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

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

Adams, John Quincy "J.Q."
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1922
John Quincy Adams was born in Louisville, KY. In 1879, Adams established the Bulletin as a weekly newspaper in Louisville. He served as president of the American Press Association (the African American press organization). In 1886, he left Louisville to join the staff of the Western Appeal in St. Paul, Minnesota, assuming ownership of the newspaper within a few months. Adam's career also included his position as Engrossing Clerk of the Arkansas Senate. He was also a school teacher in both Kentucky and Arkansas. He was a civil rights activist and served as an officer in the National Afro-American Council. Adams was a graduate of Oberlin College. He was a charter member of the Gopher Lodge No.105, Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World. He was the son of Henry Adams and Margaret P. Corbin Adams. J. Q. Adams died September 3, 1922, after being struck by an automobile while waiting to board a street car. He was the husband of Ella B. Smith, and they had four children. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; D. V. Taylor, "John Quincy Adams: St. Paul editor and Black leader," Minnesota History, vol.43, issue 8 (Winter, 1973), pp.282-296; and for a history of J. Q. Adams career see, "Crowds throng to Adam's rites fill Pilgrim Baptist Church to capacity Elks conduct services," The Appeal, 09/16/1922, p.1.

See photo image and additional information on John Quincy Adams at African American Registry website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Saint Paul, Minnesota / Arkansas

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

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

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

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

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

Allensworth, Josephine L.
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1939
Josephine Leavell Allensworth was born in Trenton, KY. She was the wife of Allen Allensworth, and, as her husband had done, she taught in the Kentucky common schools. Josephine Allensworth was also an accomplished pianist. She helped develop the Progressive Women's Improvement Association, which provided books and a playground to the town of Allensworth, California. In 1913, Josephine Allensworth donated the land for the Dickinson Memorial Library in Allensworth. For more see African American Women: a biographical dictionary, by D. C. Salem; Friends of Allensworth; and the Allen Allensworth's entry in On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier by F. N. Schubert.

See photo image and additional information at blackpast.org.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Trenton, Todd County, Kentucky / Allensworth, California (no longer exists)

Alleyne, Delores Gordon
Birth Year : 1932
Delores Gordon Alleyne was the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville Medical School; she graduated in 1957. Dr. Alleyne was born in Pulaski, TN, and her family later moved to Louisville. She attended Louisville Municipal College for Negroes; when the school was closed, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Louisville. Dr. Alleyne has taught at several medical schools; she retired in 1999 as a pediatrician with the Los Angeles County Health Department. For more see "Celebration of Change," Medicine Magazine (Fall/Winter 2004), by the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Pulaski, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Anderson, Ezzrett, Jr.
Birth Year : 1920
Ezzrett Anderson, Jr. was born in Nashville, AR, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. He became one of the first African Americans from a predominantly African American school to play professional football when he joined the Los Angeles Dons in 1947. Anderson had attended Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY, where he played football. He also played professional football with the Los Angeles Mustangs. He played for the Hollywood Bears in the Pacific Coast League when they won the title. He also played in the Canadian Football League for seven seasons (1948-1954) and was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2010. In addition to playing football, Ezzrett Anderson, Jr. was also an actor and appeared in 20 Hollywood films. For more see Smith, T., "Outside the pale; the exclusion of Blacks from the National Football League, 1934-1946," Journal of Sport History, 15, no. 3 (Winter 1988); and Pro Football Hall of Fame, General NFL History: African-Americans in Pro Football.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Football, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Nashville, Arkansas / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Canada

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

Arthur, William R. B. [People's Auxiliary Hospital (St.Louis, MO)]
Birth Year : 1868
Arthur, a surgeon and physician, was born in Kentucky; he received his M.D. from Howard University Medical College in 1890. He returned to Kentucky to practice medicine in Louisville, to teach at the Louisville National Medical College, and to serve as a surgeon at the Auxiliary Hospital. Arthur left Louisville and moved to St. Louis, MO, where he founded the People's Auxiliary Hospital and Training School in 1898. The three-story hospital building, which had 12 rooms for up to 15 patients, was located at 1001 N. Jefferson Avenue. For more see the William R. B. Arthur entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by Howard University Medical Department [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Hospital for Colored Patients," Medical Review, vol. 39 (Jan. 7 - July 1, 1899) [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Glimpses of the Ages, vol. 1, by T. E. S. Scholes [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Atkins, Boyd
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1965
Boyd Atkins, born in Paducah, KY, was a saxophonist, violinist, and music composer; Louis Armstrong recorded his most famous song, "Heebie Jeebies." Atkins was reared in St. Louis and played with a number of bands and performers, including Dewey Jackson and Paducah, KY, native Fate Marable. He later moved to Chicago, where he led his own band. Boyd Atkins died March 1, 1965, according to the Cook County, Illinois Death Index. For more see "Boyd Atkins" in the Oxford Music Online Database.
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri / Chicago, Illinois

Bailey, John S.
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1892
John S. Bailey, the husband of Julia Frances Bailey, was one of the wealthiest African Americans in Racine, WI. He was born in Kentucky, and moved to Indiana where he married Julia in 1851. By 1857, the couple lived in Racine, where John owned a barber shop. They were two among the 92 African Americans living in Racine, Wisconsin in 1860, and there were several from Kentucky. John's barbering business was a success and he was able to hire others to work for him, including white barbers. Bailey's barber shop was located in the basement of the American Bank in Racine. He had a home built for his family at 1124 Wisconsin Avenue. His daughter Florence (b.1860) is thought to have been the first Colored student and graduate of Racine High School. Bailey's two sons, George S. (b.1865) and William H. (b.1869), were in the barbering business with their father. Julia Bailey's parents were from Kentucky, they had migrated to Indiana where Julia was born in 1833. A few years after John Bailey's death in 1892, his entire family moved to Fulton, Washington and are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census: Julia was a dressmaker, no occupation was listed for Florence, and George and William were barbers. By 1910, Julia and her sons lived in Seattle, WA. George and William owned a barbershop. Julia Bailey is sometimes listed as Mulatto or white in the census records. By 1920, she is no longer listed, and George and William are still single, they live together, and still own their barbershop. It is not known if their father, John Bailey, was ever a slave in Kentucky. For more see "History: the John S. Bailey family," Milwaukee Star, 11/28/1970, p.6.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Racine, Wisconsin / Seattle, Washington

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

Ballard, John and Amanda
John (1830-1905) and Amanda Ballard (b. 1840-died before 1900) were the first African Americans to settle in the hills above Malibu; the site, Negrohead Mountain [a refined version of the name], was named in recognition of the Ballards early pioneering presence in the area. There was an effort underway to rename the peak Ballard Mountain. John Ballard, a former slave from Kentucky, was a blacksmith, a teamster, and a firewood salesman. He was a free man when the family arrived in Los Angeles in 1859. John was able to earn enough money to purchase 320 acres near Seminole Hot Springs, and the family later moved near Santa Monica. John helped found the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles; the services were first held in 1872 in the home of co-founder Biddy Mason. Mason, like Ballard, had been a former slave; she won her freedom, along with 13 others, in an 1856 California court case. Mason settled in the city of Los Angeles. It is not known how John Ballard gained his freedom. When the Ballards moved to their mountain home, the family was sometimes harassed; their house was burnt down in an attempt to run them out of the area, but the Ballards refused to leave. John, and Amanda, who was born in Texas, first appear in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had seven children according to the 1870 Census, all of whom were born in California. By 1900, John Ballard was a widow and his daughter Alice, who was a nurse, and two grandsons, were living with him. For more see Happy Days in Southern California, by F. H. Rindge [John Ballard is not referred to by name but rather as an "old colored neighbor"]; Heads and Tails -- and Odds and Ends, by J. H. Russell; B. Pool, "Negrohead Mountain might get new name," Los Angeles Times, 02/24/2009, Domestic News section; and R. McGrath, "Santa Monica peak renamed Ballard Mountain," Ventura County Star, 10/07/2009, Local section. For more on Biddy Mason see The Power of Place, by D. Hayden.

See video about John Ballard and the naming of Ballard Mountain, "Local activists responsible for 'Negrohead' Mountian name change," a thegriot.com/NBC News website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

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

Beck, Thomas
Birth Year : 1819
Thomas Beck was born in Kentucky, and one of his parents was white, the other African American. [Kentucky is given as his birth location in the 1850 U.S. Census.] Beck served in the Texas House of Representatives, beginning in 1874. One of the bills he sponsored was to prevent the employment of children without the permission of the parents. He was the husband of Martha Jordan Beck from Tennessee [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census], and the couple had several children. For more see Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas, 1868-1900, by M. Pitre; Forever Free: The Biographies web page, by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission.


Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

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

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

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

Berry, Isaac, Sr.
Birth Year : 1831
Death Year : 1914
Isaac Berry, Sr. was a violin player who was born a slave in Garrard County, KY. He was willed to one of his owner's daughters. The daughter married James Pratt, and the family moved to Missouri. With the permission of Mrs. Pratt, Berry ran away and James Pratt posted a $500 reward for Berry, dead or alive. Berry made his way to Ypsilanti, MI, [see George McCoy] by following the railroad tracks, the trip taking him three weeks. Members of the Underground Railroad helped Berry to make his way on to Detroit, then to Canada. Berry's daughter, Katy Pointer, was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, in 1864, and the family moved to Mecosta, MI, in 1877. Isaac Berry, Sr. was a blacksmith and a carpenter, he was the husband of Lucy, who was born in New York; both are last listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. The Berry family was among the early settlers of Morton Township in Mecosta, MI, where Isaac Berry built a school for Negro children and other structures. Isaac Berry, Sr. was born March 10, 1831 and died January 11, 1914 [source: Michigan Certificate of Death at Seeking Michigan, online digital archive]. For more see Negro Folktales in Michigan, edited by R. M. Dorson, and the online portion at oldsettlersreunion.com; and A northside view of slavery. The Refugee: or the Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada, by B. Drew (1856).
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blacksmiths, Inheritance, Carpenters, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Missouri / Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Mecosta, Michigan / Canada

Biggerstaff, William
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1886
William Biggerstaff was born a slave in Lexington, KY. He moved to the western U.S., where he was executed for killing Dick Johnson. Biggerstaff claimed self defense; nonetheless, he was hanged in Helena, Montana. His death was captured by African American photographer James P. Ball. For more see Representing Death; and Relections in black, by D. Willis-Thomas.
Subjects: Executions, Migration West, Photographers, Photographs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Helena, Montana

Blackmon, George Z.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1936
George Blackmon was born in Fulton County, KY. He can be found in the census records from 1910-1930, living in Clayton, Custer County. Blackmon is remembered as a pioneer miner in Idaho where several areas are named for him: Washington Basin, Washington Creek, Washington Peak, and Blackman Peak. Blackmon, said to have been a slave at one time, came to Idaho in the mid to late 1870s with a group of miners. Gold and silver had been discovered in Idaho in the 1860s, and the prospect of riches drew many miners to the state. George W. Blackmon worked claims in the Fourth of July Creek and basin areas using a pickax and a mule. He was still mining in the 1930s. The correct spelling of George Z. Blackmon's name, and his birth and death dates, and birth location were provided by James Ridenour, a researcher in Washington state. According to Ridenour's article "The Man Who Became a Mountain," Blackmon was educated and articulate; he had been educated by a white family in Iowa. He also played the fiddle. Blackmon is buried in Clayton Cemetery. For more about Blackmon's life see J. Ridenour's article in Idaho Magazine, vol.7, issue 12, September 2008, pp.51-56; Southern Idaho Ghost Towns, by W. C. Sparling; Sawtooth Tales, by D. D'Easum; and Idaho Place Names, by L. P. Boone.
Subjects: Migration West, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Clayton, Custer County, Idaho

Board, Sally [Petersburg, Kentucky]
Birth Year : 1805
Death Year : 1892
Sally Board was born in Fort Harrod, KY; her mother was a slave who had been purchased (or loaned) in 1790 to care for widower Phillip Board's children. A few years later Sally was born; Phillip Board was her father and owner. By 1810, Sally's mother was no longer at the Board farm, but Sally remained. As an adult, she married a slave named Peter, and his name became Peter Board. Land that Sally either purchased or received from her father was developed into a small African American community called Petersburg. Sally was eventually freed, and she then purchased her husband's freedom. Their children, however, remained slaves until after the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. In 1878, when Sally was 72 years old, she and the whole community of Petersburg moved to the new territory and settled in Morton City [Jetmore today], Hodgeman County, Kansas, abandoning Petersburg. Today Petersburg is part of the Kentucky community know as Nevada. For more information about Sally, the Board family, and other Exodusters, including the family of Eliza Broadnax Bradshaw, see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill. [Ray Pleasant is an African American and John Neill is White; they are cousins, both descendants of Phillip Board.]
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Fort Harrod (Old Fort Harrod State Park), Mercer County, Kentucky / Petersburg, Mercer County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Nevada, Mercer County, Kentucky / Morton City (now Jetmore), Kansas

Bond, Leslie Fee, Sr.
Birth Year : 1928
Leslie Fee Bond, Sr., born in Louisville, KY, moved with his family to Galesburg, IL, when he was 10-years-old. Like his father, Leslie F. Bond, Sr. is a family practitioner and also a surgeon. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and Meharry Medical College. After finishing medical school, Bond opened his practice in St. Louis, MO, where he is also an outspoken community leader. He served on the Physicians-Pharmacists Advisory Committee to Medicaid for 20 years. He was selected by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan to serve on the St. Louis Police Board. In 2007, Bond received the Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award from the St. Louis American Foundation. His son, Leslie F. Bond, Jr., was the first African American chairman of the St. Louis Election Board in 1993. For more see Lift Every Voice and Sing: St. Louis African Americans in the Twentieth Century, by D. Wesley, W. Price, and A. Morris; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996/97; and M. Schlinkmann, "First Black will head election board," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 02/23/1993, News section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Galesburg, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

Bowen, James Lyman
Birth Year : 1842
Bowen, born in Liberty, KY, was a chef for Buffalo Bill and had fought against Sitting Bull. His reputation for helping settle the West was well known: Bowen was received by royalty during his tour of Europe. He settled in Danville, IL, where he celebrated his 90th birthday in 1932. His name has also been written as James Lyman Brown. For more see Africa's Gift to America, by J. A. Rogers; and Henry Brown, "He rode with Buffalo Bill," The Chicago Defender, 10/30/1948, p.A2.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky / Danville, Illinois

Bradshaw, Eliza
Birth Year : 1827
Death Year : 1913
Eliza Bradshaw, born on a plantation in Mercer County, KY, was a slave who was sold when she was seven years old and again when she was 17. A few months later, she married Lewis Bradshaw, another slave, and they eventually had seven children. Eliza endured beatings and once had salt poured into wounds on her head. The beatings stopped when she scalded her master with boiling water. In 1879, Lewis and Eliza Bradshaw moved their family from Harrodsburg, KY, to Hodgeman County, Kansas. They were among the "Exodusters" who were migrating West. Lewis died about six months after their arrival. For more see E. Bradshaw, "An Exoduster Grandmother," Kansas History, 2003, vol. 26, issue 2, pp. 106-111.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Hodgeman County, Kansas

Brashear, Jimmie Tyler
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1999
Jimmie Tyler Brashear, born in Lexington, KY, was the daughter of a Lexington schoolteacher Mattie Mason Tyler and barber Charles W. Tyler. She would later live with an aunt in Madison, WI. According to the Dallas Morning News, Brashear was the only African American in the 1924 graduating class at the University of Wisconsin. In 1929, she joined the Dallas School District with the responsibility of training African American grade school teachers. Brasher would advance to become the first African American school administrator in Dallas. She retired in 1967, after 43 years as an educator, and began teaching at what is now Paul Quinn College. She had taught at Tuskegee and Prairie View earlier in her career. The J. T. Brashear Early Childhood Center was named in her honor, and in 1997, she was recognized as an Outstanding Citizen by the Black Caucus of the Texas Legislature. Brashear was a sister to Lugusta Tyler Colston. For more see J. Simnacher, "Dallas educator Jimmie Tyler Brashear dies - she was first African American hired as schools administrator," The Dallas Morning News, 02/16/1999, News section, p.13A; and N. Adams-Wade, "Venerated educator broke ground in Dallas schools," The Dallas Morning News, 02/16/1997, News section, p.39A.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Migration South
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Madison, Wisconsin / Dallas, Texas

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 family 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

Brock, Richard
Birth Year : 1824
Death Year : 1906
Richard Brock, born a slave in Kentucky, was given as a wedding present to the daughter of his master. The daughter moved to Houston, Texas, and brought Brock with her. Brock would become a leader in the Houston community: he owned a blacksmith business and became a land owner, he helped found two churches, and had part ownership of the Olivewood Cemetery. The cemetery was the first for African Americans within the Houston city limits. In 1870, Brock became the first African American Aldermen in the Houston city government. Brock is listed as a mulatto in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, and he and his wife Eliza (b.1837 in Alabama) were the parents of five children. They would have five more children. Richard Brock was co-founder of the first masonic lodge in Houston for African Americans and he helped found Emancipation Park. In 1900, Richard Brock was a widow living with three of his daughters and two grandchildren. The Richard Brock Elementary School in downtown Houston is named in his honor. For more see "Exhibit honors former slaves who emerged as pathfinders,"Houston Chronicle, 02/08/1987, Lifestyle section, p. 1.

See photo image and additional information about Richard Brock at Texas Trail Blazers, a Defender Network.com website.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration West, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Brodis, James, Sr. "Jim" [Joseph M. Dorcy v. Maria Brodis et al.]
Birth Year : 1833
Jim Brodis, Sr. was a runaway slave from Kentucky. He escaped from his master while they were mining in California. Brodis fled to Pajaro Valley, California, where he eventually purchased a farm. A street there is named in his honor and memory in Watsonville. Brodis [or Brodies] is listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census as a farmer, also listed are his wife Maria (b.1843 in Nova Scotia) and their five children. In 1908, the Supreme Court of California denied a rehearing in the case of Joseph M. Dorcy v. Maria Brodis and others. James Brodis had passed away, leaving all assets to Maria and the children. A land dispute led Dorcy to file a lawsuit against Maria et al. over the ownership of a tract of land in Santa Cruz. The court had ruled in favor of Maria et al., and Dorcy sought a retrial. For more see Dorcy v. Bordis on p.278 of v.96, first series of the Pacific Reporter, July 6-September 7, 1908 [full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Santa Cruz, California

Brooks, Thomas L.
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1923
Brooks, born in Virginia, was the son of Maria and Thomas Brooks, according to his death certificate. He lived most of his life in Kentucky, and was a noted contractor in Eastern Kentucky. Brooks moved to Frankfort in 1881, where he was a highly sought after carpenter and contractor. His projects there included over half of the residence in the exclusive Watson Court area, the Columbia Theater, the auditorium and trades building at Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University], the Odd Fellows Building for African Americans, and the Baptist Church. Brooks was the secretary of the Capital City Lodge of the Odd Fellows, a member of the Knights of Pythias, a member of the United Brothers of Friendship, and was Grand Master of the B. M. C. He was the husband of Mary L. Hocker Brooks, and the couple shared their home on Blanton Street with Mary's parents and two nieces. Thomas L. Brooks is buried in Frankfort, his funeral was handled by Thomas K. Robb. For more see "Prominent business man," Baltimore Afro-American, 12/12/1914, p.5; and the Thomas L. Brooks entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race edited by F. L. Mather, 1915.
Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Migration West, Fraternal Organizations, Carpenters
Geographic Region: Virginia / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Brown, Clara
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1885
Clara Brown was born in Virginia. She and her three children were sold separately, and Clara was brought to Kentucky. She purchased her freedom in 1858 and moved to Missouri before moving on to Colorado, where she became involved in several business ventures, including opening a laundry and investing in mines. Brown profited from her investments and returned to the east to bring 34 of her relatives out west. Much later she was able to find only one of her children. For more see The Book of African American Women: 150 Crusaders, Creators, and Uplifters, by T. Bolden.

See photo image of Clara Brown at Wikipedia.
Subjects: Businesses, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky

Brown, Robert L. "Tobe"
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1939
Robert L. Brown, was born in Shelbyville, KY. He was a cornet and piano player as well as a music teacher who specialized in dance music. He directed the Cunningham Band in Louisville, KY. Brown left Kentucky around 1890 and opened the Dance Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. He also provided orchestral music at social events and taught string and brass. His music was thought of as a guarantee for a good time at any event. Brown returned to Louisville in 1899. In 1907, his Louisville orchestra played at the Owensboro Chautauqua, thought to be the first Negro Chautauqua in the United States. For more see Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Brown, Russell S., Sr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1981
Russell S. Brown, Sr. was born in London, KY, the son of Bartlett and Alice Brown. The family moved to Kansas when Russell was a teen. A minister, between 1920 and 1925, he founded the First Community House for Soldiers in Memphis, Tennessee, the first in the south. He also served as chaplain at the Fulton County Jail and conducted services at the Atlanta Federal Prison. In 1929, he was elected to the City Council of Cleveland and appointed a trustee with the State Department by Gov. Cooper. Brown was the second African American to serve on the City Council of Cleveland. He left Cleveland in 1933 and moved to Denver, CO, and was the only African American to have his picture included in the Denver Daily Posts Hall of Fame. He was general secretary the AME Church and served as the financial officer for 28 years. Rev. Brown died in Chicago in 1981. He was the husband of Floy Smith and the couple had three children. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927 & 1933-37; see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; see Rev. Russell S. Brown in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and "Rev. Russell S. Brown, Sr., former A.M.E. secy., dies," Jet, 09/03/1981, p.25.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: London, Laurel County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee / Fulton County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia / Cleveland, Ohio / Denver, Colorado

Bryant, Charles W. "C.W."
Birth Year : 1830
Charles W. Bryant was born in Kentucky and settled in Texas after the Civil War. He had been a slave and was an agent for the Freemen's Bureau in Texas. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, 1868-1869, representing Harrison County, Texas. He was also a minister. For more see Forever Free: The Biographies, a website by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission; and "Bryant, Charles W," by P. M. Lucko in The Handbook of Texas.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

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

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

Burnette, Atlas Crawford
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1960
A. C. Burnette, born in North Carolina, was the first African American employed by the University of Kentucky Agricultural Extension Service, where he began work in 1919 and retired in 1944. He was in charge of Negro extension work in Kentucky. Burnette was a 1903 graduate of North Carolina A&M College [now North Carolina State University] and taught at the school for a few years after his graduation. Burnette had several other jobs before he arrived in Kentucky just prior to the building of Lincoln Institute. He helped clear the fields for the construction of the school, and once the school was in operation, he taught agriculture for six years. He left the state for a brief period, then returned to head the Kentucky State College Agricultural Department [now Kentucky State University] for three and a half years before becoming an agent with the UK Agricultural Extension Service in 1919. He was hired by Dean Thomas P. Cooper. Burnette had an assistant in Madison County. Among his many responsibilities, Burnette assisted with the development of 4-H for Negro youth, which grew to have more than 5,000 members. He organized the Negro Club in Madison County, KY. Also during his tenure, the number of meat cattle owned by Negro farmers more than tripled and food crop production doubled. After his retirement, Burnette was replaced by John Finch. In 1947, A. C. Burnette Day was held in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1952, there were three African American agricultural agents and six home demonstration agents, all serving 32 counties. In those counties with few Negro farmers, all farmers were served by the white county agent. According to A. C. Burnette's WWI Draft Registration Card submitted to the Local Board of Franklin County, KY, and dated September 12, 1918, he was born February 28, 1885 and was the husband of Florence Bradley Burnette. A. C. Burnette died October 7, 1960 and is buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington, KY. For more see J. T. Vaughn, "Farm agent fears work cut life span from 100 to 80," Lexington Leader, 06/16/1952, p. 8. See also The College of Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Kentucky, by J. A. Smith; and the Thomas Poe Cooper Papers at the University of Kentucky's Special Collections Library.
Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Education and Educators, Migration West
Geographic Region: North Carolina / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Calvin, Mandy
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1942
Mandy Calvin became an actress in 1941 when she was selected to play the part of an aged native woman in the Hollywood film Tarzan's Secret Treasure, by MGM starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. Mandy Calvin, supposedly born around 1839, had been a slave in Kentucky, and was living in Los Angeles, CA. She was selected for the film after movie director Richard Thrope asked talent scouts to find the oldest African American woman. Mandy Calvin's name is not listed in the credits, nor are the names of others who had minor parts in the the film. Mandy Calvin is listed in he 1940 U.S. Federal Census with an estimated birth year of 1849, she lived with her grandson Roy P. Lanier and a lodger named Mary Dews. Mandy Calvin died June 5, 1942, according to the California Death Index, and her birth date is given as April 10, 1850. Her mother's maiden name was Ford and her father's last name was Grist, her parents were from Mississippi. For more see "Ex-slave makes her movie debut at 102," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/18/1941, p.14.; "Woman, 102 years makes screen debut," The Sunday Morning Star, 10/26/1941, p.8; and "Mandy begins career at age 102, estimated," Ogden Standard Examiner, 10/09/1941, p.19.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration West, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Los Angeles and Hollywood, California

