<1st African American Families in Town>
Return to search page.
Ballard, John and Amanda
John (1830-1905) and Amanda Ballard (b. 1840-died before 1900) were the first African Americans to settle in the hills above Malibu; the site, Negrohead Mountain [a refined version of the name], was named in recognition of the Ballards early pioneering presence in the area. There was an effort underway to rename the peak Ballard Mountain. John Ballard, a former slave from Kentucky, was a blacksmith, a teamster, and a firewood salesman. He was a free man when the family arrived in Los Angeles in 1859. John was able to earn enough money to purchase 320 acres near Seminole Hot Springs, and the family later moved near Santa Monica. John helped found the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles; the services were first held in 1872 in the home of co-founder Biddy Mason. Mason, like Ballard, had been a former slave; she won her freedom, along with 13 others, in an 1856 California court case. Mason settled in the city of Los Angeles. It is not known how John Ballard gained his freedom. When the Ballards moved to their mountain home, the family was sometimes harassed; their house was burnt down in an attempt to run them out of the area, but the Ballards refused to leave. John, and Amanda, who was born in Texas, first appear in the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had seven children according to the 1870 Census, all of whom were born in California. By 1900, John Ballard was a widow and his daughter Alice, who was a nurse, and two grandsons, were living with him. For more see Happy Days in Southern California, by F. H. Rindge [John Ballard is not referred to by name but rather as an "old colored neighbor"]; Heads and Tails -- and Odds and Ends, by J. H. Russell; B. Pool, "Negrohead Mountain might get new name," Los Angeles Times, 02/24/2009, Domestic News section; and R. McGrath, "Santa Monica peak renamed Ballard Mountain," Ventura County Star, 10/07/2009, Local section. For more on Biddy Mason see The Power of Place, by D. Hayden.
See video about John Ballard and the naming of Ballard Mountain, "Local activists responsible for 'Negrohead' Mountian name change," a thegriot.com/NBC News website.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Los Angeles, California
Barber, Paul Peter
Birth Year : 1850
Death Year : 1929
Barber was born in Louisville, KY, the child of slaves. His last name was Smith until he was 4 years old, when Barber was sold to Philetus Swift Barber. On the Barber Farm in Bardstown, KY, Paul learned to train, ride, race, and care for the horses. He went to Ottawa, Canada, around 1885, one of the first African Americans to become a permanent resident of Ottawa. In 1892 he married Elizabeth Brown, a white woman twenty years younger than he. Their marriage is thought to have been the first interracial marriage in Ottawa. They had five children: Paul Jr., John (Jack), Joe, Tom, and Mary. Paul Barber, Sr. supported his family with wages from his job as a horse trainer. When the automobile replaced the horse, Barber worked as a laborer for the city of Ottawa. For more see T. Barber, "The Kentucky gentleman was a pioneer black resident," The Ottawa Citizen (newspaper), 02/05/2001, p. D4.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / Ottawa, Canada
Ben (former slave)
Cleveland, OH, was founded in 1796. Ben, an escaped slave who had lived on the Young Farm in Kentucky, is recognized as the first African American in Cleveland. He came to the city in 1806 after the family he was with drowned in a lake and Ben almost froze to death. It was thought that Ben left Cleveland and moved to Canada. His story, including his near capture, are told on p. 12 of Cleveland's Harbor, by J. C. Ehle, W. D. Ellis, and N. A. Schneider. An earlier account can be found on pp.339-343 in the Early History of Cleveland Ohio by C. Whittlesey [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio / Canada
Blackmon, George Z.
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1936
George Blackmon was born in Fulton County, KY. He can be found in the census records from 1910-1930, living in Clayton, Custer County. Blackmon is remembered as a pioneer miner in Idaho where several areas are named for him: Washington Basin, Washington Creek, Washington Peak, and Blackman Peak. Blackmon, said to have been a slave at one time, came to Idaho in the mid to late 1870s with a group of miners. Gold and silver had been discovered in Idaho in the 1860s, and the prospect of riches drew many miners to the state. George W. Blackmon worked claims in the Fourth of July Creek and basin areas using a pickax and a mule. He was still mining in the 1930s. The correct spelling of George Z. Blackmon's name, and his birth and death dates, and birth location were provided by James Ridenour, a researcher in Washington state. According to Ridenour's article "The Man Who Became a Mountain," Blackmon was educated and articulate; he had been educated by a white family in Iowa. He also played the fiddle. Blackmon is buried in Clayton Cemetery. For more about Blackmon's life see J. Ridenour's article in Idaho Magazine, vol.7, issue 12, September 2008, pp.51-56; Southern Idaho Ghost Towns, by W. C. Sparling; Sawtooth Tales, by D. D'Easum; and Idaho Place Names, by L. P. Boone.
