Sharp EndColumbia’s Historic By Rudi Keller With support from COLUMBIA DAILYUniversity of Missouri May 20, 2015
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 3Sharp End recognition is long overdueMBY VICKI RUSSELL a Sharp End business after he turned 18. uch of the history of Colum- He took a note from his mother to verify bia’s black community has he was old enough, but even that wasn’t been told in bits and pieces. quite adequate. The business ownerSometimes the greater community called his mom to ensure the note waslearns about it because an individual, legitimate.such as Blind Boone, is recognized andremembered. Other times, we learn Young blacks yearned for the day whenabout it through the lens of a specific they, too, could patronize Sharp Endevent. businesses. For some, that day never came. Just before they reached the right Sharp End is one of those pieces of history — a signif- age, Sharp End was gone. Its demolition, a result oficant one because, for a period of more than 40 years, it urban renewal, seemed to take an instant in comparisonwas the nucleus of the black business community and to the decades required for it to reach its heyday.the focus of stories, traditions and legends remembered Since then, the memories of Sharp End have been keptvividly to this day. alive in church and social groups, where blacks have collected photographs, stories, lists of businesses and All of us have similar touchstones no matter where we names of owners. The recognition of Sharp End has beengrew up. Lifelong white Columbia residents, for exam- an elusive but intensely important dream.ple, talk about their memories of and adventures at the The success of any new community event depends onoriginal Jack’s Coronado, Breisch’s Restaurant and Corn’s lots of elbow grease and a little magic. Such has been theLake. For blacks, Sharp End was all that and more. case for the Sharp End Heritage Committee, which quickly gelled into a team determined to make a dream Although it was but one block long on Walnut and sur- come true. Once the plan was outlined, however, werounded by several other black-owned businesses and knew we needed the help of the greater community toneighborhoods, it was a destination in its own right. It achieve the goals.provided jobs, diversions and a social network. If you And that’s where the magic occurred. On behalf of thewere black, it was where you went for a night out, to Sharp End Heritage Committee, I salute the businessescatch a cab, get a haircut and hear the latest news or and institutions that agreed to help underwrite costs ofgossip. the Sharp End recognition plan through event sponsor- ships and advertisements in this publication. Each of Descendants of business owners fondly remember the them not only agreed to support the effort financially,strict rules about Sharp End as they were growing up. It but they did so enthusiastically, welcoming the chancewas “not for kids,” they explain. “It was for business.” to ensure that Sharp End has its rightful place not just inChildren younger than 16 were not allowed in Sharp End black history but in community history.without an adult companion. Kids who needed to get tothe opposite side of Sharp End had to walk around the Vicki Russell is Tribune publisher.block. One family member tells the story of his passport into
4 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriThis view of Sharp End, from the northwest corner of Fifth and Walnut streets and photographed sometime in the late 1950s,shows the two-story brick building constructed about 1910 that was the oldest commercial structure on Sharp End.Commerce shaped a community on Sharp Endhe American Dream, JamesTruslow Adams wrote when he popularized the phrase in 1931, was about more than achieving material prosperity.T It was, he wrote, a belief that “life should be better and richer and fuller,” with equal opportunity for achievement. Americans have wandered, in migrations large and small, in search of that dream. On Walnut Street, in a place called Sharp End, many black Columbians found what they were looking for. Born of necessity, Sharp End the Sharp End Heritage Commit- wrote, but a north-south alley east A 1930 census taker called sec-provided the kinds of services oth- tee, a group working to record the of Fifth Street. The thesis, however, ond-floor apartments on the southerwise closed to blacks by legal history of the now-vanished busi- makes several errors about St. side of Walnut the “Sharp Endand cultural segregation. For more ness district from Fifth Street to Luke’s, including dating construc- Flats.” But it is likely he was adopt-than 50 years, from about 1910 to Sixth Street. The Tribune, in sup- tion of the church 11 years too late. ing the name to the dwellings, not1961, the barbershops, restaurants port of that effort, researched the The alley is not shown on any map. recording a formal name.and taverns supported families, land, the businesses and the peo-growing in numbers as blacks ple, as well as the social and eco- An alternative explanation for Wherever the name came from,moved into the city from rural nomic conditions, that created the name is that it was a place to it was in common use by 1917. Theparts of Boone County. Sharp End. dress well. The taverns stayed Columbia Missourian reported open late on weekends, as did May 14, 1917, that John Tuttle had “For me, when I became old One of the most vexing ques- some of the restaurants, and it was been fined $500 for bootleggingenough, it seemed to me that it was tions has been the origin of the an era when women wore dresses and that Police Chief J.L. White-at its peak,” said Larry Monroe, 77, name. There are tantalizing clues, and men wore suits and ties when sides arrested Tuttle “at Fifth andwhose mother, Vitilla Monroe, ran but none is definitive. going out. Walnut Streets, known to its fre-Aunt Vi’s Café when Sharp End was quenters as ‘Sharp End.’ ”demolished in 1961 as part of an One came from a 1938 master’s A third possibility is it was a dan-urban renewal program. “It was thesis by Wilbur East, who wrote gerous place where women and ■vibrant, businesses were flourish- that St. Luke’s church was built “at children were not allowed without The 1910 census reported that,ing, relationships were great, and the corner of Fifth and an escort and men were ready for for the first time, more than half ofpeople were getting along.” unnamed street. Sometimes this trouble. “They carried knives and Boone County’s blacks lived within street is called Sharp Avenue.” razors, they carried switchblade Monroe is one of 13 members of knives,” said Sehon Williams, 92. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 It was not really a street, he
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 5Boone County Historical Society Sharp End Memorial Dedication The Sharp End symbolized the resilience, enterprise & fellowship of Columbia’s black community for over 50 years. www.BooneHistory.org
6 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4 A CHANGING DEMOGRAPHIC businesses — pool halls and tav-the city limits of Columbia. A grad- The black population of Boone County fell during the ﬁrst half of the erns among restaurants and barberual but accelerating shift, begun 20th century as people moved into the city and out of the area. Since shops — Sharp End was a place forduring the Civil War, had increased 1950, black growth rates have exceeded that for whites. adults to do business. There was athe black population of 541 black strict code on Sharp End: no chil-residents in the city to more than 20,000 BLACK RESIDENTS dren and no unescorted women.2,200. In the same period, the totalblack population of the county, 15,000 2010: 15,111 When Larry Monroe needed aincluding Columbia, fell by almost blacks live haircut as a child, his father tookone-fifth. 1890: 4,677 in Boone him to a barber shop on Fifth blacks live Street. “I would get my hair cut, As they moved from the coun- 10,000 in Boone County and he would see a friend of histryside, blacks became increasing- 2b0la10ck: s12l,i2ve17 over on Sharp End on Walnutly crowded into less desirable areas County in Columbia there, and he would set me on theof the city, along Flat Branch Creek, steps of the church, and then heon Cemetery Hill, near the Wabash 1b8l9a0ck: s1,5liv9e4 would go over and see what hisRailroad and in small homes in the in Columbia friend wanted,” he said.Illinois and Indiana avenues area. 5,000 Boys could play pool after they “The concentration of a large turned 16, if their parents gave per-number of African-Americans in a 0 mission, but young girls could notvery narrowly defined geographic enter the pool hall. Mary Pattonarea was true all over Missouri,” 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Nelson, whose father “Mr. Heavysaid Gary Kremer, executive direc- Source: U.S. Census Bureau Patton” operated the Arcade Pooltor of the State Historical Society Hall, had to send in word to herof Missouri and a scholar of Afri- Hindman said, was with the a natural business location, close father if she wanted to talk to him.can-American history in the state. woman who cleaned his family’s to black homes, churches and home twice a week and the man Douglass School. “He would come out and say The migration created the need who maintained the landscaping ‘What do you want?’ I’d say ‘I amfor businesses to serve the growing for several families. In 1909, under the leadership of going to the show, I just wanted tocommunity. the Rev. Beriah McCain, the con- see you,’ ” she recalled. “And he Segregation included geograph- gregation of St. Luke Methodist would say, ‘OK, you’ve seen me. One of the first in the area close ic boundaries that were invisible Episcopal Church had constructed Now go on to the show.’ “to Sharp End was a lunch counter to whites but made clear almost a new stone chapel across Walnutat 508 E. Ash St., now the post office daily to blacks. Street. The property just east of the Sharp End, while an importantloading area. A man named Perry church — the “Blue Row” of tene- part of black Columbia, should beBones, according to the 1910 cen- “Columbia used to be a place ment apartments, home to 27 peo- kept in perspective, Sehon Wil-sus, or Perry Bowen, according to a where Columbia ended for black ple in 1910 — came down in about liams said. When he played jazz in1909 city directory, ran a lunch people at Broadway,” said Barbra 1925. the Green Tree Tavern as a teenag-counter out of the home he owned Horrell. er, “the place would be pretty wellfree of mortgage. Bones’ or Bowen’s A new two-story brick building, crowded. But one misconceptionwife was named Gilla, according to ■ with storefronts on Walnut Street that people have. They seem tothe census. and an Elks Hall for Turner Lodge think that, I don’t know how you The first commercial building 370, replaced it. The final addition figure it, that Sharp End was the The racial caste structure of on Sharp End was constructed to Sharp End came in 1931, with black community, but it wasn’t —Columbia, which differed little about 1910 on the southeast cor- the opening of the Arcade Building 80 percent of the people didn’tfrom that found in the rest of the ner of Fifth and Walnut streets. A on the south side of Walnut. It even go on Sharp End.”state, drew sharp distinctions two-story brick structure, it had became home to such businessesbetween what was allowed and storefronts at street level and as Brown’s Place, operated by Vic- Sharp End was demolishedwhat was not. apartments upstairs. tor Brown, the Elite Café owned by when the Land Clearance for Robert and Edna Harris, and the Redevelopment Authority includ- “If your wife went downtown to Preston Carter, who listed his pool hall run by Alton Patton, also ed it in the 126-acre Douglassbuy a hat, she had to let the store occupation as an expressman known as “Mr. Heavy Patton.” School Urban Renewal Area. Mostclerk try it on. She couldn’t try it making $2 a week in a 1901 “Social of the businesses did not survive,on,” Williams said. “And if she and Economic Census of the Col- “Columbia had thriving minori- although an attempt was made tobought a dress, she just had to take ored Population of Columbia Mis- ty businesses, self-reliant people relocate them to eight small spac-it home, because if a black woman souri,” opened a pool hall. who went to work every day and es along Ash Street that becameput a dress on it was used goods.” made it happen,” said Jim Whitt, known as The Strip.The important A few doors east, Robert Rum- chairman of the Sharp End Heri- thing to remember about Sharp The separation persisted until mans opened a barber shop. In the tage Committee. “Against all odds, End, Monroe said, was its visibility.barriers were broken down by 1920s, the location would become whatever they had to deal with,court rulings and protests that the Phillips & Williams Barber they stayed in business, and they “It was a saddened thing for me,integrated schools, employment Shop, which it would remain until serviced the community, and they to hear they had torn it down,opportunity and public accom- the building was demolished. provided jobs.” because it was for me one of ourmodations. identifying marks,” said Monroe, Four other storefronts were Because of the nature of many who was in Germany in the Army “Columbia when I grew up — I vacant, but it was not long before when his mother lost her business.started college in 1951 — Colum- they held a restaurant, a taxi com- “See, when urban renewal camebia was a very highly segregated pany and other businesses. It was through, it just wiped out every-community,” former Mayor Dar- thing identifying the black man inwin Hindman said. Columbia except the churches.” His only interaction with blacks,
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 7 Columbia may be constructed of concrete & stone but it is built on our collective history. We salute the recognition of Historic Sharp End and its importance to all that is Columbia. Having served Mid-Missouri for more than 60 years, we are proud to be part of this important occasion.903 E ASH ST, COLUMBIA, MO 65201 • (573) 874-4190
8 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 The Library of CongressThe Professional World, a newspaper targeting a black audience, debuted on Nov. 1, 1901, under the direction of editor RufusLogan. It would be published for almost 20 years, but complete volumes survive only for the ﬁrst two years. Read the ProfessionalWorld online at the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America page. 501 505 507 511 1910BEFORE 115 ASH STREET114A 114112 111 On Nov. 15, 1901, editor Rufus Logan lamented the lack112A 110 107 of opportunity for black residents of Columbia in the third edition of his newspaper, The Professional World.108 “The population of Columbia is 50 percent negroes without a single negro business house,” Logan wrote. “A joint stock Methodist company well organized and properly managed should prove Episcopal to be quite a profitable enterprise for Columbia negroes. All Church that is necessary is for some good energetic man to take theN. FIFTH STREET 505A initiative in founding such a project.” N. SIXTH STREET 501 505 509 511 The 1900 census found 1,916 blacks living in the city, about 500 34 percent of the population, not 50 percent as Logan reported. WALNUT STREET The area that would become known as Sharp End, site today of the Columbia Post Office and a parking garage, was a residen- 14 15 tial area populated by almost 100 people.13 13 11 5,651 CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 12 1,91611 108 Number of people residing Number of black residents in Columbia in 1900 in Columbia in 1900
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 9We are proud to join the recognition of the historic Sharp End, the heart of Columbia.Home to these ﬁne businesses: Grimes, Fay & Kopp, LLC Law Ofﬁce of C. Douglas Shull Douglas Shull, Attorney Serving the community since 1945 Ritchie & Soper, PC Craig Ritchie, AttorneyElton Fay & Andrew Kopp, Attorneys Mingus Law Ofﬁce Thomas M. Mingus, AttorneyFellowship of Christian Athletes Scott Ashton, State Director Elton & Nancy Fay d/b/a M&E Ofﬁces Inc.11 North 5th Street, Columbia, MOPictured: Downtown Columbia, MO – Circa 1919
10 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 On the north side, a brick church Rudi Keller/Tribuneat Fifth and Walnut streets housedthe Methodist Episcopal Church Bill Thompson, left, of the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department points out items on thecongregation, today known as St. 1901 Social and Economic Census to Cheryl Wright.Luke United Methodist Church. Itis uncertain from available records subjects pertaining to the educa- Courtesy State Historical Society of Missouriwhether the name was in use at the tion and elevation of the negro,”time. The Professional World, in Logan wrote in his first edition. The creditworthiness of black households was rated in 19011903, listed the church only by its “The Professional World will surveys of income, home ownership and expenses. The left sheetdenomination. doubtless come as a surprise to was for Robert Rummans, the ﬁrst barber on Sharp End. The our many friends. Nevertheless we right was for Pinckney “Pink” Kelly, a longtime Sharp End barber. Next door, a wood-frame build- hope it will be made a welcomeing known as the “Blue Row” was visitor and will receive an invita- purchased a house at Seventh extended to what is now Keenehome to 22 people. tion to come every week.” Street and Park Avenue worth $325. Street. Previously, the east city limit had been William Street. On the south side of Walnut White business owners, to sort The black population continuedStreet, the three original town lots, out the new residents, commis- to expand in the first decade of the Change was coming on Sharp142.5 feet by 80 feet, oriented sioned a “Social and Economic new century, and the city grew as End as well. On the north side, St.north-south, were replatted in Census of the Colored Population well. Annexation in 1906 more Luke began rebuilding its church1899 by H.H. Hill as six east-west of Columbia Missouri” in 1901. than doubled the size of Colum- in 1909, constructing a stone edi-lots. Five brick houses were con- bia, which had existed within stat- fice with entrances on Fifth Streetstructed, three facing Sixth Street Pinckney Kelly, 30, in 1900, was ic borders since 1849. The west and Walnut Street.and two facing Fifth Street. a self-employed barber earning boundary moved from Edgewood $10 a week. He lived with his wife, Avenue to West Boulevard. The On the south side, a new brick At 10 N. Fifth St., physician John Maggie, Benjamin Marshall, who north boundary shifted from Wor- commercial building was going up.Taylor, 39, lived with his wife, Car- was listed in the federal census as ley and Rogers streets to include Designed with seven store fronts, itrie, 38, in one of those new houses. a houseboy, and Albert Whiteside, what is now Business Loop 70. To included apartments on the sec-Charles Sutton, 32, a boarder, who earned $1.65 a day as a rail- the east, the new city limits ond floor. When the decade closed,worked as a porter in a barber- road laborer. Kelly owned a three- all that it needed was tenants.shop. Next door at 12 N. Fifth St., room home worth $250, furnitureSteve Harris, a porter for the worth $50 and two pigs.Wabash Railroad, lived with hiswife, Maggie. The city economic census listed him as “unreliable.” On the north side of Walnut,teacher John Bannister, 44, lived at Several prominent Columbia115 N. Sixth St. with his wife, blacks were not included. No sheetMamie, 26, and their daughter was prepared for John Lange Jr., aMamie, 13, and step-daughter contractor and son of John Lange,Bertha Freeman, 7. Next door, Sal- a butcher who moved to Columbialie Gordon, 49, was a widow who in 1850. Pianist J.W. Blind Boone,worked as a wash woman and known nationally for his talent,could neither read nor write. was also missing from the record. Her three sons, Clay, 21, Dan, So was Annie Fisher, who was19, and Sam, 10, lived with her. beginning to make herself knownClay Gordon and Dan Gordon as a caterer and who had, by 1900,worked as laborers, while SamGordon attended school. “One of the things that madethe segregated communities sostrong was because there werepeople from all walks of life inthem as a consequence of segrega-tion, so you had doctors and law-yers and teachers and preachersliving in the same neighborhoodwith common laborers and soforth,” said Gary Kremer, executivedirector of the State HistoricalSociety of Missouri and a scholarof black history in the state. Logan’s Professional World wasone example of the growing sizeand sophistication of Columbia’sblack population. “The columns ofthe Professional World will beopen to all for the discussion of all
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12 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriFrederick Douglass School, seen in a circa-1910 photo, was built in 1885 for up to 300 black children. In 1916, the Columbia Boardof Education issued bonds to demolish the structure and erect the building now at Providence Road and Park Avenue. 19T1HE0s 501 505 507 511 ASH STREET114A 114 115112 111 The first businesses to take advantage of new storefronts112A 110 107 on Sharp End were a pool hall owned by Preston Carter, a barbershop owned by Robert Rummans and restau- 108 Methodist rant opened by George Scott. Exactly when each opened its Episcopal doors is lost in the fog of history. A 1911 city directory lists none Church of the businesses nor any residents on the southeast corner ofN. FIFTH STREET 505A Fifth and Walnut streets, including the people there when the N. SIXTH STREET census was taken the year before. Carter and Rummans are 501 505 509 511 listed by 1915, with Scott following in the 1917 edition. WALNUT STREET 15 In the first 10 years of the century, the migration into Colum- 13 bia from the countryside had accelerated. In 1910 for the first 500 506 time, more than half of black Boone County residents lived ABCD E within the city limits. The population of rural blacks fell by one-fourth, and the number of black owned and operated 14 farms fell by almost half.13 CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 1211 11 10 8 9,662 2,246 Number of people residing Number of black residents in Columbia in 1910 in Columbia in 1910
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 13Sharp End History isColumbia History We salute the Sharp End Heritage Committee for all their work in preserving Columbia’s heritage. Thank you.