Carpenter, Eliza
Birth Year : 1849
Death Year : 1924
She was known as Aunt Eliza, the only Colored race horse owner in Oklahoma, her real name was Eliza Carpenter. She had been a slave, born in Virginia, sold to a Kentucky master at age six, and sold again at age eight to a Missouri planter. Carpenter gained her freedom at the end of the Civil War and returned to Madisonville, KY, where she learned the business of buying, training, and riding race horses. She then moved to Kansas where she purchased several horses, and would move on to Ponca City, Oklahoma where she shared her home with a boarder, Athather Johnson, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Carpenter's occupation is given as a trader of livestock. She had come to Ponca City when the Cherokee Strip was opened for settlement in 1893, and with a $1,000 prize going to the first person to reach the Ponca City site. There was a heated race to the site and Carpenter was one of the competitors. Some sources say that she was the first to stake a claim, while other sources say that she did not win the race. Either way, Carpenter settled in Ponca City where she trained her horses, was one of the few African American stable owners in the West, and when dissatisfied with the way a race was going, she had ridden her own horses. Carpenter, as a jockey, had won a few races. Her regular jockey was Olla "Lucky" Johnson. Some of her horses names were Irish Maid, Blue Bird, and Little Brown Jug. Eliza Carpenter had also stood up for herself when she won a horse racing bet and the person she was betting with refused to pay-up. Carpenter visited family in Kentucky on several occasions and on her final visit she was thrown from a buggy when her horse became spooked; Carpenter suffered a fractured skull and never fully recovered. She died in Oklahoma. She was the aunt of Frank and Virgil Gilliam of Madisonville, KY. For more see "Fans mourn woman jockey," Baltimore Afro-American, 12/20/1924; "Reproduced the Strip Run," Hutchison News, 09/17/06, p.8;
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Virginia / Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Missouri / Kansas / Oklahoma

Carpenter, Olie Atkins
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1993
Olie Carpenter was the first college-trained African American librarian in Kentucky. She was a graduate of Hampton's library program, and specialized in medical librarianship. Carpenter was first employed at Kentucky State University, from 1929-1930. She was next employed at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes when it opened in 1931. She was also a librarian at Maryland State College [now University of Maryland Eastern Shore]. Olie Atkins Carpenter was born in Winston, NC. She was an older sister to Eliza Atkins Gleason, their parents were Simon Green Atkins and Oleona Pegram Atkins. In 1892, Simon Green Atkins was the founder of what is today Winston-Salem State University, and his wife Oleona Atkins was a teacher and assistant principal at the school. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Louisville Municipal College photographs and records at the University of Louisville University Archives & Records Center; Who's Who in Library Service. A biographical directory of professional librarians in the United States and Canada, 4th ed., edited by L. Ash; and The Black Librarian in the Southeast by A. L. Phinazee. For more on Simon G. Atkins, see the chapter "For Service Rather than Success" in Winston-Salem by F. V. Tursi. * Additional information for this entry was provided by Professor J. G. Carew at the University of Louisville, she is the daughter of Dr. Eliza A. Gleason.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration West
Geographic Region: Winston, North Carolina / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Carson, Letitia
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1888
Letitia Carson was a free African American woman who was born in Kentucky. She was one of the early African Americans to be listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living in Oregon. Letitia's husband was an Irishman named David Carson (1800-1854). The pioneering couple and their two children lived in Benton, Oregon Territory, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had come to Oregon in 1844, and their daughter Martha was born around 1845, their son Adam around 1853. When David Carson died, Letitia and her children were left out of his estate settlement, and Letitia filed suit against the estate for her children's benefit. She won the lawsuit and settled on land she had purchased near South Myrtle Creek, today known as Letitia Creek. She is buried on the property. Letitia Carson was a well known mid-wife in the county. The Letitia Carson Pioneer Apple Tree was named in her honor; it is thought that Letitia planted the tree, and researchers named the tree while completing a cultural resource inventory of the property owned by Oregon State University. For more see R. Casebeer, "African American widow demonstrates spirit," Jefferson Public Radio, 08/20/2009. 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Benton County, Oregon

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

Clark, John T.
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1949
John T. Clark was born in Louisville, KY, the son of John R. and Sallie Clark. He graduated in 1906 from Ohio State University with a focus in sociology and economics. Clark returned to Louisville, where he was an instructor at Central High School (1907-1913). He left Louisville to become housing secretary in New York City (1913-1916). He was a contributing author to the 1915 collection, "Housing and Living Conditions among Negroes in Harlem." Clark held a number of posts with the National Urban League and its state chapters from 1916 to1949, including bringing the National Urban League to Pittsburgh in 1917 and becoming executive secretary of the St. Louis Urban League, beginning in 1926. Also a member of the American Social Workers Association, Clark was elected the third vice president of the National Conference of Social Work in 1940. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1950. The John T. Clark files of the Urban League of St. Louis are available at the Washington University of St. Louis Library.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Social Workers, Sociologists & Social Scientists, Urban Leagues, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York City, New York / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / St. Louis, Missouri

Clay, Theodore H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1843
Theodore H. Clay, Sr. was born in Fayette County, KY, his father was from Virginia and his mother was from Kentucky. Clay grew up in Lexington and became one of the early African American horse trainers who owned his own business, [as was Dudley Allen]. Clay is listed as Colored in the Sheppard's Lexington City Directory 1873 and 1874, owner of a breaking and training stable on Deweese Street opposite Correll [Corrall] Street. He is the only "Colored" person listed under the heading 'Horse Trainer' on p.234 of the 1873-74 city directory. His account record at the U.S. Freedmen Bank dated May 26, 1871, gives his occupation as a self employed trainer, and includes his wife's name, Louisa, a child named Brice, and a brother named Marshall. The Clays lived on Deweese Street. The family is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census and includes the name of a second son named Theodore, and their property was valued at $800. The Clay family would leave Kentucky and move to Kansas. In 1880 they lived in Shawnee, KS: Theodore and Maria Louisa Clay (b.1848 in KY) and their three sons, all born in Kentucky, Brice Henry Clay (b.1868), Theodore H. Clay, Jr. (b.1870), and Edward Marshall Clay (b.1873). Theodore, Sr. supported the family as a farmer. By 1900, Theodore Clay was a widower living at 545 Tracy Street in Kansas City, MO, his occupation was listed in the census as farmer. He is last listed in the 1910 census, when Theodore shared his home with his son Edward and his family.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Shawnee, Kansas / Kansas City, Missouri

Coffey, Alvin A.
Birth Year : 1822
Death Year : 1902
Born in Mason County, KY, Alvin A. Coffey was a slave who was first owned by Margaret Cook. In 1834, he was sold to Henry Duvall, and was later owned by a Dr. Bassett, whom he accompanied along with other members of a party who were journeying to California in 1849. Coffey earned enough money in California to purchase his freedom and that of his wife, Mahala, and their 5 children, who were still in Missouri. But the doctor took the money from Coffey. They both returned to Missouri in 1851. Still a slave, Coffey would return to California 1854 and by 1857 had again earned enough money to purchase his freedom and that of his family; they eventually all moved to Red Bluff, California. Coffey was a homesteader in Tehama County, and his five sons followed in his footsteps: they all prospered. His descendants would continue to prosper for several generations. Alvin A. Coffey was the only African American member of the California Society of Pioneers. He was the son of Larkin Coffey and Nellie Cook. For more see Pioneers of Negro Origin in California, by S. B. Thurman; and contact The Society of California Pioneers about the Autobiography and Reminiscence of Alvin Aaron Coffey.

 

*Additional information and corrections provided by Jeannette L. Molson, the great great granddaughter of Alvin A. Coffey, and the family historian of over 30 years researching Alvin Aaron Coffey:

 

One, Alvin Coffey emancipated his wife and five children in 1857. The remaining three children were born in California starting with his son, Charles Oliver Coffey, who was the first of his children born free on 22 Dec 1858.  Verification of the emancipation of his five children, and wife, can be found at the Saint Louis Circuit Court, Vol. 26, page 37 in St. Louis MO. When Alvin Coffey and Dr. Bassett returned to Mo it was in 1851, not 1850.  Basset was the owner who kept Coffey's earnings.  Third, Alvin Coffey returned to California a second time still a slave, but he was not accompanied by his new owner.  His new owner trusted that Coffey would keep his word and allowed him to return to California alone.  When he saved the required amount of $1,000 to purchase his freedom, he did so by notifying his owner that he had the money and the owner, trusting Coffey, sent his freedom papers before receiving a cent.  After his return to Missouri to purchase his wife and five children, Coffey made his last trip back to California in 1857 with his wife, children, and their emancipation papers in hand.

See the photo image and additional information about Alvin A. Coffey at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Mason County, Kentucky / Missouri / Red Bluff, California / Tehama County, California

Coleman, George
Birth Year : 1798
Death Year : 1908
Coleman was a famous jockey in the 1830s. He rode in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and other locations. He had been a slave in Kentucky who belonged to the Lindsay Family. In his later years, Coleman was a member of the circus managed by Dan Rice. He eventually settled in Seguin, TX, where he died. For more see "Former slave dead at 110," The Washington Post, 07/18/1908, p. 1.
Subjects: Circus, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Washington D.C. / Seguin, Texas

Cologne, Texas
Start Year : 1898
The community of Cologne is located on U.S. Highway 59 in Goliad County, Texas. Former slaves Jim Smith and George Washington are credited with establishing the African American settlement. The first settlers, five families of former slaves from Tennessee and Kentucky, moved to the area in 1870. First known as Centerville, the community's name was changed to Cologne when the post office was established in 1898; the post office was discontinued in 1925. In 1997, as the community was preparing for the Juneteenth celebration, the population was estimated to be 85. For more see C. Clack, "Juneteenth, born of slavery, evolves into free-form day of joy," San Antonio Express-News, section SA Life, p. 1E; Cologne, Texas, by C. H. Roell, at the Texas State Historical Association website; Cologne, Texas at TexasEscapes.com; and From These Roots by F. D. Young.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Cologne (was Centerville), Goliad County, Texas

Conley, Nellie [Madam Sul-Te-Wan]
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1959
Nellie Conley, an actress, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Silas Crawford Wan and Cleo de Londa. In 1983, she was posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Conley went by the name Madame Sul-Te-Wan, acting in early films such as Birth of a Nation and later films such as Carmen Jones and Tarzan and the Trappers. Prior to moving to California and acting in films, Conley had moved from Louisville to Cincinnati, Ohio. While there, she formed "The Black Four Hundred," an acting company that employed 16 performers and 12 musicians. The company was successful, as was a minstrel company that Conley established. Conley soon married and eventually moved to California. Two years later, she had just given birth to her third son when her husband left her. Her money was gone, so for a period of time Conley had to rely on charity. Times got better when she was hired by Kentucky native D. W. Griffith for the movie The Clansman; her pay was three dollars a day and increased to five dollars a day. She and D. W. Griffith remained friends for the rest of their lives, and she had bit parts in seven of his films. She also continued to perform in vaudeville, silent films, and talkies [films with sound]. In 1949, Conley married Anton Ebenthur, who was French; the couple married five years before interracial marriages were legal in California. According to writer Victor Walsh, Conley and Ebenthur were active members of Club Miscegenation in Los Angeles. [It has also been written that Conley was the mother of Ruby Dandridge (1900-1987) and the grandmother of Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965).] For more see Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 18: Sept. 1992-Aug. 1993; Directory of Blacks in the Performing Arts, 1st ed., by E. Mapp; The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. Beasley; and V. Walsh, "Women's History Month: Madame Sul-Te-Wan; Hollywood's first African American actress," Oakland Post, 03/19/1997, p. 8.

See photo image and additional information about Nellie Conley at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Businesses, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Interracial Marriage and State Laws, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / California

Craft, Rebecca
Birth Year : 1887
Death Year : 1945
A schoolteacher from Versailles, KY, Rebecca Craft graduated from Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She and her husband, John, moved to San Diego, California, in 1910. Rebecca Craft led the fight against segregation and discrimination so that African American police and school teachers could be hired in San Diego. She also formed the Women's Civic Organization and was president of the San Diego NAACP. The civic organization served as a social welfare agency that also did fund-raising. Rebecca Craft was the aunt of Cecil H. Steppe. For more see G. Madyun, "In the Midst of things: Rebecca Craft and the Woman's Civic League," The Journal of San Diego History, vol. 34, issue 1 (Winter 1988) [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

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

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

Darby, (Blind) Teddy
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1975
Born Theodore Roosevelt Darby in Henderson, KY, he was a blues singer and guitarist who performed in Chicago in the 1930s but was most known for performing in St. Louis. His music was recorded between 1929-1937. As a younger man he did time in a reform school and workhouse for bootlegging. He was a long time associate of Peetie Wheatstraw. He eventually lost his sight to glaucoma. For more see The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., edited by C. Larkin; and St. Louis Blues Musicians. View the image and listen to Blind Teddy Darby - Lawdy Lawdy Worried Blues 1929 on YouTube.


Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / St. Louis, Missouri

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

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

Dean, Dora [Dora Dean Babbige Johnson]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1949
Dean, whose birth name was Dora Babbige, was born in Covington, KY. She was known in vaudeville as "The Black Venus." She was married to Charles E. Johnson, and they performed as a couple, often billed as the creators of the Cake Walk dance. Dean and Johnson were a stylish and graceful dance team who perfected the Cake Walk into a high-stepping swank. They also performed soft shoe and wing dancing; they were stars of "The Creole Show," emphasizing couples dancing. Dean and Johnson were the first African American couple to perform on Broadway. They were also the first to perform in evening attire; they were the best dressed couple on stage. Dean was described as possessing a plump, striking figure; she posed for German painter Ernest von Heilmann, and the painting was unveiled in 1902 at the coronation of King Edward VII and exhibited at the Paris Expo. The couple was also the first to use steel taps on their shoes and the first to use strobe lighting. Beginning in 1903, they lived and performed mostly in Europe and some in Australia and the U.S. They returned home in 1913. The couple had divorced in 1910, and once back in the U. S. they continued performing but did not perform together for a long while. In 1930, Dean had an acting role in the film Georgia Rose, an all African American talkie by white director Harry Gant. Dean and Johnson reunited as a team and a couple in 1934, and both retired by 1942. They spent the remainder of their lives in Minneapolis, MN. For more see Tap Roots, by M. Knowles; "Dora Dean" in the Biographical Dictionary of Dance, by B. N. Cohen-Stratyner; and vol. 2 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration West, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Europe / Australia / Minneapolis, Minnesota

Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana
In the 1870s a small group of African Americans left Kentucky and settled in Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana. They were the forerunners; by 1880, the bulk of the African American population in Montana had come from Kentucky, including the Johnson, Broose and Dodgeston families. Montana would become a state in 1889. For more see C. McMillen, "Border state terror and the genesis of the African-American community in Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana, 1870-1890," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 79, issue 2 (1994), pp. 212-247.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana

Dickerson, Roger Quincey "R. Q."
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1951
Dickerson was born in Paducah, KY, and grew up in St. Louis. He played trumpet with several groups at the Cotton Club in New York, beginning with Robinson's Bostonians in the early 1920s and ending with Cab Calloway's Orchestra in 1931. Dickerson remained in New York as a cab driver. He can be heard playing on the recordings Early Black Swing, Prohibition Blues, and Riverboat Shuffle. For more see "R. Q. Dickerson" in Classic Jazz: the musicians and recordings that shaped jazz, 1895-1933, by S. Yanow; and in the Oxford Music Online Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / New York

Eaves, Jerry Lee
Birth Year : 1959
Born in Louisville, KY, Jerry L. Eaves played high school basketball at Ballard in Louisville and was selected as a McDonalds' All-American in 1978 after his team won the Kentucky state basketball championship. Eaves played college ball at the University of Louisville and was a member of the 1980 NCAA Championship team. The 6'4" guard was selected by the Utah Jazz in the 1982 NBA draft and ended his professional playing career five years later with the Sacramento Kings. He played in a total of 168 games and had 1,132 points and 414 assists. Eaves was head basketball coach at North Carolina A & T University 2003-2012. For more see Jerry Eaves at Basketball-Reference.com.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration West, Migration East
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Utah / Sacramento, California / North Carolina

Edson, Edward Frank and Mary M.
According to Northwest Black Pioneers: a centennial tribute, Edward (b.1863 in Kentucky) and Mary Duvall Edson (b.1866 in Tennessee) were two of the early African American pioneers in urban Tacoma, Washington. The Edsons had been living in Kentucky and resettled in California before moving to Washington in 1889. Mr. Edson owned a barber shop and Mrs. Edson was a music teacher. The couple, who lived at 1422 K Street, helped establish the Allen A.M.E. Church. For more see "Tacoma" on page 38 of Northwest Black Pioneers: a centennial tribute, by R. Hayes.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / California / Tacoma, Washington

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

Ellison, Fanny McConnell
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2005
Fanny M. Ellison was born in Louisville, KY, to Ulysses and Willie Mae Brock McConnell; her parents divorced before Fanny was a year old and she and her mother moved to Colorado, then to Chicago. Fanny Ellison was the wife of Ralph Ellison (1913-1994), author of the 1953 National Book Award title, Invisible Man. Both were divorced when they met in 1944; they married in 1946. Fanny Ellison had attended Fisk University and graduated from the University of Iowa; she was involved in the theater, politics, and civil rights. In 1938, she founded the Negro People's Theater in Chicago, and in 1943 she moved to New York, where she was an assistant to George Granger, Director of the National Urban League. She supported her husband, Ralph, while he was writing what would become his only published novel. Fanny Ellison edited and typed the book manuscript that her husband had written in longhand, and she did the same for the second manuscript that he was unable to finish before his death. The second novel, Juneteenth, was published in 1999 with the permission of Fanny Ellison. For more see "Fanny McConnell Ellison dies at 93," an MSNBC website; and D. Martin, "Fanny Ellison, 93; helped husband edit 'Invisible Man'," The New York Times, 12/01/2005, Metropolitan Desk section, p. 9.

See photo image of Fanny M. Ellison and Ralph Ellison at the Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Migration North, Migration West, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Colorado / Chicago, Illinois / New York

Elmore, Ronn
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Louisville, KY, Ronn Elmore left Kentucky at the age of 16 and became an actor and dancer in Europe before becoming a minister and marriage counselor. He is a graduate of Antioch University (B.A.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.A.) in California, and Ryokan College (Ph.D.), also in California. In 1989, Elmore developed the Relationship Center and the Relationship Enrichment Programs in Los Angeles. In the 1990s he also started a radio show and was a guest on television and other media, where he spoke on love, marriage, and family. Elmore has published several books, including How to Love a Black Man in 1996 and How to Love a Black Woman in 1998. Elmore is also the founder of Kingdom Shelter, which provides housing for homeless men. For more see African-American Religious Leaders, by N. Aaseng; and the Dr. Ronn Elmore website.

 
Subjects: Authors, Migration West, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

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

Evans, W. Leonard, Jr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2007
Evans, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of William L., Sr. and Beatrice Evans. Evans Jr. was raised in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1935. He was president and senior partner of the New York ad agency Evans and Durham, Inc., which specialized in the Negro market. Beginning in 1948, he was an account executive and supervisor for the Chicago advertising agency Arthur Meyerhoff Associates, Inc. He was president of the marketing consult firm, Leonard Evans Associates of Chicago, from 1951-1961. He was an advertising executive with Ebony and later helped co-found the National Negro Network (a radio network) in 1953. He was president of Chicago-based Tuesday Publications, Inc., publishers of Tuesday Magazine, founded in 1961, it is an insert in 22 major newspapers. The magazine focused on the positive contributions of African Americans. Evans retired in the 1970s and lived the remainder of his life in Arizona. For more, see "Tuesday publisher is Ad Club speaker," Milwaukee Star, 11/22/1969, p.7; The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; "William Leonard Evans, Jr." in The Negro Almanac; vol. 3 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and T. Jensen, "W. Leonard Evans, Jr.: 1914-2007 - founded Tuesday Magazine, National Negro Network," Chicago Tribune, 06/27/2007, Metro section, p. 9.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration West, Radio
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Arizona

Ewing, Thomas H.
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1930
Reverend Ewing was born in Kentucky just prior to the Civil War. He left Paducah, KY, and walked to Kansas City, MO, then moved on to Nebraska, where he earned his medical degree, graduating with honors. Ewing had a private medical practice and later returned to Kansas City in 1887 to become pastor of the Vine Street Baptist Church. The church had a small, poor, divided congregation, and the church property was indebted. Ewing helped get the church back in good standing and built a larger building. He directed his congregation toward savings plans; he organized an economics club and financial clubs to help members get their own homes and to invest in real estate. Vine Street Baptist Church became one of the largest African American Baptist churches in Kansas City, and more than 100 members owned their own homes. Ewing had also followed his own advice: he owned farms and other properties in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. He was the husband of Fannie Ewing, born 1857 in Kentucky, according to the 1855 Kansas State Census Collection, when the couple was living in Leavenworth with their 3 year old son. T. H. Ewing was referred to as the wealthiest Colored Baptist minister in the entire West. For more see Take Up the Black Man's Burden, by C. E. Coulter; and "T. H. Ewing" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States by S. W. Bacote.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Fergus Falls (Otter Tail County, Minnesota)
Around 1849, 40 free African Americans, most from Virginia and Kentucky, arrived near what is today St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota had recently been organized as a territory, and small groups of Kentuckians would continue to make their way to the area for the next half century. In 1896, real-estate agents distributed fliers to Kentucky African American veterans visiting the fairgrounds in St. Paul; the fliers highlighted Fergus Falls as a good settlement area. About 50 African Americans from Kentucky moved to Fergus Falls in 1897, joining others who had been there since the end of the Civil War. The community was described in a newspaper article as "the first exclusive Colored colony in Minnesota." The family of activist Mary Lee Johnson, who was born in Kentucky, moved to the area sometime after 1910. The lack of suitable homesteads and employment led many to leave the area. By 1970 only 15 residents remained in the African American community of Fergus Falls. For more see the quote in the article "Colored colony," Illinois Record, 05/14/1898, p.2; African Americans in Minnesota, by D. V. Taylor; and P. Miller, "Activist Mary Lee Johnson dies," Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities, 10/12/1997, News section, p. 7B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Communities, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky / Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, Minnesota

Ferrill, London
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
A slave from Virginia, Ferrill became minister in 1820 of the Lexington First African Baptist Church, which became the largest church in Kentucky with 1,828 members. His exact birth date is not known. For more see Biography of London Ferrill, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Colored Persons, Lexington, Ky at the Documenting the American South website; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas.
Subjects: Freedom, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Finney, Nikky
Birth Year : 1957
Born in Conway, South Carolina, Nikky Finney is an associate professor of creative writing and a former director of the African American Studies and Research Program at the University of Kentucky. She is a graduate of Talladega College in Alabama. She is a nationally recognized poet and author of books of poetry including On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, and The World is Round. Her work has also been published in anthologies. She was a screenwriter on the documentary, M & M. Smith: for posterity's sake. In 2011, Nikky Finney received the National Book Award in Poetry. In 2012, Nikky Finney left the University of Kentucky and returned to South Carolina. For more see "BIBR talks to Nikky Finney," Black Issues Book Review, March/April 2003, vol. 5, issue 2, pp. 28-29; K. Hamilton, "You are only as writerly as the last thing you've written," in Monty, a supplement to the print magazine, Montpelier at James Madison University; and D. Shafa, "Stepping up," Kentucky Kernel, 09/27/06, Campus News section. UKnow article, "UK Professor Nikky Finney wins National Book Award for Poetry," available online, a University of Kentucky publication website.



  See photo and additional information about Nikky Finney at "The Beauty and Difficulty of Poet Nikky Finney" by N. Adams, 04/08/2012, 6:39 AM, a NPR website.

Access Interview Read about the Nikky Finney oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.

 

  See the Nikky Finney interview with Renee Shaw, program #843, "Connections with Renee Shaw" at the KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.

 
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets
Geographic Region: Conway, South Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Friday, Rufus M.
In May of 2011, Rufus M. Friday was named the president and publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader. He is the first African American named to the post. Rufus M. Friday had been the president and publisher of the Tri-City Herald in Washington (state), beginning in 2005. While there, he was named the 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award winner. Rufus M. Friday is a native of North Carolina. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University and played tight end on the football team. For more information see D. Foster, "Herald's publisher wins MLK Jr. Spirit Award," Tri-City Herald, 01/17/2010 [online]; and J. Patton, "Herald-Leader publisher Tim Kelly to retire; Rufus Friday to succeed him," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/06/2011, p.A1. This entry was suggested by Lisa A. Brown.

See video of Rufus M. Friday at Bethel Church Transformation 2008 Conference, on YouTube.

See video of Rufus M. Friday on Connections with Renee Shaw, program #719 at Kentucky Educational Television.

Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Migration East
Geographic Region: Gastonia, North Carolina / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Furbush, William H.
Birth Year : 1839
Death Year : 1902
Thought to be born in Kentucky, Furbush was the first sheriff of Lee County, Arkansas, and also a member of the Arkansas General Assembly. He was a photographer in Ohio, then fought in the Civil War, later moved to Liberia, returning to the U.S. in less than a year. In 1874 he survived an assassination attempt. He may have been the first African American Democrat in the Arkansas General Assembly. For more see B. Wintory, "William Hines Furbush: African-American Carpetbagger, Republican, Fusionist, and Democrat," The Arkansas Historical Quarterly, vol. 63 (Summer 2004), pp. 107-165.
Subjects: Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Photographers, Photographs, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Lee County, Arkansas / Liberia, Africa

Gaines, Emma
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1949
Emma Gaines was an African American leader who was a native of Kentucky and lived and died in Kansas. She led educational and social efforts as an officer of a number of organizations. For 30 years she was president of the Baptist Women's Convention of Kansas and was among the first members of the Kansas Federation of Colored Women's Clubs when it was formed in June of 1931. She was president of the General Missionary Society, president of the Mothers Conference, and held several other positions at Shiloh Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. She was also a delegate for 30 years to the National Baptist Women's Convention, founded by Nannie Burroughs in 1900. Emma Gaines was a member of the Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention and was elected vice president in 1897. She was director of the Negro Festival Choir in Topeka and led the group through numerous performances in Topeka and surrounding cities. She was one of the first officers of the National Training School for Women founded in Washington, D. C. in 1909; the school was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Gaines was a Grand Chief Preceptress of the Pearly Rose Tabernacle No. 77, Daughters of the Tabernacle, and served as president of the Daughters of Liberty. In 1899, she was elected Queen Mother of the International Order of Twelve. Emma Gaines was the wife of Thomas Gaines; both were born in Kentucky and had been slaves. Their son, Benjamin P. Gaines, was also born in Kentucky. The family left Kentucky around 1887 and settled in Topeka, Kansas. Beginning in 1927, they were the owners of Gaines and Son Funeral Home, and in 1937, the family lived above the business at 1182 Buchanan Street. The business was initially located at 305 Kansas Street when the Gaines purchased it from the Topeka Undertaking Company, which was owned by the Goodwin family from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Emma Gaines died in 1949. In 1954, the cornerstone of the Gaines Memorial Chapel was put into place, marking the beginning of construction of the church that was named in honor of Emma Gaines. The church was located on Baptist Hill across the street from Kansas Technical Institute [which later merged with Kansas State University]. For more see "The Story of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gaines," Capital Plaindealer, 01/10/1937, p. 1; "The Baptist State Convention," Parsons Weekly Blade, 09/04/1897, p. 4; "Mrs. Emma Gaines...," Plaindealer, 09/29/1899, p. 3; "New organized undertaking firm has purchased former Topeka Undertaking Company," Plaindealer, 01/07/1927, p. 1; and "Lays cornerstone of Gaines Memorial Chapel," Plaindealer, 07/23/1954, p. 4.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Gamble, Joseph Dunbar
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 2005
Gamble, born in Browder, KY, the son of Bessie Breckner Gamble. The family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, when Joseph was a child. Around 1960, Gamble and his mother, Bessie, were on their way to a church revival in Phoenix, Arizona, when their car broke down in New Mexico. Gamble liked the area so much that he went back to Fort Wayne, packed up his family, and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1961. He became the first African American licensed contractor in the city, sole owner of Abdullah Construction from 1967-1986, incorporating the company as Gamble, Gamble, Gamble, and Gamble Construction Company in 1986. Joseph Gamble was also president of the Albuquerque branch of the NAACP from 1962-1966, advocating for fair housing legislation. He was founder and director of the Albuquerque Afro-American Cultural Center. In 1999 he was awarded the Carnis Salisbury Humanitarian Award. For more see L. Jojola, "Contractor was Noted Civil Rights Activist," Albuquerque Journal, 06/23/2005, Obituaries section, p. D13.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Construction, Contractors, Builders, Historians, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Browder, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana / Albuquerque, New Mexico

Garden of Eden (Fort Worth, TX)
Start Year : 1860
Garden of Eden is a historically Black community in Fort Worth, TX, that was settled by freed slaves from Kentucky and Tennessee around 1860. There were 54 households along the Trinity River. Today, the community has a population of 20, descendants of the original settlers. The Garden of Eden had fallen on hard times until the neighborhood association was developed in 2004. Since then the area has been designated a historic neighborhood. Garden of Eden received the 2004 Neighborhood of the Year Award. A cookbook, Recipes from Out to the House, contains a history of the community. In 2008, the city of Fort Worth began adding water and sewer lines to the church; others rely on septic tanks. For more see J. Milligan, "Historically black neighborhood reclaiming paradise," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 03/10/2008, Domestic News section; and Garden of Eden Neighborhood Association website.

See photo images and additional information about the Garden of Eden community in the article "In the Garden of Edan," by T. Vita, 02/25/2005, at the Preservation website.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tennessee / Garden of Eden, Fort Worth, Texas

Gleason, Eliza Atkins
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2009
Eliza Atkins Gleason was born in North Carolina, she came to Kentucky in 1931 to take up her first library job at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. In 1932 she became head librarian and also taught library classes in the new library department that she had created. The department, in conjunction with the Louisville Western Colored Branch Library, was established to continue offering the only library classes for African Americans in Kentucky between 1932 and 1951. Dr. Gleason left Kentucky in 1936, and in 1940 she graduated from the University of Chicago and became the first African American to earn a Ph. D. in librarianship. She was later hired at Atlanta University [now Clark Atlanta University], where she structured and organized the library school beginning in 1940 and would become the first African American library school dean 1941-1946. Decades later, Dr. Gleason returned to Louisville. She was a younger sister to librarian Olie Atkins Carpenter, and they were the daughters of Simon Green Atkins and Oleona Pegram Atkins. In 1892, Simon Green Atkins was the founder of what is today Winston-Salem State University, and his wife Oleona Atkins was a teacher and assistant principal at the school. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines, vol. 24 (Sept. 1998-Aug. 1999); Who's Who in America, 38th-46th eds.; and Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award. For more on Simon G. Atkins, see the chapter "For Service Rather than Success" in Winston-Salem by F. V. Tursi. * Additional information for this entry was provided by Professor J. G. Carew at the University of Louisville, she is the daughter of Dr. Eliza A. Gleason.

See photo image and obituary of Eliza Atkins Gleason in the Winston-Salem Journal, 12/24/2009.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration West
Geographic Region: Winston, North Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Gordon, Mary Ann Goodlow
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1924
Gordon was born on the Poindexter Plantation in Bourbon County, KY, during slavery. As a free person, Mary Ann Goodlow Gordon and her husband, John Francis Gordon, eventually settled in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. They were the only African American family in the town. John Gordon died in a train wreck around 1895 while on his way to work in the gold fields in Alaska. He died shortly before their sixth and last child was born. The child, [Emmanuel] Taylor Gordon (1893-1971), would become a well-known Negro spiritual singer. Taylor Gordon began his career in vaudeville and later performed with J. Rosamond Johnson in the 1920s and 1930s. For more information see Born to Be, by T. Gordon; and the Emmanuel Taylor Gordon Papers at the Montana Historical Society Research Center.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration West, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, 1st African American Families in Town, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky / White Sulphur Springs, Montana

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

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

Greenstead, Elizabeth Kay
Greenstead is described as a mulatto servant who lived in Virginia and sued the Col. John Motram estate for her freedom in 1653. She later married the lawyer who handled her case, William Greenstead. They had two sons, John and William. Their descendants include Danville, KY, school Principal William C. Grinstead and Louisville Mayor James F. Grinstead (1845-1921), born in Glasgow, KY. For more on Elizabeth Kay Greenstead see PBS Frontline: The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families; and M. H. Guthrie, "Black ancestry shines new light on color," Dayton Daily News, zone 6, p. 4, 01/30/03. See also James Fauntleory Grinstead, and Mayors of Louisville: records, 1870-1909, at the Filson Historical Society.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mayors
Geographic Region: Virginia / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Grider, Katie
Birth Year : 1858
Katie Grider was a 52-year old widow who left Kentucky and lived in Missouri, before settling in the African American town of Brooklyn, Illinois. Free persons and escaped slaves from St. Louis, Missouri, established Brooklyn in 1830 in St. Clair County. In 1910 Grider was a successful businesswoman: the owner of a tavern, restaurant, and boardinghouse. She was one of two persons who owned a restaurant in the town. Grider lived on 8th Street where she operated her business, and according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, her 23 year old daughter, Lottie, lived with her. Lottie was born in Missouri. For more see America's first Black town: Brooklyn, Illinois, 1830-1915, by S. K. Cha-Jua; and Guest Viewpoint, B. L. Betts, "Brooklyn's proud past is foundation for future," Belleville News-Democrat, 03/06/2007, Local/National section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Brooklyn, Illinois

Griffin, Edna
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 2000
Edna Griffin, born in Kentucky and reared in New Hampshire, later moved to Des Moines, Iowa. In 1948 she was refused an ice cream cone in the Katz Drug Store because they did not serve African Americans. Griffin led sit-ins, picketed the drug store, and sued the store owner. She won her civil case and was awarded $1. Griffin went on to found the Iowa Congress for Racial Equality and participated in the March on Washington in 1963. For more see T. Longden, "Edna Griffin," Des Moines Register, 01/28/2001, Metro Iowa Famous Iowans section, p. 1B; and Edna Griffin Papers, a University of Iowa website.

See photo image and additional information about Edna Griffin at "Famous Des Moines Citizens: Edna Griffin, 11/06/2008, at the Living Downtown Des Moines website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Migration West, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality)
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New Hampshire / Des Moines, Iowa

Griffin, Emma K.
Birth Year : 1868
In 1900, Emma K. Griffin was one of the 46 African Americans from Kentucky who were living in Portland, OR, according to the U. S. Federal Census. She was born in Frankfort, KY, the daughter of Charles and Louisa Miner. Emma was the wife of Adolphus D. "A. D." Griffin (1867-1916), owner and publisher of the New Age newspaper. The Griffins were married in 1897. A. D. was from Louisiana and had lived in Washington (state), where he was editor of the Spokane Northwest Echo newspaper. While there, he met Emma and her son, Eugene Miner, who was born in 1890 in Washington. In 1910, Emma and her son were living on 21st Street with three lodgers, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Emma is listed as single and head of the house, where she had her hairdressing business. Less than a 1,000 African Americans lived in Portland in 1910, and 52 were from Kentucky. For more on A. D. Griffin see "Editor A. D. Griffin: Envisioning a New Age for Black Oregonians (1896-1907)," by K. Mangun, a paper presented in 2007 to the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) [available online at allacademic.com].
Subjects: Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Washington / Portland, Oregon

Groves, Junius G.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1925
Junius Groves was born a slave in Green County, KY, or Louisville, KY. He walked to Kansas City in 1897, where he worked for 40 cents per day. Groves was able to save enough money to purchase a nine acre farm in Edwardsville, KS, which enabled him to later purchase a 500 acre produce farm there. At one time he produced more potatoes than any other farmer in the world, the harvest so large that a private railroad track was built on his land by Union Pacific Railway for shipping the produce. Groves was known as the "Potato King of the World." He also founded the community of Groves Center, KS, in 1913. For more see Junius K. Graves (sic) in The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and the Junius G. Groves entry on the Kansapedia website, by the Kansas State Historical Society.


Subjects: Agriculturalists, Produce, Businesses, Migration West, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Green County or Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Kansas City and Edwardsville, Kansas

Grubbs, Albert, Sr.
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1901
Albert Grubbs, Sr. was born in Lexington, KY. He is referred to as one of the pioneers of Sacramento, having arrived in California in 1854, two years after the death of Henry Clay. Grubbs had been the servant of Henry Clay, whom he had accompanied throughout the United States. Grubbs closed Clay's eyes when Clay died. In California, Grubbs was in the laundry and teaming businesses. In 1901, he was bedridden and a lamp tipped over on him. Grubbs, one of the oldest African Americans in Sacramento, was badly burned and, as reported at the time, not expected to survive his injuries. He was the father of Albert Grubbs, Jr., a trusted employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, who received a letter of commendation in 1906. Albert, Jr. had been a drummer boy, and his father had been a member of the Sacramento Zouaves, an African American military company formed to provide military training at the end of the Civil War. Similar companies were formed in other locations in California. Albert Jr.'s son, an electrician who got discouraged by prejudice in the United States, learned Spanish and moved with his wife, Carrie Phelps, who was from Chicago, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more see The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. L. Beasley; "Sacramento man who was Henry Clay's servant," The Evening Bee, 01/13/1900; "Albert Grubbs terribly burned," The Evening Bee, 10/19/1901: and "Albert Grubbs" in the Obituary section of the Los Angeles Times, 10/31/1901.
Subjects: Migration West, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Sacramento, California / Chicago, Illinois / Buenos Aires, Brazil, South America

Gudgell, Henry
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1895
Gudgell, born a slave in Kentucky, became a blacksmith, coppersmith, silversmith, and a wheelwright. He and his mother went with his father/master, Spence Gudgell, to Livingston County, Missouri, where he carved a walking stick that has also been described as a conjure remedy. The stick, the only surviving work of Gudgell, is at Yale University. For more about the carvings on the cane see B. J. Crouther, "Iconography of a Henry Gudgell Walking Stick," Southeastern College Art Conference Review, vol. 12, issue 3 (1993), pp. 187-191; and see "Missouri Wood Carving," The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts, by J. M. Vlach, Cleveland Museum of Art.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration West, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Livingston County, Missouri

Guthrie, Robert V.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2005
A few weeks after Robert V. Guthrie and his twin brother were born, the family moved to Richmond, KY, then to Lexington, KY. His father, P. L. Guthrie, was a former principal of old Dunbar High School. Robert V. Guthrie was a veteran of the Korean War. He earned his undergraduate degree at Florida A&M and then enrolled at the University of Kentucky in 1955, where he received his master's degree in psychology. He earned his doctorate at International University in 1970. He would go on to become one of the most influential African American scholars. Guthrie was the first African American psychologist to place his papers in the National Archives of American Psychology. He is author of numerous books, including Even the Rat Was White; a Historical View of Psychology. Guthrie was the first African American faculty member at San Diego Mesa College. Decades later, he returned to live in San Diego, where he is buried. For more see An 'American psychologist'; and J. Williams, "Robert V. Guthrie, 75; noted psychology educator," San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/12/2005, Obituaries column, p. B6.

See the photo image of Dr. Robert Val Guthrie at the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minorities website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

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

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

Hamilton, Jeff
Birth Year : 1840
Death Year : 1941
Jeff Hamilton, a slave, was sold to Texas Senator Sam Houston; he had been placed on the auction block in Huntsville, TX, in 1853. Jeff Hamilton was born on the Gibson Plantation in Kentucky, and the Gibsons had moved to Texas. Mr. Gibson was killed and his widow married James McKell, who had both gambling and drinking habits. McKell had sold Hamilton to pay a debt. Jeff Hamilton remained with the Houston family even after Sam Houston freed all of his slaves in 1862, becoming Sam Houston's personal servant. After Houston died, Hamilton was employed as a janitor at Baylor Female College [now the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor]. During his lifetime, Hamilton was recognized at historical events due to his close association with the historical figures he had met while serving as Houston's personal servant. After his death, Hamilton was honored with two historical markers, one at his grave in East Belton Cemetery and the other at Mary Hardin-Baylor campus. He was the author of My Master: the inside story of Sam Houston and His Time. For more see Jeff Hamilton, by J. C. Davis at The Handbook of Texas Online website.

See photo image with Jeff Hamilton at Walker County Treasures website
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Hamilton, Robin and Ramey Hensley (siblings)
Robin and Ramey Hamilton were sister and brother, and both were educators from Mt. Sterling, KY. Robin Hamilton (1896-1975) was a long time school teacher in the Mt. Sterling colored schools. She also wrote the Colored Notes column in the Mt. Sterling Advocate [source: "Colored Notes (by Robin Hamilton)," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/08/1918, p.4]. During the early years of her teaching career, she served as secretary of the 1917 School Institute for Colored Teachers [source: Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/04/1917, p.8]. In 1921, she married Fountain Davis, a plasterer [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. Robin Hamilton Davis continued teaching and was supervisor of domestic arts at the Montgomery County Training School [source: KNEA Journal, 1933, v.3, no.3, p.13]. She would later become  principal of the school, and in 1948 she represented the school as a member of the Educational Research Committee of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association [source: Montgomery County, Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974 by S. A. Harris, p.18; and KNEA Journal, 1948, v.20, no.1, p.18]. Robin Hamilton Davis died in Detroit, MI, January 15, 1975 [source: Social Security Death Index]. Her brother Ramey H. Hamilton (1900-1940) was the first principal of the DuBois School in Mt. Sterling, KY [source: Montgomery County, Kentucky Bicentennial, 1774-1974 by S. A. Harris, p.17]. He was the principal until shortly before his death on October 22, 1940. He died at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, KY [source: Kentucky Death Certificate #23239]. Ramey H. Hamilton received his education at Lincoln Institute, he was there in 1918 when he completed his WWI Draft Registration Card [see also, "Mr. Ramey Hamilton..." in Colored Notes, Mt. Sterling Advocate, 10/15/1918, p.4]. Ramey H. Hamilton would become a teacher at Lincoln Institute [source: Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association, April 22-25, 1925, p.60]. By 1930, he was married to Marietta Gibson Hamilton, they had a 2 year old daughter named Robin Frances Hamilton, who was born in Kentucky [source: U.S. Federal Census]. The family lived in Okmulgee, OK, where Ramey was a teacher in the public schools. When the DuBois School opened in Mt. Sterling, KY, in 1936, Ramey H. Hamilton was hired as the school principal. Both Robin and Ramey Hamilton were born in Mt. Sterling, KY, they were the children of Bertha Mack Hamilton and Benjamin G. Hamilton. The family lived in Harts in 1910 and in Smithville in 1920, both locations are in Montgomery County [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Their father, Benjamin Hamilton (1876-1951), supported his family as a carpenter and a plumber who owned his own shop. He was an elections officer in 1904 [source: "Elections Officers," Mt. Sterling Advocate, 09/21/04, p.6]. See also African American Schools in Mt. Sterling and Montgomery County, KY. This entry was suggested by Charles Jones of Mt. Sterling, KY. 

For more on Benjamin Grant Hamilton see the rootsweb page by his grandson Freeman Grant Chambers.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Harts and Smithville, Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky / Okmulgee, Oklahoma / Detroit, Michigan

Hampton, Kym
Birth Year : 1962
Born in Louisville, KY, Kym Hampton graduated from Iroquois High School in 1980, where she was a basketball and track star. She played college ball at Arizona State University, scoring over 2,000 points and setting eight career records, graduating in 1984 with a degree in theatre. She was inducted into the Arizona State Hall of Fame in 1989. She is also ninth on the NCAA's all-time career rebounds list. Hampton played professional basketball outside the U.S. for 13 years, and during her final year with the Italian League in 1996, was the leading rebounder. The WNBA team, New York Liberty, signed Hampton during the Elite Draft in 1997; she was the first African American player from Kentucky in the WNBA. The New York Liberty team was runner-up in the finals against the Houston Comets in the 1997 and 1999 WNBA Championship games. Hampton retired from the league in 1999 after a knee injury, taking her career in other directions with modeling, acting, the music business, basketball camps, and public speaking. In 2005 she was inducted into the Dawahares'/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. For more see J. Demling, "Hall of Famer Hampton finds there's a spotlight after basketball," Courier Journal, 03/16/2005.

See photo image of Kym Hampton at the Diamond and Company website.
Subjects: Basketball, Migration North, Migration West, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona / Italy, Europe / New York

Hardin, William Jefferson
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1890
Born a free person in Russellville, KY, Hardin was a politician, speaker and barber. He won two elections to the Wyoming Territory Legislative Assembly, the first African American to do so. He also served two terms as mayor of both Park City, Utah, and Leadville, Colorado. Hardin was educated by Shakers in Kentucky, and he would become a teacher for free Colored children in Bowling Green, KY. He left Kentucky in 1852 to head out West and settled in Colorado Territory in the early 1860s. By 1882, he was serving his second term as a Republican legislator in the Wyoming Territory. Hardin was considered very wealthy, said to have assets worth $20,000. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston; William Jefferson Hardin at the BlackPast.org website; and "Honorable W. J. Hardin...," Weekly Louisianian, 02/04/1882, p.2.

  See photo image of William Jefferson Hardin at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Mayors
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Wyoming / Park City, Utah / Leadville, Colorado

Harding, Robert E., Jr.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2004
Robert E. Harding, Jr. graduated first in his class from Bate High School in Danville, where he was born and grew up. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1954 at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. Harding went on to become the second African American to graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Law. In 1958, he was an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, transferring to the New Mexico office in 1968. Harding was a civil rights leader and an active NAACP member; he was president of the Albuquerque NAACP Branch. The Vincent E. Harding Public Interest Scholarship was established a few years prior to the 2005 Robert E. Harding, Jr. Endowed Professorship, both at the University of Kentucky Law School. [Vincent E. Harding was Robert and Iola Harding's son.] For more see A. Jester, "Distinguished black alumnus honored by UK law school," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/27/05, p. B3.

See photo image and additional information about Robert E. Harding, Jr. at the University of Kentucky College of Law website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Albuquerque, New Mexico

Harris, Everett G.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1936
Harris was sent to Louisville, KY, by the American Missionary Association to develop an African American church. He also established the Plymouth Settlement House, which included an employment bureau for African American women. He was also a member of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation. He was the husband of librarian Rachel Davis Harris. Everett Harris was born in Virginia. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Harris, William H., Jr.
Birth Year : 1903
William H. Harris, Jr. was born in Russellville, KY, the son of William and Hattie Harris. The family lived on West Bank Street in 1910, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and William Sr. was a minister at the Baptist Church. William Harris Jr. taught at Western Seminary in Kansas City and at Douglass High School in Webster Groves, MO, from 1928 to 1930. He served as director of the Community House in Moline, IL, 1930-1933, and was pastor at several churches in Missouri. He also served as director of foreign mission work in Missouri. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Kansas City and Webster Groves, Missouri / Moline, Illinois

Harrison, Nathaniel "Nate"
Birth Year : 1819
Death Year : 1920
Nate Harrison was an African American man from Kentucky who was referred to as the first white man on Palomar Mountain. He was actually the first man who was not Native American to live on the mountain. There is a monument to Harrison near the spring where he built his cabin. It was thought that Harrison had been a slave brought to the West around 1848, and who had escaped from his owner and hidden in the mountains. He didn't talk much about his life in Kentucky. Nate knew all of the Palomar Mountain trails and had provided spring water to those on the trails. Others in the area knew of his existence, but Nate Harrison was not named in the U.S. Federal Census. When Nate got so feeble that he could not take care of himself, members of the African American community in San Diego took Nate from his mountain cabin and placed him in the San Diego County Home for the Aged. He died soon after being placed in the home and was buried in a pauper's field. For more see V. S. Bartlett, "Uncle Nate of Palomar" [available .pdf online at the Peter Brueggeman, Palomar Mountain History Resources website].

See photo image and additional information about Nate Harrison at the San Diego State University website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Palomar Mountains, California

Hickman, Willianna Lewis and Daniel
Scott County, KY natives and former slaves, Daniel (1841-1917) and Willianna Hickman left Kentucky with their six children, part of the 140 Exodusters heading to Nicodemus, Kansas. In her narrative about the trip, Willianna Hickman tells of a measles outbreak and how the families followed the trails made by deer and buffalo because there were no roads. When they arrived at Nicodemus, she was shocked to see that families were living in dugouts. The Hickman family continued on to their homestead, 14 miles beyond Nicodemus, to Hill City. Minister Daniel Hickman organized the First Baptist Church, the Second Baptist Church, and the WaKeeney Baptist Association. He was elected the first county coroner. The Hickman family moved to Topeka in 1903. For more see the Willianna Hickman entry in We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century, ed. by D. Sterling, pp. 375-376; and the Daniel Hickman entry in vol. 4 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Nicodemus, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Hill City and Nicodemus, Kansas

Hicks, Lucy L. [Tobias Lawson]
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1954
Lucy Hicks said she was from Kentucky when she arrived in California around 1915. The six foot tall cook was also a madam; for 30 years she ran the only house of prostitution in Oxnard, California. She was also a philanthropist, giving generously to charity organizations such as the Boy Scouts and the Red Cross, as well as purchasing war bonds. As World War II was coming to an end in August 1945, an outbreak of venereal disease was said to have come from Hicks' establishment; Lucy and all of her employees had to be examined by the doctor. During Hicks' examination, it was discovered that Hicks was a biological male. Hicks had married twice, the second time in 1945, and was therefore charged with perjury, then jailed, tried, sentenced to prison, and kicked out of the city of Oxnard. Lucy Hicks' story was first published in a Pacific Coast newspaper, then updated and published in Time, after which Lucy Hicks was voted Time's Man of the Year. After the story ran, Hicks was wanted by the U.S. Army as a draft dodger. Lucy Hicks was born Tobias Lawson in Waddy, KY, and died in Los Angeles. Hicks was the child of Bill (b.1849 in KY) and Nancy Lawson (b.1851 in KY), and according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, the Lawsons worked for the George Waddy family. Nancy and Tobias, the youngest child, were still working for the Waddy family when the 1900 Census was taken. For a more complete history of Hicks' life see the Lucy Hicks Anderson entry at the BlackPast.org website; see "Sin & Souffle," Time, 11/05/1945, p. 24 [available online]; and Oxnard, 1941-2004, by J. W. Maulhardt [pictures of Lucy Hicks on p. 89].


Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Waddy, Shelby County, Kentucky / Oxnard and Los Angeles, California

Hoard, J. H. [Hoardsville, Oklahoma]
Birth Year : 1862
Reverend Hoard was born in Hopkinsville, KY, and in 1899 moved to Okmulgee, OK, to become pastor of the First Baptist Church. Okmulgee is 30 miles from Tulsa. Hoard was the husband of Clara Locke Hoard, with whom he had 11 children. Rev. Hoard was also pastor of the Union Baptist Church in Grayson, Oklahoma. He farmed his land next to the Henryetta gas and oil fields. He was chair of the Educational Board of the Oklahoma Baptist Convention, a member and moderator of the Southwest Creek and Seminole District Association, and the Hoardsville postmaster. Hoard had come to Oklahoma during the period author M. C. Hill describes as the "Great Black March Westward" that began in 1890 and peaked in 1910. Most came from eight southern states, including Kentucky. This was also the period when small all-Negro communities were developed, and there was an attempt to make Oklahoma an all Negro state. Hoardsville is usually not mentioned as one of the better known all-Negro communities. Hundreds of Negroes were arriving in Oklahoma each day, looking for utopia but finding that there were ongoing clashes between Negroes, Native Americans, and Whites. For more see "Reverend J. H. Hoard" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States, by S. W. Bacote; and M. C. Hill, "The All Negro Communities of Oklahoma," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 31, issue 3 (July 1946), pp. 254-268.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Postal Service, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Okmulgee, Oklahoma

hooks, bell [Gloria Jean Watkins]
Birth Year : 1955
She was born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of Rosa Bell and Veodis Watkins, but goes by the name bell hooks, which she prefers to spell without capitalization. hooks is a professor, feminist, cultural critic, poet, and author of more than 30 books, including Ain't I a Woman, Breaking Bread, and four children's books that include Happy to be Nappy and Be Boy Buzz. She is considered one of the foremost African American intellectuals. hooks is a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Hopkinsville, Stanford University (B.A.), the University of Wisconsin at Madison (M.A.), and the University of Santa Cruz (Ph.D.). After almost 30 years of teaching in California, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio, in 2004 she returned to Kentucky to join the faculty at Berea College as a Distinguished Professor in Residence. For more see Feminist Writers, ed. by P. Kester-Shelton; The African American Almanac, 8th & 9th ed.; Current Biography: World Authors 1900-1995 (updated 1999) [available via Biography Reference Bank]; and bell hooks, feminist scholar, on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #416 [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Poets, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / California / Connecticut / New York / Ohio / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Hope, Dennis D.
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1929
Dennis D. Hope was a journalist and political activist in Topeka, Kansas; he served as the editor and publisher of the Sunday Sun. The newspaper was published on an irregular schedule. Dennis D. Hope also severd on the county central committee in Topeka. Before coming to Kansas, Hope had been a slave, he was born in Boyle County, KY, on November 22, 1849 [source: "Dennis D. Hope (cut)," Plaindealer (Topeka), 12/19/1902, p.5]. Gaining his freedom at the close of the Civil War, Hope attended a colored school in Boyle County for three years, attending three months of each year. He probably attended one of the four schools established by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, between 1866 and 1870. In 1870, Dennis and 14 year old Sarah Hope lived at the home of Willis and Matilda Rogers in Boyle County, KY [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census].  Dennis D. Hope later lived for a brief period in Indianapolis, IN, then returned to Kentucky, before moving on to Topeka, Kansas in 1878, where he worked as a laborer for the Santa Fe R. R. Co. He left the railroad company after five years and went to work as a janitor at the First National Bank. In 1902, he had been at the bank for 18 years. In 1894, Dennis D. Hope was selected as a delegate for the Republican State Convention, he represented the 35th district of Shawnee County [source: "Republican Convention," The Globe-Republican, 06/01/1894, p.7, column 3]. Hope was a prominent member of the African American community of Topeka and was a member of several social organizations, including Shawnee Lodge #1923, the Knights of Tabor, and he was treasurer of the District Grand Lodge Kansas #17. He was a member of the 5th Ward Roosevelt Republican Club. In 1894, Dennis D. Hope was appointed chairman of the county central committee, the appointment was made by Aaron P. Jetmore, candidate for county attorney, and the appointment was said to be one of honor for Hope who was a respected citizen and a representative of the Negro race; A. B. Jetmore, father of Aaron P. Jetmore, had been president of the Freedmen's Relief Association in Topeka, KS, and many of the newly arriving Negroes in 1882 had not forgotten his generosity [source: "Let reason govern," The Kansas Blackman, 06/15/1894, p.1]. Dennis Hope is listed as a laborer on p.104 of Sam Radges' Sixth Biennial Directory of the City of Topeka for 1882; he lived at 24 Quincy Street. By 1902, he owned his own home. Dennis D. Hope was the husband of Millie Hope (b.1855 in KY), the couple lived at 1314 Washington Avenue [source: Polk's Topeka (Kansas) City Directory, 1929-30, p.237]. Dennis D. Hope died in1929 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Topeka, KS.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Boyle County, Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas

Howard, Theodore R. M.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1977
Howard, born in Murray, KY, was a graduate of the College of Medical Evangelists [now Loma Linda University] in Los Angeles, CA. He was medical director of the Riverside Sanitarium in California (1937-1939), then left to become surgeon-in-chief at Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou, MS, (1942-1947), which would become the largest hospital in the state for African Americans. He was also founder and chairman of the United Order of Friendship of America in Bayou. In 1947 he became surgeon-in-chief and chief medical examiner of the Friendship Clinic in Bayou. Dr. Howard was an outspoken civil rights advocate in Mississippi. He delivered the eulogy at Medgar Evers' funeral. Howard left Mississippi in 1956 to become medical director of Fuller Products Co. in Chicago, and he was also named president of the National Medical Association. His decision to come north was made exactly one year after the death of Emmett Till; Howard had been lecturing throughout Mississippi about the killing, and his life had been threatened. The White Citizens Council had place a $1,000 hit on Howard, who had become quite wealthy with hundreds of acres of farmland and an entire block of homes. Howard felt that he did not know whom to trust anymore, white or black. His clinic was sold to members of the United Order of Friendship, and Dr. Howard broke all ties with the Democratic Party. Dr. Howard was the son of Arthur Howard (b.1890 in TN) and Mary Chandler Howard (b.1892 in KY). In 1910, both parents worked as laborers in a tobacco factory, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Their second son, Willie Mason Howard, died of pneumonia in 1914, he was 15 months old according to his death certificate. By 1920, Mary had married Maurice Palmer (b.1888 in TN) and they had two children. Maurice Palmer was a laborer in a tobacco factory, and the family, including Theodore Howard, lived in Pool Town in Murray, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; D. Wright, "His life in danger, medic quits Dixie to fire salvos from North," Jet, vol. X, issue 16 (1956), pp. 12-15; Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons; Medgar Evers, by J. Brown; and Black Maverick by D. T. Beito and L. R. Beito. Listen to the tribute to Dr. T. R. M. Howard, by Jacque Day at WKMS at Murray State University.
Access Interview
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California / Mound Bayou, Mississippi / Chicago, Illinois

Hubbard, Philip A.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1902
Rev. Phillip A. Hubbard was a slave born in Kentucky, the son of Philip and Rosanna Hubbard. He was chairman of the first Republican convention held in Boone County, MO. Hubbard had served with the Union Army during the Civil War. He was licensed to preach in 1872 and was admitted to the AME Church Missouri Conference in 1873. He had several nicknames, such as "Silver Dollar Hubbard" and "The Dollar Money King," due to his success in collecting the per capital tax of the church while serving as the presiding elder of the Colorado Springs District of the A. M. E. Church. His remarkable ability with finances led to his being named the financial secretary of the AME Church. He also served as pastor at several churches and in 1901 was a delegate to the Ecumenical Conference in Europe. Rev. Hubbard set sail for England in August of 1901 and his wife joined him in September. While they were in England, Rev. Hubbard became ill and the couple returned to the U.S. Rev. Hubbard died in Washington, D.C. in January of 1902. His body was taken by train to Macon, MO where he was buried. For more see Rev. Philip H. Hubbard on p.583 in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; "May be Bishop Hubbard in 1900," Colored American, 11/12/1898, p.8; "Rev. Hubbard a delegate. He goes to England to represent the great A. M. E. Church," Colored American, 04/07/1900, p.14; and "The Late Dr. Philip Hubbard," Freeman, 02/01/1902, p.4.

See photo image of Rev. Phillip A. Hubbard on p.119 in Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration West, Religion & Church Work

Hueston, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1961
Hueston was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Bettie H. Treacy; his family later moved to Kansas City, Kansas. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and an active community leader in Kansas City. He also lived part-time in Gary, Indiana. He served as president of the National Negro Baseball League, beginning in 1927, after Rube Foster was committed to the Kankakee Asylum in Illinois. In Gary, Indiana, Hueston served as magistrate judge and helped establish the African American-owned Central State Bank. He was appointed by President Hoover to the National Memorial Commission for the building of the National Museum of African American History and Culture that was to have been built in 1929. He left Indiana in 1930 for Washington, D.C. to become Assistant Solicitor with the U.S. Post Office. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37; The Josh Gibson Foundation website; Take up the Black Man's Burden: Kansas City's African American Communities, 1865-1939, by C. E. Coulter; M. Strimbu, "Library exhibit depicts Gary's rich, varied history," Post-Tribune, 07/24/1997, Gary Neighbors section, p. NB4; and "William C. Hueston, 81, Government Attorney," Washington Post, 11/27/1961, City Life section.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Judges, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Kansas / Gary, Indiana / Kankakee, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Humes, Helen
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1981
Born in Louisville, KY, Humes made her first recording in 1927 in St. Louis. She then moved to New York and worked with the Vernon Andrades Orchestra. She replaced Billie Holiday in the Count Basie Band, recorded tunes for film and television, and appeared in the film Simply Heaven [Langston Hughes]. Humes moved to California in the 1940s and when her career slowed in the 1960s, returned to Kentucky. Humes' career picked up in the 1970s. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; and Contemporary Musicians, vol. 19, by S. A. McConnel.

Access InterviewListen to the Helen Humes Oral History (includes transcript) at the University of Louisville Libraries.


View Helen Humes with Dizzy Gillespie c.1947 on YouTube.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Television, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri / New York / California

Hunter, John E. [Hunter Foundation (Lexington, KY)]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1956
John E. Hunter, from Virginia, was the first African American surgeon at Lexington, KY's St. Joseph Hospital. He also helped found Lexington's Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Hunter was a graduate of Western Reserve [now Case Western Reserve]. He and Dr. Perry D. Robinson had a practice together. Hunter retired in 1952, after practicing medicine for 63 years; he died in Dayton, OH, in 1956. John Edward Hunter was the father of Bush A. Hunter. The Hunter Foundation for Health Care was a non-profit organization named to honor the 113 years of medical service in Lexington provided by John and Bush Hunter. The organization, founded in the early 1970s, was later renamed Healthcare of the Bluegrass. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia (2000); and "John E. Hunter" in the Lexington Herald, 11/16/1956, p. 1. See also the Hunter Foundation for Health Care records in Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

See photo image of Dr. John E. Hunter and an image of his home in The Negro in Medicine by J. A. Kenney, online at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jackson, Earl, Jr.
Birth Year : 1938
Born in Paris, KY, the son of Earl, Sr. and Margaret Elizabeth Cummins Jackson, Earl Jackson, Jr. is a microbiologist who retired in 1995 from Massachusetts General Hospital. A 1960 graduate of Kentucky State University, he was named to its Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni in 1988. Jackson has received a number of recognitions, including being named in Who's Who in the World, 1998, 2000, 2002, & 2006; Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare 1998-2007; and Who's Who in Science and Engineering, 1992-2007. Jackson resides in Texas. For more see Who's Who in America, 1997-2003.
Subjects: Biologists, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

Jackson, James W.: Migration to Colorado
James W. Jackson was only one of the hundreds of African Americans who left Kentucky for the West. According to the Census Reports, there were 687 African Americans who had left Kentucky and moved to Colorado by 1900. African Americans were being enticed to Colorado, according to author Jesse T. Moore, Jr., in order to keep out the Chinese, who were seen as an economic threat to American labor. African Americans, on the other hand, were viewed as being acclimated to American ways and no real threat. In 1858, James Jackson, born a slave, left the area near Maxville, KY, and settled in Denver, where he became a successful businessman. Jackson was politically active on many levels and became the first African American to serve on the Colorado Republican State Committee. Jackson was also invited to speak with President Theodore Roosevelt concerning the condition of African Americans in the U.S. For more see J. T. Moore, Jr., "Seeking a New Life: Blacks in Post-Civil War Colorado," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 78, no. 3 (Summer, 1993), pp. 166-187.
Subjects: Businesses, Immigration, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Maxville, Washington County, Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

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

Jacobson, Harriet P.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1961
Harriet Price Jacobson was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Nannie Price and Robert Johnson. A teacher and poet, she taught in Oklahoma rural schools from 1893 to 1896 and in Kansas and Oklahoma city schools from 1897 to 1935. She was an advisory teacher from 1935 to 1947. Jacobson organized the East Side Culture Club in Oklahoma City in 1907 and assisted in the organization of the State Training School for Negro Boys in Boley and the Training School for Girls in Taft. She was the founder and first president of the Oklahoma Federation of Negro Women's Clubs, 1910-1915. She received an award for her 42 years of teaching. Jacobson was author of a number of published poems in publications such as Anthology of Poetry by Oklahoma Writers (1938) and The Poetry Digest Annual (1939), and in 1947 her book of poems was published, Songs in the Night. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Black American Writers Past and Present. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by T. G. Rush, et al. See also Harriet Price Jacobson at the Uncrowned Community Builders website, and Harriet Price Jacobson at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Kansas

James, Grace Marilynn
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1989
A pediatrician, Grace M. James was the first African American woman member of the Jefferson County Medical Society and the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She founded the West Louisville Medical Center. The Grace M. James Papers are housed at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center. Grace M. James was born in Charleston, WV, the daughter of Edward L. and Stella G. Shaw James. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-6th ed.; and Dr. Grace Marilyn James by David James at the Find a Grave website.

See photo images and additional information about Dr. Grace Marilyn James in the article "Governor honors extraordinary Kentucky women," at Examiner website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Charleston, West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jo (slave)
Birth Year : 1807
Jo, a slave, had been born in Kentucky and moved to Missouri with his owner, referred to as Mr. B. Jo was considered a rare medical oddity in the early 1800s when at the age of twelve his skin and hair began to turn white, starting with a patch at the edge of his hairline. He also lost his sense of smell. It took about ten years for his body to lose all skin pigmentation. Brown spots began to appear on his face and hands when he was about 22 years old. Jo had had rubeola (measles) and pertussis (whooping cough) when he was a child and had both illnesses again after his skin began to change, along with chronic rheumatism and scarletina (scarlet fever). In spite of these illnesses, Jo was considered to be in very good health. For more about this case see Joseph C. Hutchinson, M.D. (of Marshall, Salmie County, MO), "A Remarkable Case of Change of Complexion, with Loss of the Sense of Smell," American Journal of the Medical Sciences, vol. 45 (January 1852), pp. 146-148.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri

Jones, Carridder "Rita"
Carridder Jones was born in South Carolina and lived in Indiana before moving to Kentucky. A playwright and historian, Jones's research has included African American communities in Kentucky, especially the black hamlets in Lexington and Louisville. Her play, "Black Hamlets in the Kentucky Bluegrass," was a finalist in the New York Drama League's New Works Project in 2002. Another of her plays, "The Mark of Cain," was chosen by the University of Louisville's African-American theater program for the Second Annual Juneteenth Festival of New Works. She has presented her research at conferences, programs, workshops, and as productions. She is the co-founder and Director of Women Who Write. In 2006, Jones received the Sallie Bingham Award. She is author of the 2009 book A Backward Glance. For more see "Free Black Hamlets," Courier Journal (Louisville) News, 04/19/04; and "Filmmakers hope to save Bluegrass freetowns," Lexington Herald Leader, 08/10/03.

See photo image and additional information about Carridder Jones at the Oldham County History Center website, 2009.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Historians, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Daisy
Daisy Jones was the first African American nurse in Colorado. She and her family had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made their way to Canada, where Jones received her nurse training. She moved to Denver, CO, in 1904. Jones was also one of the organizers of the NAACP in Colorado. Her forceps and medicine bag are on display at the Black American West Museum in Denver. For more see "Black Women in Colorado: two early portraits," Frontiers: a Journal of Women Studies," vol. 7, issue 3 -- Women on the Western Frontier (1984), p. 21; and photo image of Daisy Jones on p.18 in African Americans of Denver by R. J. Stephens, L. M. Larson, and The Black American West Museum.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

Jones, Ida "Black Ida"
Birth Year : 1871
Ida Jones was said to be "the most dangerous and vicious woman in Denver" [source: Wild Women of the Old West by G. Riley, p.82]. It was also said that she was from Kentucky, according to author Anne M. Butler. The story of Ida Jones' has been hailed and retold in texts as that of a tough, trouble-making, black woman in the West. She had a long record of violence and arrests. Her nickname was "Black Ida," and she was also referred to as "Ida May" [source: "Is Stratton here?," The Denver Evening Post, 10/12/1899, p.2]. She was described as illiterate, tall, coarse, mean, and prone to have a bad temper with violent outbursts. With all that has been written about Ida Jones, nothing is known for sure about her past, where exactly she came from, her day to day life, her mental state, what happened to her or her child after she was release from prison in Canon City, or if Ida Jones was her real name. In 1889, Ida Jones lived in a rental house with several apartments, the building was located at 2043 Holladay Street in the red light district of Denver [source: Ballenger & Richard's Annual Denver City Directory, p.530]. She is not listed in the 1888 or earlier editions of Corbett & Ballenger's Denver City Directory. Ida Jones would have been in her late teens or early twenties in 1889. According to the city directory, she lived alone. As the reputation of Holladay Street became more identified as part of the vice community, the street was renamed Market Street [additional information]. According to author A. M. Butler, in her book Gendered Justice in the American West, pp.81-111, Ida Jones was a prostitute who had had countless run-ins with neighbors on Market and Blake Streets. There is no mention of her having parents, siblings, relatives, or close friends. In March of 1889, Ida Jones went to jail for making a violent scene in a dress shop; the dress she had made did not fit properly [source: O'Hare and Dick, p.18]. In the fall of 1889 she was arrested for running a house of prostitution, and when she was released, Ida Jones went on a rampage and wrecked the home of the woman who had turned her in to the authorities. Two weeks after her release from jail, she was arrested again for running a house of prostitution. There were many more arrests with different charges, all leading up to August 1, 1890, when Ida Jones stabbed Stephen Zimmer in the left thigh with a dirk that left a six inch cut from which Zimmer bled to death. Ida Jones claimed self defense, saying that Zimmer had thrown a brick at her and tried to cut her with his knife. Neighbors from the Market Street area testified against her. Ida Jones was sentenced to 15 years in prison for murder in the second degree [source: Freeman, 11/22/1890, p.7]. Subsequent pictures of Ida Jones show her with short cropped hair, there are several pictures on p.18 in the book Wicked Denver by S. O'Hare and A. Dick. There is little that is known about her time in prison. According to author A. M. Butler, Ida Jones did nine years of a 15 year sentence in the Colorado State Penitentiary and was released in August of 1899. The same release date is given by authors O'Hare and Dick, who noted that Ida Jones applied for a pardon in 1895. However, her name appears as early as 1896 in the city directory, she [or another Ida Jones or someone using her name] was living at 2034 Downing Avenue [source: Ballenger & Richard's Annual Denver City Directory, p.586]. Her name is listed in the annual directory up to the year 1900, when she was again living on Market Street. Not long after her return to the community, Ida Jones was arrested for fighting with a woman whom she struck with a baseball bat [O'Hare and Dick, p.20]. In 1901, she was arrested for stealing $200 from Charles Peterson, who was said to be one of her customers. Ida Jones was convicted in March of 1902 and was listed as a fugitive in August of 1902, according to author A. M. Butler, p.84. According to O'Hare and Dick, p.20, Ida Jones was pregnant and about 35 years old when she was convicted in March of 1902, then sentenced to 5-10 years in prison, and she served a portion of that time before being released July 9, 1908. Her release date is given as 1905 by author L. Wommack in Our Ladies of the Tenderloin, p.105, "Ida Mae Jones was the first female inmate at Canon City to be pregnant. Prison records report the birth of her child, but nothing further."

Subjects: Migration West, Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver and Canon City, Colorado

Joplin, Florence G.
Birth Year : 1841
Death Year : 1881
Florence Givens Joplin was born free in Kentucky around 1841; her family moved to Texas when she was a child or teen. It is believed that she was the daughter of Milton and Susie Givens (or Givins). Florence was the wife of Giles (or Jiles) Joplin, and the mother of composer Scott Joplin, the second of her six children. Florence Joplin was a banjo player and singer. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Joplin, Giles
Birth Year : 1842
Giles (or Jiles) Joplin was a slave who may have passed through Kentucky on the way to Texas with his master. They had come from North Carolina, where it is speculated that Giles was born around 1842. Giles Joplin, a fiddler, was the father of composer Scott Joplin. Giles left his wife, Florence, and their six children, in 1880 for another woman. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Texas

Jordan, Artishia Garcia Wilkerson
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1974
Artishia G. W. Jordon was a teacher, civic leader, a leader in the AME Church, and supported civil rights. She was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of attorney Bernard O. and Dr. Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson. She was a graduate of Central High School, attended Howard University, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1923, and earned her master's degree in mathematics at the University of California in 1924. She was the wife of Frederick D. Jordan who was a bishop in the AME Church. Artishia Jordan served as president of the Southern California Conference Branch, and was vice-president of the Chicago Conference Branch and the Southwest Missouri Conference Branch. She organized the AME Minister's Wives Alliance of the Los Angeles vicinity. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Order of Eastern Star, and was elected to the executive council of Southern California Council of Church Women. She also served as president of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Council of Negro Women, and was a member of the Committee of Management of the Woodlawn YWCA. She was affiliated with the Sojourner Truth Home and the NAACP. Jordan was the first African American director of the Los Angeles Chapter of American Mission to Lepers. She was a contributing editor of the Afro-American Woman's Journal and was editor of the Women's Missionary Recorder from 1940 to 1944. She taught math at Central High School in Louisville and also taught at Western University. Artishia Jordan and her husband, Bishop F. D. Jordan, made several trips during the 1950s visiting AME Churches in South Africa. Artishia Jordan was author of The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Africa. Jordan Hall at Morris Brown College was named for Rev. and Mrs. Jordan. In 1976, the AME Church founded the Artishia Jordan Scholarship Fund, and after Bishop Jordan's death in 1976, the name of the fund was changed to the Artishia and Frederick Jordan Scholarship Fund. More than 1,000 students have benefited from the fund. For more see Mrs. Artishia Wilkerson Jordan in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; J. Jordan, "Thirtieth Anniversary of the Artishia and Frederick Jordan Fund," in the Christian Recorder Online (English Edition), 11/09/2006; and see Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson Jordan in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition, by H. M. J. Williams.

See photo image of Artishia and Frederick Jordan at the Jordan Scholarship Fund webpage, a Howard University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Civic Leaders, Migration West, Women's Groups and Organizations, National Council of Negro Women
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

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

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

Kavanaugh, Nelson
Kavanaugh was a freed slave from Richmond, KY, who made his way to Texas in 1837 and settled in Houston. He was one of the many barbers in the Republic of Texas; barbering ranked second to farming as an occupation for freemen. For some residents, there were too many freemen and there was fear of an uprising by the freemen, aided by abolitionists. A law was enacted that required all freemen to leave; Kavanaugh appealed to the Texas Congress that he be allowed to remain in the Republic of Texas. No action was taken by Congress and Kavanaugh left the area some time after 1846 when he appeared on the Washington County, Republic of Texas Tax List, and the Poll List. For more see the Black Studies Research Sources: Race, Slavery, and Free Blacks - Series 1: Petitions to Southern Legislatures, 1777-1867, Reel 15; H. Schoen, "The Free Negro in the Republic of Texas," Chapter IV, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 41, issue 1 [Online]; A. F. Muir, "The Free Negro in Harris County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, vol. 46, issue 3, [Online]; and "Memorial of Nelson Kavanaugh" in the Texas State Library.
Subjects: Barbers, Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Kelly, James M. "Jim"
Birth Year : 1946
Death Year : 2013
Born in Millersburg, KY, Jim Kelly was a martial artist who co-starred in the film, Enter the Dragon, starred in Black Belt Jones, and acted in other movies. He was also a professional tennis player and was a tennis coach. Kelly was an athlete in high school and participated in several sports. He briefly attended the University of Louisville, but left school to study karate. In 1971 he won the International Middleweight Karate Championship. Jim Kelly resided in San Diego, California. His family is from Millersburg, KY, where they resided for more than a century, and includes Kelly's great-grandparents William and Lizzie Lewis, both born in the 1840s according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Jim Kelly (II); and Jim Kelly (martial artist) a Wikipeida web site.

See Jim Kelly, Actor In 'Enter the Dragon," Dies, a NPR website.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Athletes, Athletics, Migration West, Tennis, Martial Arts, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / California

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

Kirk, Andrew D. "Andy"
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1992
Kirk was born in Newport, KY, and raised in Denver, CO. He was a mail carrier prior to joining George Morrision's jazz band in Denver, CO, in 1924. He organized his band, Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, in Oklahoma City in 1929. Kirk's first recording was made in 1929, and he went on to acquire international fame. One of his more popular songs was Until the Real Thing Comes Along. He played in the major night clubs and ballrooms such as the Cotton Club in New York and the Tunetown Ballroom in St. Louis. Kirk died in New York according to the Social Security Death Index. For more see Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 7th-8th eds., revised by N. Slonimsky. View images and listen to I Lost My Girl From Memphis - Andy Kirk and His Twelve Clouds of Joy on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Denver, Colorado / New York

Lawson, Daniel C.
Birth Year : 1945
Lawson was born in Louisville, KY. After leaving his position as marketing sales manager at Gulf Oil Co., Lawson was appointed assistant transit administrator for the city of Houston by Houston, Texas, Mayor Fred Hofheinz. He left that post to become the first marketing manager for the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority. Lawson was later founder and president of Marketing and Sales Unlimited, Inc. and Lawson National Distributing Co. of Houston, Texas. He was also a noted football player at Oklahoma State University. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Businesses, Football, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Houston, Texas

Lee, Mary S. B.
Born in Paris, KY, Lee became dean of women at Langston University in Oklahoma and a consultant to the Oklahoma School of Air-Spotlight on Health. Her 1939 thesis was Guidance Programs in the Separate Accredited Secondary Schools of Oklahoma (Mary S. Buford), and she also authored a number of articles in such journals as Southwestern Journal and Journal of the National Association of Deans of Women. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Langston, Oklahoma

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

Lowery, Perry G.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1942
It is thought that Perry G. Lowery was born in Kentucky and his family later moved to Kansas. He was the first African American graduate from the New England Conservatory of Music. Lowery played the cornet and was a band leader, playing with a number of bands and in vaudeville and circuses, directing the side show of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus Band. He is known for the band composition, Prince of Decora Galop. Perry G. Lowery was the husband of Carrie Lowery (1884-1943), the couple married in 1916 [source: Ohio, County Marriages]. He was the son of Andrew and Rachel Liggins Lowery Lowery [source: Perry G. Lowery in the Ohio Deaths Index]. For more see Showman: the life and music of Perry George Lowery, by C. E. Watkins.

See photo image with Perry G. Lowery and other band members at Kansas Memory website.
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas

Lucas, Dave
Born in Kentucky, Dave Lucas and his mother, Elizabeth Lucas, moved to Fort Lowell, Arizona, in the 1870s. He held a number of jobs before handling horses and becoming a jockey. He purchased a home, which is thought to be the oldest standing home in Tucson owned by an African American. For more see Biographies & Oral Histories: Pioneers in In the Steps of Esteban: Tucson's African American Heritage, by the University of Arizona Library.

See photo of Dave Lucas home at the Universit of Arizona website.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fort Lowell and Tucson, Arizona

Luckett, William Benjamin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1852
Death Year : 1922
In 1887, William B. Luckett established what is thought to be the first public transfer line [local bus service] and street car in Frankfort, KY. It was his intent to meet every train coming into Frankfort with his new horse drawn* omnibus that would take passengers to any location in the city. The service could be ordered by the telephone; Luckett's phone number was 81 [source: "Wm. B. Luckett," Frankfort Roundabout, 06/04/1887, p.4]. Luckett had purchased a 12 passenger bus with an attachable seat on the top, and he officially opened his business on May 30, 1887, according to his ad on p.7 of the Frankfort Roundabout, 06/04/1887. His prices ranged from 25 cents for 1 passenger with a valise or satchel, to 60 cents for 2 passengers with 2 trunks. The fare for children between the ages of 5 and 9 was 5 cents. If there were several children, "the rates will be reasonable." Customers could leave their orders at his Telephone 81, or at the Telephone Exchange, Holmes and Halloran's Drug Store, Blue Wing Office, and A. H. Waggoner's Grocery Store on Broadway. The transfer line business seemed like a good idea, but it did not generate a profit for Luckett. On June 25, 1887, there was a notice on p.3 of the Frankfort Roundabout, "W. B. Luckett proposes to run his omnibus as a street car from some point on the North Side to the extreme end of South Frankfort in the middle of the day and in the evening to accommodate persons living on the South Side going to and from their meals." On July 4, 1887, there was another notice on p.7 of the Frankfort Roundabout encouraging that his business should be patronized or the transfer line may not continue. The ad on the same page had all the previously mentioned locations for placing orders, plus the additional location of the LeCompte and Carpenter's South Side Drug Store. By the end of August 1887, there were no more ads for the transfer line business. The city of Frankfort still desired to have a street car line. But, in 1891, the mayor's veto was sustained at the city council meeting, the ordinance would have allowed the Capital Railway Company to construct the first street railroad [source: "We must continue to walk," Frankfort Roundabout, 07/25/1891, p.4]. Without the transfer line business, William B. Luckett developed his livery business located on Ann Street. In 1899, when he was preparing to move out of state, Luckett put the livery business up for sale or lease. Ads was posted in the newspaper. William B. Luckett is described as a mulatto in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. He was born in Franklin County, KY, the son of Cordelia Duff Hayden. He was the husband of Katherine A. Taylor Luckett (1857-1936), they married in 1882 and the couple had at least six children [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. In 1900, the family lived in Dayton, OH, according to the census, and William B. Luckett was an insurance agent. The family was noted as Black in the census, they lived on Hershey Street. They next moved to Yellowstone, Montana, and Luckett was a farmer. The family was listed as white in the 1910 Census and the 1920 Census. William B. Luckett died October 30, 1922 in Big Horn, Montana.

*Omnibus is a public vehicle designed to carry a large number of people.

See photo image of an 1890s horse drawn omnibus, in the Encyclopedia of Chicago online.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Bus Transportation: Employees, Owners, Segregation
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio / Yellowstone and Big Horn, Montana

Marshall, Jim
Birth Year : 1937
Jim Marshall was born in Danville, KY, and grew up in Ohio, where he was an outstanding football player at East High School in Columbus. He played college ball at Ohio State University. Marshall left college his senior year to play in the Canadian Football League. He was later taken in the fourth round by the Cleveland Browns in the 1960 NFL draft, then traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1961. Marshall, a defensive end, held the NFL record for playing in the most consecutive games. From 1961-1979 he never missed a game and had more playing time than any other football player in history: Marshall played in all 302 games of his career, including four Super Bowls. He is often remembered for retrieving a fumble and running 66 yards in the wrong direction, October 25, 1964, against the San Francisco 49ers. In spite of the wrong-way incident, Marshall held the record for recovering the most fumbles by opponents - 29. For more see "Vikings beat 49ers despite a long run to the wrong goal," New York Times, 10/26/1964, p. 43; "Jim Marshall in Viking farewell," New York Times, 12/16/1979, p. S5; and Jim Marshall (football player) at the MathDaily website.

See Jim Marshall's Grid Iron Greats interview in 2009 on YouTube.
Subjects: Football, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Minnesota

Mason, Melvin T. "Mel"
Birth Year : 1943
Mason, a civil rights activist and an educator, was born and raised in Providence, KY. His family moved to Seaside, CA, where Mason was an outstanding basketball player at Monterey High School. He graduated in 1960 and would go on to play basketball at Monterey Peninsula (Junior) College [now Monterey Peninsula College, a community college], and left the school after his freshman year in 1961 to serve in the military. He was the youngest basketball player to be named All-Air Force. He led all branches of the military in scoring in Europe, and was named Air Force European Command Player of the Year in 1964. Problems that Mason considered racist in the military led to a Bad Conduct Discharge in 1965. With the help of U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel from California, the discharge was overturned and changed to an Honorable Discharge. Mason returned to Monterey Peninsula College in 1966 and became the only All-America basketball player in the school's history and he is still the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. Mason then received over 100 basketball scholarship offers from around the United States. He accepted a scholarship at Oregon State University, but lost his scholarship after taking a solitary stand against what he describes as "the racist treatment of Black students," thus ending his basketball career; he was banned from playing basketball at any college in the U.S. Mason earned his B.A. in social science at Golden Gate University, his M.A. in social work from San Jose State University, and a clinical social worker's license (LCSW) from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. When he was an employee at Western Electric in Sunnyvale, CA, he helped form the Black Workers Unity Caucus to fight job discrimination and sexual harassment. Based on his work with the caucus, Mason was offered and accepted the invitation to join the Black Panther Party in 1968. In 1970, he organized a Black United Farmworkers Union Support Committee, and the first anti-police brutality campaigns on the Monterey Peninsula. In 1976, Mason was unsuccessful in his run for Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Board. He ran for governor of California in 1982, when he was ruled off the ballot. He was a city council member of Seaside, CA, where his voting record was investigated by the FBI due to his membership in the Socialist Workers Party. Mason ran for President of the United States in 1984 as a candidate of the Socialist Workers Party; he received 24,681 votes. He was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit against the FBI and their use of the Counterintelligence Program against the Black Panther Party and other groups. Mason lived in New York 1985-1987, where he was part of the Anti-Apartheid Coalition in 1986, and helped form the largest Anti-Apartheid demonstration in the history of the movement, with over 300,000 people. Mason returned to Seaside, CA, in 1987, and in the early 1990s he became co-founder of the Regional Alliance for Progress Policy, and served as spokesperson and chairperson. He has founded and led a number of civil rights organizations and served on a number of boards. He is internationally known and has been the guest of Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, Sinn Fein in Ireland, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Maori people in New Zealand. Mason retired in 2006 after 10 years at California State University, Monterey Bay, which marked the end of a 40 year career as an educator, counselor, and mental health practitioner and director. He is a former president of the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP and vice president of the California NAACP Conference. He is the author of Mel Mason: the making of a revolutionary. Mason has also received many awards including his induction into the Monterey Peninsula College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2007, Mason received the Civil Rights Legacy Award from the Monterey Peninsula Chapter of the NAACP. March of 2011, Mason was inducted into the California Community College Athletic Hall of Fame [the same hall of fame that Jackie Robinson was inducted into for his athletic accomplishments at Pasadena City College]. Mel Mason is currently an appointee to the Access to Excellence Committee with the California State University System. The program is designed to increase the admission of minority students to CSU campuses. For more see S. Purewal, "A Revolutionary life," The Monterey County Herald, 07/03/2006, Top Story section, p. A1; The Trial of Leonard Peltier, by J. Messerschmidt and W. M. Kunstler; D. Coffin, "Lobos Legacy," The Monterey County Herald, 09/28/2010, p.D1; J. Devine, "Mel Mason named to JC Hall of Fame," The Monterey County Herald, 01/31/2011, p.B1; D. Taylor, "A Lifelong battle for equality," The Monterey County Herald, 03/20/2011, p.A1; and see Mel Mason, Monterey Peninsula, induction 2011, a CCCAA website. Additional information was provided by Melvin T. Mason, contact him for a copy of his biography.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Basketball, Education and Educators, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Presidents, National Presidential Candidates and Party Nominees
Geographic Region: Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Seaside, California

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

McClain, William C. "Billy"
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1950
Multi-talented William McClain was a minstrel actor and Hollywood motion pictures actor, he was also a dancer, a musician, a playwright, wrote music and lyrics, and was a short story writer. He played cornet in Lou Johnson's Minstrels, and spent many years with the minstrels in Europe and lived in Paris, France from 1906-1913. He was also a member of Orpheus McAdoo's Jubilee Singers and Concert Company in Australia. One of McClain's works was The Smart Set, written in 1901. He wrote several songs including Shake, Rattle, and Roll. McClain had also trained as a boxer, and he managed and trained famous heavyweight boxer Sam McVey. On the screen, McClain played the role of The King in Nagana in 1933, and appeared in more than 20 movies, the last in 1946. He played various restricted roles, such as a servant, butler, footman, cook, and janitor. In 1938, he played the role of Zeke in Kentucky, and in 1939, the role of a horse groomer in Pride of the Bluegrass [aka Steeplechase]. McClain was the husband of Cordelia McClain, and the father of actress Teddy Peters. At the time of his death, his age was estimated to be 93, but his birth year has also been given as 1866, and his birth location has been given as Kentucky and Indianapolis, IN. For more see "Arrangements incomplete for actor's rites," Los Angeles Sentinel, 02/02/1950, p.A4; "Billy McClain" in Who Was Who On Screen, by E. M. Truitt; A History of African American Theater by E. Hill and J. V. Hatch; and The Ghost Walks by H. T. Sampson.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Boxers, Boxing, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Paris, France, Europe / Australia / Hollywood and Los Angeles, California

McCray, Mary F.
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1894
Mary F. McCray, born a slave in Kentucky, was the wife of S. J. McCray. She was freed at the age of 21 after the woman who owned her family, Miss Polly Adams, died in 1859. Fannie, her husband, and family moved to De Smet in the Dakota Territory, where they established the first church and sunday school in their home. Mary, who could not read or write, would become one of the first African American women licensed to preach in the territory; she was pastor of the Free Methodist Church. Mary and her husband also founded the first school for African Americans in De Smet. When their crops failed, the McCray family returned to Ohio, where Mary and S. J. founded the First Holiness Church of Lima. For more see "Mary F. McCray" in vol. 5 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and The Life of Mary F. McCray, by her husband and son [available online at UNC University Library, Documenting the American South].

See image of Mary F. McCray on p.4 of The Life fo Mary McCray.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School
Geographic Region: Kentucky / De Smet, South Dakota Territory / Lima, Ohio

McDowell, Cyrus R.
Birth Year : 1854
Cyrus R. McDowell, a minister and businessman, was born in Bowling Green, KY. He founded (in 1887) and was editor of (beginning in 1889) the Bowling Green Watchman. He was a co-founder of the Bowling Green Academy and also organized the Green River Valley Baptist Association. His birth year is given as 1854 in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, at the time he, his wife Mary (b.1864 in MS), and their children were living on East White Oak Street in Independence, MO. Mary McDowell had temporarily opened the Baptist College in Independence, MO. The college had originally opened in January of 1890 in Independence, MO, and was to be moved to a permanent location in Macon City, MO, prior to the opening of the third term. But the property had not been secured in time and Mary McDowell reopened the school in Independence until it was moved on January 4, 1891 [source: "The Baptist College at Macon City, Mo.," The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, v.15, 1893, pp.273-274]. Rev. C. R. McDowell was pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Independence, MO [source: "Independence, MO., items," Iowa State Bystander, 05/18/1900, p.4]. In 1901, Rev. McDowell was head of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO, [source: Gould's St. Louis Directory for 1901, p.1225]. Two years later, he was manager of the Hon Co-operative Trading Company in Hannibal, MO [source: R. E. Hackman & Co.'s Hannibal City Directory, 1903, p.239]. Around 1925, Rev. McDowell was editor of the Baptist Record, published by the Baptist Record Publishing Company, and he was editor of The Searchlight Publications [source: "Rev. C. R. McDowell...," Plaindealer (Topeka, Kansas), 05/15/1925, p.2]. He was president of the [Baptist] Record Publishing Company in 1927 [source: 1927 Polk's Kansas City Missouri City Directory, p.1251], while also serving as pastor of Helping Hand Baptist Church [source: Polk's Hannibal Missouri City Directory, 1927, p.196]. The following year, Rev. McDowell was president of Home Protective Investment Company [source: Polk's Kansas City Missouri City Directory, p.1269]. For several years, Rev. McDowell had been a member of the fraternal organization Home Protective Association and he was Chief Regent in 1906 [source: "The Home Protective Association," St. Louis Palladium, 10/13/1906, p.4]. In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Rev. Cyrus McDowell was still an active minister, he was a widower, and he lived with his daughter-in-law, Lida McDowell on Center Street in Hannibal City, MO. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Independence, Saint Louis, Kansas City & Hannibal, Missouri

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

Meachum, John Berry "J. B."
Birth Year : 1789
Death Year : 1854
John Berry Meachum was a slave born in Kentucky who later lived in Virginia. He was hired out and eventually purchased his freedom and that of his father, who was a Baptist preacher. Meachum and his father moved to St. Louis, MO, leaving Meachum's wife and children enslaved in Virginia. For the next eight years, Meachum worked as a cooper and carpenter, saving enough money to purchase his family in 1824. (In some sources, Meachum and his wife, Mary, a slave from Kentucky, are said to have gone to Missouri together.) Two years later, Meachum was ordained a minister and became pastor of the First African Baptist Church, a position he held until his death in 1854. He had helped found the church, which eventually grew to have more than 500 members. Meachum also owned slaves; he had more than 20 slaves, most of them children who worked to purchase their freedom. Meachum was considered a leader among the freemen and slaves; during his time, he was the most outspoken advocate in Missouri for the education of African Americans. Meachum's church was one of five in St. Louis that offered education under the guise of Sunday School. Each Sunday, more than 100 freemen and slaves (with permission) attended classes in the dark basement of Mechum's church. White sympathizers helped teach the classes and provided supplies for the school. One of the students was James Milton Turner (see the Hannah Turner entry). In 1847, although the abolitionist movement was gaining strength in Missouri, it became illegal for African Americans to receive educational instruction or to attend school. It was also illegal for African Americans to lead church services unless a white officer were present. Meachum's school was soon closed. The school was reopened on a steamboat in the Mississippi River; the boat was built by Meachum. For more see The Baptists in America (1836), by F. A. Cox and J. Hoby [available full-text at Google Book Search]; D. D. Bellamy, "The Education of Blacks in Missouri prior to 1861," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 59, issue 2 (Apr., 1974), pp. 143-157; and D. L. Durst, "The Reverend John Berry Meachum (1789-1854) of St. Louis," The North Star: a Journal of African American Religious History, vol. 7, issue 2 (Spring 2004), pp. 1-24 [pdf].

See the image and additional information about John Berry Meachum at the First Baptist Church of St. Louis website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Carpenters, Sunday School, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Virginia / Saint Louis, Missouri

Meaux, Fredrick C. and Bertha [Edythe Meaux Smith]
Fred Meaux was born around 1883 in Kentucky, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was living with his uncle, James Sausbury [or Sansbury], in Lebanon, KY. When he was 20 years old, he married Bertha, and the following year Fred visited the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, enjoying the area so much that he and Bertha moved to St. Louis. In 1920, the family consisted of Fred, Bertha, and their five children. Fred Meaux was a postal carrier, one of the first African Americans to deliver mail in St. Louis. He was also an active member of the National Association of Letter Carriers and was a delegate at the 33rd Convention held in St. Louis. The Meaux's daughter, Edythe Meaux Smith (1917-2007), and her husband, Wayman Flynn Smith, Jr., were civil rights activists. Edythe, who was also a journalist and an educator, served as Deputy Director of the St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, which handled discrimination complaints. For more see "Fred C. Meaux" and "F. C. Meaux" in The Postal Record, vol. 33, issue 1 (January 1920) [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and "Edythe Smith educator, civil rights activist," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 04/21/2007, News section, p. A16.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Fathers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Lebanon, Marion County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

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

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

Micheaux, David
Micheaux was a slave in Calloway County, KY, who was later sold to an buyer in Texas. His wife was Melvina Micheaux. David was the father of Calvin Swan Micheaux, Sr. (1847-1932), who was the father of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951). Oscar was an author and later established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a 1919 silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux, see The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young. For more on David Micheaux, see The Conquest, by O. D. Micheaux. David Micheaux was the father of Andrew Jackson Micheaux, who was the great, great grandfather of pro football player Austin Wheatly. See an Andrew Jackson Micheaux photo.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration West, Grandparents, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Calloway County, Kentucky / Texas

Micheaux, Melvina
Birth Year : 1832
Death Year : 1916
Micheaux was born in Alabama. She and her husband, David Micheaux, were slaves in Calloway County, KY. Melvina and her three children moved to Illinois, later joining other Exodusters in the move to Nicodemus, Kansas. One of her children, Calvin Swan Micheaux, Sr. (1847-1932), was the father of Oscar D. Micheaux (1884-1951), an author who established the Micheaux Film and Book Company. He became a producer of films, the first of which was The Homesteader (a silent film). For more on Oscar D. Micheaux, see The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker, 1884-1951, by E. J. Young. Melvina Micheaux was the mother of Andrew Jackson Micheaux, the great, great grandfather of pro football player Austin Wheatly. See Andrew Jackson Micheaux and Melvina Micheaux photos.
Subjects: Migration West, Mothers, Nicodemus, Grandparents, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era], Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Alabama / Calloway County, Kentucky / Nicodemus, Kansas

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

Migration from Kentucky to Kansas
Start Year : 1860
End Year : 1920
The first significant migration of African Americans from Kentucky to Kansas took place between 1860, when there were 64 migrants, and 1870, when there were 1,776. The majority lived in either Leavenworth, Shawnee, or Wynadotte Counties. In Topeka, most of the African American residents had come from Missouri, and the next largest number come from Kentucky. By 1877, there was a small concentration in Nicodemus. The 1885 Kansas State Census shows that more than half the African Americans living in Nicodemus were Kentucky natives. Nicodemus was only one of the rural communities that promised opportunity and hope for African Americans seeking a better way of life in the West. According to the 1900 U. S. Federal Census, African Americans born in Kentucky and living in Kansas had increased to 5,600. The numbers would start to fall with the onset of the Great Black Migration to urban locations in the north and west. By 1920, the number of Kentucky-born African Americans living in Kansas had declined to little more than 2,500. For more see "Quite a number of Colored people from Kentucky...," Western Recorder, 12/14/1883, p.3; "Coming to Kansas," Western Recorder, 04/18/1884, p.2; Black Towns and Profit, by K. M. Hamilton; The Great Migration in Historical Perspective, by J. W. Trotter; K. J. C. White, et. al., "Race, gender, and marriage: destination selection during the Great Migration," Demography, vol. 42, issue 2 (May, 2005), pp. 215-241; and T. C. Cox, Blacks in Topeka, Kansas 1865-1915: a social history.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas

Migration to Deadwood, Dakota Territory
Start Year : 1870
End Year : 1900
The 1870 U.S. Federal Census shows African Americans living in the Dakota Territory; there were 80 residents, five of whom were from Kentucky. Most were former slaves who were employed as cooks and domestic help. By 1880, the Dakota Territory contained 17 African Americans from Kentucky, with the largest group of six living in the town of Deadwood, located in the Black Hills. P. Reynolds (b. 1852 in Kentucky), was a wood sawyer and contractor who had brought along his wife, Katie (b. 1852 in Arkansas), and their son, Clarrence. The family had lived in Nebraska, where Clarrence was born in 1875. Joseph Wells (b. 1831) was a cook. Theodore Lyons (b. 1830) was a barber. George Ree (b. 1861) was a laborer. Julia Francis (b. 1853 in Kentucky) was a widow who was employed as a housekeeper. She had a daughter named Dollie, who had been born in Dakota in 1879. They shared a residence with Jackson Colwell (b. 1830), a cook from Kentucky, and his brother Edmond Colwell (b. 1857 in Missouri), a liquor dealer who also ran a saloon. Deadwood was an illegal town on Native American land; it began to develop in 1874 after gold was discovered near French Creek. Not unlike Skagway, Alaska, Deadwood grew dramatically during the gold rush: the town population quickly increased from a few to 5,000. The town was filled with fortune-seekers, gamblers, prostitutes, and highway robbers; it was noted as the place where Wild Bill Hickok was murdered. Calamity Jane is also buried there. Nat Love or "Deadwood Dick," a former slave from Tennessee, is the most noted African American associated with the town of Deadwood. Love was a cowboy who brought a herd of cattle to Deadwood. When the gold fever calmed, the town became a mining town. There was a small pox epidemic in 1876. A fire in 1879 destroyed much of the town, the population decreasing as people left Deadwood to start life anew. There were four African Americans from Kentucky living in Deadwood in 1900; none of the previous six were listed as residents in the U.S. Federal Census. The Dakota Territory was divided into South Dakota and North Dakota,and both became states in 1889. For more about Deadwood see Westward Expansion, by R. A. Billington and J. B. Hedges; Old Deadwood Days, by E. Bennett; Deadwood, by W. Parker; and The Negro Cowboys, by P. Durham and E. L. Jones.
Subjects: Barbers, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Deadwood, Dakota Territory [South Dakota]

Migration to Ethiopia [Fannie B. Eversole, 1865-1951]
Start Year : 1930
End Year : 1935
Beginning in 1930, a number of African Americans and West Indians migrated to Ethiopia in search of the "Promised Land" in the Back to Africa Movement affiliated with Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association. The exact number of persons who left the U.S. was in question, with estimates as high as 100, and as low as 25. The group was led by Arnold Ford, rabbi of Beth B'nai Abraham [Harlem, NY, Black Jews]. The migrating families were promised land, livestock, and a farming life, but the promises were unfulfilled. In 1932, the U.S. State Department issued a release to discourage others from migrating to Ethiopia due to the number of destitute American immigrants, and because there were no government funds for transportation back to the States. By 1934, thirty-five immigrants had returned to the U.S. In 1935, the Italy-Ethiopia War put an absolute end to any further immigration, and all but two of the prior immigrants returned to the U.S. September 1935, U.S. Legation Officials warned that any Americans who remained in Ethiopia did so against the advice of the State Department. Three of the last African Americans to leave were the wife of Baron Jackson and her daughter, Predonia, from Alabama, and Mrs. Fannie B. Eversole. They had all gone to Ethiopia in 1931 as part of the Back to Africa Movement. The American Negro Benevolent Society paid their fare back to the U.S. Seventy year old Fannie Eversole (b.1865 in Paris, KY) arrived in New York Harbor, October 8, 1935, aboard the ship Berengaria, according to the New York Passenger List. Fannie Eversole had been the wife of Man G. Eversole (b.1865 in VA), and according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, they had been homesteaders in Glade, Washington. Fannie Eversole was living in Los Angeles, CA before leaving for Ethiopia in 1931. She had been a cook and a housekeeper. Upon her return to the U.S., she made her home at 1621 W. 35th Street in Los Angeles and is listed as retired in the 1940s California Voter Registration Records. According to the California Death Index, Fannie Eversole died in Los Angeles on June 22, 1951. For more see "Legation Officials advise Americans to leave Ethiopia," Florence Morning News, 09/11/1935, pp.1 & 6; ** "Addison E. Southard, U. S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, to U.S. Secretary of State in The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers; Africa for the Africans, 1923-1945, Volume X by R. A. Hill; Judaising Movements, by T. Parfitt, et al.; and Black Zion by Y. P. Chireau and N. Deutsch.

