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

Finn, Henry

(born: 1843  -  died: 1923) Henry Finn is another of the forgotten names in Kentucky: he was one of the earliest African American dentists in the state. It is not known at this time where he received his dental training. His practice was in Franklin, KY.

Finn was born in Simpson County, KY, on November 9, 1843; he had been enslaved to John Finn, according to Henry's Freedman's Bank Record dated March 8, 1866 [source: Ancestry]. Henry Finn's first wife was Emily (born c. 1837 in KY); the couple lived in Subdistrict 150, according to the 1870 U.S. Census. No children are listed in the census records. Finn "worked by the day" and was not yet a dentist. The couple is also listed in the 1880 U.S. Census.

By 1900, Henry Finn was a widower and a practicing dentist in Franklin [source: 1900 U.S. Census]. His home was at 565 College Street. He had remarried by 1910: His wife's name was Emma, and the couple had a 3 year-old daughter [source: 1910 U.S. Census].

Finn was still working in 1920 when he was 77 years old. His wife's name is given as Eunice in the U.S. Census at that time, and the couple had two daughters. Eunice is also the name given as Henry Finn's window in the U.S. Civil War Pension Index (Ancestry). Henry Finn was a veteran who had served with the Colored Infantry Division, 115th Regiment. He was a 1st Sergeant with Company I. He had enlisted on September 22, 1864 in Bowling Green, KY [source: Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky, vol. II Appendix, p. 67 (Ancestry)].

Finn died May 1, 1923 in Franklin, KY, according to the Kentucky Death Certificate File No.14627, Registered no. 62 [source: Ancestry].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Simpson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Franklin, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Finn, Henry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed April 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-06-15 16:04:05