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

Gregg, Alexander, Sr.

(born: Mar. 20, 1825  -  died: Jan. 26, 1904) Deacon Alexander Gregg, Sr. was an early settler in Lawrence, KS and one of the founders of Second Baptist Church in Lawrence [later named Warren Street Baptist Church]. The church opened in 1862 with nine founding members.

Gregg and a white deacon named Ford had previously established a Sunday School for African American children, with Gregg serving as superintendent. He served as the treasurer of the Second Baptist Church until 1879. He was the last of the nine founding church members to die. Gregg had also been an active member of the first Kansas organization for African American churches.

Outside the church Gregg was a shoemaker, a trade he learned as a young person in Kentucky. He owned a shoe shop in Lawrence. As a civic leader there, he participated in politics and helped establish the city's Emancipation Day annual celebrations.

Gregg was born in Jessamine County, KY, enslaved by Samuel Gregg (1849-1909, born in Jessamine County). His mother was also enslaved; his father was white. Alexander Gregg was one of the enslaved taken to Missouri by Samuel Gregg in 1850. According to information in Alexander Gregg, Jr.'s obituary, the family had lived in Texas at some point before being moved to Missouri [source: "Obituary" in The Topeka Plaindealer, 11/26/1909, p. 3].

Around 1862, Gregg, Sr. escaped from Missouri with his family and went to Kansas to keep from being taken back to Texas; Kansas had become a free state in 1860. He settled his family in West Port, KS, later moving them to Lawrence.

The Gregg family is listed in the 1865 Kansas State Census. Alexander Gregg had joined the Union Army and was a veteran of the U.S. Civil War [source: p. 34 in Consolidated List Class 2. Southern District Kansas. Sept.-Dec. 1863 vol. 2 (in Ancestry)]. He would marry his second wife, Mary Choteau, on May 18, 1866; the family would grow to include 11 children [sources: 1900 U.S. Census; and Kansas, County Marriage Records Index (in Ancestry)]. 

One of Alexander Gregg Sr.'s biographies is included in "In Memory of Deacon Gregg," published posthumously in the Topeka Plaindealer newspaper on 12/26/1904, p. 4. His obituary and another biography were published in the Lawrence Daily World, 2/16/1904, p. 4.

See also K. H. Armitage, "African Americans build a community in Douglas County, Kansas," Kansas History: a journal of the Central Plains, vol. 31 (August 2008), pp. 155-175. Deacon Alexander Gregg is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, KS [source: Find A Grave].

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Read about Jessamine County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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“Gregg, Alexander, Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-03 16:52:03