Dayton Daily News from Dayton, Ohio on February 22, 1995 · 25
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Dayton Daily News from Dayton, Ohio · 25

Dayton, Ohio
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 22, 1995
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8-Z4 a WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1995 DAYTON DAILY NEWS Black hero inspires monument effort Lincoln lauded Greene County 'Renaissance' man By Diana Blowers FOR THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS Martin Robison Delany, lauded ' by President Abraham Lincoln as 1 a "most extraordinary and intelli-' gent black man," is buried, virtual-' ly unknown, in a Greene County cemetery. His small, weatherbeaten tomb-' stone in Massie Creek Cemetery simply identifies him as a major with the 104th USCT. There Is no ' hint that Delany (1812-1885) was the first black field officer, a rank he received from Lincoln. , An ad hoc committee hopes to jYituac enuugu money io ereci a ' monument in the Cedarville Twp. cemetery that would reflect, De-' lany's accomplishments before, during and after the Civil War. '-" Floyd Thomas, curator of military history " for the National y Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce, f. and Jon Wilkin-j, son of Cedar-l; ville are spear-1 ! headine the1 ) effort along Thomas ! ; with Judge Robert D. Walker of ; Findlay. ' 1 "This man was a true Renais-i , sance man. He was an inventor, a i ; politician, a doctor and a lawyer. He is a true treasure." said Wilkin-; : son, a Civil War enthusiast who s ; lives near the cemetery. ; "There are a lot of people who ; ' made important contributions j ; that are today unknown and un- ) ft ; Delany made his mark as a doctor, ; writer, black nationalist, officer t By Diana Blowers FOR THE DAYTON DAILY NEWS v When Floyd Thomas and Jon Wilkinson started researching the ; life of Martin Robison Delany, they j' found he was much more than just the first black commissioned offi-- cer in the United States Army. T Thomas, curator of military his- tory at the National Afro-Ameri- can Museum and Culture Center ; in Wilberforce, and Wilkinson, a j. Cedarville gunsmith, found that y Delany, who is buried in a Greene w; County cemetery, did amazing Z things for a black man living in the Civil War era. Among their findings was that Delany was born in Charleston, Va., (now West Virginia), in 1812 to 1 freeborn parents. His family es-T- caped to Pennsylvania after his ;' mother was accused of the crime J of teaching herself and her chil- dren to read and write. In Pennsylvania, blacks were -?only educated through the ele-2 mentary grades, so Delany educat- ed himself by reading until he was 2 19, when he attended the Cellar School of the African Methodist ; Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. . While there, he apprenticed with a white physician and later attended Harvard Medical School i In 1843, he established The Mys-Z teiy, the only African-American newspaper in the United States at the time. It reflected his activities jwith the abolitionist movement and the underground railroad. He later joined abolitionist Frederick J Douglass in New York to publish " the abolitionist newspaper, North Star. I Discontented with the situation of blacks in the United States, he tried to establish a black commu- Some Greene j By Todd R.Wallack -i GREENE COUNTY BUREAU An unknown number of western : Greene County residents are pay-C ing too much in sales taxes and 1 the money is going to the wrong 2 county because of mistakes on their long-distance telephone bills, j Apparently, some long-distance J companies are charging Greene " County residents' an extra 0.5 peril cent in sales tax and sending the ; money to Montgomery County if the residents have a Dayton zip code. J That includes residents in Bea-; vercreek, Bellbrook and Fairborn. ; "It's only a few pennies, but I - want the money to go to the county I live in," Beavercreek Twp. : Trustee Carol Graff said. "If al-; most everyone In Beavercreek is ; affected, it could add up to a lot - money." The problem first came to light i Parents of potential Centerville students to meet - A meeting for parent of eighth- graders currently attending pri-vate and parochial schools and Iconsderii entering Centenllle ;iligh School in the fall wCl be at ; 7 30 pin. today in the East Unit 'commons at the high school, 500 f x. V i t; v.V " recognized. There are a lot of African-Americans that certainly fit that bill and among them is Martin Delany," Thomas said. Even the cemetery where Delany is buried, on Tarbox Cemetery Road Just off U.S. 42 between Wilberforce and Cedarville, has a special history. It was originally the Tarback family cemetery and was probably one of the first mixed-race cemeteries in Ohio, Wilkinson said. "They were a German white family, staunch abolitionists. They were the ones that established the little community of Wilberforce as a home for freeborn slaves and freed slaves that came across into Ohio from the south," Wilkinson said. "Since the black folks had no place to bury their people they just opened the cemetery up to them. Martin Robison Delanv: First black commissioned officer in U.S. Army. nity in South America. In 1851, he traveled to West Africa, where he researched his genealogy and explored the possibility of establishing a "Black Israel" in Africa. In 1852, he wrote The Condition, Elevation, Emigration and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Politically Considered, a book considered a founding text for American black nationalism. He wrote several other books, including The Origin of Races and Color, which was published in 1879. In 1854, the same year he used his medical skills to help with a cholera epidemic in Pittsburgh, he issued a call for the first National Emigration Convention, which met in Cleveland. He moved his family in 1856 to callers paying about two weeks ago when a Bea-'vercreek resident checked his phone bill and discovered he was being charged 6.5 percent in sales taxes, Montgomery County's rate, instead of 6percent. His long-distance company told him he was listed as a Montgomery County resident in its computer. Then he called Graff, who figured out that she, too, was paying the wrong amount After confirming the error with her long-distance company, Graff called up County Administrator Steve Stapleton, who also happens to live in Beavercreek. As it turns out, Stapleton is affected as wen The problem seems to be that many long-distance companies, such as AT&T, rely on zip codes to determine where residents live. But postal workers say a half dozen zip codes straddle the Montgomery-Greene County lines: E. Franklin St Principal Dave McDaniel w21 discuss the curriculum and course offerings. Packets containing course information, a student handbook and registration materials have been . -. S Jon Wilkinson: With grave marker of Martin Robinson Delany; Wilkinson is among those spearheading an effort to erect a monument to the former Civil War officer. DIANA BLOWERS That's how it became mixed so early, in the 1830s and 1840s," he said. "Delany was the highest-ranking African-American during the Civil War. ... I got interested in him because of his military (background) and then when we started doing research we found out that he was much, much more than that," Thomas said. "We are always looking for positive role models and he is one that certainly stands out. This kind of person should be celebrated for his accomplishments and what he did, not only for African-Americans but for our country." Thomas said it is a tragedy that people aren't aware of what he did. "There are certain people that very rightly we honor, people like George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King and folks like that, Ontario, Canada, where he practiced medicine. In 1864, he moved his family from Canada to Wilberforce. In 1859, he was the focus of attention at a world scientific congress in London when, after being welcomed as a "Negro," he took the floor and assured the delegates that "I am a man." Delany, concerned about the condition of the United States Colored Troops, had an idea he wanted to discuss with President Abraham Lincoln, so he traveled to Washington, D.C. During the Feb. 8, 1865, meeting with Lincoln, Delany suggested appointing black officers to oversee the black regiments. Lincoln agreed with Delany. When he left Lincoln's office. De- lany carried with him a letter from the president to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton saying: "Do not fail to have an interview with this most extraordinary and intelligent black man." At the age of 53, Delany was commissioned as a major in the United States Army, the first black field officer in the Civil War. The war ended before Delany's 104th U.S. Colored Troop completed its training. After the war, he was Involved in Reconstruction politics, first in the Freedman's Bureau and then as a magistrate in South Carolina. He also served as a sub-commissioner for the Charleston region. . In late 1880, he returned to his Wilberforce home, where his wife and 1 1 children had been living. He died Jaa 24, 1881, and was buried in Tarbox Cemetery on Tarbox Cemetery Road, now known as Massie Creek Cemetery, in eastern Greene County. too much tax 45424, 45430, 45431, 45432 and 45440. Even residents of the newly created 45434 zip code in Beavercreek, like Graff, are affected, because the first three digits correspond to Dayton codes. "A lot of people in Beavercreek, Fairborn and Bellbrook have Dayton zip codes," said Xenia Postmaster Joyce Harris. "Dayton handles their mail, but they live in Greene County." Officials for the long-distance companies said they had never heard of the problem, but recommended customers call the customer service number on their phone bills if they have any questions. Stapleton said he has asked someone to contact the phone companies to determine the extent of the problem and to get it corrected. "It's probably not a lot of money, but it may be," Stapleton said. delivered to area private schools. The packets should be available in school offices, McDaniel said. McDaniel said the meeting is open to any community members wishing to know more about the hishschooL