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

Perkins Family [Jockeys and Horse Trainers]

Four members of the Perkins family are noted for their success in the horse racing industry: James "Soup" Perkins, William "Will" Perkins, Edward "Eddie" Perkins, and Frank Perkins. The following provides additional information about the family. 

  • Mother: Mattie Maupins Perkins - Born around 1855 in KY - died October 13, 1904 in Lexington, KY; formerly enslaved by  Major Flournoy in Fayette County, KY; wife of John Jacob Perkins; mother of Frank, Carrie, Elizabeth "Eliza," William "Will," James "Soup," and Edward "Eddie" Perkins. [sources: 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Census; KY Death Certificate #8066; Porter & Jackson Funeral Home; African Cemetery #2 burial site; obituary in "Colored," Lexington Leader, 10/16/1904, p. 2; "Court house news," Lexington Leader, 10/23/1904, p. 6; and Emerson & Dark's Lexington Directory].
  • Father: John Jacob "Jake" Perkins - Born c. 1845 in KY - died January 26, 1913 in Lexington; formerly enslaved by Major Flournoy in Fayette County; horseman; husband of Mattie Perkins; father of Frank, Carrie, Elizabeth "Eliza," William "Will," James "Soup," Edward "Eddie," and Walter Perkins. [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; KY Death Certificate #1043; Williams & Reed Funeral Home; African Cemetery #2 burial site; obituary in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 1/26/1913, p. 5].
  • Son: Frank Perkins - Born c. 1871 in KY - murdered by Thomas Christian, October  1900; race horse trainer [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; "Frank Perkins," Lexington Leader, 10/9/1897, p. 5; "Trial is on," Lexington Leader, 3/5/1901, p. 1; "Shot down in his own door," Lexington Leader, 10/7/1900, p. 1; and "Case passed," Lexington Leader, 10/11/1900, p. 5].
  • Daughter: Carrie J. Perkins Lawrence Bulett - Born c. 1873 in KY; lived in Chicago, IL [source: 1880 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census; "Will Perkins succumbs," Daily Racing Form, 4/19/1927, p. 12].
  • Daughter: Elizabeth "Eliza" Perkins - Born c. 1877 in KY - died January 17, 1896 on Thomas Street in Lexington. [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; KY Death Certificate #966; Death notice, "Eliza Perkins," Lexington Leader, 1/18/1896, p. 8].
  • Son: William "Will" Perkins - Born c. 1879 in KY - died April 17, 1927 in Lexington; jockey, race horse trainer, and owner; Claughton Funeral Home; Greenwood Cemetery burial site in Lexington [sources: KY Death Certificate #15241; and see his NKAA entry].
  • Son: James "Soup" Perkins - Born in 1880 in KY - died August 10, 1911 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; jockey; husband of Frankie Perkins [sources: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; several articles in the Lexington Leader; and see his NKAA entry].
  • Son: Edward H. Perkins - Born August 2, 1888 in KY - died August 7, 1952 in Lexington; also called Eddie Perkins; stable agent for Will Perkins; World War I veteran; Claughton Funeral Home, buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lexington [sources: 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census; WWI Draft Registration Card; KY Death Certificate #52 16492; and see Will Perkins NKAA entry].
  • Walter W. Perkins, born January 9, 1889 in KY - died August 10, 1987 in Lexington; son of John Jacob Perkins [sources: Social Security Death Index; and John Perkins' Obit in "Colored Notes," Lexington Leader, 1/26/1913, p. 5].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Perkins Family [Jockeys and Horse Trainers],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 13, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-12-05 19:51:07