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<First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)>

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

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

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

Bailey, Doris
In 1973, Doris Bailey was the first African American and first woman to be hired by the city of Columbia, KY. Bailey was a meter maid with the police department. For more see Human Rights News, July 1973, p. [2]. See online article "Doris Bailey likes her job" at ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Barlow, William D.
Barlow, from Summer Shade, KY, was a caretaker and Baptist minister. In 1970 he became the first African American elected to office in Metcalfe County, serving as a constable. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 3, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky

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

Burton, James A.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1991
James Burton was the first African American elected to the Perryville, KY, City Council, in 1969. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972] by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 15.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Caldwell, John Martin, Jr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Born in Henry County, KY, Reverend Caldwell was the son of Anna Hobbs Caldwell and John Martin Caldwell, Sr. Beginning in 1932, he was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Evansville, IN, continuing in that position for 57 years. Caldwell was a 1949 graduate of Evansville College [now University of Evansville] and completed his theology degree at Simmons University (Louisville). He received a citation from President Roosevelt for his service on the draft board during World War II. Caldwell was also a member of the masons, and he was the author of the annual publication Zion Pulpit. In 1967, he became the the first African American elected official in Evansville, IN: he was elected to the City Council and served three terms. Caldwell was also president of the Evansville NAACP for 15 years, leading the fight to integrated businesses and the University of Evansville. He was a member of the group that sued the city of Evansville to stop segregated housing. Caldwell received the first Mayor's Human Rights Award in 1977. The housing projects, formerly Sweeter public housing, were renamed the Caldwell Homes and Terrace Gardens in memory of John Martin Caldwell. For more see the John Martin Caldwell entry in the Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and "The Rev. John Caldwell," Evansville Courier, 09/28/1999, Metro section, p. A3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana

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

Cross, William R.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1997
Born in Bardstown, KY, William R. Cross became the city's first African American school board member in 1960, and in 1971, he became the vice-chairman of the Bardstown Board of Education. William R. Cross was the son of Alexander "Thomas" Cross and Sally Duncan Cross. He was the husband of Evelyn L. Cross. William R. Cross was employed at the Early Times Distillery and the J. T. S. Distillery. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 16.

Access Interview Read the transcript and listen to the William R. Cross oral history interview by Dixie Hibbs, 09/27/1988, at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Board of Education
Geographic Region: Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky

Curry, Paul H.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2004
In 1969, Paul H. Curry was elected to the Horse Cave City Council, then re-elected in 1971. He was the city's first African American councilman. Paul H. Curry was the son of George and Gracie Smith Curry. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 12; and Paul H. Curry in the obituaries of the Glasgow Daily Times, 10/22/2004, p.2.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky

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

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

Harriford, Robert L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2009
Robert L. Harriford, Sr. was born in Nobob, KY, the son of Willie and Grace Harriford. In 1930, the family lived on Upper Glasglow and Thompkinsville Road in Union (Monroe County) KY. In 1969, Robert Harriford became the first African American appointed to the Paducah City School Board, holding the post for 13 years. Harriford was also the first African American to serve on the executive board of the Kentucky School Board Association. He was president of Harriford Reproductions, located in Paducah, for 15 years. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 6, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; and B. Bartleman, "Harriford eulogized for work with youth," The Paducah Sun, 07/07/2009, State & Regional section.

See photo image and additional information about Robert L. Harriford, Sr. at the Woodlawn Memorial Gardens & Mausoleum website.
Subjects: Businesses, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Photographers, Photographs, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Nobob, Metcalfe County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

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

 

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

Howell-Young, Joyce
Birth Year : 1934
The Louisville physician was appointed to the city's board of education in 1971, the first African American woman to serve on the board. She led in the integration of the patients' rooms in the Louisville St. Joseph Hospital in the 1960s. Dr. Howell-Young is president of the Falls City Medical Society. She is agraduate of Fisk University, where she earned a B.A. in Zoology, and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed her intern training at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, OH. Dr. Young-Howell had a private practice in Louisville, 1961-1967. She has had a number of posts including that of medical director of the Park DuValle Neighborhood Health Center, 1974-1976. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and many other organizations. Dr. Howell-Young was born in Cincinnati, OH, the daughter of Lloyd M.  Howell and Addie Belle Foster Howell. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 17; "Doctor says interns don't make living wage," Jet, 03/29/1962, p.27 [available online]; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2009; and Joyce Howell-Young, M.D. in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.112.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Cincninati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky

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

McKinney, James O.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2008
McKinney was appointed to the Auburn, KY, City Council in June 1971 and was the first African American elected official in the city. For 43 years he was pastor of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Russellville, KY, retiring in 2007. McKinney was born in Sugar Grove, KY, the son of Eliza Beason McKinney and Benjamin R. McKinney. He served as president of the NAACP and Human Rights in Logan County. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 10; McKinney in "Church News," Daily News (Bowling Green, KY), 03/16/2007, Feature section; and "The Rev. James O. McKinney," Daily News, 04/25/2008 & 04/27/2008, Obituaries section.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Sugar Grove, Warren County, Kentucky / Auburn, Simpson County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky

Moorer, Oliver D.
First elected to the Lynch, KY, City Council in 1964 and winning successive terms, Moorer was the city's first African American council member. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972] by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 14.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Motley, Nora C.
Birth Year : 1910
Nora C. Motley was the first woman elected to the Lebanon City Council, in 1971; she ran on the Independent ticket. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 13.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky

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

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

Ralls, James Edward
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2010
In 1971, James E. Ralls became the first African American councilman in Mt. Sterling, KY. He served for 27 years. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 14; and James Edward Ralls in the "Obituaries" of the Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/07/2010.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Reynolds, Edgar T.
Reynolds, a barber, was the first African American elected to office in Muhlenberg County, KY. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 5, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Muhlenberg County, Kentucky

Robinson, Melford J.
Robinson, appointed in 1970 to the Lynch Independent School Board, was the board's first African American member. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 17.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

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

Stewart, George N.
Stewart was elected Second District Constable in 1969, the first African American in public office in Boyd County, KY. For more see "Magistrates, constables are only black county officials" in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 8.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Boyd County, Kentucky

Stewart, James W.
Stewart was the first African American elected to the Sonora, KY, Board of Trustees. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 5, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Sonora, Hardin County, Kentucky

Taylor, Joe, Jr.
Taylor was the first African American elected official in Adair County, KY. In 1971 Taylor was elected in his first bid to be a councilman on the Columbia City Council; he received the highest number of votes of any candidate in the city-wide election. He was re-elected for his sixth term in 1981. For more see "40 blacks serve on city councils in 35 Kentucky cities," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1982], 6th Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 22.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Vancleave, Joseph
Vancleave was born in Lebanon, KY. In 1969, he was the first African American elected to the Lebanon City Council. For more see Kentucky Black Elected Officials Directory [1970], p. 5, col. B, published by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and Not Without Struggle by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky

Washington, Edward, Jr. "Eddie"
Birth Year : 1931
Born in Logan County, KY, Washington became Adairville, KY's first African American councilman, in 1970. Washington was a foreman at the Auburn Hosiery Mill. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in the Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 10; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2006.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky

Williams, Worthy "Butt Cutt"
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1989
Born in Redfox, KY, Williams was the first African American elected to public office in Knott County, and as of 2009, he is the only one. Williams was first elected as constable in 1969 and re-elected in 1973 and 1977. Williams was a coal miner until he developed black lung and was no longer able to work in the mines. He was the husband of Wilma Dean Gipson Williams (deceased), from Manchester, KY. Williams was the father of Janet (deceased), Linda, Lorena, Sophia, Wendell, and Worthy Dewayne Williams. For more see "Eleven blacks hold county level posts," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1978], Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 13. Corrections, birth, and death date information for this entry was provided by his daughter Linda Williams via Dr. Andrew Baskin at Berea College.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills
Geographic Region: Redfox, Knott County, Kentucky

Wilson, Arthur H.
Birth Year : 1915
Wilson was the first African American hired by the City of Maysville, KY, and by the Maysville Fire Department. The assignment was only temporary until the regular employee returned from the service. For more see Human Rights News, Oct. 1961, p. 4, col. B.
Subjects: Firefighters, First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign)
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

 

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