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

Sneed, Josephine B. Chenault

(born: December 22, 1899  -  died: March 23, 1986) Josephine B. Chenault Sneed was the first woman to serve as a Cook County Commissioner in Chicago, IL. She was initially appointed to the commission in 1964 to complete the term of her late husband Edward M. Sneed (1890-1964), who was the first African American elected to the Cook County Commission. At the end of Josephine B. Sneed's interim term, she was elected in 1966 to the commission. She had a very active career before and after her election to the Cook County Commission. 
  • Vice President of the Illinois Women's Federation of Democratic Clubs
  • Board Member and Assistant Financial Secretary of the Women's Auxiliary of Hecktoen Institute
  • Member of the Women's sodality of St. Anselm's Catholic Church
  • Active in the American Women's Volunteer Services during WWII
  • Women's Board of Provident Hospital (1930s)
  • Lieutenant in the Salvation Army (1930s)
  • Vice Chair of both the Oak Forest Hospital and the County Jail.
Josephine B. Chenault Sneed was born in Mt. Sterling, KY, the daughter of Mattie and Jeff Chenault. 

SOURCES: "Son wins honors," Chicago Tribune, 10/09/1955, p.41; "Edward Sneed dies; served county board," Chicago Tribune, 06/28/1964, p.39; "Widow of Edward Sneed appointed to County Board," Berwyn Life, 07/22/1964, p.13; African Americans and the Vote: firsts in Cook County Leadership, a Cook County Government website; Illinois, Cook County Deaths (Ancestry); and Josephine B. Sneed on pp.32-33 in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Heritage Series #2, Women in Politics, online at Atlanta University Center.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Montgomery County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Mt. Sterling, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Chicago tribune (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Berwyn life (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Heritage Series #2, Women in Politics

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Sneed, Josephine B. Chenault,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 31, 2021,

Last modified: 2021-07-14 18:35:42