Eddie Street - Rev. Greene, and the Fish & Bibbs Families

Eddie Street & 128 York Street

After the Civil War, many outlots in the North End were divided by narrow alleys, with small parcels upon which small-scale housing was constructed over the ensuing decades. Many of these structures are not considered “historically significant,” however, the close proximity of these freestanding houses is important to the tight-knit nature of the North End community. 

One structure that embodies this archetype is the home at 165 Eddie, likely built prior to 1900. It was once the home of a “United Methodist minister and Lexington civic leader” named Horace Henry Greene. Among Rev. Greene’s accomplishments included his stint as the first African-American president of the Louisville Ministerial Association (1961), the first African-American to sit on the school board in Lexington, and the first African-American to run for city council in Lexington. Rev. Greene and his family owned the property for several decades. It is currently a rental property owned by an out-of-state landlord.

Around the corner from Eddie Street stood 736 North Limestone, built around 1905. This duplex house was an example of box frame construction, a low-cost type of wood construction for workforce housing at the time. According to the 1911 city directory, the house at 736 North Limestone was the home of Joseph and Hattie Fish. Joseph Fish was a laborer and, by 1912, the couple had moved onto Eddie Street.

In the 1921 city directory, 736 North Limestone was occupied by Benjamin and Lena Bibbs. Mr. Bibbs was a “well-known” citizen when he died in 1931, and his family name often appeared in the “colored notes” section of the Lexington Leader. According to the Notable Kentucky African American Database, Mr. Bibbs was a shoe shiner at NY Hat Cleaners in 1931, had registered to serve his country in World War I, and had been a “tinner at State University on Limestone [now the University of Kentucky].” The Bibbs would later relocate to 167 E. 7th Street. 

736 North Limestone was demolished in 2015.

Eddie Street also suffered from the same problem that much of the North End of Lexington still does to this day - poor drainage and stormwater issues. The Lexington Leader reported in January 1913 of flooding that drove out Eddie Street’s residents: “the recent heavy rains have caused a great gathering of the waters in the low section of the city around Eddie Street, and many of the families were forced to leave their homes at a late hour Saturday night to escape being drowned in their beds.”