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125th Infantry
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1867
The 125th Infantry was one of the 41 regiments authorized by Congress during the Civil War. There were four African American units, two in the South and two on the Western Frontier. The 125th Infantry was organized in Spring 1865 in Louisville, KY. The enlistees had to commit to three years of service. During August 1866, eight companies of the 125th were transferred to Mexico and remained there until they were replaced between September and December of 1867. The eight companies were the first African American troops to serve at Ft. Selden. The 125th was eventually sent to Fort Riley, Kansas, where the men were discharged, and the 125th Infantry was disbanded on December 20, 1867. For more see The Buffalo Soldiers: a narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West, by W. H. Leckie.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Fort Riley, Kansas / Fort Selden, New Mexico

48th and 49th U.S. Volunteer Infantries, American-Philippine War
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1902
The 48th and 49th Infantries, organized in 1899, were African American volunteer regiments that were enlisted for battle in the American-Philippine War. The line officers were African Americans; it was during President McKinley's second term in office that the 48th and 49th were formed with the appointment of 24 Captains, 50 1st Lieutenants, 48 2nd Lieutenants, and there were 2,688 enlisted men, all African Americans. The field and staffs were white. The regiments arrived in the Philippines in January 1900, and were stationed in the Department of Northern Luzon. The units had their share of racial problems and the African American officers were treated as enlisted men. There was opposition to the war from African American leaders in the U.S., such as Bishop Henry M. Turner, Booker T. Washington, and Washington, D.C. newspaper editor E. E. Cooper. After a year and a half, the 48th and 49th were the last of the volunteer forces to return to the U.S., in May and June of 1901. Of all the U.S. volunteer regiments in the Philippines, the 48th and 49th had the least desertions and the least reports of abuse of the Filipino people. Private Thomas Taylor, 14 year old from Winchester, KY, was one of the youngest U.S. volunteers in the Philippines.

Listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census among the 125 men in Company A, 49th Regiment Volunteer Infantry, were twelve Kentucky natives.

  • Danville - Private Govenor Durham b.1875
  • Frankfort - 2nd Lieutenant Henry Walls b.1870
  • Lexington - Corporal Clifford Chambers b.1880
  • Franklin - Private Abby Anderson b.1878, and Private James Turner b.1878
  • Louisville - Corporal Lenwood Kendall b.1878, Corporal John VanDyke b.1872, Private James J. Lewis b.1876, Private William Logwood b.1878, Private Charley Miles b.1878, Private Sam Turner b.1877
  • Mt. Sterling - Private Keas Anderson b.1878
Listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census among the more than 200 men in Company G, 48th Regiment Volunteer Infantry, are more than 60 Kentucky natives, many from Winchester, KY.
  • Carlisle - Private George Price b.1878
  • Cynthiana - Musician Edward J. Berryman b.1879, Private Virgil Asberry b.1880, Private James H. Block b.1880, Private James L. Bradshaw b.1877, Private Calvern Hill b.1880, Private Sanford Holmes b.1879, Private John Ingles b.1876, Private Newell G. Lattamore b.1866
  • Elizabethtown - Private Edward Clark b.1879
  • Frankfort - Private Abe Crocket b.1871
  • Jamestown - Private John Wallace b.1873
  • Lexington - Private Joseph Adley b.1880, Private William D. Carter b.1873
  • Louisville - Private Robert Parrish b.1881
  • Mildale - Sergeant William H. Jones b.1869
  • Newport - Corporal George E. Bassett b.1869
  • Paris - Corporal James Helvey b.1875, Musician James C. Whaley b.1882, Artificer George T. Robinson b. 1869, Private Richard Bedinger b.1878, Private Charles H. Robinson b.1879, Private John H. Robinson b.1880, Private Charles Steward b.1874, Private Thomas Turner b.1877
  • Richmond - Corporal Creed V. Irvine b.1881, Corporal Pleas Ferrill b.1880, Cook Wesley Harris b.1874, Private William Black b.1878, Private James G. Brock b.1878, Private John Dillingham b.1873, Private Merrill Gentry b.1878, Private John Russell b.1867, Private Auros White b.1878, Private Elder W. Campbell b.1872
  • Somerset - Private Kite Allen b.1881, Private Thomas Johnson b.1881
  • Shelbyville - Private Fleur Lavine b.1879
  • Winchester - Corporal John Clemens b.1860, Corporal Arthur Taylor b.1879, Corporal Robert Haggard b.1865, Private Thomas Downey b.1877, Private William Fulda b.1868, Private Isaac Gipson b.1881, Private Fred Kohlas b.1881, Private George W. Mills b.1881, Private Andrew Poston b.1865, Private Lee Taylor b.1881, Corporal Spencer Turner b.1880, Private Allen Childs b.1877, Private Samuel Duncan b.1880, Private Richard Hunter b.1882, Private William T. Rones b.1880, Private Robert Simpson b.1880, Private Thomas Taylor b.1885, Private William Taylor b.1879, Private Henry Watts b.1882, Private Parker Wells b.1881, Private Joseph Williams b.1882, Private Theodore Wilson b.1880
  • Kentucky (no city given) - Private Daneal Amos b.1879, Private Edward Clay b.1877, Private James Judy b.1872, Private Edward Smith b.1877

For more information see "Negro Volunteer Regiments in Spanish-American War" in Negro Year Book, 1916-1917 edited by M. N. Work [available online at Google Book Search]; John Scott Reed, "Black Volunteer Troops in the Spanish-Cuban/American War and the Philippine War (1898-1901)" in The War of 1898 and the U.S. Interventions, 1898-1934 by B. R. Beede; for more on the encounters of the 48th and 49th, see Annual Report of Major General Adna R. Chaffee, U.S. Army, Commanding Division of the Philippines, vol.II, 1901 [available full view at Google Book Search]; and "Black Americans in the U.S. Military from the American Revolution to the Korean War" a New York State Military Museum website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Philippines, Asia

78th Tank Battalion
Start Year : 1941
The battalion was the first Black Armor Unit formed by the U.S. Army, January 13, 1941. The men reported to Ft. Knox, KY, to begin warfare training in March 1941. The battalion was re-designated the 758th Tank Battalion in May 1941. It was the first African American tank battalion to fight in World War II. The battalion was reactivated in 1946 and re-designated as the 64th Tank Battalion, later fighting in the Korean War. For more see Liberators: fighting on two fronts in World War II, by L. Potter, et al.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

Adam (slave of Justice G. Robertson)
Start Year : 1862
In the fall of 1862, during the Civil War, Colonel William L. Utley of the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers was in Kentucky when a small Negro boy named Adam sought refuge in his camp. Adam was a runaway slave about 15 or 16 years old; he was small for his size and has been described as a crippled dwarf. Around his neck was welded a collar with eight inch spikes. The collar was removed, and Adam was cared for and employed in the camp. He had been there but a short time when his owner, former Chief Justice George Robertson (1790-1874), arrived to claim Adam as his property. Robertson was well known throughout Kentucky: he practiced law in Lexington and had been a Kentucky Representative, an Associate Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and a law professor at Transylvania University in Lexington. He would become a justice of the Court of Appeals in 1864. In spite of his prominence in Kentucky, when Justice Robertson arrived to claim Adam, Colonel Utley cited the article of war that would allow Adam to leave with Robertson on his own; however, Adam could not be forced to leave with Robertson, who left the camp empty handed. Both Utley and Robertson appealed to President Lincoln to help resolve the matter, but the President did not take either side and refused to get involved with the dispute. Justice Robertson proclaimed that an injustice had taken place, and he gave public speeches and wrote letters to newspapers stating his case. Colonel Utley was sent word that he would never leave Kentucky with Robertson's slave. As the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteers were marching through Louisville, KY, Colonel Utley warned the citizens that he intended to take Adam and all other refugees in their company, and if the townspeople attempted to attack them as they had other regiments with refugees, then the 22nd Wisconsin would follow orders to shoot to kill and the town would be burned to the ground. The 22nd Wisconsin marched through Louisville with loaded weapons and bayonets. Adam and another escaped slave were at the head of the line. There were no attacks from the townspeople. Colonel Utley, from Racine, Wisconsin, took Adam to Wisconsin, where he settled in Waukesha as a free person. The collar he had worn into Utley's camp was put on display in the Racine post office. Justice Robertson filed a civil suit in Kentucky against Utley for Adam's value, $908.06. The Kentucky newspapers carried story after story about the bold theft of Justice Robertson's slave. Prior to the settlement of the matter, and in an unrelated march, Utley was taken prisoner in Spring Hill, TN, by Confederates, and the matter of the stolen slave was all but forgotten. After the war and after all slaves had been freed, Justice Robertson still wanted to be paid for the value of his slave, $908.06, plus costs of $26.40. Robertson's lawsuit was brought to the Circuit Court of Wisconsin in 1868, and Utley was ordered to pay Robertson the total sum. In turn, Utley filed a claim with the United States Congress for reimbursement, and in 1873, the Senate voted in favor of the reimbursement and passed it on to the House for approval. Colonel Utley was reimbursed in full. For more see "Claim for the value of a Kentucky slave," Daily Evening Bulletin, 02/20/1873, issue 116, Col. B; and "Colonel William [F.] Utley and Adam the African American Slave," by Kevin Dier-Zimmel [online at ancestry.com community website].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Racine and Waukesha, Wisconsin

Adams, Mary and Maria [Dutrieuille]
Mary and Maria Adams were sisters from Kentucky. In 1875 Maria moved to Fort Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory to join Mary, who worked for the family of Lieutenant-Colonel George A. Custer. Mary was a cook and Maria was hired as a maid. They were later joined by their younger sister Karlene and their cousin Nancy Mucks, both from Kentucky. There is an ongoing debate as to whether Mary or Maria (or neither) was in camp with Custer the day before the Battle of Little Big Horn, and if she overheard Custer being given verbal orders by General Terry, instructing him to use his own judgment and do what he thought best should he strike the Indian trail. In 1878, in Bismarck of Dakota Territory, a notarized statement was taken from Mary as to what she had overheard at the camp, opening the door to speculation that Custer had not disobeyed orders. Other sources say that it was actually Maria who was in the camp. Though, letters written by Custer named Mary as his cook in the camp, while Lieutenant Charles L. Gurley reported that Mary was at the house and opened the door when he brought the news of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Custer and his men. In 1873, Mary had come from Elizabethtown, KY, to the Dakota Territory with Custer and his regiment (part of the 7th Cavalry). Custer and the regiment had been ordered to Kentucky after the Battle of Washita in 1871. After about a year and a half, they moved on to Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory. Mary Adams accompanied Custer, as his cook, when he was on military expositions away from the fort. After Custer's death at the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, Mary and Maria Adams left Fort Abraham Lincoln. They moved to Montana where Mary died in 1879, she was born in 1849. According to author J. S. Manion, Mary and Maria were probably born in Lexington, KY. In 1880, Maria was working as a laundress when she met and married John Lambert "Duke" Dutrieuille, a barber in Benton who owned his own shop. Duke died in 1911, and Maria moved with their two children, Frank and Marie, to Great Falls, Montana. Maria Adams Dutrieuille died in 1939, she was born around 1852, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. For more on the Dutrieuille family in Montana see Small Collection 1584 at the Montana Historical Society Research Center, and in the Photo Archives are pictures of Duke and Maria Dutrieuille (Collection PAc 80-23). See also the online article about the Dutrieuilles at the bottom of the Montana History Wiki; and "Club Woman: Marie Dutrieuille Ellis," pp.126-128, in chapter 7 by P. Riley in African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000 edited by Q. Taylor and S. A. W. Moore. For more on the debate as to whether Mary Adams was in camp with Lieutenant-Colonel George A. Custer just prior to the Battle of Little Big Horn, see Custer Legends by L. A. Frost; Archaeology, History, and Custer's Last Battle: the Little Big Horn reexamined by R. A. Fox, Jr.; Custer and the Little Big Horn: a psychobiographical inquiry by C. K. Hofling; and General Terry's Last Statement to Custer: new evidence on the Mary Adams affidavit by J. S. Manion.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory / Fort Benton and Great Falls, Montana

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

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

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

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


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

African American Union Sailors from Kentucky
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American WACs Who Were Born in Kentucky
Start Year : 1943
End Year : 1945
This is a partial list of the African American women born in Kentucky and served in the WACs. The information comes from the WWII Army Enlistment Records. Martha L. Bell, b.1918, Daviess County; Georgia A. Bradley, b.1900; Lena C. H. Bruce, b.1923, Kenton County; Sarah M. Carr, b.1911, Jefferson County; Gladys L. Collier, b.1923; Lula B. Collins, b.1910; Dorothy C. Davis, b.1919; Ethel W. Fields, b.1922, Jefferson County; Alma C. Fischer, b.1924; Edna M. Griffin, b.1909; Willia M. Griffin, b.1920; Zelma H. Grooms, b.1922; Elizabeth Hardyster, b.1921, Jefferson County; Ann M. Highsaw, b.1917, Jefferson County; Florence J. Hoard, b.1919, Jefferson County; Ruth Holt, b.1911; Hannah E. Huley, b.1911, Grant County; June C. Ingram, b.1921; Juanita M. Irvin, b.1920, McCracken County; Julia M. Jackson, b.1911, Jefferson County; Lula M. Johnson, b.1918, Fayette County; Alma E. Kairson, b.1918; Emma L. Lutz, b.1917; Hollie B. Martin, b.1903; Anna C. Morrison, b.1923; Mary E. Neal, b.1914; Dorthea M. Owens, b.1920; LaVenta M. Penn, b.1916; Thelma L. Pruden, b.1923, Daviess County; Catherine Roberts, b.1920, Bath County; Beaulah C. Simms, b.1924; Emma Smith, b.1922, Lincoln County; Marjorie Smith, b.1923; Mattie L. Sproul, b.1917, Barren County; Vivian Steward, b.1918; Susie D. L. Tardy, b.1920; Annie B. Thurman, b.1921, Fulton County; Ora L. Tichenor, b.1915; Anna S. Townsend, b.1923, Jefferson County; Effie M. Turner, b.1923; Joanna M. Turner, b.1900; Anna M. Wall, b.1924, Fulton County; Lena M. Warden, b.1923; Helen C. Washington, b.1919, Bourbon County; Alice T. White, b.1923, Fayette County; Thelma M. Wimbley, b.1921; Daisy B. Utterback, b.1922, Graves County; Dorothy J. Young, b.1921.
See photo images of African American WACs, including Kentuckian Willa B. Brown [Chappell], at flickr website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African Americans in the Military Oral History Project
Start Year : 2002
End Year : 2004
The following subject terms come from the "Pass the Word" website. "African Americans, Florida, Germany, Japan, Korea, Korean War, 1950-1953, Kuwait, Military, Persian Gulf War, 1991, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Vietnam War, 1961-1975, World War, 1939-1945, ..."

 

Access Interview  See list of interviews at "Pass the Word" website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Oral History Collections
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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

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

Air Force Historical Research Agency
The agency is a historical depository for the United States Air Force historical documents. The documents collection was originally located in Washington D.C. after World War II and is presently at Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery, AL. The depository has the world's largest collection of documents on U.S. Military aviation. Documents in the collection contain information on Kentucky African Americans, including the formation of the 477th Bombardment Group [Roy Chappell was a member], described in The Freeman Field Mutiny: a study in Leadership [.pdf]; and African American servicemen in Kentucky in Black Americans in Defense of Our Nation and Blacks in the Marine Corps. Visit the Air Force Historical Research Agency for much more information.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, National Resources
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Maxwell Airforce Base, Alabama

Alexander, Joseph L.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2002
Joseph L. Alexander was a senior at Fisk University in 1951 when it was announced that he would become the first African American admitted to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Alexander was born in Oneonta, AL, and grew up in Anchorage, Kentucky. He received a four-year scholastic scholarship to attend Fisk. The University of Louisville trustees had decided during the summer of 1950 to admit Negroes to the school's graduate and professional schools. Alexander would go on to accomplish many firsts during his career. He was a military surgeon and performed the Army's first kidney transplant. He was the first Chief of Surgery at the Martin Luther King Jr. General Community Hospital, and during the same period he was a professor at the Charles R. Drew Post Graduate Medical School; both institutions are in Los Angeles, CA. Alexander wrote many medical articles, including "The King-Drew Trauma Center," published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 68, no. 5 (1976), pp. 384-386. He became the first African American member of the California Club in Los Angeles in 1988 after the city passed an ordinance that banned membership discrimination by private organizations. Joseph L. Alexander was the son of Hattie Hughes. The Joseph L. Alexander Fund was established at the University of Louisville. For more see "A Fisk University senior, Joseph L. Alexander...," on page 257, and "Joseph L. Alexander" on page 284 -- both articles are in The Crisis, vol. 58, no. 4 (April 1951), and the same article can be found on pp. 204-205 of the Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 43, no. 3 (May 1951); under the heading "Died:" "Joseph L. Alexander...," Jet, May 27, 2002, p. 54; "Watts finally gets a hospital," Ebony, December 1974, pp. 124-128, 130, 132, and 134; "Joseph L. Alexander, M.D." in A Century of Black Surgeons: pt. 1 institutional and organizational contributions, by C. H. Organ and M. M. Kosiba; and "Alexander, 72, pioneer as scholar, physician," The Los Angeles Times, 05/14/2002, News section, p. B9.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Oneonta, Alabama / Anchorage, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Los Angeles, California

Allen, Dudley
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dudley Allen, a slave born in Lexington, KY, was owned by either Walter or John Dunn. Allen would become a noted thoroughbred owner and trainer. He owned a stock farm in Lexington, where he trained his own young horses and sold others to wealthy horsemen. Allen had purchased the farm after serving in the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry Regiment. He was the first African American to own a Kentucky Derby winner: he was part owner of the 1891 winner Kingman, ridden by Isaac Murphy. Allen was one of two leading trainers at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. The following was submitted by University of Kentucky Anthropology Researcher Nancy O'Malley: Dudley died at his residence, 416 Kinkead Street in Lexington, KY. He and his wife, Margaret Crittenden Allen (d. 1919), had lived in the home since around 1871, when Margaret purchased the lot from George B. Kinkead. The couple was married by Reverend George Downing in Lexington in 1866, after Dudley Allen had served in the Army with Company M of the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry, 1864-1866 as a Quartermaster Sergeant. The 5th Colored Cavalry fought October 2, 1864, in Saltville, VA; "many of the soldiers had not been adequately trained and were not properly equipped, and a disastrous defeat followed." The 5th Colored Cavalry also fought at Lexington on October 19, and at Harrodsburg on October 21, retuning to Virginia in December when the Saltville works were destroyed. For more see Dudley Allen in the Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States, by G. B. Kirsch, et al. See also "The Allen House Lot," chapter XI in Kinkeadtown: Archaeological Investigation of an African-American Neighborhood in Lexington, Kentucky, by N. O'Malley. Quotation from Nancy O'Malley's submission.

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

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, Myrtle E.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1978
Myrtle E. Anderson was from Boston, MA. In 1943, she was a 1st Lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps (WACs). Anderson and 2nd Lieutenant Margaret E. Barnes Jones arrived in Camp Breckinridge, KY, with 175 enlisted African American women. The enlistees and officers were the first African American women of the U.S. Army to be stationed in Kentucky. The enlistees were given menial tasks such as cleaning latrines, and some of the women resigned from the WACs. Majors Jones and Anderson fought for better work assignments for the women. Ft. Breckinridge, also referred to as Camp Breckinridge, was disposed of by the U. S. Army on December 5, 1962. Prior to becoming a WAC, Myrtle E. Anderson had been a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) Officers Training Camp at Ft. Des Moines, IA. The WAACs was transitioned into the Women's Army Corps (WACs) during 1943. According to her World War II Army Enlistment Records, Myrtle [D.] Anderson enlisted in the Army on November 25, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA, Inactive Reserve, Aviation Cadet. It was noted on her record that, as a civilian, Anderson had been an actress. While at Ft. Des Moines, she continued her acting career on stage and in film; she performed throughout the run of the play "Run Little Children" and other government-sponsored stage plays for the military [source: H. Levette, "Gossip of the movie lots," Plaindealer [Kansas], 04/02/1943, p. 6]. In June of 1943, Anderson was ill in an Army hospital in Maine, and it was thought that she would have to leave the Army [source: H. Levette, "Gossip of the movie lot," Plaindealer [Kansas], 06/18/1943, p. 6]. Anderson recuperated, however, and continued in the WACs until she was discharged June 1, 1943 [source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File]. She continued her acting career with small uncredited roles in films. She had first appeared in the film The Green Pastures in 1936, and her last film appearance was around 1957. Myrtle Anderson was born May 26, 1907 and she died October 5, 1978, in Los Angeles, CA. For more about the African American women enlistees see To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race, by B. L. Moore; "6 WACs Resign: WAC Clerks Decline to Scrub Floors," Philadelphia Afro-American, July 10, 1943, p. 1; and see photo image with Myrtle Anderson and others above the photo caption "WAACs departure from Des Moines" in the article "Speaking of WAACs," Arkansas State Press, 01/01/1943, p. 3. For more about Camp Breckinridge, see the Camp Breckinridge entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; and History of Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, by P. Heady. See also the NKAA entry WACs Protest at Camp Breckinridge, KY.

*Please note that there were other African American WAACs named Myrtle Anderson, one being Myrtle Estella Anderson in Kansas City, MO, who arrived at Ft. Des Moines around July of 1942 [source: "Myrtle Anderson feted by business group," Plaindealer [Kansas], 07/31/1942, p. 12]. Anderson had resigned her job as a dietician at the Wheatley Hospital, a job she had held for a year and a half before enlisting in the WAACs. Just prior to returning to Ft. Des Moines in July of 1942, she was voted vice-president of the Business and Professional Women's Club in Kansas City. [Wheatley Hospital was established and run by African Americans in Kansas City, MO, from 1902-1972 - - source: Wheatley-Provident Hospital—Kansas City, a flickr site].

*This may be the same Myrtle Anderson mentioned above. She was recognized for her military service with the American Campaign Medal; her hometown is given as Kansas City, MO.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Fort Breckinridge [or Camp Breckinridge], Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Boston, Massachusetts / Los Angeles, California

Anderson, Robert B.
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1930
Anderson was born in Green County, KY. His mother and siblings were the property of Colonel Robert Ball, and his father was the property of Alfred Anderson. When he was six, Anderson's mother had a dispute with the mistress and was sold for field work in Louisiana. Robert never saw his mother again. In 1864, Anderson ran away to Lebanon, KY, where he joined the Army. He served in the west and received an honorable discharge, whereupon he returned to Kentucky but eventually moved out west, in 1870 settling in Nebraska. As a farmer, he had both years of prosperity and years of poverty until he finally found security with a farm of 1,120 acres that grew to be 2,000 acres. Anderson married in 1922 at the age of 79; his wife was 21. His wife's family soon moved in and his wife took over his affairs, which resulted in the land being heavily mortgaged. It was around that time, in 1927, that Anderson had his book published by the Hemingford Ledger: From slavery to affluence; memoirs of Robert Anderson, ex-slave. In 1930, he deeded all of his property to his wife. Robert Anderson died after the car he was riding in overturned; his wife, her brother and a friend survived. Ball's wife, Daisy Anderson, who passed away in 1998, had been one of the three surviving Civil War widows in the U.S. For more see D. D. Wax, "Robert Ball Anderson, ex-slave, a pioneer in Western Nebraska, 1884-1930," Nebraska History, vol. 64, issue 2 (1983), pp. 163-192.
Access InterviewListen to the oral history and read the transcript of Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin, two of the last living Civil War widows, at radiodairies.org.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Green County, Kentucky / Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / Box Butt County, Nebraska

Anderson, Zelda W.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2010
Zelda W. Anderson, born in Baltimore, MD, was one of the first African American women to enter the military in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), which was later renamed the Women's Army Corps (WAC). She was a second lieutenant when she arrived at Camp Breckinridge, KY. The post commander, Colonel Throckmorton, attempted to make Anderson the mess officer. When Anderson refused his orders, Colonel Throckmorton had her name removed from the list of WACs who were to go overseas, and she was made the assistant to the (non-existent) post publications officer. Her job was to organize a warehouse of Army regulation manuals with the assistance of 12 other WACs, two German prisoners, and a white civilian who quit rather than take orders from a Negro. When Camp Breckinridge was closed, Zelda Anderson was sent to Fort Knox, KY, where she again was under the command of Colonel Throckmorton. Anderson's new assignment was to make arrangements for Negro entertainment at Fort Knox. Those who entertained the troops included Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, and Earl Hines. Anderson would greet the entertainers at the airplane landing site and find them lodging in Negro hotels, rooming houses, or private homes. The hotels in the area were not integrated. Zelda Anderson died August 13, 2010 in California [source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File]. For more see the Zelda Anderson entry in War Stories, edited by R. T. King; and the Zelda Anderson oral history transcript at the University of Nevada Oral History Program.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Camp Breckinridge, Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

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

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

Arnold, Horacee
Birth Year : 1937
Arnold, born in Wayland, KY, is a professional drummer who began playing while enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard during the 1950s. He added an extra 'e' to his first name when he began performing on stage. Arnold has performed with a number of bands over the years, and many are listed in his biography. His own bands were the Here and Now Company, formed in 1967, and Colloquium III, formed in the 1970s. He was one of the most well-known fusion drummers of his time, and he was involved with electronic programming. Arnold studied composition and guitar composition and taught music at William Paterson College [now William Paterson University] in New Jersey. His recordings include two albums, Tales of the Exonerated Flea, re-released in 2004, and Tribe. He also performed in the educational video, The Drumset. Arnold also performed dance; he toured in Asia with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company [now Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater]. For more see the Horacee Arnold website; and "Horacee Arnold" in the Oxford Music Online Database. On YouTube view photos and listen to Horacee Arnold "Puppett of the Seasons" & "Chinnereth II."

