Colored Men's Reading Room, Frankfort, KY(born: 1885)
In November of 1885, a group of African American men created a Reading Room over the barber shop of Henry Samuels on St. Clair Street in Frankfort, KY [source: The Frankfort Roundabout, 11/07/1885, p.2]. It was one of the earliest reading establishments for African Americans in Frankfort, KY. The local newspaper editor wrote that the Reading Room was a much better option "instead of going to a bar room." The men who established the Reading Room were not named in the article. The barber shop owner, Henry Samuels (1876-1944), was African American and a Frankfort native, the son of Alice Conda and Jerry Samuels [source: Kentucky Death Certificate State File No.11354]. It is not known how long the Reading Room existed. By 1910, Henry Samuels was listed as a porter in the city directories.