Side A: Walnut Hills has been home to a significant middle- and working-class Black community since the 1850s. In 1931, African American entrepreneur Horace Sudduth bought 1004 Chapel Street and then the row of buildings across Monfort, naming them the Manse Hotel and Annex. Throughout the 1940s, hotel dinner parties could move to the Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs house next door for dancing. A large addition to the Manse in 1950 created its own ballroom, 24-hour coffee shop, upgraded Sweetbriar Restaurant, and more guest rooms. It appeared in the Negro Motorist’s Green Book between 1940-1963, providing local, transient, and residential guests both catered meetings and top entertainment during the last decades of segregation. It closed in the late 1960s when the economic need for a first-class segregated hotel disappeared in the age of Black Power.
Side B: Horace Sudduth, was born in Covington, Kentucky, graduated from its segregated high school in 1906, and became a Pullman Porter. In 1909, he settled in Cincinnati’s West End. He opened Sudduth Real Estate and operated the Lincoln Theater and other business over the next decade. Sudduth raised funds for the Black Ninth Street YMCA (1916), briefly roomed there, and served on its board for decades, while also nurturing Black Ys nationally. Around 1917, he expanded his real estate practice to include Walnut Hills. In 1926 he moved with his family into the neighborhood. Sudduth founded Industrial Building and Loan to provide savings accounts and mortgages when redlining discouraged Black home ownership. His Walnut Hills Enterprise Company and Creative Realty sponsored business and employment opportunities. Sudduth revitalized Booker T. Washington’s National Negro Business League in the 1950s.
Sponsors: Walnut Hills Historical Society, Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation, Gtr Cin/NKY African American Chamber of Commerce, Ohio History Connection