Mae Street Kidd (1904-99)

Historical Marker #2147 in Millersburg commemorates the many accomplishments of Minnie Mae Jones, who was born February 8, 1904, to a racially mixed mother and white father.

As a child Mae Street Kidd was discriminated against by both white and black individuals. However, she never let her humble beginnings keep her from a life of achievement. While growing up, Mae lived with her mother, Anna Bell Leer Taylor, and her stepfather, James William Taylor, in the Shippville neighborhood of Millersburg. She never met her biological father, Charles Robert Jones, who also lived in Millersburg.

Mae grew up with her siblings in a happy family atmosphere and attended local segregated schools into her high school years. Her education provided a good foundation for her later successful careers in business and politics. Following high school, Mae attended Lincoln Institute, a black boarding academy near Shelbyville, to continue her education.

It was during the time that she worked for Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company in Louisville that she met and married her first husband, Horace Leon Street. Mr. Street suffered a heart attack and died in 1942 after 12 years of marriage. In England, during the war, Mae Street served with the Red Cross. There she met her second husband, James Meredith Kidd III. They were married in 1947, later divorced and remarried.

In addition to Mae Street Kidd's work at Mammoth Life, and her years with the Red Cross in England, she is perhaps best known for her political life where she represented the Louisville 41st District for 17 years (1968-1984) in the Kentucky General Assembly. Of her work in the legislature she is best remembered for the sponsorship of Kentucky's ratification of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution in 1976. These Reconstruction Era amendments, which abolished slavery, provided equal rights, and suffrage, had not been passed by Kentucky when they were originally proposed in the late 1860s. She also sponsored a bill which created the Kentucky Housing Corporation to provide open and low-income housing in the state.

Minnie Mae Jones Street Kidd's remarkable life came to an end on October 20, 1999, in Louisville. She was buried in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery beside her second husband.

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Mae Street Kidd

Mae Street Kidd

Mae Street Kidd was a successful businesswoman, politician, and traveler. Image in the public domain. View File Details Page

Mae Street Kidd

Mae Street Kidd

During her 20 years in the Kentucky state legislature, Ms. Kidd was a tireless advocate for civil rights causes, and was honored for her many accomplishments. Image in the public domain. View File Details Page

Lincoln Institute

Lincoln Institute

Ms. Kidd attended Lincoln Institute, an all black boarding high school in Shelby County, which operated from 1912 to 1966. Whitney Young, Sr. was its longtime principal. His son Whitney Young Jr., the prominent Civil Rights leader, was born at Lincoln Institute, and is among its most illustrious graduates. Image in the public domain. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Hopewell Museum, “Mae Street Kidd (1904-99),” ExploreKYHistory, accessed April 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/442.

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