 
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Wayland, Floyd County, Kentucky

Baker, Charles William
Birth Year : 1941
Charles W. Baker was the second African American to serve as a Jefferson County, KY police officer, [the first was William Parker Mitchell]. In 1977, Charles William Baker filed a discrimination lawsuit in the Federal District Court against Chief Edgar Helm, the Jefferson County Police Executive Board, and the Jefferson County Police Merit Board. The lawsuit was in response to the failure to hire and promote African American police officers within the Jefferson County Police Department. The case was handled by attorney Juanita Logan Christian with support from the Urban League [Juanita L. Christian had a private law practice in Louisville and now practices law in Michigan]. The suit was settled with a ten year consent decree that would increase the number of African American police officers hired and promoted, and open the rank for assistant chief. Though Charles W. Baker scored the highest on the exam for the promotion, he was still denied rank, and retired from the Jefferson County Police Department in 1982. Charles W. Baker was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Helen Keeylen Baker and Thomas Baker. He is a graduate of Male High School in Louisville; earned his associate degree and bachelor's degree in business administration while enlisted in the U.S. Marines; and earned his M.S. in political science at Eastern Kentucky University. He was a police officer in Washington D. C., and transferred to the City of Louisville Police Department in 1968. Baker transferred to the Jefferson County Police Department in 1972, he was hired by Chief Russell McDaniel. The lawsuit filed by Baker, and the consent decree signed by County Judge Mitchell McConnell, opened the door for more African American officers to be hired in Kentucky, and other southern states followed Kentucky's lead. In the Jefferson County Police Department, the first African American woman officer was Jackie Dulan, and Carol Hickman was the third woman officer to be hired. Information for this entry was provided by Charles W. Baker during a phone interview on February 14, 2012. For more information see, Charles W. Baker, et al., v. County of Jefferson et al., Case No. C-80-8039(L)(A) and the consent decree at the U.S. District Clerk of Court in Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Urban Leagues, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Baker, Frederic Lee "Fred"
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2001
Fred L. Baker was the head chef for the U.S. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. He was responsible for all meals served on Air Force One from 1968-1974 [source: S. Thompson, "Fred Baker, who once cooked diners for presidents, now serves meals to his daughter, Shana Marie," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/29/1984, p.E1]. Fred Baker retired in 1974 when President Nixon's term ended. He had been a cook in the Air Force for 23 years prior to cooking for U.S. presidents. He was a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He was also a cook at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Leestown Road in Lexington, KY for a decade; a part-time limousine driver; and worked for a produce company [source: S. Thompson, "Pie in the sky: chef catered to presidents," 11/01/1996, p.18]. Fred Baker learned to cook while he was enlisted; he attended cooking school at Fort Knox, KY, and graduated 3rd highest in his class. Frederic L. Baker was born in Lee (Jessamine County), KY, the son of Mary and Henry Baker [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. He died July 17, 2001 and is buried at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Jessamine County.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Military & Veterans, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lee, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Ball, William Baton
Birth Year : 1839
Death Year : 1923
Ball, a former slave, was born in Danville, KY, and graduated from Oberlin College. He served in the U.S. Army, 99th Division, 149th Regiment, and later moved to Texas, where in 1871 he formed a reserve militia, 25th Regiment Company K in Seguin, Guadalupe County. That same year, Ball and Leonard Ilsley, a white minister, established Abraham Lincoln School, the first school for African Americans in Guadalupe County. He also helped found the Negro Baptist College. Ball also served as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Seguin. A street and a school in Seguin were named in his honor. For more see William B. Ball, by N. Thompson, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; Ball Early Childhood Center website; and A Sure Foundation, by A. W. Jackson.
See William Baton Ball photo images at Southern Methodist University CUL Digital Collections.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Seguin, Texas

Ballew, Joseph S.
Birth Year : 1857
Joseph S. Ballew was one of the first African American police officers in Omaha, Nebraska. He was a South Omaha patrolman, having joined the Omaha Police Department on June 21, 1915 [source: Omaha Memories, by E. R. Morearty]. Joseph Ballew was born in Pulaski County, KY. The family name is spelled a number of ways in the U.S. Census, and Joseph's last name is spelled "Blew" in the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments and in the book, On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert. The Ballew family was living in Mt. Gilead, KY, in 1870, according to the U.S. Census, and three years later, Joseph Ballew enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served with the 9th Cavalry until his discharge at Camp Bettens, WY, in 1892. He settled in Omaha, NE, and worked as a laborer prior to becoming a patrolman. Ballew was the husband of Dora Ballew, whom he married in 1896. Joseph Ballew's race is listed inconsistently in the census: Black, White, and/or Mulatto. He is listed in the Omaha City Directory as Colored. On September 28, 1919, the Omaha Race Riot occurred. Will Brown, who was Black, was accused of attacking Agnes Loebeck, who was white. Brown was taken from jail by a mob and brutally killed: his body was burned. There were other deaths unrelated to Brown and Loebeck. When calm was restored to the city, the Omaha Police Department was criticized for what was perceived as a lack of effort to prevent the deaths and rioting. Two of the police officers on duty during the rioting were Black [source: see "Omaha" in Race Riots and Resistance, by J. Voogd]. More about the riot can be found online at NebraskaStudies.org.
Subjects: Lynchings, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mt. Gilead, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Omaha, Nebraska

Barnes, William
Birth Year : 1856
William Barnes was a career serviceman who was born in Carter County, KY. He was referred to as a "noble soldier" in a 1903 newspaper biography. Barnes enlisted in the U.S. Army 24th Infantry in Indianapolis, IN, on March 5, 1878, according to the Register of Enlistments. He had been working as a blast fireman prior to his enlistment. Barnes earned the rank of corporal and fought in the Victoria Campaign. He received an honorable discharge in 1883, then re-enlisted. During his second term of enlistment, Barnes served in the 10th Regiment of the Cavalry and fought in the Geronimo Campaign. Barnes was promoted to sergeant in 1892 and served in Cuba from 1899 to 1900. He was 1st Sergeant of Troop F of the 10th Cavalry. In 1901, he served in the Philippines on the Island of Samar. First Sergeant William Barnes received the marksman certificate in 1886 and in 1887, and each year from 1890-1893. For more information see "First Sergeant William Barnes. The life story of a typical fighter," Colored American Magazine, 02/01/1903, pp. 56-58.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Carter County, Kentucky

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

Bell, Spencer
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1935
Spencer Bell, born in Lexington, KY, was one of the first African American actors to receive a movie contract in Hollywood during the era of silent films. Bell was a comedian, he had acted in vaudeville and in minstrel shows. He performed on screen in Larry Semon movies: No Wedding Bells and The Gown Shop in 1923, and Kid Speed in 1924. Bell played the role of the cowardly lion in the 1925 Vitagraph production of Wizard of Oz, and he played in Peacock Fan in 1929. He was assistant casting director in Queen of the Jungles, one of his last assignments prior to his death. Bell was demeaningly billed as G. Howe Black in Semon's movies, and in his role as the cowardly lion, the subtitle read "Snowball." Spencer Bell lived at 1457 1/2 48th Street in Los Angeles. He was a WWI veteran of the U.S. Army, and is buried at the Sawtell Military Cemetery. For more see "Death claims famous actor Spencer Bell," Los Angeles Sentinel, 08/22/1935, p.1; and Joe Gans by C. Aycock and M. Scott. View The Wizard of Oz (Silent - 1925) on YouTube.

Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Hollywood and Los Angeles, California

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

Bennett-Jones, Valerie
In 2007, Bennett-Jones became the first African American officer of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary 2734 in Maysville, KY. She accepted the position of patriotic instructor and historian. Bennett-Jones is one of the few African American members of the organization; the VFW Ladies Auxiliary 2734 has not always allowed African American membership. Issac Jones, a veteran of World War II and Vietnam, encouraged his wife to join the VFW. For more see M. Maynard, "Bennett-Jones becomes new instructor, historian at VFW," Ledger Independent, 07/02/2007.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Bentley, George, Sr.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1923
George Bentley, Sr. was born in Danville, KY. He is listed as Mulatto in the U.S. Census, and according to the Fort Davis Administrative History, Bentley's father was white, his mother was a slave, and he had a brother. Bentley may also have been a slave. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on December 8, 1866, in Louisville, KY [source: Army Enlistment Records]. He was discharged from Company K of the 9th U. S. Cavalry on December 8, 1871. Bentley remained in Texas at Fort Davis, employed as a civilian--he worked as teamster. On September 17, 1879, Bentley purchased 160 acres of land [source: Texas Land Title Abstract]. The infamous story often associated with George Bentley is the curse that was supposedly placed upon his children because Bentley had bayoneted a baby during a military campaign at an Apache village; many of Bentley's and his wife's children died in infancy. The couple had children who were listed in the 1910 Census: Lucy, Josephine, and George Jr. George Sr.'s wife's name is given as Chana. By 1920, George Bentley, Sr. was a widower and shared his home with his son, George, Jr.; and his daughter, Lucy Bentley Brown, her husband, Jessie, and their three children. George Bentley, Sr. died February 20, 1923 [source: Texas Death Index]. For more see George Bentley in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; and the Fort Davis History website by the Chamber of Commerce.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Fort Davis, Texas

Berry, Robert T. "R. T." and George W. Berry
R. T. Berry (1874-1967) was editor and publisher of the Kentucky Reporter, a weekly, pro-Repulican, newspaper in Louisville, KY, from 1899 to the 1930s. He co-founded the newspaper with his brother George W. Berry (1873-1939). Looking at the U.S. Census, the two had been tailors in 1900 and operated a newspaper in 1910, both in Owensboro,KY. They were the sons of George and Molly Berry, and the family lived in Glasgow, KY in 1900. George W. Berry was born in Allensville, KY, according to his death certificate. Both R. T. and George Berry's WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, gives the following information: the newspaper was located at 445 7th Street in Louisville and managed by R. T.; George was employed as a U.S. Storekeeper and Gauger, and his wife was Florence H. Berry; George, his wife, and R.T. all lived at 1711 W. Chestnut Street; their mother, Mollie Berry, was still living in Glasgow, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37Your History Online VII; and the Kentucky Reporter at the UK National Digital Newspaper Program website.
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky / Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

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

Blacks Who Enlisted in Kentucky for U.S. Navy Submarine Duty During WWII
The following is a incomplete list of the African American men who enlisted in Kentucky to serve on a Navy submarine during WWII. The names come from the book titled Black Submariners by G. A. Knoblock. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Shawn Livingston.

  1. Joe William Green enlisted in Lexington, KY.
  2. Arthur J. Wharton, Jr. enlisted in Louisville, KY. He is a WWII veteran interred overseas. Wharton was a Steward's Mate First Class on the ship Barbel. His death date is given as 02/19/1946, and there is a monument at Fort William McKinley in Manila, Philippines.
  3. Russell Donan (1922-1992), enlisted in Louisville, KY. He was born in Edmonton, KY.
  4. Andrew Jack Pace enlisted in Louisville, KY.
  5. George E. Pogue enlisted in Louisville, KY.
  6. Louis Hill Jones enlisted in Louisville, KY.
  7. Lunie Joseph Neal enlisted in Louisville, KY.
  8. James Lee Baker enlisted in Louisville, KY and served as the first African American steward on the ship Nautilus.
  9. James Thomas McGuire enlisted in Louisville, KY.
  10. Woodrow Wilson Jones, 1918-2001, enlisted in Louisville, KY, and is buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Norwich, CT. He was born in Tennessee and was the husband of Flore Jones.
  11. Parkes Lee Davidson, 1909-1991, enlisted in Louisville, KY. He died in Louisville and is buried in the New Albany National Cemetery in Indiana.

Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Blanton, William Spencer
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1945
Reverend William Spencer Blanton was a Baptist minister, an educator, and an education leader. He was born in Woodford County, KY, the oldest of eight children born to John and Eliza Woodley Blanton, and according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived in Versailles, KY. William S. Blanton attended the colored school in Versailles and was a teacher at the school while studying at Kentucky State Normal School [a teacher training school, now Kentucky State University]. He was a 1906 graduate of Kentucky State Normal and also a graduate of Simmons University (Kentucky), and he was earning his master's degree at the University of Cincinnati when he died in 1945 [source: "The Late W. S. Blanton," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1945, v.17, no.1, p.12]. Blanton had been a teacher in the Kentucky colored schools in Henderson, Columbus, Shelbyville, Newport, and in Frankfort where he was also principal of the Mayo-Underwood High School, a building that was the result of Blanton's campaign efforts for a new school. He upgraded the school to an accredited high school and it was listed with the Southern Association, an accrediting body for high schools. He also led the campaign for the new school building in Shelbyville, and he secured funding for a new playground in Newport. Blanton taught during the summers at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], he also served as a dean at the school, and at the time of his death, he was a teacher at the Oliver Street School in Winchester, KY [source: "Professor W. S. Blanton Passes," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, April-May, 1925, v.16, no.2-3, p.25; and Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky for 1914, 1915, and 1916, p.49]. Blanton had twice served as president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, 1935-1936 and 1936-1937, and he was chairman of the College and High School Department in the mid-1920s. He was a member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Board of Directors as early as 1916 [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 25-28, 1916, p.1].  Blanton was also a Mason.  He was a short man, standing 5 feet 4 1/4 inches when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Versailles, KY, on October 7, 1898 [source: U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914]. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, having served with the 24 Infantry. Blanton received an Honorable Discharge on January 31, 1899, at Fort Douglas, Utah. Blanton was a private and received the remarks of "Very Good" in reference to his military service.  William Spencer Blanton died April 6, 1945 at the W. A. Scott Memorial Hospital in Frankfort, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death, State File No. 9802]. He was the husband of Etta R. Banks Blanton, she was also a school teacher in Kentucky. The couple lived at 200 Blanton Street in Frankfort, KY. Blanton Street was in the "Craw" area of Frankfort [source: "A petition of numerous citizens of "Craw" was presented...," The Weekly Roundabout, 07/17/1880, p.4].

 

  See photo image of William Spencer Blanton on p.12 of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, October-November 1945, v.17, no.1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell 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

Bradford, Harrison
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1867
Twenty-four year old Sergeant Harrison Bradford was killed leading a protest at San Pedro Springs, located in San Antonio, Texas, on April 9, 1867. Bradford was shot while protesting the brutality of Lt. Edward Heyl. The shot that killed Bradford was fired by Lt. Frederick Smith during what is called the San Pedro Springs Mutiny. Lieutenant Seth E. Griffin also died from wounds he received during the fight. Harrison Bradford, from Scott County, KY, was a veteran of the Civil War and had served with the 104th Colored Infantry. He re-enlisted in October of 1866 in Louisiana along with fellow Kentuckian, former slave, and Civil War veteran, Jacob Wilks [info]. Bradford served with Company E of the 9th Cavalry [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. In 1867, the 9th Cavalry Colored soldiers were part of the movement of federal troops sent to Texas, a former Confederate state, to keep order after the Civil War. Troops from the 9th Cavalry Companies A, E, and K arrived in San Antonio at the end of slavery when there was a political debate over whether to extend voting rights to Colored men. The situation was compounded by the racial disagreements and morale issues within the troop companies. The companies were led by white officers. The 9th Cavalry arrived in San Antonio to jeers and curses from community members who felt the federal government was overstepping state's rights, and it was an added insult to have Colored troops reinforce the federal government's power. However, the first military action that resulted in injury and death did not involve the community but occurred during a fight between the 9th Cavalry troops and officers. Lt. Edward Heyl had ordered three Colored troops be hung from trees by their wrists because he felt that they had been slow in responding to his orders. The three troops were Private Fayette Hall, a Civil War veteran; Private Alphonse Goodman; and Private Albert Bailey. Lt. Heyl left camp and went to a saloon, and when he returned, he beat one of the three troops with his saber. Sergeant Harrison Bradford took issue with the behavior and led the protest, confronting Lt. Heyl. Bradford was shot by either Lt. Heyl or Lt. Griffin. Sergeant Bradford and another soldier retaliated. Lt. Heyl, Lt. Seth Griffin, and Lt. Fred Smith were injured. Lt. Smith fired the shot that killed Sergeant Bradford, which led to an all out fight: shots were exchanged between the officers and the Colored troops. Peace was restored with the arrival of troops led by Colonel Wesley Merritt. Lt. Seth Griffin suffered a head wound when he was struck by a saber; he died April 14, 1867. Corporal Charles Wood and Private Irving Charles, Colored troops, were arrested and received death sentences for their part in the fight. Several of the Colored troops involved in the fight were sentenced to prison terms. By the summer of 1867, the 9th Cavalry had been redistributed to other posts in West Texas. Also during the summer of 1867, the Colored people of San Antonio held their first Juneteenth Celebration at San Pedro Springs Park. It was not much later that Corporal Charles Wood, Private Irving Charles, and the Colored troops of the 9th Cavalry who had been sentenced to prison terms were all pardoned and returned to duty; troops were desperately needed on the West Texas front to protect against highway bandits, cattle rustlers, and Native Americans. Lt. Heyl remained with the 9th Cavalry until 1881; he was a colonel in the Inspector General's Department when he died in 1895. Lt. Frederick Smith also stayed with the 9th Cavalry, excelling as an officer, until December of 1869, when his wife was about leave him: Lt. Smith shot himself in the head. The 9th Cavalry developed into a major fighting force in Texas but still received racial hostility from the public and was therefore removed to the New Mexico Territory. For more see On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; African Americans and Race Relations in San Antonio, Texas, 1867-1937, by K. Mason; chapter 6, "The 9th Cavalry in Texas: Mutiny at San Pedro Springs, Texas, April 1867" in Voices of the Buffalo Soldier, by F. N. Schubert; the entry "9th Cavalry" in African Americans at War: an encyclopedia, Vol. 1, by J. Sutherland; E. Ayala, "Time to recall chains broken," San Antonio Express-News, 06/19/2009, p. 3B; The Buffalo Soldiers: a narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West, by W. H. Leckie and S. A. Leckie; and Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898, by F. N. Schubert. Read more about the career of Lt. Frederick Smith in "African American troops of Company K, 9th Cavalry fought in the Battle of Fort Lancaster," an article by W. R. Austerman in the Wild West journal, February 2005 issue [article available online at Historynet.com]. The location of Sergeant Harrison Bradford's grave is not known at this time.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / San Pedro Springs, San Antonio, Texas

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

Brashear, Carl M.
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 2006
Carl Maxie Brashear was born in Tonieville, KY, the son of McDonald and Gonzella Brasher. Carl Brasher was the first African American master diver in the U.S. Navy. Brashear lost the lower part of his left leg in an accident on the USS Hoist; he was the only amputee deep-sea diver to become a master diver. He retired from the Navy in 1979 and settled in Virginia, where he died in 2006. The movie Men of Honor is based on events in the life of Carl M. Brashear. For more see Carl Brashear website.


Subjects: Military & Veterans, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Tonieville, Larue County, Kentucky / Virginia

Brooks, Robert H.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1941
Robert H. Brooks was born in Sadieville, KY, the son of Adeline Neal Brooks and Ray Brooks. He was the first African American to die in World War II, during the bombing of Clark Field in the Philippines. The main parade ground in Fort Knox, Brooks Field, is named in his honor. Brooks was passing for white when he joined the National Guard. He was assigned to Company D of the 192nd Tank Battalion. The U.S. Army learned that Brooks was African American after his death. For more see Pvt. Robert H. Brooks, a Proviso East High School website; and "Black History Month: Robert H. Brooks" The Courier-Journal, 02/06/2009, News section, p.3B.

See photo imge of Robert H. Brooks at the Proviso East High School website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Sadieville, Scott County, Kentucky / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

Brown (Byrd), Calvin
Calvin Brown is listed in the National Archives as Calvin Byrd; he changed his name after the Civil War. Brown had been a slave who ran away from his owner in Louisville, KY, on August 14, 1864, and three days later he enlisted in the 108th Infantry, Company A. He fought in the Battle of Vicksburg in 1865, where he was injured, then later fell ill due to an unrelated disease. In 1996, Brown and other African American Civil War soldiers were honored with the dedication of a national memorial site. Calvin (Byrd) Brown was the great-grandfather of Mr. Shirley Foley, Jr. For more see L. Wheeler, "The unseen soldiers get their due memorial to honor blacks who fought in Civil War," Washington Post, 09/03/1996, Metro section, p. B1. *Last name also spelled Bird in some sources.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Vicksburg, Mississippi

Brown, John Michael
Birth Year : 1950
J. Michael Brown is the first African American to be appointed Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2007. Brown was born in New York, the son of John Sylvester Brown and Cora Lewis Brown. He is a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He was a paratrooper and infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he piloted helicopters, and was later stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, with the 101st Airborne. Brown remained in Kentucky, graduating in 1979 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He has served as a Louisville District Court Judge and as Law Director for the City of Louisville. For more on Brown's career, see L. Lamb, "J. Michael Brown tapped as new Justice Cabinet Secretary," Inside Corrections, vol. 1, issue 4 (January 2008), pp. 1 & 6-7 [available online]; and J. Michael Brown, a Kentucky.gov website.

Subjects: Aviators, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Brownsville Affair [Texas] - 25th U.S. Regiment
Start Year : 1906
In 1906, the 25th U.S. Regiment [Colored] was stationed at Fort Brown, TX; it included 20 servicemen from Kentucky among its ranks. Soon after the men arrived at the fort, tension ensued between whites in Brownsville and the soldiers. On August 13, a bartender was killed and a police officer was wounded; the men of the 25th Regiment were blamed for both. President Theodore Roosevelt had 167 men dishonorably discharged from the service. In 1970, author John D. Weaver investigated the incident and found that the men of the 25th Regiment were all innocent; he published his investigation in The Brownsville Raid. As a result of Weaver's book, the U.S. Army conducted an investigation into the Brownsville incident and also found that the men were innocent. The Nixon Administration reversed President Roosevelt's 1906 order, and in 1972, the men of the 25th U.S. Regiment were given honorable discharges, but without backpay. In December 1972, an article was placed in the Lexington Leader seeking the descendants of the 20 men from Kentucky. Below are the names and birth location of 19 of the men.

  • Pvt Henry W. Arrin, Pembroke
  • Corp. Ray Burdett, Yosemite
  • Pvt. Strowder Darnell, Middletown
  • Musician Hoytt Robinson, Mt. Sterling
  • Pvt Samuel Wheeler, Clark County
  • Pvt Richard Crooks, Bourbon County
  • Pvt Edward Robinson, Mulborough
  • Pvt Benjamin F. Johnson, Fayette County
  • Pvt Charles Jones, Nicholasville
  • Musician Joseph Jones, Midway
  • Pvt Thomas Taylor, Clark County
  • Sgt Luther T. Thornton, Aberdeen OH
  • Corp Preston Washington, Lexington
  • Pvt Charles E. Rudy, Dixon
  • Pvt William VanHook, Odville
  • Pvt August Williams, Hartford
  • Pvt Stansberry Roberts, Woodford County
  • Pvt William Smith, Lexington
  • Pvt John Green, Mulborough
For more see Brownsville Affair on the Wikipedia website; Brownsville Raid of 1906, at The Handbook of Texas Online; and "Descendants of cleared Black soldiers sought," Lexington Leader, 12/05/1972, p. 2B.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Brownsville, Texas / Kentucky

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

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

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

Burdett, Samuel "Sam" and Carol
Samuel (b. 1849) and his wife Carol (b. 1848) were both Kentucky natives, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They married in 1872, then left Kentucky and settled in Seattle, WA. Samuel, a Civil War veteran, made his living as a veterinarian surgeon. In 1900, he was elected the King County wreckmaster. He co-founded the Cornerstone Grand Lodge of the York Masons, and helped organize the International Council of the World, an anti-lynching organization. He was author of A Test of Lynch Law, a 100-page book published in 1901 that fictionalized the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas. Sam Burdett died June 28, 1905 in Kilckitat, WA [source: Register of Deaths in Klickitat County, Washington]. For more see Samuel Burnett at the BlackPast.org website; Seattle's Black Victorians, 1852-1901, by E. H. Mumford; and A Spectacular Secret, by J. D. Goldsby.
Subjects: Authors, Lynchings, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Seattle, Washington

Burdette, Gabriel
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1914
Gabriel Burdette was born a slave in Garrard County, KY. In the 1850s, he was a preacher at the Forks Dix River Church in Garrard County. In 1864 he enlisted in the 114th U.S. Colored Infantry at Camp Nelson, KY, and assisted in establishing the refugee camp at Camp Nelson. He was an associate of John G. Fee. Burdette returned to Camp Nelson after the Civil War to become a member of the group that established Ariel Academy. He was the first African American on the Berea College Board of Trustees. In 1877, Burdette left Kentucky for Kansas, a member of the Exoduster Movement to the West. For more see the Gabriel Burdette entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Kansas

Burks, Ishmon, F. Jr.
Birth Year : 1945
Ishmon Burks, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was the first African American Kentucky State Police Commissioner, appointed by Governor Paul Patton in 2000. Burks was promoted to Justice Cabinet Secretary in 2002. In 2011, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer named Ishmon Burks, Jr. interim chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Burks is a former executive vice president and COO of Spalding University. He is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri, Indiana University, and City College of New York. He is a retired colonel from the U.S. Army. Ishmon Burks, Jr. is the son of Ishmon Sr. and Juanita Burks. For more see "Retired Army officer first Black KSP chief," The Kentucky Post, 08/23/2000, News section, p.1K; D. Stephenson, "Burks becomes state police head," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/01/2000, City & Region section, p. B1; and "Mayor selects Ishmon Burks as Louisville's interim police chief [Opinion: The Arena]" by T. McAdam, online at Louisville.com.


 Access InterviewListen to the Ishmon Burks oral history interviews, by Mike Jones, 10/07/2002,  at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

Camp Knox Team [Colored Football]
In 1920, the Camp Knox Team was a Kentucky champion of Colored football. In November of that year, the "soldiers eleven" were preparing to travel to Indiana where they would face the Ex-Collegians, a Colored football team in Indianapolis. For more see "Ex-Collegians work," The Indianapolis Star, 11/16/1920, p.12. Camp Knox would become Fort Knox. It had been established by Congress in 1918 as a field artillery training range for Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, KY. There were thousands of Colored soldiers stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor during WWI. For more on Camp Knox see "Fort Knox" entry in The Kentucky Encyclopedia by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Football, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: [Camp Knox] Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade Counties, Kentucky

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

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

Chambers, Greenberry and Charlotte
Greenberry Chambers, from Barren County, KY, and a former slave, is recognized as the first permanent settler of Blaine Township in Minnesota. Chambers was a fugitive slave in 1864 when he joined Company H of the 15th U.S. Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Chambers gathered his wife Charlotte and their five children and moved to Minnesota, where he purchased 160 acres of land thought to be totally useless. The family farmed the land for almost a decade before moving to St. Paul. Charlotte Chambers died in 1884 and Greenberry died in 1898. For more about the Chambers family see Circle Pines & Lexington, Minnesota by S. Lee; History of Upper Mississippi Valley by N. H. Winchell, et al.; and "The Story of Greenberry Chambers" at the City of Blaine website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Blaine and Saint Paul, Minnesota

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

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

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

Civil War Colored Troops, Columbus, KY
Birth Year : 1861
During the Civil War, Fort DeRussey was located within what is now the Columbus-Belmont State Park. The town of Columbus was considered the state's most powerful Confederate stronghold in 1861; the location was crucial to the defense of the Upper Mississippi River. The following year, the town would be taken over by the Union Army and Columbus would become a refuge for runaway slaves, and second to Camp Nelson for recruiting and training African American soldiers. Fort DeRussey was renamed Fort Helleck, and by the end of the war, the majority of the Union soldiers in that part of the state were African American. For more see B. Craig, "Monday PMs Feature; Fortress town became haven for runaway slaves," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 11/28/1999.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Parks
Geographic Region: Columbus-Belmont State Park, Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky

Civil War Fort at Boonesboro
Start Year : 1863
The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro, KY, was constructed in 1863 by African American Union soldiers who also manned the fort, located in Clark County. The structure was designed to protect the ford and ferry from Confederate invasion during the Civil War. With the passing of time the land was purchased, the fort becoming part of the farmland owned by Jim and Betty Nickels. For seven years, the Winchester, KY, Tourism Commission strove to raise money to buy the land and repair the fort. On July 21, 2005, the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro was reopened as part of the 2005 Kentucky Civil War Heritage Trail. The fort is now on the National Register of Historic Places. For more see C. Kirby, "A Historic Piece of High Ground - Clark County Promotes Site of Civil War Fort," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/22/05, City&Region section, p. B1.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Boonesboro and Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

Clarke, Anna Mac
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1944
Anna M. Clarke, born in Lawrenceburg, KY, was a graduate of the Lawrenceburg Colored School and a 1941 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. She was one of the first African American woman from Kentucky to enlist during World War II, the first to become an officer, and the first African American WAC over an all-white regiment. Clarke led the protest that desegregated the Douglas Army Airfield theater. A Kentucky Historical Marker [#1970] has been placed on the Lawrenceburg courthouse lawn in her memory. Anna Mac Clarke is buried in Stringtown, KY. For more see Women in Kentucky-Military; LWF Communications website, Anna Mac Clark answering the call to arms; WWII and the WAC by J. M. Trowbridge; and J. M. Trowbridge, "Anna Mac Clark: a pioneer in military leadership," Cochise Quarterly, vol. 26 (Winter 1996).

  See photo image and additional information about Anna M. Clarke at "Lest We Forget," a Hampton University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Douglas Army Airfield, Arizona / Stringtown, Anderson County, Kentucky

Clay, Henry (former slave)
Birth Year : 1861
Clay was born to slaves in Louisville, KY, and in 1892 left for New Orleans to join a railroad construction crew that was transported to Guatemala, Central America. The crew of 75 men were to build a railroad from Puerto Barrios to Guatemala City. The pay was to be in Guatemalan silver at $10 per day per worker, but none of the men got paid because the contractor ran off with the silver and left the crew stranded. Clay remained in Guatemala for 39 years. He was one of the last three crew members still alive when he returned to the United States in 1931. Many of his fellow crew members had died fighting during the revolts in Guatemala; revolutionists were recruited with the promise of $150 in silver and a rifle. Clay had preferred to fish for a living rather than fight as a Guatemalan revolutionary. For more see "Old Negro returns, ends 39-year exile," New York Times, 07/15/1931, p. 21.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans / Puerto Barrios and Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America

Clayter, Henry
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Henry Clayter was the son of Lizzie McGee and John Clayter. In 1906, Henry Clayter, described as a mulatto with white skin, attempted to elope with 15 year old Ora Gardner, a white hotel waitress. They had been seeing each other secretly at the hotel for two years. Clayter was about 30 years old and an Army veteran who, according to the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, had served in the 24th Infantry, 1901-1904. He had just returned from the military when he took up with 13 year old Gardner. Interracial dating relationships in Kentucky had led to the lynching of African American men. Marriage between Blacks and whites was illegal in Kentucky for all involved, including the licensing clerk and the minister or judge. Clayter and Gardner attempted to get a marriage license in Illinois in 1906 but were denied because Gardner was underage. They were living together in Chicago at 563 State Street when both were arrested and taken to Louisville, KY. The authorities feared that Clayter would be lynched if returned to Irvington, KY, where he was to stand trial. The news of the couple's return to Kentucky had led to threats of violence between whites and Blacks in Irvington, and there was fear of a race riot. The whole affair of Clayter and Gardner was described as sensational and extraordinary in the newspapers. With extra security in place, Clayter was tried in Irvington and found guilty of carnal knowledge of a female less than 16 years old. He was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years in prison, but the sentence was later commuted by the governor; Clayter was released from Eddyville Prison in 1911. He married Mary Miller in Indiana in 1915 and died a widower in 1952 in Louisville, according to the Kentucky Death Records. Gardner was placed in a reform school and at the age of 18 was living at her parents' home in Hardinsburg, KY, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see chapter 2, "Race Relations" in A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; "Negro lover," The Breckinridge News, 08/01/1906, p. 8; and A. Avins, "Anti-miscegenation laws and the Fourteenth Amendment: the original intent," Virginia Law Review, vol. 52, issue 7 (Nov. 1966), pp. 1224-1255.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Hardinsburg and Irvington, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Coleman was one of the early African American surgeons in the U.S. Army. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and Jamye Harris Coleman, and the brother of Jamye Coleman Williams. Coleman, Jr., a physician and a minister, graduated from Fisk University and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1944 and his D. D. from Monrovia College (Liberia) in 1955. He served as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1953-1955 and was Commanding Officer of the 765th Medical Detachment. He was Chief Physical Examiner with the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and Battalion Surgeon of the 47th Armored Medical Bn 1st Armored Division. Coleman was a member of the integrated Montgomery County Medical Society in Clarksville, TN, and in addition to serving as pastor of a number of churches, he was a representative on the A.M.E. Church Medical Missions Board National Council of Churches. He was licensed to preach in 1939. For more see "Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr." in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams. For more about the Coleman family and the AME Church see The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee

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

Colored Ladies' Soldiers Aid Society (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1864
The Society provided aid to Colored soldiers in the Union Army. Similar groups had formed in other states, and it is believed that after the Civil War the Louisville organization was involved with developing a school for children and assisted with the building of a hospital. In 1865, the Colored Ladies' Soldier's and Freeman's Aid Society participate the first 4th of July celebration parade by free persons in Louisville. For more see Natural Allies: women's associations in American history, by A. F. Scott; and p.129 in Autobiography of James L. Smith by J. L. Smith [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Soldiers Monument
Start Year : 1924
Also called the Kentucky African American Civil Veterans Monument, the Colored Soldiers Monument is located in the Green Hill Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky.  It was erected by the Woman's Relief Corps No. 8, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) in July, 1924, the only monument to Kentucky African American Civil War soldiers.  A total of four such monuments exist in the U.S.  The monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Confederate Reunion, 1900 (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1900
From May 30 to June 6, 1900, the Confederate Reunion was held in Louisville, KY. It was estimated that a hundred thousand visitors attended the reunion, one of whom was Mingo Evans, heralded as a Negro hero from Alabama. Mingo, a slave of the Evans family, accompanied Joe Evans to Virginia in 1861 with the 9th Alabama. Joe was killed in the first battle of Manassas, and Mingo took his place. Mingo was injured and discharged from the military and sent home, taking with him the skull of a Yankee soldier. When Union soldiers came for the skull, Mingo hid in the mountains until the end of the Civil War. He had paid his own way to the reunion in Louisville, traveling with the veterans of Camp Horace King. For more see the Mingo article in The Adair County News, 06/06/1900, p. 2, col. 3; and A. Shaw, "The Confederate Reunion at Louisville," The American Monthly Review of Reviews, 1900, v.22, Jul-Dec, p. 20-21 [full view available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Alabama / Virginia

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

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

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

Craft, Thomas, J. Sr.
Birth Year : 1924
Thomas J. Craft, Sr. was born in Monticello, KY, the son of Wonnie Alta Travis Craft and Thomas M. Craft. For generations, his family had lived near Albany, KY. Thomas J. Craft, Sr. graduated from the Colored school in Monticello and started college in 1941, but he was drafted before he finished and served with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He returned to Monticello, then went on to completed his bachelor's degree in 1948, his master's degree in 1950, and his Ph.D. in 1963. His research involved transplants, skin grafts and the problem of graft rejection. Craft conducted research with amphibians and discovered a correlation between the release of stress hormones and the rejection of skin grafts. He held tenured positions at several universities and was inducted into the Central State University Hall of Fame in 1993. Craft was a nephew of Oneth Travis, Sr. For more see African Americans in Science, Math and Invention, by R. Spangenbur and K. Moserand; and Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century, by J. H. Kessler, et al.
Subjects: Biologists, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Albany, Clinton County, Kentucky

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

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

Cunningham, Thomas L.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Thomas Lee Cunningham was the first African American Kentucky graduate from the United States Air Force Academy, Class of 1967. Information acquired from the Association of Graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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

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

Dance, Robert Lawrence "Dencio"
Start Year : 1942
End Year : 2011
Robert L. Dance was born in Lexington, KY. In 1968, he became the first African American and the last of four American students to graduate from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), located in Baguio City in the Philippines. After his graduation, Dance was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant Armor Officer in the U.S. Army. He attended PMA after a two year Army enlistment. He had joined the Army in 1962 and, after two years of service, he was accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point but opted to go to the Philippine Military Academy as an exchange student. The PMA was originally the Academia Militar founded in October of 1898 but was closed in January 1899 during the American-Philippine War. In 1905, the American colonial officers' school was opened in Wall City of Intramuros in Manila; the school was later moved to Baguio City at Camp Henry T. Allen, then moved again to Teacher's Camp. The school went through several name changes before it was named the Philippine Military Academy in 1936. The school was closed by the Japanese during World War II, then reopened in 1947 after the Philippines become independent via the Treaty of Manila. In 1964, Robert L. Dance arrived at the PMA, where students earned undergraduate degrees that focused on engineering. Dance earned his bachelors' degree, as well as two master's degrees while in the military. After his retirement, beginning in 1986 Dance served in the Foreign Service as a member of the U.S. Information Agency. In 2007, he was the Deputy Director of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Bureau of African Affairs. Robert L. Dance died January 2, 2011 in Springfield, VA. For more information and a photo image of Robert L. Dance see "Saluting African-American History Month: Robert Dance" at the U.S. Department of State Archive website; and "West Point spit and polish Philippine style," Ebony, April 1968, pp. 74-76, 78, & 80. See the PMA history page for more information about the Philippine Military Academy.


See the video, "A Tribute to Robert L. Dance, PMA '68" by Harold Ochoco at Vimeo.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Baguio City, Philippines / Springfield, Virginia

Davis, Benjamin O, Jr.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2002
Born in Washington, D.C., Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was the first African American to command an airbase, Godman Field, KY, in 1945-46. He was also the first African American Brigadier General in the Air Force, obtaining the rank of a three-star general before retiring in 1970. His father was the first African American General in the Army. For more see Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: an Autobiography, by B. O. Davis.

See photo and additional information at Biographies: General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., a U.S. Air Force website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Godman Army Air Field, Hardin County, Kentucky

Davis, DeWayne Frank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1969
Born in Covington, KY, DeWayne F. Davis became the assistant health commissioner in Charleston, West Virginia, and a physician at West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], where he had received his undergraduate degree. Davis received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College. He was the son of Ella May Holmes Davis and Henry Davis, according to the State of Texas Certificate of Death #03158 for DeWayne F. Davis, who died in Houston on January 20, 1969. Dr. Davis had been in Houston for six years. He was a veteran of WWI, and was buried in the Paradise South Cemetery in Houston. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia / Houston, Texas

Davis, Van, Jr.
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 1991
Van Davis, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Mannie and Van Davis, Sr. He was the leading plaintiff in a discrimination lawsuit against Los Angeles County. Davis became the first African American firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1953. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. For more see "Behind the Scenes, Van Davis, Jr.," a County of Los Angeles Fire Department website.

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Firefighters, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angles, California

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

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


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

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

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

Donan, Russell
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1992
Russell Donan was one of the very few African American men from Kentucky to serve on a Navy submarine during WWII. He was an Officer's Cook 1st Class, and served first on the “R-3” and made several war patrols on the “Cobia”. He would be assigned to several other submarines before ending his military career in 1946 on the “Sperry” and on the “Carp”. Donan was born in Edmonton, KY, the son of Mary and James Donan. The family lived on State Street in Bowling Green, KY, in 1930, according to the U. S. Federal Census. Donan was the husband of Mary R. Mayfield, they were married in 1946. Russell Donan was a graduate of Tennessee A&I State University [now Tennessee State University]. He later earned a master's degree. He was an instructor and an assistant football coach at Virginia Union University. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Shawn Livingston. For more see the "Russell Donan" entry in Black Submariners by G. A. Knoblock.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Football, Military & Veterans, Migration East
Geographic Region: Edmonton, Metcalfe County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Virginia

Doneghy, Dudley
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1962
The following information was submitted by Marjorie Duncan Doneghy Willis:

In 1998, Dudley Doneghy was inducted into the Centre College Athletic Hall of Fame. He served as the school's athletic trainer and equipment manager for more than 40 years, beginning in the 1920s.

Additional information:
Dudley Doneghy was born in Parksville, KY, the son of Mollie and Edward Doneghy [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Dudley Doneghy's World War I Draft Registration Card]. Edward was a carpenter. His son Dudley was a World War I veteran, and prior to enlisting in the Army, he was a porter at Curry's Drug Store in Danville, KY. During his tenure at Centre College, Dudley Doneghy was listed in the Blue Book of College Athletics as a colored trainer [1958, p. 95]. He was the husband of Mattie E. Doneghy [source: Polk's Danville (Boyle County, Kentucky) City Directory, 1945, p. 43].
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Parksville and Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Dowery, Robert L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1952
Dowery was born in Shelbyville, KY. He served as a teacher and principal at Negro schools in Shelbyville, Franklin, Taylor County, Campbellsville, and Elizabethtown. Dowery was president and organizer of the 4th District Teachers Association. He enlisted in the Army during World War I and conducted night school at Camp Zachary in Taylor, KY. He was the son Mary Dowery. Robert L. Dowery is buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky

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

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

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

Duncan, Lillian W.
Birth Year : 1914
Lillian Duncan was an officer with the African American WACs at Fort Knox, KY, in 1945. Duncan was the Plans and Training Officer. When her unit was shipped to England, Duncan became a Second Lieutenant and was Executive Officer in Company C. The WACs who had been at Fort Knox, KY, became a part of the 6888 Postal Unit, the only African American women's military unit to go overseas during WWII. Lillian Duncan was born in 1914 in Taladega, AL, and enlisted at Fort McClellan on September 30, 1942, according to her enlistment record. She was a graduate of a four year college and was employed as a teacher. She had also been a WAAC at Fort Huachua, AZ, and was a member of the 32nd and 33rd WAACs basketball team. There is a photo of the team playing basketball outside, the photo is within the New York Public Library Digital Gallery [photo available online]. For more see "WAC overseas postal unit does good job in handling mail," New York Amsterdam News, 05/05/1945, p.8A. For information on earlier WAC unit in Kentucky see Myrtle D. Anderson and Margaret E. B. Jones entries in the NKAA Database.

Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Taladega, Alabama / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

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

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

Ellis, Cassius M. C., III
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1997
Cassius M. C. Ellis III was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Anna Shannon Ellis. He was a surgeon at North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN, where he was director of the residency program. He was the first assistant dean for minority students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where the Cassius Ellis Award is named in his honor. He had been the chief of staff at Mount Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis. Ellis was a member of a number of medical-related organizations, and he also belonged to the NAACP. He served as president of the Minnesota State Board of Medical Examiners in 1990 and was appointed to the board for a four year term by Minnesota Governor Ruby Perpich. Ellis graduated from Mayo-Underwood High School in 1954 and from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1958, both in Frankfort, KY, and from Meharry Medical College in 1962. Ellis was a captain in the U.S. Army. He was the husband of Phyllis Hannah Ellis, with whom he had four children. For more see P. Miller, "Dr. Cassius Ellis, minority mentor, dies at age 60," Star Tribune, 05/18/1997, p. 11B; "Cassius M. C. Ellis III, M.D., F.A.C.S." on pp. 918-919 in A Century of Black Surgeons, by C. H. Organ and M. M. Kosiba; and "Dr. Cassius Ellis" in Jet, 04/01/1985, p. 24.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Minneapolis, Minnesota

Emery, Andrew J.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1919
Andrew J. Emery served as the librarian at Fort Davis, TX, for more than a year before his discharge from the Army. It was extremely rare for there to be a Colored librarian in the military due to the limited occupations available to Buffalo Soldiers and their high illiteracy rate. Many of the entries for soldiers from Kentucky who are listed in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert, are noted as "cannot read or write." Andrew J. Emery had enlisted in the U.S. Army in Cincinnati, OH, on January 9, 1882, and according to the U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, Emery was born in Richmond, KY, was 21 years old, and was a plumber. Emery served in Company H of the 10th Cavalry for five years and was discharged January 8, 1887. He settled in Otter Tail, Minnesota. He was the husband of Dora M. Packard Emery, whom he married in 1898. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, and in contradiction to his Army enlistment information, Andrew J. Emery was born in Ohio, February 1866, and his father was born in Kentucky. Also the 1900 Census indicates Dora Emery was born in Iowa and her mother was born in Kentucky. Andrew, Dora, and their first three children are listed in the 1905 Census of Minnesota. For more about the family of Andrew and Dora Emery, see G. Claxton, "Twists and turns intriguing stories emerge when piecing together a family's past," Amherst Bulletin, 08/15/2008; and see present day Fort Davis National Historic Site.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Ohio / Otter Tail, Minnesota

Faulkner, Broadus [Bonus Army Riot]
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1961
Broadus Faulkner was a member of the Bonus Army which was made up of more than 43,000 protesters, mostly WWI veterans and family members. The protesters, both Blacks and whites, were seeking cash payments for veterans' Service Certificates. The U.S. Government had issued more than three million certificates that were to mature in 1945; they were 20 year certificates that represented the pay promised to veterans plus compounded interest. With the Great Depression, unemployed veterans marched on Washington during the spring and summer of 1932, led by former Army Sargent Walter W. Waters, the veterans had gathered at the Capital to convince Congress to make immediate payments. The protesters camped-out near the White House and the encampment was named Hooverville. The campers lived in tents and makeshift huts. June 1932, the House passed a bill for payment, but the bill was blocked in the Senate. July 1932, the Attorney General ordered the police to evacuate the Bonus Army. A riot broke out. President Hoover called out troops to force the protesters out of Washington. Several veterans and their family members were injured and two were killed. Hooverville was burned to the ground. August 1932, the Washington D.C. grand jury indicted three men for their role in the riot. Broadus Faulkner, a 32 year old African American from Kentucky, was charged with felonious assault and assault to kill Patrolman John E. Winters. Faulkner and Bernard McCoy, a Chicago bricklayer who was also indicted, had thrown bricks at the police. John O. Olson, the third man to be indited, was a carpenter whose last address was in Nebraska. Olson had used a table leg as a weapon against the police. For more see "Three Indicted in bonus army fight," Kingsport Times, 08/16/1932, p.1 & 6; and The Bonus Army by P. Dickson and T. B. Allen.

Broadus Faulkner, born in Paint Lick, KY, November 28, 1899, was the son of Isiah and Jane Smith Faulkner. In 1910, the family of seven lived in Buckeye, KY [source: U.S. Federal Census - last name spelled "Faulconer"]. In 1920, Faulkner lived in Cincinnati, OH, where he worked as a laborer; he was a private in the  U.S. Army during WWI; and in 1926 he was sentenced to prison in Chelsea, MI for breaking and entering [sources: 1920 and 1930 U.S. Federal Census; "2 would-be robbers of fur store caught," The Owosso Argus-Press, 03/01/1926, p.6; and "Three Bonus men indicted," The Milwaukee Journal, 08/16/1932, p.12]. Faulkner also served 90 days in Philadelphia, PA for stealing. Following the Bonus Army riot in 1932, Faulkner, Bernard McCoy, and John O. Olson were jailed. They were represented by lawyers Dan McCullough and Frank S. Easby-Smith, and after their trial, all three of the jailed men were freed with a suspended sentence [source: "Men jailed in Bonus Eviction Riot Freed," The Toledo News-Bee, 11/25/1932, p.1].  By 1940, Broadus Faulkner had moved to Los Angeles, CA [source: U.S. Federal Census], where he died May 3, 1961 [source: California Death Index]. 

See photo image of Broadus Faulkner, John O. Olson, and Bernard McCoy under the caption "Accused in Captol Bonus Riot" on p.4 of the Florence Times, 08/20/1932.
 
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paint Lick and Buckeye, Garrard County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Los Angeles California

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

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

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

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

Ford, Raymond
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1966
Raymond Ford was the first soldier from Bardstown, KY, to be killed in Vietnam. He died February 20, 1966 -- his name is included on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Coffee Tree Road in Frankfort, KY. The familiar photograph of Ford's mother holding his Purple Heart is included in the ProQuest Black Studies Center database.

See photo images concerning Raymond Ford at the Magnum Photos website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Foree, Jack C.
Birth Year : 1935
Foree was born in New Castle, KY, the son of Etta and Jesse Foree. He attended a segregated, two-room grade school in New Castle and received his high school diploma from Lincoln Institute. He is also a graduate of Kentucky State University, Spalding University, and Indiana University. Foree was a math teacher and administrator in the Jefferson County School System. He is now the president of Sky Brite of Louisville, Inc., a janitorial service he founded in 1970. Foree is also president of Grace Bible College, Inc., located in Louisville. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Information submitted by Jake Karnes. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1988-2007.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

The Forgotten Kentucky Regiments: United States Colored Troops From Kentucky
The Civil War in Morgan County website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Morgan County, Kentucky

Fort Knox Officers Training
Start Year : 1947
In 1947 the first desegregated class of army officers was trained at Fort Knox Armory School. In the year 2000, Warren Taylor was the last survivor from that class. For more see M. Woolhouse, "Fort Knox pioneered integrated military," The Courier-Journal, 07/04/2000.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

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

Francis, Edward and Eliza
Edward Francis (b.1830 in VA) was a former slave of Edy Francis from Madison County, KY. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1864 and was trained at Camp Nelson, KY. He was a member of the 114th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops. Francis and Eliza (b.1839 in KY), the parents of three children, could not read or write, yet much of what is known about them comes from the letters that were written for them while Edward was away in the Army. Their letters are an example of how soldiers kept in touch with their families when neither were literate. When the war ended, Edward Francis' unit was transferred to Texas, where they served for two additional years. When he returned home to Madison County, Francis and Eliza had two more children. Edward married Susan Miller in 1893. For more see M. Meyers and C. Propes, "I Don't fear nothing in the shape of man," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 101, issue 4 (2003), pp. 457-478.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Virginia / Madison County, Kentucky

Frazer, Patterson Tilford, Jr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1947
Frazer was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Henry and Sarah Frazer, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Patterson Frazer came to Hopkinsville, KY, at the age of 12 to attend Hopkinsville Male and Female College, according to authors W. T. Turner and D. K. Stone. His uncle, P.T. Frazer, Sr. was principal of the school. Patterson Frazer would continue his education at Meharry Medical College where he earned his M.D. He opened a medical practice in Cadiz, KY, and would leave the practice to serve in the U.S. Army during WWI. He was a lieutenant in the Colored M.R.C. (Medical Reserve Corp). At the end of his military service, Frazer opened a medical practice in Hopkinsville, KY. He would remain in the city for the remainder of his life. He is remembered for his successful medical career, and for Frazer's Natatorium. A natatorium is a swimming pool in its own building. It was a rare thing to have such a facility for African Americans in the 1930s. For more see "P. T. Frazer, Jr. M.D." in Hopkinsville by W. T. Turner and D. K. Stone; and The Meharry News, vol 14, issue 3, p.7 [available online .pdf].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky

Fryson, Sim E.
Birth Year : 1947
Since 1995, Fryson has been the CEO and president of Sim Fryson Motor Co. Inc., located in Ashland, KY. The company was listed among the Top 100 Black Businesses by Black Enterprise Magazine. Fryson, the second African American to own a Mercedes-Benz dealership, has more than 30 years experience in auto sales. Born in Charleston, WV, he served in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force. He is a graduate of General Motors Institute, the University of Detroit, and West Virginia State University. For more see D. E. Malloy, "Sim Fryson in company of champions," Herald Dispatch (West Virginia), 02/27/05, p. 12G; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2007.
Subjects: Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Businesses, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Charleston, West Virginia / Ashland, Boyd 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

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

 

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

Goss, William Thompson
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
Born in Barren Fork, KY, William T. Goss was a poet, commercial artist and letterer, and a portrait artist. He had had no formal education in art when he attend the Haines Institute in Augusta and studied six months in France. His work was shown beginning in 1931 at various galleries and exhibits in Detroit, MI. According to his draft registration card for WWI, Goss had been employed by the Connecticut Tobacco Company in Somerset, KY, prior to the war. He served in the U.S. Navy. His WWII registration card gives his address as Cincinnati, OH, were Goss was employed at the Wright Aeronautical Company. In 1931, he was living at 1021 S. 15th Street in Toledo, OH, and had sailed to France and returned home six months later aboard the ship "France" on September 23, 1931 [source: New York Passenger List of United States Citizens, U.S. Department of Labor, Immigration Service, S.S. France, September 17-23, 1931]. Upon his return to the States, Goss was employed as a commercial artist at the Chevrolet Motor Company in Detroit [source: Ebony Rhythm: an anthology of contemporary Negro verse by B. M. Murphy]. In 1940, William and Cora Jones Goss lived in Indianapolis, IN, at 2101 Boulevard Place, and both had lived in Detroit, MI in 1935 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The couple married June 1, 1939 in Marion County, IN [source: Marion County Marriage License Record #55548, p.325, ref. book #152]. While in Indanapolis, William T. Goss was self-employed as a portrait artist and he owned a sign shop [source: "William Goss [obituary]" in the Indianapolis Recorder, 02/13/1960, p.9]. William Thompson Goss died 01/30/1960 at the Veteran's Hospital in Cincinnati, OH [source: Ohio Death Certificate #12228]. His services were held at Delaines Funeral Home in Covington, KY, and he was buried in Cincinnati. Pearl Goss (1890-1976), from Covington, KY, is listed as his wife in the obituary. For more see Negro Artists: an illustrated review of their achievements, by Harmon Foundation (1991 reprint edition); and Afro-American Artists. A bio-bibliographical directory, compiled and edited by T. D. Cederholm. Two of Goss' poems, "Man to Man" and "Variety," are on pp.72-73 in Ebony Rhythm by B. M. Murphy.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Military & Veterans, Poets
Geographic Region: Barren Fork, McCreary County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Cincinnati, Ohio / Indianapolis, Indiana

Grant, Thomas and Amanda
Birth Year : 1848
Born in Germantown, KY in 1848, Thomas Grant was a member of the U.S. Army Colored Soldiers. According to the U.S. Civil War and Soldier Records and Profiles, Grant enlisted with the U.S. Colored Troops in Lexington, KY, on March 4, 1865. He was stationed in El Paso, TX, in 1870, and at Fort Davis, TX, in 1880. Grant arrived in Tuscon, AZ in 1892, remaining there after he retired from the 10th Cavalry. He was one of the five African American pioneers in the Arizona Territory [Arizona became the 48th state in 1912]. Grant was a stationary engineer and lived on North Main Street in Tucson, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. In 1910, he was employed as a hotel porter, and was the husband of Amanda G. Grant (b.1870 in TX). Amanda's parents were former slaves who were born in Kentucky. Both her daughter, Rita Wellis, and her granddaughter, Christina Wellis, lived with Amanda and Thomas Grant in Tucson. The family lived on West 22nd Street at 11 Avenue. Grant was still alive in 1933 when he was included in J. W. Yancy's thesis on African Americans in Tucson. For more see In the Steps of Esteban: Tucson's African American Heritage, by the University of Arizona Library; and The Negro of Tucson, Past and Present (thesis) by J. W. Yancy.

See photo image with Thomas Grant at the University of Arizona website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Germantown, Bracken County, Kentucky / Tucson, Arizona

Griffin, James C.
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 1994
From Paris, KY, Griffin was the first African American policeman in Frankfort, KY. He had trained at a police school in Lexington, KY. The son of Laurene Rankin, he was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and a Navy veteran. For more see The State Journal (Frankfort, KY), 04/20/61; and "Obituaries," The Kentucky Post, 07/23/1994, News section, p. 8A.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hall, Al
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1964
Hall, born in Jellico, KY, lived in Seattle, WA, beginning in 1899. He was a graduate of Broadway High School and was the first African American to play on the school's football team. Hall appeared to be less than 5 feet tall. He was a WWI veteran, stationed at Fort Hancock, Georgia in 1918. After the war, he was employed by the Buffalo Hosiery Company in Seattle, and was later a clerk in the King County Assessor's Office. [Jellico, Kentucky, was adjoined across the state line with Jellico, Tennessee. Joint jurisdiction over the town was held by Kentucky and Tennessee, but today is considered a Tennessee town.] This information about Al Hall comes from the University of Washington Libraries, Digital Collections.

See one of seveal photo images of Al Hall in the Washington Libraries, Digital Collections.
Subjects: Football, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Jellico, Whitley County, Kentucky / Jellico, Tennessee / Seattle, King County, Washington

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

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

Hatchett, Hilary R., Jr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1985
Hilary Rice Hatchett was born in Lexington, KY. His mother had died by 1930, and his father, Hilary Sr., was raising his three sons and worked as a porter at a transfer station in Lexington. Hilary Jr., the oldest of the three boys, would go on to study at the Julliard School of Music [now The Julliard School], then was the director of the Negro soldier chorus, a concert band, and an opera theater during World War II in Sicily (1943). Hatchett earned his master's degree, for which he wrote his thesis, A Study of Current Attitudes Toward the Negro Spiritual with a Classification of 500 Spirituals Based on Their Religious Content, in 1946 at Ohio State University. Hatchett was next the superintendent of music for the Colored schools in Greenville, SC, 1946-1948, and acting chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Savannah State College [now Savannah State University] beginning in 1948. He co-authored the Savannah State College Hymn. Hilary R. Hatchett died July 5, 1985, and is buried in Long Island National Cemetery in New York, according to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites listing. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Savannah State College Hymn.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Greenville, South Carolina / Savannah, Georgia / Long Island, New York

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

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

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

Hooper, Ernest Jackson [Oliver School (Winchester, KY)]
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1983
Ernest J. Hooper was a teacher and the sports coach for boys at Oliver School in Winchester, KY. Oliver, in operation from 1892-1956, was a segregated school for African American children. It became a four-year high school in 1928. During Hooper's brief tenure at the school, he established the beginning of champion sports teams for boys; under Hooper's direction, the teams were the 1923 Blue Grass League Champions in football and the 1923-24 Blue Grass League Champions in basketball. Photos of the boys' 1923 football team, the boys' 1922 basketball team, and the girls' 1922 basketball team, are available at the University of Kentucky Audio-Visual Archives, which also includes a typed list of the football and basketball players' names and their positions on the teams. The pictures, along with many others of later sports teams, can be found in Louis Stout's Shadows of the Past. Stout's book also includes the names of the members of the Blue Grass Coaches Association on p. 6. E. J. Hooper was from Philadelphia, PA, the son of Louisa Hooper [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census] and the grandson of Georgianna Jackson, according to the World War I registration card completed when Hooper was 18 years old. By 1923, Hooper was a teacher in Winchester, KY, and during the Business Session of the KNEA Conference, he gave the address "The Educational Content of an Industrial Subject" [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 18-21, 1923, p. 11]. In the same issue of the publication, on p. 62, Hooper's home address is given as 127 W. Broadway Street in Winchester. In 1925, Hooper was mentioned in the KNEA Journal [April 22-25, p. 16] as the chair of the Manual Training Section. Also in 1925, the Oliver School basketball team was again champion of the Blue Grass League, when James Nance was the coach. Ernest J. Hooper left Kentucky and in 1928 was a shop teacher at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, IN [source: Industrial-arts Magazine, vol. 17 (1928), p. 149]. By 1930, Hooper was married and teaching in Peoria [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He was a graduate of Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Illinois [source: Crisis, August 1930, p. 264]. [Bradley Polytechnic Institute would become Bradley University.] Hooper died in October 1983 in Cincinnati, OH [source: Social Security Death Index]. See photo of Coach Hooper and the 1923 football team in the UK libguide titled African American Primary Resources in Special Collections.

See photo image of 1923 Oliver football team in UK libguide African American Primary Resources in Special Collections

See photo image in Explore UK of the girl's basketball team at Oliver School.

See photo image in Explore UK of the boy's basketball team at Oliver School.
 
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Football, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Peoria, Illinois / Cincinnati, Ohio

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

Hunter, Bush A. [Hunter Foundation (Lexington, KY)]
Start Year : 1894
End Year : 1983
Dr. Bush Hunter was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Mary B. and Dr. John E. Hunter, Sr. Bush Hunter was a graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], Oberlin College, and Howard Medical School [now Howard University College of Medicine], where he specialized in internal medicine. He started his medical practice in Lexington in 1926, sharing an office with his father on Upper Street. He later practiced at the Public Health Clinic on Upper and Mechanic Streets in Lexington. Bush Hunter retired from medicine in 1976. He was the first African American member of the Fayette County Medical Society [now the Lexington Medical Society], founded in 1799. He was named Kentucky's Outstanding General Practitioner of the Year and also named Kentucky's Selective Service Father of the Year in 1965, after serving as a medical adviser for the Selective Service System. In addition to his medical practice, Bush Hunter was a tenor singer and piano player. He was a World War I veteran of the U.S. Army. The Hunter Foundation for Health Care was a non-profit organization named to honor the 113 years of medical service in Lexington provided by Drs. John and Bush Hunter. The organization, founded in the early 1970s, was later renamed Healthcare of the Bluegrass. For more information see J. Hewlett, "Physician Bush Hunter dies at 89," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/02/1983, p. B1. See also the Hunter Foundation for Health Care records, accession number 1997MS244, in Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

 

Access Interview Read about the Bush Hunter oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hunter, Lawrence Vester [Noxubee Industrial School, Mississippi]
Start Year : 1891
End Year : 1958
Hunter was born in Bowling Green, KY. He was principal of Noxubee Industrial School in McLeod, Mississippi. The school was founded in 1898 by his father, Samuel J. Hunter (1865-1918) from Arkansas, and after his death, L. V. Hunter took over management of the school. The school produced a monthly publication titled Hunter's Horn. There are photos of the school at the University of Mississippi Libraries. L. V. Hunter's mother was Minnie Esther Lane Hunter (1869-1942) from Macon, MS. L. V. Hunter was a graduate of Fisk University, and he was a WWI veteran. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Sadye H. Wier: her life and work by S. H. Wier and G. R. Lewis. [Sadye Hunter Wier was a sister to Lawrence Vester Hunter.]
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / McLeod, Mississippi

Hunter, Leo Simon
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1997
Leo S. Hunter, born in Louisville, KY, was a graduate of the University of Louisville. In 1999, two years after his death, Hunter was inducted into the Barbering Hall of Fame located in Canal Winchester, Ohio; he was nominated by Kay Jetton, a barbering instructor at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Hunter was the first inductee from Kentucky and the fourth African American. In 1941, Hunter had been asked by Moneta J. Sleet, Sr. to start a barbering program at West Kentucky State Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College]; Sleet was the school's business manager. Hunter had started to learn barbering when he was 11 years old. He designed the program at West Kentucky State and trained his first class of students, but left the school to serve in the Army during WWII, and the barbering program was dropped. He returned in the 1950s and re-established the barbering program, and he owned a barber shop. For more see J. Blythe, "Kentucky barbering teacher named to hall of fame," The Paducah Sun,10/06/1999.
Subjects: Barbers, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Jackman, Parker Hiram
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1915
P. Hiram Jackman was a slave born May 24, 1845, near Creelsboro, KY, the son of George Jackman, according to his death certificate. Hiram Jackman was taught to read and write before he became a freeman. After fighting in the Civil War, he taught in the Colored schools in Adair and Russell Counties, one of the first African American teachers in the area. He continued to teach for 45 years. Jackman was also a minister and performed the first marriage ceremony in Adair County for an African American couple. In 1908, he and others attempted to establish a colored library in Columbia, KY. The Rosenwald School, built on Taylor Street in Columbia, KY, in 1925, was named after Hiram Jackman. It was one of five schools for African Americans in Adair County. The school burned down in 1953. P. Hiram Jackman was the husband of Francis Jackman. For more see "The Story of Hiram Jackman, for whom Jackman High Named," Columbia Adair County-Chamber Insights [online] at Columbiamagazine.com; "Rosenwald School: Jackman High, Taylor St, Columbia, KY," photograph [online]; "Dedication of Jackman High commemorative well attended, 08/12/2006, Columbia Magazine [online]; and "Commemorating Jackman graded and high school," photo, 08/12/2006, Columbia Magazine [online]. For more on the number of slaves and free African Americans in Adair County, see the NKAA entry for Adair County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes 1850-1870. See also the NKAA entry for African American Schools in Adair County, KY.

