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

Mullins, By, et al. v. Belcher

(start date: 1910  -  end date: 1911) During the 1910-1911 school year, Pike County, KY, school trustee Edmond Belcher notified the guardian of Troy and Loucreta Mullins that the children could not attend the school for whites because the Mullins children were "Colored." The guardian sued Belcher.

The trial judge of the Pike County Circuit Court found that the children had at least 1/16 Negro blood and were therefore considered Colored; they would not be allowed to attend the school for white children. The children's guardian filed an appeal.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals concluded that Negro and white children were never meant to be educated in the same school, and moral and mental chaos was likely to occur if that were to change. In addition, any traceable amount of Negro blood in an individual required that the person be considered "Colored." The injunction was denied and the judgment of the Pike County Circuit Court was affirmed. The decision came more than 30 years prior to Asher v Huffman.

For more see "Mullins, By, et al. v. Belcher," Reports of Civil and Criminal Cases Decided by the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, v. 35 McBeath Reporter, vol. 142 Kentucky Reports, pp. 673-676 [online at Google Books]; and Legal History of the Color Line, by F. W. Sweet. This entry was suggested by Kentucky author and researcher Ben Luntz.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Pike County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Asher v Huffman
NKAA Source: Legal history of the color line : the rise and triumph of the one-drop rule

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Mullins, By, et al. v. Belcher,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 4, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-07-29 20:06:52