**[Addison E. Southard, 1884-1970,  was born in Kentucky.]
Subjects: Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), Benevolent Societies
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentuck / Glade, Washington / Los Angeles, California / Ethiopia, Africa

Migration to Rough and Ready, Yuba County, California
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
When the gold mining town of Rough and Ready, CA, was established in 1849, there was a male population of mostly Wisconsin miners, and included 82 men from Kentucky. The total population was 672 men, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, and 12 of them were African Americans. Two of the African Americans were from Kentucky, Samuel [no last name] and Silas [Mc?], both born in 1825 and both were listed as traders; the men were probably slaves who were brought West by their owners. By 1860, there were four Mulattoes from Kentucky, and among them was Allen Kinkade (b.1825), the first African American to be listed as a miner from Kentucky. Also listed is Kentucky native Caroline Allen (b.1824), who is said to have been a slave in Rough and Ready in 1851 when she planted one of the two legendary trees in the town. The tree fell in 1967. Another version of the story is that the infamous tree is where a slave girl was hung in the 1850s. Writer Arthur W. Knight did not know which story was true, but learned that the stump of the tree had been made into a loveseat that was placed on the porch of the local general store. African Americans still lived in the town in 1870. There were 9 Blacks and one Mulatto from Kentucky, they were employed as wood choppers, farm laborers, and domestic servants. No African Americans from Kentucky were counted in the census of Rough and Ready between 1880-1930. Rough and Ready had been a gold mining town, and in April 1850, it was the only one to secede from the Union; the miners were rebelling against the federal mining tax. Three months later, in order to celebrate the 4th of July, the citizens of the Great Republic of Rough and Ready voted the town back into the Union. The town had been established by the Rough and Ready Company from Wisconsin. The company was named for Zachary Taylor who was nicknamed Old Rough and Ready. The town was originally located in what was Yuba County, and it is now in Nevada County, which was created from a portion of Yuba County. For more see the Rough and Ready website; A. W. Knight, "The Great Republic of Rough and Ready," Anderson Valley Advertiser, 09/10/2003 [online]; Northern California Curiosities by S. Rubin; and Rooted in Barbarous Soil by K. Starr and R. J. Orsi.
Subjects: Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Rough and Ready, California

Miller, Hazel
Birth Year : 1954
Born in Louisville, KY, Miller sings a blend of blues, pop, and gospel. She had a 26-year singing career in Louisville. Miller began singing professionally when she was 15 years old, but her experience was not enough to get her into the University of Louisville School of Music in three attempts. Miller went on with her career, singing backup tracks for Al Green; opening for Bob James and Mel Torme and many others, including twice for Lou Rawls; and performing as a featured singer in the "Look What We Can Do" community promotion campaign in Louisville. Miller and her band were the first regular African American band at the Hyatt in Louisville and the first ever to play at Phoenix Hill. In 1984, Miller was moving to California when the rental truck broke down in Denver, Colorado, and she decided to stay. She has continued to perform nationally and internationally. Miller has performed at the White House for then President Bill Clinton, for the Denver Broncos after their 1998 NFL Super Bowl win, and for the Colorado Avalanche after its 1998 NHL Stanley Cup win. Her recordings are included on her albums I'm Still Looking; Hazel Miller, Live; Finally; Live at the Fox; and Icons. For more see the Hazel Miller Band website; and M. Brown, "Lady belts the blues the spirit of Hazel Miller has lots of believers," Rocky Mountain News (Colorado), 11/19/2000. Watch Hazel Miller-Moon Dance on YouTube.

Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California / Denver, Colorado

Miller, William M., Sr. and Anna Mae Stuart
William M. Miller, Sr. (1872-1920), born in Kentucky, was a lawyer. In 1902, he arrived in Madison, Wisconsin, where he had been promised the position of advisor to Governor Robert M. LaFollette, Sr. But Miller could not practice law and his job title was not that of advisor but rather messenger. Anna Mae Stuart (1875-1963), a school teacher from Kentucky, came to Madison in 1902 to marry William Miller. They were among the first African American residents of Madison. The Millers were fairly well off; according to their granddaughter, Betty Banks, the Millers owned their own home as well as a boarding house and a summer home, and they employed a cook, a nanny and a housekeeper. The boarding house was used to lodge African Americans who were new arrivals from the South. The Betty Banks interview in the State of Wisconsin Collection speaks of the Millers as civil rights activists; William Miller was a friend of W. E. B. DuBois, who would often visit the Miller home. William Miller started the Book Lover's Club, a precursor to the Madison NAACP. He helped found the St. Paul AME Church in Madison and was a member of the Niagara Movement. Anna Mae spoke before the Wisconsin Legislature on women's and children's issues. At the age of 86, Anna Mae Miller took part in the sit-in at the Wisconsin Capitol Building in support of the bill that would eliminate housing discrimination in Wisconsin. For more see "Madison sit-in enters 4th day," Corpus Christi Times, 08/03/1961, p. 5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), 1st African American Families in Town, Grandparents, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Madison, Wisconsin

Minnifield, Frank
Birth Year : 1960
Frank Minnifield was born in Lexington, KY. At 5'9" and 140 pounds, he was an outstanding high school football player at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, playing tailback and safety; the team made the playoffs his senior year. It was thought that he was too small to play college football; nonetheless, Minnifield, 40 pounds heavier, was a walk-on his first year with the University of Louisville (KY) football team in 1979, earning scholarships his three remaining years. In 1981, he led the team in punt returns and led the nation as the number one college kick returner with 30.4 yards per return. Minnifield began his pro career in 1982 playing for the Chicago Blitz, a U.S. Football League (USFL) team that would become the Arizona Wranglers. The team was runner-up in the USFL Championship game in 1984. That same year, Minnifield filed suit against the Arizona Wranglers over the Wranglers' attempt to prevent him from playing with the Cleveland Browns, a National Football League (NFL) team. Minnifield signed as a free agent with the Browns in 1984 and retired from the team in 1992. He played in 122 games and was a four time pro bowler (1986-1989) and three time All-NFL choice by the Associated Press. Minnifield was inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. After retiring from the NFL, he took advantage of years of preparation: having earned a real estate license in 1988 and sold real estate during the off-season, Minnifield returned to Lexington and established Minnifield All-Pro Homes. In 1993, he became the first African American executive elected to the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board. He was the only African American home builder in Lexington in 2000. In 2011, Frank Minnifield was named chair of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. For more see Frank Minnifield on the University of Louisville football website; J. Clay, "Minni, Lexington's Frank Minnifield, knew he'd make it as a pro," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/18/1984; and J. George, "Building for the future ex-NFL star Frank Minnifield wants more blacks in industry," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/12/2000.

See photo image and additional information about Frank Minnifield in article "Frank Minnifield elected chairman of U of L trustees," 09/14/2011, at Kentucky.com [Lexington Herald-Leader].
Subjects: Businesses, Football, Migration North, Migration West, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona / Cleveland, Ohio

Morris, William R.
Birth Year : 1859
William R. Morris was born in Flemingsburg, KY. From 1884-1889 he was a faculty member at Fisk University and remained the only African American there for four years. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in the 1880s, then left for Chicago. Morris was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1888, then moved to Minneapolis where he was the first African American lawyer in the courts of Hennepin County. Morris was one of the first African Americans admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1889; that same year he established the Afro-American Law Enforcement League in Minneapolis. He was one of the first three African American members of the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1912; he was the only one of the three to resign when the ABA received pressure from Southerners opposed to the ABA having African American members. William Richard Morris was the son of Hezekiah (a slave) and Elizabeth Hopkins Morris (free), and the brother of Edward H. Morris. Hezekiah bought his freedom, and earned a living as a mattress maker. After Hezekiah's death, the family moved first to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Chicago, IL. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Emancipation: the making of a Black lawyer, by J. C. Smith, Jr.; "Hon. William Richard Morris," Wisconsin Weekly Advocate, 01/25/1906, p.1; and see "William Richard Morris" on p.264-265 in History of the Great Northwest and its Men of Progress by C. W. G. Hyde et. al.

See photo image of William R. Morris at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio/ Chicago, Illinois / Tennessee / Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota

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

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

Moulton, Elvina
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1917
Elvina Moulton, also known as Aunt Viney, was a former slave born in Kentucky. She was the first African American woman in Boise, Idaho, arriving around 1867. She was employed at a laundry and was also a nurse and housekeeper. She was a founding member of the First Presbyterian Church in Boise; Moulton was the only African American member. For more see Elvina Moulton in "Idaho Territory Days" an idaho-humanrights.org website; and A. Hart, "Idaho history - Pioneers of the Gem state," Idaho Statesman, Life section, p. 3.

See photo image of Elvina Moulton at Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Boise, Idaho

Murrell, Peter
Birth Year : 1823
Peter Murrell was born in Virginia and lived in Glasgow, KY. He was a wagoner and a church leader. He had attended the white Baptist Church in Glasgow, led by Rev. Nathaniel G. Terry, whose family had also come to Kentucky from Virginia. In 1843 the question of creating a separate church for the Negro members was put to a committee with no action, but the question would come up again and again for more than 20 years. Finally, in 1867 Peter Murrell was ordained a minister by Rev. Terry and put in charge of an African American church with 69 members. He also led in the formation of the Liberty Organization. Peter Murrell died between 1880 and 1900. For more see "Rev. Peter Murrell" in The Jubilee History and Biographical Sketches of the Liberty Association by G. R. Ford. For more on Reverend Nathaniel G. Terry see pp. 1616-1617 in A History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, by E. P. Johnson [available full-text at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Peter Murrell (lower half of the page) at Barren County Church Biographies, a Kentucky African American Griots website.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky

Negro Exodus (Hopkinsville, KY)
Start Year : 1904
In 1904, the city of Hopkinsville, KY, was a bit alarmed by the number of Negroes who had left the county due to the collapse of the tobacco market. Also in 1904, the Planters Protective Association had been formed to protect the tobacco prices against the marketing trusts. The association soon developed into a group of armed and hooded night riders whose actions went from boycotting to violence. Most of the violence was centered in the Black Patch (dark fired tobacco) area of Western Kentucky and Tennessee. Entire towns were captured, there were hangings and killings, and tobacco warehouses were burned. According to an article in the Hopkinsville Kentuckian, a large number of Negroes had quit farming tobacco in Hopkinsville and left the county for work on the railroads, the mines, or as teamsters in northern cities. A few moved as far away as Honolulu, Hawaii to farm sugar cane. Some followed Riley Ely to Ita Bena, MS, where he and his brother raised cotton on a 7,000 acre farm. The names of those who left for Mississippi included Henry Gant and family, Bud Wilson, and John Ritter. For more see "Negro exodus," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 02/23/1904, p. 1. See also the "Black Patch War" entry in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; The Black Patch War, by J. G. Miller; and Breaking Trust (dissertation), by S. M. Hall.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Migration South
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Nelson-Johnson, Esther Byrd
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 2008
Nelson-Johnson was born in Hickman, KY, one of the six children of Louis and Hestella Holmes Byrd. In 1982, Nelson-Johnson became a part of the history of the female leadership of the Sacramento NAACP: she was the fourth woman elected president of the Branch, serving four terms. For 30 years, she was a counselor at the American River College. She had taught school in Virginia and Missouri before moving to California in 1963. Nelson-Johnson is remembered for her leadership and advocacy for women, young people, and African Americans, and the programs she developed to assist students. She is also remembered for her research and the resulting exhibits she created to show the contributions of African Americans and women. When the NAACP Office in Sacramento was bombed in 1993, the organization's history was safe with Nelson-Johnson. She was a historian and collected resources that documented the history of civil rights in Sacramento. She was the author of A Model Community Counseling Program for Ethnic Minority Low Income Women, Leaving on the Black Star Line and Cotton Patch Cooking. Nelson-Johnson was the first person in her family to attend college, earning a bachelor's degree at Kentucky State University, a master's at Chapman University, and a doctorate at Nova University. For more see R. D. Davila, "Former NAACP chief fought for education and civil rights," Sacramento Bee, 02/13/2008, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Sacramento, California

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

Nicodemus Company
Start Year : 1877
The seven-member company formed to develop the town of Nicodemus in 1877. S. P. Roundtree, the company's secretary, was an African American minister from Kentucky; he was branded on one cheek when a boy because the master's son had taught him how to read. W. R. Hill, the company's treasurer, was a white man from Indiana who had experience developing towns. W. H. Smith, the company's president, was an African American born in Tennessee. Ben Carr, vice president, was an African American. The others were Jerry Allsap, Jeff Lenze and William Edmona, all from Kentucky. W. R. Hill and W. H. Smith later became business associates in the development of the Hill City Town Company. For more see The Origins and Early Promotion of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indiana / Tennessee / Hill City, Kansas

Nicodemus, Kansas
Start Year : 1877
The community of Nicodemus was founded in 1877 by a group of African Americans from Lexington; two years later there were over 600 people. The first families to arrive lived in dugouts, homes dug into the earth. The population continued to grow until the anticipated railroad bypassed the town, and then the population began to decrease. There are about 100 people living in the town today. Nicodemus is a National Historic Landmark, the only entirely African American community in Kansas. For more see Going Home to Nicodemus, by D. Chu and B. Shaw; and The Origins and Early Promotions of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.

See photo images of Nicodemus at the African-American Mosaic, a Library of Congress website.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Nicodemus, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Nicodemus, Kansas / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Packer, Zuwena "ZZ"
Birth Year : 1972
Zuwena Packer was born in Chicago and grew up in Louisville, KY, where she attended Seneca High School. Packer published her first story in Seventeen Magazine. She is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, has won a number of awards and recognitions for her writing, and has taught English. She now lives in California with her family. Zuwena Packer is a graduate of Yale University (B.A.), Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), and the University of Iowa (MFA). For more see "The ABC's on ZZ," Courier-Journal (Louisville), Features, 03/03/2003; "Robert Birnbaum talks with the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere," on identitytheory.com, 04/29 /2003; and "ZZ Packer" in World Authors 2000-2005 (2007).

See photo image of Zuwena Packer at her Facebook page.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Paris, William H., Jr. "Bubba"
Birth Year : 1960
William H. Paris,Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, and played football at DeSales High School, where he was team captain and an MVP. At 6'6", 300 pounds, Paris went on to play offensive tackle at the University of Michigan, where he was All-Big Ten, All-American, and All-Academic. He was taken in the second round of the NFL draft and played all but one season of his professional career with the San Francisco 49ers, 1983-1990. In 1991, Paris played for the Indianapolis Colts. During his time with the 49ers, the team won three Super Bowls. He is the father of the former University of Oklahoma basketball players Courtney and Ashley Paris. Bubba Paris, an ordained minister and motivational speaker, lives in California. For more see Bubba Paris, at databaseFootball.com; bubbaparis.org; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.

See photo image of William "Bubba" Paris at the University of Michigan Library website.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Football, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Pasquall, Jerome Don
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1971
Jerome D. Pasquall was born in Fulton, KY, and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He played the saxophone, clarinet, and mellophone. Pasquall played with many bands, including the riverboat bands of Charlie Creath and Kentucky native Fate Marable. He also played and recorded with Doc Cooke's Dreamland Orchestra while studying at the American Conservatory in Chicago. Pasquall studied at the New England Conservatory, graduating in 1927, and was lead alto saxophone with Fletcher Henderson's band. He played the clarinet and saxophone on a number of fox trot recordings from 1920s-1930s, including the 1924 song Moanful Man, Fox Trot, by Cooke's Dreamland Orchestra, and the 1936 song Where There's You There's Me: Fox Trot, by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra. For more see "Jerome Don Pasquall" in the Oxford Music Online Database. Listen to a sample of Jerome Pasquall on clarinet and alto sax on the song Black Maria recorded by Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra in 1927, a Amazon.com website.
Access Interview
Subjects: Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Penny, Joe [Pennytown, Missouri]
Birth Year : 1812
Pennytown was located eight miles southeast of Marshall, Missouri; it had been established by Kentucky native and ex-slave, Joe Penny. In 1850, Penny arrived in Missouri, and in the 1860s he purchased eight acres for $160. He settled on a portion of the land and further divided the remainder into lots that were sold to other African American settlers. Joe Penny had come to Missouri as the slave of Jackson Bristol, and later became a free man. He married Harriett Butler, born 1815 in Virginia. In 1880, the Pennys were a family of seven that included Harriett's children and grandchildren, and Joe was a farmer, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The Pennytown community continued to grow as adjoining land was purchased by other African Americans. By 1900, 40 families lived in the 64-acre community with a total population of 200. There were two churches, lodges, a school and a store. The community ceased growing after a few decades, and families began to leave Pennytown for better jobs and educational opportunities in nearby cities. The last family left in 1943, and the older residents left behind eventually died. Today, the one remaining building is the First Freewill Baptist Church. Every year a reunion of Pennytown descendants is held at the church, a tradition that began at the end of World War II. The compiler of the community history collection was Josephine Jackson Lawrence (1929 - 1992); the collection is housed in the Western Historical Manuscripts Collection - Columbia at the University of Missouri. See also Pennytown, by the Friends of Pennytown.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Emancipation Day / Juneteenth Celebrations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennytown, Saline County, Missouri (no longer exists)

Petersburg (Mercer County, KY)
The community, named for Peter Board, was an African American community located near Fort Harrod in what is known today as Nevada, KY. Petersburg was established by Sally and Peter Board, former slaves who were able to purchase their freedom but not their children's freedom. The land for the community came from Sally's father and owner, Phillip Board. In 1878, all of the residents left Petersburg and moved to Kansas, participating in the Exoduster Movement. For more see "Exoduster" Sally Board, an American Heritage: from Kentucky Slavery to a Kansas Homestead, 1805-1892, by R. O. Pleasant & J. P. Neill.
Subjects: Communities, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Petersburg / Nevada, Old Fort Harrod State Park, Mercer County, Kentucky / Kansas

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

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

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

Pyles, Charlotta G. M.
Birth Year : 1806
Death Year : 1880
Charlotta G. M. Pyles was born in Tennessee; her mother was a Seminole Indian and her father a slave, so Charlotta was also a slave. Pyles and her children lived on a plantation near Bardstown, KY. After one of Charlotta's sons, Benjamin, was sold, her owner, Frances Gordon, took Pyles and her remaining family from Kentucky to Iowa, where they were freed. Pyles raised $3,000 in six months and returned to Kentucky to buy her two sons-in-law. While in Iowa, she also assisted runaways on their way to Canada. For more see Charlotta Gordon MacHenry Pyles in Digital Schomburg: African American Women Writers of the 19th Century; and Pyles' picture in Homespun Heroines and Other Women of Distinction, by H. Q. Brown, p. 22, full-text at the Documenting the American South website.


Subjects: Freedom, Migration West
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Iowa / Canada

Race War in Mayfield, KY
Start Year : 1896
A couple of days before Christmas 1896, white citizens of Mayfield, KY, were preparing for an attack in response to a report that up to 250 armed African Americans were seeking revenge for the lynching of Jim Stone and the "whitecapping" of African American families. The reports had come from Water Valley and Wingo, KY, and other nearby towns. White women and children in Mayfield were ordered off the street by 6:00 p.m. Homes were barricaded. A dispatch was sent to Fulton, KY, asking for a reinforcement of white men, and guards were posted at the railroad station. When a report arrived stating that African Americans were also arming themselves in Paducah, KY, the fire bell was rung in Mayfield and a defense was positioned in the public square to await the attack. The reinforcements from Fulton arrived by train a little after midnight. Will Suett, an 18-year-old African American, was also at the train station and was gunned down. Shots were fired at three other African Americans. Hundreds of shots were fired into buildings and into the trees. Four homes were burnt down. By Christmas Eve, the threat was over. The reinforcements were sent home. A mass meeting was called, and a petition signed by more than 100 African Americans asked for peace between the races. Three people had been killed, one being Will Suett, who had arrived by train from St. Louis; he was returning home to spend Christmas with his family in Mayfield. For more see "All Mayfield under arms: excitement over the Kentucky race war," New York Times, 12/24/1896, p. 1; and "Peace reigns at Mayfield: Colored people petition for harmony and the race war is over," New York Times, 12/25/1896, p. 5.
Subjects: Lynchings, Migration West, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Water Valley, and Wingo, Graves County, Kentucky / Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri

Ransom, Riley Andrew
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1951
Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom was born in Columbus, KY. He was one of the first African American doctors in Fort Worth, Texas. Ransom was a cousin to Bishop Isaac Lane, founder of Lane College in Tennessee. Ransom initially attended Lane College but soon transferred to Southern Illinois State Normal University [now Southern Illinois University at Carbondale] where he earned his undergraduate degree. In 1908 he graduated from the Louisville National Medical College [the school closed in 1912] as valedictorian of his class. Ransom took his state board of medicine in Oklahoma City and later settled in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was the first African American surgeon in Tarrant County. He also helped establish the first hospital for African Americans, the Booker T. Washington Sanitarium. Dr. Ransom is buried in the New Trinity Cemetery in Fort Worth; in 1986 the cemetery was declared a historical site. Markers at the site pay honor to the 100-year-old cemetery and the contributions of Dr. Ransom. For more see B. R. Sanders, “Doctor left record of early struggles” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 09/19/2003, METRO section, p. 1B; and “Black History Month” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 02/15/1994, METRO section, p. 11.

See photo image of Dr. R. A. Ransom at The Portal to Texas History website.

See historical marker with additional information on Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom at waymarking.com.
 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Rene, Leon T.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1982
Leon T. Rene, born in Covington, KY, was a bricklayer before becoming a recognized songwriter and record producer. He partnered in the music business with his older brother, Otis J. Rene, Jr., who was born in New Orleans in 1898. They moved to Los Angeles in 1922 and in the 1930s founded the record companies Exclusive Records and Excelsior Records. They became the leading producers of independent recording artists, with recordings by artist such as Nat King Cole, Johnny Otis, and Joe Liggins and His Honeydrippers. The Rene brothers were also the first owners of an independent record company on the West Coast. They also owned publishing companies Leon René Publications and Recordo Music Publishers. In 1957, they formed a new record label, Class Records. One of their best know songs was "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano." For more see "Leon Rene, immortalized swallows of Capistrano," United Press International, 06/08/1982, Inside section, p.3B; and "Leon T. Rene" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.

See photo image of Leon T. Rene on p.64 in Jet, 05/15/1958.
Subjects: Businesses, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

Rheubin [Murrell]
Death Year : 1851
Rheubin, from Bowling Green, KY, was a slave owned by Samuel Murrell, one of the largest slaveholders in Warren County, KY. In 1849, Rheubin accompanied Murrell's son, George McKinley Murrell, to California in search of the gold that had been discovered in 1848. Rheubin was one of the earliest bondsmen from Kentucky to make the trek west in search of riches. He would remain a slave once he and Murrell reached their destination. After a year and a half of hard labor and no gold, Rheubin asked to return to his family in Kentucky. But young George Murrell was not ready to leave; instead, he hired Rheubin out as a cook. By 1851, Rheubin was dead. Murrell knew nothing about the circumstances surrounding his sudden death, but he surmised that Rheubin had succumbed to the cholera epidemic that was spreading in the nearby towns and camps where Rheubin had been sent to work. George Murrell returned to Kentucky in 1854; he did not strike it rich in California and, though he wrote his family about his good intentions, never recovered Rheubin's body. For more see A. S. Broussard, "Slavery in California revisited, the fate of a Kentucky slave in Gold Rush California," Pacific Historian, vol. 29, issue 1 (1985), pp. 17-21.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Explorers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / California

The Richard Hazelwood Family (Henderson, KY)
The Hazelwood family members were only a few of the estimated 300,000 pioneers who made their way through the Cumberland Gap. In 1832, Daniel Hazelwood, the great-great-grandfather of Anthony Hazelwood, came through the Gap, bringing everything that he owned from Virginia to settle in Henderson County, KY. Included were his eight children and 30 slaves. One of the slaves was a young boy named Richard Hazelwood, who was born in Virginia between 1828-1830; Richard was the great-great-great-grandfather of Denyce Porter Peyton. Richard's name was among the list of slaves belonging to the estate of Daniel Hazelwood, who died in 1836. Prior to becoming a free man, Richard married Maria Floyd (or Friels), and their first child was a son named Joseph (1858-1920). When the slaves were freed, the family kept the name Hazelwood, though many of the various African American Hazelwood families in Henderson County were not blood kin. By 1900, Richard had moved his family to the city of Henderson, where he worked as a day laborer. His son Joseph would become a tenant farmer in Henderson and Daviess Counties. Joseph was married to Anna Watson in 1871; according to Denyce Porter Peyton, Anna had been an orphan and nothing is known about her family. Joseph and Anna had several children. Their daughter Edna Mae was married to James Lester Porter, the son of McDonald and Elvira Porter. The Richard Hazelwood family had been in Kentucky since 1832, but all but two of Joseph and Anna's children left Kentucky in search of better opportunities in Indiana and Ohio. In 2008, the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park completed a short film (available on DVD) of reenactments of pioneer families that came to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap; the Hazelwood family and slaves are included in the film. For more information about the Richard Hazelwood family, contact Denyce Porter Peyton. For more information about Anthony Hazelwood, see A. Stinnett, "Businessman, community benefactor Hazelwood dies," The Gleaner, 12/08/2008. For more information about Cumberland Gap, contact the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. See also M. Simmons, "On the path of the pioneers," Knoxville News Sentinel, 10/20/2008, Local section, p. 10; and The Pioneers, DVD by the National Park Service.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Migration North, Migration West, Parks
Geographic Region: Virginia / Cumberland Gap, Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Ricketts, Matthew Oliver
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1917
Matthew O. Ricketts was born in Henry County, KY, to slave parents. The family moved to Missouri when Ricketts was a small child. He grew up to become the first African American Senator in the Nebraska Legislature in 1892 and was elected again in 1894. He was an advocate for the stronger civil rights laws in Nebraska. Ricketts was also a leader of the Prince Hall Masons. He was a graduate of Lincoln Institute in Missouri [now Lincoln University of Missouri] and Omaha Medical College, the first African American to graduate from a college or university in Nebraska. He was the husband of Alice Ricketts, and the family of four lived in St. Joseph Ward, Buchanan County, MO, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Matthew Oliver Ricketts at BlackPast.org; Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature, by W. A. Howard; and Impertinences: selected writings of Elia Peattie, a journalist in the Giided Age, by E. W. Peattie.



Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Freedom, Migration West, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Henry County, Kentucky / Missouri / Nebraska

Robinson, William Henry
Birth Year : 1900
Death Year : 1962
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Robinson was head of the Physics and Math Department at Tillotson College [now Houston-Tillotson University] and Bricks Junior College, in North Carolina, and assistant director of the Mechanical Arts Department at Prairie View College [now Prairie View A&M University] before becoming head of the Physics and Math Department at North Carolina College [now North Carolina Central University], beginning in 1938. Robinson received his Ph.D. in 1937. He was author of several articles, including "The Negro and the Field of Physics," Beta Kappa Chi Bulletin (1945). William H. Robinson died in Durham, NC, on March 27, 1962, he was the son of Amanda Obannon Robinson and Lee Robinson [source: North Carolina Death Certificate]. He was the husband of Fannie Robinson. William H. Robinson's funeral arrangements were handled by A. D. Porter and Sons in Louisville, KY, and he was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Physicists, Migration East, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / North Carolina / Texas

Rose, Edward
Rose grew up near Louisville, KY. His birth and death dates are not known for certain, but he lived during the late 1700s and early 1800s. His father was a white trader and his mother was referred to as a Cherokee-Negro woman. Rose was known as a shrewd businessman who would fight to the death, more often than not coming out on top of a deal by any means necessary. He was sometimes referred to as a "celebrated outlaw." Rose also had a unique skill for languages, particularly Native American languages, and he was one of the few successful guides, hunters, and fur traders in the uncharted western territory, so much so that his services were a necessity. When he wasn't leading an expedition, Rose lived with the Crow, Arikara, Omaha, and other Native Americans. It is believed he was killed in a tribal battle sometime around the mid 1830s. Edward Rose was one of the contemporaries who mapped the west for future generations, though his name has been forgotten over time. For more see W. Blenkinsop, "Edward Rose," The Mountain Men and the Fur Trade of the Far West, 1972, vol. 9, pp. 335-345; K. W. Porter, "Roll of Overland Astorians," Oregon Historical Quarterly, 1933, vol. 34, p. 111; and In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, by Q. Taylor.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

Royal, Wesley
Birth Year : 1844
Royal, a farmer who was born in Virginia, had been living in Christian County, KY, for about five years when he lost his bid for the Kentucky Legislature in 1871. Royal claimed to have had a brother in the Virginia Legislature. By 1880, Royal was one of two African Americans in the Christian County jail. For more see "A Big dusty-colored Negro, named Wesley Royal, is a candidate for the Legislature in Christian County, Kentucky," Daily Arkansas Gazette, 07/15/1871, issue 201, col. E; and the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Christian County, KY.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky

Russell, Ray Frederick
Birth Year : 1911
Born in Adairville, KY, Ray F. Russell was employed at the Agriculture, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, AK [now the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff]. He was first head of the history department (1937-1947), then became director of the division of Arts and Sciences in 1947. Russell was also chairman of the social science section of the Arkansas Teachers Association, beginning in 1948. Ray F. Russell was born February 9, 1911, the son of Mamie Conn [source: Kentucky Birth Index], and he was the husband of Mallie Belle Trice Russell, from Paducah, KY, the couple married in 1937 [source: Arkansas County Marriage Index]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West
Geographic Region: Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky / Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Sargent, Nathaniel
Birth Year : 1863
Death Year : 1954
Nathaniel Sargent, a slave born in Kentucky, was raised by a white family in the North. He was a graduate of the University of Illinois. Sargent came to Kitsap County, Washington, in 1882. He worked as a logger, and later became a rancher with about 250 acres of land. Sargent was an artist who created oil paintings, and he was also a writer. In 1897, he was elected the first African American Justice of the Peace for Seabeck, Washington. For more see "Justice of the Peace for Seabeck - 1897" in Northwest Black Pioneers: a centennial tribute, by R. Hayes; and the Black Historical Society of Kitsap County, Inc.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Migration North, Migration West, Judges
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Seabeck, Kitsap County, Washington

Scott, Isaiah B.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1931
Born in Woodford County, KY, Bishop Isaiah B. Scott was the first African American president of Wiley College in Marshall, TX (1893-1896). In 1907 the school received the first Carnegie library west of the Mississippi River. In 1887, Scott had also been the first "Negro Missionary" in Hannibal, MO; Scott Chapel was named in his honor. He was also editor of the Southwestern Christian Advocate in New Orleans (1896-1904). He was elected Bishop for Africa in 1904 and moved to Liberia. He wrote Four Years in Liberia, published in 1908. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; L. Richardson, "Scott Chapel United Methodist Church," a Hannibal Free Public Library (MO) website; and Religion and the Rise of Jim Crow in New Orleans, by J. B. Bennett.

See photo image of Bishop Isaiah B. Scott at the Liberia United Methodist Church website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Marshall, Texas / Hannibal, Missouri / New Orleans, Louisiana / Liberia, Africa

Seales, Daniel, Sr.
Birth Year : 1821
Death Year : 1905
Daniel Seales Sr., a wealthy businessman, was born in Lexington, KY, the son of jockey Dennis Seales (b.1784 in KY) who owned quite a bit of property in Lexington. It was questioned in the media as to whether Daniel Seales was truly a millionaire who lived in San Francisco. An answer was printed In an issue of the Cleveland Gazette, the 1891 article stated that Seales was wealthy, traveled extensively, and was rarely at his home in San Francisco, and that he often spent time in Cleveland, OH, with his wife and children. Seales' family had moved to Cleveland some years prior to 1891, and the reason for the move, according to the article, was because the Cleveland schools were better for his four children. During his travels, Seales sometimes visited Lexington, KY, and his arrival was announced in the newspaper. The same was true when he visited other cities, and Seales would also submit letters to the editors of newspapers in cities he visited. In California, Seales was a member of the newly formed Colored citizens state convention, an organization that fought for the equal rights of African Americans and for representation in the state legislature. Seales filed several lawsuits against public establishments that denied access to African Americans based on race. One of the cases took place in 1885 in the Cleveland Common Pleas Court; the suit was against La Grand Rink in Cleveland, because Daniel Seales Jr. had been denied admission due to his race. The following year, Seales Sr. was awarded $200 in damages. It is not known if Seales was ever a slave. He was an educated man, an 1850 graduate of Oberlin College. Immediately after graduation, Seales moved to California, where it was said that he made his fortune mining gold. While in San Francisco, his brother Enoch Seals, who was a minister, sent him a letter in 1867, announcing that he was appointed a deputy sheriff and tax collector for Colored people in Louisville, KY; the appointment was thought to be the first office held by a Colored person in Louisville. Daniel Seales had the announcement printed in the Elevator, a newspaper in San Francisco. Daniel Seales' family is listed in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census as free persons living in Lexington, KY. Their last name is spelled 'Seals.' Daniel Seales, Sr. continued to visit Lexington from time to time and eventually moved to Cleveland where he died at the family home on Woodland Avenue. For more see "The San Francisco Elevator...," Cleveland Gazette, 02/14/1891, p.3; "Daniel Seales, Sr. died...," Cleveland Gazette, 04/15/1905, p.3; "Daniel Seales," Lexington Leader, 05/24/1898, p.7; "Colored millionaire," Lexington Leader, 11/13/1890, p.5; "Kentucky - Daniel Seals, Esq...," Elevator, 09/27/1867, p.3; "Call for a state convention," Elevator, 11/08/1873, p.2; "Daniel Seales, Sr...," Cleveland Gazette, 05/29/1886, p.4; "What do you think of this?," Cleveland Gazette, 09/19/1891, p.3.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / San Francisco, California / Cleveland, Ohio

Seymour, William
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1920
William Seymour was born a slave in Kentucky. He and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, were members of the Exodusters Movement: they settled to Ottawa, Kansas, and later moved on to Colorado Springs, Colorado in the latter part of the 1890s. When the family of eight left Kentucky, it included Sorelda Seymour, the mother of William, his wife and five children. All were born in Kentucky. While in Kansas, William and Mary Elizabeth Seymour had three more children, according to the 1885 Kansas State Census. In 1903, William Seymour would become the first African American to serve on a jury in El Paso County, Colorado. A bronze sculpture of Seymour stands on the lawn of the Pioneer Museum, which was the former location of the El Paso County Courthouse. Seymour also helped found the St. John's Baptist Church. According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the Seymour family lived on Moreno Street in Colorado Springs. For more about Seymour and his descendants, see E. Emery, "Bronze honors golden ideals 1st black to sit on El Paso jury," Denver Post, 03/01/2002, p. B-03.

  See William Seymour statue at the waymarking.com website.
Subjects: Migration West, Nicodemus, Religion & Church Work, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas / Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado

Shankle, James and Winnie [Shankleville, Texas]
James Shankle (1811 - 1887), born in Kentucky, was the husband of Winnie (1814 - 1883), born in Tennessee; they were both the slaves of Isaac Rollins in Wayne County, Mississippi. Winnie and her children by Isaac Rollins were sold, and James Shankle became a fugitive when he went looking for them. After many months of searching, he found them in Texas, and Winnie's new owner also purchased James. After they became free, James and Winnie bought land and founded the African American town of Shankleville. They would become the parents of six more children, one of whom married Stephen McBride, founder of McBride College, which was located in Shankleville. The school existed from 1883 to 1909. For more see Shankleville, Texas, at The Handbook of Texas Online website; and "James and Winnie Brush Shankle" in vol. 7 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Freedom, Migration West, Migration South
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Tennessee / Wayne County, Mississippi / Shankleville, Texas

Shelby, John T., Jr. "T-Bone"
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Lexington, KY, Shelby was an outstanding basketball and baseball player at Lexington's Henry Clay High School. He continued his career as a student at Columbia State Community College in Columbia, TN. His professional career began in 1981 when he was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Orioles. Shelby played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1987-1990 and ended his playing career in 1991 with the Detroit Tigers. He was a member of two World Series teams: the 1983 Orioles and the 1988 Dodgers. In 1998, Shelby was named to the coaching staff of the Los Angeles Dodgers and was the first base coach for all but the first two years of his coaching career there. In 2005, he was named first base coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Shelby and his family reside in Lexington. His oldest son, John T. Shelby, III, played baseball at the University of Kentucky and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2006. For more see "Smithtown's slugger - neighborhood celebrates L.A. Dodgers' John Shelby," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/08/1999; and John Shelby 31, a Pittsburgh Pirates' website.

 
Subjects: Baseball, Basketball, Migration West
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Columbia, Tennessee / Baltimore, Maryland / Los Angeles, California / Detroit, Michigan / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania / Chicago, Illinois

Shipley, Reuben
Birth Year : 1811
Death Year : 1873
Shipley was born around 1811 in Kentucky, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and later moved to Missouri with his master. While there, he married a slave woman with whom he had two boys who became the property of his wife's owner. Around 1850, Shipley left Missouri and traveled to Oregon with his master. He became a free man and attempted to buy the family he had left in Missouri. But Shipley learned that his wife had died, and her owner refused to sell Shipley his sons. Shipley remained in Oregon and purchased 80 acres of land in Corvallis. He married Mary Jane Holmes, and they had six children. Shipley deeded two acres of his land to the county for a cemetery on the condition that African Americans would also be buried there. The land transfer for the Mt. Union Cemetery was completed in 1861. Shipley, his wife, and her second husband, R. G. Drake, are all buried in the cemetery. For more see chapter 6, "A few Colored men in Oregon: Blacks in Oregon 1850-1900" in A Peculiar Paradise, by E. McLagan.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Corvallis, Oregon

Simpson, Melissa
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1901
Melissa Simpson was the founder of the Rock Valley A.M.E. Church in Clinton, KS. Born in Logan County, KY, she had been a slave. She was taken out west when she was 16 years old and sold to W. H. Bradley in Warrenburg, Johnson County, MO. Simpson was a free woman when she moved to Clinton, Kansas in 1866. She worked as a farm hand on the Petefish Farm in Clinton; Simpson did whatever was required, from making rails to keeping house. She was considered fairly well-off for a married woman and the mother of 10 children, six of whom were still living when Simpson died on July 3, 1901. She had kept her own money and at the time of her death had acquired between six and seven thousand dollars. Melissa Simpson was the wife of Patrick Simpson, who was also born around 1817 in Kentucky. The couple married in 1840 in Missouri. They owned their farm in Clinton, KS. The family is listed in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "Mrs. Melissa Simpson..," Plaindealer, 07/12/1901, p. 4.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Warrenburg, Johnson County, Missouri / Clinton, Kansas

Skanks, Eva B. Allensworth
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1968
Eva B. Allensworth Skanks was the first woman appointed a Notary Public in New Mexico. Skanks was born in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Allen Allensworth and Josephine Leavell Allensworth. She was a graduate of Girls High School in San Francisco, CA. She was the wife of Harrie B. Skanks, the couple married June 16, 1909 in Los Angeles, CA. They had a daughter named Louise Skanks. [Eva Skanks is listed as white in the 1910 and the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.] Eva Skanks died December 14, 1968 in Los Angeles, CA [source: California Death Index]. For more see "Eva Allensworth Skanks," Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition, p.11.
Subjects: Migration West, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

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

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

Smith, Edwin M.
Birth Year : 1950
Edwin M. Smith was born in Lexington, KY, then his family moved to Louisville, KY, when he was 3 years old. He entered the first grade just as the Louisville school system was being integrated in 1956. He left Louisville to attend Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1972. Smith graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1976. He was appointed by President Clinton to the Scientific and Policy Advisory Committee of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Smith is presently the Leon Benwell Professor of Law and International Relations at the University of Southern California Law School. He is co-author of The United Nations in a New World Order and has contributed to at least 12 other books and written a host of articles and other works. Edwin M. Smith is the son of Edwin M. and Carrie C. Smith of Louisville and the grandson of Lucy Hart Smith. For more see Who's Who in American Law, 1994-1995; and Who's Who in the West, 1992-1995.

See photo image and additional information on Edwin M. Smith at the USC Experts Directory website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration West, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Harvard, Massachusetts / Los Angeles, California

Smith, Effie Waller
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1960
Effie Waller Smith was born in Pike County, KY, the daughter of Sibbie and Frank Waller, a blacksmith. Smith earned her teaching certificate at Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons [now Kentucky State University]. She was a school teacher in Pike County and was certified by Superintendent Perry A. Cline in the early 1890s. Effie W. Smith was well-read in classical literature, she published three books of poetry, and her poems also appeared in literary magazines. She stopped publishing her work in 1917 at the age of 38. Her husband, Deputy Sheriff Charles Smith, had been killed in 1911 while serving a warrant, they were married two years. Effie W. Smith left Kentucky for Wisconsin in 1918 and is buried in the city of Neenah. A Kentucky Historical Marker [#1959] was placed at the police department in Pikeville in honor of Effie Waller Smith. For more see The Collected Works of Effie Waller Smith; Effie W. Smith in Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Effie W. Smith in the Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; "State honors Black poet...," Lexington Herald Leader, 12/11/01, p. B3; "Effie Waller Smith: An Echo Within the Hills," The Kentucky Review, Vol. 8, issue 3 (Autumn 1988), pp. 26-46; and W. R. Cummings, "History of the Perry A. Cline High School," Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, vol. 9, no. 1-2 (Oct.-Nov. 1938), p. 49. See photo image and bio of Effie Waller Smith on pp. 131-132 in The Negro in Revelation, in History, and in Citizenship, by J. J. Pipkin.

See photo image of Effie Waller Smith at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Poets, Corrections and Police, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Pike County, Kentucky / Neenah, Wisconsin

Smith, Ella Cowan and Josephus [Joseph] William
Birth Year : 1873
Both Ella and Joseph Smith were born in 1873 in Lexington, KY, where their parents had been slaves. In 1878, when both were five years old and their families were free, the families moved to Atchison, Kansas; they were members of the Exodusters leaving Lexington for Kansas. Their families later moved on to Oklahoma during the Land Rush. For more about the Smith Family see Echoes of Yesterday, by Josephus (Joseph Smith) [available online .pdf an iwitnesstohistory.org website].
Subjects: Authors, Freedom, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Atchison, Kansas / Oklahoma

Smith, Henry C.
Birth Year : 1839
Smith, from Kentucky, was one of the early African American police officers in the South; he is listed in the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Census with the occupation of city policeman in San Antonio, TX. In 1910, San Antonio was one of four Texas cities that continued to employ African American policemen. New Orleans, LA, is recognized as the southern city that hired the first African American police officers, beginning in 1868. For more see Black Police in America, by W. M. Dulaney.
Subjects: Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

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

 

 

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

Smith, John Robert [Johnny Hammond]
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1997
Smith, born in Louisville, KY, was an organist who also played piano and acoustic piano, electronic keyboard and synthesizers. Smith was also a song writer. He left Kentucky to begin his career in Cleveland, OH, and after performing on the Hammond organ, he used the name Johnny Hammond Smith. He performed under this name while an accompanist with Nancy Wilson. In the 1950s he moved to New York, where he had his own group and recorded with other bands. In 1971, he performed on keyboards under the name Johnny Hammond. When he returned to playing the Hammond organ and recorded with Hank Crawford and Dan Papaila, he resumed using the name Johnny Hammond Smith. He is recognized as an organist who promoted the Hammond organ in soul and jazz music, and as a renowned Hammond B-3 organist. Smith died in California, where he had been teaching music at Cal Poly Pomona [California State Polytechnic University, Pomona]. For more see "Johnny Hammond" in the Oxford Music Online Database; and in The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. For an extensive list of recordings see Johnny Hammond, a Discogs website. View image and listen to Star Borne - Johnny Hammond Smith on YouTube.

Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / California

Smith, Lucy H.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1955
Lucy H. Smith was born in Virginia, then came to Kentucky in 1910 as an assistant school principal. She pushed for the study of Black history in schools. She was the second woman president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and served as principal of the Booker T. Washington School in Lexington, KY. [Maude S. Brown was the first woman president of KNEA.] Smith compiled the Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women [full-text available at the Kentucky Digital Library]. She earned her master's degree in education at the University of Cincinnati. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Notable Black American Women, Book II; and "Mrs. Lucy Smith pioneered in Ky. education," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/11/1946, p. 13.

 
See photo image of Lucy H. Smith on [p. 5] of Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Steppe, Cecil H.
Birth Year : 1933
Steppe was born in Versailles, KY, the son of Esther and Grant Steppe and the nephew of Rebecca Craft. When Grant and Esther separated, Esther took the children and moved to San Diego, where they at first lived with Craft. Cecil Steppe is a graduate of San Diego City College and California Western University [now Alliant International University]. Since 2001, Steppe has served as president and CEO of the San Diego County Urban League. He came to the Urban League after two years retirement from San Diego County; Steppe had been employed with the county for 35 years, both as director of social services and as Chief Probation Officer of San Diego County. In 2007, Steppe announced that he would retire from the Urban League. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; K. Kucher, "Steppe leaves lasting imprint on county," San Diego Union-Tribune, 07/05/1999, NEWS section, p. A-1; and "Urban Leagues leader to resume his retirement," San Diego Union-Tribune, 02/15/2007, Local section, p. B-2.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration West, Corrections and Police, Social Workers, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

Stone, Lee Owen
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1977
Stone was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Walter and Lillace Peasons Stone. He was a 1936 graduate of Bishop Payne Divinity [merged with Virginia Theological Seminary in 1949], and a 1944 graduate of Lewis and Clark College. Stone taught at the Kentucky House of Reform before leaving Kentucky for Portland, OR, where he spent the rest of his career as Vicar of St. Philips Episcopal Church. Stone was a leader of the Portland African American community; in 1942 he called for Union Reform during WWII. He was a board member of the Portland Urban League, the Portland Council of Social Agencies, and the Portland U.S.O. The Lee Owen Stone Cooperative Preschool was named in his honor. Lee Owen Stone is buried in the Rose City Cemetery in Portland Oregon. For more see "Lee Owen Stone" in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams; "Biography-Rev. Lee Owen Stone," Vertical File, Oregon Historical Society Research Library; "Church-Episcopal-Portland-St. Phillip the Deacon," Vertical File, Oregon Historical Society Research Library; and Lee Owen Stone's obituary in The Oregonian, 03/11/1977, p.A13.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Portland, Oregon

Stonestreet, Frederick M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1931
F. M. Stonestreet, Sr. was born in Kentucky, the son of Lucinda "Lucy" Stonestreet (1837-1897), a widow who was also born in KY. The family moved to Missouri, then on to Kansas in 1862. Fred Stonestreet and his family members may have been slaves in Kentucky. Their last destination was Topeka, KS, where Fred, his mother, and grandmother, Matilda Miller (b.1800 in KY), all lived on Madison Street. Lucy Stonestreet took in washing and ironing to support the family, according to the Topeka City Directory for 1868-69. In 1880, Fred Stonestreet, Sr. worked at the statehouse in Topeka, and in 1883, he was reassigned as a messenger. In 1902, he was the marshal of the city courts in Topeka. Prior to becoming a marshal, he was the first African American fireman in Topeka. He had also won the 1894 election to become a constable, was re-elected in 1896, and when the city court was developed, he was appointed a marshal by Kansas Governor Stanley, and won the election to become the first elected marshal of Topeka. In 1892, Stonestreet was listed on p.26 of the Eight Biennial Report of the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Historical Society for his donation of a book [online at Google Books]. Fred Stonestreet was the husband of Mary Frances "Fannie" Stonestreet (1862-1909). In 1885, the couple had a one year old son, Fred Jr., and shared their home with Fred Sr.'s mother and great-grandmother, according to the Kansas State Census. The family was also listed in the 1895 Kansas State Census, Matilda Miller had died, and Fred and Fannie had two more children. In 1897, Fred's mother, Lucy Stonestreet, died. By 1900, Fred and Fannie had four children, and they would lose their youngest child, Clarence (b.1899), to illness. In 1903, Fred was co-owner of an undertaking business with G. W. Hamilton: "Stonestreet & Hamilton, Successors to J. M. Knight. Undertakers and Funeral Directors" [source: ad in Plaindealer, 10/02/1903, p.3]. Fannie and Fred had their last child, Bernice, in 1905. Fannie died in 1909. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Fred was still an undertaker and was assisted by his sons Fred, Jr. (b.1882) and Wilbur (b.1889). He had a new business partner and the business was named "Stonestreet and Gaines, Undertakers and Embalmers [source: ad in Plaindealer, 03/04/1910, p.8]. Fred Jr. died in 1912. Fred Sr. and Wilbur became the owners of the Stonestreet and Sons funeral business. In 1920, Fred and Wilbur were still in business, and Fred and his youngest daughter, Bernice, were living with Fred's oldest daughter Daisy and her family on Woodward Avenue. Bernice, who was a sickly child, died in 1922. Wilbur died in 1930. Fred Stonestreet outlived all but one of his children, Daisy Stonestreet Carper (1893-1985). Fred Stonestreet was a leading politician and businessman in Topeka, he was a land owner, and was active in the community. He belonged to several organizations, including serving as secretary of the Mt. Moriah No. 5 A. F. and A. M., in 1894 he was elected high priest of Lincoln Chapter No.2 R.A.M., and he was president of the Benjamin Banneker Club. In 1892, he was a delegate to the Kansas Republican Convention that was held in Hutchinson. For more see "A card on the Stonestreet matter," Topeka Tribune, 07/15/1880, p.1; "Topeka whispers," Western Recorder, 06/21/1883, p.3; "After a long and painful illness, Mrs. Lucinda Stonestreet...," Enterprise, 02/27/1897, p.3; "Clarence Stonestreet ...," Plaindealer, 08/02/1901, p.3; "F. M. Stonestreet..." Plaindealer, 12/19/1902, p.7; "Gone but not forgotten, Mrs. Mary Frances Stonestreet...," Plaindealer, 05/14/1909, p.5; "The Funeral of Fred M. Stonestreet, Jr...," The Topeka Daily Capital, 01/15/1912; "Obituary, Bernice Zerelda Stonestreet," Plaindealer, 04/21/1922, p.2; "Wilbur F. Stonestreet local undertaker dead," Plaindealer, 05/30/1930, p.1; "Local news," Topeka Call, 05/08/1892, p.1; 8th item in the column "Capital city news," Leavenworth Herald, 05/19/1894, p.2; and "Mr. Fred M. Stonestreet passed away...," Plaindealer, 02/06/1931, p.1.
Subjects: Businesses, Firefighters, Migration West, Corrections and Police, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri / Topeka, Kansas

Stradford, John the Baptist "J. B."
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1935
Stradford was born a slave in Versailles, KY, the son of Julius Caesar Stradford. The J. B. Stradford family moved to Tulsa, OK, in 1899. J. B. was a graduate of Oberlin College and Indiana Law School. He and his wife, Augusta, had lived in several cities, including Lawrenceburg, KY, before settling in Tulsa. J. B. became the richest African American in Tulsa via his rooming house, rental properties, and the largest African American-owned hotel in the United States. He initiated the development of Greenwood, a prosperous neighborhood referred to as "the Black Wall Street." By 1920 the political, racial, and economic times were on a downward turn in Tulsa. On May 30, 1921, a story circulated that an African American man had assaulted a white woman, and there were rumors of a lynching. The next day Whites and African Americans armed themselves and met outside the Tulsa County Courthouse. A scuffle led to an exchange of gunfire and the beginning of the infamous Tulsa Race Riot. All 35 blocks of Greenwood were burnt to the ground. It was one of the worst riots in the nation's history. Twenty African American men, including J. B. Stradford, were indicted for starting the riot. Stradford jumped bail and left Tulsa. He later became a successful lawyer in Chicago. In 1996, the charges were officially dropped against Stradford. For more see "Oklahoma Clears Black in Deadly 1921 Race Riot," New York Times, 10/26/1996, p. 8; and Death in a Promised Land: the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, by S. Ellsworth.


