Monday, February 9, 2009

African-American Pioneers

Mrs. Lavinia Simpson Webster

A member of the ninth class and the first black to graduate from the Rayen School in 1875, her family came to Youngstown in 1870 from Culpepper, Virginia. Mrs. Webster who was an accomplished pianist and vocalist, left an impressionable heritage to Youngstown and its black commuinty

Mr. Sully Johnson
A very genteel, cultued and skilled craftsman, came to Youngstown in 1909 from a small town near Beckley, West Virginia. He became involved in community affairs and in the early twenties directed the activities of the Booker T. Washington Settlement for a period of seven years before it gave way to the West Federal YMCA.
Mr. Johnson for many years, was the Scoutmaster for Troop 24 at Oakhill Avenue AME Church. Among his other works, Mr. Johnson was the carpenter for the construction of the Underwood Funeral Home at 422 Belmont Avenue in the 1930's.

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