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

Robb, Thomas K.

(born: 1862  -  died: 1932) 

Born in Frankfort, KY, Thomas K. Robb worked in lumber and was Yard Master at Burnside, Williamstown, and Louisville, all Kentucky communities. In 1896 he was elected Lumber Inspector for the Frankfort Penitentiary by the State Board of Sinking Fund Commissioners, beating out the other 11 competitors, who were all white. He and Lucas B. Willis were partners in an undertaker business in 1897, and Robb became the sole owner of the business in 1900 when Willis moved to Indianapolis [source: "Lucas B. Willis" on p.287 in Who's Who of the Colored Race edited by F. L. Mather]. According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Robb and several other members of his family lived with his mother and stepfather, Bias Combs, on East Main Street in Frankfort, and after opening his undertaker business, Robb lived on Lewis Street. In 1918, Robb's undertaker business and his livery stable were destroyed by fire, resulting in $5,000 in damages [source: "Kentucky Notes," The National Underwriter, 1918, v.22, p.11]. Robb rebuilt and continued to have a prosperous business. Thomas K. Robb was the son of Kate Kenney Robb Combs and James Robb, and the husband of Mary E. Jackson Robb. Mary and Thomas lived at 300 Clinton Street according to Thomas K. Robb's death certificate, and Thomas Robb's funeral was handled by undertaker George W. Saffell. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.

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“Robb, Thomas K.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:16