Legendary Buffalo Soldier Colonel Charles Young Returning Home | MCTC

Legendary Buffalo Soldier Colonel Charles Young Returning Home

On September 28, 2014, Maysville Community and Technical College, the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations and Mason County Government are hosting an event in Mays Lick, Kentucky honoring the legacy of Colonel Charles Young. The event is to mark the restoration of the birth cabin of Colonel Charles Young and premier a commissioned bronze maquette of his likeness and an exhibition entitled The Man, The Mission, The Facts.

The National Coalition of Black Veterans has worked diligently to honor the Colonel and advocate for his honorary elevation to Brigadier General, said Millicent Harding, Director of Cultural Diversity at Maysville Community and Technical College. The restoration of his birth home and its designation as a valuable historical monument is another step in the Coalitions fight to not only honor Col. Young, but all black soldiers throughout American history.

Young was born into slavery in Mays Lick on March 12, 1864. His parents, Gabriel and Arminta Young, moved the family to Ripley, Ohio, in 1866. Young thrived there and, in 1881 at age 17, he graduated with academic honors as a member of his integrated high school class. His mother encouraged his life-long intellectual and musical pursuits. Young grew up proud of his father's military service as a Union soldier during the Civil War, and he heeded his father's advice by entering the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1889, Young was the third African American to graduate from West Point and the last African American to complete West Point until 1936.

Young was the highest ranking African-American commanding officer in the United States Army from 1894 until his death in 1922. He also served as the first African-American superintendent of a national park, overseeing Sequoia and General Grant (now Kings Canyon) National Parks while commanding a troop of Buffalo Soldiers in the years before the creation of the National Park Service.

The Sunday program will begin with a commemorative church service held at the Second Baptist Church in Mays Lick at 11:00 a.m. Established in 1859, the church is where the Young Family worshipped when they resided in the community. The service will be officiated by Pastor Rodney Bennett. Following the church service, the maquette and photo exhibit will be unveiled at the birth cabin of Colonel Charles Young in Mayslick at 1:15 p.m. A reception will follow sponsored by the Ledger Independent Newspaper.

Following the Mays Lick presentation, the maquette and picture exhibition will travel to Louisville. The presentation will open in the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage on October 12 and will remain on display through the end of the month. The Louisville event is being co-sponsored by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. of which Colonel Young is an honorary member.

For information on the event contact Millicent Harding, MCTC Director of Cultural Diversity, at 606-759-7141 ext. 66196 or millicent.harding@kctcs.edu.