   See Tulsa Race Riot Photographs at the University of Tulsa Department of Special Collections and University Archives.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Lawyers, Migration West, Riots and Protests Outside Kentucky
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Tulsa, Oklahoma / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Stumm, Mrs. C. C.
Birth Year : 1857
Born in Boyle County, KY, the daughter of Thomas and Eliza Penman, Mrs. Stumm was a teacher, journalist, and editor; she wrote under her husband's name. She attended Berea College and taught in Hearn Academy in Texas and Bowling Green Academy in Kentucky. Stumm was a contributing journalist to the Bowling Green Watchman, The Hub, Advocate, and other newspapers. She was a Philadelphia agent for The National Monitor and Our Women and Children. For more see The Afro-American Press and Its Editors, by I. G. Penn; and "Mrs. C. C. Stumm" in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Migration West
Geographic Region: Boyle County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Texas / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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

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

Terrell, Alexander C.
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1922
Rev. A. C. Terrell was a leader within the Kansas District of the Nebraska Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), he was presiding elder just prior to his death. Terrell was born in Ballard County, KY, and had attended Northwestern University. He was licensed to preach in 1876 and joined the Missouri Conference in 1879. He was consider an authority on the history, law, and doctrine of the AME Church. He was also a member and officer of the Knights of Tabor and Daughters of the Tabernacle of Twelve of Kansas and Nebraska. Terrell was the husband of Laura Graves, the couple married in 1869. For more see "The Grand Lodge," The Fair Play, 07/22/1898, p.1; and "Minister of the gospel 46 years - funeral Wednesday largely attended - was presiding elder," Afro-American Advocate, 04/21/1922, p.1.
Subjects: Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Ballard County, Kentucky / Kansas / Missouri

Terry, Woodford H.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1960
Woodford H. Terry was a plumber and carpenter who was a furniture maker in Bowling Green, KY for a few years. In Clarksville, TN, he was the chief builder at The American Tobacco Company plant. In 1909, Terry moved to Los Angeles, CA and did general contracting work. There was a new builders law enacted in California in 1912, and that year Terry passed the General Builders License exam. He constructed a number of buildings in California, including the Vernon Avenue A. M. E. Church in Pasadena, CA, and the Trinity Baptist Church in Southern California. Woodford H. Terry was the son of Henry and Rachael Eggner Terry. He was born in Birmingham, KY, a town that was intentionally removed by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during the development of Kentucky Lake in the 1940s. Long before the town disappeared, Woodford H. Terry's family moved to Clarksville, TN, where Woodford attended the city schools. He earned his master's certificate in plumbing in 1894 via a correspondence course at Smith Trade School located in Nashville, TN. He was also an apprentice carpenter with American Tobacco Company in Clarksville, TN. In 1908, Terry vacationed in California and liked the area so much that he moved there the following year. In 1910, he married Jessie Sayers and the couple had three children. [Jessie Sayers Terry was the first African American member of the City Housing Commission in Los Angeles, CA.] In addition to his work as a plumber and carpenter in California, Woodford H. Terry was also the director and treasurer of the Unity Finance Corporation. He died in Los Angeles on December 27, 1960 [source: California Death Index]. For more see Woodford H. Terry on p.13 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; and Two Case Studies of African American Architect's Careers in Los Angeles, 1890-1945: Paul R. Williams, FAIA and James H. Garrott, AIA by W. H. Henderson.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Migration West, Migration South, Carpenters, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Birmingham, Marshall County, Kentucky (no longer exists) / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Clarksville, TN / Los Angeles California

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

Tinsley, Henry Clay
Birth Year : 1869
Tinsley was born in London, KY, the son of Preston and Caroline Severe Tinsley. In 1880 the family was still living in Laurel County, KY, according to the U.S. Census, and Henry, at the age of 10, was listed as a laborer. Later in life, he would become a teacher, physician, and surgeon. Tinsley completed his undergraduate work at Berea College in 1900; he had started grammar school at the age of 20 and completed the B.L. degree at the age of 31. He received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in 1903, then started his practice in Georgetown, KY. Tinsley was also vice-president of Georgetown Mercantile Stock Company. He would leave Georgetown, and by 1920 he was widowed and practicing medicine in St. Louis, MO, according to the Federal Census. Tinsley was still living in St. Louis in 1930. For more see the Henry Clay Tinsley entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and A Utopian Experiment in Kentucky, by R. D. Sears.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: London, Laurel County, Kentucky / Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Tinsley, Lee O.
Birth Year : 1969
Lee O. Tinsley was born in Shelbyville, KY, where he was an outstanding football and baseball player. By the end of his senior year, the 5'10" Tinsley had accumulated 969 yards on 105 carries as an option quarterback. In baseball, he batted .569, hit 14 home runs, and stole 21 bases. He graduated from high school in 1987 and was torn between professional baseball or college football at Purdue University. Tinsley decided on baseball and played professionally for 14 seasons; he was selected in the first round of the 1987 June draft by the Oakland Athletics and ended his career in 2000 having played in the Mexican League and the Independent Western League. Today, Tinsley is the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team's minor league outfield and first base coordinator. He and his family live in Scottsdale, AZ. For more see "A's draftee ponders Purdue," Detroit Free Press, 06/04/1987, SPT section, p. 5D (the article has the incorrect height for Tinsley); Lee Tinsley, at the Arizona Diamondbacks' website; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1994-2000; and Lee Owen Tinsley at baseball-reference.com.

See photo image of Lee O. Tinsley at Arizona Diamondbacks' website.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Football, Migration West
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucker, Amelia Moore
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1987
Ameiia Tucker was born in Alabama, and she came to Louisville, KY, with her husband in the 1920s. In 1930, the family of three lived on 12th Street, according to the U. S. Federal Census. Amelia Tucker would become the first African American woman elected to the Kentucky State Legislature (in 1961). She worked to pass a bill that would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate based on race. She was on President Nixon's advisory council on ethnic groups. Rev. Amelia Tucker was the wife of Bishop Charles E. Tucker, and after his death in 1975, she moved to California where she died in 1987. She was educated at Alabama State Teachers College [now Alabama State University] and the University of Louisville. She was a minister at Brown Temple AMEZ Church, today located at 3707 Young Avenue, in Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Alabama / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Tucker, Hagar
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1892
Hagar Tucker, from Kentucky, was the first African American police officer in Fort Worth, TX. The police department had been formed in 1873. More than a century later, the Fort Worth Police Historical Association led the effort to replace Tucker's headstone in Trinity Cemetery. Tucker had been a slave owned by William B. Tucker, Sr. from Casey County, KY; he had moved his family and slaves to Fort Worth [then an army garrison] in 1852. They were among the earliest settlers of Tarrant County. William B. Tucker was elected sheriff in 1856, Office of District Clerk in 1858, and Justice of the Peace in 1862. Hagar Tucker was a free man in 1865, and he married Amy, also a former slave of William B. Tucker, Sr. Hagar Tucker became a landowner, registered to vote, and in 1873 was appointed a special policeman. When Hagar found other employment, there would not be another African American police officer in Fort Worth until the 1950s. In 2007, a Texas Historical Marker #12192 was placed at Hagar Tucker's grave site. For more on Hagar Tucker see B. R. Sanders, "Former slave has place in police history," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 03/25/2007, Metro section, p. B1. For more on William B. Tucker, Sr. see Tarrant County, Tx Sheriff: over 150 years service, by Turner Publishing Company, Tarrant County (Tex.) Sheriff's Office.


Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Corrections and Police, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Casey County, Kentucky / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Turner, Hannah
Birth Year : 1800
Hannah Turner was the slave of Aaron and Theodosia Young, who moved from Kentucky to Missouri. Hannah, a washer woman, was the wife of John Turner (b.1796), a free man who was a horse farrier, and she was the mother of James Milton Turner (1840-1915), who was born while his mother was still a slave. John Turner purchased the freedom of Hannah and James in 1843, and the couple was officially married in St. Louis, March 4, 1857 by Rev. Emmanual Cartwright, pastor of the African Baptist Church [Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002]. Rev. Cartwright had become pastor of the church after the death of Kentucky native Rev. John Berry Meachum in 1854. John Turner was last listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census, and Hannah Turner was last listed in the 1870 Census. Their son, James M. Turner, had been a student in Meachum's school, he would go on to attended Oberlin College. In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him the first African American Minister Resident and Consul General for the United States in the Republic of Liberia. He returned to the U.S. in 1878 and formed the Colored Emigration Aid Association with hopes of settling Exodusters in Kansas and the Indian Territory. He succeeded in getting Congress to pass the Cherokee Freedmen's Act in 1888, which authorized $75,000 to 3,881 Cherokee freedmen (former slaves of the Cherokee Indians). For more see the James Milton Turner entry in the American National Biography Online (subscription database).
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration West, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Saint Louis, Missouri / Oberlin, Ohio / Liberia, Africa / Kansas

Twine, William H.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1933
Twine was born in Richmond, KY, the son of William and Matilda A. Twine. According to the U.S. Census, the family was living in Xenia, OH, in 1880 and William H. was enrolled in school. He would become the first African American to take the law examination in Limestone County, Texas and was admitted to the Texas bar in 1888. William H. practiced law in Texas until 1891 then moved to Oklahoma to practice law in the Indian Territory, which he did until 1897. He was the first African American lawyer to carry a capital case from the U.S. Court (N. Dist. Indian Territory) to the U.S. Supreme Court. Twine was editor of the first African American newspaper in the Indian Territory - the Muskogee Cimeter - beginning in 1897. There was never a lynching in Muskogee County. Oklahoma became a state in 1907. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and William Henry Twine in the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture [online].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Red House, Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Limestone County, Texas / Muskogee County, Oklahoma

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

Vena, Cyrus, Jr.
Birth Year : 1829
Death Year : 1918
Vena was a carpenter, contractor and builder and also one of the first African American city council members in Xenia, OH, serving two terms. Vena was born in North Middletown, KY; he is listed as a free person in the 1840 U. S. Federal Census. He married Sarah J. Warnell in 1849 prior to the couple's move to Xenia, where Vena built a number of noted buildings. The couple had had seven children when they left Ohio and moved the entire family to Los Angeles, CA. Vena was head janitor in the LA Hall of Justice for 30 years. For more see p. 135 in The Negro Trail Blazers of California, by D. L. Beasley.
Subjects: Construction, Contractors, Builders, Migration North, Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Carpenters
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Xenia, Ohio / Los Angeles, California

Vernon, George Kemp
George Kemp Vernon was a noted chef aboard special trains and coaches. Vernon was from Louisville, KY, a graduate of Central High School. He studied cooking in Italy, France, Spain, and Germany. In 1905, he was referred to as the "...noted young chef of Chicago and Louisville" in the article "New York City news," in Broad Axe, 07/15/1905, p.1; Vernon was visiting friends at 149 W. 53rd Street in New York. A week later, there was an article in the same newspaper announcing that Vernon had been hired by the New York Pullman Company for service to the private cars [source: "Special New York letter and comment," Broad Axe, 07/22/1905, p.2]. Vernon had been the personal chef of Francis S. Peabody [info.], the founder of Peabody Coal in Chicago. In 1908, Vernon was employed by J. Pierpont Morgan [info.] on a special car in California. An article about George K. Vernon was published in the Courier-Journal (Louisville) in 1908 and reprinted in the Freeman within the article "Louisville, KY.," 03/28/1908, p. 2. See also "We are indebted to the Los Angeles elite chronicler...," Los Angeles Herald, 02/25/1908, column 4, p.4,
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Migration North, Migration West, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / New York / California

Walker, Thomas Vaughn
Birth Year : 1950
Walker, born in Heathsville, Virginia, is the oldest son of the late Thomas and Mary Walker. He is a minister, an educator at the college and secondary school levels, and a community leader. He was the first African American appointed to a regular professorship in the history of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1986 when Walker became a faculty member at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Now a tenured professor, Walker oversees both the Doctor of Ministry program in Black Church Leadership and the Ph.D. program in Black Church Studies. Since 1984, he has also been the Senior Pastor of the First Gethsemane Baptist Church in Louisville. The church, founded in 1910, has grown in membership, missions outreach, and vision; it was chosen as one of the 13 congregations included in Dr. Thom Rainer's research and the resulting 2005 book titled Breakout Churches. Walker has been an active member of a number of community organizations and overseas missions in countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Israel, Jordan, Germany, and the Bahamas. Walker has written a number of journal articles and his book chapters include the co-authored work "Minorities and Spirituality" in the title Becoming Christian by B. Leonard. Walker is a 1972 graduate of Hampton University; he earned a M.S. from Eastern Illinois University and a M.Div/C.E. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and he earned his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Vaughn Walker Way, a street in Louisville, was named in his honor. In 2000, he received both the Community Service Reconciliation Award, and the Heritage Award, Black Church Development Divisions. In 2006, Walker was recognized by the Kentucky Senate [SR 209]. This entry was submitted by Cheryl Walker, wife of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker. Additional information is used with permission from the vita of Dr. T. Vaughn Walker.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Heathsville, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wallace, Thomas Cicero "Little Bee"
Birth Year : 1943
Thomas C. Wallace was an extremely popular and successful radio personality in Lexington, KY for ten years. He was a disc jockey [DJ] known as "Little Bee." He was voted the number one night time DJ in Lexington. Many remember him for his rhythm and rhyming, and he is often referred to as an early and original rapper. "You and me and Little Bee on WLAP," the "Little Bee" program, went on the air at WLAP FM in 1964 and ended in 1974. The format was the first urban contemporary [soul music] program in Lexington. The targeted audience included African Americans in Lexington and surrounding counties, and there were thousands of faithful followers. WLAP FM was managed by Theodore "Cal" Wallace, Sr., the father of Thomas C. Wallace. For many of the former audience members, the "Little Bee Show" is aligned with memories of the civil rights era of activism in Lexington, along with the broadcasts of Alex Williams. But at the time, the program was not considered a civil rights show, according to Thomas C. Wallace. "I was just a Black DJ on a Black station where young folk could tune in and hear Black music." In 1974, Thomas C. Wallace left radio to go into the ministry. He is a bishop in the Church of Christ, sharing the duties with his brother: they are over five of the churches that their father oversaw during his tenure as a bishop. Thomas C. Wallace is also pastor of the New Birth Church of Christ, Christian Ministries, Inc., located on Russell Cave Road in Lexington, KY. He was born in Virginia, the fourth child of the late Bonnie Goddard Wallace and Theodore C. Wallace, Sr. For more information listen to the three Cal Wallace interviews [info.], and the Edgar Wallace interview [info.]; and see "WLAP-AM History" website by Scott Willis. See also the NKAA entries for Ted Wallace and Leula Wallace Hall.

  See photo image of Rev. Thomas C. Wallace and other church pictures at the Facebook page for New Birth Church of Christ, Christian Ministries, Inc.

Access Interview Read about the Thomas C. Wallace oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Migration West, Radio, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Ward, William H.
Birth Year : 1834
Death Year : 1918
Ward was the first African American in Louisville, KY, and Jefferson County to become a member of the Republican Committee. He was nominated to run for jailer in 1870 and ran for marshal of the city court in 1878; he was defeated both times. In 1890, Ward was the traveling companion of Louisville Mayor Charles D. Jacob on a trip around the world. William and his wife Sarah A. Ward were both from Virginia, and it was thought they had come to Louisville in 1855 as free persons. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the couple was living on Ninth Street with their daughter, Mrs. Susan A. Morris, her husband Alexander, and two boarders. William Ward was still employed as a janitor at Louisville City Hall, a job he would have for more than three decades. For more see "William H. Ward" in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville by H. C. Weeden.
Subjects: Migration West, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Watson, Carl
Dr. Carl Watson was the first African American admitted to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He completed his residency and graduated in 1964. His obstetrics and gynecology practice is in California. Watson is also a graduate of the old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY. Sources: Kenutcky Alumni, fall 2010, v81, issue 3, p.15; and E. A. Jasmin and A. Etmans, "Black UK graduates to honor school's 'Waymakers' of '60s," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1993, City/State section, p.B3.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Wesley, Edward
Birth Year : 1859
Edward Wesley, born in Kentucky around 1859, was a jockey in Prescott, AZ, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.

Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Prescott, AZ

Whedbee, Bertha P.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1960
Bertha Whedbee, is considered the first African American woman police officer to be hired by the Louisville Police Department, March 22, 1922. Whedbee had campaigned for the position by circulating a petition that was signed by voters. Her employment came with the stipulation that she work only with members of her race. Whedbee was born in West Virginia, and was the wife of Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee (1863-1940, born in North Carolina). The couple married in 1898, and the family lived at 2832 West Chestnut Street in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr.; and "Louisville Police Department" by M. O. Childress in The Encyclopedia of Louisville by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wheeler, Albert
Birth Year : 1866
Albert Wheeler, born around 1866 in Kentucky, was a jockey at the fairgrounds in Kansas City, MO, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

White, Robert C.
Birth Year : 1952
Robert C. White was born in Richmond, VA. He began his career in Washington, D.C. In 1995, he was named the first police chief of the D.C. Housing Authority Police Department. In 2003, he became the first African American police chief in Metro Louisville, KY. White came to Louisville from Greensboro, NC, where he had been the police chief. White is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia and John Hopkins University. For more see G. Josephstaff, "Chief Robert White: new leader set to take reins," Courier-Journal, 01/05/2003, News section, p. 01A; "Louisville, KY, gets first Black police chief," Jet, vol. 103, issue 3 (01/13/2003), p. 19 [available full view at Google Book Search]; and Chief Robert White in Who's Who of Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, pp.66-67.
Subjects: Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Richmond, Virginia / Washington, D.C. / Greensboro, North Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Whittaker, Richard Salinthus
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1977
Kentucky native Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, a physician and surgeon, was founder of the Dunbar Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, in 1924. The facility was managed by Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, his brother Dr. J. T. [James Thomas] Whittaker (1876-1934), and Dr. Charles S. Diggs (1875 -1938) who was born in Mississippi. The hospital served the African American community in Los Angeles for 14 years; it was closed after the death of Dr. Diggs in 1938. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker then returned to his private practice and he was on the staff of Angeles Hospital and the Rose-Netta Hospital that was founded by Kentucky native Dr. N. Curtis King. Dr. Whittaker was born in Carrollton, KY, the son of Scott and Cecelia Whittaker. He was the husband of Esther King Whittaker and the father of James Salinthus Whittaker (1912 -1938) who was a mortician. Dr. Whittaker's education began in a colored school in Carroll County, KY, and he was a 1904 graduate of a college in Louisville (probably Simmons University) where he earned an A.D. degree, and he earned his M.D. at the Louisville National Medical College. He completed three months of post-graduate studies at Howard University. His first practice was in Kansas where several members of the Whittaker family had moved. His brother Dr. J. T. Whittaker is listed in the 1905 Kansas State Census for the town of Coffeyville. His parents, Scott and Cecelia Whittaker, and sister Mary, are listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census for Coffeyville. All of the family members were born in Kentucky, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when the family of seven was living in Owen County, KY, [Richard Whittaker's first name is given as "Robert"]. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker and his wife Esther were living in Coffeyville in 1910, according to the U.S. Federal Census [Dr. Whittaker's first name is again listed as "Robert]. The couple is also listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census along with their 3 year old son (b.1912). Both Esther and the child were born in Kansas. In 1922, Dr. Whittaker moved his practice and family to Pasadena, CA, then on to Los Angeles, CA, in 1923. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker was a member of several organizations including Sigma Pi Phi, Knights of Pythias, National Medical Association, and the NAACP. He died in Los Angeles on February 15, 1977. For more information see Dr. Richard Salinthus Whittaker on p.31 of Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Coffeyville, Kansas / Pasadena and Los Angeles, California

Williams, Charley "Banjo Dick"
Birth Year : 1849
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.
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, Arizona

Willis, "Aunt" Lucy
Birth Year : 1830
Death Year : 1914
In 1987, Aunt Lucy Willis's cabin was restored to 1/3 its original size and exhibited at the Kansas City Museum. The cabin had been built in Trenton, Missouri, where Aunt Lucy Willis had resided. Aunt Lucy had first been a slave in Kentucky, owned by a couple named Willis who gave Aunt Lucy to their daughter, Amelia. According to the research of family member Scott Helmandollar, Aunt Lucy had a daughter named Rosa (1842?-1894) who was listed as white; John Willis may have been the girl's father. Aunt Lucy was brought west when Amelia Willis's second husband, William Neil Peery, moved his family from Kentucky to Missouri. According to Scott Helmandollar, Aunt Lucy was purchased by his family and given her freedom; she chose to remain with the Perry family. At her request, Aunt Lucy was buried in the family cemetery. The cemetery contains the graves of the Perry and Helmandollar families. Family memorabilia were used by the Black Archives of Mid-America to reconstruct Aunt Lucy Willis's life. For more see "Slave's rude cabin brings life to Missouri's history," The Wichita Eagle (Missouri), 06/21/1987, Lively Arts section, p. 8F. For more about the Helmandollar family, Aunt Lucy, her daughter Rosa, and their descendants, contact Scott Helmandollar.

*Aunt Lucy Willis's descendants: Rosa Willis Clayton (Lewis), William Harley Clayton and James Arthur Clayton [twins], Ernest Clayton, Nellie Goldia Clayton Woodson (Carter) [1881-198?], Erma Woodson Smith, Bernice Woodson, Dale Byron Woodson, Theodore Woodson.*
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Mothers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Trenton and Kansas City, Missouri

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

Wilson, James H. (minister)
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1944
Rev. J. H. Wilson was born in Shelbyville, KY, the son of Henry and Mariah Lawson Wilson. He attended school in Jeffersonville, IN, and taught for three years in Missouri. He was licensed to preach in 1885 and was a pastor in Glasgow, Missouri, before being transferred to California in 1904. He helped organize Wesleyan AME Church [later St. Paul AME Church] in San Bernardino, and was appointed the presiding elder of the California Conference in 1905. Rev. Wilson was next appointed to a mission conference, which he built into two conferences and was presiding elder for 23 years. Rev. Wilson was Grand Master of the Masons, Royal Grand Patron of the Eastern Star, and a member of the Grand Joshua Heroines of Jericho. He was editor of Western Christian Recorder from 1928 until his death in 1944. The newspaper was founded at the 1890 AME General Conference in Columbus, OH. It was published privately by J. Frank McDonald in Kansas City, Kansas until 1904 when it was adopted by the General Conference. For more see Rev. J. H. Wilson in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and A History of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by C. S. Smith and D. A. Payne [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Jeffersonville, Indiana / MIssouri / California

Winny (slave) v Whitesides
Winny was the slave of Phebe Whitesides. The family had moved from Carolina to Kentucky. In 1795, Winny's owners took here from Kentucky to the Indiana Territory, then on to the Missouri Territory, where Winny filed a civil suit for her freedom in April 1821 [case no. 190]. Slavery was prohibited in the Indiana Territory, in accordance with the 1787 Northwest Ordinance; therefore, Winny felt that she had become a free person. In 1824 the Supreme Court agreed, and Winny's case set the standard for determining slave freedom cases up to the 1850s. For more see Winny's story in the Missouri State Archives: Guide to African American History, a Missouri Digital Heritage website; and "Winny v Whitesides alias Prewitt," Supreme Court of Missouri, St. Louis District, 1 Mo. 472, November 1824 Decided.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Carolina / Kentucky / Indiana / Missouri

Woods, Mattiebelle
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 2005
Woods, a journalist, was born in Louisville, KY, the daughter of Annabelle and Ira Woods. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and married when she was 19. Shortly after her daughter was born, Woods lost her husband in a car accident. She was briefly married again at age 24; that marriage ended in divorce. Beginning in the 1940s, Woods became a society reporter, writing for African American newspapers. In 1964, she joined the Milwaukee Courier and was also a reporter for several other Milwaukee newspapers and the Chicago Defender. She was also a freelance writer for Ebony and Jet magazines. Woods loved to dance and was featured in Jet doing the electric slide. She attended a Christmas party at the Clinton White House. Her newspaper column, "Partyline," was last written the week she died; Woods had been a journalist with the Milwaukee Courier for more than 40 years and was the oldest working journalist in the U.S. For more see A. R. Silvers, "Obituary: Mattiebelle Woods 1902-2005," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/19/2005, A News section, p.1; "Mattiebelle Woods," in vol. 8 of African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham; and listen to the E. Gordon's remembrance of "Mattiebelle Woods, pioneer journalist" at NPR.org.
Access Interview
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Woolfolk, George Ruble
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1996
Woolfolk was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Theodosia and Lucien Woolfolk. He was a graduate of Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, Ohio State University, and the University of Wisconsin. Woolfolk was head of the history department at Prairie View A&M and was the first African American elected as a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association. The Political Building at Prairie View was renamed the George Ruble Woolfolk Building in his honor, and the Woolfolk Lecture Series is in recognition of his contributions to public higher education in Texas. Woolfolk was a scholar, an educator, and a historian. He was the author of numerous articles and several books, including The Cotton Regency; the northern merchants and reconstruction, 1865-1880 and The Free Negro in Texas, 1800-1860: a study in cultural compromise. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-1999; and Directory of American Scholars, 1974-1982.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Migration West
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Prairie View, Texas

Yowell, Samuel [Petersburg Colored School]
Birth Year : 1791
Death Year : 1872
Samuel Yowell [also spelled Youell] was a property owner in Petersburg, KY. He was born in Virginia and is listed in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census as a freeman who was a weaver. Included in his household was Jane Yowell, born in 1810 in Virginia. In the 1870 Census, Samuel Yowell's occupation is listed as a fisherman, and there are two children living with him and Jane: 12 year old Mat Yowell and 5 year old Amanda Yowell, both born in Kentucky. Samuel Yowell died in Petersburg in 1872 without any heirs, so his property, lots 172 and 173, became the property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1882, the Kentucky Legislature passed "An Act for the benefit of the colored schools in Petersburg, Kentucky," granting that lots 172 and 173 be used for the schools. Petersburg was established in 1800 and is an unincorporated community in Boone County, KY. In 1880, the population was 1,377 with 98 African Americans. For more see "Laws of Kentucky," Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Chapter 1019, pp. 464-465 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Migration West, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Virginia / Petersburg, Boone County, Kentucky

 

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