14 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12 ber Co. His three other siblings, SHARP END BUSINESSES 1910-1919 Henry, 22, Lola, 18, and Emma, 17, In the second decade, outside were not employed. 500 Walnut—Scott’s Restaurant: Operated by Georgepressures of war and the emer- Scott, who resided with his wife, Elizabeth, and mother,gence of the white supremacist Ku George Scott’s father died Annie Scott, at 15 N. Sixth St.Klux Klan as a national force shift- during the decade, and by 1920 he 500/502 Walnut – Carter Pool Hall: Operated by Prestoned that pattern. The black popula- was the head of the household at Carter, who resided with his wife, Amelia, at 403 Oak St.tion of the county continued to 15 N. Sixth St., sharing the homedecline. Between 1910 and 1920, with his mother and his wife, 501 Walnut – Methodist Episcopal Church (St. Luke):for the first time since the census 28-year-old Elizabeth. Pastors during this period include Beriah McCain, H.began counting the city separately, Thomas Reeves and Daniel J. Mitchell.the black population of Columbia Robert Rummans, 41 when the 506 Walnut—Barbershop. Operated by Robert Rummans,also waned. 1910 census was taken, was a vet- who resided with his wife, Tessie, at 403 N. Fifth St. eran barber when he opened his The businesses that came first shop. The 1901 economic census Sources: City directories, U.S. Census Bureautook care of black residents’ per- of Columbia blacks – a credit rat-sonal needs with services that ing system for each black family – men listed their occupations as burglary from 1896 to 1897 andcould not be obtained elsewhere listed his income as $9 for a six- laborer, and 11 of those employed was listed in the 1900 census as ain Columbia. Some blacks had day work week as a barber to sup- were working in private homes. transfer company driver living inbegun developing food service for port his wife, Tessie, 38, and their The youngest workers were Ever- rented quarters at 610 N. Seventhblacks before George Scott hired son Leon while living with his line Snell, 10, a cook in a private St. He was 30 at the time, and Ame-his widowed mother as the cook mother-in-law, Margaret Chap- home, Douglass Scott, 15, a hotel lia, who reported she could neitherfor his new restaurant, but the ser- man, at 201 N. Tenth St. dishwasher, and George Shanks, read nor write, was 31.vice had been provided out of pri- also 15, a servant in a privatevate homes. The 1915 directory, which lists home. On the 1920 census, Carter was Rummans in Sharp End for the listed as 59 and Amelia 41, and Similar districts were growing first time, also lists his address as Snell reported attending school they owned their home at 403 Oakup across Missouri, Gary Kremer, 403 N. Fifth St., where he and his for at least part of the time since St.executive director of the State His- wife would live until his death in Sept. 1, 1909, while Scott andtorical Society of Missouri, said. the 1930s. Shanks did not. They were among What became known as theKremer, a scholar of Missouri three of eight children 16 or young- Great Migration was also reportedblack history, said the segregated The details gleaned from the er, including one age 7, who did for the first time on the 1920 cen-conditions pushed blacks together 1910 census portray the differenc- not go to school. sus. Nationally, about 500,000and created a demand that, in es in the working conditions of blacks had moved from rural areas,Columbia, would be met on Sharp blacks compared to whites. The In 1910, black children in mostly in the South, to industrialEnd. Crisis, the NAACP’s national publi- Columbia attended 25-year-old cities of the North. The lure of jobs cation, reported in 1915 that 84.7 Douglass School, built to accom- to fill war orders for Europe after “Those service industries, percent of black males and 54.7 modate about 300 students. With 1914, the demand for manpowerrestaurants, bars, barbershops, percent of black females ages 10 almost 1,000 more black residents that enlisted 350,000 black men inpool halls … catered to an entirely and older were gainfully employed. to serve than in the 1880s, in 1916 the armed forces and fear helpedAfrican American community,” the Columbia Board of Education drive the movement.Kremer said. “They were located in The comparable figures for the won approval for a bond issue tothe very heart of the black com- white population were 77.9 per- replace the aging school. In Missouri, the black popula-munity, a centralized location with cent for men and 19.2 percent for tion of St. Louis and Kansas Citythe black community surrounding women. A two-story school, with 15 grew by 33,000, while the overallthem in walking distance of all rooms and a library, was con- black population of the state grewthose businesses.” Sharp End remained a primarily structed on the same lot where the by fewer than 21,000. The black residential area during the second old school stood at Third Street population of Columbia fell by Scott was 24 and living with his decade of the century. The blocks and Park Avenue. It would remain 327, and blacks made up less thanparents, Charles and Annie Scott, now used for the post office and the home of black education in 20 percent of the city populationat 15 N. Sixth St. when the 1910 parking garage were home to near- Columbia for the next 45 years. for the first time.census was taken. His father was a ly 100 people. The “Blue Row,” oldlaborer, and his mother a boarding wood-frame tenements on the Preston Carter and his wife, That did not slow the develop-house proprietor. Scott was a por- north side of Walnut Street, was Amelia, were the oldest of the pio- ment of Sharp End in the comingter in a grocery store, and his home to 27 people ranging in age neer entrepreneurs on Sharp End. decade, as new businesses movedbrother Andrew Scott, 25, was a from 7 to 67 in 1910. Carter served 18 months in the in and new construction expand-teamster for Boone County Lum- Missouri State Penitentiary for ed opportunites. Only four older than 10 were not working, with the oldest, Alex Gray, 67, toiling as a laborer. SevenWith special thanks to... Mary Beth Brown, Bill Thompson, the staff of the State Historical Society of Missouri and members of the Sharp End Heritage Committee for their assistance in researching information for this publication.
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16 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Don Shrubshell/TribuneSehon Williams, 92, talks about the Sharp End neighborhood of Columbia where he once played the trumpet with other bandmembers at the Green Tree Tavern. 501 505 507 511 19T2HE0s ASH STREET 115 Sometime in the mid-1920s, Herbert Phillips, who was a 1131/2 barber, and Arch Williams, who was not, formed a part- 506 508 113 nership that became the longest-lived business on Sharp 111 1/2 End.114A 111 114 109 1/2 The Phillips & Williams Barber Shop had four chairs, “a 109 bunch of seats” and “guys who would just sit around in the112 barber shop,” Sehon Williams, 92, recalled. “And you also had112A 110 some white guys that would sit around in the back of it.”108 H H 107 Methodist G G Episcopal F F ChurchN. FIFTH STREET E E N. SIXTH STREETDD C C B B A A 501 505 5051/2 507 509 511 WALNUT STREET 500 502 504 506 CD E Planing mill 1713 Bottling works 15 CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 12 13 1,91911 10 Garage 11 10,392 Coal yard 9 Number of people residing Number of black residents in Columbia in 1920 in Columbia in 19208
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 17PROUD TO BE A MINORITY OWNED BUSINESSColumbia African American Association Memorial Scholarship Fund 501(c)(3) organizationCongratulations to Sharp End Heritage Committee for remembering the historical significance of Sharp End to Columbia, MO. Since 2009, CAAA has awarded 26 scholarships totaling $28,500 toAfrican-American High School Graduates from Douglass, Hickman, Rock Bridge, and Battle Save the Dates: Back to School Drive - July 11, 2015In Partnership with Latter House Childcare CenterColumbia’s Sunday Best Scholarship and Awards Dinner March 12, 2016, Friendship Missionary Baptist ChurchTo support our efforts, contact: PO Box 1632 Columbia, MO 65205 Email: [email protected] us on Facebook “CAAA”COLUMBIA PRIDE...COLUMBIA STRONG!CAAA Board of DirectorsAnthony D.VanBuren, Sr., Chairman Melvin Clayborne,Vice-ChairmanKeener Tippin II, Education Coordinator Wesley Buckner, Senior AdvisorVanessa (Brown) Haywood, Senior Analyst J.Tyrone Turner,TreasurerStacye Smith, Marketing Analyst
18 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16 his family. By 1930, Phillips was On the north side of Walnut, on liams’ hair every other Friday until able to marry Gertrude Phillips land owned by white farmer John he graduated from Douglass Both men were about 30 when and move to 113 W. Worley St. She M. Herndon, a two-story brick School, Williams said.they formed their partnership. worked as a cook in a café. building offered commercial andWilliams, born in 1895, grew up in residential space. “He was short, bald-headedtown where his father, Curtis Wil- Phillips & Williams barber shop man, very nice,” Williams said.liams, was a coachman and a jani- moved into space used by George There were 16 small apartmentstor in a shoe factory. Phillips was D. Washington for part of the and an open second floor used by Prohibition in the 1920s meantborn in 1894 near Rocheport to decade. Washington used the shop Elks Turner Lodge 370. City direc- alcohol was underground. “YouGeorge and Martha Phillips. as his home address for the city tories published in 1923 and 1925 had, in most communities, what directory. document the arrival of the build- was known as bootleggers,” said When the decade opened, Wil- ing and the new businesses. Larry Monroe, who worked inliams was living with his parents at It was a time of growth on Sharp Phillips & Williams Barber Shop in400 Hickman Ave., working as a End, with new construction on the Maggie Brown opened the the final years of Sharp End.janitor at a fraternity. The 1920 north side of Walnut Street, and Dreamland Café. Charles and Paulcensus does not record Phillips or new businesses filling those con- Givens opened a tailor shop. Asked who would go to Sharp structed a decade earlier. End, Williams answered: “People It was becoming an adult space that liked to drink. Drink andUnitee Market where children or women were shoot pool. If you liked to drink, OGSPOREONANNIND!G not allowed except for specific rea- you go on Sharp End.” sons, Williams recalled.Market your products with Unitee Market! From the men who had worked “I went there to get a haircut in the barber shop, including Her- Outdoor Individual Rental Space Available! from a little kid on up,” he said. “But bert Phillips, Monroe heard the generally, kids was not allowed. stories of Sharp End and the black 2206 Ballenger Ln. • (816) 560-6064 • (573) 881-0852 They wouldn’t even let kids pass experience in Columbia that he [email protected] through there going downtown.” fears is being lost. Williams was born in 1922, the “All of this stuff they talked second son of Sehon Williams Sr. about, they never let it die,” Mon- and Effie Williams. The family roe said. rented a home at 3 W. Lyon St. for $9 per month. His father was the Dozens of people continued to chauffer for James Wood, presi- live on or near Sharp End. dent of Stephens College. The apartments above Carter’s Pinckney “Pink” Kelly cut Wil- Pool Hall and the Phillips & Wil- liams Barber Shop were home to KENNETH GREENE CUSTOM DESIGNER OF FINE JEWELRY, GOLDSMITH, SILVERSMITHThe Minority Men’s Network (573) 875-6673 Supports the Sharp End Heritage Committee and 1019 E. Walnut St. - Suite C Their Efforts! Columbia, MO 65201www.MinorityMensNetwork.orgPROUD TO BE A MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 1927 people, according to the 1920 SHARP END BUSINESSES 1920-1929census. 500 Walnut—Scott’s Restaurant: Operated 507 Walnut—Elks Hall: Home to Turner by George Scott, who resided with his wife, Lodge 370. The 1927 directory listed the Ex- Sixth Street, however, began to Elizabeth, and mother, Annie Scott, at 15 N. alted Ruler as David Clark, a driver for Reniechange. Facing east, south of Wal- Sixth St. when the decade began and at 422 Hardware, who lived with his wife, Clotellia, atnut, a planing mill serving Nu-Way N. Third St. when it ended. 104 Hill St. The secretary was Isadore Pipes,Lumber Co. was constructed and a janitor at the University of Missouri, who livedgarage and coal yard opened. On 501 Walnut—St. Luke Methodist Episcopal with his wife, Fannie, at 403 E. Walnut St.the north side, banker William Church: Pastors during the 1920s included 507A Walnut—Barbershop: Operated byConley secured a judgment for William Ellis and Frederick Bowles. Charles Berry, who lived with his wife, Macie,adverse possession of a lot with 80 502/504 Walnut—Carter Pool Hall: Oper- at 102 Allen St.feet of frontage on Walnut Street ated by Amelia Carter aftere the death of 508 Walnut—541 Taxi: Driver Jacob Fosterand 142.5 feet of Sixth Street. Preston Carter on March 4, 1924. She resided was listed as living at the business address at 302 Oak St. in the 1923 city directory. George Camp- Two small rental homes faced 506 Walnut—Barber Shop: In the 1923 and bell, who lived with his wife, Myrtle, at 10 N.Sixth Street on the lot, with regular 1925 city directories, George Washington was Fifth St., was listed as the owner in the 1925turnover as reflected in census and listed as the proprietor. In 1923 he resided at directory.city directory records. The lot was the same address. For the 1925 directory, he Pool Hall: Operated by William Diggs, it wasused primarily by Nu-Way for lum- was joined by a wife, Katherine Washington. listed in the 1927 directory. Digges listed hisber storage. Phillips & Williams Barbershop: A Sharp End address with wife Carolyn Diggs as 508-A E. ﬁxture until the end, opened about 1926 by Walnut St. Conley sued the original found- Herbert Phillips and Arch Williams. Phillips Restaurant: Operated by Paul Givens.ers of Columbia in an action that lived with his wife, Getrude, at 113 W. Worley 509 Walnut—Dreamland Café: Operated bydrew no opposition to his claim St. Williams lived at 506 E. Walnut St. Maggie Brown, who listed her residence as 4that he had been in “open, notori- 507 Walnut—Givens & Givens tailors: Oper- Allen St., rear, in the 1925 directory and 13 W.ous use” of the property for more ated by Charles Givens and Paul Givens, who Allen St. in the 1927 edition.than 10 years. also owned the Harmony Café at 17 N. Sixth 511 Walnut—Billiards: Listed in the 1925 St. In the 1927 directory, Paul Givens was directory. Operated by George Washington, The final city directory pub- listed as the sole proprietor and lived with who had the barber shop at 506 Walnut St.lished during the 1920s listed three Mamie Givens at 106 N. Third St.pool halls, three restaurants andtwo barber shops on Sharp End by Source: City directories, U.S. Census Bureauthe end of the decade. New buildings, and new entre-preneurs, would soon join them. Beauty Express Conmeairngfuinture Floral BoutiqueSpecialty: Funeral Arrangements Vicki J. Freelon 301 W. Sexton Road, Suite B301 W. Sexton Rd., Columbia, MO 65203 Columbia, MO 65203 573-881-7321PROUD TO BE A MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS
20 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 PROUD TO BE A MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS We are proud to support the recognition of Historic Sharp End Gainesand glad to be a part of the rich history of Columbia. IT CAN BE DONE! Detailing beItDcoanne! Moving and Delivery 1401 Illinois Ave. • Columbia, MO (573) 817-2792
