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

Ferguson, Denver and Sea (brothers)

(born: Feb. 19, 1895 (Denver)
Dec. 22, 1899 (Sea)  -  died: May 11, 1957 (Denver)
Mar. 3. 1974 (Sea)) 

Denver Darious Ferguson and Sea Ferguson were born in Brownsville, KY, the sons of Samuel H. and Mattie Whitney Ferguson.

Denver was a journalist who established The Edmonson Star News. He was a World War I veteran who moved to Indianapolis, IN in 1919; he owned a printing company there. Sea, a college graduate, followed his brother to Indianapolis and worked at his printing company.

The brothers would leave the printing business and around 1931 begin establishing entertainment businesses on Indiana Avenue: Trianon Ballroom, Royal Palm Gardens, the Cotton Club, and Sunset Terrace Ballroom. They also established Ferguson Brothers' Booking Agency, which brought many big-name African American entertainers to Indianapolis as well as some lesser known names, including Kentucky natives Jimmy Coe and Gene Pope. The Ferguson brothers also owned the Ferguson Hotel.

The brothers are recognized for making Indianapolis a major stop on the African American entertainment circuit. Denver was said to be quite a wealthy man up to World War II [source: "Denver Ferguson, pioneer businessman dies," Indianapolis Record, 5/18/1957,  pp. 1 & 7].

Sea Ferguson is said to have become a millionaire as a result of his real estate business. He was also an officer with the The National Negro Bowling Association (NNBA). Sea is said to be the 3rd African American to build a bowling center: Ferguson's Fun Bowl opened in March 1941 at 750 N. West Street in Indianapolis.

For more see "Sea Ferguson's Fun Bowl," The African Diaspora Archaeology Network, March 2008 Newsletter, p. 9 [online .pdf]; "Ferguson Brothers" in the Encyclopedia ofr Indianapolis; and "Indiana Avenue and 'The Chitlin' Circuit'" at the NUVO website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Edmonson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Brownsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Edmonson star news (newspaper)
NKAA Entry: Coe, James R. "Jimmy" [Jimmy Cole]
NKAA Source: The Indianapolis recorder (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Pope, Gene

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Ferguson, Denver and Sea (brothers),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-05-25 16:38:52