Born: 1829, Bal­ti­more, Ma­ry­land.

Died: June 2, 1906, Lou­is­ville, Ken­tuc­ky.

Buried: Lou­is­ville Ce­me­te­ry, Lou­is­ville, Ken­tuc­ky.


William was the son of Phil­ip and Ame­lia Gib­son, and hus­band of Jen­nie Lew­is (mar­ried 1882).

As a young man, he worked as a por­ter at the book store of the Lu­ther­an Book Com­pa­ny and stu­died Eng­lish and La­tin from Af­ri­can Me­tho­dist Epis­co­pal (AME) min­is­ter Da­ni­el Payne.

Gibson showed a great in­ter­est in mu­sic, tak­ing class­es from vio­lin­ist James An­der­son, and join­ing the Sharpe Street choir and mu­sic­al as­so­ci­ations.

In 1847, he moved to Lou­is­ville, Ken­tuc­ky, with Ro­bert Lane and James Har­per, and op­ened a day school, a night school, and a sing­ing school in the base­ment of the Me­tho­dist church on Fourth and Green Streets. Ma­ny of the stu­dents were slaves.

Gibson played the vio­lin, pi­ano, and gui­tar, and taught them to oth­ers. By the 1880s, he was pre­si­dent of the Lou­is­ville Col­ored Mu­sic­al As­so­cia­tion. He al­so led the Quinn Cha­pel AME Church Choir for more than 35 years, and oc­ca­sion­al­ly com­posed songs for it and oth­er mu­sic­al groups to which he be­longed.



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