Random Thoughts

The slow journey of Speedy Atkins


February 17, 2023

His given name was Charles Henry Atkins and he was born somewhere in Tennessee some time in 1875. Details of his early life are sketchy.

He was an African American living in the Old South just a few years after the end of the Civil War. As such, he was destined to live a life as a menial laborer mired in poverty.

Some time after reaching adulthood, Atkins migrated a few miles north to Paducah, Kentucky – located in the heart of that state’s tobacco industry – to find work.

Some sources say that he got his nickname because he was such a fast and dedicated employee in a tobacco warehous...

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