<Association of Colored Women's Clubs>
Return to search page.
Barnes, Margaret Elizabeth Sallee
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1947
Margaret E. S. Barnes, born in Monticello, KY, later moved to Oberlin, OH. She was editor of the Girl's Guide and of the Queens' Gardens, official publication of the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. The organization was developed in the early 1930s by Barnes, who also served as the president. Barnes also was in charge of a million dollar drive for funds at Wilberforce University; in 1939 she had been appointed a trustee at Wilberforce by Ohio Governor John Bricker. A building on the campus was named in her honor and Barnes received an honorary doctor of humanties degree. She was a leader among African American women in the Republican Party and was a delegate-at-large for the Republican State Convention in 1940. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club, established in 1930, was named in her honor. The club belonged to both the national and the Ohio Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. One of the organization's efforts was to provided college scholarships for the outstanding African American student in the graduating class at Elyria [Ohio] High School. The Margaret Barnes Welfare Club was the oldest African American women's club in Elyria and was still functioning in the 1990s. Margaret E. Barnes was a 1900 graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University], and taught school for four years in Harrodsburg, KY, before marrying James D. Barnes and moving to Oberlin, OH, in 1904. She was the mother of five children, one of whom was Margaret E. Barnes Jones. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44; Records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, 1895-1992, part 1, ed. by L. S. Williams (.pdf); and C. Davis, "Barnes club helps black youngsters achieve goals," Chronicle Telegram, 06/05/1990, p.9.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Mothers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky / Oberlin, Ohio
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1939
Ella Berry was born in Stanford, KY, and grew up in Louisville. She was the daughter of Dave Tucker and Mathilda Portman [source: Chicago Death Record, for Ella Berry]. Berry moved to Chicago where she was one of the leading African American women political and social activists. She would become president of the Cornell Charity Club, she had been a member of the organization since 1913. She was a suffragist and became the state organizer of the Hughes Colored Women's Clubs of the National Republican Headquarters in 1919. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden appointed her an investigator for the Chicago Commission on Race Relations. She was also president of the Women's Second Ward Protective League, and a federal census enumerator in 1920. Ella Berry was the first African American to be employed by the Chicago Department of Welfare, she was a home visitor. She was elected to the Order of the Eastern Star, and served three terms as president of the Grand Daughter Ruler of the Daughters of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, which was the highest office a woman could hold in the organization. Berry used her positions within the various organizations to campaign for African American votes and for women's votes during presidential elections. She traveled between Louisville and Chicago networking and making political connections between the two cities. Ella Berry was the wife of William Berry. For more see the Ella Berry entry and picture in chapter six in The Story of the Illinois Federation of the Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; For the Freedom of Her Race by L. G. Materson; and photo of Ella Berry [online] in the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Benevolent Societies, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
Bluster, Missouri Quisenberry
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1994
Missouri Quisenberry Bluster was a school teacher for more than 40 years at the Oliver School in Winchester, KY. For many of those years she taught first grade during the time Oliver was a segregated school for African American children. She is remembered as a disciplinarian who cared about the children. Bluster and her parents, William and Mamie Custard Quisenberry, were born in Winchester, KY. She was the wife of Rev. Climiton Bluster (1893-1961), who was born in Alabama. Missouri Bluster, a graduate of Kentucky State University and Wilberforce University, also served as president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women's Clubs. The Quisenberry family has been in Clark County since the early history of the state, and records of the African American Quisenberrys can be found in the slave schedules and birth records, including that of a baby girl born in 1853 to a slave woman and slave owner Roger Quisenberry. [Roger Quisenberry of Clark County owned at least 11 slaves, according to the 1850 slave schedule.] Several of the African American Quisenberry men served with the Colored infantries during the Civil War, and after slavery ended, the families settled in the communities of Blue Ball, Ford, Germantown, Kiddville, and Winchester. For more about Missouri Quisenberry Bluster, see A. D. Johnson, "Winchester teacher stressed discipline, love," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/09/1986, City/State section, p. B1.
