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

Harvey, Wardelle G., Sr.

(born: 1926) 

Wardell G. Harvey, Sr. was born in Booneville, IN; he's  a graduate of Tri-State Baptist College.

Harvey came to Kentucky in 1962 to pastor at the Harrison Street Baptist Church in Paducah. In 1968, Rev. Harvey became the first African American to be appointed to the Paducah City Commission. He was also the first African American on the Paducah Housing Board and was mayor pro tem.

Rev. Harvey was a civil rights activist, developing the Non-Partisan League in Paducah to push for the desegregation of public accommodations.

For more see "Nine Blacks on City Councils, One Prosecuting Attorney," Human Rights News, January-February 1969; Not without struggle, by J. B. Horton Allison Crawford,"Western Kentucky Loses Civil Rights Trailblazer," 7/10/2014, at the WKMS website; "Civil Rights in Paducah — the Legacy of Reverend W.G. Harvey," 6/5/2020, at the Paducah Life website; and listen to an oral history interview with Rev. Harvey at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Harvey, Wardelle G., Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 13, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-03-14 19:29:37