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

Sneed, Josephine B. Chenault

(born: December 22, 1899  -  died: March 23, 1986) Josephine 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), the first African American elected to the Cook County Commission. At the end of Josephine Sneed's interim term in 1966, she was elected 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 the Hecktoen Institute
  • Member of the Women's Sodality of St. Anselm's Catholic Church
  • Participant in the American Women's Volunteer Services during World War II
  • Member of the 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, 6/28/1964, p. 39; "Widow of Edward Sneed appointed to County Board," Berwyn Life, 7/22/1964, 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

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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

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“Sneed, Josephine B. Chenault,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-23 17:28:24