< Entries Beginning With D >
Daniel, Wilbur N.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1999
Wilburn N. Daniel was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Fannie and Nathan Daniel. Reverend Wilbur N. Daniel was the first African American student to be accepted at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, from which he graduated with honors in 1957. The school's African American Cultural Center is named in Daniel's honor. Daniel was a civil rights activist and a pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, TN. Prior to enrolling in the graduate school at Austin Peay, he had earned an undergraduate degree from American Baptist Theological Seminary [American Baptist College] in Nashville and another from Tennessee State University. Daniel would leave Tennessee for Chicago, where he was pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church and served two years as president of the Chicago NAACP. He sponsored a housing development in Chicago and and in Fort Wayne, IN. He was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in 1964. For more see Austin Peay State University African American Cultural Center; A. Ritchart, "Supporting heroes," The Leaf-Chronicle, 02/16/2006, Local section, p. 1B; Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers, by E. L. Williams; and the Rev. Wilburn Daniel entry in Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book, edited by E. R. Rather.
See photo and additional information at "Biography of Dr. Wilburn N. Daniel," Austin Peay State University website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee / Chicago, Illinois
Danner, Margaret E.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 1984
Born in Pryorsburg, KY, Danner moved to Chicago when she was young and later attended Loyola University and Northwestern University. She received the John Hay Whitney Fellowship for "Far From Africa: four poems," published in Poetry: a Magazine of Verse in 1951. In 1956 she became the first African American to be named assistant editor of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. Her first collections of poems were published in 1960. She founded Boone House in Detroit for poetry gatherings and readings by African American poets. In 1966 she was a presenter at the World Exposition of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal. Her work was praised as an "Africa-based voice of Blackness." For more see the Oxford Companion to African American Literature, edited by W. L. Andrews, et al.
Subjects: Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Pryorsburg, Graves County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Detroit, Michigan
Danville Colored Branch Library (Boyle County, KY)
Start Year : 1919
End Year : 1937
Between 1919 and 1937, there were at least three colored libraries in Danville, KY. In 1919, the Paul Dunbar Branch Library for Colored People was opened on South Broadway in Danville, KY. Elizabeth Tunis, a librarian at the Danville Library for whites, is credited for establishing the colored library. The facility was managed by Martha Pearl Rowe Patton. The library was supported by fifty library members until it closed in 1922. That same year, on March 11, 1922, a colored branch library was opened in the Paul Dunbar School for Negroes under the supervision of the Danville Library Board. It cost $1 per year membership for use of the books, and the charge was two cents per day for overdue fines. A third public library branch was opened in 1929 at Bate High School under the supervision of the Danville Board of Education. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; A Century of Library Service, 1893-1993 by R. Brown; and "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report," for 1922 and for 1929, both were submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission by the Danville Public Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Darby, (Blind) Teddy
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1975
Born Theodore Roosevelt Darby in Henderson, KY, he was a blues singer and guitarist who performed in Chicago in the 1930s but was most known for performing in St. Louis. His music was recorded between 1929-1937. As a younger man he did time in a reform school and workhouse for bootlegging. He was a long time associate of Peetie Wheatstraw. He eventually lost his sight to glaucoma. For more see The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 3rd ed., edited by C. Larkin; and St. Louis Blues Musicians. View the image and listen to Blind Teddy Darby - Lawdy Lawdy Worried Blues 1929 on YouTube.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Blind, Visually Impaired
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / St. Louis, Missouri
Darden, George Harry
Birth Year : 1934
George H. Darden was born in Cadiz, KY, to Sammie and Belknap Darden. He is a 1955 graduate of Kentucky State University and a 1964 graduate of Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He has served in many capacities, including that of chairman of the Legal Commission in Hopkinsville, KY; assistant county attorney in Hamilton County, OH; chief judge of the Cincinnati Municipal Court; and regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Atlanta, GA. He is the husband of Gwen M. Darden, who was president of the National Association of Bench and Bar Spouses, Inc. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2000.
Subjects: Lawyers, Migration South, Judges
Geographic Region: Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky / Atlanta, Georgia
Darling Nellie Gray (song)
Start Year : 1856
The song Darling Nellie Gray has been credited to several authors, most often to Benjamin Russell Hanby (1833-1867). The song was written around 1856. Some sources say that the song came to Hanby after he read an article in a newspaper about a Kentucky slave named Nellie Gray, who was sold away from her husband to a Georgia slave owner. Another version of the story is that Hanby wrote the song after hearing of the misfortune of escaped slave Joe Selby, who died not too long after crossing the Ohio River, having left his sweetheart Nellie Gray still enslaved in Kentucky. The story goes on to say that Hanby sent the song to a publisher and received six free copies of the song while the publisher received thousands of dollars from the sale of the famous song. The title and spelling of the song has varied over time. For more see "Darling Nellie Gray" in The New Century Perfect Speaker: a complete encyclopedia of elocution, oratory, and etiquette, edited by J. Coulter; Rushville in The Ohio Guide, by Federal Writers' Project; and "House restored to honor writer of song, Nellie Gray," The Portsmouth Times, 01/20/1937, p. 3. View album cover and listen to The Mills Brothers & Louis Armstrong perform "My Darling Nelly Gray" on YouTube.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Ohio / Kentucky / Georgia
Darnes, Rebecca and William
The Darneses were activists and community leaders in Cincinnati, OH. William Darnes, a barber, was born in 1809 in Pennsylvania. Rebecca, his wife, described as a mulatto, was born in 1811 in Kentucky. Both she and her husband were free, according to the 1850 Census. Her mother was born in Maryland. The Darneses were fairly well-off real estate owners in Cincinnati. William had been a Master Mason at the St. Cyprian Lodge in Pittsburgh, PA. When he arrived in Cincinnati, he had applied for admission to the white lodge and was denied. William Darnes would become a founding member of the St. Cyprian Lodge in Cincinnati, which was approved in 1847. In 1849, it would become the first African American grand lodge in Ohio. Rebecca was a member of the Daughters of Samaria and a member of the Society of Friends. Around 1844, she and her husband had joined others, including Salmon P. Chase, to assist in Lydia P. Mott's efforts to establish a home for orphaned and homeless Colored children in Cincinnati. The Darneses also helped raise Alexander G. Clark (1826-1891), who was William Darnes's nephew and would become a civil rights leader in the West. For more see Frontiers of Freedom, by N. M. Taylor; History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880, vol. 2, by G. W. Williams [available full text at Project Gutenberg and Google Book Search]; African American Fraternities and Sororities, by T. L. Brown, G. Parks and C. M. Phillips; and "Alexander G. Clark" in the Encyclopedia of African American Business, by J. C. Smith, M. L. Jackson and L. T. Wynn. [*Rebecca Darnes was an aunt, by marriage, to Alexander G. Clark. His mother, Rebecca Darnes Clark, has been described as African.]
Subjects: Barbers, Civic Leaders, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Pennsylvania / Cincinnati, Ohio
Darrell, Betty L.
Birth Year : 1934
Betty L. Darrell was born in Louisville, KY, to Jerome and Cleoda Mason McDonald. She was among the first African Americans to attend the University of Louisville, from which she graduated with a BA in 1955. Darrell lso received an MA from Washburn University in 1969. She was a schoolteacher in Louisville and later served as the director of the Racial Justice Association and Project Equality, both in New York, and was director of the New York/New Jersey Minority Purchasing Council. From 1984-1995, Darrell was director of the Minority Business Enterprise Development of Pepsi Cola North America. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1990-2000; T. Deering, "Pepsi sponsors luncheon to link minority firms," Sacramento Bee, 07/10/1992, Business section, p. B1; G. A. Drain, "NBL plans coalition to solve Black entrepreneur's problems," Michigan Chronicle, 02/08/1994; and J. D. O'Hair, "Pepsi appoints director," Michigan Chronicle, March 1995.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Businesses, Education and Educators, Migration North
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New York / New Jersey
Davids was a Kentucky slave who successfully escaped to Ohio in 1830. The term "Underground Railroad" is thought to have been coined based on his escape. His owner had been pursuing Davids but lost track of him in Ohio. It is said he claimed that Davids disappeared as if swept away on an underground railroad. For more see The Virtual Underground Railroad Experience: and "The Railroad and its passengers," chapter 1 in Stories of the Underground Railroad by A. L. Curtis [provided online by the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative].
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research
Geographic Region: Kentucky
Davidson, Shelby J.
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1931
Born in Lexington, Davidson became a lawyer. He invented a paper rewinding device for a tabulating machine and an adding machine attachment for automatically adding in set amounts. Shelby Davidson's Papers are at Howard University. For more see World of Invention. History's most significant inventions and the people behind them, 2nd ed., by K. A. McGrath and B. Travers.
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Daviess [Daveiss] County (KY) Slaves, Free Blacks, and Free Mulattoes, 1850-1870
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1870
Daviess County, located in the Western Coal Field region of Kentucky, was formed in 1815 from a part of Ohio County. It is on the Indiana state border, with four neighboring counties in Kentucky. The county was named for Joseph H. Daveiss, a lawyer and an orator who was killed during the battle of Tippecanoe. The present day spelling of the county name was the recording clerk's error in 1815. The Kentucky General Assembly passed an act to correct the spelling to "Daveiss", but it never caught on. The county seat is Owensboro and was originally named Yellowbanks, in reference to the color of the soil along the river banks. When the city was incorporated in 1817, it was spelled "Owensborough," named for Abraham Owen, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War and a Kentucky Legislator who was born in Virginia. The name of the town was later shortened to the present day spelling of Owensboro. In the first U.S. Federal Census for the county in1820, there was a population 501 [heads of households], and by 1860 there was a population of 12,035, excluding the slaves. Below are the numbers for the slave owners, slaves, free Blacks, and free Mulattoes for 1850-1870.
1850 Slave Schedule
- 585 slave owners
- 2,359 Black slaves
- 524 Mulatto slaves
- 17 free Blacks
- 9 free Mulattoes
- 669 slave owners
- 2,856 Black slaves
- 22 Colored slaves
- 611 Mulatto slaves
- 75 free Blacks
- 16 free Mulattoes
- 3,173 Blacks
- 527 Mulattoes
- About 7 U.S. Colored Troops listed Daviess County. KY, as their birth location.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J]
Geographic Region: Daviess [Daveiss] County, Kentucky
Davis, Benjamin O, Jr.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 2002
Born in Washington, D.C., Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was the first African American to command an airbase, Godman Field, KY, in 1945-46. He was also the first African American Brigadier General in the Air Force, obtaining the rank of a three-star general before retiring in 1970. His father was the first African American General in the Army. For more see Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: an Autobiography, by B. O. Davis.
See photo and additional information at Biographies: General Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr., a U.S. Air Force website.
Subjects: Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Godman Army Air Field, Hardin County, Kentucky
Davis, DeWayne Frank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1969
Born in Covington, KY, DeWayne F. Davis became the assistant health commissioner in Charleston, West Virginia, and a physician at West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], where he had received his undergraduate degree. Davis received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College. He was the son of Ella May Holmes Davis and Henry Davis, according to the State of Texas Certificate of Death #03158 for DeWayne F. Davis, who died in Houston on January 20, 1969. Dr. Davis had been in Houston for six years. He was a veteran of WWI, and was buried in the Paradise South Cemetery in Houston. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia / Houston, Texas
Davis, Edward Benjamin and Betty Webb
Both Ed B. Davis (1875-1934) and Betty W. Davis (b.1879) were born in Scott County, Kentucky. Ed was the son of Katie Davis, and he and Betty lived at 133 Bourbon Street, according to Ed's death certificate. Betty and Ed Davis were teachers at the Georgetown Colored School, Ed was also the school principal, they are listed in the 1910 and the 1920 U. S. Federal Census. In 1923, Betty established the first African American library in Georgetown; it was within the school. The library was later named the Charles Steele Library, serving as the Colored branch of the Georgetown Public Library. In 1934 Davis replaced her deceased husband as principal of the school, serving in that capacity until 1940; the school name had changed to the Ed Davis High School, it was named after her husband. She also established the Betty Webb Davis Scholarship Loan Fund within the Ed Davis Alumni Association. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1941-44, and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1843
Death Year : 1927
Ellen Davis was the daughter of John Davis, an Irishman [John J. Cummins is listed as the father on her death certificate]. She was from Fayette County, KY, and had been a slave belonging to the mother of wealthy horseman John T. Hughes (1840-1924) of Fayette County. When Davis was about 18 years old, she had a son by Hughes, who never married. Their relationship was temporarily interrupted during the Civil War, but resumed in 1872, when Davis became free and after J. T. Hughes' mother had died. The relationship continued until 1924 when J. T. Hughes died. In his will, he left $30,000 to various persons, and his faithful colored man, Alex Rankin, received 96 1/2 acres of land [Alex Rankin d.1935, his wife Nannie d.1939, they are buried in African Cemetery No.2]. Ellen Davis received the mansion Elkton and hundreds of acres of farmland plus all of the home belongings, farm equipment, and stock. Their son, Robert Henry Hughes, who had spent most of his life in Buffalo, NY, received 160 acres. The remainder of the estate went to the Midway Orphan's Home. The will was contested and the case went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, December 1925. The will was allowed to stand as written and Ellen Davis, in a situation very similar to that of Margaret Pryor, was thought to be the wealthiest Negro woman in Kentucky. But unlike Pryor, 80 year old Davis sold the estate that neighbored thoroughbred farms that belonged to wealthy men such as John E. Madden, Samuel D. Riddle, and Joseph E. Widener, who bought 587 acres. Payne Whitney, a relative of J. T. Hughes from New York, bought the Elkton mansion and 277 acres. Ellen Davis died at the age of 84 in Fayette County, KY, on December 8, 1927. According to her death certificate, she is buried in the Greenwood Cemetery. For more see "Bayless v. Hughes' EX'Rs et al. (Court of Appeals of Kentucky. Dec. 15, 1925)," South Western Reporter, vol. 278, pp. 162-163; "Made richest Negress in South by court," New York Times, 12/17/1925, p. 13; and "New property cost breeders $326,000," New York Times, 03/01/1926, p. 14. The Rankins' death dates and cemetery information provided by Yvonne Giles - "The Cemetery Lady".
Subjects: Freedom, Jockeys, Horsemen, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North, Inheritance, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1920
Twenty-five year old Samuel Davis drowned while attempting to save 16 year old Estelle Garnand and her friend, Mary Etta Martin, from the "sunk holes" in the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River, July 12, 1920. He was able to save Martin, but both Davis and Garnand drowned. Davis was a coal miner from Aflex, KY. He was African American, and Garnand and Martin were white. Davis was awarded a Carnegie bronze medal [posthumously], and his wife received a pension of $50 per month and an additional $5 for their daughter, all from the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Davis was one of 23 persons to be recognized by the commission in 1921 and one of two to receive a bronze medal. For more see the 1922 Negro Year Book, by M. N. Work; "Samuel Davis," The Crisis, vol. 22, issue 2 (June 1921), p. 87 [available online at Google Book Search]; "Carnegie medals to 23 for heroism," The New York Times, 04/30/1921, p. 16; Samuel Davis at the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission website; and "Miss Estelle Garnand" on page 3 of The Kingsport Times, 07/20/1920.
Subjects: Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Aflex, Pike County, Kentucky
Davis, Van, Jr.
Birth Year : 1929
Death Year : 1991
Van Davis, Jr. was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Mannie and Van Davis, Sr. He was the leading plaintiff in a discrimination lawsuit against Los Angeles County. Davis became the first African American firefighter with the Los Angeles Fire Department in 1953. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. For more see "Behind the Scenes, Van Davis, Jr.," a County of Los Angeles Fire Department website.
Subjects: Firefighters, Migration West, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angles, California
Davis, William E. "Bunny"
Birth Year : 1917
Death Year : 2001
Born in Perryville, KY, William E. Davis played football, baseball and basketball at Bate High School in Danville. He was an all-state forward in basketball and selected to play on the All American Negro High School basketball team of 1936. It is thought that Davis was the first African American basketball player to be named an All-American. Davis could run the 100-yard dash in 9.7 seconds. He played semi-pro baseball prior to integration: in 1947 he joined the Lexington Hustlers, the first integrated baseball team in the South. Davis was the first African American to umpire baseball in state high school tournaments and the Kentucky Southeastern Conference. He was also the chief doorkeeper for the Kentucky House of Representatives. For more see Shadows of the past, by L. Stout; and "William 'Bunny' Davis, Athlete Commissioner," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/14/2001, Obituaries, p. B2. See also the sound recording interview with William E. "Bunny" Davis in Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
See photo image of William E. "Bunny" Davis at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Read about the William E. "Bunny" Davis oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Baseball, Basketball, Football, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Davis, William Henry
Birth Year : 1872
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Davis graduated from Louisville Colored High School in 1888 [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He taught himself shorthand and typewriting, then was employed by the law firm Cary & Spindle. He was also a private secretary for Louisville Mayor Todd and owned a thriving shoe store in Louisville. He taught typewriting and shorthand in the Colored schools because African Americans were excluded from the classes taught in Louisville. In 1899 he moved his family to Washington, D.C., and in 1902 was awarded a Doctorate of Pharmacology from Howard University. Dr. Davis went on to hold many posts with the federal government and opened the Mott Night Business High School. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Dr. William H. Davis in the John P. Davis Collection.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Davistown (Garrard County, KY)
The community, referred to in Kentucky Place Names as a Negro settlement, is located in Bryantsville, KY, near the Boyle County line on Fisher Ford Road, east of the Dix River, about 7.5 miles north of Lancaster. The community was named after W. M. Davis, owner of the tract of land that was subdivided. Source: R. M. Rennick, Kentucky Place Names, p. 78.
Geographic Region: Davistown, Garrard County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1977
Dawson, born in Clifton Forge, VA, became the first African American editor of the University of Kentucky yearbook, The Kentuckian, in 1998. A graduate of Alleghany High School in Covington, VA, he earned his B.A. in Journalism with minors in Music Theory and History from the University of Kentucky; he is also a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, with a M.A. in Pastoral Counseling. Dawson is a freelance poet, writer, and graphic designer. He is also a fitness trainer at Jefferson Fitness Club and a men's mentor at CrossOver Inc. For more see Kentucky Kernel, 02/18/98. Additional information provided by Carlos Dawson.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Poets
Geographic Region: Clifton Forge and Covington, Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Wilmore, Jessamine County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1965
Dermontti Dawson, born in Lexington, KY, is considered one of the greatest centers in the history of professional football. He was an all-state lineman at Bryan Station High School in Lexington and a four-year letterman (1984-1987) at the University of Kentucky, where he played guard. He was a second round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, spending his entire professional career with the team, 1988-2000. Dawson was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2005, he was named to the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees. In 2012, Dermontti Dawson was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He had been a finalist each of the previous three years, and three years prior to that he had been a nominee. He is the second player from Kentucky to be selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and joins George Blanda. He is the third player selected from Kentucky. For more see "UK to Retire Dermontti Dawson's Jersey, no. 57," Sports Report, 08/24/2001 at scout.com; "Ex-Cat Dawson voted into Pro Football Hall of Fame - Only second UK player to gain entry," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/05/2012, p.A1.
See photo images of Dermontti Dawson at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Gallery.