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 21Columbia’s Biscuit QueenAnnie Fisher set standards forsuccess in catering, real estate.Annie Fisher was sassy, sar- castic and subtle when Fisher’s story inspired people long she told a reporter in 1927 before her death in 1938. She about a “pryin’, curious” bought her first home about 1901,woman who visited her restaurant, then accumulated 18 rental homesthe Wayside Inn. and built two mansions on her profits. “‘Annie,’ she says ‘Annie, you’dbe a big woman if you were in Afri- One mansion, at 608 Park Ave-ca, wouldn’t you?’” nue, was demolished during the first phase of urban renewal. In its “‘Yes,’ I says, ‘but you wouldn’t final years, it was the Freeman andlet me stay there, so I’m making Poindexter Funeral Home.the best of the bargain right herein Columbia.’” The other, on the 57-acre farm owned by her parents on today’s In a few words, Fisher dismissed Old 63, was demolished in 2011.the patronizing racism, alluded toher slave heritage and reminded Verna Laboy moved to Colum- bia in 1994 and came to admirethe visitor she was a big woman Fisher so much she learned toanywhere. Fisher was Columbia’s make beaten biscuits and portrays Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missourimost successful independent Fisher in presentations at areabusinesswoman and perhaps the schools. Fisher turned disadvan- Annie Fisher, a Columbia businesswoman who made her for-only Columbia business owner tage into opportunity, Laboy said. tune in catering, mail-order beaten biscuits and real estate.with a national clientele. “She rose above unbelievable she said in the 1919 speech, that a little more,” Brown said. The unknown author of “Kneads circumstances and then played on her family put her in charge of Work during the 1880s wasDough to Win Fame,” published their perceptions all the way to the cooking at home.May 13, 1927, in the Springfield bank,” Laboy said. tough, Fisher said in her 1919Leader, estimated Fisher’s fortune The 1880 census recorded Bob speech. She often worked for ■ and Charlot Noles, with seven board and clothing. She would children from four months to 20. wear what she was given, thinkingat $100,000. Fisher, 59, had been According to her modest head- Annie was 12 and attending school little of how she looked.Columbia’s premier caterer for 25 stone in Memorial Park Cemetery, with two siblings.years – reportedly owning 1,000 Annie Knowles was born Dec. 3, “I remember one Sunday when Iplace settings of china, crystal and 1867. She was one of 11 children In June 1883, 15 and unmarried, went to church dressed in an oldcutlery. She rented the excess born to former slaves Robert and Annie gave birth to a daughter she second-hand party costume thatwhen she did not need it and Charlotte Knowles, who lived just named Lucille Smith. The father is was five or 10 years out of date,invested her profits in real estate. north of the Walter Lenoir estate. unknown today, historian Mary and as I marched up the aisle, and The family lived in a log cabin near Beth Brown wrote in an article was about to take my seat, an old What brought her renown, how- Grindstone School, established to published by the Genealogical lady saw me coming and she saidever, was the “beaten biscuit,” a Society of Central Missouri. ‘good Lord, move back, give Annieproduct that showcased her skills educate black children. Fisher plenty of room, here shein preparation and marketing. The 1870 census shows a house- Annie worked for the Lenoir comes dressed like a peacock, she family at Maplewood, and a Bob ought to know that the house of Each catered meal featured the hold of eight with four children, Smith was on the payroll in Sep- the Lord is no place for any suchsmall, white biscuits with a crusty including Annie, 3. tember 1884, Brown wrote. An clothes as them!’” she said.exterior. Fisher sold them via mail, account-book entry indicatesfor 10 to 15 cents per dozen. Her “My father found it very hard to Smith paid 50 cents for medicine Embarrassed, she resolved thatfame spread through catering cli- provide food, clothing, shoes and for Annie in September 1887. “these old second-hand clothesents, and by 1911 a Sedalia hostess shelter for all of us with the very won’t do for me.”made sure they were on the table little money he was earning, so Brown became interested inwhen President William Howard when I was a very small girl he Fisher, she said, while researching About 1890, Annie KnowlesTaft visited the Missouri State Fair. hired me out to rock the cradle for women in the Lenoir family. Frank moved into Columbia. She worked “For probably 40 years she has white people,” she told the Nation- Nifong wrote in his self-published with growing success as a cook, al Negro Business League at its autobiography that Fisher was and for four years in the 1890s,been making these succulent bis- 1919 convention in St. Louis. “the most efficient cateress in the Brown wrote, Fisher was the cookcuits in Columbia and the fame of town of Columbia and that no uni- for Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.her prowess as a biscuit maker is Young Annie spent time in her versity or social function was real-not local, but has spread to all employer’s kitchen while the baby ly classy without her service.” The 1900 census records Fisherparts of the United States..., the slept. Standing on a stool, sheLeader reported. would peel potatoes and, more “I thought I would look into that CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 important, learned to make bis- A daughter of former slaves, cuits. She learned to cook so well,
22 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri products for black women. The small item with the bigas married and living with her Annie Fisher’s home at 608 Park Ave. had 14 rooms and wasdaughter and three others, without A.C. Freeman Funeral Home when it was demolished in 1960. return, the beaten biscuit, “is noth-husband William Fisher, at 202 S. ing more than an ordinary biscuitNinth St. Fisher headed the only ident since 1891. Fisher accepted a care of herself. She built 14-room ‘baked while the life is in it,’” Fisherblack household on the block. job to serve “a very large banquet,” brick home that was one of Colum- told the reporter in 1927. only to find “the official of the Uni- bia’s largest and grandest. Fisher listed her occupation as versity then in charge denied me In Southern Food, John Egertoncook. Lucille, 17, was in school. the use of their silverware, saying it The house “has hard-wood wrote that a dough of flour, milk belonged to the State University.” floors throughout,” the University and lard was kneaded for a lengthy Her siblings were grown, Fisher Missourian reported. “The fumed- period or sometimes beaten with asaid in 1919, and she could think Undaunted, Fisher got on a oak library has a mantel and grate mallet or a skillet, giving the bis-of herself and her daughter. “My train, went to St. Louis and rented of natural stone. On the tamourets cuit its name. The process intro-sisters and brothers had become silverware to serve 700 people. “I (sic) are brass jardinieres. Her din- duces air into the dough.older. ... I was able to start buying a served that banquet and it brought ing room contains cut glass andlittle home, it matters not how me in $1,300.” Haviland china.” A kneading machine was pat-small that home was going to be.” ented in 1877. Fisher, to speed up As her business grew, she moved Lucille was 30 when she married production, made a cutter with She saved for five years to make her small home to another spot on George W. Merritt on Dec. 31, 1913. nails inside to push the biscuitsa down payment on a two-room the spacious quarter-acre lot and onto a pan. That left small dots onhouse at 608 E. Ash St. built a new five-room house. “Mr. Merritt is a musical com- the top of the biscuits, which had a poser of much ability and has two crusty exterior and a soft interior. “I paid that home off in 18 A part of Fisher’s legend that original compositions that will bemonths after I started into business apparently is not true is that her featured at the Semi-Centennial “My home room teacher, Misson my own hook,” she said in 1919. beaten biscuits were given an celebration at Chicago,” the Kan- Emma Mae Turner, apparently award at the 1904 St. Louis World’s sas City Sun reported in July 1915, knew Miss Fisher. She would make A 1904 city directory records her Fair, said Brown, the researcher. referring to the fair marking 50 beaten biscuits, and then myselfat that address with husband, Wil- Another well-known black entre- years since the end of slavery. and a couple of other of the stu-liam Fisher. preneur from Columbia, horticul- dents would go and we would turn turalist Henry Kirklin, took exam- The exposition featured busi- that machine for her,” said Larry The marriage did not last, and ples of his plants to the fair and ness demonstrations, including Monroe, 77, and a student at Dou-in 1907 the Columbia Herald won a blue ribbon. “the famous beaten biscuit of glass High School in the earlyreported William Fisher was fined Annie Fisher of Missouri.” 1950s. “And she would treat thefor disturbing the peace of his for- “I have found no record of her class to those.”mer wife. The newspaper reported winning any awards or being a It is uncertain when Fisher beganAnnie Fisher filed for divorce vendor at the 1904 World’s Fair,” shipping beaten biscuits to custom- Some did not appreciate them.because she was unhappy, offering Brown said. “I have had the archi- ers outside of Columbia. “Mrs. “She mailed them things all overher husband $137.50 not to con- vists at the Missouri History Muse- Annie Fisher, a colored woman of the country,” said Sehon Williams.test it. He declined the money, but um who hold the records for the Columbia, Mo., has made $10,000 “They was some nasty things. Ohreceived nothing from the court, World’s Fair go through their lists from selling beaten biscuits at 15 they were nasty. But people boughtthe newspaper reported. because they have lists of everyone cents a dozen,” The Crisis, the them for their bridge parties.” who won an award and everyone monthly magazine of the NAACP, “Annie did the work while Rev. who was a vendor at the World’s reported in 1915. “She lives in a Regardless of what anyoneWilliam did the preaching,” the Fair, and she doesn’t show up on 14-room brick modern residence.” thought, they sold.Herald reported. any of those.” Fisher was not the only success- Her address to the National “I’ve had to work ever since I ■ ful black businesswoman of her Negro Business League was recog-was old enough to walk, and when era. Annie Malone in St. Louis and nition that Fisher achieved suc-I got married it wasn’t a success,” Fisher’s properties, just two Madame C.J. Walker in Denver — cess by re-investing her profitsFisher said in the 1927 interview. blocks from Douglass School, were who got her start under Malone into her businesses. In her talk at“So, long ago I got the idea that the prime residential locations for — vie for the title of first self-made the August 1919 meeting, Fisheronly way I could ever get ahead blacks. When she was finished female millionaires from fortunes sought to pass on the lessons shewas to believe in myself and not amassing real estate, Fisher took made creating and selling hair care had learned about building wealth.the other fellow.” “All told, I now own 18 houses As her acclaim as a cook grew, and also a farm in the country thatso did the size of the dinners she is well stocked with hogs, chickensprepared. She told her audience in and other things,” she said. “I live in1919 that she had served an alum- that 14 room brick home and I don’tni dinner at the University of Mis- owe a dollar on it, and if I want tosouri, receiving $1,200 for the meal buy anything, I don’t need to ask forat the cost of $2 per plate. credit for I can write my check.” The change of administration at ■the University of Missouri in 1908might have had an impact on her Sehon Williams got his first lookbusiness. She told the 1919 audi- at Annie Fisher when his parents,ence that when she did not have Sehon and Effie Williams, broughtenough table settings, “they would their children to St. Paul AMEalways be kind enough to let me Church during the 1920s. Williams,use their silverware.” born in 1922, also remembers Sun- day School picnics at the farm on In 1908, A. Ross Hill took over as what had become Highway 63.president from Richard Jesse, pres-
