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African American Felony/Voter Disenfranchisement
The Kentucky Constitution, section 145, bars a person with a felony conviction from voting for the rest of the individual's life whether the full sentence has been completed or not. In reference to African Americans, Kentucky has the highest disenfranchisement rate in the nation. A request to have voting rights restored begins with the individual submitting an application to the Kentucky Governor requesting an executive pardon for reinstatement of voting rights. It is the Governor's decision as to whether the voting rights are restored or not. For more see J. Shugarts, "Felons' disenfranchisement mostly a matter of geography," Republican-American, 01/25/2009," Local News section, p. 1A; "African Americans and the Criminal Justice System" on pp. 20-21 in The State of African Americans in Kentucky, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights [available online .pdf]; and Felony Disenfranchisement in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a report of the League of Women Voters of Kentucky [available online .pdf]. See also Determinants of College Students' Opinions Towards Felon Voting Rights: an exploratory study (dissertation) by B. C. Dawson Edwards. 
Subjects: Voting Rights, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Kentucky

African American Police Women (Lexington, KY)
The first three African American police women with the Lexington, KY, police force were Susan Garr, who started in 1949, replacing Augusta Strong, who had joined that same year but didn't stay on the force very long; and Susan Layton Tabb, who joined after both Garr and Strong in 1949 and served until 1977. Information from the Lexington History Museum - Public Safety exhibit.
See photo image of police woman Susan Garr.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

African American Police Women (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1922
Mrs. Fanny R. Givens and Patsy Sloan, both African Americans, were two of the four women police officers hired by the Louisville Police Department in 1930. The other two hires were Pearl Boston and Agnes L. Castle, both of whom were white. The local newspaper reported the four women to be the first hired on the Louisville police force, which was incorrect. Alice Dunlap had been hired in 1921, and in 1922, Bertha P. Whedbee was the first African American woman hired. When the new administration came into office at City Hall in 1938, Givens, Sloan, Boston, and Castle were relieved of their duties. For more see the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr.; and The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan. See photo image of Fanny R. Givens at Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Great Lakes Region website.

Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Allen, James A.
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1922
James A. Allen was the first African American police detective in Cincinnati, OH. He was born in Greenupsburg [Greenup], KY, the son of Frank and Jane M. Allen [source: Ohio Death Record, for James A. Allen]. James A. Allen came to Cincinnati after working on steamboats for several years. He was a coachman for Robert J. Morgan in Walnut Hills, Cincinnati. Robert J. Morgan would become the Police Commissioner for Cincinnati. James A. Allen was still his coachman in 1886, according to Williams Cincinnati Directory, and by 1887, he was a Cincinnati policeman. A few years later he was named a detective. By 1892, there were 11 African Americans employed by the Cincinnati Police Department. James A. Allen was the only one who was a detective, along with eight patrolmen and two turnkeys who were African Americans [source: "Personal mention," Plaindealer, 08/12/1892, p. 6]. James A. Allen is listed in the 1900 Census as a detective who was single and lived alone, and he was mistakenly listed as white. His first wife had been Lugusta Adams Allen. His second wife was Maude I. Goodson Allen, born around 1882 in Mississippi, and according to the 1910 and 1920 census records, the couple lived on Richmond Street with their son James A. Allen, Jr. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and Images of America: Cincinnati Police History, by C. Mersch and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Museum.
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Greenupsburg [now Greenup], Greenup County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Austin, Helen C.
Birth Year : 1925
Helen Cloud Austin, from Harlan, KY, was the second African American student to attend the University of Louisville School of Social Work, from which she graduated in 1953. With the help of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, she became the first African American professional hired at the San Antonio State Hospital, a mental health facility in Texas. In 1983, Austin was the San Antonio Social Worker of the Year and the Texas State Social Worker of the Year. She was inducted into the San Antonio Hall of Fame in 1985. Austin retired from the hospital in 1987. Two years later, she was included in the booklet titled Salute to Black Women Who Make Things Happen by the National Council of Negro Women. After her retirement, Austin continued to be active with several organizations, including serving as president of the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Halfway House, Inc., she started the Senior Citizen Ministry at St. Paul United Methodist Church, and she continued her work with Crosspoint, a nonprofit that provides reentry residential services for ex-offenders, an organization that Austin co-founded in 1963. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. The Helen Cloud Austin Papers are at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Information about Crosspoint and other updates were provided by Joan Cheever.

See photo image and additional information about Helen C. Austin at the NASW Foundation website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

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

Baker, Charles William
Birth Year : 1941
Charles W. Baker was the second African American to serve as a Jefferson County, KY police officer, [the first was William Parker Mitchell]. In 1977, Charles William Baker filed a discrimination lawsuit in the Federal District Court against Chief Edgar Helm, the Jefferson County Police Executive Board, and the Jefferson County Police Merit Board. The lawsuit was in response to the failure to hire and promote African American police officers within the Jefferson County Police Department. The case was handled by attorney Juanita Logan Christian with support from the Urban League [Juanita L. Christian had a private law practice in Louisville and now practices law in Michigan]. The suit was settled with a ten year consent decree that would increase the number of African American police officers hired and promoted, and open the rank for assistant chief. Though Charles W. Baker scored the highest on the exam for the promotion, he was still denied rank, and retired from the Jefferson County Police Department in 1982. Charles W. Baker was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Helen Keeylen Baker and Thomas Baker. He is a graduate of Male High School in Louisville; earned his associate degree and bachelor's degree in business administration while enlisted in the U.S. Marines; and earned his M.S. in political science at Eastern Kentucky University. He was a police officer in Washington D. C., and transferred to the City of Louisville Police Department in 1968. Baker transferred to the Jefferson County Police Department in 1972, he was hired by Chief Russell McDaniel. The lawsuit filed by Baker, and the consent decree signed by County Judge Mitchell McConnell, opened the door for more African American officers to be hired in Kentucky, and other southern states followed Kentucky's lead. In the Jefferson County Police Department, the first African American woman officer was Jackie Dulan, and Carol Hickman was the third woman officer to be hired. Information for this entry was provided by Charles W. Baker during a phone interview on February 14, 2012. For more information see, Charles W. Baker, et al., v. County of Jefferson et al., Case No. C-80-8039(L)(A) and the consent decree at the U.S. District Clerk of Court in Louisville, KY.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Urban Leagues, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Beam, Ulysses S. and John W. Beam
Dr. U. S. Beam (1868-1942) was the first African American physician to practice in Lima, OH. Born in Kentucky, he was an older brother of Dr. Augustus G. Beam. Both were graduates of the Louisville National Medical College and maintained a medical practice together in Lima, OH, for a brief period in 1906. Dr. U. S. Beam had previously practiced in Muncie, IN, moving to Lima in 1892. He was a wealthy doctor in Lima, where he spent the remainder of his life except for a brief period when he was forced to returned to Kentucky in 1909. Dr. Beam left Lima after his brother, John W. Beam (born in KY -d.1909), a lawyer and real estate agent, was arrested for the murder of widow Estella Maude Diltz, who was white. There were rumors of a lynching party being formed, and Dr. Beam, whose wife was white, feared there would be retaliation towards him. Also, the U.S. Marshall had a subpoena for Dr. Beam pertaining to another matter. Dr. Beam closed his medical practice and fled to Kentucky with his father, Hines Beam, who had come to Lima to secure an attorney for his son, John. In November 1909, John W. Beam was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the Ohio Penitentiary; it was reported that he committed suicide while in prison, December 1909. Dr. Ulysses Beam returned to his practice in Lima, where he is listed in the U.S. Federal Census for 1910, 1920, and 1930. He died at his home in 1942 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, OH. For more see "Dr. Beam Gone," Lima Times Democrat (05/26/1909), p. 8; and "Dr. Beam dies in home after long illness," The Lima News (10/12/1942), p. 4. For more on John W. Beam's case, see "Suicide faked by slayer to avoid possible lynching," Chicago Tribune (05/25/1909), p. 2; "Declare Beam sane in every single particular," The Lima Daily News (10/25/1909), p. 1; "Beam sentenced by Judge Bailey," The Lima Daily news (11/05/1909), p. 5; and "Thomas Dillion helped Beam pave way to eternity," The Lima Daily News (12/14/1909), p. 1.
Subjects: Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Suicide
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Muncie, Indiana / Lima, Ohio

Beatty, Anthany, Sr.
Birth Year : 1951
In 2001, at the age of 50, Anthany Beatty became the first African American Chief of Police in Lexington, KY. Beatty, a Lexington native, had been with the department for 27 years, having joined the force in 1973. He earned his master's degree in public administration from Kentucky State University and his bachelor's degree in police administration from Eastern Kentucky University. In 2007, Beatty retired from the Lexington Police Department and became Assistant Vice President for Public Safety at the University of Kentucky. For more see T. Tagami, "Beatty to be new chief - council expected to confirm first black in job," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/15/2001, Main News section, p. A1; and "Farewell to the chief - Beatty a good addition to UK Administration," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/14/2007, Commentary section, p. A8.