Read about the Dermontti Dawson oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Dawson, Howard Preston, Jr.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1961
H. Preston Dawson, a horse trainer, was born July 20, 1916 in Kentucky, the son of Howard Preston Dawson, Sr. and Nettie B. Baker Dawson [source: West Virginia Deaths Index]. Preston Dawson died in Wheeling, WV, and is buried in Springfield, KY.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration East
Geographic Region: Wheeling, West Virginia / Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky
Dawson, Osceola A.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1963
Osceola Aleese Dawson was a woman of many talents. She was born in Roaring Springs, KY, and after her father died, she and her mother moved in with her grandfather, Peter Dawson, who lived in Christian County, KY. Osceola Dawson started school in the third grade at Little Lafayette in Christian County; she graduated valedictorian of her grade school. After passing the county examination that allowed her to enter high school in Pembroke, KY, Dawson graduated valedictorian of her high school at the age of 16 and became a teacher at the age of 17. In 1929, she was a student and an employee at West Kentucky Vocational School [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah. After graduating from college, Dawson remained employed at the school for more than 20 years. She had also completed work at the School of Brief English in New York and studied music to become a noted lyric soprano. Dawson was also the author of Of Human Miseries, a collection of short stories published in 1941, and a number of other works, including the 1959 documentary about Clarence Timberlake, The Timberlake Story. Dawson was also a long-standing, active member of the NAACP, serving as the secretary of both the Kentucky NAACP Conference and the Paducah NAACP Branch. Dawson was recognized for her outstanding service, including her speaking tours in northern states. She was a sister of former Illinois Assistant Attorney General James Cotter. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; Papers of the NAACP, Part 21, roll 20, frame 234; and Bill Powell's Notebook, "Osceola Dawson's title has not changed but her role has," Paducah Sun-Democrat, 02/08/1958, p. 6.
Listen online to the tribute feature, Osceola Dawson, Renaissance Woman by Jacque E. Day at WKMS-FM, Murray State University.
Listen online to the Osceola Dawson interview by Edward R. Murrow on the program This I believe, at thisibelieve.org.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Roaring Springs, Trigg County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville and Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
DB Bourbon Candy, LLC [Robyn C. Stuart and Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham]
Start Year : 2005
DB Bourbon Candy, LLC is a successful home business located in Frankfort, KY. While there are many candy companies and makers of bourbon balls in Kentucky, DB Bourbon Candy is believed to be the only African American owned company of its kind in the state. The owner is Robyn C. Stuart, daughter of the late Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham. The company's original candy recipe belonged to Johnnye Cunningham who would make bourbon balls during the holidays for family and friends. The bourbon balls were rolled in powered sugar. Cunningham passed away in 2002, and her daughter, Robyn Stuart, began making the bourbon balls, dipped in chocolate, for family and friends. In tribute to her mother, Stuart expanded the treats into a candy business with 38 different flavors besides bourbon. Also available are chocolate covered grapes, pineapples, and strawberries. DB Bourbon Candy clients include the Kentucky NFL Hall of Fame and Barnstable-Brown Derby Gala. The business is about giving back to children; in memory of Johnnye Smallwood Cunningham, DB Bourbon Candy,LLC gives toward school supplies for children in need. Johnnye S. Cunningham was born in Lexington in 1937, about a year after bourbon balls were created in Kentucky. Both the candy and the bourbon are unique to Kentucky, approximately 95% of the bourbon in the United States is distilled in Kentucky. For more about the DB Bourbon Candy, LLC business, see the first half of "Sweet Treats" program #441 on Connections With Renee Shaw, a Kentucky Educational Television Production [available online]; and visit the website DB Bourbon Candy, LLC. For more about the history of Kentucky bourbon balls see Kentucky Bluegrass Country by R. G. Alvey.
Subjects: Alcohol, Businesses, Bakers, Cooks and Chefs
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky
Dean, Dora [Dora Dean Babbige Johnson]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1949
Dean, whose birth name was Dora Babbige, was born in Covington, KY. She was known in vaudeville as "The Black Venus." She was married to Charles E. Johnson, and they performed as a couple, often billed as the creators of the Cake Walk dance. Dean and Johnson were a stylish and graceful dance team who perfected the Cake Walk into a high-stepping swank. They also performed soft shoe and wing dancing; they were stars of "The Creole Show," emphasizing couples dancing. Dean and Johnson were the first African American couple to perform on Broadway. They were also the first to perform in evening attire; they were the best dressed couple on stage. Dean was described as possessing a plump, striking figure; she posed for German painter Ernest von Heilmann, and the painting was unveiled in 1902 at the coronation of King Edward VII and exhibited at the Paris Expo. The couple was also the first to use steel taps on their shoes and the first to use strobe lighting. Beginning in 1903, they lived and performed mostly in Europe and some in Australia and the U.S. They returned home in 1913. The couple had divorced in 1910, and once back in the U. S. they continued performing but did not perform together for a long while. In 1930, Dean had an acting role in the film Georgia Rose, an all African American talkie by white director Harry Gant. Dean and Johnson reunited as a team and a couple in 1934, and both retired by 1942. They spent the remainder of their lives in Minneapolis, MN. For more see Tap Roots, by M. Knowles; "Dora Dean" in the Biographical Dictionary of Dance, by B. N. Cohen-Stratyner; and vol. 2 of the African American National Biography, edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Migration West, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Europe / Australia / Minneapolis, Minnesota
In 1999, Robert Deane became the first African American Chief of Police at Western Kentucky University, located in Bowling Green, KY. He was also the first African American Chief of Police at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Deane is also a retiree of the Detroit Police Department, having served with the department for 27 years. For more see J. Riley, "Ex-Detroit cop named school's new chief - New chief inherits successful but money-strapped department," Daily News (Bowling Green, Kentucky), 11/11/1999; and "UW-Parkside names interim police chief," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/20/1999.
See photo image of Robert Deane at the Western Kentucky University website.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Wisconsin / Detroit, Michigan
Dearing, J. Earl
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 1969
J. Earl Dearing was the first African American to be appointed deputy clerk of the police court in Jefferson County. He later won the primary for a circuit court judgeship but died before the general election. He advocated outlawing segregation in public accommodations after he and his son were not allowed to view Bambi at a movie theater. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
See photo image of J. Earl Dearing at Hall of Fame 2000, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Judges, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Decker, Charles E.
Birth Year : 1913
Charles E. Decker, a Republican, was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1946 and finished his term in 1948. He was unsuccessful in his bid for re-election. Decker was the only African American from Evansville [Vanderburgh County] to be elected to the Indiana Legislature. Decker also served as president of the Vanderburgh County Congress of Industrial Organizations (C.I.O.). He was the first Negro arbitrator for an Indiana labor dispute [source: p.64 in The History of Evansville Blacks by D. W. Sprinkles]. Decker was a member of the International Harvester Local 1106 in Evansville in 1952, and was one of the leaders to head the Indiana Republican party campaign for votes. Beginning in 1953, Decker was appointed director of Fair Employment Practices Commission. He is mentioned on several occasions in the organization's newsletter and he is also listed in the Roster of State and Local Officials of the State of Indiana. Charles E. Decker was born in Kentucky, the son of Edward and Inez Decker, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family of four lived on William Street in Evansville, IN. In 1930, Charles E. Decker was a waiter at a hotel in West Baden, IN, and in 1940, he was a waiter at a hotel in Evansville, IN [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He was the husband of Eloise Decker. For more see Charles E. Decker on p.13 in the online publication "Hoosier History: This Far By Faith: Black Hoosier Heritage: Early Rural Communities," a Indiana Humanities Council website [.pdf]; "Indiana County elects first state assemblyman," The Afro-American, 11/24/1946, p.27; and "GOP names labor leaders in drive for workers' vote," Indianapolis Recorder, 08/30/1952, p.1.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Union Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Evansville, Indiana
Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana
In the 1870s a small group of African Americans left Kentucky and settled in Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana. They were the forerunners; by 1880, the bulk of the African American population in Montana had come from Kentucky, including the Johnson, Broose and Dodgeston families. Montana would become a state in 1889. For more see C. McMillen, "Border state terror and the genesis of the African-American community in Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana, 1870-1890," The Journal of Negro History, vol. 79, issue 2 (1994), pp. 212-247.
Subjects: Communities, Migration West, Exodusters [African Americans migrating West around Reconstruction Era]
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Deer Lodge and Choteau Counties, Montana
Dehaven, Burrell B.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1941
Born in Hardinsburg, KY, Dehaven became a dentist. He was founder and president of the Capitol City Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association (Ohio). He was the only African American dentist from Columbus to serve in the Dental Corp during World War I. For more see Who's Who in Colored American, 1933-37; and African American Dental Surgeons and the U.S. Army Dental Corps: A Struggle for Acceptance, 1901-1919, by John M. Hyson, Jr.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio
Denning, Joe William
Birth Year : 1945
Joe W. Denning was born in Bowling Green, KY, son of Marion E. and Evelyn Huskey Denning. He is a 1970 graduate of the Kentucky State Police Academy and attended Western Kentucky University. In 1975, Denning, a former state trooper, became the first African American to serve on the Bowling Green School Board. In 1991, he was elected a city commissioner. Denning was pro-tem mayor of Bowling Green, KY in 2011, and later replaced Mayor Elaine Walker after her resignation to become the Kentucky Secretary of State. Denning was elected mayor of Bowling Green in 2012. He is the first African American Mayor for the city. For more see "17 blacks are local school board members," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report, by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 24; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1985-2006.
See photo image and additional information about Joe W. Denning "Commissioner Joe Denning will become city's first black mayor" by A. Robinson, 01/08/2011, at bgdailynews.com.
