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

Snowden, Leanna C. Holland and John B.

Leanna Snowden, born Leanna C. Holland in 1880 in Lexington, KY, was married to John B. Snowden, Jr. (1875-1944). The couple owned 4 acres in Lexington, and John is included in the list of landowners in Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory, 1898-9, (p.1058).

John was one of the few African American U.S. mail carriers in Kentucky at the start of the 20th Century. He is listed in the U.S. Census as a mail carrier starting in 1900 and he was listed as a sub-carrier on p.470 of Polk's Lexington (Kentucky) City Directory, 1931-32. He was a member of the Pythian Blue Grass Lodge No.11, and would become the Grand Chancellor of the Colored Knights of Pythias of Kentucky in 1908. He was a member of the Lexington Emancipation Celebration Committee. Snowden's membership and participation in various organizations had continued after he was attacked by Alonzo M. Herring while delivering mail in Irishtown neighborhood in 1901. The Postmaster asked the courts to make an example of Herring because there had been so many attacks on letter carriers. The case was held over to federal court. 

In 1902, John B. Snowden served as secretary of the Sardis Lodge No.8, F. A. A. M. (Masons). He was also a member of the Zion Hill Booker T. Washington Club. The club had 190 members (men) from Scott, Fayette, and Woodford County, KY. The club met throughout the year to discuss race matters, and in 1905, they held their sixth annual banquet. John B. Snowden was also an actor and an entertainment manager. In 1908, he managed the Colored Knights of Pythias minstrel show and musical carnival held at the opera house in downtown Lexington. In 1901, he had played the role of "Sam" in the production of Paul L. Dunbar's play Clorinda at the first performance held in Lexington, KY. John B. Snowden was also employed as the agency director of the Liberty Life Insurance Company. He gave much to the community and the race. John B. Snowden died in 1944 and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington, KY. John B. Snowden, Jr., was born in Lexington, KY, the son of John Sr. and Ellen Buckner Snowden. 

Leanna C. Holland Snowden was a teacher at Russell School in Lexington, and in 1902, there was a political "shake up." The Democrat school board wanted to return to the conditions that existed before the Republican school board members took control of the Lexington schools. Leanna C. H. Snowden was one of eight African American teachers to be let go by the school board. The other African American teachers to be let go were Mary Hart, Anna Hawkins, Moses Lacey, Susie King, Effie Garvin, Sallie Daniels, and Anna Jones. Leanna Snowden would be rehired by the school system.

Leanna C. H. Snowden was also a community leader and belonged to several organizations. She was president of the Allen C. E. League and was an active member of several organizations connected to the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Lexington. She was the first president of the City Federation of Women's Clubs in Lexington and the first vice-president of the State Clubs. She was also the Grand Worthy Counsellor of the Court of Calanthe of Kentucky, and a member of Eastern Star and Daughters of Elks. Leanna C. H. Snowden died March 4, 1930, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. 

John and Leanna had a daughter, Leland Weldon Snowden (1900-1921), who attended Kentucky Negro Industrial Institute (now Kentucky State University).

For more see Centennial Encyclopedia of the American Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others, Philadelphia, PA (1816); birth and death dates found in the Kentucky Death Records (Ancestry) and the U.S. Federal Census (1900-1930). See John B. Snowden as a signee of the "Resolutions of Respect," The Daily Leader, 11/11/1899, p.8; "Held Over: Alonzo Herring must answer to federal court," Lexington Leader, 03/23/1901, p.8; "Shake-up in public schools," The Morning Herald, 06/06/1902, front page and p.8; "Clorinda: the cast of characters," Lexington Leader, 09/01/1901, p.6; "Calls for Meetings: Masons," Lexington Leader, 04/04/1904, p.3; "Colored: a model race," Lexington Leader, 01/24/1905, p.5; "Minstrel Show," Lexington Leader, 04/14/1908, p.4; "Colored Notes: Mrs. Leanna C. Snowden," The Lexington Herald, 03/05/1930, p.11; "Colored Notes: John B. Snowden died," The Lexington Herald, 01/22/1944, p.5; "Colored Notes: funeral services for John B. Snowden," The Lexington Herald, 01/24/1944, p.7.  

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“Snowden, Leanna C. Holland and John B.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-09-03 11:26:39