Access Interview Read about the Anthany Beatty, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bell, R. F.
R. F. Bell was the first African American police officer in Lexington, KY, joining the force in 1918. For more see Lexington Police Department photo, 04/12/1937, courtesy of Amanda Elliott, at the Lexington History Museum - in the Black and White Photographic Collection.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bennett, Norvel
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1945
Norvel Bennett was a sergeant with the Indianapolis Police Department when he died in 1945. He had been with the department since 1925. He received two citations in 1929, the latter for helping capture a burglar found after hours in a Kroger store. Bennett received a citation for helping to solve several cases in 1942, and he was appointed an investigator of the detective department. He was promoted to sergeant in 1944. Norvel Bennett was a native of Princeton, KY. He was a veteran of World War I, having served in France as a corporal with the 436th Engineers. He was the husband of Eula Bennett. He was a clerk and a janitor in Indianapolis before becoming a police officer [source: Indianapolis City Directory, 1918-1926]. Norvell Bennett was one of the few African American men on the Indianapolis Police Force from 1925-1945. For more see "Sergeant Norvel Bennett," Indianapolis Recorder, 09/22/1945, p. 1; "Chief Worley commends officer," Indianapolis Recorder, 03/09/1929, p. 1; and "Women and Minorities" on the Indianapolis Police Department History website.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

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, Ulysses
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2013
In 2001, the then 60 year old Ulysses Berry, who was born in Lexington, KY, was the interim Chief of Police in Lexington, the first African American to hold the post. Berry, a 37-year veteran of the police force, had also been the first African American to become Assistant Chief of Police in 1990, the same year that his 1987 lawsuit was dropped. In 1987, Berry, the highest ranking African American on the police force, filed suit because he felt he had been passed over for promotion because he was African American. Berry was also the first African American from the Bluegrass region to attend the national FBI academy. He was a brother of Julius Berry. Ulysses Berry died July 10, 2013. For more see J. Cheves, "Interim Chief Berry is veteran of 37 years with police department," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/04/2001, Main News section, p. A8; T. Tolliver, "Black police major files racial discrimination suit," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/11/1987, City/State, p. B1; and N. Morgan, "Chief's post about trust, Berry says candidate plays down racial issue," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/14/2001, City & Region section, p. C1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Booker, Robert H.
Birth Year : 1939
Death Year : 2006
Robert Booker was the first African American police officer in LaGrange, KY, in 1968. Information submitted by Ruby Booker of LaGrange, KY.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky

Brummell, William C., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1969
Brummell, born in Salina, Kansas, was the first African American member of the Kentucky Parole Board in 1966. He was named to the board by Governor Breathitt for a four year term at $12,000 per year. Brummell, a social worker, had been director of the Louisville-Jefferson County Children's Home. For more see "Negro on Kentucky Board," New York Times, 07/12/1966, p.4.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Social Workers, Migration East, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Salina, Kansas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Burks, Ishmon, F. Jr.
Birth Year : 1945
Ishmon Burks, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY. He was the first African American Kentucky State Police Commissioner, appointed by Governor Paul Patton in 2000. Burks was promoted to Justice Cabinet Secretary in 2002. In 2011, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer named Ishmon Burks, Jr. interim chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department. Burks is a former executive vice president and COO of Spalding University. He is a graduate of Lincoln University of Missouri, Indiana University, and City College of New York. He is a retired colonel from the U.S. Army. Ishmon Burks, Jr. is the son of Ishmon Sr. and Juanita Burks. For more see "Retired Army officer first Black KSP chief," The Kentucky Post, 08/23/2000, News section, p.1K; D. Stephenson, "Burks becomes state police head," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/01/2000, City & Region section, p. B1; and "Mayor selects Ishmon Burks as Louisville's interim police chief [Opinion: The Arena]" by T. McAdam, online at Louisville.com.


 Access InterviewListen to the Ishmon Burks oral history interviews, by Mike Jones, 10/07/2002,  at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Capers, Jean M.
Birth Year : 1913
Jean Murrell Capers was born in Georgetown, KY. Her family moved to Cleveland, OH, when she was a child. Capers was a teacher in the Cleveland schools before becoming an attorney in 1945. She is a education graduate of Western Reserve University [now Case Western Reserve University]. She was assistant police prosecutor from 1946 until 1949, when she became the first African American elected to the Cleveland City Council. The N.C.N.W. recognized her as one of the 10 outstanding women in public service in 1950. She was the director and organizer of the Central Welfare Association. Capers later became a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 2006, Capers, at 93 years of age, was the oldest practicing member of the National Bar Association. She has received a number of awards, including the 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Nettie Cronise Lutes Award [article online at Call & Post website]. Jean M. Capers is a law graduate of the Cleveland Law School [which merged with the John Marshall School of Law in 1945 to become the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd edition, ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and "Capers oldest member to attend annual convention," National Bar Association Law E-Bulletin, vol. 14, issue 1 (August 2006). Photos of Jean Capers are in the African Americans of Note in Cleveland database.


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Social Workers, Judges
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials
Start Year : 1885
The large African American population in Christian County, along with the strength of the Republican Party in the county, made it possible for some of the state's earlier political elections to be won by African American candidates in Hopkinsville, KY. Edward Glass was elected to the City Council in 1885 and re-elected continuously until 1907. By 1898, the following were also elected to office: James L. Allensworth, County Coroner; Kinney Tyler, Deputy Jailer; John W. Knight, Constable; and J. C. Lyte, Pension Examiner. In 1916, T. H. Moore was re-elected for the third time as Magistrate of the 1st District of Christian County. The elections of African Americans was not always welcomed: there were beatings and objections. One such case is the election of William Leveritt for County Physician in 1898; his appointment was approved by the county judge, which enraged many whites because Leveritt would be examining white family members, in particular white women. For more see Violence in the Black Patch of Kentucky and Tennessee, by S. Marshall; p. 35 of the Negro Year Book, by M. N. Work [full-text at Google Book Search]; and "The people of Christian County...," p. 95 of American Medico-surgical Bulletin, vol. 12, 1898 [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Churchill, Leroy O.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1987
Leroy O. Churchill was the first African American guard at the Bridewell Prison in Chicago, IL, and he was also the first to become a captain. Churchill was head of the 1st division of the west cell-house, where he supervised eight guards and 445 inmates of whom 40% were African Americans. Churchill reported directly to Warden Fred K. Hoehler. "Bridewell" is an English term from the 1500s for "jail" or "house of corrections." The earliest Bridewell Prison was located in London, England [info]. Bridewell, the city jail of Chicago, was built in 1852 as a short-term facility for offenders of minor crimes. In 1959, when it held 1,700 prisoners, Leroy O. Churchill was one of the six captains at the facility. Churchill was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Roscoe Conkling Churchill and Elizabeth B. Churchill, a hairdresser. The family moved to Chicago in 1920, then returned to Paducah after Roscoe Churchill died. The Churchill family had been in Paducah for several generations; family members are listed in the 1914-1915 Caron's Paducah City Directory as living at 1036 Washington Street; the residents included Ora; Marshall Sr. (1866-1911); Emma (b. 1867); Loyd (b.1889); Roscoe (b. 1885); and Sherman Churchill (1887-1927). When the family moved back to Kentucky, Leroy attended Lincoln High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, track, and boxing. He was awarded an athletics scholarship to attend West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] where he was an outstanding football player. After his graduation, Leroy Churchill returned to Chicago, and in 1948 successfully completed the civil service exam, ranking second, and was appointed a guard at Bridewell Prison. He received the rank of captain in 1951. Leroy O. Churchill was the husband of Mary Hopkins Churchill, a beautician; the couple had two sons. For more see R. Ottley, "Negro guard captain aids his charges in Bridewell," Chicago Daily Tribune, 03/14/1959, p. W Part 5 - p. 12F; the Cook County Jail History website; and see photo image of Bridewell Prison at Encyclopedia of Chicago [online].

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Cocaine and Negroes in Kentucky, 1898-1914
Start Year : 1898
End Year : 1914
Cocaine was an accepted and easily accessible drug prior to 1914, it was also used in whiskey shots, syrups, tonics, cigars, nasal sprays, and many many other products. When it became illegal in 1914, classified as a hard narcotic, there was a very racist side to the prohibition. Dr. Christopher Koch from Pennsylvania warned, "Most of the attacks upon white women of the South are the direct result of the cocaine-crazed Negro brain." The fear of a crazy, super strong Black man on cocaine existed long before cocaine became illegal, the fear had intensified during the period of enforced segregation, challenges to voting laws, the push for Negro political, social, and civil rights, and increased lynchings in the South. During the last decade of the 1800s, crimes attributed to Negroes were often assumed to be linked to drug use. Police departments in the South began requesting larger caliber guns that could stop the so-called cocaine-crazed Negro. In Kentucky, July 1907, the State Board of Pharmacy began a crusade against druggist who sold cocaine to Negroes, it was an effort to stem the crime of supposed violence committed by Negroes in Kentucky and other Southern states. Warrants had been issued against druggists A. F. Solbrig and H. F. Cohn, Jr., both from Louisville. In 1903, The Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic, a journal, suggested that it was the Negro and prostitutes (the lower class persons) who were most likely to have a cocaine habit, and Negroes with habits were most likely to commit crimes. But rather than hang the Negro, the article stated that it was the white druggist who should be hanged for selling cocaine to Negroes. It was also said that the states of Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, were thought to have many of the "medico-pharmaceutical rascals," and supposedly, things had gotten so bad in Kentucky that the once loyal Colored servants could no longer be trusted. In 1898, the Bulletin of Pharmacy warned that there was a cocaine-craze among Negroes taking place in Louisville, Lexington, and Shelby County. For more see the video recording titled Hooked: illegal drugs and how they got that way by the History Channel et. al.; Dr. E. H. Williams, "Negro cocaine fiends are a new Southern menace," The New York Times, 02/08/1914, p.SM12; Snowblind: a brief career in the cocaine trade by R. Sabbag; White Mischief: a cultural history of cocaine by T. Madge; "Anti-cocaine crusade," The Pharmaceutical Era, 1907, vol.38, p.116 [available online at Google Book Search]; "The Cocaine Curse and the Negro," The Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic, 1903, vol.89, pp.599-602 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Horrible," Bulletin of Pharmacy, 1898, vol.12, p.139 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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

Combs, Richard "Tallow Dick"
Combs, a barber, was from Beattyville, KY. He was one of the ten men initially charged with complicity in the murder of William Goebel. While on his deathbed, Goebel had been named Governor of Kentucky following a very controversial and contested governor's race. Richard Combs was the only African American linked to the murder; though there was testimony during the trial that two Negroes had been hired to kill Goebel. W. H. Watts, a Negro janitor of the Adjunct General's Office in the Kentucky Executive Building, also testified in the case [it had only been since 1872 that Negro testimony was accepted in a Kentucky court]. Goebel had won the Democratic nomination for governor in 1899, was shot and mortally wounded January 30, 1900, while outside the Kentucky State Capitol Building, and died February 3, 1900. A senator from Kenton County, KY, he was sometimes described as ruthless, at other times as a reformer. As a reformer, he pushed for a number of changes, including more rights for women and Negroes, and he wanted to do away with lotteries and pool halls. For more see William Goebel in the Kentucky Encyclopedia; "Goebel suspects indicted," from Frankfort, KY in the New York Times, 04/19/1900, p. 1; "Prison cell for Powers," New York Times, 08/19/1900, p. 1; The First New Dealer, by U. Woodson; and V. Hazard, "The Black testimony controversy in Kentucky, 1866-1872," The Journal of Negro History, vol.58, issue 2 (April 1973), pp. 140-165.
Subjects: Barbers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Kenton County, Kentucky

Crews, Cookie
Cookie Crews, from Hardy, KY, is the first African American female to be named a warden in Kentucky. Her most recent appointment came in November 2009 when she was named warden of the Kentucky State Reformatory (KSR), the state's largest prison. Her career began in January 1984 when she was a correctional officer at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women (KCIW). Crews was continuously promoted over the years, and in 2002 she was named Deputy Warden III at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex (LLCC), where she also served as acting warden for seven months. In 2004, she was named warden of the Frankfort Career Development Center. In May 2006 she was named acting warden at KCIW, becoming the warden a month later. Cookie Crews is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where she majored in corrections and public relations. In May of 2012, Crews was promoted to Health Services Administrator with the Department of Corrections. In 2012, she also served as president of Southern States Correctional Association (SSCA). For more, see the Kentucky.gov press releases "Department of Corrections: Cooke Crews promoted to warden at Kentucky State Reformatory," 11/17/2009, and "Cookie Crews promoted to health services administrator," 05/30/2012, both press releases were issued by the Department of Corrections.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Hardy, Pike County, Kentucky

Cross, Oscar
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1999
Born in Fulton, KY, Oscar Cross was the first African American juvenile officer in Paducah, founding the Boys Club of Paducah in 1949 for African American boys. He served as director for 50 years and is credited as a leader in bringing about the first interracial board of directors of the Boys Club in Paducah, Inc. In 1980, the club was renamed the Oscar Cross Boys Club of Paducah. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

See photo image and additional information about Oscar Cross at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Cruse, Charles Plummer "C. P."
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1985
Cruse was one of the first African American police officers in Lexington, KY, in the 1940s and 1950s; he served for about 15 years on the police force. He had also served as 1st District Constable. In 1973 he was the second African American to run for Fayette County Sheriff; Cruse was unsuccessful in his campaign. Charles P. Cruse was the husband of Clemintena Cruse. He was born in Fayette County, the son of Charles H. (an insurance agent) and Jenny Irvin Cruse; the family lived on Chestnut Street. For more see "Services held for one of first Black officers," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/25/1985, Obituaries section, p. D13.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Deane, Robert
In 1999, Robert Deane became the first African American Chief of Police at Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green, KY. He was also the first African American Chief of Police at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Deane is also a retiree of the Detroit Police Department, having served with the department for 27 years. For more see J. Riley, "Ex-Detroit cop named school's new chief - New chief inherits successful but money-strapped department," Daily News (Bowling Green, Kentucky), 11/11/1999; and "UW-Parkside names interim police chief," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/20/1999.

See photo image of Robert Deane at the Western Kentucky University website.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Wisconsin / Detroit, Michigan

Denning, Joe William
Birth Year : 1945
Joe W. Denning was born in Bowling Green, KY, son of Marion E. and Evelyn Huskey Denning.  He is a 1970 graduate of the Kentucky State Police Academy and attended Western Kentucky University.  In 1975, Denning, a former state trooper, became the first African American to serve on the Bowling Green School Board.  In 1991, he was elected a city commissioner. Denning was pro-tem mayor of Bowling Green, KY in 2011, and later replaced Mayor Elaine Walker after her resignation to become the Kentucky Secretary of State.  Denning was elected mayor of Bowling Green in 2012. He is the first African American Mayor for the city. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 24; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.

See photo image and additional information about Joe W. Denning "Commissioner Joe Denning will become city's first black mayor"  by A. Robinson, 01/08/2011, at bgdailynews.com.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Dillard, William O., Sr.
Birth Year : 1938
Dillard was born in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1968, he became the first African American deputy sheriff in Christian County and in 1981 became the first African American elected sheriff in Kentucky. He received his law enforcement training at Eastern Kentucky University. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in the 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Sixth Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 18; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Edwards, Augustus Wilson
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1994
Augustus Wilson Edwards was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Daniel and Carrie Edwards. A. Wilson Edwards became the first African American police officer and lieutenant, and the first Director of Safety in Louisville; he supervised the police and fire departments. Edwards also served as a security officer at the inaugurations of Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson. He was security adviser to William V. S. Tubman, President of Liberia, and Colonel Tran Minh Cong, police chief of Da Nang. Named in his honor is the A. Wilson Edwards Center that houses the 2nd Division and Louisville Fire Department, Engine 19, at 3419 Bohne Avenue, Louisville, KY  40211 [per Robert Bauer and the Louisville Metro Police Department]. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1975-1995; and The Negro Almanac, 3rd-5th eds.

See photo image of A. Wilson Edwards in "Kentucky policeman is protector of life of President of Liberia," Meriden Journal, 11/18/1959, p.8.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Liberia, Africa / Da Nang, Vietnam, Asia

Election Day Riot (Frankfort, KY)
Start Year : 1871
On the evening of August 7, 1871, the election polls had just closed when a race riot developed between African American and white voters in Frankfort, KY, at the market-house precinct. It was the second year of voting for African American men in Kentucky, and tension was high. After a scuffle, whites and African Americans took cover on separate sides of Broadway and began shooting and throwing rocks and boulders at each other across the railroad tracks that ran down the center of the street. Police Captain William Gillmore and Officers Jerry Lee and Dick Leonard rushed to the scene; Gillmore was killed and Lee and Leonard were injured. Other police arrived, but they were driven back. A Mr. Bishop, who was also white, was killed, and several others on both sides were injured. State Troops were ordered into downtown Frankfort to bring the rioting under control. An African American, Henry Washington, who supposedly fired the first shot, was apprehended for the murder of Captain Gillmore. Frankfort Mayor E. H. Taylor, Jr. had appointed the state militia to guard the jailhouse. After the State Troops had gone, the militia dispersed when about 250 armed and masked white men stormed the jailhouse at mid-morning and removed Washington and another African American man, Harry Johnson, who was accused of the rape of a Mrs. Pfeifer. Both men were hanged. For more see "Kentucky Elections. Rioting reported in various places - Two whites killed in Frankfort - Negro prisoners lynched," New York Times, 08/09/1871, p. 1; and "A Democratic riot," printed in the New York Times, 08/15/1871, p.6, from the Louisville Commercial, August 10, 1871.
Subjects: Voting Rights, Lynchings, Corrections and Police, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Fox, Robert and Samuel
The Fox brothers owned a grocery store and one of the three leading undertaking businesses in Louisville, KY. Their undertaking business would eventually be merge with that of J. H. Taylor. In 1870, the Fox brothers and Horace Pearce went against the public streetcar policies when they boarded the Central Passenger's car at Tenth and Walnut Streets. All three men were removed from the car and jailed and their case would be resolved in U.S. District Court. Robert Fox (b.1846) and Samuel Fox (b.1849 ), both born in Kentucky, were the sons of Albert and Margaret Fox. For more see History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.; and the entry Streetcar Demonstrations.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Civic Leaders, Jim Crow, Corrections and Police, Rioting, Insurrections, Panics, Protests in Kentucky, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson 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

