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<Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race>

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Irvin, Theophilus, Sr.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1967
Theophilus Irvin, Sr. was a horse trainer who was born in Clark County, KY, the son of Laura and Rev. Dudley Irvin. His birth date is given as October 22, 1882 in the Social Security Death Index and on Irvin's WWI Draft Registration Card. He was the husband of Ada Bell Morton Irvin and the family lived at 511 Chestnut Street in Lexington, KY. Irvin worked at the racetrack, he was employed by Will Perkins Stables. He was also listed in the 1910 U.S. Census as a foreman at the racetrack. Irvin and his previous wife, Lou J. Shelton Irvin, were living with his wife's family on Thomas Street. In the 1920 census, Ada B. Morton Irvin is listed as Theophilus Irvin's wife and the couple had two sons [they would later have more children, including Theophilus Irvin, Jr.]. By 1932, Theophilus Irvin, Sr. was employed as a janitor at the Lexington Telephone Company and the family lived at 549 Thomas Street in Lexington, KY [source: Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory]. The telephone company was later owned by Bell Telephone and Irvin continued working at the telephone company until his retirement. He died in 1967. For more see the obituary of Theophilus Irvin, Sr., "Retired employee of Bell Telephone Co." Lexington Herald-Leader, p.15, C1.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Clark County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Lampton, Edward Wilkinson
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1910
E. W. Lampton was a leader in the AME Church and the community, he was bishop of the AME Church in Greenville, MS. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Albert R. Lampton, and the grandson of Anna and Rev. Edward "Ned" Jones. He grew up in Bowling Green, KY, where he first attended school. Lampton earned his D.D. at Shorter College and his LL. D. at Alcorn State College [now Alcorn State University]. He was elected bishop on May 20, 1908 in Norfolk, VA and assigned to the 8th Epicopal District. Lampton was author of two books: Analysis of Baptism and Digest of Rulings and Decision of the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1847-1907. He was also Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons of Mississippi. Bishop Lampton was a widower when he died in Michigan on July 16, 1910. He is buried in Mississippi. His daughter Mrs. D. Lampton Bacchus was the executor of his estate, she was one of the African American women reformers of the late 19th Century/early 20th Century. From their father's estate, the four Lampton daughters inherited the family home, a farm, several rental properties, and they constructed a two-story building that housed two stores, an auditorium, and meeting rooms. Bishop Lampton was the husband of Lula M. Lampton (b.1868 in MS), and in 1900, the family of six lived on Theobald Street in Greenville, MS, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In June of 1909, there were several newspaper stories that Lampton and his family were run out of Greenville when one of his daughters insisted on being addressed as Ms. Lampton by white saleswomen in stores and by the telephone operator, and Bishop Lampton attempted to re-enforce her demands. When asked by the African American media about the incident, Bishop Lampton initially denied the story, and would later speak out on keeping the races separate and African Americans always being on good behavior so as not to fuel a mob attack. For more see the Bishop Edward Wilkinson Lampton entry and picture in Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church... by R. R. Wright [available online at Documenting the American South]; "Would be called Miss," Waterloo Semi Weekly Courier, 06/15/1909, p.6.; "Bishop Lampton's denial," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.7; "Bishop Lampton's troubles adjusted," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/10/1909, p.1; "Another phase of Lampton affair," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/17/1909, p.1; "Daughters of late Bishop Lampton are doing well," Baltimore Afro-American, 07/22/1911, p.1.

See photo image of Rev. Edward W. Lampton in The Sons of Allen by H. Talbert, p.120.
Subjects: Authors, Fathers, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Telephone Company Employees, Telephone Inventions, Telephones and Race
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Greenville, Mississippi

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

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

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

 

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