Remarkable Ohio

Results for: polish-americans
9336 Wolfinger Rd
Holland

, OH

Alexander Albert Drabik was born here, in a log cabin, on December 28, 1910 to John Drabik and Frances Lewandowski, Polish immigrants from Szymborze, Germany, now Poland. Alex, youngest son of 14 children, attended Door Street School. A meat cutter, he enlisted in the United States Army in October 1942. Drabik fought in the Ardennes, Central Europe and Rhineland Campaigns of World War II. He received a Purple Heart during the Battle of the Bulge. On March 7, 1945, Sergeant Drabik led 10 Company A soldiers of the 27th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 9th Armored Division across the Ludendorff railroad bridge from Remagen, Germany to the Rhine River east bank. (Continued on other side)

1868 River Road
Maumee

, OH

Near this site, in the War of 1812, stood the British encampment during the First Siege of Fort Meigs from May 1-9, 1813. This marker honors members of the 41st Regiment of Foot who died during the engagement. Killed in action on May 5, 1813 were Privates James Barkley, Richard Booth, William Carpmail, Samuel Cartledge, John Cox, Benjamin Dorman, John Dyer, Edward Graves, and Patrick Russell. Private Edward Billing died of wounds from battle May 6 and Private John Chamberlane expired May 20.

NE corner of W Court Street and John Street
Cincinnati

, OH

In 1866, Gaines High School (grades 7-12), one of the first high schools for African Americans in Ohio, opened just west of this site in the same building as the Western District Elementary School, completed in 1859 and enlarged in 1866 and 1868. The school was named for John I. Gaines, whose leadership was responsible for securing passage of the Ohio law authorizing public schools for African Americans. Gaines was clerk and chief administrator of the African American school board when he died in 1859 at age 38. Gaines High School’s Normal Department trained almost all of the African American teachers for southwest Ohio; schools in other states hired many of the students before they had even completed their studies. From 1866-1886, Gaines High School and its principal Peter H. Clark were nationally recognized for their excellence.

7863 York Road
Parma

, OH

Founded in 1924 and incorporated in 1925, the German Central Organization was established to serve all people of German descent and was the central meeting place for immigrants of various ethnic groups following both world wars. During the difficult years of the Great Depression, the German Central Organization distributed money to needy German-Americans and helped thousands to find jobs by providing free employment service. Anti-German sentiment during World War II culminated in a vandal attack on the German Central Organization farm in 1942. Despite damage to the property and decreased membership, the German Central Organization rebounded and remains a solid pillar of the community.

2450 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus

, OH

James Cleveland Owens was born in Alabama in 1913 and moved with his family to Cleveland at age nine. An elementary school teacher recorded his name “Jesse” when he said “J.C.” It became the name he used for the rest of his life. Owens’ dash to the Olympics began with track and field records in junior high and high school. Owens chose The Ohio State University without scholarship, supporting himself by working many jobs, including one in the University Libraries. The pinnacle of his sports career came at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he won four gold medals, frustrating Adolf Hitler’s attempt to showcase Aryan superiority. After his return, Owens found work as a playground director in Cleveland beginning his life work with underprivileged youth.

Cleveland

, OH

The West Park African American community began in 1809 with the first black settler and one of the earliest residents of the area, inventor and farmer George Peake. With the growth of the railroad industry, African Americans were encouraged to move into the area to work at the New York Central Round House and Train Station located in Linndale. First among these, in 1912, were Beary Frierson and Henry Sharp. As more and more African Americans came, African American institutions followed. In 1919, Reverend Thomas Evans and the families of Herndon Anderson and Joseph Williams founded St. Paul A.M.E. Church, the first black congregation on Cleveland’s West Side. Reverend D.R. Shaw, the Ebb Strowder family and Iler Burrow established the Second Calvary Baptist Church in 1923. Both became pillars of the community.

2241 Johns Circle
Columbus

, OH

The “Tuskegee Experiment,” a program of the Army Air Corps to train African Americans as military pilots, began at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama in 1941. At home and abroad during World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen prevailed against enormous odds, including racism. The Airmen never lost an escorted bomber to enemy fighters. In March 1946, the Tuskegee Airmen 477th Composite Group and its supporting units were transferred from Godman Field, Kentucky, to Lockbourne Army Air Base, where Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. took command. In July 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order Number 9981, which mandated “equality of treatment and opportunity in the armed forces.” The Tuskegee Airmen played a major role in the integration of all U.S. military forces. The 477th was stationed at Lockbourne until 1949.

3666 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland

, OH

Organized efforts to establish an eight-hour workday existed as early as 1866 in the United States. The Cleveland Rolling Mills Strikes of 1882 and 1885, as part of this almost-70-year struggle, contributed to the establishment of the eight-hour workday. Both strikes challenged the two-shift, twelve-hour workday in addition to seeking recognition of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers. The first strike – by English, Welsh, and Irish skilled workers – was at the Newburgh Rolling Mills, a major producer of steel rails for the rapidly expanding railroad industry that once stood near this site. It was quickly broken when unskilled Polish and Czech immigrants, unaware of the ongoing labor dispute, were hired. The strike ended when these new workers did not support the union. (continued on other side)