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

Hughes, Robert Henry

(born: 1861  -  died: 1935) 

Robert H. Hughes was a wealthy African American who lived in Lexington, KY. With his death, the Lincoln Institute was saved from harder financial times, Hughes having left the school $10,000. He also left $100,000 in a trust fund for scholarships, half for white persons and half for colored persons.

Robert Henry Hughes was the son of Ellen Davis, a former enslaved person, and wealthy horseman John T. Hughes, who was white. Robert spent much of his life in Buffalo, NY, returning to Lexington after the death of his father in 1924. He lived at 340 East Third Street, where the present day Smith & Smith Funeral Home stands. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Lexington.

Robert Henry Hughes' first name has often been mistakenly written as William or James.

For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; and information on the Henry Hughes Educational Fund in the Fouse Family Papers in ExploreUK. Hughes' death date and additional information on the cemetery and funeral home provided by Yvonne Giles - "The Cemetery Lady."


Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Davis, Ellen
NKAA Source: Kentucky's Black heritage; the role of the Black people in the history of Kentucky from pioneer days to the present
NKAA Entry: Giles, Yvonne Y.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hughes, Robert Henry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-03-15 16:08:41