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

Suter Brothers, Barbers

Andrew and Richard Suter were born near Midway, KY, two of at least eight children born to Charles and Winnie Suter. Prior to becoming a businessman, Andrew Suter (b. 1847) served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He returned to Midway and in 1870 married Kentucky native Ellen P. Clark (1857-1918 [source: Still Voices Yet Speak]). Also in 1870, Andrew had an account with the Freedman's Bank in Lexington, KY [source: Freedman's Bank Records] and the following year became a barber in Lexington, staying in business for 37 years. For a few of those years, Andrew and his brother, Richard (b. 1842), were in business together as "S., R. & A."; their shop was located in the basement at 2 S. Upper Street [source: Prather's Lexington City Directory 1875 and 1876].

By 1878, Andrew Suter and William Anderson were in business together as "Suter and Anderson"; their barber shop was located on the corner of Upper and Main Streets [source: R. C. Hellrigle and Co.'s Lexington City Directory 1877-78]. Richard Suter, who was also a chiropodist (foot doctor), was doing business on his own and in 1882 was a barber in the Phoenix Hotel [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. "Suter and Anderson" continued to thrive within the barbering business.

Living in Andrew Suter's home was Amy Ferguson, employed as a servant [source: William's Lexington City Directory 1881-82]. By 1898 "Suter and Anderson" had several employees: William Anderson Jr., Clarence Suter (Andrew's son), Henry Dupee, and Churchill Johnson. During the same period, Richard Suter and McCagih Robinson had a barbering business, "Suter and Robinson," in the basement of a building at the corner of Main and Limestone Streets [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9].

In addition to being a barber, Andrew Suter was a member of the Colored First Baptist Church in Lexington, where he was re-elected treasurer of the church in June 1904; at that time he had been treasurer for 27 years. Suter was dedicated to his duties, and in August of 1904 when the church split, he refused to recognize the departing members' vote to make him their treasurer. Andrew was also a mason, treasurer of Mt. Carmel Chapter No. 3 R A M, and treasurer of Bethany Comandery No. 2 [source: Emerson and Dark's Lexington Directory 1898-9].

Andrew, Richard, and Clarence B. Suter are all buried in African Cemetery No. 2, according to their death certificates. Ellen Suter is also buried there, according to Still Voices Yet Speak. Andrew died of heart disease on July 29, 1908. He and his family had lived at 916 Lexington Avenue. His son Clarence B. Suter died of Bright's Disease on January 26, 1904, and his brother Richard died of pneumonia on April 10, 1913. Andrew Suter's daughter Katie Suter Miller was born in 1877 and died May 28, 1929; she is also buried in African Cemetery No. 2.

For more see "Andrew Suter," Lexington Leader, 7/29/1908, p. 7; and "Andrew Suter's position," Daily Leader, 8/14/1904. For more about the Suter family members buried in African Cemetery No. 2, see Still Voices Yet Speak, by Y. Giles.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Midway, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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“Suter Brothers, Barbers,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-07 17:15:54