Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jun 03

From the Cradle to Glory: Celebrating Col. Charles Young

Posted on June 3, 2016 at 8:35 AM by Elise Kelly

This past Wednesday, some of the staff of the Archives had the wonderful opportunity to attend a day of recognition for Col. Charles Young.

Gathered together to commemorate a man who lived his life in the service of race and
Burt Logan, Chief Executive Officer, Ohio History Connection is speaking to audience.
country were congressional and legislative leaders, National Park Service staff, members of the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations,local community members, the president of Wilberforce University and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio History Connection.

The cabin in Mays Lick, KY where Young was born.
 Charles Young was born to enslaved parents in Mays Lick, KY in 1864.

When he twenty years old, he entered West Point and became only the third African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy in 1889.
Thirty-Three Years of Service
His military career spanned  thirty-three years of segregated service. During the Spanish-American War, Young was appointed Major and commanded the Ohio National Guard's Ninth Infantry Battalion.

Prior to being appointed Captain in 1901, Young served as Professor of Military Science at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, OH.

Following his tenure at Wilberforce, Young was sent to command a cavalry troop in the Philippine Islands during the Philippine Insurrection of 1901.

When the Philippine Insurrection ended in 1902, Young was temporarily assigned a post as the Superintendent of Sequoia National Park in 1903. He was the first African American appointed as a National Park Superintendent.

Buffalo Soldiers.jpg
Buffalo Soldiers were assigned to patrol the National Parks in California. This is an exhibit panel inside the National Afro American Museum and Culture Center. 

Young went on to serve in Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic), Mexico and Liberia. Throughout the years, he rose through the military ranks and retired due to medical reasons as a Colonel in 1917.

Surprisingly, Young was recalled to active duty in 1919 as a military representative to Liberia. While on an intelligence mission in Lagos, Nigeria, Charles Young became critically ill and died in 1922.

 medal   Medal given to Col. Young by Liberia President.
   Col. Young helped the Liberian people pictured above.

Many Americans past and present felt had it not been for the political/social climate of the times, Colonel Young would have been the first black Brigadier General in the United States Armed Forces.

Collectively, Honorable Joyce Beatty, United States House of Representatives-Congressional Black Caucus, Dr. Charles Wash, Director of the National Afro-American Museum and Culture Center and the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations are working on making sure Col. Young receives a posthumous promotion as a Brigadier General.

In addition, Col. Young will be honored with an honorary doctorate during Wilberforce University's 2017 Commencement. Professor Young will become Dr. Young.

bronze statue   
Towards the end of the ceremony, a newly created bronze statue was unveiled of Col. Charles Young.This magnificent sculpture emanates courage, sacrifice and determination - all of which Charles Young embodied.
     charles young
Far Left: Honorable Joyce Beatty, Honorable Marsha Bayless, a relative of Charles Young, Charles Blatcher III, Chairman of the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations and Antonio Tobias Mendez, artist that created the sculpture.

Until Next Time!

This Week's Trivia Question: Where is Col. Charles Young buried?

Answer to Last Week's Trivia Question: Who was J.D. Steele? Answer: J.D. Steele was a wealthy Xenia business man who was the general manager of the Hooven & Allison Company and many other enterprises in the city.

Sources: "From the Cradle to Glory: The Long Journey Home." National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations.


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