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<Skating Rinks>

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Clay, John T.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1934
John T. Clay was a jockey who was injured riding War Jig on the Kentucky Association Track; the injuries ended his riding career, but he then became a successful trainer and was described as a wealthy man who owned real estate [source: "The Negro jockey on the American turf," The Freeman, 11/11/1905, p. 6]. He had ridden for Major Barak G. Thomas and was one of the persons named in Thomas' will [source: "Fortune for former slave," New York Times, 05/22/1906, p. 1]. In 1907, Clay partnered with Lewis McClanahan for the building of the Colored Skating Rink in Lexington, KY [see NKAA entry Colored Skating Rink and Summer Palm Garden]. John T. Clay is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Harry Clay; his mother's maiden name was Reese, according to Kentucky Death Certificate File #5998, Registered #234. He was the husband of Caddie Clay and the father of John and Barak Clay. In 1900, the family lived on Constitution Street in Lexington [source: U.S. Federal Census]. John T. Clay was employed by the U.S. Post Office as a rural mail carrier, according to the 1910 Census and his death certificate. By 1920, the family lived on East Second Street, and in 1930, John T. Clay was a widower [sources: U.S. Federal Census].
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Postal Service, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink and Summer Palm Garden (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1907
End Year : 1908
During the roller skating rink craze in the early 1900s, it was reported that the first Colored skating rink would be built in Lexington, KY, in 1907 [see "Lewis McClanahan," Interior Journal, 03/05/1907, p. 3]. It may have been the first Colored rink in Kentucky, but it was not the first in the United States. The push for the rink in Lexington was led by Lewis McClanahan, who was from Hustonville, KY. (His name is spelled "Louis" in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.) McClanahan was born in 1873 in Ohio. He had come to Kentucky when he was a child, and most of his life he had been a servant for the Weatherford family in Hustonville. In 1907, McClanahan partnered with John Clay for the building of the skating rink. Clay is described as a wealthy Negro from Lexington, KY. Residents of East Third Street circulated a petition that was forwarded to the Mayor, asking that the skating rink not be built in their neighborhood. Just prior to the skating rink opening, the Bluegrass Amusement Company, made up of white business men, filed articles of incorporation as owners of the skating rink. The skating rink was completed March 1907. In April there was a complaint that white spectators had been admitted to the Colored skating rink, and McClanahan and Clay, the managers, were asked by the Lexington Leader newspaper to respond to the complaint. The skating rink, estimated to have cost $10,000, was located on Third Street, just beyond the C. & O. Railway crossing on the old Ransom property. The rink was destroyed by fire in November 1908. After the Lexington Colored skating rink was built, several smaller cities in Kentucky also built Colored skating rinks. For more see the following Lexington Leader articles: "Skating rink," 02/28/1907, p. 9; "Skating rink," 03/17/1907, p. 15; "Petition," 03/20/07; "Colored skating rink," 03/28/1907, p. 1; the statement "The colored skating rink at Lexington was destroyed by fire this week," The Winchester News, 11/14/1908, Colored Column, p. 2; and "Skating rink burns," The Citizen, 11/19/1908, p. 7.
Subjects: Railroad, Railway, Trains, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Earlington, KY)
In 1910, a Colored skating rink was located across the street from the Louisville & Eastern Interurban Rail line Station in Earlington, KY. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church Sunday School used the facility for its Christmas entertainment on December 24-25, 1910. Superintendent William Killebrew and his assistants were in charge of the arrangements. For more, see the paragraph about the celebration in the Colored News section of The Bee (Earlington newspaper), 12/16/1910, p. 4, and 12/23/1910, p. 4. By the beginning of the new year, several Colored churches and Colored persons in Earlington had signed a petition to condemn the dances and perceived rowdiness that had taken place at the skating rink. The indecent entertainment was said to be destroying the lives and character of young Negroes in Earlington. See the Colored Column paragraph "There is a petition signed...," in The Bee, 01/24/1911, p. 2. The Mt. Zion Baptist Church continued to use the skating rink for its events. The skating rink was also used for a banquet by the Zadok Lodge #80 F. & A. M. The organization paid honor to two visitors to the city, Professor E. B. Davis, Grand Master of F. & A. M. of Kentucky, and Ms. Maggie Freeman, Royal Grand Matron of the Eastern Stars. See the Colored Column paragraph "Prof. E. B. Davis...," in The Bee, 06/30/1911, p. 7.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Paducah, KY)
In 1909, the Paducah Colored skating rink was up for sale. The 55 ft. lot, which had cost $4,000, was being sold for $2,500. In 1910, the rink was still in existence when the Colored revival was held there in September. The rink was located on Tenth Street. The revival was held by Lena Mason from Philadelphia, PA, with assistance from Reverend G. W. Robinson, pastor of the African Methodist Evangelical Church in Paducah. For more see "Real estate bargains," The Paducah Evening Sun, 04/03/1909, p. 5; and "Colored revival starts," The Paducah Evening Sun, 09/21/1910, p. 5.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Paris, KY)
The City Board of Health closed the Paris Colored skating rink temporarily in 1908. Mayor James M. O'Brien issued a notice to the chief of police for the rink to be closed until further notice. The rink drew its nightly attendance from Bourbon County, which, along with several surrounding counties, had cases of smallpox. Closing the skating rink was a precaution that would hopefully prevent the spread of the disease to the entire community. For more see the articles "Vaccination in order" and "Colored skating rink closed" in The Bourbon News, 03/13/1908, p. 5.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Winchester, KY)
Thanksgiving night, 1910, the Colored skating rink in Winchester, KY, was the scene of gunfire by deputy policeman, John Ballard, who was shooting at John Smith, an African American who worked at the skating rink. Ballard accused Smith of telling lies on him, and when Ballard drew his gun, there was a scuffle. Smith was able to get away without being injured. Ballard was charged with malicious shooting without wounding. The case was held over to the grand jury. For more see "Ballard held to grand jury," The Winchester News, 12/02/1910, p.1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky

East 6th Street / Scott's Rollarena / Foster's Roller Skating (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1868
End Year : 1961
In 1958, Scott's Rollarena for "Whites Only," became Foster's Roller Skating for "Colored Patrons Only." The roller rink was located at 427 E. 6th Street in Lexington, KY, between Shropshire Avenue and Ohio Street. [Today, it is the location of Griffith's Market.] Foster's Roller Skating was a short-lived venture owned by Rowland S. Foster, who was born in 1899 and died in 1975. The previous business, Scott's Rollarena, owned by Gilbert W. Scott, had not always been located on 6th Street. The business opened just prior to 1940 and was located on National Avenue during the early years, then moved to 422 West Main Street and in 1952 moved to the 6th Street location. Negroes who lived in the area were against the rink moving to 6th Street, and a group went before the Board of City Commissioners to denounce the move of a "whites only" skating rink to what was fast becoming a predominately Negro neighborhood. The commissioners offered their sympathy to the Negroes and said they could do nothing about the "whites only" policy. Looking back to the 1860s, East 6th Street had been considered the suburbs of Lexington [source: Prather's Lexington City Directory], and by the late 1890s, there were a few Colored families living on 6th Street [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory]. By 1939, there was a Colored neighborhood on E. 6th Street between Elm Tree Lane and Ohio Street, and Thomas Milton was the only Colored person living in the 400 block [source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory]. The new neighborhood continued to exist in spite of the racial tension; the determined home owners would not succumb to threats and violence. In October 1930, the Colored families living on E. 6th Street between Elm Tree Lane and Ohio Street received threatening letters following the bombing of two homes. The letters warned the families to get out of the neighborhood. The homes of the Charles Jones family on Curry Avenue and of the Rhada Crowe family at 209 East 6th Street had both been blasted with dynamite. The Crowe family had been in their home just a week, and after the bombing they moved. The letters received by their neighbors were turned over to the chief of police, Ernest Thompson, and the families were assured the Lexington Police Department would protect them. The Colored families stayed, and the area continued to change. By 1948 Negro home owners and business owners were buying property in the 400 block of E. 6th Street. [source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory]. The businesses were Luella Oldham Beauty Shop-410 (Colored); Irene Keller Beauty Shop-412 (Colored); Sweeney's Confectionery-430; City Radio Service-439; and Blue Grass Market-441. The street address, 427 E. 6th Street, did not exist prior to 1950, but by 1952 there was a building at the address when Scott's Rollarena moved to its new location. The protest against the "whites only" policy at the roller rink was one of the early and lesser known acts of the ongoing Civil Rights Movement in Lexington. In spite of the protests, Scott's Rollarena was at the 6th Street location for six years before the business closed in 1958. In May of that same year, Foster's Roller Skating opened in the same location for "Colored Patrons Only." The building at 427 E. 6th Street was listed as vacant in the 1961 Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky) City Directory. In 1977, there was a grocery store in the building when it was destroyed by fire; arson was suspected. For more see "City fathers give sympathy which fears rink will raise problem," Lexington Leader, 01/10/1952, p. 12; the ad for Foster's Roller Skating in the Lexington Leader, 05/08/1958; "Judge requests jury to probe house bombing," Lexington Leader, 10/06/1930, p. 1; "Family to move following blast," Lexington Leader, 10/03/1930, p. 1; "Police promise protection for Negro families," Lexington Leader, 10/14/1930, p. 1; and "Store gutted; arson suspected," Lexington Leader, 06/17/1977, p. A-1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Skating Rinks, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Magowan, James E.
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1933
The following information comes from the James E. Magowan archival file at the Montgomery County Historical Society and Museum in Mt. Sterling, KY. James E. Magowan was a successful businessman and a community leader. He was born in Montgomery County, the son of Amanda and John Wesley Magowan, and a brother of John, Noah, Susan, and Emily Magowan. The family lived in Smithville, KY. James Magowan, his brothers, and sister, Susan, all attended the Academy at Berea. As an adult, James Magowan was a real estate agent, loans and collecting agent, notary public, carpenter, contractor, and owner of the Magowan Theater and the colored skating rink in Mt. Sterling. James Magowan developed the Lincoln View Cemetery next to Olive Hill Cemetery in Smithville. The Lincoln View Cemetery opened on April 1, 1929, with James Magowan as president, his son, Jesse E., 1st vice president, and his wife, Lizzie, his daughter, Sarah, and his son-in-law and daughter, Watson D. Banks and Estella Magowan Banks, board members. James Magowan established a subdivision for African Americans next to the cemetery, and he owned and managed the waterline to the homes, charging a monthly fee for the service. He established the Mt. Sterling Colored Fair Association in 1909. He was owner of the James E. Magowan Grocery Store, which was located within the J. E. Magowan Hall (built in 1914) at the corner of East Locust and Fox Streets. James Magowan leased-out the grocery store and other space within the building. Additional information about James E. Magowan comes from "Achievements of the late James E. Magowan" on pp. 23-24 in Montgomery County Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974, by S. A. Harris. James E. Magowan was a school teacher for six years. He led the effort to extend the gas line into Smithville, and in 1915 he was president of the organization that had a sidewalk completed from the city limits of Mt. Sterling to the entrance of Olive Hill Cemetery. James Avenue in Mt. Sterling was named in his honor. James E. Magowan is buried in the Lincoln View Cemetery in Mt. Sterling, KY.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Communities, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Education and Educators, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Carpenters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Notary Public, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling and Smithville, Montgomery County, Kentucky

 

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