Maysville Commission on Human Rights is reaching out to the community to help finalize the selection of individuals to be included on the 4th Street Mural.
The 23 people listed below were chosen for their contributions to the African-American community over the past 75 years. After reviewing the list, you can use this link to vote on the individuals you find most deserving of the honor and most likely to inspire and motivate future generations. You may choose up to 21 individuals. Cut off time for participation in the survey will be 4 p.m., Thursday, June 18, 2020.
- Professor William H. Humphrey – (1880-1958) Educator: First principal of John G. Fee Industrial High School. Remembered as the administrator who oversaw the school’s greatest achievements (1929-1949). Honored on Fee HS monument, image & info.
- Ida M. Ross – (1890-1974) Educator: Driving force behind the building of a one-room school house for African-American children in Minerva in 1925, where she taught for 42 years. After integration in the 1950s, the building became a community center and she went on to teach in the Mason County School System. She received her AB degree from Kentucky State College and her Master’s degree from Morehead State University where she was one of the first two African-American women to attend. She served on the board of the National Committee of Human Race Relations, was a member of the National Council of Negro Women, served as president of the Alumni group at Kentucky State College, and secretary of the Sub District of Women’s Society of Christian Services.
- Florence K. Morton Norman – (1894-1944) Civic leader: Florence Norman grew up on East Fifth Street. She served as president of the National Council of Negro Women. She had attended Howard University and the Jenifer Business College, and managed the Washington Business Institute in D.C. She had also been employed as secretary to Carter G. Woodson at the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. She was married to married to musician/arranger Fred Norman.
- Theodore M. Berry Sr. – (1907-2000) Civic, political leader: Theodore M. Berry was born in Maysville, KY, to a white father and an African American mother. Berry was the first African American graduate of Woodward High School in Cincinnati, OH. He earned his law degree from the University of Cincinnati. Berry was also a civil rights attorney with the NAACP. He was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in 1950 and as vice mayor in 1955, then became the city’s first African American mayor in 1972. For more see Who’s Who in Colored America, 1950; and “Theodore M. Berry Cincinnati’s First Black Mayor, Dies at age 94,” Jet, 11/06/2000.
- Amo Peters – (1912-2010) Civic leader, civil rights activist, healthcare leader: She was the first black nurse at Hayswood Hospital where she rose to position of night nurse in charge and coordinator for information and referral services. She was chair of Human Rights Commission and organized civil rights march in Frankfort. At Bethel Baptist Church she was a Sunday school teacher, president of the senior choir and Women’s Missionary Society, and trustee of administrative board at Bethel Baptist, Maysville Housing Authority board member for 20 years. She was a member of RSVP, Buffalo Trace Aging Council, Red Cross Board, MLK Scholarship Fund board, Licking Valley Handicap Board, Comprehend Foster Grandparents board, Buffalo Trace Senior Olympics Steering Committee, and volunteer for Hospice of Hope.
- Ethel Foley – (1914-2007) Educator, civic leader: Taught 39 years at Fee High School and two at Maysville High School, She served on the Board of Regents of Morehead State University for a four-year term beginning in 1980. She was a member of Haven’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Washington and was vice president of Maysville District United Methodist Women, 1986-1989 and a volunteer in the Literacy Program. She was president of the Old Church Museum Board in 1991, a member of Retired Senior Volunteer Program Board of Directors, and a member of Maysville-Mason County Bicentennial Commission and Old Washington Board.
- William “Doc” Perry – (1916-2000) Sign painter/graphic artist, business owner: Made his mark throughout Maysville by painting signs, graphics, and advertisements on buildings, vehicles, and business windows, including the original Welcome to Maysville mural on the floodwall.
- Frances Perry Hall – (1920-1984) Social services leader: She was a social service aide who was so highly thought of at the local and state level that she was named to two statewide task forces: one on homemaker policy and the other on policy for the protection of children. In 1978, the Bureau for Social Services awarded her a meritorious raise. She also served on a number local boards, including: Buffalo Trace Family Planning, Head Start Council, the Council for Handicapped, and Mason Manor.
- Charlton Fields – 1940-50, Educator: In 1940, he was listed in a group of African-American teachers in Mason County at Notable Kentucky African American Database. Pictured as teacher at Rosenwald School 1954-55.
- John Fields: Educator – Teacher and coach at Fee High School, boys basketball team was state runner-up in 1952.
- Miss E.M. Clement – Educator, Coach of Fee High School girls basketball team state champions in 1933 and 1934.
- Arthur Tipton – Civic leader: Served on the Maysville Housing Commission until appointed to the City of Maysville Board of Commissioners in 1967 to complete the unexpired term of Ernest Heinisch. He was sworn in on June 29, 1967 and served through December of that year.
- Joseph W. “Sapp” Humphrey – Business owner: Owned Joe’s Barbershop on 4th Street for over 30 years. He served not only Maysvillians but customers from Maysville, Flemingsburg, Ripley and Georgetown, OH. His business was also social gathering place for African American men of all ages in the community.
- Dave Ross – Business owner and funeral director: Owner and proprietor of only African American funeral home in Maysville. Mr. Ross provided funeral services for local black community before white-owned funeral homes would do so and continued providing care to grieving families into the 1980s.
- Jerry Gore – (1947-2016) Educator, historian: An Underground Railroad historian, he was also a founding member of the National Underground Railroad Museum, Inc. and founder of the Freedom Time Company and the Kentucky Underground Railroad Association. He was a consultant on the history of the Underground Railroad for a number of projects and programs and was featured on the History Channel’s “Save Our History: The Underground Railroad.” He was the great-great-grandson of Addison White, famous Ohio fugitive of the Underground Railroad. In 2012, Jerry Gore was the recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award.
- George Jones – Carpenter, artist/artisan: A craftsman who built houses and was skilled in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. Although employed by Columbia Gas for many years, he also worked for numerous people in the community as a jack-of-all-trades. He used his artistic skills in sign painting and window displays for area businesses as well as Christmas door decorations for which he won awards. A switch-hitter in baseball, he would have gone pro had not a fall down an elevator shaft left him with a limp. He still kept on playing ball. He served in the United States Marine Corp.
- Cathy Lofton – Teacher& volunteer: Full teacher with Maysville and Mason County schools for 28 years, substitute teacher for 10,serves on several community boards, volunteers at Maysville Extended Care, and member of Shepherd’s House Church.
- Pat Moore – Civic leader: A regional hall of fame basketball player from his years at Maysville High School who shared his knowledge of the game to the benefit of young people in the community through the organization of summer basketball leagues that helped to mold their character as well as the talents. He was also instrumental in continuing the Dirt Bowl experience for the Maysville community by way of 3 on 3 tourney’s at “Jack’s” and then on to 5 on 5 tourney’s ending up in the Mason County Girls Gym, former Maysville High School gym. He was someone who could be called on for service by local charities. He worked at Comprehend, Inc. in the Big Brother, Big Sister Program, and 2001, he became a member of Hayswood Foundation’s Board of Directors.
- Robert French – Healthcare: First African-American dentist in Maysville.
- Gwendolyn French – Educator: Teacher at Rosenwald School and Director of Food Services at Mason County Schools
- Ron Rice – Military Veteran, police officer: Served in U.S. Air Force as an MP, became police officer with Maysville Police Department after retirement, became assistant chief of police under Chief Kent Butcher, and then first African-American police chief in Maysville.
- Lyda Lewis – (1948- ) Entertainer: First African American homecoming queen at Morehead State University, or any Kentucky college, from which she graduated in 1970, first African-American Miss Kentucky (1973), third African American to compete in Miss America Pageant; first from a Southern state. She signed a modeling contract with the Ford Agency and worked as a model and an actress during the 1970s and early 1980s.
- The Brickhouse Band – Musicians, entertainers: Performed from the late 1970s into the early 1980s comprised of the Lewis family – Barry Lewis, Alice Thomas, Richard Marshall, Hobert Gregg. The played locally in Maysville at the Ramada Inn and proms as well as Cincinnati, Frankfort and even the Beverly Hills Super Club.