MCHS 2019 Recognition Program Selectees
Dean Whitaker (Ch), Sharyn Mitchell, Laurel Steidle
Specific Historical Contributions
Beulah Cornelius Aspley Nunn was born in Jackson County in 1914, but moved to Glasgow to live with her sister after the death of her parents at age 13. After high school, she attended Fugazzi Business College, married, and had three children. In the 1940’s, when few women were business owners, she operated several small businesses, including the Glasgow Insurance Agency, Inc. and the Cornelius Credit Agency. In response to doubters, she said, “I bought it to prove that a woman can do anything on Earth she wants to, if she uses good sense.” She helped establish the Glasgow Chapter of Business and Professional Women and was its first president. In 1950, she married Louie Nunn and the couple had two children.
In 1967, Nunn became “First Lady of Kentucky.” In this capacity, she committed herself to the needs of the elderly and the young, and worked tirelessly to preserve Kentucky’s landmarks, antiques, and history. As a self-described “professional beggar” for the state, she established the Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation, Inc. and raised needed funds for the renovation of historic buildings. After the State acquired White Hall, home of emancipationist Cassius M. Clay, Beulah oversaw the renovation and acquired furnishings for the home. She also assisted in the preservation of the Mary Todd Lincoln House; and numerous other buildings.
Nunn encouraged the Kentucky Federation of Women’s Clubs to establish and fund the First Lady miniatures. Morehead State University named its newest and largest women’s residence the Beulah C. Nunn Hall. In 1971, nearly 6,000 members of women’s groups from across Kentucky held a “Beulah C. Nunn Day” at Lexington’s Spindletop Hall. President Richard Nixon appointed Nunn to the Council on History Preservation and she received an Honorary Doctorate from Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois. Nunn treasured Kentucky and made a commitment to preserve Kentucky’s architectural heritage.
Robert Piper Boyce
Robert Boyce was a professor of Art at Berea College where he also chaired the department from 1996-2008. He has traveled widely and has taken students on several study abroad trips. Robert is an active member of Christ Church, Union, and has been a member of the Berea Arts Council where he has worked with local exhibitions and the Community Art Award.
In addition, Boyce has published four books documenting the art, architecture and history of Berea College:
Berea College Country Dancers, 75th Anniversary, 1938-2013, 2013
History of the Berea College Art Department, One Man’s Reading, 2008
Building a College, an Architectural History of Berea College, 1996
Keck and Keck, 1993
Lavinia H. Kubiak
Lavinia Harvey Kubiak was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. She attended Florida State University, where she received in B.A. in Interior Design. After several university teaching positions, she moved to Richmond in the 1980s’ to teach interior design at Eastern Kentucky University. In 1986 under the sponsorship of the Madison County Historical Society, which had received a grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council, Kubiak was selected to write an overview of Madison County’s historical architecture. Her diligent work produced Madison County Rediscovered: Selected Historic Architecture (1988). She left EKU and moved to Atlantic Beach, Florida to work for several businesses as an interior decorator.
Henry Allen Laine
Henry Allen Laine was a Madison County native and was born in 1870 to Washington and Amelia Madeline Laine. Henry married Florence Benton on 22 Dec 1897, and they had nine children: eight girls and one boy.
Laine was an educator in Madison County for twenty-one years. He was the founder of the Madison County Colored Teachers Association and was the chairman of the association for twenty years. Laine was the first African-American county extension agent and he organized a farmers club in 1915 for the African-American farmers in Madison County. He was also responsible for forming the Colored Chautauqua, a combination fair and outdoor educational event to bring cultural, religious and social opportunities to the community. Laine also fought against the closure of Berea College to blacks in the early 1900s.
Laine was widely known as a poet. His most famous volume, entitled Foot Prints, was so popular that is was printed three times--1914, 1924, and 1947. In 1947, Laine was named "Man of the Year" by his colleagues at the Richmond High School. He died in 1955 and was inducted posthumously into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2003.
Sustained Historical Support
Dr. John M. Fox
This certificate of recognition is awarded to Dr. John M. Fox for his exceptional work in preserving the remnants of Boone Trace, the first “road” (or trail) into Kentucky specifically for the purpose of bringing pioneers to settle the land. His efforts have resulted in long-range plans as well as current actions to document and mark Boone Trace for generations to come.
Loyal Jones first came as a student to Berea College in 1950, where he graduated in 1954. One of eight children, grew up in the mountains of North Carolina close to the Georgia border where his family farmed rented land. When Jones returned to Madison County in 1958, he helped lead the Council of Southern Mountains through the War on Poverty, and from 1970 until his retirement in 1993, he directed the Berea College’s Appalachian Center.
Always, people, stories, and belonging have been foremost of Jones’ vision. The historian Ron Eller explains that “Jones’ message has been that Appalachia should be judged by its own values—family, land, traditionalism—rather than mainstream values of accumulation, wealth and power.” In the process of doing so, Jones has published numerous books on music, preachers, values and humor of the Appalachian region.
In addition, Jones has been pivotal to honoring and serving the region through his decades-long guidance as a board member for such organizations as White House Clinics in McKee, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Berea College Appalachian Fund, which gives out half-a-million dollars of years to support non-profits.
No nominations in 2019