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

Watson, Levina and William

Levina Watson (b. 1864) was a mortician, the top student in the 1892 graduating class of the Clarke School for Embalming in Cincinnati, OH, one of three African Americans in the class and the only woman. She would become the wife and assistant to William Watson (b. 1857), owner of a funeral home at 312 North Ninth Street in Louisville, KY.  

Their business was one of the three leading undertaking operations for African Americans in Louisville; the other two were owned by the Fox Brothers and J. H. Taylor.

The Watson were married in 1894 [source: 1900 U.S. Census]. William had opened the business in 1887 [source: A History of Blacks in Kentucky, M. B. Lucas, p. 280]. He was the son of Washington and Ophelia Watson [source: 1870 U.S. Census].

For more see "Mrs. Minnie Watson," in Noted Negro Women: their triumphs and activities, by M. A. Majors, p. 346; and History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, by W. H. Gibson, Sr.

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Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Gibson, William H., Sr.
NKAA Source: Noted Negro women: their triumphs and activities
NKAA Source: History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, a Negro order organized August 1, 1861 in the city of Louisville, Ky

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Taylor, James H.
NKAA Entry:  Saffell Funeral Business in Shelbyville, KY:  Daisy M., George W., and Mildred S. Saffell

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Watson, Levina and William,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 14, 2021,

Last modified: 2021-06-02 15:25:11