From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (African American Women Veterans in and from Kentucky)

Dunham, Ruth B.

(born: February 24, 1919  -  died: August 31, 2008) 

Military Branch

September 1, 1943

Active Duty Entered

January 20, 1946


Ruth B. Dunham enlisted in the Army in Cincinnati, OH, according to her record in the National Archives, Access to Archival Databases. She was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Lula Washington and Henry Dunham. The family is enumerated in the 1920 U.S. Census when they were living with Ann Scott. Ruth Dunham's mother was a widow when the family was enumerated in the 1930 U.S. Census. The family was also enumerated in the 1940 U.S. Census. 

In 1935, Ruth B. Dunham had served as secretary of the newly formed community church school in Lexington. The school was nondenominational. The following year, in September of 1936, Ruth B. Dunham was one of the students to receive a diploma from a cooking school. The closing program was held at St. Paul Church in Lexington. Four years later, Ruth Dunham was listed in the 1940 Lexington city directory, she was employed as a maid. She enlisted in the military in 1943, and the next year, she was listed among the 153 WACs from Kentucky serving in the Army. 

After her military service, Ruth B. Dunham lived in New York City, NY. She was there when her mother died in 1955. Ruth B. Dunham also lived in Cleveland, OH, where she died in 2008. She is buried in Cleveland Memorial Gardens.  

Sources: Kentucky Birth Index in Ancestry; U.S. Social Security Death Index in Ancestry; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File in Ancestry; see Ruth B. Dunham in Find A Grave; "Colored Notes: Mrs. Lula Dunham," The Lexington Leader, 03/15/1955, p.19; Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) City Directory, 1940-41, p.193; "Colored Notes: A community church school," The Lexington Leader, 09/12/1935, p.15; "Colored Notes: Closing program," The Lexington Herald, 09/07/1936, p.9; "Wac anniversary finds 153 central Kentuckians serving," Sunday Herald-Leader, 05/14/1944, p.10.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: National Archives, Access to Archival Databases (online)
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) city directory (annual)
NKAA Source: The Lexington herald (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Lexington herald and Lexington leader

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Dunham, Ruth B.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 29, 2022,

Last modified: 2021-11-01 03:36:48