Luska Joseph Twyman (1913-1988)

Historical Marker #2019 in Glasgow honors Luska Joseph Twyman, the first African American elected to a full term as mayor of a Kentucky city.

Twyman was born in Barren County in 1913. He was educated in the county's black public schools and graduated from Mayo-Underwood High School in Frankfort. He gained a bachelor's degree from Kentucky State College and later a master's degree from Indiana University. He later attended George Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, for post graduate work.

Twyman served in the Philippines during World War II and then taught at the segregated Ralph J. Bunche High School in Glasgow, where he became principal. After the school system integrated, he became the assistant principal at Glasgow High School. His leadership helped ensure a smooth transition from segregated to integrated schools. A position as the city's first black councilman led to his selection as mayor pro tem. Twyman was eventually elected as the city's mayor in 1970, which made him the first African American elected to a full term as mayor of a Kentucky city. He served as mayor until 1986.

Twyman's professional achievements were enhanced by his civic service and honors. He was a contributing member of the National Education Association, the Kentucky Education Association, and served as Board Chairman on the Kentucky State University (KSU) Board of Regents. KSU honored Twyman as one of its 100 outstanding centennial alumni. In addition, he received an honorary law degree from Simmons Bible College in 1971. Twyman's lifetime accomplishments were due in part to his commitment to education and his generous service to others.

Twyman died on January 28, 1988, and was buried in Bearwallow Church Cemetery in Barren County.