From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Taylor, James H.

(born: 1837  -  died: May 12, 1901) 

James H. Taylor came to Louisville, KY around 1867, becoming the first African American mortician in Louisville. His undertaking business was one of the leading three for African Americans; the other two were owned by The Fox Brothers and Minnie and William Watson. Taylor's business was later merged with R. C. Fox's [The Fox Brothers]. He continued as an undetaker until his death in 1901.

Taylor was also a grocer, according to p. 343 in Edward's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1870.

He had been enslaved, held by a Dr. Taylor, according to his 1867 U.S. Freeman's Bank Record (Ancestry). Taylor was born in James City County, VA. He was a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, having served with the 42nd U.S. Colored Infantry. He  died in Louisville, where he is buried in Eastern Cemetery.

For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.; and the James H. Taylor entry in Find A Grave.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Taylor, James H.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-05-25 16:44:33