Givens, Mrs. Fanny Rosalind Hicks and James Edward Givens
Mrs. Fanny R. Hicks Givens was an artist, songwriter, educator, and police matron. She was born in 1872 in Chicago, IL; her parents were Kentucky natives who had migrated North. In the early 1890s, Givens was living in Louisville, KY, she was head of the art department at State University [later known as Simmons University, KY]. The art department had 23 students and their works were exhibited at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She painted a portrait of John R. Walter, Minister of Madagascar and presented it to President Harrison. The portrait was hung in the White House. In 1895, Fanny R. Hicks married James Edward Givens. James Givens was born in 1861 in Greenwood, VA, the son of Jefferson and Mary Ann Dickerson Givens. James Givens was a graduate of Harvard College. He arrived in Louisville in 1892 to become a Latin and Greek instructor at State University. He was later a Latin and English professor at Louisville Colored High School [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He was founder of New South, a weekly newspaper published in Louisville beginning in 1894. From 1898-1900, James E. Givens was the second president of the State Normal School for Colored Persons (later known as Kentucky State University) [see the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library webpage]. He was a storekeeper when he died of typhoid fever in 1910 at his home, 507 Jacob Street, in Louisville, KY, according to the Kentucky Death Records. James Givens was buried in the Eastern Cemetery in Louisville. Prior to his death, he was attended by Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee, husband to Bertha Whedbee, the first African American woman to be employed by the Louisville Police Department. In 1920, the Givens family was living on Finzer Street in Louisville, KY: Mrs. Givens, her daughter Fanny, niece Evaline Williams, and nephew James E. Givens. Mrs. Fanny R. Givens was a portrait artist, and in 1915 she attempted to raise $100,000 to build an Art Institute for the development of Negro artists. She was also a songwriter, on March 23, 1908, she had received a copyright for the words and the song titled "Hallelujah! Christ is Risen," [C 177237]. She was also chair of the Ways and Means Committee in Louisville. She sailed to Liberia, Africa, leaving from the Baltimore port aboard the ship Byron, December 10, 1921, according to her passport application. In 1923, Mrs. Givens and her daughter Fanny were missionaries for the National Baptist Convention, and were to sail to Sweden, the British Isles, France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, according to their U.S. Passport. They were to leave the Port of New York on June 30, 1923, sail to their destinations aboard the Olympic, and return to the U.S. within one year. In 1930, Mrs. Givens would become one of the first African American women to be hired by the Louisville Police Department. Fanny R. Hicks Givens died of breast cancer in Louisville in 1947, according to her death certificate, she was buried in Eastern Cemetery. For more see Mrs. Fanny R. Givens on p.202 in The Crisis, v.18, no.4, August 1919, [available at Google Book Search]; p.366 in Catalog of Copyright Entries, new series volume 3, nos 1-5, January 1908, by Library of Congress Copyright Office [available at Google Book Search]; Black Higher Education in Kentucky, 1879-1930 by L. H. Williams; "Mrs. Fannie R. Givens" on pp.252-253 of the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and the Louisville Division of Police by M. O. Childress, Sr. See the James Edward Givens entry in Harvard College, Class of 1892-1896, Secretary's Report, No.11 by Harvard College [available at Google Book Search]; see "James Edward Givens" entry in Harvard College Class of 1892, Twenty-fifth Anniversary Report, 1892-1917 by Harvard College; and "Prominent Colored Educator" in The Mt. Sterling Advocate, 03/23/1910, p.1.

 


   See photo image of Fanny R. Givens at Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Great Lakes Region website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Migration South
Geographic Region: Chicago, Illinois / Greenwood, Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Gordon, Sheryl E.
In 2006, Gordon was the first woman to be hired as a fraud investigator in the Kentucky Office of Insurance. She joined the division is 2005, and is now a special investigator. Gordon graduated from the Department of Criminal Justice's 365th Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy in 2006, she had earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Louisville in 1989. The training academy is located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. The Kentucky Office of Inusrance is an agency within the Public Protection Office. For more see Sheryl E. Gordon on p.324 in Who's Who in Black Louisville, 2nd ed; and "Department of Criminal Justice Training Graduates 20 Recruits," Press Release, 01/26/2006, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet [online].
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Gray, Anthony, Jr., "Tony"
In April 2007, Anthony Gray, Jr. was sworn in as interim police chief of Danville, KY, the first African American to hold the post. Gray had been the assistant chief of police. April 23, 2012, Gray was named the Chief of the Danville Police Department. He is a graduate of the Department of Criminal Justice Basic Training Class No.240. For more see "Danville: Interim police chief sworn in," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/02/2007, City&Region section, p. B3; and Anthony Gray Jr. in the column "New Chiefs" on p.7 of Kentucky Law Enforcement, Fall 2012, v.11, no.3.

See photo image of Anthony "Tony" Gray at the City of Danville, KY, Official Website.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Green, Pearl, and Samuel E. Jackson (policemen)
Start Year : 1945
Two of the early Negro members of the Kentucky Peace Officers' Association were Pearl Green (1892-1966) and his partner, Samuel E. Jackson (1900-1984). Both were police officers in Owensboro, KY, and in 1945, they were the only Negro members of the association. Owensboro was one of the first cities in Kentucky to employ Negro police officers. The Kentucky Peace Officers' Association was formed in 1935 and is Kentucky's oldest professional organization for law enforcement officers. Pearl Green was the husband of Rosalee Green; the Greens lived at 900 Hall Street [source: Polk's Owensboro (Daviess County, KY) City Directory, 1943, p. 131]. Samuel E. Jackson was the husband of Helen Jackson; the Jacksons lived at 625 Hathaway Street [source: Polk's Owensboro (Daviess County, KY) City Directory, 1945, p. 181]. For more see "Visits Naptown," Indianapolis Recorder, 07/28/1945, p. 4; and History of the KPOA at the Kentucky Peace Officers' Association website.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky

Griffin, James C.
Birth Year : 1933
Death Year : 1994
From Paris, KY, Griffin was the first African American policeman in Frankfort, KY. He had trained at a police school in Lexington, KY. The son of Laurene Rankin, he was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and a Navy veteran. For more see The State Journal (Frankfort, KY), 04/20/61; and "Obituaries," The Kentucky Post, 07/23/1994, News section, p. 8A.
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hickman, Carol
In 1971, Carol Hickman was the first woman to take the examination to join the Jefferson County Police Department. She was one of two women to pass the test and join the officer training class. She would become the first woman and the first African American to head a county police district. She was over A District in eastern Jefferson County. Hickman was named captain in 1984. She served on the police force for 30 years; she had started with the department as a clerk typist when she was 19 years old. Carol Hickman retired in 1998. For more see "Black History Month: Carol Hickman, Police Captain," Louisville Courier-Journal, 02/06/2008, News section, p.1B. For earlier history see NKAA entry African American Police Women (Louisville, KY).
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hocker, George Melwood
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1991
From Springfield, KY, Hocker became the first African American jailer in Kentucky, elected in Washington County in 1973. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; National Roster of Black Elected Officials, 1980, published by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Inc.; and George Melwood Hocker, "In Kentucky," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/1991, Obituaries section, p. C13.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Hooks, Julia Britton
Birth Year : 1852
Death Year : 1942
Julia B. Hooks was born in Frankfort, KY. A musician, social worker, educator, and juvenile court officer, she and her husband managed a juvenile detention home that was opened next to their house in Memphis. One of the wards killed her husband. Hooks went on to help found the Old Folks and Orphans Home. Julia Hooks was the daughter of Henry and Laura Marshall Britton. She was mother of photographers Henry and Robert Hooks, grandmother to Benjamin Hooks, and sister to Dr. Mary E. Britton. For more see Notable Black American Women, ed. by J. C. Smith; Julia Hooks entry in the Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings..., by James T. Haley, pp. 563-565 [from the UNC Library's Documenting the American South website]; and the Julia Britton Hooks entry by S. Lewis in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture [online version].

