The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Community

February 15, 2014

Celebrating diversity

City's black community has long history

It is documented that the first black family to settle in Anderson was the Monroe Williams family, who resided at Tenth and Chase Street. The exact date as to when the Williams family purchased their Anderson home is not recorded, but is believed to have been in the mid 1880s. A gentleman named “Sour Mash” Bill came to Anderson immediately after the Civil War, and was appointed turnkey at the Madison County Jail in 1868.

Between 1890 and 1900, the black population of Anderson continued to grow. Many came from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, and found steady work at the Gould Rolling Mills, located in the Irondale area. Other prominent black Anderson residents during this time included Peter J. Blakemore, who served as city commissioner from 1905 through 1907. Joe and Dick Wadkins were the first black men from Anderson ever to serve on a jury.

The city of Anderson had its first black physician in Dr. James Ellis, who practiced medicine in the community until his death in 1904. After the passing of Dr. Ellis, many black physicians had offices and made house calls, including a Dr. Middleton who had many white patients. Dr. A.P. Hall was a chiropractor that practiced in the Citizens Bank Building before relocating to Indianapolis. After Dr. Hall’s departure, Mrs. Hattie Kirtley took up residence in his vacated office and operated her chiropractor business from there.

Alex Vance was the first known black business owner in Anderson, operating a barber shop on Main Street for several years. The Blakemore brothers operated a blacksmith shop for over 45 years, primarily ran by Peter J. Blakemore. His brother Marcus later owned an electrical shop that once was rated the best in the city. James Brock was a talented tailor and ran a thriving tailoring business for many years. John Wooten operated a grocery store on Madison Avenue and was one of the first black residents of Anderson to own an automobile.

Text Only
Community
  • Jim Bailey: School days, school days, good old August dog days Those of us who didn’t start school until after Labor Day are still trying to digest all the changes in the school calendar as educators tell us kids are more likely to retain what they learn if they aren’t off too long in the summer.

    August 20, 2014

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0819 - Mommy Monday - JC 3 Mommy and me time

    Babette Bargo of Anderson said she brought her daughter to Community Hospital’s first Mommy Monday to meet other mothers and children after her sister-in-law told her about the event.

    August 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 19 A compilation of community news items as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 18, 2014

  • FEA - HB0818 - Park Place Arts - 007 Drawing parallels A collection of Stephanie Cochran's work is on display at Park Place Arts’ newest exhibit, “From the Smallest Among Us…” The show opened Aug. 1 and runs until Sept. 13.

    August 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: Aug. 18 A compilation of community news items as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    August 17, 2014

  • FEA - HB0817 - Book Nook - 22 Helping Madison County in the Book Nook

    With its warm lights, comfy chairs and jigsaw puzzles in frames on full display, the Book Nook is an inviting place to discover faraway lands, new worlds and dig into a character’s deepest thoughts.

    August 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • FEA HB0817 Homes Bell From California dreamin’ to midwest living Some things most Hoosiers take for granted – like watching lightning bugs blink over a cornfield or experiencing the peace and quiet of an evening in the country – other folks in the United States have never experienced.

    August 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • FEA HB0817 ghost Ghost stories abound in Madison County Since ancient times, ghost stories have figured prominently in the folklore of many cultures around the world. Ghost stories of Madison County date back to the 1800s and are as popular as ever today.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Back in the News: Aug. 17 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers.

    August 16, 2014

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin