Columbus Historian Hits Streets in Search of African American StoriesHistorians in the News
tags: historic preservation, African American history, memorials, Ohio, public history, community history
John T. Ward is a towering figure in Ohio history — but not everyone knows it.
After having been a conductor on the Underground Railroad, he co-founded E.E. Ward Moving & Storage in Columbus in 1881. It is the oldest continuously operating African American-owned company in the country.
On the Statehouse grounds, however, Ward is represented only by a state historical marker.
To historian Rita Fuller-Yates, this is a missed opportunity. In her eyes, Ward should be celebrated with a statue on the lawn.
“I want to see someone who I know has made an impact, and (officials) know has made an impact, and who is still making an impact,” said Fuller-Yates. “If they’re looking for someone who will fit the bill, he is it.”
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