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<Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores>

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1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky
Start Year : 1940
In 1940, there were about 2,800 Kentucky-born persons in the shoe care business, and of that number, at least 277 were African Americans according to the U.S. Federal Census. Though sometimes referred to as "shoe shine boys," these were adult men and a few women, many of whom were supporting families. The number does not include self-employed boys and men shining shoes on the street. The 277 Kentucky African Americans in the shoe care business were employed in barber shops or shoe shops in Kentucky and elsewhere. They were few in number when compared to the more than 160,000 adults in the United States who shined, repaired, and made shoes in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The significance to Kentucky is that since the days of slavery, the shoe care business that was once dominated by African Americans continued as a base employment for African Americans four decades into the 20th Century. More than 7,800 adult African Americans made a living caring for shoes in the United States in 1940, this includes at least 277 Kentucky competitors during one of the toughest economic times in the history of the United States [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. There was the continuing economic depression and World War II was still in progress.  It would be another year before the United States entered the war after Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941. The NAACP was pushing for the U.S. Armed Forces to be integrated. In Kentucky, it was the beginning of a wave of out-migration that would result in 13% of the population leaving for manufacturing jobs in northern states [source: A New History of Kentucky by L. H. Harrison and J. C. Klotter]. This wave would happen a little later for African Americans because discrimination and segregation barred most from manufacturing jobs in 1940 when 412 of every 1,000 African American men were still employed in farm labor [source: "Employment and education" on pp.509 in Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to present, v.1, edited by P. Finkelman]. There were 71 shoe makers in Kentucky in 1940 according to the U.S. Federal Census: 46 born in KY; 16 born in another state; 2 with an unknown birth state; and others born in Germany (2), Italy (1), Russia (3), and Sweden (1).  Lexington had led the state with the most African American shoe makers in the 1800s, but Felix Chapman was the only one listed in the 1940 U.S. Census. For individuals, the business had changed from making shoes to caring for shoes. From 1930-1947, there were little more than 100 African American shoe repairers and shoe shiners in Lexington. The business of shoe care would continue to change with continued northern migration, the U.S. involvement in WWII, and fair employment guidelines at the national level. In 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) won his third term as President of the United States and Henry A. Wallace became Vice President. Keen Johnson (D) was Kentucky Governor and Rodes K. Myers was Lieutenant Governor. The annual average income of employed persons in the United States was $1,368, and the unemployment rate had been 18.26% during the 1930s [source: D. Petro, "Brother can you spare a dime? The 1940 Census: employment and income," Prologue Magazine, Spring 2012, v.44, no.1 (online at National Archives website)]. The average annual income for African American males was $537.45, which would start to increase after the 1941 Fair Employment Practice Committee was established to monitor the hiring practices of companies with government contracts [source: African Americans in the Twentieth Century by T. N. Maloney, an E.H.net website]. For more see History: 1940 Overview, a U.S. Census Bureau website; M. S. Bedell, "Employment and income of Negro workers 1940-52," Monthly Labor Review, v.76, no.6, June 1953, pp.596-601; The Path to Mechanized Shoe Production in the United States by R. Thomson; Feet and Footwear: a cultural encyclopedia by M. DeMello; and The Shoe Shine Buff: the professional shoe care book by J. McGowan.

 

Click on the links below for the first 74 names of 277 adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

Last Names A

Last Names B

Last Names C

Last Names D

Last Names E

Last Names F

Last Names G
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE A]
Start Year : 1940
The table below has the names (A) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census]. 

 

NAMES                HOME LOCATION        EMPLOYMENT

Paul Allen           Taylor County, KY       shoe shiner at barber shop

Ernest Ayers       Newport, KY               shoe shiner prop. of shoe parlor

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky.

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE B]
Birth Year : 1940
The table below has the names (B) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

 

NAMES                        HOME LOCATION          EMPLOYMENT

Robey Babb                  Indianapolis, IN             shoe shiner at barber shop

Carter Babb                  Indianapolis, IN             shoe shiner at barber shop

Harvey Bailey                Louisville, KY                 shoe finisher at shoe repair shop

Lamuel Ballew              Cincinnati, OH               shoe shiner in shining parlor

George Ballew              Richmond, KY                shoe repairer at Embry Shoe Shop

William Barnes              Trigg County, KY           shoe shiner at barber shop

Herb Bassett                Aurora, IL                      shoe shiner at shoe parlor

Baker Bates                 Cleveland, OH               shoe finisher at shoe shop

John Beamur                Taylorsville, KY              shoe repairman at home

James Beard                Louisville, KY                 shoe repairer, owns shop

Marie Beard                  Louisville, KY                 helper in shoe shop

John Bishop                  Dayton, OH                   shoe shine boy at shoe repair shop

Grandison Blakey         Louisville, KY                 shoe dyer at shoe repair shop

Irvine D. Blyote            Richmond, KY                shoe shiner

John Boggs                  Richmond, KY                shoe repairer, owns shop

Walter Boston              Augusta, KY                  shoe shiner at barber shop

Ed Bridwell                   Louisville, KY                 shoe shiner at a club

George W. Brown        Paducah, KY                  shoe shiner at barber shop

Lillian Brown                Louisville, KY                 shoe repairer at repair shop

Willie Brown                 Lexington, KY               shoe shiner at shoe shining parlor

William Brown              Covington, KY               shoe shiner at barber shop

William Burks               Frankfort, KY                 shoe shiner at barber shop

William Burley              Frankfort, KY                 shoe shine boy, private work

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky. 

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE C]
Start Year : 1940
The table below has the names (C) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

 

NAMES                     HOME LOCATION        EMPLOYMENT

Charles Cerd             Rome, GA                      shoe shine boy at barber shop

Felix Chapman          Lexington, KY                shoe maker at shoe repair shop

W. M. Christian         Elkton, KY                      shoe shiner at barber shop

Jim Clark                   Pineville, KY                   shoe shiner at barber shop

Raymond Clark         Pineville, KY                   shoe shiner at barber shop

Harding Clay             Frankfort, KY                 shoe shine boy at barber shop

James Cobb              Toledo, OH                    shoe shiner at barber shop

Mathew Cornett        Hazard, KY                    shoe shiner at barber shop

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky.

 

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE D]
Start Year : 1940
The table below has the names (D) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

 

NAMES                          HOME LOCATION         EMPLOYMENT

Reed Davidson               Kokomo, IN                   shoe shiner at shoe repair shop

Murry Davis                    Cleveland, OH               shoe shine boy at terminal

Joe Davis                        Lexington, KY               shoe repairman at public shoe hospital

Herman Dinwiddie          Paducah, KY                  shoe repairer at shoe shop

Harold Doe                     Berea, KY                      janitor & shoe shining at barber shop

John Douglas                 Indianapolis, IN            shoe shiner, own self

Howard L. Drane           Mayfield, KY                   shoe shiner at barber shop

Lane Dun, Jr.                 Allen County, KY            shoe black at barber shop

Flocy Durrette               Canton, OH                    shoe woman with WPA Project

Dan Duton                    Pikeville, KY                    shoe polisher at barber shop

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky.

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE E]
Start Year : 1940
The table below has the names (E) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

 

NAMES                     HOME LOCATION      EMPLOYMENT

Gaither Edmonds       Elkton, KY                 shoe shiner at barber shop

Eugene C. Edward      Palo Alto, CA             shoe shiner at Army post

Glession Elliot            Burkesville, KY          shoe shine boy at barber shop

Shelby Ellis               Portland, OR             shoe shiner at ???? station

Louis Elmore             Dayton, OH              shoe shiner at barber shop

Millard Evans             Knoxville, TN            shoe maker at shoe repair shop

Perry Everett             Cincinnati, OH           shoe shiner at cobling shop

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky.

 

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE F]
Start Year : 1940
The table below has the names (F) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

 

NAMES                          HOME LOCATION               EMPLOYMENT

Corneles Ferguson          Muhlenberg County, KY      shoe shiner at private barber shop

William Fisher                Louisville, KY                     shoe shiner at shoe repair co.

Nathan P. Fletcher          Rushville, IN                      shoe repairer, owns shop

Lowell Ford                    Metropolis, IL                     shoe shiner at barber shop

Fred Foster                    Green County, KY               shoe black at barber shop

O. J. Franklin                 San Francisco, CA               assistant at shoe shine parlor

Claude Robert Franklin    Louisville, KY                     shoe shine boy at barber shop

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky.

 

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky [TABLE G]
Start Year : 1940
The table below has the names (G) of adult African Americans born in Kentucky and employed in the shoe care business in 1940 [source: U.S. Federal Census].

 

NAMES                    HOME LOCATION          EMPLOYMENT

Byron Gaines            Dawson Springs, KY      shoe shiner at barber shop

Harry A. Gaines         Dawson Springs, KY      shoe shiner at barber shop

Major Gardener         Oklahoma City, OK      porter & shoe shine boy at shoe rebuilder

William Gardner        Chicago, IL                 shoe shining, owns parlor

Ray Gardner             Chicago, IL                 shoe shining, owns parlor

Henry D. Gentry        Winchester, KY            shoe shiner at Brooks Shop

Warren George         Middlesborough, KY     shoe shine boy at shoe shop

William Gilcrest         Pasadena, CA             shoe shiner at private practice

Robert Golden          Louisville, KY              shoe shiner at shine shop

Raymond Grady        Lansing, MI                shoe shiner at shoe shine stand

Fred Green               Lawrenceburg, IN        shoe shiner at shoe store

Robert Grant            Frankfort, KY              shoe shine boy, private work

William J. Griffith      Calhoun, KY               shoe shiner at barber shop

Arthur Grimmett        Cleveland, OH            shoe repairman at shoe repair factory

Woodrow Grissom      Adair County, KY         shoe shine boy at barber shop

 

[click here] for the accompanying NKAA entry 1940 - Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners, Kentucky.

 

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers and Shoe Repairers in Lexington, KY, Prior to 1900
End Year : 1900
The term shoemaker was sometimes written as two words [shoe maker] in the early city directories. The making of shoes was one of the skilled labors performed by slaves throughout the South. Once slavery ended, former slaves used the skill in their businesses that were often operated out of their homes. The industrial manufacturing and mass production of shoes would greatly reduced the number of individual shoemakers. The names of the shoe factories, especially in Louisville, KY, can be found in city directories, along with the listing of shoemakers, both African American and white. In Lexington, KY, there was an abundance of African American shoemakers, and a few shoe repairers. They are noted in the directories with (c), (col), (cld), or (col'd). Below are the names of some of the African American shoemakers and shoe repairers located in Lexington, KY, prior to the year 1900. Practically all were born in Kentucky.

 

  •  Sally A. Jackson was a shoe binder who lived on E. Short Street between N. Mulberry and Walnut. She was a free person and is listed in the Directory of the City of Lexington and County of Fayette for 1838 & '39.
  • Micajah M. Mason was a shoemaker who lived on W. Water Street between N. Mill and Broadway. He is listed as a free man in the 1838-39 directory, and in the 1859-60 directory when he lived on E. S. Mulberry between Short and Barr Streets.
  • Edward Oliver was a boot and shoe maker. He lived at 4 E. Water Street and is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory.
  • Parker Pee (b.1808 in KY) was a shoe and boot maker and lived at 23 W. Short Street. He is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory, in the 1859-60 directory when he was living on S. Main between Broadway and Spring Streets, and he is listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census.
  • William Tanner, a shoe maker, lived on E. Short Street between Walnut and Bank Streets. He is listed as free in the 1838-39 directory.
  • Thomas Johnson (b.1822 in KY) was a shoemaker on S. Broadway between Main and Water Streets. He is listed as a free man in the 1859-60 directory, and in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census.
  • Isaac Robinson was a shoemaker who lived on S. Short Street between Spring and Jefferson. He is listed as a free man in the 1859-60 directory, and he is listed as cook living at 11 S. Broadway in the 1877-78 directory.
  • Moses Thomas, boots and shoes, lived on S. Short Street between Broadway and Mill Streets. He is listed as a free man in the 1859-60 directory.
  • Andrew Bryant, Sr. (b.1814 in KY) was a boot and shoemaker at Hunt's Row. He was born in Kentucky, and lived on High Street between Upper and Mulberry Streets. Bryant was married to Myra Bryant, b.1839 in KY. He is listed as a free man in Williams' Lexington [Kentucky] Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror, Volume 1 - 1859-60 and he is also listed in Maydwell's Lexington City Directory 1867.
  • E. Dishman and Lawson Dishman were boot and shoemakers at 13 1/2 Water Street, both are listed in Sheppard's Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874. Ebenezer Dishman, Sr. (1818-1901) and Lawson Dishman (1828-1899) were two of the sons of William and Frances Dishman. Ebenezer was born in Fayette County, KY, and was the husband of Georgiana Dishman (b.1830). They are listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census as the parents of four children. Lawson Dishman was born in Fayette County, KY, and was the husband of May Dishman. Lawson Dishman was a shoemaker and a tanner. He is later listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82, as a shoemaker in Dill's Ally, 4th house west of Jefferson St. In the same directory is a listing for Ebenezer and his son James E. Dishman (b.1852). They are listed as shoemakers at their home 205 N. Upper Street. James E. Dishman was born in Fayette County, KY.
  • (1873 and 1874) Alex Burton was a shoe maker at 13 1/2 Water Street, he lived in Guntown. By 1880, Burton had moved his business and family to Danville, KY.
  • (1873 and 1874) Lewis Morton was a shoemaker at 175 E. Third Street.
  • Harvey Young, b.1814 in KY, had his shop at 159 Correll [Corral] Street. He was the husband of Susan Young, b.1839 in KY. Twelve year old Daniel Bell lived with the Youngs. They are all listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. Harvey Young's business is listed in Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876. In an earlier directory, Williams' Lexington City Directory 1864-65, Harvey Young was listed as a shoemaker, with no race distinction, and his home was on Water Street between Upper and Mulberry Streets.
  • David French (b.1822) was a shoemaker at 112 N. Upper Street, according to Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876. He was born in Kentucky, and was the husband of Hannah French, b.1835 in KY.
  • John Thomas (b.1857) had his business in his home at 206 N. Limestone, which is listed in the R. C. Hellrigle and Co's Lexington City Directory 1877-78. He was born in Kentucky, the son of Emma Thompson and the brother of shoemaker Charles Thomas [listed below].
  • Silas Crowders sold shoes and boots at 267 N. Limestone, near his home at 269 Limestone. His business is listed in Williams' Lexington City Directory 1881-82. There is an earlier listing for Silas Crowdus (b.1824 in KY), in Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876, he was a shoemaker located at 137 S. Broadway.
  • Titus Buckner (1855-1936) was a minister and shoemaker, his business was at his home on Winslow Street between Upper and Limestone, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82. [He was still repairing shoes in the 1930s and is listed in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1931-32.] Reverend Titus Buckner was born in Fayette County, KY. He was the husband of Julia Buckner, b.1856 in KY, and the couple lived at 196 Eddie Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Titus Buckner was a widower by 1920. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, according to his death certificate.
  • Price Buford (b.1820 in KY) worked out of his home in Gill's Alley, 9th house west of Jefferson Street, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.
  • Shoemaker Evan Collins did business at the home he shared with Charles Henderson, located in an ally between Spring, Lower, Maxwell, and Pine Streets. Collins is listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.
  • Isaac Johnson was a shoe repairer on Georgetown Street, 3rd house north of King. He is listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.
  • Charles Skillman (1844-1888) made shoes at his home, 144 Lower Street. He was born in Kentucky, and was the husband of Emma Skillman b.1850 in KY. Charles Skillman is listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.
  • Charles Taylor and Charles A. Thomas (b.1862) were both shoemakers at 138 N. Limestone. Charles Thomas was born in Kentucky, the son of Emma Thompson, and the brother of shoemaker John Thomas. Thomas and Taylor are listed separately in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82, but with the same address.
  • The William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82 lists two John Toles, the first worked at his home, 80 N. Broadway. The second John Toles also worked from his home on Vine Street, 3rd door east of Broadway. The older John Toles was born in 1820 in Kentucky.
  • John Wilkerson (b.1832) made shoes on Broadway, 3rd house north of Maxwell. His home was on Limestone and Winslow. Wilkerson was born in Kentucky, and was the husband of Virginia Wilkerson, b.1834 in KY. John Wilkerson is listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.
  • Nathaniel Wilson (b.1809 in VA) lived on Limestone and worked from home, the fifth house south of 6th Street, according to William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.
  • Shoemaker William Vinegar had a business on Cox Street, he worked out of his home. His business is listed in William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82.

 

Shoe makers in Lexington, listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census:

 

  • Gable Carr (b.1804) shoemaker, the husband of Matilda Carr.
  • Albert Diggs (b.1854), Sanders Diggs (1855-1898), and Edmund Diggs (1857-1912), all born in Kentucky, and the sons of Brooks and Emily Carter Diggs. The family of nine lived in Brucetown. Brooks and his sons were all shoe makers.
  • John Latcher (b.1811) widower shoemaker who lived on East Short Street.
  • Joseph Reeves (b.1858) a shoe maker from West Canada. He lived alone on Upper Street.
  • Walter Rhodes (b.1845) was the husband of Hattie Rhodes who was born in Kentucky. The couple had two children, the oldest was from Walter’s earlier marriage. The family lived on Deweese Street.
  • Jack Stopher (b.1845) was the husband of Minnie Stopher (b.1850). The family of five were all born in Kentucky, and lived in Kinkeadtown.
  • John Thomas (b.1857) listed above.
  • Shoemaker John Tobs (b.1820) was also a servant with the Wasfield family. Tobs lived with the family on Broadway.
  • William Vinegar (b.1849) was a shoemaker in Lexington. He was the husband of Kitty (b.1859) and the couple had 3 children.
  • Emanuel Wells (b.1842) was the husband of Harriet Wells and the couple had three children. The family lived in Adamstown.

 

Shoe makers listed in the Directory of African Americans in Lexington, Kentucky, 1893 by D. Y. Wilkinson:

 

  • Isaiah Graves at 29 Ballard Street.
  • Charles Green worked for F. King. His address was 24 Wickliffe Street.
  • William S. Irvine at 57 Megowan Street.
  • John Latcher at 55 E. Water Street.
  • Wallace Maxberry at 5 Drake Street.
  • Henry Nichols (b.1860 in KY) at 79 S. Limestone, he was the husband of Susan Nichols. In 1900, the couple lived on Corral Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census.
  • Isaiah Stone at 11 Blackburn Street.
  • Charles Thurston at 57 Megowan Street.

 

Shoe makers in Lexington, mentioned in newspapers:


 
Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers from Kentucky
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1880
The following is a list of African American shoe makers who were born in Kentucky and lived in other states. The information comes from the 1800 U.S. Federal Census, except where noted otherwise. [See also Kentucky shoe makers and Lexington, KY, shoe makers.]

 

ALABAMA

  • David Crocket (b.1828) was a shoemaker in Huntsville. He was the husband of Josephine (b.1835 in AL).

 

CALIFORNIA

  • David McReynolds (b.1825) was a shoemaker in Petaluma. He was the husband of Selena (b.1834 in Washington D. C.).

 

GEORGIA

  • Abrom Halton (b.1835) was a shoemaker in Butler where he lived with his wife Emily (b.1835 in GA) and their 4 children.

 

ILLINOIS

  • William Donegan (b.1839) was a shoemaker in Springfield with his wife Sarah (b.1850 in IL) and their one year old son.
  • Daniel F. Garnett (b.1837) was a shoe maker in Evanston with his wife Mary E. (b.1852 in AR) and their five children.
  • Beverly Grayson (b.1817) was a shoemaker in Carbondale. He was the husband of Harriett (b.1823 in VA), and the couple had a daughter.
  • Dennis Miller (b.1845) was a shoemaker in Metropolis. He was a widower.
  • George T. Smith (b.1834) was a shoe maker who lived in Paris with his wife Jennie Smith (b.1861 in MS).
     

INDIANA

  • Henry Crawford (b.1847) was a shoemaker in Evansville. He was the husband of Clara (b.1849 in KY) and the couple had two children.  Clara's brother lived with the family.
  • Henry Craycroft (b.1832) was a shoemaker who lived in Jeffersonville. He was a widower and lived with his three children.
  • Judson Goe (b.1806) was a shoemaker in Wabash. He was the husband of Rose Ann (b.1810 in KY) and the couple had a son.
  • F. M. Green (b.1844) was a boot and shoe maker who lived in Evansville. He was a widower with four children, and a boarder lived with them on 5th Street.
  • Horace Heston (b.1853) was a shoemaker in Indianapolis.  He was the husband of Millie (b.1833 in KY) and the couple had two adult children.
  • Amos Irvine (b.1815) was a shoemaker in Port Fulton.
  • James Lee (b.1840) was a shoe maker who lived in Jeffersonville with his wife Amy (b.1846 in KY), their two children, and James' mother. The family lived on Broadway.
  • Anthony McDougal (b.1843) was a shoe maker who lived in Jeffersonville. He was the husband of Elizabeth McDougal (b.1852 in KY). The family of five and two boarders lived on Indiana Avenue.
  • Joe L. Louis (b.1820) was a shoemaker in Vincennes. He was the husband of Susan (b.1841 in KY) and the couple had 6 children.
  • Marian Madrian (b.1834) was a shoemaker in Evansville where he lived with his wife Elisa (b.1877 in KY) and their 3 children.
  • James McGary (b.1849) was a shoe maker in Evansville where he lived alone, he was a widower.
  • Sam Morgan (b.1845) was a shoemaker in Tell City. He was the husband of Bertha (b.1854 in KY) and the couple had 4 children.
  • Henry Patton (b.1858) was a shoe maker who was a prisoner in Michigan City.


IOWA

  • Philip Reeves (b.1844) was a shoemaker who had learned his craft as a slave in Kentucky. In 1900, he lived 211 N. Eighth Street in Keokuk with his wife Jennie (b.1845 in GA) and their son Wesley (b.1871 in IA). Philip Reeves is highlighted in a 1905 article in The Freeman, 10/14/1905, p.4. He is described as a popular shoemaker and shoe repairer at the business address of 317 Johnson Street.


KANSAS

  • James Bradley (b.1845) was a shoe maker who lived in Atchison City on 3rd Street. He was the husband of Sina Bradley (b.1849 in KY).
  • Richard Hodges (b.184) was a shoemaker in Wyandotte. He was the husband of Caddie (b.1851 in KY) and the couple had two children.
  • Moses Foster (b.1833) was a shoemaker in Leavenworth where he lived with his wife Francis (b.1834 in KY).
  • Alexander Gregg (1824-1904) was known in Kansas as Deacon Gregg, he was a boot and shoe maker who was born in Kentucky. Gregg left Kentucky and first settled in Missouri, then moved on to Kansas where he was one of the founders of the Baptist Church in Lawrence in 1862. He was the husband of Mary F. Gregg (b.1839 in MO). The couple lived on Tennessee Street with their children, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "In Memory of Deacon Gregg," Plaindealer, 02/26/1904, p.4.
  • Richard Hodges (b.1842) was shoemaker in Wyandotte where he lived with his wife Caddy (b.1851 in KY) and their two children on Kansas Avenue.
  • John Page (b.1850) was a shoe maker who lived in Leavenworth with his parents Richard and Anna Page who were both born in Virginia. The family lived on Miami Street.
  • Samuel P. Smith (b.1835) was a shoemaker in Topeka. He was the husband of Elvira (b.1849 in TN) and the couple had 7 children. A son-in-law and granddaughter also lived with the family.

