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

Boyd, Charles W. "C. W."

(born: 1865  -  died: 1951) 

Charles Wesley Boyd was born in Mt. Sterling, KY, the son of John Boyd and Ella Steele Boyd. He was the husband of Kate Jarrison Boyd. Charles Boyd was an education leader during the early years of the African American school system in Charleston, WV. He was an 1891 graduate of Wilberforce University in Ohio, continuing his education at several other universities and earning his master's degree at Wilberforce University. Boyd taught school in Clarksburg, WV, until 1891 when he moved to Charleston to become a principal and teacher. He was the first long-term leader of the school system; prior to his arrival school principals had served only a year or two. In 1893, he was named one of the vice presidents of the newly formed West Virginia Colored Institute, later serving one year as president. In 1900, he was the founder and principal of Garnet High School, which would become the largest African American high school in West Virginia. In 1904, Boyd was named Supervisor of the Colored Schools in Charleston. He was also a leader in his church, instrumental in the First Baptist Church becoming the first African American church ranked as a Standard Sunday School. He was also a member of the Pythians and the West Virginia Grand Lodge. Charles W. Boyd was born August 19, 1865, and died February 1, 1951, according to West Virginia Certificate of Death State File #1554. For more see Early Negro Education in West Virginia, by C. G. Woodson; Charles Wesley Boyd, a West Virginia Division of Culture and History website (photo error); Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and "Charles Wesley Boyd" in History of the American Negro, West Virginia Edition edited by A. B. Caldwell.

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“Boyd, Charles W. "C. W.",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 15, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:18