Do You Know ME? Help us find descendants of 100 important Harrisburgers

In partnership with the Commonwealth Monument Project, we are launching a campaign via Facebook, Twitter, and this blog to track down direct descendants of 100 influential African-American citizens who called Harrisburg their home in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Our collaborators in the project, history detectives Mr. Calobe Jackson, Lenwood Sloan, and Jeb Stuart, among others, have combed the federal census records, city directories, and historic newspapers to identify 100 important voices of Harrisburg’s historical black community, who were movers and shakers in their own day.

Such prominent men and women include professionals such as ministers, teachers, physicians, and attorneys, and state workers. They include artists, singers, writers, and baseball players. They include businesswomen and store keepers, as well as ordinary occupations like carpenters, hairdressers, barbers, and domestic servants. One had an occupation as “abolitionist,” another was known to be a fugitive slave. All were influential in their own day. These 100 voices from historic Harrisburg will be inscribed on the monument that will be dedicated in August 2020.

The Commonwealth Monument Project seeks to honor living relatives of these important 100 voices. If you are a descendant of any of these individuals, or know someone who is, please contact us at

For more information about each of the individuals below, visit our 100 Names page, or “like” our Old Eighth Ward Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter (@digharrisburg). We will be releasing all names during the month of March.

Name Occupation Years in Harrisburg
John Q. Adams Minister 1870-1917
Anne Amos Garnett League 1859-1911
Aquila Amos Parade Marshall 1859-1880
Rosco C. Astwood State Worker 1905-1915
JamesAuter State Worker 1880-1930
Frisby Battis Council 1880-1900
William Battis  Storekeeper 1880-1890
Gwendolyn Bennett Artist-Poet 1913-1919
J. Robbin Bennett Attorney 1913-1919
Mary Bennett Businesswoman 1830-1870
A. Dennee Bibb Policeman 1907-1920
Josephine L Bibb Household Of Ruth 1885-1890
Peter S. Blackwell Council 1890-1920
Janie Blalock-Charleston Teacher 1914-1920
Mary Braxton-Roberts Teacher 1910-1920
Cassius Brown Council 1844-1920
Ida Brown Teacher 1904-1920
Harry Burrs State Worker 1900-1920
Sylvester Burrus Musician 1905-1915
Joseph Bustill Teacher 1852-1862
W. Arthur Carter Attorney 1894-1917
W. Justin Carter Attorney 1894-1920
Charles J. Carter 15 Amendment 1860-1880
David Chester Council 1870-1884
Amelia Chester Household Of Ruth 1180-1900
Jane Chester Restauranteer 1825-1894
Maude Coleman YMCA Founder 1912-1920
Turner Cooper Carpenter 1870-1900
Jacob Costley Musician 1865-1875
Charles Crampton Physician 1899-1955
Dorothy Curtis Soprano 1918-1920
J Steward Davis Attorney 1907-1920
William R. Dorsey Constable 1870-1900
Alice Dunbar-Nelson Writer 1913-1920
William Mcdonald Felton Aeroplane School 1919-1920
Edith Fields Enumerator 1919-1920
Benjamin J. Foote Council 1870-1901
Theodore Frye Hotel Owner 1900-1920
John Gaitor Caterer 1857-1901
George Galbraith Politician 1868-1914
Henry H. Garnett Minister 1859-1872
James Grant Masonic 1883-1910
Harrriett Harrison Teacher 1905-1915
Walter Hooper Undertaker 1912-1920
Layton Howard Publisher 1905-1918
James H. W. Howard Council 1882-1920
O. L. C. Hughes Attorney 1870-1875
George H. Imes Teacher 1870-1880
Spencer P. Irvin Teacher 1870-1880
C. Sylvester Jackson Accountant 1904-1920
Zacariah Johnson 15 Amendment 1870-1880
Leonard Z. Johnson Sr. Professor 1887-1920
William Jones Physician 1850-1885
Hannah Jones Churchwoman 1880-1920
William H. Jones Physician 1885-1905
Agnes Kemp Physician 1850-1905
Morris H. Layton Jr. Physician 1910-1920
Morris H. Layton Sr. Teacher 1871-1920
A. Leslie Marshall Physician 1910-1920
Harriett M. Marshall Ugrr 1860-1920
William E Marshall Pharmacist 1907-1920
William H Marshall Teacher 1883-1916
Jesse Mathews Publisher 1900-1904
Catherine Mcclintock Ugrr 1825-1895
Mildred Mercer Musician 1917-1920
Maud D Molson Lecturer 1870-1872
Percy C Moore Council 1905-1920
Robert J Nelson State Worker 1910-1920
Charlotte Newman Household Of Ruth 1885-1900
Luther Newman Teacher 1907-1918
William Parson Pharmacist 1890-1920
Horace Payne Teacher 1915-1920
Catherine Payne-Cambell Teacher 1910-1918
Esther Popel Teacher 1911-1920
Joseph B Popel Abolitionist 1850-1890
Daniel Potter Sr. Churchman 1885-1920
Rosabelle Quann Student 1918-1920
Aubrey Robinson Student 1913-1920
Laura Robinson Civil War Monument 1870-1886
John P. Scott Teacher 1883-1920
Hannah Scott-Cannon Nurse 1917-1920
John W. Simpson Alderman 1872-1899
Ephriam Slaughter Usct 1867-1920
Susan Sophes Household Of Ruth 1880-1890
Hattie Stclair-Grant Teacher 1885-1900
David Stevens Minister 1830-1885
James Stocks Minister 1865-1900
Colonel Strothers Baseball 1890-1920
James Stuart Teacher 1888-1902
Matilda Stuart Missionary 1870-1920
Annie Summers Teacher 1891-1893
Henry H. Summers Professor 1886-1920
Joseph H. Thomas Undertaker 1880-1912
Josiah Walls Congressman 1863
Charlotte Weaver Teacher 1870-
Daniel Webster Fugitive Slave 1855-1859
Clarence Williams Baseball 1880-1915
William Williams Policeman 1880-1900
John H. Wolf Abolitionist 1857-1870
Eliza Zedericks Hairdresser 1880-1910

For more background to the Commonwealth Monument Project, read this previous post by Rachel Williams or the excellent overviews published by Elizabeth Hardison in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star and by Diane McCormick in The Burg. The Commonwealth Monument Project is also known as the IIPT Harrisburg Peace Promenade 15th Amendment Project and is funded through The Foundation for Enhancing Communities and the Humanities Research for the Public Good grant through the Council of Independent Colleges.

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