Subjects: Migration West, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Clayton, Custer County, Idaho
Birth Year : 1821
George Brent was born near Greensburg, KY; he and his parents were slaves owned by Louis C. Patterson. Brent's father gained his freedom and moved to Lexington, KY, where he secured a note for the purchase of his son. George Brent then moved to Lexington, was employed as a blacksmith and became a freeman when he paid off the note of $1,200 at the end of three years. A year prior to his freedom, George Brent married Mildred Smith, a free born woman from Campbellsville, KY. In 1837, the Brent family moved to Illinois, eventually settling in Springfield at 1417 East Adams Street. Springfield had become the capital of Illinois in 1837 thanks to the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and several others. The Brent family was among the first African Americans to settle in Sangamon County. George Brent became an ordained minister in 1864 and the following year was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Springfield. The church was formerly known as the Colored Baptist Church, that was started in 1838 [more information at the Zion Missionary Baptist Church website]. The first church building was constructed under the directorship of Rev. George Brent. He and three others made the bricks from which the church was built; Rev. Brent and the three men were owners of the brick yard. Rev. Brent was pastor of the Zion Baptist Church until 1887. George and Mildred Brent had four children in 1870, according to the U.S. Federal Census, February of that year, two of the children were killed when they were struck by lightning [see George Brent at Find A Grave]. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities by Inter-State Publishing Company (Chicago) [full-text available at Google Book Search]; and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
*The last name is spelled as Brents and Brentz in the census records.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Blacksmiths, 1st African American Families in Town, Free African American Slave Owners
Geographic Region: Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois
Calloway, Ernest Abner
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1989
Calloway was a writer, a union organizer and advocate, a civil rights activist, a politician, and an educator. He was born in Herberton, WV, and came to Letcher County, KY, with his family in 1913. They were one of the first African American families in the coal mining community in Letcher County. His father helped organize the first Local United Mine Workers Union. In 1925, Calloway ran away to Harlem [New York City]. Within a few years he returned to Kentucky and worked in the coal mines. Beginning In 1930, Calloway was a drifter for three years, traveling throughout the U.S. and Mexico before returning to Kentucky to work in the coal mines again. It would be Calloway's writing that would help him leave Kentucky for good. He had written an article on the use of marijuana and submitted it to Opportunity magazine. The article was rejected, but Calloway was asked to write an article on the working conditions of Negro coal miners in Kentucky. The article was published in March 1934, resulting in Calloway being offered a scholarship to Brookwood Labor College [info] in New York. He would go on to help establish and influence many union organizations. Early in his career, he developed the Virginia Workers' Alliance; organized the Chicago Redcaps [railroad station porters] and the United Transport Employee Union; and assisted in the writing of the resolution for the development of the Committee Against Discrimination in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Calloway was the first African American to refuse military service because of racial discrimination. In 1955, he was president of the St. Louis, MO, NAACP Branch. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 1968 and was a part time lecturer at St. Louis University in 1969. For a more detailed account of Calloway's career, see the "Ernest Abner Calloway" entry in the Dictionary of Missouri Biography, by L. O. Christensen; and the Ernest Calloway Papers, 1937-1983 in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Migration East, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Union Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Herberton, West Virginia / Letcher County, Kentucky / New York / Chicago, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri
Chambers, Greenberry and Charlotte
