The Hathaway family lived at 208 West Pine Street on the northern ridge of Davis Bottom from the 1860s until the 1920s. The Hathaways are among the first families to settle in Davis Bottom after the Civil War. Robert Elijah Hathaway (1842-1923) was a Union Army soldier and Christian preacher. After the death of his wife, Rachel, Robert raised three children, Fannie, Eva and Isaac. Fannie was a highly respected teacher and principal. Eva served as a nurse. Isaac became a nationally recognized sculptor and professor. The Hathaway family’s documents, letters and photographs provide a valuable look into the daily lives of an African American family in Lexington, from the era of slavery, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the struggle for civil rights.
The information gathered for this profile of the Hathaway family comes from scholars and archives across America. Our primary source is Ms. Yvonne Giles, Director, The Isaac Scott Hathaway Museum in Lexington, Kentucky. Ms. Giles has spent decades conducting research and working with family members in order to bring this incredible story to museum visitor, viewers, teachers and students.