Henry Boyd arrived in Cincinnati as an impoverished individual struggling to provide for himself and his wife Keziah.
His skill as a carpenter allowed him to accept extra work assignments and earn enough to buy his freedom. Once free, he began educating himself – enrolling at Bishop College, becoming an ordained minister, opening up several businesses such as banks, newspapers, publishing companies and even creating the first black owned doll company!
Early Life and Education
Boyd acquired his freedom at age 18, working hard to establish both a business and home for himself. Known for his furniture creations – including an innovative bedstead designed exclusively for use in Western America.
He also founded and published one of the first African American religious hymnals. Additionally, he was an adept carpenter as well as a successful businessperson who was generous with both money and time.
He gave generously of himself, using his own funds to start businesses for other African Americans. In addition to providing aid and starting companies on behalf of others, he taught at Presbyterian College, lectured regularly to large audiences, wrote several books and served as president of the National Baptist Congress.
Henry Boyd founded his furniture business around bedsteads he designed and patented himself, as well as contract work he completed for local merchants. Through hard work and determination he saved enough money to purchase his freedom; furthermore he assisted other freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad as a scout/guide.
He helped found the first black Baptist convention in Texas and was an enthusiastic backer of Booker T. Washington. He believed strongly in self-help and black initiative as ideals of personal progress and social advancement.
Calvin Fairbank was often visited Boyd after leaving prison and freeing fugitive slaves; Boyd was an integral part of Nashville’s black “world-within-a-world”. Additionally, Boyd and his family founded Globe Publishing Company as well as regularly advertising National Baptist publications.
Achievement and Honors
Henry Boyd was an integral member of his community. He served as the first director of Boyd EMS and helped establish the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association.
He founded several businesses, including one of the first African American publishing houses. He published books, hymnals, and newspaper articles under that banner. Additionally, he helped form Nashville chapter of Negro Business League as a founding member and also served on many civic boards.
Boyd was an inspirational leader for his people. He encouraged African-American citizens to stand up for their rights and not quietly submit to discriminatory laws that violated them. Boyd wrote and edited fourteen books, such as Separate or Jim Crow Car Laws (1909), while also contributing numerous opinion pieces pertaining to civil rights fight.
Henry Boyd was an extraordinary multi-talented individual. He left an exceptional legacy of strength, resilience, and dedication behind as an accomplished writer and Bible professor – his contributions to society can never be overestimated.
Once he purchased his freedom at age 18, he quickly made use of it by becoming an entrepreneur, founding banks, a publishing company and even the first black doll company. He was also known for leading summer archaeological expeditions as well.
Self-taught, he attended Bishop College in Marshall and later was ordained a Baptist minister. He went on to found churches in Waverly, Old Danville, Navasota Crockett and Palestine while also publishing pamphlets for black Sunday schools as well as writing or editing several books – being an inspiring teacher and interdenominational leader during his lifetime.
Billy Boyd has made a substantial amount of money through his movie work, including appearing as part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy cast and acting in Seed of Chucky movies. His performance earned several awards; additionally he is passionate about surfing and spending time in New Zealand where his films were made; close friends include Dominic Monaghan and Elijah Wood.
Mable Louise Landrum Boyd was an influential leader of Nashville’s Colored Women’s Club movement and an outspoken suffragist. She traveled with her father Henry Allen Boyd as his stenographer to Tokyo in 1910 for the World Sunday School Congress, later working in local war industry factories before inspiring T. B. Boyd Jr. to assume leadership of the National Baptist Publishing Board.