Greenberry Chambers, from Barren County, KY, and a former slave, is recognized as the first permanent settler of Blaine Township in Minnesota. Chambers was a fugitive slave in 1864 when he joined Company H of the 15th U.S. Colored Infantry. After the Civil War, Chambers gathered his wife Charlotte and their five children and moved to Minnesota, where he purchased 160 acres of land thought to be totally useless. The family farmed the land for almost a decade before moving to St. Paul. Charlotte Chambers died in 1884 and Greenberry died in 1898. For more about the Chambers family see Circle Pines & Lexington, Minnesota by S. Lee; History of Upper Mississippi Valley by N. H. Winchell, et al.; and "The Story of Greenberry Chambers" at the City of Blaine website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Barren County, Kentucky / Blaine and Saint Paul, Minnesota
Coles County, Illinois [Anthony and Jane Bryant]
The African American settlers of Coles County, Illinois, came from Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, all around 1840. The settlers from Kentucky included Isom and Lucy Anne Bryant (Lucy was from Kentucky); the Derixson (or Derrickson) Family, escaped slaves from Nicholas County, Kentucky; and Mr. and Mrs. George Nash (George was from Kentucky). A famous slavery case that took place in Coles County involved Anthony Bryant, a free man, and his wife Jane Bryant, a slave, and her four children [some sources say six children]. Slave owner Robert Matson, from Bourbon County, wanted to take Jane and the children from Coles County back to Kentucky, and he enlisted the help of lawyers U. F. Binder and Abraham Lincoln. Matson lost the case, and the Bryant Family moved to Liberia, Africa. For more see History of Negro Slavery in Illinois and of the Slavery Agitation in that State, by N. D. Harris (1904); and J. W. Weik, "Lincoln and the Matson Negroes," Arena, v.17, 1896-97 Dec-Jun, pp.752-758 [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Freedom, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Migration North, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Court Cases, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Nicholas County, Kentucky / Bourbon County, Kentucky / Coles County, Illinois / Liberia, Africa
Edson, Edward Frank and Mary M.
According to Northwest Black Pioneers: a centennial tribute, Edward (b.1863 in Kentucky) and Mary Duvall Edson (b.1866 in Tennessee) were two of the early African American pioneers in urban Tacoma, Washington. The Edsons had been living in Kentucky and resettled in California before moving to Washington in 1889. Mr. Edson owned a barber shop and Mrs. Edson was a music teacher. The couple, who lived at 1422 K Street, helped establish the Allen A.M.E. Church. For more see "Tacoma" on page 38 of Northwest Black Pioneers: a centennial tribute, by R. Hayes.
Subjects: Barbers, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / California / Tacoma, Washington
Fergus Falls (Otter Tail County, Minnesota)
Around 1849, 40 free African Americans, most from Virginia and Kentucky, arrived near what is today St. Paul, Minnesota. Minnesota had recently been organized as a territory, and small groups of Kentuckians would continue to make their way to the area for the next half century. In 1896, real-estate agents distributed fliers to Kentucky African American veterans visiting the fairgrounds in St. Paul; the fliers highlighted Fergus Falls as a good settlement area. About 50 African Americans from Kentucky moved to Fergus Falls in 1897, joining others who had been there since the end of the Civil War. The community was described in a newspaper article as "the first exclusive Colored colony in Minnesota." The family of activist Mary Lee Johnson, who was born in Kentucky, moved to the area sometime after 1910. The lack of suitable homesteads and employment led many to leave the area. By 1970 only 15 residents remained in the African American community of Fergus Falls. For more see the quote in the article "Colored colony," Illinois Record, 05/14/1898, p.2; African Americans in Minnesota, by D. V. Taylor; and P. Miller, "Activist Mary Lee Johnson dies," Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities, 10/12/1997, News section, p. 7B.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Communities, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Virginia / Kentucky / Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, Minnesota
Birth Year : 1838
Death Year : 1910
