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

Hope, Dennis D.

(born: November 22, 1849  -  died: 1929) 

Dennis D. Hope was a journalist and political activist in Topeka, KS; he served as the editor and publisher of the Sunday Sun there.The newspaper was published on an irregular schedule. Hope also severd on the county central committee in Topeka. 

Before coming to Kansas, Hope had been enslaved where he was born, in Boyle County, KY on November 22, 1849 [source: "Dennis D. Hope (cut)," Plaindealer (Topeka), 12/19/1902, p. 5]. Gaining his freedom at the close of the Civil War, Hope attended a colored school in Boyle County for three years, attending three months of each year. He probably attended one of the four schools established by the U.S. Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands between 1866 and 1870.

In 1870, Dennis and 14-year old Sarah Hope lived at the home of Willis and Matilda Rogers in Boyle County [source: 1870 U.S. Federal Census]. Dennis Hope later lived for a brief period in Indianapolis, IN, then returned to Kentucky before moving on to Topeka in 1878, where he worked as a laborer for the Santa Fe R. R. Co. He left the railroad company after five years and went to work as a janitor at the First National Bank. In 1902, he had been at the bank for 18 years. 

In 1894, Dennis Hope was selected as a delegate for the Republican State Convention representing  the 35th district of Shawnee County [source: "Republican Convention," The Globe-Republican, 6/1/1894, p. 7, col. 3]. Hope was a prominent member of the African American community of Topeka where he was a member of several social organizations, including Shawnee Lodge #1923, the Knights of Tabor, and the District Grand Lodge Kansas #17, where he was treasurer. He was also  a member of the 5th Ward Roosevelt Republican Club. In 1894, Hope was appointed chairman of the county central committee by Aaron P. Jetmore, candidate for county attorney; the appointment was said to be one of honor for Hope, who was a respected citizen and a representative of the Negro race. A. B. Jetmore, father of Aaron P. Jetmore, had been president of the Freedmen's Relief Association in Topeka, KS, and many of the newly arriving Negroes in 1882 had not forgotten his generosity [source: "Let reason govern," The Kansas Blackman, 6/15/1894, p. 1].

Dennis Hope is listed as a laborer on p. 104 of Sam Radges' Sixth Biennial Directory of the City of Topeka for 1882; he lived at 24 Quincy Street. By 1902, he owned his own home.

Hope was the husband of Millie Hope (b. 1855 in KY); the couple lived at 1314 Washington Avenue [source: Polk's Topeka (Kansas) City Directory, 1929-30, p. 237]. Dennis D. Hope died in 1929 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Topeka, KS.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boyle County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hope, Dennis D.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-09 15:05:10