Carl L. Brown Sr., was a man of intense energy and determination. Mr. Brown had deep interests in the community resulting in his membership in a multitude of groups and organizations, many of which work for the improvement of the African-American Community.
Carl L. Brown was born in Westerville, Ohio on February 9, 1917. He graduated in 1934 from Westerville High School, the only African-American in his class. After receiving a racial slur at his place of employment in 1937, Carl L. Brown left his job. In August of 1937, at only 19 years old and with $84 in his pocket, Carl purchased a Model T pickup truck and began driving up and down the street, selling fruits and vegetables. He rented a fruit and vegetable stand in the East Market and later upgraded to a building at 1053 Mt. Vernon Avenue.
In 1955, Carl L. Brown Sr. further upgraded his business by making it an IGA Franchise and moving it to 1289 Mt. Vernon Avenue. He had two locations open for a period, one at 1053 Mt. Vernon Avenue and a second store at 1289 Mt. Vernon Avenue. His business was such a success, that in 1969, Mr. Brown built a new store located at 1315 Mt. Vernon Avenue. Building the new store required him to obtain one of the largest loans given at that time. On the Grand Opening five-day celebration, he gave away 50 heaping baskets of food to customers. In 1981, Mr. Brown had the idea to further give back to the community and help the less fortunate by holding an annual Christmas shopping spree for five “low income” families. The shopping spree consisted of local celebrities who would grab groceries off the shelves while an employee would follow behind pushing a shopping cart. With sponsors aiding in his idea, Mr. Brown’s shopping sprees grew tremendously from helping five “low income” families to 15 “low income” families.
Not only was Mr. Brown the President of Carl L. Brown Inc, he also served on and was a member of many boards, receiving a great deal of awards and honors. He was a member of the N.A.A.C.P., the East Central Citizens Organization, the Community Action Organization (CMACAO) housing community and was a Treasurer of the Model Cities Neighborhood Assembly. He also served on the board of directors of the Columbus Hospital Federation.
One of the major highlights of his career was being awarded the Recipient of the 1968 Ohio Small Businessman Award given by the Federal Small Business Association (SBA). In 1987, he was selected as a finalist in the business category of the Kool Achiever Awards which recognizes those who improve life for residents of America’s inner cities. He also received various awards from the Independent Grocers Alliance, the Ohio Retail Food Dealers Association and accepted the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Mt. Vernon Avenue District Improvement Association and an Achievement Award from Frontiers International. Carl L. Brown Sr. was the Vice Chairman of the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and a past president of the Mt. Vernon Avenue District Improvement Association. He served as the Director of Econ Inc., a group of businessmen who strived to build more successful stores and as a Director of the Greater Ohio Showmen's Association that conducted concession stands at the Ohio State
Fair. In 1950, he had a concession stand at the Ohio State Fair for an impressive 30 year span. He sold fresh fruits, slices of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, along with hot dogs and a special coney sauce, prepared and perfected by his wife, Dorothy. The fair workers would order the sandwiches with the coney sauce minus the hot dogs.
Carl L. Brown Sr. loved to hire and teach people. He had a number of “Key Employees” that helped to build Carl L. Brown’s IGA. He employed and taught people an outstanding work ethic aiding them to become successful entrepreneurs. Mr. Brown worked 12-18 hours a day and still found the time to expand his business knowledge by taking twilight courses at The Ohio State University for marketing, advertising and corporate finance.
When Mr. Brown passed away in June 1994, at his homegoing the Reverend asked ‘That whoever worked for Carl L. Brown Sr., to please stand up.’ The whole church, even his children and grandchildren stood up. With determination and the support from his family and friends, Carl L. Brown Sr. became a highly respected and successful African-American Business Owner.
Chad Brown, the youngest son of Carl L Brown sat with the 20Twenty200 team to share more about his father.
Ralph W Tyler (1860–1921) was an African American journalist, war correspondent, government official. He strove for racial justice in the United States and served as the only accredited Black foreign correspondent specifically reporting on African American servicemen stationed in France during World War I.
His career began in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1880s where he held several journalistic positions including editor of the Afro-American; co-founding the short-lived African American newspaper, The Free American; contributing a Black news column and serving as society editor at the white-owned Columbus Evening Dispatch and writing for The Ohio State Journal. Tyler was appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt to fill the post of Auditor of the Department of the Navy. Following his Auditor of the Navy post, Booker T. Washington and his Secretary, Emmett J. Scott, recommended Tyler to be the national organizer of the National Negro Business League (NNBL), an organization founded by Washington to engage in documenting the state of Black businesses to promote an organized and active League membership. In 1917, Tyler left this post to serve as secretary in another organization founded by Washington, The National Colored Soldiers' Comfort Committee, which provided financial support for Black soldiers and their families.
Following this position, Tyler became the only African American journalist stationed overseas, reporting on Black soldiers. In 1918, a committee overseen by Emmett J. Scott, who was then serving as the Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of War, selected Tyler to be stationed in the northeast Metz region of France along with General John J. Pershing's brigade. Tyler's reports were sent back to the U.S., edited and distributed by Scott to newspapers and journals nationally. Tyler reported from the trenches at the front of the battlefield in Northeastern Metz, France. Later Scott published several of Tyler's reports in Scott's Official History of the American Negro in The World War (1919). Back in the States, Tyler's reports provided first-hand accounts of the heroic deeds of Black soldiers and boosted the morale of the troops overseas. He also documented discrimination that the Black troops faced at the hands of white American organizations and service personnel and the comparatively unbiased treatment they fared from the French.
Video captured as part of Ralph W Tylers coverage of African American Soldiers in World War I. (1918)
Hank Marr was a soul and jazz keyboardist known best for being a master of the Hammond B-3 organ. He began performing with the Sammy Hopkins Trio in the 1940s and soon joined Rusty Bryant's band. In the mid 1950s, he started playing at the Little Belmont club in Atlantic City and was signed to King Records in 1961. With King Records he recorded seven albums with his biggest hit being the instrumental "The Greasy Spoon" (1964). During the 1960s and 1970s, he performed in Las Vegas, on "The Johnny Carson Show", "The Mike Douglas Show", "The Merv Griffin Show" and worked as TV star George Kirby's musical director. In 1990, the City of Columbus Ohio, honored him with a "Marvelous Hank Marr Day" and he is a recipient of the Columbus Music Legacy Award.
Hit record LP "GREASY SPOON" KING RECORDS 1969
Eddie Colston Junior and his family lived on Eastwood Avenue in Columbus Ohio. He was a graduate of St. Mary's High School in German Village and Cols. College of Art and Design, where he later instructed. He spent the bulk of his working years in the Cols. Recreation an Parks Department as a recreation leader and instructor to art students of all ages. Those students will be his legacy.
In the late 1950s Colston and a friend Jim Loeffler were among the hungry visual artists who decided that they would drag their paintings out to the open space between the State of Ohio building on Front Street for an impromptu exhibition, like those in Jackson Square, New Orleans. Within a few years, the Greater Columbus Arts Festival was born.
Eddie J Colston Jr., was sixty-seven when he passed away in February 2006
Granville T. Woods was an African-American inventor and was born on April 23, 1856, in Columbus, Ohio. He left school when he was ten years old and went to work to help support his family. Woods became an apprentice to a machinist. He learned blacksmithing and how to invent and repair machines. Woods continued his education by attending night school.
In 1872, Woods became a fireman on the Danville and Southern Railroad in Missouri. He was later promoted to engineer. After only two years with the railroad, Woods moved to Springfield, Illinois, where he accepted a position with a steel mill. By 1878, he had become an engineer on the Ironsides, a British steamship. Within two years, he had become the ship's chief engineer.
In all of the positions that he held, Woods experienced discrimination because of his race. Unhappy with his inability to obtain higher positions, Woods moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he established his own machine shop in 1880. The shop eventually became the Woods Electrical Company. Woods devoted his energies to developing an improved steam boiler in 1884. He also invented the first electric railway that was powered with electric lines from above the train. Previously the lines had run along the tracks and been quite dangerous to pedestrians. In addition to these inventions, Woods also created the first telegraph service that allowed messages to be sent from moving trains. This invention dramatically improved railroad safety. Woods also invented several improvements to the airbrakes used on locomotives and other large machines.
Woods sold his inventions to a number of companies, including the American Bell Telephone Company and the General Electric Company. By the time of his death on July 30, 1910, Woods had received more than sixty patents.
Granville T. Woods was the first African American Mechanical & Electrical Engineer.
Eddie J. Colston, Sr. made his appearance on Columbus stages as part of a 1930s tap dancing trio called the Three Flames. He managed Lionel Hampton and wrote an entertainment column for the Black press in the Columbus Advocate, the Ohio State News and the Ohio Sentinel. He was the chief publicist and booking agent for people of color and if you came into Columbus from New York, he was the man to see.
An example of his January, 1957 writings, ” Swingin’ times you have known? Shucks, man! You ain’t heard nuttin’ yet until you catch rompin’, rockin’, bouncin’ Milt Buckner, his Hammond organ and whalin’ combo. Mite but mighty Milt opened for a limited engagement at Marty’s Club 502 Monday. The newly remodeled mirrored bandstand at 502 will undoubtedly enjoy some of its swingingst moments since owner-manager Marty Mellman opened his popular jazz emporium at St. Clair and Leonard Aves.”
Eddie J.Colston, Sr., a tap dancer, journalist, entertainment manager and promoter. Legend has it that his dancing days, he became the road manager for Lionel Hampton's Band, thus becoming the first Black to manage a popular orchestra during the swing era.
He became the amusements editor for the Ohio Sentinel during the 1940s, soliciting advertising and promoting many of the popular entertainers that came to Columbus. He and pioneer radioman Eddie Saunders were two persons that met and promoted the entertainers of all persuasions that brought their acts to the Central Ohio area during the heydays of supper clubs, concerts and nightclubs during the forties and fifties.
Eddie Jay passed unexpectedly of heart failure at the age of Forty in 1960.
Karl J Fulton was the founder of the Karl J Fulton Little league football organization .
While coaching at West High School, in 1958, he knew there was need for youth football on the west side of Columbus. He, along with two others started their own Pony league that continues to operate to this day.
Karl J Fulton is a Hilltop native and raised his Family on the west side of Columbus.
Get to know more about Karl J Fulton and how he is responsible for little league football programs in Columbus, Ohio.
James Albert “Al” Jackson, was a successful feed merchant in the day when Columbus citizens kept small flocks of chickens in their backyards. He and his business partner, James E. Williams, built and opened the Empress Theater at 768 East Long Street in the 1920s. The building contained other businesses; a soda grill, a dance hall called the Crystal Slipper and a barber shop.
Mr. Williams passed away in 1921, with his wife, Ruby, taking over his business interests and becoming the active partner to Mr. Jackson. When a theater owner on Mount Vernon insisted on keeping Black customers out, Mr. Jackson said that he’d fix them, “I’ll build a theater better than any one in the United States.”
When the Ogden (Lincoln) Theater opened in 1928, there was none like it in the country. The whole interior took you back to Egypt with marble pillars carved and painted to look like Egyptian antiques. The two inch scarlet carpeting was plush and enveloped your feet when you walked on it. The stage curtains were made of golf velvet.
The Club Lincoln was where Sammy Stewart’s Orchestra opened, Thansgiving, 1928 and little Sammy Davis, Junior was four years old when he made his first impromptu appearance onstage. Another building was soon built for professional people and named for Jackson’s wife, Teresa.
Between Garfield and Hamilton were constructed apartments know as the Jackson-Logan Apartments, with his new partner, John Logan. He opened the Ritz Poolroom, where you could buy Erlenbusch Ice Cream.
There was great success that happened to the feedstore owner because he gave a part of himself back to the Columbus community.
The Mother of Black History in Columbus is Anna Bishop. In addition to being an educator in Columbus schools, a singer, poet, composer, actress and tireless community activist, she was the author of Beyond Poindexter Village: The Blackberry Patch.
In 1982, the first of four parts of her writings were published by the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Beyond Poindexter Village chronicled the community that began after W.W.I when Black southerners moved north to take advantage of the industrial boom that was occurring in many midwestern cities. The Blackberry Patch was settled in East Columbus bordering Long Street, Mount Vernon Avenue, Ohio Avenue and Mink Alley.
In her four volumes Anna Bishop interviewed the golden agers, born in the south at the beginning of the century, who had the recipes that helped families survive the terrible times of the depression years. She documented the neighborhood business, theaters, nightclubs, transportation and personalities of African Americans who lived in Columbus, Ohio.
Anna Bishop passed in 2004
Leslie Calvin Brown and his twin brother, Wesley, were born on February 17, 1945, on the floor of an abandoned building in Liberty City, a low-income section of Miami, Florida. Their birth mother, married at the time to a soldier stationed overseas, had become pregnant by another man and went to Miami secretly to give birth to her sons. Three weeks later, she gave them away.
At six weeks of age, both boys were adopted by Mamie Brown, a 38-year-old unmarried cafeteria cook and domestic. Brown considered his mother a key influence in his life, telling Rachel L. Jones of the Detroit Free Press, "Everything I am and everything I have I owe to my mother. Her strength and character are my greatest inspiration, always have been and always will be."
