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

Griffey, Wolford

(born: 1916  -  died: 1982) 

Griffey, the son of an Irishman, came to Kentucky from Pennsylvania seeking work in the coal mines. International Harvesters hired him and his two brothers because they could play baseball; all the major coal companies had baseball teams. In 1945, Griffey became the first and only African American foreman in the coal camps around Benham, KY. In 2005, his wife, Lacey Griffey, still lived in the camp-house the couple had purchased from International Harvesters when the mines were closed. For more see the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet press release, "Wolford and Jackie: A tale of two African-American Pioneers: Griffey Was First and Only Black Foreman in Benham Mines," by S. Ramsey, Kentucky Coal Council; and W. Tompkins, "Deep in our soul: coal," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12/31/1999, Extra section, p. O8M.

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NKAA Source: Courier-Journal [Louisville] (newspaper)

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“Griffey, Wolford,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 24, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:25