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

Merriweather, Claybron W.

(born: 1874  -  died: 1952) 

Claybron Merriweather was born in Christian County, KY, the son of John and Mary Gwynn Merriweather, both former slaves. The Merriweathers lived in extreme poverty. Claybron eventually saved enough money to attend school and later became a schoolteacher and founded three newspapers. He was also a painter, using water colors and oils for his paintings. He is author of Light and Shadows, published in 1907, it was his first book. Merriweather was also a poet and went on to publish five additional books. He promoted his poetry by giving readings in various cities; in 1940 he was in Chicago and was on his way to Cleveland to give a dramatic reading before the Mission Convocation of the First Episcopal District. Claybron Merriweather was also a practicing lawyer, and had studied with the Black Stone Institute, which offered a home study course. He began his practice in 1908 and was the first African American attorney in Hopkinsville, KY, and the first to receive a license to practice law in Mayfield, KY [source: "First Colored Attorney," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 05/11/1912, p.4; and "First Colored man ever admitted to the bar at Mayfield, " The Paducah Sun, 11/28/1905, p.1]. Claybron Merriweather was the husband of Rosa Morgan Merriweather (c.1874-1935), born in KY, she was a school teacher in Paducah and in Hopkinsville, KY. The couple last lived at 1103 Coleman Street in Hopkinsville. They are buried in the Cane Spring Cemetery in Christian County, according to their death certificates. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan; "C.W. Merriweather to give reading," Kentucky New Era, 08/10/1940, p.6; and The Law Trained Man by W. C. Wermuth [available full text at].


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Lights and shadows. Being mostly a collection of impressions of life among a people who live on the spacious,…
NKAA Source: Hopkinsville Kentuckian (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Paducah sun (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Fascinating story of Black Kentuckians : their heritage and traditions
NKAA Source: Kentucky new era (newspaper)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  African American Schools in Earlington, KY (Hopkins County)
NKAA Entry:  African American Schools in Christian County, KY
NKAA Entry:  Colored Department (Paducah Newspaper)
NKAA Entry:  African American Lawyers/Attorneys, Kentucky, 1880-1940

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Merriweather, Claybron W.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 27, 2021,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:27