Complete A-Z list

Complete list of sources

Recent Additions / Updates

About NKAA

NKAA Brochure

African American Library Directors in the USA

Links of Interest




staff only

University of Kentucky Libraries

Notable Kentucky African Americans Database

<Lawyers>

Return to search page.

Ainsworth, Marilyn V. Yarbrough
Birth Year : 1945
Death Year : 2004
Ainsworth was born Marilyn Virginia Yarbrough in Bowling Green, KY, the daughter of Merca L. Toole and William O. Yarbrough. When Marilyn was a child, the family moved to Raleigh, NC. She was a graduate of Virginia State University and, in 1973, the UCLA Law School. Ainsworth was an aerospace engineer with IBM and Westinghouse. She and her husband, Walter, were able to pay her law school tuition with her winnings from the Hollywood Squares Show. Marilyn Ainsworth later earned additional winnings from the television game shows Concentration and Match Game. She was a law professor at several colleges and served as dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law. She was the first African American woman to become dean at a major southern law school, and she was one of the first African American female law professors in the United States. Prior to her death, Ainsworth was a law professor at the University of North Carolina. For more see Who's Who In American Law; Who's Who of American Women; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; and L. Stewart, "Yarbrough, 58, law professor," The Daily Tar Heel, 03/15/04.

 See photo image and biography of Marilyn Y. Ainsworth at the University of Kansas Women's Hall of Fame website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Television, Migration East
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Alston, Ethel B. Richardson
Birth Year : 1949
Death Year : 2003
Alston, born in North Carolina, moved to Kentucky with her husband, Virnal J. Alston. It is thought that they were the first African American couple to be admitted to the Kentucky Bar Association. Mrs. Alston was a graduate of Spelman College, where she earned a B.A. in history, and she earned her law degreee at North Carolina Central University School of Law. She was a legislative analyst and attorney with the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission. Alston assisted with implementation issues relating to the Kentucky Educational Reform Act of 1990 and the Postsecondary Education Improvement Act of 1997. In 2003, the Legislative Education Staff Network posthumously awarded Alston the Recognition Award for her service to the organization and to the Kentucky Legislature. For more see SR113.
Subjects: Lawyers
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / North Carolina

Anderson, Charles W., Jr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1960
Anderson, born in Louisville, KY, was the son of Dr. Charles W. and Tabetha Murphy Anderson. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and received his law degree from Howard University School of Law. Anderson was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1933, and in 1936, as a Republican, was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives, making him the first African American Kentucky legislator. He had competed against five other candidates: Charles E. Tucker, Rev. Ernest Grundy, Dr. Richard P. Beckman, James D. Bailey, all Democrats, and Lee L. Brown, a Republican. Anderson is credited with a number of early Civil Rights measures, including the Anderson-Mayer State Aid Act, which provided funding for African Americans to seek higher education out of state because Kentucky enforced higher education segregation laws. Anderson was also appointed alternate delegate to the United Nations. For more see Not Without Struggle, by J. B. Horton; and Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on the University of Kentucky campus and off campus via the proxy server]. Charles W. Anderson, Jr. was the brother to Florence G. Anderson, one of the daughters of Charles W. Anderson, Sr. and his first wife Mildred Saunders Anderson.

 


   See photo image at Find A Grave.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Banks, William Venoid
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1985
In 1975, William V. Banks, born in Geneva, KY, was the first African American to own and operate a television station in the United States, WGPR-TV in Detroit, MI. He also became the owner, in 1964, of the first black radio station in Detroit, WGPR-FM. Banks was a graduate of Lincoln Institute, Wayne State University (1926), and the Detroit College of Law (1929) [now Michigan State University College of Law]. He also became an ordained minister after completing his studies at the Detroit Baptist Seminary in 1949. Banks founded the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons and Eastern Star, serving as its supreme president. He also founded the Universal Barber College and the International School of Cosmetology in 1957. A biography of Banks' life, A Legacy of Dreams, was written by S. T. Gregory. For more see "Founder of 1st black-owned TV station dies," United Press International, 08/26/1985, Domestic News section.

See photo image of William V. Banks on p.23 of Jet, December 30, 1985-January 6, 1986.
Subjects: Barbers, Cosmetologists, Beauty Shops, Hairdressers, Beauty Supplies, Lawyers, Migration North, Radio, Religion & Church Work, Television, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Geneva, Henderson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

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

Benjamin, R. C. O.
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1900
Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin was shot in the back and died in Lexington, KY, in 1900. He was killed at the Irishtown Precinct by Michael Moynahan, a Democrat precinct worker. The shooting occurred after Benjamin objected to African Americans being harassed while attempting to register to vote. When the case went to court, Moynahan claimed self-defense, and the case was dismissed. Benjamin had become a U.S. citizen in the 1870s; he was born in St. Kitts and had come to New York in 1869. He had lived in a number of locations in the U.S., and he came to be considered wealthy. For a brief period, Benjamin taught school in Kentucky and studied law. He was a journalist, author, lawyer (the first African American lawyer in Los Angeles), educator, civil rights activist, public speaker, and poet, and he had been a postal worker in New York City. In addition to being a journalist, Benjamin also edited and owned some of the newspapers where he was employed. Between 1855-1894, he authored at least six books and a number of other publications, including Benjamin's Pocket History of the American Negro, The Zion Methodist, Poetic Gems, Don't: a Book for Girls; and the public address The Negro Problem, and the Method of its Solution. In 1897, Benjamin returned to Kentucky with his wife, Lula M. Robinson, and their two children. Benjamin was editor of the Lexington Standard newspaper. The first bust that Isaac S. Hathaway sculpted was that of R. C. O. Benjamin. For more information see Robert Charles O'Hara Benjamin, by G. C. Wright in the American National Biography Online (subscription database); and "R. C. O. Benjamin," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 5, issue 4 (January 1942), pp. 92-93.

See sketch of R. C. O. Benjamin in the New York Public LIbrary Digital Gallery online.

See photo image of R. C. O. Benjamin and family in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Voting Rights, Lawyers, Poets, Postal Service
Geographic Region: St. Kitts, West Indies / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Berry, Theodore M., Sr.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 2000
Theodore M. Berry was born in Maysville, KY, to a white father and an African American mother. Berry was the first African American graduate of Woodward High School in Cincinnati, OH. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Berry was also a civil rights attorney with the NAACP. He was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1950 and as vice mayor in 1955, then became the city's first African American mayor in 1972. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Theodore M. Berry Cincinnati's First Black Mayor, Dies at age 94," Jet, 11/06/2000.

See photo images and additional information about Theodore M. Berry at "A Timeline of His Life and Works," a University of Cincinnati website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Mayors
Geographic Region: Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Bethea, Rainey
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1936
Rainey Bethea, an African American, was originally from Roanoke, Virginia. When he was 22 years old, he was charged with the murder and rape of a 70 year-old white woman in Owensboro, KY. He was convicted of rape, and on August 14, 1936, Bethea became the last person in the United States to be executed before the public. It was estimated that about 20,000 people were on hand to witness his hanging. An unsuccessful appeal for Bethea's life had been made by African American lawyers Charles Eubank Tucker, Stephen A. Burnley, Charles W. Anderson, Jr., Harry E. Bonaparte, and R. Everett Ray. Bethea's death warrant was signed by Governor Albert B. "Happy" Chandler. Rainey Bethea was buried in an unmarked grave in Owensboro. For more see The Last Public Execution in America, by P. T. Ryan; and K. Lawrence, "1936 Hanging remains last public execution," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/24/2004, Section S, p. 49; and listen to "Last public execution in America" and view the photo gallery on National Public Radio (NPR).

Access Interview
Subjects: Executions, Lawyers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Roanoke, Virginia

Black, Isaac E.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1914
Issac Black grew up in Covington, KY. He served as the law librarian and janitor at the Kenton County Courthouse from 1869-1874. It is not known what library training Black received; he was paid only for being the janitor. He had considered suing the Law Library Association for $2,500, the wages he felt he was owed for the five years he served as a librarian. Black would go on to become a lawyer after being mentored by Lt. Governor John G. Carlisle, teaming up with Nathaniel Harper to form the first African American law firm in Kentucky, Harper & Black, located in Louisville. For more see T. H. H. Harris, "Creating windows of opportunity: Isaac E. Black and the African American Experience in Kentucky," The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, vol. 98, issue 2 (2000), pp. 155-177.
Subjects: Businesses, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Blakey, William Arthur "Buddy"
Birth Year : 1943
Death Year : 2010
William A. Blakey was born in Louisville, KY, and was a graduate of Knoxville College and Howard University Law School. He was recognized for the development of the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Act - Title 111B-HEA, which was passed during his tenure as Senior Legislative Assistant to Senator Paul Simon. Blakey also oversaw the HBCU Student Loan Default Exemption through Congress. For more than 15 years Blakey served as the Washington counsel of the United Negro College Fund. In recognition of his advocacy for HBCUs, Blakey was inducted into the National Black College Hall of Fame in 2001. William A. Blakey and Associates, established in 2005, was located in Washington, D. C. For more see "Washington attorney inducted into Black College Hall of Fame," Black Issues in Higher Education, vol.18, issue 22 (12/20/2001), p. 17; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2006; and articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education. See also K. Mangan, "William Blakey, lawyer for Black colleges, dies at 67," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 11/14/2010.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Bond, Henry
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1929
Henry Bond was born in Anderson County, KY. He was a teacher and lawyer, and it was believed that he had political influence over the African American Republican vote in Williamsburg, KY. Bond was the principal and lone teacher of the Williamsburg Colored Academy for a number of years. The school was a one-room cabin with grades 1-8. In 1929, Henry died ten days before his brother, James M. Bond; both were sons of Jane Arthur, a slave, and Reverend Preston Bond. Henry Bond is buried in the Briar Creek Cemetery in Williamsburg. For more see The Bonds, by R. M. Williams. *Additional informaiton from Carrie Stewart of Williamsburg, KY; Stewart's mother and her mother's siblings attended the one room school and they were students of Henry Bond.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Voting Rights, Lawyers, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Anderson County, Kentucky / Williamsburg, Whitley County, Kentucky

