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

Smith, Henderson

(born: 1858  -  died: 1923) 

Henderson Smith was born in Frankfort, KY. He and his family later moved to Warren, OH, where Smith studied music at the Dana Musical Institute. He performed with a number of groups, including Sprague's Original Georgia Minstrels and Haverly's Genuine Colored Minstrels.

Smith was also a bandleader and vaudeville entertainer, sometimes passing for white and performing with groups such as Patrick S. Gilmore's Famous Cornet Band. He also worked with Kentucky native Tom McIntosh and led John W. Vogel's "Darkest Africa" band, which toured Australia with the Orpheus McAdoo Company.

Smith, who was sometimes referred to as America's Black Sousa, died in Chicago, where he had settled after retiring from the entertainment business.

For more see "Henderson Smith" in the Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: McIntosh, Thomas "Tom"
NKAA Source: Biographical dictionary of Afro-American and African musicians

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Kentucky African American Musicians in Illinois (Chicago)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Smith, Henderson,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 13, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-10-22 14:30:31