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Adams, Herbert L.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1996
In 1973, Adams, a plumber, was the first African American elected to office in Lancaster and Garrard County, KY. He was the son of George W. and Mary A. Cunningham Adams. Herbert Adams was a veteran of WWII. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in the 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, pp. 14-15; and "Herbert L. Adams" in Kentucky Obituaries, Danville Advocate-Messenger, 13 May 1996 through 31 December 1996 [online .pdf].
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky

Adams, John Quincy "J.Q."
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1922
John Quincy Adams was born in Louisville, KY. In 1879, Adams established the Bulletin as a weekly newspaper in Louisville. He served as president of the American Press Association (the African American press organization). In 1886, he left Louisville to join the staff of the Western Appeal in St. Paul, Minnesota, assuming ownership of the newspaper within a few months. Adam's career also included his position as Engrossing Clerk of the Arkansas Senate. He was also a school teacher in both Kentucky and Arkansas. He was a civil rights activist and served as an officer in the National Afro-American Council. Adams was a graduate of Oberlin College. He was a charter member of the Gopher Lodge No.105, Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World. He was the son of Henry Adams and Margaret P. Corbin Adams. J. Q. Adams died September 3, 1922, after being struck by an automobile while waiting to board a street car. He was the husband of Ella B. Smith, and they had four children. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; D. V. Taylor, "John Quincy Adams: St. Paul editor and Black leader," Minnesota History, vol.43, issue 8 (Winter, 1973), pp.282-296; and for a history of J. Q. Adams career see, "Crowds throng to Adam's rites fill Pilgrim Baptist Church to capacity Elks conduct services," The Appeal, 09/16/1922, p.1.

See photo image and additional information on John Quincy Adams at African American Registry website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Saint Paul, Minnesota / Arkansas

Allen, Frank, Jr.
Allen was elected to the City Council of Burkesville, KY, in 1969, becoming the city's first African American elected official, and was re-elected in 1971. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 10.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Burkesville, Cumberland County, Kentucky

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

Anderson, Carl L.
Anderson became the first African American member of the Bardstown, KY, City Council in 1975, winning a second term in 1977, a third term in 1979, and a fourth term in 1981. For more see "Three Kentucky cities have black mayors," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 21.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky

Anderson, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1924
Anderson was born in Crab Orchard, KY. In 1969 he became the first African American to win a magistrate election in Jefferson County, KY, and, in 1975, he became the first circuit judge in Jefferson County, 3rd Chancery Division. Anderson was also the first African American candidate for election to the Kentucky Supreme Court, in 1982. For more see "Magistrates, constables are only black county officials," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], p. 9; and "Eleven blacks hold county level posts," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report [1978], pp. 11-12, both by the Commission on Human Rights; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Anderson, Charles W., Jr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1960
Anderson, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of Dr. Charles W. and Tabetha Murphy Anderson. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and received his law degree from Howard University School of Law. Anderson was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1933, and in 1936, as a Republican, was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives, making him the first African American Kentucky legislator. He had competed against five other candidates: Charles E. Tucker, Rev. Ernest Grundy, Dr. Richard P. Beckman, James D. Bailey, all Democrats, and Lee L. Brown, a Republican. Anderson is credited with a number of early Civil Rights measures, including the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act, which provided funding for African Americans to seek higher education out of state because Kentucky enforced higher education segregation laws. Anderson was also appointed alternate delegate to the United Nations. For more see Not Without Struggle, by J. B. Horton; and Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on the University of Kentucky campus and off campus via the proxy server]. Charles W. Anderson, Jr. was the brother to Florence G. Anderson, one of the daughters of Charles W. Anderson, Sr. and his first wife Mildred Saunders Anderson.

 


   See photo image at Find A Grave.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Anderson, Felix S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1983
Born in Louisville, KY, Felix Sylvester Anderson, Sr. was a graduate of Livingston College and Hood Theological Seminary, both in North Carolina, and Western Theological Seminary in Michigan, where he received his Doctor of Divinity S.T.C. He was the first African American Democrat and the fourth African American in the Kentucky General Assembly. Anderson was elected as a Representative in 1954, 1956, and 1958. He was the first African American to chair a standing committee in the Kentucky House of Representatives when he was appointed head of the Committee of Suffrage, Elections, and Constitutional Amendments in 1958. The sway away from Republicans had continued with the Democratic bid for votes from Louisville's African Americans in 1944 during the Presidential election, with emphasis on the Roosevelt administration's economic contributions. By 1948, the number of eligible African American Democrat voters in Louisville had escalated to an all time high of 32.2% of all African American registered voters. For more on Felix S. Anderson, see "Negro heads Kentucky panel," The New York Times, 01/18/1958, p.9; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission. For more on the voting history, see L. C. Kesselman, "Negro Voting in a Border Community: Louisville, Kentucky," The Journal of Negro Education, 26, no. 3, pp. 273-280.

Access Interview Read about the Felix S. Anderson, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Ayers, Rhoda R.
In 1976, Ayers became the first African American member of the Newport, KY, Independent Board of Education. During that year, she was also one of two African American women on a local school board in Kentucky. Ayers was employed by the U.S. Postal Service. For more see "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: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky

Bailey, James W., Jr.
In 1985, James W. Bailey, Jr. became the first African American elected to the West District Magistrate of the Simpson County, KY, Fiscal Court. For more see "Kentucky's only black sheriff in Christian County," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Simpson County, Kentucky

Baker, Charles
Baker was born in Millersburg, KY. He was the first African American member of the Millersburg 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. 21.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Baker, Henry Edward
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2014
Reverend Henry E. Baker was a civil rights activist, a pastor, and a city commissioner in Winchester, KY. A school was named in his honor, the Henry E. Baker Intermediate School, dedicated on August 3, 2014. For 38 years, he was pastor of the Broadway Baptist Church, 1955-1993. He was among those who helped integrate the Winchester schools in 1956. In 1977, he was elected the moderator of the Consolidated District Association of Kentucky Baptist. In 1978, he established a fund drive for Elizabeth Greene who was blinded on August 4, 1978, when an unknown person fired into her car and the bullet struck her in the head ["Fund drive," Kentucky New Era, 12/28/1978, p.29 - online]. He was chair of the Winchester Human Rights Commission. In 1979, he became the first African American to serve as a city commissioner in Winchester, and he also served as vice mayor from 1980-1984. In 2000, he was inducted into the Kentucky Human Rights Commission Civil Rights Hall of Fame. In 2006, the block in Winchester between Washington Street and Broadway, was renamed from Bell's Alley to Reverend Baker Way. Reverend Baker also received the Martin Luther King Jr. Award in 2007. Reverend Henry E. Baker was born in The Pocket in Wilmore, KY, he was the son of Mary E. Overstreet Baker (1894-1985) and Henry Baker (1890-1973) [source: Ms. Hallie Miller; Kentucky Birth Index; FindAGrave, Henry Baker; and 1930 and 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Rev. Baker was the husband of Sarah F. Prentice Baker for 69 years. He was a WWII veteran; Rev. Baker enlisted in Cincinnati, OH, April 16, 1943 [source: U.S. WWII Army Enlistment Records]. He was the brother of Fred Baker. This entry was submitted by Ms. Hallie Miller.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: The Pocket in Wilmore, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Banks, Anna B. Simms
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1923
Annie B. Simms Banks was a school teacher in Louisville and later lived in Winchester, KY. In 1920, when women voted in the presidential election for the first time, it was reported that Banks was the first African American female fully-credited delegate at the 7th Congressional District Republican Convention (KY). Part of the delegation from Clark County, Banks was appointed a member of the Rules Committee. According to author Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Banks' political position was a first for African American women in the South because in Kentucky there was not the fear of a voter takeover by African American women. Anna Simms Banks was born near or in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Isabella and Marcus or Marquis Simms who was a barber [source: 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. She was the wife of William Webb Banks. For more see "Kentucky Woman in Political Arena," Cleveland Advocate, 03/20/1920, p. 1; and African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920, by R. Terborg-Penn [picture on page 149].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Banks, Wendell
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2003
Wendell Banks was born in Ashland, KY, the son of Lawrence and Flora Johnson Banks. In 1984 he was the first African American elected to the Ashland City Commission and thereafter was continuously re-elected until 1991. Banks had been employed as a manager at Armco Steel Corp. He later became president of Ashland Community College. For more see "49 blacks serve on city councils," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 19; "Two Ex-Mayors Win," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/09/1983, p. A1; and "Wendell Banks, 74, Ashland Civic Leader," Lexington Herald Leader, 06/30/2003, Obituaries, p. 4.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Barbourville (KY) Republican County Committee, Colored Members
Start Year : 1908
Before adjourning the August 1908 County Committee meeting, held in the Barbourville courthouse, William B. Dizney offered a resolution to admit two African Americans to the committee with full power to vote and act upon all subjects. Judge T. T. Wyatt opposed the resolution, but since he was not a member of the committee, the resolution was accepted. The two men, William Beard (1849-1945) and Clay Patton (1854-1944) became the first African American members of the Barbourville Republican County Committee. William Beard is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census as a 60 year old mulatto who lived in Poplar Creek, KY. He was a farmer, the husband of Martha Beard, and the son of Tom and Lila Coffman Beard, according to his death certificate. Clay Patton was also a farmer, he lived in Flat Lick, KY, according to his death certificate. He was the son of Arthur Patton and Elizabeth Arthur Patton. For more see "County Committee," Mountain Advocate, 08/07/1908, p.1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Barbourville, Poplar Creek, Flat Lick, all in Knox County, Kentucky

The Barclays
Arthur Barclay (1854-1938) served as Secretary of State and was the 14th President of Liberia, Africa from 1904-1912. He changed the term of office from two years to four years and was re-elected three times. His nephew, Edwin J. Barclay (1883-1955) completed the term of President C. D. B. King. Edwin was the 17th president of Liberia and had the term of office changed from four years to eight years; he was re-elected twice. Edwin and his successor were the first African heads of states to be invited to the U.S. [by President F. D. Roosevelt]. Edwin Barclay's visit to the White House marked the first time journalists from African American weekly newspapers were assigned to the White House to cover a diplomatic visit. The Barclay family had been politically active in Liberia since the end of the 1800s; Ernest J. Barclay (d. 1894), had served as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and Secretary of State, both in Liberia. Ernest and Arthur were the sons and Edwin was the grandson of former Kentucky slaves who left the U.S. during the Civil War. The family stopped in Barbados where Edwin Barclay's father Ernest, and his uncle Arthur, were born. They were two of the many children of Anthony and Sarah Barclay. In 1865, the family moved to Africa. They were among the 300 West Indians migrating to Liberia, most of whom were from the British West Indies. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Dictionary of African Historical Biography, 2nd ed., by M. R. Lipschutz and R. K. Rasmussen; The Political and Legislative History of Liberia by C. H. Huberich; "2 Presidents in one family," Baltimore Afro-American, 06/05/1943, p.3; Liberia by H. H. Johnston and O. Stapf [v.2 available online at Google Book Search]; and "Negro guest in White House," The Sunday Morning Star, 04/04/1943, p.24.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Barbados, Caribbean / Liberia, Africa

Barker, Samuel Lorenzo
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1971
According to the Kentucky Birth Records, Professor S. L. Barker was born in Christian County, KY, the son of Ellin Sumers? and Bob Barker. [Tennessee is also given as his birth location in the Census Records.] Barker is best remembered as an education leader. In Owensboro, KY, he was a school teacher and principal of Dunbar School, and he became principal of Western High School in 1934. He was a long-time member and leader in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA), first serving as assistant secretary in 1916. He was the 2nd District organizer for the Association of Colored Teachers beginning in 1925. He was the KNEA reporter in 1928, served on the Board of Directors 1930-1935, and was president of the board 1939-1940. He chaired the Legislative Committee in 1933, ran unsuccessfully for president of the association in 1935 and 1937, and in 1939 successfully became president of KNEA, serving 1939-1941. He also served on the Kentucky governor's committee for higher education for Negroes in 1940. Professor S. L. Barker served on various KNEA committees until the organization was subsumed by the Kentucky Education Association in 1956. In his political life, Barker served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention from Kentucky in 1952. S. L. Barker was the husband of Callie Coleman Barker (b. 1878 in TN), who was a teacher and seamstress. They were the parents of nine children, one of whom was Roberta L. Barker Woodard, who is listed in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al. For more on Samuel Barker see the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, 1916-1952. For more on the Second District Association of Colored Teachers of Kentucky see "Colored Column" in The Bee, 12/05/1911, p. 2. Both sources are available full-text at the Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Barlow, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1940
In 1974, Charles H. Barlow was chosen as Citizen of the Year in Morgantown, KY. He was the first African American to serve in an elected office in Butler County, KY; in 1973 he was elected a Morgantown City Council Member and re-elected in 1975 [source: "Area voting: Keith edges Lamastus in Butler judge race," Daily News, 11/02/1975, p.80]. According to information from the Morgantown Mayor's Office, Barlow served as a city council member until 1990. He also served with the Butler County Jaycees and was on the advisory council of the Green River Boys Camp. Charles H. Barlow was born in Hart County, KY, according to the Kentucky Birth Index, and moved to Butler County in the 1960s. This entry was submitted by Roger Givens.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Hart County, Kentucky / Morgantown, Butler County, Kentucky

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

Bartleson, Truman, Sr.
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 2000
Bartleson, born in Mercer County, KY, was the first African American elected to the Harrodsburg, KY, Board of Education. Bartleson was employed at the Hall Mack Corp. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 25; and Truman Bartleson, Sr. in "Obituaries," by C. Beaven, Lexington Herald Leader, 11/12/2000, p. B2.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Bather, Paul C.
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2009
Bather was a community and civic leader and an extremely capable manager in various capacities, including his role as treasurer of the Jefferson County, KY, government. His policies earned the county $10 million in investment income. He was also U. S. representative in an American-Soviet leadership exchange program. From 1986-2000, Bather was a member of the Louisville, KY, Board of Aldermen. In 2000, he was elected to the 43rd District House Seat of the Kentucky Legislature, completing the term of Porter Hatcher who had resigned. Bather was re-elected in 2002; he retired after one term in office. Bather was born in New York. He was a graduate of Fairfield University, City University of New York, and the University of Louisville. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; HR291; and P. Burba and S. S. Shafer, "Paul Bather dies in Houston," Louisville Courier-Journal, 02/12/2009, News section, p.1B.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Beaumont, James T.
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 2007
In 1969, James Beaumont was the first African American councilman in La Grange, KY. He attended Kentucky State University and is a graduate of Watterson College with an associate's degree in business. The James T. Beaumont Community Center in LaGrange is named in his honor. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 3, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and "Meet the La Grange council candidates," The Courier-Journal, 09/27/2006, Neighborhoods section, p. 1G.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky

Beck, Thomas
Birth Year : 1819
Thomas Beck was born in Kentucky, and one of his parents was white, the other African American. [Kentucky is given as his birth location in the 1850 U.S. Census.] Beck served in the Texas House of Representatives, beginning in 1874. One of the bills he sponsored was to prevent the employment of children without the permission of the parents. He was the husband of Martha Jordan Beck from Tennessee [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census], and the couple had several children. For more see Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868-1900, by M. Pitre; Forever Free: The Biographies web page, by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission.


Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

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

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

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, Julius
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 2001
Julius Berry was born in Lexington, KY. In 1994, Mayor Scotty Baesler appointed Berry to the post of Affirmative Action Officer of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Berry, 41 years old at the time, was responsible for managing the government's affirmative action plan and investigating discrimination complaints. He held the post under various mayors up to the time of his death in 2001. Berry was a man of many talents. In 1974, he worked with the city government's A. Phillip Randolph Education Fund, which helped minorities get apprenticeships in the building and construction trades. He was also involved with horses as a breeder, racer, seller, and thoroughbred bloodstock agent. He had been a public advocate in Lexington, working on school integration issues as a member of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). He is also remembered as a former (old) Dunbar High School basketball star; standing at 6'5", Berry scored more than 3,000 points during his high school days in the 1950s. He played college ball at University of Dayton and at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he earned a bachelor's degree, then went on to get his master's degree at Rutgers University. Julius Berry was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1996. He was Ulysses Berry's brother. For more see the following articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader: J. Duke, "Julius Berry Returns to Government," 06/01/1984, City/State section, p. B1; M. Fields, "Inductee Sees Athletics as Societal Salve," 03/12/1996, Sports section, p. C1; and S. Lannen, "Aide to Lexington Mayor Dies - Dunbar Basketball Star During 1950s," 12/03/2001, City & Region section, p. B1. See also the sound recording interview of Julius Berry in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Access Interview Read about the Julius Berry 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, Basketball, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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, Karla L.
Birth Year : 1961
Karla L. Black was born in Richmond, KY. She was the first African American elected to the Richmond Independent Board of Education in 1986. For more see Karla Black in "Cosby is Jefferson County board's first black chairman," in the 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 37.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

"Black Republican" (term)
Start Year : 1858
The term "Black Republican" is often attributed to incumbent Stephen Douglas, a Democrat who was scheduled to have seven debates with Republican, and Kentucky native, Abraham Lincoln; both were campaigning for an Illinois Senate seat in 1858. The primary theme of the debates was slavery, and Douglas accused Lincoln and members of the the "Black Republican Party" of being abolitionist and against slavery in the Western territories. Lincoln lost the bid for the Illinois Senate seat, but he won the nomination to run for U.S. President during the 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago. During the presidential campaign, Abraham Lincoln was often referred to as the "Black Republican." The term was also used during the Reconstruction Era for Republicans who supported legislation that favored African Americans. For more see the "Black Republican" entry in vol. 2 of the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and Lincoln and Douglas, by A. C. Guelzo.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: United States

Bluegrass Chronicle (newspaper) [Edgar Wallace]
Start Year : 1978
End Year : 1980
The Bluegrass Chronicle was a weekly African American newspaper in Lexington, KY, published from April 1978 - May 1980. The paper was owned by Edgar Wallace, an Urban County Councilman and former president of the Lexington NAACP. The newspaper was started because Wallace felt the Lexington Leader and the Lexington Herald were not adequately covering Lexington's Black community. Circulation was about 2,000. For more see "Fledgling paper will be aimed at minorities," Lexington Leader, 03/30/1978, section D-1, col. 5-6; and T. Tolliver, "Chronicle still out of print," Lexington Leader, 01/12/1981.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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

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

Bradford, Billy
In 1998, Billy Bradford became the first African American mayor in Elsmere, KY, as well as the first in northern Kentucky. He has continued to be re-elected, beginning his ninth year as mayor in 2007. For more see B. Driehaus, "Three mayors ousted in local elections," The Kentucky Post, 11/06/2002, News section, p. K12; and K. Eigelbach, "Florence re-elects incumbents - that includes council, mayor," The Kentucky Post, 11/08/2006, News section, p. A9.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Elsmere, Kenton County, Kentucky

Bradley, Walter T., Jr.
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 2004
Walter Thomas Bradley, Jr. was born in Midway, KY, to Walter T. Sr. and Sarah J. Craig Bradley. He was an Army veteran and in 1977 became the first African American on the Midway City Council. Bradley served on the council for 24 years. He was a past Grand Secretary of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of Kentucky, and was editor of the lodge's newspaper Masonic Herald. Bradley was employed at Avon Army Depot where he was an electrical engineer inspector. He was the husband of Mollie McFarland Bradley, and the couple owned and lived in the building that had housed the Midway Colored School. Walter Bradley had been a student in the school, and purchased the building in 1959. He and his father did all of the repair work. Bradley and his wife leased space within the building to a number of businesses, including a beauty shop and a shoe shop, and there was a lodge hall, and apartments. The couple were owners of the first laundrette in Midway. The building was also home to the offices of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F. & A.M. during Walter Bradley's tenure as grand secretary. Walter T. Bradley, Jr. was also a member of a male singing group from Midway, KY called the "Five Royalties of Song." He was a piano player, as is his wife and their sons. He was a contributor writer for The Woodford Sun newspaper during Black History Month. His wife, Mollie Bradley, continues to write articles each year. In 1989, Walter T. Bradley, Jr. was the first African American deacon at the Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. The Walter Bradley Memorial Park in Midway, KY is named in his honor. For more see "Middlesboro city councilwoman top vote-getter," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 28; W. Bradley, "Black Free Masonry's Founder Never a Slave," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/25/2002, Commentary section, p. A8; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1988-2004.

Access Interview Read about the Walter T. Bradley oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Businesses, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky

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

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

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, Lee L.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1948
Lee L. Brown was born in Spring Station, KY. He was owner of a stenography school in Louisville, KY, and also owned Brown's Leather Shop. Brown was a correspondent for Dobson's News Service and editor and an organizer of the Louisville News. He was a representative of the Negro Press Association of Chicago. Brown was a two-time candidate for the Kentucky State Legislature, once in 1913 and again in 1935. Lee L. Brown was the son of Richard and Lucy Alexander Brown [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census; and Lee L. Brown's Kentucky Death Certificate]. He was the husband of Etta C. Brown [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple last lived at 1014 West Chestnut Street in Louisville. Lee L. Brown died at the Louisville Red Cross Hospital on August 17, 1948. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Spring Station, Woodford County, Kentucky / 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

Bryant, Charles W. "C.W."
Birth Year : 1830
Charles W. Bryant was born in Kentucky and settled in Texas after the Civil War. He had been a slave and was an agent for the Freemen's Bureau in Texas. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1868-1869, representing Harrison County, Texas. He was also a minister. For more see Forever Free: The Biographies, a website by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission; and "Bryant, Charles W," by P. M. Lucko in The Handbook of Texas.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

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

Burroughs, Olive
Birth Year : 1951
Death Year : 2003
Olive Burroughs was the first African American woman elected to the Owensboro, KY, City Commission, first elected in 1995 and continuously re-elected until 2002. She was instrumental in developing the Neighborhood Alliance and the Owensboro Youth Council. She served on the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, the National League of Cities Human Development Committee, and the Coalition Drug Task Force of U. S. Representative Lewis Heartland. The Heritage Award was presented to Burroughs posthumously by the Owensboro Board of Realtors in 2004, its highest community honor. Burroughs received many additional awards, including the NAACP Herman E. Floyd Award. For more see "Burroughs wins Heritage Award posthumously," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 05/12/04.

