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

McDonald, Earl

(born: 1885  -  died: 1949) 

Earl McDonald, born October 2, 1885 in Louisville, KY. He was a musician and founder of the Original Louisville Jug Band in 1902. The group was named the Ballard Chefs from 1929 to 1932. Clifford Hayes was a member of the group before forming his own jug band in 1919. He also worked at various manual labor jobs to supplement his income. During WWII, McDonald worked on road construction under the WPA, while also playing music. He was the husband of Mary McDonald, according to the 1910 U.S. Census; the couple married in 1909. He was the son of Mattie McDonald and the grandson of Agnes Reid (or Reed) [sources: Kentucky Death Certificate File No 9769, Registrar's No. 2034; and 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census]. Mattie McDonald and her mother, Agnes Reid, lived together in 1910 and 1920. Mattie was born in Virginia around 1865, and her mother Agnes was born in Kentucky around 1840. After her mother's death, Mattie lived with Earl and a boarder, Mary Holland, according to the 1930 U.S. Census. Mattie was not employed, Mary worked as a maid, and Earl was a musician. After Earl McDonald's death, Henry Miles continued his band. Earl McDonald died April 28, 1949, he is buried in the Louisville Cemetery. For more see the Earl McDonald entry by B. Bogert in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. Kleber; and Earl McDonald's WWII Draft Registration Card (Ancestry).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Hayes, Clifford
NKAA Entry: Miles, Henry
NKAA Source: Encyclopedia of Louisville
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Smith, Carl Lee "Cal"

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“McDonald, Earl,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2019-03-18 17:36:56