922, her name was on p.1666 in Boyd's Directory of the District of Columbia. She is listed in the 1933 directory and the 1934 directory; Woolfolk was employed as a stenographer and a bookkeeper. In the 1939 directory, she is listed on p.1402, and was employed at the Southeast Settlement House. The establishment was found in 1929 by Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee and provided daycare and recreation for African American children. In 1945, Cordelia J. Woolfolk was a social worker in Washington, D.C. when she married civil rights activist, Rev. William Henry Jernagin (1870-1958), pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and an internationally known church leader and activist. For more see "Jernagin takes bride," Afro-American, 08/11/1945, p.10; and "Dr. Jernagin still active pastor at 88," Afro-American, 10/19/1957, p.3.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Migration North, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Bagdad, Shelby County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Jett, Alta M. and Richard E. Jett
Alta Margaret Boatright Jett (1920-2004) was born in Lancaster, KY; her family later moved to Indiana. She held a number of jobs, including domestic servant, credit officer at Montgomery Wards, and janitor. She was also president of the Mary B. Talbert Club and Vice Precinct Committee person for the Democratic Party, as well as a worker with the Girl Scouts, YMCA, and a mother's study group. Jett wrote obituaries and spoke on African American history. She was the daughter of Charles and Annie Farley Boatright, and the wife of Richard Ezekiel Jett (1917-2006), a carpenter and musician from Booneville, KY. Richard was the son of James and Mattie Jett. The Alta M. Jett Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see "Alta M. Jett in Guide to African-American History Materials in the Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society; "Obituaries," Palladium-Item, 05/23/2004, p. 3B; and Richard E. Jett in the Obituary section of the Palladium-Item, 07/23/2006, p. 3C.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Historians, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Carpenters, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Booneville, Owsley County, Kentucky / Richmond, Indiana

Jewett, John W.
Birth Year : 1870
Jewett was born near Lexington, KY. His parents later moved to Covington, KY, where he could attend school for free. He graduated from Gaines High School in Cincinnati, OH, in 1883, salutatorian of his class. He began teaching in Cadentown, KY, in 1890 and later served as president of the Fayette County Teachers Association. He also served as a Republican delegate to the State Conventions. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson. See photo image of Cadentown Colored School in Kentucky Digital Library - Images.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington and Cadentown, Fayette County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Johnson, Beverly [James Williams, Sr.]
Birth Year : 1840
In 1858, Beverly Johnson escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way north to York, MI. Johnson changed his name to James Williams, Sr. and was a cigar maker; he is listed in the 1860 census. He later established a cigar factory in Saline, MI, and became a farmer. He was the husband of Mary Williams who was born in Ohio, and her mother was from Kentucky [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple had three sons, James Jr., Henry, and Charles. James Williams, Sr. was a widower in 1900, according the census. This was about the same time that his son Charles E. Williams graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and started practicing law in Detroit with Michigan's renowned Negro lawyer, **Robert J. Willis. Under the new civil service law, Charles Williams was appointed a life tenure of office as a general clerk in the Detroit Assessor's Office. For more see "Charles E. Williams" in the Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf at the Western Michigan University website].

**The mother of Robert Jones Willis was an escape slave from Kentucky, for more see "Michigan gives lawyer a birthday" in Day by Day column by Wm. N. Jones in the Baltimore Afro-American, 05/25/1929, p.6.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / York and Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan / Detroit, Michigan

Johnson, Christine Claybourne
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1999
Johnson was born and raised in Versailles, KY, the daughter of Mattie A. Williams Claybourne and Braxton D. Claybourne. She graduated from the Versailles Colored high school in 1927. She won a gold medal for her poetry. She lived in Detroit in the 1940s, where she worked with the National Youth Administration and established day care centers in churches. Johnson attended nursing school and studied music before earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola University in 1948. She earned a master's degree in education from DePaul University in 1950. Johnson was a member of the Nation of Islam and was principal and director of the University of Islam Primary School in Chicago. She traveled to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Johnson also published plays and poems; her poem, "Cadence," was published in Outlook Magazine. She was the author of Poems of Blackness and three children's textbooks: Muhammad's Children, ABC's of African History and Masks. For more see "Christine C. Johnson" in For Malcolm, by D. Randall and M. G. Burroughs; and A. Beeler, "Longtime teacher Christine Johnson," Chicago Tribune, 03/22/1999, Metro Chicago section, p. 7.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Children's Books and Music, Nurses, National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois

Johnson, Don
Birth Year : 1927
Don Johnson was born and reared in Covington, KY. He attended William Grant High School, where he was a noted talent in basketball, baseball, and track and field. He played baseball and softball informally until he was picked up by the Chicago American Giants in 1949, later playing for the Philadelphia Stars, Baltimore Elite Giants, and the Detroit Stars, all Negro League teams. Johnson was still playing baseball in the White Oak League in 1999. He was living in Cincinnati in 2005. For more see Don Johnson at the Negro League Baseball Players Association website; J. Erardi, "Don Johnson, pulled out of the stands into a career," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 07/04/1999; and Shadows of the past, by L. Stout.

See photo image of Don Johnson and additional information at the Cincinnati.com website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Basketball, Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Johnson, George "GG"
Birth Year : 1939
George Johnson was born in Columbus, Georgia. He is the first and only African American head golf professional in Kentucky. In 2004, he was one of nine golf professionals named to manage Louisville Metro Park clubhouse operations for the next five years. Johnson is the Head Pro at Bobby Nichols Golf Course in Waverly Park, Louisville, KY, where he has been since 1997. George Johnson became a professional golfer in 1964, qualifying for the U.S. Open in 1965. In 1971 he won the Azalea Open and became the fourth African American to win a PGA tournament. Johnson is a lifetime member of the PGA Tour. In 2008, George Johnson was inducted into the African American Golfers Hall of Fame. For more see the annual George "GG" Johnson Golf Scramble fliers. For more about George Johnson's career, see D. Poore, "Golf league seeks minorities," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 05/02/2007, Neighborhoods section, p. 19.

See photo image and additional information about George "GG" Johnson at the bottom of the Urban Youth Golf Program website.
Subjects: Golf and Golfers, Migration North, Parks
Geographic Region: Columbus, Georgia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Harlan C.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1992
Harlan C. Johnson was born in Eminence, KY, to Elizabeth H. Cowherd Johnson and Joseph S. Johnson. He had an outstanding career in the military: two bronze metals from the Asian Pacific theater; a bronze star from the Philippines Liberation; a Good Conduct Medal; and a World War II Victory Medal. After his career in the service, Johnson was a business teacher at New York University and Southern University at Baton Rouge. He taught in the New York City school system, served on the Board of Education, and was a drug counselor with the Community Services Committee. He received the Humanitarian Service Plaque for his work with the pre-release program of rehabilitation at Green Haven Prison. Harlan C. Johnson graduated from New York University in 1950 with a B.A. and in 1952 with an M.A. He died March 5, 1992 in Bronx, New York [source: Social Security Death Index]. For more see Harlan C. Johnson in Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Eminence, Henry County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Johnson, Jessica Grimm "Judy"
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2003
Johnson was born in Lexington, KY. When she was a child, her family moved to Clifton, OH, and she later moved to Buffalo, NY, with her husband, Ralph Johnson. Jessica Johnson is remembered as a trailblazer for African American woman in Buffalo and New York politics. She was secretary to the first woman elected to the Common Council, the first woman to become Director of the License Bureau in 1965, and a confidential aide to the Mayor, the first woman and African American to serve in the Mayor's inner cabinet. In 1968, she was elected Chair of the 13th Ward, Masten District Democratic Committee; and she was elected Assistant Treasurer of the New York Democratic Committee in 1973 and elected Treasurer in 1975. Johnson was the first African American woman to be appointed City Treasurer in 1976, the same year she became the first woman and African American to be elected Senior Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Party. For more see "Jessica Johnson, pioneer in city and state politics, dies at 94," Buffalo News, 09/26/2003, Local section, p. C4.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Johnson, Kissiah "Kizzy"
Birth Year : 1767
Death Year : 1880
Kissiah Johnson is regarded as the oldest person to have lived in Greene County, Ohio; she was said to be 112 years and 3 months old when she died February 28, 1880.  She is mistakenly identified as a man in A. R. Kilner's book Greene County, Ohio Past and Present. The following information about Kissiah Johnson and her family comes from Robert Claxton Winston Day's self-published title Kizzy, 1767-1880 / Janie, 1902-2004: Me and Janie 1990. Kissiah "Kizzy" Johnson was a slave born in Virginia c.1767, initially owned by Anthony Thornton, Sr. Upon Thornton's death, his slaves were willed to his daughter Lucy Dixon Thornton. Author R. C. W. Day gained this information from Slave Records of Lucy Dixon Thornton, a document he obtained from the John Fox, Jr. Genealogical Library in Paris, Bourbon County, KY. [The library is within the Duncan Tavern Historic Center.]  Anthony Thornton, Sr. had moved his family and his slaves to Kentucky in 1807, and he died in 1827. His daughter Lucy Dixon Thornton died in 1858. When Lucy died, the welfare of her slaves was left to her son Henry Walker Thornton who was to eventually emancipate the slaves and remove them to Liberia, Africa. Author R. C. W. Day wrote in his publication that he assumed that Kissiah Johnson had died while a slave belonging to Henry Walker Thornton; records indicated that the former slaves had been freed, but had not gone to Liberia, rather, they had moved to Jamestown, Greene County, Ohio. Among them were Kissiah's daughter Rose, and Rose's children Kizziah, Maria, Andrew, and Rosa. Rose's son Daniel (1846-1924), the great-grandfather of author R. C. W. Day, lived the rest of his life in Brentsville, Bourbon County, KY. Daniel's son, Garland (1875-1967) was a land owner in Brentsville and built the four room house where author R. C. W. Day was born in 1934. In his search for Kizzy, R. C. W. Day reread the estate records of Lucy Thornton and found that he had overlooked the name James Willis Sterling that was bracketed with Kizzy's name. Looking at the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, R. C. W. Day found that James W. Sterling also lived in Jamestown, Greene County, OH, in the home of Cyrus and Frances Eads, along with Frances' mother, 99 year old Kissiah Johnson. She had lived to see her family emancipated and she survived the move to Ohio. Kissiah Johnson died in 1880. Her gravesite is located in the Old Silver Creek Cemetery, and there is a monument listing the names of Kissiah, her son Daniel and his wife Maryann, and Fanny (Frances) Eads.

 

Additional Information:

The text version of the will and inventory of Anthony Thornton, Sr. is available online at the Bourbon County, KY website. [The Thornton family lived in Harrison County, KY.]

 

The text version of the will and inventory of Lucy Dixon Thornton is available online at the Bourbon County, KY website.  [Henry Walker Thornton was the adopted son of Lucy Dixon Thornton; he was her deceased brother's child. The slaves Henry Walker Thornton inherited from Lucy Dixon Thornton were to be liberated upon his death.]

 

It is not known when Henry Walker Thornton died. In the 1860 Slave Schedule for Cynthiana, Harrison County, KY, H. W. Thornton is listed with 19 slaves, the oldest an 84 year old mulatto female. [Slaves were not listed by name in the Slave Schedules.] H. W. Thornton, who was single in 1860, is listed in the census as a farmer. He had real estate valued at $17,850 [$516,000 CPI in 2013], and he had a personal estate valued at $20,000 [$578,000 CPI in 2013]. Henry Walker Thornton is not listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, by which time Kissiah Johnson and her family were free, and most were living in Jamestown, OH.

 
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North
Geographic Region: Virginia / Harrison County, Kentucky / Brentsville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Jamestown, Greene County, Ohio

Johnson, Laura "Dolly"
Birth Year : 1852
Dolly Johnson, an African American from Kentucky, was the cook for President Benjamin Harrison. Johnson had cooked for the Harrison family in Indiana, sometime prior to their move to the White House. She was summoned to the White House by President Harrison around 1889 to replace Madame Petronard, a French chef. According to an article in the Woodland Daily Democrat, 01/09/1890, p.3, Laura [Dolly] Johnson was from Lexington, KY. She was about 37 years old and described as a mulatto, educated, and had secured a bit of wealth as a cook for Colonel John Mason Brown, according to an article in the Plaindealer. For more see S. E. Wilkins, “The president’s kitchen – African American cooks in the White House; includes recipes; Special Issue: the Untold Story of Blacks in the White House,” American Visions (February - March 1995); “Dolly the Kentucky negro cook,” Davenport Tribune, 03/07/1893; "Will cook for the President," Plaindealer, 12/20/1889, p.1; and "Mrs. Harrison's Lexington cook," The Kentucky Leader, 12/03/1889, p.2.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indiana / Washington D. C.

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

Johnson, Lyman T. [Johnson v. Board of Trustees]
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1997
A teacher and assistant principal at Louisville schools, Lyman T. Johnson was a civil rights activist who fought for equal pay for African American teachers. He was head of the Louisville NAACP. His lawsuit desegregated the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1949. To commemorate the occasion, a historical marker was placed in front of Frazee Hall near the Student Center on the UK campus. Brother-in-law to Thomas F. Blue, Johnson was born in Columbia, TN, moving to Louisville in 1930 at the request of his sister, Cornelia Johnson Blue. He was a graduate of Knoxville Academy, Virginia Union College [now Virginia Union University], and the University of Michigan. The personal papers of Lyman T. Johnson are available at the University of Louisville Library. For more see The Rest of the Dream, by W. Hall; and S. Stevens, Historical Marker to be dedicated for African American Commemoration at the UK Public Relations' website.

See photo image of Lyman T. Johnson at KET Living the Story website.

Access Interview Read about the Lyman T. Johnson 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, Education and Educators, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Columbia, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Johnson, Perry
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1928
In 2009, Rev. Charles H. Johnson was searching for information about his great-grandfather in Mt. Sterling, KY and Spencerville, OH, when he was hired as minister of the church his great-grandfather helped build in 1904. His great-grandfather's name was Perry Johnson, he was a fugitive slave from Montgomery County, KY. The name of the church he helped build is Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker). Perry Johnson came to Spencerville by way of Cincinnati, OH. He had been the slave of Thomas Johnson, a Kentucky Legislator from Mt. Sterling, KY, who served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Johnson Avenue, in Mt. Sterling, KY, is named in his honor. It was just prior to the start of the Civil War when Perry Johnson left Montgomery County and headed north with a group of fugitives in the Underground Railroad. Perry's first stop was in Cincinnati, OH, where he stayed until about 1870, according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson. When he was about the age of 15, Perry Johnson left Cincinnati and went to Marion, OH, where he was taken in by Thomas and Nancy Beckerdite. He remained with the Beckerdite family for 19 years and learned to read and write. The Beckerdite couple came from North Carolina. According to Rev. Charles H. Johnson, the Beckerdites were white, German, and Quakers. In the U.S. Census, Thomas Beckerdite is listed as Black in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. His wife Nancy is listed as white in 1870 and as Mulatto in 1880. Their eight year old daughter Florence is listed as Mulatto in 1880. Florence would become the wife of Perry Johnson in 1888; Perry was 33 years old and Florence was 15. In 1900, Perry, Florence, and their five children lived in Spencerville, OH, and Perry worked as a rig builder in the oil field [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family was Quaker and participated in the services that were held in members' homes. In 1904, the Spencerville Holiness Mission Church was constructed and Perry Johnson was one of the builders. Between 1906 and 1909, the church was renamed the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker), according to Rev. Charles H. Johnson who referenced the history of Spencerville Friends Church from a loose-leaf book that was compiled by Wanda Lies in 1997. The book has about 70 pages, and Perry and Florence Johnson are listed as charter members of the church. At some point after the Civil War, Perry Johnson was able to reunite with his siblings who would also move to Ohio: William Pepsico, Carol Stewart, Wally Stewart, and Herald Stewart. Perry and Florence would remain in Spencerville, OH, for the remainder of their lives. When Florence's father died, her mother lived with Florence, Perry, and their seven children [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Perry had an eggs and poultry business. Perry Johnson died in 1928 and Florence Johnson died in 1959. This entry was submitted by Miles Hoskins of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Rev. Charles H. Johnson, minister of the Spencerville Friends Church (Quaker).