Access Interview Read about the Olive Burroughs oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Butler, William F.
From Jefferson County, KY, William F. Butler served as president of the Negro Republican Party that was formed following the Civil War. The organization's first convention was held in Lexington, KY, in 1867. That same year, at a Civil Rights meeting held in Louisville, KY, William Butler stood and demanded equal rights for African Americans. Following the meeting, the Law League was established to "finance and secure" lawyers who would fight for African Americans' civil rights. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and V. B. Howard, "The Black testimony controversy in Kentucky, 1866-1872," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 58, issue 2 (April 1973), pp. 140-165.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Calloway, Ernest Abner
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1989
Calloway was a writer, a union organizer and advocate, a civil rights activist, a politician, and an educator. He was born in Herberton, WV, and came to Letcher County, KY, with his family in 1913. They were one of the first African American families in the coal mining community in Letcher County. His father helped organize the first Local United Mine Workers Union. In 1925, Calloway ran away to Harlem [New York City]. Within a few years he returned to Kentucky and worked in the coal mines. Beginning In 1930, Calloway was a drifter for three years, traveling throughout the U.S. and Mexico before returning to Kentucky to work in the coal mines again. It would be Calloway's writing that would help him leave Kentucky for good. He had written an article on the use of marijuana and submitted it to Opportunity magazine. The article was rejected, but Calloway was asked to write an article on the working conditions of Negro coal miners in Kentucky. The article was published in March 1934, resulting in Calloway being offered a scholarship to Brookwood Labor College [info] in New York. He would go on to help establish and influence many union organizations. Early in his career, he developed the Virginia Workers' Alliance; organized the Chicago Redcaps [railroad station porters] and the United Transport Employee Union; and assisted in the writing of the resolution for the development of the Committee Against Discrimination in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Calloway was the first African American to refuse military service because of racial discrimination. In 1955, he was president of the St. Louis, MO, NAACP Branch. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1968 and was a part time lecturer at St. Louis University in 1969. For a more detailed account of Calloway's career, see the "Ernest Abner Calloway" entry in the Dictionary of Missouri Biography, by L. O. Christensen; and the Ernest Calloway Papers, 1937-1983 in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration East, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Union Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Herberton, West Virginia / Letcher County, Kentucky / New York / Chicago, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

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

Carr, Kipley D.
Birth Year : 1967
Kipley D. Carr was born in Bowling Green and served as the first African American student representative on the Bowling Green Independent School Board, 1983-1984, and is believed to be the first African American student representative to a local board of education in the Commonwealth. Active in the NAACP since childhood, Carr served as president of the Bowling Green-Warren County NAACP Youth Council and later as president of the Kentucky State NAACP Youth & College Division. From 1995-97 Carr was Political Action Chairman of the Kentucky State NAACP Conference, as the youngest state political action chairperson anywhere in the country. Carr played a leading role in Bowling Green's first Martin Luther King March. He later moved to West Virginia, where he became the first African American elected to the Martinsburg City Democratic Committee and served as a charter member of the city's Human Relations Commission. Carr returned to Bowling Green and was elected the first African American president of the city's Young Democrats Club in 1995. Carr served as Secretary for the Georgia State Conference, NAACP, from 2005-2011. In 2009, Carr was elected the first African American president of the College Park (GA) Historical Society, and in 2011 became the first African-American president of the Historic College Park Neighborhood Association. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-15th editions. In 2012, Kipley D. Carr ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the Georgia General Assembly.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Martinsburg, West Virginia / Atlanta, Georgia

Carson, Julia M. P.
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 2007
Carson was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Velma Porter Carson. She successfully ran for the Indiana House of Representatives in 1972 and served for 18 years. For six years she was Center Township Trustee. In 1996 she became the first woman and the first African American from Indianapolis elected to Congress. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; and D. Martin, "Hundreds gather for Carson funeral," Evansville Courier & Press, 12/23/2007, Metro section, p.B5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

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

Childress, William Hobbs, Jr.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1993
Born in Washington D.C., William H. Childress grew up in Nashville, TN. He was a 1934 graduate of Fisk University and came to Kentucky at the invitation of his cousin, Dr. Franklin Belver Beck, a dentist in Louisville. Childress remained in Louisville and in 1960 was elected Representative of the 42nd Legislative District, serving only one term. He is known for introducing House Bill no. 163, which created the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. William H. Childress, Jr. was the son of Lillian Childress Hall and William H. Childress, Sr. For more see Childress touched many one man by Ann R. Taylor Robinson.

See photo image of William Hobbs Childress at Great Black Kentuckians, at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.

Access Interview Read about the William H. Childress oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Washington D. C. / Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Clayton, Denise
Birth Year : 1952
Judge Denise Clayton was born in Louisville, KY. In 2000, Clayton became the first African American woman appointed to a circuit judgeship in Kentucky when Governor Paul Patton appointed her to the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 7. Clayton graduated from the University of Louisville Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1976. In 1996, she became the second African American woman judge in the state; she was a Family Court judge. In 2007, Judge Clayton became the first African American woman on the Kentucky appeals court; the appointment was made by Governor Ernie Fletcher. Judge Clayton is the granddaughter of Atwood S. Wilson. She is a graduate of Defiance College and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. For more see the Louisville Defender, 10/12/00; "Historic choice, new circuit judge has broken barriers before," Lexington Herald Leader, 10/20/2007, Commentary section, p. A12; and "The Honorable Denise Clayton" in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed.

See photo image and additional information about Judge Denise Clayton at the Kentucky Court of Justice website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Clayton, Eugene Scott, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
In 1945, Eugene Clayton was the first African American since Reconstruction to be elected to a seat on the Louisville City Council. Clayton was Alderman for the 12th Ward. He was the son of Scott and Susie Clayton, and in 1910, the family of seven lived in Louisville on Eleventh Street. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Cofield, William, Sr.
Birth Year : 1940
In 1991, William Cofield was the first African American appointed to the Franklin County Board of Education; he was then elected to the board three times. Since 1986, he has been president of the Kentucky NAACP Conference, and has also served as president of the Franklin County NAACP Branch. In 2004, Cofield was named president of the National Caucus of Black School Board Members. Cofield was born in LaGrange, GA, and his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was a child, and they returned to Georgia when he was a teen. He is a graduate of Fort Valley State University, Tuskegee University, and worked on his doctorate [ABD] at Ohio State University. Cofield moved to Frankfort, KY in 1973, and was a professor at Kentucky State University. For more see 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 M. Davis, "An ardent advocate for kids, education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/27/2004, City&Region section, p.C1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Board of Education
Geographic Region: LaGrange, Georgia / Franklin County, Kentucky

Coggs, Pauline Redmond
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2005
Pauline Coggs was born in Paris, Kentucky, the daughter of Rev. John B. and Josephine B. Redmond. The family moved to Chicago, where Coggs graduated from high school and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology at the University of Chicago. She earned a master's degree in social work at the University of Pittsburgh. Coggs was the first African American woman to head the Washington, D.C. Urban League. She also directed the youth activities department in the Chicago Urban League, 1936-1940. She was a part-time instructor in the Department of Social Work at Howard University, 1943-1944, and later became the assistant executive secretary of the Wisconsin Welfare Council, 1947-1948. Coggs was the author of "Race Relations Advisers - Messiahs or Quislings," Opportunity, 1943. She was a confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt. The governor of Wisconsin appointed her to the Wisconsin Civil Rights Commission. Pauline R. Coggs was the aunt of Wisconsin Senator Spencer Coggs. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. created the Pauline Redmond Coggs Foundation, Inc. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; C. Stephenson, "Striving to combat myths and ignorance never goes out of style," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/04/02, B News section, p.02; and F. Thomas-Lynn, "Coggs 'silent strength' behind political dynasty," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/28/2005, B News section, p. 07.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Chicago, Illinois / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Coleman, Robert Alfonzo
Birth Year : 1932
Robert A. Coleman, a civil rights activist, was born in Hopkinsville, KY. He was a postal carrier in Paducah, KY, and the first African American president of the Paducah Local of the National Association of Letter Carriers. He was also the first to chair the executive board of the state association. Coleman was a city commissioner in Paducah beginning in 1973 and also served as mayor pro tem for six years. He is a 32-Degree Mason and past Master of Stone Square Lodge #5. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. In 2005, Coleman was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. In 2009, the Blackburn Park in Paducah, KY, was renamed the Robert Coleman Park. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006; and the Robert A. Coleman interview [text and audio] in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky, Oral History Project.

See photo image and additional information on Robert A. Coleman at Hall of Fame 2005, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Fraternal Organizations, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Coleman, William David (Liberia)
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1908
William D. Coleman was born in Fayette County, KY. He was a slave who gained his freedom then settled in Liberia, Africa. Coleman was Vice President of Liberia before becoming its 12th president (1896-1900). He first completed President J. J. Cheeseman's term and was then elected to the presidency. His dates have also been given as 1869-1900. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. DunniganThe Political and Legislative History of Liberia, by C. H. Huberich; and William David Coleman, a Liberia Past and Present website.

See image of William D. Coleman at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa

Colerane, Horace Donia, Sr.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1922
In 1913, Colerane became the first African American elected to the Winchester (KY) City Council. Colerane, a minister and a plasterer, represented the 4th ward, a predominately African American district. He was the husband of Elizabeth Combs Colerane (b.1856 in Kentucky); they were married in 1878. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Second Street in Winchester. For more see "Negro qualifies," Lexington Leader, 12/03/1913, p. 5.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Colored Voters' Leagues
Start Year : 1891
The Colored Voters' Leagues were politically influential civil rights organizations first established in the 1890s. In Kentucky, there was an Independent Colored Voters' League of Kentucky in 1899, they presented a bouquet of flowers to Senator William J. Goebel when he spoke before the Turner Society in Louisville, KY; Goebel was the Democratic nominee for Kentucky Governor [source: "German voters," The Evening Bulletin, 10/28/1899, p.3]. However, the Kentucky Colored Voters' League was a much later development, it was established in 1935, according to the Guide to Civilian Organizations. Fayette County, Kentucky by the U.S. Work Projects Administration in Kentucky, January 1943, p.11. The organization was said to have 2,500 members, and was open to "any registered male colored voter." The purpose was "To promote civic and legal interest of the members." The president was Charles P. Riley; Frank Tatman, Secretary; and J. Rice Porter, Chairman. The office terms were indefinite. The organization's office was located at 233 E. Second Street in Lexington, KY, and is listed in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, v.1939, p.136, and in v.1942, p.95. At Western Kentucky University Library, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives are two letters written in 1933 by Sherman Parks from Madisonville, KY, to Joseph F. Garnett in Hopkinsville, KY. "Parks, as an officer in the Hopkins County and Kentucky Colored Independent Voters Leagues, requests assistance, including monetary aid to promote the recruitment of African-Americans to Kentucky’s Democratic Party." - - source: bibliographic record for Sherman Parks Manuscripts. Around the country, the work of the various state organizations can be found in African American newspaper articles. One of the earliest Colored Voters' Leagues was formed in 1891 in Pittsburgh, PA, when a call was made to overthrow the politicians [source: "A Colored Voters' League," The New York Times, 12/27/1891, p.1]. By 1898, there were organizations in several states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia [source: "In organization is power," Colored American, 03/26/1898, p.1]. In 1903, a Colored Voters' League was established in Kansas, "to look well towards the rights and protection of the Negro" [source: "The Legislature employe[e]s," Plaindealer, 03/06/1903, p.1]. In 1905, there was a call at the New York Colored Republican Club for the formation of a political organization known as the National Colored Voters' League that was to have state associations [source: "Colored Voters' League: form political organization of national scope," The Deseret Evening News, 02/18/1905, p.8; and "Negroes of New York...," Freeman, 03/18/1905, p.4]. The 1912 endorsement by the Colored Voters' League in Cook County, IL, had helped Honorable Joseph S. LaBuy to be elected to the Municipal Court of Chicago [source: "Hon. Joseph S. LaBuy, Democratic candidate for Judge of the Municipal Court of Chicago," Broad Ax, 11/01/1924, p.6]. In 1920, the United Colored Voters' League of Detroit held it's first annual dinner [source: "Cleveland social and personal," Cleveland Gazette, 02/07/1920, p.3]. In 1928, the Independent Colored Voters' League of Waco, TX, joined the Houston NAACP in filing a petition in federal court to restrain the Democratic Party from barring Negroes from voting in the primaries [source: "N.A.A.C.P. to fight newest Texas attempt at Negro disfranchisement," Plaindealer, 08/10/1928, p.1].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / United States

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

Combs, Richard "Tallow Dick"
Combs, a barber, was from Beattyville, KY. He was one of the ten men initially charged with complicity in the murder of William Goebel. While on his deathbed, Goebel had been named Governor of Kentucky following a very controversial and contested governor's race. Richard Combs was the only African American linked to the murder; though there was testimony during the trial that two Negroes had been hired to kill Goebel. W. H. Watts, a Negro janitor of the Adjunct General's Office in the Kentucky Executive Building, also testified in the case [it had only been since 1872 that Negro testimony was accepted in a Kentucky court]. Goebel had won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1899, was shot and mortally wounded January 30, 1900, while outside the Kentucky State Capitol Building, and died February 3, 1900. A senator from Kenton County, KY, he was sometimes described as ruthless, at other times as a reformer. As a reformer, he pushed for a number of changes, including more rights for women and Negroes, and he wanted to do away with lotteries and pool halls. For more see William Goebel in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; "Goebel suspects indicted," from Frankfort, KY in the New York Times, 04/19/1900, p. 1; "Prison cell for Powers," New York Times, 08/19/1900, p. 1; The First New Dealer, by U. Woodson; and V. Hazard, "The Black testimony controversy in Kentucky, 1866-1872," The Journal of Negro History, vol.58, issue 2 (April 1973), pp. 140-165.
Subjects: Barbers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Kenton County, Kentucky

Convention of Colored Republicans (or Colored Border State Convention)
Start Year : 1868
In 1868, a call was made by African American Republican leaders from Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, for the Convention of Colored Republicans. The meeting was held in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 4, 1868. The initial purpose of the meeting was to organize African American men in the border states for the fight for equal rights. The call came as a result of the dissatisfaction toward the Chicago Convention that had not given African American men the right to take part in the deliberations. Chicago Convention members had "remembered the rights of the loyal citizens of the so-called reconstructed states." The Convention of Colored Republicans, which continued after the first meeting in 1868, was a national organization with state branches that included New York, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, South Carolina, Ohio, and Illinois. The Colored Republican Convention in Kentucky was held in Frankfort, KY, in 1870, with almost 100 counties represented. A national convention was held in Washington, D.C. in 1888 to discuss the political and social conditions of all African Americans and the rights and privileges of citizenship. Chapters of the Convention of Colored Republicans were still active in the 1930s. For more see, "A call has been issued...," The Daily News and Herald, 06/19/1868, issue 143, col. A; and a quotation from "Convention of Border State Colored Men," The New York Times, 06/12/1868, p. 5. For more about the Chicago Convention see The American Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1868, vol. 8, by D. Appleton and Company [available at Google Book Search]; "Colored Republican Convention in Kentucky," Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, 03/03/1870, issue 53, col. D.; and A Colored Convention," Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, 12/10/1888, p. 2.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: United States / Baltimore, Maryland / Delaware / West Virginia / Missouri / Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Chicago, Illinois

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

Coulter, Francine T.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Danville,KY, Francine Coulter was elected to the Danville Independent School Board in 1977. She was the first African American ever elected to the school board. Coulter was a stenographer with South Central Bell. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 24.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Crenshaw, Jesse
Birth Year : 1946
Jesse Crenshaw was born in Glasgow, KY. In 1978 he became the first African American lawyer appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, joining Hancey Jones, an African American who was over the Western District of Kentucky. Crenshaw has been consecutively elected to the Kentucky General Assembly since 1993 as Representative of House District 77 (Fayette County). For more see Who's Who in American Politics, 14th-17th ed.; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

See photo image of Jesse Crenshaw at Legislative Research Commission website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Dearing, J. Earl
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1969
J. Earl Dearing was the first African American to be appointed deputy clerk of the police court in Jefferson County. He later won the primary for a circuit court judgeship but died before the general election. He advocated outlawing segregation in public accommodations after he and his son were not allowed to view Bambi at a movie theater. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.

See photo image of J. Earl Dearing at Hall of Fame 2000, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Denning, Joe William
Birth Year : 1945
Joe W. Denning was born in Bowling Green, KY, son of Marion E. and Evelyn Huskey Denning.  He is a 1970 graduate of the Kentucky State Police Academy and attended Western Kentucky University.  In 1975, Denning, a former state trooper, became the first African American to serve on the Bowling Green School Board.  In 1991, he was elected a city commissioner. Denning was pro-tem mayor of Bowling Green, KY in 2011, and later replaced Mayor Elaine Walker after her resignation to become the Kentucky Secretary of State.  Denning was elected mayor of Bowling Green in 2012. He is the first African American Mayor for the city. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 24; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.

See photo image and additional information about Joe W. Denning "Commissioner Joe Denning will become city's first black mayor"  by A. Robinson, 01/08/2011, at bgdailynews.com.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

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

Dulin, James W.
Dulin is from Christian County, KY. He worked in the coal mines. In 1972, he became the first African American elected to the Earlington City Council  and in 1973 became the first African American appointed mayor of Earlington; he completed the term of the previous mayor. Dulin was the second African American mayor in Kentucky. For more see Human Rights News, Aug.-Oct., 1973, p. [4], col. B.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

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.

Early African American Political Candidates, Bourbon County, KY
Start Year : 1867
End Year : 1873
In 1867, an African American man ran for deputy on the Republican ticket. The man was on the ticket with Allen H. Bashford, who was the great-grandfather of Edward F. Prichard, Jr. Bashford was running for sheriff, and both he and the African American man lost their bids for office, and an effigy of Bashford was hung in front of the courthouse [source: "The Ed Prichard Oral History Interviews," an article by Kenneth H. Williams in The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, summer/autumn 2006, v.104, nos.3&4, p.404]. In 1873, Jacob M. Porter ran for constable in Paris, KY [source: "Election for constable - a darkey on the track," Paris True Kentuckian (newspaper), 05/07/1873, p.3, col.1; and Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.55]. In his thesis, C. B. King took from the newspaper article that J. M. Porter was the first African American candidate to run for office in the Paris District. Porter was actually preceded by Bashford's running mate in 1867. J. M. Porter removed his name from the election in 1873, because the white "Radical Democrats," as they were named in the newspaper article, did not support him and had found their own candidate, J. A. Logan. The African American Radical Democrats were in favor of Porter as the candidate and there was a split within the party. J. M. Porter was an active civic leader among African Americans in Paris, KY. He was the son of Jefferson Porter, Sr.; his father had been a slave and inherited property along with his freedom [see Jefferson Porter in NKAA Database, entry 1 and entry 2). J. M. Porter, born in 1848, was an officer within Hiram Lodge, No. 5, Masons; the Knight Templars; and the Knights of Friendship, all in Paris [source: History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison, and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky by Perrin and Peter; and the 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. J. M. Porter was also an activist; he was a member of the banking committee within the Bourbon County (KY) Protective Union of Color that was formed in 1880 in reaction to the William Giles case. 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Elliott, Cynthia E.
From Jackson, KY, Elliott is a lawyer who in 1997 was appointed by Gov. Paul Patton to serve as Special Justice to the Kentucky Supreme Court, the first African American woman appointed to the post. She is a two-time graduate of Wayne State University in Michigan, where she received her undergraduate and law degrees. For more information see the Kentucky government press release, "Governor Patton Appoints First African-American Woman as Special Justice to Kentucky Supreme Court," 09/14/97.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky

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

Farris, Elaine
Birth Year : 1955
On June 22, 2004, Elaine Farris became the first African American school superintendent in Kentucky, at age 49. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Kentucky University and is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Kentucky. She has taught in Winchester, where she was also an assistant principal and principal. Elaine Farris was the school superintendent of Shelby County in 2004. She left that post in 2007 when she was named Deputy Commissioner with the Kentucky Department of Education. In 2009, Farris was named Superintendent of Clark County Schools. For more see G. Kocher, "A Kentucky first, a racial barrier broken, Shelby County breaks ground by hiring black schools chief," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/23/04; R. H. Ismail, "4 Kentucky educators named to key state-level positions," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/30/2007, p. B2; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #310: Elaine Farris.

 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Fields, Sharon B.
Birth Year : 1951
Sharon B. Fields was born in Paris, KY, she is an educator, politician, and a minister. She was also the first African American woman to become a city commissioner in Paris, KY. William B. Reed, the first African American commissioner in the city, was one of the candidates during Fields' first run for a seat on the commission in 1989. Fields was a new contender and had her supporters, but for some, her candidacy represented a split in the African American vote and it was feared that she would greatly decrease the chances of having at least one African American city commissioner. Others felt that one African American male candidate was most appropriate. Fields lost her first election by 3 votes. But, she was appointed to the commission when one of the commissioners stepped down. In 1990, she was a teacher at Paris High School and a city commissioner. She was a commissioner, off and on, for 10 years. Today, Rev. Fields is a member of the Paris Independent School Board of Education. She has also served as pastor of the Eminence Christian Church in Eminence, KY. Reverend Fields earned her undergraduate degree in education at Eastern Kentucky University, a masters in education at Georgetown College (KY), a masters in public affairs at Kentucky State University, and a divinity masters at Lexington Theological Seminary. She was the first African American woman vice moderator and moderator for the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Reverend Fields is also an author, she has written numerous articles for religious magazines such as Just Women; articles for the Bourbon Times and The Bourbon Citizen; and an article for Essence Magazine on social security benefits for out-of-wedlock children. She is the co-author of In Other Words--; stories of African American involvement in the early years of the Stone-Campbell movement in Kentucky. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris Bourbon County Public Library. For more information on Sharon B. Fields as a city commissioner, see the commission records at the Bourbon County Clerk's Office; also contact Sharon B. Fields.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Flippin, J. C.
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 1991
Born in Franklin, KY, Flippin was the first African American councilman elected to office in Franklin, in 1977 (prior African American members were appointed). He served in Korea and earned a sharpshooter's medal. 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. 17.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Fouse, Elizabeth B. Cook
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse was an advocate for African American women's opportunities and equal rights. A schoolteacher who was active in social and religious activities, she served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women and was founder of the Phillis Wheatley YWCA in Lexington, KY. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In 1944 Fouse was appointed by Governor Simeon Willis to serve on the Kentucky Commission for the Study of Negro Affairs. She was married to W. H. Fouse. For more see Jesus, Jobs, and Justice, by B. Collier-Thomas; and the Fouse Family Papers in the Kentucky Digital Library.