Subjects: Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky
Depp, Chantel R. Brown
Birth Year : 1969
Chantel R. B. Depp was born in Versailles, KY, the daughter of Charles E. Brown Jr. and Geraldine Collins Brown. In 1986, she was the first (and to date, the last) African American named homecoming queen of Woodford County High School. Depp was the school's prom queen in 1987; 20 years earlier, in 1967, her mother had been voted prom queen. Depp was Ms. Black U of L in 1988-89; Ms. Woodford County Fair Queen in 2000; and 3rd runner-up in the Mrs. Kentucky America Pageant. She was the first African American to be hired in the executive office of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; she joined the staff in 2004 as an employment recruiter and served as a staff assistant to the commissioner. Depp received the Diversity Award at the 2006 Southeastern Association of the Fish Wildlife Agencies Conference. She was the recipient of the 2005 Employee Support Award from Kentucky State University's Office of Career Counseling and Placement for her student recruitment efforts. Chantel Depp is a communication graduate of the University of Kentucky and earned a master's degree in public administration at Kentucky State University with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is a graduate of the Governor's Minority Management Trainee Program. Depp is an instructor and model with Images Model Talent Agency, and since 1999 has been a choreographer with the Woodford County Fair Pageant Board. She has also been a dance coach and is an active leader in the St. Paul A.M.E. Church. Depp is the sister of Charliese Brown-Lewis. This information is taken, with permission, from the resume of Chantel Brown Depp.
See photo image of Chantel R. Depp at the Kentucky State University website.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Education and Educators, Homecoming Queens, Pageants, Contests, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky
Deppe, Louis B.
Birth Year : 1897
Death Year : 1976
Louis B. Deppe, born in Horse Cave, KY, was a baritone concert and solo singer who was mentored by Madame C. J. Walker. Deppe grew up in Springfield, OH, and at the age of 16 was taken to New York by Madame Walker for voice training. He served in the U.S. Army and afterward toured with Anita Patti Brown. He was close friends and a performance partner with Earl Hines, and he directed his own groups, including Lo[u]is B. Deppe and His Plantation Orchestra. Deppe also performed in Broadway musicals. His first name has been spelled "Lois" in some sources. For more see "Louis Deppe" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern; and a photo of Deppe's Seranaders at redhotjazz.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio
Diamond Jubilee (Louisville, KY)
Diamond Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; the story of seventy-five years of the association and four years of convention activities was published, per order of the General Association, by the Diamond Jubilee Commission. Louisville, Ky., American Baptists, 1943. This edition and a 1954 edition are available at Western Kentucky University Library.
Subjects: Religion & Church Work, Jubilees
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Dickerson, Bernice C.
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 2009
Bernice C. Dickerson won her first Adairville council race in 1983 when she was 70 years old; she would win 11 elections. At the age of 92, Dickerson was the oldest elected and serving official in Kentucky. Dickerson was honored as a Kentucky Admiral by State Senator Joey Pendleton and January 15, 2006, was proclaimed "Bernice Dickerson Day" in Logan County. Bernice Dickerson was born in Montgomery County, TN, the daughter of Elijah and Sarah Winston Clark. She was a gradute of the University of Kentucky. For more see R. Dearbone, "Councilwoman recognized," 01/16/2006, by WBKO 13 (ABC); "Dickerson to be honored at 20th Annual Dr. MLK Jr. Unity Walk," News-Democrat & Leader, 01/15/2006; SR 116 (BR1550) - J. Pendleton, G. Neal; and "Mrs. Bernice" in the Community section of the News-Democrat & Leader, 01/16/2009, p.A8.
See photo image and additional information about Bernice Dickerson in the 2009 article "Adairville loses prominent citizen; Bernice Dickerson dies at age 95," by P. Cassady at newsdemocratleader.com.
Subjects: Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Montgomery County, TN / Adairville, Logan County, Kentucky
Dickerson, Roger Quincey "R. Q."
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1951
Dickerson was born in Paducah, KY, and grew up in St. Louis. He played trumpet with several groups at the Cotton Club in New York, beginning with Robinson's Bostonians in the early 1920s and ending with Cab Calloway's Orchestra in 1931. Dickerson remained in New York as a cab driver. He can be heard playing on the recordings Early Black Swing, Prohibition Blues, and Riverboat Shuffle. For more see "R. Q. Dickerson" in Classic Jazz: the musicians and recordings that shaped jazz, 1895-1933, by S. Yanow; and in the Oxford Music Online Database.
Subjects: Migration North, Migration West, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / New York
Dickerson, William H.
Dickerson was elected State Evangelist of Kentucky in 1895 during the State Convention of the Christian Church in Hustonville, KY. He was a pastor at Millersburg, Mayslick, and Nicholasville (1895), all in Kentucky. Under Dickerson's directorship, Nicholasville had the most modern Christian church in the state; the building cost over $6,000. For more see Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work
Geographic Region: Hustonville, Lincoln County, Kentucky / Millersburg, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Mayslick, Mason County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky
Dickinson, Blanche T.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1972
Born in Franklin, KY, Blanche Taylor Dickinson attended Bowling Green Academy and Simmons University (KY) and was later a schoolteacher. She would become a Harlem Renaissance poet. Her poetry appeared in anthologies and periodicals such as The Crisis, Chicago Defender and Louisville Leader. Her biography appeared in Opportunity, vol. 5 (July 1927), p. 213. Also in 1927, Dickinson won the Buckner Award for ""conspicuous promise"; she was living in Sewickley, PA at that time. Blanche Dickinson was the wife of Verdell Dickinson (1898-1978), he was a truck driver who was born in Trenton, KY. The couple lived on Centennial Avenue in Sewickley, PA in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Black American Writers Past and Present: a biographical and bibliographical dictionary, by Rush, Myers, & Arta; Harlem Renaissance and Beyond. Literary biographies of 100 black women writers, 1900-1945, by L. E. Roses and R. E. Randolph; and "Negroes get prizes for literary work" in the New York Times, 05/08/1927, p. 19.
Additional information provided by Gayla Coates, Archives Librarian at the Simpson County Kentucky Arhcives: Blanche Taylor Dickinson died in 1972 and is buried at Pleasant View Cemetery in Simpson County, KY.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Poets
Geographic Region: Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Sewickley, Pennsylvania / Trenton, Todd County, Kentucky
Diggs, Elder Watson
Birth Year : 1883
Death Year : 1947
Born in Hopkinsville, KY, Elder W. Diggs graduated from Indiana's Normal [now Indiana State University], where he was one of the founding members of Kappa Alpha Psi, established on January 5, 1911. Diggs served as the Grand Polemarch (president) of the fraternity during the first six years and was awarded the organization's first Laurel Wreath in 1924. The fraternity sought "to raise the sights of Negro youth and stimulate them to accomplishments higher than might otherwise be realized or even imagined." Diggs was the first African American graduate from the IU's School of Education, and he went on to become a school principal in Indianapolis, leaving that job to serve in World War I. After the war Diggs was instrumental in having the Indiana constitution amended to permit Negro enlistment in the Indiana National Guard. Diggs returned to his job as principal and earned his master's degree in education from Howard University in 1944. After his death on Nov. 8, 1947, the Indianapolis school where he had served as principal for 26 years was named the Elder W. Diggs School #42. For more see Founder: Elder Watson Diggs, by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; and a pencil drawing of Elder W. Diggs by Vertine Young available in the Indiana Historical Society's Great Black Hoosier Americans collection.
See photo image and additional information about Elder Watson Diggs at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Terre Haute and Indianapolis, Indiana
Dillard, William O., Sr.
Birth Year : 1938
Dillard was born in Hopkinsville, KY. In 1968, he became the first African American deputy sheriff in Christian County and in 1981 became the first African American elected sheriff in Kentucky. He received his law enforcement training at Eastern Kentucky University. For more see "Kentucky's first black sheriff one of six black county officials," in the 1982 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Sixth Report, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, p. 18; and Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky
Dillon, Celita L.
Birth Year : 1967
In 2009, Celita L. Dillon became the first African American woman master from Kentucky to be inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. She has studied martial arts for almost two decades, and teaches martial arts at the Newburg Boys and Girls Club. For more see D. Poore, "Newburg woman scores first in martial arts," Courier-Journal (Louisville), Neighborhoods section, 04/22/2009, p. 11A.
See video of Master Celita Dillon performing Pyong 2 on YouTube.
Subjects: Martial Arts
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Located in Pikeville, KY, Dils Cemetery is thought to be the first integrated cemetery in Eastern Kentucky. For more see Appalachian Quarterly, June 1998, p. 99.
Subjects: Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky
Dinwiddie, William Thomas
Birth Year : 1865
William T. Dinwiddie was born in Lincoln County, KY and he grew up in Danville, KY. After his graduation from the Danville Colored school, he completed a two year course at Knoxville College and later graduated from Meharry Medical and Dental School [now Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry] in Nashville. Following his graduation, Dr. Dinwiddie became Chair of Prosthetic Dentistry at Meharry. He left Meharry to become a dentist in Lexington, KY. Dr. Dinwiddie had a large practice located in the medical building at 118 North Broadway. He was one of the first African American dentist in Kentucky. Dr. Dinwiddie was also a carpenter and master mechanic. In 1898 he married Addie B. Dinwiddie (b.1871 in Kentucky), his first wife, and in 1905 married Georgia McLaughin Dinwiddie (born 1875 in Danville, KY). For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Carpenters, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Dentists
Geographic Region: Lincoln County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Directory of African Americans in Lexington, Kentucky: 1893
Start Year : 1893
Compiled by Doris Wilkinson, the directory is part of the Project on the African American Heritage. A copy is available at the University of Kentucky Libraries' Special Collections.
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Dishman, Oscar, Jr.
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2000
Born in Scott County, KY, Dishman began working with horses when he was a teenager, training thoroughbred horses for more than 40 years, including Silver Series and Golden Don. Dishman had been employed at Latonia and River Downs. He also filed suit against the Scott County Board of Education in 1956, leading to the desegregation of the public schools in Georgetown, KY. He was the son of Oscar, Sr. and Anna L. Henderson Dishman. The family lived in New Zion according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. For more see "Oscar Dishman Jr., thoroughbred horse trainer for more than 40 years, dies at 77," Lexington Herald-Leader, Obituaries, p. B2, 10/02/2000; and the sound recording interview with Oscar Dishman, Jr. in Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989 at Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries. For more about the school board lawsuit, contact Marilyn Dishman (his daughter).