See photo image and additional information on Julia Hooks at the African American Registry website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Social Workers, Migration South, Grandparents, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee

House, Tracy
Birth Year : 1965
House was born in Mayfield, KY. In May of 2003, he became the first African American police chief in the city of Clinton, KY, coming to the job with 11 years experience, having been a member of the Mayfield Police Department since 1992. His background includes detective training and service as a police officer; he's also certified in handwriting analysis. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a member of the Kentucky Chiefs of Police Association. House is executive secretary for the Purchase Area Sexual Assault Center Board of Directors. He is also a Kentucky Colonel and a member of the Prince Hall Mason Wilson Son Lodge #167 in Clinton. For more see The Hickman County Gazette, front page articles: "New Clinton city police chief and patrolman hired," 05/29/2003, and "New police chief talks about plans for Clinton Police Department," 06/03/2003; and Kentucky Law Enforcement News, vol. 2, issue 3 (Sept. 2003), p. 49 [available online as issue #7 August 2003].
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Clinton, Hickman County, Kentucky

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

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

Kentucky Deputies, 1897
Start Year : 1897
A. D. James was the new Republican U. S. Marshal in 1897 and he appointed the first African American Deputy U. S. Marshals for Kentucky: Paul H. Kennedy of Henderson and Walker Blackburn of Russellville or Louisville. For more see "Negro Deputies in Kentucky," The Washington Post, 07/08/1897, p. 3; and "Two Colored Men Deputies," The New York Times, 07/08/1897, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Knight, Etheridge
Birth Year : 1931
Death Year : 1991
Etheridge Knight was born near Corinth, MS and grew up in Paducah, KY. He was the son of Bushie and Belzora Knight, one of their seven children. He mastered the art of toast - a form of poetry that dates back to the 19th century and began writing poetry while serving an eight year sentence in Indiana State Prison, including Poems from Prison and Black Voices From Prison. Knight was a member of the Black Arts Movement. He was also a veteran and had been a medic in the Army during the Korean War. Knight was the husband of Sonia Sanchez, they divorced in 1972 and the following year Knight married Mary Ann McAnally. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed. Supp.; "Etheridge Knight" in Notable African American Writers; and Etheridge Knight, Jr. Papers at the Indiana Historical Society.

See photo and additional information on Etheridge Knight at the Poetry Foundation website.
Subjects: Authors, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Poets, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Corinth, Mississippi / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Lanier, Shelby, Jr.
Birth Year : 1936
Lanier was born in Louisville, KY, and is a graduate of the University of Louisville. In 1971 he organized the Black Police Officers Organization and was its first president. In 1974 he organized the National Black Police Association and pushed for a discrimination suit against the Louisville Police Department. A consent decree resulted in compensation, hiring, promotions, assignments, and change in disciplinary practices, with $3.5 million awarded to 98 African Americans who had been denied employment. For more see African American Biographies 2: profiles of 332 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Lasley, William H.
Birth Year : 1930
In July of 1971, William H. Lasley was promoted to director of the Office of Treatment Services of the Kentucky Corrections Department in Frankfort, KY. He had been with the Department of Corrections for six years, and was the associate warden of the state penitentiary in Eddyville, KY. He was one of the top 6 African American employees in state government. The Office of Treatment Services was new and Lasley was the first director, he was responsible for counseling and clinical services at the state's four prisons. For more see "Named to head new Kentucky prison corrections office," Jet, 09/09/1971, p.9; and picture and caption "William H. Lasley, ..." in Black Employment in Kentucky State Agencies: an analysis of the hiring gap, Fifth Report as of November 5, 1971, p.21.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Little, Chester H.
Birth Year : 1907
Little was born in Paducah, KY, and received an honorary degree in 1971 from Indiana Christian University. Little was a community and civic leader who held a number of positions in various organizations, including first vice president of the Malleable Foundry Employee Credit Union in Indianapolis and president of the Marion County Council on Aging. In 1956, Little was president of the Progressive Community Club in Indianapolis and led the organization when it became a member of the Federation of Associated Clubs (FAC). Little was the first vice president of FAC from 1956-1978. He was also on the board of directors of the Indianapolis Urban League, and captain of the auxiliary police. For more see the Progressive Community Club Collection, 1940-1982 at the Indiana Historical Society; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2004.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

McAfee, Tina
Birth Year : 1973
McAfee is the daughter of Barbara and Robert McAfee. In 1998, Tina McAfee became the first African American woman state trooper in the 50 year history of the Kentucky State Police. She was not the first student, but she was the first to successfully complete the 22-week training and take the oath of office. McAfee was 27 years old when she graduated with the 75th cadet class in 1998 (one of 72 graduates). She was assigned to the Dry Ridge state police post. Before becoming a state trooper, McAfee graduated from North Harding High School in Radcliff, KY, and the University of Louisville with a degree in justice administration. For more see, C. Wolfe, "First black woman joins ranks of state police," The Kentucky Post, 06/06/1998, p. 2K.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Radcliff, Hardin County, Kentucky / Dry Ridge, Grant County, Kentucky

McKenney, Warren
Birth Year : 1892
Warren McKenney, at the age of nine, was the youngest person to ever be sent to the State Penitentiary in Frankfort. He had been sentenced to five years for grand larceny. Kentucky Governor Beckham overruled the prison sentence and had McKenney removed from prison and sent to the State Reform school near Lexington, KY. He is listed in the 1920 U.S. Census as a single man who was rooming in Lexington and working as a waiter. McKenney was born in Kentucky. For more see "McKinney Warren" article in The Adair County News, 10/23/1901, p. 4.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Miller, Hallie Gates
Birth Year : 1945
Miller and another female officer filed sex discrimination charges against the Nicholasville Police Department. Both women had received training from the Eastern Kentucky University law enforcement program, but their employment applications were denied and a male masseur was hired instead. Miller was awarded $468 in compensation and then hired as Wilmore's first African American woman police officer. For more see "Nicholasville hires first female police officer," Human Rights News (Mar-Apr-May 1974), pp. 5 & 8; and Concilation Agreement from the Commission on Human Rights, Complaint No.317-E - "In the matter of Conciliation between The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights / Ms. Hallie Miller and Police Department of the City of Nicholasville.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Nicholasville and Wilmore, Jessamine County, Kentucky

Milligan, Robert E. (Bob)
Milligan was the first African American Kentucky State Police captain. He was promoted to captain and assigned command over the Hazard, Kentucky, State Police Post. He had been with the state police since 1976. Milligan was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2000 and retired in 2003. He was named Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Director of Law Enforcement in 2006. Milligan is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. For more see M. Young, "First Black makes rank of captain of State Police," The Louisville Defender, 01/09/1992, pp. 1 and 2; and Robert Mulligan in "KSP promotes female officer from Henderson," Evansville Courier & Press, 12/04/2000, Metro section, p. B3.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry
Geographic Region: Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky

Million, Camellia
Million was the first African American to be employed as a city worker by the City of Frankfort. She was hired as clerk in the Police Department in 1961 at a salary of $200 per month. Million is included in the Temple Choir at Corinthian Baptist Church photo in the Kentucky Historical Society Digital Collections. For more see The State Journal (Frankfort, KY) 04/17/61.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Morton, Donna Jean Hughes
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1995
Donna Morton, from Lexington, KY, was the first woman hired as a police instructor at Eastern Kentucky University. She was an instructor-coordinator in the Kentucky Justice Department's Bureau of Training. The appointment was made by Robert C. Stone. Donna Morton was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Eastern Kentucky University. She had been employed at the Frankfort Police Department in several divisions, and at the Lexington Police Department. She was the wife of Herbert L. Morton, and the daughter of Georgia M. Clark Hughes. For more see "Donna Morton, first police instructor," The Afro American, 11/09/1974, p.4; "Black woman makes splash as first Ky. police pundit," Jet, 01/02/1975, p.23; C. Schaefer, "Female instructors bring diversity to the classroom," Inside Information: Kentucky Law Enforcement News, March 2004, vol.3, no.1, pp.56-57; and the obituaries section of the Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/25/1995, p.B2.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Negro Jurors in Lexington, KY
Start Year : 1941
George Johnson, a plumber, and Charles Call, Jr., a tailor, were reported to be the first African American jurors called to the Fayette County grand jury in Lexington, KY. Source: "Jury Service: 1940-41" in The Negro Handbook (1942), compiled and edited by F. Murray, p. 50.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Plumbers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Negro Jury in Danville, KY
Start Year : 1887
March of 1887, what is thought to be the first all African American jury was held in Danville, KY. The case was the State against Tom Elmore for the malicious shooting and wounding of John Forris. Both Elmore and Forris were African Americans. Elmore's attorney was James W. Schooler. Elmore was found guilty and sentenced to a year in prison. For more see "Unusual trial at Danville, Ky," Cleveland Gazette, 03/19/1887, p.3.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Negro Jury in Louisville, KY
Start Year : 1872
In 1872, a Negro jury was summoned in Louisville, KY, by the coroner for the case involving the stabbing death of John Wagner. William Reynolds was found guilty of stabbing Wagner on the steamer Robert Burns in May of 1872. The jury is thought to be the first Negro jury in Kentucky. This information comes from "The First Negro jury in Kentucky," New York Times, 06/21/1872, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Perkins, James (policeman)
Birth Year : 1925
Death Year : 1984
James Perkins was born in Woodford County, KY, the son of Bertie and Willie Perkins, Sr. He was a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and Western Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College]. Perkins was the first African American sergeant, lieutenant, and captain with the Lexington Police Department. Perkins joined the force in 1952 and retired in 1984. For more see J. Hewlett, "Former policeman James Perkins dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/12/1984, Obituaries section, p. B7. See his photo at the Lexington History Museum - In Black and White Photographic Collection. See also James Perkins in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Projects, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky.