As a child, Brown was overactive and mischievous. He struggled in school, finding it impossible to concentrate, and was labeled "educable mentally retarded" in the fifth grade. It was a label he found hard to remove, in large part because he did not try. "They said I was slow so I held to that pace," he recounted. However, a dedicated teacher saw greater potential. LeRoy Washington, a speech and drama instructor at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, inspired Brown. While in high school, Brown "used to fantasize being onstage speaking to thousands of people," he related to Jones, "and I used to write on pieces of paper, 'I am the world's greatest orator."'
When Washington saw potential in Brown, he insisted he live up to it. When he once told Washington in class that he couldn't perform a task because he was educable mentally retarded, the instructor responded, "Do not ever say that again! Someone's opinion of you does not have to become your reality."
Those words provided Brown's liberation from his debilitating label. "The limitations you have, and the negative things that you internalize are given to you by the world," he wrote of his realization. "The things that empower you-the possibilities-come from within."
After high school, Brown found employment as a city sanitation worker, but he was determined to achieve what he desired. Brown pursued a career in radio broadcasting. He had been enthralled throughout his life with the almost music-like patter of disc jockeys, so he repeatedly bothered the owner of a local radio station about a position until the owner relented. Having no experience, Brown was hired to perform odd jobs. Firmly intent on becoming a deejay, he learned all he could about the workings of a radio station. One day, when a disc jockey became drunk on the air and Brown was the only other person at the station, he filled in at the microphone. Impressed, the owner of the station promoted Brown to part-time and then full-time disc jockey.
In the late 1960s, Brown moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he had a top-rated radio program, and was eventually given added duties as broadcast manager. Here his world widened. This new level of influence inspired Brown to become more socially and politically conscious, urging his listeners to political action. He was further encouraged by Mike Williams, the station’s news director.
Brown would eventually be fired from his position as broadcast manager and DJ, partly for being too controversial of a figure. With the encouragement of Williams, Brown pursued politics instead. Brown ran for the Ohio State Legislature, winning the seat of the 29th House District. In his first year, he passed more legislation than any other freshman representative in Ohio legislative history. In his third term, he served as chair of the Human Resources Committee.
He served three terms before leaving the legislature in 1981, returning to Miami to care for his ailing mother. In Miami, Brown continued to focus on social issues, developing a youth career training program and holding community meetings.
During Brown’s time in Miami, the Dade County state's attorney investigated his handling of the youth program. After a year, however, the case was dropped and no improprieties were found. At that point, with continued encouragement from Williams, and by a chance encounter with motivational millionaire Zig Ziglar, who was earning $10,000 for one-hour talks, Brown decided to become a full-time motivational speaker.
Dr. William T. Method began practice 23 August 1906 at 471 Parsons Avenue. After four and half years he built a new home and office at 663 East Livingston Avenue. Four years later, he purchased a house at 121 North Seventeenth Street, rebuilt the structure for an office with Dr. R. M. Tribbitt (dentist).
In May 1920, he built the Alpha Hospital office building at the southeast corner of East Long Street and Seventeenth Street. Dr. Method had an enviable professional record and was kept extremely busy by his extensive practice. He became known as the “Dean of Negro Physicians.”
One of Dr. Method’s extraordinary attributes was that from the inception of his practice, he always took time to encourage, teach, and financially assist younger physicians in establishing their practice.
Chuck White Ohio's first African-American television personality and famous for his role as Mr. Tree, Piere, and other characters on Luci's Toy Shop, Chuck White.
White, who is best known for his time at WBNS-10TV, where he produced shows, anchored the news and served as the station’s director of community affairs for 30 years.
Children always have been a focal point in White’s life. Not only has he raised three of his own, he also created the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, which began in 1985.
He and his wife, Bernice, a retired nurse, are world travelers, having been to Iceland, Cuba and all over Europe.
Halroy Candis Williams Was born December 14, 1934 in Columbus, Ohio and is an American actor, best known for his recurring roles as Police Officer Smith ("Smitty") on Sanford and Son(1972–1976) and as the patriarch Lester Jenkins, the husband of Marla Gibbs' character, on the NBC sitcom 227 which originally aired from 1985 until 1990. and for his role as Sgt. L.C. Ross in Private Benjamin (1980).
Williams was raised in Columbus, Ohio. In the early 1960s, Williams began acting in community theater in Ohio. Williams worked as a postal worker and corrections officer before moving to Hollywood to pursue an acting career in 1968.
Williams began pursuing his acting career full-time in 1970.