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

Underwood, Edward Ellsworth

(born: June 7, 1864  -  died: May 31, 1942) 

A physician, Edward E. Underwood, moved to Kentucky to become Assistant City Physician in Frankfort. He organized and was the first president of the Frankfort NAACP Chapter. He was the first African American to sit on the Board of Trustees at Kentucky State University. In 1898 he formed the State League of Republican Clubs in Kentucky and was its first president. He was also a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1904.

E. E. Underwood is author of A brief history of the colored churches of Frankfort, Kentucky (1906), as well as several poems; and he was editor of the Blue Grass Bugle for 10 years. He was born in Ohio, the son of Harriet and Reverend Johnson P. Underwood, and the husband of Sarah Walker Underwood, according to his death certificate.

Unerwood began practicing medicine in Frankfort, KY, in 1891. He was the president of the Kentucky Medical Society, and also served as the physician for Kentucky State College for Negroes (now Kentucky State University). He was a member and chair of the Frankfort Inter-Racial Commission. E. E. Underwood died in 1942 and he was buried in Frankfort, KY. The Mayo-Underwood School was partially named in his honor.

For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1927; "Underwood funeral set for Thursday," The Courier-Journal, 06/03/1942, p.18.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Underwood, Edward Ellsworth,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-11-01 17:31:40