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

Sissle, George A. and Martha A.

George A. Sissle* (1852-1913), born in Lexington, KY, was a prominent minister in Indianapolis, IN at the Simpson M. E. Chapel and in Cleveland, OH at the Cory United Methodist Church, one of the oldest Black churches in the city. He was also an organist and choirmaster.

Sissle was the husband of Martha Angeline Sissle (1869-1916); she too was from Kentucky. She was a school teacher and probation officer. The couple,  married in 1888, were the parents of several children, including composer and jazz musician Noble Lee Sissle (1889-1975).

Martha Sissle was raised by her mother's close friend; her mother had been a slave and could not afford to raise her child. George Sissle's father had been a slave on the Cecil Plantation; he disliked the name Cecil and changed the spelling to Sissle.

For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History [online], sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and the Western Reserve Historical Society; A Life in Ragtime, by R. Badger; The Theater of Black Americans, vol. 1, edited by E. Hill; and "Friday Favorite: Sissle-ing Talent!" at Historic

*The last name is sometimes spelled "Sisle" in the U.S. Federal Census.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Sissle, George A. and Martha A.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-02-24 17:44:28