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 23 “She was kind of a heavy-set gave the world another new idea,” “COMING OUT OFwoman,” is all he remembers of Woodson wrote. “She had learned HIGH SCHOOL,Fisher herself, he said. cooking, especially baking. ... After I WASN’T EXACTLY studying her situation and the envi- SURE WHAT I Fisher was at the height of her ronment in which she had to live, WANTED TO DO.”success in the 1920s. She and her she hit upon the scheme of popu-daughter, listed as widow Lucille larizing her savorous sweet potato CASEYMerritt, lived at 608 Park Ave. with biscuits, beaten whiter than all oth- A+ SCHOLARSHIP GRADUATEher widowed mother and three ers by an invention of her own; and CLASS OF 2002boarders. Fisher remained pros- the people of both races made aperous, and her property holdings well-beaten path to her home to By signing up for the A+ Program,grew to include a row of five hous- enjoy these delicious biscuits. In Casey was able to get a scholarshipes in the 400 block of East Ash St. this way she has made herself and for tuition at a community college,and two on Fourth Street. her relatives independent.” giving him time to ﬁnd his calling in the medical profession. Three homes Fisher owned still Beaten biscuits do not includeexist – at 316 N. Garth Ave., 318 N. sweet potatoes. Learn More at MOLottery.com/A+Garth Ave. and 306 Oak St., built in1900, 1910 and 1925, respectively. When she died in 1938, Fisher’s ©2015 Missouri Lottery Commission Play It Forward.The farm once owned by her father Park Avenue home was valued atwas producing hams and chickens $3,300 and the farm of 57 acres Columbia Public Schools isfor her catered meals, and in the and a home were valued at $3,500. proud to support the recognitionearly 1920s Fisher began building Overall, her property waswhat became her final home on the appraised at $13,350. No bank of the Historic Sharp Endproperty. Her drive to find new out- accounts were listed, but there and the continued growth oflets for enterprise was unabated. were few debts against the estate — $456.24 for funeral expenses our community. “Last year Mrs. Fisher thought and $14 for four house calls by Dr.there was an opening for a chick- Frank Dexheimer. Columbia Public Schoolsen-dinner place in the country, soshe … built the elegant house that Her ability as a businesswoman, An Excellent Education For All Studentsis now designated as the ‘Wayside earning success and fame whenInn,’” the Leader said. “It is a sump- opportunity was limited by bigot- 1818 W. Worley St., Columbia, MO 65203 | 573-214-3400tuous place, with large, cheery din- ry, is a lasting lesson, Laboy said.ing rooms and, one is told, well www.cpsk12.orgpatronized by the many persons In the classrooms, Laboy said,who like Annie Fisher’s cooking.” she tells students Fisher’s life shows “it is more important what you Fisher and her daughter lived in believe yourself, because when allthe home, also called Fair Oaks, in of life and all of the world was“true country club style,” the against her because she was anewspaper reported. black woman and a businesswom- an, she just needed a few people to The 1920s were dry, with nation- believe in her to succeed.”al prohibition in effect. Fisher’srestaurant, she told the reporter, Her house on Park Avenue tow-was not a place to drink. ered above others on the block, Monroe said, with a porch as tall as “My house has been sprinkled the roofs of houses on the otherby our minister.” she explained, side of the street.“and people can’t get commonaround here. When they comes to “You had to go to West Broad-Annie Fisher’s they comes to eat, way to get a house that was com-and if they want to do any parable to that,” Monroe said.high-ballin’ they must do it beforethey come and after they leave.” The writer of the Springfield Leader article found Fisher proud The 1930 census lists Fisher as a and confident. “I believe in myself,”farmer, living with her daughter and she said. “I’ve never asked for a joba farmhand. Recognition of her suc- in my life. I make them come tocess continued in new forms. In a Annie Fisher. Of course, I have tochapter called Vocational Guidance deliver the goods, as you say, but Ifor his 1933 book “The Mis-Educa- don’t go around askin’ for favors.”tion of the Negro,” author CarterGodwin Woodson used Fisher to There was no doubt she wasshow how to achieve success by delivering the goods, the articlereinvesting in a business. concluded. His facts weren’t exactly correct, “She’s a smart woman, thisbut he made his point. Annie Fisher. She’s a specialist in two kinds of dough — the kind “Another woman of color living that makes beaten biscuits and thein Columbia, Missouri, recently kind that swells a bank account.”
24 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Photo courtesy of Barbra HorrellThis photo shows some of the business operators who became ﬁxtures on Sharp End. From left, foreground: Anderson Logan,barber Herbert Phillips of the Phillips & Williams Barber Shop and club owner Edward “Dick” Tibbs. Middle row, from left: Gene Co-chran, David Hughes, Walter Patrice and Ellis Tibbs. Back row: Samuel Boone, left. The ﬁnal man is unidentiﬁed. 19T3HE0s 501 505 507 511 ASH STREET 115 1131/2 504 113 506 508114A 114112 111 1/2112A 110 111 109 1/2 109108 H H 107 New faces, new buildings and new opportunities helped Methodist G G Sharp End weather the Great Depression, as the end Episcopal F F of Prohibition brought taverns and music to Walnut Church Street.N. FIFTH STREET E E N. SIXTH STREETDD The young business owners brought a mix of skills and C C B B A A 501 505 5051/2 507 509 511 resources to their operations, some legitimate and some not. Alvin Coleman, Ed “Dick” Tibbs and David “Pig” Emory would WALNUT STREET become fixtures on Sharp End, joining Herbert Phillips of the 500 502 504 506 508 510 Planing mill 17 CD E13 15 Phillips & Williams Barber Shop, opened a decade earlier.12 1311 Coal yard 11 14,967 2,301 10 9 Number of people residing Number of black residents8 in Columbia in 1930 in Columbia in 1930
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 25 Coleman was 31, living with his parents at “They were like an uncle and aunt to me,” ranks to farmers driven from the land by Dust401 Park Ave. and driving a truck for the family said Mary Patton Nelson, daughter of Alton Pat- Bowl conditions on the Great Plains and droughtlaundry business when the decade opened. ton, who operated a pool hall on Sharp End in in Missouri. Millions looked for work.James and Julia Coleman had been school- the 1950s. Nelson knew the Colemans in the lateteachers, first in Moberly and later at Douglass 1940s and 1950s. “He was always busy, but he The Depression either came late to MissouriSchool, before going into business. would ask about school and stuff. Vivian, she or the state was slow to react and take advantage helped me grow up.” of relief programs. By October 1933, when 10.3 “Alvin Coleman was one of our rich men,” percent of the nation was receiving aid throughsaid Rev. Raymond Hayes of St. Luke United The new construction on Sharp End added New Deal relief programs, only 5.5 percent ofMethodist Church. the Arcade Building, 40 feet of storefront on the Missouri residents were signed up. south side of Walnut Street that extended 77 feet Coleman owned a salvage yard, a coal yard, a deep along a north-south alley 10 feet wide. In Boone County, 174 people were on relief inpool hall and a liquor store. His first investment October 1933, 52 in Columbia and 122 in theon Sharp End was listed as the Arcade Pool Hall The exact date when the Arcade Building was rural sections. Only two of the city dwellers andat 510 Walnut St. in the 1932 city directory. constructed is uncertain. The 1931 Sanborn Fire 10 of the rural residents on relief were black. Insurance Map shows the structure where there By the 1936 edition of the directory, Coleman had been nothing in 1925. Soon, 15 times those numbers would bewas in business with Ed “Dick” Tibbs in a busi- receiving aid. From July 1934 to June 1935, theness they called Central Marketing. Tibbs’ first It was built on property owned by Earl and average number of Boone County residents onbusiness on Sharp End was called the Kingfish May Morris, owners of Booche’s. On Feb. 18, relief each month was 2,676. No racial break-Smoke Shop, which also offered shoe shining. 1935, they sold the property to John and Ola down is available for that figure. McMullan. John McMullan was the manager of In 1930, Tibbs was 25 and living with his Taylor’s Garage. The final report of the Federal Emergencymother Eva Williams and three other adult sib- Relief Administration put the cost of New Deallings ages 19 to 30 at 209 N. Garth Ave. Tibbs was Along with Tibbs and Coleman, Edward public assistance in the county at $237,921 fromworking as a presser in a tailor shop. O’Neal, with his wife, Eddie, were among the April 1933 to December 1935. Local taxpayers first to move into the Arcade Building. The contributed $29,331. “I think he just had a sixth grade education,” O’Neals opened a pool hall in one space and ason Ed Tibbs said. “He was a self-made man, restaurant in another. The O’Neals, spelled vari- While the Depression was speeding upjust God was on his side. He was a smart man. ous ways including O’Nill on the 1930 census, migration for many Americans, it slowed forHe didn’t have a degree but he had a Ph.D. in also lived on Sharp End. blacks in Boone County. The loss of black popu-business. To have what he had in those days ... lation, unchecked since 1880, stopped in theto keep it and to be able to pass it on the way he The new businesses opening on Sharp End 1930s, although rural sections continued to losedid, it took some intelligence.” were a contrast to almost every other corner of population to Columbia. Columbia was also a the United States in the 1930s, where businesses destination for whites as city population overall Coleman, by contrast, was a college graduate. were closing and throwing people out of work.He and his wife, Julia, whom he married in the The homeless and unemployed added their CONTINUED ON PAGE 261930s, had no children.
26 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 SHARP END BUSINESSES 1930-1939 “My dad, I had never seen my dad without a tie on. My dad almost always had a tie on,500 Walnut—Scott & Johnson taxi service: white shirt and tie, throughout my entireOwners George Scott and Harry Johnson; George life. I just thought that is the way you areScott and his wife, Elizabeth, resided at 422 N. supposed to be dressed.”Third St., today’s Providence Road. Johnson andhis wife, Gussie, resided at 506 N. Third St. — Ed Tibbs, son of Sharp End businessmanColeman’s Café: Operated by Harry Coleman,who is listed in the 1932 directory with his wife, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 through the 1940s.Margaret, at 309A Oak St. In all, city directories from the 1930s,Estes Smoke House: Operated by James Estes, grew by more than one-fifth.who resides with his wife, Dorothy, at 202 N. Sehon Williams, born in 1922, got his the best, albeit incomplete, source ofGarth Ave. information, shows 16 different people, first job taking tickets at the Boone The- including two women, operating busi-501 Walnut—St. Luke Methodist Episcopal ater when he was 16. His father was the nesses on Sharp End during the decade.Church: Pastors during the 1930s included the chauffer for James Woods, president of There were pool halls at four addressesRev. William H. Smith and the Rev. C.C. Reynolds. Stephens College. and four addresses with restaurants. A taxi company, shoe shining and smoke502 Walnut—Kingﬁsh Smoke Shop, shoe shin- “I wore Jimmy Woods clothes until I shops fill out the list.ing: Owner Edward Tibbs resided at the business. was in the ninth grade,” WilliamsCentral Marketing: Owners Alvin Coleman and recalled. The directories took months to com-Edward Tibbs. Coleman married during the plete for the entire city, meaning theydecade, living with wife Vivian at 401 Park Ave., a Williams’ experience explains why were often out of date. The 1940 directo-home inherited from his parents. one of the first businesses in the Arcade ry lists the Green Tree Tavern, operated504 Walnut—Billiards: Owner David Emory, listed Building was Ed Tibbs’ shoe shining and by Coleman and Tibbs, where jazz bandsas David Emmery in the 1930 census, resided at cigar shop. After he worked at Boone entertained on weekends and patrons203 N. Fourth St. Theater, Williams took a job shining drank 3.2 percent beer, the strongest shoes at Davis Cleaner’s on Broadway, a beverage legally available.506 Walnut—Phillips & Williams Barbershop: job he kept after he entered Lincoln Uni-Owners Herbert Phillips lived with wife, Gertrude, versity. He could make $20 to $25 on a Columbia did not allow liquor by theat 213 W. Worley St.; Arch Williams resided at Saturday, he said. “That was really good drink until 1968.400 Hickman Ave. money, especially from Stephens College506A Walnut—Rooming House: Managed by girls,” Williams recalled. “Nobody wore The 1930s might have been whenPaul Givens, who also operated a cigar store. tennis shoe in them days.” Sharp End came to mean well-dressed.507 Walnut—Cigar store: Owner Paul Givens “When you came there you had to belived with his wife, Mamie, at this address. In the 1930s, the Sharp End of living dressed,” Ed Tibbs said. “My dad, I had507 Walnut Rear—Edmonston Flats: Sixteen-unit memory emerged. Thomas McQuitty never seen my dad without a tie on. Myapartments behind storefronts. opened a barbershop he would operate dad almost always had a tie on, white until urban renewal forced him out. shirt and tie, throughout my entire life. I507-1/2 Walnut—Elks Hall, Turner Lodge 370: Emory would take over the pool hall at just thought that is the way you are sup-The 1930 city directory listed J.S. Carter as Exalt- 504 Walnut and would be in business posed to be dressed.”ed Ruler and Clyde Buckner as secretary.507A Walnut—Barber Shop: Owner Charles Ber- A child who reads will bery lived with wife Macie at 102 Allen St. an adult who thinks.508 Walnut—Billiards: Owner Edward O’Neal,whose wife operated an adjacent restaurant, The Tribune’s Newspapers in Education program is aresided at this address. dynamic partnership between area businesses, schools,Red Bird Inn: Operated by Richard Benton.508A Walnut—Restaurant: Owner Addie O’Neal private citizens and the Columbia Daily Tribune. Welived at business address. highly value our participation in this program and the509 Walnut—Restaurant: Owner Beulah King, opportunity it provides for Columbia’s youth and ourlisted as a widow, residing at 209 E. Park Ave. in schools. Newspapers offer a glimpse into Columbia’sthe 1930 census. past, present and future and help students grow into510 Walnut—Arcade Billiard Parlor: Operated byAlvin B. Coleman in 1932. See Central Marketing future community leaders.entry.511 Walnut—Barbershop and billiards: Operated If you are interested in getting involved with thisby Thomas A. McQuitty, who resided in 1930 with great program, or in making a donation, contacthis wife, Georgia, and three children at 224 LynnSt. Hannah Shackles at (573)815-1617.512 Walnut—O’Neal’s Lunch: This 1932 directo-ry listing might represent a renumbering of thestreet. Operated by Addie O’Neal.Northwest Corner, 6th & Walnut—Nu-Way Lum-ber Co.: Storage lot.Source: City directories, U.S. Census Bureau
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 27Stephens College isproud to recognizethe Sharp End –and tocelebrate the contributions ofthose who ﬁrst developed whathas become the heart of our city.dream up. We’re Stephens College. Since 1833, we’ve been helping bold women (and a few men) with bright dreams forge ahead on their own paths. Learn more about educational opportunities for all ages at stephens.edu.
