Abstracted from many sources and reported in Barren’s
Black Roots, Volume 2, Michelle Gorin Burris, (c) Aug 1992. By permission. Abstraction by Sandi Gorin,
Gorin Genealogical Publishing
LUSKA JOSEPH TWYMAN
Luska Joseph Twyman, A.B., M.S.,
L.L.D., born at Hiseville, Barren County,
May 19, 1913 of parents of Edward and Eliza Twyman, both deceased.
His early education came through school at Hiseville, but was
continued in the public schools of Indiana at Franklin and
After completing high school in
Frankfort, Kentucky, where he was a honor student, he entered
Kentucky State College graduating with majors in History and
Education. There he joined the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He taught
six years in the Barren County School System (Oak Grove), before
transferring to the Glasgow School System where he taught Social
Studies two years prior to entering military service.
A four year tour of duty in the
military service took Twyman to the Philippine Island where he
served as a special agent throughout the military base from Leyte
Gulf to Manila. Upon separation from the service in 1946, he
re-entered Indiana University and continued his graduate studies.
Receiving the masters degree in administration in 1947, he accepted
the principal of the Glasgow School, bringing with him Russel
Conley, as associate in his work in the Philippines. Twyman
continued his studies at Indiana towards the doctorate degree.
In 1950, after much labor and effort
in corralling the interest of the community for the need of a new
school plant to house the Negro youth of the area, a revenue bond
issue was passed and the Bunch School structure was started, to be
completed in 1955, with gymnasium and industrial arts shop. This was
the most complete school program (grades 1-12) ever provided for
Glasgow and surrounding areas. A high school program with home
economics, physical education and manual arts was set u along with
the sciences. Students from Barren, Metcalfe, and Monroe Counties
were in attendance. The faculty grew to 14. An outstanding
basketball team was developed that grew state wide attention,
winning many district and regional titles and were state
representatives from the Fifth Region.
The school grew and received much
credit for its graduates that totaled several hundred many of whom
have gone on to high accomplishments throughout the nation. Others
have married and built homes and families, thus becoming good
citizens in this and other communities. Seven of the faculty members
brought to the system of Principal Twyman now remain in the system –
they include, Ada and Russell Conley, Lucille Wood, Carrie Morrison,
Gladys Twyman and Johnny Herron.
In 1964 the high school was
consolidated with the Glasgow High School and the Bunche School
converted to a Sixth grade center. Twyman served as assistant
Principal in the Glasgow High School 1964-1975, assuming the
principal of the Bunch Center in 1965, and presently remaining in
this position. [since deceased].
We cannot leave the school program
without briefly stating the effective work Principal Twyman did in
effecting a smooth transition to the integration movement in the
system. Much credit must go to him in his tireless effort in this
direction. He served as a consultant and constant resource person in
this direction, visiting and speaking to church and civic groups. It
must be remembered that much credit must go to the fine athletes
Leaving the school area, while Mayor
Twyman’s work was integrated with civil improvements constantly, we
shall give some attention to his specific enterprises.
In 1963, he ran for and was elected
to the Glasgow Common Council – the first of his race to become an
elected official in Barren and surrounding areas. He led the entire
ticket of 12 men, repeating this successful effort for two
additional terms. He was elected Pro-Tem Mayor for the 1968 Council,
and in October 1968, he was elected by fellow Councilmen to fill the
Mayor’s chair upon the resignation of Mayor Robert Lessenberry. In
November 1969, he ran and was elected to a full term beginning
January 1970, an event acclaimed by news media around the world as
attested by telegrams, letters and other mediums of communication.
General Russell Doughtery on a recent visit to Glasgow, stated that
he was in Stutghart, Germany, when a local newspaper carried the
picture and story. National commentators carried the story
throughout the nation.
INVOLVEMENTS: Mayor Twyman has been
instrumental in much of the communities activities, social, civil
and religious. He has spoken to possibly every civic club in the
community and is in constant demand in and out of the City. He has
been a member of the Municipal Housing Commission as a minority
representative since its inception. This organization has done much
in providing low-rent housing through the government for much of
Glasgow’s population. Original member of OEO (not defunct, member
Barren County Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, Area
Development Council composed of a ten county area, member
Comprehensive Health Council appointed by Governor Nunn. Recently
appointed to Advisory Council, United Department of Agriculture by
Secretary of Ariculture (one of 16 members in the nation), member
Title III ESEA, and many local organizations.
HONORS: First member of his race to
hold office in local Educational Association – that of Treasurer.
First of his race to serve on Credential Committee, KWEA. One of two
Negroes to be selected by Southern Education Foundation for
fellowship to George Peabody College for study for the doctorate.
Outstanding Citizens Award – Louisville Defender, 1963; Outstanding
Alumni Award, Kentucky State College, 1969; a Kentucky Colonel,
received the degree Doctor of Laws, Simmons University, 1970.
Honorary Citizen Award Nashville, Louisville and Franklin, and has
received numerous plaques and awards in education and citizenship.
Twyman has had wide and various
speaking engagements to civic, religious and educational groups at
Tennessee State College, Kentucky State College, Louisville,
Memphis, Franklin, Russellville and Hopkinsville.
RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES: Church
affiliation at an early age – Baptist Church. Deacon and Sunday
School teacher for many years. He holds to an unwavering faith in
God; attributing any success to his faith and obedience to the will
of God. His religious philosophy is expressed in the Biblical
statement – “Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven and its
righteousness and all other things shall be added unto you.” He is
secretary of the District Association and attends state and national
TRAVEL: His tour of duty in the
military service carried him to the Asiatic Theater of War. He has
traveled in Canada and Mexico extensively. His domestic travels have
engulfed most of the continental United States.
HOBBIES: Basketball is a favorite
sport interest and much time is spent enjoying this game. Then,
gardening holds a great interest – both vegetables and flowers. He
enjoys music and has a primary knowledge of the piano.
Mayor Twyman is married to the former
Gladys Woodson of Hart County. Ms. Twyman is a graduate of Kentucky
State College, a teacher in the Glasgow System, having taught in the
Hart County and Horse Cave Systems prior to joining the Glasgow
System. The Twymans have no children.
Mayor Twyman has been instrumental in
the employment advances of Negro personnel in the area, taking
personal interest in seeking employment upgrading. Along with this
has been the consistent effort to upgrade the housing possibilities
of the area – both of these efforts being very rewarding.
While many improvements and great
strides have been made in the civil, social, religious and economic
life of the Black community; much still needs to be done and his
efforts are endless in this direction. Few people will ever know
just how extensive and continuous this effort is on his part.
“There are always those people who
feel you should have done more or done differently.” Twyman says in
talking about the community, “usually those whom you have done most
for, or the one who complain most and expect most. No one has ever
satisfied all people; so I try to do the best for the most people –
that’s all I can do.”
Mayor Twyman believes in high moral
and ethical standards and feels this is the only way we can raise
living standards and perpetuate a healthy, productive people. He
believes in equality for all people; and that opportunities should
be open to all people on equal and qualified basis – thus
preparation is essential to improvement and full participation as an
Mayor Twyman has certain goals for
the continued development and growth of the City – continued efforts
towards full employment, extension of sewage facilities, street
improvement, better jail facilities, more neighborhood parks,
expanded police, fire and sanitation departments.
RECREATION: Mayor Twyman has been
involved in the promotion and expansion in the recreational field
for many years and has worked closely with the department – the most
recent effort being directed toward establishing and developing the
Bunch Area Neighborhood Park.
PUBLICITY: All major networks have
carried news items. Interviews by NBC and CBS, national hookups,
radio and television, WSIX, WSM, WHAS, WAVE, and Kentucky
Educational Television, plus the magazines and newspapers.
Source unknown, write-up on file at the Mary Wood
Weldon Library in Glasgow, KY and written during his life. Quoted in
Barren’s Black Roots Volume 2, Michelle Gorin Burris, Gorin
Genealogical Publishing, (c) Aug 1992.