Banks details African American life a century ago

Published 9:39 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

This is the eighth in a series of 20 articles that appeared in The Winchester Sun in December 1919 and January 1920.

The author, William Webb Banks (1862-1928), was the long-time editor of the Colored Column in the Winchester News and later in The Winchester Sun.

He was a graduate of the State Colored Baptist University in Louisville (later known as Simmons College).

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He returned to Winchester where he taught school, wrote for the paper and was active in the Baptist church.

Dec. 31, 1919

The most valuable horse ever owned by a Clark county colored man was “Fannie,” which was owned by Henry Walker in the early seventies, which horse he refused two thousand dollars for.  Henry Walker also owned and operated the old Arcade Livery Stable which runs from Cleveland avenue to Broadway.

This historical Howard’s Creek church, built in 1800 and the oldest church edifice standing west of the Allegheny mountains, is now owned by the colored Baptists.

Jerry Stevenson once refused to give $300 for the site where the Roller Mill now stands at Broadway and Main street.

John Williams served as valet for his master, Gen. John S. Williams, in the Confederate army from whence he obtained his name, “Rebel John.”

Winchester has had two colored brass bands.

Gordon Hood is the name of the pioneer colored barber.  “Gip” Capps, Harvey Combs, John Armstrong, Dick Keith and William Jackson are among the pioneer colored shoemakers.

Thomas M. Berry assisted in taking the National Census of Clark county in 1910.

“Uncle” Billie Webb was the pioneer white-washer and left all of his children homes on N. Highland street.