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

Stone, Bessie Tucker Russell

(born: 1916  -  died: 2003) 

Bessie Stone born in Louisville, KY, was the daughter of Harvey C. Russell, Sr. and Julia Jones Russell and a sister of Harvey C. Russell, Jr. and Dr. Randa D. Russell. The family lived in the area that became known as Russell.

Bessie Stone was among the first recipients of the Anderson-Mayer Fund, established to pay the tuition of African American students who were pursuing college degrees out of state because of  the higher education segregation laws in Kentucky. She had earned a bachelor's degree from Louisville Municipal College for Negroes in 1936, the same year she received $62 from the Anderson-Mayer Fund to attend Hampton Institute Library School [now Hampton University], from which she graduated in 1937. She was the third African American librarian from Kentucky to graduate from Hampton [the first, Estella G. Grayson, was from Lawrenceburg the second, Elnora M. Roy, was from Louisville].

Bessie Stone also earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling at the University of Cincinnati. She was a librarian at Kentucky State University, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, and the Porter Junior High School Library in Cincinnati, OH.

Bessie Stone received a number of awards for her volunteerism. Prior to her death she received the Alpha Kappa Alpha Golden Legacy Award: she had been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha for 67 years and was the oldest sister in the organization.

For more see R. Goodman, "Librarian Bessie R. Stone guided young," Cincinnati Enquirer, 4/18/2003, Metro section, p. 4B; and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Stone, Bessie Tucker Russell,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-07-23 16:06:30