Access Interview  Read about the James Perkins oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database. 
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Porter, William Edward "Bill"
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1985
William E. Porter, born in Stanley, KY, was the second son of James Lester Porter and Edna Mae Hazelwood Porter. The family left Daviess County when William was a small child and moved to Gary, IN, where his father worked in the steel mills; the family later moved to Lima, OH. William Porter was a star athlete at Central High School in Lima, where he played football and set a number of track records. In 1936, he enlisted in the Army and served in North Africa during World War II, later serving in Italy with the 92nd Infantry, 366th Regiment, Company B. Porter was a 1st Lieutenant and was awarded a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, and Bronze Star for his service in World War II. During the Korean War, he was a Captain; he received a second Purple Heart and a Silver Star during that conflict. After his retirement in 1958, Major William Porter began his second career with the ROTC and served as a military police instructor in Kansas City, MO, and Monrovia, Liberia, Africa, while still on active duty. Porter died in November 1985 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. William E. Porter was the grandson of McDonald and Elvira Porter and the great-grandson of Richard Hazelwood. This entry was submitted by Denyce Porter Peyton. For additional information see Lima News articles 1933-1936 and 1958.

Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Stanley, Daviess County, Kentucky / Gary, Indiana / Lima, Ohio

Richards, Ralph H.
Birth Year : 1919
Death Year : 2002
In 1953 African Americans were finally allowed to apply for membership to the Louisville (KY) Bar Association, and Ralph Richards was one of three African American attorneys whose applications were accepted. Richards had a private law practice in 1951 and was appointed assistant police court prosecutor in 1964. During the 1970s he served as an assistant commonwealth attorney. Richards graduated from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1942 and earned his law degree from Howard University in 1951. He was a WWII veteran, having enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, on July 22, 1943, according to his enlistment records. He was born in Cincinnati, OH, the son of Lucia and Julia Richards, both of whom were from Kentucky. In 1920, the family lived on Preston Street according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see P. Burba, "Ralph H. Richards," Courier-Journal, 10/27/2002, NEWS section, p. 5B; and "Attorney named prosecution aide in Ky court," Jet, vol 19, issue 10 (12/16/1965), p. 10.
Subjects: Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South
Geographic Region: Cincinnati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Richardson, Lawrence
Birth Year : 1912
Richardson was born in Danville, Ky, the son of Eitherone(sp?) and Mabel Richardson. In 1920, the family lived on North First Street, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Lawrence Richardson would become a probation officer in New York. In 1940, he married Margaret Allison Bonds (1913-1972), a noted composer, pianist, and music director; in 1933, she was the first African American soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For more on Bonds see her entry at AfriClassical.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / New York

Roberts, Erwin
Birth Year : 1972
In 2004, Erwin Roberts was the first Director of Homeland Security in Kentucky. Later that year he was named Secretary of the Personnel Cabinet by Governor Fletcher. He resigned from that position in 2006, the same year that he was named to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees; his term expired in 2012. Roberts is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky Law School. He was an attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC in the Louisville office. He has served as Assistant U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Kentucky and as Fayette County Assistant Commonwealth Attorney. In 2010,. Erwin Roberts opened his law pracice in Louisville, KY. For more see Kentucky Government Press Release, "Personnel Cabinet Secretary Erwin Roberts resigns," 05/03/2006; and the Erwin Roberts Law Office website.


 
Subjects: Lawyers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Samples, John
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1912
Samples was born in Kentucky, and was a competing jockey. He rode the horse Wanderer for Rice and McCormack. He rode Longfellow for John Harper. He won the Mammoth Cup at Long Branch in 1871 aboard Longfellow. Samples also rode the horse Ten Broeck. He gave up being a jockey due to his weight and became a police officer in Cincinnati, OH. He was an officer for 23 years. John and Kate Samples are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the couple lived on Willow Street. For more see John Samples death notice in the Daily Racing Form, 06/06/1912, p.1 [available online]; and "Are now few Negro jockeys," The Milford Mail, 08/31/1905, p.3.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Scearce, Simon
Birth Year : 1889
In 1904, Scearce, a 15 year-old from Lexington, KY, was the first African American in Kentucky to be publicly whipped since before the Civil War. Scearce's crime was hitting a white boy. Police Judge John J. Riley ordered Scearce's mother to take him to the public square and give him twenty lashes with a buggy whip. There was a large audience for the whipping. The story of the whipping was printed in major city newspapers in states such as New York, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska, and Iowa. For more see "Court orders boy whipped," New York Times, 06/14/1904, p. 1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Simpson, Ophelia
According to John Jacob Niles, Ophelia Simpson was the first "shouter" in the Ohio Valley to be accepted and paid. Niles credited shouters' singing as a style of ancient origin, calling it "coon-shouting." It had two distinct styles: sacred shouting and the shouted moaning in blues and ballads. The singing technique had voice-breaks, slides, and high, rasping wails. Ophelia Simpson's shouting was new and novel and most effective when she sang the blues in Dr. Parker's Medicine Show. She was also the cook and helped prepare Parker's tapeworm eradicator. Ophelia Simpson was married to Henry (Dead Dog) Simpson, who worked at the fertilizer factory near Louisville, KY. In the winter of 1898 the Simpsons had a disagreement, and Ophelia killed Henry. While in jail, she wrote the long remembered ballad, Black Alfalfa's Jail-House Shouting Blues. After her release from jail, the name Ophelia Simpson was lost in time. For more see J. J. Niles, "Shout, Coon, Shout!" Musical Quarterly, vol. 16 (1930), pp. 516-521.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sissle, George A. and Martha A.
George A. Sissle (1852-1913), born in Lexington, KY, was a prominent minister in Indianapolis at the Simpson M. E. Chapel and in Cleveland at the Cory United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the city. He was also an organist and choirmaster. He was the husband of Martha Angeline Sissle (1869-1916), and she too was from Kentucky. She was a school teacher and probation officer. The couple was married in 1888, and were the parents of several children, including composer and jazz musician, Noble Lee Sissle (1889-1975). Martha Sissle was raised by her mother's close friend; her mother had been a slave and could not afford to raise her child. George Sissle's father had been a slave on the Cecil Plantation; he disliked the name Cecil and changed the spelling to Sissle. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and The Theater of Black Americans, v.1, edited by E. Hill. *The last name is sometimes spelled "Sisle" in the U.S. Federal Census.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Cleveland, Ohio

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, 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

Sneed, Stephen Taylor, "S. T."
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1940
Stephen T. Sneed had served five terms as deputy sheriff in Cincinnati, OH, in 1918 [source: "Captain S. T. Sneed...," The Crisis, vol. 17, issue 1 (November 1918), p. 245]. He was over the 18th Ward, Precinct K. Sneed was also a barber who owned his own shop. He was owner of Fraternal Regalia Company, which was established in 1905. In most sources, Stephen T. Sneed is referred to as S. T. Sneed. In 1891, Sneed had moved from Covington, KY, to 106 George Street in Cincinnati, OH [source: "Republican clubs," The Freeman, 04/18/1891, p. 1]. Sneed served as Brigadier General in organizing a regiment of the Uniform Rank of the Ohio Knights of Pythias [source: "The Lodge news," Cleveland Gazette, 08/01/1891, p. 1]. He was appointed a deputy sheriff in 1911 for the city of Cincinnati. Five years later, Sneed polled enough votes to ensure the first colored judge of elections in his precinct, Walter Johnson [source: "Cincinnati, O., News," The Freeman, 11/11/1916, p. 1]. Sneed was a member of several fraternal organizations, including the United Brothers of Friendship, and he was a Past Grand Chancellor and Supreme Representative of the Knights of Pythias. R. T. Sneed was the commander of the World's Champion Drill Team, Palestine Company B, Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias. The team was undefeated when Sneed retired in 1911, and he would join the team when requested over the next several years for performances in various states. S. T. Sneed was born in Pendleton County, KY, the son of Anna Hitch Sneed (1852-1905) and Southey Sneed (1834-1889). S. T. Sneed and his first wife, Mary E. Sneed (b. 1864 in KY), were the parents of three girls: Bessie (1882-1882), Ada (1885-1885), and Carrie (1886-1908). In 1907, S. T. Sneed married Mary Patterson (b. 1878 in KY). Stephen T. Sneed died in Cincinnati on January 7, 1940 [source: Ohio Department of Health Death Index, p. 1695]. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney. Cemetery records for Amy, Southy, Bessie [Snead], Ada, and Carrie Sneed are in "Linden Grove Cemetery Records (.pdf), 1868-1898" within the Northern Kentucky Genealogy Database-geNKY at the Kenton County Public Library website.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Pendleton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Spears, Joshua, Sr.
Birth Year : 1858
In July of 1934, Joshua Spears, Sr. retired from the Indianapolis Police Department after 51 years of service. He was the longest serving officer in the history of the department. Spears was born in Paris, KY, the son of Lucy Murray Spears and Sol Spears [source: Ohio Marriages Index, 1800-1858]. He joined the police force in 1883 and in 1925, Spears was promoted to the rank of sergeant and said to be one of the most efficient men on the police force. He was the first African American police officer to be promoted to the rank of sergeant, the promotion was made by Chief of Police, George V. Coffin. Joshua Spears, Sr., his wife Maria, and their son Joshua Jr. lived on Center Street. All were born in Kentucky [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. Maria died in 1912, she was born in Paris, KY, in April of 1852, and after moving to Indianapolis, she often entertained guests from her home town. October 18, 1915, Joshua Spears, Sr. married Viola Frances Jackson (b.1886) who was from Indianapolis, and in 1940, the couple lived at 468 Fall Creek Parkway Drive in Indianapolis [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. They are last listed as Joshua and Viola Spearis* in Polk's Indianapolis (Marion County, IND.) City Directory, 1942, p.1242. Three other Indianapolis patrolmen from Kentucky were Edward Harris (b.1851), Frank Hurt (b.1859), and Carter Temple (b.1842). Harris, from Louisville, KY, joined the force in 1874. Hurt joined the force in 1883. Temple, from Logan County, KY, joined the force in 1874. For more see "Retired police officer, with longest service record, feted by citizens, officials," Indianapolis Recorder, 07/28/1934, p.1; see "Joshua Spears" near the end of the article "Indianapolis, Ind. home of race's pioneer manufacturers," Afro-American, 02/07/1925, p.13; "The sudden death of Mrs. Maria Spears...," Indianapolis Recorder, 03/23/1912, p.2; "Sergeant Joshua Spears," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/16/1938, p.2; "Patrolman Spears marries at Cincinnati," Indianapolis Recorder, 11/06/1915, p.6; and "Our Colored patrolmen," Freeman, 03/16/1889, p.5.