Plaque dedicated to Rosenwald School, Jackman High at ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Creelsboro, Russell County, Kentucky / Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Jackson, James W. (police)
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 2006
Jackson was born in Arkansas and grew up in Paducah, KY. After graduating from Lincoln High School in 1933, he attended West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College]. During World War II, he was a member of the 9th Cavalry and a mounted soldier in the 2nd Cavalry, deployed in Italy. In 1960, Jackson joined the Kansas City Police Department, the third African American reserve officer on the force; he retired in 1974. He also worked at the post office and retired from there in 1992 after 50 years of employment. For more see "James Warren Jackson," Kansas City Star, 02/10/2006, Obituary section, p. B4.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Postal Service, Migration East, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Arkansas / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Johnson, Benjamin, Jr. "Ben"
Start Year : 1950
End Year : 2003
Johnson, a journalist and talk show host, was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Benjamin, Sr. and Alyce E. Johnson. He was a 1975 journalism graduate of Lincoln University in Missouri. His original plan was to attend architecture school at Howard University, where he had been accepted into the program, but instead he became a hawk in the U.S. Marines and served in Vietnam before returning to attend college. His career included being a reporter and photographer at the Louisville Defender, and reporter and city editor at the Courier-Journal in Louisville. He had also been employed at the Post Tribune, Detroit Free Press, St. Petersburg Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, and as a columnist with the Huntsville Times. He was founding president of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, and vice president of the Society of Professional Journalists, Detroit. Johnson and his wife, Mary E. Bullard-Johnson, were editors of Who’s What and Where: a directory of America’s Black journalists (1st ed., 1985 & 2nd ed., 1988). Johnson had also taught journalism classes at the University of Missouri and helped found the school's Multicultural Management Program. From 1997 until the time of his death, Johnson was the talk-show host of Just Talking at WEUP-AM 1600. For more see "B. Johnson, 53, talk show host, journalist," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 12/28/2003, National section, p. 6B; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2000.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Huntsville, Alabama

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

Johnson, James Bartlett
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1900
James Bartlett Johnson was born in Taylor County, KY. He was enslaved, but his wife, Mary A. Buchanan, had been free since she was three years old. The family was separated in 1856 when Johnson was sold to a Louisiana plantation. While there, Johnson began preaching and organized a church where he preached to the slaves. Johnson escaped and joined the Union Army in 1861, serving for three years. When he was discharged, he made his way to Kentucky, where he found his wife and child after having been separated from them for nine years. The family moved to Louisville, KY, where Johnson was ordained a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church and became a member of the Kentucky Conference. He was called into service in Springfield, KY, and in Lebanon, KY. While Johnson was in Lebanon, the church was burned to the ground, and the members left due to the split between the AMEZ and Colored Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The Springfield and Lebanon churches and congregations were later restored under one circuit. Bishop Johnson served in several other churches and was a respected leader of the AMEZ Church. James Bartlett Johnson died in Louisville on September 9, 1900 [source: Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953]. For more see image and additional information about James Bartlett Johnson in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Church..., by J. W. Hood, p.332-335 [available full-text at UNC Documenting the American South].


Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Taylor County, Kentucky

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

"Joining the Ranks: African Americans in the Military"
This exhibit featured the African American experience in the military from the Civil War to Desert Storm. The text and images cover a broad perspective from the local to the regional to the national. The display was presented by the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, KY, September 13, 2003 - February 27, 2004 [Michael R. Jones, Curator].
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Jones, Frederick M.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1961
Frederick M. Jones was born in Cincinnati and was later moved to Covington, KY. Some sources state that he was actually born in Covington, KY, in 1893. He was the son of John Jones, who was white, and an African American mother. Frederick Jones was raised by his father until age seven, when he was placed with the local Catholic Church; his mother had left the family when Jones was a baby. At the age of 11, Jones ran away from his caretakers at the Catholic church and found a job in a garage in Cincinnati, OH. He became a full time employee at age 14. Jones was attracted to mechanics and is credited with building the first practical truck refrigeration system in 1949. He also built cars from spare parts and raced them. He was a soldier in World War I; while in the service he studied electricity. In 1939 he patented a ticket dispensing machine for movie houses, his first patent (#2,163,754). Frederick M. Jones was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush; Jones was the 1st African Ameican to receive the award. For more see Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century by J. H. Kessler; and "Frederick McKinley Jones" in Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 20, 2nd. ed., 2004.

See photo image and additional information about Frederick M. Jones at The Faces of Science website.
Subjects: Inventors, Military & Veterans, Automobile Races, Race-car Drivers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Jones, Margaret Ellen Barnes
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2000
A major in the U.S. Army, Margaret E. B. Jones was with the only African American military women's unit (the 6888th Postal Unit) to go overseas during World War II. Her first post as an officer was in Kentucky, where she was over a unit of African American women assigned to clean floors and latrines in the Camp Breckinridge hospital. After that, she began lobbying for better work assignments for the women she commanded. She and Myrtle Anderson were the first African American women Army officers stationed in Kentucky. Jones' maternal grandparents had been slaves in Kentucky, and her mother, a well known community leader, was born in Monticello, KY; her name was Margaret E. Sallee Barnes. Margaret E. B. Jones, born in Oberlin, OH, was a graduate of Howard University. Her brother-in-law, Sam Jones, was athletic director at the school; he was also one of the first African American officers commissioned in the Navy. For more see C. Levy, "Maj. Margaret E. B. Jones Dies," Washington Post, 04/25/2000, Metro section, p. B7; The New York Times, 04/27/2000, late ed. Final, p. B13; To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race, by B. L. Moore; and "6 WACs Resign: WAC Clerks Decline to Scrub Floors," Philadelphia Afro-American, July 10, 1943, p. 1. For more about Camp Breckinridge, see the Camp Breckinridge entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia [available on UK Campus and off campus via the proxy server], and History of Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, by P. Heady. See also the entry about the WACs Protest at Camp Breckinridge, KY.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs), Grandparents
Geographic Region: Oberlin, Ohio / Fort Breckinridge [or Camp Breckinridge], Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists)

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

Jordan, George
Birth Year : 1847
Death Year : 1904
Born in Williamson, KY, George Jordan's thirty years of military service began in 1866 when he joined the 9th Cavalry in Nashville and ended at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, in 1897. He participated in conflicts with Native Americans, Mexicans, and U. S. outlaws: he helped open the West, winning a Congressional Medal of Honor for his efforts. Jordan retired to Crawford, Nebraska, in a small African American community. He later became ill but could not gain entrance into the Fort Robinson hospital and died a few days later. He is buried at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.

  See photo image of George Jordan at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Williamson, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Fort Robinson and Crawford, Nebraska

Jordan, Larry
Birth Year : 1946
Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Larry Jordan, a graduate of West Point, became the first African American general post commander at Fort Knox in 1993. At the time, Jordan was a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He is a 1979 graduate of Indiana University. For more see "West Point grad becomes first black general post commander at Fort Knox," Jet, 11/22/1993, vol. 85, issue 4, p. 36.


Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kansas City, Kansas / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky

Kentucky African American Servicemen in Skagway, Alaska
Start Year : 1899
Skagway [earlier spelled Skaguay] was a tent-town in 1897, but with the arrival of the Klondike Gold Rush, the town grew to have a population of more than 30,000. Skagway was a center point for mining operations, and it soon became a lawless town full of vice. By 1899, the gold rush was ending and the population in Skagway decreased as quickly as it had grown. The White Pass Railroad to Skagway was completed in 1900, which was also the year that the city was incorporated to become the first city in the Alaska Territory. [Alaska would become a state in 1958.] The Military Department of Alaska was established January 19, 1900, and it was recommended that a permanent post be established at Skagway. A military post had been established at Fort Wrangel when the United States acquired Alaska from Russia in 1867; the post was withdrawn in 1870. A military presence was restored in the area due to the lawlessness that came with the gold rush. In 1899, U.S. Army Company L, 24th Infantry, a regiment of African American troops, was stationed in Dyea, Alaska. They were forced to relocate to Fort Wrangel/Skagway due to a forest fire. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, 10 of the men were from Kentucky: Sargent William Hanson, b. 1851 in Shelby County; Corporal Robert R. Cotton, b. 1861 in Boyle County; Private Edgar Merritt, b. 1879 in Hopkinsville; Corporal Orselin J. Kincaid, b.1877 in Stanford; Corporal Lafayette Coats, b. 1873 in Rowletts; Corporal Olijah Lee, b. 1877 in Paducah; Private Thomas Morton, b. 1868 in Bourbon County; Private Chester Sanders, b. 1879 in Carrollton; Private Leonard Watkins, born in Frankfort; and Private Victor Emmons, b. 1888 in Springdale. Sussie O'Connor, b. 1867 in Louisville, KY, was in Skagway with her husband, 1st Sargent Robert O'Connor. Peter Brown, who had arrived in Alaska in 1898, was a saloon keeper in Porcupine. A picture showing Company L, 24th Infantry in the Skagway 4th of July parade is available at Alaska's Digital Archives, as are other pictures of the infantry. One picture in particular shows all the men standing at attention on the Klondike Company wharf in Dyea. For more about the city see Skagway, District of Alaska, 1884-1912, by R. L. S. Spude; and The Truth About Alaska, by E. McElwaine.

See photo image of Company L, 24th Infantry in parade at Skagway, Alaska, at Alaska's Digital Archives.

 
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: KY counties: Shelby, Boyle, Christian [Hopkinsville], Lincoln [Stanford], Hart [Rowletts], McCracken [Paducah], Bourbon, Carroll [Carrollton], Franklin [Frankfort], Mason [Springdale] / Dyea, Ft. Wrangel, and Skagway, Alaska

Kentucky African Americans in the Civil War: a defining moment in the quest for freedom
Louisville, Ky.: The Kentucky Heritage Council, 1997. An exhibit for the Kentucky State Fair, August 14-24, 1997. Sponsored by: The Kentucky Heritage Council, The Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and The Kentucky Humanities Council. Available at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Kentucky Historical Society Library in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Choir
Start Year : 1927
The choir was made up of men from the 369th Colored Infantry, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The unit, commanded by Colonel Arthur Little, was the first to reach the Rhine in 1918 during World War I. In 1927, Colonel Little's wife, Mrs. Charlotte Fairchild Little, passed away, and four members of the Kentucky Choir and Noble Sissle provided music at the funeral. For more see "Sing Negro Spirituals at Mrs. Little's bier," New York Times, 09/09/1927, p. 25.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Kentucky Negro Officers Commissioned at Fort Des Moines, Iowa
Start Year : 1917
In 1917, the Fort Des Moines, Iowa training camp became the first training camp established exclusively for Negro officers, most of whom had been civilians but also included those who were from the National Guard and U.S. Army, such as 1st Lieutenant Charles D. Young. The roster of officers is available in History of the American Negro in the Great World War, by W. A. Sweeney. Civilians from Kentucky who were commissioned officers were Harrison W. Black, Lexington; Charles C. Bruen, Mayslick; Lucian P. Garrett, Louisville; Jesse J. Green, Georgetown; Charles M. Hayes, Hopkinsville; Bush A. Hunter, Lexington; Maxey A. Jackson, [Marian] Marion; John W. Rowe, Danville; and Abram [Abraham] L. Simpson, Louisville.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky : Danville, Boyle County; Georgetown, Scott County; Hopkinsville, Christian County; Lexington, Fayette County; Louisville, Jefferson County; Marion, Crittenden County; Mayslick, Mason County

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

Kentucky Slave Servants, War of 1812
Start Year : 1815
End Year : 1815
George and Richard were two slaves listed among the Kentucky Soldiers of the War of 1812, compiled by M. S. Wilder, p. 262. Their rank is listed as 'servant' with the enlistment date February 8, 1815, to March 7, 1815. The men are listed under the heading 'Roll of Field and Staff, Francisco's Regiment of Kentucky Militia, War of 1812 - Commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Francisco."
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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

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

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

Lawson, William H.
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1913
Lawson was born in Maysville, KY, the son of Robert Lawson. He attended school in Ripley, OH. His family moved to Louisville in 1856 and was listed as free in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. The family included William; his mother, M. Lawson, who was employed as a wash woman; and two other children. William was training to become a painter, decorator, and photographer. In 1872 he ran unsuccessfully for Marshall of the City Court. From 1879-1886, he operated a photography studio at 319 W. Walnut Street. He was later a U.S. store-keeper and an artist. William Lawson served with the 122nd Regiment of the U. S. Colored Troops; he was a quartermaster sergeant. He helped organize the United Brothers of Friendship and served as a state and national Grand Master. He was also a published poet. William Lawson was married to Emeline Lawson, who was born in 1857 in Tennessee. He was later married to Elizabeth [Lizzie] Lawson. For more see the "W. H. Lawson" entry in Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville, by H. C. Weeden; and J. C. Anderson, "Photography," p. 703, middle column, in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, edited by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Businesses, Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs, Poets
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lee, Johnson Camden
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1993
Born in Versailles, KY, Dr. Johnson C. Lee was a dentist in Lexington, KY. He was the husband of Gladys Lee. In 1960 Dr. Lee became the first African American member of the Kentucky Dental Association. In 1983 he was the second African American dentist in Kentucky to receive the Kentucky Dental Association's award for having practiced dentistry for 50 years. Dr. Lee's office was located in the old Masonic Building on North Broadway. He was a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Lee was also a World War II veteran of the African American 93 Infantry Division. He also owned a semi-pro baseball team. For more see "Dentist considers slowing down after 50 years: dentist starts to slow down after 50 years in practice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/26/1983, p. B1; and Johnson C. Lee in E. Duncan, "Obituaries," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/05/1993, p. C2.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Johnson Camden Lee oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Baseball, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

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

Lockett Lynch Mob (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1920
The first resistance to a lynch mob by local officials and troops in the South took place in Lexington, KY. In 1920, 10-year old Geneva Hardman, a little white girl, was killed. Will Lockett, an African American World War I veteran, was the suspect. While he was in police custody and without council, Lockett confessed to the murder and other crimes. His trial was set in Lexington for February 9, which was also Court Day, when a large number of people would be in the city. Governor Morrow ordered out all law enforcement officers and state troopers. Several hundred people showed up for the trial. Lockett was sentenced to die in the electric chair. The crowd outside got rowdy, and there was an exchange of gunfire between the crowd and the troopers. Six people were killed and 50 injured. U.S. troops were sent to Lexington. A second surge was building and Brigadier General Francis C. Marshall declared martial law, which remained in force for two weeks. Four hundred troops escorted Lockett to Eddyville Penitentiary, and state guards were detached to nearby Leitchfield, KY, to guard against violence. Lockett died in the electric chair on March 11. Kentucky later became the first state to pass an anti-lynching law. For more see J. D. Wright, Jr., "Lexington's Suppression of the 1920 Will Lockett Lynch Mob," Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 1986, vol. 84, issue 3, pp. 163-279.
Subjects: Lynchings, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Leitchfield, Grayson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Logan, Greenbury
Birth Year : 1799
Death Year : 1880
Greenbury (or Greenberry) Logan was born in Kentucky, the son of David Logan, who was white. Greenbury may or may not have been a slave, though he was free when he left Kentucky for Missouri, where he was married and had five children. In 1831, Logan moved to Texas and became a blacksmith on the Bingham Plantation; he was one of the first African Americans to settle in Texas. He purchased the freedom of a slave name Caroline and married her. Logan fought at Velasco and later joined the Texas army and fought at Bexar, where he was wounded in the shoulder and lost use of one arm. No longer able to be a blacksmith, Logan and his wife opened a successful boarding house in Brazoria. The Constitution of 1836 stipulated that all freemen were to leave the Republic of Texas; Logan, like Nelson Kavanaugh, filed a petition with Congress, asking that he be allowed to remain in Texas. Whether the Texas Congress replied or not, the Logans remained in Texas, but their financial success began in decline in 1839. By 1845 they had lost all of their property. For more see Greenbury Logan, by N. Thompson, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; several articles in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, including H. Schoen, "The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas," vol. 41, issue 1, pp. 83-108; and In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, by Q. Taylor.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Brazoria, Texas

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

Lyons, Joseph B., Jr.
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2001
Joseph B. Lyons, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY. He was a graduate of Old Dunbar High School and attended Kentucky State University. He later completed his electrical engineering degree at the University of Kentucky. Lyons served with the U.S. Air Force and had a 32 year career as a civilian employee in the Department of the Navy. He was an expert in radar systems and was the first African American to be named manager of the microwave technology division of the Sensors and Avionics Technology Directorate. Lyons also held six patents. In 2007, Joseph B. Lyons, Jr. was posthumously inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Hall of Distinction. He was the brother of Donald W. Lyons, Sr. For more see D. Adkins, "UK Engineering Hall of Distinction honors new inductees," UK News, 04/30/2007, p. 7.


Subjects: Engineers, Inventors, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Madison, Clarence "Duke"
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1997
Clarence "Duke" Madison was a recognized jazz saxophone player in Kentucky. He was born in Anderson, IN, the son of Roger and Beatrice Madison. Clarence Madison started playing the saxophone when he was eight years old, and as a teen he played with a number of bands. He performed and taught music, then enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 5, 1943 [source: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records]. During his time in the service, Madison was a member of the military band. After serving in the Army, Madison continued playing with various bands, coming to Kentucky in the 1940s to play with the Jordan Embry Band in Richmond, KY. He later moved to Lexington, KY, where he played jazz at local clubs and events for 50 years and led the Duke Madison Trio. He was also employed as a postal worker. He was mentioned in the Insiders' Guide to Greater Lexington: and Kentucky Bluegrass, by R. Maslin and J. Walter. There are also several earlier articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper that cover Madison and his music. The Lexington Jazz Arts Foundation established the Annual Duke Madison Scholarship in honor of Clarence "Duke" Madison for his many years of providing music to the Lexington area. Clarence Madison was the husband of Anna M. Gaines Madison. For more see Kentucky Senate Resolution 13 (SR13), 12/19/1997; J. Hewlett, "Jazz musician played in area for 50 years," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/14/1997, p. B1; and T. Carter, "New group seeking support for Jazz," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/22/1990, p. J1.

Access Interview Read about the Clarence D. Madison oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service, Migration South
Geographic Region: Anderson, Indiana / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Magowan, John Wesley [Brooks]
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1895
John W. Brooks was a slave born on the Magowan Farm in Montgomery County, KY. In 1864, Brooks and seven other African Americans left the Magowan farm and headed to Louisville to join up with the 109th Regiment, Company A of the United States Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Sergeant Brooks returned to Montgomery County and took the last name Magowan. He married Amanda Trimble, supporting his wife and children through his trade as a carpenter. John W. Magowan was one of the more prosperous African Americans in Montgomery County. The family lived in Smithville, and four of the children attended Berea Academy. John and Amanda's sons, Noah and John D. Magowan, were the first African Americans to establish a newspaper in Mt. Sterling, KY: The Reporter. Another son, James E. Magowan, was a successful businessman and community leader in Mt. Sterling. John Wesley Magowan died of consumption [tuberculosis] on February 3, 1895. This entry was submitted by Holly Hawkins of the Montgomery County Historical Society, and comes from her work included in the Civil War display at the Montgomery County Historical Society Museum in 2011. See the death notice for John Wesley Magowan in the Mt. Sterling Advocate, 02/05/1895, p. 1, col. 3. There are several Magowan families listed in the U.S. Federal Census noted as Black and living in Montgomery County, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Carpenters, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Marrs, Elijah P.
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1910
Elijah P. Marrs wrote an autobiography of his life as a slave in Shelby County - Life and History of the Rev. Elijah P. Marrs [available on the University of North Carolina University Library's Documenting the American South website]. He was the son of Andrew Marrs, who was free, and Frances Marrs, who was a slave, both from Virginia. Marrs, who learned to read and write, left the plantation to become a Union solider. After the war, he was founder of several churches and the first African American school teacher in Simpsonville. Marrs also taught at the school in Lagrange , New Castle, and the school held in a church in Braxton [Bracktown] in Lexington, KY. Elijah and his brother, J. C. Marrs, are credited as co-founders of Simmons University. After four years, Elijah Marrs sold his interest in the development of the school in 1874. While in Lagrange, KY, Elijah Marrs was the first African American to become president of the Republican Club of Oldham County, and he established the first colored agriculture and mechanical fair for the Simpson and Logan Counties  [source: Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p.116 & p.134]. In New Castle, KY, he established the Loyal League for the Protection of Negroes.  For more see Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930, by L. H. Williams.

See photo image of Elijah P. Marrs at Find a Grave.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Simpsonville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Virginia / Bracktown [Braxton], Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Mason, Jesse Edward
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
Born in Nicholasville, KY, Mason attended Kentucky State University and was a World War II veteran. He was the first African American licensed to sell used cars in Kentucky, operating his own business for 32 years. In 1965, Mason also organized the first American Little League Baseball Club, the Slugger Dodgers of Jessamine County. That same year, Mason was a leader in the integration of the Jessamine County public schools. In the 1990s, he led the movement to have the newly built middle school named Rosenwald-Dunbar, in honor of the African American high school that had closed following integration. For more see "February is Black History Month," The Jessamine Journal, 02/23/2006, pp. A1 & A8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Automobile Dealerships and Factories, Baseball, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine 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

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

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

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

McAfee, Joseph
Birth Year : 1820
A former slave born in Kentucky and lived in Missouri, McAfee moved to California where he fought with the Bear Flag Party against General Mariano Vallejo for control of the state. He moved to Santa Cruz in the 1860s and is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census as a domestic servant. For more see "California 1843," on the Santa Cruz Public Library website, To Know My Name, A Chronological History of African Americans in Santa Cruz County, part 2.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Santa Cruz, California

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

McElroy, Hugh
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1971
McElroy was born in Springfield, KY, the son of Sarah and Thomas McElroy. Though under age, McElroy enlisted in the 10th Cavalry and served in Cuba during the Spanish American War. He also fought in the Philippines Insurrection, the border campaigns in Mexico in 1916, and in Europe during World War I. During World War II, he was head janitor at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas. He was the first African American to be pictured in advertisements for war bonds. For more see Black Defenders of America, by R. E. Greene; and R. A. Burns, "Hugh McElroy" in The Handbook of Texas - Online.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

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

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

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

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

Meeks, Florian, Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2014
Florian Meeks, Jr. was born in Owenton, KY, the son of Florian Sr. and Martha L. Meeks. The family of six lived on E. Adair Street, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Florian Jr. was educated in a one room school house in Owen County and attended high school at Lincoln Institute in Simpsonville, KY. In 1943 he became a member of one of the first platoons of African American Marines at Montford Point, a segregated basic training facility at Camp Lejeune, NC, for African Americans. The facility had been established after President Roosevelt signed a directive in 1942 that allowed African Americans to be recruited into the U.S. Marine Corps. Meeks served active duty with the Second Casual Company, HQ BN MPC, in World War II in the Pacific Area from 1944 through 1946. He received an Honorable Discharge, and enrolled at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University]. While at Tuskegee, he returned to Louisville and married Eloise Kline in 1948, and two years later he graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree. Florian Meeks next enlisted in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of First Lieutenant, Infantry. He served active duty with the 160th Infantry, and the 40th Infantry Division on Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War. Meeks received a Combat Infantry Badge for exemplary performance of duty in ground combat against the enemy. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Army in 1957, and began a career with the United States Postal Service. He also founded Meeks Home Improvement and Construction Company. In 2012, Florian Meeks, Jr. and other Montford Marines were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor. Florian Meeks is the father of Renelda (Meeks) Higgins Walker, Florian Meeks III, KY House Member Reginald Meeks, Michael Meeks, and Kenneth Meeks. Florian Meeks, Jr. passed away January 13, 2014. This entry was submitted by Michael L. Meeks. For more see HR 149 and SR 153, and House Resolution 2447 (112 United States Congress).

See photo image of Florian Meeks, Jr. at MyHeritage website.
Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Military & Veterans, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Owenton, Owen County, Kentucky / Camp Lejeune, North Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Meeks, Willis Gene
Birth Year : 1938
Willis G. Meeks was born in Harlan, KY, the son of Maceo and Thelma Meeks. He was a flight project manager, and head of NASA's Ulysses Solar Exploration Project beginning in 1990. Ulysses was a $750 million joint effort of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), it was a fact finding mission to assess Earth's total solar environment, with data being transmitted from Ulysses to Earth. The mission was to be a five year journey, but the mission continued for another 15 years. In 2009, the Ulysses Mission Team received the NASA Group Achievement Award; Ulysses was the longest running ESA-operated spacecraft [see Ulysses website]. Meeks wrote several technical reports about the Ulysses Project and the records for the reports are available at the NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS). After 30 years of service, Meeks retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on January 29, 1996. He was the first flight project manager at JPL/NASA. Meeks is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and while enlisted earned his A. A. degree in electronics at Allan Hancock College. While employed at JPL and raising four children, Meeks attended college at night and earned his B.S. degree in 1975, and his MBA degrees in 1977, both from California State University. Among his many awards, in 1984 he received the Equal Employment Opportunity Medal for exceptional contributions to the JPL Affirmative Action Program. He also received the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1992. Willis G. Meeks is the husband of Magalene LeCita Powell, who was systems engineer at JPL/NASA when the couple married in 1991. For more see R. Dunger, "William M. Meeks - heading NASA's Ulysses Solar Exploration Project," Los Angeles Sentinel, 10/11/1990, p.A4; "Flight Project Manager," Ebony, January 1991, p.7; "Loving Embrace," Jet, 02/10/1992, p.30; Who's Who Among Black Americans 1994/95; and Who's Who Among African Americans beginning in 1996-97 edition.

See photo image in "Loving Embrace," Jet, 02/10/1992, p.30.
Subjects: Engineers, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Migration from Kentucky to Florida
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1945
In 1910, Florida was one of six states to have the greatest gain from Negro migration (the other five states were Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, New York, and Illinois). Florida received a greater migration than any northern state. Kentucky was not a major contributing state; there were very few African Americans who migrated from Kentucky to Florida prior to the mid 20th Century. Looking at the Florida State Census (1867-1945), the U.S. Federal Census (1850-1930), and the World War I and World War II Draft Registrations, there are little more than 1,000 African Americans listed as born in Kentucky and residing in Florida. For those who did move, they were not concentrated in one particular region of Florida or employed in one particular industry. One of the first Kentucky natives listed in the Census is Oather Bell, who in 1850 was a carpenter in Jacksonville. In 1870, Eli Adams was a farm laborer in Leon County; in 1885, Robert Adams was a laborer in Pensacola; in 1900, David Straws was a farmer in Jefferson County; in 1910, Lannie Jake was a sewer ditch digger in Quincy. During 1917-18, at least 23 African Americans born in KY registered for the Army Draft in Florida during World War I. In 1920, Ruthanne Adams ran a lodging house in Winter Haven; in 1935, Hallie O'Brien was a laundress in Dade County; in 1945, Victor C. St. Clair was a caretaker in Orange County; and at least 46 African Americans born in KY enlisted in Florida during World War II Army Enlistments from 1938-1946. More recently, in the 2004 Louisville Urban Studies Institute Research Report, Florida ranked as one of the top destinations for persons who moved from Kentucky (not defined by race). For more see Negro Migration During the War, by E. J. Scott. For more recent migration trends, see the University of Louisville Urban Studies Institute, Kentucky Population Research, and Kentucky State Data Center - Research Report by Price, Scobee, and Sawyer, Kentucky Migration: consequences for state population and labor force, February 2004 [available online .pdf]; and Migration by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1995-2000, Census 2000 Special Reports, issued October 2003 [available online .pdf].
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Florida

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

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

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

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

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

Mudd, Kent D.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1986
Mudd was elected to the Springfield City Council in 1971, the first African American elected to public office in Washington County. He was a World War I veteran. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 16; and Kent D. Mudd "In Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/15/1986, Obituaries section, p. B14.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Nelson, William Stuart
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
William S. Nelson was born in Paris, KY, grew up in Paducah, KY, and his final home was in Washington, D.C. He was a 1920 graduate of Howard University and a 1924 divinity graduate of Yale University. He would become the first African American president of Shaw University (1931-1936) in North Carolina, saving the school from closing due to financial hardship during the Great Depression. Nelson was also the first African American president of Dillard University in New Orleans, beginning in 1936. He wrote La Race Noire dans la Democratie Americaine, and Bases of World Understanding (Calcutta University Press, 1949). He worked with Mahatma Gandhi while in India on a special mission for the American Friends Service Committee from 1946-1958. He was a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. and joined him on the march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in 1965. The William Stuart Nelson Scholarship Fund was established at Howard University, where he was former dean of the School of Religion and vice president for special projects. Nelson was the son Emma Kersands Nelson and William Henry Nelson. He was married to Blanche Wright Nelson. He was an Army veteran of World War I. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 11, Sept. 1976-Aug. 1979; "The Tradition of White Presidents at Black Colleges," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 16 (Summer 1997), pp. 93-99; J. R. Hailey, "William Nelson, dean at Howard, dies," The Washington Post, 03/30/1977, Metro section, p. C6; and William Stuart Nelson (1895-1977) at the Martin Luther King, Jr and The Global Freedom Struggle website.

 

  See photo image of William S. Nelson, top left hand column, on p.39 in Golden jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky edited by C. H. Parrish.

 

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / India / Washington D.C.

Nero, Ruford
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1981
Ruford Nero was a horseman from Lexington, KY. He was the son of Elijah and Eva Haggard Nero [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census], he was born December 8, 1916 [source: Kentucky Birth Index]. Ruford's occupation is given as stablemen on his WWII Army Enlistment Record; he enlisted in Cincinnati, OH, October 23, 1942. After the war, Ruford continued to be listed in the Lexington city directories as a horseman. In 1955, Ruford Nero was a horseman with Darvis Stevens [source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY) City Directory, p.464]. Ruford Nero died in Arkansas in 1981 [source: Social Security Death Index].
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Arkansas

Nichols, John and Lucy A. Higgs
Lucy A. Higgs Nichols was the only female to serve with the Twenty-third Indiana Regiment during the Civil War. According to information from the New Albany, IN, Carnegie Center, Lucy Nichols was born in North Carolina, April 10, 1838. In the U.S. Federal Census, her birth location has also been given as Kentucky and several other states, and also listed are various birth dates from 1843-1850. In 1898, Lucy Nichols began receiving a pension of $12 per month for her nursing services during the Civil War; the veterans of 23rd Regiment had advocated on Lucy's behalf, and her pension was approved by a special act of the U.S. Congress [HB4741, Congressional Serial Set, v.74, pt.3, p.6107- 1898]. She was one of the few honorary female members of the Grand Army of the Republic Post. According to an article in the Janesville Daily Gazette newspaper, Nichols fought in 28 battles, and she was a nurse, and a cook and servant to the officers. She joined the 23 Regiment in 1862 in Bolivar, TN; Lucy Nichols was a runaway slave. She was a slave in Tennessee when she learned that her owner's slaves were to be confiscated and sold south, Lucy left her husband behind, took her baby daughter and ran. Intending to go north, she arrived at the camp of the Twenty-third Regiment in Bolivar, TN. She was bleeding from the cuts and scratches received from the bushes and brambles she had made her way through during the night. She suffered from exhaustion. When her owner arrived at the camp to retrieve Lucy and the baby, Lucy refused to go with him and the soldiers of the Twenty-third came to her rescue. When the regiment marched south, and Lucy and her baby went with them. Her baby died in Vicksburg, MS. According to the Janesville Daily Gazette article, Lucy remained with the regiment in Thompson Hill, Raymond, Champion Hill, the capture of Jackson, MS, she marched in Sherman's raid, the pursuit of Confederate General Hood in Georgia and Alabama, and she fought in the regiment's last battle in Bentonville, NC in 1865. She was with the regiment when it was mustered out in Washington, D.C. and she went with the men when they returned to the New Albany, Indiana area. On April 13, 1870, Lucy married John Nichols [source: Floyd County, Indiana, Index to Marriage Record 1845-1920, Inclusive Volum, W.P.A. Book Number Indicates Location of Record, Book 6, p.572]. He and Lucy lived in the 5th Ward of New Albany, IN, with John's father Leander Nichols (b.1812 in NC) [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. John Nichols (b.1845 in TN) was the son of Leander and Sena Nichols (b.1812 in TN), according to the 1850 Census when the family of ten were listed as free and living in Washington County, TN. As early as 1840, Leander Nichols and his family had been listed as free in the U.S. Census, and Leander was last listed in the 1870 Census as living in New Albany, IN with John and Lucy Nichols. In 1880, John and Lucy were living on Washington Street in New Albany, and nine years later, according to the Janesville Daily Gazette article, the couple lived near Floyd's Knobs. John Nichols is listed in Caron's Directory of the City of New Albany 1888-9 as a fireman at a mill owned by the W. C. Depauw Co., and he lived on Nag[h]el Street. John and Lucy were still living in the home they owned on Nagel Street when the 1900 Census and 1910 Census were taken. John Nichols was a Civil War veteran, he enlisted in Paducah, KY, October 18, 1864, and served with the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records]. Lucy Nichols is not listed in the military records as a veteran, but having served with the 23rd Indiana Regiment, she participated in all the 23 Regiment reunions, participated in the State Encampments and the Decoration Day Programs, and marched with the veterans in parades. Lucy Nichols died January 29, 1915. [The U.S. Federal Census gives Lucy Higgs Nichols birth location as Tennessee (1870 Census), Kentucky (1880 Census), Virginia (1900 Census), and Tennessee (1910 Census). Her birth year is given as 1843, 1845, 1847, and 1850.] [John Nichol's birth location is also given as Tennessee (1850-1870 Census), Kentucky (1880 Census), Virginia (1900 Census), and Tennessee (1910 Census)]. For more see "Pension for Lucy Nichols," New York Times, 12/14/1898; "Daughter of the regiment," Janesville Daily Gazette, 03/14/1889, p.1; "Colored nurse's pension," Logansport Journal, 07/15/1898, p.5; and see Lucy Nichols in "Obituary Notes," New York Times, 01/31/1915. See a photo of Lucy Higgs Nichols on Facebook. For additional information about Lucy A. Higgs Nichols, contact the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, IN.

  See photo image of Lucy Higgs Nichols, a Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Kentucky / New Albany, Indiana

Northern Kentucky - "Stories of African-Americans in WWII went untold"
This article by Ted Harris was published in The Cincinnati Post, 02/28/02, Editorial section, p. 4K; it tells the stories of Albert Nutter Jr., George Frank Nutter, Melvin W. Walker, and Henry C. Lowe.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Northern Kentucky

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

 

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

Older African American Soldiers from Kentucky during the Civil War
Start Year : 1861
End Year : 1865
This entry is In response to a patron's reference question about the ages of the oldest African American Union soldiers from Kentucky during the Civil War. Below are the names of a few of those soldiers. Please keep in mind that many of the African American soldiers who enlisted during the Civil War were former slaves whose birth dates were not documented. The enlistment of African Americans resulted from a number of federal orders. On July 17, 1862, the U.S. Congress passed the Second Confiscation and Militia Act that freed the slaves who had masters in the Confederate Army. The act was meant for the employment of African American men in the military for labor services. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863 and called for African American men in states that had withdrawn from the Union to enlist in the Union Army for battle purposes. This order did not apply to Kentucky because the state had not seceded from the Union. By October of 1863, all border states were enlisting African American men, except in Kentucky where slaves were used as labor for the military. Nonetheless, Camp Nelson, KY was on its way to becoming the third largest recruiting and training station for African American men and would provided the Union Army with more than 10,000 African American soldiers. Kentucky was second to Louisiana in terms of states that proved the most African American soldiers during the Civil War. See Camp Nelson, Kentucky: a Civil War history by R. D. Sears; and Civil War Day by Day: an almanac, 1861-1865 by E. B. Long.

U.S. Colored Troops - Kentucky
Source: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served with the United States Colored Troops: Infantry Organizations, 41st through 46th; Microfilm Serial: M1994; Microfilm Roll: 20.
Name Age Birth Year
+ -
Enlistment Date Branch of Service
Frank Bourdyne 55 1809 August 12, 1864 42nd U. S. Colored Infantry
Stephen Boyd 57 1808 February 1, 1865 13th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery
John Bradley 56 1809
Caldwell Co.
January 20, 1865 13th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery
Henry Carter 58 1806
Simpson
July 24,1864 -
Tennessee
40th U. S. Colored Infantry
Ephraim Erving 56 1809
Russellville
February 27, 1865 Independent Battery, U. S. Colored Light Artillery
Edward Evans 70 1794
Jefferson
June 10, 1864 - Pennsylvania 45th U. S. Colored Infantry
 
Moses Fraiskill 56 1808
Jefferson Co.
June 24, 1864 8th U. S. Colored Heavy Artillery
Daniel Harris 65 1799
Hardin Co.
August 23, 1864 18th U. S. Colored Infantry
Prophet Mcfarland 56 1809
Daviess Co.
April 12, 1865 6th U. S. Colored Cavalry
Major Payne 55 1808
Washington
August 13, 1863 49th U. S. Colored Infantry


Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

"On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier"
Both the 1995 and 2004 editions of this work include the biographies and experiences of African American soldiers from Kentucky who were members of the all-Black regiments of the United States Army from 1866-1917. For more see On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier: biographies of African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917, by F. N. Schubert; and On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II: new and revised biographies of African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866-1917, by F. N. Schubert and I. Schubert.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Parker, Titus
Birth Year : 1833
Death Year : 1913
Titus Parker was one of the first African American coal miners in Earlington, Kentucky [source: "Uncle Titus Parker dead," The Bee, 05/09/1913, p.4]. Parker worked for the St. Bernard Coal Company. His exact age was not known, but he is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census with a birth year of 1833. He is listed as a farmer in Seminary, KY, the husband of Sarah Parker, and the father of five children. In the 1880 Census, Titus Parker and his family were living in Hecla, KY, where Titus was a coal miner. His new wife was Charlotte Prather; the couple had married in November of 1878 [source: Kentucky Marriages Index]. In the 1900 Census, Tittus Paker had retired from the coal mines and was bottoming chairs. His third wife was Meta Parker; the couple was married in 1883 and lived in Earlington. Titus Parker was a former slave born in Todd County, KY [source: J. Phillips, "Locomotive Blasts," The Bee, 04/11/1895, p.2]. His name appears in documents during the Civil War. Titus Parker fought for the Confederacy. His enlistment date was October 1, 1861 in Hopkinsville, KY, and his service started on October 17, 1861, found on p.532 within the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, Confederate Kentucky Volunteers, War 1861-1865. Parker was a private in Company K, Kentucky First Cavalry Regiment. He mustered out October 17, 1862 [source: U.S. Civil War Soldier Records]. 
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Todd County, Kentucky / Earlington, Hecla, and Seminary, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Parker, William C.
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 2008
William C. Parker, from Cairo, Illinois, was the Vice Chancellor of Minority Affairs at the University of Kentucky, from 1984-1990. His responsibilities included the recruitment and retention of minority students; he was also a diversity adviser to the university. He led the development of the Kentucky Association of Blacks in Higher Education. Dr. Parker, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, had taught at a number of schools and had been employed at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) before coming to Kentucky. After his retirement, he established Parker & Parker, a human resources consulting firm that worked with hundreds of schools throughout the United States. Dr. Parker was also an adjunct professor at the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He was a professional speaker and had received many awards for his leadership. He wrote a number of articles, books and other publications such as the video, Formula for Success. Dr. Parker was a two-time graduate of Illinois State University and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia Pacific University. He was the son of Magdelene Reynolds Parker, a Cairo school teacher, and Clarence H. Parker. For more see "William C. Parker" in Pulaski County, Illinois, 1987, by the Pulaski County History Book Committee; and B. Musgrave, "Longtime educator dies," Lexington Herald Leader, 06/02/2008.

 

Access Interview Read about the William C. Parker 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 of William C. Parker at UKnowledge website.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cairo, Illinois / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Passmore, Norman L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2003
Norman L. Passmore, Sr. was born in Columbus, GA. He was an exceptional student who played quarterback on the Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] football team that won national championships in 1934 and 1937. He graduated from Kentucky State University and the University of Kentucky. He later was the head football coach of the old Lexington Dunbar Bearcats, beginning in 1951 and continuing for 16 years, accumulating a record of 98 wins, 16 losses, and 6 ties while winning three state titles. He also coached for one season at Kentucky State College. He retired as principal of Henry Clay High School in 1984. Passmore was also a pastor and a World War II veteran. For more see M. Davis, "A classic game for a classic educator," Lexington Herald-Leader, section C, l8/29/04; and J. Hewlett, "Long time educator dies at 87 - N. L. Passmore Sr. taught at Dunbar," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/19/2003, City&Region section, p. B1. See also the sound recording interview of Norman Passmore in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1980 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky.

Access Interview Read about the Norman L. Passmore, Sr. oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Football, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Columbus, Georgia / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Patton, Humphrey Cornelius, Sr.
Birth Year : 1894
Humphrey C. Patton was born in Louisville, KY. He was editor of The Owl, a Detroit weekly tabloid. He was also the only African American line officer (1st Lieutenant) with the 350th regiment, FAAEF. He was the son of Dr. William Patton and Maggie C. Patton, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, when the family was living in Maysville, KY. He was a student at Howard University prior to his military enlistment, according to his draft registration card. Humphrey was the husband of Ruby Lee Holland Patton, born 1895 in CA. The couple married in Washington, D.C. on November 30, 1917, according to the District of Columbia Marriage Index. In 1920, Humphrey Patton was a mechanic at an auto factory in Detroit, he and his family lived on Fredrick Avenue. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Payne, Clarence H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1965
Dr. Clarence H. Payne was one of two African Americans appointed to the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1937. He served on the medical staff for more than 20 years. He had practiced medicine in Chicago for about 15 years and specialized in chest diseases. Prior to his appointment at the sanitarium, Dr. Payne had served in the U.S. Army and was among the first African Americans to attend the Negro Officer's Training School in Des Moines, Iowa. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant and served with the 365th Infantry during WWI. When WWII began, Dr. Payne and Dr. Roscoe Conklin were summoned to the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for a conference on integrating the U.S. Armed Forces. Dr. Payne was twice elected the Illinois Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he was the first African American elected to that post. Dr. Clarence H. Payne was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Nora L. and Aaron H. Payne II. He attended school in Louisville, KY, and was a 1911 graduate of Fisk University and a 1921 graduate of Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago [now part of Rush University]. For more see "Clarence H. Payne" on page 7 of the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

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

Poindexter, Henry, Sr. [Anderson v Poindexter]
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1889
The decision in the Anderson vs Poindexter case, made by the Supreme Court of Ohio, was viewed by some as in direct opposition to the U.S. Constitution. In the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of the Dred Scott case, Scott, who had temporarily lived in a free state, was denied his freedom because it was concluded that all African Americans, slaves and freemen, were not citizens of the U.S., and therefore could not sue in federal court. In a somewhat similar case, Henry Poindexter, the slave of John Anderson in Campbell County, KY, was given his freedom by the Supreme Court of Ohio. For many years, Poindexter had been allowed to hire himself out in Ohio with Anderson's permission. In 1848, Poindexter made an agreement with Anderson to purchase his freedom. Poindexter received promissory notes from Anderson that specified the cost of Poindexter's freedom; he was valued at about $1,000. Poindexter was the principal of the notes and the sureties were Thomas C. Gowdy, Jackson White, and Francis Donaldson. Once in Ohio, Poindexter and the cosigners refused to pay Anderson the amount of the notes, and Poindexter declared his freedom because Ohio was a free state. Anderson filed suit in the state of Ohio to regain his slave. In 1856, the Supreme Court of Ohio found that Henry Poindexter was a free man. Contrary to the U.S. Constitution, Poindexter was not an escaped slave, nor was he passing through Ohio to another destination; in Ohio he was a free person, and in the opinion of Justice Ozias Bowen, Poindexter had been free since the first time he set foot on Ohio soil; returning to Kentucky had not made him a slave again. He was free when he made the contract with Anderson, and in Kentucky, contracts were not legal between a master and his slave; therefore the contract was void. Henry Poindexter was born in Alabama and was the husband of Harriet Poindexter (b. 1828). The family is listed as free and living in Fairfield, OH, then Hamilton, OH, beginning with the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was employed as a laborer. According to the U.S. Colored Troops enlistment records, on January 30, 1865, in Dayton, OH, Henry Poindexter enlisted as a private in Company B, 16th U.S. Colored Infantry. After his service in the Union Army, Poindexter returned to Hamilton, where he died December 10, 1889 and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. His grave is part of the African American Civil War Memorial. A headstone was provided by the U.S. Government at some point prior to 1903. For more see An Imperfect Union, by P. Finkelman; the second paragraph of "The News" in the Syracuse Daily Courier, 05/18/1857, p. 2; and "In the Supreme Court of Ohio. Poindexter et al. vs Anderson, et al.," The American Law Register (1852-1891), vol. 6, issue 2/3 (Dec., 1857 - Jan., 1858), pp. 78-122.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Alabama / Campbell County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio

Polin, Edward, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2005
Polin was born in Washington County, KY, the son of Edward Sr. and Sarah Polin. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived on Kentucky State Highway 152. Edward Polin, Jr. is thought to be the first African American from Kentucky to enlist in the U. S. Marine Corps. Polin served in World War II, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946. He is buried in the Springfield Cemetery Hill in Springfield, KY. For more see "Edward Polin, first black Marines enlistee from Kentucky, dies at 84," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/02/05, section B, p. 4.

 


  See the photo image of the uniform that belonged to Edward Polin, Jr. while he was in the U.S. Marine Corps., held at the Kentucky Historical Society.

 
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Porter, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dr. B. F. Porter was 3rd Assistant Physician at the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum in Louisville, KY, in 1896; he was the first African American doctor at the facility. Porter was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the husband of Elizabeth Porter (1843-1910, born in CT) and the father of Wiley Porter (b. 1877 in KY). Dr. Porter received his medical degree in 1878 and was an 1899 graduate of the College of Hypnotism. The family had lived in Columbia, SC, where Dr. Porter was a minister before coming to Kentucky, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The Porter's employed two African American servants who worked at their home. While Dr. Porter was employed at the asylum, he and his family lived in the housing provided by the institution. The Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum had been established in 1874 as a state house for "feeble minded children." A third of the appropriations for the facility were to be used for the Colored inmates, who were to be kept in a separate ward from the white inmates. The facility had formerly been the State House of Reform for Juveniles. Dr. Porter's appointment to the institution by Kentucky Governor William O. Bradley caused a bit of alarm throughout the state when it was reported that Dr. Porter would be treating both Colored and white children. An article by the asylum superintendent, H. F. McNary, was published in The Medical News, reassuring all that Dr. Porter would only be treating the more than 200 Colored patients. With McNary's published letter, The Medical News editor gave the journal's approval to the hiring of Dr. Porter. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Porter was also pastor of the African Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. By 1910, the Porter Family had left Kentucky for Carbondale, IL, where Dr. Porter practiced medicine, was minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and was a member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. The family employed one African American servant. Dr. Porter was also a veteran; he was a barber when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 10, 1864, and served with the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary, according to his military service records. For more see "Colored Medical Doctors as Attendants in Insane Asylums," The Medical News, vol. 68, January-June 1896, p. 622 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Rev. B. F. Porter," The Daily Free Press, 12/22/1911, p. 5; and Marie Porter Wheeler Papers at the University of Illinois at Springfield. For more about the Asylum see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, Regular Session, December 1873, Chapter 287, pp. 29-30 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Massachusetts / Columbia, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Porter, William Edward "Bill"
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1985
William E. Porter, born in Stanley, KY, was the second son of James Lester Porter and Edna Mae Hazelwood Porter. The family left Daviess County when William was a small child and moved to Gary, IN, where his father worked in the steel mills; the family later moved to Lima, OH. William Porter was a star athlete at Central High School in Lima, where he played football and set a number of track records. In 1936, he enlisted in the Army and served in North Africa during World War II, later serving in Italy with the 92nd Infantry, 366th Regiment, Company B. Porter was a 1st Lieutenant and was awarded a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, and Bronze Star for his service in World War II. During the Korean War, he was a Captain; he received a second Purple Heart and a Silver Star during that conflict. After his retirement in 1958, Major William Porter began his second career with the ROTC and served as a military police instructor in Kansas City, MO, and Monrovia, Liberia, Africa, while still on active duty. Porter died in November 1985 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. William E. Porter was the grandson of McDonald and Elvira Porter and the great-grandson of Richard Hazelwood. This entry was submitted by Denyce Porter Peyton. For additional information see Lima News articles 1933-1936 and 1958.

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Stanley, Daviess County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana / Lima, Ohio

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

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

Postell, Peter, Sr. [Peter Glass]
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1901
Postell (spelled Postel in some sources) was a former slave who was born in South Carolina according to census records. He owned a merchant business in Hopkinsville, KY, and was considered quite wealthy. He was often referred to as "The Richest Negro in the South." His estate was valued at $500,000. During slavery, Postell, had the name Peter Glass. He was brought to Kentucky from North Carolina, and he later escaped and joined the Union Army during the Civil War, serving with the 16th U.S. Colored Infantry, according to his military service record, he was in the brass band. Postell had enlisted in Clarksville, TN, in January of 1864, and North Carolina was listed as his birth state. He returned to Kentucky after the war and opened a grocery store in Hopkinsville and is listed in the 1870 U.S Federal Census as Peter Postell. He was the husband of Pauline Buckner Postell, b.1851 in Christian County, KY, [her father was born in S.C.]. Peter Postell was the son of Mrs. C. Kirkpatrick, who was born around 1819 in South Carolina. According to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the Postell household consisted of Peter, his wife and four children, his mother, her husband and their son, and a boarder. Peter and Pauline Postell had several more children before Peter died in 1901. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the the Documenting the American South website; "A Rich Negro," The Adair County News, 08/21/1901, p. 1; and "Death of a wealthy Negro," New York Times, 05/23/1901, p.1.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: South Carolina / North Carolina / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

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

Powell, William Jennifer, Sr.
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1942
William J. Powell, Sr. was born William Jennifer in Henderson, KY; he had a sister named Edna Jennifer. Their father died, and their mother moved to Chicago and married Mr. Powell, who adopted the children. After high school, William Powell enrolled at the University of Illinois at Champaign [now University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] but left in 1917 to join the U.S. Army. At the end of World War I, he returned to college and earned his electrical engineering degree. In 1928 he left Chicago to enroll in the Warren School of Aeronautics in Los Angeles. Powell learned to fly, and his lifetime goal was to encourage African Americans to become pilots. He saw the field as a way for African Americans to get ahead economically by becoming part of the air age and to help break down the racial barriers in public transportation. Powell was the successful owner of Craftsmen of Black Wings, Inc., an aviation company that offered flying lessons. He also made the documentary film, Unemployment, the Negro, and Aviation (1935); published the trade journal Craftsmen Aero-News (1937-1938); and organized all-black air shows with pilots such as Betsy Coleman and Hubert Fauntleroy Julian. Powell wrote an autobiography, Black Wings (1934). He was the husband of Lucylle Powell and the father of William Jr. and Bernadyne Powell. William Powell, Sr. was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. For more see Black Aviator: the story of William J. Powell, a new edition of William J. Powell's 1934 Black Wings; and see William Jennifer Powell in Encyclopedia of African American Business History, by J. E. K. Walker.

See photo image and additional information about William J. Powell, Sr. at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Authors, Aviators, Businesses, Engineers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Los Angeles, California

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

R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1938
In December of 1938, the R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 was organized for Colored veterans of foreign wars. Officers were to be elected the following January. The post was under the Hugh McKee Post No.677. The McKee post was believed to be the oldest in Kentucky. The initial members of Hathway Post No. 3593 were a rather elite group of African American men.

  • Rev. John N. Christopher, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, husband of Mary E. Christopher, lived at 274 E. 5th Street.
  • Rev. Clarence Galloway, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, husband of Mary B. Galloway, lived at 233 Roosevelt Blvd.
  • Rev. John C. Newman, served in the Philippines in 1899, husband of Ella B. Newman, lived at 301 E. 6th Street.
  • Rev. John A. Jackson, who was blind, lived at 623 N. Upper Street.
  • Rev. James W. Wood, husband of Estella Wood, managing editor of Inter-State County News, notary public, lived at 519 E. 3rd Street.
  • Dr. Charles C. Buford Sr., husband of Roberta Buford, office at 269 E. Second Street, lived at 423 N. Upper Street.
  • Dr. Bush A. Hunter, office at 439 N. Upper Street, lived at 437 N. Upper Street.
  • John W. Rowe, the only Colored lawyer in Lexington in 1938, husband of Hattie H. Rowe (director of Douglas Park in 1939), office at 180 Deweese, lived at 860 Georgetown Street.
For more see the printed announcement on the letterhead "Hugh McKee Post No. 677, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Lexington, Kentucky," dated December 29, 1938, found in the 'Negroes' file of the Milward Collection (vertical file), Box - Moss Family-Newspapers, University of Kentucky Special Collections; for home addresses and other information see Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory 1937-1939.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Race Riot of 1917 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1917
On September 1, 1917, a race riot broke out in Lexington, KY. It was one of the many riots that took place across the United States between 1917 and 1921. The country was at war abroad, while at home tensions had been created due to the demands for civil rights, and the Great Migration North had created employment and housing competition between the races. The day of the Lexington riot, there was an extremely large number of African Americans in the city; they had arrived for the week of activities at the Colored A. & M. Fair that was held on Georgetown Pike. The colored fair in Lexington was one of the largest in the South. During the same period, National Guard troops were camped on the edge of the city. On the day of the riot, three National Guard troops were passing in front of an African American restaurant, shoving aside those who were on the sidewalk. A fight broke out and reinforcements arrived for both sides, leading to a riot. The Kentucky National Guard was summoned, and once calm was restored, armed soldiers on foot and on mount patrolled the streets, along with the police. All other National Guard troops were restricted from the city streets for the duration of the fair. The story of the riot was carried in newspapers across the United States. For more see "Race rioting in Lexington," The Ogden Standard, 09/01/1917, p. 13; and "Race riot in Lexington," Raleigh Herald, 09/07/1917, p. 6.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Military & Veterans, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette 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.

Ray, William Benjamin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1925
William Benjamin Ray, Sr. was born in Lexington, KY, to Beatrice Clifton Smith and Mason Ray. He is an Army veteran and a graduate of Oberlin College and Boston University. In the United States, he was an opera singer with De Paur's Infantry, Karamu Theater, and Cleveland Playhouse. His career began in 1957 in Europe, where he performed in operas and orchestras and on stage and television. In 1974, he founded Black Theater Productions in Stuttgart, Germany, and served as its president until 1985. Ray is included in Blacks in Opera. He was a faculty member at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Graz - Austria and a professor of voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University and at the Howard University Department of Music. Ray is retired and lives in Odenton, Maryland. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; and N. Sears, "Another high note for singer - Legacy Award crowns opera career filled with mentoring, teaching," Special to The Sun, 02/04/2007, Local section, p. 1G.

See photo image and additional information about William Benjamin Ray, Sr. at bottom half of Sam's Subject Index webpage.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Stuttgart, Germany, Europe / Austria, Europe / Odenton, Maryland

Redd, Michael R.
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 2007
In 1963, Mike Redd, from Newburg (Jefferson County), KY, was the first African American named Kentucky Mr. Basketball. Redd was chosen over Clem Haskins, an outstanding basketball player in Taylor County. Redd, a 6'2" guard, is remembered as one of the best basketball players ever in the state of Kentucky. As an 8th grader, he scored 25 points in a varsity game, and helped take his Seneca High School team to the regionals in 1961 and 1962. His teammate was Wes Unseld. Seneca was the state high school basketball champion in 1963, with Redd averaging 26.5 points during the tournament. The team was coached by Bob Mulcahy. Mike Redd was named All-State three times. In 1963 he was named to the All-Tournament Team and was a member of the Parade All-American Team. He was named to the 1999 Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame (.pdf). Mike Redd played college ball at Kentucky Wesleyan for one year. He averaged 20.7 points and 6.8 rebounds. He played a season at Sullivan Business College [now Sullivan University] in Louisville before joining the U.S. Marines. He served during the Vietnam War. Redd also played basketball while in the service and helped his team win two AAU Men's Basketball Championships: 1969 Armed Forces All-Stars and the 1970 Armed Forces All-Stars [source: p.13 in 2010 Amateur Athletic Union Men's Handbook (online .pdf)]. After his enlistment was completed, Redd remained in Europe and played basketball in France for about a decade, and he started a basketball school in Austria. Mike Redd was gifted with the ability to speak several languages. When he returned to the United States, Redd, a chef, was owner of a restaurant in San Jose, CA and in Nashville, TN. Mike Redd died in Atlanta, GA. He was the son of Susie Cairo Logan, who died December 15, 2007, in California a few hours prior to her son's death. For more see "Former Kentucky Mr. Basketball dies," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 12/19/2007, Sports section, p.6C [online at Google News]; B. White, "Headline: What's up with...? Bob Mulcahy; Coach of great Seneca teams recalls glory days," Louisville Courier-Journal, 03/15/2004, Sports section, p.E1; and C. Ray Hall, "Mike Redd: 1944-2007; Seneca's 1963 Mr. Basketball one of state's best ever," Louisville Courier-Journal, 12/18/2007, Sports section, p.C1.
Subjects: Basketball, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Military & Veterans, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / France, Europe / Atlanta, Georgia

Reid, Barney Ford, Jr.
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1951
Barney F. Reid, Jr., a tailor, was born in Lancaster, KY. He was at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I and was promoted to sergeant. He was made principal of the Consolidated Army School and in 1931 became president of Cincinnati Theological Seminary. Reid was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati, OH, from 1927 to his death in 1951. Barney F. Reid, Jr. was the son of Barney F. Reid, Sr. and Marie Hendron Reid. He was the husband of Claudia Ballen Reid, the couple married in Jeffersonville, IN, on December 2, 1895 [source: Indiana Marriage Records]. Barney F. Reid, Jr. died November 10, 1951 in Cincinnati, OH. [source: Ohio Department of Health Certificate of Death]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America,1928-29, and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lancaster, Garrard County, Kentucky / Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Cincinnati, Ohio

Rich, Geneva Cooper
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1989
Geneva Cooper Rich was a musician who played the organ and the piano, and she was an internationally known singer from Louisville, KY. She studied music under R. Todd Duncan at the Louisville Municipal College. She received the title of "Unofficial Ambassador of Democracy" while in Morocco in 1954. Geneva Cooper Rich had gone to Rabat, Morocco to join her husband, Clayburn Rich (1916-1991), who was a sergeant in the U. S. Air Force. While there, she trained singing groups and she performed at the Non-Commissioned Officers' Club. Her notoriety grew and Geneva Cooper Rich soon signed a singing contract with Radio-Maroc to perform American gospel music. She was the first African American to sign a singing contract in Morocco. She also sang live for the American-owned broadcast station in Morocco. In recognition, she received a letter of commendation from Mrs. Eisenhower for her work as a gospel singer with the Armed Forces in Northern Africa. Prior to her career in Morocco, Geneva Cooper had been a member of several singing groups in Louisville, KY, and she had guest appearances on the television and the radio. She was one of the first African Americans to have a sponsored radio program in Kentucky. After leaving Kentucky and traveling with her husband, Geneva Cooper Rich lived in a number of locations. Her husband had been in the Air Force for 18 years in 1958 when the family of four moved from Blytheville, AR, to Lebanon, IN. They had planned to live in their trailer, but because they were Negroes, they were not allowed to station their trailer at any of the lots in the city. The family decided to live in a house and sold the trailer. In 1964, the family moved to North Highlands, CA; Clayburn Rich was stationed at McClellan Air Force Base. When the family moved to Kentucky, Geneva Cooper Rich was still performing and she sang the national anthem at the 1967 inauguration of Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn. She also wrote the song "The Modern Moses" in 1970 as a dedication to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more see "Radio Morocco presents Kentucky gal's spirituals," Washington Afro-American, 04/26/1955, p.7; see p.317 in The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; "Appreciation," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/19/1958, p.6; "Arkansas family in trailer gets no Hoosier hospitality," Indianapolis Recorder, 03/29/1958, p.1 & 2; "Louisville singer, pianist, radio artist...," Jet, 07/09/1964, p.64; see Geneva Cooper Rich in "Judge Dawson to introduce new governor," Daily News, 11/19/1967, p.12; and see the entry "The Modern Moses" by Geneva Cooper Rich, on p.1080 in the Catalog of Copyright Entries, 3rd series, v.24, part 1, number 1, section 1, 1970: January-June, Books and Pamphlets, Current and Renewal Registrations, by Library of Congress, Copyright Office.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Radio, Television, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Rabat, Morocco, Africa / Blytheville, Arkansas / Lebanon, Indiana / North Highlands, California

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.

Richardson, Henry Reedie
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2008
Henry R. Richardson was the first African American teacher at Campbellsville High School and Campbellsville University, both located in Campbellsville, KY, Richardson's home town. He was the son of Reedie R. and Fisher Richardson, and the husband of Beulah Rice Richardson. He was a science graduate of Kentucky State University and earned his Master of Science degree in animal husbandry from Michigan State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, Richardson enlisted December 18, 1942 in Louisville, KY, according to his Army Enlistment Record. He was a staff sergeant and platoon leader with the 364 Quartermaster Truck Company. He was a biology teacher in the Campbellsville School System for 32 years, 11 years at a segregated school. Richardson was also a community leader, he was one of the first board members of the Taylor Regional Hospital and was also on the Campbellsville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. In recognition of his community service, Richardson was awarded the Campbellsville Citizen of the Year Award, the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. He was appointed to the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents by Governor John Y. Brown. For more see the Henry Reedie Richardson entry in the "Obituaries & Memorials," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/27/2008, p.B4.

  See photo image of Henry R. Richardson on p.62 in the book Campbellsville by J. Y. DeSpain et. al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Housing Authority, The Projects, Military & Veterans, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Robinson, Adam M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1950
In 2007, Adam M. Robinson, Jr. is the 36th Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy and was named Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, both confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Robinson was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Hilda Brown Robinson and Dr. Adam Robinson, Sr. Their son, Adam, Jr., is a 1968 graduate of Louisville Dupont Male High School. Robinson came from a musical family that integrated the local symphony orchestra in Louisville: his mother, sister, and brother played violin, and Adam Robinson, Jr. played the French horn. After high school, Robinson earned his undergraduate degree in 1972 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 1976, both from Indiana University. He later earned a masters in business administration at the University of South Florida. Robinson has been in the Navy since his enlistment in 1977, and he has an extensive record of accomplishments, including having been the ship's surgeon on the USS Midway, head of the Colon and Rectal Surgery Division at the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland, and head of the General Surgery Department and director of the Residency Program at the Naval Medical Center in Virginia. In 2005, Robinson became the commander of the Navy Medicine National Capital Area Region. His accomplishments also include decorations such as the Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Joint Service Achievement Medal. Dr. Robinson is a member of numerous organizations, including the Black Academic Surgeons; he is an associate professor of surgery at the National Health Sciences School of Medicine. This entry was submitted by Charlene Genton Mattingly. For more see Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. at the United States Navy Biography website; and G. A. Dawson, "Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD", Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 100, issue 2 (February 2008), pp. 168-170. Watch the video of Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. MC, USN on YouTube.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Robinson, James H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1963
James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the son of Nathaniel and Martha Robinson. He moved to Cincinnati in 1915 to teach sixth grade at Douglass School. Robinson was a World War I veteran. He would become the Executive Secretary of the Negro Civic Welfare Association, which sponsored African American social work for the City of Cincinnati. He was also author of a number of publications, including the "Cincinnati Negro Survey" (later called "The Negro in Cincinnati"), published by the National Conference of Social Work in 1919; and "Social Agencies and Race Relations," a printed address in the Proceedings of the National Inter-Racial Conference (1925). Robinson attended Fisk University, earning his A.B. in 1911. He earned a second A.B. degree in 1912, an M.A. degree in 1914, and then pursued his Ph.D. in sociology, all at Yale University. He was the first African American to receive a fellowship at Yale University, the Larned Fellowship in 1913. Robinson also studied sociology and social service at the graduate level at Columbia University from 1914-1915. James H. Robinson, Sr. was a member of several organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and he was the only African American member of the National Council of the American Association of Social Workers. He was the husband of Neola E. Woodson, who was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the newly formed Zeta Chapter in 1920. She was a school teacher in Cincinnati and at Covington High School. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; River Jordan, by J. W. Trotter, Jr.; Race and the city: work, community, and protest in Cincinnati, 1820-1970, by H. L. Taylor; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.

See photo image of James Hathaway Robinson, Sr. within the Digital Images Database at Yale University Manuscripts and Archives.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Rogers, Lydia Jetton
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1998
Lydia Jetton Rogers was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Henrietta Jetton and John Jetton who was a post office clerk in Louisville [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1930, Lydia Jetton was a divorcee living in Chicago on South Parkway; she was a roommate with Kentuckians Ethel Hill, a department store stenographer, and Frankie V. Adams, then a secretary at the YWCA [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1939, Lydia Jetton returned to Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. as director of student services, and she would become a home economics instructor; she had earned her bachelor's degree in home economics from Bennett College, her master's degree in home economics from the University of Wisconsin, and was studying for her doctorate during the summers at Columbia University [sources: Hill's Greensboro (Guilford County, N.C.) City Directory, volumes 1936-1942; "In it's program...," The Crisis, December 1939, p.357, bottom of column 3; and "3 members of Bennett faculty get awards," The Afro American, 04/27/1940, p.9]. By 1949, Lydia Jetton had married Otis Rogers, the marriage would end in divorce. The couple lived in Washington, D.C. at 341 Bryant St. N.W. Lydia Rogers' work with the military allowed her to traveled abroad during WWII, arriving back in the U.S. on the Samaria (ship), September 18, 1949 [source: U.S. Department of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Service, List of In-bound Passengers, List No. 31, p.141]. Rogers was a researcher in clothing and textiles at the Bureau of Standards and studied synthetic fibers for the military. She was also acting head of the Home Economics Department at Howard University. In 1951, she took a two year leave to establish a home economics department at Osmund College in Nigeria, Africa. Lydia Jetton Rogers retired from Howard University in the 1960s. She was 100 years old when she died, October 7, 1998 in Washington, D.C. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Lydia Rogers dies; professor at Howard U., The Washington Post, Obituaries section, p.B06.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Researchers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Greensboro, North Carolina / Washington, D.C. / Nigeria, Africa

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

Kentucky Cemeteries:

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

Ross, Travus
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1908
Travus Ross, from Kentucky, served as a body servant during the Civil War, first for Colonel Roberts and later for General Sherman. After the war, he was appointed to the Post Office Department in Washington, D.C., where he was a special messenger. He served under 17 postmaster generals. In 1901 his annual salary was increased to $1,000. Travus Ross died September 29, 1908 in Washington, D.C. [source: District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, rf #cn 182228]. He was thought to be 60 years old. For more see "Travus Ross," an article in the Special Issue to The New York Times, 09/30/1908, p. 7, and also in Every Where; an American Magazine of World-Wide Interest, vol. 23, issue 1 (September 1908), p. 173 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Rout, Richard
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1905
Richard Rout was born around 1861 in Stanford, KY, the son of Judy [or Juda] Rout. In 1891, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army in Cincinnati, OH, on December 8 [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments]. He had previously enlisted in November of 1886, serving with the 25th Infantry. He enlisted again the 12th of December 1896, at Ft. Harrison, MT. Rout was one of the twenty soldiers in Company H, 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps. In 1897, starting on the 14th of June, the men rode bicycles 1,900 miles from Ft. Missoula, MT, to St. Louis, MO, arriving the 24th of July. They were testing the bicycles as a mode of transportation for troops. According to an article in the National Baptist World newspaper, the bicycle had been considered a failure for Army purposes in 1894, based on tests in Germany, France, and Austria. But in 1897, Lt. James A. Moss was given the mission of leading 20 soldiers on the 1,900 mile trip; Lt. Moss's final report would be a factor as to whether the U.S. Army would form a Bicycle Corp or not. Richard Rout and his fellow soldiers completed the journey, but a bicycle corp was not formed. Rout was still in the Army in 1898, Company H, 25th Infantry, stationed in Ft. Missoula, MT, according to a newspaper article; Richard Rout had written a letter to his sister, Annie Rout Myers Saulter, in Stanford, KY, saying that he was getting ready to go to war and his company would be marching to Dry Tortugas [source: see "Richard Rout" in article "Added Local," Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, 04/01/1898, p. 2, column 2]. The orders were changed and the unit went to Cuba. Richard Rout was discharged from the Army Jun 17, 1899 at Fort Huachuca in Arizona, and he was noted as an excellent corporal [source: U.S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1896, p.43]. According to his death certificate #283, Richard Rout was born in 1861, and he had been employed as a porter prior to his death from hepatitis at St. Mary's Hospital in Tucson, AZ, on September 20, 1905, and he was buried in the Citizens Cemetery in Prescott, AZ. [From 1864-1933, both veterans and civilians were buried in Citizens Cemetery which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.] In addition to his sister, Annie Rout Myers Saulter (1865-1911), Richard Rout's other siblings were Jessie Rout Myers (1859-1915) and Susan Rout (b. 1853) [sources: 1870 U.S. Federal Census and Kentucky Death Certificates]. For more see Richard Rout in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; "Pvt. Richard Rout," Riders of the Bicycle Corps blog, and an overview of 25th Bicycle Corps; see "25th Infantry Regiment Bicycle Corps" the daily account on pp. 28-38 in Black Warriors, by A. E. Williams; The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels, a PBS Home Video; and "A failure: the bicycle not a success for Army purposes - test made in Europe," National Baptist World, 11/09/1894, p. 3.

See photo image of the 25th Bicycle Corps at the blog site.
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Fort Missoula, Montana / Saint Louis, Missouri / Tucson, Arizona

Rudd, Robert R.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1930
Robert R. Rudd was from Bloomfield, Nelson County, KY, and grew up in Ohio. He was born July 25, 1860, the son of Charles H. and Jemima Rudd, and it is not known if he was ever enslaved [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census & Rudd's death certificate]. The family of six was living in Springfield, OH, as early as 1870 [source. U.S. Federal Census]. Robert R. Rudd was a carpenter as a civilian. In the military, he was captain of the "I" Company of the 48th Infantry during the Spanish-American War. Rudd's military career had begun in 1875, when as a teen he served with the Ohio National Guard, then later became a captain in 1881. The 48th Infantry began as a volunteer unit, one of the temporary regiments that was finally authorized by Congress. African American volunteers had not been accepted at the recruitment stations, so they formed their own volunteer units and appealed to the President of the United States and to Congress for military acceptance. The 48th Infantry served mainly in the Philippine Islands between 1900-1901, where some of the men died of diseases such tuberculosis and small pox. After the war, the 48th Infantry was mustered out of the service as a volunteer unit. Captain Robert R. Rudd was well respected for his command; he did survive the war. Rudd died January 20, 1930 in Springfield, OH, he was single and had lived at 727 Garfield [source: Ohio Certificate of Death, File #580]. For more about his service life, see the Robert R. Rudd Papers, 1875-1906, at the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center. For more about other African American men who served in the 48th Infantry during the Spanish-American War, see On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. K. Schubert and F. N. Schubert.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Bloomfield, Nelson County, Kentucky / Ohio

Rudder, John Earl, Jr. [John Rudder and Doris Rudder v United States of America]
Birth Year : 1925
John E. Rudder, Jr., born in Paducah, KY, was the first African American to receive a regular commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a graduate of the Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Rudder had enlisted in 1943 and served with the 51st Defense Battalion. He was discharged in 1946 and enrolled in Purdue University, where he was awarded an NROTC midshipman contract. He received his commission in 1948, was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant, then sent to Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia. Rudder resigned his commission in 1949; the resignation was handled quietly by the press and the Marine Corps. Rudder's commission had come at a time when the Marine Corps was being challenged about its segregation policies. Rudder, his wife Doris, and their children settled in Washington, D.C., and in 1952 lived in a two bedroom apartment in the Lincoln Heights Dwellings. John became a cab driver; he would have a hard time keeping a job and eventually was expelled from Howard University Law School. In 1953, the Rudders were one of more than a million tenants of the federal housing projects required to sign the Certificate of Non-membership in Subversive Organizations. Families who refused to sign the certificate and refused to leave the premises were served with an eviction notice and a suit for possession. The Rudders filed suit against the action. The lower courts decided in favor of the National Capital Housing Authority [manager of the property owned by the United States]. The Rudders filed an appeal; in 1955 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington affirmed a judgment for the Rudders, and the eviction notice was withdrawn. By 1967, the FBI had accumulated eight volumes of surveillance materials on the Rudders. John was labeled a Communist. The Rudders had participated in anti-discrimination and anti-war rallies and marches and picket lines in front of downtown D.C. stores and restaurants. John Rudder said that he had refused the FBI's offer to become a government informant. Rudder was a Quaker and his wife Doris was white and Jewish; they had five children. Their sons Eugene and Karl grew up to become activists. In 1977, their daughter Miriam was denied clearance by the FBI for a research aide position with the congressional committee investigating the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. The clearance was denied because of her parents' protest activities. In 1978, their daughter Beatrice became the first female firefighter in Washington, D.C. John and Doris had become teachers and actors. John had appeared in the plays "Black Like Me" and "The Great White Hope." In 1981, two weeks before John and Doris were to appear in the play "Getting Out," they appeared on the television show 60 Minutes with their daughter Miriam to discuss what they saw as government harassment, including Miriam's employment denial. John E. Rudder, Jr. is the son of John Sr. and Beatrice Rudder. For more see African Americans and ROTC, by C. Johnson; "The Postwar Marine Corps," chapter 10 of Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965, by M. J. MacGregor, Jr. [available online at Project Gutenberg]; John Rudder and Doris Rudder, Appellants v. United States of America, Appellee , No. 12313, 226 F.2d 51, 96 U.S.App.D.C. 329 [online at bulk.resource.org]; T. Morgan, "Family of 'Subversives' pays a high price," Washington Post, 04/06/1981, First section, p. A1; J. Lardner, "John and Doris Rudder," Washington Post, 03/15/1981, Style, Show, Limelight section, p. K3; and J. Stevens, "First woman dons uniform of District Fire Department," Washington Post, 04/06/1978, District Weekly D section, p. C5. See also the 60 Minutes transcript v.XIII, no.24, as broadcast over the CBS Television Network, Sunday, March 1, 1981 [online]: with Morley Safer, John Rudder, Doris Rudder, Miriam Rudder, and U.S. Representative Louis Stokes (1925-1996) - titled " 'Sins" of the Fathers...," pp.6-11, at the Harold Weisberg Archive Digital Collection at Hood College.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Firefighters, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Court Cases, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Russell, Harvey C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1998
Harvey C. Russell, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Harvey C. Russell, Sr. and Julia Jones Russell and the brother of Bessie Tucker Russell Stone and Dr. Randa D. Russell. Harvey Russell, Jr. was a graduate of Kentucky State University. He was the first African American commissioned officer in the U. S. Coast Guard. For a short period of time he was employed by an African American soft drink company, the Brown Belle Bottling Company, owned by Arthur G. Gaston. In 1946, the company began selling Joe Louis Punch. The doo-wop group The Ravens recorded a radio spot, "Ain't No Punch Like Joe Louis Punch." Joe Louis invested in the business, but it was not a success. Harvey Russell, Jr. went on to become an outstanding employee at the Pepsi-Cola Company [now PepsiCo] for 33 years (in New York). Beginning as a field representative in 1950, he was named vice president of Corporate Planning for Pepsi-Cola in 1962 and in 1965 became vice president of PepsiCo. In 1968 he was appointed its corporate vice president of Community Affairs. Russell was the first African American to become vice president of a major corporation. He retired from the PepsiCo in 1983. For more see "Harvey C. Russell, Jr., 1918-1998: Longtime PepsiCo Executive was Nation's First African-American VP of Major Corporation," The Atlanta Inquirer, 03/14/1998, p. 3; "Pioneering Businessman, Harvey Russell, Jr. Dies at 79," Jet, 03/16/1998, p.18; and Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 23 (1997) & vol. 24 (1998).

See Harvey C. Russell, Jr. photo image on p.18 in Jet, 03/16/1998.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York

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

Scott, Tom
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1925
Tom Scott, born in Bourbon County, KY, was a survivor of the Saltville Massacre [the murders of wounded African American Union soldiers who were buried in a single grave], which took place in Virginia during the Civil War. Scott was an escaped slave who became a member of the U.S. 5th Colored Cavalry, having joined up in Lebanon, KY. After the war, he relocated to Rocky Springs, MS, and, according to his great-granddaughter, was one of the first African Americans to own land in Claiborne County. In 2000, a permanent marker was placed on Scott's grave, located in the cemetery next to the Second Union Baptist Church, where Scott had been a deacon. Additional information from University of Kentucky Anthropology Researcher Nancy O'Malley: As a slave, Tom Scott was owned by James Scott of North Middletown, KY. Tom Scott was the husband of Phillis Ann Risk, who was owned by Thomas West Brooks. Tom and Phillis Scott had four children when Tom enlisted in the Army. This information comes from the military muster rolls, a copy of which is available at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, KY. James Scott had 27 slaves, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. Tom Scott would have been about 16 years old in 1860; there is a black male, aged 16, listed in James Scott's slave census. For more see "Memorial service in Mississippi to honor Kentucky slave-turned -soldier," The Associate Press State & Local Wire, 12/02/2000, State and Regional section; and The Saltville Massacre, by T. D. Mays.

Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Ph. 859-257-1944
FAX: 859-323-1968
 
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration South, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Rocky Springs, Mississippi

Shanks, Irvine Lee
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2004
Born in Kenton County, KY, Shanks was the first African American to play basketball at Berea College, during the 1954-1955 seasons. A 6 foot 5 inch center, he was the only African American on the team. No opposing team ever canceled a game due to his presence. In 1955, he helped Berea College win the Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. He was married and had two children when he became a student athlete at Berea. Shanks had been a sergeant in the U.S. Army and fought in the Korean War. He is buried in the Madison County Memorial Gardens, according to the U.S. Veterans Gravesites information. For more see "B" For Berea: The Amazing Story of Berea College Basketball in the Words of the Men Who Played It, by T. Chase; Berea College Magazine, Spring 2002; and "Irvine Shanks, sports pioneer - war veteran broke basketball color barrier in Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/09/2004, City & Region section, p. B4.
Subjects: Basketball, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kenton County, Kentucky / Richmond and Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Shannon, John W.
Birth Year : 1933
Born in Louisville, KY, Colonel Shannon has served as liaison officer in the Office of the Secretary of the Army. He was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Army in 1989, serving in that post until 1993. He has earned numerous awards in the area of military force development and structure, personnel policy, and administrative and congressional affairs. Shannon is a graduate of Central State University and Shippensburg State College [now Shippensburg University]. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins.

See photo image of John W. Shannon at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Shaw, Thomas
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1895
Born a slave in Covington, KY, Thomas Shaw ran away to join the Union Army in 1864. His owner, Mary Shaw, wrote the federal government asking for compensation for her loss. After the Civil War, Thomas Shaw remained with the Army and was on the western frontier with Company K, 9th U.S. Cavalry. He earned the Medal of Honor for the defense of his comrades during a fight with Apache Indians in 1881. Shaw retired from the Army in 1894. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. For more see African American Recipients of the Medal of Honor, by C. W. Hanna.

See photo image of Thomas Shaw at the Wikipedia website.
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

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

Simpsonville Slaughter (Simpsonville, KY)
Start Year : 1865
In January 1865, Company E of the 5th United States Colored Cavalry (USCC) was taking a herd of 1,000 cattle from Camp Nelson to Louisville, KY, when they were ambushed by a band of Confederate guerrillas near Simpsonville, KY. It was estimated that between 22-35 of the soldiers were murdered and later buried in a mass grave. In 2008, the Shelbyville Historical Society received a Lincoln Preservation Grant of $5,000 to identify and preserve the burial site. A historical marker was placed at the site in 2009. For more see The 5th USCC at Simpsonville, KY website; Kentucky.gov press release, "Three projects awarded Kentucky African American Heritage Commission Lincoln Preservation Grants," 03/05/2008, Diane Comer; and J. McDanald, "Marker revives memory of Simpsonville Slaughter," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/21/09, Communities section, p.B1 & B3.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Simpsonville, Shelby County, Kentucky

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

Sloan, John Steward
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 2001
John Steward Sloan was a decorated Tuskegee Airman, a private pilot, an author, a journalist, and the first African American personnel counselor at Inland Steel Company in Chicago. Sloan was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Abram and Patsie Sloan. He was a history and sociology graduate of Kentucky State University. He was a journalist with the Kentucky Reporter newspaper. During WWII, Sloan was a pilot with the 32nd Fighter Group of the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first Black fighter squadron in the U.S. His plane was shot down over Monte Cassino, Italy in 1944; Sloan suffered a fractured thigh when he was hit by shrapnel. He managed to bail out of the plane and survived. Sloan received a Purple Heart and an Honorable Discharge. He returned to Kentucky for a brief period before he and his wife, Wilhelmina Carson Sloan, moved to Chicago, IL, where John Sloan was employed at the Inland Steel Company. Prior to his retirement from the company in 1978, Sloan had advanced to become a corporate finance manager. He was also a private pilot and had worked as a radio DJ. Sloan was a member of the Chicago Urban League. He is the author of two books: The Game Plan for Handicapping Harness Races (1975) and Survival! a Purple Heart Tuskegee Airman (2000). John Steward Sloan died December 28, 2001 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. For more see John Steward Sloan in "Interesting People," Chicago Metro News, 08/04/1979, p.9; E. Smith, "Lt. John S. Sloan shot down over Italy," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/26/2009; and R. E. Igoe, "John Sloan, Sr., Inland Exec, Tuskegee Airman," Chicago Tribune, 01/05/2001, Obituaries section, p.8.
Subjects: Authors, Aviators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Small, George
Birth Year : 1851
Death Year : 1876
George Small was born in Fayette County, KY. He was 21 years old when he enlisted in the U.S. Army in Lexington, KY, on February 12, 1872. He served with the 9th Cavalry, Company L, until his death March 24, 1876. Private George Small and two other Buffalo Soldiers from Fort Union, Private Anthony Harvey from Canada, and Private John Hanson from Maryland, were all killed in a shootout with Gus Heffron and David Crockett at Henry Lambert's Bar in the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, NM. David Crockett was the nephew or grandson of frontiersman David "Davy" Crockett (1786-1836). After the shootout, David Crockett, the younger, and Agustus "Gus" Heffron left Cimarron and were on the run for a few months. They returned to Cimarron during the summer and were arrested, tried, and set free after the charges were dismissed. The men claimed self-defense, and there was a lack of evidence in the case. October of 1876, Crockett and Heffron again returned to Cimarron, got drunk and terrorized the town, resulting in a sheriff's posse killing Crockett and capturing Heffron. Heffron later escaped from jail and disappeared from history. George Small and John Hanson were buried at Fort Union, NM. For more see George Small in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; A. L. Lee, "Black Landmarks in the Un-Black West," 07/24/2005, an AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum website; Santa Fe Trail Research Site: Fort Union Historic Resource Study, chapter seven: The Third Fort Union: Construction and Military Operations, part two (1869-1891); and "David Crockett y Gus Hefferson...," The Daily New Mexican, 08/18/1876, p. 4 [article in Spanish].
Subjects: Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fayette County, Kentucky / Cimarron and Fort Union, New Mexico

Smith, Andrew Jackson
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1932
Born in Lyon County, KY, Smith's father and owner was Elijah Smith, his mother was a slave named Susan. At the age of 19 he ran away and became a servant of Major John Warner of the Union Army. When Warner returned home to Clinton, IL, Smith went with him. Smith would leave Illinois to join the 55th Massachusetts Colored Volunteers, participating in the Battle of Honey Hill, SC; for the bravery he displayed in this battle he was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 2001. He was promoted to Color Sergeant and sent to Boston for his formal mustering out. After his discharge, Smith went back to Clinton, IL, and then returned to Eddyville, KY, where he bought and sold land in Between the Rivers. For more information see Andrew Jackson Smith, by Andrew Bowman, grandson of Andrew Jackson Smith; and the Kentucky Historical Marker Database: Andrew Jackson Smith (Marker Number: 2107).

* Between the Rivers is located in Lyon and Trigg Counties, Kentucky, and Stewart County, Tennessee.*

See photo image of Andrew Jackson Smith in his military uniform at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Eddyville, Lyon County, Kentucky / Honey Hill, South Carolina / Clinton, Illinois

Smith, Benjamin
Birth Year : 1850
Benjamin Smith, from Harrison County, KY, enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 3, 1872 in Louisville, KY. He served with the 9th Cavalry, Company L. On August 26, 1876, Private Benjamin Smith accompanied Private James "Jimmy" Miller to a dance hall in West Las Animas, Colorado. The men were stationed at Fort Lyon, and Miller had been to the dance hall earlier that night and was insulted and forced to leave at gunpoint. The dance hall was reserved for whites on this particular night. When Miller returned with Smith, the two men fired into the dance hall from the porch and killed John Sutherland. Smith and Miller were tried in a civilian court: both were found guilty and sentenced to death. Smith's sentence was commuted to life in prison by Colorado Governor John L. Routt (1826-1907), who was born in Eddyville, KY. James "Jimmy" Miller, from Philadelphia, was hanged on February 19, 1877. It was the first execution in Colorado; statehood had been granted to the Colorado Territory on July 1, 1876. For more see "James Miller" in the Catalog of Colorado Executions website; the James Miller and the Benjamin Smith entries in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II, by I. Schubert and F. N. Schubert; and "How a soldier was hanged," Logansport Journal, 02/20/1877, p. 2.
Subjects: Executions, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Harrison County, Kentucky / Las Animas, Colorado

Smith, Holloway
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1970
Kentucky native Holloway Smith was the second African American football player at Iowa State. The first African American player was Jack Trice, who died in 1923 from injuries received during a football game; Iowa State football stadium is named in his honor. Holloway Smith arrived at Iowa State three years after Jack Trice died. Smith had played one year of football at Michigan State and the following year he became a right tackle on the Iowa team while working toward his bachelor's degree in agricultural education. Smith was an all-state lineman; he stood 6'4" and weighed around 220 pounds. He dominated on the football field, but that was not enough to surpass the Missouri Valley Conference agreement with southern opponents to not use colored players in their competitions. The black press referred to it as the "gentlemen's agreement" [source: F. M. Davis, "World of sports," Capital Plaindealer, 12/13/1936, p. 7; note Smith's name is misspelled as "Hollingsworth"]. In 1926 that agreement kept Holloway Smith out of three games. In 1927, he was only barred from the Missouri game, in spite of which, Smith had a good season and was named 3rd Team All-Missouri Conference. After graduating from Iowa State in 1928, Holloway Smith was a school teacher in Marianna, AR. He was a boarder at the home of Henry and Anna Baker, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. In 1935, he had lived in Louisville, KY, according to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. By 1936, Holloway Smith was still a teacher when the African American newspapers proclaimed him the last Negro football player in the Big Six Conference with Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Nebraska. Holloway Smith had moved on from his football days. While in Pine Bluff, AR in 1940, he was a teacher and he was also a National Youth Administration (NYA) worker, according to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, and he would become the state NYA supervisor. Holloway, his wife, and his sister Bettie Smith, lived at 2020 Reeker Street in Pine Bluff. Holloway Smith left Arkansas in the 1940s. He served as a temporary member of the YMCA U.S.O. Club on 3rd Street in Pittsburg, CA, in 1945, according to the USO-Staff Conference minutes dated June 11, 1945. At the U.S.O., Holloway was standing-in for Maurice Hardeman, who was attending an orientation course in New York. [The USO-Staff Conference minutes are within the National Jewish Welfare Board War Correspondence. National Jewish Welfare Board, Army-Navy Division Records, I-180, at the American Jewish Historical Society.] By 1951, Holloway Smith was living in Monterey, California, according to Polk's Monterey Pacific Grove City Directory, 1951, p. 430; he operated Ella's Southern Kitchen Restaurant. He is last listed as a cook in the 1957 Monterey city directory. Holloway Smith last moved to Reno, Nevada, where he died in January of 1970, according to the U.S. Social Security Death Index. Holloway Smith was born in Spottsville, KY, November 19, 1896, according to his WWI Draft Registration Card completed in Henderson, KY. He was the son of James and Harriett Smith, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. He had been the husband of Eunice Smith who was born around 1902 in Jackson, Mississippi, according to the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. For more information see Black History Month: Holloway Smith; After Trice, an Iowa State website; and "Holloway Smith" in Nevada State Journal, 01/22/1970, p.39.

 

 

See photo image of Holloway Smith at Iowa State website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Football, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Spottsville, Henderson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Ames, Iowa / Marianna and Pine Bluff, Arkansas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Pittsburg and Monterey, California / Reno, Nevada

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

Snorton, Charles C.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 2000
Snorton was a civil rights leader in Cleveland, OH. He was born in Crofton, KY, and was a 1937 sociology graduate of Kentucky State University. Snorton was one of the first members of the Future Outlook League in Cleveland, the organization was formed in 1935 and one of the goals was to encourage white business owners in predominately Black neighborhoods to hire African Americans. When talking did not work, members picketed and used economic boycotts. According to Snorton's newspaper obituary, he is credited for integrating the Ohio Bell Telephone Co., Cleveland Transit System, and trade union apprentice programs. Snorton, who was a World War II veteran, had been a chauffeur and a liquor store manager in Cleveland. For more see A. Baranick, "Charles Snorton, pushed white employers to hire blacks," Plain Dealer, 05/25/2000, Metro section, p.9B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Crofton, Christian County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Stephens, Fred E.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1985
Fred E. Stephens was the first African American Chaplain of the first African American service unit in the Air Corps [today the Air Force] of the U.S. Army. Prior to WWII there were no African Americans in the Air Corps. In 1943, Stephens was one of 22 African American, commissioned, graduates from the 9th class of the Army Chaplain School of Harvard University [more information]. The first class had graduated in August of 1942. Fred E. Stephens was born in Tatesville [Tateville], KY, the son of Sandy and Bertha A. Davis Stephens. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Sandy was a farmer, Bertha was a farmhand, and the family lived in Patesville, Hancock County, KY. They later moved to Evansville, IN, were Fred Stephens graduated from high school. He earned his A.B. from Indiana University in 1932, and his LL.D. from Shorter College in 1942. He was pastor of AME churches in Atlanta, GA; Tucson, AZ; and Columbia, MO. He was a member of the NAACP national board and general chairman of the branch in Kansas City, MO. He was a member of the YMCA, the Masons, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, and was vice president of the Young Democratic League. He was also the author of newspaper and journal articles, and was a radio announcer in Arizona and Missouri. In the late 1950s, Stephens served as pastor of the Bethel AME Church in Kansas City, MO. In the 1970s, Stephens was pastor of the first AME Church in Los Angeles; in 1975 he married Ralph Russell and Debraca Denise Foxx, daughter of comedian and actor Redd Foxx. Rev. Fred E. Stephens died in Los Angeles, April of 1985. For more see Chaplain Fred E. Stephens in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; P. D. Davis, "22 receive commission as Chaplain," Plaindealer, 07/09/1943, p.5; and Rev. Fred Stephens in photograph on p.203 in The Crisis, April 1958 [available online at Google Book Search], and p.361 in The Crisis, Jun-Jul 1958 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Radio, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Tatesville [probably Tateville], Pulaski County, Kentucky / Patesville, Hancock County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana / Kansas City, Missouri / Los Angeles, California

Stevens, George
Birth Year : 1815
Stevens was born in Georgetown, KY, the son of Washington Stevens. A slave, he had many owners until he joined the Army during the Civil War. He was present at a number of battles and was on the tugboat "Thompson" when Vicksburg was taken in 1863. At the end of the war, Stevens settled in Springfield, IL, where he lived at the corner of Fifteenth and Jefferson Streets, and worked in a lumberyard. In 1868, the 14th Amendment was ratified, and George Stevens voted for Ulysses S. Grant during the presidential election. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago); and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Freedom, Voting Rights, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Logging, Lumbering, Lumber Business, Lumber Employees
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Vicksburg, Mississippi / Springfield, Illinois

Stewart, Harry T., Jr.
Birth Year : 1924
Harry T. Stewart, Jr. was born in Newport News, Virginia. In 1948, Stewart, a decorated member of the Tuskegee Airmen, was sighted falling from the eastern Kentucky sky by 9-year-old Callie Daniels, who mistook his parachute for a white eagle. Stewart's P-47 fighter plane crashed into a hilltop in Butcher Hollow, and Stewart landed beneath a rock cliff. His leg was broken in two places. Young Callie's father, Lafe, found Stewart and took him to the house where his wife, Mary Daniels, cleaned and bandaged Stewart's leg. Stewart was given moonshine, which he mistook for water, to help ease the pain; afterward he was able to be taken to the Paintsville Clinic, where members of the U. S. Air Force would later arrive to transport him to Ohio. Over the years, the story was told that the Air Force shot down a B-52 bomber that had been stolen by a black man. Stewart was actually on a simulated armed reconnaissance from Columbus, OH, to Greenville, SC, when his plane had engine failure and he had to bail out. For more see L. Mueller, "WWII Pilot to Revisit Site of Kentucky Crash - Over Van Lear, Tuskegee Pilot Bailed Out in '48," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/06/05.

See photo image of Lt. Colonel Harry T. Stewart, Jr. at The Gatherings of Mustangs and Legends website.
Subjects: Aviators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Newport News, Virginia / Butcher Hollow and Paintsville, Johnson County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Greenville, South Carolina

Stone, James A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1862
James Stone, Sr. was a fugitive slave from Kentucky who had settled in Lorain, Ohio. He is listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census with no indication of race, Stone lived with African Americans Sarah Baker from Vermont and Godfrey Gaskins who was also from Kentucky. In the 1860 Census, Stone is married and has several children. There is no indication of race for the entire family. James Stone would pass for white and join the Union Army. He fought as a soldier in Kentucky and was injured and soon after died. After his death, it was revealed that Stone was African American. He is recognized as the first African American Union Soldier; Stone enlisted two years before African Americans were allowed to join the Union Army. According to his U.S. Civil War Record, Stone enlisted on August 23, 1861 in the Ohio 1st LA Battery E Light Artillery Battery. He was mustered out on his death date October 30, 1862; Stone died at the General Hospital in Nashville, TN. He is buried in the Nashville National Cemetery in South Madison, TN, Section B Site 6657 [source: National Cemetery Administration, U.S. Veterans Gravesites]. James Stone's wife and children were listed as Mulattoes in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Sources: Black Studies Center - Timeline; The Civil War Month by Month: August 1861 by the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library; and The Black Book by M. A. Harris, p.159.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lorain, Ohio / Nashville, Tennessee

Stone, Kara L.
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 1995
Stone was born in Richmond, KY, the daughter of J. Lynn Stone. She was a graduate of Richmond High School and Knoxville College. After teaching for a couple of years, she joined the WACs and spent three years in France. Stone returned to the U.S. and in 1960 became the first African American graduate student at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). After completing her masters degree, Stone taught at the Louisville School for the Blind, in the Paris, KY, School System, and was a history professor at EKU. A. B. Dunston completed Stone's oral history in 1993; the recording is part of the African American Community of Madison County Oral History Project in the Eastern Kentucky University Libraries. See also Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2004; and M. Bailey, "Richmond teacher has made a lasting impression," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/10/1984, Lifestyle section, p. D1.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs), Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / France

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

Suter Brothers, Barbers
Start Year : 1871
End Year : 1908
Andrew and Richard Suter were born near Midway, KY, two of at least eight children born to Charles and Winnie Suter. Prior to becoming a businessman, Andrew Suter (b. 1847) served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He returned to Midway, KY, and in 1870 married Kentucky native Ellen P. Clark (1857-1918 [source: Still Voices Yet Speak]). Also in 1870, Andrew Suter had an account with the Freedman's Bank in Lexington [source: Freedman's Bank Records], and the following year he became a barber in Lexington, KY, staying in business for 37 years. For a few of those years, Andrew and his brother, Richard Suter (b. 1842), were in business together, "S., R. & A.," and their shop was located in the basement at 2 S. Upper Street [source: Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876]. By 1878, Andrew Suter and William Anderson were in business together as "Suter and Anderson"; the barber shop was located on the corner of Upper and Main Streets [source: R. C. Hellrigle and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1877-78]. Richard Suter, who was also a chiropodist (foot doctor), was doing business on his own and in 1882 was a barber in the Phoenix Hotel [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. "Suter and Anderson" continued to thrive within the barbering business. Andrew Suter had a Colored servant, Amy Ferguson, who was employed at his home [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. By 1898, "Suter and Anderson" had several other employees: William Anderson Jr., Clarence Suter (Andrew's son), Henry Dupee, and Churchill Johnson. During the same period, Richard Suter and McCagih Robinson had a barbering business, "Suter and Robinson," in the basement of a building at the corner of Main and Limestone Streets [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9]. In addition to being a barber, Andrew Suter was a member of the Colored First Baptist Church in Lexington. He was re-elected treasurer of the church in June of 1904, at which time he had been treasurer for 27 years. Suter was dedicated to his duties, and in August of 1904, when the church split, he refused to recognize the departing members' vote to make him their treasurer. Andrew Suter was also a mason,  treasurer of Mt. Carmel Chapter No. 3 R A M, and treasurer of Bethany Comandery No. 2 [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9]. Andrew, Richard, and Clarence B. Suter are all buried in African Cemetery No. 2 according to their death certificates, and Ellen Suter is also buried there, according to the book Still Voices Yet Speak. Andrew Suter died of heart disease on July 29, 1908. He and his family had lived at 916 Lexington Avenue. His son, Clarence B. Suter, died of Bright's Disease on January 26, 1904, and his brother, Richard Suter, died of pneumonia on April 10, 1913. Andrew Suter's daughter, Katie Suter Miller, was born in 1877 and died May 28, 1929, and was also buried in African Cemetery No. 2. For more see "Andrew Suter," Lexington Leader, 07/29/1908, p. 7; and "Andrew Suter's position," Daily Leader, 08/14/1904. For more about the Suter family members buried in African Cemetery No. 2, see Still Voices Yet Speak, by Y. Giles.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Midway, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Tandy, Charlton H.
Birth Year : 1836
Death Year : 1919
Charlton Hunt Tandy, born in a house on Main Street in Lexington, KY, was the son of John L. (b.1805) and Susan Tandy (b.1815), both Kentucky natives. The family was listed as free in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. John is listed as a whitewasher, he had purchased his freedom in 1833. His son, Charlton, born three years later, was named after Lexington's first Mayor, Charlton Hunt (the son of John W. Hunt, the first millionaire west of the Allegheny Mountains). Charlton Hunt Tandy was listed as one of the family's nine children in 1850, he was raised in Lexington, and as a young man, he and family members assisted escaped slaves across the Ohio River into Ohio. Charlton moved to Missouri in 1859, where he would become captain of the 13th Missouri Colored Volunteer Militia, Company B, known as Tandy's St. Louis Guard. After the war, he fought for equal access on public transportation in St. Louis, which allowed African Americans to ride inside the horse-drawn streetcars rather than riding on the outside by hanging onto the rails. In 1879, Tandy helped raise thousands of dollars to help former slave families who were moving to the West [Exodusters]; Tandy was president of the St. Louis Colored Relief Board. In 1880 Tandy testified before the Congressional Voorhees Committee about the exodus of African Americans from the South. He became a lawyer in 1886 by passing the Missouri Bar Exam and was permitted to practice law in both the district court and the U. S. Supreme Court. President Grant appointed Tandy to the St. Louis Custom House, making him the first African American to be employed there. Tandy was also a U.S. Marshall under President Harrison's administration, serving as special agent of the General Land Office and as a timber inspector. He served as vice president of the Missouri State Republican League and in 1894 was elected to a House seat by the Republicans of the Thirty-second Senatorial District, but he was not allowed to serve. Charlton Tandy was the husband of Anna E. Tandy, who was also born in Kentucky. A community center, a park, and a St. Louis Zoo train engine [of the Zooline Railroad] have been named in Tandy's honor. For more see The New Town Square, by R. Archibald; The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters, by B. M. Jack; Missouri Guardroots [.pdf]; news clippings about Tandy in the University of Missouri-St. Louis Western Historical Manuscript Collection; "A great exodus of Negroes," New York Times, 08/12/1880, p. 5; and "Lexington Negro," Lexington Leader, 08/01/1906, p. 5.

 See photo image and additional information at blackpast.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era], Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Tandy, Vertner W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1949
Born in Lexington, KY, Vertner W. Tandy was the first African American to be licensed as an architect in the state of New York. He was well-known throughout the U.S. One of his local works is Webster Hall on Georgetown St. in Lexington. In New York, he was a designer on the Abraham Lincoln Houses and the housing projects on Lexington Avenue and 135th Streets, and his works included the St. Philip's Protestant Episcopal Church on W. 133rd Street. Tandy was also the first African American to be commissioned as an officer in New York during World War I. He was a 1904 graduate of Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University], and a 1908 graduate of Cornell University School of Architecture. He helped found the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Cornell. He was the son of Henry A. Tandy and Emma E. Brice Tandy, both Kentucky natives, and the husband of Sadie Tandy, born 1890 in Alabama. In 2009, a Kentucky historical marker was placed in the location where the Tandy home had been located in Lexington, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; Biographical Dictionary of American Architects, Deceased, by H. F. and E. R. Withey; "Vertner W. Tandy," The New York Times, 11/08/1949, p.31; and M. Davis, "Fraternity puts its founder on map," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/15/2009, City/Region section, p.1.

See photo image of Vertner W. Tandy at BlackPast.org.

See photo image of Kentucky Historical Marker at wjohnston flickr site.
Subjects: Architects, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York

Taylor, Gilbert and Saphronia Kelter
The Taylors, Gilbert and Saphronia (d. 1897), from Louisville, KY, were the parents of Marshall Walter Taylor, "The Colored Cyclone." Marshall Taylor (1878-1932) was a champion cyclist; he won the annual one mile track cycling championship in 1899, 1900, and 1901. Marshall was nicknamed "Major." He was born outside Indianapolis, IN, where his parents had migrated from Kentucky. Gilbert Taylor served in the Union Army. For more see Major Taylor: the extraordinary career of a champion bicycle racer, by A. Ritchie; and Major Taylor Association, Inc. website.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, Bicycles, Cyclist, Cycling, Wheelmen
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Taylor, Preston
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1931
Preston Taylor was born in Louisiana; his parents, Zed and Betty Taylor, were slaves who moved (or were brought) to Kentucky a year after he was born. In 1864 Preston Taylor enlisted in the army. After his service years, he went to Louisville, KY, where he was employed in the marble yards. He later became a pastor at the Christian Church in Mt. Sterling, KY. He was chosen as the General Evangelist of the United States by his denomination. Though African Americans had been excluded from Reconstruction efforts, Taylor was able to secure a contract to build sections of the Big Sandy Railway from Mt. Sterling to Richmond, Virginia. He also purchased property in New Castle, KY, where he established the Christian Bible College. Around 1884 Taylor moved to Nashville, TN, where he was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the city. For more see Preston Taylor (1849-1931), by the Tennessee State Library; "Elder Preston Taylor, co-founder. First Treasurer, One Cent Savings Bank and Trust Company," The Tennessee Tribune, 04/22-28/2004, p. 2D; and "The Athens of the South: pen picture of the life of Rev. Preston Taylor," Freeman, 07/04/1896, p.1.

  See photo image of Preston Taylor at "Anniversary Edition: House Divided," a Dickinson College website.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / New Castle, Henry County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee

Temple, Carter [Carr Hopkins]
Birth Year : 1842
Four of the first African American patrolmen in Indianapolis, IN, were William Whittaker, Benjamin Young, Sim Hart, and Carter Temple, according to an article in the Indianapolis Star newspaper. Carter Temple was born in Logan County, KY, around 1842, and may have been a slave prior to joining the Union Army in 1863. He came to Indianapolis in 1865 and became a patrolman in 1876. He had been a patrolman for more than 20 years when he drew his revolver after approaching a stranger one early morning in Mayor Thomas Taggart's front yard; the stranger was Mayor Taggart. Carter Temple was the husband of Martha Temple, b.1844 in North Carolina. The couple married in 1871, and the family of five lived at 182 Minerva Street in Indianapolis. Carter Temple, a Civil War veteran, was named Carr Hopkins when he enlisted in Gallatin, TN, on November 1, 1863, according to Civil War records. He served with the 14th U.S. Colored Infantry and was promoted to Corporal, April 30th, 1864. Carter Temple died between 1920 and 1930. Three other Indianapolis patrolmen from Kentucky were Edward Harris (b.1851), Frank Hurt (b.1859), and Johshua Spears (b.1858). Harris, from Louisville, KY, joined the force in 1874. Spears, from Bourbon County, KY, and Hurt had both joined the force in 1883. For more see "Colored patrolman dies of paralysis," Indianapolis Star, 12/18/1909, p.3; "Mayor Taggart finds a patrolman who wasn't sleeping," Fort Wayne Evening Post, 05/09/1896, p.3; and "Our Colored patrolmen," Freeman, 03/16/1889, p.5.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thomas, Jay V., Sr.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2003
Thomas was the first African American photographer on the staff of the Louisville, KY newspaper, the Courier-Journal. He was also a photographer for the Louisville Defender. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and is buried in the Lebanon National Cemetery in Lebanon, KY. For more see Rev. L. Coleman, "A remembrance of Jay Thomas; Photographer, role model," Courier-Journal, 04/23/03, Forum section, p.09A.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thornton, James and Adeline Joyner
Mimi Lozano is the author of Black Latino Connection which includes the history of the family of Kentucky native James (1835-1911) and Adeline (1852-1940) Thornton. James was born a slave in Versailles, KY, and gained freedom when he joined the Union Army in 1864. He and other African American soldiers were sentenced for an attempted mutiny, and James received hard labor off the coast of Florida and was dishonorably discharged in 1866. He and his sons moved to Kerr County, Texas, where James married Adeline in 1871, she had been a slave in Florida. They would become the first African American landowners in Kerr County. Together they had thirteen children, some of whom migrated to Canada, and their son David migrated to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1901. For more see the Black Latino website at somosprimos.com and contact Mimi Lozano.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dry Tortugas, Florida / Kerr County, Texas / Guadalajara, Mexico

Tipton, Nathan
Birth Year : 1846
Nathan Tipton had the distinction of being one of the few African American telegraph repairmen in Kentucky. Telegraph repairmen duties included keeping the lines in working order by making frequent inspections and all the necessary repairs. Nathan Tipton, his wife Susan and their two children, Clarence (1873-1927) and Julia lived in Louisville in 1880 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Nathan Tipton was born in Montgomery County, KY, and he may have also gone by the name Matthew, according to his military service record. He was 19 years old when he enlisted at Camp Nelson on September 13, 1864, for three years of service. Tipton served with Company E, 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry. The company was mustered out March 16, 1866. Tipton was listed as a farmhand in Montgomery County in the 1870 Census. By 1900, Susan Tipton was listed as a widow whose occupation was given as "laundress" in the census records.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Towles, Jeffrey
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2004
According to his death notice by the Associated Press and newspaper sources, Jeffrey Towles was born and raised in Kentucky. He was the surgeon who helped save the life of Vernon Jordan in 1980. Jordan, then president of the Urban League, had been shot in the back by a sniper. Jordan had been standing in a hotel parking lot in Fort Wayne, IN, when he was shot. Towles led the surgery team that operated on Jordan. Towles was also active in the Fort Wayne community and served on the school board before becoming the first African American president of the school board in 1987. He was a veteran of the Korean War and a graduate of West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University] and the University of Louisville Medical School. For more see "Towles, surgeon and Fort Wayne community leader, dies at age 74," The Associated Press; and J. Creek, "Black leader, surgeon for Vernon Jordan dies," The Journal Gazette, 01/26/2004, p. 1A.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Board of Education, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana

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

Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [Wyatt Burghardt Turner]
Frank Turner (1887-1941) was the son of Wyatt and Emma Mitchell Turner. He and his wife, Frosty [or Frostie] Ann Duncan Turner (b. 1891), were from Richmond, KY. They lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York; according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Saratoga Avenue; Frank was recognized in the neighborhood as the father of tennis. The couple had six sons. Frank and Frosty Turner, both 1909 graduates of Wilberforce [now Wilberforce University], were married the summer after their graduation. Frank would become the chief accountant for the NAACP. He had kept the books since the organization opened its first office in the Evening Post building in 1910. He had come to the NAACP with W. E. B. DuBois. Frank had been secretary to DuBois in Atlanta; it was his first job after graduating from college. At the NAACP Office, Frank was also the circulation manager of the Crisis, and he had helped establish the NAACP Branch in Jamaica, New York in 1927, where he served as secretary until his death in 1941. Wyatt Burghardt Turner (1916-2009) was one of Frank and Frosty Turner's sons. He was named after his grandfather; his middle name was in honor of W. E. B. DuBois. Wyatt Turner was born in New York and graduated from high school in Kentucky, where he lived with his grandmother. He would become founder and president of the Brookhaven NAACP, and he served as chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. He had also been a history professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a professor, he was the first African American teacher at Bay Shore. Wyatt Turner was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Columbia University, and he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. For more see "Frank M. Turner," The Crisis, vol. 48, issue 12 (December 1941), pp. 394 & 398; "How the NAACP Began" at the NAACP.org website; H. L. Moon, "History of the Crisis," The Crisis, November 1970; and K. Schuster, "Wyatt Turner dies; pioneer helped found Brookhaven chapter, active in Obama's presidential campaign," Newsday, 01/23/2009, News section, p. A8.

See photo image at the end of the article "Frank M. Turner" on p. 394 of The Crisis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Queens, New York

Tuskegee Airmen (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1942
End Year : 1946
At least 11 of the Tuskegee cadets were from Kentucky, including Colonel Noel Parrish from Versailles, KY. In August 2007, the section of highway I-75 in Fayette County was designated the "Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail"; the trail was extended to the entire length of I-75 in KY in July 2010. The state of Kentucky was first to name a portion of a highway system in honor of the Tuskegee pilots (officially the United States Army Air Corps' 332nd Fighter Group). On March 29, 2007, the Tuskegee Airmen were honored with a gold medal; five of the Airmen from Kentucky were in attendance at the ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washing, D.C. A rendering of the bust of Kentucky native Willa Brown [Chappell] was unveiled at the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda in February 2007; the bust is being completed by Bobby Scroggins. Willa Brown had trained many of the men who became Tuskegee pilots. For more see the Kentucky Governor's press release, "Governor Fletcher, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet honor first African-American military pilots," 08/10/2007; Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Connections with Renee Shaw, #302 Tuskegee Airmen [online video]; "Sculpture honors Tuskegee Airmen trainer," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/23/2007, City&Region section, p. C1; HR144; and Ron Spriggs Exhibit of Tuskegee Airmen at 100 Mason Springs Drive in Nicholasville, KY.
Subjects: Aviators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail
Start Year : 2007
On Friday, July 16, 2010, the length of Interstate 75 in Kentucky (a 191 mile roadway) was dedicated to honor the Tuskegee Airmen (officially the United States Army Air Corps' 332nd Fighter Group). This designation extends the original 23 mile stretch that was designated in their honor in 2007 in Fayette Co. Kentucky was the first state to so honor the African American World War II pilots, 11 of whom were from Kentucky. For more information, see Kentucky House Joint Resolution 15 and "I-75 in Ky. becomes Tuskegee Airmen Trail," Lexington Herald-Leader, July 17, 2010, pp. A3 & A5.
Subjects: Aviators, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Fayette County, KY; I-75, Kentucky

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.

See photo image of Luska J. Twyman at the Glasgow Daily Times Archive website.
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

Vaughn, George L.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1950
George L. Vaughn was born in Kentucky, where he attend both elementary and high school. He was a graduate of Lane College and Walden University Law School [located in Tennessee, closed in 1925], and was later a 1st Lieutenant in the Artillery during World War I. Vaughn moved to St. Louis, where he practiced law and in 1916 became the first president of the Mound City Bar Association, a bar association for African American lawyers; the St. Louis Bar Association did not admit African Americans. In 1919, Vaughn helped found the Citizen Liberty League to help identify and elect more African Americans to public office. In 1936, Vaughn was appointed Justice of the Peace for the 4th District of St. Louis. Vaughn is most remembered for taking on the Shelley Restrictive Covenant Case, a landmark civil rights case involving J. D. Shelley, an African American who had purchased a home in a white neighborhood in 1945. The neighborhood association served Shelley with an eviction notice, and the St. Louis African American real estate brokers association hired Vaughn to fight the notice. Vaughn won the trial, but the case was then taken to the Missouri Supreme Court, which upheld the eviction. With the support of the real estate brokers association, Vaughn appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 1948 the Supreme Court ruled in Shelley's favor. In 1957 the 660-unit George L. Vaughn Public Housing Project was named in Vaughn's honor. For more see "George Vaughn," in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 34, issue 4, (Oct., 1949), pp. 490-491; Lift Every Voice and Sing, by D. A. Wesley, W. Price and A. Morris; and "George L. Vaughn," in West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edited by S. Phelps and J. Lehman, vol. 10, 2nd edition. See the U.S. Supreme Court, Shelley V. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948), at the FindLaw website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Housing Authority, The Projects, Lawyers, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Judges, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / St. Louis, Missiouri

Vertrees, Peter
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1926
Peter Vertrees was born in Edmonson County, KY, his mother Mary E. Skaggs, was white, and his father, Rev. Booker Harding was the mulatto son of Jacob Vertrees. Peter Vertrees was raised by his grandfather Jacob Vertrees and his wife Catherine. Peter Vertrees served with the Confederate Army in the 6th Kentucky Calvary during the Civil War; he was a servant to his uncle, J. L. Vertrees, an enlistee who was white and a physician. Peter Vertrees left Kentucky to live with his uncle Judge J. C. Vertrees in Tennessee. He would become one of the first students to attend Roger Williams University. He would become a teacher and a preacher, and a respected community leader in Sumner County, TN. In 1880, he was a 31 year old widower living in Gallatin, according to the U.S. Federal Census; his wife, Amanda L. Dowell, had died in 1872. He had next married Sarah Head and the couple had three sons. In 1901 he married Diora Wylie (b.1875 in TN), according to their Marriage Bond, and the couple had three children, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They would later have two more children. Peter Vertrees was principal of the South Gallatin School, and for 60 years he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church. He was actually pastor of more than one church, and was president of two benevolent societies that helped pay for medical assistance and burials. He opened schools for African Americans within the churches where he was pastor. He founded the East Fork Missionary Baptist Association with 28 churches in Tennessee. A historical maker honoring Peter Vertrees was placed at the corner of South Water and Bledsoe Streets in Sumner County, TN. For more see the Negro Baptist History, 1750-1930 by L. G. Jordan; and Peter Vertrees, by Dessislava Yankova at the rootsweb.ancestry.com website.


Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Edmonson County, Kentucky / Gallatin, Sumner County, Tennessee

WACs Beaten in Elizabethtown, KY
Start Year : 1945
In 1945, three African American members of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) were beaten by police officers for sitting in the waiting room for whites at the Greyhound bus station in Elizabethtown, KY. One of the women, PFC Helen Smith of Syracuse, NY, was taken to jail and released a few hours later, bleeding from her injuries. PFC Georgia Boson, from Texas, and Pvt.Tommie Smith, were also beaten. The women continued on their return to Fort Knox. When they arrived on base, they were summonsed by the commanding office, then lectured about obeying the supposed segregation laws of Kentucky pertaining to public buildings and transportation. The women were court-martialed. They were defended by Lieutenant W. Robert Ming, base legal officier at Godman Field under Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. The charges were later reduced to disorderly conduct. Helen Smith spent a week in the hospital recovering from her injuries. For more see Harry McAlpin, "Beat by cops: WACs to stand trial, violated Ky. Jim Crow," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/04/1945, p.1; "Wac's Beating Case" in The Negro Handbook, 1946-1947 edited by F. Murray; Creating GI Jane by L. D. Meyer; To Serve My County, To Serve My Race by B. L. Moore; and "Council demands investigation of WACs' beating," Baltimore Afro-American, 08/11/1945, p.12.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs), Court Cases, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky / Syracuse, New York

WACs' Protest at Camp Breckinridge, KY
Start Year : 1943
In 1943, six African American members of the Women's Army Corps (WACs) resigned from the Army after their unit staged a protest over job assignments. The unit was under the command of 1st Lieutenant Myrtle Anderson and 2nd Lieutenant Margaret E. B. Jones. They were the first group of African American women enlistees to be stationed in Kentucky. They were a division of the first Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs) that had been established at Fort Des Moines, Iowa in 1942; a total of 118 African American women were trained at the location. In 1943, the WAACs were being transitioned over to the WACs. The unit transferred to Kentucky had been trained to become supply clerks, but once stationed at Camp Breckinridge, they were assigned tasks such as stacking beds and scrubbing the floors of the warehouses and latrines. The women protested, and Anderson and Jones complained to their superior officer Colonel Kelly, but nothing was done. There was also the complaint that white soldiers had entered the women's barracks at night and officers had to protect them. As the tension continued to increase, the last straw came when the women were told to wash the walls of the laundry; the women went on strike. After five days, the Army responded by allowing the women to leave the service without honor. Those who resigned were Beatrice Brashear, Gladys Morton, Margaret Coleman, Mae E. Nicholas, and Viola Bessups, all from New York, and Ruth M. Jones from New Jersey. The Army's official response was that the "girls" had not been given a proper assignment and there was a disturbance. The Camp Breckinridge Public Relations Office acknowledged the resignations but had no additional comments. For more see "6 WACs Resign: WAC clerks decline to scrub floors," Philadelphia Afro American, 07/10/1943, pp. 1 & 15. For more about Camp Breckinridge, see the Camp Breckinridge entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia, and History of Camp Breckinridge, by P. Heady.

By the final months of 1943, African American WACs were performing mail clerk duties at Camp Breckinridge, KY, as seen in photo image of Pfc. Ruby O'Brien from Beaumont, TX; Pvt. Millie Holloway from Louisville, KY; and others in photo dated November 30, 1943. Photo at NYPL Digital Gallery from U.S. Office of War Information.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Camp Breckinridge [or Fort Breckinridge], Henderson, Webster, and Union Counties, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Fort Des Moines [Fort Des Moines Museum], Des Moines, Iowa

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

Wallace, Count X.
Birth Year : 1815
Death Year : 1880
Wallace, a barber and musician, played the violin at parties and other gatherings. He was born in Kentucky and was a freeman living in Fayette, Mississippi, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. Judge Frank A. Montgomery recorded his meeting with Wallace in his book Reminiscences of a Mississippian in Peace and War, published in 1901 [available full-text at Google Book Search]. Wallace had been in Port Hudson, LA, when the Union Army seized the area in 1863 and gained control of the Mississippi River. The forces included two regiments of Colored soldiers, the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guard. Wallace was a servant to the Union officers, and when the soldiers were to leave, they had planned to take Wallace with them, but Wallace requested and received a parole from his servant duties. He had shown the parole certificate to Judge Montgomery. In his civilian life, Wallace had been fairly well off, with $2,000 in personal property; he was also a slave-owner. He is listed in the 1860 Slave Schedule as owning a 35 year old female; Wallace was one of 28 slave owners in Fayette, MS. When he died in 1880, his property went to his 30 year old wife, Nelly [or Nellie], and their five children: Edgar, Gaitwood, Floyde, Mary, and Stanton.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fayette, Mississippi

Wallace, Theodore Calvin, Jr. "Ted"
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2006
Judge Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. was born in Kimball, WV, and grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Theodore "Cal" Sr. and Bonnie Goddard Wallace. Judge Wallace was known as Ted. He left Kentucky and eventually settled in Detroit, MI, in 1973, where he served as judge of the 36th District Court for seven years. He had been a member of the Michigan House of Representatives beginning in 1988 when he won a special election to fill the last two months of Representative Virgil Smith's term. Rep. Wallace was then elected to the House of Representatives and served for 10 years. He was also a member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission beginning in 1993. Ted Wallace had a law practice for 17 years. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from Wright State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam, and he served in the Michigan National Guard. For more see E. Lacy, "Confident, easy going judge was a joker, but took care of business," The Detroit News, 01/24/2006; and W. R. Knox, "Michigan House of Representatives: new members," Public Sector Reports, 01/27/1989, pp.1-2.

For more about the Wallace Family in Lexington, KY, the oral history recording by Thomas C. Wallace, brother to Judge Ted Wallace, is available within the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. See also the oral history recordings for Cal Wallace and Edgar Wallace. See also the NKAA entries for Thomas C. Wallace and Leula Wallace Hall.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Judges, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kimball, West Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Walters, Arthur M.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 2010
Arthur M. Walters, born in Magnolia, KY, was a social services administrator most recognized for his role as executive director of the Louisville Urban League from 1970-1987. He led the League's involvement in the implementation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Walters already had a B.A. when he earned a M.Ed. at the University of Louisville. He belonged to a number of organizations and received many awards. Walters also received a number of military recognitions: the Medal of Merit, the Bronze Star for heroism, the Soldier's Medal for Bravery, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 4 bronze stars, World War II Victory Medal, and many more. The Louisville Urban League's Arthur M. Walters Award is named in his honor. For more see Arthur M. Walters at the Louisville Urban League website; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.

See photo image of Arthur M. Walters at courier-journal.com.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Magnolia, Hardin County, Kentucky / 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

Warren, Mark Edward
Birth Year : 1938
Death Year : 1999
Mark E. Warren was born in Harrodsburg, KY, the son of Mary Wade Warren. He was the director of the television program, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, and other television sitcoms such as Sanford and Son, The Dukes of Hazzard, Barney Miller, and What's Happening. He won an Emmy Award in 1971 for Laugh-In, and was the first African American to win the award. He had also done some acting, including playing Hoon Driver in The Big Steal. He directed the movie Come Back Charleston Blue. Warren began his career in Toronto with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He was a professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans (1999); Who's Who in Entertainment, 2nd ed.; From Beautiful Downtown Burbank by H. Erickson; and "Mark Warren, 60, tv and film director," New York Times, 01/25/1999, p.A21.


  See photo images of Mark Warren in the article "TV's Black Skyrocket: Mark Warren becomes director of 'Laugh-In' in less than two years" in Ebony, April 1970. pp.113-120 [online at Google Books].
 
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Military & Veterans, Television, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Warren, William
Birth Year : 1876
Born in Georgetown, KY, Warren was the first Kentucky African American to lead a military band (Ninth Cavalry). For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Washington, Isam
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1903
Isam [or Isom or Isham] Washington was born in North Carolina and brought to Lovelaceville, KY, as a slave. He was a Civil War veteran who served with the 8th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Company "L" from Paducah, KY; he was honorably discharged in 1866. He returned to Ballard County, where he later acquired 55 acres of farmland to produce tobacco. Washington later lost his land, then in 1900 moved his family to Massac County, Illinois, where he died in 1903. He had also been a minister. Isam Washington was the father of Isam Mack Washington, the grandfather of Roy L. Washington, Sr., and the great-grandfather of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington. For more see The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C. G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: North Carolina / Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Massac County, Illinois / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Watson, Dudley M.
Birth Year : 1919
Watson was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Paul and Beulah Malone Watson. A Tuskegee Airman, 2nd lieutenant in the Army, and captain in the Air Force, Watson served as assistant operations officer with the 302nd Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group in Michigan. He was also an instrument instructor at Tuskegee Army Air Base and commanding officer of G Squadron, Godman Army Air Base. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Tuskegee, Alabama / Michigan / Godman Army Air Field, Hardin County, Kentucky

Watts, Richard, Sr.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2000
Watts was born in Maben, AL, and moved to Wheelwright, KY, in the 1940s to play baseball on a mine team and to get a job. Prior to coming to Kentucky, Watts had served in the Army and played baseball with the Birmingham Black Barons. In Kentucky, he became a state mine inspector and the Martin District Supervisor of the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals, retiring in 1995. Watts was also a cook known for his meals at picnics and dinners. For more see "Ex-mine inspector, ballplayer dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/25/2000, Obituaries section, p. B2.
Subjects: Baseball, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Maben and Birmingham, Alabama / Wheelwright, Floyd County, Kentucky

Weaver, Rufus Jack
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2008
Weaver was one of the very few African American men from Kentucky to serve on a Navy submarine during WWII. He joined the Navy in 1945 and first served on "R-1." He was chief steward when he retired from the Navy in 1965. Rufus married Margurite in 1965 and the Weaver Family lived in New London, CT. In 1968, Rufus Weaver invented a stair-climbing wheelchair, U.S. patent #3,411,598. Rufus Jack Weaver was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Jennie Washington Weaver and George Weaver. Jennie was born in Alabama and her parents were from Georgia. She died February 9, 1929, when Rufus was two years old; the family was living at the rear of 1414 S. 10th Street in Louisville, KY, according to Jennie Weaver's death certificate. Rufus Weaver was raised by his father for a few years, then lived in a detention home before living with his grandparents for a couple of years until his father got out of jail. At the age of 14, Rufus Weaver struck out on his own. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Shawn Livingston. For a more detailed account of Rufus J. Weaver's life and military career, see his entry in Black Submariners by G. A. Knoblock; and see Rufus J. Weaver in the August 2002 and the December 2008 issues of Hooter Hilites [available full text online].
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Inventors, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New London, Connecticut

West, Millard
Birth Year : 1943
West was the first African American state trooper in Kentucky. From Lexington, KY, he was a 25-year old graduate of the police academy and also an Air Force veteran. West graduated with the 37th cadet class and was assigned to Port Four in Elizabethtown, KY. For more see The New York Times, 01/26/1968, p. 17; "First Negro Trooper Sworn in Kentucky," The Washington Post, 01/27/1968; and "Kentucky State Police" in the Lexington Herald, 01/27/1968, p.13 [picture with article].
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

White, Randolf Franklin
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1943
Dr. Randolf F. White was a prominent pharmacist in Owensboro, KY, serving both white and African American customers. He was one of the first African American pharmacists in Daviess County. Dr. White was born in Warrington, Florida, the son of Moses and Massie White. His wife, Fannie H. White, was born in Kentucky. Dr. White and his wife are listed in both the 1920 Daviess County Census and the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In 1913, Dr. White was named president of the Pharmaceutical Section of the National Medical Association. He had been a druggist in Lexington, KY, and came to Owensboro in 1901, where he operated his drug store for 24 years. White's Drug Store was located at 812 West 5th Street. As a young man, John T. Clark, of the Urban League, had been a pharmacist during the summers at White's Drug Store. In 1925, Dr. White sold his pharmacy to Miley R. Coffield. By 1930, Dr. White and his wife lived in Louisville, KY, at 2504 W. Madison Street. Dr. White owned a drugstore and his wife Fannie was a school teacher [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. Dr. Randolf F. White died on January 1, 1943 [source: Kentucky Death Certificate]. Arrangements were handled by the J. B. Cooper Funeral Home, and Dr. White was buried in the Zachery Taylor National Cemetery. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. For more see "The Pharmacy conducted by Dr. R. F. White ...," The Savannah Tribune, 02/07/1914, p. 4; Dr. R. F. White in "Enterprising Owensboro" in Freeman, 06/30/1906, p. 6; Dr. R. F. White on p. 347 under the heading "Pharmaceutical Section" in the Journal of the National Medical Association, 1914, vol. 5, no. 4; "Southern States," The Pharmaceutical Era, 1925, vol. 60, p. 379; and the paragraph at the bottom of column 1 and the top of column 2 of the article "Past Week at Louisville," Freeman, 10/07/1911, p. 1.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Warrington, Florida / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

White, Robert M. "Bob"
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1969
In 1957, Robert "Bob" M. White replaced Thomas F. Johnson as the head football coach at Howard University [source: "Bob White named Howard U. grid coach," Plaindealer, 8/24/1957, p. 6]. White would also serve as a physical education instructor. In 1959, the team won the first Archer-Marshall Award when it defeated Morehouse 20-13 [source: "Howard, Morehouse coaches memorialized at homecoming" Los Angeles Tribune, 12/4/1959, p. 24]. Bob White came to Howard University from New Haven, CT, where for a year he was the program director of the Community School Recreation Program. Before his move to Connecticut, Bob White was the head football coach and athletic director at North Carolina State Teachers College in Elizabeth City, 1953-1956 [now Elizabeth City State University]. The team had a 28-2 record and won the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference all four years of Bob White's tenure, for which Bob White was named Coach of the Year all four years. Bob White became the ninth head football coach at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1946 and was later the head football coach at Delaware State College, 1950-51 [now Delaware State University] [source: "Robert M. White Records by Year" at the All Time Coaching Records website]. When he arrived at Howard University in 1957, Bob White had 18 years experience as a football coach. He left Howard University in 1962 to become a physical education instructor at Maryland State College [now University of Maryland Eastern Shore] [source: "Sease is selected as Howard mentor," Gettysburg Times, 08/29/1962, p. 3]. He would become the football coach at Maryland State College. In 1968, Bob White was a scout for the NFL Washington Redskins [source: M. E. Jackson, "The World of Sports," Memphis World, 02/03/1968, p. 6]. According to his biography at cyclopaedia.net, Bob White was the director of player personnel for the Washington Redskins. Born in Richmond, KY, White was a 1936 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he earned a B.S degree, and a 1939 graduate of Indiana University, where he earned a M.S. in physical education. Bob White was also a World War II veteran: he enlisted at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana on November 13, 1945 [source: U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Record Serial Number 35736208]. Bob White died in 1969 in Washington, D.C. [source: U.S. Social Security Death Index].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Football, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Dover, Delaware / Elizabeth City, North Carolina / New Haven, Connecticut / Princess Anne, Maryland / Washington, D. C.

White, William Henry
Birth Year : 1897
William H. White, an AME minister and journalist, was born in Cynthiana, KY, the son of William and Fannie Alexander White. In 1947, Rev. White was pastor of the St. Paul Church in Lexington, KY, and had been a pastor in Middlesboro, Shelbyville, Louisville, Danville, and Frankfort, KY. He had attended the Frankfort schools and earned his B.D. at Payne Theological Seminary in 1925, and his A.B. at Wilberforce University in 1928. He was a contributing journalist to the Christian Recorder, wrote articles for secular periodicals, and founded the Kentucky Junior Christian Recorder newspaper. Rev. White was a veteran of WWI, and served with the 159th Depot Brigade, 38th Company. When he enlisted, he was living at 207 Murray Street in Frankfort, KY, and was working at a production company in Dayton, OH. He was a member of the Masons, the NAACP, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Rev. White was the husband of Frozene Campbell (1906-1945), born in Midway, KY, the daughter of Richard and Ellen Tolbert Campbell. Mrs. White was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and was a registrar and teacher at Turner College in Atlanta. She also taught school in Shelbyville, KY. For more see the entries for Rev. William Henry White and Mrs. Frozene (Campbell) White in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Whyte, Garrett
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2000
Whyte was born in Louisville, KY, according to his Army enlistment records. [Mt. Sterling has also been given as his birth location.] He completed an art education degree at North Carolina A&T State University in 1939. Whyte was an artist for the Chicago Defender, taught art at a high school and was an art professor at Chicago City College System [now City Colleges of Chicago]. In addition to teaching, Whyte was an artist for a number of organizations before he retired in 1980. He is remembered for his art and for the creation, for the Chicago Defender, of the comic strip, "Mr. Jim Crow," one of the first Civil Rights graphic satires. Whyte was a WWII Army veteran. For more see J. D. Stevens, "Reflections in a dark mirror: comic strips in Black newspapers," Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 10, issue 1 (Summer 1976), pp. 239-244; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Jim Crow, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Williams, Alexander "Alex", Jr.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 1973
The following information comes from "Alex Williams Jr., radio personality, dies at 54, " Lexington Leader, 09/10/1973, p. 2. Alexander Williams, Jr. was a radio broadcaster, known for his 1960 program, "Cool Summer." During the program, Williams promoted non-violence in reaction to a period of racial unrest in Lexington, KY. The program was broadcast from station WLAP in Lexington. Williams also broadcast Dunbar High School (Lexington) basketball games on the "Bearcats Sports Network" at WLAP. He also did Kentucky State University broadcasts. He was the regional managing editor of NIP Magazine and was a reporter for the Blue Grass Edition of the Louisville Defender newspaper. He was a promoter for the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival. Williams also worked with underprivileged children. In 1977, Alexander Williams, Jr. was posthumously honored when the former Booker T. Washington School, on Georgetown Street in Lexington, was formally dedicated as the Black and Williams Neighborhood Community Center [source: "Special People: Black and Williams Center dedicated to social worker, Happy Warrior," Lexington Herald, 10/31/1977, p. A-3]. Alexander Williams, Jr. died at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lexington. He was the husband of Beatrice Williams.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Military & Veterans, Radio
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Williams, Wallace D.
Birth Year : 1946
Wallace Williams is a retired Territorial Librarian and was director of the Florence Williams Public Library in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Williams is also a runner, an Olympic marathon runner. He was born in Campbellsville, KY, and in 1950 was the first African American to attend a white school, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School. He was among the first African Americans to graduate from Campbellsville High School in 1964. He had started running track and cross-country as a senior in high school. While a student at Bellarmine College [now Bellarmine University], he was the only African American on the cross-country team and the freshman basketball team. Williams left school and joined the the U.S. Air Force. While at Reese Air Force Base, Williams was the leading scorer on the base and squadron basketball teams and was also a coach. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Air Force and went on to earn a B.A. in liberal arts at Northwestern Illinois University. He was the school's leading scorer in basketball during the 1973-74 season, and was winner of the Golden Eagle Award. He was also a member of the Evanston Running Club at Northwestern University. In 1975, Williams earned a masters in library science at Rosary College [now Dominican University]. He was the school's first athletic coordinator in 1974. He was the first student delegate to attend the International Federation of Library Associations Conference (IFLA). In 1977, Williams began his 30 year career as a librarian in St. Croix, and during his career, he taught library skills at the University of the Virgin Islands, and he taught coping skills in the Adult Education Program with the Department of Education. He was secretary of the Rotary Club of St. Croix, was president of the St. Croix Library Association, and was co-president of the Virgin Islands Library Association. Williams was a newspaper columnist, and trained for marathons and established running organizations. In 1978 he founded the Virgin Islands Pace Runners and organized road races. He was founder of the Society of Olympic Marathon Runners, was a founding member of the Virgin Islands Triathlon Federation, and started Women Race for the Women's Coalition. In 1979, Williams ran in the marathon of the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1982, he was the first participant for the Virgin Islands to run in the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Havana, Cuba. He was also a delegate of the International Association of Athletic Federations Congress for several years, beginning in 1982. Williams competed in the World Cross-Country Championships in 1984 and in 1986. He competed in the Olympic Games Marathon in Seoul, Korea in 1988, and came in 81st with a time of 2:44:40. The marathon took place Sunday, October 2, 1988 at 2:30pm (local time). There were 118 athletes representing 70 countries, and 98 completed the marathon. Wallace Williams represented the U.S. Virgin Islands, he was the oldest competitor in the competition. Information in this entry was added with permission from the resumé of Wallace Williams. See also C. Buchannan, "On Island Profile: Wallace Williams," St. Croix Source, 07/29/2007 [available online, photo at end of article].


Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Basketball, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Military & Veterans, Track & Field, Migration South, Olympics: Athletes, Games, Events
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Wilson, Atwood S.
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1967
Atwood S. Wilson was a chemist, educator, civil rights leader and community leader in Louisville, KY. He was born in the California neighborhood of Louisville to Allen and Mary Wilson. A 1910 graduate of Central High School in Louisville, he graduated magna cum laude from Fisk University in 1915 with a major in science and mathematics. He went on to earn a B.S. in chemistry (in 1920) and a M.S. in education (in 1934) from the University of Chicago. He first taught at State Street High School, located in the Shake Rag District of Bowling Green, KY, beginning in 1915, then left the school in 1917 to serve as a chemistry researcher at the American University Experiment Station during World War I. After the war, Wilson returned to Louisville and served as secretary-treasurer of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) from 1922-1942. He also chaired the organization's Merger Committee, which led in the integration of Kentucky's education organizations, the KNEA and KEA. In 1928, Wilson was named the first principal of Madison Junior High [the school was later named Russell Junior High]. In 1934, Wilson became principal of Central High School and led the planning and building of the new Central High School, which opened in 1952; it was the first comprehensive high school in Kentucky. Wilson was also principal of the Central High Adult Night School, grades 1-12, from which he retired in 1963. During his tenure, he also held a number of appointments, including membership on the executive committee of the National Youth Administration in Kentucky. In 1944, Wilson was appointed a trustee on the Board of the Louisville Free Public Library, and in 1948 he presented the resolution that abolished segregation at the main library building. Wilson was the first African American in the South to be recognized with a citation for his service on a library board. He received many other awards, including the Silver Beaver Award for his distinguished service to the Boy Scouts of America, presented to him in person by President Hoover in 1933. Wilson also received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Simmons University [Kentucky] in 1954. In recognition of his contributions, in 1974 the Kentucky Education Association co-named an award in his honor: "The Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education." Atwood S. Wilson is mentioned in several biographies on the life of Muhammad Ali; Wilson encourage Ali [then known as Cassius Clay] to finish high school, though he was at the bottom of his class. Wilson was impressed by Ali's dedication and work ethic toward becoming a world boxing champion. In 2000, Wilson was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' Hall of Fame, and, in 2005, was among the first inductees to the Central High School Distinguished Hall of Fame. Atwood S. Wilson was the grandfather of Kentucky Appeals Court Judge Denise Clayton. Information for this entry was submitted by Mrs. Susie M. Guess, daughter of Atwood S. Wilson. See also pp. 20-21 in Muhammad Ali. by A. O. Edmonds.

See photo image of Atwood S. Wilson at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Chemists, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grandparents, National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wilson, Daniel
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1917
Rev. Daniel Wilson was born in Barren County, KY and died in Kingfisher, OK. He was a Baptist minister and organized the first Colored Baptist church in Horse Cave, KY in 1866. Wilson had been a slave until 1864 when he joined the Union Army, and that same year he married Lydia Watkins. After receiving an Honorable Discharge, Wilson returned home and joined the white Baptist church in Horse Cave, KY, and later organized the Colored Baptist church where he was a deacon for seven years. Wilson was ordained in 1874 and was a pastor at churches in Horse Cave, Hicksville, and Seenoria. He was also a missionary of the Liberty Baptist Association of Kentucky. In 1888, Wilson moved to Kansas where he was pastor at several churches. He then moved to Lincoln, NE to become pastor of the J Street Baptist Church, and soon resigned and moved to Kingfisher, OK, where he organized and was pastor of the First Baptist Church until his death. Kingfisher was a two year old town in the Oklahoma Territory when Wilson arrived there in 1891. After two years, he estimated that his church had 300 members, and that there were 400 Colored home owners who were served by seven stores, three Colored attorneys, two Colored physicians, and The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper. In addition to being pastor of his church, Wilson also served as president of the Oklahoma Territorial Baptist Convention, and moderator of the Western District Association. He was a member of the school board and a trustee of the National Baptist Training School for Women in Washington, D.C. that was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Rev. Daniel Wilson is buried in the Kingfisher Cemetery. For more see "Rev. Daniel Wilson," Plaindealer, 06/01/1917, p.4; and "Oklahoma Territory" on p.236 in The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, v.15-16, 1893 [available at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Kansas / Nebraska / Kingfisher, Oklahoma

Woods, Brent
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1906
Woods, a former slave, was born in Pulaski County, KY. He later joined the Army and was assigned to Company B of the 9th all black U.S. Cavalry. He was one of the 17 troopers and 20 miners in pursuit of Apache raiders. With the death of the lieutenant and the miner's leader, Woods took charge and led the attack that forced the Apache to abandon their position. Woods was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was discharged for service in 1902 and returned to Pulaski County. Woods was very poor when he died; he was buried in a pauper's grave. For more see African American Recipients of the Medal of Honor by C. W. Hanna; and A. Mead, "Black hero given formal military burial," Lexington Herald Leader, 10/29/1984, Main News section, p.A1.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Pulaski County, Kentucky

World War II Veterans from Bourbon County
Start Year : 1939
End Year : 1945
An 80 page listing of veterans is available online in Bourbon County Men and Women Who Served in World War Two. It was published by the War History Committee of the Bourbon County Woman's Club and was sponsored by Hansley Mills, Inc. The title does NOT include the name of every World War II veteran from Bourbon County, but it attempts to gather as many names as possible. More than 100 African American veterans, noted by the term "(colored)," are included, including such names as William T. Clay, Henry Stewart, Rudolph Stout, and Virgil Allen, Jr. There is not a date on the publication, but it covers the period 1939-1945 and is available via the Kentucky Digital Library collection.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Yokley, Raytha L.
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 2001
Yokley, born in East Bernstadt, KY, was the son of Edd and Emma Yokley. The family lived in Russellville, KY. Yokley, a recognized sociologist, was one of the first African American professors at Western Kentucky University. He was also a retired sociology professor from Kentucky State University, and had taught at Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. Yokley published a number of articles and papers and collaborated with others on books such as The Black Church in America. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta and the Masons. Yokley was a two time graduate of Indiana University, where he earned his M.A. in 1941 and his Ph.D. in 1952. His dissertation is titled The Development of Racial Concepts in Negro Children. Yokley was living in Buffalo, NY, prior to his death. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Raytha L. Yokley," Daily News, 07/07/2001, Obituaries section.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: East Bernstadt, Laurel County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Buffalo, New York

Young, Charles D.
Birth Year : 1864
Death Year : 1922
Charles D. Young, born in Mayslick, KY, was the third African American graduate of West Point, the first African American military attaché to a foreign state, and the highest ranking African American officer at the beginning of World War I. He was a child when his parents, Gabriel and Arminta Young, former slaves, moved the family to Huntington, Ohio [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. All family members were born in Kentucky. By 1880, the family lived in Ripley, OH. Both Gabriel and Charles Young were employed as draymen [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. Charles Young graduated from a white high school and taught at a colored school in Ripley [source: Arlington National Cemetery website]. He entered the military academy in 1883, and after graduation, served in the Army for 28 years. Charles Young, a soldier, and his mother are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, when they lived in Xenia, OH; his mother was a widow. Charles D. Young died on detail in Liberia, Africa, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where he was eulogized by W.E.B. DuBois. He was the husband of Ada R. M. Young, with whom he had a son and a daughter; the family lived at Fort D. A. Russell in Laramie, Wyoming in 1910 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. For more see The Early Life of Colonel Charles Young: 1864-1889, by R. E. Greene; Charles D. Young in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000, and the Lexington Herald-Leader, November 14, 2010, pp. B1 & B3.

 

See photo image of Charles D. Young at the Arlington National Cemetery website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / West Point, New York / Huntington and Ripley, Ohio / Laramie, Wyoming / Liberia, Africa

Young, Coleman Milton, III
Birth Year : 1930
Dr. C. Milton Young, III was the first African American to enroll at the University of Louisville in 1950. He went on to earn his medical degree at Meharry Medical College, and was the first African American intern at Louisville General Hospital, 1961-62. In addition to having a private medical practice, Young was the founder and director of the Louisville Methadone Treatment Program, 1968-72. He was the editor of the journal Louisville Medicine, founded the Louisville Black Pages, and founded and edited the Black Scene Magazine. Young is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Hortense Houston Young and Colman Milton Young, Jr. For more see C. Milton Young, III, M.D. in Who's Who of Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.169; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2009.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Young, Eddie L.
Birth Year : 1923
Born in the coal camps of Jenkins, KY, Young is the father of Michelle Y. Green, author of the Willie Pearl Series. Eddie Young was a Tuskeegee Airman and one of the first African American pilots to fly in Korea and Vietnam. Green's book in progress, High Flight, is based on her father's life.  This entry was submitted by Michelle Y. Green.
Subjects: Aviators, Fathers, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky

 

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