Pierson Fountain and his family were among the earliest settlers in Harlan, Iowa, and later in Douglas, Iowa. Pierson Fountain owned 200 acres of land in Douglas, and he and his family were the only African Americans in Shelby County, Iowa. Pierson was a farmer and his wealth came from working the land. He was said to be one of the most influential men in the area. Pierson Fountain was born in Meade County, KY, the son of William and Maria Fountain according to author E. S. White [source: Past and Present of Shelby County, Iowa, v.2. by E. S. White, pp.876-877]. The family was enslaved in Kentucky and Pierson escaped to Indiana [source: The Barber and Lacey Families of Kirkman, Iowa by D. Williams]. According to author E. S. White, Pierson Fountain left Kentucky in 1861 and lived in Noblesville, IN. On May 31, 1863, Pierson Fountain enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Infantry [source: U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records]. After his discharge from the Army, Pierson Fountain, his wife Elizabeth Ann Roberts Fountain, and their son Augustus, were living in Harlan, Iowa, with Charles Kidd [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. Charles Kidd was a white man, which may have played into the entire household being listed as white in the census. Also, author E. S. White did not mention in his book that Pierson Fountain was a black man. In the census records, 1880-1910, the Fountain family is listed as Black. In 1900, Charles Kidd was again living with the family and was listed as white in the census. Pierson and Elizabeth Fountain were the parents of four children, Augustus, Ida, Jessie, and Edward. Pierson Fountain was a member of the G. A. R. and he was a Mason. For more see "Prominent colored man," Evening World-Herald, 08/18/1910, p.3.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Meade County, Kentucky / Harlan and Douglas, Iowa
Gordon, Mary Ann Goodlow
Birth Year : 1853
Death Year : 1924
Gordon was born on the Poindexter Plantation in Bourbon County, KY, during slavery. As a free person, Mary Ann Goodlow Gordon and her husband, John Francis Gordon, eventually settled in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. They were the only African American family in the town. John Gordon died in a train wreck around 1895 while on his way to work in the gold fields in Alaska. He died shortly before their sixth and last child was born. The child, [Emmanuel] Taylor Gordon (1893-1971), would become a well-known Negro spiritual singer. Taylor Gordon began his career in vaudeville and later performed with J. Rosamond Johnson in the 1920s and 1930s. For more information see Born to Be, by T. Gordon; and the Emmanuel Taylor Gordon Papers at the Montana Historical Society Research Center.
Subjects: Fathers, Migration West, Mothers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, 1st African American Families in Town, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Bourbon County, Kentucky / White Sulphur Springs, Montana
Harrison, Nathaniel "Nate"
Birth Year : 1819
Death Year : 1920
Nate Harrison was an African American man from Kentucky who was referred to as the first white man on Palomar Mountain. He was actually the first man who was not Native American to live on the mountain. There is a monument to Harrison near the spring where he built his cabin. It was thought that Harrison had been a slave brought to the West around 1848, and who had escaped from his owner and hidden in the mountains. He didn't talk much about his life in Kentucky. Nate knew all of the Palomar Mountain trails and had provided spring water to those on the trails. Others in the area knew of his existence, but Nate Harrison was not named in the U.S. Federal Census. When Nate got so feeble that he could not take care of himself, members of the African American community in San Diego took Nate from his mountain cabin and placed him in the San Diego County Home for the Aged. He died soon after being placed in the home and was buried in a pauper's field. For more see V. S. Bartlett, "Uncle Nate of Palomar" [available .pdf online at the Peter Brueggeman, Palomar Mountain History Resources website].
See photo image and additional information about Nate Harrison at the San Diego State University website.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Palomar Mountains, California
Hathaway, Quinella Watson
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 2000
Hathaway was born in Kentucky, the daughter of Thomas and Helen J. Watson. Her family moved to Indiana, Chicago, and then Maywood, IL, in 1907. She was the only African American student in both her elementary and high school graduating classes; the Watson Family was among the first African American families to live in Maywood. Hathaway was also one of the first African American students at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her husband, Walter Hathaway, was the first trustee in Maywood. Quinella W. Hathaway was the grandmother of Glenn "Doc" Rivers, former NBA basketball player and coach of the 2008 NBA champions, the Boston Celtics. For more see L. Roche, "Living legend hits 100," Maywood Herald, 06/16/1999, Local News section, p. 8; and the "Ruth L. Sampson" obituary in the Maywood Herald, 03/23/2005, news section, p. 69.
Subjects: Migration North, 1st African American Families in Town, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Maywood, Illinois
Joice, James and Jemima
In 1863, James Joice (1807-1872), an escaped slave from Kentucky, was a cook and valet for Lt. Addison B. Partridge of the Union Army. When Partridge left the army, Joice followed him to Freemont Township in Illinois. Two years later, James returned to Kentucky and brought his wife, Jemima (1824-1920), and their children, Asa (d. 1924) and Sarah (d. 1941), up North. They were the first African American settlers in Ivanhoe, IL. Asa would become the first African American elected to public office in Lake County. The family remained in the community and are all buried in the Ivanhoe Church Cemetery. For more see Daily Herald articles, "First Black settlers found home in Fremont Township," 02/08/1997, Neighbor section, p. 1; and "Joices play important role in history," 02/21/1999, Neighbor section, p. 1. See also "A touch of the past," Chicago Tribune, Magazine section, p. 7.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Kentucky / [Freemont Township] Ivanhoe, Lake County, Illinois
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 read about the Millers and their home at Historic Madison, Inc.; and "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
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1925
Tom Scott, born in Bourbon County, KY, was a survivor of the Saltville Massacre [the murders of wounded African American Union soldiers who were buried in a single grave], which took place in Virginia during the Civil War. Scott was an escaped slave who became a member of the U.S. 5th Colored Cavalry, having joined up in Lebanon, KY. After the war, he relocated to Rocky Springs, MS, and, according to his great-granddaughter, was one of the first African Americans to own land in Claiborne County. In 2000, a permanent marker was placed on Scott's grave, located in the cemetery next to the Second Union Baptist Church, where Scott had been a deacon. Additional information from University of Kentucky Anthropology Researcher Nancy O'Malley: As a slave, Tom Scott was owned by James Scott of North Middletown, KY. Tom Scott was the husband of Phillis Ann Risk, who was owned by Thomas West Brooks. Tom and Phillis Scott had four children when Tom enlisted in the Army. This information comes from the military muster rolls, a copy of which is available at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort, KY. James Scott had 27 slaves, according to the 1860 U.S. Federal Census. Tom Scott would have been about 16 years old in 1860; there is a black male, aged 16, listed in James Scott's slave census. For more see "Memorial service in Mississippi to honor Kentucky slave-turned -soldier," The Associate Press State & Local Wire, 12/02/2000, State and Regional section; and The Saltville Massacre, by T. D. Mays.
Nancy O'Malley, Assistant Director
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
Subjects: Freedom, Military & Veterans, Migration South, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Rocky Springs, Mississippi
Thornton, James and Adeline Joyner
Mimi Lozano is the author of Black Latino Connection which includes the history of the family of Kentucky native James (1835-1911) and Adeline (1852-1940) Thornton. James was born a slave in Versailles, KY, and gained freedom when he joined the Union Army in 1864. He and other African American soldiers were sentenced for an attempted mutiny, and James received hard labor off the coast of Florida and was dishonorably discharged in 1866. He and his sons moved to Kerr County, Texas, where James married Adeline in 1871, she had been a slave in Florida. They would become the first African American landowners in Kerr County. Together they had thirteen children, some of whom migrated to Canada, and their son David migrated to Guadalajara, Mexico in 1901. For more see the Black Latino website at somosprimos.com and contact Mimi Lozano.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Dry Tortugas, Florida / Kerr County, Texas / Guadalajara, Mexico
Birth Year : 1842
Death Year : 1892
Hagar Tucker, from Kentucky, was the first African American police officer in Fort Worth, TX. The police department had been formed in 1873. More than a century later, the Fort Worth Police Historical Association led the effort to replace Tucker's headstone in Trinity Cemetery. Tucker had been a slave owned by William B. Tucker, Sr. from Casey County, KY; he had moved his family and slaves to Fort Worth [then an army garrison] in 1852. They were among the earliest settlers of Tarrant County. William B. Tucker was elected sheriff in 1856, Office of District Clerk in 1858, and Justice of the Peace in 1862. Hagar Tucker was a free man in 1865, and he married Amy, also a former slave of William B. Tucker, Sr. Hagar Tucker became a landowner, registered to vote, and in 1873 was appointed a special policeman. When Hagar found other employment, there would not be another African American police officer in Fort Worth until the 1950s. In 2007, a Texas Historical Marker #12192 was placed at Hagar Tucker's grave site. For more on Hagar Tucker see B. R. Sanders, "Former slave has place in police history," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 03/25/2007, Metro section, p. B1. For more on William B. Tucker, Sr. see Tarrant County, Tx Sheriff: over 150 years service, by Turner Publishing Company, Tarrant County (Tex.) Sheriff's Office.
Subjects: Early Settlers, Freedom, Migration West, Corrections and Police, 1st African American Families in Town
Geographic Region: Casey County, Kentucky / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas