Remarkable Ohio

Results for: african-american-community-activism
Pine Street/OH 160
Gallipolis

, OH

This 4-acre plot, established ca. 1860 by John Gee, is a burial ground for local colored citizens. John Gee was a religious leader as well as a skilled carpenter who built houses in early Gallipolis. Some Gallipolis colored pioneers were artisans while others came to work in the homes of French settlers. Leah Stewart, the first legally-recorded colored person in Gallia County, arrived in 1803. In this cemetery are the graves of numerous soldiers who served in this country’s military forces. At least 57 United States veterans rest upon this sacred site.

corner of South Michigan Avenue and East Indiana Street
Edgerton

, OH

Edgerton was settled beside the St. Joseph River when the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad was completed in 1854. The village was incorporated on December 4, 1865, and named for Alfred P. Edgerton, who donated the land for the park. He was an agent for Hicks & Company, a land speculation business. The firm of Von Behren & Shaffer built the town hall and opera house in 1884 for $7,998. The building and park became a hub of local activity. The park’s bandstand showcased the Edgerton Village Band and citizens gathered for picnics and festivities. (Continued on other side)

2 West Carpenter Street
Athens

, OH

In the first years of the twentieth century, Athens’ citizens formed a new National Guard company. The guardsmen initially held drill at the Campbell Block on Court Street, but soon the Athens Commercial Club began advocating for an armory from the Ohio National Guard. In 1912, the Armory Board approved the request. Plans were drawn up for the armory and the Guard purchased land from the Athens Brick Company at the foot of Shale Hill. Construction began in the spring of 1915 and the Armory opened in December. In March of 1917, the city held a dedication ceremony and parade. Before World War I, the Athens Armory housed Company L and the Machine Gun Company, both part of the 7th Infantry Regiment, Ohio National Guard. (Continued on other side)

6520 Main St SE
Rendville

, OH

Established in 1879 by Chicago industrialist William P. Rend as a coal mining town, Rendville became a place where African Americans broke the color barrier. In 1888, Dr. Isaiah Tuppins, the first African American to receive a medical degree in Ohio, was elected Rendville’s mayor, also making him the first African American to be elected a mayor in Ohio. Richard L. Davis arrived in Rendville in 1882 and became active in the Knights of Labor. He was one of the labor organizers from the Little Cities of Black Diamonds region who helped found the United Mine Workers of America in 1890. An outstanding writer and orator, Davis was elected to UMWA’s national executive board and organized thousands of African Americans and immigrants to join the union. (continued on other side)

2741 OH 266
Stockport

, OH

Following the American Revolution, the new Federal government, in need of operating funds, sold millions of acres of western lands to land companies. One such company, the Ohio Company of Associates, brought settlement to Marietta in 1788. Two years later, despite warnings of Native American hostility, an association of 36 Company members moved north from Marietta to settle “Big Bottom,” a large area of level land on the east side of the Muskingum River. The settlers were acquainted with Native American warfare, but even so, built an unprotected outpost. They did not complete the blockhouse, put pickets around it, or post a sentry. On January 2, 1791, a war party of 25 Delaware and Wyandot Indians from the north attacked the unsuspecting settlers, killing nine men, one woman, and two children. War raged throughout the Ohio Country until August 1794 when the tribes were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.

417 Main Street
Huron

, OH

In the early 1800s, Jabez Wright, an early Huron County judge, purchased a large tract of lakeside land on the north side of what is now Cleveland Road. There Wright built an eight-room farmhouse that later served as a “station” on the fabled Underground Railroad, playing a vital role in aiding fugitive African-American slaves to freedom. Beneath Wright’s farmhouse was a sixteen foot-wide and ninety foot-long tunnel. Escaped slaves entered the passage through a trap door in the home’s basement and exited into a corn crib located a mere one hundred feet from Lake Erie. There the slaves awaited the arrival of rowboats transporting them to vessels heading north to Canada. (Continued on side two)

Intersection of Ohio 31 and County Road 190
Kenton

, OH

Built in 1886 by direct descendants of slaves, the Black and White schoolhouse provided education for local youth until 1928. Denied admission to white schools in the area, local African-American families first built a log schoolhouse across the road in 1883 in which to educated their children. Three years later, this brick building was constructed. The black families allowed white children to attend and, as a result, the school became known as the Black and White school. It is an early integrated school in Ohio.

530 First Avenue
Gallipolis

, OH

Dr. Charles Elmer Holzer came to Gallipolis in 1909, as a resident surgeon at the Ohio Hospital for Epileptics. Recognizing the need for a community hospital, he returned in May 1910, after completing his training. With a local loan, he opened a seven-bed hospital. In 1913, he furthered his training in surgery, closing the hospital temporarily to study in Europe. He returned to Gallipolis in 1914, married nurse Alma Vomholt and resumed his practice. In 1916, he began construction on the First Avenue Holzer Hospital, the first general hospital in southeast Ohio. In 1949, the Holzers gave the growing hospital to the citizens of the five county area, to be administered by the Holzer Hospital Foundation. After outgrowing its downtown location, Holzer Medical Center opened on Jackson Pike in 1972 with 269 beds. (continued on other side)