<Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers>
Return to search page.
Burroughs, Nannie H.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1961
Nannie Burroughs moved to Louisville, KY, in 1900 to become secretary and bookkeeper of the Foreign Mission Board of the National Baptist Convention. That same year she founded the National Baptist Women's Convention. Burroughs was an activist for African American women's rights. When the National Training School for Women opened in 1909 in Washington, D.C., she became director and held the post for the rest of her life. Burroughs brought the cause for improvements in industrial conditions for African American women to the forefront of the National Association of Colored Women. She helped found the National Association of Wage Earners. For more see Biographical Dictionary of Modern American Educators, by F. Ohles, et al.; and African American Women: a biographical dictionary, by D. S. Salem.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.
Christian, Chauncey Lewis
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1991
Chauncey Christian was a bookkeeper and stenographer in Louisville, KY. Most of his work was for Samuel Plato's construction firm. It was Plato who encouraged Christian to study for the CPA exam through a correspondence course. Christian became the third African American to become a Certified Public Accountant in the United States when he passed the Kentucky CPA exam in 1926, though African Americans were not allowed to take the CPA exam. Christian was fair-skinned, and those giving the exam thought that he was white. Of the 50 men taking the exam, Christian was one of seven who passed. Kentucky would not have another African American CPA for another 34 years [Gary B. Lewis, Jr.]. In the 1940s Christian moved his family from Kentucky to New York, where he became an accountant in the show business industry. Christian was born in New York, the son of Clara Cross Christian. For more see "Deferred Assets," Boston College Magazine, Spring 2003; and A White-collar Profession: African American Certified Public Accountants Since 1921, by T. A. Hammond.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky
Geographic Region: New York / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Coulter, Francine T.
Birth Year : 1949
Born in Danville,KY, Francine Coulter was elected to the Danville Independent School Board in 1977. She was the first African American ever elected to the school board. Coulter was a stenographer with South Central Bell. 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.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky
Jernagin, Cordelia J. Woolfolk
Birth Year : 1895
Death Year : 1977
In 1924, Cordelia J. Woolfolk, born in Frankfort, KY, was a claims adjuster at the National Benefit Insurance Company in Washington, D.C. She was considered a woman who had landed a high position job. The insurance company was founded by Samuel W. Rutherford in 1898, it was an African American-owned business. Cordelia J. Woolfolk had previously worked for an insurance company in Frankfort, KY. According to a 1924 article by Charles E. Stump in the Broad Axe newspaper in Chicago, Cordelia Woolfolk had advanced in the insurance business from her job in Frankfort to her job in Washington, D.C. [source: "Charles E. Stump, the slick old time traveling correspondent...," Broad Axe, 04/19/1924, p.3, paragraph 6 of article]. Prior to working in insurance, she was a school teacher in Bagdad, KY. Cordelia J. Woolfolk was in Washington, D.C. as early as 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. In 1922, her name was on p.1666 in Boyd's Directory of the District of Columbia. She is listed in the 1933 directory and the 1934 directory; Woolfolk was employed as a stenographer and a bookkeeper. In the 1939 directory, she is listed on p.1402, and was employed at the Southeast Settlement House. The establishment was found in 1929 by Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee and provided daycare and recreation for African American children. In 1945, Cordelia J. Woolfolk was a social worker in Washington, D.C. when she married civil rights activist, Rev. William Henry Jernagin (1870-1958), pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and an internationally known church leader and activist. For more see "Jernagin takes bride," Afro-American, 08/11/1945, p.10; and "Dr. Jernagin still active pastor at 88," Afro-American, 10/19/1957, p.3.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Education and Educators, Migration North, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Bagdad, Shelby County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.
Johnson, Lillian E. Russell Bakeman
Birth Year : 1872
Lillian E. Russell was born in Kentucky and moved to Detroit, Michigan. She was the daughter of Wilbur L. Gordon Russell (mother) and William Russell [source: Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925]. After attending high school and business college in Detroit, she became a bookkeeper and stenographer. She was married to George C. Bakeman around 1895, and they were divorced by 1910, and Lillian and her daughter were living with her mother, Wilbur L. Russell, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Her name was Lillian E. Johnson by 1920 and she was once again living with her mother; Lillian had remarried and was a widow, and was employed as a stenographer at a law office. She was considered a member of the middle class within the African American community in Detroit, and was selected as a board member of the Detroit Urban League; at the time she was employed as a bookkeeper for a physician. She was one of the early African American members of the Detroit Urban League's integrated board at a time when the organization worked hand-in-hand with its financier, the Employer's Association, to supply Detroit industries with African American laborers from the South. The Detroit Urban League was established in 1910. Lillian E. Johnson was living with her brother in 1940, his name was Samuel H. Johnson, and the family of four lived on Alger Street in Detroit [U.S. Federal Census]. Johnson was employed as a bookkeeper with a newspaper. Bakeman's brief biography is included in the Michigan Manual of Freemen's Progress, compiled by F. H. Warren [available full text online in .pdf format on the Western Michigan University website]. For more about the Detroit Urban League Board when Bakeman was a member, see Internal Combustion: the races in Detroit, 1915-1926, by D. A. Levine.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Employment Services, Migration North, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
Knight, David L.
