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

Jones, Charles Wesley

(born: February 13, 1899  -  died: July 10, 1957) 

Charles Wesley Jones was the first African American judge in Michigan. He was appointed to Recorder's Court by Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams in 1950 to complete the term of the late Christopher Stein. Jones was born in Barbourville, KY, the son of Ellen and John A. Jones. Charles Wesley Jones was a lawyer who moved to Detroit, MI, where he was an assistant prosecutor and also became interested in politics. He ran for the Michigan State Senate in 1932 and was defeated. In 1952 he was a U.S. Representative candidate and won the primary but was defeated by Judge Frank G. Shemanskeski in the election. After the defeat, Charles Wesley Jones returned to private practice. Charles Wesley Jones died in Detroit, MI from injuries suffered in a traffic accident in 1957. He was the husband of Ellen C. Waller Jones and the father of Lillian E. Jones. For more information see The Growth of Black Elected Officials in the City of Detroit, 1870-1973 by A. J. Stovall; Charles Wesley Jones in Ebony, v.6, 1950, p.60; and "Bulletin: Mich. first race judge dies," The Detroit Tribune, 07/13/1957, front page.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Knox County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Barbourville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Jones, Charles Wesley,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 28, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-07-09 22:10:54