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

Whedbee, Bertha P.

(born: 1876  -  died: 1960) 

Bertha Whedbee is considered the first African American woman police officer to be hired by the Louisville (KY) Police Department, March 22, 1922. Whedbee had campaigned for the position by circulating a petition that was signed by voters. Her employment came with the stipulation that she work only with members of her race.

Whedbee was born in West Virginia and was the wife of Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee (1863-1940, born in North Carolina). The couple married in 1898 and lived at 2832 West Chestnut Street in Louisville, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.

For more see the Louisville Division of Police, by M. O. Childress, Sr.; and "Louisville Police Department," by M. O. Childress in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, by J. E. Kleber.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Whedbee, Bertha P.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-09-21 16:15:46