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Trainers, & The Derby, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Board of Education, Court Cases
Geographic Region: New Zion, Scott County and Fayette County, Kentucky / Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky
Division of Negro Education (Kentucky)
Start Year : 1924
In 1924, the Division of Negro Education was formed within the Kentucky Department of Education, and Professor L. N. Taylor was hired as supervisor of Negro rural education. On April 25, 1924 he addressed the Kentucky Negro Educational Association (KNEA) and also made a $10 donation to the organization. The Division of Negro Education brought the issue of secondary education for Negroes closer to the State Department of Education, according to Claude E. Nichols in his master's thesis, Reorganization of Negro High Schools in the State of Kentucky. From 1924-1943, Taylor addressed the KNEA membership at the annual conference, collected concerns and kept members up to date on education matters, and continued to make a financial donation to the organization each year. Taylor retired from the Department of Education in 1943; KNEA presented him with a 17-jewel watch. He was presented the Lincoln [Institute] Key in 1944, the same year that Sam B. Taylor was named Supervisor of Negro Education. From 1945-1947, Whitney M. Young, Sr. served as the Assistant Supervisor and Coordinator of Negro Education, the first African American to be hired in the Division of Negro Education. For more see the Proceedings of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and the Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal, April 23-26, 1924 through November-December 1948 [both titles available online in the Kentucky Digital Library]; and Negro Education in Kentucky [thesis], by J. A. Bond. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky
Dixville and Other Communities in North Middletown, KY
One of the earliest mentions of the African American community of Dixville is a 1901 newspaper article in The Bourbon News. The community is also mentioned in Jacqueline Sue's book, Black Seeds in the Blue Grass. Dixville is located in North Middletown, KY, on the main road that heads toward Mt. Sterling. Albert B. Wess, Sr. was reared in Dixville: he was born on Deweese Street in Lexington and the family moved to Dixville when he was a small child. His father was a prominent member of the Dixville community, owning several homes and the Tom Wess Grocery Store. The store was in operation long before Albert Wess and his twin sister, Alberta, were born in 1923, and the store closed a year before Tom Wess died in 1936. The 2nd Christian Church was across the street from the store and nearby was a UBF&SMT [United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten] Lodge Hall. Tom Wess belonged to the lodge. The present day church in Dixville is Wiley Methodist Church. In 2007, the first Annual Dixville Picnic was held. Three other African American communities were located in North Middletown. One was Kerrville (1), on Highway 460 about one mile outside North Middletown. The Francis M. Wood High School, grades 1-8, was located in Kerrville (1), and Florence H. Wess (d.1932), mother to Albert Wess, was one of the schoolteachers and the music teacher; she also played piano at the church. Kerrville (2) was next to the other Kerrville; and Smoketown was one mile on the other side of North Middletown, heading toward Little Rock. A few of the families that lived in these communities had the last names of Carter, Cason, Mack, Kenney, Green, McClure, Butler, Fields, Dorsey, and Gibbs. This information comes from Albert B. Wess, Sr. See the article in The Bourbon News, 11/19/1901, p. 5. If you have more information about Dixville or the other communities, please contact Michell Butler.
Subjects: Businesses, Communities, Kentucky African American Churches, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Dixville, Kerrville, Smoketown, North Middletown, Bourbon County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 1992
Russell Donan was one of the very few African American men from Kentucky to serve on a Navy submarine during WWII. He was an Officer's Cook 1st Class, and served first on the “R-3” and made several war patrols on the “Cobia”. He would be assigned to several other submarines before ending his military career in 1946 on the “Sperry” and on the “Carp”. Donan was born in Edmonton, KY, the son of Mary and James Donan. The family lived on State Street in Bowling Green, KY, in 1930, according to the U. S. Federal Census. Donan was the husband of Mary R. Mayfield, they were married in 1946. Russell Donan was a graduate of Tennessee A&I State University [now Tennessee State University]. He later earned a master's degree. He was an instructor and an assistant football coach at Virginia Union University. This entry was suggested by UK Librarian Shawn Livingston. For more see the "Russell Donan" entry in Black Submariners by G. A. Knoblock.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Football, Military & Veterans, Migration East
Geographic Region: Edmonton, Metcalfe County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Virginia
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1962
The following information was submitted by Marjorie Duncan Doneghy Willis: In 1998, Dudley Doneghy was inducted into the Centre College Athletic Hall of Fame. He served as the school's athletic trainer and equipment manager for more than 40 years, beginning in the 1920s.
Dudley Doneghy was born in Parksville, KY, the son of Edward Doneghy and Mollie Doneghy [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census; and Dudley Doneghy's WWI Draft Registration Card]. Edward was a carpenter. His son Dudley was a WWI veteran, and prior to enlisting in the Army, he was a porter at Curry's Drug Store in Danville, KY. During his tenure at Centre College, Dudley Doneghy was listed in the Blue Book of College Athletics as a colored trainer [1958, p.95]. He was the husband of Mattie E. Doneghy [source: Polk's Danville (Boyle County, Kentucky) City Directory, 1945, p.43].
Subjects: Athletes, Athletics, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Parksville and Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Doneghy, Edward "Ed"
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1930
In November of 1930, Ed Doneghy was shot and killed at the Turkey Pen Precinct by Joe Hayden, a Democratic election challenger. The disagreement between Doneghy and Hayden was reported in the newspapers to have been a "trivial" matter about Negroes voting at the booth. Hayden claimed he shot Doneghy in self-defense. Hayden was arrested, he posted bond, and return to work at the election booth. Ed Doneghy was a carpenter, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Mollie Caldwell Doneghy (1871-1931) and the couple had several children. For more see "Kentucky Negro shot during quarrel at election booth-voting is spotty," Sheboygan Press, 11/04/1930, p.1; "50 years ago today '30," The Lewiston Journal, 11/04/1980, p.5; and The Hayden Family by C. Hayden, v.1-2, p.190.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Voting Rights
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Doneghy, Joseph E.
Birth Year : 1914
Death Year : 1993
Born in Louisville, KY, Doneghy was a graduate of the University of Toledo Law School [now University of Toledo College of Law] and studied at the University of Chicago School of Social Work [now The School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago]. He was employed as a field worker with the Cook County Bureau of Public Welfare; playground director with the Division of Recreation in Toledo, Ohio; assistant supervisor of the Negro F.E.R.A. Schools; and probation counselor in the Lucas County Juvenile Courts in Ohio, beginning in 1938. He chaired the Ohio Pardon and Parole Commission before moving to Washington, D.C., where he was a hearing examiner with the U.S. Parole Board. In 1985, Doneghy retired from his position on the appeals council at Social Security. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Joseph E. Doneghy" in the obituaries of the Washington Post, 04/26/1993, Metro section, p. B4.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Lawyers, Social Workers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Toledo, Ohio / Washington, D.C.
Doram, Dennis and Diademia
Dennis and Diademia Doram were free African Americans who lived in Danville, KY. Diademia, her mother, and her siblings were emancipated in 1814. As an adult, she and her husband, Dennis, owned hundreds of acres of land and had a considerable sum of money in the bank. Their portraits, by Patrick Henry Davenport, hang side by side in the Kentucky Journey Gallery at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort, KY. The center received 65 original documents of the Doram-Rowe family, including the emancipation papers for Diademia's immediate family. For more see "Kentucky Historical Society places portrait treasures on display," Kentucky Historical Society News, January 2006; A. Jester, "Pictures of Prosperity - Restored Portraits of Couple Show the Fruits of Freedom Black History Month Freed Slaves," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/02/2002; or visit the Kentucky Historical Society.
See image of Dennis and Diademia Doram at A State Dvided, a KET [Kentucky Educational Television] website.
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Dorsey, William "Billy"
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1920
Dorsey was born in Louisville, KY, where he received his musical training. He was a bandleader and music arranger in vaudeville performances and was most noted in Chicago. In 1915, Dorsey traveled to England with a troupe that included his wife, Lizzie; they remained there for four years. He returned to the U.S. due to health problems and settled in Arizona. For more see William "Billy" Dorsey in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.
Subjects: Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Arizona
Dotson, William S.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 1995
William S. Dotson, born in Cave City, KY, later became a civil rights leader in Lexington, KY. Dotson first left Cave City when he was a teen; there was not a high school for African Americans, so he went to Frankfort to attend the high school at what is today Kentucky State University. He also earned a BA at the school in 1936. He was president of the National Alumni Association (1966-1968). Dotson and his wife moved to Lexington in 1938, where he later served as president of the Lexington Chapter of the NAACP, 1946-1951; Dotson wanted to bring leadership to African Americans in the city. He also served as treasurer of the state NAACP for 27 years. He was the first 40 Year Man member of Omega Psi Phi, for which he received an award in 1974. For more see M. Davis, "Martin Luther King: dream lives on struggle for rights continues," Lexington Herald-Leader, 01/15/1986, Lifestyle section, p. D1; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-1999; and William S. Dotson in the Obituaries of the Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/28/1995, p. B2.
Read about the William S. Dotson oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, items in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Cave City, Barren County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Dougherty, Charles "Pat"
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1940
Dougherty was born in Summer Shade, KY. A baseball pitcher, his career began in 1909 with the West Baden Sprudels in Indiana and ended in 1918 with the Chicago American Giants. He was the top left-handed pitcher of his era and also a good-hitter. For more see The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, by J. A. Riley; and Pat Dougherty at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - eMuseum.
Geographic Region: Summer Shade, Metcalfe County, Kentucky
Douglass Deamons (high school basketball), Lexington, KY, 1957
Start Year : 1957
Prior to 1957, the boys high school basketball teams did not play in an integrated tournament in Lexington, KY. The Douglass High School team, the Deamons, was the first all-Negro team to play in the 43rd district tournament, February of 1957. The game took place in the University of Kentucky Memorial Coliseum. The Deamons were initially intimidated by the size of the gym and the crowd but were able to pull it together and beat the Nicholasville High School basketball team 87-45. All of the Douglass starters scored in double digits. Sam Corman was the leading scorer for Nicholasville.
- Douglass High School - George Bell 21 points; Lyman Jones 20 points; John Burdette 18 points; Paul Price 15 points; Henry Bell 13 points; Coach Charles Livisay
- Nicholasville High School - Sam Corman 18 points; Harlan Veal 12 points; Knight 2 points; Brumfield 2 points; Belcher 2 points; Royse 5 points; Hager 2 points; Goss 2 points - Coach Ralph Carlisle
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Douglass, William J.
Birth Year : 1874
Death Year : 1938
William J. Douglass was a businessman in Cincinnati, OH. He was owner of the Palace Grill Restaurant at 2966 Gilbert Avenue. He had also been the director and vice-president of The Liberian Haberdashery Company, a wearing apparel business that was formed in 1919 as a $5,000 corporation. There were two stores located in Cincinnati. Thomas B. Richmond was the attorney for the business. Richmond owned his own law business. He was born 1886 in British Guiana, came to the U.S. in 1905, and became a citizen in 1912 [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. The establishing of a corporation by African American men in Cincinnati, OH, was big news that was carried in the Crisis and in African American newspapers as far west as Washington state where the story was published in Cayton's Weekly newspaper. The corporation papers were filed August 27, 1919, and the business was listed in the Annual Report of the Secretary of State to the Governor and General Assembly of the State of Ohio, year ending June 30, 1920, p.64 [online at Google Books]. William J. Douglass was born in Madison County, KY, the son of Benjamin and Hattie Carpenter Douglass. He was the husband of Mary Banks Douglass who was also from Kentucky; they married in 1900. The couple lived on Gilbert Avenue, according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. Ten years later, William J. Douglass was still a restaurant proprietor. He was married to Ida Douglass, and the family of three lived on Churchill Avenue. William J. Douglass died February 20, 1938, according to the Ohio Certificate of Death file# 9938. For more about The Liberian Haberdashery see the first paragraph under the heading "Industry" in Cayton's Weekly, 10/18/1919, p.3. For more about William J. Douglass, see his entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Businesses, Migration North
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio
Birth Year : 1956
From 2003-2005, Dr. Dowe practiced medicine in Munfordville, KY, the first African American to do so; she practiced with Dr. James Middleton at the Family Medicine Clinic of Hart County. Dr. Dowe is also one of the original board members of the Munfordville YMCA. She is also a speaker with the American Medical Association (AMA) Minority Affairs Consortium, "Doctors Back to School," a program that encourages elementary children to consider medicine as a career. Dr. Dowe has a number of publications and many years experience as a pharmaceutical and toxicology researcher, and she serves as an investigator in clinical pharmacology research for a number of companies. She has also served as Medical Services Director at the Jefferson County Department of Corrections. Dr. Dowe presently practices medicine in Elizabethtown, KY, and is a clinical instructor in Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. She is also a charter member for the first Faith-based Recovery Program for Addiction in Elizabethtown; the program is associated with the First Baptist Church, which is led by Reverend B. T. Bishop. Dr. Dowe was born in Alabama and is the daughter of Jessie and Janie Dowe. She graduated in 1978 from Dillard University with a degree in chemistry, earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Howard University, and attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her MD in 1996. This information is taken from, with permission, the curriculum vita of Dr. Jessica Dowe. Contact Dr. Dowe at Xavier Healthcare in Elizabethtown, KY, for more information.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Researchers, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Alabama
Dowery, Robert L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1952
Dowery was born in Shelbyville, KY. He served as a teacher and principal at Negro schools in Shelbyville, Franklin, Taylor County, Campbellsville, and Elizabethtown. Dowery was president and organizer of the 4th District Teachers Association. He enlisted in the Army during World War I and conducted night school at Camp Zachary in Taylor, KY. He was the son Mary Dowery. Robert L. Dowery is buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky
Drake, John B., Jr.
Birth Year : 1943
In 1969, John Drake, Jr. became the first African American firefighter in Lexington, KY. In 1991, Drake, a 22 year veteran, was Lexington's Firefighter of the Year. He was promoted to Lieutenant on January 13, 1992. John Drake was born in Lexington, KY, and lived in Michigan and Wisconsin. He returned to Lexington and was employed at the TRANE Corporation before becoming a firefighter. In 1969, the decision was made by the city of Lexington to hire Black firefighters, Drake applied and was hired. For more see B. Neumann, "Lexington firefighter provides positive public image," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/27/1991, Community section, p. 10; and History of Black Firefighters by K. L. Jackson.
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1867
Death Year : 1943
Born in Kentucky, Drury was a singer and music promoter. A teacher of voice and piano, elocution, and French conversation, he co-produced, with the African American company, Bizet's Most Famous Grand Opera, Carmen, in 1900. He was a singer in and the director of the Theodore Drury Opera Company, which performed regularly from 1900-1910 for Black and White audiences. The company had been formed in New York in 1889. Drury also organized an all African American orchestra. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Dictionary of American Negro Biography, by R. W. Logan & M. R. Winston.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Kentucky / New York
DuBois School (Mt. Sterling, KY)
Start Year : 1939
End Year : 1964
In August of 1964, as African American parents were preparing to boycott the city schools to protest a change in the school integration plans, the DuBois School was burned down. The fire was the result of arson, as was the fire that destroyed the African American Masonic Hall. The DuBois school, probably built in 1939, was an African American school with grades 1-12. The Mt. Sterling police department was put on alert against any attempt to also burn the three schools for whites. The FBI and the Kentucky State Department of Public Safety investigated the fire; the DuBois School fire had been set while the Mt. Sterling Fire Department was answering a call at one of the white schools on the opposite end of town. The Masonic Hall was owned by W. D. Banks, an undertaker who was also a leader and active member of the Mt. Sterling NAACP Branch. Banks had been meeting with the School Board to discuss the change in plans to integrate two grades rather than the original plan to integrate the entire school system. The change had come about after it was learned that more African American students than were expected had registered to attend the school for whites. With the burning of DuBois School, an emergency School Board meeting was held behind closed doors, and the Mt. Sterling schools' classes were suspended until September 8, 1964. Louisville lawyer James A. Crumlin, Sr. was hired by African American parents in preparation for a lawsuit to force the schools to integrate. The Mt. Sterling school system was one of the last to integrate in Kentucky. For more see "All-Negro school in Mt. Sterling, KY, destroyed by fire," North Adams Transcript, 08/31/1964, p. 1; and "School Desegregation" records at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. See also the entries for African American Schools in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky
Duffy, William M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1953
Born in Louisville, KY, Duffy was a 1976 graduate of the Louisville School of Art. Beginning in 1980, he has shown his work in exhibitions throughout the U.S., winning either a purchase or merit award in 30+ competitive shows. In 1997, he received an official commendation for sharing his artistic gifts with students and staff in the Jefferson County Public Schools. For more see the William M. Duffy website.
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Dulin, James W.
Dulin is from Christian County, KY. He worked in the coal mines. In 1972, he became the first African American elected to the Earlington City Council and in 1973 became the first African American appointed mayor of Earlington; he completed the term of the previous mayor. Dulin was the second African American mayor in Kentucky. For more see Human Rights News, Aug.-Oct., 1973, p. , col. B.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky
Birth Year : 1817
Death Year : 1885
An escaped slave from Shelby County, KY, Dunbar served with two Massachusetts Colored Regiments during the Civil War. He separated from his wife, Matilda Dunbar, in 1874. He was the father of Paul L. Dunbar. Johshua Dunbar was born in Garrard County, KY. He was a slave who last lived in Shelby County, prior to joining the Union Army. He received an honorable discharge in October 1865, and was employed as a plasterer. Dunbar was admitted to a U.S. National Home for Disabled Veterans in Dayton, OH, in 1882. According to the Home's records, Joshua Dunbar died August 16, 1885. He is buried on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs Center on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio. For more see L. Dempsey, "Dunbar's dad may rest with dignity," Dayton Daily News, 01/25/04, Local section, p. B1.
Subjects: Fathers, Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Garrard County, Kentucky / Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1934
Mother of Paul Laurence Dunbar, she was born Matilda Murphy in Shelby County. She left Kentucky after the ratification of the 13th Amendment freed all slaves in Kentucky. Dunbar, who outlived her son by 28 years, kept his library until her death. Dunbar House is the first publicly-owned historic site to honor an African American (Dayton, OH). In 2006, the grave of Matilda's youngest child and only girl, Elizabeth Florence Dunbar, was placed next to her mother's grave in Woodland Cemetery in Dayton Ohio. The child had died at the age of 2 from sickness and malnutrition and was buried in a potter's field. Shortly after Elizabeth's death, Joshua Dunbar and Matilda divorced. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed.; African American Women: a Biographical Dictionary (1993), by D. Salem; and M. McCarty, "Dunbar family together," Dayton Daily News, 02/12/06, Local section, p. B1.
See photo image of Matilda Dunbar at Wikimedia.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Dayton, Ohio
Duncan, Alzona John
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1950
Duncan was one of the very few African American pharmacists in Kentucky in the early 1900s. He was born in Bowling Green, KY, in 1871. In 1900, he was managing a drug store in Columbus, OH, while a boarder at a home on N. Champion Avenue, according to the U.S. Census. He was the husband of Julia Jones Duncan (1884-1953), who was born in Ohio. In 1910, the family of six was living in Covington, KY, on W. Tenth Street; Alzona Duncan was owner of a drug store. By 1916, the Duncan family was living in Louisville, KY, where their youngest daughter, Lucie L. Duncan, was born on August 8, according to the Kentucky Birth Index [see the Lucie Lennora Duncan Beverly entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project by D. C. Hine, et al.]. The family lived in Little Africa, where Alzona Duncan owned and operated a drugstore. He was also recognized as mayor of the community and was president of the Parkland Improvement Club. Little Africa was located in Louisville, KY. Alzona Duncan is listed in the 1939 and 1940 volumes of Caron's Louisville City Directory as living at 3621 Virginia Avenue and working as a pharmacist at Central Drug Company. The company had been established in 1932 by African Americans Frank L. Moorman and Dr. J. C. McDonald [see Moorman information on the University of Louisville Library website]. For more on Duncan in Little Africa see J. C. Pillow, "Parkland: Homestead was rise of Little Africa" at courier-journal.com, originally published in 1989.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Duncan, Clark and Julia
Born in 1849 in Logan County, KY, Clark Duncan was a hotel employee in Springfield, IL; he was a member of the community of African Americans who had migrated from Kentucky to Springfield. Clark Duncan was the son of George Duncan and Louisa Orendoff [later Stevens] (b.1835 in KY); it is not known if the family was free or enslaved. During the Civil War, Clark Duncan had served with the 15th Colored Infantry and he was 1st Sargent with Company B of the 6th Colored Cavalry. After the war for a few years, he alternated living in Springfield, IL, and Russellville, KY. He was married to Springfield native Julia Chavious, the daughter of Malan Chavious (d. 1879), who was from Kentucky and had been a barber in Springfield. Julia Chavious Duncan was Grand Treasurer of the Grand Court of Illinois. Clark Duncan was a Knight Templar, a Mason, and Senior Warden in Lodge No. 3. Like George Stevens and other African Americans in Springfield, Clark Duncan voted for Ulysses S. Grant during the 1868 presidential election. The Duncan family lived at 312 N. Thirteenth Street in Springfield, IL. Clark Duncan died April 7, 1929 in Springfield, IL, according to the Illinois, Deaths and Still Births, 1916-1947, at FamilySearch.com. For more see History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, by Inter-state Publishing Company (Chicago) [available online at Google Book Search]; and contact the Springfield, Illinois, African American History Foundation.
Subjects: Barbers, Voting Rights, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Springfield, Illinois
Duncan, Cruz [Cruz McClusky]
Birth Year : 1844
Death Year : 1916
In 1910, Cruz Duncan was appointed an aid on the staff of Commander in Chief Van Sant of the G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic). Duncan was a former slave by the name of Cruz McClusky. He escaped slavery in Kentucky and joined the Union Army in Pennsylvania, serving with the 8th U.S. Colored Infantry and surviving the Civil War. After the war, he changed his last name to Duncan and returned to Kentucky. He married Mary Beal (also from Kentucky) with whom he had three children; Mary's daughter, Florence Keller, also lived with them. They lived in Louisville, KY, until 1871, then moved to Indianapolis, IN, where the family lived at 23 Columbia Street. Duncan was employed as a laborer. He became a minister and also held all of the leadership positions with the G. A. R. Martin R. Delany Post [Colored] in Indianapolis. He was one of the first African Americans to be elected to the National Encampment. For more see "Wooden Indian inspires; starts Negro in ministry," The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910, p. 12; and "No color line allowed", New York Times, 08/07/1891, p. 1. A picture of Cruz Duncan appears on p. 12 of The Indianapolis Star, 01/16/1910.
Subjects: Freedom, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana
Duncan's birth place has been given as Lynchburg, VA, and Louisville, KY. He was an entertainer who partnered with Billy Brooks from Washington, D.C. Known as Brooks & Duncan, they spent much of their careers abroad. Writer Rainer Lotz refers to them as "an African American team of eccentric knockouts." Brooks and Duncan left the United States in 1878 with a minstrel company, and living and performing in various countries for almost 50 years. In 1922, they were in Egypt leading the Devil's Jazz Band with four Greek musicians. For more see R. E. Lotz, "A Musical Clown in Europe," The Black Perspective in Music, vol. 18, issue 1/2 (1990), pp. 116-126 [quotation from p. 116]; and "Lord have a duck" in Some Hustling This!: taking jazz to the world, 1914-1929, by M. Miller.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Minstrel and Vaudeville Performers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Europe / Egypt, Africa
Duncan, Henry J. "Hank"
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1968
Duncan, born in Bowling Green, KY, was a pianist. It was said he could hold his own going head to head with Fats Waller. Duncan led the Kentucky Jazz Band, based in Louisville; he moved the band to Detroit, Michigan, in 1919. He also played with Fess Williams, King Oliver, and recorded with Sidney Bechet. For more see The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz; and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies, by L. Feather & I. Gitler.
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
Duncan, John Bonner
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1994
Duncan was born in Springfield, KY, leaving the state in 1930 to attend Howard University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree. He was also a 1938 graduate and distinguished alumni of the Robert H.Terrell Law School. A government employee, he served from 1952-1961 in the appointed position of Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia. President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the D.C. governing board in 1961; he was the first African American commissioner of the District of Columbia. In 1964, he was reappointed to the position by President Lyndon B. Johnson and served until 1967. At the end of his second term, Duncan was appointed assistant to the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior for Urban Relations. He retired from government in 1969. Duncan was a community and civic leader in a large number of organizations, including the NAACP and the Washington Urban League, and he served on the board of the United Negro College Fund. The John B. Duncan Papers are available at George Washington University. For more see "John B. Duncan, 84, 1st black commissioner," Obituaries, Washington Times, 06/23/1994, Section C, p. C8.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Lawyers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Urban Leagues, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky / Washington D. C.
Duncan, Laval T.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1979
Duncan was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Henry, a shoemaker, and Cora Duncan. In 1934 he joined the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company in Louisville and by 1950 had become its vice president and treasurer. He was also on the board of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; the Laval T. Duncan Papers at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; and Laval T. Duncan in the Community Hospital Records finding aid in the Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Duncan, Lillian W.
Birth Year : 1914
Lillian Duncan was an officer with the African American WACs at Fort Knox, KY, in 1945. Duncan was the Plans and Training Officer. When her unit was shipped to England, Duncan became a Second Lieutenant and was Executive Officer in Company C. The WACs who had been at Fort Knox, KY, became a part of the 6888 Postal Unit, the only African American women's military unit to go overseas during WWII. Lillian Duncan was born in 1914 in Taladega, AL, and enlisted at Fort McClellan on September 30, 1942, according to her enlistment record. She was a graduate of a four year college and was employed as a teacher. She had also been a WAAC at Fort Huachua, AZ, and was a member of the 32nd and 33rd WAACs basketball team. There is a photo of the team playing basketball outside, the photo is within the New York Public Library Digital Gallery [photo available online]. For more see "WAC overseas postal unit does good job in handling mail," New York Amsterdam News, 05/05/1945, p.8A. For information on earlier WAC unit in Kentucky see Myrtle D. Anderson and Margaret E. B. Jones entries in the NKAA Database.
