Remarkable Ohio

Results for: african-american-community-activism
Millikan Avenue, Eyman Park
Washington Court House

, OH

Granville T. Woods was a pivotal African American inventor during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Woods’ invention of the telegraph device that enabled railway companies to know the location of each of their trains. This new technology greatly enhanced train scheduling and reduced the frequency of fatal collisions throughout the railway industry. From 1878 through 1880 Woods was a railroad locomotive engineer employeed by the Springfield, Jackson and Pomeroy Railroad Company and later by the Dayton and Southeastern Railroad. With frequent stops in Washington Courthouse and extensive leisure time, Woods learned telegraphy from a local telegraph operator. (Continued on other side)

45 St Lawrence Drive
Tiffin

, OH

Pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Rev. Thomas F. Conlon met with the newly appointed bishop of the Toledo Diocese, Rt. Rev. Joseph Schrembs, to discuss building a charity hospital for the community. Community leaders and physicians promoted the necessity of a hospital that cared for all people regardless of race, creed, or color. Seven acres of land were purchased from Miss Emma J. Bowe on West Market Street for the construction of a four-story, fireproof brick building. Designed by local businessman George W. Netcher, the new hospital cost approximately $75,000. At the hospital’s dedication on October 26, 1913, Bishop Schrembs praised the people of Tiffin saying, “I appealed to the public-spirited citizens and my appeal did not fall upon deaf ears, as this building testifies.”

3210 Belmont Street
Bellaire

, OH

With ready access to raw materials, fuel, skilled labor, and transportation, the Ohio Valley became the center of the American glass industry during the late 1800s. Among dozens of local manufacturers, the Imperial Glass Company, founded in 1901 by river man and financier Edward Muhleman, first made glass in 1904 and distinguished itself for mass production of attractive and affordable pressed glass tableware using continuous-feed melting tanks. One of the largest American handmade glass manufacturers during the 20th century, Imperial also produced blown glass, several lines of art glass, and its trademark “Candlewick” pattern. Bellaire’s glassmaking era ended when the “Big I” closed its doors in 1984, and the building was razed in 1995. Its diverse products remain highly prized by glass collectors.

268 N. South Street
Wilmington

, OH

The Wilmington Public Library of Clinton County, one of 111 Carnegie libraries in Ohio, opened its doors to readers on June 30, 1904. A $12,500 gift from steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie financed construction of the original 3,360-square-foot building. The community provided the building site, formerly known as Martin Field, and pledged tax funds for the library’s ongoing operation and maintenance. Expansions and modernizations have incorporated the original building and preserved its historic architectural style. “A Library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people.” – Andrew Carnegie

Central State University, Arnett Drive
Wilberforce

, OH

At the turn of the twentieth century, increased enrollment in the Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce University (which later became Central State University) spurred construction of new teaching and dormitory facilities. Galloway Hall, which included an auditorium and a tower with chimes and a clock, was completed in 1906. Many famous personalities performed in Galloway Hall’s auditorium, including the renown opera singer Leontyne Price; Robert McFerrin, the first African American male lead with the New York Metropolitan Opera; actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis; comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory; and composer and conductor Duke Ellington. Noted authors and intellectuals addressed audiences there, including historian John Hope Franklin; writer, poet, actor, and playwright Maya Angelou; Lerone Bennett, author, historian, and editor of EBONY Magazine; and writer and essayist James Baldwin. (continued on other side)

SW Corner of Sunbury Square near S. Columbus St & E. Granville St.
Sunbury

, OH

When Sunbury was platted in 1816, a town square was set aside for public use with the intention of constructing a town hall on the site. The first two stories of the Town Hall were built, as a school, in 1868 for $5,000. The Masons added the third story for $1,500 and occupied it for 91 years, until a lodge was constructed. Since 1868, the Town Hall has served Sunbury as a village office building, jail, fire station, and community library. Church services as well as Farmer’s Institutes were held in the building, and at one time it housed a bank. In 2002, the Town Hall was renovated for use as a community room and village offices.

315 E. College Street
Oberlin

, OH

Jabez Lyman Burrell (1806-1900), originally from Massachusetts, built this house in 1852. Burrell made his living as a cattleman and farmer, but devoted much of his time serving the cause of abolitionism, helping slaves, who had escaped the South, get to Sheffield and from there to Lorain and across Lake Erie to Canada. He was also devoted to equal education for all, providing funding to a freedmen’s school in Selma, Alabama, and serving as a trustee of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, well known for educating African Americans and women. From 1884 to 1934, this was the home of Henry Churchill King (1858-1934), who was the president of Oberlin College from 1902-1927. The Kings added the porches and rear wing and made their home a social center for the college and community. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Oberlin Historic Landmark.

1530 Pole Lane Road
Marion

, OH

During the early months of World War II, ordinary citizens as well as soldiers made enormous sacrifices for the war effort. In March 1942 the War Department announced plans to build a 13,000-acre munitions manufacturing complex northeast of Marion. Using the power of eminent domain, the U.S. Government purchased the homes and farms of 126 families in the Likens Chapel community. Given only two months to vacate their property, many displaced farmers found the government-appraised values for their land inadequate for buying similar farms elsewhere and the growing season too advanced to plant new crops. (continued on other side)