Monday, September 3, 2018

Timeline from Cox-- Events in Topeka Black History

From Cox's Black's in Topeka Kansas; 1865-1915 by Thomas Cox.  Cox based this largely on the Plaindealer I am told.  The book is a resource, it is problematic for the number of errors,but it is important and all work has errors, new things come to light, etc..

 In historical research, there is the 3-legged stool approach, which should be done with everything.  I don't know if they use this metaphor or not, when I was learning to research, I was taught that you wanted to find something in three places before considering it a fact up to that point it was unconfirmed.  Today's facts are pretty easy to confirm but lots of stories in the Plaindealer will not be and not all of history is confirmable or not at the time you are working on it.  So, it is like science until then there is a strong likelihood, theory until proven.  I am using wikipedia--which I know is a non-quotable source but it is a good place to get links and to begin and that is my purpose in using it.

I am a big timeline fan, so putting events into context.

1859--white First Presbyterian Church is established in the First Ward, they organize the Second Church as a mission for runaway slaves.  

1862 Homestead Act--

1863  Charles L. Langston, KC attr. (black) protests racial qualifications for suffrage

1863--Black Congregational church organized as Freedmen's Church when the area became Tennesseetown it was renamed the Second Colored Congregational Church (1866)

1864  Kansas legislature reaffirms it's position on suffrage, because a change would cause an overwhelming influx of blacks to the state (look up what states had black suffrage at this point).

1865 Topeka schools mixed

Second Baptist Church, later called First African Baptist, worship service at "bush arbor" at First and Crane streets and claims to be Topeka's first black church.
****  (I have to check on what black church met in the basement of Constitution Hall)

1866 Topeka elementary segregated, whites on first floor, blacks on second.

Colored convention for suffrage meets in Lawrence.

1867  Samuel Wood organizes the Impartial Suffrage Association of Topeka  to provide agency to disseminate information to garner support for equal voting rights "in the broad sense, without regard to sex,race or color."

Kansas electorate rejects amendment to remove racial voting qualifications.

1868 Prayer Circle and religious services held in a rented barn between Harrison and Van Buren streets with no denomination or a pastor. Becomes St. John's AME in 1878.  (National Register nomination  and

1869--Colonization Council founded by Henry Adams in Louisianan
Tennessee Real Estate and Homestead Association founded by Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, Columbus Johnson and Alonzo De Frantz

1870 Fifteenth Amendment--Although the word "white" remains affixed to the suffrage clause of the Constitution until 1888.

Black population 473, total population of Topeka 5,790

1871--Solomon G. Watkins, Topeka's second Negro teacher arrives from Tennessee, protested segregated schools  adn with the Anti-Taft league, later NAACP , Colored Republican's Club and st. John.  

1870 to 1880--Approximately 20,000 to 40,000 blacks come to Kansas

1872--Meeting at African Baptist Church (Second Baptist is from Cox, which is currently in North Topeka.)
*** In the Plaindealer's church directory in 1899 there is a First African Baptist on 1st and Madison, so I need to do more work here to figure it out.)to discuss supporting a bond issue, discrimination at Santa Fe  and with the King Bridge Company discussed.

1875 Education only area of public accommodations in which discrimination had the force of law.  Segregation in public facilities that were licensed by the state (which were these?) was a misdemeanor by state statute.

Black population 724; Total population of Topeka 7,272.
15% of blacks lived in neighborhoods that were 3/4 black--majority lived in neighborhoods that were 1/8 black

1873 St. John AME segregation in education, public accommodations and common carriers belies the reputation of Kansas.

"Pap" Singleton's first visit to Kansas.

1874--Topeka High School founded.  Integrated from the beginning.

1875--Wesleyan AME (not in Plaindealer's 1899 directory)
            Second Colored Presbyterian (also not in 1899 directory) founded

Occidental Lodge (in PD 1899 directory and meeting at 618 Kansas with No. 2 attached to the name)
 Euclid Lodge (in PD's 1899 directory and meeting at 618 Kansas with N.M. S. attached to the name)
--Masonic founded and meeting at the Masonic hall at 127 Kansas

The date is unknown but sometime before 1875 the Great Western Lodge and the Good Samaritan Lodge were founded.  They met on the second floor of 108 Kansas.  Neither of these appear in the PD's 1899 directory. 

***Are these groups Prince Hall Masons?

1877--Compromise of 1877--

Nicodemus founded

Exoduster Movement begins to move to frontier opportunities and to escape Southern deteriorating conditions

Santa Fe and Union Pacific promote immigration to Kansas (

1878 Shiloh Baptist formed;route=ksrlead;brand=ksrlead;query= is a link to records at KU's Spencer library, is a link to the National Register nomination for the building.

1878--Rev. Thomas W. Henderson unsuccessful candidacy for lt. governor on the Republican ticket

1879--rev. L. W. Winn form Cherokee County appointed to an unexpired state senate term

1879--250 to 300 blacks per month came to Kansas.  This was more than any other city in Kansas.

1879--C.L. de Randamie---Topeka's first black real estate agent

1879--William Eagleson--Colored Citizen editor; candidate for assistant doorkeeper for the Kansas legislature
Dr. Seth Vernella, candidate for Shawnee County coroner
A Kuykendall elected as constable

1880-3,648 black population of Topeka; 15,528 total population of Topeka--this is in part because of the Kansas Freedman's Relief Association and the efforts of Gov. St. John and Elizabeth Comstock.

1880--Colored convention???

1880--Garfield Club formed to support Republican presidential ticket

John L. Buckner, a barber active in politics

Negro enclaves within the city included Redmondsville (or Up in the Sands) and Tenneseetown.

 1881--E.H. White, Topeka's first black teacher established a night school.

August 31, 1881, Commonwealth--black man lynched in Ft. Scott

1882--first black student receives diploma from Topeka High School

1882--Edwin P. McCabe of Nicodemus elected as state auditor on the Republican ticket

1883--Colored Convention meeting in Lawrence/ Alfred Fairfax, from Chautauqua Country backed by convention and by Topeka's black newspapers to be the state congressman-at-large

August 8,1885, Kansas Herald--Topeka hires it's first black policeman

August 1887--Colored Men's State Convention in Topeka

1888--Weley I Jamison, Exoduster, justice of the peace, reelected two times defeated in 1894 when (black) Soloman Watkins ran against him and split the vote. 

1889--Alfred Fairfax elected to the Kansas House

1889--Nat Oliphant lynched by mob in Topeka for killing an unarmend white man and injuring his wife after being caught burglarizing their home.

1890--William Reynolds, plaintiff in a suit against the Topeka Board of Education alleged that the school Lowman Hill was "unsanitary, inconvenient, and undesirable.....a veritable cesspool" Board asserted that negro children in their early years have different discipline and intellectual needs, and said that materials were equal.

???Afro-American League Topeka branch formed on the national

1890--Blanche Foster, Topeka minster was the alliance (populist) candidate for state auditor

May 28, 1892--Times-Observer --James Guy, "We should not attempt to be in places that we are not wanted.  We should recognize our differences and need to establish race pride and confidence."

July 28, August 18, 1893--Kansas State Ledger--W.J. Johnson,  "We are not seeking amalgamation or assimilation....we feel hat we are justified in insisting that (whites) not obtrude their equally unwelcome prescience upon us."

1893-94--22 black teachers in Topeka with state certificates , 11 had regular jobs

1893--People's Party Organized
Populist Flambeau Club integrated with Lytle, Brown and Eagleson receiving support for their nominations for municipal office
State wide  Populist Central Committee--Lytle, Brown and Eagleson

1893--First general conference of Negro Democrats held in Topeka

1893--William Eagleson attends the National Democratic Negro League in Indianapolis

1893--Sheldon opens the Tennessee town kindergarten

1894--Topeka Board of Education agrees to appoint only black teachers to black schools.

1895--Independent Voting League--John M. Brown, William Eagleson, John W. Barber actively involved

18895--severe winter, any Topekans of both race sought shelter in the jail
Outbreaks of scarlet fever and diphtheria
Summer flooding

1895--Tennesseetown kindergarten moves to Central Congregational Church, served 210 children with average daily attendance of 28.  The auxiliary, 40 negro women residents, instructed black mothers in child care, health, and hygiene. 

1895--Topeka Industrialist and Educational Institute (later becomes Kansas Industrial) opens in Mudtown of the Fifth Ward with sewing, kindergarten and a reading room.  Founded by Edward Stephens and Lizzie Reddick. 

1896--John Lytle, policeman, runs for city jailer on Populist ticket
Lutie Lytle (later becomes 2nd black woman lawyer in US) gets patronage position as asst. enrolling clerk for Populists

1896--Ladies Free Silver Club meets every Thursday at 6:00p

1896--Rev. Sheldon lives in the Tenneseetown district for two weeks to better understand; member fo the Social Gospel movement, Sheldon believed that poverty was not solely the evidence of sin but the result of social and economic imbalances created by society.  Responsible Christian stewardship required that the preacher should preach less and the congregation work more .

1896--Sheldon begins social services programs in Tennessee town

1897--Booker T. Washington visits

1897--(p. 124)  5 policemen, ten firemen, and one postman  were black in Topeka.
Fred Roundtree, Exoduster, teacher at Monroe School elected Fifth Ward councilman
Fred Stonestreet, janitor, elected constable
James H. Guy justice of the peace
Soloman G. Watkins, Republican, principal for (black) Lane school defeated for city clerk.

1897--Populist Democratic governor John Leedy--actively encouraged black participation in politics, and civil service reform

1898--Rev. William L. Grant, Populist, urged blacks to join Republican party

1898--Topeka Industrial and Educational Institute moves to 2nd and Kansas Ave.

 1898--John Wright, Blanche Foster, William Eagleson, John M. Brown --Topeka's leading black Populists

1898--Sheldon's Village Improvement Society in Tennessee town is founded, endorsed by Rev. William Grant of Shiloh Baptist

1898--Colored Free Silver League organized; club met weekly
League claims  21 chapters in Kansas

1898--John W. Barber unsuccessfully runs for the Independent League for state representative

1899--Vaccinations against smallpox become mandatory in Topeka

1899--Central Congregational Church founded

1899--Tennessee town according to Leroy Halbert, asst. pastor of Central Church and chronicler; 585 residents, 5,306 books, 147 newspaper subscriptions, 87% literate; 145 laborers, 52% owned their own homes.
1899--Sheldon stats for the city;  $1.50/day for street work; 58.5% female sworked and were employed as domestics at a average rate of $1/day; household annual median income $399; real and personal property valued at $92.  11% received county/city aid.
1899--blacks in KS numbers according to KS bureau of Labor  33% blacks were homeowners, average of 4 in a family, wages for men $1.43/day; $33.31/month.  

1890's??? Tennessee town town tavern, owned by Andrew Jordan houses the Tennessee town library, B.C. Duke,  serves as the first librarian.

1892 Interstate Literary Association organized

1893  Topeka affiliate of the National Federation of Colored Women's Clubs was organized 

??? Library and Literary Society, the Christian Endeavor Society--to encourage Sunday School attendance and the Mother's Club founded through Sheldon

 1899--Auxiliary founded to support Topeka Industrial

1900--Booker T. Washing ton sends Tuskegee graduate, William Carter to superintend Topeka Industrial, state legislature restores $1,500 appropriation.

1900--smallpox epidemic; city-wide quarantine


1903--Topeka Industrial purchases a 105 acre farm, one half mile east of Topeka for $10,000,.

1907 NNBL --National Negro Business League national meeting in Topeka
Keynote speech by Booker T. Washington

1913--Fisk University Jubilee Singers do a series of musicales at Central church

1914--Russell Sage Foundation;
Topeka's negro population is 10.4%; state is 3.2%
Crude death rates for 1912:  22.9% for blacks, 13.2% for whites

1880s-1915 justice of the peace position rotated among a succession of black Topeka lawyers  Judge Wesley I. Jamison, served  between 1897 and 1903, cases not confined to Negros.

1900 Rev. George Shaffer of St. John AME--Not a lunch counter in town where you could get coffee. (also comments on the lack of black hotels--but what about Chiles' on 7th?)

1900--Commercial Club changes to NNBL (National Negro Business League)

1908--Tennessee town kindergarten becomes part of the public schools

1908--Andrew Carnegie gives $5,000 to Topeka Industrial Institute

1910--Andrew Carnegie gives $10,000 to Topeka Industrial Institute.

??Somewhere around the turn of the century the Topeka Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis founded
Blacks treated in white hospitals, by white staff but with their own ward.
Topeka had two Florence Crittendon Homes for Unwed Mothers--Mrs. Sarah Malone supervised the black home, attended annual conferences on charities and corrections  (according to Marilyn Waugh this was at 911 College--which I think is now a parking lot)

Alpha Assisi Charity Club broad spectrum of philanthropy ; medicines for charity patients, food and household goods, private subscriptions financed the club.

1913--Eight black physicians and 2 pharmacists

1914--Gov. Hodges, Democratic governor placed negro women as attendants at the State Hospital.

1914--NAACP begins in Topeka.   Arthur Capper president through 1917.  Julia Roundtree was secretary and on the board of directors.

1915 The Young Men's Educational Organization of Kansas , concentrated on segregated education

1916--Paul Jones Magazine a black Topeka journal of current events and social activity founded.  Founding members also members of St. Simon and st. John AME

1916--William Carter, superintendent of Topeka Industrial investigated by James Guy and John Wright for being too friendly with women on the faculty.  No charges were filed, but George Bridgeforth, director of the agricultural department of Tuskegee, becomes principal in 1917.

1917  National Federation of Colored Women's Club made of 8 organizations.  Mrs. John Wright, Mrs. James Guy and Mrs. Jamison active and prominent in the organization.(included the Oriental Club, Alpha Assisi and the Oak Leaf Club)

1919--Kansas Hospital Aid Association organized under the Kansas Industrial and Educational Institute (formerly the Topeka Industrial and Educational), the board was dominated by Topeka women.

1919--Topeka Industrial and Educational Institute is receiving the majority of it's funding from the Kansas legislature and the legislature assumes full control, renaming it the Kansas Vocational Institute.

1922--Hospital and school for nursing facilities became a permanent part of the Kansas Industrial and Educational Institute.  Named for Nellie Johns, a white Topekan who willed $1,000 to the cause, state legislature contributed $10,000, Negros contributed $4,000.


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