Birth Year : 1864
Death Year : 1943
In 1897, Knight established the first transfer line in Louisville, KY, owned by an African American, and he claimed to be the first to hire an African American woman as bookkeeper and stenographer. The transfer business involved hauling freight for export or import, as explained by W. T. Garnett, a transfer agent in Louisville, KY. Knight was president of the Negro Business League of Louisville in 1909, the year that the National Negro Business League held its 10th Annual Convention in Louisville. Kentucky Governor A. E. Willson and Louisville Mayor James F. Grinstead [Greenstead] were on hand to welcome the association to Kentucky. David L. Knight was born in Kentucky, he was the husband of Fannie Terance. According to the U.S. Federal Census, by 1910, David L. Knight was a widower with three children: Robert (20), Leona (16), Josephine (18). Robert (1890-1926) was a teamster with his father's transfer business. The family lived on South 18th Street in Louisville, KY. For more see p.21 in A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; C. B. Lewis, "Louisville and its Afro-American citizens," Colored American Magazine, vol.10, no.3-4, pp.259-265; see Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919: D. L. Knight, "Transfer Business" [frame 248], and W. T. Garnett, "Transfer Business" [frame 273] both at the 3rd Annual Convention, Richmond, Virginia, August 25-27, 1902, reel 1; and "First Day's Session," 10th Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, August 18-20, 1909, reel 2, frames 148-167.
Subjects: Businesses, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Negro Business League
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Lewis, Gary B., Jr.
In 1950, Gary B. Lewis, Jr. was certified as a public accountant in the state of Kentucky. Lewis was a business administration professor at Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University]. He was born in Chicago, IL, and was a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A.) and the University of Chicago, where he earned his M.B.A. Lewis would leave Kentucky to become an accounting professor at Chicago State University. Lewis may have been the second African American to become a CPA in Kentucky; the first was Chauncey Lewis Christian. For more see the Gary B. Lewis, Jr. article and photo in The Crisis, vol. 57, no. 5 (May 1950), p. 323 [available online at Google Books].
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky
Lovett, Wilson Stephen
Birth Year : 1885
Wilson S. Lovett was president of the First Standard Bank in Louisville, KY, which was established in 1921 with $50,000. It was the first African American bank in Kentucky. In 1928 the bank had assets of over $600,000. Lovett was also a civil rights activist who was a member of the NAACP and a member of the committee that led to the African American voters' repeal of the first bond effort to expand the University of Louisville. Wilson Lovett was born in New York, the son of Wilson and Annie E. Stevens Lovett, and he grew up in Pennsylvania [sources: 1900 U.S. Federal Census and Ohio Marriages Index]. He was married to Dorothy Payne Lovett (1896-1927), who was born in Kingston, Jamaica; the couple was married in 1924 in Franklin, OH. Wilson Lovett had worked as a stenographer in Alabama, he was employed in the Savings Department of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) [sources: 1910 U.S. Federal Census and Negro Star, 01/27/1933]. Lovett founded the men's basketball team at Tuskegee Institute and was the first head coach from 1908-1909. The team was undefeated, winning all three of their games [see Golden Tigers website]. Wilson Lovett came to Kentucky from Memphis, TN [sources: Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927]. In 1915, he was director of Standard Life Insurance Company in Louisville [source: Caron's Directory of the City of Louisville for 1915, p.900], which was prior to the establishment of the First Standard Bank. When he left the bank in 1929, Wilson Lovett became treasurer of the Supreme Liberty Life Insurance Company. During that same year, he served as secretary of the National Negro Bankers Association. In 1930, Wilson Lovett was president of the Standard Reality Corporation in Louisville [source: Caron's Louisville City Directory for 1930, p.1256], and president of the Credential Bond and Mortgage Company in Cleveland, OH [source: Cleveland (Ohio) City Directory, 1930, p.1056], all while living in Chicago, IL. According to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, Wilson Lovett shared his home in Chicago with Henry McGasock, from Kentucky; they lived at 608 E. Fifty-first Street in Chicago. In the census, Lovett is listed as the treasurer of a life insurance company. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; "Two dead, another injured," Indianapolis Recorder, 04/02/1927, p.1; "Business," Negro Star, 08/02/1929, p.1; "Program of National Negro Bankers Association," Plaindealer, 08/02/1929, p.4; and "Boom Wilson Lovett for Register of the Treasury," Negro Star, 01/27/1933, p.1.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Basketball, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Migration North, Migration South, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: New York / Pennsylvania / Tuskegee, Alabama / Memphis, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Cleveland, Ohio
Monjoy, Milton S.
Birth Year : 1918
Death Year : 1998
Born in Louisville, KY, Monjoy became the accountant for the Detroit Housing Commission in 1946, was senior accountant with Richard A. Austin, C.P.A., from 1945-1949, and was admitted to practice as an agent of the U.S. Treasury Department. Monjoy received his B.S. degree from the Detroit Institute of Technology [records at the Lawrence Technological University] in 1946. He was the son of William and Margaret Monjoy, and the husband of Fredda N. Alexander Monjoy. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and Monjoy in "Death Notices," Detroit Free Press, 04/16/1998, p. 4B.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration North, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan
Reynolds, Louise E.
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 1995
Reynolds, a stenographer, was the first African American to work at the Republican headquarters in Louisville, KY (1953-1959); she was there, for six years. She went on to become the second woman [first African American woman] elected to the Louisville Board of Aldermen (11th ward), where she served for eight years. She was invited to the White House and appointed to the GOP task force on Human Rights and Responsibilities. Reynolds sponsored an Equal Employment Opportunity Bill and worked for open housing. She was born in Lewisburg, TN, the daughter of Cary and William Elliot, and came to Louisville to attend school. She was a 1935 graduate of Louisville Central High School, and attended Louisville Municipal College. For more see The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber. The Louise E. Reynolds oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Housing, Fair Housing, Open Housing, Housing Agencies
Geographic Region: Lewisburg, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky
Smith, James T. "Jimmy"
Birth Year : 1913
Death Year : 1999
James T. Smith, born in Maceo, KY, was a national track athlete in Indiana and was considered by some to be the best black long distance runner in the United States. Smith attended high school in Evanston, IL, and in 1934, became a student at Indiana University. He was not an outstanding track athlete in high school, but he excelled in college. James T. Smith was a member of the four mile relay team and set the national collegiate record by running his leg in 4 minutes and 14 seconds. In 1936, he set the mile record at the Indiana State Intercollegiate Track Meet with a time of 4 minutes and 11 seconds; it was the Indiana collegiate record for 29 years. Smith also won the National Junior A. A. U. Cross Country Championship his freshman year. He was the co-captain of the Indiana University Cross Country Team and was a member of the All-American Cross Country Team. He was selected for the Big Ten All-Star Track Team. In 1938, he broke the Big Ten record for the two mile run. James T. Smith's college track coach was E. C. Hayes. The Achievement Commission of Kappa Alpha Psi awarded James T. Smith the Gold Key for outstanding achievement by an undergraduate member of the fraternity. Smith put himself through college by working at various jobs on and off campus. He was a business major and graduate from Indiana University in 1938. He became a public accountant and was owner of Smith's Big 10 Grocery. His brother Lannie Smith assisted him with his grocery business. James T. Smith was the first president of the black organization the Indy Trade Association. In 1982, he graduated from Christian Theological Seminary and became an associate pastor at the Light of the World Christian Church. In 1998, James T. Smith graduate from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH, with a doctorate of ministry. For more see C. B. Ashanin, "Thankful for the life of Rev. James T. Smith," Indianapolis Star, 12/25/1999, p.A22; J. Cebula, "Ministry born of little sister's suffering," Indianapolis Star, 12/12/1998, p.D8; "Rev. James T. Smith to be honored," Indianapolis Recorder, 05/04/1985, p.10; R. Woods, "Grocers love for people makes successful business," Indianapolis Recorder, 01/15/1966, p.11; see 'Now there is Jimmy Smith...' in the article "World of Sports" by Frank M. Davis in the Plaindealer [Kansas], 05/07/1937, p.3; see 'The Achievement Commission...' in the article "Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity discusses national problems at conclave," Negro Star, 01/15/1937, p.3; "Smith looms out as a formidable candidate for Indiana University track," Indianapolis Recorder, 11/24/1934, p.2; and G. J. Fleming, "After Jimmy graduates, what?," The Crisis, August 1938, v.45, no.8, pp.264 & 277.
*Maceo, Kentucky was settled after the Civil War by former slaves, according to author Robert M. Rennick. The land was provided by the freedmen's former owners. One of the earlier names of the community was Powers Station in honor of Colonel J. D. Powers of Owensboro. In 1897, the community was renamed Maceo for Capt. Alonzo Maceo who was a Cuban mulatto killed during the Cuban revolt against Spain. Source: Kentucky Place Names by R. M. Rennick, p.183.
Subjects: Businesses, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Communities, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Track & Field
Geographic Region: Maceo, Daviess County, Kentucky / Evanston, Illinois / Indianapolis, Indiana
Thompson, Richard W.
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1920
Richard W. Thompson was born in Brandenburg, KY, and moved to Indianapolis, IN, when he was a child. At the age of 15, he was the first African American page with the Indiana Legislature. He was hired by Bagby & Co. at the age of 17 and was later a bookkeeper for the secretary of the Marion County Board of Health. He was a mailman from 1888-1893; Thompson had finished first among a class of 75 persons taking the 1888 Marion County civil service examination. He would later become managing editor of the newspapers Freeman and Indianapolis World. Thompson left Indiana to become a government clerk with the Washington, D.C. Census Bureau, beginning in 1894; he was the first African American at that post. While in D.C., he was the managing editor of the Colored American magazine until 1903, then managed the the National Negro Press Bureau, a news service for African American newspapers. Thompson was an affiliate of Booker T. Washington; Washington subsidized the Press Bureau and influenced African American newspaper editors. In 1920, Richard Thompson died in Washington, D.C. at the Freedmen's Hospital. For more see The Booker T. Washington Papers, vol. 5 (1899-1900), p. 48 [available online by the University of Illinois Press]; Twentieth Century Negro Literature, Or, a Cyclopedia of Thought on the Vital Topics Relating to the American Negro, edited by D. W. Culp [available online from Project Gutenberg]; Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox; and "R. W. Thompson dead," Baltimore Afro-American, 02/20/1920, p.1.
See photo image of Richard W. Thompson from Twentieth Century Negro Literature, at NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Postal Service
Geographic Region: Brandenburg, Meade County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Washington, D.C.
Turner, Frank M. and Frosty [Wyatt Burghardt Turner]
Frank Turner (1887-1941) was the son of Wyatt and Emma Mitchell Turner. He and his wife, Frosty [or Frostie] Ann Duncan Turner (b. 1891), were from Richmond, KY. They lived in Jamaica, Queens, New York; according to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the family lived on Saratoga Avenue; Frank was recognized in the neighborhood as the father of tennis. The couple had six sons. Frank and Frosty Turner, both 1909 graduates of Wilberforce [now Wilberforce University], were married the summer after their graduation. Frank would become the chief accountant for the NAACP. He had kept the books since the organization opened its first office in the Evening Post building in 1910. He had come to the NAACP with W. E. B. DuBois. Frank had been secretary to DuBois in Atlanta; it was his first job after graduating from college. At the NAACP Office, Frank was also the circulation manager of the Crisis, and he had helped establish the NAACP Branch in Jamaica, New York in 1927, where he served as secretary until his death in 1941. Wyatt Burghardt Turner (1916-2009) was one of Frank and Frosty Turner's sons. He was named after his grandfather; his middle name was in honor of W. E. B. DuBois. Wyatt Turner was born in New York and graduated from high school in Kentucky, where he lived with his grandmother. He would become founder and president of the Brookhaven NAACP, and he served as chairman of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission. He had also been a history professor at Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a professor, he was the first African American teacher at Bay Shore. Wyatt Turner was a graduate of Kentucky State University and Columbia University, and he served in the U.S. Army during World War II. For more see "Frank M. Turner," The Crisis, vol. 48, issue 12 (December 1941), pp. 394 & 398; "How the NAACP Began" at the NAACP.org website; H. L. Moon, "History of the Crisis," The Crisis, November 1970; and K. Schuster, "Wyatt Turner dies; pioneer helped found Brookhaven chapter, active in Obama's presidential campaign," Newsday, 01/23/2009, News section, p. A8.
See photo image at the end of the article "Frank M. Turner" on p. 394 of The Crisis.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Education and Educators, Fathers, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Mothers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Queens, New York
Wilson, Milton James, Sr.
Birth Year : 1915
Death Year : 2003
Born in Paducah, KY, Wilson was the son of Rhea Day Wilson, a school teacher, and Jess Wilson, a Pullman Porter. He was the grandson of Elizabeth Day, also a public school teacher. Milton Wilson was a graduate of Lincoln High School in Paducah, West Virginia State University, and Indiana University at Bloomington. He would later become chief accountant for architect Samuel Plato in Louisville, KY. In 1951, Wilson became the second African American in the U.S. to earn a Ph.D. in accounting (Indiana University). He was the 25th African American CPA in the U.S., and the first in Indiana and Texas. He created the business schools at Texas Southern University and Howard University and established a business school in Decca, Pakistan in 1966. For more see L. Abram, "Wilson, 88, launched TSU's business school," Houston Chronicle, 09/06/2003, A section, p. 37; A White-Collar Profession by T. Hammond; and "Milton James Wilson" in vol. 8 of African American National Biography , edited by H. L. Gates, Jr. and E. B. Higginbotham.
Subjects: Accountants, Bookkeepers, Certified Public Accountants, Stenographers, Education and Educators
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky