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

Laine, Henry Allen

(born: January 10, 1870  -  died: August 20, 1955) 

Henry A. Laine was born near College Hill in Madison County, KY. He was a poet and authored many poems using Negro dialect. Laine was one of three poets invited to appear before the 1923 Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) body where he read Fine Greetings to Colored Educators. [The other two invited poets were Joseph C. Cotter, Sr. and Joseph C. Cotter, Jr.] Henry A. Laine is the author of Foot Prints (1914), a book of poems. He was also an educator and taught school for 25 years, first in Clark County from 1891-1894, and the remainder of his teaching years were in Madison County. Laine founded the Madison Colored Teachers Institute and was chair of the organization for 20 years.

In 1915, Laine organized the first Negro Farmers Conference in Madison County. Forty farmers attended the conference, and the Negro Farmers Club developed from the conference. The goal of the conference was to study rural conditions and to work toward improving the conditions. The conference existed from 1915-1917, and it was Laine's work with the club that brought him to the attention of the Field Agent of Extension Work in Kentucky, and he was recommended to the University of Kentucky.

Henry A. Laine became Madison County’s first African American agricultural extension agent on October 16, 1917, in Jessamine County. That same year, he was appointed Supervisor of Colored Public Schools in Madison County by F. C. Button, the state supervisor. Laine was the County Demonstrator for the Colored People and helped establish homemaker and farmer clubs. He also helped to organize the Madison County Colored Chautauqua. Henry Allen Laine served the African Americans in Clark, Madison, and Jessamine Counties for 48 years.

In 1937, Laine was physically exhausted and had to take a few days away from his job. This was followed by a physical ailment that was taking a toll on Laine. In 1939, just prior to his 70th birthday, Laine asked and was granted a work reduction for his upcoming retirement. He could not completely stop working due to his debts and other financial commitments. Henry Allen Laine died in 1955. He
was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2003. He was the father of Beatrice "Tommie" Holland.

For more see Black American Writers Past and Present. A biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by T. G. Rush, et al.; Henry Allen Laine Papers, 1874-1988 at Eastern Kentucky University, Special Collections and Archives; Henry Allen Laine Collection at Berea College Special Collections and Archives; see personal letter by Henry Allen Laine about his employment career in the Laine, H. A., 1939 folder in box 58 of the Henry Donovan Papers (0000ua005 : 58) at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Madison County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Clark County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jessamine County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about College Hill, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Winchester, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Nicholasville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Laine, Henry Allen,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-05 21:22:30