*In some sources the last name is spelled "Spearis," "Spearls," and "Spevis."
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Logan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Stanley, Frank L., Jr.
Birth Year : 1937
Death Year : 2007
Frank L. Stanley, Jr. was a journalist and was editor and publisher of the Louisville (KY) Defender newspaper until 1976. He chaired the Allied Organizations for Civil Rights (AOCR), the organization that coordinated the 1964 March on Frankfort, KY, where Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed 10,000 citizens. The march was in support of the public accommodations bill, which was not passed. Stanley was active in many civil rights efforts in Louisville, including voter registration and public demonstrations. In 1968, he was executive director of the Los Angeles National Urban League. Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll appointed him executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Corrections and Community Service in 1974. Ten years later he planned to run as a Democratic candidate for mayor of Louisville. Frank L. Stanley, Jr. was the son of journalist Frank L. Stanley Sr. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, the University of Illinois, and George Washington University. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and P. Burba, "Frank Stanley, Jr., champion of civil rights in Louisville, dies at 70," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 03/02/2007, News section, p. 4B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / 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

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

Taylor, Jesse B., Sr.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1991
Taylor, born in Louisville, KY, was the first African American homicide detective in the South. Taylor had joined the Louisville Police Division in 1944 and served for 30 years. He was on the special detail that investigated the death of Alberta Jones. Taylor attended Lincoln Institute. For more see Jesse "Jess" B. Taylor Sr. in Louisville Division of Police, 1806-2002, by M. O. Childress, Sr.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Vertner L.
Birth Year : 1938
Vertner Taylor, born in Lexington, KY, was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky pharmacy program in 1960. He is also a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and earned his undergraduate degree at Xavier University. In 1961, Taylor was the first African American pharmaceutical sales representative for E. R. Squibb and Sons in Chicago, the company was founded in 1892. Taylor was also the associate director of pharmacy at the University of Chicago. He returned to Kentucky where he helped establish the Hunter Foundation for Health Care, and was director of health services for the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet. Today he is the Corrections Commissioner of Kentucky, a position he has held since 2001. For more see M. Davis, "Psychiatrist carries rich legacy from Lexington - Taylors cherish promise of education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/21/2010, City Region section, p.B1; 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; and the online article "Chicago drug firm hires 1st Negro salesman," Jet, 11/02/1961, p.51.

  See photo image and bio of Vertner Taylor (about mid-page) at the Biographies: Justice Cabinet Executive Staff website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Temple, Carter [Carr Hopkins]
Birth Year : 1842
Four of the first African American patrolmen in Indianapolis, IN, were William Whittaker, Benjamin Young, Sim Hart, and Carter Temple, according to an article in the Indianapolis Star newspaper. Carter Temple was born in Logan County, KY, around 1842, and may have been a slave prior to joining the Union Army in 1863. He came to Indianapolis in 1865 and became a patrolman in 1876. He had been a patrolman for more than 20 years when he drew his revolver after approaching a stranger one early morning in Mayor Thomas Taggart's front yard; the stranger was Mayor Taggart. Carter Temple was the husband of Martha Temple, b.1844 in North Carolina. The couple married in 1871, and the family of five lived at 182 Minerva Street in Indianapolis. Carter Temple, a Civil War veteran, was named Carr Hopkins when he enlisted in Gallatin, TN, on November 1, 1863, according to Civil War records. He served with the 14th U.S. Colored Infantry and was promoted to Corporal, April 30th, 1864. Carter Temple died between 1920 and 1930. Three other Indianapolis patrolmen from Kentucky were Edward Harris (b.1851), Frank Hurt (b.1859), and Johshua Spears (b.1858). Harris, from Louisville, KY, joined the force in 1874. Spears, from Bourbon County, KY, and Hurt had both joined the force in 1883. For more see "Colored patrolman dies of paralysis," Indianapolis Star, 12/18/1909, p.3; "Mayor Taggart finds a patrolman who wasn't sleeping," Fort Wayne Evening Post, 05/09/1896, p.3; and "Our Colored patrolmen," Freeman, 03/16/1889, p.5.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tolbert, Hardin
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1966
Hardin Tolbert was an outspoken newspaper publisher, journalist, and civil rights activist. On more than one occasion, he was also accused of getting the story or the facts wrong. Tolbert was publisher of the Frankfort Tribune and The Star and was a correspondent for the Freeman (Indianapolis, IN). He was said to be the only African American in Kentucky who earned his living solely from his work as a newspaper correspondent [source: "Hardin Tolbert...," Freeman, 06/21/1913, p. 1]. Tolbert's office was at 425 Washington Street in Frankfort in 1911, and he later conducted business for the State Bureau at the People's Pharmacy at 118 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY. His business was also known as the Tolbert Publicity Bureau. In 1912, Tolbert expanded the operation and appointed William Baxter as regular correspondent of the Freeman in Shelbyville, KY, with headquarters in the Safell and Safell Funeral Home [source: "Mr. Baxter...," Freeman, 05/04/1912, p. 1]. In 1914, Hardin Tolbert established the Colored Bureau of Education, an employment agency for Negro teachers [source: first paragraph of "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 01/31/1914, p. 4]. In November of 1914, Hardin Tolbert was arrested for publishing an article that criticized President Green P. Russell of the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]; President Russell had senior student Willie Mea Toran arrested for her speech and petition against Russell's rule over the school, and student Vera Metcalf from Hopkinsville, KY, was kicked out of the dorm for not signing a petition that was in support of President Russell [source: "Kentucky's Capital," Freeman, 11/14/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert also criticized three white men on the school board who endorsed President Russell's actions: Dr. C. A. Fish, George L. Hannon, and former mayor J. H. Polsgrove. All four men, Russell, Fish, Hannon, and Polsgrove, swore out warrants for the arrest of Hardin Tolbert, and he was jailed. State Superintendent Barksdale Hamlett provided the bail of $250 for Tolbert's release. Tolbert was charged with making false statements and fomenting trouble, all of which was summed up in the courtroom by the Commonwealth Attorney who said that Tolbert, a black man, had no right to criticize a white man; Tolbert was fined $10 and costs [source: "Calls colored editor "Nappy Headed Black Brute," Cleveland Gazette, 11/28/1914, p. 2]. Tolbert continued his criticism and also participated in the attempt to desegregate the Ben Ali Theater in 1915 and the Strand Theater in 1916, both in Lexington, KY. Hardin Tolbert would eventually leave Kentucky. In 1920, he was editor of the Cincinnati Journal [source: "Editor Hardin Tolbert...," Cleveland Gazette, 07/03/1920, p. 3]. The newspaper was located at 228 W. 8th Street; Tolbert also had a room at 636 W. 9th Street [source: William's City of Cincinnati Directory, 1919-1920, p. 2013]. Hardin Tolbert was born in February, 1880 in Shelbyville, KY, according to his World War I and World War II draft registration cards; he died June 3, 1966 in Martinsburg, WV, according to the West Virginia Certificate of Death #66008064.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Employment Services, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Corrections and Police, Migration East, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Martinsburg, West Virginia

