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Akron's Black History Timeline

1860-1899: Civil War through Reconstruction Period

1860 – "Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~Abraham Lincoln~

1862 – Congress authorized President Lincoln to accept persons of African descent for war services

1863 – First Ohio Negro regiment called into service, called the 5th United States Colored Troops

1864 – Second black Ohio regiment called the 27th United States Colored Troops

1866 – Akron’s first black church was established – Negroes met in homes or halls to worship

1868 – Old Perkins school (abandoned) was moved via the Ohio Canal to near West Exchange St. Then called Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church

1880 Census – black population at 278

1890 Census – Akron’s Negro population was at 196
Available occupations were barbers, tailors, hairdressers, boatsmen, whitewashers, hod carriers and preachers
1899 George Stevens only Negro known to have attended Buchtel College
Most Negroes lived in area of N. Broadway, Furnace, and Cuyahoga Streets

A few black businesses appeared

  • Pickett and Alexander’s Excelsior Whitewashing Company
  • Two bathroom business, Chavis and Hamlin – Martin and Brown
  • Barbershops, Martin and Dangerfiled – Hamlin and Hale

Black organizations began to appear:

  • Black churches
  • Grand Order of Odd Fellows, Summit Lodge No. 3190
  • Colored Voters Secret Society
  • The Colored Masons, Silver Leaf Lodge No. 47, Free and Accepted Masons
  • Union League Club 

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Mayor Don  Plusquellic

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