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

Dawson, Osceola Aleece

(born: January 18, 1906  -  died: March 15, 1963) 

Osceola Aleece Dawson was a woman of many talents. She was born in Roaring Springs, KY, and after her father died, she and her mother moved in with her grandfather, Peter Dawson, who lived in Christian County, KY. Osceola Dawson started school in the third grade at Little Lafayette in Christian County; she graduated valedictorian of her grade school. After passing the county examination that allowed her to enter high school in Pembroke, KY, Dawson graduated valedictorian of her high school at the age of 16 and became a teacher at the age of 17. In 1929, she was a student and an employee at West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah.

After graduating from college, Dawson remained employed at the school for more than 20 years. She had also completed work at the School of Brief English in New York studying music and became a noted lyric soprano. Dawson was the author of Of Human Miseries, a collection of short stories published in 1941, and a number of other works, including the 1959 documentary about Clarence Timberlake, The Timberlake Story. Dawson was also a long-standing, active member of the NAACP, serving as the secretary of both the Kentucky NAACP Conference and the Paducah NAACP Branch. Dawson was recognized for her outstanding service, including her speaking tours in northern states. She was a sister of former Illinois Assistant Attorney General James Cotter.

For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Papers of the NAACP, Part 21, roll 20, frame 234; and Bill Powell's Notebook, "Osceola Dawson's title has not changed but her role has," Paducah Sun-Democrat, 02/08/1958, p. 6. See also a photo of Osceola Dawson and additional information in Christian Church Women: shapers of a movement, by D. B. Hull, pp. 57-58.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Trigg County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about McCracken County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Roaring Springs, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pembroke, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Little Lafayette, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Paducah, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Dawson, Osceola Aleece,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-11-08 17:54:20