Wendell P. Dabney      

Guide to African American Resources
at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives




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Cincinnati History
Library and Archives

Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal











Community Leaders

Theodore Berry
Born in poverty in Maysville, Kentucky on November 5, 1904, Ted Berry overcame great obstacles to achieve personal success and gain a national reputation as a leader in the Civil Rights movement. Berry's accomplishments include being elected Cincinnati's first African American mayor. More information
L. Venchael Booth
Rev. L. Venchael Booth came to Cincinnati in 1952 to be the pastor of Zion Baptist Church. His numerous activities have included serving on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees and on the WKRC-TV television program, Dialogue. He also founded the Progressive National Baptist Convention. More information
Virginia Coffey
Originally from Wheeling, West Virginia, Virginia Coffey moved to Cincinnati in the early 1920s where her first job was teaching in the city’s all-black Stowe School. She joined the staff of the Mayor's Friendly Relations Commission in 1949 and became executive director of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission in 1968. More information
Wendell P. Dabney
Wendell Phillips Dabney, 1865-1952, African American writer, educator, editor, publisher, composer, musician and politician, was a leader in educational and political issues affecting African Americans during the first half of the 20th century. Dabney’s many activities included establishing and publishing an African American newspaper The Union from 1907 until 1952. More information
Leslie Isaiah Gaines
Leslie Gaines earned a law degree from Howard University in 1971 and came to Cincinnati to work at the Cincinnati Legal Aid Office. He became well-known as a municipal court judge and a radio talk show host. To learn more about him, please consult his book, Cincinnati's Over-The-Rhine. View catalog record   Request slip

Frank A.B. Hall
Frank A.B. Hall, a native of Mississippi, was the son of former slaves. Hall was Cincinnati's first African American police detective. In 1931, Hall was elected to Cincinnati's City Council and served a two year term, the first African American to hold that position. More information
James W. Jones
Rev. James W. Jones was pastor of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Lincoln Heights for 32 years, from 1965 to 1997. In his work to end discrimination and to promote economic opportunites for African Americans, he has led boycotts in Cincinnati in 1979 and 2001-2003. More information
William L. Mallory, Sr.
William L. Mallory, Sr., a native of Cincinnati’s West End, was first elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1966. During his 28-year career there, Mallory sponsored or co-sponsored over 600 pieces of legislation. Mallory served as Ohio’s first African American Majority Floor Leader from 1975 to 1994. More information
William A. McClain
Attorney William A. McClain was Cincinnati’s city solicitor from 1963 to 1972, making him the first African American in the United States to hold such a high municipal legal office. He also served as Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge from 1975 to 1976 and as Municipal Court judge from 1976 to 1980. More information
Wilber A. Page
Born in Cincinnati in 1895, Wilber A. Page served as pastor of Union Baptist Church for 66 years. He was also a long-time member of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and the Central State University Board of Trustees. Page was active with the Hamilton County YMCA and the National Baptist Convention. He was named one of the "Great Living Cincinnatians" in 1979. More information
Irvine Garland Penn
Irvine Garland Penn, a native of Virginia, began his career in the newspaper business and later was a teacher and school principal. Beginning in 1897, he held important positions with the Epworth League for the Colored Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Freedman's Aid Society. He died in 1930. More information
Moses L. Perry
Moses L. Perry had a long career with the YMCA. After serving in Lexington, Kentucky and Miami, Florida, he worked from 1962 to 1980 with the YMCA in Africa. Perry came to Cincinnati in 1984 as the YMCA Director of Special Programs. To learn more about his career, please consult the Moses L. Perry Papers. Request slip
Jennie D. Porter
Jennie D. Porter was born in Cincinnati in 1876. In 1914, she established the Harriet Beecher Stowe School, designed to give African American children the same educational experiences that white children received. Porter was its first principal and served as such until her death in 1936. More information
Fred L. Shuttlesworth
Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth is nationally known for his civil rights work in Alabama in the 1960s. In Birmingham, he organized demonstrations, sit-ins and bus boycotts. In 1961 he became pastor of Revelation Baptist Church in Cincinnati's West End, where he served for five years before moving to the Greater New Light Baptist Church. More information
Marian A. Spencer
Marian A. Spencer, a native of Gallipolis, Ohio, was heavily involved in civil rights activities, working especially hard to desegregate public schools. In 1981, Spencer became the first female president of the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP. She was elected to Cincinnati City Council as a Charterite in 1983 and served for one term. More information
Penn Zeigler
Penn Zeigler was born in Virginia around 1897 and served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Later, he became president of Major Federal Savings and Loan, the first African American savings and loan in Cincinnati. He served as mayor of Lincoln Heights from 1967 to 1971. More information
Adeline Harris Collection
Mss 1 AT
This collection consists of oral interviews with 31 prominent members of the African American community in Cincinnati. The interviews were made in 1980 and 1981 and include Clarissa Baker, Ken Blackwell, John Blanton, William Bowen, Carol Braddock, Edmund Casey, Ray E. Clarke, Vera Edwards, Cheryl Grant, Joseph Hall, Lawrence Hawkins, James B. Marshall, Hartwell and Marjorie Parham, Melvin Posey, Lavatus Powell, Ida Mae Rhodes, Doris and Halloway Sells, Jack Sherman Jr., Donald and Marian Spencer, Ronald Temple, and Carl Westmoreland. Request slip

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This online guide opened on February 10, 2004.