Banks detailed African American life in Clark County

Published 9:00 am Monday, February 26, 2018

These are the 15th and 16th 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.

Jan. 9, 1920

Clark county has 22 colored churches, as follows:  Baptist 12, Methodist 7, Christian 1, C. B. F. or High Power 2.

The old time fiddlers were Charles Bean, Dan Chiles, Charles Patton and Wash Turner.

Jeter J. Bright is said to be the only colored shorthorn cattle herdsman.

The Editor of this column served as Secretary of the Consolidated Baptist Association for five years and as President of the Consolidated Sunday School Convention for two years.

Colored people once owned from where J. D. Haggard’s furniture store now is on Main street to Church alley on Broadway and considerable property on the south side of Broadway from Main to Buckner street.

Among the great sermons that have been preached are as follows:  Rev. Dr. J. K. Polk at the First Baptist Church, Bishop H. M. Miles at Allen Chapel, Dr. E. W. S. Hammonds at Clark Chapel, Rev. Peter Vinegar on Howard’s Creek, Elder Preston Taylor at the Christian Church, Dr. S. P. Young at the Broadway __ Church, and Rev. G. M. More at the Washington Street Church.

The Bell brothers, George, Garfield and James, are the first to have a carriage shop and garage.

Jan. 10, 1920

Rev. H. A. Stewart, and old resident of this city, a veteran of the Civil War, a superannuated Methodist minister of the highest standing, has been preaching for over fifty years and served as secretary of the Kentucky and Ohio Annual Conference longer than anyone in the history of the Conference.

Samuel Black, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Black of this city, attained the highest military rank of any colored person of Clark county, that of Lieutenant.  He now resides in Chicago.

The Bates and Gatz families have furnished six Baptist Deacons, three each, as follows:  Marsh, Jerry and Orin Bates, Dan, Will and Ed Gatz.

The following have been our highest ranking officers in the State and National lodge circles:  Rev. H. D. Colerane in the Odd Fellows, B. F. Johnson and W. R. January in the Masons, H. J. Brent and Rev. H. C.  Baker in the United Brothers of Friendship, W. H. Allen in the Elks, Prof. J. H. Garvin in the Knights of Pythias, and E. T. Poynter in the Good Samaritans and Daughters of Samaria.

Robert Taylor has the title of messenger at the Winchester Bank.

Gilbert Emery’s and the old Vanmeter house were the first to be erected in Kohlhassville.  Later Auston Dawson, Frazier, Borchers and others built houses.