Brennen, David A.
In 2009, David A. Brennen was named the dean of the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Law, making him the state's first African American law school dean since the desegregation of Kentucky higher education. Brennen will be the 16th dean of the UK College of Law. He has more than 15 years experience in classroom teaching, is the co-founder and co-editor of Nonprofit Law Prof Blog, and is editor of the electronic abstracting journal, Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracts, published by the Social Science Research Network in the Legal Research Network series. He has a number of research publications and is co-author of the 2008 statutory supplement to The Tax Law of Charities and Other Exempt Organizations. David Brennen graduated with a finance degree from Florida Atlantic University and earned his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from the University of Florida. He has served as the assistant general counsel in Florida's Department of Revenue and as deputy director of the Association of American Law Schools. Additional information for this entry was provided by Michelle Cosby, librarian at the UK College of Law Library. For more see "College of Law names David A. Brennen as Dean," University of Kentucky News, 04/09/2009. For the earlier history see the NKAA entries Central Law School (Louisville, KY) and Albert S. White.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brooks, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1940
Charles H. Brooks was born in Paducah, KY. A lawyer, businessman, and writer, Brooks wrote the official history of the Odd Fellows Fraternity and was a delegate to the International Conference of Odd Fellows in Europe in 1900. He was educated in the Colored school in Paducah [info NKAA entry], and after finishing his studies in 1876, he became a teacher at the school. He taught for five years, and was then named the school principal. While he was principal of the school, Brooks became a member of the Paducah Odd Fellows Lodge No. 1545. He served as secretary and was influential in the building of the Colored Odd Fellows Lodge in Paducah [info NKAA entry]. Brooks was State Treasurer, he was secretary of the B. M. C. and was Grand Director at Atlanta, GA. On the national level, he was Grand Auditor. Brooks' work with the Odd Fellows was also during the time he was Secretary of the Republican County Committee in Paducah, and Secretary of the First Sunday School Convention and Baptist Association. In 1889, he successfully passed the civil service exam, and Brooks left Kentucky to become a clerk at the Pension Bureau Office in Washington, D.C. While in D.C. he attended Spencerian Business College, completing a course in bookkeeping. Brooks left his job in D.C. and entered law school at Howard University where he completed his LL.B in 1892, which was also the year that he was elected Grand Secretary of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. As a lawyer, Brooks gained admission to practice before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. He left D.C. in 1892 to work full time at the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows Office in Philadelphia, PA. He was there for ten years, and led the effort to pay off all debts, sustained a surplus of $50,000, and established a printing press and the publishing of a weekly journal. Brooks traveled extensively throughout the U.S. to visit the various Odd Fellows lodges. He also traveled to England; the Colored Odd Fellows dispensations came from England, and they were the only Colored organization with a regular affiliation to the English fraternity. When Charles Brooks retired from the Odd Fellows Office in Philadelphia, he operated a real estate and insurance office. He continued to be active in organizations such as the National Negro Business League, Gibson's New Standard Theater, Model Storage Company, and he was secretary of the Reliable Mutual Aid and Improvement Society, all in Philadelphia. He is author of The Official History of the First African Baptist Church, Philadelphia, Pa., published in 1922. Charles H. Brooks was the husband of Matilda Mansfield Brooks (1862-1945, born in KY). The couple married on August 24, 1880 in Paducah, KY [source: Kentucky Marriages Index]. Both are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in Paducah, KY [source: Find A Grave website]. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; The Official History and Manual of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America, by C. H. Brooks; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Charles H. Brooks," Freeman, 10/10/1896, p.5; and "Out of the depths," The Colored American, 09/19/1903, p.1.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Historians, Lawyers, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Brown, John Michael
Birth Year : 1950
J. Michael Brown is the first African American to be appointed Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2007. Brown was born in New York, the son of John Sylvester Brown and Cora Lewis Brown. He is a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He was a paratrooper and infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he piloted helicopters, and was later stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, with the 101st Airborne. Brown remained in Kentucky, graduating in 1979 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He has served as a Louisville District Court Judge and as Law Director for the City of Louisville. For more on Brown's career, see L. Lamb, "J. Michael Brown tapped as new Justice Cabinet Secretary," Inside Corrections, vol. 1, issue 4 (January 2008), pp. 1 & 6-7 [available online]; and J. Michael Brown, a Kentucky.gov website.

Subjects: Aviators, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: New York / Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Burse, Raymond M.
Birth Year : 1951
Raymond Malcolm Burse was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the youngest of the twelve children of Joe and Lena Belle Burse. He was captain of his high school track and football teams and declined football scholarships to attend Centre College, where he majored in chemistry and math, graduating in 1973. While at Centre, Burse was named most outstanding individual in track at two invitational meets and was named to the All-College Athletic Conference Football Team in 1972. He also earned a Rhodes Scholarship and attended the University of Oxford, majoring in organic chemistry and graduating in 1975. While at Oxford, he became the first African American to earn three "Blues," one in rugby; Burse also participated in basketball, track, and crew. He returned to the U.S. to attend Harvard Law School, graduating in 1978. Burse has had many recognitions and awards. He served as president of Kentucky State University, 1982-1989. He was vice president and general counsel at GE Consumer and Industrial. In 2014, Raymond M. Burse returned to Kentucky State University to serve as interim president. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006; and M. Starks, "Raymond & Kim Burse," Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed. p.73. See also the Office of the President Records, a Kentucky Digital Library webpage.

 

 

  See photo image and additional information about Raymond Malcolm Burse at Lexington Herald-Leader webpage: M. Davis, "KSU interim head gives chunk of salary to help workers - $90,000 will go to raising minimum wage," 08/02/2014, p.A7.

 

 
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Education and Educators, Football, Lawyers, Track & Field, Rugby
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin 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

Central Law School (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1890
End Year : 1941
Professor John H. Lawson is credited with organizing Central Law School, part of State University [later Simmons University], in 1890. When the school was established, it absorbed Harper Law School. At the time, there were three African Americans practicing law in the city of Louisville, KY. Over the 50 year period that the school existed, Central had 100 graduates. Initially Central was one of only four law schools in the United States that would admit African Americans; the others were located at Howard University, Walden University, and Shaw University. The first commencement for Central graduates was held in 1892 at the Masonic Temple Theatre. For more see the Central Law School, 1890-1941, a University of Louisville website; and A Century of Negro Education in Louisville, by G. D. Wilson, [full-text available in the Kentucky Digital Library E-texts].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Chiles, James Alexander [Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO]
Birth Year : 1860
J. Alexander Chiles was one of eight children, including his twin brother, John R. Chiles, who gave him financial assistance while he was a student at Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) and the University of Michigan Law School. Chiles moved to Lexington, KY, in 1890 to open a law office at 304 W. Short Street. His business was a success; Chiles is sometimes referred to as the first African American lawyer in Lexington. By 1907, he was one of four African American lawyers in the city. Chiles argued in the Supreme Court case against the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad for desegregation of railroad coaches after he was removed by force to the Colored coach in spite of his first class ticket from Washington D.C. to Lexington. Chiles was also an active member of the Colored Seventh Day Adventist congregation in Lexington; he was a trustee, deacon, and treasurer of the first church built in 1906 at the corner of Fifth and Upper Streets. His wife, Fannie J. Chiles, was the first librarian for the church. Elder Alonzo Barry was pastor. James A. Chiles was born in Virginia, the son of Richard and Martha Chiles. In 1910, James and Fannie Chiles planned to move from Lexington to Richmond, VA. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; Chiles v. Chesapeake & O R CO, 218 U.S. 71 (1910) [full-text online by Justia]; and "Lawyer J. Alex Chiles" in the Colored Notes of the Lexington Leader, 01/02/1910, p.2.

*Name sometimes spelled Childes.*

See 1895 photo image of J. Alexander Chiles at Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Railroad, Railway, Trains, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Cook, Isabel and John Hartwell
It has been mistakenly assumed that the Cooks were Kentucky natives. John Cook was born around 1838 in Washington, D.C., his family was free. Isabel Marion Cook was born in 1843 in Tennessee. Both were graduates of Oberlin College. The couple came to Kentucky in 1864 when John was hired as a school teacher in Louisville. In 1867, they moved to Washington, D. C. where John Cook had accepted the position of chief clerk with the Freedmen's Bureau. The family, which included extended family members, lived east of 7th Street, according to the 1870 U.S Federal Census. John Cook worked during the day and attended college at night. He was a member of the first class of ten graduates from Howard University Law School in 1871. He would become a professor and dean of the school for two years prior to his death from tuberculosis in 1878. John and Isabel Cook were the parents of musician Will [William] Marion Cook. For more see A Life in Ragtime by R. Badger; and Swing Along by M. G. Carter. 
Subjects: Education and Educators, Lawyers, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Washington, D.C / Tennessee / Kentucky

Crumlin, James A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 2004
Reverend James A. Crumlin, Sr. was born in South Carolina. He came to Louisville, KY in 1944. A graduate of Howard University, he earned his law degree from the Robert H. Terrell Law School in Washington, D.C. Crumlin is remembered for a number of successes, including the appeal to the Kentucky Legislature to amend the state law for African American doctors and nurses to be admitted to state hospitals for training. The bill was passed in 1948 while Crumlin was president of the Louisville NAACP. Crumlin was also one of the lawyers for the plaintiff in the lawsuit to integrate the University of Kentucky. He was the lawyer for a number of school integration cases in Kentucky. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and B. Paulastaff, "Rev. James A. Crumlin, Sr. dies," Courier-Journal, 08/28/2004, News section, p. O7B.

