Major Savings and Loan

Major Savings and Loan, located primarily at Gilbert and Lincoln Avenues, was the longest-lived African American Savings and Loan in Cincinnati, operating from 1921 until 1986. Savings and Loans, earlier called Building and Loans, were the primary savings institutions for most people, and the source of most mortgage loans, during the middle half of the[…]

Dr. Loretta C. Manggrum

Loretta Cessor, born in 1896 in Gallipolis, Ohio, had African American, Irish and Native American ancestry. Her mother was a teacher who played the piano and the guitar. Loretta proved a natural pianist, playing in her Sunday School from the age of six, and in her church while still a child. At about 15 she[…]

Ida Mae Rhodes

Ida Mae Rhodes was born in 1899 and lived until 2000 – 101 years. She went to the University of Cincinnati; most records show her graduating in 1919. Yet the university bulletin for 1919-1920 shows her as a junior, and in 1920 she became the president of the first African American sorority on the campus.[…]

Sarah Gibson Jones

Many African Americans in Cincinnati before the Civil War arrived responsible for their own freedom. Many had found ways as enslaved people to purchase their own freedom. Many more arrived when Black family members or friends purchased their freedom for them. Still others were descended from free people in the North. But there were always[…]

Eleanora Alms and her legacy

Eleanora Alms survived her husband Frederick by more than 20 years. She stepped in to the role of a leading philanthropist, lavishly memorializing her late husband, but also imprinting her own cultural tastes for art and design on the city of Cincinnati. As mentioned in the previous post, in 1902 Eleanora Alms donated the enormous[…]

Dow Drugs

The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries saw an explosion of consumer products, and produced a revolution in retail sales. Where were the new economic actors going to buy and sell all that stuff? Drug stores stepped into the breach, expanding from pharmaceutical products and hard candy to a plethora of new products, including bathing[…]

Jennie Davis Porter

Jennie Davis Porter was born in 1876, the daughter of a school teacher and a former slave said to be Cincinnati’s first African American undertaker. She attended the city’s integrated schools, and graduated from Hughes High School in 1893. In 1897 she began to teach at Fredrick Douglass school, at the time the only African[…]

Frances Jones Poetker

Frances Jones Poetker, of “Jones the Florist,” was born in Walnut Hills in 1913. The family had moved the floral business from Northern Kentucky to McMillan Street around 1900, and lived on Park Avenue, immediately around the corner from the shop. In the late 1920’s they constructed an elegant new building with a three-story atrium[…]

Women’s History Facts – Edgecliff College

In 1935, the Sisters of Mercy opened Our Lady of Cincinnati College to commuting students in the leased Walnut Hills Edgecliffe estate, formerly the home of Mary Emery. OLC was a hastily-arranged replacement for Clifton’s Sacred Heart, in those days called “Catholic Girl’s Colleges.” The bishop hoped that the little campus would provide a congenial[…]

Mary Emery

Mary Emery, one of the founders of what became Children’s Hospital, moved with her husband into a mansion they built in Walnut Hills in 1881. They called their house “Edgecliffe;” just east of Eden Park, it shared the same sweeping view of the Ohio River. When her husband died in 1906, Mary inherited a guided[…]