From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Capers, Eugenia "Jean" Marie Murrell Strode

(born: January 11, 1913  -  died: July 18, 2017) 

Jean Murrell Capers was born in Zion Hill, KY. Her family moved to Cleveland, OH, when she was a child. Capers was a teacher in the Cleveland schools before becoming an attorney in 1945. She was an education graduate of Western Reserve University [now Case Western Reserve University]. She was assistant police prosecutor from 1946 until 1949 when she became the first African American elected to the Cleveland City Council. The N.C.N.W. recognized her as one of the 10 outstanding women in public service in 1950. She was the director and organizer of the Central Welfare Association. Capers later became a Cleveland Municipal Court Judge. In 2006, Capers, at 93 years of age, was the oldest practicing member of the National Bar Association. She received a number of awards, including the 2011 Ohio State Bar Association Nettie Cronise Lutes Award. Jean M. Capers was a law graduate of the Cleveland Law School [which merged with the John Marshall School of Law in 1945 to become the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law].

Jean Capers died July 18, 2017. She was the daughter of Dolly Ferguson Murrell and Edward E. Murrell who was from Kentucky and was president of Murrell Printing Company in Cleveland. Jean Capers' first husband was James Strode from Mississippi; they were married in 1937 [source: Cuyahoga County, Ohio Marriage Record, New Series License No. A 43116, p.224.]. Her second husband was Clifford E. Capers from Tennessee.

For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; The American Bench. Judges of the nation, 2nd edition, ed. by M. Reincke and N. Lichterman; and "Capers oldest member to attend annual convention," National Bar Association Law E-Bulletin, vol. 14, issue 1 (August 2006). Photos of Jean Capers are in the African Americans of Note in Cleveland database. See also the Murrell-Capers House webpage by the Cleveland Restoration Society.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Scott County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Zion Hill, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Capers, Eugenia "Jean" Marie Murrell Strode,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-03-30 20:56:45