Read about the Missouri Q. Bluster oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Communities, Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Blue Ball, Ford, Germantown, Kiddville, and Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky
Burroughs, Nannie H.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1961
Nannie Burroughs moved to Louisville, KY, in 1900 to become secretary and bookkeeper of the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention. That same year she founded the National Baptist Women's Convention. Burroughs was an activist for African American women's rights. When the National Training School for Women opened in 1909 in Washington, D.C., she became director and held the post for the rest of her life. Burroughs brought the cause for improvements in industrial conditions for African American women to the forefront of the National Association of Colored Women. She helped found the National Association of Wage Earners. For more see Biographical Dictionary of Modern American Educators, by F. Ohles, et al.; and African American Women: a biographical dictionary, by D. S. Salem.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Crawley, Elizabeth Gore Curtis "Lizzie Jane"
Birth Year : 1868
Elizabeth Crawley was a leader in the Colored Women's Movement in Chicago, IL, and was also an active member of social work and welfare efforts. She was chair of the executive board of the District Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and had chaired the organization's social improvement department. She was chair of the Ideal Women's Club, and was a board of directors member of the Phillis Wheatly Home. She was a chartered member of the Imperial Art Club, and chaired the East Side Woman's Club. Crawley was born Elizabeth Gore in Nelson County, KY, the daughter of James and Miranda Gore. The family moved to Louisville where Elizabeth attended school. Her first husband, William Curtis, died in 1899; the couple had a daughter and a son. Elizabeth and her children lived with her parents on Rose Lane in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, and Elizabeth was a laundry woman. She and her son moved to Chicago in 1903. She married Walter Crawley, from Virginia, in 1906 and her occupation is given as a dressmaker in the 1910 Census. By 1920, the household on E. 36th Street included Lizzie and her husband Walter, her son William Curtis and his wife Alma, their daughter Elizabeth, and Lizzie's widowed mother, Miranda Gore. The Crawleys are listed in the 1940 Census where it is noted that Elizabeth completed one year of high school and Walter completed four years. For more see the Lizzie Jane Crawley entry in chapter six of The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs by E. L. Davis; and Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.
See photo image of Lizzie Jane Crawley at the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
Fortson, Bettiola Heloise
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1917
Bettiola Fortson was a poet, essayist, and suffragist. She was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of James Fortson. At the age of nine, she was a boarder with the William Evans family on E. 13th Street in Hopkinsville, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. When she turned 12, she went to live with her aunt, Toreada Mallory, on Armour Avenue in Chicago, IL. When her aunt went abroad, Fortson lived with her mother, Mattie Arnold, in Evansville, IN, where she attended Clark High School. The family of four lived on Oak Street (Mattie, who was a widow, and her children Robert, Bettie, and James Jr.) [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. Bettiola Fortson would become a poet and was poet laureate of her high school class, she graduated in 1910, and returned to Chicago where she worked in the feather industry and owned her own millinery business. She was a journalist and president of the University Society Club, 2nd vice president of the Alpha Suffrage Club, and city organizer of the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was the author of the 1915 title Mental Pearls: original poems and essays. For more see Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer; Six Poets of Racial Uplift by E. T. Battle et. al.; Black American Writers Past and Present by T. G. Rush; and "Miss Bettiola Fortson," Broad Axe, 08/01/1914, p.2 [picture with article].
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Migration North, Poets, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Evansville, Indiana
Fouse, Elizabeth B. Cook
Birth Year : 1875
Death Year : 1952
Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse was an advocate for African American women's opportunities and equal rights. A schoolteacher who was active in social and religious activities, she served as president of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women and was founder of the Phillis Wheatley YWCA in Lexington, KY. She was a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. In 1944 Fouse was appointed by Governor Simeon Willis to serve on the Kentucky Commission for the Study of Negro Affairs. She was married to W. H. Fouse. For more see Jesus, Jobs, and Justice, by B. Collier-Thomas; and the Fouse Family Papers in the Kentucky Digital Library.
See photo images of Elizabeth B. Cook Fouse and others, in the Collection Inventory [click on links at the bottom of the page] in Explore UK.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Women's Groups and Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1857
Death Year : 1949
Emma Gaines was an African American leader who was a native of Kentucky and lived and died in Kansas. She led educational and social efforts as an officer of a number of organizations. For 30 years she was president of the Baptist Women's Convention of Kansas and was among the first members of the Kansas Federation of Colored Women's Clubs when it was formed in June of 1931. She was president of the General Missionary Society, president of the Mothers Conference, and held several other positions at Shiloh Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. She was also a delegate for 30 years to the National Baptist Women's Convention, founded by Nannie Burroughs in 1900. Emma Gaines was a member of the Woman's Home and Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention and was elected vice president in 1897. She was director of the Negro Festival Choir in Topeka and led the group through numerous performances in Topeka and surrounding cities. She was one of the first officers of the National Training School for Women founded in Washington, D. C. in 1909; the school was directed by Nannie Burroughs. Gaines was a Grand Chief Preceptress of the Pearly Rose Tabernacle No. 77, Daughters of the Tabernacle, and served as president of the Daughters of Liberty. In 1899, she was elected Queen Mother of the International Order of Twelve. Emma Gaines was the wife of Thomas Gaines; both were born in Kentucky and had been slaves. Their son, Benjamin P. Gaines, was also born in Kentucky. The family left Kentucky around 1887 and settled in Topeka, Kansas. Beginning in 1927, they were the owners of Gaines and Son Funeral Home, and in 1937, the family lived above the business at 1182 Buchanan Street. The business was initially located at 305 Kansas Street when the Gaines purchased it from the Topeka Undertaking Company, which was owned by the Goodwin family from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Emma Gaines died in 1949. In 1954, the cornerstone of the Gaines Memorial Chapel was put into place, marking the beginning of construction of the church that was named in honor of Emma Gaines. The church was located on Baptist Hill across the street from Kansas Technical Institute [which later merged with Kansas State University]. For more see "The Story of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gaines," Capital Plaindealer, 01/10/1937, p. 1; "The Baptist State Convention," Parsons Weekly Blade, 09/04/1897, p. 4; "Mrs. Emma Gaines...," Plaindealer, 09/29/1899, p. 3; "New organized undertaking firm has purchased former Topeka Undertaking Company," Plaindealer, 01/07/1927, p. 1; and "Lays cornerstone of Gaines Memorial Chapel," Plaindealer, 07/23/1954, p. 4.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Topeka, Kansas
Herod, Henry Louis and Elizabeth Frances
The Herods, Henry (1875-1935) and Elizabeth (1881-1953), were Kentucky natives: Elizabeth was born in Millersburg, and Henry may have been born there, also. The couple was married in 1899 and shared their home with Henry's 15 year old nephew, all living on W. 13th Street in Indianapolis, IN, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Henry was pastor of Second Christian Church, later known as Light of the World Christian Church; he was pastor for 37 years, 1898-1935. He is credited with increasing the membership and developing educational and cultural importance among the church members and advancing community projects. He was Superintendent of the Indianapolis Flanner House from 1925-1935. He was a political leader in Indianapolis and served as secretary of the Interracial Committee of the Council of Social Agencies. Henry was a member of the First Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Nu [see p. 46 of A History of the Washington (DC) Alumni Chapter 1911-1949 (.pdf format)]. Henry was a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Butler College, Department of Liberal Arts and Culture [now Butler University]. Elizabeth was also active in the community, serving as secretary of the Indiana Federation of Colored Women's Clubs and as president of the Indianapolis Federation of Colored Women's Clubs. She was also active with the Indianapolis YWCA and was a delegate to the national convention in 1924. For more see the Elizabeth Herod entry in "Kentucky Biographical Sketches" in Lifting as They Climb, by E. L. Davis; and "Indianapolis Y.W. representative to Buenos Aires here," The Indianapolis Star, 06/07/1924, p. 7. See Henry Herod in the Indiana Medical Journal, 1902, vol. 21, issue 1, p. 527 [available at Google Book Search]; and Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century, by E. L. Thornbrough and L. Ruegamer.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana
Hillman, Alice Louise
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1986
Hillman was born in Tennessee, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. She was a school teacher who began teaching when she was 15 years old. She taught in the Bourbon County, KY, schools for 21 years in addition to teaching in Fayette and Madison Counties, KY, and Columbia, TN. Hillman had also been active as a member of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women's Clubs, having served as president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer of the scholarship fund. She had also served as president of the Phillis Wheatley Charity Club, located in Paris, KY. Hillman's birth year is given as 1896 in the Social Security Death Index. She was the wife of grocery store owner Robert Hillman (1882-1967), who was born in KY. The couple lived on Mt. Sterling Road in Little Rock, KY. For more see J. Hewlett, "Teacher, civic leader Alice Hillman dies, Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries section, p. D11.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Little Rock and Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky
Kentucky Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Start Year : 1903
The National Association of Colored Women was established in Washington, D.C., in 1896 and incorporated in 1904. The Kentucky chapter was represented by the Kentucky State Association of Colored Women's Clubs, organized in 1903 and boasting a membership of 2,500 women in 112 clubs. Kentucky's membership was second only to Tennessee among the 21 states reporting statistics in 1935. The NACW adopted the motto "Lifting As We Climb" and was dedicated to the "moral, mental and material progress made by our people. " The Kentucky clubs specialized in "Fostering Day Nurseries, Hospitals, Old Folks Homes; Homes for Delinquent Girls, Building Club Houses and Community Centers." The Lexington chapter was responsible for founding the Phillis Wheatley Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), which participated in the nationwide "Good Homes Movement" and still operates in Lexington today. The Good Homes Movement encouraged home ownership and the maintenance of clean, comfortable living quarters. Better Homes Week was held in the spring and sponsored programs that included such activities as selecting, furnishing, and opening a model home; reconditioning older homes; teaching about home finance; and encouraging such community projects as the paving and lighting of streets and the construction of playground and recreation centers. An important department of the NACW was the "Mother, Home and Child Department." During the 1920s, the national chairmanship of this department was held by a prominent Lexington woman, Mrs. Lizzie B. Fouse. Under her leadership, pamphlets were produced on various subjects; one pamphlet declared "Around Mother, Home and Child is woven the web of civilization," and suggested that mothers organize into block circles or local clubs, adopt a slogan, read progressive literature on modern child-rearing practices, and "get busy and do something at once." From the Fouse Family Papers, M-839, Special Collections, King Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington. See also, Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women, by L. H. Smith [available full-text in the Kentucky Digital Library - Books]. For information on more current clubs, see M. Davis, "Women's Clubs past, present fills needs," Lexington Herald-Leader, 3/11/2004, Free Time section, p. E2.
This entry was researched, written and submitted by
William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology and
Office of State Archaeology
1020A Export Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky 40506
See photo image of the Artistic Ten, the club formed in 1909 in Frankfort, KY. Image on p. 12 in Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women.
Subjects: Women's Groups and Organizations, YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association), Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Kentucky
Macon, Theresa Gray
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1930
Theresa G. Macon was born in Louisville, KY, and is remembered for her work with the Colored women's clubs in Illinois. She was president of the Illinois and the Chicago Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, and a chartered member of the Ida B. Wells Club. Macon was recording secretary of the National Association of Colored Women. She was mentioned in the book, Lifting as They Climb, as one of the officers and committee members from Illinois who have contributed liberally to the national projects of the National Association of Colored Women. Theresa Macon was the wife of William Macon, who was a porter. The couple and Theresa's aunt, Ellen Rush, lived on W. 56th Street, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. Theresa Macon was the daughter of Seagmon and Jane Bush Gray [source: Illinois Deaths, and Still Births Index]. For more see the Theresa Macon entry in Toward a Tenderer Humanity and a Nobler Womanhood by A. M. Knupfer.
Subjects: Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois
Miller, Davie Della Bridges
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1946
Della Miller, a school teacher, insurance agent, civil rights activist, and club woman, was born in Harrodsburg, KY, the daughter of Robert and Fannie Johnson Bridges. She attended Wayman Institute, was a graduate of Central High School and Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. She was president of the Kentucky Conference Branch Women's Missionary Society, and also served as president of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women. She was Grand Royal Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star of Kentucky, and Grand Directress of the Household of Ruth in Kentucky. She was president of the Belle County (KY) NAACP, which was founded in 1940 and was part of the Regional NAACP of Eastern Kentucky. Miller was listed in The Crisis as one of the "First Ladies of Colored America." She and her husband, Dr. I. H. Miller, lived in Middlesboro, KY. Dr. Miller was a supervisor of the Colored Municipal Park in the West End of Middlesboro. The Della Miller African Scholarship Fund was established in honor of Della Miller by the AME Kentucky Conference Branch. The fund aided African students. For more see Mrs. Della Bridges Miller in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright; and Mrs. Della Bridges Miller on p.305 of The Crisis, October 1943 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky / Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky
Saffell, Daisy M. and George William Saffell
In 1912, Daisy Saffell (1875-1918), an "expert" embalmer in Shelbyville, KY, spoke on behalf of the National Negro Funeral Directors' Association during the 13th Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League in Chicago. Saffell estimated that there were 1,100 Colored undertakers and embalmers in the United States. [*Saffell is listed as a mulatto from Shelbyville, TN, in The Mulatto in the United States by E. B. Reuter, p.303* available full view at Google Book Search]. Saffell's death certificate lists Kentucky as both her birth and death location. She was born in Louisville, KY, where she attended school. She attended Roger Williams University and was later a graduate of Fisk University. Daisy Saffell taught for 15 years in Frankfort, KY, then left to become principal of the Lawrenceburg Colored School. She left teaching and enrolled in Clark's College of Embalming in Cincinnati, OH. With the completion of the program, Saffell became the second African American woman who was a licensed embalmer in Kentucky [Minnie Watson was first]. Daisy Saffell, who was an accomplished pianist, was editor of the Kentucky Club Woman, secretary of the District Household of Ruth of Kentucky, secretary of the Colored Funeral Director's Association of Kentucky, and treasurer of the National Association of Colored Funeral Directors. Daisy Saffell was the daughter of Lizzie Travis, and in 1897 became the wife of undertaker George William Saffell (1876-1953). Daisy's funeral arrangements were handled by Thomas K. Robb, and Robb's funeral arrangements were handled by George W. Saffell. George was born in Kentucky, the son of Addie Weisger Saffell and George Saffell, according to his death certificate. In 1900, he had been a barber teacher and Daisy was a school teacher, they lived in Frankfort, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1910, the couple had moved to Shelbyville, KY, where George was an undertaker and Daisy was a school teacher until she too became an undertaker. For more see "National Negro Funeral Directors' Association," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 13th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 21-23, 1912, reel 2, frames 575-576; "Mrs. Daisy Saffell" on p.291 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and "Race progress in Kentucky: broad achievements of Mrs. Daisy M. Saffell," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/22/1913, p.2.
See photo image of Daisy Saffel[l] at the bottom of the left hand column on p.42 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Negro Business League, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky
Semmes, LaVaughn "Bonnie" Taylor
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 2006
Semmes was born in Carrollton, KY, the daughter of Paul B. and Lucille Jackson Taylor. She grew up in Lafayette, IN. In 2000 she was named the Woman of the Year by the Fort Quiaterion Chapter of the American Business Women's Association. She was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by then Governor Joe Kernan; it is the highest award given by an Indiana governor. Semmes was also awarded the Marquis De Lafayette Award for Community Service. For more than 50 years she served as director of the Hanna Community Center, the Southside Community Center, and the Lincoln Community Center. She was also a board member of the Lafayette Housing Authority. Semmes was treasurer of Church Women United and was awarded the organization's Valiant Woman Award. She was an officer of the Dorcas Chapter No. 14, Order of Eastern Star and a former president and treasurer of the Mary L. Federated Colored Women's Club. For more see Journal and Courier articles, "Woman of the Year," 01/19/2000, Communities section, p. 3B; and "LaVaughn Bonnie Taylor Semmes," 12/21/2006, Obit section, p. 2B.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Housing Authority, The Projects, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Lafayette, Indiana
Smith, Elijah Strong
Smith, born in Henderson, KY, was a graduate of State University [later named Simmons College] in Kentucky. He moved to Alabama and was employed at the Union Mutual Aid Association in Mobile; the insurance company was started by C. F. Johnson, one of the wealthiest African American men in Alabama. Union Mutual Aid Association was incorporated in 1898, and had over $170,000 in income in 1913. Elijah Smith excelled within the company and after a short time was a district manager. He would soon become the district manager of the Tuscaloosa area. Smith was also president of the Negro Business Men's League in Tuscaloosa, a delegate to the national league in 1912, and secretary of the state league in 1916. He also held a number of positions within the Tuscaloosa Baptist Church and was president of the District Baptist Young People's Union and an advisory member of the Federation of Colored Women of Alabama. For more see "Elijah Strong Smith" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and for more on C. F. Johnson and the Union Mutual Aid Association see vol. 2, p. 208 of The Story of the Negro, by B. T. Washington [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and pp. 1134-1135 in the Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Alabama for year ending December 31, 1913 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Negro Business League, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Mobile and Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Smith, Lucy H.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1955
Lucy H. Smith was born in Virginia, then came to Kentucky in 1910 as an assistant school principal. She pushed for the study of Black history in schools. She was the second woman president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and served as principal of the Booker T. Washington School in Lexington, KY. [Maude S. Brown was the first woman president of KNEA.] Smith compiled the Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women [full-text available at the Kentucky Digital Library]. She earned her master's degree in education at the University of Cincinnati. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; Notable Black American Women, Book II; and "Mrs. Lucy Smith pioneered in Ky. education," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/11/1946, p. 13.
See photo image of Lucy H. Smith on [p. 5] of Pictorial Directory of the Kentucky Association of Colored Women.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration West, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Snowden, Leanna C. Holland and John B.
Leanna Snowden, born Leanna C. Holland in 1880 in Lexington, KY, was married to John B. Snowden, Jr. (1875-1944), one of the very few African American U.S. mail carriers in Kentucky. John Jr., also born in Lexington, KY, was the son of John Sr. and Ellen Buckner Snowden. He and Leanna were married in 1889. She was a teacher in the Lexington public schools for Negro children and also a community leader. Leanna was president of the Allen C. E. League and was an active member of several organizations connected to the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Lexington. She was the first president of the City Federation of Women's Clubs in Lexington and the first vice-president of the State Clubs. John and Leanna had a daughter, Leland Weldon Snowden (1900-1921), who attended Kentucky Negro Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University]. For more see Centennial Encyclopedia of the American Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others, Philadelphia, PA (1816), at the Documenting the American South website. Birth and death dates for the Snowdens were found in the Kentucky Death Records and the U.S. Federal Census (1900-1930).
See photo image of Leanna C. Snowden on p.211 in the Centennial Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Kentucky African American Churches, Postal Service, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Waring, Mary R. Fitzbutler
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1958
Mary R. Fitzbutler Waring was said to have been born in Louisville, KY, but according to the 1880 U.S. Census, she was born in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of doctors Henry and Sarah Fitzbutler. The family moved to the U.S. in 1875, and was living in Louisville in 1880. Waring would become a teacher at the Western Colored School, according to the 1890 Louisville City Directory. She was a 1894 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College. She married Frank B. Waring, her second husband, in 1901. According to the 1930 U.S. Census, the Warings were living in Chicago, where Mary was a physician, having graduated from the Chicago Medical College, and she was also a school teacher. She was the 1915 commissioner of the Chicago Exposition, showing progress of Colored People in Chicago, and she was the appointed representative of the National Council of Women of America. She served as president of the National Association of Colored Women, and she attended the International Council of Women in Norway in 1920. For more seeWho's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; Blacks in Science and Medicine by V. O. Sammons; and Notable Black American Women,Book II by J. C. Smith.
See photo image of Mary Fitzbutler Waring at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
See 1898 graduation photo image of Mary Fitzbutler at Explore UK.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Chicago, Illinois / Norway
Wesley, Charles H.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1987
Charles H. Wesley was born in Louisville, KY. He was the son of Matilda Harris Wesley, who was mistakenly listed as a widow in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when she and her son Charles lived on 9th Street with Matilda's father, Douglas Harris, and other family members. Matilda Harris Wesley was not a widow in 1900; her husband (or ex-husband) Charles Snowden Wesley is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as a single man; he was living with his parents, Mary H. and J. H. Taylor, on 9th Street in Louisville and was employed at an undertakers' business. Charles S. Wesley died in April of 1902 [according to information provided to Ms. C. P. Uzelac of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Center, Inc.] His death date is given as April 28, 1904 in the Kentucky Death Index for Jefferson County, KY. His son, Charles H. Wesley, received his B.A. from Fisk University in 1911, his M.A. from Yale in 1913, and a Ph.D in history from Harvard. Wesley was the third African American to receive a doctorate in history from Harvard. As a professor, he taught history and modern language at Howard University. He later became president of Wilberforce University and Central State College [now Central State University] in Ohio. Wesley was president of the Study of Negro Life and History, 1950-1965, and executive director up to 1972. He was an AME Church minister and elder. Wesley wrote a number of articles on the problems of Negro education in the United States. In 1927 he published Negro Labor in the United States, 1850-1925, and, in 1935, Richard Allen, Apostle of Freedom. Wesley wrote the history of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity for seven decades. His last book was The History of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 6th ed.; Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Current Biography. Additional information provided by C. P. Uzelac, Executive Director of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Center, Inc.
See photo image of Charles H. Wesley and additional information at BlackPast.org.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Historians, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / New Haven, Connecticut / Cambridge, Massachusetts / Washington, D.C. / Wilberforce, Ohio
Weston, Alice Victoria Henry and William Julius Sr.
In 1948, Alice Weston was buried in Paducah, KY. She was born in 1882 in Perry, NY, the daughter of Henry and Clara E. Henry Thomas. Her father had been an escaped slave from Mississippi, and her mother was the sister of distinguished Judge Edward W. Henry (1871-1946) in Philadelphia. Alice Weston was married to Dr. William Julius Weston (1875-1936) from Henderson, KY; they met while students at Howard University. The couple moved to Kentucky, where Dr. Weston practiced medicine at Hickman, Henderson, and Paducah. Victoria Weston completed her college degree at Kentucky State University and taught at Lincoln High School in Paducah for 20 years. She was one of the most influential teachers in the city and the state. Weston, who taught history, was the first teacher in Kentucky to develop and teach a formal course in African American history that was required of all students at Lincoln High. She served in several leadership positions within her church and led general church activities held in Paducah. She was an active member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and served as president of the Kentucky State Association of Colored Women, which was established in 1903. Victoria and William Weston had three children, all born in Kentucky: Clara Elizabeth (b. 1904), Alice Victoria (b. 1915), and William Julius, Jr. (1906-1945); William was a police officer in Washington, D.C., who was killed in the line of duty. For more see C. G. Woodson, "Alice Victoria Weston and her family," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 11, issue 9, pp. 195-198; William Julius Weston in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by D. S. Lamb [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Perry, New York / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
Williams, Lucille L. Brown
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1982
Born in Ghent, KY, Williams moved to Indiana, where she worked as a day nursery director, owned a grocery store, and was a social services director. She was also very active in social organizations, including being the founding member of the Lucille Lucas Williams Federated Club in 1952. The Lucille L. Williams Collection is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. For more see the "Lucille L. Williams" entry in the Guide to African-American History Materials in Manuscript Collections at the Indiana Historical Society.
Subjects: Businesses, Civic Leaders, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Ghent, Carroll County, Kentucky / Indiana
Woman's Industrial Club of Louisville (KY)
Start Year : 1900
The Woman's Industrial Club of Louisville was founded by Nannie Burroughs in 1900. It was described as a business, charitable, and industrial club housed in a building that the club rented in Louisville, KY. Attendance was initially free, then women who could afford it paid ten cents per week for the work and Burroughs took care of the rest. They made pies and cakes and sold them. In the afternoon and evenings, Burroughs instructed the women on professions such as millinery and she taught domestic science. During the day, the organization made and sold lunches to African Americans who worked in downtown Louisville. On the advice of a white woman who came to her aid financially, Burroughs increased the weekly tuition, and each student paid something, even if it was a penny. There were 40 clubs in Louisville, and the city was to host the next biennial meeting of the National Association of Colored Women. The Woman's Industrial Club of Louisville continued to grow, and Burroughs was forced to hire teachers and let other club members manage the school while she supervised. The club eventually purchased a twenty-room building for the classes, and it also provided rooms for women who were moving to Louisville for work. The Woman's Industrial Club of Louisville and the school existed at least during the nine year period that Burroughs was in Louisville. For more see Efforts for Social Betterment Among Negro Americans, A social study made by Atlanta University [available online at Google Book Search]; Fortress Introduction to Black Church History by A. H. Pinn and A. B. Pinn; and In the Vanguard of a Race by L. H. Hammond [available online at Google Book Search and Inernet Archive].
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Education and Educators, Women's Groups and Organizations, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky