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

Mason, William

(born: 1917) 

William Mason, Jr. was born in Eminence, KY, where Mason Avenue is named in his honor for his civic and civil rights activities in the city. He fought for Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to be a paid holiday for city employees and was an active member of the effort to integrate the public schools during his tenure as city council member from 1963-1971. He started the first integrated boy scout troop in Eminence.

Mason served with the U.S. Navy during World War II. He is also thought to be the first African American student at the University of Louisville; he is a graduate of Kentucky State.

On Mason's 100th birthday, May 19, 2017, Eminence Mayor Drane Stephens presented the key to the city to him and by proclamation dedicated the day to him. He died Nov. 14, 2020, at the age of 103. (See his obituary at

For more see B. Schanding, "Mr. Mason," Henry County Local, vol. 131, issue 10 (2/6/2008), Main section, pp. 1A & 4A; and C. Brooke, "Eminence celebrates Mason's 100th," Henry County Local.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henry County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Eminence, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Henry County local (newspaper)
NKAA Entry: African American Schools in Henry County, KY

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Mason, William,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-25 15:26:30