Remarkable Ohio

Results for: black-history
333 N Summit Street
Toledo

, OH

In 1847, eight persons formed a mission parish of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (Sandusky Circuit). Reverend Henry J. Young, the minister, had come to Toledo through the Underground Railroad, as had some of his congregation. Richard Mott and Congressman James Mitchell Ashley helped the mission to rent a frame building on the southwest corner of Adams and Summit streets. The mission later became the Toledo Circuit of the A.M.E. Church.

415 Xenia Avenue
Yellow Springs

, OH

Virginia Hamilton was an author who was born in Yellow Springs in 1934, living and writing here for much of her life. She referred to her works as “Liberation Literature.” focusing on the struggles and journeys of African Americans. Hamilton published more than forty books in a variety of genres, including realistic novels, science fiction, picture books, folktales and mysteries. Some of her most beloved titles include The House of Dies Drear, M.C. Higgins the Great, Her Stories and The People Could Fly. Her books have had a profound influence on the study of race throughout American history, the achievements of African Americans, and the ramifications of racism. Hamilton received numerous awards for her writing before passing away in 2002. Her work is enshrined at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

RiversEdge Park, 116 Dayton Street
Hamilton

, OH

John Stewart Black (1891-1936) was a Vaudeville performer and songwriter who penned the classic “Paper Doll.” He is also remembered for “Dardanella,” which he called his “gift to the musical world.” “Dardanella”, recorded by the Ben Selvin Novelty Orchestra, debuted in 1919 and is believed to have sold more than five million copies. In 1942, the Piqua-born Mills Brothers recorded Black’s tune “Paper Doll.” It sold over 6 million records, was number one on the Billboard charts for twelve weeks in 1943 and became one of the most memorable records of the World War II era. Many artists, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, recorded “Paper Doll” and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

162 Main Street
Zoar

, OH

Zoar Separatists built the hotel in 1833 to accommodate overflow travelers from their original Ohio & Erie Canal inn. The hotel proved an economic boon to the Zoar community, but, by bringing the outside world into Zoar, ultimately became a source of discontent for members. During its heyday, the Zoar Hotel catered to curiosity-seekers, visiting artists, and families escaping the summer heat of nearby cities. Notable guests included Marcus Hanna and President William McKinley. The original structure was enlarged several times, including the now demolished 1892 Queen Anne addition which doubled the accommodations. By the mid-twentieth century, the hotel remained open as a popular restaurant with Rathskeller bar until closing to the public in July 1983. The exterior was restored by the Ohio History Connection in 2001-2002.

1855 Greenville Rd / OH 88
Bristolville

, OH

In 1912, an endowment of $6,000 from Andrew Carnegie made it possible for the Bristol Public Library to become a reality. Four years earlier, the newly organized Bristol Library Association, headed and promoted by retired Judge Norman A. Gilbert, had established a subscription book service at the Congregational Church in Bristolville with books loaned from the state library. The Bristol Board of Education appointed a six-member Library Board of Trustees and a one mill levy provided financial support. Charles C. Thayer and Son designed the building in accordance with Carnegie’s recommendations and the local trustees’ suggestions. With Judge Gilbert’s unexpected death in November 1911, Board Secretary Dr. Edward Brinkerhoff was elected president to complete the vision of Judge N. A. and Mrs. Anna Gilbert for the library. (Continued on other side)

Intersection of US 68 and OH 55
Urbana

, OH

The inhumanity of slavery and the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850 motivated anti-slavery activists to operate a covert network, the “Underground Railroad,” which helped fugitive slaves escape captivity. From the early 1800s to the end of the Civil War, local activists assisted runaway slaves on their journeys north to freedom. Guides (“conductors”) used their homes, farms, and churches (“stations”) to hide and shelter runaway slaves (“cargo.”) If captured, fugitives were severely punished and re-enslaved; “conductors” faced large fines and imprisonment, and Free Persons of Color risked being sold into slavery. A route often-traveled was once a path used by migrating buffalo, which became an Indian trail called the Bullskin Trace. It ran north from the Ohio River to Lake Erie and later became U.S. Route 68.

1415 Columbus Avenue
Sandusky

, OH

Eleutheros Cooke. The Cooke-Dorn house was the last home of attorney Eleutheros Cooke (1787-1864) who served four years in the Ohio legislature and one term in the 22nd Congress of the United States. An early proponent of railroads, Cooke received one of the first charters granted to a railroad west of the Alleghany Mountains, for the Mad River & Lake Erie line. He and wife Martha had six children, four of whom lived to adulthood. Two rose to prominence in the Civil War era. Jay was a successful banker and became known as the “financier of the Civil War” for his efforts to secure loans from Northern banks to support the Union’s war effort. Henry was appointed as the first governor of the short-lived Territory of the District of Columbia in 1871 (which was replaced in 1874).

NE Corner of E. Ward and N. Kenton Streets
Urbana

, OH

In 1805, a burial ground was dedicated to Champaign County at the intersection of Ward and Kenton Streets, which was then at Urbana’s town limits. It remained open until 1856. Among those interred there was Elizabeth Kenton, eight-year-old daughter of Simon Kenton. When she died in 1810, Kenton, the county jailer, was forbidden from crossing out of the town limits due to his unpaid debts. After following the funeral procession as far as he could, he watched Elizabeth’s burial from across the street. Also buried there were unknown soldiers from the War of 1812; Captain Arthur Thomas and son, who were killed by Native Americans in August 1813; four Bell children, who died in the tornado of March 22, 1830; and numerous early settlers of Champaign County. Many, but not all, were reinterred and rest in Oak Dale Cemetery.