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

Gregg, Alexander Sr.

(born: 1825  -  died: 1904) Deacon Alexander Gregg, Sr. was an early settler in Lawrence, KS. He was one of the founders of Second Baptist Church, [later named Warren Street Baptist Church]. The church opened in 1862 with 9 founding members. Gregg and a white deacon named Ford had previously established a Sunday School for African American children and Alexander Gregg was named the superintendent. Alexander Gregg was treasurer of the Second Baptist Church until 1879. He was the last of the nine founding church members to die. Alexander Gregg had also been an active member of the first Kansas organization for African American churches. Outside the church, Alexander Gregg was a shoe maker, a trade that he learned as a young person in Kentucky. He owned his shoe shop in Lawrence, Kansas, and he was also a civic leader who participated in politics and helped establish the city's Emancipation Day annual celebrations.

Alexander Gregg, Sr. was born in Jessamine County, KY, he was the slave of Samuel Gregg. His mother was a slave and his father was white. Alexander Gregg was one of the slaves taken to Missouri by Samuel Gregg in 1850. According to information in the obituary of Alexander Gregg, Jr. (1849-1909, born in Jessamine County, KY), the family had lived in Texas at some point before being moved to Missouri [source: "Obituary" in The Topeka Plaindealer, 11/26/1909, p.3].

Around 1862, Alexander Gregg, Sr. escaped from Missouri with his family and went to Kansas to keep from being taken back to Texas. Kansas had become a free state in 1860. In Kansas, Alexander Gregg, Sr. settled his family in West Port, then they moved to Lawrence. The Gregg family is listed in the 1865 Kansas State Census. Alexander Gregg had joined the Union Army and was a veteran of the U.S. Civil War [source: P.34 in Consolidated List Class 2. Southern District Kansas. Sept.-Dec. 1863 v.2 of 2 (in Ancestry)]. He would wed his second wife, Mary Choteau, on May 18, 1866, and the family would grow to include 11 children [sources: 1900 U.S. Census; and Kansas, County Marriage Records Index (in Ancestry)]. 

One of Alexander Gregg Sr.'s biographies is included in the article, "In Memory of Deacon Gregg," written posthumously in the Topeka Plaindealer newspaper on 12/26/1904, p.4. His obituary and another bio was published in the Lawrence Daily World, 02/16/1904, p.4. See also K. H. Armitage, "African Americans build a community in Douglas County, Kansas," Kansas History: a journal of the Central Plains, v.31 (August 2008), pp.155-175. Deacon Alexander Gregg is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, KS [source: Find A Grave].

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Jessamine County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: African American Shoemakers from Kentucky
NKAA Source: Plaindealer, The (newspaper) (Topeka)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records)
NKAA Source: Lawrence daily world (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Kansas history : a journal of the Central Plains (periodical)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Gregg, Alexander Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 19, 2021,

Last modified: 2018-12-27 18:31:29