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

Seymour, William

(born: 1843  -  died: 1920) 

William Seymour was born a slave in Kentucky. Later, as a free man, he and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, were members of the Exodusters Movement. They settled to Ottawa, Kansas, and later moved on to Colorado Springs, Colorado in the latter part of the 1890s. When the family of eight left Kentucky, it included Sorelda Seymour, the mother of William, his wife and five children. All were born in Kentucky. While in Kansas, William and Mary Elizabeth Seymour had three more children, according to the 1885 Kansas State Census. In 1903, William Seymour would become the first African American to serve on a jury in El Paso County, Colorado. 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, 03/01/2002, p. B-03.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Denver post (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Seymour, William,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 21, 2021,

Last modified: 2020-03-18 16:21:46