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

Gibbs, Clinton

(born: 1891  -  died: 1970) 

Clinton Gibbs was one of the musical leaders in Cincinnati, OH, who prepared the chorus each year for the June Festival for Negro Music [The Enquirer, 02/20/2005, p. D1, by J. Gelfand]. The event was an outdoor choral festival that was held in Cincinnati for almost two decades, starting in 1938. Clinton Gibbs was born in Petersburg, KY, the son of Frances Christopher Gibbs and James Gibbs. The family moved to Cincinnati and lived on Wayne Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.

Frances was a widow who did laundry to help support the family of five. Clinton Gibbs studied piano at Holderoach College, and he studied organ under Prower Symon. Clinton Gibbs also gave private piano lessons at his home and taught piano classes at Douglass School. He was on the faculty of the Lillian Aldrich Thayer Settlement School of Music. He was the organist choirmaster at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and director of the Queen City Glee Club. Gibbs was secretary of the True American Lodge No. 2 F. & A. M. and belonged to the King Solomon Consistory No. 20 Scottish Rite. He directed the Cincinnati Masonic Chorus at the 100th Annual Communication of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio [source: The History of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio, 1849-1960, by C. H. Wesley, chapter 14]. He was vice president of the Cincinnati division of the National Association of Negro Musicians.

Clinton Gibb's birth year in the census records ranges from 1891-1893. According to his World War I draft registration card, he was born August 7, 1893, and he had had a hip disease that left one of his legs shorter than the other. His World War II draft registration card gives his birthday as August 7, 1892. For more see Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and p. 24 in the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boone County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Petersburg, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The history of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Ohio, 1849-1960; an epoch in American fraternalism
NKAA Source: Cincinnati's colored citizens; historical, sociological and biographical
NKAA Source: The Encyclopedia of northern Kentucky

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Gibbs, Clinton,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2017-11-12 00:29:40