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

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

Vick, McDonald
Birth Year : 1955
In February 2006, the University of Kentucky (UK) named McDonald Vick its Chief of Police. Vick's previous position was Chief of the North Carolina Central University police department. He had been there since 1995 as a police officer, earning both his bachelor's and master's degrees in criminal justice from the school. Vick had also spent 20 years with the Durham Police Department. In July 2006, McDonald Vick resigned from the University of Kentucky after it was revealed that he had paid a subordinate $25,000 to drop a sexual harassment complaint in 1998. For more see C. Kirby, "UK's new police chief is 'best of the best': first African-American picked from 80 applicants," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/2006, City&Region section, p.C3; and B. Ortiz and L. Blackford, "UK police chief Vick resigns under cloud," Lexington Herald-Leader, 07/14/2006, p. A1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Durham, North Carolina

Walker, Prather
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1977
Walker was one of the two first African American police officers in Lexington, KY, and is thought to be the first in the South to retire from active duty with a pension. He was a sergeant when he retired from the force in 1964, having served 27 years and nine months. He became a magistrate of Fayette County in 1965. For more see "Prather Walker to retire from city police service," Lexington Herald, 01/02/1964, p. 6 [picture with article]; picture of Walker with others in police department on p.31 of Lexington, Kentucky by G. Smith; The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

West, Millard
Birth Year : 1943
West was the first African American state trooper in Kentucky. From Lexington, KY, he was a 25-year old graduate of the police academy and also an Air Force veteran. West graduated with the 37th cadet class and was assigned to Port Four in Elizabethtown, KY. For more see The New York Times, 01/26/1968, p. 17; "First Negro Trooper Sworn in Kentucky," The Washington Post, 01/27/1968; and "Kentucky State Police" in the Lexington Herald, 01/27/1968, p.13 [picture with article].
Subjects: Military & Veterans, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

White, David French
Birth Year : 1872
David F. White was an educator and minister who combined the two professions: he believed that the Bible should be a part of the course work in schools and that teachers should be Christians. In 1920 he was pastor of the First United Presbyterian Church in Norfolk, VA. White was born in Berea, KY, and he attended Berea College for a year before graduating from Tuscaloosa Institute for Training Colored Ministers [later named Stillman Institute, now Stillman College] and Knoxville College (in 1903). He was principal of Athens Academy and was pastor of the United Presbyterian Church, both in Athens, TN, which began his tenure as a school principal and a minister in several locations: Indianapolis, IN, where he was also active at the YMCA, where he taught Bible classes; Richmond, VA; Prairie, AL; and Cleveland, TN. In 1911, Rev. White resigned from his position as pastor of the Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis to join with Fred B. Smith in the "Men and Religion Forward Movement" headquartered in New York [source: Rev. D. F. White...," Freeman, 06/24/1911, p. 8]. The movement was to bring more men and boys into the church; there was a fear that women had become the dominate membership and would soon sway church policies and decision-making. In 1920, while in Norfolk, VA, in addition to being a minister, Rev. White was director of the YMCA, a probation officer, and a member of the juvenile court. For more see "David French White" in History of the American Negro, Virginia Edition, edited by A. B. Caldwell, and in Black Biography, 1790-1950: a cumulative index by R. K. Burkett, et. al.; and "Y.M.C.A. notes," Freeman, 09/26/1908, p. 8. See the online reprint of W. T. Stead, "The Men and Religion Forward Movement," The Review of Reviews, April 1912.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Tuscaloosa and Prairie, Alabama / Athens, Cleveland,and Knoxville, Tennessee / Indianapolis, Indiana / Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia

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

White, Thomas McKinley
Birth Year : 1899
White, from Henderson, KY, was chauffeur for the gangster Gerald Chapman. Chapman was hanged in 1926 for the 1924 murder of James Skelly in New Britain, Connecticut. White claimed that he had been driving the getaway car the night of the murder and that Chapman had given him $8,000 and told him to leave town and not talk. According to the Henderson police, White, who was extremely ill, had turned himself in and was willing to testify against Chapman. White was not expected to live. For more see "Negro accuses Chapman," New York Times, Special to the New York Times, 04/03/1926, p. 8.
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / New Britain, Connecticut

Whitley, Kimberly
Birth Year : 1965
Whitley is the second African American female to become a warden in Kentucky. (The first was Cookie Crews.) Whitley was born in Danville, KY, the daughter of Roland and Frances Whitley. She is a graduate of Danville High School and Kentucky State University, where she earned a B.A. in corrections education (1987) and a masters degree in public administration with a concentration in personnel management (1990). Whitley also holds a certificate in Management Fundamentals as a graduate of the Governor's Minority Management Training Program (Patton administration). She has been a government employee since 1986, when she was a student employee via the Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program with the Department of Corrections. In 1990, Whitley was hired full-time as a classification and treatment officer at Northpoint Training Center in Burgin, KY. She has also been employed with the Kentucky Department of Corrections in the Lexington Corrections Division of Probation and Parole, and she was a Court Designated Worker with the Division of Youth Services. In 1995 she left corrections for a position with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, but after two years returned to the Department of Corrections. She was promoted to Deputy Warden II at the Frankfort Career Development Center in 2002; Deputy Warden III at the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington in 2004; and transferred in 2005 to Northpoint Training Center. In 2006, Whitley was promoted to Warden II at the Frankfort Career and Development Center. This entry was submitted by Roland Whitley with additional information provided by his daughter, Kimberly Whitley.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Burgin, Mercer County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Williams, Burnett, Jr.
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 1997
Williams was born in Cynthiana, KY. He was a 6'4" center-forward on the Banneker High School basketball team in Cynthiana. The team finished third in the 1951 Bluegrass Tournament. He continued his basketball career and education at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], graduating in 1955. Williams was also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and was employed by the Cincinnati Police Department in Ohio; in 1988, he became one of the first few African Americans to earn the rank of Captain with the department; his promotion came one year after A. W. Harmon, Sr. was named the second African American captain. Burnett Williams was a 35-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department, retiring in 1993. For more see Shadows of the past, by L. Stout; and "Burnett Williams, police captain," The Cincinnati Post, 11/21/1997, News section, p.17A.
Subjects: Basketball, Corrections and Police, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Williams, Henry
Death Year : 1908
Williams was a marshal with the police department in Paris, KY. In September 1908, he was on patrol at the Paris Colored Fair and attempted to break up a fight between Bud Warren and his wife. Williams was stabbed to death by Warren, who claimed self-defense. Later that night, Warren telephoned the police and asked them to come get him at the home of Dan Love on Cypress Street in Paris. For more see "Stabbed to death," The Bourbon News, 09/22/1908, p. 1.
Subjects: Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Wilson, Clarence "Cave", Sr.
Birth Year : 1926
Death Year : 1996
Wilson led the Horse Cave, KY, Colored School to 65 consecutive basketball victories in the 1940s. He was named to the Tennessee State University Hall of Fame. He was a forward and a point guard for the Harlem Globetrotters (1949-1964), known for his two-handed set shot from mid-court. After his basketball career Wilson was a juvenile caseworker and probation officer in Louisville, KY. He and his teammates were in the movie Harlem Globetrotters, starring Dorothy Dandridge and Thomas Gomez. For more see "Former Harlem Globetrotter Clarence 'Cave' Wilson Dies," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/20/96.
Subjects: Basketball, Corrections and Police, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wilson, Cornelius
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1919
Cornelius Wilson was born in Campbellsville, KY, but his exact birth date has been disputed; 1890 is the birth date on his grave marker. He was the son of Matthew Wilson and Virgina Miller [source: Cook County, IL, Death Index]. Cornelius Wilson left Kentucky for Chicago, where he joined the police force in February 1915. He was a widower when four years later, May 1, 1919, he became the first African American police officer in Chicago to be killed in the line of duty. That night, Wilson ended his shift and was heading home when he was gunned down in a shootout with robbery suspects known as "boy bandits." His body was brought home to Campbellsville and buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery on May 5,1919. In 2003, the Chicago Police Department Pipes and Drums replaced Wilson's broken grave marker, and a ceremony was held in his honor. For more see F. M. Beckless, "New headstone for first Black cop killed in line of duty," Chicago Defender, 04/24/2003, p. 4; B. Schreiner, "Slain Chicago police officer remembered," The Enquirer (Cincinnati) 04/30/2003; and R. Dial, "Chicago Police officers will remember their first fallen black officer in Campbellsville ceremony," Central Kentucky News-Journal, 02/28/2003.
Subjects: Migration North, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Wilson, George W., Sr.
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2005
Wilson was born in Paris, KY. In 1981 he was appointed secretary of the Corrections Cabinet of Kentucky, in charge of administering a budget of more $50 million. He was the state's first African American cabinet-level officer. Prior to accepting this position, he had been the commissioner of the Bureau of Corrections, Department of Justice. Wilson received a B.A. in history and political science with a second major in sociology from Kentucky State University. He earned an M.S. from the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. In 1993, while warden of the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, KY, he was awarded the Anderson Medal, named for Kentucky's first African American legislator, Charles W. Anderson, Jr. For more see HR183; see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton and A. Jester; and "George W. Wilson 1943-2005, first black to serve in state cabinet dies at 61," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/02/05, City&Region section, p.B1.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

 

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