See photo images of Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse and others, in the Collection Inventory [click on links at the bottom of the page] in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Fowler, Sharon
Birth Year : 1947
Fowler is mayor of West Buechel. She is in her third term; she was elected mayor in 1994 and re-elected in 1998. She was also on the West Buechel City Council from 1990-1994. Fowler is owner and director of Paradise Island Academy Day Care Center. West Buechel, located in Jefferson County, KY, was incorporated into a 6th class city in 1952. For more see S. Smith, "W. Buechel mayoral matchup looks familiar," Courier-Journal, 10/11/2006, Neighborhoods section, p. 1C.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: West Buechel, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Frederick Douglass, Convention Presidential Nominations, and Kentucky
Start Year : 1848
End Year : 1888
June 23, 1888 is hailed as the day that Frederick Douglass received one vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago, making him the first African American nominated to be a U.S. presidential candidate. This was actually the second time that Frederick Douglass had received a single vote to be a U.S. presidential candidate; his first vote came during the National Liberty Party Convention, June 14-15, 1848 in Buffalo, NY [source: The African American Electorate, by H. Walton, Jr. et al; see chapter 10: "The first African American nominees and public office holders, 1776-1870," pp. 179-190; and African Americans and the Presidency, edited by B. A. Glasrud and C. D. Wintz; see chapter 1: "Beginning the Trek," pp. 17-30]. Also, Douglass was nominated as a vice president of the United States candidate during the Equal Rights Party Convention in June of 1872; he was to run with Victoria Woodhull, who was nominated as the presidential candidate for the Equal Rights Party; Frederick Douglass declined the nomination [source: The Woman Who Ran for President; the many lives of Victoria Woodhull, by L. B. Underhill]. However, more attention is given to the fact that Frederick Douglass received one presidential nomination vote at the 1848 convention and one at the 1888 convention. He was never a contender for the presidential election; there was some very stiff competition. In 1848, the newly named National Liberty Party nomination winner was Gerrit Smith; during the presidential election, the party was on the ballot in only four states and Gerrit Smith got 2,545 votes. The Liberty Party members were abolitionists and their party was in decline; it had lost members to the newly formed Free Soil Party, which was opposed to the expansion of slavery, but members were not necessarily abolitionists. Martin Van Buren won the Free Soil Party presidential nomination in 1848; both he and Gerrit Smith were defeated in the presidential election by Zachary Taylor. At the 1888 Republican Convention, former Indiana Senator Benjamin Harris won the presidential nomination and went on to win the presidential election, he defeated President Grover Cleveland. Frederick Douglass was a supporter of the Republican Party (see the Frederick Douglass' Papers), beginning in 1856. He believed that the Republican Party had the political strength to end slavery in the United States, much more so than his party, the Radical Abolitionists [source: Frederick Douglass: oratory from slavery, by D. B. Chesebrough]. He would eventually join the Republican Party. In 1888, when Frederick Douglass received a vote from the Kentucky Delegation at the Republican Convention in Chicago, the event was not noted in U.S. newspapers. It was not until the early 1980s that media sources, including those on the Internet, made the 1888 presidential nomination into an annual note, while perhaps not knowing about Frederick Douglass' earlier presidential nomination vote at the 1848 Liberty Party Convention and the vice president nomination at the 1872 Equal Rights Party Convention.

 

Kentucky Delegation at the 1888 Republican Convention

[source: Proceedings of the Ninth Republican National Convention held at Chicago, Ill., June 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 25, 1888, printed by order of The Republican National Committee, pp. 92-93].

 

At Large

  • DELEGATES
  • William O. Bradley / Lancaster 
  • John W. Lewis / Springfield
  • George M. Thomas / Vanceburg
  • George Denny / Lexington
  • ALTERNATES
  • William L. Hurst / Campton
  • Thomas Forman / Maysville
  • Isaac Curtis / Louisville
  • Hugh Mulholland, Jr. / Paducah

 

Districts

  • DELEGATES
  • 1. W. J. Deboe / Marion
  • N.S. Allison / Mayfield
  • 2. George W. Jolly / Owensboro
  • Ed. W. Glass / Hopkinsville
  • 3. E. U. Fordyce / Bowling Green
  • W. S. Taylor / Morgantown
  • 4. Andrew Thompson / Springfield
  • Charles M. Pendleton / Hartford
  • 5. A. E. Wilson / Louisville
  • W. P. Hampton / Louisville
  • 6. John M. Wilson / Williamstown
  • John P. Errnst / Covington
  • 7. William Cassius Goodloe / Lexington
  • Louis Lebus / Cynthiana
  • 8. John Bennett / Richmond
  • Logan McKee / Danville
  • 9. W. W. Patterson / Ashland
  • W. A. Warford / Flemingsburg
  • 10. John W. Langley / Prestonsburg
  • G. L. Kirkpatrick / Mt. Sterling
  • 11. E. A. Hobson / Greensburg
  • W. W. Jones / Columbia

 

Districts

  • ALTERNATES
  • 1. J. B. Tyler / Princeton
  • G. W. Witty / Milburn
  • 2. T. W. Gadner / Madisonville
  • A. H. Cabell / Henderson
  • 3. E. Scott Brown / Scottsville
  • J. H. Gray / Russellville
  • 4. John W. Sayers / Deatsville
  • S. A. Smith / Elizabethtown
  • 5. Burton Vance / Louisville
  • J. J. Johnson / Louisville
  • 6. Paris E. Morgan / Falmouth
  • D. B. Wallace / Warsaw
  • 7. A. B. Sowards / Georgetown
  • James Walker / Owenton
  • 8. John T. Ballard / Shelbyville
  • James M. Sebastian / Booneville
  • 9. H. C. Metcalf / Brookville
  • H. H. Gambril / Louisa
  • 10. D. G. Colston / Pineville
  • J. L. Bosley / Winchester
  • 11. E. W. Porch / Somerset
  •  W. L. Hazelip / Glasgow

 

Republican National Convention. Fifth Day. Saturday, June 23, 1888. The Fourth Ballot. [p. 183]

Kentucky Total Votes 26

  • Russell Alexander Alger 3
  • William B. Allison 2
  • Walter Q. Gresham 2
  • Benjamin Harrison 6
  • John Sherman 10
  • James G. Blaine 1
  • Joseph B. Foraker 1
  • Frederick Douglas 1

Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Buffalo, New York / 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

Furbush, William H.
Birth Year : 1839
Death Year : 1902
Thought to be born in Kentucky, Furbush was the first sheriff of Lee County, Arkansas, and also a member of the Arkansas General Assembly. He was a photographer in Ohio, then fought in the Civil War, later moved to Liberia, returning to the U.S. in less than a year. In 1874 he survived an assassination attempt. He may have been the first African American Democrat in the Arkansas General Assembly. For more see B. Wintory, "William Hines Furbush: African-American Carpetbagger, Republican, Fusionist, and Democrat," The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, vol. 63 (Summer 2004), pp. 107-165.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lee County, Arkansas / Liberia, Africa

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

Gaines, Wallace A.
Birth Year : 1858
Gaines moved to Covington, KY, from Dayton, OH. In 1882 he was appointed a U.S. Storekeeper by Secretary of the Treasury John Sherman. In 1892 he was elected a state delegate-at-large to represent the Republican State League at Buffalo, NY. In an 1898 letter from Sam J. Roberts to President McKinley, Gaines was referred to as "the most trusted Lieutenant among the Negroes in the campaigning for delegates and electoral votes and is the recognized Negro Leader of Kentucky..." Sam J. Roberts was editor of the Lexington Leader and a Republican political operative. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson. Quote from p.303 of The Racial Attitudes of American Presidents, from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt by G. Sinkler.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South
Geographic Region: Dayton, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / New York

George, S. H.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1936
S. H. George was considered a wealthy physician, politician, and business man in Paducah, KY. He was born in Kentucky. His mother died when he was three years old, and S. H. George was forced to earn his way at an early age. He was a school teacher for several years, and later graduated from Walden University (TN) and Meharry Medical College. He returned to Paducah and opened his medical practice, and is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Nettie McClaine (1889-1935), who was born in Decatur County, TN. Nettie was a trained nurse. The couple shared their home with Nettie's mother Susan Jobe Hoskin, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. George was involved in several businesses, including a skating rink. August 1909, during the Emancipation Day celebration, Dr. George charged Daniel Hopwood with trying to pass a bad dollar at the Paducah Colored Skating Rink, located at 10th and Broadway; the rink was in financial trouble in 1909. The counterfeiting case against Hopwood was dismissed from the Paducah courts due to insufficient evidence. Several years later, Dr. George was a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention. His first term was in 1920; the Kentucky Republican State Convention had been undecided as to which African American would be a delegate-at-large, and after a four hour discussion, Dr. George was selected. Also in 1920, Dr. George was co-owner of the newly incorporated Home Drug Company in Paducah. The other two owners were John W. Egester and C. M. Bolden. That same year, Dr. George was owner and manager of the Hiawatha Theater, a picture house at 432 S. 7th Street in Paducah. He paid $10,000 for the business. In 1927, in Washington D.C., Dr. S. H. George was re-elected Grand Esteemed Leading Knight of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order Of Elks of the World (IBPOEW); he was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Pythian, a member of the Court of Calanthe, and vice president of the Pythian Mutual Industrial Association of Kentucky. In 1928, he was again a Republican National Convention delegate. Dr. S. H. George died June 23, 1936, his death notice is on p.155 in An Economic Detour by M. S. Stuart. Dr. George was a founding member, a stockholder, and a 21-year elected member of the board of directors of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. For more see "Pick Kentucky delegates," New York Times, 03/04/1920, p.17; "No conviction in counterfeiting cases," The Paducah Evening Sun, 08/17/1909, p.3; see "S. H. George..." on p.16 in NARD Journal, v.30, 1920; African American Theater Buildings by E. L. Smith; "J. F. Wilson re-elected head of Negro Elks," The New York Times, 08/26/1927, p.14; and see S. H. George in The National Cyclopedia of the Colored Race edited by C. Richardson [available online at Internet Archive].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

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

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

Glenn, James H., III, "Jimmy"
From Owensboro, KY, in 1999, James H. "Jimmy" Glenn, III, was the first African American to become president of the University of Kentucky Student Government Association. He also received the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Distinguished Citizen Award. For more see the Kentucky Kernel, 03/24/00.

See video of Jimmy Glenn as UK Student Government President on YouTube.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Goodloe, Frank, Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1984
Goodloe was appointed to the New Castle Board of Trustees in 1975, becoming the city's first African American official. Goodloe was a bus driver for the public schools of Henry County and a member of Washington Lodge #1513. In 1920 he was listed in the U.S. Federal Census living in New Castle with is grandparents, Ed and Anna Diseth. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in the 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 21.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky

Goodwine, Pamela R.
Birth Year : 1960
In 1999, Judge Pamela Goodwine became the first African American woman appointed to the bench; she was appointed by Governor Paul Patton, and later that year was elected to the position. In 2003, she was the first to be elected Circuit Court Judge in Fayette County and was re-elected in 2006. Judge Goodwine, from Youngstown, Ohio, received her JD from the University of Kentucky in 1994. She was inducted into the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002. During her interview on the Renee Shaw show, Judge Goodwine talks about her life with Crohn's disease. For more see Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Kentucky; "A Pledge of Service," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/28/03, Final Ed., p. B1; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #315: Pamela Goodwine.

See photo imge of Judge Pamela Goodwine and additional information at University of Kentucky Gatton College website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Youngstown, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Graham, Derrick
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Frankfort, KY, Derrick Graham has been an educator and, since 2003, an elected state representative (D-Frankfort): he was the first African American to serve the 57th District. Graham is a teacher at Frankfort High School. He was a city commissioner in Frankfort (1992-2000), and a student regent, and later a Board of Regent member at Kentucky State University. He received an endorsement from the Kentucky Education Association during his campaign for the House. Graham is a graduate of Kentucky State University (BA) and Ohio State University (MA). For more see A. Cross, "2003 Kentucky General Assembly: Legislators to watch," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/2003, Extra section, p. 09X; Representative Derrick Graham web page; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Gray, James F.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1926
Born in Versailles, KY, Gray taught school in Russellville, KY. In 1889 he was appointed Gauger by President Harrison; Gray was the first African American appointed to the position in the Collection District. In 1894 he was elected principal at Mayfield, KY, and in 1896 returned to Russellville, where he ran unsuccessfully for postmaster in 1897, and was still a school teacher in Russellville in 1900. The 1910 U.S. Federal Census shows James F. Gray as an employee with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and he was living in Louisville with his wife Sarah, their son Frank, and stepmother Hannah Gray. In 1920, James Gray operated a grocery store in Louisville, and he and his family lived on 16th Street. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gray, Leonard W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2005
Born in Louisville, KY, Leonard W. Gray, Sr. a sales associate, was elected the Representative of the 42nd District (Jefferson County) to the Kentucky General Assembly for 1990-1995. Gray sponsored the bill that made Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a state holiday. He was a graduate of the University of Louisville, having graduated from Central High School in 1960 with his friend, Cassius Clay. In 1995, Gray gave up his seat in the House of Representatives to become Governor Patton's House Liaison. He was Patton's first African American appointee, serving as the minority chairman of Patton's successful 1995 gubernatorial campaign. In August 1996, the personnel records of Gray and two other top staff members were subpoenaed by the Franklin County Grand Jury. Gray testified but was not indicted. He was later named Minority Affairs Director by Patton. For more see "Patton picks legislator as his house liaison, Louisville representative will leave his seat in '96," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/22/1995; "Patton's aides' personnel records sent to grand jury," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/15/1996; G. Josephstaff, "Ex-legislator, Democratic activist Leonard Gray Sr. dies," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 07/19/2005; or contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

 
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Grear, William A. "Bill"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2006
Grear was born in Russellville, KY, the son of Oretha Williams Grear and Charles C. Grear. He was the first African American-elected official in Florida: in 1968 Grear was elected city commissioner of the City of Belle Glade. He was elected vice mayor in 1974 and mayor in 1975. Grear was also owner of B and E Rubber Stamps and Trophies. He was a barber and a director of a child development center. He was the husband of Effie Carter Grear, a school teacher and principal of Glades Central High School. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006 ; M. Malek, "Bill Grear, Belle Blade's first Black commissioner, dies at 82," The Palm Beach Post, 08/18/2006, Local section, p.2B; and African American Sites in Florida by K. M. McCarthy.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Mayors
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Belle Glade, Florida

Green, Larry W.
Birth Year : 1946
Born in Louisville, KY, Green became the first African American councilman in Elizabethtown, KY, in 1973, as well as the youngest person ever elected to office in the city. He served as a councilman until 1982. Green is the son of Alma Vaughn Green and William R. Green. For more "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1978], Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 16; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2002.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky

Greene, Harold, Jr.
Greene was the first African American to be appointed to serve as Administrative Assistant to a governor (John Y. Brown in 1980). He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky. He was a former leader of the Lexington Urban League and the Lexington NAACP Chapter. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and J. Campbell, "Lexington attorney to speak at awards banquet," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/07/2004, section C, p. 1.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Hardin, William Jefferson
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1890
Born a free person in Russellville, KY, Hardin was a politician, speaker and barber. He won two elections to the Wyoming Territory Legislative Assembly, the first African American to do so. He also served two terms as mayor of both Park City, Utah, and Leadville, Colorado. Hardin was educated by Shakers in Kentucky, and he would become a teacher for free Colored children in Bowling Green, KY. He left Kentucky in 1852 to head out West and settled in Colorado Territory in the early 1860s. By 1882, he was serving his second term as a Republican legislator in the Wyoming Territory. Hardin was considered very wealthy, said to have assets worth $20,000. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; William Jefferson Hardin at the BlackPast.org website; and "Honorable W. J. Hardin...," Weekly Louisianian, 02/04/1882, p.2.

  See photo image of William Jefferson Hardin at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Mayors
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Wyoming / Park City, Utah / Leadville, Colorado

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

Harvey, Wardelle G., Sr.
Birth Year : 1926
Wardell G. Harvey, Sr. was born in Booneville, IN, and is a graduate of Tri-State Baptist College. He came to Kentucky in 1962 to pastor at the Harrison Street Baptist Church in Paducah. In 1968, Rev. Harvey became the first African American to be appointed to the Paducah City Commission. He was also the first African American on the Paducah Housing Board and was mayor pro tem. Rev. Harvey was a Civil Rights activist, developing the Non-Partisan League in Paducah to push for the desegregation of public accommodations. For more see "Nine Blacks on City Councils, One Prosecuting Attorney," Human Rights News, January-February 1969; and Not without struggle, by J. B. Horton.

 

Access Interview Read the transcript to the Rev. Wardelle Harvey oral history interview by Betty Brinson, 08/16/2000, at the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Booneville, Indiana / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Haskins, Harriet Yevette Penick
Yevette Haskins, from Campbellsville, KY, attended Kentucky State University. In 1983, she became the first African American to be elected to the Warren County Board of Education (Bowling Green, KY). In 2004, she was appointed to the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University. Haskins was also chair of the African American Heritage Trail Task Force and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District. She is the wife of Clem Haskins. Information provided by Kipley D. Carr; see also Yvette Haskins in the Kentucky government press release "Governor Ernie Fletcher announces appointments to the state university boards," 06/30/2004.

 

Access Interview Read the transcript and listen to the oral history interview of Yvette Haskins by Lynne Ferguson, 01/30/2006, at the Kentucky Historical Society.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Hatcher, E. Porter, Jr.
Birth Year : 1936
Hatcher was an insurance agent and real estate broker. He was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly, serving from 1978-1999, representing the 43rd District (Jefferson County). He is one of the few African Americans to garner consecutive re-elections. Hatcher resigned his seat in 1999 and pleaded guilty to insurance fraud. A special election was held and Hatcher was replaced by Louisville 12th Ward Alderman Paul Bather. For more information, contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and see "Editorial: Hatcher's Resignation," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12/05/1999.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Henderson, Dennis
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1979
Henderson was born in Mississippi, the son of A. H. and Rosa A. Henderson, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. Dennis Henderson was a graduate of Talladega College and received his law degree from Howard University. He was a partner of the Ray and Henderson Agency. In 1927 he married Edna E. Ridgley. Henderson, a Republican, was elected Representative of the 42nd District (Louisville) in 1948, the second African American elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. He served one term. For more information contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

Hillman, John W.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1911
Hillman was born in Trigg County, KY, the son of Dan Hillman. After slavery ended, he moved to Covington and worked at several hotels as a waiter and steward, then later became custodian of the City Building of Covington, or, as author W. D. Johnson characterized it, Hillman was considered the first city official. Hillman was the husband of Ellen W. Hillman, born 1850 in Virginia. In 1880, the family lived on Pike Street in Covington, according to the U. S. Federal Census. In 1910, John was a janitor in a bank, and his son Fred was a filing clerk at the bank. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Trigg County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Hines, Carl R., Sr.
Birth Year : 1931
In 1977 he was the first African American state representative elected from the 43rd House District (Louisville, KY). He was re-elected in 1979 and continued to be re-elected until 1987. Hines was born in Louisville. For more see "Four blacks make up Kentucky's black representation in legislature," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Sixth Report by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 17; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1988-2006; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hocker, George Melwood
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1991
From Springfield, KY, Hocker became the first African American jailer in Kentucky, elected in Washington County in 1973. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; National Roster of Black Elected Officials, 1980, published by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Inc.; and George Melwood Hocker, "In Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/1991, Obituaries section, p. C13.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Hodge, W. J.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 2000
W. J. Hodge was born in Texas and came to Louisville, KY, in 1957 to become pastor of the Fifth Street Baptist Church. In 1958 he was elected president of the Louisville Chapter of the NAACP and in 1962 was elected president of the Kentucky Conference of the NAACP. Hodge helped organize the 1964 March on Frankfort in support of the Kentucky Civil Rights Law. In 1977, Hodge became the first African American president of the Louisville Board of Alderman; he resigned from the board in 1982 to become president of Simmons Bible College. 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. 20; Y. D. Coleman, "First Black Alderman president recently honored with a resolution," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, p. 4; and T. Shannon, "W. J. Hodge," Courier-Journal, 12/28/2000, NEWS section, p. 01A.

See photo image and additional information about W. J. Hodge at "Geat Black Kentuckians," a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

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.

Hutton, Henry T. "Hut"
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1994
In 1985, Henry Hutton almost became the fourth African American mayor in Kentucky and the first in eastern Kentucky. Hutton was temporarily named mayor of Fleming-Neon after a court decision in his favor. Hutton had run against Mayor James Seals, who won the primary as a Democrat, he won by 37 votes. Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg voided the win because Seals had filed improperly for the office as an Independent but ran on the ballot as a Democrat. An appeal was filed and the ruling was overturned. The mayor's race was only one of the many noted achievements of Henry T. Hutton, who was born in Stonega, VA. He is listed in the 1940 U.S. Census as the son of Annie Saxton and the stepson of Dane Saxton, who was a coal miner. Henry Hutton came to Letcher County, KY, in 1946 to work in the coal mines. In 1985, Hutton was a retired coal miner and a politician. He had served as a constable, city councilman, and mayor pro tem. He had been the owner of Red Bud Coal Company, an underground mine that hired five African Americans and 16 Whites. Hutton was the first African American coal mine owner in the Letcher County area. He later worked for the Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp. and retired from the company in 1974. He and his wife Elsie Hutton also owned Hut's Barbeque Restaurant on Back Street in Fleming. Henry Hutton also served as Sargent-At-Arms for the Kentucky General Assembly. He served as an aid to Senator Kelsey Friend, Sr. from Pikeville, KY. He was president of the Letcher County NAACP and a member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky River Area Development District. Hutton was Grand Chancellor Commander of the Kentucky Knights of Pythias, Chancellor Commander of Hannibal Lodge No.93 Knights of Pythias in Jenkins, KY, and Treasurer of David Temple Lodge No. 110 Free and Accepted Masons in Jenkins. In 1988, he received the Carter G. Woodson Award from Berea College and was also inducted into the Letcher County Mountain Heritage Hall of Fame. Henry Hutton Road in Fleming is named in his honor. For more see "Eastern Kentucky town to get first black mayor," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 10/03/1985, p. 7-A; and "Fleming-Neon area leader dies at 76," {from March 16, 1994 issue}, Issue: 1994 in Review, News-Press (Cromona, KY), 12/28/1994, section A, p. 5.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Mayors
Geographic Region: Stonega, Virginia / Fleming-Neon, Letcher County, Kentucky

Independent Colored Clubs Movement
Start Year : 1885
End Year : 1922
In response to the discontent of African Americans with the longstanding political parties, Independent Colored Clubs were formed throughout the United States as early as 1885, and as late as 1922. One of the early Independent Colored Clubs in Kentucky was formed in Paris, KY in January of 1887. The club, renamed the Independent Party of the Colored Race, maintained the right to act only with political parties that would guarantee Colored people the fullest rights of free American citizens. One of the main points of contingency was education and decent schools for Colored children. The initial meeting of the Independent Colored Club of Paris was held at the 2nd Baptist Church; the meeting was described in the newspaper as a "mass meeting"; the club was said to have 600 members. For more see "Paris, Ky." in the column "Independence in Kentucky" on p.1 of the New York Freeman, 02/05/1887. Even earlier clubs were formed in 1885. The Independent Colored Club of Staunton, VA was formed in September of 1885, and intended to vote for the Democratic state ticket. For more see "Political Notes" in Peninsula Enterprise, 09/12/1885, p.2. Another club in 1885, was the East End Independent Colored Club in Springfield, OH. Sam Spears was the president, and Sam Garrett was secretary. The club had about 40 members. For more see "A New colored club," Springfield Globe-Republic, 09/16/1885, p.3. The Young Men's Colored Independent Political Club was located in Omaha, NE, in 1886 [source: The Omaha Daily Bee, 11/02/1886, p.6, column 1]. In 1887, the Independent Club of Colored Virginians, located in Washington, D.C., was formed with colored men from the state of Virginia with the object for "the improvement of the general condition of the colored people of the State and the preservation of the good name and welfare of the Commonwealth." For more see The Washington Bee, 09/10/1887, p.1, bottom of column 3 & columns 4-5. In 1888, Independent Colored Clubs were being formed in West Virginia, which was seen as a revolt against the Republican Party. There was thought to be 10,000 colored voters in West Virginia, which could give the Democrats a victory. For more see The Weekly Herald [Baltimore], 04/27/1888, p.4, column 1, item 9]. Other Independent Colored Clubs mentioned in local newspapers, were located in New York City, NY, and Helena, MT, in 1888; New Hope, VA, in 1889; the Colored Citizens' Independent Club in Los Angeles, CA, and in San Francisco, CA, both in 1890; the Independent Colored Club establishd by John W. Robbins in Grand Rapids, MI, in 1890 [source: R. M. Jelks, "Making opportunity: the struggle against Jim Crow in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1890-1927, Michigan Historical Review, v.19, no.2, Fall 1993, pp.36 & 38]; St. Paul, MN, in 1892; Anaconda, MT in 1894; the Independent Colored Club of Homestead, PA, in 1895; Seattle, WA, 1896; Independent Colored Political Club in Des Moins, IA, and the Independent Colored Club in Kansas City, MO, both in 1897. In Nicholasville, KY, the Independent Club of Colored Voters was formed by R. C. O. Benjamin in 1897. For more see "The Colored Independent," Richmond Climax, 10/13/1897, p.1. Still more clubs at the turn of the century were the The Colored National Independent Political Club in Point Pleasant, VA in 1900; and the Independent Colored Men's Club in Salt Lake City, UT in 1901. In 1908, the Young Men's Independent Club, Colored, was held in Marion, KY, at the home of William M. Goodall, 414 Center Street. For more see "President and War Secretary Taft characterized as enemies," Crittenden Record=Press, 07/02/1908, p.7. In Louisville, KY, in 1909, the Independent Colored Political League was formed with headquarters in the U. B. F. Hall at 9th and Madison Streets [source: "Negroes have knives sharpened for Vaughn," Louisville Courier-Journal, 05/19/1909, p.4]. There was a club in Omaha, NE, in 1910 known as the Independent Colored Political Club. In 1910, the Independent Colored Club of Winchester met at Orren Bate's store in Poyntersville to declare A. Floyd Byrd the Democratic nominee. The club was said to have a membership of leading Colored citizens, including Orren Bates, and Jim Nickels and Dennis Daniel as the secretaries. For more see "Negroes from Byrd Club," Winchester News, 11/01/1910, p.1. Clubs mentioned in later newspaper articles were the Independent Progressive Colored Club and the Good Citizens League of Indiana, both formed in 1912 in Indianapolis, IN; Colored Independent Club in Tulsa, OK, and in Hillsboro, NC, both in 1914; the Independent Colored Club of Lima, OH, in 1919; and the Henry Ford for President, Independent Colored Club No.1, said to have formed in Birmingham, AL in 1922 [source: "Can you beat it?," The Appeal, 06/03/1922, p.2].

 

  • 1885 - Springfield, OH - East End Independent Colored Club
  • 1885 - Staunton, VA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1886 - Omaha, NE - Young Men's Colored Independent Political Club
  • 1887 - Paris, KY - Independent Colored Club (renamed) Independent Party of the Colored Race
  • 1887 - Washington, D.C. - Independent Club of Colored Virginians (members from Virginia)
  • 1888 - Helena, MT - Independent Colored Club
  • 1888 - New York, NY - Independent Colored Club
  • 1888 - West Virginia - Independent Colored Clubs
  • 1889 - New Hope, VA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1890 - Grand Rapids, MI - Independent Colored Club
  • 1890 - Los Angeles, CA - Colored Citizens' Independent Club
  • 1890 - San Francisco, CA - Colored Citizens' Independent Club
  • 1892 - St. Paul, MN - independent Colored Club
  • 1894 - Anaconda, MT - Independent Colored Club
  • 1895 - Homestead, PA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1896 - Seattle, WA - Independent Colored Club
  • 1897 - Des Moins, IA - Independent Colored Political Club
  • 1897 - Kansas City, MO - Independent Colored Club
  • 1897 - Nicholasville, KY - Independent Club of Colored Voters
  • 1900 - Point Pleasant, VA - Colored National Independent Political Club
  • 1901 - Salt Lake City, UT - Independent Colored Men's Club
  • 1908 - Marion, KY - Young Men's Independent Club, Colored
  • 1909 - Louisville, KY - Independent Colored Political League
  • 1910 - Omaha, NE - Independent Colored Political Club
  • 1910 - Winchester, KY - Independent Colored Club
  • 1912 - Indianapolis, IN - Good Citizens League of Indiana (Witherspoon United Presbyterian Church)
  • 1912 - Indianapolis, IN - Independent Progressive Colored Club
  • 1914 - Hillsboro, NC - Colored Independent Club
  • 1914 - Tulsa, OK - Colored Independent Club
  • 1919 - Lima, OH - Independent Colored Club
  • 1922 - Birmingham, AL - Henry Ford for President, Independent Colored Club No.1

Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kenucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / United States

Irvine, Bobby Lee
Birth Year : 1935
Born in Spencer County, KY, he was the first African American mayor of Taylorsville, KY, elected in 1980. He received the highest number of votes for the non-partisan councilmen positions. For more see "Three Kentucky cities have black mayors," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report by Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 20.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Taylorsville, Spencer County, Kentucky

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, James W.: Migration to Colorado
James W. Jackson was only one of the hundreds of African Americans who left Kentucky for the West. According to the Census Reports, there were 687 African Americans who had left Kentucky and moved to Colorado by 1900. African Americans were being enticed to Colorado, according to author Jesse T. Moore, Jr., in order to keep out the Chinese, who were seen as an economic threat to American labor. African Americans, on the other hand, were viewed as being acclimated to American ways and no real threat. In 1858, James Jackson, born a slave, left the area near Maxville, KY, and settled in Denver, where he became a successful businessman. Jackson was politically active on many levels and became the first African American to serve on the Colorado Republican State Committee. Jackson was also invited to speak with President Theodore Roosevelt concerning the condition of African Americans in the U.S. For more see J. T. Moore, Jr., "Seeking a New Life: Blacks in Post-Civil War Colorado," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 78, no. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 166-187.
Subjects: Businesses, Immigration, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Maxville, Washington County, Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

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

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

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

Johnson, Anita L.
Anita L. Johnson was the first African American elected official in Jeffersontown, KY. She was re-elected to her third term to the Jeffersontown City Council in 2006. She has served as treasurer of the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. In 1996, Johnson was proprietor of Johnson's Errands for You in Jeffersontown, she was founder and owner of the business, and in 2000 received the Emerging Business Owner Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners. Jeffersontown is located in Jefferson County, KY, and was officially established as the city of Jefferson in 1797. For more see R. Weckman, "Taking care of business," Extension Today, Spring/Summer 2000, p.1, a publication by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture & Cooperative Extension Service [.pdf available online]; and The Honorable Anita L. Johnson in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.113. For more about Jeffersontown, KY see city website.
Subjects: Businesses, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Jeffersontown, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Arthur L., Jr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2005
Arthur Lloyd Johnson, Jr. was the second African American Democrat elected to the Kentucky General Assembly, serving from 1964-1965. He was also first violinist with the Louisville Civic Orchestra and a former vice president of the Mid-Western Tennis Association. He was a high school teacher in Louisville. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Kansas and Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], where he played basketball and football. He was born in Lawrence, KS. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; J. Packett, "Losing in tennis surely spotlights winning attitude, Johnson, nearing 80, gets respect," Richmond Times-Dispatch, 08/10/1994, Sports section, p. E7; and Arthur Lloyd Johnson, Jr. in the obituaries section of the Louisville Courier-Journal, 12/29/2005.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Football, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Tennis, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lawrence, Kansas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Hampton, Virginia

Johnson, Arthur T.
Birth Year : 1947
Johnson was born in Earlington, KY. From 1972-1983, he was a council member for the City of Earlington, and in 1984 he was elected mayor. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

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, Thelma Banks
Birth Year : 1909
The first African American elected official in Henderson County was Thelma Johnson, she was elected to the Henderson County Board of Education in 1978 and served until 1986. She also served as chair of the Henderson Human Rights Commission. Johnson was born in Georgia, the daughter of Mary and Harry Banks, and she came to Henderson, KY, in 1946.

Access Interview Read the transcript to the Thelma Johnson oral history interview in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Georgia / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

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, Cornell
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1998
In 1973 Jones became the first African American elected to the Mayfield, KY, City Council and the first African American councilman in Graves County. He was re-elected to a third term in 1977. Jones is also a former president of the Mayfield NAACP Branch. 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. 2; and Papers of the NAACP, Selected Branch Files, 1956-1965: Series A: The South, Jones, Cornell 7:0035.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky

Jones, Eugene K.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1954
Contrary to popular belief, Eugene Kinckle Jones was not from Kentucky; he was born in Richmond, VA, the son of Joseph and Rosa Jones. Both parents taught at Virginia Union College [now Virginia Union University]. Eugene Jones came to Louisville, KY, to teach (1906-1909). He then left Kentucky for New York, where he became the first Chief Executive of the National Urban League and founded the organization's magazine, Opportunity. Jones also organized the first three Alpha Phi Alpha chapters and was appointed the adviser on Negro Affairs for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce in 1933. Eugene Jones was a graduate of Virginia Union College (B.A.) and Cornell University (M.A.). For more see The Talented Tenth: the founders and presidents of Alpha, by H. Mason; Eugene Kinckle Jones and the Rise of Professional Black Social Workers, 1910-1940, by F. Armfield (thesis); and the Eugene Kinckle Jones entry in African-American Social Leaders and Activists, by J. Rummel.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Richmond, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York, New York

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

Jordan, Eddie J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Fort Campbell, KY, Jordan, the son of Eddie, Sr. and Gladys McDaniel Jordan, grew up in New Orleans, LA. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Rutgers Law School. Jordan was a law professor at Southern University School of Law and has served as the Assistant U. S. Attorney in New Orleans. In 1994, President Clinton named Jordan the U. S. Attorney in New Orleans; he was the first African American to hold the post in the state of Louisiana. In 2002, Jordan was elected District Attorney of New Orleans; after three decades, he was the first new DA for the city and the first African American elected as a DA. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2006; "Taking the oath," Times Picayune, 12/12/1994, Metro section, p. B4; and New Orleans District Attorney Eddie J. Jordan, in "Why justice matters in the rebuilding of community," Symposium on Law, Politics, Civil Rights, and Justice, 03/29/2007, held at the Southern University Law Center.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana

Jordan, Eleanor
Birth Year : 1953
In 2001 Governor Patton appointed Eleanor Jordan Executive Director of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Cabinet for Families and Children. Prior to that, she had served three terms as a Kentucky Representative (Louisville). In 2000 she unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky's Third Congressional District. She was the first African American candidate for national office from Kentucky. In 2007, Jordan was appointed Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women by newly elected Governor Steve Beshear. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. Potter; Y. Scruggs-Leftwich, "Significance of Black Women's Vote Ignored," in Women's ENews; D. M. Clayton, "African American women and their quest for Congress," Journal of Black Studies, Jan 2003, vol. 33, issue 3, pp. 354-388; and Kentucky Governor Press Release, 01/02/2008, "Governor Beshear Appoints Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women.

 
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

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

Kentucky Black Caucus of Elected Officials
Start Year : 1999
The caucus, a membership organization, was formed "to express and share ideas, experiences, and knowledge and to provide a forum for educating members and the community." It is a constituency group of the Kentucky League of Cities. For more see SR127.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kidd, Mae Street
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1999
Born in Millersburg, KY, Kidd served the 41st district (Louisville) in the Kentucky House of Representatives, 1968-1984. She sponsored a resolution to ratify the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U. S. Constitution; legislation for low-income housing in Kentucky; legislation to make Martin L. King's birthday a state holiday; and much other legislation. Kidd was a graduate of Lincoln Institute. The Mae Street Kidd Collection is housed at Kentucky State University. For more see Passing for Black, by W. Hall and M. S. Kidd; Who's Who Among African Americans, 13th ed. Who's Who in American Politics, 1975-1998; and Rep. Mae Street Kidd, on the Women in Kentucky Public Service website. The Mae Street Kidd oral history recordings and transcripts are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Access InterviewThe Mae Street Kidd oral history recordings and transcripts are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lawrence, Jesse H.
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1966
Jesse H. Lawrence was born in Anchorage, KY, the son of Reverend and Mrs. E. D. Lawrence. A graduate of Central High School, he earned his A.B. at Howard University and his M.S. at Indiana University. He was owner of Fannie L. Hobbs Funeral Home. In 1926, he married Julia Lessie Brown. Lawrence, a Republican, was the third African American in the Kentucky General Assembly, elected Representative of the 42nd District (Louisville) in 1950. Lawrence was also the alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention from Kentucky in 1960. One of Lawrence's many accomplishments was the introduction of an amendment to the Day Law to allow white and African American students to attend together public and private higher education schools in Kentucky, providing that a comparable accredited course was not available to African American students at Kentucky State University. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.


See photo image of Jesse H. Lawrence on p. 4 in the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, December 1950, vol. 22, no. 1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Anchorage and Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lawrence, Thomas A.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1931
Thomas A. Lawrence, known as T. A., was the editor and publisher of The Light House, a weekly newspaper in Paducah, KY. He was born in Ballard County, KY, and was the husband of Mary E. Curd Lawrence (1887-1943); Mary was a school teacher in the Warren County Schools when she died in 1943 [sources: 1930 U.S. Federal Census; and Kentucky Certificate of Death Registrar's No.266]. The couple had three children and the family lived at 1406 Atkins Avenue in Paducah. T. A. Lawrence was a Republican and was an alternate delegate to the National Convention in 1912 [source: Political Graveyard.com]. According to the Kenucky Certificate of Death Registered No.500, Thomas A. Lawrence was born November 13, 1878, and died at home on November 10, 1931; he is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah. He was the son of Charles and Amanda Griffin Lawrence. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Lewis, Ernestine
Lewis was elected to the Bloomfield, KY, City Council in 1977. The ticket included Freddie Skinner. It was the first time the city council had two African American members. 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: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky

Lincoln Independent Party (LIP)
Start Year : 1921
The Lincoln Independent Party was formed in 1921 by a group of young African American male leaders in Louisville, KY. The aim was to influence support away from the Republican Party. Neither the Republican nor Democratic Party were working in favor of equality for African Americans, yet the formation of LIP was seen as an affront and caused a break between Louisville's older African American leaders and the younger leaders. African Americans had been loyal to the Republican Party since the end of slavery. LIP created the fear that prominent whites would cease donating money to African American causes due to the perceived change in political allegiance. The younger leaders, such as I. Willis Cole and William Warley, were less dependent on whites and were therefore the most outspoken among the new leaders. At the same time, the old leaders gained support from new comrades such as George Clement and James Bond. The development of LIP brought forth new and old leaders who began making stronger demands of the established political parties, resulting in African Americans making better headway in the political arena. For more see G. C. Wright, "Black political insurgency in Louisville, Kentucky: The Lincoln Independent Party of 1921," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 58, issue 1 (1983), pp. 8-23.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Livisay, Charles H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1990
Charles Livisay was active in civil rights as both a civic leader and politician, and he is also remembered as an outstanding tennis and basketball player and an outstanding basketball coach at Douglass High School. Livisay, born in Lexington, KY, was a graduate of old Dunbar High School and a 1935 graduate of Kentucky State University. He taught for a year at Dunbar High School in Mayfield, KY, but left teaching due to the low pay and took a job with Mammoth Life Insurance. In 1943 he left that job to serve in the U.S. Army. Livisay returned to Lexington and was head basketball coach for 18 years at Douglass High. The team finished second to Louisville Central in the 1953 National Negro basketball tournament held in Nashville, TN, and the team took the Kentucky High School Athletic League (KHSAL) championship in 1954. Author Louis Stout credits Livisay as one of the first coaches to institute the "transition" game of basketball. The Douglass teams coached by Livisay had a record of 255 wins and 65 losses. His 1956 basketball team came in second in the KHSAL tournament and took second again in the National Negro basketball tournament. Following school integration, Livisay coached and taught at Bryan Station High School from 1966 until his retirement in 1974. Also while coaching basketball, in 1965, Livisay ran for the 54th District seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives; he lost to Foster Pettit. In 1979, he was appoint to the First District council seat in Lexington to complete the term of the late O. M. Travis. When the term ended, Livisay ran for the seat and was defeated by Edgar Wallace. Livisay also served as president of the Lexington Chapter of the NAACP. His tennis career coincided with his many other activities. Livisay was considered a star tennis player and participated in tournaments such as the one held in 1940 between African American tennis players from Louisville and Lexington. Team members were Albert "Happy" Ray, William Madden, Rice Stone, Leonard Mills, and Coach Ages Bryant. The matches took place in Lexington at Douglass Park. In 1975, Charles H. Livisay was inducted into the Kentucky State University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was inducted into the Dawahares-Kentucky High School Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame. For more see "Tennis stars clash," Lexington Leader, 07/12/1940, p. 7, col. 4; 1993 KHSAA Hall of Fame [.pdf]; Shadows of the Past, by Louis Stout; and S. Brown, "Charles Livisay; civic leader, ex-coach, dies; Black leader was role model in community," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1990, City/State section, p. C1.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Charles Livisay 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, Basketball, Civic Leaders, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Tennis, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lynem, Carl Irving
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1966
Lynem was the first African American member of the Lexington Board of Education. He had also managed P. K. Sykes successful campaign for city commissioner in 1963. Lynem was a retired Major of the U.S. Army, having served during World War II, according to his U.S. Army Enlistment Record. He was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Marie Hayes Lynem and Rev. Sheeley Lynem, and according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Elmarch, KY. Lynem was an insurance man. He died in a car accident in Henry County, KY, in 1966 and is buried at Camp Nelson National Cemetery. A picture of Lynem can be seen on p. 96 in Lexington, Kentucky, by G. Smith. For more see Lexington, Heart of the Bluegrass, by J. D. Wright. [For more on Rev. Sheeley Lynem, elder of Lexington District in the Kentucky Conference of the AME Church, see p.187 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.]
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Elmarch, Harrison County, Kentucky / Camp Nelson National Cemetery, Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Mack, Lee Nor
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1985
Lee Nor Mack was a contractor who in 1965 was the first African American councilman to be elected in Shelbyville, KY since 1904. He served as a councilman from 1967-1985. He was a veteran of WWII. Lee Nor Mack Street is named in his honor. Lee Nor Mack died in Jefferson County, December 7, 1985.  For more see the announcement in Jet, vol. 29, issue 6 (11/18/1965), p. 9; and "Lee Nor Mack" by D. Puckett on pp.588-589 in The New History of Shelby County Kentucky.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

Magistrates in Hopkinsville, KY
The first district of Christian County, KY, was two-thirds Black in 1982 and had been served by Black magistrates since the district was formed in 1905. The first elected was T. H. Moore, who was re-elected for his third term in 1916. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report by Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 18; and Negro Year Book: An Annual Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1916-1917 [full-text available via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

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

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

The Move to Washington, D. C.

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

Noah and Mary Magowan

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

John D. and Mayner D. Magowan

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

Sources

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

Note

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

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

Martin, Janice R.
Birth Year : 1956
From Morganfield, KY, Janice R. Martin, at the age of 35 became the first elected African American woman judge in Kentucky, in 1991. She earned her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Louisville; she was the only African American female in the Class of 1977. Martin was also the first African American woman to serve as bar counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association.  She was selected by Gov. Brereton Jones to fill the District Court vacancy left by Judge Steven Mershon. She was then elected to the position in 1993, and retired in 2009. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-13th editions; Y. D. Coleman, "Kentucky's first Black female judge appointed," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, pp. 1 and 4;  "Janice Martin installed as first Black woman judge in Kentucky," Jet, 02/01/1993; and M. Williams, "The Honorable Janice Martin," Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.69.

 
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mason, Luther
Born in Scott County, KY, Mason was the first African American elected to the Scott County Board of Education, in 1976. He was re-elected in 1980. For more see "16 black school members serving in Kentucky," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Sixth Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 33.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky

Mason, Melvin T. "Mel"
Birth Year : 1943
Mason, a civil rights activist and an educator, was born and raised in Providence, KY. His family moved to Seaside, CA, where Mason was an outstanding basketball player at Monterey High School. He graduated in 1960 and would go on to play basketball at Monterey Peninsula (Junior) College [now Monterey Peninsula College, a community college], and left the school after his freshman year in 1961 to serve in the military. He was the youngest basketball player to be named All-Air Force. He led all branches of the military in scoring in Europe, and was named Air Force European Command Player of the Year in 1964. Problems that Mason considered racist in the military led to a Bad Conduct Discharge in 1965. With the help of U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel from California, the discharge was overturned and changed to an Honorable Discharge. Mason returned to Monterey Peninsula College in 1966 and became the only All-America basketball player in the school's history and he is still the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Mason then received over 100 basketball scholarship offers from around the United States. He accepted a scholarship at Oregon State University, but lost his scholarship after taking a solitary stand against what he describes as "the racist treatment of Black students," thus ending his basketball career; he was banned from playing basketball at any college in the U.S. Mason earned his B.A. in social science at Golden Gate University, his M.A. in social work from San Jose State University, and a clinical social worker's license (LCSW) from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. When he was an employee at Western Electric in Sunnyvale, CA, he helped form the Black Workers Unity Caucus to fight job discrimination and sexual harassment. Based on his work with the caucus, Mason was offered and accepted the invitation to join the Black Panther Party in 1968. In 1970, he organized a Black United Farmworkers Union Support Committee, and the first anti-police brutality campaigns on the Monterey Peninsula. In 1976, Mason was unsuccessful in his run for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board. He ran for governor of California in 1982, when he was ruled off the ballot. He was a city council member of Seaside, CA, where his voting record was investigated by the FBI due to his membership in the Socialist Workers Party. Mason ran for President of the United States in 1984 as a candidate of the Socialist Workers Party; he received 24,681 votes. He was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against the FBI and their use of the Counterintelligence Program against the Black Panther Party and other groups. Mason lived in New York 1985-1987, where he was part of the Anti-Apartheid Coalition in 1986, and helped form the largest Anti-Apartheid demonstration in the history of the movement, with over 300,000 people. Mason returned to Seaside, CA, in 1987, and in the early 1990s he became co-founder of the Regional Alliance for Progress Policy, and served as spokesperson and chairperson. He has founded and led a number of civil rights organizations and served on a number of boards. He is internationally known and has been the guest of Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Sinn Fein in Ireland, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Maori people in New Zealand. Mason retired in 2006 after 10 years at California State University, Monterey Bay, which marked the end of a 40 year career as an educator, counselor, and mental health practitioner and director. He is a former president of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP and vice president of the California NAACP Conference. He is the author of Mel Mason: the making of a revolutionary. Mason has also received many awards including his induction into the Monterey Peninsula College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2007, Mason received the Civil Rights Legacy Award from the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP. March of 2011, Mason was inducted into the California Community College Athletic Hall of Fame [the same hall of fame that Jackie Robinson was inducted into for his athletic accomplishments at Pasadena City College]. Mel Mason is currently an appointee to the Access to Excellence Committee with the California State University System. The program is designed to increase the admission of minority students to CSU campuses. For more see S. Purewal, "A Revolutionary life," The Monterey County Herald, 07/03/2006, Top Story section, p. A1; The Trial of Leonard Peltier, by J. Messerschmidt and W. M. Kunstler; D. Coffin, "Lobos Legacy," The Monterey County Herald, 09/28/2010, p.D1; J. Devine, "Mel Mason named to JC Hall of Fame," The Monterey County Herald, 01/31/2011, p.B1; D. Taylor, "A Lifelong battle for equality," The Monterey County Herald, 03/20/2011, p.A1; and see Mel Mason, Monterey Peninsula, induction 2011, a CCCAA website. Additional information was provided by Melvin T. Mason, contact him for a copy of his biography.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Seaside, California

Massie, J. Daniel
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1977
Massie was born in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1972 he had held public office longer than any other African American elected official in Kentucky. He was magistrate of the First Magisterial District in Christian County, an office he had held since 1945. For more see "Magistrates, constables are only black county officials," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, pp. 8-9.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Maupin, Milburn T.
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 1990
Maupin, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of Mary and Miller Maupin. He was the first African American administrator hired in the central office of the Louisville school system. Maupin was also the first to become president of the Louisville Education Association, 1968-1970. He was the deputy superintendent of Jefferson County Schools when he retired in 1978. He had started his career as a teacher in 1949 and was an assistant high school principal in 1958; a year later he was promoted to principal. In his political life, Maupin was elected First Ward alderman in 1977. The Parkland School was renamed the Milburn T. Maupin Elementary School in his honor in 1985. This entry was submitted by Fannie Cox. For additional information see Milburn Taylor Maupin in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J.E. Kleber.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McAfee, Andrew
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1937
Andrew McAfee, was a council member in Jessamine County in 1898, he represented his ward, District No.2. McAfee was one of the first African American councilmen in the county. He was a hotel cook, the son of James (b.1830 in KY) and Ellen Tap McAfee (b.1832 in KY). The family of ten is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. Andrew McAfee died in Nicholasville in 1937, the cause of death is listed as senility on his death certificate. For more see Andrew McAfee entry and picture on p.281 in A History of Jessamine County, Kentucky by B. H. Young [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky

McAnulty, William E., Jr.
Birth Year : 1947
Death Year : 2007
William E. McAnulty, born in Indianapolis, IN, became a judge with the Jefferson County (KY) Juvenile Court in 1975. By winning the 1977 election (which was his first campaign), McAnulty became the first African American judge to serve on the Louisville (KY) District Court. In 1998 McAnulty was elected to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In 2005, he became the first African American justice to serve on the Kentucky Supreme Court. McAnulty was appointed by Governor Fletcher to replace Justice Martin Johnstone, who retired in June, 2005. Justice William E. McAnulty, Jr. was elected to the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2006. He resigned in 2007 due to illness. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in the 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 19; R. Alford, "Kentucky gets 1st black justice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/29/06, City/Region section, p. B1; A. Wolfson "Kentucky Supreme Court; McAnulty beats Shake to keep seat," Courier-Journal, 11/08/2006, News section, p. 5K; A. Wolfson, "McAnulty leaving Supreme Court," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 08/10/2007, News section, p. 1A; and "Special Tribute to the Honorable William E. McAnulty Jr." in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed., pp.41-46.

See photo image and additional information about William E. McAnulty in "Alumni Profile" by A. D. White in UL: University of Louisville Magazine, Winter 2007, v.25. no.1.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Indianapolis, Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McClain, Richard Pollard
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1965
Born in Nicholasville, KY, to Meredith and Ellen McClain, Richard P. McClain attended school in Cincinnati and received his medical degree from Howard University in 1913. In 1934 he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and served 1935-1937, and was later elected to the Cincinnati City Council, serving from 1937 to 1939. McClain was director and secretary of the Model Drug Corp., manager of Mercy Hospital, and president of the Buckeye Medical Association chapter in Cincinnati. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, and Alpha Phi Alpha. Richard P. McClain was the husband of Alice Martin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and The Negro in Ohio, 1914-1939, by W. W. Griffin (Thesis 1968).
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

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

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

McGill, Charlotte Smith
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1988
McGill was State Representative of the 42nd District in 1971; she filled the seat of her deceased husband, Hughes McGill. At the end of the term, Charlotte was elected to office and continued to be re-elected until her defeat in 1977. She was also Vice-Chair of the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Committee. Charlotte McGill was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of James and Vera Smith. She was a graduate of Howard University (B.A.) and Indiana State University (M.A.). For more see the Smith/McGill Family Papers, 1879-1987, at the University of Louisville Libraries' Special Collections and Archives; and Women in Public Office. A biographical directory and statistical analysis, 2nd ed., compiled by Center for the American Woman and Politics.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McGill, Hughes E.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 1970
McGill was born in Louisville, KY. He was an elected Representative to the Kentucky General Assembly, 1968-1971, representing the 42nd District (Louisville). He died before his term ended and his wife, Charlotte McGill, completed the term. Hughes McGill was a graduate of West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], the Mondell Business Institute, and the University of Louisville. For more information, contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; and see the Smith-McGill Family Papers at the University of Louisville Libraries Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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.

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

Meeks, Michael L.
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Meeks is a brother of Reginald Meeks, Renelda (Meeks) Walker Higgins, and Kenneth Meeks. In 2008 he was elected to the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee. He is founder and president of Frankfort Lobbyist, LLC, formed in 2008, and owner of Special Event Coordinators, LLC, established in 2000. Meeks served as Committee Staff Administrator of the Government Contract Review Committee of the Legislative Research Commission from 1996 to 2006 and served as Legislative Analyst for the Occupations and Professions Committee from 1985 to 1996. Meeks earned his B.A. at Morehead State University in 1980 and his J.D. at Howard University School of Law in 1983. He was selected Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Big Brother of the Year in 1990; Outstanding Young Men of America, 1981-1985; Outstanding Kentucky Young Democrat of the Year in 1979; Who's Who Among American College Students in 1978-1980; and elected State Secretary of the Kentucky Young Democrats in 1978. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see the 2007 Inaugural Edition of Who’s Who in Black Louisville and subsequent issues in 2008 and 2009.
Subjects: Businesses, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Reginald K.
Birth Year : 1954
Born in Louisville, KY, Reginald K. Meeks is a brother to Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Michael Meeks, and Kenneth Meeks. In 1983 he was chosen by Ebony Magazine as one of the 50 Young Leaders of the Future. In 1991 he was profiled in Southern Living for his work in helping to turn his neighborhood library branch into the Kentucky African-American Museum of History and Culture. He is a founding member of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission. Meeks served as the 11th Ward Alderman in Louisville, KY, from 1982-2000. Since 2001 he has served as the elected Kentucky House Member of Legislative District 42 (Louisville). Meeks earned his B.A. at Wabash College in 1976 and his J.D. at the University of Iowa College of Law in 1979. He was the primary sponsor of the legislation to reduce violence and gun use. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see HR254 (Word doc.); Who's Who in American Politics, vols. 11-17; Who's Who Among African Americans, vols. 4-14; Ebony, Sept. 1983, p. 70; and Southern Living, 1991, vol. 26, issue 2, pp. 74-76.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Merriwether, Jesse [Mount Moriah Lodge No.1]
Birth Year : 1812
Death Year : 1892
Merriwether [also spelled Meriwether and Meriweather] was born a slave and freed in 1847 under the condition that he go to Liberia. Merriwether went to Liberia as a delegate of the Convention of Free Negroes of Kentucky in 1847. He returned to the U.S. in August 1848 and wrote and unfavorable report for emigration to Liberia. He also secretly established the first African American Masonic Lodge in his house on Walnut Street in Louisville, KY. Mount Moriah Lodge No. 1 was initially located in New Albany, IN, for three years. There was fear that there would be prejudice against the lodge in Kentucky, and the meetings were attended in secret. After three years the lodge was moved to Louisville. A core of the lodge remained in New Albany for the members who lived in that city. Jesse Merriwether was also a carpenter, he was the husband of Phoebe Merriwether, b.1828 in KY. He is the author of A brief history of the schools, public and private, for colored youths in Louisville, Ky. for fifty years, from 1827 to 1876, inclusive. In 1889, Merriwether was selected as a possible candidate for the legislature for the 6th District of Kentucky. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and for more about the beginning of the lodge see p.42 The History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr. See also the paragraph beginning Jesse Meriweather of Louisville... in the article "The Race Doings," Cleveland Gazette, 06/29/1889, p.1.
Subjects: Authors, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa / New Albany, Indiana

Miller, Bennie S.
Start Year : 1917
End Year : 1994
Miller was the first African American elected to the Caldwell County Council, in 1977. A World War II veteran, he served as principal of Dotson High School. Miller was also a member of Braden Masonic Lodge #6. 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, pp. 22-23; and "Bennie S. Miller," The Evansville Courier, Metro section, p. A10.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, 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

Mills, Glen F.
Birth Year : 1951
Mills was born in Munfordville, KY. A self-employed horse breeder and trainer, in 1977 he was elected to the Munfordville City Council. 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. 21.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky

Mitchell, Fred D.
Birth Year : 1944
Born in Lexington, KY, Mitchell has been an activist, social worker, and community development leader in Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati. As a teen in Lexington, he legally challenged the breach of peace laws and segregation of public accommodations and led protests against school segregation. He was treasurer of the Lexington Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and led the Young African Americans for Progress. In the 1970s, Mitchell moved to Louisville and became the city's first paid alderman assistant (to Lois Morris). As a social work student, he was instrumental in establishing the University of Louisville chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. Mitchell was also the first African American director of the Wesley Community House [founded in 1903 by the United Methodist Church to provide social welfare and other services in the Butchertown, Phoenix Hill and Clarksdale areas]. The Courier-Journal in Louisville named him one of the city's "Bridge Builders." Mitchell is presently employed by Community Action of Southern Indiana. For more see The Lexington Herald-Leader, August 17-18, 1967 and Sept. 5 & 7, 1967; and the Courier-Journal, Jan. 29, 1992, July 28, 1993, Jan. 1, 1997 and April 11, 2004.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indiana

Mitchell, Stanley P. [National Civil Liberty Party]
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1908
Rev. Stanley P. Mitchell, said to have been born in Kentucky, was a national civil rights activist at the turn of the century during the last decade of the 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s. He was editor and manager of the Southern Sentinel newspaper in Memphis, TN. He wrote editorials for other Negro newspapers throughout the U.S., encouraging Negroes to read and subscribe to Negro newspapers. In 1892, Mitchell was living in Fort Pickering, TN, and owned a considerable amount of property. He was leading the effort to form anti-emigration societies in the South to discourage Negroes from moving West to deceptive dreams of Utopia. By 1900, Mitchell was an evangelist living in Midway, KY, where he was also president of the National Educational Council of Midway. He caused a stir when he proposed that former slaves in Kentucky hold a reunion with their former masters, along with a "darkey corn-shucking," as an auxiliary to the Confederate veteran's reunion in Louisville. By 1901, Stanley Mitchell was living in Lexington, KY, he was a proclaimed Democrat and was campaigning for Cloak Room Keeper of the Upper House of the Kentucky Legislature. He did not get the position. In 1902, Mitchell was one of the incorporators of the National Industrial Council, an organization that fought against the mobbing and lynching of Negroes; they fought against discrimination based on race on passenger carriers such as the railroad and steamboats; and they fought voter disenfranchisement. The home office of the council was in Lexington, KY, and there were 27 chapters in Mississippi. Mitchell was also the founder and leader of the National Civil Liberty Party, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the campaign headquarters in Chicago, IL. The party was formed in 1903 after Mitchell took a delegation of Negro men to Washington, D.C. to meet with President Roosevelt to request pensions for the former slaves who had served during the Civil War in non-soldiering capacity such as laborers, bridge-builders, and forgers. The request was denied and Mitchell called for a national organization of Negro men in order to use their vote against members of the Republican Party such as President Roosevelt who felt the "Negro had received enough from the government when he was set free." The Civil and Personal Liberty Leagues, lead by Stanley P. Mitchell, formed the National Civil Liberty Party. The first National Convention of the National Liberty Party [the word "Civil" was dropped] was to be held in Cincinnati, OH in 1903, but had to be postponed, and was held in Douglas Hotel in St. Louis, MO on the 5th and 6th of July, 1904. Thirty-six states were represented. George E. Taylor accepted the party's U. S. Presidential nomination; Taylor, from Iowa, was president of the National Negro Democratic League. He was unsuccessful in his bid for President of the United States. In spite of the loss, Stanley P. Mitchell continued to be active on many fronts, he was president of the National Ex-Slave Congress, formed in 1903 with delegates from 34 states. By 1905, the organization name was changed to the Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress. The congress fought for reparations in the form of pensions for former Negro slaves who were 40 years old or older. Mrs. S. P. Mitchell, an evangelist, supported her husband in the ex-slave campaign by giving speeches and organizing chapters. She was editor of the Pioneer newspaper and the National Journal newspaper. In September of 1903, Stanley Mitchell had been arrested in Georgia on the charge of swindling money from ex-slaves; supposedly, he had asked for the money in order to secure the passage of the Hanna Bill. There was no evidence to support the charges and Mitchell was set free. The New York Times initially proclaimed Mitchell was a thief. At the same time, there were several Negro newspapers that claimed Mitchell had been framed by the Republican Party due to the popularity of the National Liberty Party among Negroes in the South. The Hanna Bill, by Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, would have given a pension to former slaves, but the bill died in Congress. Stanley P. Mitchell's popularity waned for a couple of years after he was accused of swindling; some of the Negro newspapers turned against him. Mitchell continued his campaign for equal justice for Negroes. He opened a nursing home for former slaves in Memphis, TN. Mitchell was Chanceller of the Knights and Ladies of Industry of the U.S., the main office was in Washington, D.C. Ads in Negro papers were used to solicit membership and the ads included a line stating that the organization would buy homes for its members. By 1905, trouble came Mitchell's way again when he performed the marriage of a German man to a Jewish woman, and the Memphis community was outraged. In 1906, Stanley Mitchell resigned as editor of the Southern Sentinel and sold the newspaper to Mrs. Rachel T. Mitchell. Stanley P. Mitchell died in 1908, and his wife took over his duties as pastor, she continued the search for heirs of former slaves who had savings in the Freedmen's Bank, and she continued the campaign for equal justice for Negroes. For more see "Stanley P. Mitchell," The Washington Bee, 09/03/1904, p.1; "National Ex-Slave Congress," The Washington Bee, 07/04/1903, p.8; "S. P. Mitchell set free," The New York Times, 09/08/1903, p.8; "National Industrial Council," Colored American, p.16; "Stanley P. Mitchell of exslave pension fame...," Freeman, 02/20/1904, p.4; "Ex-Slave Encampment and National Freedman's Congress," Freeman, 05/20/1905, p.2; "Pension for ex-slaves!" Plaindealer, 06/30/1905, p.1; "Married by a Negro," Freeman, 08/05/1905, p.5; see Stanley P. Mitchell in "Paragrahic News," Washington Bee, 03/24/1906, p.1; "To check emigration: anti-Oklahoma societies to be organized," Langston City Herald, 01/16/1892, p.1; "An Appeal," Freeman, 09/08/1900, p.1; "Mrs. S. P. Mitchell," Colored American, 12/22/1900, p.15; "ms of Interest," Freeman, 08/24/1901, p.8; S. P. Mitchell, "The Negro newspapers the only powerful leaders left," Washington Bee, 04/19/1902, p.1; "S. P. Mitchell...," Evening Post, 03/23/1900, p. 5; "Wants to be Cloak Keeper," The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 12/31/1901, p. 7; G. E. Taylor, "The National Liberty Party's Appeal," The Independent, v.57, pp.844-846 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Rev. Mrs. Mitchell," Washington Bee, 05/09/1908, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Moore, Alphonso
Birth Year : 1898
Born in Florida, Alphonso Moore was a retired coal miner. He was the first African American elected to the Jenkins City Council, 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. 18.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Florida / Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky

Morris, Edward H.
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1943
Born in Flemingsburg, KY, Edward H. Morris was the fifth African American lawyer admitted to the Illinois Bar. He was an attorney in charge of taxes for Cook County, Illinois, and a member of the Illinois Legislature. Morris introduced the School Teacher's Pension Bill, which became law. Also during his tenure, a law was passed legalizing slave marriages for the purpose of inheritance. Edward Morris was the son of Hezekiah (a slave) and Elizabeth Morris (free) and the brother of William R. Morris. After Hezekiah's death, the family moved first to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Chicago, IL. Edward Morris was a graduate of St. Patrick's College (Chicago) and was admitted to the Chicago Bar in 1879. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Personal: Edward H. Morris in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 258-259.

See photo image and additional information on Edward H. Morris at the Clarence Darrow Digital Collection, a University of Minnesota Law Library website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Inheritance, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Morris, Lois W.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1989
Born in Mississippi, Morris was the founder and president of the Louisville chapter of the National Council of Negro Women and the founder and executive director of National Black Women for Political Action. In 1969 she won the Democratic primary for 12th Ward Alderman, one of three general elections that she won for that seat. In 1977 she ran unsuccessfully for mayor in the Democratic primary. For more see the Lois Morris Papers in the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; Women in Public Office. A biographical directory and statistical analysis, 2nd ed., compiled by the Center for the American Woman and Politics; and The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Mississippi / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Morrow, Dorothy
In 1977 Morrow was the only African American woman in Kentucky holding a city council post. She was a head nurse at Lynch Medical Center and the first African American woman on the Lynch City Council. Morrow had been appointed to fill a vacancy in 1974, then was 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. 20; and African American Miners and Migrants: the Eastern Kentucky Social Club, by P. J. Obermiller.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Morton, Andrew W.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Born in Madisonville, KY, Andrew W. Morton graduated from Louisville Central High School, Louisville Municipal College, and Meharry Medical College. He was an instructor at Meharry Dental School before establishing his dental practice in Paducah, KY, in 1946. Morton was also a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corp from 1943-1945 and again from 1949-1951. After serving in the army, he returned to his private dental practice in Paducah and retired in 1995. He was a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University for eight years and was the first African American in Paducah to run for the board of education. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Mullins, Pamela
Birth Year : 1953
Pamela Mullins, of Covington,KY, was one of the first inductees to the Holmes [High School] Hall of Distinction for 2000-2001. In 2007, she was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights Hall of Fame. Until Paul Mullins election in 2007, Mullins had been the last African American elected to the School Board in Covington; she served from 1990-1997 and resigned to become the first African American woman to be elected to the Covington City Commission. She brought forward the ordinance that created the Covington Human Rights Commission. Pamela Mullins is the daughter of the late Robert Mullins, who was a tenor in the "Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers," a male quintet that sang spirituals and gospel music. Pamela Mullins is also the mother of Paul Mullins, the second African American elected to the Covington School Board in 2007. A controversy clouded his election, but Paul Mullins was allowed to remain on the school board until a final decision was made: he was a school employee, a bus driver, when he won the election. For more see Pamela Mullins in the 2007 Hall of Fame at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website; and T. O'Neill, "Mullins defends his right to serve," The Kentucky Post, 03/28/2007, News section, p. A2.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Mumphrey, William
Mumphrey was elected mayor of Ghent, KY, in 2006. He is listed in "Carroll County Kentucky Summary 2006 General Election," The Madison Courier, News section, 11/09/2006.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Ghent, Carroll County, Kentucky

Neal, Gerald A.
Birth Year : 1945
Gerald A. Neal, elected to represent Senate District 33 (Jefferson County), is the first African American man elected to the Kentucky Senate. He was first elected in 1990 and has since been consecutively re-elected. Other than Senator Georgia Powers, Neal has served longer than any other African American member of the Kentucky General Assembly. Neal earned his undergraduate degree from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and his JD from the University of Michigan, then attended graduate school at the University of Michigan. For information on Senator Neal's recent voting record, see Kentucky Votes.org by USA Votes, Inc.; for additional background information on Senator Neal see Project Vote Smart or contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

See photo image of Senator Gerald A. Neal at Kentucky Legislature website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Newhouse, Richard H., Jr.
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 2002
Richard H. Newhouse was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Richard, Sr. and Annie Louise Singleton Newhouse. He was a World War II veteran and a two time graduate of Boston University. Newhouse earned his JD at the University of Chicago Law School. Before entering law school, Newhouse had come to Chicago to work for the Chicago Defender. In 1975, he was the first African American to run for Mayor of Chicago; he lost to Richard J. Daley. [Harold Washington would become the first African American mayor of Chicago in 1983. See Roy L. Washington, Sr.] Newhouse was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1968 and retired in 1991. Newhouse founded the National Black Legislative Clearinghouse. For more see A. Madhami, "Richard Newhouse, Jr., 78, state senator, 1st Black in Chicago mayor race," Chicago Tribune, 05/02/2002, Obituaries section, p. 8; C. Lawrence, "Richard Newhouse, Jr., state senator," Chicago Sun-Times, 05/01/2002, News section, p. 77; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2002; and the Richard H. Newhouse Papers at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium Survey.

See photo image of Richard H. Newhouse at the Newhouse Program and Architecture Competition website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Nichols, George, III
Birth Year : 1960
Born in Bowling Green, KY, George Nichols III was the first African American insurance commissioner in Kentucky (1995-2000) and the first to become president of the 120 year old organization, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Nichols left Kentucky to become senior vice president of the New York Life Insurance Company. He is a graduate of Alice Lloyd College (associate's), Western Kentucky University (B.A.) and the University of Louisville (M.A.). For more see "Nichols finds the right fit," Best's Review, March 2002, p. 7; and SR69.

See photo image and additional information about George Nichols III at "Nichols receives national recognition," 03/28/2012, in The Eagle's Nest, a website by Alice Lloyd College.
 
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Owens, Darryl T.
Birth Year : 1937
Born in Louisville, KY, Darryl T. Owens was the first African American assistant prosecutor in Louisville police court, the first African American Assistant Kentucky General, and the first African American president of the Louisville Legal Aid Society. In 2005, he was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly for House District 43 (Jefferson County). He wrote the forward for Louisville in World War II. Owens is a graduate of Louisville Central High School, Central State University (B.A.), and Howard University School of  Law. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; and see M. Williams, "The Honorable Darryl T. Owens" in Who's Who of Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.59.

See photo image of Darryl T. Owens on his Kentucky Legislature website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Parker, Walter Elwood, Sr.
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 2013
In 1974, W. Elwood Parker, Sr. became the first African American on the Paris, KY, City School Board. He was also the first African American on the Paris Police force. He was the son of Cordelia and Clara M. Gist Parker. He was a veteran of the Korean War and a graduate of Jackson State University. While in high school, W. Elwood Parker, Sr. was a member of the first football team at Western High School in Paris, KY [source: "Western High School" newspaper clippings provided by Lora Washington at the Kentucky African American Griots website]. The team was coached by William B. Reed. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, p. 25, and "Cosby is Jefferson County board's first black chairman," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, p. 36, both by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. See the Walter Elwood Parker, Sr. obituary at the Lusk-McFarland Funeral Home webpage.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Payne, Gary D.
Birth Year : 1948
Born in Paducah, KY, Payne attended Lincoln Institute, Pepperdine University, and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky in 1978. In 1988, he became the first African American judge in Fayette County. Payne is the son of Sara Cooper Payne and William J. Payne. He is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 7th-13th editions.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Pendleton, Clarence M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1988
Born in Louisville, KY, and raised in Washington, D.C., Pendleton was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the first African American chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1981-1988). Pendleton replaced Arthur S. Flemming, who was dismissed by President Reagan. Pendleton had been the director of the San Diego Urban League and was later an opponent of school busing and affirmative action. He changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 1980. Over the next eight years he lived part time in Washington, D.C. and part time in San Diego, where he died suddenly in 1988. His father had been the first swimming coach at Howard University, where Pendleton received his B.S. and his Master's degree in education. He later took over as the swimming coach at Howard, and the team won 10 championships in 11 years. For more see Current Biography (1984); and J. McQuiston, "Clarence M. Pendleton, 57, dies, Head of Civil Rights Commission," The New York Times, 06/06/1988, p. A1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Polk, Syree Luther
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1967
In 1889, when William Leveritt was elected the Colored City Physician of Paducah, KY, the position was segregated. [See NKAA entry Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials.] In 1939 it was still segregated when Dr. S. L. Polk became the Colored City Physician. During the late 1930s, he was the only African American among the Paducah City Officials listed in the Paducah Kentucky Consurvey City Directory. Dr. Polk shared the title of City Physician with Dr. Robert C. Overby, the physician for whites. In the early 1940s, Dr. Polk is listed as a physician and city health officer in Caron's Paducah KY City Directory. Dr. Polk was born in Tennessee, and had a medical practice in Hickman, KY, in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. His wife Jennie M. Polk (1903-1969), also a native of Tennessee, was a school teacher in Hickman. The couple lived on Moulton Street. Dr. Polk's first name has been spelled Sywre, Syre, and Syree. When the couple moved to Paducah, they lived at 900 Tennessee Street. According to the Kentucky Death Index, the Polks died in Paducah, KY.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

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

Porter, Jacob M.
Birth Year : 1848
Jacob M. Porter was one of the first African Americans to run for political office in Paris, KY [see NKAA entry Early African American Political Candidates, Bourbon County, KY]. With permission, the following entry comes from the unpublished letter written by Mrs. Rogers Bardé, titled "Porter Children." Mrs. Rogers Bardé is a researcher in Bourbon County, KY. 

 

"Jacob M. Porter was born in August 1848 (Census 1900). He married Josie M. Palmer in Bourbon County, Ky on 23 Mar 1871 (Colored Marriage Book, 1, page 56). In 1870 in Bourbon County, Ky he lived with his father and was listed as a grocer, along with his father and brother, Beverly. In the 1900 census he was listed as a bank clerk, and lived in Indianapolis, on California Street. He and his wife Josie had two children; William, born Nov 1873 and Edward, born Apr 1883. In 1900 he owned his own home, without a mortgage. He lived in the same house in 1910 and 1920 (listed in the moving business in both censuses); by 1930 Josie was a widow in the same house, living with their son, who by now was listed as Edgar, instead of Edward; Edgar was listed as single. In the 1930 census Josie was head of the house and a widow, and Carrie V. White was listed as her daughter and a widow. I found Carrie, born Dec 1871, married to Maurice White in the 1900 census in Indianapolis on Market Street, in Center Township. They had no children." 

 

Jacob M. Porter was the son of Jefferson Porter [see NKAA entries 1, 2, and 3 for more on Jefferson Porter].
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Poston, Ersa Hines
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Ersa H. Poston was born in Mayfield and raised in Paducah, KY, after her mother's death. She was the daughter of Vivian Johnson Hines (1905-1925, died of tuberculosis) and Robert Hines. Ersa Poston was one of the highest-ranked women in the federal government, having been appointed a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission by President Carter in 1977. Prior to the appointment, Poston was director of the New York State Office of Economic Opportunity, 1965-67, and president of New York State Civil Service Commission, 1967-75. She served as vice president of the National Urban League. Ersa Hines Poston was the former wife of John Clinton and Ted Poston; the marriages ended in divorce. She was a 1942 graduate of Kentucky State University, and earned her master's in social work at Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University] in 1946. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., Supp., edited by M. M. Spradling; The Negro Almanac. A reference work on the African American, 5th ed.; and A. Berstein, "New York, U.S. Civil Service Administrator," The Washington Post, 01/22/2009, Metro section, p.B5.

See photo image and additional information on Ersa H. Poston from the The Boston Globe at boston.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / New York

Powell, Colin L.
Birth Year : 1937
Powell was born in New York. He was appointed the United States Secretary of State in 2000. After graduating from the National War College, Powell commanded the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY, in 1976. He is the author of My American Journey. For more see Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 28, ed. by A. Henderson.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky

Powers, Georgia D.
Birth Year : 1923
Born in Springfield, KY, Georgia Davis Powers was the first African American and woman in the Kentucky Senate (1967-1988); she served five four-year terms. She was also the first African American woman on the Jefferson County Executive Committee, where she pushed for, among other reforms, an Equal Rights Amendment resolution and the Displaced Homemaker's law. Powers is the author of Celia's Land: a historical novel. The Georgia Powers Collection is at the Kentucky State University Library's Special Collections and Archives. For more see Women in World History. A Biographical Encyclopedia and I Shared the Dream, by G. D. Powers. See also the NKAA entry for Celia Mudd.


Access Interview
Read about the Georgia Davis Powers oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database. 



See photo image and additional information about Senator Powers at the African American Registry website.

 

View video of Georgia Davis Powers at KET (Kentucky Educational Television) Living the Story website.
Subjects: Authors, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Price, Julius Elliott, Sr.
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 1983
In 1955, Julius E. Price, Sr. was the first African American from Kentucky to be appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by a Kentucky Congressman. Price was from Louisville, KY, and had just graduated from high school when he received the appointment from Senator Earle C. Clements. Price attended West Point for one year, then he got married and transferred to Wabash College. Price was the second African American student at the school and the second to graduate. He returned to Louisville where he would become president of Mammoth Life Insurance Company; Price's grandfather had been a founding member of the company. For more see "Kentucky Boy, 17, appointed to West Point," Jet, 06/02/1955, p.4 [available at Google Book Search]; and R. Wedgeworth, "Contradictions in American life: the inaugural John W. Evans Lecture" at Wabash College, 10/01/2008 [available online].

See photo image of Julius E. Price, Sr. on p.136 in Ebony, May 1975.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Randolph, Alma L.
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Beaver Dam, KY, Alma Randolph was the first African American woman elected to the Beaver Dam Council (1980) and the first African American to hold office in the county. Randolph is also a gospel singer locally and nationally. In 1993, she founded the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation, which buys school supplies and back-to-school clothing for disadvantaged children. She is the Human Rights/Community Relations Specialist for Owensboro and in 2007 was appointed to the state Human Rights Commission by then Governor Ernie Fletcher. For more see Women in Kentucky Reform; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #308: Alma Randolph.

 
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Randolph, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1820
Death Year : 1868
Born in Kentucky, Benjamin F. Randolph was a political leader during Reconstruction in South Carolina. He served as a chaplain for the 26th Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He co-founded the Charleston Journal in 1866 and became editor of the Charleston Advocate in 1867. Within the South Carolina Republican Party, he organized the Union League. In 1876 Randolph was appointed Vice President of the South Carolina Republican Executive Committee and the next year was appointed president of the committee. In 1868 he was elected to the South Carolina Senate for Orangeburg County. Randolph advocated legal equality for African Americans, including the integration of schools. In 1868, while soliciting for the Republican Party, he was shot and killed in Donaldsville, SC, a predominately white area of the state. For more see American National Biography (2004), by P. R. Betz and M. C. Carnes.

See photo image and additional information on Benjamin F. Randolph at the Historic Randolph Cemetery website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration East, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Donaldsville, South Carolina / Orangeburg, Orangeburg County, South Carolina

Ray, Joseph R., Sr.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1959
Joseph R. Ray, Sr. was born in Bloomfield, KY. In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed him Director of the Racial Relations Service of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. He had also been the first African American appointed to the Louisville, KY, Board of Equalization. He served as a buyer and appraiser for the Louisville Housing Authority and the Louisville Board of Education. Ray served as the second cashier of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, and would become president of the bank in 1929. It was the first African American bank in the state. He was a World War I veteran. Joseph Ray, Sr. was the husband of Ella Hughes Ray and the father of Joseph "Joie" Ray, race-car driver. He was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial School [now Kentucky State University] and attended the University of Chicago. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; The Last and Most Difficult Barrier, Segregation and Federal Housing Policy in the Eisenhower Administration, 1953-1960, a 2005 Report Submitted to the Poverty and Race Research Action Council," by A. R. Hirsch, Department of History, University of New Orleans; and "Joseph Ray Sr., 72, U. S. Housing Aide," Special to the New York Times, 12/01/1959, p. 39.

See photo image of Joseph R. Ray, Sr. in Jet, 05/16/1963, p.11.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Housing Authority, The Projects, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Reed, Steven S.
Birth Year : 1962
Steven S. Reed was born in Munfordville, KY. In 1999, President Clinton named Reed the first African American U.S. Attorney in Kentucky, and he served the state's Western District for two years. He was also the first African American to chair the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, from 2002-2004. For more see Steven Reed Takes Reins of UK Board of Trustees; and "Steve Reed nominated as federal prosecutor," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/09/99.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky

Reed, William B. "Chief"
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1996
William B. Reed was born in Paris, KY. He was the last principal of the segregated Western School for Negroes. The Paris City Schools were fully integrated in 1966 and Reed would become the first African American Assistant Principal in the Paris City School system. He was also the first to become a city commissioner in Paris. He had been a star football and basketball player at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and he coached the Western High basketball team to a national championship in 1953. Reed was also the school's football coach. He was the first African American elected to the Paris City Council in 1977. The William "Chief" Reed Park in Paris is named in his honor. For more see "William Reed, Retired Educator, Coach, Dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries, 10/11/96; and "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 22. 
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Education and Educators, Football, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Reid, Daniel Isaiah
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1950
Daniel I. Reid was a journalist, politician, and school teacher in Lexington, KY. He was one of the first African American news reporters for the Lexington Herald, as early as 1939 and up to his death in 1950, according to Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky) City Directory. Daniel Reid was born in Lexington, the son of Edward and Lizzie Eubank Reid [source: Death Certificate]. In 1905, when the local media reacted to the death of James Piersall with advice on how best to improve Negro society and decrease crime, Daniel Reid advocated that Negro school teachers teach from the Bible so that Negro students could become moral and responsible adults. In 1907, Daniel Reid, an unapologetic Democrat, wrote an editorial praising the good deeds of the city leaders and administrators [Democrats] toward Colored people in Lexington. Reid was a member of the Colored branch of the Democratic Party in Lexington. From 1907-1910, he was principal of the short-lived Forest Hill School in Lexington. He had taught at other schools in Lexington, and would do the same after Forest Hill School was closed in 1910. In 1909, Daniel Reid was at the center of the injunction W. D. Johnson had filed against both Reid and Wade Carter. Johnson, a dedicated Republican, was editor of the Lexington Standard and had leased the newspaper plant from Wade Carter up to May of 1910. Following the election of President Taft, W. D. Johnson was assigned to the General Land Office in Washington, D.C., and on a return visit to Lexington, Johnson found that Wade Carter had taken possession of the newspaper plant and turned it over to Daniel Reid, who was publishing the Lexington Standard as a campaign publication for the Democrats. Fayette Circuit Court granted an injunction against Daniel Reid stopping him from having anything to do with the newspaper plant or the newspaper. During the days that the Lexington Standard was closed due to the injunction, the newspaper was printed by the Lexington Leader. W. D. Johnson was not able to resume the newspaper and was forced to suspend it indefinitely because the building where the paper was printed was slated for other purposes. In 1911, Daniel Reid attempted to revive the Lexington Standard as a Democrat newspaper but was unsuccessful; the Lexington Standard would never be revived. In March of 1912, Reid established The Lexington Weekly News with Edward D. Willis as publisher and A. W. Davis as his business officer. The following year, Reid purchased a meat store at 753 N. Limestone and moved it to the corner of 7th and Mill Streets. Six months later, he attempted to open a night school for Negroes. In October of 1913, a branch of the Negro Business League was formed in Lexington, and Daniel Reid was named the temporary secretary. The Lexington Weekly News had closed, and Reid had established a new newspaper, The Colored Citizen. [There had been two earlier African American newspapers with the same title in 1866, one in Cincinnati and one in Louisville.] Daniel Reid had also served as editor of the Colored column in the Tribune, and he was the printer for the Christian Soldier newspaper and had served as chair of the Sunday School Convention of the Colored Christian Churches. Daniel Reid was the husband of Cora Reid, and the couple had several children. They lived at 705 Dakota Street. Daniel Reid died July 5, 1950 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. For more, see "People's Views," Lexington Leader, 02/10/1905, p. 7; "Negro teacher," Lexington Leader, 10/21/1907; the injunction articles in the Lexington Leader - 10/25/1909, p. 7 - 10/26/1909, p. 3 - 10/27/1909, p. 9; "Editor Johnson," Lexington Leader, 11/06/1909, p. 2; "Democratic Negro editor," Lexington Leader, 09/01/1911, p. 1; "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 06/09/1912, p. 8; "Night school for Colored people," Lexington Leader, 01/22/1913, p. 3; National Negro Business League," Lexington Leader, 10/05/1913, p. 2; "New Colored paper," Lexington Leader, 10/22/1913, p. 11; "Colored paper," Lexington Leader, 10/26/1913, p. 7; and "The Lexington Weekly News...," Freeman, 03/30/1912, p. 2.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Reynolds, Louise E.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1995
Louise E. Reynolds, a stenographer, was the first African American to work at the Republican headquarters in Louisville, KY (1953-1959); she was there, for six years. She went on to become the second woman [first African American woman] elected to the Louisville Board of Aldermen (11th ward), where she served for eight years. She was invited to the White House and appointed to the GOP task force on Human Rights and Responsibilities. Reynolds sponsored an Equal Employment Opportunity Bill and worked for open housing. She was born in Lewisburg, TN, the daughter of Cary and William Elliot, and came to Louisville to attend school. She was a 1935 graduate of Louisville Central High School, and attended Louisville Municipal College. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.


Access InterviewThe Louise E. Reynolds oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lewisburg, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Reynolds, Sadiqa N.
Birth Year : 1962
Sediqua N. Reynolds was the first African American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court, she served as the chief law clerk for Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. She also had a private law practice for several years, and in January 2008, Reynolds was named inspector general with the Louisville Metro Government. Her duties included annual reviews and investigating complaints against nursing homes and state-run institutions. August 2009, Reynolds was sworn in as Jefferson County District Judge of the 30th Judicial District, Division 11. Her appointment was made by Governor Steve Beshear; she replaced Judge Matthew K. Eckert, who resigned. Reynolds earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky. She was born in Newy York, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. For more see B. Musgrave, "2 lawyers get Health Cabinet jobs, both have backgrounds in public health," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/09/2008, City&Region section, p.D2; Sadiqa N. Reynolds in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.123; "Governor Beshear announces landmark judicial appointments," Press Release, 07/01/2009, Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office [online].

See "Meet the Judge: Sadiqua N. Reynolds" on YouTube.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Judges
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Richards, Ralph H.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
In 1953 African Americans were finally allowed to apply for membership to the Louisville (KY) Bar Association, and Ralph Richards was one of three African American attorneys whose applications were accepted. Richards had a private law practice in 1951 and was appointed assistant police court prosecutor in 1964. During the 1970s he served as an assistant commonwealth attorney. Richards graduated from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1942 and earned his law degree from Howard University in 1951. He was a WWII veteran, having enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, on July 22, 1943, according to his enlistment records. He was born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of Lucia and Julia Richards, both of whom were from Kentucky. In 1920, the family lived on Preston Street according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Burba, "Ralph H. Richards," Courier-Journal, 10/27/2002, NEWS section, p. 5B; and "Attorney named prosecution aide in Ky court," Jet, vol 19, issue 10 (12/16/1965), p. 10.
Subjects: Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Roberts, Erwin
Birth Year : 1972
In 2004, Erwin Roberts was the first Director of Homeland Security in Kentucky. Later that year he was named Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet by Governor Fletcher. He resigned from that position in 2006, the same year that he was named to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees; his term expired in 2012. Roberts is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky Law School. He was an attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC in the Louisville office. He has served as Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Kentucky and as Fayette County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney. In 2010,. Erwin Roberts opened his law pracice in Louisville, KY. For more see Kentucky Government Press Release, "Personnel Cabinet Secretary Erwin Roberts resigns," 05/03/2006; and the Erwin Roberts Law Office website.


 
Subjects: Lawyers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ross, Gerald D.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1991
Born in Washington, KY, Gerald David Ross was appointed Aide to the Honorable Stanley F. Reed, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, holding the job for 19 years. Gerald D. Ross was the son of Henry and Mary Ross. For more see"Justice Reed Resigns from Supreme Court," Louisville Defender, 03/07/57.

Access Interview Read about the Gerald D. Ross oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Washington, Mason County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Ross, J. Allen
From Frankfort, KY, Ross was secretary of the National Negro Democratic Executive Committee and organizer of the Negro Democratic Party in Kentucky following the end of the Civil War. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Ross, James A.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1949
Born in Columbus, KY, James A. Ross was a lawyer, politician, real estate broker, journalist, editor, and publisher. His family left Kentucky when Ross was a child; he was raised in Cairo, IL, and later moved farther north. Ross was editor and proprietor of The Reformer (Detroit) and publisher of the monthly magazine, Gazetteer and Guide (NY), written for African American Pullman Porters and railroad and hotel employees. He declined the U. S. Consul appointment to Cape Haitien in 1893. Ross was in charge of the Negro exhibit at the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition, held in Buffalo, and he was Vice-President of the National Colored Democratic League Bureau in Chicago in 1912. He served as Race Relations Executive for the Works Progress Administration in Albany, NY. In 1946, Ross was elected president of the New York State Colored Real Estate Brokers Exchange. He was the husband of Cora B. Hawkins Ross (b.1874 in Canada), and the family of six lived on Michigan Street in Buffalo, NY, in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "James A. Ross," New York Times, 04/28/1949, p. 31.

See newspaper image of James A. Ross and additional information at the Uncrowned Community Builders website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA)
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Detroit, Michigan / Buffalo and Albany, New York / Chicago, Illinois

Ross, William H.
Birth Year : 1869
Born in Madisonville, KY, William H. Ross taught school in Muhlenberg County, KY, before he quit teaching in 1887 to go into the grocery store business with his father in Madisonville. The business was known as John [R.] Ross & Son. Ross was also politically active: he stood at the voting polls to make sure every African American in Madisonville voted Republican, which resulted in his being physically attacked by Democrats. He was Assistant Elector of the Second Congressional District in the 1896 presidential campaign. William H. Ross was the husband of Cordie Ross who was a school teacher in Madisonville. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Voting Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Royal, Wesley
Birth Year : 1844
Royal, a farmer who was born in Virginia, had been living in Christian County, KY, for about five years when he lost his bid for the Kentucky Legislature in 1871. Royal claimed to have had a brother in the Virginia Legislature. By 1880, Royal was one of two African Americans in the Christian County jail. For more see "A Big dusty-colored Negro, named Wesley Royal, is a candidate for the Legislature in Christian County, Kentucky," Daily Arkansas Gazette, 07/15/1871, issue 201, col. E; and the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Christian County, KY.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky

Sample, Prince A., Jr.
Birth Year : 1878
Born in Mt. Sterling, KY, Prince Albert Sample was one of the founders and organizers of the Pullman Porters Benefit Association of America, Inc. and served as its comptroller. He was an investigator and welfare worker for the Pullman Co. in New York City at the Penn Terminal. He had also been president of the Jersey City NAACP Branch and a member of the Odd Fellows. Sample was assistant editor of the Wisconsin Advocate and special correspondent for the Evening Wisconsin. He was business manager and city editor of the Wisconsin Weekly Advocate. He was also a candidate for the New Jersey Legislature, and was a WWI veteran. Prince and his wife Bertha, from North Carolina, lived at 101 Virginia Avenue in Jersey City in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. He was the son of Rev. P. A. Sample, Sr., pastor of the C. M. E. Church in Allensville, KY. Prince Albert Sample, Jr. was a graduate of the University of Michigan. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; K. McCray, "Pullman Porters: the best job in the community, the worst job on the train" [pdf], a James Mason University website; "A Southern Trip," Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 06/16/1904, p.4.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Jersey City, New Jersey / Wisconsin

Scott, Anna W. Porter
Birth Year : 1925
Scott was born in Fulton, KY, the daughter of Jevvie R. Patton Porter and Thomas M. Porter. She is the wife of John T. Scott. Anna W. Scott served with the U.S. WACs, 1944-1947, and returned to Fulton before moving to Urbana, IL, in 1958. She was the first woman elected to the Democrat State Central Committee in Illinois and was vice-chair of the State Democrat Party, 1974-1976. She ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1976 and the Illinois House of Representative in 1977. In 1984, she was the coordinator of the 21st Congressional District for the Jessie Jackson campaign. In 1993, Scott was appointed to the Illinois Real Estate and Banking Board by Governor Jim Edgar. Anna Scott is a 1958 sociology graduate (B.S.), a 1960 education graduate (M.A.), and a 1964 social work graduate (M.S.W.) of the University of Illinois. She is a full-time sociology professor at Parkland College. For more see the Anna Wall Porter Scott entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Urbana, Illinois

Shaw, Ed
Death Year : 1891
Shaw's birth date was in the late 1820s. He was a free man born in Kentucky who moved to Memphis, TN, around 1852. He owned a saloon and gambling house. Shaw has been described as a radical Republican political leader and as the most powerful African American leader in Memphis. He was defeated in a run for Congress in 1869. He spoke up for the rights of African Americans, for integrated schools, and against poll taxes. He served on the City Council and the County Commission and was elected wharf master. Shaw was also a lawyer and editor of the Memphis Planet newspaper. For more see "Ed Shaw" in the article "Free Blacks had impact on county history - Historian traces roots of black population," Commercial Appeal, 10/14/1993, Neighbors section, p. e2; and in the History of Memphis at cityofmemphis.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee

Sheckles, William "Bill"
Birth Year : 1954
In 2010, William Sheckles became the first African American mayor in Bardstown, KY.  Sheckles was born in Bardstown. He has served on the city council for 12 years prior to running and winning the election for mayor. Sheckles is well known in Bardstown, he has owned a restaurant and he was a car salesman. He has also served as president of the Kentucky Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials with the Kentucky League of Cities. In 2014, he was elected the first African American president of the Kentucky League of Cities. William "Bill" Sheckles is a graduate of Bardstown High School and he earned a B.S in business administration at Western Kentucky University (WKU). He lettered all four years as a baseball player at WKU. For more see M. Davis, "New Bardstown mayor gives how-to on a countywide coup," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/07/2010, p.B1; and "A Resolution Honoring Bardstown Mayor William Sheckles," the Kentucky Senate [SR130].
Subjects: Baseball, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky

Shelton, Dorothy C.
In 1981, Shelton became the first African American woman on the Morganfield City Council. For more see "40 blacks serve on city councils in 35 Kentucky cities," in 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Sixth Report by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 27.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky

Shobe, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1920
Born in Bowling Green, KY, Benjamine F. Shobe was a civil rights attorney who served as a counselor to Lyman T. Johnson in the lawsuit that forced the University of Kentucky to integrate. Shobe was also hired by the NAACP as an attorney in Sweeny v. The City of Louisville, which was pursued to open public accommodations. He was the first elected city police judge in Louisville, KY, in 1976 and retired from the bench in 1992. He was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Michigan Law School. Shobe was also a recipient of Anderson-Mayer Funds. He is a member of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' Great Black Kentuckians. He was the son of W. L. Shobe , who was principal of Lynch West Main High School, 1939-1956. For more see The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd ed., ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

  See photo image of Benjamin F. Shobe and additional information at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Simpson, Arnold
Arnold Simpson was the first African American to become city manager of Covington, KY, and also, in 1994, the first elected state representative from northern Kentucky's House District 65 (Kenton County). Simpson has won consecutive re-elections to the Kentucky General Assembly since. He is the son of James Simpson, Jr. Simpson is a graduate of Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky College of Law. For more see J. Reis, "Winning the Right to Vote," Kentucky Post, 01/15/01, Editorialextra section, p. 4K;; Representative Arnold Simpson (D) on the Legislative Research Commission website; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

See photo image at Arnold Simpson website.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Simpson, James, Jr.
Birth Year : 1928
Death Year : 1999
James Simpson, Jr. was the first African American elected to the Covington, KY, City Commission in 1971. He was the father of Arnold Simpson. He was born in Somerset, KY, and was an active community member in Covington. He was owner of Simpson & Jones Funeral Home. The street, James Simpson Jr. Way, in Covington, KY, was named in his honor. For more see J. Reis, "Winning the Right to Vote," Kentucky Post, 01/15/01, Editorialextra section, p. 4K; and "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 11. See also the James Simpson Jr. biography at the Kenton County Public Library website.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Skinner, Freddie
Skinner was elected to the Bloomfield, KY, City Council in 1977. The ticket included Ernestine Lewis; it was the first time the city council had two African American members. 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: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky

Slave Trade Between Kentucky and Southern States
Lexington was initially the slave trade center for Kentucky in the 1800s due to many factors that included the demand for slaves in southern states, the large number of slaves in Kentucky and the decreasing profits of slavery, the Kentucky anti-importation law of 1833, and attacks by abolitionists against the African slave trade and slavery in general. As the economic demands for more slaves increased in southern states, the Kentucky and Virginia slave markets responded to the demand in the cotton belt, economically benefiting the states. In 1840, Robert Wickliffe, the largest slave owner in Fayette County, boasted to the Kentucky Legislature that as many as 6,000 slaves per year were being sold to southern states from Kentucky, though the actual number was not known because there were no definitive accounting records for all sales. Prior to the late 1840s, the sale of slaves was a personal business transaction that was not tracked or announced to the public, other than through public auctions, as was the case with the sale of livestock. In 1843, two of the more prominent slave trade firms in Kentucky were the firm of Downing and Hughes and the much larger firm of Griffin and Pullum, both located in Lexington. In 1849, the Kentucky anti-importation law of 1833 was repealed, allowing slaves from other states to be brought into Kentucky and sold. That same year, the Kentucky Legislature adopted a resolution denouncing abolition. It was also around 1849 that two other major changes took place. First, Kentucky newspapers garnered a greater share of the slave trade economy and promoted the trade with an increased number of paid advertisements and hand bills for the sale of slaves or those looking to buy slaves, for the services of slave trade firms and brokers, and for the recapture of runaway and kidnapped slaves. Second, the slave trade in Louisville became a major competitor to the trade in Lexington, and adjoining towns were developing their own slave trade businesses. In 1859, when there were discussions of re-establishing the African slave trade, loud voices of opposition were heard from Kentucky and Virginia. For more see T. D. Clark, "The Slave trade between Kentucky and the Cotton Kingdom," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, vol. 21, issue 3 (Dec., 1934), pp.331-342; and Lexington's slave dealers and their Southern trade, by J. W. Coleman, Jr. See also Kentucky and slavery: the constitutional convention of 1792 (thesis) by M. Herrick.
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Slave Trade (U.S.)
Geographic Region: Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky / Virginia

Sleet, Anne
Birth Year : 1932
In 2007, Anne Sleet became the first African American woman mayor of Perryville, KY. A former nurse and caterer, Sleet had also been a member of the city council prior to becoming mayor, succeeding her late husband, Raymond Sleet, who had been elected to the council four times. Anne Sleet was re-elected to the council for three consecutive terms and was unopposed when she ran for mayor. For more see G. Kocher, "Perryville's next mayor - Anne Sleet adds new chapter to family's proud history in Boyle County," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/27/2006, Main News section, p. A1.  See also the Sleettown entry.

    See Anne Sleet interview [#210] at "Connections with Renee Shaw," 02/10/2007, a KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors, Nurses
Geographic Region: Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Smith, James E. "J.E."
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1969
Smith was elected State Representative for the 42nd District, serving 1964-1968, and was a delegate to the 1964 Democratic Presidential Convention. He was president of the National Negro Insurance Association and co-founder of the Domestic Life and Accident Insurance Company. Smith graduated from Jacksonian College in Jackson, Michigan. He was the husband of Vera Smith and father of Charlotte McGill. The family lived in Louisville, KY. For more see the Smith/McGill Family Papers, 1879-1987 at the University of Louisville; and contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Smith, John W.
Smith was the first African American elected to the Henry County, KY, Board of Education. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 25.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky

Smith, S. E.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1907
Born in Barren County, KY, Rev. S. E. Smith had lived in Owensboro, KY. He was a minister and a civil rights activist. He spoke out against the Separate Coach Act in Kentucky. In 1886, he was one of the spokesmen who appeared before the Kentucky Senate demanding just laws for African Americans. He was a trustee of State University [later named Simmons University]. Smith was a delegate to the National Republican Convention over a period of 16 years. He was author of History of the Anti-Separate Coach Movement in Kentucky [full-text available online at Kentucky Digital Library]. Kentucky Governor Bradley appointed Rev. Smith as the Kentucky representative at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. Rev. Smith was the National Grand Secretary of the Order of Samaritans. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, and just prior to his death, he had accepted the position as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Columbus,OH. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; S. E. Smith in Chapter 12 of The Reformed Reader [available online]; and "Noted colored man dies," The Washington Post, 08/08/1907.


See photo of Rev. S. E. Smith on p. 295 in Sermons, Addresses and Reminiscences and Important Correspondence, by E. C. Morris, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Smith, Verna
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1966
Verna Smith was the first African American woman president of the Democratic Club and president of the National Housewives League. She served as an alternate delegate to the 1944 Democratic Presidential Convention. She was the wife of James E. Smith and mother of Charlotte McGill. For more see the Smith/McGill Family Papers, 1879-1987, at the University of Louisville Libraries: Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Smith, Walton N.
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 2003
Smith, born in Hopkinsville, KY, was the first African American appointed to the executive board of the Hopkinsville Chamber of Commerce and also the first to chair the Area Development District in Kentucky. The Hopkinsville Housing Authority named the Walton Smith Park in his honor in 1982. Smith was a WWII veteran. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Housing Authority, The Projects, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Smith-Wright, Pamela L.
Birth Year : 1949
In 2007, Pamela Smith-Wright was the first African American elected president of the the Kentucky AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary. Smith-Wright is from Owensboro, KY, and she has served as president of Post 119 and Post 75, and she has been a member and leader of a number of organizations. AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary is a service organization made up of wives, daughters, and granddaughters of veterans. As state president, Smith-Wright oversaw 16 posts throughout Kentucky. In her political life, since 2011, Smith-Wright has been serving as the first woman Mayor Pro Tem in Owensboro, KY. She was the top vote getter in the primary and general election for a seat on the Owensboro City Commission. Pamela Smith-Wright is the daughter of the late Ethel and Willie Smith, Jr. She is graduate of Owensboro High School and was a member of the school's first track team which won the state track meet during her senior year. She is also a graduate of Cosmetology School in St. Louis, MO, and owned her own beauty shop for over 30 years. Pamela Smith-Wright also owned her own catering service for 20 years. In 2012, she was the winner of the Kentucky Martin Luther King, Jr. Citizenship Award. For more see J. Campbell, "Owensboro woman elected state leader," Messenger-Inquirer, 06/23/2007, State and Regional News section, p.1; "Mayor pro tem receives MLK Award," Messenger-Inquirer, 01/06/2012, Local News section, p.B.1; and S. Vied, "Smith-Wright elect Mayor Pro Tem," Messenger-Inquirer, 01/05/2011, Section A, p.1.
 
 
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

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

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

Stafford, Frank
Birth Year : 1937
Stafford, a retired coal miner, is the mayor of Mortons Gap, KY. As of 2008, he has been mayor for 18 years, which is longer than any current mayor in Hopkins County. He was initially an appointed interim mayor, fulfilling the unexpired term of the previous mayor who stepped down due to controversy. Stafford then ran against the previous mayor's brother, in 1991, and was elected [only 4% of Mortons Gap residents are African American]. Stafford is also a pastor at Lively Stone Church in Nortonville, KY. For more see A. Cross, "Rural Democrats think Obama can win state," Courier-Journal, 06/08/2008, Forum section, p. 3H.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Mayors
Geographic Region: Mortons Gap and Nortonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Stanley, Frank L., Jr.
Birth Year : 1937
Death Year : 2007
Frank L. Stanley, Jr. was a journalist and was editor and publisher of the Louisville (KY) Defender newspaper until 1976. He chaired the Allied Organizations for Civil Rights (AOCR), the organization that coordinated the 1964 March on Frankfort, KY, where Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed 10,000 citizens. The march was in support of the public accommodations bill, which was not passed. Stanley was active in many civil rights efforts in Louisville, including voter registration and public demonstrations. In 1968, he was executive director of the Los Angeles National Urban League. Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll appointed him executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Corrections and Community Service in 1974. Ten years later he planned to run as a Democratic candidate for mayor of Louisville. Frank L. Stanley, Jr. was the son of journalist Frank L. Stanley Sr. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, the University of Illinois, and George Washington University. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and P. Burba, "Frank Stanley, Jr., champion of civil rights in Louisville, dies at 70," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 03/02/2007, News section, p. 4B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Stephens, Jeanette
Birth Year : 1957
Jeanette Stephens was the first African American woman to serve on the Radcliff City Council, making her the first woman elected to public office in Hardin County [source: 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights in cooperation with the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice, p. 16]. Stephens served on the council for six years.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Radcliff, Hardin County, Kentucky

Stepp, Marcellus "Marc"
Birth Year : 1923
Marcellus Stepp was born in Versailles, KY, then his family moved to Evansville, IN, when he was a child. He is an Army veteran and holds an accounting degree from the University of Detroit. He was employed at the Chrysler Highland Park plant for 19 years and served as vice president of Local 490 to the Chrysler-UAW National Negotiating Committee. He was appointed International Representative with Region 1B in 1967 and was elected International Vice President in 1974. He also served as executive director of the Institute for Urban & Community Affairs at the University of Detroit. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Detroit Common Council in 1965. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; Marc Stepp Collection Papers, 1940-2000, at Wayne State University Reuther Library; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2006.

See photo image of Marcellus Stepp, about mid-page, at the 2011 Hall of Honor Inductees, a University of Detroit Mercy website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Detroit, Michigan

Stevens, Oluwole A. "Olu"
Birth Year : 1970
Louisville Judge Olu Stevens is the presiding Judge in the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 6.  He had been a prosecutor with the Jefferson County Attorney's Office; he was in private practice for ten years; and was with the firm Stoll Keenon and Ogden. Stevens is a graduate of Morehouse College and George Washington University Law School. He is a past president of the Louisville Bar Association and a past president of the Louisville Bar Foundation. In 2009, Olu Stevens was one of three African American judges who received appointments from Kenucky Governor Steve Beshear; Stevens was appointed a circuit judge in Jefferson County. The other two appointments went to Sadiqua Reynolds and Erica Lee Williams, both were district judges [source: Wolfson, A. "Governor appoints three Black judges," Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/01/2009, News section]. In 2010, Judge Stevens was one of three African American judges to be elected in Jefferson County, and he retained his circuit court judgeship, defeating Thomas J. Cannon, garnering 60% of the votes [source: J. Riley, "3 African-American appointees elected," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/03/2010, p.K8, News section]. The other election winners were District Judge Brian C. Edwards in Division 11, who had also received an appointment from Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in 2009, and District Judge Erica Lee Williams in Division 17.  

 

  See photo image and additional information at the Judge Olu Stevens website.  
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Strickland, Nathaniel
Birth Year : 1927
Nathaniel Strickland was born in Irvine, KY, the son of Mitchell and Helen Strickland. In 1973 he was elected city council member and Mayor Pro Tem in Irvine and re-elected in 1975 and 1977. He was the city's first African American elected official. Strickland was head grocery clerk at an Irvine supermarket where he had worked for 32 years. According to World War II Army Enlistment Records, Strickland was a veteran, having served in the Panama Canal Department. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in the 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 18.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Irvine, Estill County, Kentucky

Summers, William E., IV
Birth Year : 1943
William E. Summers, IV was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Sallie S. and William E. Summers, III. He was the second African American to serve as chairman of the board of the Kentucky Derby Festival. His father, William E. Summers, III, was the first African American to chair the festival. Beginning in 2003, William E. Summers, IV served as Deputy Mayor of Metro Louisville. For more see William E. Summers, IV in Jet, 05/22/2000, vol. 97, issue 24, p. 51; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2006; and Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp78-79.


Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sykes, Harry N.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2012
Born in Starkville, MS, in 1963 Harry N. Sykes became the first African American elected to the City of Lexington, KY, Council; he also served as mayor pro-tem, 1967-1969. Sykes ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Lexington in 1971. He founded the Lexington Fayette County Urban League in 1968, serving as president from 1968-1972. Sykes was also a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, 1952-1954. For more see Harry Sykes, Lexington Herald Leader, 08/02/03, Final Ed., p. B1.


  See photo image of Harry Sykes and additional information at The HistoryMakers website.

Access Interview Read about the Harry N. Sykes oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.


Subjects: Basketball, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Starkville, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Taylor, Charles L.
Born in Jessamine County, KY, Taylor was elected to 3rd District Constable of Jessamine County in 1977, the first African American elected to a county-level office. For more see "Eleven blacks hold county level posts," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 12.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky

Thomas, Reginald "Reggie"
Birth Year : 1953
In December of 2012, in a special election, Democrat Reggie Thomas defeated Independent Richard Maloney and Republican Michael Johnson. Reggie Thomas became the first African American to represent Lexington in the Kentucky Senate. It was the first time a majority white district (District 13) in Kentucky elected an African American senator. Reggie Thomas replaced Kathy Stein, who left the Senate to accept a judgeship position. Reggie Thomas is the third African American elected to the Kentucky Senate (the other two were Louisville Senators Georgia Powers and Gerald Neal). Reginald Thomas was also the first African American associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, KY; a 1975 graduate of Dartmouth College; and a 1978 graduate of Harvard Law School.  For more see Connections with Renee Shaw - Reggie Thomas, Ron Spriggs, Bobby Scroggins (#914); "Historic Senate win," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/13/2013, p.A16; S. Youngman, "Democrat Reginald Thomas wins state Senate special election," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/13/2013, p.A1; and P. K. Muhammad, "Reginald Thomas rises above despite opposition to become senator," The Key Newsjournal, 01/08/2014 [online].

 

  See photo image of Senator Reginald Thomas at the Open States website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Thomas, Regina L.
Birth Year : 1957
Thomas was born in Clinton, KY. She became the New Jersey Secretary of State in 2002 and served until 2006. She was the first recipient of the Chairman's Award that honors a Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff person who has made an exceptional contribution to the Democratic party. In Kentucky, Thomas had served as a legislative analyst on the Legislative Research Commission. For more see "Regina L. Thomas to be honored by Democratic Party," The Birmingham Times, 02/14-20/2002, pg. A4, A7.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky / New Jersey

Thompson, Richard W.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1920
Richard W. Thompson was born in Brandenburg, KY, and moved to Indianapolis, IN, when he was a child. At the age of 15, he was the first African American page with the Indiana Legislature. He was hired by Bagby & Co. at the age of 17 and was later a bookkeeper for the secretary of the Marion County Board of Health. He was a mailman from 1888-1893; Thompson had finished first among a class of 75 persons taking the 1888 Marion County civil service examination. He would later become managing editor of the newspapers Freeman and Indianapolis World. Thompson left Indiana to become a government clerk with the Washington, D.C. Census Bureau, beginning in 1894; he was the first African American at that post. While in D.C., he was the managing editor of the Colored American magazine until 1903, then managed the the National Negro Press Bureau, a news service for African American newspapers. Thompson was an affiliate of Booker T. Washington; Washington subsidized the Press Bureau and influenced African American newspaper editors. In 1920, Richard Thompson died in Washington, D.C. at the Freedmen's Hospital. For more see The Booker T. Washington Papers, vol. 5 (1899-1900), p. 48 [available online by the University of Illinois Press]; Twentieth Century Negro Literature, Or, a Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating to the American Negro, edited by D. W. Culp [available online from Project Gutenberg]; Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; and "R. W. Thompson dead," Baltimore Afro-American, 02/20/1920, p.1.

See photo image of Richard W. Thompson from Twentieth Century Negro Literature, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Washington, D.C.

Tipton, Manuel
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
Manuel Tipton was well respected in Montgomery County, KY. He is said to have been the first person who learned to strip grass seed with a hand stripper and later with a stripper pulled by horses, according to Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. Manuel Tipton had a rock breaking business; the rocks were used for the building of fences and bridges. In 1905, he helped build Howards Mill Pike [source: "Howards Mill Pike," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/06/1905, p. 5]. He also helped lay the gas lines in Mt. Sterling, Midway, and Frankfort, KY. Manuel Tipton worked for the gas company, according to his Certificate of Death. He also served as an election officer in Smithville, KY, during the 1921 primary election [source: "Election officers named Saturday," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 07/19/1921, p. 1]. Tipton Avenue and the housing projects, Manuel Tipton Court, both in Mt. Sterling, KY, were named in his honor. Manuel Tipton was the son of Buford and Lutie Jones Tipton. He was the husband of Nora Lee Johnson Tipton; the family lived in Smithville in Montgomery County, according the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Manuel Tipton was buried in Olive Hill Cemetery, according to his death certificate. For more information, see "Montgomery County Pioneers - The Tipton Family" on pp. 20-21 of Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris.
Subjects: Businesses, Housing Authority, The Projects, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Travis, Oneth M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1979
O. M. Travis was born in Monticello, KY, the son of Fannie Goss Travis and Oneth Travis, Sr. Oneth Jr. had a real estate office on E. 3rd Street in Lexington, KY, he was a real estate agent and an insurance agent. In 1979, he was one of two African American council members in Lexington, KY; prior to his sudden death, Travis was seeking his fourth term as council member of the 1st District, a predominately African American area northeast of downtown Lexington. The other African American council member was Bob Finn, who represented the 2nd District, another predominately African American area. One of the fights led by Travis was against the referendum for the East Short Street Urban Renewal Project proposal to clear 80 acres, said to be slums, bound by East Main, Third Street, and Midland Avenue, and cut through by Corral and DeWeese Streets. Travis wanted the city to enforce the building code for the area and the properties be brought up to standard, rather than the area being completely razed and replaced with new housing. Oneth Travis, Jr. was the husband of Leola Madison Travis, the family lived at 188 Eddie Street in Lexington. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University. For more see "Travis recalled as strong voice for blacks here," Lexington Leader, 03/22/1979, p.A-3; "The empty chair: Council honors Travis, the man who sat there," Lexington Leader, 03/23/1979, p.A-1; and B. L. Mastin, "Panel sought referendum on Urban Renewal plan in '64," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/13/1984, Lifestyle section, p.D5.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Travis, Oneth M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1991
Travis was born in Albany, KY, the son of Jacob and Nanny Overstreet Travis. He graduated from Lincoln Institute. He owned a family dry goods store and was also an educator and community leader in Monticello, KY. Travis purchased a bus from Wayne Taxi Company to establish the first school transportation system in Wayne County, KY. Travis also purchased land and established the Travis Elementary and High Schools in Monticello. In 1955, Travis and Ira Bell helped facilitate the integration of the Monticello and Wayne County Schools. In 1965, Travis was appointed to the Kentucky Board of Education by Governor Simeon S. Willis, and was the first African American to be named to the post. Later, Bell was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Travis also developed a recreation center in Wayne County. He was a World War I veteran and a Kentucky delegate to Republican national conventions. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias and a Mason. Travis moved to Pittsburgh in 1986, where he passed away in 1991; he is buried in the Monticello Cemetery. He was the uncle of Thomas J. Craft, Sr. and the father of Oneth M. Travis, Jr. For more see "Oneth M. Travis," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/20/1991, OBIT section, p. B4. See also African American Schools in Wayne County, KY; and Mr. Oneth Morview Travis in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright. See also entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database. 

 


   See photo image of Negro school and gymnasium in Monticello, KY, Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky / Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky / Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tucker, Amelia Moore
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Ameiia Tucker was born in Alabama, and she came to Louisville, KY, with her husband in the 1920s. In 1930, the family of three lived on 12th Street, according to the U. S. Federal Census. Amelia Tucker would become the first African American woman elected to the Kentucky State Legislature (in 1961). She worked to pass a bill that would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate based on race. She was on President Nixon's advisory council on ethnic groups. Rev. Amelia Tucker was the wife of Bishop Charles E. Tucker, and after his death in 1975, she moved to California where she died in 1987. She was educated at Alabama State Teachers College [now Alabama State University] and the University of Louisville. She was a minister at Brown Temple AMEZ Church, today located at 3707 Young Avenue, in Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Turner, Hannah
Birth Year : 1800
Hannah Turner was the slave of Aaron and Theodosia Young, who moved from Kentucky to Missouri. Hannah, a washer woman, was the wife of John Turner (b.1796), a free man who was a horse farrier, and she was the mother of James Milton Turner (1840-1915), who was born while his mother was still a slave. John Turner purchased the freedom of Hannah and James in 1843, and the couple was officially married in St. Louis, March 4, 1857 by Rev. Emmanual Cartwright, pastor of the African Baptist Church [Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002]. Rev. Cartwright had become pastor of the church after the death of Kentucky native Rev. John Berry Meachum in 1854. John Turner was last listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and Hannah Turner was last listed in the 1870 Census. Their son, James M. Turner, had been a student in Meachum's school, he would go on to attended Oberlin College. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him the first African American Minister Resident and Consul General for the United States in the Republic of Liberia. He returned to the U.S. in 1878 and formed the Colored Emigration Aid Association with hopes of settling Exodusters in Kansas and the Indian Territory. He succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Cherokee Freedmen's Act in 1888, which authorized $75,000 to 3,881 Cherokee freedmen (former slaves of the Cherokee Indians). For more see the James Milton Turner entry in the American National Biography Online (subscription database).
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri / Oberlin, Ohio / Liberia, Africa / Kansas

Twyman, Luska J.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1988
Luska J. Twyman was born in Hiseville, KY, the son of Eliza Twyman. In 1968 he became the first African American mayor of Glasgow and, for 17 years, the only African American mayor in Kentucky. He was also the first African American to serve on the U.S. Commission of Human Rights. Twyman was a 1939 graduate of Kentucky State University and a World War II veteran. He was a former principal of the Ralph Bunch School for African Americans in Glasgow. The Luska J. Twyman Memorial Park in Glasgow is named in his honor. There is also a Kentucky Historical Marker [#2019] honoring Twyman in the Glasgow Public Square. For more see "Kentucky City Council Names Black Mayor," Jet, vol. 35, issue 1 (Oct. 10, 1968), p. 4; Luska Twyman in the Kentucky Files - Biography at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives; and S. Brown, "Luska Twyman, Kentucky's first Black mayor, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/29/1988, City/State section, p. C1.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hiseville and Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Underwood, Edward Ellsworth
Birth Year : 1864
Death Year : 1942
A physician, Underwood moved to Kentucky to become Assistant City Physician in Frankfort. He organized and was the first president of the Frankfort NAACP Chapter. He was the first African American to sit on the Board of Trustees at Kentucky State University. In 1898 he formed the State League of Republican Clubs in Kentucky and was its first president. He was also a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1904. Underwood is author of A brief history of the colored churches of Frankfort, Kentucky (1906) [full-text available in the Kentucky Digital Library], as well as several poems; and he was editor of the Blue Grass Bugle for 10 years. He was born in Ohio, the son of Harriet and Reverend Johnson P. Underwood, and the husband of Sarah Walker Underwood, according to his death certificate. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1927.

  

See photo image of Dr. Edward E. Underwood at Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Poets, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Ohio / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Vena, Cyrus, Jr.
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1918
Vena was a carpenter, contractor and builder and also one of the first African American city council members in Xenia, OH, serving two terms. Vena was born in North Middletown, KY; he is listed as a free person in the 1840 U. S. Federal Census. He married Sarah J. Warnell in 1849 prior to the couple's move to Xenia, where Vena built a number of noted buildings. The couple had had seven children when they left Ohio and moved the entire family to Los Angeles, CA. Vena was head janitor in the LA Hall of Justice for 30 years. For more see p. 135 in The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. L. Beasley.
Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Carpenters
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Los Angeles, California

Waits, Ernest J., Sr. "Ernie"
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 2004
Ernie Waits, Sr. is often referred to as the first African American DJ [disc jockey] in both Kentucky and Ohio [source: E. S. Murrain, "Payola and the Pied Pipers," Tone, 09/01/1960, p. 11]. In Kentucky, he was a DJ at WNOP in Newport, KY [source: see "Gab Bag" in the column "Vox Jox," Billboard, 04/21/1951, pp. 28 & 33]. In Cincinnati, he was a DJ at WZIP [source: "Chicago Chatter," Billboard, 05/28/1949, p. 40]. Waits was also among the first African American broadcasters in both radio and television in Cincinnati, Ohio, his home town. He was a singer and musician, as well as a civil rights leader who helped start organized labor. He was an international representative for the United Auto Workers, integrated the Democrat Party of Hamilton County, Ohio, and was the first African American in Cincinnati to become a New York Stock Exchange registered representative. He owned a bowling alley and other businesses and helped establish the Black Expo in Cincinnati. Ernie Waits was born in Georgia and grew up in Cincinnati. He was the son of Jesse and Mozell Harper Waits. He was a veteran of World War II. For more see Ernie Waits, Sr. in the video Road to Equality at CETConnect.org; Ernie Waits in the H. Wilkinson article, "Berry showed them the way," Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/19/2000 [online at enquirer.com]; Ernie Waits in the Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, by L. F. Sies; Who's Who in Black Cincinnati 2003-2004 Edition, M. C. Sunny and R. Love; and R. Goodman, "Civil Rights fighter Ernest Waits dies," Cincinnati Enquirer, 10/22/2004 [online at enquirer.com].

  See photo image of Ernie Waits Sr. within article about Theodore M. Berry at the Cincinnati Enquirer website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Radio, Television, Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Georgia / Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio / Kentucky

Walden, John
Walden, a barber in Glasgow, KY, was one of the first African Americans to seek public office in that town. In 1905, he attended the Republican convention in hopes of being nominated for the office of Barren County Court Clerk, but he was not nominated. For more see the John Walden article in The Adair County News, 10/04/1905, p. 4.
Subjects: Barbers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Wallace, Bonnie Goddard and Theodore "Cal" Sr.
Activist Theodore Calvin Wallace, Sr. (1914-1987) was a pioneer in radio and television in Lexington, Kentucky. He was born in Patton, AL, the son of Eula Wallace Williams (b.1898 in AL) and the stepson of Allen "Baby Bush" Williams (b.1883 in MS). According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Allen Williams was a coal miner in Parrish, AL. The family of four lived on Jasper Road. Theodore Calvin Wallace was known as Cal. He grew up in Parrish, AL, and later came to Kentucky to work in the coal mines in Harlan. While in Harlan, he met his future wife, Bonnie J. Goddard (1920-2002), the daughter of Lee D. (b.1875 in KY) and Edward Goddard (b.1864 in TN). Ed Goddard was a circuit-ridding preacher of the Christian Church/Church of Christ. Bonnie Goddard was born in Harlan, KY. She and her husband left Kentucky for West Virginia and Virginia, where Cal Wallace worked in the coal mines. He eventually left the coal mines and moved his family to Cincinnati, OH, where he had various jobs and also worked for a radio station. He was sometimes on the air at WZIP in Covington, KY, and was one of the first two African American disc jockeys (DJs) in the state. [The other was Ernie Waits.] Cal Wallace moved his family to Lexington, KY in 1954, and they all lived in the home purchased on Whitney Avenue in the Forest Hill area. The school-age children attended Booker T. Washington School. Cal Wallace had come to Lexington the year before his family arrived; he was employed as a DJ with WLEX Radio (AM). He was a DJ at night and sold accounts [air time] during the day. The radio station had another African American employee named Nancy Webb, she had a half-hour program called "Webb Presents." When WLEX expanded to television, Cal Wallace had a weekend program, he was on the air live and showed films. He was the first African American to have a program on television in Lexington, KY. Cal Wallace was also in accounts at WLAP Radio (AM), and it was there that he came up with the idea of developing the commercial station WLAP FM. He then went to a local store named Barney Miller's and ordered a truck load of FM radios, and gave them to people in the community, because most of his potential audience members had only AM radios. WLAP FM, with Cal Wallace as general manager, proved to be a hit. Several of Cal Wallace's sons and his wife were on the air. Bonnie Wallace had a popular program called "The Sweet Chariot." The station also had a DJ contest for teenagers, and two of the winners were Sam Jones and Raymond Ross, both of whom would become successful broadcasters. Cal Wallace was the first African American to manage a radio station in Lexington. He also established The Lexington Chronicle newspaper in the 1960s, and the entire family helped to publish each issue. The newspaper was a free publication made available to the African American community. The newspaper was published for about five years. In 1978, Cal Wallace's sons, Edgar and Bernard, resurrected the newspaper with the new title Bluegrass Chronicle. In 1963, Cal Wallace ran unsuccessfully for the Kentucky House of Representatives. His son Edgar Wallace would become a Lexington City Council Member, and his son, Theodore (Ted) Calvin Wallace, Jr. was a House Member of the Michigan Legislature for four terms and he also served as judge of the 36th District Court for seven years. The leadership role of their father extended into the community; Cal Wallace served as director of the Lexington Community Action organization, and he worked with Micro City Government. Cal Wallace was also a minister, he was pastor at Prall Street Church of Christ in Lexington. The church was founded by Cal and Bonnie Wallace, and began as a Bible class in their living room. Today, the church is located on Russell Cave Road. Cal Wallace would become a bishop and overseer in the Church of Christ, he was over seven churches that were located in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Cincinnati, OH, and Lexington and Harlan, KY. Cal Wallace's communication skills had been well groomed when he was a high school student in Alabama where he also competed in oratorical contests. He attended Lincoln Normal School for Colored Students [today Alabama State University], then returned to his high school as a teacher and he coached the football team. For additional information listen to the Edgar Wallace interview [info.], and the Thomas C. Wallace interview [info.]; see "Fayette radio pioneer 'Cal' Wallace dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/04/1987, p.C7; and "Bonnie G. Wallace, ex-DJ at WLAP, 81" Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/23/2002, p.C4. See also the NKAA entries for Thomas C. Wallace, Ted Wallace, and Leula Wallace Hall.

Access Interview Read about the Theodore Calvin Wallace, Sr. oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television
Geographic Region: Patton, Alabama / Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / West Virginia / Virginia / Cincinnati, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Ward, William H.
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1918
Ward was the first African American in Louisville, KY, and Jefferson County to become a member of the Republican Committee. He was nominated to run for jailer in 1870 and ran for marshal of the city court in 1878; he was defeated both times. In 1890, Ward was the traveling companion of Louisville Mayor Charles D. Jacob on a trip around the world. William and his wife Sarah A. Ward were both from Virginia, and it was thought they had come to Louisville in 1855 as free persons. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the couple was living on Ninth Street with their daughter, Mrs. Susan A. Morris, her husband Alexander, and two boarders. William Ward was still employed as a janitor at Louisville City Hall, a job he would have for more than three decades. For more see "William H. Ward" in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville by H. C. Weeden.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Warders, Jesse P.
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1981
A 1952 graduate of Indiana University, Warders was elected Representative of the 41st District (Jefferson County, KY), serving 1966-1967. He co-sponsored the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. He was the first African American director of the Louisville Department of Sanitation. He received three bronze stars while enlisted in the U.S. Army during WWII. Warders was born in Louisville, KY. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bloomington, Indiana

Warner, Andrew Jackson
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1920
Born in Washington, KY, Andrew Warner was the son of Rueben Warner, a freeman, and Emily Warner, a slave. Andrew was also a slave, he escaped to Ripley, OH, at the age of 13 and enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer boy. He received an honorable discharge and later became a student at Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University]. Warner had also studied law and was the leading attorney in the Bishop Hillery case [within the Kentucky Conference] in Hendersonville, KY. Warner became Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church in Philadelphia, PA, in 1908. He was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from the 1st District of Alabama in 1890, a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in St. Louis, MO, in 1896, and a nominee for Governor of Alabama in 1898. The Warner Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Wilmington, NC, was named in his honor. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915Rev. Andrew J. Warner, D.D. in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church... by J. W. Hood [full text available at UNC Documenting the American South website]; and Andrew Jackson Warner in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition (v.4) by A. B. Caldwell [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Washington, Mason County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Alabama / St. Louis, Missouri

Washington, Roy L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1953
Roy L. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY, the son of Isam M. Washington and Arbella Weeks. When he was a teenager, Roy Washington left Kentucky for southern Illinois, where he married Bertha Spence Jones (1898-1980). The couple later moved to Chicago, two of the more than 50,000 African Americans who had left the South by 1920 to settle in Chicago. The couple had four children, 2-6 years old, when Bertha separated from Roy. He retained custody of the children while earning $15 per week at the stockyard and attending Chicago-Kent College of Law at nights. Bertha lived nearby and assisted with the raising of the children. She would later marry Ernest Price, and they would have six children. Roy Washington received his law license in 1923, and he too remarried. Washington developed his law practice and was also a minister who preached at various churches in Chicago. He would become the Democratic Party precinct captain in the Third Ward and was also a police court prosecutor. When Roy Washington died in 1953, his youngest child, Harold Washington (1922-1987), took over his precinct position. Harold Washington also served as the Democratic representative to the Illinois State Legislature, 1965-1976; state senator, 1976-1980; and house member, beginning in 1980. He was the first African American mayor of Chicago, 1983-1987 (he died during his second term). Harold Washington was the brother of Ramon Price (1930-2000), Chief Curator of Du Sable Museum of African American History in Chicago. For more see J. Camper, et al., "The road to city hall, a half-century of black political evolution set the stage for the Harold Washington revolution," Chicago Tribune, 11/16/1986; Pinderhughes, D., "Washington, Harold." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, pp. 2267-2268; and The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C.G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Mayors
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Watkins, Luevenia
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1998
Watkins was born in Hopkinsville, KY. She was the first African American woman to serve on the Hopkinsville, KY, City Council, beginning in 1987. She has received a great many awards, including the NAACP Magistrate Daniel Massie Award for NAACP Involvement Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Her community service activity is quite extensive: she has been the Democratic chairperson for Ward 9, a volunteer for the S.S.D.A. Commodities Program, and a member of the Voter Registration Committee. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; and "Hopkinsville has 3 blacks on city council," in the 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Weeden, Henry Clay
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1937
Born a slave in LaGrange, KY, Weeden was educated at the public school that was managed by E. P. Marrs, and continued his education in Louisville. He became editor of the Christian Index, and later edited Zion's Banner, and was a special correspondent to city dailies. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention for ten years. In 1892, he was the first African American elected secretary of the Fifth District Republican Convention. Weeden was a Knight Templar and a Thirty-second Degree Mason. He wrote Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville, and brief biography is given of Weeden's life under the heading "Our Compiler." For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: LaGrange, Oldham County, Kentucky

Wheeler, John W.
Birth Year : 1847
Death Year : 1912
Wheeler was born free in Lexington, KY. He moved to St. Louis in 1873 where he was a politician and the publisher of the St. Louis Palladium newspaper. A republican and follower of Booker T. Washington, he echoed Washington's message for African Americans to become more self-reliant. He also used his newspaper to speak out against discrimination toward African Americans, actively seeking to mobilize black votes for the Republican Party. For more see Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights, ed. by C. D. Lowery, J. F. Marszalek and T. A. Upchurch.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Voting Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

White, Paul Dunbar
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1997
White, a minister, was born in LaGrange, KY, the son of Reverend Isham H. White and Florence Harris White. In 1963, Paul D. White was the first African American judge elected [never appointed] to the Cleveland Municipal Court. He also served as Director of Law in Cleveland when he was hired in 1967 by Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major city in the U.S. In 1968, White became the first African American lawyer in a major Cleveland firm, Baker & Hostetler, and was made partner in 1970. The firm established the Paul D. White Scholarship in 1997. Paul D. White was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he played on the championship football team as a fullback, then later played professionally for one season in Indianapolis. White was also a 1950 graduate of Western Reserve Law School [now Case Western Reserve University, School of Law] and following his graduation, was hired by Kentucky native and Cleveland attorney Jean Capers. For more see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; and the The Plain Dealer articles - - R. M. Peery, "Paul Dunbar White, 79, Judge, City Law Director," 09/26/1997, Obituaries, p. 11B, and P. Morris, "The judge inspired, but he never knew," 09/30/1997, Editorials & Forum section, p. 9B.
Subjects: Football, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Judges
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Williams, Aubrey
Birth Year : 1945
Willliams was a member of the Kentucky General Assembly from 1978-1985, the elected Representative of the 42nd District (Jefferson County). He is an attorney, a graduate of the University of Louisville Law School. Williams also attended Case Western Reserve University; Sue Bennett College [closed in 1997], where he earned his A.A.; and Pikeville College, where he earned his B.S. He also served as a judge with the Jefferson County 3rd Magisterial District. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission and see Who's Who in American Law, 1st-3rd editions, and Who's Who Among Black Americans, 2nd & 3rd editions.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Williams, Erica Lee
Birth Year : 1977
Judge Erica Lee Williams is a district court judge in Louisville, KY, division 17. She was first appointed a judge in 2009 by Kentucky Governor Steve Breshear, and in 2010, Judge Williams defeated A. Christian Ward by about 200 votes to retain her judgeship [source: J. Riley, "3 African-American appointees elected," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/03/2010, p.K.8, News section]. Judge Williams is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky Law School [source: M. Fernandez, "STYLEMAKER; The accent's on smile," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/28/2009, p.S.4].

 

  See photo image and additional information about Judge Erica Lee Williams at Business First website.

 
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Williams, Frances Harriet
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1992
Williams, a civil rights activist, was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She was the daughter of Frank and Fannie B. Williams. Frances Williams was valedictorian of her high school class, and graduated from Mt. Holyoke College in 1919, Phi Beta Kappa, having majored in chemistry and economics. She earned her masters in political science from the University of Chicago in 1931. Williams had an active career with the YWCA, and the NAACP. She was on the staff of Senator H. H. Lehman (D-NY), served as Assistant to the Executive Secretary of President Harry S Truman's Committee on Civil Rights, and was a staff member of the Office of Price Administration. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. DunniganWho's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Frances H. Williams" in Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965 edited by D. W. Houck and D. E. Dixon; and a picture of Frances H. Williams on p. 138 of Crisis, vol 18, issue 3, July 1919 [available at Google Books].
Photo image in top lefthand corner of page 138.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Williams, George T.
Williams was born in Taylor County, KY. In 1985 he became the first African American to hold office in Taylor County. For more see "Kentucky's only black sheriff in Christian County," in 1988 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Seventh Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

Williams, Herbert S.
Birth Year : 1941
In Septermber 2009, Herbert Williams became the first African American major of Franklin, KY. Williams was a city commissioner for 18 years, prior to being named mayor. His term will end in 2010, and the city of Franklin will then elect their next mayor. The former mayor, Jim Brown, left the position to become Franklin City Manager. For more see "Franklin selects first African American Mayor," WBKO13 (Bowling Green, KY), Local News, 10:00 p.m. broadcast [Central Time Zone], 09/14/2009 [video available online with NewsBank subscription]; and "Williams appointed mayor of Franklin," The Daily News, 09/12/2009.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky

Williams, John E.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1989
From La Grange, Georgia, Williams came to Owensboro, KY, in 1927 and later owned a plaster contracting business. He filed his petition for the Office of Owensboro City Commissioner in 1965, losing the general election; he is remembered, however, for opening the door for other African Americans running for office in Owensboro. Williams was a member of the Mt. Pisgah Lodge #20. The first African American to run for office in Owensboro was H. Clay Helm in 1875. For more see J. Campbell, "Williams' bid opened door for black leaders, He earned a spot on fall ballot," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 10/28/05, p. 19; and "records local death John E. Williams," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 05/07/1989, p.2B.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: La Grange, Georgia / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Williams, Samuel Carl
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1977
Williams was the first African American city commissioner in Winchester, KY. A graduate of Knoxville College, he became a teacher. Samuel Williams, born in Ford, KY, was the son of Thomas and Lettie Williams. For more see the "Samuel Carl Williams" entry in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and National Roster of Black Elected Officials (1982).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Ford and Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Women's Right to Vote in Kentucky
Start Year : 1838
End Year : 1902
In 1838, the Kentucky Legislature granted limited voting rights to unmarried women and widows who owned property, and was over 21 years old and lived in the school district. The women could vote on school board issues, on the selection of county school district trustees, and on school taxes. Few women were able to actually vote based on the criteria, and according to author J. D. Wright, Jr, the voting rights were revoked in 1902 because more African American women were going to the polls than white women. The trouble was said to have started in Lexington, KY, when an unpopular Colored man was to be named head of the Colored schools and there was an outpouring of African American women at the polls. Though the rights were revoked, the 1838 School Suffrage voting rights for women in Kentucky set a precedence that was followed by Kansas in 1861, Wyoming in 1869, England in 1870, New Zealand in 1877, and many other states in the U.S. For more see J. Reis, "Winning the right to vote," The Kentucky Post, 11/08/2004, Kentucky Life: History section, p. K4; Lexington, Heart of the Bluegrass, by J. D. Wright, Jr.; the article on black and white women voting in The Bourbon News, 02/11/1902, p. 4; and "School Suffrage in Kentucky - Boston Transcript," Friend's Intelligencer, 1902, v.59, p.221 [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Voting Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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


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

Yarbrough-Jumoke, Nailah
Yarbrough-Jumoke is a writer, poet,  and activist. In 1999 she was the first African American candidate for governor of Kentucky. She ran on the Natural Law Party (NLP) ticket and received a little more than 1% of the vote. In 2000 she won the Preservation Award from the Louisville Historic League for developing the Harriet Tubman Cultural Center. For more see "Ex-candidate fosters culture," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/18/200, p. B3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Poets, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Young, David
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1907
David Young was a Louisiana Senator for the 15th district that covered the Concordia and Avoyelles Parishes. Young was born a slave in Kentucky on February 4,1836. When he was a boy, he escaped to Ohio but was captured in 1850 and sold to an owner in Natchez, Mississippi. He gained his freedom and moved to Concordia, LA, where he was a property owner and a community leader. He was a civil rights activist who fought for equal access to public establishments such as saloons and theaters, and he fought for equal access to public transportation such as steamships. David Young was elected a House Member of the Louisiana Legislature in 1868; his parish, Concorida, was 92.8% Black. He was re-elected in 1870 and 1872. In 1874, he was elected to the Senate. In 1877 he was indicted for the embezzlement of the school fund for his parish. The case was dismissed and it was the end of David Young's political career. David Young was self-educated and owned interest in the Republican Journal and the Concordia Eagle. After his political career, David Young became a minister in New Orleans and was head of the Zion Traveller's Baptist Church at Adam and Commercial Streets. He was vice president of the Colored Baptist Convention. He was the husband of Nancy Young [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see "Hon. David Young" in the column "State House Sketches," Weekly Louisianian, 02/20/1875, p.2; "Baptist Churches" in the column "Church Directory," Weekly Pelican, 12/25/1886, p.4; Black Legislators in Louisiana During Reconstruction by C. Vincent; Crucible of Reconstruction by T. Tunnell; and "The Rev. David Young," The New York Times, 04/21/1907, p.9.
Subjects: Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Ohio / Natchez, Mississippi / Condordia, Avoyelles, and New Orleans, Louisiana

Young, Hortense Houston
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1977
Young was the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville Law School, which she attended from 1951-1953 before leaving the program. She was also a librarian at the Louisville Municipal College, 1937-1943. Young was the second person to chair the newly formed KNEA Librarian's Conference, in 1938. In 1947, she ran unsuccessfully for the Louisville Board of Education. She was also a civil rights activist; in 1949 she made a proposal to Louisville Mayor Charles Farnsley's Legislative Committee to amend the 1908 Day Law, which had been passed to keep the education of African Americans and whites segregated in Kentucky. Hortense Young, born in Texas, was the mother of Dr. Coleman Milton Young, III. For more see "Hortense Houston Young," on the University of Louisville's website; Central Law School, 1890-1941; and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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