See the stone that marks the grave of Perry Johnson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Spencerville, Ohio

Joice, James and Jemima
In 1863, James Joice (1807-1872), an escaped slave from Kentucky, was a cook and valet for Lt. Addison B. Partridge of the Union Army. When Partridge left the army, Joice followed him to Freemont Township in Illinois. Two years later, James returned to Kentucky and brought his wife, Jemima (1824-1920), and their children, Asa (d. 1924) and Sarah (d. 1941), up North. They were the first African American settlers in Ivanhoe, IL. Asa would become the first African American elected to public office in Lake County. The family remained in the community and are all buried in the Ivanhoe Church Cemetery. For more see Daily Herald articles, "First Black settlers found home in Fremont Township," 02/08/1997, Neighbor section, p. 1; and "Joices play important role in history," 02/21/1999, Neighbor section, p. 1. See also "A touch of the past," Chicago Tribune, Magazine section, p. 7.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / [Freemont Township] Ivanhoe, Lake County, Illinois

Jones, Abel Bedford and Albert Thomas
Birth Year : 1810
The following information on the Jones brothers comes from Dr. Michael F. Murphy, Historian of Education at the University of Western Ontario; Dr. Murphy is working on a book about the schooling of colored and mulatto children in London, Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1865. The Jones brothers played a major role in the schooling of these children. The brothers had been slaves in Madison County, KY. Abel was a field-hand and Albert worked for a millwright who owned a large merchant mill. Albert earned enough money to buy his freedom in 1833; he was 23 years old. He also purchased the freedom of Abel and a younger brother. The brothers immigrated to London, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Albert became a barber and merchant, and Abel was a barber and an herbal dentist. The brothers did quite well with their businesses. Abel may have been involved with the African American resettlement program. The brothers were interviewed by Samuel Ringgold Ward, S.G. Howe, and Benjamin Drew when these commentators reported on the condition of fugitive slaves in Canada. Abel's whereabouts are unknown after the mid 1850s. In 1866, Albert, often referred to as Dr. Jones, and his large family left London. Perhaps they returned to Kentucky. The Jones children were Betsy, Paul, Elizabeth, George B., A.O., Frances A., Victoria S?, Torreza O?, Albion, and Princess A. If you have more information or would like more information about Abel and Albert Jones, please contact Dr. Michael F. Murphy at murfy@sympatico.ca.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / London, (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada

Jones, Bobby "Toothpick"
Birth Year : 1938
Jones, from Maysville, KY, was the first African American high school basketball player to receive All-state honors in Kentucky. Jones got his nickname because he always had a toothpick in his mouth. In 1957, standing at 6' 3" and weighing 215 pounds, Jones was the second African American basketball player at the University of Dayton [the first was Charles "Ben" Jones from Danville, KY]. Bobby Jones averaged 10 points per game during his sophomore year but was kicked off the team because he had broken several team rules: he got married, rode a scooter that he crashed (he was hospitalized for his injuries), and fought with his teammates. Jones then transferred to Marshall University but left because he did not want to sit-out for a year before becoming eligible to play on the basketball team. He next played in the AAU League and also toured with the Harlem Stars and the Harlem Satellites basketball teams. After his basketball career ended, Jones got a job and also drove a cab on weekends before eventually returning to college: in 1972 he graduated from Ohio State University and a few years later earned his master's degree at Xavier University. In 1991, Jones was living in Cincinnati, OH, and taught at Holmes High School in Covington, KY. For more information see "Toothpick forgotten in UD hoop lore," Dayton Daily News, 02/16/1991, Sports section, p. 1B.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Dayton Ohio

Jones, Charles B., Sr. "Ben"
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2001
Charles B. Jones, Sr. was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He was the first African American basketball player at the University of Dayton where he graduated in 1949. Among his occupations, Jones was employed as business manager for African American boxer, Ezzard Mack Charles, a heavyweight champion, alias "The Cincinnati Cobra." Jones is most remembered for launching and directing the Dayton Youth Golf Academy in 1989 for inner city children. He also served as a volunteer golf instructor with the organization. Jones was inducted into the Dayton Golf Hall of Fame in 1993. Charles B. Jones, Sr. was the son of Charles and Emma Jones, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, and the family of six, all born in Kentucky, lived on Clinton Street in Cincinnati. For more see B. Albers, "Madden Memorial to honor local golf teacher," Dayton Daily News, 05/19/2002, Sports section, p.7D.
Subjects: Basketball, Golf and Golfers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio

Jones, Charles W.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1957
Born in Barbourville, KY, Charles Wesley Jones was a lawyer who moved to Detroit, Michigan. He ran for the Michigan State Senate in 1932 and was defeated. In 1952 he was a U.S. Representative candidate but was defeated in the primary. Jones was the first African American judge in Michigan appointed to Recorder's Court. For more see the date July 29, 1950 on the Detroit African American History Project website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Jones, Daisy
Daisy Jones was the first African American nurse in Colorado. She and her family had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made their way to Canada, where Jones received her nurse training. She moved to Denver, CO, in 1904. Jones was also one of the organizers of the NAACP in Colorado. Her forceps and medicine bag are on display at the Black American West Museum in Denver. For more see "Black Women in Colorado: two early portraits," Frontiers: a Journal of Women Studies," vol. 7, issue 3 -- Women on the Western Frontier (1984), p. 21; and photo image of Daisy Jones on p.18 in African Americans of Denver by R. J. Stephens, L. M. Larson, and The Black American West Museum.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

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

Jones, Louis Clayton
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2006
Jones, an equal rights advocate and international lawyer, was born in Lexington, KY. He was a graduate of old Dunbar High School, Howard University, and Yale Law School, and was admitted to the bar in Kentucky and New York. He founded the National Conference of Black Lawyers. He was assistant director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights in 1961. In 1981, he was the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, returning to the U.S. in 1982. The following year, Jones became counsel to the family of Michael Stewart, a 25-year old New Yorker who was arrested for writing graffiti in the subway and later died from injuries he received while in police custody. In 1985, Jones became the Director of Legal and Financial Affairs in Paris, France, for the Saudi Arabian company First Investment Capital Corporation. Louis Clayton Jones was the son of the late Mary Elizabeth Jones and Rev. William A. Jones, Sr.,; one of his six siblings was Rev. William A. Jones, Jr. For more see J. Ogawa, "Lexington native worked behind scenes for equal rights," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/13/2006, City&Region section, p. D3; and "RIP: Louis Clayton Jones," Black Star News, 01/12/2006.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York / Liberia, Africa

Jones, Lydia
Jones was one of the original members of The First Baptist Church of Columbus (OH) in 1824. It was the first Baptist church formed in the city of Columbus. The church started with 11 members, three of whom were African American: Jones from Kentucky and Patty Booker and George Butcher, both from Virginia. Lydia Jones was probably not a slave. The First Baptist Church of Columbus Papers are in the Ohio Historical Society Library/Archives. For more see chapter 43, "Baptist," by O. C. Hooper, in History of the City of Columbus, Capital of Ohio, vol. 2, by A. E. Lee [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Jones, Margaret Grady
Birth Year : 1885
Margaret "Maggie" Jones was the first African American woman to serve on the Republican Precinct Committee in South Bend, IN. She was a Kentucky native, born in Haydensville. She was married to George Lee Jones, Sr., born in 1887 in Kentucky. All of the couples' children were also born in Kentucky. The family moved to South Bend in 1919, and according to the 1930 U. S. Federal Census, they lived on West Jefferson Street. George Jones, Sr. was a presser at a tailor's shop. Maggie was an active member of several organizations, including the Indiana State Republican Women, the Northern Star, and Daughter Elks. For more see the Margaret Jones entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and the Margaret Jones Collection at Northern Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Haydensville, Todd County, Kentucky / South Bend, Indiana

Jones v Van Zandt (1847)
Start Year : 1842
End Year : 1847
The case was the second of four major slave cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1842, a civil suit was brought by Wharton Jones for $500, the value of an escaped slave who had left Kentucky with eight other slaves and traveled into Ohio. The slaves had been aided by abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor, John Van Zandt, who had been born in Fleming County, KY. Van Zandt later moved near Glendale, Ohio, where Van Zandt was caught transporting the nine escaped slaves from Boone County, KY. One of the slaves, Andrew, thought to be worth $500-$600, escaped, and the others were placed in jail. Van Zandt and the eight remaining slaves were extradited to Kentucky, where Van Zandt was charged with harboring and concealing the escaped slaves. His attorneys, Salmon P. Chase and William H. Seward, unsuccessfully argued that in Ohio all people were presumed free, and Van Zandt could not have known that he was transporting runaway slaves. The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case in 1847 and upheld the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. The slaves remained in bondage, and Van Zandt was ordered to pay the fee. For more see Paul Finkelman "Slavery," The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 2005; Oxford Reference Online; Jones v Van Zandt, 46 U.S. 215 (1847); and the Jones v Van Zandt case, full text at Justia.com.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Boone County, Kentucky / Glendale, Ohio

Jones, William (Bill) A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2006
Born in Louisville, KY, Jones was ordained a minister in Kentucky and served as pastor of Bethany Baptist Church for 43 years. The church, located in Brooklyn, New York, has about 5,000 members. Jones' message was also delivered on the Bethany Hour, which was broadcast on television and radio to 400 cities. He also led the campaign to integrate New York trade unions and organized a boycott of grocery stores, such as A & P, because they did not hire African Americans. He helped to establish and lead the National Black Pastors Conference in 1979. He was the first chairman of the New York chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He had preached in Toronto and Scotland and completed special studies in Nigeria and Ghana. Jones grew up in Lexington and was a graduate of the (Old) Dunbar High School and the University of Kentucky, where he earned a degree in sociology. He was also a graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate from a school that is now part of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He was the son of William A. Jones, Sr. and the grandson of Henry Wise Jones, Sr. who co-founded Simmons Bible College in Louisville, KY. William A. Jones, Jr.'s memorial service was held at the Historic Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. For more see D. Martin, "Rev. William A. Jones, Civil Rights Activist, Dies at 71," The New York Times, 02/08/2006, Sec. C, p.16; and J. Hewlett, "Renowned preacher, civil-rights leader," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/07/2006, City&Region section, p. B1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Brooklyn, New York

Jones, William Lawless
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2000
Jones was born on the Kentucky State University campus in Frankfort, KY, the son of Paul W. L. Jones [a dean at the school] and Ada Anderson Jones. William L. Jones was a graduate of Fisk University, the University of Michigan and the University of Cincinnati. Jones was one of the nine African American soldiers to be sent to Fort Knox Armor Officer Candidate School [officers training] in 1942 and was commissioned a second lieutenant; the military had been segregated when Jones enlisted in 1941. He fought in World War II and was a captain during the Korean War. He received the Bronze Star and was the only African American intelligence officer in the 45th Division. Jones received the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring from the Army in 1966. As a civilian, he was a teacher for the New Jersey Job Corps, taught sociology at the University of Cincinnati, and was a columnist for the Cincinnati Herald newspaper. Jones was also well known for his knowledge of jazz; his column "Diggin' that joyous jazz" was published in NIP Magazine. Jones donated his jazz record collection to the National Afro-American History Museum and Culture Center in Wilberforce, OH. Named in Jones' honor, the William Lawless Jones Award is presented each year by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. For more see R. Billman, "William Lawless Jones," The Cincinnati Enquirer, 07/15/2000, Obituaries, MET section, p. 10 B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Keene Industrial Institute (Keene, KY) / Beattyville Industrial Institute (Beattyville, KY) / W. H. Parker
Start Year : 1900
The Keene Industrial Institute was located in Keene, Jessamine County, Kentucky. The school was established by W. H. Parker, November 12, 1900, and the first session was held from January-May, 1901. Parker, from Alabama, was a graduate of State University in Louisville [later Simmons University]. He came to Keene in 1899 to build a school on the order of Tuskegee Institute. Keene Industrial Institute was established with donations; W. H. Parker traveled throughout Kentucky and to northern states attempting to raise additional funds. In November, 1901, the school was visited by Virginia Dox from Boston. It was an impromptu visit that was encouraged by Dr. W. G. Frost, President of Berea College. Virginia Dox had raised money for schools in the West and in Mexico. She encouraged W. H. Parker to continue his efforts and they would pay off in the long run. W. H. Parker received small donations from the community and larger donations from persons in nearby counties. The girls dormitory was donated by A. J. Alexander of Woodburn, Spring Station, KY. Money for a new building had been donated by Senator J. M. Thomas of Bourbon County. Students were charged $5 per month for board and tuition. The shoe-making department for boys was headed by W. H. Cornell from Alabama, and it was thought to be the first time in Kentucky that a Colored institution participated in the shoe sales market. The school also offered sewing and cooking for the girls. In 1902, some equipment had been gathered for a blacksmith department. The school was then referred to as a normal and industrial institute. The school staff members were W. H. Parker; W. R. Dudley; Mrs. Ellsa Jones, matron; Horace D. Slatter, English and normal; J. E. Bookware, shoe-making; Mrs. Eliza Gaines, sewing; Miss Hannah M. Webster, English and normal; Rev. J. H. Brooks, Chaplain, history, Bible and English. After struggling year after year to keep Keene Industrial Institute afloat, it was announced in March 1903 that the school would be moved to Beattyville, KY, during the summer. The new school was located on five acres of land donated by Judge G. W. Gourley of Lexington. An adjoining 45 acres was available for lease, and if the school proved to be successful for Lee County, then the 45 acres could be purchased by the school trustees. The leased land was used as a farm. Boys who could not pay their board and tuition could work off their fees at the farm. The instruction for boys included carpentry and blacksmithing, and they could make additional money cutting cord wood and getting cross ties for railroad contractors. Girls who could not pay their tuition and board outright could work off their fees in the laundry or by sewing and cooking at the school. Mrs. Lizzie Johnson, from Paducah, KY, was over the Laundry Department and the primary grades. Miss Mamie L. Brooks, from Paducah, was the music instructor. Mrs. W. H. Parker taught mathematics and grammar. The new school building opened in the fall of 1903. The motto was "Obedience is our watchword." Miss Alice Brownlow, a musician from Mobile, Alabama, and sister to Mrs. W. H. Parker, arrived in Beattyville in November, 1903 to take part in the school's Industrial Congress celebration. There were 30 students at the school, all boys and men from Kentucky and several other states, aged 11 to 28. In September, 1904, W. H. Parker represented the school during the Mount Pleasant Association Messengers and Ministers Meeting held in Lexington, KY. W. H. Parker was also a politician, serving as an alternate-at-large for Beattyville for the Kentucky Delegation to the 1904 Republican National Convention in Chicago, where Theodore Roosevelt was nominated as Presidential candidate and Charles W. Fairbanks the Vice-Presidential candidate. For more see "Industrial Institute," Lexington Leader, 04/07/1901, p. 2; "The First Year," Lexington Leader, 05/17/1901, p. 4; "Keene Industrial Institute Notes," 08/14/1901, p. 7; "Keene Institute," Lexington Leader, 08/22/1901, p. 4; "Keene," Lexington Leader, 10/12/1902, p. 2; "Keene Institute," 11/14/1901, p. 2; "Parker's Plan," 12/26/1901, p. 2; "Splendid work," Lexington Leader, 03/23/1902, p. 4; "Keene School," Lexington Leader, 04/19/1903, p. 1; "K. N and I. I. Notes," The American Baptist, 11/13/1903, p. 3; "Mount Pleasant Association," The American Baptist, 09/23/1904, p. 3; and "Lee County. Beattyville." Citizen, 11/05/1903, p. 8. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Blacksmiths, Carpenters, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Keene, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Alabama

Kellar, Frank, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1928
Frank Kellar, Sr. is referred to as a "pioneer citizen" in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney. He was one of the organizers of the Walnut Hills Bethel Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH. He served as the treasurer from the time the church was established in 1896 until his death in 1928. Frank Kellar was also one of the organizers of the Benjamin Lundy Lodge #1661 G. U. O. O. F. The organization was one of six colored Oddfellows lodges in Cincinnati in 1883, and it is listed on p. 38 of the Williams' Cincinnati Directory 1883. Lodge members met the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month on Willow Street between Chapel and Vine Streets in Walnut Hills. Frank Kellar, Sr., born in Kentucky, was 63 years old in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. A widower, he was the janitor at the church. His last name is spelled "Keller" in the 1910 Census that also includes the name of his wife, Mary E. "Keller", who was born in Kentucky around 1860.
Subjects: Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Kennedy, John W. "Jay"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2001
John William Kennedy was born in Bryantsville, KY. His family had worked on the J. Hogan Ballard tobacco farm and also worked with horses. When Kennedy's father died around 1920, the family moved to New Kensington/Greensburg, PA. Throughout his life, Jay Kennedy was well know in the horse industry; see photos of him at horse shows and fairs at the Blackhorsemen.com website. Like many others, Kennedy is among the forgotten horsemen highlighted in the American Saddlebred Museum 2007 exhibit in Lexington, KY - Out of the Shadows: Bringing to Light Black Horsemen in Saddlebred History. Kennedy was also Grand Marshall of the Masons in Bridgeport, OH. Additional information provided by Jane Kennedy-Ellis, daughter of John W. Kennedy. For more information on the Black Horsemen, see the DVD Out of the Shadows, winner of a Silver Telly at the 28th Annual Telly Awards, available at the American Saddlebred Museum.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Bryantsville, Garrard County, Kentucky / New Kensington and Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Kennedy, Raymond "Ray"
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1997
Kennedy was probably born in Bryantsville, KY; he is the older brother of John "Jay" Kennedy. The family moved to Kensington/Greensburg, Pennsylvania after the brothers' father died. The Kennedy brothers became well-known horsemen. Photographs of the brothers are available at the Black Horsemen website. There were many other African American horsemen such as those featured in the American Saddlebred Museum 2007 exhibit - Out of the Shadows: Bringing to Light Black Horsemen in Saddlebred History. Additional information provided by Jayne Kennedy-Ellis, niece of Raymond Kennedy. For more information on the Black Horsemen, see the DVD titled Out of the Shadows, winner of a Silver Telly at the 28th Annual Telly Awards, available at the American Saddlebred Museum.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Bryantsville, Garrard County, Kentucky / New Kensington and Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Kentucky African American Musicians in Illinois (Chicago)
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1950
One strand of the African American migration from the south to northern cities involved musicians who were seeking more opportunities and larger venues that would give them greater exposure and recognition. The following is a list of some of the musicians who were born in Kentucky and lived in Illinois. These are individuals who made their living playing musical instruments.  Most of the musicians listed below were men who lived in Chicago in the late 1800s up to the end of the 1940s. Some of them became more well known than others. There are a few women in the list. There were hardly any African American women from Kentucky who made their living playing music in a town or city in Illinois, though there were a number of women singers and performers from Kentucky.  Sources: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index; Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index; U.S. Census Records; NKAA entries; and U.S. Social Security Death Index.

 

Withers Abernathy (b. 1906 KY - lived in Peoria, IL) [1940 Census]

Adlade Adams (b. 1917 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles "Cane" Adams (b. KY - lived in Chicago)

Boyd Atkins (b. 1900 Paducah, KY - d. 03/01/1965 Chicago)

Louis Bacon (b. 11/01/1904 Louisville, KY - d. 12/1967, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York)  

Bernie Barbour (b.1881 Danville, KY - d. 04/11/1936 Chicago) - {last name misspelled in the death index as "Barfour"}

Jeffrie Bellamy (b. 1888 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Robert Berkley (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Henry and Louise Berkley

James L. Blythe (b. 05/20/1901 Lexington, KY - d. 05/13/1941 Chicago)

George Richard Boarman (b. 02/01/1869 Wallingford, Hardin County, KY - d. 03/26/1942 Chicago) - son of Charles Boarman and Anice Neighbors Boarman

Thomas Boom (b. 1859 KY - lived in Villa Ridge, IL) [1880 Census] - son of A. and Martha Boom

James Bottoms (b. 1909 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles Noliner Brady (b. 02/09/1878 Frankfort, KY - d. 02/18/1920 Chicago) - son of Horace Brady and Johnsonia Buckner Brady, brother to Bessie May Brady

John Brim (b. 04/10/1922 Hopkinsville - d. 10/01/2003 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Gary, IN)

Clarence Brown (b. 1904 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Paul Brown (b. 1916 KY - lived in Blairsville, IL) [1940 Census]

Woodrow Bruewer (b. 1910 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Daniel G. Burley (b. 11/1908 Lexington, KY - d. 10/29/1962 Chicago)

Buddie Burton (b. 1890 Louisville, KY - d. 1976 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Louisville) [1940 Census] - {first name also spelled "Buddy."}

Sammie Butler (b. 1906 Henderson, KY - d. 05/08/1944 Chicago) - son of Mary Butler

Alexander Calmese (b. 1891 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Herbert Clerdy (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

J. Glover Compton (b. 1884 Harrodsburg, KY - d. 06/11/1964 Chicago) - son of Laura L. Bowman Compton and J. Glover Compton, Sr.

Charles L. Cooke (b. 09/03/1887 Louisville, KY - d. 12/25/1958 grew up in Detroit, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) 

James Coudelton (b. 1913 KY - lived in Chicago)  [1940 Census]

George Crittenden (b. 11/13/1873 KY - d. 07/05/1911 Chicago) - son of A. Crittenden and Anna Cowan Crittenden

Douglas Crosberry (b. 1842 KY - d. 03/17/1911 Chicago)

Teddy Darby (b. 03/02/1906 Henderson, KY - d. 12/1975 lived in Chicago, died in East St. Louis)

Billy Dorsey (b. 10/05/1878 Louisville, KY - d. 02/29/1920 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Arizona, buried in Louisville) - son of Daniel and Celia Smith Dorsey

Theory Drye (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago)

Clarence Duncan (b.1880 Midway, KY - d. 07/17/1930 Chicago) - son of Joseph Duncan and Sallie White Duncan

John Dunkins (b. 1889 Bowling Green, KY - d. 12/03/1925 Chicago)

George Edwards (b. 08/16/1873 Louisville, KY - d. 09/26/1937 Chicago) - son of Thomas Edwards

Herman Edwards (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Charles Eidson (b. 1896 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Logan Eubanks (b. 1898 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Luther Gafford (b. 1912 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

M. C. Gambles (b. 1908 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Harlan Graham, Sr. (b. 1910 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

William H. Griffin (b. 10/14/1878 Louisville, KY - d. 11/22/1932 Chicago) - son of Harry Griffin and Belindia Duncan Griffin

Lionel Hampton (b. 04/20/1908 Louisville, KY - d. 08/01/2002 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) - son of Gladys M. Morgan Hampton and Charles E. Hampton

Roger Haycraft (b. 1860 Louisville, KY - d. 10/13/1888 Chicago)

Wilbur Highbough (b. 1876 KY - d. 12/20/1892 Chicago)

James Howell (b. 1880 KY - d. 11/19/1913 Chicago) - son of William Howell

Charles Jackson (b. 1881 KY - d. 10/30/1928 Chicago) - son of Al and Louise Jackson

Willie M. Jefferson (b. 1910 KY - lived in Blairsville) [1940 Census]

Harry Johnson (b. 1894 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Meade Lux Lewis (b. 09/04/1904 Louisville - 06/1964 grew up in Chicago, died in Minnesota) - son of Hattie and George Lewis

George Lipscomb (b. 1879 KY - d. 05/05/1901 Chicago)

William Logan (b. 1896 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Sarah McLawler (b. 1926 Louisville, KY - lived in Chicago, lives in New York)

George Mitchell (b. 03/08/1899 Louisville, KY - d. 05/1972 Chicago)

Robert Montgomery (b. 1903 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

George Henry Moseley (b. 03/1897 Louisville, KY - d. 03/25/1922 Chicago) - son of Thornton Moseley and Lavinia German Moseley

James Olher Harrison Norris (b. 12/02/1894 KY - d. 06/13/1918 Springfield) - son of John Norris and Mollie Trailor Norris

Joseph Osbone [Osborne] (b. 1895 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Anna Osbone [Osborne]

French Owen, Jr. (b. 1881 KY - d. 09/06/1912 Chicago) - son of French Owen, Sr. and Emma Burnell Owen

Jerome Don Pasquall (b. b. 1902 Fulton County, KY - d. 10/1971 grew up in St. Louis, lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) 

Herman Patterson (b. 1897 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

John Pollard (b. 1870 KY - d. 12/24/1914 Chicago) - son of Bryant Pollard

Eugene Powers (b. 1854 KY - d. 01/28/1897 Chicago)

Greenville Raby (b. 1916 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Junes Rancy (b. 1870 KY - d. 03/07/1899 Chicago)

William Reeves (b. 1894 Winchester, KY - d. 03/26/1936 Chicago) - son of Samuel Reeves and Mary Haggard Reeves

Claude Rhodes (b. 1900 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census] - son of Hellen Rhodes Harding

Claude Rhodes (b. 1902 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

William K. Riley (b. 1874 KY - d. 01/03/1917 Chicago) - son of John R. Riley

Henderson Smith (b. 1858 Frankfort, KY - d. 09/21/1923 Chicago) - son of William and Maria Smith 

Ray Skivers (b. 1906 KY - lived in Joliet, IL) [1940 Census]

James Strange (b. 1905 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Ethel M. Swayne (b. 1898 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Harry Swift (b. 1884 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

John L. Thomas (b. 09/18/1902 Louisville, KY - d. 11/07/1971 Chicago) [1940 Census]

John Thompkins (b. 1894 New Castle, KY - d. 01/06/1942 Chicago) - son of Elijah Thompkins

Johnny Wells (b. 1905 KY - d. 11/25/1965 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York)

Robert Williams (b. 06/10/1894 KY - d. 02/03/1923 Chicago) - son of Calvin Williams and Lizzie Herley Williams

Stanley R. Williams (b. 04/10/1894 Danville, KY - d. 12/17/1975 lived in Chicago, lived & died in New York) - son of Maria Jane Durham

James H. Wilson, Sr. (b. 12/19/1880 Nicholasville, KY - d. 10/02/1961 lived in Chicago, lived & died in Alabama) - son of Jacob and Hester Wilson

Preston Winston (b. 1903 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

Britt Woodson (b. 1915 KY - lived in Chicago) [1940 Census]

 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Illinois

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

Kentucky State Collegians
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1976
The collegians were college dance bands, one of which was located at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. The Kentucky group, first called the Danny Williams Band of Chicago, had performed in 1938 for the Kentucky State Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, thanks to Mrs. Clarice J. Michaels, head of the school's music department. Michaels, a pianist and soprano, had been a member of the World Famous Williams Jubilee Singers, formed in 1904 by Charles P. Williams from Holly Springs, MS. C. P. Williams, who had migrated to Chicago, was the father of Danny Williams. Kentucky State Dean John T. Williams (no relation) persuaded President Rufus Atwood to enroll the Danny Williams Band members and allow them to become the school band for student and faculty dances. The contract stipulated performance payments for the band members from which school fees would be paid. Harvey C. Russell, Jr. president of the student council, became the group’s business manager. They performed on campus and throughout the state, including at white fraternity parties and dances at the University of Kentucky and at functions given by then Governor Happy Chandler. After a year, Kentucky State was no longer able to honor the contract because funding was tight, and Danny Williams and several band members left school. New student members were added to the group that then became known as the Kentucky State College Collegians. The band grew to include 16 members and continued performing until 1946, when John T. Williams was president of Maryland State College [now University of Maryland Eastern Shore] and the band members left to join him; they became the Maryland State Collegians. [Mrs. Clarice J. Michaels would also eventually move on to Maryland State.] One of the band members, Newman Terrell, returned to Kentucky to complete his studies, and he organized and led the new Kentucky State College Collegians. Both the group and the music department prospered; in 1962, the group was the third ranked jazz ensemble among small colleges, and President Carl M. Hill is credited with developing the school’s music department into an accredited program with 14 full-time music specialists. In 1976, several members of the Collegians left to form the group Midnight Star. For more see W. C. Swindell, "The Kentucky State Collegians," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 15, issue 1 (Spring 1987), pp. 3-23; and Kentucky State University Archives. See photo images of the Kentucky State Collegians members in the Kentucky State University Thorobred yearbooks (most are online).

 

  See photo image of the 1958 Kentucky State Collegians, on p.63 of the Kentucky State University Thoroghbred yearbook.

 

 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Holly Springs, Mississippi / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Princess Anne, Maryland

Kentucky v Dennison (1861)
Start Year : 1859
End Year : 1861
This was the last of four major slave cases heard by the U. S. Supreme Count. The case involved Willis Lago, a free African American who lived in Ohio; in 1859 he had helped a slave named Charlotte escape from Woodford County, Kentucky, into Ohio. Charlotte's owner, C. W. Nuckols, filed an indictment against Lago, and the state requested, via Kentucky Governor Beriah Magoffin, that both Charlotte and Lago be returned to Kentucky. Lago was to be extradited to stand trial for seducing and enticing Charlotte to escape. Ohio Governor William Dennison refused to extradite Lago or Charlotte. The case went before the Supreme Court in 1861: Dennison was admonished, but there were no orders that Lago and Charlotte be extradited to Kentucky. "Taney ruled that interstate extradition was a matter of gubernatorial discretion, to be performed out of comity and good citizenship. This precedent remained good law until 1987." For more see Paul Finkelman "Slavery," The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, Kermit L. Hall, Oxford University Press, 2005; Oxford Reference Online; and Kentucky v Dennison 65 U.S. 66; 16 L. Ed. 717; 1860 U.S. LEXIS 376; 24 HOW 66.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Ohio / Woodford County, Kentucky

Kimbley, George P.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1996
Born in Frankfort, KY, Kimbley was the son of Ella and Luther Kimbley. He grew up across the street from the white family that had owned his parents during slavery. Kimbley was a World War I veteran, returning home from the war to become the oldest of a group of miners who helped form a union in District 31, the Calumet Region in Gary, Indiana. He was first to sign a Steelworkers Organizing Committee card in 1936. Kimbley was also the first African American to serve as chair of the grievance committee in basic steel. For more see Black Freedom Fighters in Steel, by R. Needleman; and George Kimbley in "Obituaries" in the Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/04/1996, p.C2.
Subjects: Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

King, Norris Curtis
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
Dr. Norris Curtis King was the founder of Curtis King Hospital in Newnan, GA, and in 1941, the Rose Netta Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. King was born in Princeton, KY, the son of Dee and Nettie Metcalf King. The family of four moved to Cairo, IL, and lived on Poplar Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Norris King completed high school in Cairo, and by 1910, his father had died and the family of three was living in Louisville, KY, on W. Chestnut Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Norris was employed as a presser in a tailor shop, and his brother Cassius was a roller in an iron foundry. By 1920, Norris and his mother lived in Nashville, TN, where Norris King was a student at Roger Williams University [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He continued his education and was a 1924 graduate of Meharry Medical School [now Meharry Medical College]. Norris King moved to Newnan, GA, where he opened his medical practice and later founded the Curtis King Hospital. His specialty was the prevention and cure of venereal diseases. While in Newnan, GA, Norris King met and married Rosa Mae Webb, who was a nurse. The couple had a daughter, and in 1929 the family moved to, Los Angeles, CA, where Dr. King founded the Rose Netta Hospital. It was said to be an interracial hospital because the employees were Negroes, Mexicans, Japanese and White assistants. While in California, Dr. King was also head of the Los Angeles Venereal Clinic and several other clinics. The first interracial blood bank was was established at the Rose Netta Hospital by the Red Cross in 1942. Dr. Norris C. King was the sponsor of the "Craftsman of Black Wings," a Negro aviator and student group seeking to become licensed pilots. Dr. King also owned and bred palomino horses on his ranch in Elsinore, CA. He was a member of the Palomino Horse Association and several other organizations, and he was a 33rd Degree Mason. He was a WWI veteran, and received a certificate of merit and selective service medal for outstanding work during WWII. Dr. Norris Curtis King died December 29, 1960 in Riverside, CA [source: California Death Index]. For more see Norris Curtis King on p.32 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," Jet, 01/19/1961, p.17; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," J.A.M.A., 05/20/1961, p.143; and “Rose-Netta Hospital, L.A.,” Opportunity, 08/20/1942, p.429.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Newnan, Georgia / Los Angeles, California

Kirk, Andrew D. "Andy"
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1992
Kirk was born in Newport, KY, and raised in Denver, CO. He was a mail carrier prior to joining George Morrision's jazz band in Denver, CO, in 1924. He organized his band, Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, in Oklahoma City in 1929. Kirk's first recording was made in 1929, and he went on to acquire international fame. One of his more popular songs was Until the Real Thing Comes Along. He played in the major night clubs and ballrooms such as the Cotton Club in New York and the Tunetown Ballroom in St. Louis. Kirk died in New York according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 7th-8th eds., revised by N. Slonimsky. View images and listen to I Lost My Girl From Memphis - Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Denver, Colorado / New York

Kisner, Robert G.
Birth Year : 1940
Death Year : 2004
Robert G. Kisner, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was born in Lexington, KY, son of Robert O. and Thelma Jackson Kisner. The family moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where R. G. Kisner attended grade school and graduated from Schenley High School in 1959. He went on to earn his BS at Morgan State University and his MD at Meharry Medical College in 1969. Kisner returned to Pittsburgh where he was a staff member of the Magee Women's Hospital for 31 years. After completing his internship, Kisner opened his practice in 1973 in the East Liberty section of the city; he was the second African American obstetrician in private practice in Pittsburgh. Kisner was one of the first African American doctors in many areas of medical practice in Pittsburgh, including serving as the medical director of the Family Planning Council of Western Pennsylvania. For more see "Dr. Robert Garland Kisner," 04/01/04, a Post-Gazette website; "Robert Garland Kisner - doctor who promoted family planning," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 04/01/2004, Obituary section, p. C-17; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2004.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kleizer, Louisa and Mary (sisters)
The following information comes from the unpublished manuscript Tracking Free Black Women in Bourbon County: the Intriguing Case of the Kleizer Women, by Nancy O'Malley.

 

As part of a larger ongoing project to gather information about free people of color, particularly women, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, the existence of two sisters, Louisa Warren and Mary Malvina Kleizer, was uncovered. They owned property and were businesswomen in Paris and both sisters eventually “passed for white”. They are thought to be the daughters of Bourbon County blacksmith Henry Kleizer, who  died intestate in 1836, probably on his farm of 147 acres on the Iron Works Road. The inventory of his estate included “1 Negro woman and 2 children” valued at $800. On July 4, 1836, Henry’s father, John Kleizer, acting on his son’s request, freed the woman, 42 year old Jude, an African American, and her two mulatto daughters, 14 year old Louisa Warren, and 12 year old Mary Malvina. Sadly, Jude died of cholera in 1849.

 

On May 29, 1850, Louisa and Mary Kleizer purchased a house and lot on Main Street in Paris, KY, for $800 from William and Catherine P. Duke. The lot was part of in-lot 14 near the corner of Main and Mulberry (now 5th) Streets. The property corresponds to 428 Main Street where the City Club is now located. Louisa's 8 year old daughter named Ellen Burch, a mulatto, lived with the two sisters. When they were censused in 1850, Louisa was 24 years old and was not listed with an occupation nor could she read or write. Mary was 22 years old, also without an occupation, but was able to read and write. Ellen Burch had attended school during the year.

 

George W. Ingels, a white stable keeper, began a relationship with Mary Kleizer that resulted in the birth of four children by the next census in 1860. The two sisters, under the spelling of Cliser, are listed as living together in Paris and working as confectioners. Their real estate had increased in value to $1400, split between them, with a combined personal worth of $1000. Mary’s children included Jennie Elizabeth aged 8, Louisa aged 5, George W. aged 3, and Mollie aged 1.

 

In 1867, Mary and George moved with their children to Cincinnati, Ohio, leaving Louisa Kleizer and Ellen Burch in Paris, KY. Williams’ 1868 Cincinnati Directory listed George W. Ingels as a partner in the firm Arnold, Bullock & Co. James L. Arnold, Thomas L. Arnold, W.K. Bullock and George W. Ingels were wholesale grocers, commission merchants and liquor dealers at 49 W. Front Street. In the 1869 directory, George was associated with J. L. Arnold in a coal dealership under the firm name of Arnold & Ingels. George W. Ingels appears in the 1870 census for Cincinnati, Ohio, living with Mary who assumed his surname as did their children. Mary and her children are all identified as mulatto in this census. Two more children, Hiram, aged 8, and Birchie (a nickname for Burch), a daughter aged 5, had been born in Kentucky since the last census.

 

In the 1870 census, Louisa Kleizer is a notions and fancy goods merchant in Paris, KY, and her daughter Ellen Burch was working as her clerk. The 1860 census indicated that Louisa had married within the year, but no evidence was found to indicate that she had a husband. She is not listed with a husband in 1870.

 

In October of 1880, George and Mary Ingels sold Mary’s half-interest in the Paris Main Street property to Louisa Kleizer for $900. Louisa was living by herself by this time and was listed as a widow without an occupation. No record of any marriage was found in the Bourbon County records for Louisa Kleizer.

 

In the 1880 census record, Mary is still listed as mulatto, all of her and George’s children are listed as white. The family lived on Hopkins Street and was still living there in 1890. Mary and George Ingels lived in Cincinnati for the rest of their lives. By 1900, they were living on Wesley Avenue just a few blocks from their former home on Hopkins Street. The census taker incorrectly spelled their name as Engalls. George reported that he was 76 years old, born in February of 1824 and married for 47 years. He was a landlord. His wife Mary was identified as white rather than mulatto. She was 75 years old, born in February of 1825.

 

George W. Ingels died on July 23, 1901 and was buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. His “wife” followed him in death on May 24, 1907 and was buried beside him. [They could not have been legally married while in Kentucky since interracial marriage was prohibited, and they may never have formally solemnized their relationship. Interracial marriage was not legalized in Ohio until 1887. No marriage record has been found for George and Mary Ingels although they clearly considered themselves married.] All of their children remained in Cincinnati and were buried in the family lot at Spring Grove Cemetery.

 

Louisa Kleizer’s whereabouts are unknown between 1881 when she purchased an easement along an alley on one side of her property on Main Street in Paris, KY, and December 17, 1902 when she died in Massachusetts. Limited evidence suggests that she left Paris and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where her daughter, Ellen Burch, was living with her husband, a white man named Charles Knight, and their children. After the Civil War, he worked as an armorer at the U.S. Armory until his death at age 65 on August 9, 1904.

 

Ellen, who went by the name Ella, also crossed the boundary between white and black. Her husband was a New Hampshire native who fought in the Civil War with a New Hampshire company and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for meritorious conduct at the Battle of the Crater. Charles and Ella had three daughters, Clara Louise born in February of 1879, Sarah Elizabeth born in July of 1880, and Laura Gertrude born in July of 1883.

 

No record was found for Louisa Kleizer in the 1900 census in either Bourbon County or Massachusetts. Her death date was discovered in a deed that was filed when Ella Knight and her daughters sold Louisa’s property on Main Street in Paris, KY, in 1910. The deed stated that Louisa Knight had died intestate in Springfield, Massachusetts “about four years” earlier. The place of Louisa’s death was incorrect in the deed; she actually died in Northampton about 15 miles north of Springfield but was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Springfield. Louisa's daughter, Ella M. Burch Knight, died in 1932, and she and her family are also buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.

 

Louisa’s death record confirms that her father was Henry Kleizer; her mother’s name is recorded as Julia rather than Judith with the surname Johnson.

 

Sources:

 

Ancestry.com website

 

Bourbon County deed books, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky

Samuel B. Kleizer to Henry Kleizer, July 20, 1833, Deed Book Z, p. 616.

William and Caroline P. Duke to Louisa and Mary Kleizer, May 29, 1850, Deed Book 44, p. 332.

George W. and Mary Ingels to Louisa Kleizer, October 27, 1880, Deed Book 65, p. 54.

Charles Henry and Louisa Singer to Louisa Kleizer, need date, Deed Book 65, p. 363.

Ella M. Knight, Clara Louise Knight, Sarah Elizabeth Knight, and Laura Gertrude Knight to W.W. Mitchell and William Blakemore, February 19, 1910, Deed Book 96, p. 330.

 

Bourbon County manumission book, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky, deed of emancipation from John Kleizer to Jude and her daughters, Louisa Warren and Mary Malvina, July 4, 1836.

 

Historical Census Browser, 2004, Retrieved 13 November 2013, University of Virginia, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center: http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu

 

Inventory of Henry Kleizer, Bourbon County Will Book K, p. 204, June 14, 1836, County Clerk’s office, Paris, Kentucky

 

Federal censuses, Bourbon County, Kentucky and Hamilton County, Ohio; various years

 

Find-A-Grave website for George W. Ingels family

 

Mapquest.com website

 

Paris True Kentuckian, October 4, 1871 issue (Original at the Bourbon County Citizen/Citizen Advertiser office in Paris)

 

Sanborn Insurance maps, Kentucky Digital Library website

 

For more information contact

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director

William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and

Office of State Archaeology

1020A Export Street

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky 40506

Ph. 859-257-1944

FAX: 859-323-1968
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Springfield and Northampton, Massachusetts

Knight, Etheridge
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1991
Etheridge Knight was born near Corinth, MS and grew up in Paducah, KY. He was the son of Bushie and Belzora Knight, one of their seven children. He mastered the art of toast - a form of poetry that dates back to the 19th century and began writing poetry while serving an eight year sentence in Indiana State Prison, including Poems from Prison and Black Voices From Prison. Knight was a member of the Black Arts Movement. He was also a veteran and had been a medic in the Army during the Korean War. Knight was the husband of Sonia Sanchez, they divorced in 1972 and the following year Knight married Mary Ann McAnally. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp.; "Etheridge Knight" in Notable African American Writers; and Etheridge Knight, Jr. Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.

See photo and additional information on Etheridge Knight at the Poetry Foundation website.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Poets, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Corinth, Mississippi / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

LaForce Family Slaves
During the Revolutionary War, Loyalists from North Carolina sought refuge in the Kentucky territory. Rene LaForce (spelling varies, also La Force), a Huguenot, died en route. His wife, Agnes Moseby LaForce, their children and their families, and 13 slaves completed the journey and settled near Martin's Station, located three miles south of Paris, KY. In June, 1780, a British garrison from Detroit approached the LaForce family fortress with about 150 soldiers aided by Native Americans, all led by Captain Henry Byrd. (Detroit was British territory until 1796.) Though the LaForce family claimed to be Loyalists, there was an exchange of gunfire, and lives were lost on both sides. The garrison overtook the fortress, and the inhabitants were marched to Detroit, where the slaves became the property of the garrison soldiers and Native Americans, while the LaForce family was sent to jail in Montreal, Canada. Agnes LaForce and her family were eventually set free, and she attempted to regain the slaves, but even with a good word from George Washington, she was unsuccessful. In 1813 and 1814, her son, William LaForce, who had returned to settle in Woodford County, KY, continued to fight for the return of the slaves without success. The slaves were Betty and her children Hannah, James/Tim, Ishmael, Stephen, Joseph, Scippio, and Kijah; and Hannah's children Candis, Grace, Rachel, Patrick, and Job. For more about the LaForce Slaves see "Descendants of Betty 'Bess' (LaFORCE)" - Generation 1 and Generation 2; and La Force Efforts to Recover Slaves, by L. S. Wark. For more information about the attack on the LaForce Family see W. R. Riddell's articles "The Early British Period," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 5, issue 3 (July 1920), pp. 273-292; and "Two Incidents of Revolutionary Time," Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, vol. 12, issue 2 (August 1921), pp. 223-237.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: Martin's Station, Bourbon County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Detroit, Michigan / Montreal, Canada / Woodford County, Kentucky

Lane, Allie Sylvester
Birth Year : 1900
In 1922, Allie Lane became the first African American auctioneer at the Mt. Sterling Court Day markets [source: "Colored auctioneer," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 04/20/1922, p.4]. Allie Lane lived in Sideview, Montgomery County, KY, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He was the son of Josie Lane, and the entire family of six lived in Sharpsburg, KY in 1910 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. By 1936, Allie had left Kentucky with his wife, Kentucky-native Woodie M. Lane; the couple lived at 424 Turpin Lane in Dayton, OH [source: Williams' Dayton Directory for 1936, p.710]. Four years later, Allie Lane was a farm laborer in Dayton, OH [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He and his wife lived with Woodie's mother on Stepstone Pike. In 1944, Allie and Woodie Lane lived in Ashland, KY, at 124 15th Street; Addie was a laborer at Clayton-Lambert Manufacturing Company and Woodie was a janitor at the Second National Bank [source: Polk's Ashland (Boyd County, KY.) City Directory 1944, p.187]. According to his WWI Registration Card, Allie Lane was born June 4, 1900.
Subjects: Migration North, Other
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio

Laurey, Albert "Kid Ashe"
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1955
Albert Laurey was a 5'9" featherweight boxer in Cincinnati, OH. His World War II draft registration gives his birth location as Flemings County, KY. He went by the name Kid Ashe and "The Pork Chop King." Wendell P. Dabney, in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, pp. 134-135, states that Albert Laurey, a child orphan, came to Cincinnati from Kentucky. He got a job as a newsboy, one of the few colored boys to carry newspapers in Cincinnati. Dabney described Laurey as a terrific fighter who soon became King of Newsboys. Kid Ashe began fighting professionally in 1899. In 1900, the sports column in the Freeman newspaper mentioned that Kid Ashe was looking for a fight engagement [source: Ned Lmo Bee, "Sport time," Freeman, 11/10/1900, p. 7]. There are several articles in the Freeman newspaper about Kid Ashe's bouts. According to the Box Rec website, Kid Ashe had a record of 10 wins with 6 KOs, 13 loses with 2 KOs, and 15 draws. He was managed by Louis Smith and Harry Gordon. Albert Laurey was the husband of Georgia Laurey, who was born in Ohio. [NOTE: last name spelled both Laurey and Lauray in the census records.]
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North
Geographic Region: Flemings County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Leavell, Louis A.
Birth Year : 1874
Louis A. Leavell was a teacher, a lawyer, and an inventor. He was a teacher in Colored District "A" in Lancaster, KY, in 1898. He was removed from the job because 25% of the number of colored children in the district did not attend school for more than 20 consecutive days. In 1901, Leavell was a lawyer in Lexington, KY, and was also the editor of the Twentieth Century Literary Digest, published in Harrodsburg, KY. The Lexington Leader newspaper referred to the publication as one of the best colored literary magazines. In 1902, Leavell was back at the Lancaster Colored School, he was the school principal and the student attendance was at a high. Leavell was also admitted to the bar in Lancaster, and is thought to be the first African American in that organization.  Also in 1902, an article was published in The American Telephone Journal about a telephone answering and recording machine that L. A. Leavell had invented, but did not have the funding to manufacture the machine. The previous year he had filed for a patent on his buggy brake that worked on the hubs of the front wheels with best results on rubber tires. By 1905, Leavell had left Kentucky and moved to New York and was admitted to the bar. His office was located at 104 W. 30th Street in New York City. He was a member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and ran unsuccessfully for the New York Legislature, and for U.S. Congress in 1922 and 1924.  He was also unsuccessfully in his bid for New York City magistrate in 1925. For more information see "Change in Colored school," Central Record, 01/07/1898, p.1; "A Colored magazine," Leader, 04/07/1901, p.3; "Colored Notes," Leader, 03/26/1905, p.2; "Lawyer L. A. Leavell...," Central Record, 10/16/1902, p.1; "An Automatic recorder," The American Telephone Journal, vol. 6, no.4, 07/26/1902, p.53; and "A Good invention," Central Record, 08/22/1901, p.3. See Louis A. "Lavelle" in Emancipation: the making of the black lawyer, 1844-1944 by J. C. Smith, Jr.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Inventors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / New York City, New York

Lee, James Henry
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1934
James H. Lee was a race horse attendant in Shelbyville, Illinois. He was born in Danville, KY, February 11, 1858, the son of Henry Lee and Ann Brumfield Lee [source: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index]. James H. Lee died February 18, 1934 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Shelbyville, IL.

[Henry Lee had been a slave owned by Frank Lee, and he served with Company A 116 U.S. Colored Infantry - - source: Freedman's Bank Record.]
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Illinois

Letton, James Carey
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 2013
Born in Paris, KY, James C. Letton, a retired chemist, was a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University who served as president of the Alumni Association from 1979-1984. He earned his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois in 1970 and returned to Kentucky State University to chair the Chemistry Department. After five years, Letton was hired at Proctor & Gamble Company as an organic chemist. Letton has a number of patents and was featured in Black Enterprise in 1990 when he was working on the fat substitute, Olestra. His research and publications have been in the areas of medicinal chemistry. Letton has received a number of awards, including being named the recipient of the 1989 Percy L. Julian Award "for significant contributions in pure and/or applied research in science or engineering." That same year he was awarded the distinguished alumni citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunities in Education. For more see Who's Who in the South and Southwest, 1975-1977; "Changing America's Diet," Black Enterprise, vol. 20, issue 7 (Feb. 1990), p. 106; and James Carey Letton in American Men & Women of Science, 1971-2007. 

See also "In Memoriam: James Carey Letton, 1933-2013," a Journal of Blacks in Higher Education website.
Subjects: Chemists, Education and Educators, Migration North, Researchers
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Lewis, Cary Blackburn, Sr.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1946
Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was a newspaper journalist and editor.  He was born in Louisville, KY, in 1878, the son of Plummer Sr. and Mattie Lewis [source: Illinois, Deaths and Still births Index; and 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. He is buried in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago, IL. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was best known as the managing editor of the Chicago Defender for ten years, 1910-1920, and he was also a sports editor [source: "Obituary 4 - -  No Title. Cary B. Lewis," New York Times, 12/10/1946, p.31]. He had been a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal before becoming a journalist with the Indianapolis Freeman where he covered sports and national news [source: When to Stop the Cheering? by B. Carroll]. Lewis was a prolific writer and had hundreds of articles in both the Indianapolis Freeman and the Chicago Defender. While many of the articles were about the lives of Negroes in Kentucky, Indiana, Chicago, and those in the national news, Lewis also kept the public informed about Negro baseball games. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was active in the establishment of the Negro National Baseball League (NNL). In 1920 he was elected secretary of the NNL in preparation for the 1921 circuit season and he played a major role in developing the constitution for the new league [source: Rube Foster in His Time by L. Lester]. In 1907, Lewis had also been named secretary of the unsuccessful National Colored League of Professional Baseball Clubs in Indianapolis. Cary B. Lewis, Sr. was the husband of Bertha Mosley Lewis in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. [In the Chicago death index, Cary B. Lewis' birthdate is given as July 15, 1888, though he is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a 2 year old. On his WWII draft registration card, Lewis gives his birthdate as July 15, 1880, and at the time, he was employed at the Poro College of Annie M. Malone. His father, Plummer Lewis, was a Civil War veteran; he served with the 28th U.S. Colored Infantry, according to the U.S. Colored Troops U.S. Service Records].
Subjects: Baseball, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Lewis, Fountain C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1822
A barber living in Cincinnati, Lewis came to Covington, KY, in 1856 to cash a check written on the Farmers' Bank and was arrested and jailed. His arrest had nothing to do with the check or the bank but rather was retaliation for all of the perceived injustices the people of Cincinnati had heaped upon Kentuckians concerning African Americans. The mayor of Covington recognized Lewis and authorized his release after a payment of $2. Lewis is listed as a freeman at 15 W. Cincinnati Township in the 1860 Federal Population Schedule. He is described as a mulatto who was born in Kentucky around 1822. He was said to be the barber of dignitaries and aristocrats. In 1895, Fountain Lewis and his son, Fountain Lewis, Jr. (b. 1858), were operating barbershops in Cincinnati, according to the Williams' Cincinnati Directory, 1895-96. According to Wendell P. Dabney, author of Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, p. 183, Fountain Lewis, Sr. came to Cincinnati as a free man in the 1840s. He was a barber for many years and was joined in the business by his son, Fountain Lewis, Jr. Years later, Fountain Jr. was joined in the barbering business by his son Fred K. Lewis; the two later established an undertaking business and the barber shop was closed. Fountain C. Lewis, Sr. was the husband of Daphney Cotton Lewis (b. 1831 in MS); the couple had three sons when the 1860 U.S. Federal Census was taken. Fountain Lewis, Sr. was single and 43 years old when he registered for the Civil War in June of 1863 in Hamilton County, OH [source: U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records]. For more see "Kentucky retaliation," New York Daily Times, 04/02/1865, p. 2.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Covington, Kenton, Kentucky

Lewis, Lyda F.
Birth Year : 1948
In 1973, Lyda Lewis became the first African American to be named Miss Kentucky in the 26 year history of the competition. Lewis was the Kentucky representative to the Miss America pageant held in Atlantic City, NJ. Lewis, born in Maysville, KY, was a 1966 graduate of the then recently integrated Maysville High School, where she was one of the first African American cheerleaders. She is a 1970 graduate of Morehead State University. She was also the first African American homecoming queen at Morehead State in 1967. Lewis was employed as a special education teacher in Louisville, KY, in 1973, and planned to pursue her master's degree at the University of Louisville. She had been the runner-up in the 1972 Miss Kentucky pageant, and with her win in 1973, she received a $1,000 scholarship, $500 cash wardrobe, and a 1973 automobile. Lyda Lewis was Miss Jeffersontown in 1972 and Miss Louisville in 1973. She was the third African American to participate in the Miss America pageant, the first from the South. After her pageant career, Lyda Lewis was an actor and model in New York. For more see "First Black Miss Kentucky named," Lexington Leader, 07/16/1973; "Kentucky beauty queen wins on her second try," Jet, 08/09/1973, p. 17; "Miss Kentucky is black," New York Times, 07/16/1973, p. 16; and the Lyda Lewis entry by J. Klee in The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, edited by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.

See the 1973 photo image of Lyda Lewis at Miss Kentucky website.
Subjects: Homecoming Queens, Pageants, Contests, Migration North
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lewis, Meade Lux
Birth Year : 1905
Death Year : 1964
Lewis was a pianist and composer. He was born in Louisville, KY, and raised in Chicago. Meade was the son of Hattie and George Lewis. George was employed as a postal clerk and was also a Pullman Porter. Hattie and George were Kentucky natives, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1920 the family was living in apartment 29, a rear unit on LaSalle Street in Chicago. Meade Lewis's first instrument was the violin, which he learned to play when he was 16 years old. He taught himself to play the piano and developed a boogie-woogie style. His best known work is Honky Tonk Train Blues, recorded in 1927. Boogie-woogie was still a new sound. To supplement his income, Lewis worked washing cars and driving a taxi. He played the piano at house parties, clubs, and after-hours joints. His fame is said to have begun in 1938 when Lewis performed in John Hammond's concert at Carnegie Hall. He is regarded as one of the three noted musicians of boogie-woogie. For more see the Meade Lux Lewis entry in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and "Meade Lux Lewis pianist, is killed," New York Times, 06/08/1964, p. 18. A picture of Lewis and additional information are available in Men of Popular Music, by D. Ewen. View film with Meade Lux Lewis playing boogie woogie on YouTube.


Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Pullman Porters, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Lewis (slave)
In 1850, a slave named Lewis escaped from Alexander Marshall's ownership in Fleming County, KY. Lewis went to Columbus, OH, where he hid for three years. Marshall Dryden captured Lewis in 1853 and attempted to take him back to Kentucky, but instead, Dryden was arrested in Cincinnati for kidnapping. John Jollife and Rutherford B. Hayes defended 19 year old Lewis when the case went before Commissioner Samuel S. Carpenter. Carpenter insisted that in Ohio, "a black person was free until proven a slave." At the trial there was a large crowd of blacks and whites, which made Carpenter nervous, so he spoke in a whisper. So many people filled the courtroom that while the proceedings were taking place, Lewis eased through the crowd. Someone placed a hat on his head, and he slipped out the door before anyone opposed to his leaving was able to take notice. Lewis got help from members of the Underground Railroad: dressing as a woman, he escaped to Canada. After the trial, Carpenter confessed that he would not have forced Lewis to return to Kentucky; Carpenter resigned from his post the following year. For more on Lewis and other Kentucky African American fugitives who were not quite so lucky, see S. Middleton, "The Fugitive Slave Crisis in Cincinnati, 1850-1860: Resistance, Enforcement, and Black Refugees," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 72, issues 1/2 (Winter - Spring, 1987), pp. 20-32.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Court Cases, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Fleming County, Kentucky / Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio / Canada

Lexington Conference (Methodist Episcopal Church)
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1964
The Lexington Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was established in Harrodsburg, KY, in 1869. It was the third missionary conference for African Americans [the first was the Delaware Conference and the second was the Washington Conference, both established in 1864]. African Americans had been members of the Kentucky District of the Methodist Episcopal Church as early as 1787 when there were 64 Colored members, according to author F. Ockerman, Jr. When the Lexington Conference was established, it was originally a part of the Kentucky Annual Conference; beginning in the spring of 1866, a few Negro preachers were admitted into the traveling connection as a trial. New members were added as the preachers met as a group over the next three years. At the annual session in Newport, KY, in 1868, the preachers forwarded a resolution asking for their own conference, named the Lexington Conference; the resolution was approved. The conference founders were Henry Hopkins Lytle (1802-1890), from Maryland; Israel Simms (1819-1912), from New Castle, KY; Zail or Zale Ross (1824-1892), from Georgetown, KY; William Lawrence (d. 1900 in Anchorage, KY); Marcus McCoomer (1834-1899); Peter Booth (d. 1873), from Kentucky; Hanson Talbott (d. 1870), from Harrodsburg, KY; Nelson Saunders (d. 1879 in Louisville, KY); Paris Fisher; Andrew Bryant (d. 1870 in Paris, KY); Adam Nunn (b.1820), from Oberlin, OH; George Downing (1807-1880), from Virginia; Willis L. Muir (d. 1911 in Louisville, KY); and Elisha C. Moore (d. 1871), from Alabama. The first Lexington Conference was held in the Jackson Street Church in Louisville in 1870, with the membership initially including churches in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The women's divisions of the conference were formed after the turn of the century: Women's Home Missionary Society (1900), Ladies Aid Society (1914), Minister's Wives (1919), and Women's Society of Christian Service. The Lexington Conference was held most often in a Kentucky location, and as the membership increased, it also shifted northward with the Great Migration, after which the conference was held more in Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana. In 1946 the membership was over 17,000, with close to half from the Chicago area. The Lexington Conference was held each year until June 1964 when the conference was merged into the Cleveland district of the North East Ohio Conference. For more see Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference, by W. H. Riley; History of Lexington Conference, by Dr. D. E. Skelton; Black People in the Methodist Church: Whither Thou Goest?, by W. B. McClain; The Tapestry of Faith: the history of Methodism in the Cleveland District of the East Ohio Conference, by G. S. Moore and J. C. Trimble; and First United Methodist Church, Lexington, Kentucky: bicentennial history by F. Ockerman, Jr.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indiana / Illinois / Ohio

Little, Charles F., Jr.
Birth Year : 1949
Charles F. Little, Jr. was born in Memphis, TN. He graduated from Kentucky State University with a B.S. in Music Education, then earned his M.S. in Secondary Education at the University of Kentucky. He was a band director in the Fayette County Public Schools for 30 years and taught music to more than 4,500 students from 1971 to 2001. He was the band director/keyboard instructor at the Academy of Lexington, teaching 120 students classroom piano from 2001 to 2005. The Lexington Traditional Magnet School Band Room was named in his honor in 2001. To date, he has also provided private piano lessons to 175 students and organ lessons to five students of all ages in Fayette County and eight surrounding counties. He has been the musical director, pianist, and coordinator, of hundreds of programs, productions, and performances dating back to the 1960s. Most recently Charles Little was the musical director of the off-Broadway production of Crowns, Actors Guild of Lexington, Kentucky, 2005-2006. He has performed on programs with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. James Cleveland, Larnelle Harris, the Rev. Billy Graham (Subsidiary) Crusade, Dr. Bobby Jones and New Life, and Miss Albertina Walker. Charles Little has also received a number of awards, including the Teachers Who Made a Difference Award from the College of Education at the University of Kentucky in 2003. He is the author of Praise Him with the Gospel: Black gospel piano music arrangements, book 1 & 2, with accompanying sound cassettes. He was the developer and editor of Orchestrating the Perfect Meal, a cookbook published in 2000. Charles Little has recorded with the United Voices of Lexington on "Genesis" and the Wesley United Voices on "We've Come to Praise Him"; provided piano accompaniment on the Lexington musical "Madame Belle Brezing"; and performed on many other recordings. For more information see M. Davis, "Teacher's not changing his tune," Lexington Herald Leader, 03/23/03, City/Region section, B, p. 1; S. Dobbins, "Charles F. Little, Jr.: music master of all," Tri-State Defender, 03/10/1999, p.2B; and the Resume of Charles F. Little, Jr.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Memphis, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Little, Chester H.
Birth Year : 1907
Little was born in Paducah, KY, and received an honorary degree in 1971 from Indiana Christian University. Little was a community and civic leader who held a number of positions in various organizations, including first vice president of the Malleable Foundry Employee Credit Union in Indianapolis and president of the Marion County Council on Aging. In 1956, Little was president of the Progressive Community Club in Indianapolis and led the organization when it became a member of the Federation of Associated Clubs (FAC). Little was the first vice president of FAC from 1956-1978. He was also on the board of directors of the Indianapolis Urban League, and captain of the auxiliary police. For more see the Progressive Community Club Collection, 1940-1982 at the Indiana Historical Society; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Livisay, Stacy A.
Birth Year : 1968
Livisay, born in Lexington, KY, is the daughter of Shirley and Charles H. Livisay, Jr., and the grand-daughter of Evelyn and Charles H. Livisay, Sr. She is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Berea College (B.S. in agriculture), the University of Kentucky (M.A. in animal Science), and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (Ph. D. in food science). In 1999, Livisay was lead author of the patented method of adding calcium to grape products - patent #7033630 - and employed as a researcher and project developer at Welch's. She was later employed at The Campbell Soup Company, where she was responsible for adding vitamin E to V-8 Splash. Livisay is co-author of a number of articles in science journals and a book chapter. She lives in New Jersey. For more see M. Davis, "Learning fortifies character and juice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/2003, City&Region section, p. B1; and Calcium-fortified, grape based products and methods for making them at freepatentsonline.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Researchers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Lovett, Wilson Stephen
Birth Year : 1885
Wilson S. Lovett was president of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, which was established in 1921 with $50,000. It was the first African American bank in Kentucky. In 1928 the bank had assets of over $600,000. Lovett was also a civil rights activist who was a member of the NAACP and a member of the committee that led to the African American voters' repeal of the first bond effort to expand the University of Louisville. Wilson Lovett was born in New York, the son of Wilson and Annie E. Stevens Lovett, and he grew up in Pennsylvania [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Ohio Marriages Index]. He was married to Dorothy Payne Lovett (1896-1927), who was born in Kingston, Jamaica; the couple was married in 1924 in Franklin, OH. Wilson Lovett had worked as a stenographer in Alabama, he was employed in the Savings Department of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Negro Star, 01/27/1933]. Lovett founded the men's basketball team at Tuskegee Institute and was the first head coach from 1908-1909. The team was undefeated, winning all three of their games [see Golden Tigers website]. Wilson Lovett came to Kentucky from Memphis, TN [sources: Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927]. In 1915, he was director of Standard Life Insurance Company in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915, p.900], which was prior to the establishment of the First Standard Bank. When he left the bank in 1929, Wilson Lovett became treasurer of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company. During that same year, he served as secretary of the National Negro Bankers Association. In 1930, Wilson Lovett was president of the Standard Reality Corporation in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1256], and president of the Credential Bond and Mortgage Company in Cleveland, OH [source: Cleveland (Ohio) City Directory, 1930, p.1056], all while living in Chicago, IL. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Wilson Lovett shared his home in Chicago with Henry McGasock, from Kentucky; they lived at 608 E. Fifty-first Street in Chicago. In the census, Lovett is listed as the treasurer of a life insurance company. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Two dead, another injured," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927, p.1; "Business," Negro Star, 08/02/1929, p.1; "Program of National Negro Bankers Association," Plaindealer, 08/02/1929, p.4; and "Boom Wilson Lovett for Register of the Treasury," Negro Star, 01/27/1933, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Basketball, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: New York / Pennsylvania / Tuskegee, Alabama / Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Cleveland, Ohio

Lytle, Elizabeth
Birth Year : 1873
Mrs. Elizabeth Ecton Lytle was born in KY, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. She was the second African American teacher in Gary, IN. She was hired in 1910, two years after Everett Simpson had been hired to head the 12th Street Avenue school for Negro children. The school system had a policy that married women could not be school teachers, but special consideration was given to Mrs. Lytle, who taught grades 1-3. There was not a large number of Negroes from Kentucky living in Gary in 1910, and Lytle was the only one who was a school teacher. Others who migrated to Gary were employed by the mines, mills, and industries. The school for Negro children was developed as a result of the growing Negro population. By 1930, there were 825 Negroes from Kentucky living in Gary, and 21 of them had graduated from Roosevelt School by 1936, the same year that 39 students from Kentucky were enrolled in Gary Schools [kindergarten through senior class]. All of the 21 graduates had entered the school in 1929 and all of their fathers' were truck drivers. Lytle was retired from the Gary Schools by 1936. In 1940, she lived with her sister Anna Meadows and James Ecton, both were from Kentucky [source: U.S. Federal Census]. For more see A History of the Growth of the Negro Population of Gary Indiana (thesis) by J. F. Potts; Children of the Mill by R. D. Cohen; and Gary's Central Business Community by D. Millender.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Gary, Indiana

Mack, Mary Bell
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1945
Bishop Mary Bell Mack was the founder of the Spiritualist Church of the Soul. She was a bishop as early as 1926 [source: "St. Mark's Church of the Soul," Youngstown Vindicator, 02/20/1926, p. 21]. She had a number of churches under her jurisdiction, including the Cincinnati Spiritualist Church in Ohio; St. Paul's Spiritualist Church in Newport, KY; and St. Matthew's Spiritualist Church in Lexington, KY. In the book, George Russell: the story of an American composer, by D. Heining, Bishop Mary Mack is described as being very wealthy with mansions and a chauffeur. Rev. Mary Mack is listed in William's Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory in the 1930s and 1940s. The following comes from the article, "News of Local Colored Folks," Youngstown Vindicator, 08/11/1943, p. 11: "Large crowds are attending the services in the Thornhill School, Wardle Ave. each evening when Bishop Mary Mack of Cincinnati leader of the Spiritual Churches of the Soul preaches. Divine healing services follow each service." In addition to being a bishop, Mary Mack owned a confectionery and a grocery store. Mary Bell Mack was born in Nicholasville, KY, the daughter of Lovis and Wallace Bell. The family of five is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Mary Bell married Ross Mack in 1892, they had two children. Ross Mack was also from Kentucky. The couple is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census: Mary Mack was a cook and Ross Mack was a barkeeper. Mary Mack moved to Cincinnati in 1903, where she lived on Richmond Street with her mother, daughter, sister, and a lodger [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bishop Mary Mack died in Cincinnati on December 7, 1945 [source: Ohio Deaths], and the birth date of 1883, inscribed on her tombstone, is incorrect.  While her birth year is inconsistent in the census records, Mary Bell Mack is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a 6 year old; therefore, her birth year was prior to 1883. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

 

 
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Macon, Theresa Gray
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1930
Theresa G. Macon was born in Louisville, KY, and is remembered for her work with the Colored women's clubs in Illinois. She was president of the Illinois and the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and a chartered member of the Ida B. Wells Club. Macon was recording secretary of the National Association of Colored Women. She was mentioned in the book, Lifting as They Climb, as one of the officers and committee members from Illinois who have contributed liberally to the national projects of the National Association of Colored Women. Theresa Macon was the wife of William Macon, who was a porter. The couple and Theresa's aunt, Ellen Rush, lived on W. 56th Street, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. Theresa Macon was the daughter of Seagmon and Jane Bush Gray [source: Illinois Deaths, and Still Births Index]. For more see the Theresa Macon entry in Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.
Subjects: Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Magee, Lazarus and Susan [Rev. James H. Magee]
The Magees were born in Kentucky; Lazarus (d. 1870) was free, and Susan (d. 1868) was a slave belonging to Billy Smith of Louisville, KY. Lazarus purchased Susan and her two children, and the family moved to Madison County, Illinois. There would be many more children, and they were sent to Racine, WI, to be educated. One of the children was Reverend James H. Magee (1839-1912), who was president of the Colored Local Historical Society in Springfield, IL; he formed the Black Man's Burden Association in Chicago. J. H. Magee had attended Pastors College [now Spurgeon's College] in London, England, from 1867-1868. He was an ordained minister, a school teacher, and an outspoken advocate for African American voting rights and education. He has been referred to as a leader of the African American people in Springfield, IL. For more see B. Cavanagh, "history talk 04-28-05" a Illinois Times web page that has been removed; and The Night of Affliction and the Morning of Recovery, by Rev. J. H. Magee.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois

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

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

The Move to Washington, D. C.

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

Noah and Mary Magowan

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

John D. and Mayner D. Magowan

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

Sources

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

Note

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

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

Mallory, Toreada D. Gardner
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1911
Toreada Mallory was born in Kentucky, she was a soprano singer who lived in Chicago. Her name was Toreada D. Gardner when she married Henry C. Mallory in Kansas City, MO, May 9, 1893, according to their marriage license. The couple lived in Chicago, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They were living there in 1898 when their newborn son died [source: Cook County, Illinois, Death Index]. Henry was a day laborer and Toreada was a concert singer. According to author Anne M. Knupfer, Toreada Mallory was a well known soprano in Illinois, and she was the aunt of poet and Kentucky native Bettiola Fortson. See Fortson's entry in Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri / Chicago, Illinois

Marble, Harriett Beecher Stowe
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1966
Marble was the first African American woman pharmacist in Lexington, KY. She was born in Yazoo City, MS, the daughter of Solomon [or Saul] and Leah Ann Molette Marble. Harriett came to Lexington, KY, in 1921. Her pharmacy was located at 118 North Broadway, along with doctors' offices and an apartment on the third floor where Marble lived. Marble owned the building, which she had had renovated; the previous owners were Henry Ross and Jacob Speer, who owned the building when it had contained the People's Pharmacy, which opened in 1910. Today there is a KY Historical Marker at the building site. Several of Marble's family members also resided in Lexington: her sister Priscilla Marble Ford (1886-1924) died in Lexington, and her sister Lillie Marble Ray (b. 1883) owned a home at 170 Old Georgetown Street. Lillie deeded the home to Harriett in 1953. Harriett Marble was a graduate of Meharry Medical College. She made the top score on the test administered by the Mississippi State Board of Examiners in 1908 when she qualified for her pharmacy license. She was a pharmacist in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University] in Alabama, prior to coming to Kentucky. Marble and several family members are buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more see M. Davis, "First female black pharmacist no longer forgotten," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/08/2009; and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Marble entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Yazoo City, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Marshall, Jim
Birth Year : 1937
Jim Marshall was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in Ohio, where he was an outstanding football player at East High School in Columbus. He played college ball at Ohio State University. Marshall left college his senior year to play in the Canadian Football League. He was later taken in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns in the 1960 NFL draft, then traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. Marshall, a defensive end, held the NFL record for playing in the most consecutive games. From 1961-1979 he never missed a game and had more playing time than any other football player in history: Marshall played in all 302 games of his career, including four Super Bowls. He is often remembered for retrieving a fumble and running 66 yards in the wrong direction, October 25, 1964, against the San Francisco 49ers. In spite of the wrong-way incident, Marshall held the record for recovering the most fumbles by opponents - 29. For more see "Vikings beat 49ers despite a long run to the wrong goal," New York Times, 10/26/1964, p. 43; "Jim Marshall in Viking farewell," New York Times, 12/16/1979, p. S5; and Jim Marshall (football player) at the MathDaily website.

See Jim Marshall's Grid Iron Greats interview in 2009 on YouTube.
Subjects: Football, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Minnesota

Martin Brothers
James I. Martin, born in 1879 in Glasgow, KY, and Jesse H. Martin, born in 1890 in Indianapolis, Indiana, began manufacturing clothes in 1909 in Indianapolis. Jesse was a salesman and vice president of Martin Brothers Duck Clothes Manufacturers. Their brother, Samuel Martin, born in 1886 in Indianapolis, was treasurer. Their company produced heavy cotton clothes, khaki, and uniforms. Martin Manufacturers was incorporated in 1922. The Martin brothers were the sons of Samuel and Eliza F. Davidson Martin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; and "African American Businesses" in The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis by D. J. Bodenhamer et al.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Martin, Clarence B.
Birth Year : 1963
Death Year : 2005
Clarence B. Martin, a native of Alabama, played high school basketball at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City, AL. In college, he played center for the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Hilltoppers basketball team from 1982 to 1987; he was redshirted for the 1983-1984 season because of an injury. Martin scored 888 points and had 684 rebounds while setting a school record for season and career blocked shots. He was the third round pick of the Utah Jazz in the 1987 NBA draft, but due to knee injuries, Martin opted to play professional ball in Japan. After eight years, Martin returned to work in Danville, KY, and at WKU, where he was a board member of the Athletic Hall of Fame. Martin and his family later moved to Atlanta, where he passed away in 2005. Clarence Martin is buried in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Clarence Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established at WKU. For more see Clarence Martin at the Hilltopper Haven website; and A. Harvey, "Tribute album for WKU basketball great on sale," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 11/17/2005.

See photo image and additional information about Clarence B. Martin at the WKU Hilltopper Haven website.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Alexander City, Alabama / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Japan, Asia

Martin, Sara [Dunn]
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1955
Born Sara Dunn in Louisville, KY, she began singing in church. At the age of 16 she was married and widowed. Sara took her second husband's last name, Martin. She began as a vaudeville singer in 1915 and later became the highest paid blues singer of the 1920s. She lived for a while in Chicago, then moved to New York. Martin sang with the W. C. Handy Band, sometimes billed as "Moanin' Mama" and sometimes performing under other names. Her first recording was Sugar Blues. She appeared on film with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and in 1930 appeared in the first all African American sound films, Darktown Scandals Revue [produced with The Exile]. Martin returned to Kentucky where she was a gospel singer; she also operated a nursing home in Louisville. For more see All Music Guide to the Blues. The experts' guide to the best blues recordings, ed. by M. Erlewine, et al.; The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., edited by C. Larkin; and Classic Jazz, by S. Yanow. View image and listen to Sara Martin & Her Jug Band - I'm Gonna Be a Lovin' Old Soul on YouTube.

Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Mason, John
Mason was an escaped slave from Kentucky who became an Underground Railroad conductor. He had escaped from slavery in the 1830s, when he was about 12 years old, and settled in Ohio, where he later worked as a waiter to pay his way through Oberlin College, graduating in the 1840s. Soon after, he became an Underground Railroad conductor. It has been estimated that he helped more than 1,000 slaves to freedom in Canada. Mason was later captured and returned to his owner in Kentucky, who sold him to a buyer in New Orleans. Mason later escaped, taking another slave with him, and made his way to Canada. For more see The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom, by W. H. Siebert, et al. [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and chapter 5, "Egypt's Border," in Front Line of Freedom, by K. P. Griffler.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Canada

Matthews, Mark, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 2005
Mark Matthews, Sr. was the oldest living Buffalo Soldier. He was born in Greenville, Alabama, and grew up in Ohio. When he was young, Matthews came to Lexington, KY, and at the age of 15 was working at a racetrack exercising horses. At the age of 16, he joined the 10th Cavalry. The enlistment age was actually 17, but Matthews' boss forged some papers which the recruiter accepted as proof that Matthews was the appropriate age. Matthews was stationed in the West and rode with General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing's 1916 expedition into Mexico. Matthews also saw action in the South Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army in 1949 and worked as a security guard until his second retirement in 1970. He died September 6, 2005, at the age of 111. For more see J. Holey, "Sgt. Mark Matthews Dies; at 111, Was Oldest Buffalo Soldier,"Washington Post 09/13/05, p. B06 Metro. See also his photo on page 118 in Prince George's County, Maryland, by J. T. Thomas, et al.

See photo images and additiional information about Mark Matthews at the Arlington National Cemetery website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Greenville, Alabama / Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

May, James Shelby, Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1993
May was born in Louisville, KY, son of Shelby and Arlee Taylor May. He was a graduate of Cornell University and Yale Law School. May, a Marine Corps veteran, had been a Marine Corps judge advocate. He had served in many capacities, including as a felony trial judge and an appellate judge. In 1981, May became the first African American appointed to the Navy-Marine Corps court of Military Review, which is the highest criminal appellate court of the U.S. Navy Department. After his retirement in 1989, May was an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore Law School. For more see James Shelby May in "Obituaries" of the Washington Post, 02/22/1993, Metro section, p. C4; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bethesda, Maryland

McCoo, Edward Jordan (the first)
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1930
McCoo was a minister at the AME Church in Newport, KY. He is recognized for writing, publishing, and producing the play Ethiopia at the Bar of Justice. The play was first performed at the General Conference of the AME Church in Louisville, KY, May 1924. It would gain popularity and become a must-see during Negro History Week. The 24 page play was published in Memphis. McCoo was born in Alabama, the son of William and Elizabeth McCoo, and he died of tuberculosis in Newport, KY, and was buried in Cincinnati, OH, according to his death certificate. He was married to Jennie McCoo and the couple lived at 210 W. 7th Street in Newport, KY. McCoo and his first wife, Lillian (b.1884 in IL), and their two children, had lived in Springfield and Chicago, IL, prior to his move to Kentucky some time after 1920. For more see "[Edwin] McCoo" on p. xxxiv in Plays and Pageants from the Life of the Negro, by W. Richardson.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Alabama / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

McCoy, George and Mildred
George and his wife, Mildred Goins McCoy, were escaped slaves from Louisville, KY. They settled first in Canada, then in 1852 moved with their 12 children to Ypsilanti, Michigan, six miles east of Ann Arbor and 29 miles west of Detroit. Ypsilanti was a significant link in the Underground Railroad and a major stop for slaves fleeing from Kentucky en route to Detroit and Canada. George was a conductor who aided many of the escapees by hiding them under the boxes of cigars that he delivered to Detroit. As George's cigar business thrived, more slaves were carried to freedom, so many that a second wagon was purchased and driven by his son, William McCoy. George and Mildred McCoy are the parents of inventor Elijah McCoy. For more see M. Chandler, "Ypsilanti's rich in Black history," Detroit Free Press, 02/09/1984, p. 7A.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Mothers, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Ypsilanti, Michigan / Canada

McCoy, Wayne Anthony
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2000
Wayne A. McCoy was a national expert on government bonds. A lawyer in Chicago, he was the personal attorney of former NBA player Michael Jordan. He was a partner in the law firm of Schiff, Hardin, and Waite; McCoy was one of the first African Americans to become a partner in a major law firm in Chicago. Wayne A. McCoy was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Herbert B. and Martha Nuckolls McCoy. He was a graduate of Indiana University and the University of Michigan Law School. For more see T. McCann, "Wayne McCoy, 58, Chicago lawyer," Chicago Tribune, Obituaries section, p. 7; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2000.

See photo image and additional information about Wayne A. McCoy at the bottom of The History Makers, Second Annual Program, website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

McCray, Mary F.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1894
Mary F. McCray, born a slave in Kentucky, was the wife of S. J. McCray. She was freed at the age of 21 after the woman who owned her family, Miss Polly Adams, died in 1859. Fannie, her husband, and family moved to De Smet in the Dakota Territory, where they established the first church and sunday school in their home. Mary, who could not read or write, would become one of the first African American women licensed to preach in the territory; she was pastor of the Free Methodist Church. Mary and her husband also founded the first school for African Americans in De Smet. When their crops failed, the McCray family returned to Ohio, where Mary and S. J. founded the First Holiness Church of Lima. For more see "Mary F. McCray" in vol. 5 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and The Life of Mary F. McCray, by her husband and son [available online at UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

See image of Mary F. McCray on p.4 of The Life fo Mary McCray.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / De Smet, South Dakota Territory / Lima, Ohio

The McDonald and Elvira Porter Family [Moving North]
At the end of World War I, when the United States was experiencing economic tension due to inflation and many union strikes were taking place throughout the country, the Porter Family moved from Kentucky to the "Magic City," Gary, Indiana. Like many African Americans, they were in search of better economic opportunities. The family had been tenant farmers, but after moving to Gary, the men of the family were employed in steel mills and industrial plants. Employment opportunities had been created for African Americans from the South when restrictions were put into place during World War I, which ended the mass employment of immigrants from eastern and southern European countries. For the Porter Family, the availability of employment was reason to pull up their deep roots in Kentucky and move north. The family was led by McDonald Porter, who had been born into slavery in October 1858 in Butler County, KY. His father, Reason Porter (1831-1864), and his mother, Ellen or Julia Borah, had also been slaves. Reason was born in Ohio County, KY. He served during the Civil War with the Colored Troops 115th Infantry Regiment, Company B. The Borah sisters were from Butler County. Ellen Borah had been dead for 20 years when McDonald Porter married Elvira Bracken in 1879. Elvira was from Ohio County; her family had been slaves of the Brackin family that migrated to Kentucky from Sumner County, TN, in the early 1840s. Elvira and McDonald were the parents of five children, all born in Butler County. The family later moved to the Lowertown District in Daviess County, KY, where McDonald was again a tenant farmer. When the children grew up and had their own families, they too became tenant farming families. Elvira and two of her daughters-in-law owned farmland in Daviess County. The agricultural history of African American women [single and married] as farm owners in Kentucky has not been researched, but it is thought that there were very few. The land owned by Elvira and her daughters-in-law was sold prior to the family moving to Gary, IN. The entire family moved: McDonald, Elvira, and all of their children. They all arrived in Gary in early 1919. All of the information about the Porter Family was provided by Denyce Peyton and Renetta DuBose. For more about African Americans in Gary, see A History of the Growth of the Negro Population of Gary, Indiana, by J. F. Potts; and Yesterday in Gary, by D. H. Millender. For more information on women farm owners, see Effland, Rogers, and Grim, "Women as agricultural landowners: what do we know about them?," Agricultural History, vol. 67, issue 2, pp. 235-261. See also the NKAA entry for William E. Porter, grandson of McDonald and Elvira Porter.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Kentucky : Butler County, Ohio County, Daviess County / Sumner, Tennessee / Gary, Indiana

McFatridge, James M.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2000
James Morgan McFatridge was born in Lexington, KY, the son of James A. and Jossie McFatridge. According to the U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Cincinnati, OH in 1920. A Tuskegee Airman, James McFatridge was an Armament Officer with the 301st Fighter Squad, 332nd Fighter Group, 1943-1945. He was awarded a Bronze Star for designing an armament device for P-39 fighter planes in 1944. He received the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation Medal in 1945. McFatridge continued receiving training and graduated from Air Tactical School at Air University in 1948. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; and Who's Who in Colored America,1950.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

McGruder, Robert G. "Bob"
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2002
Robert G. McGruder, who was born in Louisville, KY, was the executive editor of the Detroit Free Press and is remembered for his leadership in the field of journalism. He became the first African American reporter for the Plain Dealer (Cleveland) in 1963. McGruder served two years in the U.S. Army, then returned to journalism, in 1996 becoming the first African American executive editor of the Free Press. He was also the first African American to become president of the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME). McGruder received the William Taylor Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University School of Journalism; he was a 1963 graduate of the school. In 2002, he received the Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity Award from Wayne State University (Helen Thomas is also a Kentucky native). The prior year, McGruder received the John S. Knight Gold Medal, the highest honor given to a Knight Ridder employee. The McGruder Award has been named in his honor in recognition of individual efforts in hiring and retaining minority journalists. For more see "Robert McGruder, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, dies at age 60," The Associated Press, Domestic News, 04/12/2002; "Free Press editor praised for ideals - his life and career are remembered for both greatness and goodness," Detroit Free Press, 04/19/2002, NWS Section, p. 1A; and "McGruder Award recipients named - diversity prize honors late Free Press editor," Detroit Free Press, 10/25/2002.

See photo image and additional information about Robert G. McGruder at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio / Detroit, Michigan

McKay, Barney M. [McDougal]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1925
Barney McKay was born in Nelson County, KY, and according to F. N. Schubert, he was the son of Barney McKay and Mary McDougal. He was a journalist, civil rights activist, veteran, author, and supporter of African American migration. Barney McKay left Kentucky and became a Pullman Porter. He lived in Jeffersonville, IN, where he was employed at the car works of Shickle and Harrison as a iron puddler. In 1881, he joined the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, IN, under the name of Barney McDougal, and served with the 24th Infantry, Company C. He was honorably discharged in 1892. He re-enlisted as Barney McKay and served with the 9th Cavalry, Company C and Company G. In 1893, Sergeant Barney McKay was charged with distributing an incendiary circular among the troops at Fort Robinson, NE. The circular, published by the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, promised retaliation against the civilians of Crawford, NE, should there continue to be racial violence toward Negro soldiers. There was no proof that Sergeant McKay had distributed the circular, yet Lieutenant Colonel Reuben F. Barnard was convinced of his guilt; Sergeant McKay had received a package of newspapers from the Progress Publishing Company of Omaha, and he had a copy of the circular in his possession. Also, Sergeant McKay and four other soldiers had prevented a Crawford mob from lynching Charles Diggs, a veteran, who had served with the 9th Cavalry. Sergeant McKay's actions and the circular were enough for the Army to charge him with violating Article of War 62 for attempting to cause the Negro soldiers to riot against the citizens of Crawford. Sergeant McKay was confined, subjected to court-martial and found guilty, and on June 21, 1893, he was reduced to the rank of private, given a dishonorable discharge, and was sentenced to two years in prison. When released from prison, Barney McKay was not allowed to re-enlist in the U.S. Army. He settled in Washington, D.C., where he met and married Julia Moore in 1900. The couple lived on 17th Street [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Barney McKay was working as an assistant for the law firm Lambert and Baker. The following year, he was employed by John W. Patterson, Attorney and Counselor at Law [source: ad in Washington Bee, 04/06/1901, p. 8]. He had also been a newspaper man and wrote newspaper articles. He was editor of the Washington Bureau of the Jersey Tribune, 80 Barnes Street, Trenton, NJ. He was also editor of the New England Torch-Light, located in Providence, RI. In 1901, Barney McKay was with the Afro-American Literary Bureau when he pledged that 5,000 of the most industrious Negroes from the South would be willing to leave the prejudice of the United States for freedom in Canada. The pledge was made during the continued migration of southern Negroes to Canada. Author Sara-Jane Mathieu contributes two things to the story of the exodus: One, in 1896 the Supreme Court upheld the Plessy v. Ferguson decision, and two, Canada's homesteading campaign of 1896 provided free farmland in Western Canada. Barney McKay promoted the migration in the newspapers. In July of 1901, Barney McKay was Sergeant-at-Arms of the newly formed Northern, Eastern, and Western Association, also known as the N. E. & W. Club [source: "N. E. and W. Club," The Colored American, 07/13/1901, p. 4]. The organization was established to coordinate the Negro vote for the 1902 Congressional elections. Barney McKay published The Republican Party and the Negro in 1904 and in 1900 he co-authored, with T. H. R. Clarke, Republican Text-Book for Colored Voters. In 1916 he co-authored Hughes' Attitude Towards the Negro, a 7 page book containing the civil rights views of Charles Evans Hughes', taken from his judicial decisions while a member of the U.S. Supreme Court [alternate title: Henry Lincoln Johnson, editor. B. M. McKay, associate editor]. Barney McKay also wrote letters advocating the safety and well being of Negroes in the South and the education of future soldiers. He called for the best representation of the people in government and fought for the welfare of Negro war veterans. He wrote a letter protesting the commander of the Spanish American War Veterans' support of the dismissal of the 25th Infantry in response to the Brownsville Affair [source: p. 191, Barney McKay in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II by I.Schubert and F. N. Schubert]. In 1917, McKay wrote New Mexico Senator A. B. Fall (born in Frankfort, KY), asking that Negroes from the South be allowed to migrate to New Mexico [source: Promised Lands by D. M. Wrobel]. New Mexico had become a state in 1912 and Albert B. Fall [info] was one of the state's first two senators. In 1918, McKay wrote a letter to fellow Kentuckian, Charles Young, asking his support in establishing a military training program for Negro men at Wilberforce College [letter available online at The African-American Experience in Ohio website]. Barney M. McKay died April 30, 1925 and was buried in Harmony Cemetery in Washington, D. C. The cemetery was moved to Landover, Maryland in 1959 and renamed the National Harmony Memorial Park Cemetery [info]. McKay's birth date and birth location information were taken from the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments. For more see the Barney McKay entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; Sergeant Barney McDougal within the article "Chaplain Henry V Plummer, His Ministry and His Court-Martial," by E. F. Stover in Nebraska History, vol. 56 (1975), pp. 20-50 [article available online .pdf]; Voices of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; North of the Color Line, by Sarah-Jane Mathieu; and Barney McKay in Henry Ossian Flipper, by J. Eppinga.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Crawford, Nebraska /Trenton, New Jersey / Washington, D. C.

McKinney, William "Bill"
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1969
McKinney, who was born and died in Cynthiana, KY, was a drummer. He served in the U.S. Army during WWI, then played with a circus band before settling in Springfield, OH, where he formed the Synco Jazz Band around 1921. McKinney ceased being a drummer around 1923 and became the group's manager. The band would be renamed McKinney's Cotton Pickers around 1926 and they performed regularly at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit, MI. The band also had comedy routines incorporated into their performances; they were considered the best of the rival bands of Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson. They were one of the first African American bands to play on national radio. Up until the early 1940s, the group continued performing with various musicians, and in various locations, including Harlem. Their recordings include songs such as Gee, Ain't I Good to You?, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight, and Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble. McKinney did not secure any wealth from his many years as a musician, band leader and manager. Before returning to Cynthiana, KY, he worked as a hotel bellhop and other low wage paying jobs in Detroit. For more see "William (Bill) McKinney" in v.5 of African American National Biography edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; see McKinney's Cotton Pickers, a redhotjazz.com website; and in Oxford Music Online (database); and see photo images of the group and listen to the recording of Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble (1928) on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio

McKnight, Sammy
Sammy McKnight, from Paducah, KY, was a burglar, pimp, and hustler in Harlem, New York. He was sometimes called "The Pimp" or "Pretty Boy." He was one of the two people most trusted by Malcolm Little (who later became known as Malcolm X); they lived in the same boarding house. Sammy and Malcolm were partners in crime until a fight erupted between Malcolm and Sammy's girlfriend, and Sammy, with gun in hand, chased Malcolm down the street. They later reconciled their differences somewhat, and in 1945, it was Sammy who called Malcolm Jarvis, Sr., [also know as "Shorty"] to come get his friend Malcolm Little out of New York. Shorty, a musician, lived in Boston. In New York, West Indian Archie had put a contract out on Malcolm Little due to a misunderstanding about a numbers hit. After serving time in prison and becoming a member of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X returned to New York in 1954; McKnight had died in the meantime. For more see the "Sammy McKnight" entry in The Malcolm X Encyclopedia, edited by R. L. Jenkins; and The Other Malcolm, "Shorty" Jarvis, by M. Jarvis, et al.
Subjects: Migration North, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Harlem, New York City, New York

McLawler, Sarah
Birth Year : 1926
Born in Louisville, KY, Sarah McLawler is a vocalist, performer, and jazz organist (she played the Hammond B-3 organ). When she was a child her family moved to Chicago, where McLawler learned to play the piano and later attended Fisk University. McLawler returned to Chicago and played piano in nightclubs and led all-female combos (McLawler on piano, Lula Roberts on sax, Vi Wilson on bass, and Hetty Roberts on drums). In 1950, McLawler recorded "My whole Life Through" and "Your Key Won't Fit my Door." McLawler later married Richard Otto, a classical violinist, and together they formed a duo with Otto on violin and McLawler on organ. She helped popularize the jazz organ, which few women were playing. The couple resided in New York, recording such tunes as "Rainbow on the River" and "My Funny Valentine." Richard Otto died in 1979. For more see The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., by C. Larkin; Sarah McLawler, by World Wind Records; and H. Boyd, "Black New Yorkers; Pioneer organist in concert," New York Amsterdam News, 04/24/2003, p. 34. 
 
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York

McLeod, John C.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1962
Dr. John C. McLeod is said to have been the first Colored veterinarian in Cincinnati, OH, and he was one of the early colored inspectors in the U.S. Stock Bureau. McLeod was a graduate of Hughes High School in Cincinnati. He earned his veterinary surgery degree at Cincinnati Veterinary College. He was a U.S. Veterinary Inspector in the Bureau of Animal Industry and an inspector in Cincinnati and later at the Chicago stock yards. John C. McLeod was the husband of Elvira Cox McLeod, and his immediate and extended family members lived on Chapel Street in Cincinnati [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1930, the family was living in Malden, MA [source: U.S. Federal Census], then moved again to New Rochelle, NY. John C. McLeod was born in Covington, KY, the son of John S. and Anna McLeod. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner, and a Past Master of St. John's Lodge. For more see John C. McLeod in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and p. 606 in the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois / Malden, Massachuesetts / New Rochelle, New York

McRidley, Wendell H. [Cadiz Normal and Theological College]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1932
Rev. Wendell H. McRidley was editor and publisher of the Cadiz Informer, a Baptist weekly newspaper in Cadiz, KY. In 1887, he founded and was president of the Cadiz Normal and Theological College; the school had 269 students in 1895 and was still in operation as an elementary school in 1915 with at least 18 students. McRidley was also an alternate Kentucky Delegate to the Republication Convention in 1900 and 1916. He was treasurer of the Colored Masons' Mt. Olive Lodge #34 in Louisville, organized in 1880. McRidley was born in Tennessee, he was the husband of Anna M. Crump McRidley, born 1864 in KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; McRidley, at The Political Graveyard website; Chapter 4 of The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Ohio, by C. H. Wesley; and the Photo on p. 301 in Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence..., by E. C. Morris [available on the UNC University Library's Documenting the American South website]. For more about the Cadiz Normal and Theological College, and the School, see p.117 of the Sixty-third Annual Report of the American Baptist Home Mission Society, May 30th and 31st, 1895; and p. 278 of Negro Education, by T. J. Jones [both available online at Google Book Search]. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky

McWorter, Free Frank
Birth Year : 1777
Death Year : 1854
Born in South Carolina, Free Frank McWorter was the son of a slave named Juda and her owner, George McWhorter. Frank and McWhorter settled in Pulaski County, KY, in 1795. Frank worked McWhorter's farm and was allowed to establish his own saltpeter business. He earned enough money to purchase a farm, his wife's freedom, his freedom, and that of an older son. Once free, Frank took the name Free Frank. In 1830, he and the free members of his family moved to Pike County, Illinois, where he accumulated land. Frank eventually established the town of New Philadelphia, continuing to purchase the freedom of his children and grandchildren still in Pulaski County, KY. While in Illinois, Frank officially changed his name to Frank McWorter [without the 'h']. Three years after his death, portions of the New Philadelphia property were sold to purchase the freedom of the remaining family members in Kentucky. For more see Free Frank; a black pioneer on the Antebellum frontier, by J. E. K. Walker.

See bust and additional information about Free Frank McWorter at the United Black America website.
Subjects: Businesses, Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration North
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Pulaski County, Kentucky / Pike County, Illinois / New Philadelphia, Illinois

Merchant, Jesse, Sr.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1959
Born in Winchester, KY, Merchant was employed as a pharmacist at the U. S. Food Laboratory in Chicago in 1909 and later moved to the Department of Agriculture. He was also a civilian postmaster for the 10th U.S. Vol. Infantry in Lexington, KY, and Macon, GA, during the Spanish-American War. He was the son of Alpheus and Georgia A. Williams Merchant, and had attend high school in Lexington, KY. Merchant was a graduate of the Pharmacy College in Louisville, KY. He served as vice president of the Omaha Branch of the NAACP. Merchant was also a poet and is credited with composing "Back to My Old Kentucky Home" in 1906. He was the husband of Gladys Merchant and the couple had four children. The family lived on Wabash Street in Chicago, IL, according to the 1930 U.S. Federeal Census. Jesse Merchant, Sr. retired in 1950 from the federal alcohol tax unit, according to his obituary in the Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/08/1959. For more see the Jesse Merchant entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915 by F. L. Mather [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Poets, Postal Service, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Merrifield, Norman L.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1997
Norman L. Merrifield, a music teacher, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Clarence and Henrietta Merrifield. The family moved to Indianapolis in 1913. He was a graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor's and master's in music education. Merrifield was a bandmaster while enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended the Army Band School. He taught at Fisk and public schools in Tennessee, Florida A&M, and high school in Indianapolis. He also published spiritual arrangements and published a number of articles. Some of those influenced by Merrifield's teaching were Bobby Womack, James "J.J." Johnson, and LaVerne Newsome. For more see "Norman L. Merrifield" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern; and the Norman Merrifield Oral History Interview within the African American Personal Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Merritt, Barbara Mae Croney
Birth Year : 1952
Death Year : 1999
In 1970, Barbara Mae Croney Merritt was the first female to receive an athletic scholarship at Kentucky State University [source: "Ex-track champ is dead at 41," Kentucky New Era, 05/02/1994, p.2A (online at Google News)]. Croney was a track star from Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of John W. and Dorothy K. Spurline Croney, one of 12 children. In 1969, Barbara M. Croney competed in the National AAU Track and Field Championships in San Diego, CA [source: "Looking back: 25 years ago," Kentucky New Era, 08/20/1994, p.4A (online at Google News)]. She helped lead her team to the state championship in 1969 and 1970. Croney ran the 220 yard dash and was the anchor for both the 440 and the 880 relay. In prior years, she won the 220 in the 1968 state meet, and the standing broad jump in the 1967 state meet. She won the 100 yard dash in the Los Angeles Junior Olympics in 1967. After her track career, Barbara M. Croney Merritt was employed at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), having worked in several departments before becoming an administrative assistant to the executive vice president and provost. Barbara Mae Croney Merritt died of natural causes in the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania, her body was brought back to Hopkinsville with services taking place at the Gamble Funeral Home and burial at the Cave Spring Cemetery (grave site via Find A Grave). She was the wife of Earl F. Merritt. The Barbara M. Merritt Memorial Scholarship Fund in Liberal Arts was established at Penn State in her honor. In 2004, Barbara M. Croney (posthumously) was among the 16 inductees to the newly formed Heritage Bank Christian County High School Athletic Hall of Fame [source: J. Wilson, "CCHS honors 16 former athletes, coaches," Kentucky New Era, 12/10/2004, Section B, p.B3 (online at Google News)]. For more about Barbara M. Croney's track career see "Barbara Croney sets mark," Kentucky New Era, 05/13/1967, p.6, picture included (online at Google News); "What happened to Barbara?," Kentucky New Era, 05/22/1967, p12 (online at Google News); "County girls go to enter Junior Olympic finals," Kentucky New Era, 08/04/1967, p.10 (online at Google News); "Christian County's girls capture region track meet," Kentucky New Era, 05/09/1970, p.8; and many other articles in the Kentucky New Era newspaper. Barbara Croney is mentioned on p.13 of the Amateur Athlete, v.40., 1969. See caption and photo of Barbara Croney in article by C. Hess, "Kudos to secretaries this week," The Daily Collegian, 04/25/1979, p.15.

 

  See photo image of Barbara M. Croney on p.90 in the 1971 Thorobred yearbook at Kentucky State University.
Subjects: Migration North, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kenucky / University Park, Pennsylvania

Migration from Kentucky to Iowa
Start Year : 1803
End Year : 1920
The migration of African Americans from Kentucky to Iowa pre-date the official opening of the territory in 1833 and continued into the 1900s. York is reported as being the first to cross through the region as a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Former slaves Henry and Charlotte Pyles were taken from Kentucky and settled in the Iowa Territory, where they assisted escaped slaves making their way to Canada. There was a steady stream of Kentucky-born African Americans migrating to Iowa. The U.S. Federal Census lists over 100 in 1850, and during the Civil War, the First Regiment of Iowa African Infantry included 142 recruits from Kentucky. Counted in the 1880 Census were over 6,000 African Americans who were born in Kentucky and lived in Iowa. During WWI over 4,000 native Kentuckians registered for the U.S. military in Iowa, and over 15,000 were counted in the 1920 Census. For more on the migration to Iowa see J. L. Hill, "Migration of Blacks to Iowa 1820-1960," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 66, issue 4 (Winter, 1981-1982), pp. 289-303 and the website African Americans in Henry County, Iowa (extracted from the) 1870 Census.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Iowa

Migration of Black Women from Kentucky to Cincinnati, OH
Start Year : 1900
End Year : 1920
"According to the census for 1900, slightly more than 50 percent of the black female population in Cincinnati migrated from Kentucky, followed by Tennessee with eight percent and Virginia with six percent." "The 1910 and 1920 Manuscript Census Records show that for both census periods, Kentucky remained the state of origin of most black women who migrated to Cincinnati." Source: Contested Terrain: African American Women Migrate from the South to Cincinnati, Ohio, 1900-1950, by B. A. Bunch-Lyons, p. 12.
Subjects: Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

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

Miller, Herbert T.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1977
Miller was born in Ford, KY, and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. He was the son of Cyrus D. and Georgie C. Miller. Herbert Miller gained a national reputation as a successful organizer of Y.M.C.A. fund raising campaigns. Miller is remembered as the executive secretary of the Carlton Y.M.C.A. in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He was also named by Judge S. S. Leibowitz as foreman of the King County Grand Jury of New York State in 1944, the first African American in the U.S. to ever hold the post. He was voted Brooklyn's Most Valuable Citizen in New York Amsterdam News Poll in 1948. Miller also received several other awards for promoting understanding between racial and ethnic groups. He had served as executive secretary of YMCA branches in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Brooklyn. Miller was the husband of Belle Harper Miller and the brother of Bertha M. Anderson. He had attended the University of Cincinnati, Springfield College, and Boston University. Herbert T. Miller died in Cincinnati, OH, where he had settled after retiring from the Manhattan Division of the Protestant Council of the City of New York. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Herbert T. Miller chosen boro inter-faith leader," Baltimore Afro-American, 04/03/1948, p.17; and "Herbert T. Miller, retired executive of Y.M.C.A., dies in Cincinnati," New York Times, 01/27/1977, p. 81.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Ford, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Miller, Lizzie Gilliam
Miller was born in Mississippi and grew up in Louisville, KY. She graduated from Louisville Central High School, received her B.A. from Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, and attended Simmons Bible College. She was a cartographic supervisor with the Mapping Agency, U. S. Department of Defense, beginning in 1931 and continuing through the early 1980s. Miller was also the first Kentucky state director for Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She was a former Stark Nest director, traveling throughout the U.S. establishing centers. Miller established the first mobile Nest in Opa Locke, Florida. Stark Nest was an agency that provided services for low-income families. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Cartographers, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Minnifield, Frank
Birth Year : 1960
Frank Minnifield was born in Lexington, KY. At 5'9" and 140 pounds, he was an outstanding high school football player at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, playing tailback and safety; the team made the playoffs his senior year. It was thought that he was too small to play college football; nonetheless, Minnifield, 40 pounds heavier, was a walk-on his first year with the University of Louisville (KY) football team in 1979, earning scholarships his three remaining years. In 1981, he led the team in punt returns and led the nation as the number one college kick returner with 30.4 yards per return. Minnifield began his pro career in 1982 playing for the Chicago Blitz, a U.S. Football League (USFL) team that would become the Arizona Wranglers. The team was runner-up in the USFL Championship game in 1984. That same year, Minnifield filed suit against the Arizona Wranglers over the Wranglers' attempt to prevent him from playing with the Cleveland Browns, a National Football League (NFL) team. Minnifield signed as a free agent with the Browns in 1984 and retired from the team in 1992. He played in 122 games and was a four time pro bowler (1986-1989) and three time All-NFL choice by the Associated Press. Minnifield was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. After retiring from the NFL, he took advantage of years of preparation: having earned a real estate license in 1988 and sold real estate during the off-season, Minnifield returned to Lexington and established Minnifield All-Pro Homes. In 1993, he became the first African American executive elected to the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board. He was the only African American home builder in Lexington in 2000. In 2011, Frank Minnifield was named chair of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. For more see Frank Minnifield on the University of Louisville football website; J. Clay, "Minni, Lexington's Frank Minnifield, knew he'd make it as a pro," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/18/1984; and J. George, "Building for the future ex-NFL star Frank Minnifield wants more blacks in industry," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/12/2000.

See photo image and additional information about Frank Minnifield in article "Frank Minnifield elected chairman of U of L trustees," 09/14/2011, at Kentucky.com [Lexington Herald-Leader].
Subjects: Businesses, Football, Migration North, Migration West, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona / Cleveland, Ohio

Mitchell, George
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1972
Mitchell, born in Louisville, KY, was a cornet player for a number of groups, including Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers. His career began in Louisville, then in 1919 he left for Chicago. He recorded with a number of groups, including the New Orleans Wanderers when he replaced Louis Armstrong, who had a prior contract agreement. Mitchell stopped performing in the 1930s, and little is known about his life after that, other than he settled in Chicago. For more see George Mitchell at redhotjazz.com; and The Rough Guide to Jazz, by D. Fairweather, B. Priestley, and I. Carr. Veiw image and listen to George Mitchell on cornet along with other band members playing Doctor Jazz - by Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers with Kid Ory 1926 on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Monjoy, Milton S.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1998
Born in Louisville, KY, Monjoy became the accountant for the Detroit Housing Commission in 1946, was senior accountant with Richard A. Austin, C.P.A., from 1945-1949, and was admitted to practice as an agent of the U.S. Treasury Department. Monjoy received his B.S. degree from the Detroit Institute of Technology [records at the Lawrence Technological University] in 1946. He was the son of William and Margaret Monjoy, and the husband of Fredda N. Alexander Monjoy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Monjoy in "Death Notices," Detroit Free Press, 04/16/1998, p. 4B.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration North, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Moore, David Schultz, "Davey"
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 1963
David S. Moore was a featherweight boxer born in 1933 in Lexington, KY. [Not to be confused with the later Davey Moore, a champion middleweight boxer from New York, 1959-1988.]  Davey S. Moore, from Lexington, KY, was also a champion boxer whose professional career started in the early 1950s and ended with his death in 1963 as a result of injuries received during the championship bout with 21 year old Ultiminio "Sugar" Ramos, who was the 1960 Cuban Featherweight Champion. Ramos had left Cuba and was living in Mexico City, Mexico. The Moore v. Ramos fight was held March 21, 1963, in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. In the 10th round Moore went down. He got back up and finished the round, after which, the referee stopped the fight and declared Ramos the champion. Moore gave an interview, went to his dressing room, and complained of a headache. He was rushed to the hospital, and March 25, 1963, Moore died from brain stem injury [source: California Death Index]. His body was returned to Springfield, OH; his services were held at Mt Zion Baptist Church; and Davey Moore was laid to rest at Ferncliff Cemetery. His last fight was among the group of first nationally televised boxing matches. After Davey Moore's death, there was a call from California governor, Edmund G. Brown, to ban boxing in California. The cry to ban boxing also came from sportswriters, from Pope John XIII, and singer songwriter Bob Dylan wrote and sang the protest song "Who killed Davey Moore?" Ring Magazine had started to list the deaths of boxers in 1945; Davey Moore's death was number 216, and it was the second boxing death for the year 1963. Twenty-nine year old Davey Moore had been boxing professionally for little more than a decade. He was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic Team. In 1959, he won the featherweight title by defeating Hogan "Kid" Bassey [BoxRec], Nigeria, Africa's first world boxing champion, and Moore defended the title until losing it to Ramos in 1963. Davey Moore's record as a professional featherweight boxer was 59 wins, 7 losses, and 1 draw, according to the BoxRec webpage. He was also the bantamweight champion in the 1951 Intercity Golden Gloves Tournament and champion of the National AAU Tournament (118 pounds) in 1952. In 2013, the city of Springfield, OH, recognized Davey Moore's life with an 8 foot bronze statue. Ultiminio Ramos flew from Mexico City to attend the unveiling of the statue in Springfield, OH. Davey Moore Park is also named in his honor. Davey Moore was the son of Jessie Ball Moore (1893-1990), from Ohio, and Rev. Howard T. Moore (1896-1970), from Kentucky. Rev. Howard T. Moore was from Berry in Harrison County, KY, he was the son of James and Cordelia Moore [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Rev. Howard T. Moore was pastor of Christ Temple Church at 253 E. Second Street in Lexington, KY in 1931 [source: pp.369 & 687 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1931-32]. Jessie and Howard Moore are listed in the Lexington city directory until 1935 when they moved back to Springfield, OH; the couple had lived in Springfield as early as 1918 when Howard was a butler and the couple lived at 1107 Innisfallen Ave [source: p.604 in Williams' Springfield City Directory for 1918]. In 1940, the family of nine lived on Chestnut Street and David, the youngest child, was the only one listed in the census as born in Kentucky, the other children were born in Ohio [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Davey Moore was the husband of Geraldine Moore, and the couple had five children. For more see T. Safford, "Remembering Davey Moore's life, fights," Springfield News-Sun, 03/10/2013 [online]; "Davey Moore stands tall once again," Dayton Daily News, 09/15/2013, p.C1; "Final bell sounds for boxer Davey Moore," Evening Independent, 03/25/1963, p.13A; and "Last respects paid to Davey Moore," St. Petersburg Times, 03/31/1963, Sports section, p.2-C.

 

  See photo image and additional information at BoxRec webpage, Davey Moore (Featherweight).

 

  Watch the Moore v. Ramos fight while listening to Bob Dylan sing the song "Who Killed Davey Moore?" on YouTube.
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Migration North, Olympics: Athletes, Games, Events
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio / Los Angeles, California / Berry, Harrison County, Kentucky / Cuba / Mexico City, Mexico / Nigeria, Africa

Moore, Henry
Birth Year : 1846
Moore, a barber, was born in Kentucky and moved to Indianapolis, IN, in 1873. He was a porter before partnering with Charles H. Lanier to become a co-owner of the Denison House Barbershop in 1891. Lanier was born in 1851 in Tennessee, and his father was a Kentucky native. Henry Moore was one of the most prominent barbers in the African American community in Indianapolis. He was also a Mason. Henry and Emma Moore (b.1851 in KY) lived on Missouri Street in Indianapolis, according to the 1900 U. S. Federal Census. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Morgan, Benjamin J.
Birth Year : 1861
Morgan was born in Kentucky to Thomas and Amanda Grayson; he used his stepfather's last name. Morgan worked at a real estate firm in Cincinnati and later studied chiropody. He then moved to Indianapolis, where he opened a successful practice and was in great demand; one of his patients was Indiana Governor Claude Matthews. Morgan was also prominent in the African American community in Indianapolis. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Indianapolis, Indiana

Morgan, Garrett A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1963
Garrett A. Morgan, who was born in Paris, KY, patented the breathing device - a gas mask - and the traffic signal. He owned sewing equipment and repair shop, and a personal care products company. Morgan invented zig-zag stitching for manual sewing machines. Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. was the son of Sydney and Elizabeth Reed Morgan; he was the seventh of their eleven children. The children attended Branch School, located in the African American community of Claysville, later renamed Garrett Morgan's Place. Morgan quit school when he was in the fifth grade, and when he was a teen took a job in Cincinnati, OH. He would later move on to Cleveland, where he founded the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which was later merged into the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP. Morgan also founded the Cleveland Call newspaper. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Created Equal, by J. M. Brodie; and Garrett A. Morgan in the Hutchinson Encyclopedia of Biography (2000).

See photo image and additional information on Garrett A. Morgan in Public Roads, Jan/Feb 1998, vol.62, no.4, a Federal Highway Administration website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Inventors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio

Morrell, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1930
Benjamin F. Morrell was born in Madison County, KY. On December 1, 1872, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in New Orleans, LA, at the age of 31 [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. He served with the 25th Infantry, Company A, and was the best marksman in the company. Sergeant Morrell received an honorable discharge on December 1, 1877, and would re-enlisted in the U.S. Army several times. In 1889, he was stationed at Ft. Greble on Dutch Island in Rhode Island. Morrell would remain in Rhode Island, where he was quite prosperous and owned several properties on Clark Street in Jamestown. He was frequently mentioned in the local newspapers during his lifetime, and after his death, there were articles for several years concerning the settling of his estate. The Sergeant Morrell House is on the Newport County (RI) Historical Register. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Benjamin F. Morrell was the husband of Nannie A. Morrell, and they had an adopted son, Frederick G. M. White. The couple had been in Rhode Island since at least 1889 and were considered prominent in the Jamestown community [source: "Shiloh Church Anniversary," Newport Mercury, 08/20/1892, p. 1]. Nannie A. Morrell was born around 1846 in North Carolina and died November 1904 in Jamestown, RI [source: "Deaths," Newport Mercury, 12/03/1904, p. 4]. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, there were 956 persons in Jamestown, RI, including an all time high of 81 Blacks (of which Benjamin F. Morrell and Gabriel B. Miller were the only two from Kentucky) and two Mulattoes. Very, very few free Blacks from Kentucky had settled in the state of Rhode Island, one of the first being 26 year old Fanney Birkshire, who is listed as a free woman in the 1850 Census. By 1900, Benjamin Morrell was one of 18 Blacks from Kentucky living in Rhode Island and one of two in Jamestown. In 1906, Benjamin Morrell married Lucy J. Morrell; the couple lived on Clark Street. They are listed in the 1910 and the 1920 Census. Lucy J. Morrell was born around 1865 in Virginia. In 1899, Benjamin Morrell was considered the best choice when he was appointed the administrator of the James Walker estate [source: "Jamestown," Newport Daily News, 12/27/1899, p. 5]. By 1910, Benjamin Morrell had retired from the Army a commissioned officer, according to the census. Both Benjamin and Lucy Morrell were property owners; on September 30, 1914, Lucy ran an ad in the newspaper offering to lease a six-room tenement at 66 John Street [source: "TO LET," Newport Daily News, p. 17]. In 1917, Benjamin Morrell was in the hospital in Newport, RI, recovering from an illness, and his wife Lucy had moved to the city to be near him [source: "Sergeant B. F. Morrell...," Newport Journal and Weekly News, 12/14/1917, p. 4]. The couple would return to their home in Jamestown, and in 1929, Benjamin Morrell was one of the guests of honor at the American Legion Post and Auxiliary celebration [source: "Tuesday evening at the town hall...," within the article "Jamestown," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 09/27/1929, p. 7]. Sergeant Benjamin F. Morrell died February 8, 1930, and was given a military burial at Cedar Cemetery in Jamestown, RI. According to the obituary notice, Sergeant Morrell was a member of the 9th Cavalry [source: "The funeral of Sergeant B. F. Morrell..." within the article "Local Briefs," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 02/14/1930, p. 5]. In November of 1930, a petition was posted in the newspaper seeking the appointment of a guardian for Lucy J. Morrell and her estate [source: "The petition..." within the article "Jamestown," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 11/07/1930, p. 8]. By 1932, Lucy Morrell had died, and in June of 1933, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that the Morrell estate was to go to the next of kin of Benjamin F. Morrell [source: "Supreme Court gives opinion in will case," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 06/30/1933, p. 1]. The land and buildings on John Street, which had belonged to Lucy Morrell, were transferred over to Marcus F. Wheatland [source: "According to a deed filed...," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 09/22/1933, p. 5, column 3]. In 1941, the Benjamin F. Morrell estate was was back in the newspapers, the case was to be heard in the superior court [source: "In the Newport Trust Company...," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 07/11/1941, p. 3, column 7]. For more see the Benjamin Morrell entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldiers II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; see the Sergeant Morrell House -74- entry at the Newport County Historical Register website; "8 - Sergeant Benjamin F. Morrell died, 83," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 01/09/1931, p. 6, top of column 4; and "Three local cases in Superior Court," Newport Mercury and Weekly News, 08/01/1941, p. 3.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Dutch Island and Jamestown, Rhode Island

Morris, William R.
Birth Year : 1859
William R. Morris was born in Flemingsburg, KY. From 1884-1889 he was a faculty member at Fisk University and remained the only African American there for four years. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in the 1880s, then left for Chicago. Morris was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1888, then moved to Minneapolis where he was the first African American lawyer in the courts of Hennepin County. Morris was one of the first African Americans admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1889; that same year he established the Afro-American Law Enforcement League in Minneapolis. He was one of the first three African American members of the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1912; he was the only one of the three to resign when the ABA received pressure from Southerners opposed to the ABA having African American members. William Richard Morris was the son of Hezekiah (a slave) and Elizabeth Hopkins Morris (free), and the brother of Edward H. Morris. Hezekiah bought his freedom, and earned a living as a mattress maker. After Hezekiah's death, the family moved first to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Chicago, IL. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Emancipation: the making of a Black lawyer, by J. C. Smith, Jr.; "Hon. William Richard Morris," Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 01/25/1906, p.1; and see "William Richard Morris" on p.264-265 in History of the Great Northwest and its Men of Progress by C. W. G. Hyde et. al.

See photo image of William R. Morris at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio/ Chicago, Illinois / Tennessee / Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Morton, Lena B.
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1981
Lena Beatrice Morton, an educator and a scholar, was born in Flat Creek, KY, the daughter of Susie and William Morton. The family temporarily settled in Winchester, KY, where Morton's maternal grandfather, Reverend H. A. Stewart, was pastor of the CME Church. They later moved to Cincinnati, OH, where Lena Morton graduated from high school and was a two time graduate of the University of Cincinnati (UC). While at UC, she was a founding member of the school's first African American Greek organization, Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Morton earned her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in 1947. She taught English at the high school level and the university level, where she also held leadership positions such as head of the division of humanities at Texas College. Morton authored a number of works, including several books: Negro Poetry in America, Farewell to the Public Schools, Man Under Stress, Patterns of Language Usage (a study), My First Sixty Years, and The Influence of the Sea Upon English Poetry. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and "Lena Beatrice Morton" in vol. 6 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Flat Creek, Bath County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Morton-Finney, John
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1998
Born in Uniontown, KY, John Morton-Finney was a Buffalo Soldier with the U.S. Army during World War I and also served during World War II. He taught school in Missouri and Indiana while earning five law degrees; he earned a total of 11 degrees, the last at the age of 75. He continued teaching until he was 81 years old and practiced law until he was 106; he is believed to have been the longest-practicing attorney in the U.S. Morton-Finney was inducted into the National Bar Association Hall of Fame in 1991. For more see John Morton-Finney in the Notable names in local Black history at the Indystar.com website, updated 02/10/2000.

See photo image and additional information on John Morton-Finney at the Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Uniontown, Union County, Kentucky / Missouri / Indiana

Moseby, Solomon
In 1833, the government of Upper Canada authorized the return of runaway slave Solomon Moseby to his master, David Castleman, in Fayette County, KY. When authorities tried to take Moseby across the border to the United States, a riot ensued, the first race riot in Canada. Preacher Herbert Holmes was one of the men shot and killed; he was the leader of the resistance group of African and white Canadian women and men. Several others were injured. Moseby escaped and made his way to Britain. For more see D. Murray, "Hands across the border: the abortive extradition of Solomon Moseby," Canadian Review of American Studies, vol. 30, issue 2 (2000), pp. 187-209.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada / (Britain) England, Europe

Mundy, James A.
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1978
James Ahlyn Mundy was born in Maysville, KY. He was a choral director, composer, and arranger. Mundy studied music education at Simmons College (KY) and Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago. Mundy moved to Chicago around 1906, spending the remainder of his life there. He is recognized as one of Chicago's pioneer musicians. Mundy organized and directed a number of community singing groups, companies, and choruses that performed at events such as the Lincoln Jubilee and Half-Century Exposition, Emancipation Day celebrations, and the Chicago World's Fair. He was also choirmaster at Bethel AME Church and founded Chicago's early opera groups. For more see E. P. Holly, "Black Concert Music in Chicago, 1890 to the 1930s," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 10, issue 1 (Spring, 1990), pp. 141-149; and "James Ahlyn Mundy" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Murphy, Walter
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2000
Born in Waddy, KY, Walter Murphy began training horses when he was a boy working alongside his father at Mountjoy Stables in Lawrenceburg, KY. Murphy struck out