Access Interview Read about the James A. Crumlin, Sr. oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Religion & Church Work, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses, Court Cases
Geographic Region: South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Darden, George Harry
Birth Year : 1934
George H. Darden was born in Cadiz, KY, to Sammie and Belknap Darden. He is a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University and a 1964 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He has served in many capacities, including that of chairman of the Legal Commission in Hopkinsville, KY; assistant county attorney in Hamilton County, OH; chief judge of the Cincinnati Municipal Court; and regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Atlanta, GA. He is the husband of Gwen M. Darden, who was president of the National Association of Bench and Bar Spouses, Inc. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2000.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration South, Judges
Geographic Region: Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia

Doneghy, Joseph E.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1993
Born in Louisville, KY, Doneghy was a graduate of the University of Toledo Law School [now University of Toledo College of Law] and studied at the University of Chicago School of Social Work [now The School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago]. He was employed as a field worker with the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare; playground director with the Division of Recreation in Toledo, Ohio; assistant supervisor of the Negro F.E.R.A. Schools; and probation counselor in the Lucas County Juvenile Courts in Ohio, beginning in 1938. He chaired the Ohio Pardon and Parole Commission before moving to Washington, D.C., where he was a hearing examiner with the U.S. Parole Board. In 1985, Doneghy retired from his position on the appeals council at Social Security. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Joseph E. Doneghy" in the obituaries of the Washington Post, 04/26/1993, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Toledo, Ohio / Washington, D.C.

Duncan, John Bonner
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1994
Duncan was born in Springfield, KY, leaving the state in 1930 to attend Howard University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He was also a 1938 graduate and distinguished alumni of the Robert H.Terrell Law School. A government employee, he served from 1952-1961 in the appointed position of Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the D.C. governing board in 1961; he was the first African American commissioner of the District of Columbia. In 1964, he was reappointed to the position by President Lyndon B. Johnson and served until 1967. At the end of his second term, Duncan was appointed assistant to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for Urban Relations. He retired from government in 1969. Duncan was a community and civic leader in a large number of organizations, including the NAACP and the Washington Urban League, and he served on the board of the United Negro College Fund. The John B. Duncan Papers are available at George Washington University. For more see "John B. Duncan, 84, 1st black commissioner," Obituaries, Washington Times, 06/23/1994, Section C, p. C8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky / Washington D. C.

Ector, Patricia E.
Birth Year : 1948
Death Year : 2008
Ector had been the Alameda County Deputy District Attorney since 1996. She was born in Hardin County, KY, and grew up in Germany and Seaside, CA; her father was in the Army. Ector spent much of her career specializing in prosecuting sexual assault cases in the juvenile division. She was the assistant district attorney in San Francisco from 1982-1996. She was a founding member of the National Black Prosecutors Association. In 1992 she received the Hon. Justice Clinton W. White Advocacy Award from the Charles Houston Bar Association. Ector was a graduate of San Jose State University and earned her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkley. Prior to her law career, she was a singer who performed in the U.S. and abroad with the group Up With People; she also performed with the group Sing Out. Her performances are included on the album Up With People! III. For more see H. Harris, "Respected Alameda County prosecutor Patricia Ector dies," in Contra Costa Times, 06/21/2008, My Town section.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Hardin County, Kentucky / Germany / California

Edwards, Brian C.
Birth Year : 1970
In 2009, Brian C. Edwards was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to serve as Circuit Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit in the 11th Division.  In 2010, Edwards defeated John J. Vandertoll to remain a Jefferson County Circuit Judge, his term ends in 2019. Judge Edwards was one of three African American appointees to be elected in Jefferson County in 2010. He also serves as a presiding Drug Court Judge. Judge Edwards was the 2004 recipient of the Frank E. Haddad, Jr. Outstanding Lawyer Award given by the Louisville Bar Association. Judge Edwards has practiced law for more than 17 years. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Brandeis School of Law, and as an assistant professor and associate director of the Center for the Study of Crime and Justice in Black Communities, both at the University of Louisville. Judge Edwards, born in Louisville, KY, is a 1992 graduate of Northwestern University (BA) and earned his law degree (JD) at the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1996.

 

   See photo image and additional information about the Hon. Brian C. Edwards at the Citizens for Better Judges website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Elliott, Cynthia E.
From Jackson, KY, Elliott is a lawyer who in 1997 was appointed by Gov. Paul Patton to serve as Special Justice to the Kentucky Supreme Court, the first African American woman appointed to the post. She is a two-time graduate of Wayne State University in Michigan, where she received her undergraduate and law degrees. For more information see the Kentucky government press release, "Governor Patton Appoints First African-American Woman as Special Justice to Kentucky Supreme Court," 09/14/97.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky

Gavlin, Chrystel L. C.
Birth Year : 1968
Chrystel Gavlin is a 1986 graduate of Jessamine County High School in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She earned a B.A. in Elementary Education at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, in 1990 and graduated from the Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1996. She was the Assistant State's Attorney for Dupage County in Wheaton, IL, the second African American to hold that post. In 2001, Gavlin opened her own law practice in Joliet, IL. For more see "February is Black History Month," The Jessamine Journal, 02/23/2006, p. A8.

See photo image of Chrystel Gavlin, Board of Trustees at the University of St. Francis website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Joliet, Illinois

Gillard, Howard Harvey
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1971
Howard Gillard was born in Falmouth, KY, the son of Belle and Edward Gillard. The family was living in Milford, OH, in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Howard Gillard became a lawyer. His office was located at 265 1/2 S. High Street in Columbus, OH. He served as the receptionist and assistant secretary to governors of Ohio. In 1906, Gillard was appointed Messenger in the Ohio Executive Department and was still at that post in 1919. He was also a special writer for the Sunday Dispatch (Ohio). For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Journal of the Senate of the...General Assembly of the State of Ohio [full-text available via Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Falmouth, Pendleton County, Kentucky / Columbus and Milford, Ohio

Goodwine, Pamela R.
Birth Year : 1960
In 1999, Judge Pamela Goodwine became the first African American woman appointed to the bench; she was appointed by Governor Paul Patton, and later that year was elected to the position. In 2003, she was the first to be elected Circuit Court Judge in Fayette County and was re-elected in 2006. Judge Goodwine, from Youngstown, Ohio, received her JD from the University of Kentucky in 1994. She was inducted into the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002. During her interview on the Renee Shaw show, Judge Goodwine talks about her life with Crohn's disease. For more see Gatton College of Business and Economics Alumni Hall of Fame, University of Kentucky; "A Pledge of Service," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/28/03, Final Ed., p. B1; and KET's "Connections with Renee Shaw" - #315: Pamela Goodwine.

See photo imge of Judge Pamela Goodwine and additional information at University of Kentucky Gatton College website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Youngstown, Ohio / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Greene, Harold, Jr.
Greene was the first African American to be appointed to serve as Administrative Assistant to a governor (John Y. Brown in 1980). He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and earned his law degree from the University of Kentucky. He was a former leader of the Lexington Urban League and the Lexington NAACP Chapter. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and J. Campbell, "Lexington attorney to speak at awards banquet," Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, 09/07/2004, section C, p. 1.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Griffith, George A.
Griffith was one of the first two African Americans to practice law in Kentucky; he received his license in 1871. Griffith, from Owensboro, KY, practiced law in Owensboro and later in Louisville. For more see The Owl: The Newsletter for Employees of the University of Louisville, vol. 17, issue 1 (February 2002), p. 2; and Emancipation: the making of the Black lawyer, 1844-1944, by J. C. Smith, Jr.
Subjects: Lawyers
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hall, Daniel
Born in Louisville, KY, Daniel Hall is the first African American vice president at the University of Louisville, he is the Vice President of External Affairs. Hall is also an attorney and served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman Romano L. Mazzoli. Hall is the founder and served as the chair of the Louisville Public Radio Partnership Board of Directors. He has been a leader and active member of several organizations. He was the state's Golden Glove Champion for three years [boxing]. Daniel Hall is a graduate of Central High School in Louisville, Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. For more see Speaker Biographies in the program bulletin, "Brown v. Board of Education Turns Fifty: But We Are Still Separate and Not Equal," held at Eastern Kentucky University, February 26, 2004; and "Daniel Hall" on p.194 in Who's Who in Black Louisville: the inaugural edition.
 
Subjects: Boxers, Boxing, Education and Educators, Lawyers, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Hall, George Edgar
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1931
Born in Greenville, KY, Hall was YMCA Secretary in Washington D. C. in 1918, according to his passport application. He was appointed Assistant District Attorney of New York County, NY, in 1929. Hall was the son of James Henderson Hall and Lizzie Elliot Hall. He was a 1921 graduate of Howard University with a Bachelors of Law. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and George Edgar Hall entry in the catalogue of the Howard University Bulletin, vol.1, issue 1, June 1921, p.250 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / New York

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

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

Harper, Nathaniel R.
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1921
One of the first two African Americans to practice law in the Louisville courts, Nathaniel R. Harper was the first African American judge in Kentucky. He established the Harper Law School in his office. Nathaniel R. Harper was born in Indiana, the son of Hezekiah and Susan Harper who was born in 1828 in Kentucky. The family lived in Centre Township in Indianapolis, IN, and according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, they were free and the family was supported by Hezekiah who was a blacksmith. Nathaniel was married to Maria [or Mariah] Harper, born 1851 in Pennsylvania. Kentucky Governor W. O. Bradley appointed Nathaniel Harper a member of the State Industrial Bureau. He was to investigate, organize, and encourage members of his race toward industrial ventures. Harper traveled the state assisting in the establishment of industrial societies. In 1872, Harper was co-founder of the newspaper Louisville Weekly Planet. Harper was owner of the Tallaboo Dramatic Company, and in 1912 the company was touring central Kentucky. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus and off campus via the proxy]; The Owl: The Newsletter for Employees of the University of Louisville, vol. 17, issue 1 (February 2002), p. 2; "Kentucky's Negro Lawyers," New York Times, 11/28/1871, p. 5; The Commercial history of the Southern States by Lipscomb and Johnston; and see the paragraph "Lawyer N. R. Harper's "Tallaboo"..., within the column "At Kentucky's Capital" in Freeman, 06/01/1912, p.4.

See photo image of Nathaniel R. Harper at the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Blacksmiths, Migration South, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Henry, Ragan A.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2008
Henry was born in Sadieville, KY, the son of Augustus and Ruby Henry. He was an African American pioneer in radio and television station ownership. In 1993, the Regan Henry Group was responsible for 26 owned and leased radio stations. Henry published The National Leadership newspaper, then, in 1989, became president of Broadcast Enterprises National, Inc. He was a partner of the law firm Wolf, Black, Schorr, and Solis-Cohen. Henry spent much of his life in Philadelphia, PA. He earned an A.B. degree at Harvard College in 1956 and an L.L.B. from Harvard Law School in 1961. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army. For more see The Negro Almanac, 4th-9th eds.; Who's Who in Entertainment; and J. A. Gambardello, "A Pioneering media mogul and lawyer," The Philadelphia Inquirer, 08/08/2008, Obituaries section, p.A01.
Subjects: Businesses, Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Radio, Television
Geographic Region: Sadieville, Scott County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hinnant, Ollen B., II
Birth Year : 1931
Hinnant was born in Lexington, KY. In 1955 he was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School, and in 1997 he was the first to be inducted into the school's Alumni Hall of Fame. He was the first African American lawyer for the State Farm Insurance firm in Montclair, NJ. Edmonds Street in Lexington, KY, is named for his grandfather, Rubin Edmonds. For more see M. Davis, "He's Proof that Kids Can Turn Out Fine," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/23/2001.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Lawyers, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Hughes, James Nathaniel
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1934
Hughes was born in Charlestown, Indiana. He was the father of Langston Hughes and the son of Emily Cushenberry and James H. Hughes. James H. was a former slave whose mother was a slave; her father was Silas Cushenberry, a Jewish slave trader from Clark County, KY. James H. Hughes' father was also a slave. He was the son of Sam Clay, a distiller from Henry County, KY. It is not known exactly when the Hughes family left Kentucky, where their four oldest children were born, but it is believed the family left prior to the Civil War. Their son, James Nathaniel Hughes, lived in Louisville for a brief period, where he passed the postal civil service exam but was not hired by the post office. He eventually moved on to Oklahoma, where he married Carrie Langston in the late 1890s. After their first child died in 1900 and Langston Hughes was born in 1902, James left his family. He settled in Mexico, never to return to the United States; he remarried, practiced law, and was a land owner. For more about the Hughes Family see Langston: My Cousin, by the Hughes Family Interest, Inc.; F. Berry, Langston Hughes, pp. 1-2; Langston Hughes of Kansas, by M. Scott [excerpt from Kansas History, vol. 3, issue 1 (Spring 1980), pp. 3-25]; The big sea: an autobiography, by L. Hughes; and The Life of Langston Hughes, vol. I: 1902-1941, by A. Rampersad. Additional information for this entry was provided by Marjol Collet, Director of the Langston Hughes Family Museum in Gary, Indiana.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Mothers, Postal Service, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Charlestown, Indiana / Clark County, Kentucky / Henry County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oklahoma / Mexico

Jackson, Jordan C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1918
Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. was born in Lexington, KY, the son of James Ann and Jordan C. Jackson, Sr. An attorney and an African American Republican leader in Kentucky, Jordan Jr. was the first African American undertaker in Lexington, along with his partner William M. Porter. Jackson eventually bought out Porter. Prior to getting into the undertaking business, Jackson was editor of the American Citizen newspaper. He also contracted with the federal government to carry mail from the train to the post office. He was chairman of the committee behind the creation of Douglass Park in Lexington, KY. He was married to Isabelle Mitchell Jackson and brother of John H. Jackson. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson; and Ante-bellum free Negroes as race leaders in Virginia and Kentucky during Reconstruction (thesis) by C. B. King, p. 136.

See photo image of Jordan C. Jackson, Jr. on page 513 in Evidences of Progress Among Colored People by G. F. Richings, at the UNC Documenting the American South website.
 
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Parks, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Railroad, Railway, Trains
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

James, Cheryl E.
James is the first African American president of the Junior League of Lexington (elected in September 2004). An attorney who works for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, she has been a member of the Junior League for 11 years. For more see J. Hewlett, "A fresh face for the Junior League, lawyer is the first black woman to head Lexington organization," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/02/05.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Lawyers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jasmin, Ernest A., Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2004
Born in Florida, Ernest A. Jasmin became the first African American chief prosecutor in Kentucky when he was elected Commonwealth Attorney in 1987. He created a narcotics unit with four prosecutors for the handling of drug cases and established prosecutor training seminars. Jasmin earned degrees from Florida A & M and the University of Louisville Law School. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1967, and in 2004 he received the Trailblazer Award from the Louisville Bar Association. For more see African American Biographies: profiles of 558 current men and women, by W. L. Hawkins; "Kentucky's first Black Commonwealth's Attorney," The Louisville Defender, 03/13/1992; and "First Black to serve as state prosecutor - Ernest Jasmin had number of prominent cases," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/02/2004, City & Region section, p. C4.

See photo image and additional information [inlcuding an unreferenced copy of information above] on Ernest A. Jasmin at the Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Florida / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Johnson, Beverly [James Williams, Sr.]
Birth Year : 1840
In 1858, Beverly Johnson escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made his way north to York, MI. Johnson changed his name to James Williams, Sr. and was a cigar maker; he is listed in the 1860 census. He later established a cigar factory in Saline, MI, and became a farmer. He was the husband of Mary Williams who was born in Ohio, and her mother was from Kentucky [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census]. The couple had three sons, James Jr., Henry, and Charles. James Williams, Sr. was a widower in 1900, according the census. This was about the same time that his son Charles E. Williams graduated from the University of Michigan Law School and started practicing law in Detroit with Michigan's renowned Negro lawyer, **Robert J. Willis. Under the new civil service law, Charles Williams was appointed a life tenure of office as a general clerk in the Detroit Assessor's Office. For more see "Charles E. Williams" in the Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online as a .pdf at the Western Michigan University website].

**The mother of Robert Jones Willis was an escape slave from Kentucky, for more see "Michigan gives lawyer a birthday" in Day by Day column by Wm. N. Jones in the Baltimore Afro-American, 05/25/1929, p.6.
Subjects: Businesses, Fathers, Freedom, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / York and Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan / Detroit, Michigan

Jones, Alberta O.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1965
Alberta Odell Jones was born in Louisville, KY, the third child of Sarah (Sadie) Frances Crawford Jones and Odell Jones. She was also a first cousin of Raymond Ponder. During her brief life, Alberta Jones was at the forefront of change in Kentucky and Louisville. She was one of the first African American women to pass the Kentucky Bar (1959) and the first woman prosecutor in Kentucky (1964). [Sally J. Seals White was the first African American woman admitted to the Kentucky Bar.] Jones was prosecutor in the Louisville Domestic Relations Court; her law office was located at 2018 W. Broadway. [James A. Crumlin, Sr. was the assistant prosecutor.] Jones was Cassius Clay's [Muhammad Ali's] first attorney, taking him to California to be trained under Archie Moore. Jones was also a civil rights activist: in addition to participating in the March on Washington and the marches in Louisville, she rented voting machines and held classes to teach African Americans how to vote for the candidate of their choice. She established the Independent Voters Association and was an active member of the Louisville Urban League and the NAACP. Jones also established the James "Bulky" Welch Fund and held a fund-raiser, raffling off a car to pay Welch's medical bills and purchase the prosthetic arms to replace the ones young Welch had lost trying to retrieve his dog from under a train. Alberta Jones was a graduate of Louisville Central High School and attended the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. When the college was merged with the University of Louisville (U of L) during desegregation, Jones continued her education at U of L and graduated third in her class. She was accepted into the University of Louisville Law School but transferred after the first year to Howard University School of Law, where she graduated fourth in her class. A picture of Alberta O. Jones hangs in the U of L Law School. She was a member of the American Bar Association, the Fall City Bar Association, and the Louisville Bar Association, serving as secretary of the latter. She was also a member of the Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta and the Sigma Chapter of Iota Phi Lambda. Alberta O. Jones was murdered in August 1965 -- the case has not been solved. This information was submitted by Alberta Jones's niece, Ms. Nicole M. Martin, and Jones's sister, Ms. Flora Lutisha Shanklin. For more see "Alberta Jones' funeral rites held; unsolved murders alarm West Enders," The Louisville Defender, 08/12/1965, front page and p. 6; and Legacy of Leadership: African American Pioneers in Kentucky Law (video-recording), by the University of Louisville School of Law.

