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

Seymour, William

(born: 1843  -  died: 1920) 

William Seymour was born enslave in Kentucky. Later, as a free man, he and his wife Mary Elizabeth were members of the Exodusters Movement that settled to Ottawa, KS and later moved to Colorado Springs, CO in the latter part of the 1890s.

When the family of eight left Kentucky, it included Sorelda Seymour, William's mother, along with William's wife and five children, all of whom  were born in Kentucky. While in Kansas, William and Mary Elizabeth had three more children, according to the 1885 Kansas State Census.

In 1903, William Seymour became the first African American to serve on a jury in El Paso County, CO. A bronze sculpture of Seymour stands on the lawn of the Pioneer Museum, which was the former location of the El Paso County Courthouse. Seymour also helped found the St. John's Baptist Church.

According to the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the Seymour family lived on Moreno Street in Colorado Springs.

For more about Seymour and his descendants, see E. Emery, "Bronze honors golden ideals 1st black to sit on El Paso jury," Denver Post, 3/01/2002, p.B-03; McGraw, Carol, "Civil Rights Act: Pioneering Seymour Family Left Mark on Colorado Springs," at website; and "William Seymour" at the website.

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NKAA Source: The Denver post (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Seymour, William,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-08-27 04:00:23