but very, very early on there were others, including Delany, who the problem of overcrowding merit the kind of attention that untu the wBh scho1 was bulIt. more recent people have re- Meier said, ceived," Thomas said. The November and February "He was living in a period when bond sue failures only mean the doors were shut all of the time and overcrowding issue will have to be he didn't let it stop him from medi- looked at on a more long-term ba-cal school, writing a novel, going to sis than before, he said. Africa, working on the Under- The board will be taking a close ground Railroad and developing i00k at finding alternative space to his own newspaper. This was a Re- house students, especially at the nasance man of incredible skill junior high school, where crowding and he lies there virtually un-is greatest, known to the broad masses of peo- The board has been checking j J Into the use of churches and porta- Wilkinson and Thomas consider Dle classrooms, it appropriate that they, two white while November's vote failed by men, are leading the drive to honor just 34 votes - 2,888 to 2,854 - the Delany' issue failed bv about 300 books. All of the history books in the schools were written by white folks and so in a sense it was white folks who excluded him to begin wiin, inomassaid. The committee hopes to erect a seven-foot-tall black African granite monument, which was chosen for its pure black color with none of the reflective gutter found in American granite. This is appropriate, Wilkinson said, because Delany was very proud of his "pure" African heritage. His paternal grandfather was a member of the Golah tribe and his maternal grandfather was a prince of the Mandingo tribe. "We have all of the approval we need from the cemetery trustees and the township to do this. We Just lack the funds," Wilkinson said. D CONTRIBUTIONS to the Delany Monument Fund may be sent in co the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Box 578, Wilberforce, Ohio 45384-0578. For more information, call Thomas at 376-4944. "A t" 1 r f fM r i r I r i t r i r AiiTrnniiJEEis 507 Miamislmrg-Centerville Rd. (Behind Bloc $OUP SANDWICH Kaiser Sandwiches Ham, Turkey or Roast Beef and 16 oze. of our Soup of the Day $3.75 Join Ua fur Ladle Nulil Everv Happy Hour livery Fri. FREE Buffet Corner of St Rl 41 CJ NewSS, ISJXJTHXJT (513)845-9849 Chocolate Candy Making Supplies Ambrosia Milk Coating I49 lb. Nestle Milk & White , I95 lb. Ask For Volume Discounts Tues. - Sat. 9:30-6 It's not puzzling why our residents are so happy, n rrn i r4 DOWN 1. Relationship, friends 2. State of harmony 3. Freedom from harm 4. Liveliness ACROSS 1. Tidying up 2. Worth 3. When food is taken 4. Means of conveyance Finding the right retirement lifestyle can be challenging. Our residents found the retirement lifestyle at Sycamore Glen to be the solution to what they wanted. Don't be puzzled about your future. Come and see Sycamore Glen for yourself. We just may be the retirement answer you're looking for. Sycamore Glen 317 Sycamore Glen Drive fW Miamisburg, OH 45342 (513)866-2934 EOUAl HOCS NG 2S"8boro 2,162 to 1,861 in February. POST PRESIDENT'S DAY SALE STARTS TCSAY SEE US EARLY FOR KSISE SAVINGS! POWER DRIVE PICKED 1 BY CONSUMER REPORTS 5 OFF UPJ? ANY COMPLETE SER- I5l) OFF1 I VICE PLUS FREE II I I BELTS & BRUSHES I I DEMONSTRATOR I I Reg. '26.95. Additional 1 1 DISPLAY I parts extra Expires linncl e 31595 MODELS DAYTON'S ONLY HOOVER FACTORY OWNED t 0PIRATED SALES t SERVICE CENTER M-F: 8-6 I SAT: 9-8 ( I Fax (513)299-0976 ALEX BELL PLAZA (SLRL 741 Alex Bell Rd.) m r I kbutUer Video) BEST DELI Sandwiches In Town 436-0200 Mon.-Fri. 11am - 8pm WmJ. Trivia Prima . Sycamore AGlen CLIP rteii me more about how Sycamore Glen lean solve my retirement lifestyle puzzle. ; Name 'Address. ! City. State, ZiP J Phone ( ) 2 J2 5 3CN Meier said an analysis of the vote showed that 75 percent of the November "no" votes returned in February, while only 65 percent of the "yes" votes returned. He said he's sure there are enough "yes" votes in the community to pass the issue, though he's not sure how to get those people to the polls. Because the November vote was so close, a number of people took its passage for granted in February and didn't vote, Meier said. School board members gave up their board compensation for a year to fund the special February election. "They don't begrudge that at all," Meier said. "They feel it was a wise decision not to take that compensation. They wanted to make that commitment." JESSES 3 m me. it RETIRED CRAFTSMEN & OTHER EXPERTS OFFER LOW-COST HOME REPAIRS & REMODELING Plumbing Painting Carpentry Bath & Kitchen Remodeling Roofing DrywaH electrical Plastering Handyman Jobs Fully Insured Work Guaranteed ror One Year SAVE I SAVE M5.00 $25.00 ON ANY WORK ON ANY WORK OVER '50.00 OVER '100.00 SAVE GOOD FOR $50.00 FREE ON ANY WORK fJf OVER 350.00 i Coupon Mult be presented at time of etnmcne terror moea id cnonqe wimour notice. Not valid with any other offer. tlfome Repair CONNECT! O N. forFra 438-1600 Inforrnofion Col OurHollinr h x ANO MAIL TODAY

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