 


   See photo image of Alberta O. Jones and Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] in Jet, 08/26/1965, p.5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Voting Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jones, Charles W.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1957
Born in Barbourville, KY, Charles Wesley Jones was a lawyer who moved to Detroit, Michigan. He ran for the Michigan State Senate in 1932 and was defeated. In 1952 he was a U.S. Representative candidate but was defeated in the primary. Jones was the first African American judge in Michigan appointed to Recorder's Court. For more see the date July 29, 1950 on the Detroit African American History Project website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Barbourville, Knox County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Jones, Louis Clayton
Birth Year : 1935
Death Year : 2006
Jones, an equal rights advocate and international lawyer, was born in Lexington, KY. He was a graduate of old Dunbar High School, Howard University, and Yale Law School, and was admitted to the bar in Kentucky and New York. He founded the National Conference of Black Lawyers. He was assistant director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights in 1961. In 1981, he was the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Liberia, returning to the U.S. in 1982. The following year, Jones became counsel to the family of Michael Stewart, a 25-year old New Yorker who was arrested for writing graffiti in the subway and later died from injuries he received while in police custody. In 1985, Jones became the Director of Legal and Financial Affairs in Paris, France, for the Saudi Arabian company First Investment Capital Corporation. Louis Clayton Jones was the son of the late Mary Elizabeth Jones and Rev. William A. Jones, Sr.,; one of his six siblings was Rev. William A. Jones, Jr. For more see J. Ogawa, "Lexington native worked behind scenes for equal rights," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/13/2006, City&Region section, p. D3; and "RIP: Louis Clayton Jones," Black Star News, 01/12/2006.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / New York / Liberia, Africa

Jordan, Eddie J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1952
Born in Fort Campbell, KY, Jordan, the son of Eddie, Sr. and Gladys McDaniel Jordan, grew up in New Orleans, LA. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Rutgers Law School. Jordan was a law professor at Southern University School of Law and has served as the Assistant U. S. Attorney in New Orleans. In 1994, President Clinton named Jordan the U. S. Attorney in New Orleans; he was the first African American to hold the post in the state of Louisiana. In 2002, Jordan was elected District Attorney of New Orleans; after three decades, he was the first new DA for the city and the first African American elected as a DA. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2006; "Taking the oath," Times Picayune, 12/12/1994, Metro section, p. B4; and New Orleans District Attorney Eddie J. Jordan, in "Why justice matters in the rebuilding of community," Symposium on Law, Politics, Civil Rights, and Justice, 03/29/2007, held at the Southern University Law Center.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Fort Campbell, Christian County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana

Kentucky Negro Bar Association
Start Year : 1909
The Negro Bar Association of Kentucky was founded in August 1909. Several African American attorneys came together at the YMCA in Louisville, KY, and elected Albert S. White from Louisville as president, J. W. Schooler of Lexington as vice president, W. H. Wright of Louisville as secretary, H. P. Alexander from either Winchester or Louisville became assistant secretary, and J. W. Head of Hopkinsville was named treasurer. The Association had the endorsement of J. G. Jones of Chicago, President of the National Negro Bar Association, and Booker T. Washington. The National Negro Bar Association had been established in 1908, and in October 1909, Albert S. White was named president of the association. One of the goals of the national organization was to have branches in every state, and the Kentucky Negro Bar Association was one of the first branches. For more information about other nominations see "Colored Attorney's Association," Lexington Leader, 08/19/1909, p.2; and "Kentucky to Have Colored Bar Association" on page 116 in Law Notes [available online at Google Book Search]; "National Negro Bar Association," Baltimore Afro-American, 10/23/1909, p.3.
Subjects: Lawyers, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Lunderman, Charles J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1973
The following information was submitted by Mrs. Juanita L. White of Louisville, KY:

Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was an attorney and judge in Louisville, KY. He was one of the three founders of an early Black law firm that included his partners Benjamin Shobe and Haywood Banks. Lunderman, Jr. was the first African American lawyer in the legal department of the City of Louisville. He was also appointed a Jefferson County Quarterly Judge by Louisville Mayor William O. Cowger, serving from 1961-1965. He also served as president of the Louisville Branch of the NAACP and helped integrate the city swimming pools and Jefferson County Schools. Lunderman, Jr. was a member of the Jefferson County Clean Air Committee that was formed by residents of the West End and Shively to fight an industrial plant that was daily pumping 11 tons of dust into the air surrounding the communities. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. was born in Paducah, KY, the son of Charles, Sr. and Loretta C. Bacon Lunderman Spencer Randolph. He was the husband of Mrs. Belma Lunderman McClaskey. Charles J. Lunderman, Jr. attended Kentucky State University and earned his law degree at Lincoln University in Missouri. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army.

References:


Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Martin, Janice R.
Birth Year : 1956
From Morganfield, KY, Janice R. Martin, at the age of 35 became the first elected African American woman judge in Kentucky, in 1991. She earned her undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Louisville; she was the only African American female in the Class of 1977. Martin was also the first African American woman to serve as bar counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association.  She was selected by Gov. Brereton Jones to fill the District Court vacancy left by Judge Steven Mershon. She was then elected to the position in 1993, and retired in 2009. For more see Black Firsts, by J. C. Smith; Who's Who Among African Americans, 8th-13th editions; Y. D. Coleman, "Kentucky's first Black female judge appointed," The Louisville Defender, 03/12/1992, pp. 1 and 4;  "Janice Martin installed as first Black woman judge in Kentucky," Jet, 02/01/1993; and M. Williams, "The Honorable Janice Martin," Who's Who in Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.69.

 
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Appointments by Kentucky Governors
Geographic Region: Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

May, James Shelby, Sr.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 1993
May was born in Louisville, KY, son of Shelby and Arlee Taylor May. He was a graduate of Cornell University and Yale Law School. May, a Marine Corps veteran, had been a Marine Corps judge advocate. He had served in many capacities, including as a felony trial judge and an appellate judge. In 1981, May became the first African American appointed to the Navy-Marine Corps court of Military Review, which is the highest criminal appellate court of the U.S. Navy Department. After his retirement in 1989, May was an assistant professor at the University of Baltimore Law School. For more see James Shelby May in "Obituaries" of the Washington Post, 02/22/1993, Metro section, p. C4; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bethesda, Maryland

McCoy, Wayne Anthony
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2000
Wayne A. McCoy was a national expert on government bonds. A lawyer in Chicago, he was the personal attorney of former NBA player Michael Jordan. He was a partner in the law firm of Schiff, Hardin, and Waite; McCoy was one of the first African Americans to become a partner in a major law firm in Chicago. Wayne A. McCoy was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Herbert B. and Martha Nuckolls McCoy. He was a graduate of Indiana University and the University of Michigan Law School. For more see T. McCann, "Wayne McCoy, 58, Chicago lawyer," Chicago Tribune, Obituaries section, p. 7; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2000.

See photo image and additional information about Wayne A. McCoy at the bottom of The History Makers, Second Annual Program, website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Meeks, Michael L.
Birth Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Meeks is a brother of Reginald Meeks, Renelda (Meeks) Walker Higgins, and Kenneth Meeks. In 2008 he was elected to the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee. He is founder and president of Frankfort Lobbyist, LLC, formed in 2008, and owner of Special Event Coordinators, LLC, established in 2000. Meeks served as Committee Staff Administrator of the Government Contract Review Committee of the Legislative Research Commission from 1996 to 2006 and served as Legislative Analyst for the Occupations and Professions Committee from 1985 to 1996. Meeks earned his B.A. at Morehead State University in 1980 and his J.D. at Howard University School of Law in 1983. He was selected Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Big Brother of the Year in 1990; Outstanding Young Men of America, 1981-1985; Outstanding Kentucky Young Democrat of the Year in 1979; Who's Who Among American College Students in 1978-1980; and elected State Secretary of the Kentucky Young Democrats in 1978. He is the son of Eloise Kline Meeks and Florian Meeks, Jr. For more see the 2007 Inaugural Edition of Who’s Who in Black Louisville and subsequent issues in 2008 and 2009.
Subjects: Businesses, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Merriweather, Claybron W.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1952
Claybron Merriweather was born in Christian County, KY, the son of John and Mary Gwynn Merriweather, both former slaves. The Merriweathers lived in extreme poverty. Claybron eventually saved enough money to attend school and later became a schoolteacher and founded three newspapers. He was also a painter, using water colors and oils for his paintings. He is author of Light and Shadows, published in 1907, it was his first book. Merriweather was also a poet and went on to publish five additional books. He promoted his poetry by giving readings in various cities; in 1940 he was in Chicago and was on his way to Cleveland to give a dramatic reading before the Mission Convocation of the First Episcopal District. Claybron Merriweather was also a practicing lawyer, and had studied with the Black Stone Institute, which offered a home study course. He began his practice in 1908 and was the first African American attorney in Hopkinsville, KY, and the first to receive a license to practice law in Mayfield, KY [source: "First Colored Attorney," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 05/11/1912, p.4; and "First Colored man ever admitted to the bar at Mayfield, " The Paducah Sun, 11/28/1905, p.1]. Claybron Merriweather was the husband of Rosa Morgan Merriweather (c.1874-1935), born in KY, she was a school teacher in Paducah and in Hopkinsville, KY. The couple last lived at 1103 Coleman Street in Hopkinsville. They are buried in the Cane Spring Cemetery in Christian County, according to their death certificates. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; "C.W. Merriweather to give reading," Kentucky New Era, 08/10/1940, p.6; and The Law Trained Man by W. C. Wermuth [available full text at archive.org].
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Poets
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

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

Morris, Edward H.
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1943
Born in Flemingsburg, KY, Edward H. Morris was the fifth African American lawyer admitted to the Illinois Bar. He was an attorney in charge of taxes for Cook County, Illinois, and a member of the Illinois Legislature. Morris introduced the School Teacher's Pension Bill, which became law. Also during his tenure, a law was passed legalizing slave marriages for the purpose of inheritance. Edward Morris was the son of Hezekiah (a slave) and Elizabeth Morris (free) and the brother of William R. Morris. After Hezekiah's death, the family moved first to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Chicago, IL. Edward Morris was a graduate of St. Patrick's College (Chicago) and was admitted to the Chicago Bar in 1879. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. by R. W. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Personal: Edward H. Morris in The Journal of Negro History, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 258-259.

