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

Malone, Alonzo Pratt

(born: April 9, 1898  -  died: December 11, 1946) Alonzo P. Malone was the first African American to be appointed Captain of a Louisville Fire Department. The fire department in Louisville was segregated when the first Negro fire department was established in 1925. The department was at Engine No. 8 on 13th Street. In 1937, Captain Alonzo Malone had been head of Engine 8 for ten years when they were moved to Engine No. 9 at Jackson and Roselane Streets. Engine No. 9 members were white, and they were moved to Engine No. 6 on Portland Avenue.

Malone had been an automobile repairman before he was a firefighter, according to the 1920 U.S. Census. He was working and living in Jeffersonville, IN, when he registered for the military during WWI (Draft Registration Card in Ancestry). It was after his return to Louisville that Malone was appointed to Engine 8. The appointment was made in December of 1927 by the Board of Public Safety. Four months earlier, there had been a disturbance and Malone was one of the six African American men who resigned from Engine 8. The other five men were Horace Green, George Lane, Ramsey Jackson, Charles Grundy, and George Baldock. Major Edward McHugh, of the Board of Public Safety, wanted the six men to be dismissed (fired) rather than allowed to resign.

In 1939, Malone was investigated for mishandling funds that were collected for a radio and pool table for Engine No.9. The Board of Public Safety ordered that Malone be discharged. Malone left Kentucky. In 1942, according to his WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry), Alonzo P. Malone was living in Balto [Baltimore], Maryland, working for Samuel Plato's Construction Company. Malone later moved to Washington, D.C. where he died in 1946. Malone's body was returned to Louisville at the Hathaway Funeral Home and he is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Louisville. Alonzo P. Malone was the son of Edward C. Malone and Cora L. Hansberry.

Sources: ""False alarm is last call answered by replaced unit," The Courier-Journal, 09/27/1937, p.2; "McHugh wants 6 Negroes fired," The Courier-Journal, 09/15/1927, p.16; "Four appointed," The Courier-Journal, 12/23/1927, p.4; "Fire captain investigated," The Courier-Journal, 01/06/1939, p.7; "Fire captain discharged," The Courier-Journal, 01/27/1939, p.21; "Alonzo B. [P.] Malone dies," The Courier-Journal, 12, 14, 1946, p.10; "ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deaths and Funerals: Malone, Alonzo P., The Courier-Journal, 12/16/1946, p.11.


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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Plato, Samuel M.
NKAA Entry: Engine Co. #8 (Louisville, KY)
NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Malone, Alonzo Pratt,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 3, 2022,

Last modified: 2022-09-17 01:59:48