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 (KY) Fire Department. The fire department in Louisville was segregated when the first Negro fire department was established in 1925 at Engine No. 8 on 13th Street. In 1937, Captain 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; 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 World War I (draft registration card in Ancestry). It was after his return to Louisville that Malone was appointed to Engine 8 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  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, and Malone left Kentucky. In 1942, according to his World War II draft registration card (Ancestry), he was living in Balto [Baltimore], MD, working for Samuel Plato's Construction Company. He later moved to Washington, D.C., where he died in 1946. Malone's body was returned to the Hathaway Funeral Home in Louisville; he is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery there. 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, 9/27/1937, p. 2; "McHugh wants 6 Negroes fired," The Courier-Journal, 9/15/1927, p. 16; "Four appointed," The Courier-Journal, 12/23/1927, p. 4; "Fire captain investigated," The Courier-Journal, 1/06/1939, p. 7; "Fire captain discharged," The Courier-Journal, 1/27/1939, 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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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

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

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Malone, Alonzo Pratt,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-12-06 19:59:37