Subjects: Basketball, Education and Educators, Military & Veterans, Women's Groups and Organizations, Women's Army Corps (WACs)
Geographic Region: Taladega, Alabama / Fort Knox, Bullitt, Hardin, & Meade Counties, Kentucky
Duncan, R. Todd
Birth Year : 1903
Death Year : 1998
Born in Danville, KY, Robert Todd Duncan was the son of John Duncan and Lettie Cooper Duncan, who was a music teacher. The family moved to Indianapolis when Todd was a boy. After graduating from high school, Duncan earned his B.A. from Butler University and an M.A. in teaching from Columbia University Teaching College. He taught at the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes from 1925-1930 and at Howard University from 1931-1945. He played Porgy in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, breaking the color barrier in American opera. Duncan also appeared in the films Syncopation and Unchained. For more see Blacks in Opera, by E. L. Smith; Who is Who in Music, 1941; and Current Biography, 1942. View images and listen to Todd Duncan, Ann Brown "Bess, You Is My Woman" Original Porgy and Bess (1940) on YouTube.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana
Dunham, Norman Earle
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1951
Norman E. Dunham was a physician and surgeon in Covington, KY; he served on the staff of Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. Dunham was one of a few African American doctors from Kentucky who were on the hospital staff [including, T. L. Berry and Richard P. McClain]. His wife, Sadie Lyerson Dunham, from Tennessee, was a school teacher in Cincinnati. The couple lived in Covington on Russell Street [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. They later moved to E. 611 W. Court Street in Cincinnati and moved again to E. 813 Mound Street [source: 1940-1951 volumes of Williams' Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory and Williams' Cincinnati (Ohio) City Directory]. Norman Dunham was a member of the executive committee of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a member of the Tri-City Medical Association. He was a mason and served as the medical examiner for the United Brothers of Friendship. Norman E. Dunham was born in Scott County, KY, according to his draft registration card, and he grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Levi and Lula Dunham. He attended a colored school in Lexington and was a graduate of the academy at Clark University [now Clark Atlanta University]. Dunham completed his pre-med course at Fisk College [now Fisk University], 1914-1917. He returned to Kentucky, where he was a partner in a farming operation in Louisville, KY, in 1917 when he completed his draft registration card. Dunham left farming and went into the military and served as a private in the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) [source: Mary E. Smith Cemetery record]. The SATC was a new program that replaced ROTC during World War I. SATC was a nationwide military program started by the Committee on Education and Special Training of the War Department. The program trained commissioned and non-commissioned officers on 157 college and trade school campuses that were under contract with the War Department. The men in the program were college students as well as men from the general population. [For more about African Americans entrance in the SATC see "Where the Color Line was Drawn" in chapter 23 of Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War, by E. J. Scott.] After his time in the military, Dunham attended Meharry Medical College and graduated in 1921 with an M.D. Norman E. Dunham died August 7, 1951 and is buried in the Mary E. Smith Cemetery in Elsmere, KY [source: "Mary E. Smith African American Cemetery, 1950-1967," a one page .pdf document found online within the Northern Kentucky Genealogy Database at the Kenton County Public Library website]. For more information about Norman E. Dunham see his entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Covington and Elsmere, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio
Dunlap, Cecelia Halston
Birth Year : 1858
Death Year : 1908
The Cecelia Dunlap Grand Chapter, O.E.S., an Eastern Star organization founded in Kentucky, is more than 100 years old. The organization had existed for several years when it was named to honor the late Cecelia Dunlap in August of 1913 during a chapter meeting in Winchester, KY. Dunlap had lived in Earlington, KY. [In some sources, her first name is given as Celia or Celie.] The Grand Chapter was organized in 1895, and Cecelia Dunlap was one of the original members. According to an article in the Bee newspaper, 08/08/1895, p. 2, Cecelia Dunlap traveled to Henderson, KY, to attended the "grand session of the ladies department of Masonary." She attended the 1897 meeting in Bowling Green, KY [source: "Mrs. Celia Dunlap...," Bee, 08/05/1897, p. 2]. The following year, at the Grand Chapter meeting in Hopkinsville, KY, Celia Dunlap was elected the R. G. A. M. [source: "Colored Department," Paducah Daily Sun, 08/30/1898, p. 3]. She served as the third Grand Worthy Matron of the Grand Chapter from 1901 until her death in 1908. During her tenure, the chapter was incorporated. Celia Dunlap was often sick during her membership with the Grand Chapter, and periodically her name appeared on the sick list in the Colored Column of the Bee newspaper, beginning as early as 1895 [source: "Mrs. Celia Dunlap is slowly recovering from an attack of neuralgia." Bee, 08/25/1895, p. 4]. In 1891, the following appeared in the column "Old Kaintuck" in The Freeman, 02/14/1891, p. 6: "Celia Dunlap is recovering from a recent illness." According to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Celia Dunlap was born in Alabama around 1858, did washing and ironing, and was the wife of Simon Dunlap. The family of four lived in Macedonia, TN. The couple had married on February 25, 1875; Simon Dunlap and Celie Halston were joined in matrimony by Rev. James Rhodes in Maury County, TN [source: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 in Ancestry.com]. Simon Dunlap (1855-1936) was born in Mississippi. He, Celia and their three children lived in Tennessee until sometime around 1900, when they moved to Earlington, KY, where Simon Dunlap was employed as a coal miner, according to the U.S. Census. In her biography, Cecelia Dunlap is said to have been a Cherokee Indian. In the 1900 Census, the entire family is listed as Black. Cecelia Dunlap died December 8, 1908. For more information see the 1985 publication A Bright Star: a biography of Cecelia Dunlap, by Mollie M. Bradley, G. W. M., Cecelia Dunlap Grand Chapter, O.E.S., P.H.A., Jurisdiction of Kentucky; and Cecelia Dunlap Grand Chapter, Order of Eastern Star of Kentucky, P.H.A.
Subjects: Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Alabama / Earlington, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky
Dunlap, Mollie E.
Birth Year : 1898
Death Year : 1977
Born in Paducah, KY, Dunlap received her library degree from the University of Michigan in 1931. She was an instructor at Wilberforce University (1918-1923), returning in 1947. Dunlap was also a librarian at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina (1934-1947). She was also assistant editor of the Negro College Quarterly (1944-1947), authoring several bibliographical studies of Negro literature that were published in the journal. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Notable Black American Women, Book II, ed. by J. C. Smith.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Migration North, Migration East
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Wilberforce, Ohio / Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Dunnigan, Alice A.
Birth Year : 1906
Death Year : 1983
Alice A. Dunnigan was born near Russellville, KY. She is a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute [now Kentucky State University] and for a few years after her graduation, she filled her summers by taking classes at West Kentucky Industrial College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] in Paducah, KY. During the first half of her life, Dunnigan was a school teacher; she had been teaching since she was 18 years old. She was also a writer and journalist, writing her first newspaper column at the age of 14. When the school term ended in 1935, she was hired as a reporter in Louisville. Dunnigan left Kentucky in 1942 when the Louisville school where she had been teaching was closed and then continued her career as a reporter in Washington, D. C. She was also a reporter for the Associated Negro Press, serving as chief of the Washington Bureau; she was the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials and the first African American member of the Women's National Press Club. In addition to being an educator and journalist, Dunnigan was also a civil rights activist. In her hometown of Russellville, she pushed for African American women to be hired by the WPA, and she used her position as a white house correspondent to forward the issues and concerns of African Americans, she also served as the educational consultant on President Johnson's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Dunnigan was the author of The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians and four other books. For more see A Black Woman's Experience, by A. A. Dunnigan; Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Women Who Made a Difference, by C. Crowe-Carraco; and N. J. Dawson, "Alice Allison Dunnigan," The Crisis, July-August, 2007, pp.39-41 [available online at Google Book Search].
See photo image and additional information about Alice Dunnigan at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission Human on Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.
Dupee, George W.
Birth Year : 1827
Death Year : 1897
George Washington Dupee was born in Gallatin County, KY, the son of Cuthbert and Rachael Dupee. When he and his two brothers were being sold as part of an estate in 1856, Dupee's freedom was purchased by his congregation at the Lexington Pleasant Green Baptist Church. He organized the first association of African American churches in 1864, the same year he became pastor at Washington Street Colored Baptist Church in Paducah. He began publishing the Baptist Herald in 1873; the newspaper's name was later changed to the American Baptist. Rev. Dupee also held the office of Grand Senior Warden and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Kentucky. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky from Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891, by M. B. Lucas; "Rev. George Washington Dupee, D.D." on p.186 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; and Afro-American Encyclopaedia: Or, the Thoughts, Doings... by James T. Haley, pp. 611-612 [available online from the University of North Carolina University Library, Documenting the American South].
See photo image of George W. Dupee in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Kentucky African American Churches, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Gallatin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky
Durham, John G.
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1999
Durham had been the oldest African American veteran in Illinois. He was born in Kentucky, the son of Thomas F. and Mary L. Durham. The family lived in Ireland, KY, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. John Durham was a cook in the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1936, Durham had settled in Aurora, IL, where he co-founded the American Legion Post 798, the first for African Americans in Aurora. The post had been closed for a few years when Durham died, but it was scheduled to re-open with a Buffalo Soldier museum. Durham was also commander of the Kane County Council of the American Legion and later commander of the 11th District Council. He was the first African American Santa Claus in Aurora and was a member of the Aurora Police Auxiliary and Chamber of Commerce. For more see M. Hogarth, "Taps calls vet home," Beacon News, 08/18/1999, News section, p. A1.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Ireland, Taylor County, Kentucky / Aurora, Illinois
Durham, John Stephens
Birth Year : 1861
Death Year : 1919
Durham, said to be from Kentucky (his birth place has also been given as San Domingo and Philadelphia), was the United States Minister to Haiti (1891-1892); he had replaced Frederick Douglass, who had resigned. The appointment was made during the Harrison Administration. Durham had been the Consul at San Domingo (1890-1891). He was an 1886 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the first African Americans to graduate from the school. Durham was a civil engineer; a journalist with the Bulletin, a Philadelphia newspaper; and author of at least two books, Diane, Priestess of Haiti and To Teach the Negro History: a suggestion. In 1897, Durham married Constance McKenzie, a white woman who had been the director of the Porter School Kindergarten in Philadelphia. For more see "The West Indies," The Quarterly Register of Current History, vol. 1 (1892), pp. 439-440; "The New Minister to Haiti," New York Times, 09/06/1891, p. 1; and "School teacher weds a Negro," New York Times, 07/02/1897, p. 10.
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky
Birth Year : 1852
Edward Duval, born in Kentucky around 1852, was a jockey in Springfield, OH, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census.
Subjects: Jockeys, Horsemen, Trainers, & The Derby, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Springfield, Ohio
DuValle, Lucie N.
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1928
Lucie [sometimes spelled Lucy] DuValle was the first female principal in Louisville public schools, the highest paid African American in the city. She also held the first parents meeting (later known as PTA). The Lucie N. DuValle Junior High School was named in her honor; the school opened in 1952. It had previously been the Joseph S. Cotter Elementary School, today it is the Carter DuValle Eduction Center. The Park DuValle neighborhood is located on the west end of Louisville. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Dyer, Deborah L. and Jacqueline Smith (1956-2005)
In 1991 Deborah Dyer and Jacqueline Smith started Central Kentucky Research Associates, Inc. (CKRA) with a $500 investment. The first independent medical research company in Kentucky, CKRA today has offices in Lexington, Richmond, and Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. The company, which conducts drug studies for pharmaceutical companies, is one of the few owned by women (or African American women) who are not doctors. In 1999 the company was named a Small Business of the Year Finalist, and the owners were named finalists for Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards in 2000. Smith was awarded an Outstanding Alumna Award in 2002 from Eastern Kentucky University. She died in 2005 from a massive stroke while attending a meeting in Florida. Smith was a graduate of Madison Central High School and Eastern Kentucky University, both in Richmond, Kentucky. In 2008, the Jacqueline Yvonne Miller Smith Visiting Professorship was established in the Center for Advancement of Women's Health at the University of Kentucky. For more see V. H. Spears, "A Rock for all those who knew her, Jacqueline Smith: 1956-2005," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/15/2005, City&Region section, p. B1; and "Spotlight on philanthropy" in Advancing Women's Health, issue 6, fall 2008.
See photo image of Deborah Dyer and Jacqueline Smith at the CKRA website.
Subjects: Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Researchers, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky