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

Smith, John W., Jr.

(born: November 13, 1929  -  died: March 25, 2013) 

John W. Smith Jr. was the first African American elected to the Henry County, KY Board of Education; he served on the board for 34 years, resigning due to illness. He died in 2013. He was also the first African American president of the Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA), 1997-1999, serving all told 14 years in various capacities with the KSBA. The Henry County High School auditorium was named in his honor.  

Smith was a graduate of Lincoln Institute and Sullivan College. He served for 40 years with the New Castle Volunteer Fire Department and was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

John W. Smith, Jr. was the son of Elizabeth Jenkins and John W. Smith, Sr. Smith, Jr. is buried in the New Castle GUOOF Cemetery.

For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 25; "In Memory of John W. Smith, Jr." in the KSBA eNews Service, March 26, 2013; and his obituary from the Courier-Journal, 3/28/2013 at

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henry County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Eminence, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about New Castle, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Kentucky directory of black elected officials
NKAA Entry: Lincoln Institute (Lincoln Ridge, KY)

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“Smith, John W., Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed November 30, 2023,

Last modified: 2023-06-12 16:10:14