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

Smith, Elijah Strong

Elijah Strong Smith, born in Henderson, KY, was a graduate of State University [later named Simmons College] in Kentucky. He moved to Alabama, where he was employed at the Union Mutual Aid Association in Mobile; the insurance company was started by C. F. Johnson, one of the wealthiest African American men in Alabama.

Union Mutual Aid Association was incorporated in 1898 and had over $170,000 in income in 1913. Smith excelled within the company, quickly becoming a district manager. He would soon become the district manager of the Tuscaloosa area.

Smith was also president of the Negro Business Men's League in Tuscaloosa, a delegate to the national league in 1912, and secretary of the state league in 1916.

He also held a number of positions within the Tuscaloosa Baptist Church and was president of the District Baptist Young People's Union and an advisory member of the Federation of Colored Women of Alabama.

For more see "Elijah Strong Smith" in the Afro-American Encyclopedia; and for more on C. F. Johnson and the Union Mutual Aid Association see vol. 2, p. 208 of The Story of the Negro, by B. T. Washington [available full-text at Google Books]; and pp. 1134-1135 in the Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Alabama for the year ending December 31, 1913 [available full-text at Google Books.]

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henderson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Henderson, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Smith, Elijah Strong,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-09-29 17:48:19