See photo image and additional information on Edward H. Morris at the Clarence Darrow Digital Collection, a University of Minnesota Law Library website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Inheritance, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

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

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

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

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

Newhouse, Richard H., Jr.
Birth Year : 1924
Death Year : 2002
Richard H. Newhouse was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Richard, Sr. and Annie Louise Singleton Newhouse. He was a World War II veteran and a two time graduate of Boston University. Newhouse earned his JD at the University of Chicago Law School. Before entering law school, Newhouse had come to Chicago to work for the Chicago Defender. In 1975, he was the first African American to run for Mayor of Chicago; he lost to Richard J. Daley. [Harold Washington would become the first African American mayor of Chicago in 1983. See Roy L. Washington, Sr.] Newhouse was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1968 and retired in 1991. Newhouse founded the National Black Legislative Clearinghouse. For more see A. Madhami, "Richard Newhouse, Jr., 78, state senator, 1st Black in Chicago mayor race," Chicago Tribune, 05/02/2002, Obituaries section, p. 8; C. Lawrence, "Richard Newhouse, Jr., state senator," Chicago Sun-Times, 05/01/2002, News section, p. 77; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2002; and the Richard H. Newhouse Papers at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium Survey.

See photo image of Richard H. Newhouse at the Newhouse Program and Architecture Competition website.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Owens, Darryl T.
Birth Year : 1937
Born in Louisville, KY, Darryl T. Owens was the first African American assistant prosecutor in Louisville police court, the first African American Assistant Kentucky General, and the first African American president of the Louisville Legal Aid Society. In 2005, he was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly for House District 43 (Jefferson County). He wrote the forward for Louisville in World War II. Owens is a graduate of Louisville Central High School, Central State University (B.A.), and Howard University School of  Law. For more contact the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission; and see M. Williams, "The Honorable Darryl T. Owens" in Who's Who of Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.59.

See photo image of Darryl T. Owens on his Kentucky Legislature website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Owens, Edward, III
Birth Year : 1957
In 1984, Owens was the first African American to be appointed Assistant Commonwealth Attorney in Fayette County, KY. Owens was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Ollie Bell and Ed Owens, Jr. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School and also earned his undergraduate business degree at the school. Owens had worked with the law firm of Shirley Cunningham and John Merchant, located on Georgetown Street, prior to his appointment to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office. Owens had also been in private practice. In 1987, Owens left the Commonwealth Attorney's Office. He was suspended from practicing law in 1988 due to the mishandling of a real estate deal when he was in private practice. Owens would leave Kentucky and become senior vice-president of affordable housing with American Residential Mortgage. He was a commissioned examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In 2003, he became the director of community affairs with Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, OH, and in 2005 was named Senior Vice President of Fifth Third Bancorp. For more see M. Davis, "Prosecutor takes nothing for granted," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/26/1984, City/State section, p. B1; T. Toliver, "Ex-Fayette Prosecutor suspended from practicing law," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/28/1988, City/State section, p. B5; "Owens heads Fifth Third Department," The Cincinnati Post, 03/01/2003, Business section, p. B8; and "Fifth Third promotes Ed Owens III," The Cincinnati Post, 11/05/2005, Business section, p. B8.
Subjects: Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Lawyers, Migration North, Court Cases, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1938
In December of 1938, the R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 was organized for Colored veterans of foreign wars. Officers were to be elected the following January. The post was under the Hugh McKee Post No.677. The McKee post was believed to be the oldest in Kentucky. The initial members of Hathway Post No. 3593 were a rather elite group of African American men.

  • Rev. John N. Christopher, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, husband of Mary E. Christopher, lived at 274 E. 5th Street.
  • Rev. Clarence Galloway, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, husband of Mary B. Galloway, lived at 233 Roosevelt Blvd.
  • Rev. John C. Newman, served in the Philippines in 1899, husband of Ella B. Newman, lived at 301 E. 6th Street.
  • Rev. John A. Jackson, who was blind, lived at 623 N. Upper Street.
  • Rev. James W. Wood, husband of Estella Wood, managing editor of Inter-State County News, notary public, lived at 519 E. 3rd Street.
  • Dr. Charles C. Buford Sr., husband of Roberta Buford, office at 269 E. Second Street, lived at 423 N. Upper Street.
  • Dr. Bush A. Hunter, office at 439 N. Upper Street, lived at 437 N. Upper Street.
  • John W. Rowe, the only Colored lawyer in Lexington in 1938, husband of Hattie H. Rowe (director of Douglas Park in 1939), office at 180 Deweese, lived at 860 Georgetown Street.
For more see the printed announcement on the letterhead "Hugh McKee Post No. 677, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Lexington, Kentucky," dated December 29, 1938, found in the 'Negroes' file of the Milward Collection (vertical file), Box - Moss Family-Newspapers, University of Kentucky Special Collections; for home addresses and other information see Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory 1937-1939.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Reynolds, Sadiqa N.
Birth Year : 1962
Sediqua N. Reynolds was the first African American woman to clerk for the Kentucky Supreme Court, she served as the chief law clerk for Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens. She also had a private law practice for several years, and in January 2008, Reynolds was named inspector general with the Louisville Metro Government. Her duties included annual reviews and investigating complaints against nursing homes and state-run institutions. August 2009, Reynolds was sworn in as Jefferson County District Judge of the 30th Judicial District, Division 11. Her appointment was made by Governor Steve Beshear; she replaced Judge Matthew K. Eckert, who resigned. Reynolds earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville and her law degree from the University of Kentucky. She was born in Newy York, and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. For more see B. Musgrave, "2 lawyers get Health Cabinet jobs, both have backgrounds in public health," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/09/2008, City&Region section, p.D2; Sadiqa N. Reynolds in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.123; "Governor Beshear announces landmark judicial appointments," Press Release, 07/01/2009, Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office [online].

See "Meet the Judge: Sadiqua N. Reynolds" on YouTube.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Judges
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Rice, Richard A.
Birth Year : 1887
Born in Russellville, KY, Richard A. Rice was a lawyer and pharmacist. He was the acting attorney for the Jersey Central Porters who were connected with the Jersey Central Railroad. His law office was located in Jersey City in 1920, and he was a boarder with the Dowers Family [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1942, Rice was living in Hackensack, NJ, and his law practice was operated from his home at 277 First Street [source: Rice's WWII Draft Registration Card]. Rice was the son of Calvin and Julia Bearing Rice. He was a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pullman Porters, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Jersey City and Hackensack, New Jersey

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.

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

Ross, James A.
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1949
Born in Columbus, KY, James A. Ross was a lawyer, politician, real estate broker, journalist, editor, and publisher. His family left Kentucky when Ross was a child; he was raised in Cairo, IL, and later moved farther north. Ross was editor and proprietor of The Reformer (Detroit) and publisher of the monthly magazine, Gazetteer and Guide (NY), written for African American Pullman Porters and railroad and hotel employees. He declined the U. S. Consul appointment to Cape Haitien in 1893. Ross was in charge of the Negro exhibit at the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition, held in Buffalo, and he was Vice-President of the National Colored Democratic League Bureau in Chicago in 1912. He served as Race Relations Executive for the Works Progress Administration in Albany, NY. In 1946, Ross was elected president of the New York State Colored Real Estate Brokers Exchange. He was the husband of Cora B. Hawkins Ross (b.1874 in Canada), and the family of six lived on Michigan Street in Buffalo, NY, in 1900, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "James A. Ross," New York Times, 04/28/1949, p. 31.

See newspaper image of James A. Ross and additional information at the Uncrowned Community Builders website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Pullman Porters, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Works Progress Administration (WPA) / Work Projects Adminstration (WPA)
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Detroit, Michigan / Buffalo and Albany, New York / Chicago, Illinois

Schooler, James W.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1918
Schooler, from Nicholasville, KY, was admitted to practice in the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1888, becoming one of the first African American lawyers in Kentucky. He was present the day R. C. O. Benjamin was killed in 1900; Schooler had led Benjamin away from polling Precinct 32 in Lexington, KY, after Benjamin challenged precinct worker Michael Moynahan's right to call into question Harvey Jackson's right to register to vote. Moynahan had suspected Jackson, an African American, of being a vote floater, and Benjamin had intervened on Jackson's behalf. Moynahan struck Benjamin in the face. Schooler led Benjamin away from the polling precinct. Benjamin and Schooler were both lawyers and civil rights leaders, they were at the precinct to support African American voter registration. According to one newspaper account, though Benjamin had been led away from the polling precinct by Schooler, Benjamin later returned and was killed by Moynahan. Schooler was the son of Johns and Myra Lemuel Schooler, and the husband of Nora Schooler, b.1878 in KY, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. James Schooler's exact birthday was not know at the time of his death, his age was estimated at 53 on his death certificate. Schooler died in Lexington, KY, and is buried in African Cemetery No.2. For more see "A Negro lawyer in Kentucky," New York Times, 06/06/1888, p. 6; and "R. C. O. Benjamin; shot dead as the result of a petty election quarrel," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 10/05/1900, p.5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Lawyers
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Shaw, Ed
Death Year : 1891
Shaw's birth date was in the late 1820s. He was a free man born in Kentucky who moved to Memphis, TN, around 1852. He owned a saloon and gambling house. Shaw has been described as a radical Republican political leader and as the most powerful African American leader in Memphis. He was defeated in a run for Congress in 1869. He spoke up for the rights of African Americans, for integrated schools, and against poll taxes. He served on the City Council and the County Commission and was elected wharf master. Shaw was also a lawyer and editor of the Memphis Planet newspaper. For more see "Ed Shaw" in the article "Free Blacks had impact on county history - Historian traces roots of black population," Commercial Appeal, 10/14/1993, Neighbors section, p. e2; and in the History of Memphis at cityofmemphis.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration South, Gambling, Lottery
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Memphis, Tennessee

Shobe, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1920
Born in Bowling Green, KY, Benjamine F. Shobe was a civil rights attorney who served as a counselor to Lyman T. Johnson in the lawsuit that forced the University of Kentucky to integrate. Shobe was also hired by the NAACP as an attorney in Sweeny v. The City of Louisville, which was pursued to open public accommodations. He was the first elected city police judge in Louisville, KY, in 1976 and retired from the bench in 1992. He was a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Michigan Law School. Shobe was also a recipient of Anderson-Mayer Funds. He is a member of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights' Great Black Kentuckians. He was the son of W. L. Shobe , who was principal of Lynch West Main High School, 1939-1956. For more see The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd ed., ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.

  See photo image of Benjamin F. Shobe and additional information at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Judges, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Simms, James N.
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1932
James N. Simms was born in 1871 in Port Royal, KY. He was the first African American graduate of the Indiana Law School [source: "No color line," Freeman, 05/29/1897, p.8]. A lawyer, he compiled Simms' Blue Book of National Negro Business and Professional Directory, published in Chicago in 1923. A photo of Simms can be viewed at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.


Subjects: Authors, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Port Royal, Henry County, Kentucky

Slaughter, Henry P.
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1958
Born in Louisville, KY, Henry P. Slaughter was a leading journalist and the editor of the Lexington Standard. He also edited The Odd Fellows Journal, a Philadelphia newspaper. A holder of law degrees from Howard University, Slaughter was employed as compositor by the Government Printing Office (GPO) in D.C. He also collected papers and publications on the life and history of African Americans. The large collection (over 10,000 volumes) was sold to the Clark Atlanta Library. For more see Dictionary of American Negro Biography, ed. R. L. Logan and M. R. Winston; and Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith.

See photo image of Henry P. Slaughter at the Georgia Stories website.
Subjects: Historians, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, DC

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

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

Stevens, Oluwole A. "Olu"
Birth Year : 1970
Louisville Judge Olu Stevens is the presiding Judge in the 30th Judicial Circuit, Division 6.  He had been a prosecutor with the Jefferson County Attorney's Office; he was in private practice for ten years; and was with the firm Stoll Keenon and Ogden. Stevens is a graduate of Morehouse College and George Washington University Law School. He is a past president of the Louisville Bar Association and a past president of the Louisville Bar Foundation. In 2009, Olu Stevens was one of three African American judges who received appointments from Kenucky Governor Steve Beshear; Stevens was appointed a circuit judge in Jefferson County. The other two appointments went to Sadiqua Reynolds and Erica Lee Williams, both were district judges [source: Wolfson, A. "Governor appoints three Black judges," Louisville Courier-Journal, 07/01/2009, News section]. In 2010, Judge Stevens was one of three African American judges to be elected in Jefferson County, and he retained his circuit court judgeship, defeating Thomas J. Cannon, garnering 60% of the votes [source: J. Riley, "3 African-American appointees elected," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/03/2010, p.K8, News section]. The other election winners were District Judge Brian C. Edwards in Division 11, who had also received an appointment from Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear in 2009, and District Judge Erica Lee Williams in Division 17.  

 

  See photo image and additional information at the Judge Olu Stevens website.  
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Stowers, Walter H.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1932
Said to be born in Owensboro, KY, Walter H. Stowers became a lawyer and author. Michigan and Canada are also given as his birth locations in the U.S. Federal Census. Stowers was a deputy sheriff and deputy county clerk in Detroit, MI. He established two newspapers, Venture and Plaindealer (Detroit). He led the fight against restrictive covenants in Detroit. Because of the controversial content of his book, the pen name Sanda was used when he co-authored Appointed: an American Novel, published by the Detroit Law Printing Co. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.

  See image of Walter H. Stowers at The American Literary Blog.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

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


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

Sumner, Thomas R.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Louisville, KY, Sumner is a graduate of the University of Illinois and John Marshall Law School. Since 1988, he has been an associate judge in the Illinois Circuit Court. Sumner was a trial attorney with the Cook County Public Defenders Office from 1978-1982 and was a partner with Sumner and Smith from 1982-1988. He was president of the more than 700 member Cook County Bar Association. For more see L. Sweet, "Orbach, 12 others appointed judges," Chicago Sun-Times, 06/04/1988, News section, p. 14; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1980-2006.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

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

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

Taylor, Marshall W. (Boyd)
Birth Year : 1846
Death Year : 1887
Born in Lexington, KY, Marshall W. Boyd was educated by private teachers and at private schools. (He later changed his last name to Taylor.) He organized the first school for African Americans in Hardinsburg, KY, in 1866, and armed himself in an effort to keep the school open; the school was bombed on Christmas Day, December 25, 1867. The following year, Taylor was elected president of the Negro Educational Convention, which was held in Owensboro, KY. He was licensed to preach in 1869 and was also a lawyer with the Kirkland and Barr law firm in Louisville, KY. Taylor edited the Southwestern Christian Advocate. He is most remembered for compiling the early African American hymnal, Collection of Revival Hymns and Plantation Melodies (1882). He was also author of Handbook for Schools and The Negro in Methodism. According to his entry in Herringshaw's National Library of American Biography, volume 4, Taylor died September 11, 1887 in Louisville, KY. Taylor was the grandfather of jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers (1923-2011). For more see History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880, by G. W. Williams [available full view at Google Book Search]; Out of Sight: the Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895, by L. Abbott and D. Seroff; and Forty Years in the Lap of Methodism: history of Lexington Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church, by W. H. Riley.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thomas, Reginald "Reggie"
Birth Year : 1953
In December of 2012, in a special election, Democrat Reggie Thomas defeated Independent Richard Maloney and Republican Michael Johnson. Reggie Thomas became the first African American to represent Lexington in the Kentucky Senate. It was the first time a majority white district (District 13) in Kentucky elected an African American senator. Reggie Thomas replaced Kathy Stein, who left the Senate to accept a judgeship position. Reggie Thomas is the third African American elected to the Kentucky Senate (the other two were Louisville Senators Georgia Powers and Gerald Neal). Reginald Thomas was also the first African American associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is a graduate of Bryan Station High School in Lexington, KY; a 1975 graduate of Dartmouth College; and a 1978 graduate of Harvard Law School.  For more see Connections with Renee Shaw - Reggie Thomas, Ron Spriggs, Bobby Scroggins (#914); "Historic Senate win," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/13/2013, p.A16; S. Youngman, "Democrat Reginald Thomas wins state Senate special election," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/13/2013, p.A1; and P. K. Muhammad, "Reginald Thomas rises above despite opposition to become senator," The Key Newsjournal, 01/08/2014 [online].

 

  See photo image of Senator Reginald Thomas at the Open States website.
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Tucker, Charles Ewbank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1975
Tucker was a lawyer, a civil rights advocate, and a leader in the AMEZ Church. He led early civil rights demonstrations and sit-ins in Louisville, KY, in the 1940s through the 1960s. Tucker also delivered the benediction at Nixon's Inauguration (1960). He was the husband of Rev. Amelia M. Tucker. Charles E. Tucker was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Olivia and William Tucker. The family lived in Jamaica. He was a 1913 graduate of Beckford and Smith's school in Jamaica and a 1917 graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He was the pastor of the Stoner Memorial AMEZ Church [at 1127 West Oak Street] in Louisville and completed the Kentucky Bar Exam in 1929. His son, Neville Tucker, was also a lawyer in Louisville. Charles E. Tucker became a bishop in 1956. He was a Republican. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; and the Charles Ewbank Tucker biography in The Last Public Execution in America, by P. T. Ryan.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Lawyers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Baltimore, Maryland / Jamaica / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Utterback, Everett Emory
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1992
Everett Utterback was a social worker, an athlete, and an attorney in Pittsburgh, PA. He prepared legal contracts for Gus Greenlee, owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team (Negro League). Utterback prepared contracts with players such as Leroy Satchell Paige, and boxers such as John Henry Lewis, world light heavy weight champion 1935-1939. Everett Utterback was born in Mayfield, KY, the son of Monima and Eldridge Utterback. According to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, the family of five lived on Second Street, and was supported by Eldridge who was brick mason. The family was still in Mayfield, KY in 1930, but without Everette who was attending the University of Pittsburgh on a track scholarship. In 1931, he was the first African American captain of the track team at the University of Pittsburgh. Utterback had competed in a 1929 Decathlon and came in second behind Barney Berlinger. In 1930 and 1931, he won the national championship in broad jump, and the ICA [Intercollegiate Athletics] broad jump championship. Also in 1931, Utterback won the Penn Relays Championship in the hop, skip, and jump. During his career, he won nine championships in the Penn Relays. He was a member of the IC4A indoor championship mile relay team. He set a number of track records. Utterback was also a graduate of Duquesne Law School [now Duquesne University School of Law] and retired as general counsel of the Pittsburgh Housing Authority. He had served as director of management of the housing authority with 5,900 units and 20,000 residents, and he was a social worker. He was a senior partner of Utterback, Brown and Harper, and was one of the lawyers working with the Pittsburgh NAACP to desegregate public facilities. Utterback was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and was the first African American Lettermen of Distinction at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2006, he was recognized posthumously with a proclamation from the Allegheny County Council, and the Spirit of King Award from the Port Authority. For more see P. Jayes, "Memento recalls a different world," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/17/1983, p.14; see Everett Utterback in "Barney Berlinger leads Decathlon," The Bismarck Tribune, 04/26/1929, p.9; "Agency board institute is planned here," Altoona Mirror, 02/17/1950, p.1&4; see Everett Utterback in Urban Renewal in Selected Cities, Nov.4-Dec.31, 1957, U.S. GPO; see Everett Utterback in "Pitt to honor Olympic Champion John Woodruff, " The Courier [Pennsylvania], 05/11/1972, p.6; Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1977-1995; and contact the Allegheny County Council for the Proclamation to Everett Utterback dated January 12, 2006, Rich Fitzgerald, President.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Athletes, Athletics, Housing Authority, The Projects, Lawyers, Migration North, Track & Field, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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

Wallace, Theodore Calvin, Jr. "Ted"
Birth Year : 1941
Death Year : 2006
Judge Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. was born in Kimball, WV, and grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Theodore "Cal" Sr. and Bonnie Goddard Wallace. Judge Wallace was known as Ted. He left Kentucky and eventually settled in Detroit, MI, in 1973, where he served as judge of the 36th District Court for seven years. He had been a member of the Michigan House of Representatives beginning in 1988 when he won a special election to fill the last two months of Representative Virgil Smith's term. Rep. Wallace was then elected to the House of Representatives and served for 10 years. He was also a member of the Michigan Law Revision Commission beginning in 1993. Ted Wallace had a law practice for 17 years. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from Wright State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam, and he served in the Michigan National Guard. For more see E. Lacy, "Confident, easy going judge was a joker, but took care of business," The Detroit News, 01/24/2006; and W. R. Knox, "Michigan House of Representatives: new members," Public Sector Reports, 01/27/1989, pp.1-2.

For more about the Wallace Family in Lexington, KY, the oral history recording by Thomas C. Wallace, brother to Judge Ted Wallace, is available within the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. See also the oral history recordings for Cal Wallace and Edgar Wallace. See also the NKAA entries for Thomas C. Wallace and Leula Wallace Hall.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Judges, Legislators (Outside Kentucky)
Geographic Region: Kimball, West Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Warner, Andrew Jackson
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1920
Born in Washington, KY, Andrew Warner was the son of Rueben Warner, a freeman, and Emily Warner, a slave. Andrew was also a slave, he escaped to Ripley, OH, at the age of 13 and enlisted in the Union Army as a drummer boy. He received an honorable discharge and later became a student at Wilberforce College [now Wilberforce University]. Warner had also studied law and was the leading attorney in the Bishop Hillery case [within the Kentucky Conference] in Hendersonville, KY. Warner became Bishop of the A. M. E. Zion Church in Philadelphia, PA, in 1908. He was a candidate for the U.S. Congress from the 1st District of Alabama in 1890, a delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention in St. Louis, MO, in 1896, and a nominee for Governor of Alabama in 1898. The Warner Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Wilmington, NC, was named in his honor. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915Rev. Andrew J. Warner, D.D. in One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church... by J. W. Hood [full text available at UNC Documenting the American South website]; and Andrew Jackson Warner in History of the American Negro, North Carolina Edition (v.4) by A. B. Caldwell [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Lawyers, Military & Veterans, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Washington, Mason County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Alabama / St. Louis, Missouri

Washington, Roy L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1953
Roy L. Washington was born in Lovelaceville, KY, the son of Isam M. Washington and Arbella Weeks. When he was a teenager, Roy Washington left Kentucky for southern Illinois, where he married Bertha Spence Jones (1898-1980). The couple later moved to Chicago, two of the more than 50,000 African Americans who had left the South by 1920 to settle in Chicago. The couple had four children, 2-6 years old, when Bertha separated from Roy. He retained custody of the children while earning $15 per week at the stockyard and attending Chicago-Kent College of Law at nights. Bertha lived nearby and assisted with the raising of the children. She would later marry Ernest Price, and they would have six children. Roy Washington received his law license in 1923, and he too remarried. Washington developed his law practice and was also a minister who preached at various churches in Chicago. He would become the Democratic Party precinct captain in the Third Ward and was also a police court prosecutor. When Roy Washington died in 1953, his youngest child, Harold Washington (1922-1987), took over his precinct position. Harold Washington also served as the Democratic representative to the Illinois State Legislature, 1965-1976; state senator, 1976-1980; and house member, beginning in 1980. He was the first African American mayor of Chicago, 1983-1987 (he died during his second term). Harold Washington was the brother of Ramon Price (1930-2000), Chief Curator of Du Sable Museum of African American History in Chicago. For more see J. Camper, et al., "The road to city hall, a half-century of black political evolution set the stage for the Harold Washington revolution," Chicago Tribune, 11/16/1986; Pinderhughes, D., "Washington, Harold." Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History, pp. 2267-2268; and The Ancestry of Mayor Harold Washington (1922-1987) by C.G. Brasfield.
Subjects: Fathers, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Mayors
Geographic Region: Lovelaceville, Ballard County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

White, Albert S., Sr. and Sally J. Seals
Albert S. White, Sr. (1869-1911), was born in Kentucky, the son of Albert and Jane Buckner White. He was an attorney and dean of Louisville (KY) Central Law School, where he served from 1896-1911. He fought for African American voting rights; when White and others insisted on voting in the 1890s, they were beaten by Louisville police officers. White was a graduate of State University [Simmons, KY] and Howard University Law School. In 1902 he was appointed a U.S. Revenue Agent following the election of Kentucky's first Republican governor, William O. Bradley. White was unsuccessful in his quest to be named the Minister to Liberia. He was killed by Louis A. Evans in a dispute over the removal of personal belongings at the Lyric Theater, located at 13th and Walnut Streets in Louisville. His wife, Sally J. Seals White (b.1868 or 1871 in KY), was the first woman to graduate from Central Law School, where she was also an instructor. In 1904, she became the first African American woman to be admitted to the Kentucky Bar. White had a bachelor's degree from Fisk University. For more see Central Law School Alumni Information, a University of Louisville website; C. B. Lewis, "Louisville and its Afro-American citizens," Colored American Magazine, vol. 10 (no.3-4), pp. 259-265; Life Behind a Veil, by G.C. Wright; Emancipation: the making of the Black Lawyer, 1844-1944, by J. C. Smith; "Negro woman admitted to bar...," The Landmark, 09/23/1904, p. 3 (also in Marshall Expounder, 09/23/1904, p. 2); and "Albert S. White is shot to death," Lexington Leader, 07/22/1911, p.8. See also the entry for Central Law School.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Voting Rights, Lawyers, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

White, Paul Dunbar
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 1997
White, a minister, was born in LaGrange, KY, the son of Reverend Isham H. White and Florence Harris White. In 1963, Paul D. White was the first African American judge elected [never appointed] to the Cleveland Municipal Court. He also served as Director of Law in Cleveland when he was hired in 1967 by Carl B. Stokes, the first African American mayor of a major city in the U.S. In 1968, White became the first African American lawyer in a major Cleveland firm, Baker & Hostetler, and was made partner in 1970. The firm established the Paul D. White Scholarship in 1997. Paul D. White was a 1940 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], where he played on the championship football team as a fullback, then later played professionally for one season in Indianapolis. White was also a 1950 graduate of Western Reserve Law School [now Case Western Reserve University, School of Law] and following his graduation, was hired by Kentucky native and Cleveland attorney Jean Capers. For more see The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; and the The Plain Dealer articles - - R. M. Peery, "Paul Dunbar White, 79, Judge, City Law Director," 09/26/1997, Obituaries, p. 11B, and P. Morris, "The judge inspired, but he never knew," 09/30/1997, Editorials & Forum section, p. 9B.
Subjects: Football, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Judges
Geographic Region: La Grange, Oldham County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Williams, Erica Lee
Birth Year : 1977
Judge Erica Lee Williams is a district court judge in Louisville, KY, division 17. She was first appointed a judge in 2009 by Kentucky Governor Steve Breshear, and in 2010, Judge Williams defeated A. Christian Ward by about 200 votes to retain her judgeship [source: J. Riley, "3 African-American appointees elected," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/03/2010, p.K.8, News section]. Judge Williams is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky Law School [source: M. Fernandez, "STYLEMAKER; The accent's on smile," Louisville Courier-Journal, 11/28/2009, p.S.4].

 

  See photo image and additional information about Judge Erica Lee Williams at Business First website.

 
Subjects: Lawyers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

Return to the search page.