 

LOUISIANA

  • Alcee Gaspar (b.1838) was a shoemaker in New Orleans. He was the husband of Rosine (b.1848 in LA) and the couple had 8 children.
  • Jubal Poland (b.1856) was a shoemaker in New Orleans.
  • Henry Robertson (b.1845) was cobbler in New Orleans. He was a widower.
  • Andrew Swyn (b.1834) was a shoemaker in Pineville. He was the husband of Mary (b.1840 in LA).


MICHIGAN

  • Peter Fisher (b.1859) was a shoe maker who was the son of William (b.1815 in KY) and Harriet Fisher (b.1818 in KY). The family of six lived in Greenfield.
  • John Richardson (b.1820) was a shoemaker in Madison.


MISSISSIPPI

  • Tom Broadwaters (b.1841), a shoe maker, was the husband of Laura Broadwaters (b.1852 in LA). The family of three lived in Vicksburg.
  • John Midderhoff (b.1859) a shoemaker in Natchez.
  • Thomas Monday (b.1855) was a shoe maker who lived in Wilkinson County with his wife Nancy (b.1858 in MS) and their five children.
  • Walt Owens (b.1824) was a shoe maker who lived in Summit with his wife Eliza (b.1858 in MS) and their four children.
  • Thomas Payne (b.1825) was a shoe maker who lived in Vicksburg with his wife Eliza Barnett (b.1839 in MS). They shared their home with an orphan and three boarders.
  • William Swank (b.1835) was a shoemaker in Senatobia. He was the husband of Chany (b.1843 in MS). The couple had 2 children and Chany's mother lived with them.


MISSOURI

  • Samuel Black (b.1845) was a shoemaker in St. Louis.
  • George Brenson (b.1816) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Judy Brenson (b.1813 in KY), and the family of five lived in Pierce City.
  • Newton Harden (b.1847) was a shoe maker who lived in Jefferson City.
  • Henry Johnson (b.1827) was a shoemaker in Huntsville. He was the husband of Louisa (b.1848 in MO) and the couple had three children.
  • Samuel Lewis (b.1857) was a shoe maker who lived in Jefferson City.
  • Peter Parker (b.1835) was a shoemaker in Kansas City. He was the husband of Susan (b.1838 in KY) and the couple had 5 children.
  • Jefferson Pierce (b.1840) was a shoe maker who lived in Joplin with his wife Sarah (b.1841 in KY), their six children and a boarder.
  • Nelson Robinson (b.1825) was a shoemaker in Paris. He was the husband of Jane (b.1827 in KY) and the couple had 6 children.
  • Presley Steward (b.1821) was a shoe maker. He lived in Linneus with his wife Ellen (b.1836 in MO) and their seven children.
  • Edward Young (b.1816) was a shoemaker in Fulton. He was the husband of Cassie (b.1836 in KY) and the couple had 3 children.


OHIO

  • James Andrews (b.1850) a shoemaker in Xenia with his wife Louisa, 3 siblings, and his mother. The family lived on East Main Street.
  • Joseph Bulger (b.1833) a boot and shoe maker in Ripley. He was the husband of Josephine Bulger (b.1854 in OH), and the couple had three children. They lived on Cherry Street.
  • Jackson Day (b.1841) a shoemaker in Springfield. He was the husband of Francis (b.1852 in KY) and the couple had 4 children. A nephew and a boarder also lived with the family.
  • Joseph Grubbs (b.1828) was a shoe maker who lived in Xenia with his wife Eliza (b.1832 in VA). The couple lived on Lexington Street.
  • Robert R. Hodge (b.1813) was a shoemaker in Oberlin. He lived with his wife Ida (b.1854 in OH) and their two sons.
  • Douglas Mullens (b.1845) was a shoemaker in Fayette. He was the husband of Martha (b.1840 in KY) and the couple had 3 children.
  • Albert Parks (b.1888 in Carlisle, KY) was a shoe repairer in Cincinnati, OH, having opened his business in 1922. He was the son of John W. and Laura Parks, and was a veteran of the U.S. Army. Source: Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
  • Robert Peoples (b.1846 in KY) was a shoemaker in Columbus. He was a prisoner in the penitentiary.
  • Alfred Seals (b.1824 in KY) was a shoemaker in Harrison. He was the husband of Mariah (b.1822 in KY) and they had one son.

 

TENNESSEE

  • Charles Bailey (b.1822) a shoe maker, was the husband of Emily Bailey (b.1825 in TN). The family of six lived in Montgomery County.
  • Thomas Ball (b.1828) was a shoe maker who lived in Milan with two nieces.
  • Phillip Caldwell (b.1853) was a shoemaker in Nashville.
  • Horace Chenault (b.1831) was a shoemaker in Gallatin. He was the husband of Amanda (b.1830 in TN) and the couple had 4 children.
  • J. Cox (b.1831) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Mary Cox (b.1836 in TN). The family of eight lived in Murfreesborough.
  • Ben Harlan (b.1813) was a shoemaker in Sumner County where he lived with his wife Eliza (b.1820 in KY) and their son.
  • Ben Henderson (b.1844) was a shoe maker who lived in Chattanooga with his wife Hanah (b.1852 in NC), their three children, Hanah's mother, and a boarder.
  • Lee Jones (b.1862) was a shoemaker apprentice in Nashville.
  • David Masterson (b.1850) was a shoe maker who lived in Roane County. He was the husband of Charlotte Masterson (b.1856 in TN). The family of five lived on Lowly Street.
  • Daniel Settles (b.1829) was a shoe maker who lived in Nashville. He was a widower and lived on Cherry Street.


TEXAS

  • Tep Beatty (b.1836) a shoe maker in Seguin. Roomed with Howard Coleman and another boarder.
  • Howard Coleman (b.1854) a shoe maker in Seguin.  Roomed with Tep Beatty and another boarder.
  • Lewis Green (b.1825) a shoemaker in Austin. He was the husband of Pelsey.
  • Anderson Rawlett (b.1833) a shoemaker in Bonham. He was the husband of Jane (b.1839 in TX) and the couple had one child.
  • J. Thompson (b.1840) a shoemaker in Anderson County. He was the husband of M. F. (b.1845 in NC).


WASHINGTON, D.C.

  • Edward Bean (b.1851) was a shoe repairer who lived on 21st Street, N.W.

Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers in Kentucky [not Lexington]
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1880
The following is a list of shoe makers from the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, except where noted. These are shoe makers who were born in Kentucky or lived in Kentucky. The list does not include those who lived in Lexington, KY, or those who lived outside Kentucky. There is a separate entry for Lexington shoe makers before 1900, African American Shoe Shiners and Shoe Repairers in Lexington, KY, 1930-1947, and for Kentucky shoe makers who lived in other states.

 

ALLEN COUNTY

  • Berry Walker (b.1838 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Kittie Walker (b.1840 in KY), and the family of eleven lived in Scottsville.

BALLARD COUNTY

  • Arche Booker (b.1841 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived in Blandville.


BARREN COUNTY

  • James Wade (b.1837 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Lucinda Wade (b.1840 in KY). The couple and their four children lived on Front Street in Glasgow Junction. 

 

BATH COUNTY

  • Sims McElhany (b.1805 in KY) was a shoe maker, and he and his wife Fanny were also servants for the Crooks Family. They all lived in Tanyard.
  • John Sanford (b.1840 in KY) was a shoemaker in Owingsville. He was the husband of Jane (b.1845 in KY) and the couple had 6 children.


BOURBON COUNTY

  • James Hyers (b.1840 in KY) was a shoemaker in Ruddles Mills. He was the husband of Margaret (b.1842 in KY) and Margaret had a son who lived with them.
  • John Jones (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Millersburg. He was the husband of Clara Jones (b.1830 in KY), and supported a family of eight.
  • Jack Logan (b.1831 in KY) was a shoemaker in Bourbon County where he lived with his wife Martha (b.1830 in KY) and their son.
  • Alford Moorehead (b.1830 in KY) was a shoemaker in Claysville. He was the husband of Mary (b.1838 in KY) and the couple had two sons. Alford's mother also lived with the family.
  • George Watson (b.1832 in KY) was a shoemaker in Claysville. He was a widower and lived with his daughter.

 

BOYLE COUNTY

  • John Baughman (b.1849 in KY) is listed in the census as a shoe maker who is crippled. He was the husband of Lizzie Baughman (b.1857 in KY), and supported a family of five. The family lived in Danville.
  • Samuel W. Brumfield (b.1827 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Danville with his family of six. He was the husband of Sarah A. Brumfield (b.1834 in KY).
  • Anthoney Burnside (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker in Danville. He and his wife Bettie (b.1840 in KY) lived with their 20 year old adopted daughter.
  • Alex Burton (b.1832 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Danville. He was the husband of Mattie E. Burton (b.1852 in KY), and supported a family of four. The family lived on Lebanon Pike.
  • William Caldwell (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker who was a widower supporting a family of five.
  • R. Cowan (b.1820 in KY) is listed in the census as a shoe cobbler who lived in Danville. He was the husband of Harriet Cowan (b.1823 in KY). The family of six lived on Lexington Avenue.
  • Anderson Gutherie (b.1820 in KY), a shoe maker, lived on Fourth Street in Danville with his wife Eliza (b.1824 in KY). 
  • Henry Mack (b.1833 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Mary Mack (b.1831 in KY), and supported a family of five.
  • Timothy Masterson (b.1832 in KY) was a shoe maker who supported a family of seven. He was the husband of Lucinda Masterson (b.1844 in KY).


CALDWELL COUNTY

  • Carter Barnes (b.1833 in KY) a shoe maker in Princeton, KY, he lived with his wife Davina (b.1840 in KY). 
  • Anthony Slaughter (b.1830 in KY) a shoe maker in Princeton, supported seven other family members, including his wife Mariah (b.1835 in KY).


CHRISTIAN COUNTY

  • Jessie Hart (b.1855 in TN) is listed in the census as a shoe cobbler who lived in Garretsburg.


CLARK COUNTY

  • John Armstrong (b.1836 in KY) was a shoemaker in Winchester. He was the husband of Lucy (b.1850 in KY) and the couple had 5 children.
  • Robert Banks (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Anna M. Banks (b.1825 in KY). The family of five lived in Winchester.
  • Richard Brett (b.1848 in KY) was a shoemaker in Winchester. He was he husband of Charlotte (b.1845) and the couple had three children.
  • Henry Combs (b.1837 in KY) was a shoemaker in Winchester. He was the husband of Mary and the couple had two sons.
  • William Jackson (b.1857 in KY) was a shoemaker in Winchester. He was the husband of Carrie Duerson and they had daughter. They all lived with Carrie’s parents, Austin and Sarah Duerson.
  • James Robinson (b.1858 in KY), a shoe maker, was the son of Peter and Minerva Robinson. The family of seven lived in Winchester.
  • Jordon Stogdon (b.1837 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Lottie (b.1847 in KY), and the family of eight lived in Blue Ball.


CLAY COUNTY

  • William Potter (b.1832 in KY) was a shoemaker in Manchester. He was the husband of Harriet (b.1837 in KY) and the couple had 9 children.


FLOYD COUNTY

  • James Weaver (b.1873 in KY) was the owner of a shoe shop in Wheelwright, KY. He repaired shoes. He was the husband of Lucinda Weaver (b.1899 in VA). The couple lived on Otter Creek Road. [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census].


FRANKLIN COUNTY

  • Baker Clark (b.1828 in KY) was a shoe maker in Frankfort. He was the husband of Betty Clark (b.1832 in KY), and the family of three lived on Wilkerson Street.
  • James Franklin (b.1862) in KY) was a shoe maker incarcerated in the Frankfort Penitentiary.
  • Henry Rodman (b.1851 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Mary E. Rodman (b.1858 in KY). The family of six lived on Clinton Street and shared their home with four boarders.
  • Benjamin Spencer (b.1854 in KY) was a shoe maker in Frankfort. He was the son of Frank and Caroline Spencer, and the family of seven lived on Clinton Street.
  • John Stanley (b.1840 in CT) was a shoe maker incarcerated in the Frankfort Penitentiary.
  • Henry Thompson (b.1848 in KY) was a shoe maker incarcerated in the Frankfort Penitentiary.
  • Chandler Wood (b.1851 in KY) was a shoe maker incarcerated in the Frankfort Penitentiary.


GARRARD COUNTY

  • Dennis Brown (b.1800 in MD) was a shoe maker who lived in Lancaster. He was the husband of Neoma Brown (b.1802 in KY), and they had a son.
  • Dave Falkner (b.1835 in KY) was a shoe maker and lived with his wife Eda (b.1837 in KY) and their six children in Brandy Springs.
  • Jettie E. Knox ( -1898), a shoe maker, Knox was killed by Lancaster Postmaster J. I. Hamilton over a loan dispute. Knox had come from North Carolina about a year before his death [source: "About 10:30 o'clock Wednesday,..." in the column "Lancaster, Garrard County" on p.1 of Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, 09/11/1896]. Jettie Knox was the husband of Ella B. Cook, a school teacher in Stanford, KY [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple married in Danville, KY, July 28, 1896 [source: Kentucky Marriages Index].
  • Henry Mason (b.1825 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Harriet Mason (b.1844 in KY), and the family of seven lived in Lancaster.


GRANT COUNTY

  • Hary Powers (b.1744 in VA) was listed in the census as a 106 year old widower who was shoe maker.


GREEN COUNTY

  • George Edwards (b.1843 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Greensburg. He was the husband of Esther Edwards (b.1852 in KY), and supported a family of seven.
  • Dick Thornton (b.1837 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Greensburg. He was the husband of Fannie L. Thornton (b.1850 in KY) and the couple had five children.


HARDIN COUNTY

  • William Crow (b.1815) was a shoemaker in Glendale where he lived with his wife Mariah (b.1817 in KY).


HARRISON COUNTY

  • Leander Agers (b.1799 in MD) was an earlier shoe maker and property owner listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. He was head of a family of eight, husband of Susan Agers (b.1803 in KY), with four sons who were also shoe makers: Wiley, Leander Jr., Peter, and Daniel Agers.
  • John Ayres (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker in Cynthiana. He was the husband of Caroline (b.1830) and two nephews lived with the couple.
  • Willis Ayres (b.1835 in KY) was a shoemaker in Cynthiana.
  • John M. Ayers (b.1804 in KY) was a shoemaker in Buena Vista. He was the husband of Patsy Ayers, and there were four in the family.
  • Jim Jackson (b.1845 in KY) was a shoemaker in Cynthiana. He was the husband of Caroline (b.1848 in KY). The couple lived on Bridge Street.
  • Jim Jackson (b.1845 in KY) was a shoe maker in Cynthiana. He was the husband of Malinda (b.1855). The couple lived on Pleasant Street.
  • Miner Woods (b.1853 in VA) was a shoemaker in Cynthiana. He was the husband of Fannie (b.1857 in KY).

 

HENDERSON COUNTY

  • Leander Ward (b.1856 in KY) was a shoe maker in Henderson. He was the husband of Frances Ward (b.1856 in KY) and the family of four lived on Elm Street.
  • Green Willingham (b.1821 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Edy Willingham (b.1810 in KY) and the couple lived in Hebbardsville.

 

HENRY COUNTY

  • James Adams (b.1813 in KY) was a shoemaker in Eminence where he lived with his wife Cynthia (b.1815 in KY) and their 5 children.

 

HICKMAN COUNTY

  • William Jackson (b.1849 in TN) was a shoe and boot maker who lived in Columbus. 


HOPKINS COUNTY

  • Miles Nourse (b.1832 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Madisonville with his wife Rachel (b.1840 in KY), their son, and a boarder.


JEFFERSON COUNTY

  • James Alcorn (b.1838 in KY) was a boot and shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was a boarder with the Williamson Family on West Walnut Street, South Side.
  • Jerry Ballinger (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was the husband of Mary Ballinger (b.1832 in KY), and the family of four lived on Brook Street.
  • John Berry (b.1840 in KY) was a shoemaker who lived in Louisville. He was a widower.
  • George Bright (b.1844 in KY) was shoe maker who lived in Louisville on Floyd Street.
  • Charles Cole (b.1817 in KY) was a shoemaker in Cross Roads.
  • David Coleman (b.1798 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Ami Coleman and 3 others lived in their home.
  • Alfred Cumes (b.1817 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville where he lived with his wife Maria and their 6 children.
  • William T. Davis (b.1834 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Ester Davis and the couple lived on the east side of 19th Street with a boarder.
  • William Griffin (b.1829 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisiville. He was the husband of Francis and the couple had 4 children.
  • James Gutherie (b.1826 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville where he lived with his wife Mary.
  • Willis Jackson (b.1839 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Melissa (b.1829 in IN) and he couple had a son.
  • R. J. Johnson (b.1854 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was the husband of Nannie Johnson (b.1860 in KY), and the family of four lived on Market Street.
  • William Johnson (b.1844 in KY) was a shoe maker in Louisville who lived with Bettie Johnson.
  • Samuel Lahslay (b.1831 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville. He was a widower.
  • Dennis Lyons (b.1819 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville.
  • Sam Mattingly (b.1827 in KY) a shoe maker, was a widower who lived in Louisville on Magazine Street.
  • Absolam May (b.1835 in AL) a shoemaker in Louisville.
  • J. F. Oglesby (b.1848 in KY) a shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Lotta (b.1850 in KY) and the couple had 3 children.
  • John Radford (b.1823 in KY) shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Caroline (b.1825 in KY).
  • Francis Smith (b.1835 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville with his wife Susan Smith (b.1847 in KY). The couple shared their home with two boarders on Ninth Street, West Side.
  • Washington Vanduke (b.1805 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Louisville. He was a widower and lived on Oldham Street.
  • William A. Warley (b.1833 in SC) was a shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Belle (b.1852 in LA).
  • James Washington (b.1858 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville.
  • Henry Wilson (b.1831 in KY) was a shoemaker in Louisville. He was the husband of Lucinda (b.1840 in KY) and the couple had 6 children.

 

JESSAMINE COUNTY

  • Martin Jackson (b.1856 in KY) a shoemaker in Nicholasville. He was the husband of Nancy (b.1860 in KY) and the couple had a daughter.
  • Galvin Pugh (b.1840 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Syntha Pugh (b.1856 in KY). The family of five lived in Nicholasville.
  • John Wheeler (b.1820 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Nicholasville. He was the husband of Luisa Wheeler (b.1840 in KY).
  • John Scott (b.1845 in KY) was a shoe maker in Plaquemine. He was the husband of Rose Ann (b.1845 in KY) and the father of Squire.


KENTON COUNTY

  • Edward Mason (b.1821 in KY) was a shoemaker in Covington. He was the husband of Maggie (b.1838 in KY).
  • Alonzo Taylor (b.1864 in KY) was a shoemaker in Covington. He was one of the six children of David and Esther Taylor.


LINCOLN COUNTY

  • Clark Hansford (b.1820 in KY) was a shoe maker in Stanford who lived with four other family members and a boarder on Church Street.


LOGAN COUNTY

  • Henry Cole (b.1840 in KY) was a shoe maker in Gordonsville. He was married to Ellen (b.1839 in VA).
  • Austin James (b.1825 in KY) was a shoe maker in Clay. He was married to Ellen (b.1847 in KY) and they were the parents of for children.
  • John Wilson (b.1828 in KY) was a shoe maker in Clay. He was married to Alice (b.1852 in KY).


LYON COUNTY

  • Stewart Scott (b.1813 in KY) was a shoe maker married to Atesnue(sp)(b.1831 in KY) and the couple lived in Eddyville.


MADISON COUNTY

  • Owen Walker (b.1860 in KY) was a shoemaker in Richmond. He was the husband of Betsy (b.1840) and the couple had a son.


MARION COUNTY

  • James Booker (b.1840 in KY) was a shoemaker in Lebanon, he lived alone on R. R. Street.
  • Simon Irvine (b.1834 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Lebanon. He was the husband of Emma Irvine (b.1843 in KY), and the family of five lived on Chandler Street.
  • David Lee (b.1831 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Loretto. He was the husband Harriet A. Lee (b.1831 in KY).
  • William Porter (b.1830 in KY) was a shoe maker in Raywick. He was a widower who lived with his six sons.
  • Phillip Spalding (b.1843 in KY) was a shoemaker in Lebanon. He was a widower with 3 children.
  • Josiah Yokum (b.1820 in KY) was a boot and shoe maker who lived in Lebanon. He was widower who lived with his two young sons on Republican Street.


MASON COUNTY

  • Harvey Scott (b.1830 in KY) was a shoemaker in Washington. He was the husband of Margaret (b.1841 in KY) and the couple had 4 children.
  • Christopher Williams (b.1830 in KY) was a shoemaker in Maysville. He was the husband of Annie (b.1840 in KY).
  • John Williams (b.1840 in KY) was a shoemaker in Maysville. He was the husband of Maria (b.1845 in KY) and the couple had 4 children.

 

MCCRACKEN COUNTY

  • Saunders Alexander (b.1843 in KY) was a shoe maker in Paducah. His wife was Elizabeth (b.1843 in KY) and the couple had a son. The family lived on Jackson Street.
  • Arthur Carter (b.1844 in GA) was a shoemaker in Paducah. He was the husband of Fannie Carter (b.1853 in KY) and the couple had a daughter.  His brother-in-law was Robert Taylor.
  • Ben Huston (b.1854 in KY) was a shoemaker in Paducah.
  • Robert Taylor (b.1952 in KY) was a shoemaker in Paducah. He lived with his sister Fannie Taylor Carter and her husband, shoemaker Arthur Carter.
  • Phillip Williams (b.1845 in TN) was a cobbler in Paducah. He was the husband of Mary (b.1845 in KY) and the couple had two children.

 

MONROE COUNTY

  • Jerry Kirkpatrick (b.1822 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Tompkinsville. He was the husband of Jane Kirkpatrick (b.1850 in KY), and supported a family of five.

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Anderson Taul (b.1853 in KY) was a shoe maker in Mt. Sterling. He was a boarder with the Everett Family.
  • Ben Tipton (b.1845 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Mt. Sterling.
  • James Willis (b.1840 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived in Mt. Sterling. He was a boarder with the Everett Family.

 

MUHLENBERG COUNTY

  • Samuel Elliott (b.1846 in KY) was a shoe maker Greenville. He was the husband of Fannie (b.1847 in KY) and the couple had three children.


NELSON COUNTY

  • Hans Brown (b.1825 in KY) was a shoe maker who supported a family of eight. He was the husband of Adaline Brown (b.1827 in KY).

 

NICHOLAS COUNTY

  • Horace Baker (b.1839 in KY) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Sarah Baker (b.1840 in KY), and the family of four lived in Henryville.
  • Henry H. Brooks (b.1815 in KY) was a cobbler in Carlisle. He was the husband of Jane (b.1837 in KY). Two of the couple's children and Jane's mother lived with them.
  • John Jones (b.1855 in KY) was a shoemaker in Carlisle. He was a prisoner in the county jail.
  • Henry Lawson (b.1820 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Carlisle. He was the husband of Manda Lawson (b.1820 in VA).


OLDHAM COUNTY

  • Warren Nettles (b.1827 in KY) was a shoemaker in LaGrange. He was the husband of Ama (b.1857 in KY) and the couple had 6 children.


PULASKI COUNTY

  • Henry Owens (b.1824 in KY), a shoe maker, was the husband of Silva Owens (b.1839 in KY), the family of five lived in Somerset.

 

SCOTT COUNTY

  • Philmore Bailey (b.1806 in KY) was a shoemaker in Boston. He lived with 3 other family members.
  • Reason Baker (b.1826 in VA) was a shoe maker. He was the husband of Lidia Baker (b.1829 in MD) and supported a family of eight.
  • Cupid Bradford (b. - d.1871) was a shoe maker who was killed in Stamping Ground, KY [source: Involvement of Blacks in Scott County Commerce by A. B. Bevins, p.3].
  • Henry Scott was a boot and shoe maker in Scott County in 1870 [source: Involvement of Blacks in Scott County Commerce by A. B. Bevins, p.3 {second pagination}].
  • Garrett Smith (b.1820 in KY) was a shoe maker in Boston. He was the husband of Sarah (b.1826 in KY) and the couple’s daughter and grandson lived with them.


SIMPSON COUNTY

  • Alfred Foster (b.1840 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Franklin. He was a boarder with the Creekmore Family.

 

SPENCER COUNTY

  • Edmond Slone (b.1821 in KY) was a shoemaker in Taylorsville. He was the husband of Mary (b.1828 in KY) and the couple had 8 children.

 

TODD COUNTY

  • Thomas Johnson (b.1825 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived in Allensville. He was the husband of Sallie Johnson (b.1833 in KY), and supported a family of four.
  • John Kudy (b.1840 in MD) was a shoe maker in Elkton.
  • John Waters (b.1850 in KY) was a shoemaker in Allensville. He was the husband of Done (b.1853 in KY).


WARREN COUNTY

  • Thornton Cole (b.1823 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Hadley with his sister and brother-in-law and their four children.
  • Charles Burrell (b.1839 in VA) was a shoe maker who lived alone in Bowling Green.
  • Isam Lynn (b.1850 in KY) was a shoemaker in Bowling Green. He was the husband of Mary (b.1854 in KY) and the couple had three children.
  • Henry Ray (b.1836 in KY) was a shoemaker in Bowling Green. He was the husband of Mary (b.1840 in KY) and the couple had 8 children.


WAYNE COUNTY

  • Patrick Kindrick (b.1833 in KY) was a shoe maker who lived in Mill Springs. He was the husband of Marthey Kindrick (b.1840 in KY), and supported a family of five.
  • William Sandusky (b.1842 in KY) was a shoe and boot maker who lived in Monticello. He was divorced and supported a family of four, they lived on West Street.

 

WOODFORD COUNTY

  • Harry Hurley (b.1810 in KY) was a shoe maker in Midway. He was the husband of Harriet (b.1808 in KY). The couple lived on the farm of Francis B. Harper.

 

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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

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

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

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


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

African American Shoemakers in Kentucky Prisons (A Leading U.S. Industry)
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1920
Submitted by Reinette F. Jones, August 17, 2015 

 

The Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort, KY, opened in 1789 and it was the first state prison. It was renamed the Kentucky State Reformatory before closing in 1937. Though the Kentucky State Reformatory in Frankfort was said to be closed, there were still 159 inmates there in 1940, none of these inmates were shoemakers [source: U.S. Census]. A branch of the Kentucky State Penitentiary was built in Eddyville, KY and it opened in 1886. The second prison was meant to relieve the overcrowding in the Frankfort State Penitentiary. There have been many additions and other changes to the facilities in Eddyville and it is now a maximum security prison [more info at KSP website]. The third prison, the new Kentucky State Reformatory, was built in LaGrange, KY, and opened in 1936, it was funded by the Kentucky General Assembly and the Public Works Administration [more info at KSR website]. The present day Kentucky State Reformatory is a medium security prison. The shoe factories were located in the Frankfort and Eddyville Penitentiaries. The making of shoes is no longer a major prison industry in Kentucky, though during the final decades of the 1800s and the early decades of the 1900s, the shoe industry in Kentucky prisons would rank among the top in the United States. 

 

From early on, there was a shoe factory in the Kentucky State Prison in Frankfort with the shoes made by prison labor. In 1816 there were 12 convicts working in the shoe factory [source: p.102 in A Report on the History and Mode of Management of the Kentucky Penitentiary from Its Origin, in 1798, To March 1, 1860 prepared by W. E. Sneed]. These convicts were probably white. The prison population was fairly small in 1816 and by 1844 there were 157 white male prisoners and 19 colored male prisoners [p.385]. The year 1844 was during the period when most colored males in Kentucky were enslaved and considered valuable property. Colored males in the Kentucky State Penitentiary prior to the end of slavery had been free (not slaves) before being incarcerated. Freedom came to all slaves in Kentucky after the end of the Civil War. With more freed colored men in the general population, there were more freed colored men charged with crimes and imprisoned. With more prisoners, there were more workers in the prisons. [For a comparison of the number of free colored persons in the 19 state prisons in the United States, see "Appendix: Table A" on p.282 in the section "Pauperism and Crime" in De Bow's Review and the Industrial Resources, Statistics, etc., v.XIX, New Series, V.II, 1855.] In the 1850s, the cause of crime was still attributed to race, ethnicity, the wrong religion, class, lack of education, and many other reasons and prejudices. Work was thought to be good for the prisoners' souls to help address their bad ways, and work also helped pay the bills and fill the pouches of those who operated the prison. There were different types of factories in prisons, but shoe factories became a major work area for the colored prisoners after 1880 and up to the 1920s. All shoemakers were males; women prisoners did not make shoes in Kentucky prisons [though they did in Virginia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Michigan]. Shoemaking was a trade most of the colored inmates learned while incarcerated. In the general public in Kentucky, there was not an overwhelming number of African American shoemakers, but the numbers were not drastically decreasing as the numbers increased within the prisons [see the NKAA subject search for shoes]. 

 

After 1880, there would be more colored shoemakers in prison than out of prison. Making shoes using prison labor became the most profitable industry in Kentucky prisons. The training and working of prisoners was to the financial benefit of those who leased the prison and of financial benefit to the prison keeper, and was soon of great financial benefit to the State of Kentucky. During the earliest years, the head of the prison leased the entire prison to the highest bidder. The leasing system was compared to slavery; many of the guards had received their jobs as political favors and were not trained. The person or company that leased the prison set the tone for the level of care the prisoners received, which led to the death of prisoners as a result of company cost-saving measures with food, sanitation, and health, and there was physical abuse toward the prisoners. A warden system was established in the Kentucky State Penitentiary in the 1880s, with individual prisoners being leased by the State to work on public projects. Still many prisoners died from malnourishment, on the job accidents, and physical abuse. In 1890, the Kentucky Constitution prohibited the leasing of convicts, which lead to a system of contacted prisoner labor with company operations inside the prison. [For more about the early prison years in Kentucky and the south see "The Blackburn Governorship and the Prison Issue" on pp.259-261 in A New History of Kentucky by L H. Harrison & J. C. Klotter; Slavery by Another Name by D. A. Blackmon; and One Dies, Get Another by M. J. Mancini.]    

 

Kentucky was not unique in the leasing of prisoners, especially African American prisoners, it was a practice throughout the south. But, Kentucky would excelled in the business of making shoes using prison labor, which placed the state among the top prison shoemaking industries in the nation, starting around 1882. The high market value of the shoe industry had developed in the late 1800s, and Kentucky prisons were actually a little late participating in the boon. Listed in the U.S. Census were very few shoemakers in the Kentucky Penitentiary in 1870, and those few were all listed as white male prisoners except one. The other African American male prisoners were listed in the census as "laborers" along with the occasional note of a brick maker, carriage maker or wagon maker, and barbers. The African American women prisoners were all noted as domestic servants. Ten years later, within the 1880 U.S. Census, the African American women prisoners were still listed as domestic servants. The job listings of the African American male prisoners had been upgraded from laborers to more definitive job titles such as brick mason, farm labor, blacksmith, carpenter, and other job titles. There were four African American shoemakers in prison in 1880. As for the literacy of all the inmates, there were few who were considered educated: "24 is good, 183 common, and 355 have no education" [source: p.13 in Report of the Directors and Warden of the Kentucky Penitentiary to the General Assembly, January 1, 1884, at Google Books]. Around 1882, one of the Kentucky State Penitentiary contracts was awarded to C. R. Mason and Company [later Mason and Ford Co.], a shoe factory managed by Charles E. Hoge. The company was said to have provided the prison shoemakers with all provisions, clothing, beds, bedding, and medicines, as stipulated in the contract [p.12]. The inmates also received spiritual enlightenment from four ministers who came to the prison to preach; the colored minister was Rev. J. W. Asbury. In December of 1883, there were 542 inmates in the Frankfort State Penitentiary: 249 White Males; 256 Colored Males; 2 White Females; and 35 Colored Females [p.22]. The majority of the inmates came from 103 counties in Kentucky, with the absolute most from Jefferson County and Fayette County [pp.24-26]. The second largest group of prisoners by state of origin, came from Tennessee, followed by Virginia [p.27]. Murder was the number one offense of the inmates, followed by grand larceny and house-breaking [p.26]. [For more about prison life for African American inmates in Kentucky Prisons see the chapter "Sacrifice upon the altar of the law" in Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940 by G. C. Wright.]. 

 

"The new shoe factory at the penitentiary at Frankfort started up on the first of the month known as the Southern Shoe Co., owned by Mason and Ford Co. They will employ about 400 convicts for the manufacture of ladies', misses' and children's shoes. This is one of the most complete shoe factories in our state, and turns out some of the strongest medium priced lines built. They have had quite a successful past in manufacturing shoes, and trade appreciate the value for the money. Trade has been principally with jobbers and large department stores." - - [source: Southern Department: "Among the Manufacturers" on p.84 in Boot and Shoe Recorder, March 17, 1897]. 

 

The shoe industry in Kentucky prisons started to pick up momentum in the 1890s and by the close of 1898, there was an average of 300 prisoners at the Frankfort Penitentiary working in the shoe shop under the watchful eyes of six guards [source: pp.49-50 in The Annual Report of the Board of Prison Commissioners to the Governor of the State of Kentucky for The Year Ending November 30, 1898, Document NO. 11, within Kentucky Public Documents]. In 1900, the prisoners at the Kentucky Branch Penitentiary in Eddyville were all listed in the U.S. Census with the occupation of prisoner, though there were probably shoemakers there also. At the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort, the number of African Americans involved in the production of shoes was 35 times greater than the 1880 census total (see table below). The process for the making of shoes by prisoners had become a major industry. The job duties were listed as a step in the assembly line for shoemaking such as shoe bottomers, shoe cutters, shoe lasters (sews shoes together), shoe filters (measures shoe length), shoe finishsers, and workers in the shoe stock department. Starting in 1850 and up to 1900, there had been a boon in the making of shoes in the United States due to the invention of machines that did the work faster, more consistently, and cheaper than the work of an individual human making one shoe at a time. With the cheap prison labor, it became possible to have a much larger supply of the finished product and a much more affordable product for consumers. In the Kentucky prisons, the making of boots and shoes was the major profit-making industry for the State [source: "Kentucky" on pp.95-96 in The Report of the Industrial Commission on Prison Labor, V.III, House of Representatives, Doc. No.476, Part 8, 56th Congress, 1st Session, Approved June 18, 1898]. All abled-bodied prisoners in the Kentucky prisons worked under a prison lease or a contract system, or for the public-account system. The cost was 40 cents, per man, per working day at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort, and 35 cents per day, per man, per working day at the Branch State Penitentiary in Eddyville.  

 

The State continued to lease the shoe factory in the Frankfort State Penitentiary to the Claiborne. R. Mason Manufacturing Company located in Frankfort [later named the Mason and Ford Company], which was managed by Charles E. Hoge [Find A Grave]. The C. R. Mason Company had been leasing the prison labor for the making of shoes as early as 1882. The shoe factory in the Kentucky Penitentiary in Eddyville was leased to the Southern Shoe Company owned by Mason and Hoge until the shoe factory burned down in 1896 due to mysterious circumstances. By 1905, the Kentucky Shoe Manufacturing Company had leased the Eddyville Penitentiary, 175 men at 45 cents per day [source: p.8 of article "The Abuses of prison labor" by C. Lovely in The Shoe Workers' Journal, August 1905]. Charles E. Hoge would go on to form his own company, the Frankfort Shoe Company and in 1905 the name changed to Hoge-Montgomery Shoe Company [James F. Montgomery]. The Hoge and Montgomery Company, the Southern Shoe Co, the Kentucky Shoe Mfg. Co., and the Mason Company tightly controlled the leasing of the prison shoe industry. These shoe manufacturers controlled the day-to-day shoe operations in the Kentucky prisons and they heavily influenced the type of employment systems used for prison labor in Kentucky. The shoe manufacturers using prison labor also beat out competition in the general public in Kentucky, but more so in those states where Kentucky prison-made shoes were sold.  

 

In the 1905 Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, the making of boots and shoes in Kentucky prisons was listed as the most valued goods among the Kentucky prison industries, valued at $780,000, and the 477 male prisoners' labor was valued at $172, 292 [source: Table III, p.275]. Within the boot and shoe prison industries in the United States, Kentucky placed 4th in value of goods produced among 38 states and the U.S. prisons, and Kentucky was ranked 4th in the number of prisoners employed in the shoe industry: the top five states were Missouri ($1,863,685) using 1,114 prisoners; Virginia ($1,631,540) using 996 prisoners, Illinois ($990,431) using 288.5 prisoners; Kentucky ($780,000) using 477 prisoners; and Wisconsin ($685,440) using 284 prisoners [sources: Table III, pp.285-286; and Table III, p.330]. The majority of the shoes made in Kentucky prisons were sold in other states: Disposition of Goods (boots and shoes) Made - $45,000 Within State, $670,000 Outside State, for a total of $713,000 [source: Table V, p.458]. The successful profit of the prison shoe industry in Kentucky depended on sales in other states, which was not always appreciated by competitors in those states. There were no limitations on the sales of boots and shoes made in Kentucky prisons, and the items were not marked noting the products were "made by prisoners in Kentucky" [source: Table V, p.425]. The 1905 value of the prisoner made boots and shoes in Kentucky at $780,000, equated to approximately $20,600,000 in 2014. The shoe industry in Kentucky prisons were 52% of the value of all goods produced in the Kentucky prison industries [all goods produced valued at $1,494,563; source: Table III, p.296]. Kentucky ranked third among the 27 states that used a contract system for prison labor and the value of goods produced; Kentucky was third from last among the 40 states that used a public-account system for prison labor; Kentucky was fourth from the bottom of the 17 states with a piece-price system for prison labor; and Kentucky was fourth from the bottom of the 47 states that employed prisoners for a state-use prison labor system [source: Table III, p.303] [For a more detailed definition of the leasing systems in the Kentucky prisons at the turn of the century see "Kentucky" on p.148 in The Report of the Industrial Commission on Prison Labor, V.III, House of Representatives, Doc. No.476, Part 8, 56th Congress, 1st Session, Approved June 18, 1898; and see "Kentucky. State Convicts. Constitution." on pp.674-679 in 20th Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor, 1905. Convict Labor.]  

 

By 1900, there were about 139 African American shoemakers in Kentucky's prisons and a decade later, there were over 700. Approximately half of all the prisoners making shoes in Kentucky were African American males. The literacy rate among the prisoners had increased overall. Of the African American prisoners who made shoes in the Kentucky State Penitentiary, a little less than half could read and write (see table below). Practically all of this group of men were born in Kentucky, along with eight prisoners born in Tennessee, five in North Carolina, and no more than three in the other states mentioned in the table below. In 1910 the making of shoes was still the most profitable prison industry in the state. At the Eddyville Branch, the majority of the shoemakers were African American men who were born in Kentucky, and of that group, the majority could read and write. Of those who were not born in Kentucky, 23 were born in Tennessee, and there were no more than three from the other states listed in the table below. Also in 1910, the majority of the more than 600 African American prisoners making shoes in the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort, the majority were born in Kentucky, with 31 born in Tennessee, 15 in Virginia, 10 in Ohio, 9 in Indiana and Georgia, 8 in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama, and five or less from the states and countries listed in the table below. For the 1910 Census, race was heavily stressed for African Americans as either Black or Mulatto. This breakdown of race was due to the changes implemented at the U.S. Census Bureau. The census takers were instructed that “B” was called “black” only. The definition for “B” and “Mu” is: “For census purposes, the term ‘‘black’’ (B) includes all persons who are evidently full blooded negroes, while the term ‘‘mulatto’’ (Mu) includes all other persons having some proportion or perceptible trace of negro blood” [source: Race and the Census: the "Negro" controversy by D. Cohn, a Pew Research Center website]. The combined total of Black and Mulatto shoemakers in both of the Kentucky prisons in 1910 represented 3/5 of all the prison shoemakers in the state. The year 1910 represented the last of the best years which were the height of the shoemaking era in Kentucky prisons. Within the prisons, the African American male labor force was transitioning from shoemakers to pant and shirt makers, with African American female prisoners added to the labor force as seamstresses [source: 1910 U.S. Census].     

 

In 1920, the shoe industry at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville had been totally converted to a shirt making factory. The prisoners' job titles were listed as laborers [source: U.S. Census]. Meanwhile, at the Kentucky State Reformatory in Frankfort, the number of African American shoemakers had dropped to less than half the total counted in the 1910 census. There were 65 Black shoemakers and 218 Mulatto shoemakers according to the U.S. Census. It should be noted that the U.S. Census Bureau once again was making the distinction between what was perceived as full blooded Negroes and those thought to have a portion of Negro blood. The census taker for the Kentucky Reformatory went overboard with the instructions and the collected data gives the impression that there were far more men in prison with a portion of Negro blood (Mulattoes) than those that appeared to be full blooded Negroes (Black). Along that same line of thinking, the collected data also showed far more literate Mulatto male prisoners making shoes in 1920 than any other year the census was taken. The Black and Mulatto shoemakers made up a little less than half of the shoemakers in the Kentucky State Reformatory in Frankfort. The majority of the African American shoemakers were Kentucky natives, followed by 27 born in Tennessee, 12 in Virginia, 11 in Alabama and Georgia, and less than five in the states listed in the table below. The other African American inmates in the Kentucky Reformatory were shirt makers, broom makers, chair makers, and a few who worked on the farm. The African American female inmates worked in the laundry. The census for the year 1920 was the last to have listed the shoe making occupations of the inmates in Kentucky prisons.     

 

For more about the shoe industries in Kentucky prisons see "The Courts and convict labor" by J. Leavitt on pp.649-656 in International Molder's Journal, v.49, no.1, January 1913; see the announcement that includes the sale of Kentucky Penitentiary Shoes in the ad "The Red Flag" on p.5, columns 5-6 in The Abbeville Press and Banner (Abbeville, S.C.); for more about the fire of unknown origins that destroyed the Southern Shoe Company at the Eddyville Penitentiary see "Kentucky News: Fire in prison" on p.4 in the Daily Public Ledger, 05/16/1896; and see Prison Slavery by B. Esposito et. al. For more on the history of shoemaking in the United States see The Path to Mechanized Shoe Production in the United States by R. Thomson; Feet and Footwear by M. DeMello; Pacemakers of Progress by H. R. Quimby; and Labor Productivity in the Boot and Shoe Industry by B. Stern and S. E. Thompson.  Below is a summary of African American shoemakers in Kentucky prisons from 1870 to 1920.      

 

AFRICAN AMERICAN SHOEMAKERS IN KENTUCKY PRISONS, 1870-1940       

 

YEAR LOCATION BLACK MULATTO BIRTH LOCATIONS READ & WRITE  TOTAL MALES  SOURCES
 1870 Kentucky Penitentiary
Frankfort, KY
1   Indiana NO 1 U.S. Census pp.70-88
Penitentiary
 1880 Kentucky Penitentiary
Frankfort, KY
2 2 Kentucky & Connecticut   4 U.S. Census pp.1-58
Penitentiary
 1900 Kentucky State Penitentiary
Frankfort, KY
139   Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois,
Virginia, Missouri, Indiana,
North Carolina, South Carolina,
Ohio, Alabama, Georgia,
Michigan, and New York
NO 74 / YES 65 139 U.S. Census pp.1-26
Penitentiary
 1910 Kentucky Branch Penitentiary
Eddyville, KY
170   Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina,
Mississippi, Illinois, South Carolina,
Indiana, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, 
Michigan, Louisiana, Alabama,
New York, Texas, England
NO 65 / YES 105 170  U.S. Census pp.1-14
Kentucky Branch Penitentiary
 1910 Kentucky State Penitentiary
Frankfort, KY
355 255 Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina,
Indiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia,
Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho,
Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas, West Virginia,
Florida, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Illinois, Oklahoma, California, Louisiana, Colorado,
West Indies/Jamaica, U.S. or Unknown,  Canada
NO 179 / YES 431  610 U.S. Census pp.1-30
Kentucky Penitentiary
 1920 Kentucky State Reformatory
Frankfort, KY
65 219 Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia,
Indiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Oklahoma,
Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Maryland,
Florida, Texas, New Jersey
NO 42 / YES 241 283 U.S. Census pp.1-25
Kentucky State Reformatory

  

 

   See photo image of buildings that housed the Hoge-Montgomery Shoe Company at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort, KY, the image is within the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections.

 
Subjects: Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores, Prison Laborers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Eddyville, Lyon County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Ashland, KY [Nettie May Higgins Franklin]
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1960
Below are the names and locations of African American-owned shoe businesses in Ashland, KY. Three of the owners were members of the Franklin family. Nettie Franklin is the only woman listed as an owner. It was very rare for there to be a woman in the shoemaking and shoe care business in Kentucky. Nettie Franklin was in business for about 10 years, then in 1933 she was doing domestic work, and she was working as a janitor when she died in 1939 [sources: p.139 in Polk's Ashland (Boyd County, KY.) City Directory, 1933; and Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.196, Registered No.30]. She ran the shoe shop from 1924 to about 1933. During this time, Nettie Franklin was a widow with a son named William W. Franklin and the shoe business was their livelihood. She had kept the business going since her husband's death in 1924. The shop was located on 29th Street and Nettie and her son lived at 309 Greenup Street [source: p.539 & p.266 in Miller's Official Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1930-31, Advertiser's Special Directory]. Nettie had been the wife of Edward Franklin. The couple lost a son shortly after he was born in 1915 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.29279, Registered No.153]. In 1920 the couple was employed by a private family where Edward was a butler and Nettie was a maid [source: 1920 U.S. Census]. Their son William W. was born around 1921. In 1922, Edward Franklin was owner of the Electric Shoe Shop on 29th Street, and at that same address, Fred Alfred ran the shoe shine parlor [source: p.144 & p.309 in Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923]. Edward Franklin had run a pool parlor in 1908. He was the son of Richard and Amanda Cockrell Franklin [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.829, Registered No.108]. The father, Richard Franklin, had been a shoemaker and repaired shoes since the 1800s. Both he and Nettie Franklin had shoe shops on 22nd Street in 1930. Nettie May Higgins Franklin was the daughter of Serenia Lindon and Alex Higgins, the family was from Wolfe County, KY [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.196, Registered No.30]. Another shoe business in Ashland was the Keeton Shoe Shop, the longest owned African American shoe repair shop in Boyd County, having opened around 1908 with Harry T. Keeton as the proprietor up to about 1947. James Keeton and Aaron Keeton were employed in the shoe shop and both were there in the 1960s. The Keeton Shoe Shop was open for more than 50 years.  

 

*There were two women named Nettie Franklin in Ashland, KY in the 1930s and both had a son named William, one of the women was African American and she is the one being referred to in this entry.    

 

**Edward Franklin and William Edgar Franklin were brothers. Their names are continuously mixed up in the census records and in the Ashland city directories.      

 

***Starting around 1933, the Ashland city directories no longer indicated the race of individuals or businesses.         

  

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
Fred Alfred (b.1889) Shoemaker Ashland 1920 U.S. Census  
Fred Alfred (b.1889) Shoe Shine Parlor 309 29th Street 1922 p.309 in Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923  
Cut Rate Shoe Repairing Shoemaker & Repairer 309 E. Greenup Avenue 1922 p.309 in Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923  
Electric Shoe Shop [Edward Franklin (1886-1924)] Shoemaker & Repairer 309 29th Street 1922 p.309 in Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923 Find A Grave
George G. Banks (b.1887) Shoe Shining Parlor 119 Fifteenth Street 1908 p.259 in The Marion Directory Company's Directory of Ashland and Boyd County Gazetteer for the year 1908-1909  
Thomas R. Foley (1872-1924) Shoemaker Ashland 1920 U.S. Census  
Thomas R. Foley (1872-1924) Keeton Shoe Shop Ashland 1922 p.143 Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923; Kentucky Death Certificate File #5346, Registered #65 Find A Grave
Nettie Franklin (1893-1939) Shoemaker & Repairer 315 29th Street 1930 p.539 in Miller's Official Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1930-31, Advertiser's Special Directory Find A Grave
Richard Franklin (1858-1933) Shoemaker & Repairer 311 22nd Street 1915 p.363 in Ashland-Catlettsburg, Ky City Directory, 1915 Find A Grave
Richard Franklin (1858-1933) Shoemaker & Repairer 323 22nd Street 1930 p.539 in Miller's Official Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1930-31, Advertiser's Special Directory  
Willie Jones (b.1888) Shoe Shiner Ashland 1920 U.S. Census  
Aaron W. Keeton (1902-1967) Shoemaker Ashland 1930 U.S. Census  
Aaron W. Keeton (1902-1967) Harry T. Keeton Shoe Repair Shop 140 16th Street 1933 p.193 Polk's Ashland City Directory, 1933  
Aaron W. Keeton (1902-1967) Keeton Shoe Shop Ashland 1960 p.206 in Polk's Ashland (Boyd County, Ky.) City Directory, 1960; Kentucky Death Index Find A Grave
Harry T. Keeton (1880-1973) Shoe Shop 316 13th Street 1908 p.260 in The Marion Directory Company's Directory of Ashland and Boyd County Gazetteer for the year 1908-1909 Find A Grave
Harry T. Keeton (1880-1973) Shoemaker & Repairer 224 W. Winchester Avenue 1917 p.352 in Ashland-Catlettsburg, Ky City Directory, 1917-18  
Harry T. Keeton (1880-1973) Shoemaker & Repairer 112 26th Street (Cattletsburg) 1922 p.309 in Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923  
Keeton's Shoe Shop Shoemaker & Repairer 116 16th Street 1922 p.309 in Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923  
James Ethaniel Keeton, Sr. (1909-1982) Harry T. Keeton Shoe Repair Shop 140 16th Street 1930 p.311 in Miller's Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1930-31 Find A Grave
James E. Keeton, Sr. (1909-1982) Keeton Shoe Shop Ashland 1960 p.206 in Polk's Ashland (Boyd County, Ky.) City Directory, 1960  
William Pippin (b.1909) Shoe Shiner Ashland 1930 U.S. Census  
Charles J. Smith, Jr. (b.1880) Keeton Shoe Shop Greenup Avenue 1917 p.249 in Ashland-Catlettsburg, Ky. City Directory, 1917-18  
Charles J. Smith, Jr. (b.1880) Shoemaker Ashland 1920 U.S. Census  
French Smith (b.1884) Shoe Shiner Cattletsburg 1920 U.S. Census  
John Smith (b.1892) Shoemaker Ashland 1930 U.S. Census  
Alexander S. Walker Shoe Shop Winchester Avenue 1908 p.260 in The Marion Directory Company's Directory of Ashland and Boyd County Gazetteer for the year 1908-1909  

Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky / Wolfe County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Bowling Green, KY [John T. and Mattie Porter]
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1941
Below are the names and locations of African American-owned shoe businesses in Bowling Green, KY, between 1908 and1941. Also included in the table are the names of earlier shoemakers and a shoe shiner. One of the business owners was John T. Porter who had a shoe shop on Main Street in Bowling Green from about 1908 until his death in 1934. His name continued to be listed in the city directory business section until at least 1937 [source: p.434 in Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory for the Years 1937-1938]. Though John T. Porter had died, his wife Mattie took over the shoe repair business and kept John's name on the business. Mattie Porter was one of the very few women to own a shoemaking and repair business in Kentucky. The J. T. and Mattie Porter shoe business lasted longer than most other African American-owned shoemaking and repair businesses in Bowling Green and in Kentucky. By 1941, the business name in the city directory had been changed to Mattie Porter. Six years later, the business was no longer listed in the city directory [source: pp.439-440 in Caron's Bowling Green (Warren County, KY) City Directory, 1947].     

 

*Around 1934, the race of a person or business was no longer indicated in the Bowling Green, KY, city directories.      

 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
Isaac Badgett (b.1843) Works in shoe shop Bowling Green 1880 U.S. Census  
Henry H. Bothis Shoemaker Bowling Green 1908 p.76 in Bowling Green, KY. City Directory, 1908 v.1  
Charles Burrell (b.1839) Shoemaker Bowling Green 1880 U.S. Census  
Thornton Cole (b.1823) Shoemaker Hadley, Warren County 1880 U.S. Census  
Henry Davidson (b.1902) Shoe Shining Shop Bowling Green 1930 U.S. Census  
Frank Grider (1878-1932) Shoemaker Bloomfield 1908 p.105 in Bowling Green, KY. City Directory, 1908 v.1 Find A Grave
Zach Grider (1863-1912) Shoemaker 1 Morris Row 1908 p.105 in Bowling Green, KY. City Directory, 1908 v.1 Find A Grave
William Mack (b.1913) Shoe Shiner Bowling Green 1930 U.S. Census  
John T. Porter (1873-1934)   Shoemaker 129 Main Street 1908 p.105 in Bowling Green, KY. City Directory, 1908 v.1 Find A Grave
John T. Porter (1873-1934) Shoe Rebuilder 131 E. Main Street 1927 p.234 in Baldwin Brother's Bowling Green, Kentucky City Directory, 1927  
John T. Porter (1873-1934)    Shoe Repairer 131 E. Main Street 1934 p.405 in Caron's Bowling Green, Ky. City Directory for 1934-1935  
Mattie Porter (1891-1973) John T. Porter Shoe Repair    131 E. Main Street 1937 p.434 in Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory for the Years 1937-1938   Find A Grave
Mattie Porter (1891-1973) Mattie Porter Shoe Repair 131 E. Main Street 1941 p.474 in Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory for the Years 1941-1942     
John Smith (b.1870) Shoemaker 324 8th Street 1908 p.105 in Bowling Green, KY. City Directory, 1908 v.1  
John Smith (b.1870) shoemaker

moved to Lexington, KY / 562 Thomas Street   

1920 U.S Census / p.554 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1939  
Ural Stall (b.1900) Shoe Shiner

Bowling Green barber shop

1920 U.S. Census  

 

 
Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Frankfort, KY [B. F. Spencer] [B. F. Sayre]
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1952
Frankfort, KY, had two shoe care business owners of note from the late 1880s to the mid-1900s. The first was probably one of the longest African American-owned shoemaking and repair shops in Frankfort and in the state of Kentucky, it was started by Benjamin Franklin Spencer, Sr. He was a native of Kentucky, born around 1854, the son of Caroline and Frank Spencer. He is often referred to as B. F. Spencer, Sr. in written sources. Spencer is first listed as a shoemaker in the 1880 Census, though he was not the only one at that time (see table below). According to the 1900 Census, B. F. Spencer, Sr. owned his own business, was married to Sue Thompson Spencer, and the couple had at least six children. In 1910, he was the only African American shoemaker and repairer listed in the business section of Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort for 1910-11-12, p303. Spencer's shop was located at 102 W. Broadway. Also in 1910, the city's second longest African American-owned shoemaking and repairer business was in operation, the owner was Benjamin F. Sayre, Jr. [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Benjamin F. Sayre was listed as a shoemaker and repairer at 324 Ann Street on p.325 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort for 1912-13-14. Sayre, a native of Kentucky, was born around 1868 and he is listed as a mulatto in the 1910 Census. He was the son of Benjamin F. Sr. and Maria Sayre [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.12150, Registrar's No.109]. His wife was Julia Hockersmith Sayre and the couple lived on Main Street in Frankfort. Their shoe shop is listed in the 1924 city directory along with B. F. Spencer, and Henry Clelland. Sayre's shop was located at 316 Elks Place; Benjamin F. Spencer and Son, the new business name since 1921, was located at 104 W. Broadway; and Henry Clelland did business on Versailles Pike [source: p.321 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1924-1925-1926]. The sons, Benjamin F. Spencer Jr. and Louis H. Spencer, were in business with their father B. F. Spencer Sr. when Louis died in 1925 [source: Find A Grave]. Benjamin F. Spencer, Jr. became a porter at the state capitol, and his son Bennie E. Spencer, became an apprentice in the shoe shop with B. F. Spencer, Sr. [source: 1930 U.S. Census]. In 1928, Henry Clelland was no longer listed as a shoe repairer, he was a stonemason [1930 U.S. Census]. With Clelland's exit from the shoe business, B. F. Sayre and B. F. Spencer, Sr. remained and were joined by African American shoe shiner Anthony Haynes whose business was on Main Street in Frankfort [source: p.322 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1928-1929-1930]. All three businesses were listed in the 1932 city directory, but not the men's race; race was not indicated for persons or businesses in this particular directory [source: p.332 in Caron's Frankfort, KY. City Directory for 1932-1933]. In 1934, Benjamin F. Spencer, Sr. died [source: FamilySearch], his wife Sue had died in 1931 [source: Find A Grave]. Benjamin F. Spencer's name remained with the shoe business and his son Benjamin F. Spencer, Jr. became the new owner. A few years later, B. F. Spencer, Jr.'s son, Bennie E. Spencer, left the shoe business and left Kentucky between 1936 and 1940; he and his wife and son moved to Detroit, MI [source: 1940 U.S. Census] Also around 1936, Anthony Haynes had given up his shoe shine business in Frankfort and moved to Cleveland, OH, where he worked as an elevator operator in department stores [source: Ohio Death Index]. Meanwhile, back in Kentucky, by 1940 there were several African American shoe shiners in Frankfort, KY, according to the U.S. Census (see table below); however, these men were not listed in the business section of the city directory. In 1942, the Frankfort city directory noted race again, and B. F. Sayre, B. F. Spencer, Jr. and son, and William H. Clelland were the three African American men noted as being in the shoe repair business [source: p.317 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1942]. Bennie E. Spencer and his family had returned to Kentucky by 1942, and Bennie was in the shoe business with his father Benjamin F. Spencer, Jr. [source: p.202 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1942]. William H. Clelland was a new listing, he was the son of former shoe repairer Henry Clelland [source: 1910 U.S. Census]. William Clelland's business was located on Versailles Pike, the same location as his father's business in 1924. Notations were not always consistent in the city directory; in 1942, Benjamin F. Sayre's business was not noted with the letter "c" for colored. His shop had moved to 216 Lewis Street which was mistakenly printed as "316 Lewis" in the city directory. Three years later, the African American business owners were Benjamin F. Spencer, Jr., William H. Clelland, and the Benjamin F. Sayre Estate [source: p.278 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1945-46]. Benjamin F. Sayre had died in 1945 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.12150, Registrar's No.109]. In 1948, once again, race was not indicated for individuals or businesses. The Benjamin F. Spencer and Son shoe repair business was still in place at 104 W. Broadway; the William H. Clelland shoe repair business was still on Versailles Pike; and the Benjamin F. Sayre business was owned and managed by his son Junius H. Sayre at 216 Lewis Street [source: p.25 in Polk's Frankfort Classified Business Directory, 1948-49 that is within Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1948-49]. Benjamin F. Spencer, Jr. died in 1950 and his son Bennie continued to manage the shoe store [source: p.210 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1951-52]. The competitor, Junius H. Sayre, was in ill health and he was not able to maintain his business but a few years befoe closing the doors; he died April 8, 1953 [source: Kentucky Certificate of Death File No.116-53 7342, Registrar's No.75]. The Benjamin F. Sayre shoe business had been in operation for about 40 years, 1910-1950. By 1952, the only African American-owned shoe business listed in the business section of the city directory was Benjamin F. Spencer and Son [p.368 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1951-52], managed by Bennie E. Spencer who died in 1952 [source: FamilySearch]. It was the end of era. Benjamin F. Spencer, Sr. had started making shoes as early as 1880 and the family had kept the shoe business on W. Broadway open for about 42 years, 1910-1952. No African American-owned shoe business was noted in the city directory after 1952.    

 

*This entry does not include the names of shoemakers in the Kentucky State Penitentiary between 1890-1920.  

 

  See photo image of Sue and Benjamin F. Spencer Sr. Part of Spencer Family Papers at UK Special Collections Research Center.     

 

  See photo image of Benjamin F. Spencere, Jr. Part of Spencer Family Papers at UK Special Collections Research Center.     

 

  See photo image of Bennie Edgar Spencer. Part of Spencer Family Papers at UK Special Collections Research Center.    

 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
Ewing Atkins Shoe Shiner Anthony S. Haynes Shop 1928 p.47 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1928-1929-1930  
William Burk (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Frankfort 1940 U.S. Census  
William Burley (b.1907) Shoe Shiner Frankfort 1940 U.S. Census  
Harding Clay (b.1921) Shoe Shiner Frankfort 1940 U.S. Census  
Baker Clark (b.1828) Shoemaker Wilkerson Street 1880 U.S. Census  
Henry Clelland (1880-1963) Shoe Repairer Versailles Pike 1917 p.326 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1917-1918-1919 Find A Grave
William H. Clelland (1908-2002) Shoe Repairer Versailles Pike 1942 p.317 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1942 Find A Grave
Harrison Coleman (1906-1953) Shoe Shiner 117 Logan Street 1924 p.73 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1924-1925-1926 Find A Grave
James Franklin (b.1862) Shoemaker Kentucky Penitentiary 1880 U.S. Census  
Augusta Garrett (1905-1962) Shoe Shiner Capitol Shoe Shine Parlor 1921 p.100 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1921-1922-1923 Find A Grave
Robert E. Grant (1910-1941) Shoe Shiner Capitol Shoe Shine Parlor 1928 p.111 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1928-1929-1930  
Robert E. Grant (1910-1941) Shoe Shiner Frankfort 1940 U.S. Census / Kentucky Death Certificate, State File #26162, Registrar's #941 Find A Grave
Anthony S. Haynes (1904-1994) Shoe Shiner 221 Murray Street 1928 p.122 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1928-1929-1930 FamilySearch
James Miller (b.1908) Shoe Shiner Frankfort 1940 U.S. Census  
Charles T. Morton (1891-1967) Shoemaker B. F. Sayer Jr. Shop 1921 p.166 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1921-1922-1923 Find A Grave
Henry Rodman (b.1851) Shoemaker Clinton Street 1880 U.S. Census  
William Saunders Jr. (b.1901) Shoe Shiner Capitol Shoe Shine Parlor 1921 p.197 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1921-1922-1923  
Benjamin F. Sayre, Jr. (1868-1945) Shoemaker and Repairer Frankfort, KY 1910 U.S. Census  

Benjamin F. Sayre, Jr. (1868-1945)

Shoemaker and Repairer 324 Ann Street 1912 p.325 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1912-13-14  
Benjamin F. Sayre Estate (1868-1945) Shoe Repairer 216 Lewis Street 1945 p.278 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1945-46 FamilySearch
Junius H. Sayre (1892-1953) Shoe Repairer 216 Lewis Street 1948 p.25 in Polk's Frankfort Classified Business Directory, 1948-49 FamilySearch
Harry H. Speaker II Shoe Repairer B. F. Spencer & Son Shop 1924 p.206 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1924-1925-1926  
Benjamin F. Spencer, Sr. (1854-1934) Shoemaker and Repairer Frankfort, KY 1880 U.S. Census  
Benjamin F. Spencer, Sr. (1854-1934) Shoemaker and Repairer 102 W. Broadway 1910 p.303 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1910-1911-1912  

Benjamin F. Spencer and Son

B. F. Spencer, Sr. (1854-1934)

B. F. Spencer, Jr. (1887-1950)

Louis  H. Spencer (1886-1925)

Shoemaker and Repairer 104 W. Broadway 1921 p.323 in Caron's Directory of the City of Frankfort, Ky. for 1921-1922-1923

L. H. Spencer-FamilySearch



B. F. Spencer, Sr.-FamilySearch

Benjamin F. Spencer and Son

Benjamin F. Spencer, Jr. (1887-1950)

Bennie E. Spencer (1914-1952)

Shoe Repairer 104 W. Broadway 1942

p.202 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1942



1940 Census

B. F. Spencer Jr.-FamilySearch 

Benjamin F. Spencer and Son

Bennie E. Spencer (1914-1952)

Shoe Repairer 104 W. Broadway 1952

p.368 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1951-52

B. E. Spencer-FamilySearch

John Stanley (b.1840)

Shoemaker Kentucky Penitentiary 1880 U.S. Census  

Underwood Taylor (1901-1967)

Shoemaker Frankfort 1920 U.S. Census Find A Grave

Underwood Taylor (1901-1967)

Shoemaker Frankfort 1942 p.209 in Polk's Frankfort (Franklin County, KY.) City Directory, 1942  

Henry Thompson (b.1848)

Shoemaker Kentucky Penitentiary 1880 U.S. Census  

Chandler Wood (b.1851)

Shoemaker Kentucky Penitentiary  1880 U.S. Census  

 

* See also NKAA entry African American Shoemakers in Kentucky Prisons (A Leading U.S. Industry)

 
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Hopkinsville, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1930
In Christian County, KY, the few African American shoemakers were located in Hopkinsville between 1870 and 1930. Though, one of the earliest of the recently freed men to make shoes was Jessie Hart in Garretsburg around 1880. There were never more than five of the shoemakers at any one time, and around WWI, the African American shoemaking businesses began the transition to shoe repair and shoe shining. By the early 1920s, most of the African American men in Christian County who were in the shoe care business were shoe shiners. There was a combination of employment styles, some men worked for themselves, while some worked in parlors that catered to whites, and others worked under the business name of African American proprietors such as Brasher & Shipp, Ned Bronaugh, and Shelby Carlisle. One of the unique things in Christian County, was the come and go nature of shoe shine employees who were African American. A man would be listed in the city directory as a shoe shiner one year and the previous or next years they were listed as porters, barbers, or tobacco workers. The shoe shine business was not a long term trade but more like a filler for when the men were between jobs. Also, it is not uncommon to see a man's name to be listed only one year in the city directory but not found at all in the census records for Christian County, as if the person may have visited for a brief spell before moving on from Christian County.  

