Remarkable Ohio

Results for: african-american-community-activism
50 Park Avenue E
Mansfield

, OH

Born in Lancaster, Fairfield County, John Sherman moved to Mansfield to practice law and was elected to Congress in 1854 as one of the first Republicans. In 1861, Sherman was elected to the U.S. Senate. An authority on finance, Sherman was instrumental in shaping federal financial policy in the years following the Civil War, and President Rutherford Hayes appointed him Secretary of the Treasury in 1877. During the “Greenback” debate, he re-implemented the gold standard, stabilizing the currency during an inflationary period. Sherman returned to the Senate in 1881 and served until early 1897 when President McKinley appointed him Secretary of State; in declining health, he resigned in 1898. He died in Washington, D.C. and is interred in the Mansfield Cemetery.

36 Public Square
Nelsonville

, OH

Following a wage reduction from 70 to 60 cents per ton after many Hocking Valley coal mines consolidated in 1883, the Ohio Miners’ Amalgamated Association struck on June 23, 1884. The operators responded by offering an even smaller tonnage rate and a requirement for returning miners to sign no-strike contracts. The strike idled three thousand miners in 46 mines at Nelsonville, Murray City, New Straitsville, Carbon Hill, Buchtel, Longstreth, and Shawnee. (Continued on other side)

Island Park on Park Street
Mt. Blanchard

, OH

This village was founded in 1830 on the banks of the Blanchard River by Asa M. Lake, son of Asa Lake, veteran of the Revolution and War of 1812 and first settler of Delaware Township. The town and river are named for an early French pioneer, Jean Jacques Blanchard, who resided among area Shawnee Indians during the period 1770 to 1802. The Methodist Episcopal Church, first religious organization in Hancock Co., was founded in Delaware Twp. in 1828.

2019 Nipgen Road
Waverly

, OH

Thirteen African American families migrated to Pebble Township in Pike County in the early 1820s from Virginia. Some of the families were former slaves while others were freeborn people of color. Their farm knowledge and skill helped to make them prosperous, angering some of their white neighbors who began a campaign of harassment. Ten of the original African American settlers eventually moved away, but despite the difficulties with the white population, other African Americans continued to arrive to the settlement. They founded a church, later known as the Eden Baptist Church, built a meeting hall, and organized a school. Several of the families were also involved in the activity of the Underground Railroad. The PP Settlement thrived until the 1950s when, for economic reasons, residents moved to other communities.

NW corner of N Main Street and Lake Avenue
West Mansfield

, OH

Descendants of slaves, who may have reached Ohio through the Underground Railroad, and other African Americans, formed the community of Flatwoods in the southwest part of Bokescreek Township. This one-room schoolhouse was built circa 1868 for African American children of Flatwoods and remained open until 1923. Remnants of past lessons remain inscribed on the chalkboard. The schoolhouse was threatened with demolition in 1999 and later moved to Veteran’s Park. The Logan County Historical Society owns and maintains the site as a living history museum.

527 S Center Street
Springfield

, OH

Robert C. Henry, the first African-American mayor of an Ohio city, was born in Springfield, Ohio, on July 16, 1921. He attended Springfield High School and graduated in 1939. After high school, he attended Wittenberg University and the Cleveland College of Mortuary Science. He also received an honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Central State University. In 1961, Springfield citizens elected him to the City Commission, where he served until being appointed mayor by his fellow commissioners in 1966. Henry was among the first African-American mayors of a U.S. city, and is especially notable due to Springfield’s majority white population at the time. After his tenure as mayor ended in 1968, Henry was chosen by presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon for fact- finding missions in Vietnam. Robert C. Henry died on September 8, 1981.

8410 Lincoln Street SE
East Canton

, OH

Golfer and World War II veteran William J. Powell, excluded from playing on many American golf courses because of his race, overcame the indignity of discrimination by creating his own course. Hand built in two years and opened in 1948, Clearview Golf Club is the first golf course in the United States designed, built, and owned by an African-American. The acclaimed course harmonizes with the landscape and bears many design elements of traditional British courses. A triumph of perseverance over discrimination, Clearview represents the historic postwar era when athletes first broke the “color line” in American sports.

1940 N. Ridge Road
Vermilion

, OH

The first African-American elected to government office in the United States, John Mercer Langston (1829-1897) won the office of Clerk of Brownhelm Township on April 2, 1855. Born in Virginia and raised in Chillicothe, Langston graduated from Oberlin College in 1849 and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1854, becoming Ohio’s first black attorney. He served as the first president of the National Equal Rights League in 1864, and subsequently as professor of law, dean, and acting president of Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1890, he became Virginia’s first black congressman. Throughout his career Langston set a personal example of self-reliance in the struggle for justice for African-Americans.