Remarkable Ohio

Results for: african-american-community-activism
104 N. Prospect Street
Akron

, OH

This church, founded in 1866, is the oldest Black congregation in Akron. After worshiping in several locations, the congregation held a fund-raiser to help finance the construction of a permanent home. The person collecting the most money had the privilege of renaming the church. That honor went to Mrs. Belle (Smith) Wesley. Completed in 1928, the current structure is a Neo-Classical Revival style building, featuring a classical pedimented portico, or porch, and four distinctive ionic columns. An education wing was added in 1963 by the late Rev. Dr. E. E. Morgan, Jr. Akron Black architects Herbert L. Wardner and John O. Somerville designed the church, and then a Black contractor, Samuel Plato, completed the structure. The church has long been a vital religious and social focal point for Akron’s Black community. The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was organized at Wesley Temple. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places 3/19/94.

Baltic

, OH

Unsatisfied by the terms of the treaty that ended the French and Indian War, Ottawa chief Pontiac led a confederacy of Native American tribes in attacks against British frontier forts during 1763, a campaign known as “Pontiac’s Conspiracy.” In October 1764, Colonel Henry Bouquet led a 1500-man army into the Ohio country from Fort Pitt (present-day Pittsburgh) as a demonstration of British force and to free captives held by several tribes. Informed of possible attack, Bouquet diverted his army overland from his Tuscarawas River valley route and here deployed his forces into three lines: a group of scouts on each ridge and the main force along present Route 93. Evidence of artillery emplacements and infantry breastworks remained visible for many years.

Park Street
Arlington

, OH

First a farming community, later a railroad crossroads in southern Hancock County, Arlington was one of the county’s earliest settlements. Gen. William Hull opened a trail into the area during the War of 1812 as he crossed Buck Run at Eagle Creek. He led his army to the Blanchard River to establish Ft. Findlay. Robert Hurd owned extensive tracts of land in the area, and his sons were the first recorded settlers, building a log cabin near this site in 1834. The rich farmland and abundant water soon attracted other settlers to the vicinity of “Hurdtown.” The name was changed to “Arlington” when the village was formally surveyed in November, 1844.

9955 Yankee Street
Centerville

, OH

Edmund Munger was born in 1763 in Norfolk, Connecticut, and later moved to Vermont. In 1799, his wife Eunice Kellogg and five children traveled by wagon and flat-bottomed boat to claim land in Washington Township. A blacksmith by trade and a farmer, Munger was deeply interested in community affairs. In 1804, he was elected a Montgomery County Commissioner and four years later to Ohio’s Seventh General Assembly. From 1809 to 1826, he served as Clerk of Washington Township. His militia men elected him a Brigadier General in 1809 to take command of the Second Brigade, First Division of the Ohio Militia. During the War of 1812, Governor Return J. Meigs instructed Munger to defend the frontier within his command. His quick action protected settlers and kept vital supply routes open. General Munger died at his farm here in 1850 and is buried next to his wife in the Old Centerville Cemetery.

5401 Corso Road
Oxford

, OH

One of the few remaining covered bridges in southwestern Ohio and the only one in Butler County on its original site, this bridge was built in 1868-1869 to give access to a saw and grist mill owned by James B. Pugh on Four Mile (Tallawanda) Creek. The wooden frame three-story mill had a 16-foot overshot water wheel to power it. Pugh’s Mill ceased operation after two decades. The name of the span gradually changed to Black Bridge, likely because there was a white covered bridge downstream near present State Route 73. The Oxford Museum Association assumed stewardship of the Black Bridge in 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial celebration. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, it was restored and rededicated in 2000.

1636 N. Main Street
Urbana

, OH

Raised in an Ohio orphanage, Warren G. Grimes (1898-1975) ran away after finishing the ninth grade and at age 16 went to work for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit. He later became a partner in an electrical business where he was instrumental in designing and developing the first lights for the Ford Tri-Motor airplane. In 1930 Grimes moved to Urbana and founded a small lighting fixture plant, Grimes Manufacturing. The inventor of the familiar red, green, and white navigation lights found on the wing tips and tails of aircraft, Grimes, known as the “Father of the Aircraft Lighting Industry,” also developed other aircraft fixtures, including landing, instrumental, and interior lights. Every American-made airplane flown during World War II was equipped with Grimes lights. Grimes served as mayor of Urbana and chairman of the State of Ohio Aviation Board.

601 Second Street
Marietta

, OH

Following the establishment of the public land system in 1785, the Continental Congress appointed a committee, chaired by James Monroe, to establish government in the new territory north and west of the Ohio River. Drafted prior to the Constitution of the United States, the Ordinance of 1787 provided the mechanism by which prospective states would enter the Union on an equal basis with existing states. It also prohibited slavery in the new territory and pledged good faith in dealing with Native American tribes. According to this plan, the Northwest Territory became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota in due course.

55 Main Street
Tarlton

, OH

Major General William Sooy Smith was born in Tarlton on July 22, 1830. He attended Ohio University and supported himself throughout his college undergraduate career, graduating in 1849. He then entered the United States Military Academy at West Point to pursue engineering and graduated 6th in the class of 1853. In 1857, Smith established the private engineering firm Parkinson & Smith and made the first surveys for the international bridge across the Niagara River near Niagara Falls. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Smith joined the 13th Ohio Infantry, winning the commission of colonel in June 1861. After early victories in western Virginia, he was promoted to brigadier general in April 1862 for his gallant and meritorious service at the Battle of Shilo. (continued on other side)