 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
Samuel Anderson Shoe Shiner w/Wm. Brasher 215 Brown Street 1926 p.43 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927  
Sargent L. Banks (1890-1961) Shoe Shiner 308 E. Twelfth Street 1924 p.48 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925 Find A Grave
William Sargent Banks (1906-1953) Shoe Shiner 308 E. Twelfth Street 1928 p.51 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929
; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116-53-26585
 
Henry Bell (b.1886) Shoe Shiner w/Brasher & Shipp 918 E. Hayes 1924 p.51 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Robert B. Bibbs (1904-1943) Shoe Shiner 111 S. Campbell 1922 p.52 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.5447, Registrar's No.200  
Herman Black (b.1886) Shoe Shiner w/Brasher & Shipp 113 E. Sixth Street 1922 p.52 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923  
William Bowles (b.1883) Shoemaker & Repairer 625 Vine Street 1916 p.432 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1916-1917-1918  
William Brasher (b.1885) Shoe Shiner Hopkinsville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Brasher (b.1885) Shoe Shiner 121 1/2 E. Ninth Street 1928 p.67 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929   
Brasher & Shipp Shoe Shining Parlor 125 E. Seventh Street 1922 p.395 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923  
Ned Bronaugh (1874-1946) Shoe Shining Parlor 118 1/2 E. Ninth Street 1922 p.395 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.23310, Registrar's No.642  
Ned Bronaugh (1874-1946) Shoe Shiner 118 1/2 E. Ninth Street 1926 p.327 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927  
John Buckner Shoe Shiner w/Lucinda Barber Shop 413 E. First Street 1924 p.68 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Reginald Buckner (b.1906) Shoe Shiner w/Lucinda Barber Shop 218 E. Tenth Street 1924 p.69 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
James E. Caldwell Shoe Shiner w/Wm. Brasher 143 S. Vine Street 1930 p.69 in Caron's Hopkinsville, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Shelby Carlisle (d.1935-1940) Shoe Shiner 118 1/2 E. Ninth Street 1928 p.417 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
Shelby Carlisle (d.1935-1940) Shoe Shiner 118 1/2 E. Ninth Street 1935 p.357 in Caron's Hopkinsville, Ky. City Directory for 1935-1936  
Isaac Clark (1892-1982) Shoe Shiner w/Wm. Brasher  100 Liberty Street 1928 p.91 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929 Find A Grave
George Cole (b.1894) Shoe Shiner w/Brasher & Shipp Hopkinsville 1924 p.86 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
George Cole (b.1894) Shoe Shiner w/Wm. Brasher 215 Brown Street 1928 p.93 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
John M. Cole (1871-1944) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor 1920 U.S. Census; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.21794, Registrar's No.578  
John M. Cole (1871-1944) Shoe Shiner w/ Brasher & Shipp 119 W. Third Street 1922 p.86 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923  
John M. Cole (1871-1944) Shoe Shiner w/Fuller & McGehee Hopkinsville 1924 p.86 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Ernest L. Cornette (b.1883) Shoe Shiner w/N. Bronaugh 118 1/2 E. Ninth Street 1922 p.89 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923  
Ernest L. Cornette (b.1883) Shoe Shiner 1212 Sharpe Street 1924 p.90 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
John W. Cox Shoe Shiner w/Royal Tailor, Cleaners & Dyers 112 W. Seventh Street 1924 p.91 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
George Croney (b.1894) Shoe Shiner w/Wm. Brasher 1210 Sharpe Street 1930 p.89 in Caron's Hopkinsville, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Jewel J. Dulin (b.1908) Shoe Shiner w/Brasher & Shipp Hopkinsville 1926 p.100 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927  
Jewel J. Dulin (b.1908) Shoe Shiner w/Shelby Carlisle 117 W. Third Street 1928 p.112 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
Raymond France (b.1906) Shoe Shiner 1022 E. Second Street 1924 p.115 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
George Wesley Frazier (b.1874) Shoemaker & Repairer 20 E. Fifth Street 1910 p.324 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville for 1910-11-12  
George Wesley Frazier (b.1874) Shoe Repair Shop 207 N. Virginia Street 1912 p.394 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville for 1912-13-14  
Samuel A. Freeman Shoe Shiner w/Royal Tailor, Cleaners & Dyers 729 Barrow Street 1924 p.116 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Robert Griggs Shoe Shiner 125 E. Seventh Street 1928 p.142 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
Griggs & Herrell Shoe Shiners 125 E. Seventh Street 1928 p.417 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
John Hargraves Shoe Shiner w/Shelby Carlisle 905 Younglove Street 1930 p.131 in Caron's Hopkinsville, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Jessie Hart (b.1855) Shoe Cobbler Garretsburg 1880 U.S. Census  
James Harvey (b.1922) Shoe Shiner Hopkinsville 1940 U.S. Census  
James Herrell Shoe Shiner 125 E. Seventh Street 1928 p.142 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
Jewel Jackson Shoe Shiner w/Brasher & Shipp 1907 Hopper Court 1924 p.155 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
William Leverett (1907-1967) Shoe Shiner w/Cansler, Jenkins, & McGehee 204 E. First Street 1926 p.171 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927 Find A Grave
George McElwain (b.1895) Shoe Presser w/Electric Shoe Shop 16 W. Fourth Street 1914 p.205 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1914-1915-1916  
Walter McReynolds (1911-1944) Shoe Shiner 713 E. First Street 1928 p.206 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.644, Registrar's No.12  
Will Marawheather (b.1891)   Shoe Shiner Hopkinsville 1920 U.S. Census  
Otis W. Mimms (b.1896) Shoe Shiner 905 Hayes Street 1928 p.417 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1928-1929  
William Morsingle Shoemaker & Repairer 115 N. Virginia Street 1910 p.324 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville for 1910-11-12  
Linard Moss (b.1866) Shoe Repairer Christian County 1930 U.S. Census  
Dennis S. Pool (1865-1932) Shoemaker Christian County 1900 U.S. Census; Kentucky Death Index Find A Grave
Dennis S. Pool (1865-1932) Boot Black w/J. S. Rice 214 E. First Street 1910 p.198 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville for 1910-11-12  
Dennis S. Pool (1865-1932) Shoe Shiner w/State Tonsorial Parlor Hopkinsville 1930 p.208 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1930-1931  
Theodore Robinson Shoe Shiner w/Fuller & McGehee 722 Hayes Street 1924 p.232 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
William A. Shipp Shoe Shiner 125 E. Seventh Street 1930 p.363 in Caron's Hopkinsville, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931   
Cary S. Snordden (1864-1924) Shoemaker & Repairer 102 E. Sixth Street 1910 p.324 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville for 1910-11-12; Kentucky Death Certificate File No. 26809, Registered No.375  
Cary S. Snordden (1864-1924) Shoemaker & Repairer 102 1/2 E. Sixth Street 1916 p.432 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1916-1917-1918  
Cary S. Snordden (1864-1924) Shoemaker & Repairer 200 1/2 E. Sixth Street 1924 p.397 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Frank Summers (b.1904) Shoe Shiner w/N. Bronaugh 318 Edmunds Street 1926 p.247 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927  
Stephen H. Summers (b.1906) Shoe Shiner w/Hotel Latham Barber Shop 512 E. Second Street 1924 p.252 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1924-1925  
James Tramel Shoe Shiner w/Brasher & Shipp 401 1/2 S. Virginia Street 1922 p.253 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1922-1923  
Arthur L. West Shoe Shiner w/Fuller's Barber Shop 914 E. Second Street 1926 p.271 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927  
Charles L. Williams  Shoemaker & Repairer 132 E. First Street 1916 p.310 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1916-1917-1918  
John Williams Shoe Shiner w/Wm. Brasher 404 S. Virginia 1930 p.266 in Caron's Hopkinsville, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Roy White Shoe Shiner w/Phoenix Shoe Shining Parlor 110 1/2 W. Seventh Street 1926 p.274 in Caron's Directory of the City of Hopkinsville, Ky. for 1926-1927  

   
Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Lexington, KY [John B. and Ella B. Thomas] [Rev. Titus Buckner]
Start Year : 1920
End Year : 1930
In Lexington, KY, there were hundreds of African American men in the shoemaking and shoe care business. The income they earned kept some in the business a short while, and for others the income sustained their businesses for decades. There were even a few who were in the business for half a century or more. This entry represents a selection of both African American men and women in Lexington, KY, who were in the shoemaking and shoe care business from 1920 to 1930. This was a period of time before retirement and social security benefits, and people started working early and kept working up to the time of their deaths. The individuals in the table below earned their livelihood in shoe occupations that offered services considered part of the standard cost of being well dressing. In 1920, there were at least 16 African American shoe shiners in Lexington, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and only one, Mitchell Garth was listed under the heading of "Shoe Shiners" in the business section of the 1921 city directory. After 1921, race (c) was not noted again in the business section of the directory until the 1928 issue was published. Mrs. Ella B. Thomas was the only African American woman listed and her name can be found under the heading of "Shoe Repairers." Born around 1869, Ella B. Thomas was the wife of John Thomas, the couple married in 1886 and had two children according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Beginning in 1900, Ella's occupation is listed as dressmaker, seamstress, or sewing in the census records, but in the city directories, beginning in 1916, she is listed as a shoemaker or a shoe repairer [source: p.555 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1916-1917]. She was actually both a seamstress and a shoemaker; the data collectors for the publications chose what they perceived as her primary occupation. Ella's husband, John B. Thomas, born around 1857, had been a shoemaker as early as 1880 according to the U.S. Census. Ella learned how to make shoes from her husband and continued the business at their home after his death in 1916 [Find A Grave]. She was the proprietor until she became ill in 1932 and she died in 1933. Like Nettie Franklin in Ashland, and Mattie Porter in Bowling Green, Ella B. Thomas was one of the few African American women to make shoes in Kentucky.  All three women took over a deceased husband's shoe business and kept the business going for a number of years. The John B. and Ella B. Thomas shoe business was one of the oldest owned by African Americans in Lexington and Kentucky, from 1880 to about 1932 (52 years). Another shoemaker of note in Lexington was Rev. Titus Buckner who was in the shoemaking and shoe repair business for at least 57 years. Rev. Titus Buckner was born around 1855 and died in 1936. He was a shoemaker as early as 1877 [source: p.10 in R. C. Hellrigle & Co.'s Lexington City Directory and Gazetteer, Cincinnati Southern Railway, 1877-78]. He is last listed as a shoemaker in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1933-34, p.780. Rev. Titus Buckner was in the shoemaking and shoe care business a lot longer than any one African American recognized in Kentucky history. "Shoe-maker" is the occupation written on his death certificate [source: Kentucky Death Certificate File No.794, Registered No.24; and the death certificate is filed under the name "Rev. Titus Buckner"]. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington. In addition to being a shoemaker, Rev. Buckner was also a minister who performed marriages at his home and conducted funeral services for many decades [sources: "Colored Notes" in the Lexington Leader newspaper]. Another name in the shoe care business was James W. Beatty who was a shoe shiner in Lexington. Shining shoes was his main occupation for his entire life, having established his first business around 1921, and continuing to the time of his death, April 14, 1949. James W. Beatty is buried in Cove Haven Cemetery. Another name is Robert H. McClasky, Jr. who was a shoemaker, shoe repairer, and owned at least two retail shoe stores. McClasky came to Lexington from Bloomfield, KY, where he was a shoemaker as early as 1910. He employed others to work for him, thus enabling him to have more than one business location in Lexington. He was in business up to the time of his death in 1960. Robert H. McClasky, Jr. was in the shoemaking, shoe care, and shoe retail business for at least 50 years. He is buried in the Bloomfield Colored Cemetery in Nelson County. Two other names are James A. Graves, who was a shoemaker and repairer for 41 years, and Samuel Harrison, a shoemaker and repairer for 46 years. A few of the shoemakers were also known for their other employment, the previously mentioned Rev. Titus Buckner, as well as Simeon Thomas who was the superintendent of the Colored Orphan's Industrial Home on Georgetown Pike as early as 1906 and up to 1911 [sources: p.491 in Lexington City Directory 1906-1907; and p.549 in Lexington City Directory 1911]. Simeon Thomas is listed in the city directory as a shoemaker from 1912-1925. He died in 1927 and is buried in African Cemetery #2. Other African American men who spent 20 or more years in the shoe care business in Lexington, KY, include Mitchell Garth, Samuel M. Harrison, George W. Johnson, Fred King, Marcellus Overton, John Nimrod Paul, John Smith, Joseph M. Smith, Eli Strider, Henry E. Howe, and Harry E. Worsham.    

 

*There are two African American couples named John B. and Ella Thomas in the census records and the Lexington city directories.   

 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
Collis Adams (1913-1957) Shoe Shiner James W. Beatty Shoe Shop -231 Deweese Street 1930 p.71 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Index  
Sidney Baker (b.1866) Shoemaker 142 Constitution Street 1898 p.315 in Emerson & Dark's Lexington Directory 1898=9  
Sidney Baker (b.1866) Shoemaker Lexington 1900 U.S. Census  
Sidney Baker (b.1866) Shoe Repairer 575 E. Second Street 1928 p.843 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Edward Bates (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Parlor 1920 U.S. Census  
James W. Beatty (1900-1949) Shoe Shiner 210 Deweese Street 1921 p.162 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
James W. Beatty (1900-1949) Shoe Shiner East End Shining Parlor - 210 Deweese 1923 p.268 in Lexington City Directory 1923  
James W. Beatty (1900-1949) Shoe Shiner 204 Deweese Street  1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
James W. Beatty (1900-1949) Shoe Shiner Owner of Shoe Shine Parlor 1940 U.S. Census  
James W. Beatty (1900-1949) Shoe Repairer 219 Deweese Street 1949 p.59 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1948-49; Kentucky Death Certificate File No. 6856, Registrar's No.393 Find A Grave
Otha Bell (1900-1950) Shoe Shiner 211 S. Spring Street 1930 p.99 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116- 50 15869, Registrar's No.722 Find A Grave
Charles L. Blanton (b.1888) Shoe Shiner G. T. Martin Barber - 139 E. Main Street 1928 p.100 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928; WWI Draft Registration Card  
Thomas Bollin (b.1860) Cobbler  Lexington 1920 U.S. Census  
Thomas Bodley (b.1860) Shoe Repairer 109 W. Winslow Street 1921 p.174 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Thomas Bolan (b.1860) Shoe Repairer 109 W. Winslow Street 1925 p.212 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1925  
Thomas Bolin (b.1860) Shoe Repairer 115 W. Euclid Avenue 1930 p.109 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
James L. Bray Shoe Repairer Ella B. Thomas - 337 N. Limestone Street 1928 p.109 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
John A. Brown Shoe Shiner James W. Beatty Shoe Shop - 231 Deweese Street 1930 p.124 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Thomas Buck Shoe Shiner Martin Berlin -106 E. Main Street 1930 p.129 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Titus Buckner (1855-1936) Shoemaker Walnut Street 1877 p.10 in R. C. Hellrigle & Co.'s Lexington City Directory and Gazetteer, Cincinnati Southern Railway, 1877-78  
Titus Buckner (1855-1936) Shoe Repairer  741 N. Limestone Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Titus Buckner (1855-1936) Shoe Repairer 196 Eddie Street 1934 p.780 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1933-34; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.794, Registered No.24  
Oliver I. Christian Shoe Repairer Ella B. Thomas Shoe Shop -337 N. Limestone Street 1930 p.155 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Stanley Cloudus (1899-1967) Shoe Repairer 322 Chestnut Street 1930 p.888 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
Embry Cobb (b.1913) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Lexington 1930 U.S. Census; p.163 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
James W. Coleman (b.1861) Shoe Shiner 199 Deweese Street 1925 p.280 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1925  
James W. Coleman (b.1861) Shoe Shiner 199 Deweese Street 1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
William Coleman (1860-1939) Shoe Shiner 321 Chestnut Street 1930 p.166 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.9546, Registered No.346  
Richard Collet (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Shop 1920 U.S. Census  
Jeff Covington (b.1908) Shoemaker Shoe Shop 1930 U.S. Census  
Farris Craig (1889-1975) Shoe Shiner Hi-Pat Barber Shop - 539 W. High Street 1930 p.178 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Index  
Fred Davis (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Parlor 1920 U.S. Census  
Joseph Davis (b.1912) Shoe Shiner C. H. McAtee - 103 S. Limestone & 507 E. High Street 1925 p.311 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1925  
Joseph Davis (b.1912) Shoe Repairer Samuel Bederman - 113 N. Limestone & 124 N. Mill Street 1930 U.S. Census; p.192 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Joseph Davis (b.1912) Shoe Repairer Samuel Bederman - 113 N. Limestone & 124 N. Mill Street 1939 p.164 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1939  
James M. Ellis (1855-1922) Shoemaker 319 Georgetown Street 1909 p.713 in Lexington City Directory 1909  
James M. Ellis (1855-1922) Shoemaker Georgetown Street 1910 U.S. Census  
James M. Ellis (1855-1922) Shoe Repairer 436 Georgetown Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.730, Registered No.91  
Nathaniel C. Farmer (1856-1935) Shoe Repairer 306 E. Second Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Nathaniel C. Farmer (1856-1935) Shoe Repairer 306 E. Second Street 1928 p.843 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Nathaniel C. Farmer (1856-1935) Shoemaker 306 E. Second Street 1930 U.S. Census; and p.888 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.19358, Registered No.142  
Thomas Foster Shoe Shiner Martin Berlin - 106 E. Main Street 1930 p.240 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Thomas Foster Shoe Repairer Harber Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1940 p.226 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1940-41  
Mitchell Garth (1883-1939) Boot Black 133 W. Water Street 1916 p.368 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1916-1917  
Mitchell Garth (1883-1939) Shoe Shiner Lexington 1920 U.S. Census  
Mitchell Garth (1883-1939) Shoe Shiner 133 W. Water Street 1921 p.759 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Mitchell Garth (1883-1939) Shoe Shiner 133 W. Water Street 1939 p.226 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1939; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.26978, Registrar's No.960  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Shoemaker 337 N. Limestone Street 1909 p.310 in Lexington City Directory 1909  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Shoemaker Shoe Shop - S. Spring Street 1910 U.S. Census  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Shoemaker 523 S. Spring Street 1912 p.258 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1912  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Cobbler Shoe Shop - Spring Street 1920 U.S. Census  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Shoe Repairer Robert H. McClasky Shoe Shop 1927 p.264 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1927  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Shoe Repairer 211 Deweese Street 1937 p.846 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1937  
James A. Graves (b.1893) Shoe Repairer Paige's Shoe Repair - 211 Deweese Street 1950 p.182 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1950  
Alphonso C. Gray (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Martin Berlin - 106 E. Main Street 1928 p.245 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Benjamin Green Shoe Shiner 106 N. Broadway 1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Calvin P. Green Shoe Repairer 400 Corral Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Calvin P. Green Shoe Repairer 404 Corral Street 1925 p.400 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1925  
Frank Harris Shoe Shiner 417 1/2 Chestnut Street 1928 p.265 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Robert Harris Shoe Shiner 224 Jefferson Street 1928 p.266 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Samuel M. Harrison (1874-1951) Shoemaker 320 Jefferson Street 1902 p.307 in The Lexington City Directory and Rural Postal Delivery Routes for 1902-1903  
Samuel M. Harrison (1874-1951) Cobbler Jefferson Street 1910 U.S. Census  
Samuel M. Harrison (1874-1951) Shoemaker Shoe Shop 1920 U.S. Census  
Samuel M. Harrison (1874-1951) Shoe Repairer 433 W. High Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Samuel M. Harrison (1875-1951) Shoe Repairer 531 Jefferson Street 1928 p.843 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Samuel M. Harrison (1875-1951) Shoe Repairer 531 Jefferson Street 1948 p.231 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1948-49; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 51 17871, Registrar's No.823 Find A Grave
Charles Hood (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Parlor 1920 U.S. Census  
Henry E. Howe (b.1911) Shoemaker Shoe Shop - 275 E. Fourth Street 1930 U.S. Census; p.311 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Henry E. Howe (b.1911) Shoe Repairer 607 N. Limestone 1940 p.315 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1940-41  
Henry E. Howe (b.1911) Shoe Repairer E. E. Harber Shoe Repair Co - 209 E. Main Street 1947 p.281 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1947  
Henry E. Howe (b.1911) Shoe Repairer 337 N. Limestone Street 1955 p.309 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1955  
Henry E. Howe (b.1911) Shoe Repairer 337 N. Limestone Street 1960 p.328 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1960  
George W. Johnson (1861-1923) Shoemaker 122 E. Short Street 1898 p.549 in Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898=9  The shop at 122 E. Short Street was shared with shoemakers William H. O. Bruce and Hugh Evans
George W. Johnson (1861-1923) Shoemaker 357 Patterson Street 1909 p.371 in Lexington City Directory 1909  
George W. Johnson (1861-1923) Shoemaker Patterson Street 1920 U.S. Census  
George W. Johnson (1861-1923) Shoe Repairer 389 Patterson Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921 Find A Grave
Moses R. Johnson Shoe Shiner 433 Kenton Street 1928 p.310 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Shirley B. Johnson (1902-1959) Shoe Representative Robert H. McClasky Shoe Shop 1927 p.336 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1927 Mr. Shirley B. Johnson is repeatedly misidentified as a female in the city directories. 
Shirley B. Johnson (1902-1959) Shoe Shiner O K Baber Shop - 118 S. Upper Street 1939 p.325 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1939 Find A Grave
William Jones Shoe Shiner New York Hat Cleaners [Martin Berlin] - 112 W. Main Street 1930 p.342 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
William C. Jones Shoe Repairer 317 Georgetown Street 1921 p.795 n R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
William C. Jones Shoe Repairer 243 Lee Street 1928 p.843 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
William C. Jones Shoe Repairer 243 Lee Street 1933 p.292 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1933-34  
Fred King (1870-1925) Shoemaker 160 E. Main Street 1898 p.569 in Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898=9  
Fred King (1870-1925) Cobbler Lexington 1920 U.S. Census  
Fred King (1870-1925) Shoe Repairer 189 Grant Street 1921 p.795 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Fred King (1870-1925) Shoe Repairer 189 Grant Street 1923 p.515 in Lexington City Directory 1923; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.8945, Registered No.332 Find A Grave
Charles Martin Shoe Shiner 330 Corral Street 1928 p.361 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
George Mason Shoe Repairer 213 Deweese Street 1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
John E. McClasky (b.1891) Shoe Repairer Robert H. McClasky Shoe Store 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoemaker Bloomfield, Nelson County, KY 1910 U.S. Census  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoemaker 504 W. Main Street & 209 S. Broadway 1916 p.386 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1916-1917  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoe Store Owner Lexington 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoe Store Owner & Shoe Repairer 260 E. Short Street & 207 S. Broadway (Brown Hotel) 1921 p.457 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoe Repairer 207 S. Broadway  1930 p.888 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoe Repairer Tuskegee Shoe Shop - 207 S. Broadway 1945 p.624 in Polk's Lexington City Directory, 1945  
Robert H. McClasky, Jr. (1881-1960) Shoe Store Owner Dependable Shoe Service - 205 S. Broadway 1960 p.441 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1960; Kentucky Death Index Find A Grave
Andrew McGee (1896-1942) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop 1920 U.S. Census  
Andrew McGee (1896-1942) Shoe Shiner John K. Reeder Barber Shop - 119 N. Broadway 1939 p.405 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1939; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.10913, Registrar's No.435 Find A Grave
John H. Mobley Shoe Shiner New York Hat Cleaners - 112 W. Main Street 1930 p.424 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Edward Monon (b.1875) Shoe Stainer Shoe Shine Parlor 1920 U.S. Census  
Paul L. Murphy (1868-1944) Shoe Shiner Unique Shine Parlor [Mike Kalos] - 105 S. Limestone Street 1930 p.437 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.19804, Registrar's No.887  
James Myers (b.1883) Shoemaker Lexington 1920 U.S. Census  
James Myers (b.1883) Shoemaker 114 Colfax Street 1923 p.598 in Lexington City Directory 1923  
Marcellus Overton (b.1882) Boot Black 370 Corral Street 1906 p.407 in Lexington City Directory 1906-1907  
Marcellus Overton (b.1882) Shoe Shiner 157 Megowan Street 1909 p.483 in Lexington City Directory 1909  
Marcellus Overton (b.1882) Shoe Shiner 370 Corral Street 1911 p.441 in Lexington City Directory 1911  
Marcellus Overton (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Greek Shoe Shiners - Phoenix Hotel Block 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card  
Marcellus Overton (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Hotel 1920 U.S. Census  
Marcellus Overton (b.1882) Shoe Shiner 370 Corral Street 1928 p.415 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Charles H. Palmer Shoe Repairer Charles H. McAtee - 103 S. Limestone & 507 E. High Street 1930 p.451 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Charles H. Palmer Shoe Repairer 445 Chestnut Street 1931 p.392 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1931-32  
John Nimrod Paul (b.1885) Shoemaker Shoe Shop Owner - Russell Springs, KY 1920 U.S. Census  
John Nimrod Paul (b.1885) Shoe Repairer 457 Georgetown Street 1930 p.888 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
John Nimrod Paul (b.1885) Shoe Repairer Shoe Repair Shop Owner 1930 U.S. Census  
John Nimrod Paul (b.1885) Shoe Repairer 460 Georgetown Street 1940 p.488 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1940-41  
John Nimrod Paul (b.1885) Shoe Repairer 460 Georgetown Street 1948 p.407 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1948-49  
Tildon Payne (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Parlor 1920 U.S. Census  
Wendell Polk (1905-1949) Shoe Shiner 194 Race Street 1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.6910, Registrar's No.54 Find A Grave
Ezekiel Reed (1904-1955) Shoe Shiner Lexington 1920 U.S. Census; Kentucky Death Index  
Stanisbury Roberts (b.1906) Shoe Shiner  Barber Shop 1920 U.S. Census  
Albert Rogers (b.1914) Shoe Shiner Unique Shine Parlor  [Mike Kalos] - 105 S. Limestone Street 1930 p.499 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Albert Rogers (b.1914) Shoe Shiner Harber Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1937 p.433 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1937  
Albert Rogers (b.1914) Shoe Shiner Harber Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1940 U.S. Census  
Roy Scott Shoe Shiner 330 Corral Street 1928 p.475 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
John Smith (1866-1947) Shoemaker 333 Race Street 1912 p.481 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1912  
John Smith (1866-1947) Shoe Repairer 402 Race Street 1921 p.796 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
John Smith (1866-1947) Shoe Repairer 403 Race Street 1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
John Smith (1866-1947) Shoemaker 401 1/2 Race Street 1930 U.S. Census; p.889 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
John Smith (1866-1947) Shoe Repairer 562 Thomas Street 1939 p.554 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1939; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.23897, Registrar's No.1071  
Joseph M. Smith Shoe Shiner 237 Clark Street 1928 p.495 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Joseph M. Smith Shoe Shiner E. E. Harber Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1947 p.513 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1947  
Joseph M. Smith Shoe Shiner Harber Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1952 p.437 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1952  
Joseph M. Smith Shoe Shiner Harber Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1954 p.541 Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1952  
Richard Smith [Clara] Shoe Repairer 319 Georgetown Street 1928 p.844 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Richard Smith [single](b.1905) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Lexington 1930 U.S. Census  
Richard Smith [Bertie](b.1906) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Lexington 1930 U.S. Census  
William Spencer Shoe Shiner Martin Berlin - 106 E. Main Street 1928 p.504 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  
Minor Sterling Shoemaker Ella B. Thomas Shoe Shop - 337 N. Limestone Street 1921 p.628 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Minor Sterling Shoemaker 762 Charles Avenue 1923 p.706 in Lexington City Directory 1923  
Elias Strider (1865-1921) Shoemaker 327 E. High Street 1898 p.772 in Emerson & Dark's Lexington Directory 1898=9  
Elie Strider (1865-1921) Shoemaker 365 Constitution Street 1906 p.481 in Lexington City Directory 1906-1907  
Eli Strider (1865-1921) Shoemaker 317 Messick Street 1919 p.521 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1919  
Elza Strider (1865-1921) Shoemaker Lexington 1920 U.S. Census; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.2911, Registered No.701  
August Taylor Shoe Shiner Unique Shine Parlor - 105 S. Limestone Street 1930 p.563 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Charles Taylor Shoe Shiner New York Hat Cleaners 1930 p.563 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Dillard Taylor (1884-1939) Shoemaker 435 Newtown Pike 1919 p.527 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1919  
Dillard Taylor (1884-1939) Shoe Repairer 801 Whitney Avenue 1930 p.889 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.19783, Registered No.706  
Ella B. Thomas (1869-1933) Shoemaker 337 N. Limestone Street 1916 p.555 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1916-1917  
Ella B. Thomas (1869-1933) Shoe Repairer 337 N. Limestone Street 1921 p.p.796 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Ella B. Thomas (1869-1933) Shoe Repairer 337 N. Limestone Street 1930 p.889 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930 Find A Grave
Simeon Thomas (1865-1927) Shoemaker 327 Georgetown Pike 1912 p.510 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1912  
Simeon Thomas (1865-1927) Shoemaker Shoe Shop Owner - Georgetown Pike 1920 U.S. Census His name was mistakenly written by the census taker as "Samuel Thomas."
Simeon Thomas (1865-1927) Shoe Repairer 319 Georgetown Pike 1921 p.796 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921  
Simeon Thomas (1865-1927) Shoe Repairer 319 Georgetown Pike 1925 p.761 in R. L. Polk and Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1925; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.27457, Registered No.976  
Guy Walker Shoe Shiner Benjamin Green Shop - 106 N. Broadway 1928 p.550 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Dircetory 1928  
Henry Wheatley (1883-1937) Shoe Shiner 133 W. Water Street 1927 p.885 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1927  
Henry Wheatley (1883-1937) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Shop Owner - 133 W. Water Street 1930 U.S. Census; p.889 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.880, Registered No.68  
Buckner White (1870-1926) Shoemaker 311 Deweese Street 1909 p.628 in Lexington City Directory 1909  
Buckner White (1870-1926) Shoemaker 213 Deweese Street 1912 p.544 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1912  
Buck White (1870-1926) Shoemaker Lexington 1920 U.S. Census  
Buck White (1870-1926) Shoemaker 446 Kinkead Street 1921 p.691 in R. L. Polk & Co.'s Lexington (Kentucky) Directory 1921; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.784, Registered No.21  
James White Shoe Shiner 303 Georgetown Pike 1927 p.632 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1927  
Sylvester Wilson (b.1906) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shop 1930 U.S. Census  
Sylvester Wilson (b.1906) Shoe Shop Manager Martin Berlin - 106 E. Main Street 1930 p.629 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Frank Winfield Shoe Shiner Broadway Shine Parlor 1930 p.630 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Harry E. Worsham (1907-1972) Shoe Repairer Samuel Bederman - 113 N. Limestone & 124 N. Mill Street 1930 p.635 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1930  
Harry E. Worsham (1907-1972 Shoe Shiner & Repairer Lexington Shoe Hospital [Linda Georgevich] - 114 N. Mill Street 1942 p.439 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1942  
Harry E. Worsham (1907-1972) Shoe Repairer Harber's Shoe Repair Co. - 209 E. Main Street 1960 p.750 in Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory 1960; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
Daniel C. Wright Shoe Shiner Samuel E. Johnson Barber Shop - 124 S. Mill Street 1928 p.588 in Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory 1928  

Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1920
End Year : 1920
In the table below are the names of many African Americans who were employed as shoemakers, repairers, and shoe shiners in Louisville, KY during the year 1920. Louisville had the largest population of African Americans in Kentucky, and hundreds were employed in the shoe care business prior to 1920 and after 1920. There were quite a few shoemakers in Louisville, but the majority of them were not African Americans. In Louisville, the making of shoes was a skill possessed by a few African American men, and there were many more descendants of immigrant families who were also skilled shoemakers. In 1920, there were about 15 African American shoemakers and repairers in Louisville, which was a little less than the 20 or so in Lexington and Paducah. All three cities had the highest concentration of African American shoemakers in the state (not counting those in the prisons). As was happening in other locations around the state, the African American shoemakers in Louisville were transitioning over to shoe repairers. The business of handmade shoes was competitive, plus, there were at least five shoe manufacturers and four shoe wholesalers [source: p.2237 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920]. These were businesses that did not depend on prison labor contracts in order to maximize their profits, as was the case in the shoe factories in Frankfort and Eddyville. In Louisville, the employees at the shoe manufacturer and wholesale businesses were people from the general public, including a few African American men hired as laborers and even fewer women laborers (listed below). African Americans were also hired as porters, maids, and janitors in shoe stores and shoe shine parlors. More African American teen boys were employed as shoe shiners in Louisville than in any other city or town in Kentucky. African American shoe shiners did not tend to stay in the business very long, according to the census records and city directories. But in spite of the turnover and regardless of age, there continued to be more African American shoe shiners in Louisville than any other Kentucky location because the size of the population afforded the labor supply and demand, and shining shoes was one of the more readily accessible lines of employment for African American men and boys. One other note, in Louisville, African Americans and family members did not stay in the shoemaking or shoe care business the 35-40 years to half a century or more as seen in Lexington and a few other cities. They got into the business, and they got out of the business when there was better employment. Those who stayed on longer included Robert Clayborne, 32 years; John G. Hayes, 26 years; Edward Partee, 25 years; and Jessie Baker, 22 years.   

 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
George Allen (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Allen (b.1878) Shoe Shiner Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Allen (b.1892) Shoemaker Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Allen (b.1899) Shoemaker Sam Sapoquick - 1802 W. Walnut 1917 WWI Draft Card Missing left leg
William H. Allen (b.1893) Shoemaker Paris Shoe Repair Co. - 1306 W. Walnut 1920 U.S. Census; and p.99 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
James D. Anderson (b.1906) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Jessie Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Repairer Shoe Repair Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Jesse Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Shiner Schieber Shoe Shop - 1100 W. Liberty Street 1921 p.131 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1921  
Jessie Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Shiner Schieber Shoe Shop - 1102 W. Liberty Street 1935 p.204 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1935  
Jesse Baker (1903-1975) Shoe Repairer Friedman's Shoe Store - 204 W. Market Street 1942 p.143 in Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory 1942; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
George Ballot (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Otho Barnes Shoe Shiner KY Hat Cleaners - 318 S. Fourth Street 1920 p.141 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Harry Bauchman (b.1897) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
James Beard Shoemaker & Repairer 1015 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Harry Bell (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Charles Bridges Shoe Shiner Owns Shoe Shine Parlor - 709 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Edward Bridwell Shoe Shiner Owns Shoe Shine Parlor - 101 W. Liberty Street 1920 p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Eulissus Boling (b.1873) Porter Shoe Store 1920 U.S. Census  
Hobert Boone (b.1900) Glue Machine Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Albert Bowles Shoe Shiner 911 Cedar 1920 p.214 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Carl Brown Shoe Shiner W. D. Martin - 323 Cassin Street 1920 p.241 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John Brown Shoe Shiner G. L. Bimbas - 816 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.246 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William Brown (b.1905) Laborer Shoe Store 1920 U.S. Census  
Hewitt Burt Shoe Shiner 1128 W. Chestnut Street 1920 p.274 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Willie Caufman (b.1895) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert D. Clayburn (1879-1948) Boot Black William Selicos - 674 Center Street 1915 p.312 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915  
Robert D. Claybourne (1879-1948) Boot Black American Shoe Co. - 305 S. Fourth Street 1917 WWI Draft Card Broken right hip
Robert D. Clayborne (1879-1948) Shoemaker 633 Cedar Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.324 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Robert D. Clayborn (1879-1948) Shoe Repairer Re-Nu Shoe Shop - 421 S. Fourth Street 1928 p.506 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1928  
Robert D. Clayborne (1879-1948) Shoe Shiner Re-Nu Shoe Shop - 421 S. Fourth Street 1933 p.416 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1933  
Robert D. Claybourne (1879-1948) Shoe Repairer Moved to Lexington, KY. McGurk's Shoe Shop - 104 E. Main Street 1947 p.120 in Polk's Lexington City Directory 1947; Kentucky Death Certificate File No.20343, Registrar's No.936  
Ada Cooper (b.1891) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert Creel (b.1906) Shoe Shiner Louis Hondales - 1939 Cedar Street 1920 p.364 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Henry Dale (b.1903) Boot Black Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Edd Dartice (b.1885) Shoe Shiner City - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Fred Douglas (b.1895) Shoe Shiner Hotel - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
George W. Driver (b.1868) Shoemaker & Repairer 1040 S. 16th Street 1920 p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Elza William Dudley (1892-1939) Shoemaker & Repairer 753 S. 1st Street 1920 p.437 & p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Elza W. Dudley (1892-1939) Shoe Repairer 755 S. 1st Street 1921 p.448 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1921 Find A Grave
Henry Duncan (1904) Porter Shoe Shine Stand 1920 U.S. Census  
Carol Emmery (b.1902) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Earnest Evans (b.1896) Shoemaker Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Shelley George (b.1903) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Leon Gibson Shoe Shiner Lobby of Inter-Sou Life Bldg. - 609 W. Liberty 1920 p.562 & p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Oscar Gould (b.1906) Laborer Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Saw Green (b.1880) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William A. Grigsby Shoe Shiner KY Hat Cleaners - 318 S. Fourth Street 1920 p.605 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Daniel Grubbs (b.1864) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Henry Otto Warren Gwinn (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Curtis Hart Shoe Shiner ss E Broadway al e of Preston Street 1920 p.652 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John B. Hayden (b.1903) Shoemaker Apprentice W. H. Hunter - 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.661 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Porter Hayden (b.1905) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Boot Black 316 5th Street 1908 p.658 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1908  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Shoe Shiner 537 1/2 W. Market Street 1922 p.726 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1922  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Shoe Shiner 226 W. Jefferson Street 1931 p.857 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1931  
John G. Hayes, Sr. (b.1871) Shoe Shiner 226 W. Jefferson Street 1934 p.830 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1934  
William B. Hayes (1902-1988) Shoe Shiner Manager of J. G. Hayes Shoe Shine Co. - 1935 W. Madison Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.653 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William B. Hayes (1902-1988) Shoe Shiner J. G. Hayes - 1935 W. Madison Street 1934 p.831 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1934; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
Roosevelt Haynes Shoe Shiner G. L. Bimbas - 540 S. Ninth Street 1920 p.664 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Thomas G. Hines Shoemaker W. H. Hunter - 536 W. Kentucky Street 1920 p.705 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John Hinkle (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Vance Hoglesby Shoe Shiner 928 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.715 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
John W. Holt (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
John W. Holt (b.1905) Shoe Shiner 617 S. 13th Street 1922 p.791 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1922  
Alfred E. Hood (b.1879) Shoemaker Self-employed in Lancaster, KY 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card  
Alfred Hood (1877-1963) Shoemaker Moved to Louisville - Samuel Sapoznick - 506 S. 18th Street 1918 p.702 in Carson's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1918  
Alfred Hood (1877-1963) Shoemaker 931 Walnut Street 1920 p.723 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920 Find A Grave
William H. Hunter (b.1882) Shoemaker & Repairer 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1920 p.749 & p.2238 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William H. Hunter (b.1882) Shoe Repairer 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1926 p.2828 in Carson's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1926  
William H. Hunter (b.1882) Shoe Repairer 1401 W. Chestnut Street 1937 p.2675 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1937  
Samuel Jackson, Jr. (b.1896) Shoe Shiner Hotel - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Albert N. Johnson Shoemaker W. H. Hunter - 536 W. Kentucky Street 1920 p.775 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Albert N. Johnson Shoe Repairer 6th Street Shoe Repair Shop - 823 S. 6th Street 1931 p.994 in Carson's Louisville City Directory for 1931  
Henry Johnson Shoe Shiner Owns Shoe Shine Parlor - 904 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Melvin Johnston Shoe Shiner 613 W. Main Street 1920 p.785 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Norman Jones (b.1900) Porter Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sam B. Jones (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Otis Kellis (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Herbert Linton (1903-1982) Boot Black Shoe Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Herbert Linton (1903-1982) Shoe Shiner Roy E. Steele - 2707 W. Walnut Street 1932 p.1101 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1932; U.S. Social Security Death Index  
David Lyon (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sylvester Martin (b.1897) Porter Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Kid Maupin Shoe Shiner 618 S. Ninth Street 1920 p.970 & p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Alice May (b.1902) Maid Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
John Miller (b.1860) Shoemaker Shoe Repair Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Henry E. Murphy Shoe Shiner 1642 Beargrass 1920 p.1078 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Prince Murry Shoe Shiner es 7th al s of Walnut 1920 p.1081 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Isem Osborne (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Ralph H. Overall (1873-1940) Shoemaker & Repairer 631 Cedar Street 1920 U.S. Census; p.2239 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920; Kentucky Certificate of Death State File No.28950, Registrar's No.5290  
Edward Partee (b.1882) Shoe Shiner & Porter D. P. Haager - 1124 W. Green Street 1914 p.1070 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1914  
Edward Partee (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Louis Hondales - 331 W. Market Street 1920 p.1144 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Edward Partee (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Ky Hatters - 441 S. 8th Street 1939 p.1300 in Caron's Louisville (Kentucky) City Directory 1939  
Ruby Peak (b.1898) Clerk Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sylvester Perdue (b.1900) Shoe Shiner Hotel - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Calley Perry (b.1894) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Earl L. Radford Shoe Shiner The Liberty - 912 W. Liberty 1920 p.1200 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Earnest Rapier (b.1872) Shoe Shiner Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Molly Reed (b.1870) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Harry Reeves (b.1902) Boot Black & Porter Thomas Reeves - 1107 W. Chestnut 1919 p.1175 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1919  
Harry Reeves (b.1902) Shoe Shiner Thomas Reeves - 415-421 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.1218 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Boot Black Henry Watterson Hotel - 1107 W. Chestnut 1916 p.2012 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1916  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Boot Black & Watchman Henry Watterson Hotel - 1107 W. Chestnut 1918 p.2015 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1918; and WWI Draft Registration Card  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Boot Black & Porter Henry Watterson Hotel - 1107 W. Chestnut 1919 p.1176 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1919  
Thomas Reeves (b.1882) Shoe Shiner Owns Parlor - 415-421 W. Walnut Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.1218 & p.2236 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
William Reynolds (b.1875) Shoe Repairer Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
William Reynolds (b.1875) Shoemaker 1205 W. Walnut Street 1922 p.1357 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1922  
John T. Robertson (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Barber Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Shelby Scott (b.1905) Boot Black Shoe Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Roosevelt Shammel (b.1904) Boot Black Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Matthew Sherrill Porter Boston Shoe Company - 912 W. Madison Street 1920 p.1352 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Clarence Smith (b.1878) Shoe Shiner Depot - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Nathaniel Smith (b.1903) Shoe Shiner Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Thomas Smith (b.1872) Laborer Shoe Factory - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Sarah J. Sparks (b.1882) Maid Boston Shoe Company - 912 W. Madison Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.1399 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Jim Spears (b.1884) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Robert Spears (b.1900) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
James Sutton (b.1870) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Elmore Taylor (b.1881) Shoe Shiner Louis Hondales - 331 W. Market Street 1920 p.1458 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
Louis Thaupmans (b.1870) Shoe Shiner Depot - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Bud Thomas (b.1881) Janitor Shoe Store - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Ernest Walters (b.1905) Shoe Shiner Ky Hat Cleaners - 942 S. Eleventh Street 1920 U.S. Census; and p.1537 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  
James S. Williams (b.1896) Shoe Repairer Government - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Judge Williams (b.1889) Cobbler Shoe Shop - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Judge Williams (b.1889) Shoemaker & Shoe Repairer Phillip Yoffe - 903 W. Chestnut 1930 U.S. Census; and p.2106 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930  
Judge Williams (b.1889) Shoe Repairer M. J. Gavronsky - 1204 W. Walnut Street 1934 p.1894 in Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1934  
Elmo Woolridge (b.1904) Shoe Shiner Shine Parlor - Louisville 1920 U.S. Census  
Clarence D. Young Shoe Shiner Thomas Reeves - 415-421 W. Walnut Street 1920 p.1640 in Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1920  

Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Paducah, KY
Start Year : 1880
End Year : 1949
Paducah, Kentucky is known for many things, but one of the unknowns is that the city of Paducah, KY maintained a persistent number of shoemakers and shoe repairers for several decades, from the 1860s to WWI and beyond WWII. In reference to African Americans in the shoe business, between 1920 and the early 1930s, there were as many Colored shoemakers and shoe repairers in Paducah as in Louisville and Lexington. They were part of the ongoing trend of a considerable number of shoemakers in the mid-1800s. A few years after the American Civil War, there were at least 23 boot and shoemakers in Paducah, according to Kelley & Lambdin's Paducah City Directory for 1869. The African American shoemakers included Saunders Alexander, Arthur Carter, Ben Huston, Robert Taylor, and Phillip Williams, and there was also the boot black, Henry Russell [source: 1880 U.S. Census]. By 1920, after WWI, there were more shoe retail businesses, and shoemakers and repairers listed in the business section of the city directory than had ever been listed before [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921, pp.701-702]. The listing included the shoe manufacturer International Shoe Company on N. 2nd Street; 13 shoe retail stores; and 27 cobblers/shoemakers/shoe repairers. In 1926, African American shoe shiner H. F. Bailey was added in the business section [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927, p.886]. It was during this time period, 1920-1933, that the number of African Americans in the shoe business rivaled the number of those in Louisville and Lexington, with Paducah having 33 African American cobblers/shoemakers/shoe repairers; 39 shoe shiners; and 4 who were employed with a shoe business as a porter or janitor. But, by 1930, things had started to change. There was not a heading of "SHOES" in the business section of the city directory in 1930 [source: Caron's Paducah Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931]. The International Shoe Company and individual shoe makers, repairers, shiners, and other employees were listed within the names section of the directory. The 1930 U.S. Census was used to identify African Americans in the shoe business, there were 9 shoemakers/repairers and 9 shoe shiners. Three years later, the headings and listings for "SHOES" reappeared in the business section of the city directory, but there was no notation of race in either the 1933 directory or the 1935 directory [source: Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934; and Caron's Paducah City Directory for the Years 1935-1936]. The listing on p.754 in the 1933 directory had the following breakdown: International Shoe Company; 8 shoe dealers-retailers; 16 shoe repairers; and 3 shoe shiners. James E. Roberts, Othello J. Tanner, and Olin Taylor were the African American shoe repairers, along with shoe shiners James R. Curry and Harry Reeves. In the 1935 directory, listed on pp.801-802, was the International Shoe Company; 10 shoe dealers-retailers; 17 shoe repairers; and 1 shoe shiner. Andrew Mooring, James E. Roberts, Jr., and Othello J. Tanner were African American shoe repairers, and Thomas O. Cothran was a shoe shiner. By 1939, the race notation was once again in the Paducah city directory with the symbol © by the names of African Americans, though, there was no notation of race under the headings for "SHOES" in the business section of the directory [source: The Baldwin, Billings and Young Paducah, Kentucky Con Survey Directory, Master Edition, v.2, 1939, p.74]. Listed was the International Shoe Company; 11 persons or businesses that repaired shoes; and 12 shoe dealers-retailers. Race would no longer be noted in the business section of the Paducah city directories in reference to "SHOES". For the year 1940, the U.S. Census was used to identify the 6 African American repairers, and 8 shoe shiners. In 1941, under the heading for "SHOES" was the International Shoe Company; 8 shoe dealers-retailers; and 9 shoe repairers including African Americans J. E. Roberts and J. B. Pursley [source: p.840 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1941-1942]. The 1941 listing did not include African American Roy L. Morphis whose name is listed on p.421 in the directory. Several years after WWII, the shoe business in Paducah continued at about the same rate as before the war, though there were few African Americans in the business. Listed in the city directory was the International Shoe Company; 7 shoe dealers-retailers; and 12 shoe repairers, one of whom was African American Clayborn B. Frazier [p.116 & p.543 in Caron's Paducah (McCracken County, KY.) City Directory, vol. XVIII, 1947]. More than 10 years later, in 1959, there was still the International Shoe Company; 11 shoe dealers-retailers; 8 shoe repairers; and 1 shoe shiner, all listed on p.88 in Caron's Paducah (McCracken County, KY.) City Directory 1959. In the table below are the names of many African Americans who were in the shoe business in Paducah, KY, from at least 1880 up to 1949. Many of these men were born in Tennessee, and a few migrated to Chicago, IL where they found employment other than the shoe business. James E. Roberts, Jr. was one of the few shoe repairers to migrate out of Kentucky and carry on the trade; he left Kentucky in 1939 for Kansas City, MO where he taught shoe repairing as a trade. For those who remained in Paducah, there were several shoemakers and repairers who stayed in the business for 20 years or more: Saunders Alexander, 30 years; Clayborn Frazier, 27 years; James B. Pursley, 25 years; James E. Roberts (Sr.), 33 years; Robert Taylor, 34 years; Phillip Williams, 32 years, and shoe shiner Grant Dollar, 20 years. For most of the shoe shiners, porters, and janitors, the work was a short-term gig before moving on to more lucrative employment.

 

* Neither the letter "c" nor a "dot" were used to note African American persons in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929; Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934; and Caron's Paducah City Directory for the Years 1935-1936.

 

NAME BUSINESS LOCATION YEAR SOURCES NOTES
Saunders Alexander (1849-1912) Shoemaker Jackson Street 1880 U.S. Census Kentucky Death Certificate File No.2136, Registered No.9
Sandy Alexander (1849-1912) Shoemaker 922 Broadway 1904 p.360 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904  
Sandy Alexander (1849-1912) Shoemaker 922 Broadway 1906 p.54 & p.621 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Sandy Alexander (1849-1912) Shoemaker 117 S. 9th Street 1908 p.54 & p.630 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
Sandy Alexander (1849-1912) Shoe Repairer - Owns Shop 119 S. 9th Street 1910 U.S. Census & p.54 & p.661 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11  
Sam Allen (b.1886) Shoemaker - Owns Shop 158 Woodward Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.701 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
S. J. Allen (b.1886) Shoemaker 158 Woodward Street 1922 p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
S. J. Allen (b.1886) Shoe Repairer 158 Woodward Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Sam J. Allen (b.1886) Cobbler, Shoe Repairer 222 7th Street 1930 U.S. Census & p.843 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1930-1931 Worked for Stout Construction in 1940 (U.S. Census)
Parish Anderson (b.1875) Owns Shoe Shop   1930 U.S. Census  
James Armstrong, Jr. (1896-1970) porter at Cochran Shoe Co. ss Rudy Avenue w of 13th 1914 p.53 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915 Find A Grave
George Bailey Shoemaker 821 N. 7th Street 1904 p.39 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904  
George B. Bailey Shoemaker at William Thompson 521 Campbell Street 1906 p.67 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
George Bailey Shoemaker at J. E. Roberts 601 Trimble Street 1908 p.66 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
George B. Bailey Shoemaker at Alabama Shoe Shop owned by C. E. Pearson 512 N. 12th Street 1916 p.60 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Henry F. Bailey Shoe Shiner 14th Street 1924 p.71 & p.715 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
H. F. Bailey Shoe Shiner 14th Street 1926 p.762 & p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
H. F. Bailey Shoe Shiner 14th Street 1928 p.819 in Caron's Paducah KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Bane Barton (1873-1965) Shoe Repairer - Owns Shop 1315 S. 9th Street 1920 U. S. Census & p.74 & p.701 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 U.S. Social Security Death Index, Died in IL.
Bane Barton (1873-1965) Shoe Repairer - Owner of Economy Shoe Shop 706 S. 6th Street 1922 p.183 & p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Benjamin Barton (1873-1965) Shoe Repairer 512 Norton Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Bane Barton (1873-1965) Shoe Repairer 512 Norton Street 1926 p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 Bank porter in 1930 U.S. Census
James Bell (b.1897) Boot Black 819 Jones Street 1910 U.S. Census Born in TN
Lark Bingham (b.1863) Shoemaker 432 N. 12th Street 1912 p.83 & p.681 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1912-13 Born in TN
Alex Black Shoe Repairer 1209 12th Street 1930 p.102 & p.817 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Sylvester Boyd (1893-1959) Shoe Repairer at Benjamin Barton Shop 504 Elizabeth Street 1924 p.106 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 59-17657, Registrar's No. 415
Sylvester Boyd (1893-1959) Cobbler - Shoe Shop   1930 U.S. Census Co-owner of Boyd & Willis Restaurant in 1926, p.107 in  Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927
Curlie Britt Shoe Shiner at Arcade Hatters 506 Broadway 1924 p.113 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Arthur Brown (b.1892) Wagon Shoe Shiner - Barber Shop   1910 U.S. Census  
Charles Brown (b.1891) Boot Black at Shoe Shine Parlor   1910 U.S. Census  
Charles Brown Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bros (billiards) 404 Broadway 1930 p.127 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
George W. Brown (1921-1987) Shoe Shiner - Barber Shop   1940 U.S. Census U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index
Thomas Buffalo Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bros (billiards) 404 Broadway 1930 p.135 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
George Bursey (1895-1973) Shoemaker 514 S. 11th Street 1922 p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923 Born in TN or Alabama, WWI Draft Card & 1930 U.S. Census. Died in MI. U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index.
George Bursey (1895-1973) Shoe Repairer 514 S. 11th Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Ellis Bynum (b.1903) Porter - Shoe Store   1920 U.S. Census Born in TN.
Mitchell Caldwell (1874-1938) Shoemaker 1005 N. 7th Street 1920 p.117 & p.701 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Find A Grave
Mitchell Caldwell (1874-1938) Shoe Repairer 1006 N. 10th Street 1922 p.121 & p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Mitchell Caldwell (1874-1938) Shoe Repairer 1007 Findlay Avenue 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Mitchell Caldwell (1874-1938) Shoe Repairer 1007 Findlay Avenue 1926 p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Robert Caldwell (b.1857) Shoemaker - Owner of Paducah Shoeing Shop [Blacksmith] 7th Street 1900 1900 U.S. Census & p.59 in City Directory of Paducah, KY. 1902 Horse Shoes. Husband of Hattie B. Caldwell.
Robert Caldwell, Sr. (1872-1917) Shoemaker Adams Street 1900 U.S. Census Father of Robert Caldwell, Jr. Husband of Maggie Caldwell.
Kentucky Death Certificate File No.23204, Registered No.379.
Find A Grave
Robert T. Caldwell, Sr. (1872-1917) Shoemaker 720 Washington Street 1902 p.59 in City Directory of Paducah, KY. 1902

R. T. Caldwell, Sr. (1872-1917) Shoemaker 432 N. 12th Street 1916 p.675 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Robert Caldwell, Jr. (b.1893) Shoemaker at J. A. Rudy & Sons 715 S. 7th Street 1917 WWI Draft Registration Card Son of Maggie and Robert Caldwell, Sr. Husband of Isola Caldwell.
Henry Carman (1896-1957) Shoemaker at J. B. Pursley 1126 Jones Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.120 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 57-14852, Registrar's No.4030. Died in Louisville, KY.
Henry D. Carman (1896-1957) Shoe Repairer 1126 Jones Street 1926 p.138 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Henry D. Carman (1896-1957) Shoe Repairer at J. B. Pursley 1126 Jones Street 1928 p.155 in Caron's Paducah KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Arthur Carter (b.1844) Shoemaker 92 Trimble Street 1880 U.S. Census Born in GA. Brother-in-law to Robert Taylor. In 1885, he was a janitor, civil service, in the Paducah courthouse [source: U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, July 1, 1885, p.235]
Fester Cockrell Shoemaker at J. A. Rudy & Sons 715 S. 7th Street 1916 p.127 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Thomas Cothran (b.1907) Shoe Shiner 700 S. Third Street 1924 p.169 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Thomas O. Cothran (b.1907) Shoe Shiner 614 Tennessee Street 1930 p.157 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Thomas O. Cothran (b.1907) Shoe Shiner at Re-Nu Shoe Shop 408 Kelly's Alley 1935 p.159 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1935-1936  
Henry Couch Shoe Shiner at Henry Bailey 1410 Clay Street 1926 p.173 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Vincent Cunningham (1915-1969) Boot Black at Shoe Shining Parlor   1940 U.S. Census Born in MO. Kentucky Death Index.
James Curry Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bros 1238 Monroe 1930 p.204 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
James R. Curry Shoe Shiner at George's Place 220 N. 13th Street 1933 p.164 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934  
William Daniels (b.1894) Boot Black at Louis Caporal 515 S. 8th Street 1916 p.148 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
William B. Daniels (b.1894) Shoe Shiner at Louis Caporal 515 S. 8th Street 1922 p.161 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923 Migrated north and was working for the Pontiac Motor Co. in Pontiac, MI in 1942 [source: WWII Draft Registration Card].
Rufus Danison (b.1899) Shoemaker   1920 U.S. Census Born in Nova Scotia {may be in TN}.
Lawrence D. Davis (b.1908) Shoe shiner 1401 Rudy Avenue 1928 p.215 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Lawrence Davis (b.1908) Shoe Shiner at Re-Nu Shoe Shop 1401 Rudy Avenue 1930 p.210 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Herman Dinwiddie (1910-1972) Shoe Shiner 1033 Washington Street 1926 p.201 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 U.S. Social Security Death Index. Died in Chicago.
Herman Dinwiddie (1910-1972) Porter - Shoe Parlor   1930 U.S. Census  
Herman Dinwiddie (1910-1972) Shoe Repairer - Shoe Shop   1940 U.S. Census  
Edward R. Dixon (b.1904) Shoe Shiner 132 S. 11th Street 1920 p.167 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
Grant Dollar (1878-1947) Boot Black   1920 U.S. Census Kentucky Death Certificate File No.28571, Registrar's No.617 [Name given as Mont E. Dollar on death certificate].
Grant Dollar (1878-1947) Shoe Shiner 620 Adams 1922 p.172 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Grant Dollar (1878-1947) Shoe Shiner 1048 Washington Street 1926 p.203 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Grant Dollar (1878-1947) Shoe Shiner 302 S. 9th Street 1928 p.228 in Caron's Paducah KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Grant Dollar (1878-1947) Boot Black - Owns Business   1930 U.S. Census  
Grant Dollar (1878-1947) Boot Black   1940 U.S. Census  
Willie Douglas (b.1904) Boot Black - Shoe Shop   1920 U.S. Census Born in TN.
John Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker - Owns Shop   1900 U.S. Census Born in MD. Find A Grave
John P. Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker 711 Adams Street 1904 p.360 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904  
John P. Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker 443 S. 7th Street 1906 p.182 & p.621 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
J. P. Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker 711 Adams Street 1908 p.631 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
John P. Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker / Repairer - Owns Shop 711 Adams Street 1910 U.S. Census & p.183 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11  
J. P. Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker 713 Adams Street 1912 p.681 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1912-13  
J. P. Fisher (1855-1915) Shoemaker 711 Adams Street 1914 p.717 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915  
Milton Fitzgerald (1910-1962) Shoe Shiner 1045 Washington Street 1926 p.237 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 62 11535, Registrar's No.320
Oscar Franklin Shoe Shiner 907 Washington Street 1922 p.208 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Clayborn Frazer (1889-1953) Shoe Repairer - Owns Shop 924 Husbands Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 53 3720, Registrar's No.81
C. B. Frazier (1889-1953) Shoe Repairer 924 Husbands Street 1922 p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
C. B. Frazier (1889-1953) Shoe Repairer 924 Husbands Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Clayborn Frazer (1889-1953) Shoe Repairer 1117 Murrell Boulevard 1926 p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Clayborn Frazier (1889-1953) Shoe Repairer 1117 Murrell Boulevard 1930 U.S. Census & p.271 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Clayborn B. Frazier (1889-1953) Shoe Repairer 802 Caldwell 1947 p.116 in Caron's Paducah (McCracken County, KY.) City Directory vol. 1947  
Ora Gaines (1896-1950) Shoemaker at J. A. Rudy & Sons   1917 WWI Draft Registration Card Find A Grave
Orine Gaines (1896-1950) Shoemaker - Owns Shop   1920 U.S. Census  
Mayo Gentry (1910-1981) Shoe Shiner at J. A. Morton 632 Jackson Street 1926 p.257 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 U.S. Social Security Death Index. Died in Washing, D.C.
H. L. Griffin Shoemaker 1023 S. 3rd Street 1906 p.621 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Henry L. Griffin Shoemaker 1001 S. 8th Street 1908 p.213 & p.631 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
Louis Harris (b.1901) Shoemaker - Repair Shop City Jail 1930 U.S. Census Inmate in the city jail.
Shredric Harris (b.1901) Shoemaker - Shoe Shop   1920 U.S. Census  
John Haynes Shoemaker 217 S. 7th Street 1908 p.631 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
Lonzo Hendon Shoe Shiner at J. A. Rudy & Sons 924 Findlay Street 1924 p.300 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Artell Hester (1907-1925) Shoe Shiner at Henry Bailey Shop 612 N. 14th Street 1924 p.303 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.10205, Registered No.148
Allen Holman Shoemaker 903 Trimble Street 1906 p.243 & p.621 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Allen Holman Shoemaker 903 Trimble Street 1908 p.631 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
Allen Hollman Shoemaker 812 Harris Street 1910 p.249 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11  
Claude Hughes (1896-1923) Shoemaker at T. H. Callahan Co. 622 Jackson Street 1914 p.271 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915 Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.23410,
Claude Hughes (1896-1923) Shoemaker - Shoe Factory   1920 U.S. Census  
Claude Hughes (1896-1923) Shoemaker at T. H. Callahan 405 S. 7th Street 1922 p.280 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Kermit Hughes (b.1914) Shoe Shiner - Barber Shop   1940 U.S. Census Born in TN.
Marcella Hunter Shoe Shiner 1000 S. 6th Street 1920 p.275 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
Ben Huston (b.1854) Shoemaker 123 Harrison Street 1880 U.S. Census  
Edgar Johnson Shoe Repairer at Economy Shoe Shop 710 S. 8th Street 1922 p.296 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Everett Johnson Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bros & Co. 615 S. 15th Street 1926 p.357 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Henry Knight (b.1864) Shoe Repairer 501 N. 12th Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.309 & p.702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Born in TN.
Henry Knight (b.1864) Shoe Repairer 501 N. 12th Street 1922 p.318 & p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Henry Knight (b.1864) Shoe Repairer 501 N. 12th Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Henry Knight (b.1864) Shoe Repairer 1209 Harrison Street 1926 p.383 & p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Charles H. Lee (b.1907) Shoe Shiner - Parlor   1920 U.S. Census  
Robert Lewis (1857-1926) Shoemaker 1365 Murrell Boulevard 1916 p.675 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917 Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.23644, Registered No.415 / Wife Agnes
Robert Lewis (1857-1926) Shoemaker 432 N. 12th Street 1918 p.622 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1918-1919  
Robert Lewis (1857-1926) Shoemaker 513 N. 13th Street 1920 p.702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
Robert Lewis (1857-1926) Shoe Repairer 609 N. 13th Street 1922 p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Robert Lewis (b.1902) Shoe Shiner - Re-Nu Shoe Shop 733 Jackson Street 1930 p.433 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931 Born in TN.
Robert Lewis (b.1902) Shoe Shiner - Re-Nu Shoe Shop 403 Broadway 1939 p.466 & p.532 in The Baldwin, Billings and Young Paducah, Kentucky Con Survey Directory, Master Edition, v.2, 1939  
Robert Lewis (b.1902) Porter - Shoe Shop   1940 Census  
Richard Anderson "R. A." Logan (1871-1941) Porter - Shoe Store   1910 U.S. Census Kentucky Death Certificate File No.24984, Registrar's No.453
Find A Grave
J. R. McDonald Shoemaker 416 S. 13th Street 1916 p.675 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Harold McElwain (b.1921) Shoe Shiner - Barber Shop   1940 U.S. Census  
Elmo McKendrick (1900-1942) Shoe Shiner at J. A. Rudy & Sons / Boot Black Broadway 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card & p.309 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1918-1919 Born in TN. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index. Died in Chicago.
Elmo McKendrick (1900-1942) Shoe Shiner at J. A. Rudy & Sons   1920 U.S. Census & p.353 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
Bennie McReynolds (1903-1932) Shoe Shiner & Barber   1920 U.S. Census Kentucky Death Certificate File No.12168, Registered No.227
George Mekes Shoe Repairer 1046 Broadway 1922 p.721 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
George Mekes Shoe Repairer 1046 Broadway 1924 p.430 & p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925 Listed with a "c" [for colored] in the 1924 city directory, he may have been from Greece, Hungry, or some other European country.
George Mekes Shoe Repairer 1046 Broadway 1926 p.452 & p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Andrew Mooring (1878-1936) Shoe Repairer 708 Washington Street 1928 p.513 in Caron's Paducah KY. City Directory for 1928-1929 Born in TN.  [Last name misspelled "Mowens.] Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index. Died in Chicago.
Andy Mooring (1878-1936) Shoemaker - Owns Shop   1930 U.S. Census  
Andrew Mooring (1878-1936) Shoe Repairer 717 Washington Street 1935 p.426 in Caron's Paducah City Directory for the Years 1935-1936  
Oddie Morphis (1892-1972) Shoe Repairer at J. E. Roberts 826 N. 8th Street 1920 p.373 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Age from WWI Draft Registration Card. U.S. Social Security Death Index. Died in Louisville, KY
Roy L. Morphis (b.1918) Shoe Repairer - Shoe Shop   1940 U.S. Census  
Roy L. Morphis (b.1918) Shoe Repairer at J. E. Roberts   1941 p.424 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1941-1942  
Noble Morris (b.1901) Boot Black at Barker School   1920 U.S. Census  
Vernell Nailing (1905-1982) Boot Black - Shoe Shop   1920 U.S. Census Cook County, Illinois Death Index. Died in Chicago
Abram Oates (1913-1992) Shoe Shiner   1940 U.S. Census Born in TN. Kentucky Death Index. Died in Louisville, KY.
Elzee Ogleby (b.1895) Porter - Shoe Store   1910 U.S. Census  
Scott T. Overton (1859-1914) Shoemaker 1024 S. 10th Street 1904 p.362 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.2015, Registered No.60
Scott T. Overton (1859-1914) Shoemaker 631 S. 8th Street 1908 p.631 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
Scott T. Overton (1859-1914) Shoemaker 704 S. 8th Street 1912 p.681 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1912-13  
C. E. Pearson (b.1868) Shoemaker - owner of Alabama Shoe Shop 512 N. 12th Street 1914 p.717 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915 Born in AL.
C. E. Pearson (b.1868) Shoemaker - owner of Alabama Shoe Shop 512 N. 12th Street 1916 p.46 & p.675  in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Charles E. Pierson (b.1868) Shoe Repairer - owner of Alabama Shoe Shop 512 N. 12th Street 1920 U.S. Census & 702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
Charles E. Pearson (b.1868) shoe Repairer 512 N. 12th Street 1922 p.418 & p.722 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Commodore Pryor (1907-1942) Shoe Shiner 1424 Murrell Blvd. 1930 p.569 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.16626, Registrar's No.3081(?)
J. B. Pursley (1883-1954) Shoemaker 723 S. 8th Street 1916 p.675 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917 Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 54 7692, Registrar's No.209
J. B. Pursley (1883-1954) Shoemaker 723 S. 8th Street 1918 p.622 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1918-1919  
Bert Pursley (1883-1954) Shoe Repairer - Owns Shoe Shop 617 S. 8th Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
J. B. Pursley (1883-1954) Shoe Repairer 617 S. 8th Street 1922 p.722 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
J. B. Pursley (1883-1954) Shoe Repairer 617 S. 8th Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
James B. Pursley (1883-1954) Shoe Repairer 617 S. 8th Street 1926 p.535 & p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
J. Burt Pursley (1883-1954) Shoe Repairer 623 S. 8th Street 1939 p.527 in The Baldwin, Billings and Young Paducah, Kentucky Con Survey Directory, Master Edition, volume 2, 1939  
J. B. Pursley (1883-1954) Shoe Repairer 617 S. 8th Street 1941 p.233, p.690, p.840 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1941-1942  
Harry L. Reeves (1906-1995) Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bro. & Co. 609 N. 13th Street 1926 p.546 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 Find A Grave
Harry Reeves (1906-1995) Shoe Shiner 609 N. 13th Street 1928 p.593 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Harry L. Reeves (1906-1995) Shoe Shiner 609 N. 13th Street 1930 p.582 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931  
Harry Reeves (1906-1995) Shoe Shiner 609 N. 13th Street 1933 p.464 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934  
Wesley Render (1904-1960) Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bro. & Co. 1035 Washington Street 1922 p.443 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923 Family Trees in Ancestry.com
Wesley Reynolds Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bro. & Co. 1035 Washington Street 1922 p.444 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Mack Riley (b.1894) Shoemaker & Repairer 217 S. 7th Street 1910 U.S. Census & p.413 & p.661 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11 Born in NC.
William M. Riley Shoe Repairer 1124 Madison Street 1906 p.400, p.602, & p.621 Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Howard Roberts (b.1899) Shoe Repairer at J. E. Roberts 1308 Madison Street 1916 p.421 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Howard Jones Roberts (b.1899) Shoe Repairer at J. E. Roberts 705 Trimble Street 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card  
Howard Roberts (b.1899) Shoemaker Helper   1920 U.S. Census  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 601 Trimble Street 1908 p.404 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9 Father of James E. Roberts, Jr. (1913-1999). Kentucky Death Certificate File No.18538, Registrar's No.389.
Find A Grave
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 601 Trimble Street 1910 p.416 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 705 Trimble Street 1912 p.426 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1912-13  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 705 Trimble Street 1914 p.446 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 705 Trimble Street 1916 p.675 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
James Eddie Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker - Self Employed 705 Trimble Street 1918 WWI Draft Registration Card  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker - Owns Shop 705 Trimble Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.437 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 705 Trimble Street 1922 p.452 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoemaker 705 Trimble Street 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoe Repairer 705 Trimble Street 1926 p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoe Repairer 705 Park Avenue 1928 p.606 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
[James] Eddie Roberts (1881-1947) Shoe Repairer - Owns Shop   1930 U.S. Census  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoe Repairer at T. H. Callahan Co.   1933 p.475 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoe Repairer- Owner of Roberts Shoe Hospital 828 N. 8th Street 1939 p.537 in The Baldwin, Billings and Young Paducah, Kentucky Con Survey Directory, Master Edition, volume 2, 1939  
James E. Roberts (1881-1947) Shoe Repairer 826 N. 8th Street 1941 p.502 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1941-1942  
James E. Roberts, Jr. (1913-1999) Shoe Repairer at J. E. Roberts 705 Trimble Street 1926 p.558 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 Son of James E. Roberts (1881-1947). U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index. Died in Kansas City, MO.
James E. Roberts Jr. (1913-1999) Shoe Repairer at J. E. Roberts 705 Park Avenue 1928 p.606 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
James E. Roberts, Jr. (1913-1999) Shoe Repairer 828 N. 8th Street 1935 p.504 in Caron's Paducah City Directory for the Years 1935-1936  
James E. Roberts, Jr. (1913-1999) Shoe Repairer at Roberts Shoe Hospital 828 N. 8th Street 1939 p.537 in The Baldwin, Billings and Young Paducah, Kentucky Con Survey Directory, Master Edition, volume 2, 1939 Lived in Paducah, KY, then moved to Kansas City, MO where he taught shoe repairing [source: 1940 Census].
Henry Russell (b.1866) Boot Black   1880 U.S. Census  
Sanford Rogers (b.1869) Shoemaker 311 S. 3rd Street 1904 p.270 & p.362 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904  
Arnold Sansberry (1896-1981) Shoemaker at T. H. Callahan Co. 609 S. 7th Street 1914 p.467 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915 Born in IL. Kentucky Death Index. Died in Louisville, KY.
Charles Smith Shoe Shiner 806 Washington Street 1924 p.573 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Otis Stigger (1913-1966) Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bros 316 N. 14th Street 1930 U.S. Census & p.664 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1930-1931 Kentucky Death Index
Find A Grave
Otis Stigger (1913-1966) Shoe Shiner 827 Washington Street 1949 p.334 in Caron's Paducah (McCracken County, KY.) City Directory 1949  
Eugene Stewart (1912-1936) Shoe Shiner at J. A. Rudy & Sons 350 S. 7th Street 1926 p.626 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.14420, Registered No.227
Otis Stone (1923-1946) Shoe Shiner - Shoe Shop   1940 U.S. Census Kentucky Death Index
Find A Grave
Otho J. Tanner (1865-1940) Cobbler - Owns Shop 606 Jackson Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Born in OH. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.15382, Registrar's No.332 [name filed as Rev. O. J. Tanner]
Othello J. Tanner (1865-1940) Shoe Repairer 617 Jackson Street 1926 p.639 & p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Othello J. Tanner (1865-1940) Shoe Repairer 812 S. 5th Street 1928 p.690 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Othello J. Tanner (1865-1940) Cobbler - Owns Shop   1930 U.S. Census  
Othello J. Tanner (1865-1940) Shoe Repairer 812 S. 5th Street 1933 p.544 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934  
Othello J. Tanner (1865-1940) Shoe Repairer 812 S. 5th Street 1935 p.577 in Caron's Paducah City Directory for the Years 1935-1936  
Charles Tate Shoe Shiner at Arcade Hatters 506 Broadway 1924 p.603 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Ollin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoemaker 1024 Caldwell Street 1916 p.675 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917 Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.7676, Registered No.111
Ollin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoemaker 1022-1024 Caldwell Street 1918 p.622 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1918-1919  
Ollin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoe Repairer - Owns Shop rear 1201 Murrell Boulevard 1920 U.S. Census & p.702 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921  
Ollin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoe Repairer rear 1201 Murrell Boulevard 1922 p.722 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Olin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoe Repairer rear 1201 Murrell Boulevard 1924 p.835 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Olin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoe Repairer 1201 Murrell Boulevard 1926 p.641 & p.886 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Kentucky for 1926-1927  
Olin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoe Repairer 1201 Murrell Boulevard 1928 p.840 & p.926 in Caron's Paducah, KY. City Directory for 1928-1929  
Olin Taylor (1850-1935) Shoe Repairer 1201 Murrell Boulevard 1933 p.743 in Caron's Paducah, Ky. City Directory for 1933-1934  
Robert Taylor (b.1852) Shoemaker 92 Trimble Street 1880 U.S. Census Brother-in-law to Arthur Carter
Robert Taylor (b.1852) Shoemaker at Sandy Alexander 922 Broadway 1906 p.460 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Robert Taylor (b.1852) Shoemaker 624 S. 9th Street 1910 p.476 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11  
Robert Taylor (b.1852) Shoemaker at J. E. Roberts 705 Trimble Street 1912 p.489 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1912-13  
Robert Taylor (b.1852) Shoemaker at Alabama Shoe Shop 512 N. 12th Street 1914 p.516 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1914-1915  
William Thompson Shoemaker 521 Campbell Street 1902 p.275 in City Directory of Paducah, KY. 1902  
William Thompson Shoemaker 601 Trimble Street 1904 p.362 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904  
William Thompson Shoemaker 521 Campbell Street 1906 p.466 n Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Clarence W. Tooley (1904-1994) Shoemaker at T. H. Callahan 515 S. 9th Street 1920 U.S. Census & p.515 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Born in TN.
Find A Grave
William James Ussery (1904-1955) Porter - Shoe Store   1920 U.S. Census Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.116 55 23394, Registrar's No.500
William James Ussery (1904-1955) Shoe Shiner at Prenos Bro. & Co. 1334 Madison Street 1922 p.540 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
James Vincent Shoe Shiner at Arcade Hatters 506 Broadway 1922 p.545 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Palmer Warren (b.1910) Shoe Repairer at T. H. Callahan 1405 Clay Street 1924 p.648 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1924-1925  
Moses A. Watts (1872-1940) Porter - Shoe Store   1920 U.S. Census Born in IL. Kentucky Death Index.
Find A Grave
Sam Webb (1907-1935) Shoe Shiner - Shoe Parlor   1920 U.S. Census Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.7662, Registered No.110
William Whittaker (b.1872) Janitor at Int. Shoe Co. 826 N. 10th Street 1922 p.570 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1922-1923  
Ellis Whittemore (1902-1929) Shoe Shiner 1405 1/2 S. 4th Street 1920 p.550 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1920-1921 Kentucky Death Certificate File No.32748, Registered No.570
Ernest Wilkinson Boot Black 913 N. 8th Street 1916 p.534 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1916--1917  
Phillip Williams (1854-1916) Cobbler   1880 U.S. Census Born in TN. Kentucky Death Certificate File No.8494, Registered No.117.
Find A Grave
Phillip Williams (1854-1916) Shoemaker 1337 S. 10th Street 1904 p.335 & p.362 in Ashton's Directory of Paducah, Kentucky 1904  
Phillip Williams (1854-1916) Shoemaker 722 S. 5th Street 1906 p.621 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1906-7  
Phillip Williams (1854-1916) Shoemaker 722 S. 5th Street 1908 p.631 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1908-9  
Phillip Williams (1854-1916) Shoemaker 1001 S. 8th Street 1910 p.530 & p.661 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah for 1910-11  
Phillip Williams (1854-1916) Shoemaker 1001 S. 8th Street 1912 p.576 & p.681 in Caron's Directory of the City of Paducah, Ky. for 1912-13  
W. Lee Wright (b.1911) Shoe Shiner - Barber Shop   1940 U.S. Census  

Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois

Bradley, Mollie McFarland [Midway Colored School]
Birth Year : 1933
Mollie M. Bradley is a historian and writer who was born in Jefferson City, TN, the daughter of Leroy and Emma Cunningham McFarland. She is past matron of Cecelia Dunlap Grand Chapter, O.E.S., P.H.A. She is the author of A Bright Star: a biography of Cecelia Dunlap, and she wrote several articles for the Order of Eastern Star publication The Phyllis Magazine. The magazine is the voice of the Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society, PHA Inc., which was organized in 1983, and Mollie Bradley served as the first executive secretary. The Phyllis Chapter of the Phylaxis Society, PHA Inc. researches and studies the history of the Prince Hall Eastern Stars. Mollie Bradley is also a contributing writer for The Woodford Sun during Black History Month; her husband had been the Black History Month contributing writer, and after he died in 2004, Mollie Bradley took over the writing of the articles. Though born in Tennessee, Mollie Bradley was raised in Bourbon County, KY, by her aunt and uncle, Jennie P. Harris and Reverend James C. Harris, pastor of Zion Baptist Church [previously part of the African Baptist Church] in Paris, KY. Mollie Bradley is a graduate of Western High School in Paris, KY, and Central State University, where she majored in journalism. She was the wife of the late Walter T. Bradley, Jr. from Midway, KY; they owned the first laundrette in that city. Customers could leave laundry to be cleaned and folded, and the laundry would be ready to be picked up later in the day. Customers could also do their own laundry. Three washers and three dryers were available with a cost of 25 cents per wash load and 10 cents per dry cycle. The laundrette was located in the building that the couple owned and lived in, which had been the Midway Colored School, located in Hadensville from 1911-1954. The school had grades 1-8. Prior to being used as a school, the building was home to the Colored Baptist Church [later named Pilgrim Baptist Church], which had 900 members. The church building was constructed in 1872 by the Lehman Brothers, a German Company. The congregation outgrew the building and it was sold to Woodford County in 1911 to be used as the Colored School. In 1936, it was sold to the Midway Board of Education and became the Midway Elementary School for Colored children. In 1954, the school was closed and the children were bused to Simmons School in Versailles, KY. The Bradleys purchased the school building in 1959. They leased space within the building to a number of businesses, including a beauty shop and a shoe shop. There had also been a lodge hall, lodge offices, and apartments. Mollie Bradley also taught piano lessons; her mission was to provide lessons to those who wanted to learn but could not afford piano lessons. Her husband, Walter T. Bradley, Jr., and their sons also played the piano. On June 25, 2011, the Midway Colored School was honored with a Kentucky Historical Society Marker. Mollie M. Bradley is a member of the Midway Women's Club. For more information read the press release, KHS to Dedicate Historical Marker to Honor Midway Colored School, 06/13/ 2011, a Kentucky.gov web page.

Access Interview Read about the Mollie M. Bradley oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.

Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Communities, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Jefferson City, Tennessee / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Hadensville in MIdway, Woodford County, Kentucky

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

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

Britt, Allen [Frankie and Johnny]
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1899
Allen Britt was born in Kentucky, according to his death certificate. It is believed that he is the character referred to as Johnny in the popular song Frankie and Johnny. The song, composed by Bill Dooley, was originally titled Frankie and Al (or Albert), until Britt's father became enraged that his son's name was being used in the song, and the name Johnny was used instead. Allen Britt was a piano player, he was shot on October 15, 1899, and died a few days later at the City Hospital in St. Louis, MO. He is buried in an unmarked grave in St. Peter's Cemetery in St. Louis. Britt was shot by his girlfriend, Frankie Baker (1876-1952), after the two got into a fight. Britt's name is also given as Albert in some sources. He was the son and only child of George and Nancy Britt (both from Tennessee), the family had moved to St. Louis in 1891. Frankie Baker, born in St. Louis, was acquitted of shooting Allen Britt and she left St. Louis, eventually settling in Portland, OR, where she shined shoes for a living. She had two unsuccessful law suits, one against Mae West and Paramount Pictures for the use of her name in the film She Done Him Wrong, and in 1938, she sued Republic Pictures for their 1936 film Frankie and Johnny. After Baker lost the suit, Republic Pictures claimed ownership of the story. Frankie Baker became sick later in life and also suffered from mental illness. She was placed in the East Oregon Hospital where she died. Frankie Baker and Allen Britt's families did not benefit from the popularity of the story "Frankie and Johnny." The tale has been song on commercial phonograph recordings and records, presented in plays, minstrels, in literature, newspaper articles, poems, paintings, ballets, movies, and all other mediums. For more see Hoecakes, Hambone, and All that Jazz by R. M. Nolen; Body and Soul by P. Stanfield; and The Devil's Music by G. Oakley.



See photo image of Frankie Baker on p.52 in Jet, 01/24/1952.



Listen to Frankie and Johnnie by Ethel Waters on YouTube.
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Cobb, Lewis Arthur Gill "Shoe Shine"
Birth Year : 1966
Death Year : 2009
Lewis Cobb was a modern day, professional shoe shiner who promoted his business in downtown Lexington, KY. [His first name has also been written as Louis in various articles.] Cobb was well known by business owners and others who worked or frequented the downtown area. It was a rare sight to see an African American shoe shiner soliciting business on the streets of Lexington in the 21st Century, most had disappeared during the early decades of the 1900s [1907 picture of African American shoe shiner on Lexington street]. Shoe making and repairs, and shoe care had been predominately slave trades in Kentucky prior to the Civil War. After slavery ended in Kentucky with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, African American shoe makers were abundant in Lexington. By the 1930s, there were more than one hundred African Americans in Lexington who earned a living as self-employed shoe shiners and repairers, or they were employed within businesses such as cleaners, barbershops, hat shops, horse industry businesses, train and bus stations, and shoe stores. When Lewis Cobb started his shoe shine business in Lexington, it was said that he could be controversial, often humble, and offered a bit of philosophy, therapy, and spiritual inspiration while shining an individual's shoes. Not everyone welcomed Cobb's presence and when authorities received complaints, Cobb was ticketed by the police for operating his business without a peddler's license. With the help of attorney Gaitwood Galbraith, the charges were dropped; shoe shiners are not peddlers. But that did not prevent Cobb from receiving tickets for jaywalking and other infractions. Over time, Cobb refined his approach toward potential customers, the ticketing eventually stopped, and Cobb became well known in downtown Lexington. Lewis Cobb had learned the shoe shine business from a professional shoe shiner in Washington, D. C who also went by the name "Shoe Shine". Cobb had moved to D.C. from Virginia. He lived in Virginia for ten years and while there he established Cobb's Cleaning Service. Prior to living in Virginia, he had earned a college degree in North Carolina. Cobb was a native of Lexington and graduated from Bryan Station High School. He grew up in the Charlotte Court housing projects [now the Arbor Grove neighborhood]. In 2002, Lewis Cobb returned to Kentucky from D.C. and began his shoe shine business that summer. Two years later, he met Erin McAnallen-Wilson, a University of Kentucky student who completed a documentary about Cobb's life. The film, Can't Stop the Shine, was shown at the Kentucky Theatre in downtown Lexington on May 25, 2006. Lewis Cobb was the son of Betty Beatty and William A. Cobb. Information about his life was provided by his sisters Velma Johnson, Valois Lewis, and Arletta Taylor. Articles about Lewis Cobb include C. Thompson, "Shoeshine pro becomes subject of documentary," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/23/2006, section D, p.1; and J. Brammer, "Shoeshine, well-known in downtown Lexington is remembered as a character," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/12/2009, City/Region section, p. A3.
Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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


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

Duncan, Laval T.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1979
Duncan was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Henry, a shoemaker, and Cora Duncan. In 1934 he joined the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company in Louisville and by 1950 had become its vice president and treasurer. He was also on the board of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; the Laval T. Duncan Papers at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; and Laval T. Duncan in the Community Hospital Records finding aid in the Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Embry, Jordan A.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1972
Jordan Embry was a jazz musician and the leader of the Jordan Embry Band. He was born in Richmond, KY, and for a while lived in Richmond, IN, where he owned a shoe shining parlor at 911 Main Street [source: World War I Draft Registration Card]. Jordan Embry was the son of July Embry, and in 1900, the family of three was listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living on B Street in Richmond, KY. His sister, Cordelia Embry, was a teacher at the Rosenwald School in Richmond, KY [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. Jordan Embry returned to Kentucky after World War I, and in the 1940s Clarence "Duke" Madison joined his band. The band, referred to as an orchestra, had been named Jordan Embry and His Big Blue Entertainers in 1930 when they played at the Rose Garden on Russell Cave Pike in Lexington, KY [source: "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 07/09/1930, p. 11]. The following year, the Lexington city authorities gave permission for a 'Battle of Music' dance from 9p.m.-2a.m. or later at Purcell's Garage on West Main Street [source: "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 01/23/1931, p. 22]; the battling bands were the Masked Marvels Band and Jordan Embry's Band. Jordan Embry's Blue Bird Entertainers are listed in Jazz and Ragtime Records (1897-1942): A-K, by B. A. L. Rust and M. Shaw, p. 554. The band recorded the song "Wotta Life" in Richmond, IN, on March 20, 1929, a Gannett record that was not issued. Jordan Embry was the husband of Ruby Embry (b. 1898 in KY).
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Richmond, Indiana / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hunter, William H.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1938
William H. Hunter was a shoe maker and an industrial arts teacher from South Carolina. He is credited as the person who introduced shoe making as an industrial arts subject in the Negro public schools in Louisville, KY [source: "K. N. E. A. Kullings," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, January-February 1939, v.9, no.2-2, p.28].  Hunter learned his trade at Tuskegee Institute [now Tuskegee University] and is listed as a former student on p.28 in the 1910 title Industrial Work of Tuskegee Graduates and Former Students During the Year 1910 by M. N. Work, Division of Research and Records, Tuskegee Institute, Ala.  According to the publication, Hunter had been at his trade for 7 years and was earning $15 per week. In 1917, Hunter was a shoe maker at the Boston Shoe Company in Louisville, and he lived at 1920 W. Madison [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1917, p.727]. In 1930, Hunter was a teacher at Jackson Street Junior High School [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1024]. William H. Hunter died November 28, 1938 in Louisville, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate #27559]. He was the husband of Willie Hunter (b.1882 in GA).
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration East, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Lexington, KY ~ All NKAA Entries for African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, and Shiners
Start Year : 1800
African American Shoe Makers and Shoe Repairers in Lexington, KY, Prior to 1900

 

African American Shoe Makers, Repairers, Shiners - Lexington, KY [John B. and Ella B. Thomas] [Rev. Titus Buckner] - 1920-1930

 

African American Shoe Shiners and Shoe Repairers in Lexington, KY, 1930-1947 

 

Cobb, Lewis Arthur Gill "Shoe Shine"    

 

Skillman, Charles        

 

Strider, Benjamin F. [Colored Shoe Makers Union]      

 

 
Subjects: Businesses, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lexington's Colored Orphan Industrial Home
Start Year : 1892
End Year : 1988
The Colored Orphan Home was incorporated with E. Belle Mitchell Jackson as president; Emma O.Warfield, vice president; Ida W. Bate [wife of John W. Bate] secretary, Priscilla Lacey, treasurer, and 11 other women members of the Ladies Orphans Home Society. Captain Robert H. Fitzhugh, who was white, was a professional philanthropist for the home. Support came from bequests, fund raising, and donations. The home was located on Georgetown Pike [Georgetown Street] in Lexington, KY. The board members served as matrons of the home and donated food and supplies. The home took in orphaned and abandoned children, a few elderly women, and half orphans (children with one parent). The parent of a half orphan was charged for the child's board at the home. Board members determined when a child would be returned to its parents, and there were a few adoptions and foster care placements, but the goal was to educate the children and teach them an industrial trade in preparation for adulthood. In addition to classwork, house chores, and gardening, the children were taught kitchen duties, cooking, carpentry, chair-caning, laundry, sewing - the children made all of the clothes and linen at the home, and did shoe-making and repairs - shoes were made for the children and also sold to the community. The home continued in operation until 1988 when it became the Robert H. Williams Cultural Center. For more see Lexington's Colored Orphan Industrial Home: building for the future, by L. F. Byars. See also Colored Orphan Industrial Home Records, 1892-1979 at the University of Kentucky Libraries.

    See the photo images of the Colored Orphan's & Industrial Home at the Kentucky Digital Library - Images.
Subjects: Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

O'Rourke, James Ralph , Sr.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1999
In 2008, it was discovered that James R. O'Rourke, Sr. was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science. He graduated in 1957. Prior to his enrollment, O'Rourke had been named head librarian at Kentucky State University (KSU), a position he held from 1949-1975. Before coming to Kentucky, O'Rourke was a history instructor and served as head librarian of Stillman Junior College [now Stillman College]. O'Rourke was a 1935 graduate of Stillman Junior College, a 1947 sociology and economics graduate of Talladega College, and a 1947 graduate of Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University], where he earned a B.S. in Library Science. He had owned a drug store and a shoe repair shop. He had been a singer, an actor, a barber, a Pullman Porter, and shoe shiner. In Kentucky, he was a library leader. O'Rourke was the author of several articles and co-authored the Student Library Assistants of Kentucky (SLAK) Handbook, which was distributed throughout the United States and to some foreign countries. O'Rourke and C. Elizabeth Johnson, Central High School Librarian, had co-organized SLAK in 1952; it was the only state-wide organization of its kind in the United States. The organization was created to spark students' interest in library science and provided scholarship opportunities to seniors who planned to go to college. O'Rourke also led an annual workshop to assist public library employees in getting certification, and he provided library training. He was one of the first African American members of the Kentucky Library Association (KLA). He also held several positions in community organizations. He was a civil rights advocate and served as presiding chairman of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in Lexington, KY, 1966-67. He was a member of the Governor's Planning Committee on Libraries, 1967-68, and co-chairman of the Lexington (KY) Librarians Association. O'Rourke was the last chairman of the Librarian's Conference of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, 1952-1956. He was a member of the American Library Association, the Southeastern Library Association, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He was a member of the Kentucky Black History Committee of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, and was a co-contributor to the Commission's publication, Kentucky's Black Heritage. He left Kentucky a few years after his retirement from KSU in 1975 and settled in North Carolina. James R. O'Rourke, Sr. was born in Tuscaloosa, AL, the oldest child of Sally Reese and Timothy R. O'Rourke. He was the husband of George M. Wright O'Rourke [also a UK Library School graduate, 1966], and the great-grandson of Evalina Love and Shandy Wesley Jones. Shandy Jones was a slave who was freed in 1820 and later became an Alabama Legislator, 1868-1870 [see Descendants of Shandy Wesley Jones and Evalina Love Jones by Pinkard and Clark]. This information comes from the vita and the memorial tribute to James R. O'Rourke, Sr., provided by Dr. James R. O'Rourke, Jr. In 2009, the University of Kentucky Libraries and the School of Library and Information Science nominated James R. O'Rourke for the Lyman T. Johnson Torch Bearer Award (posthumously) for his work and dedication to librarianship in Kentucky. The award was received by his son, Dr. James R. O'Rourke, Jr.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Actors, Actresses, Authors, Barbers, Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Pullman Porters, Fraternal Organizations, Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Tuscaloosa, Alabama / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / North Carolina

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

Strider, Benjamin F. [Colored Shoe Makers Union]
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1942
In 1911, the Colored Shoe Makers Union was held in Hamilton, OH. Benjamin Franklin Strider (1870-1942), from Lexington, KY, was the speaker at the barbecue held during the meeting. The Boot and Shoe Makers Union had very few Colored members in 1911. It is not known when the Colored Shoe Makers Union was formed or how long it existed. Strider was the son of Mary Triggs Strider and Rev. Benjamin J. Strider [source: B. F. Strider's death certificate]. Strider is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington. For more see Benjamin Strider, Jr. in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 06/25/1911, p.5.
Subjects: Union Organizations, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Hamilton, Ohio

Turpin, William Henderson "Ben"
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1962
Turpin, also known as Mr. Ben, was a police officer and a baseball fanatic who lived in Detroit, MI. According to author Richard Bak, Turpin came from Kentucky to Detroit in 1925, and he had been a shoe shine boy. Turpin had lived in Burgin, KY, and was a tanner for J. T. Huguley in Danville, KY, according to his WWI draft registration card. He was a porter at Union Station before being appointed a Detroit policeman in 1927. Turpin was a large man who kept the peace in the Black Bottom area with physical force and his two revolvers. Turpin was also a serious baseball fan, and in the 1930s he organized a team called Black Bottom under Turpin's Athletic Club. Turpin sometimes served as the team's catcher with a revolver strapped to each side of his body. William Henderson Turpin was the husband of Bessie Turpin [they are mistakenly listed as white in the 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see Turkey Stearnes and the Detroit Stars, by R. Bak; In Black and White, Supplement, 3rd ed., by M. M. Spradling; "Tough Mr. Ben won respect based on fear", in Blacks in Detroit: a reprint of articles from the Detroit Free Press by S. McGehee and S. Watson, pp.72-73.
Subjects: Baseball, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Burgin, Mercer County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Williams, Charley H. "Banjo Dick"
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1920
Born in Kentucky, Charley Williams moved to Arizona in 1871 as a cook and housekeeper for the L. A. Smith family, according to author Alton Hornsby in Black America: a state-by-state historical encyclopedia, v.1, p.41. Charley Williams was known as Banjo Dick, and in the 1880s, he had a mining company named the Banjo Dick Mine, located near Tucson, AZ. According to author Hornsby, the mine was thought to the be first African American owned and operated mining operation in Arizona. The mine lasted but a few years, then Charley Williams moved to Nogales, AZ, where he shined shoes and played the banjo for extra money. "His biggest engagement was that of playing at La Vennis Park, the exclusive rendezvous of the Tucson aristocrats." For more see In Steps of Esteban: Tucson's African American Heritage at the University of Arizona Library.



  See photo image of Charley Williams at the University of Arizona website.

 

 

 

  See photo image at Charley H. "Banjo Dick" Williams, a Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration West, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tucson and Nogales, Arizona

 

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