HbrinIgiSngTlifeOto RY28www.columbiatribune.comCOLUMBIADAILYTRIBUNEWednesday,May20,2015Students travel back in time as they seek memories of Sharp End.If Ron’Zena Hill had a time machine that could take her to Sharp End, the place she would visit first would be Vitilla Monroe’s restaurant, where soul food nourished thebodies and spirits of her customers.Monroe – “Aunt Vi” to all who knew her –began her day with breakfast, opening by6:30 a.m., and closed about 7 p.m., when cus-tomers had finished their evening meal. Onweekends, her workday ended at 1 a.m.“I think that every single person we’ve inter-viewed – we have interviewed six, and we arestill waiting on our seventh – has talked aboutAunt Vi’s and her soul food and how good it was,” said Hill, one of three Columbia high school stu- dents working on an oral his- tory project for the Sharp End Heritage Committee. “I have also learned that Aunt Vi’s was like one of the only places where kids were allowed in – because kidsJimmy Whitt weren’t allowed in Sharp End Nick Schelle/Tribune – and it was basically their From left, Rock Bridge student Ron’Zena Hill, 18, prepares for an April 16 interviewown little hangout,” she said. “They had their with classmate Faramola Shonekan, 16, to answer questions about what she’s learnedown little section of the restaurant where they while conducting oral history interviews for the Sharp End Heritage Committee.could go and grab a bite.“I’d like to just sit down and try to talk to her,” worried about anything happening outside the gation is not discussed in school classrooms,Hill said. pool hall.” Shonekan said. “I hear all this African-Ameri-The students have been recording their con- Hill, Shonekan and Whitt are among the last can history and civil rights and stuff like that,versations with committee members. An edited generation of students born in the 20th century. and I hear about it in textbooks, but it has neverversion will be shown at a reception May 19 They grew up in a society freed of the legal and really impacted me until I have actually inter-after the dedication of an historic marker at the economic restrictions that propped up the rigid viewed these people that have been there andWalnut Street site of Sharp End. Hill, 18 and a racial caste system their parents and grandpar- seen Sharp End and lived and experienced it.”senior at Rock Bridge High School, has been ents lived under. They still experience vestiges Members of both races interviewed for thisworking on the project with Faramola of those times, in social attitudes and in school, project have said the demarcation line in down-Shonekan, a Rock Bridge junior, and Jimmy they said, and want their work to emphasize town was Broadway. Blacks found on the southWhitt, a senior at Hickman. how business owners on Sharp End made side of Broadway were directed to move to theWhitt is the son of Jim Whitt, president of the opportunities in difficult times. north side by police. Whites said they rarelyColumbia Board of Education and chairman of The interviews, Shonekan said, have made heard of anyone venturing onto Sharp End.the Sharp End Heritage Committee. He said his history lessons come to life. “It was pretty much Before the 1954 Brown v. Board of Educationfirst stop on Sharp End would be one of the what they say in the textbooks. Everything was decision outlawing segregated schools, blackpool rooms, which were among the first and segregated,” she said. “Whites didn’t go out of children living in town attended Douglasslast businesses on Sharp End. their way to associate themselves with blacks, School. The Columbia Board of Education“From a male perspective, I just feel the pool and blacks didn’t do so either because they began integration by giving black parents ahall is the place where guys went and hung out, knew what would happen when they tried.” choice of sending their children to Douglass orit was a fun time,” Whitt said. “They weren’t Boone County’s history of slavery and segre- to one of the previously white-only schools.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 29 The high school program at thing,” he said. “That’s the skill setDouglass ended after the 1959-60 that those folks had back then.”school year, followed by the junior Nick Schelle/Tribune They worked on Sharp End,high program in May 1962. Mary Beth Brown, historian for the Sharp End Heritage Com- Whitt said, “because they serviced Cheryl Wright’s mother, Bernice mittee, discusses her involvement in the committee’s work to the market that was available toBallenger, made her one of the first document the black business district during an oral history them.”black students to attend Jefferson interview at the Columbia Career Center.Junior High School, now Jefferson His wife, Annelle Whitt, coordi-Middle School. The only interac- “We had the march at Selma, and nated the selection of the studentstion she had with white children they had the sit-ins in Greensbor- involved as director of the Multi-before school integration, she said, ough, N.C., but we also had the sit- cultural Achievement Committeewas to work as a babysitter for a ins here on Broadway, at restaurants staff for Columbia Public Schools.white doctor. in downtown Columbia.” Son Jimmy Whitt said he “She told me to treat everybody — MARY BETH BROWN, historian of the became involved as a fill-in whenthe same, no matter what you do Sharp End Heritage Committee one of the other students selectedin school, you know as much as couldn’t make it for a scheduledthe next person,” Wright recalled. Nelson had earned her honor so noticeable,” Whitt said. interview. His mother sent him a society privileges based on her Mary Beth Brown, historian for text message summoning him, he After a week in school, she said, work at Douglass. Advisers for the said. It helped that Brown had athere were few problems with Hickman National Honor Society the Sharp End Heritage Committee, list of questions prepared.other students. In art class, howev- tried to block her from participat- has guided the students in their oraler, the teacher was blatantly racist, ing in the recognition ceremonies history interviews. The most satisfy- He was promised it would be aWright said. The teacher was at her new school. There were 12 ing part, she said, is when the stu- one-time request. He stuck with it,talking about colors, using cray- or 14 Douglass students involved. dents make a personal connection he said. “I hope it just bringsons, when she held up a brown between their own experiences and another perspective and anotherone. “She said, ‘We will not use Responding to an announce- those of their subjects. sense of culture because of then…..-ish color words.’” ment on the school loudspeaker, world we live in now,” Jimmy Whitt she and the others went to the “We had the march at Selma, said. “We just want it to be so There was one other black, a ceremony. “They said, ‘you are not and they had the sit-ins in Greens- diverse because it helps us grow, itteenage boy, in that class, Wright in our honor society,’” Nelson said. borough, N.C., but we also had the helps us grow as people, it helpssaid. “And the guy and I, we kind of “They tried to convince us that the sit-ins here on Broadway, at restau- you grow as a community.”looked around at each other, and National Honor Society at Hick- rants in downtown Columbia,”then some other kids, you could man was completely different Brown said. “When kids, especially The students said they are draw-tell they were kind of embarrassed from the one at Douglass.” kids in high school, realize that, it ing personal inspiration from thebecause they dropped their heads. really makes it hit home for them, interviews and want to share theIt was terrible.” It was part of a pattern, and and it creates a moment and they lessens they are learning with the most of it came from the adults, are more likely to get excited about community. Some teachers, Hill said, retain she said. “They had their own ways it and care about history.”vestiges of that attitude but are not of being rude,” Nelson said. “I feel like it has taught me that Ias blatant in their disregard of The Sharp End Heritage Com- want to fight for people,” Shonekanblack students. In an honors Whitt, a star basketball player mittee wanted to include students said. “Yeah, African-AmericansEnglish course, she said, she felt who will attend the University of in the process of recognizing the had Martin Luther King Jr., theyexcluded. As the teacher called on Arkansas next year, said he feels black business district so the les- had Malcom X and some otherher, “she would always sigh, which Hickman is a very welcoming place sons of the entrepreneurs and the huge black leaders during themade me feel like I wasn’t import- today. Sometimes, however, when stories of their times would be time. It has taught me that I wantant to the discussion or the class as he is alone or in a small number of passed on, Jim Whitt said. It is not to be like that, I want to be able toa whole,” Hill said. blacks in a particular class, there is just a segregation story, Whitt said. fight for people who can’t fight for still something present. themselves, if that makes sense.” It never went beyond signals, “To be an entrepreneur takes aHill said. “It was never like any- “There is still that little barrier certain skill set, that’s a universal To understand mistrust of large-thing like calling me out, but between you and the other stu- skill set and it goes beyond wheth- scale economic planning andactions speak louder than words at dents and the teacher, because it is er you are white or black or any- development programs, Jimmytimes,” she said. “And her body Whitt said, the community mustlanguage told me a lot about her, remember Sharp End and howand I just never felt comfortable in urban renewal shut it down.that classroom, which, I don’tknow, made me sad, I guess.” “It is something that affects your everyday life and how the city you Mary Patton Nelson had to fight grow up in has come forward isat Hickman High School for recog- what is really interesting about itnition in the National Honor Soci- for me,” Whitt said.ety when she was forced to trans-fer before her senior year because The raw video footage of theof the decision to close the high interviews will be preserved forschool program at Douglass. researchers to use in the future. Nelson’s mother resisted send- “I am glad I got to be a part ofing her to Hickman. “She said, ‘I this experience,” Hill said. “I got todon’t think they care anything learn some things about my com-about you being there, and you munity that I didn’t get in schools,will just be shoved to the side.’” in textbooks. Being able to docu- ment these people’s lives has really been an eye-opener for me.”
30 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriEdna Harris, left, operated the Elite Café at 520 E. Walnut St. from the late 1940s until the mid-1950s, when it was taken over byLawrence Lee. David “Pig” Emory, far right, operated the Deluxe Pool Hall at 511 E. Walnut St. until his death in November 1950. 501 505 507 511 19T4HE0s 115 ASH STREET 504 506 508114A 114112 110 1131/2 Black Americans traditionally have had a number of ways of112A 113 celebrating their emancipation from slavery. 111 1/2 111 In some communities, a weekend in June called Juneteenth celebrates the date the Emancipation Proclamation was made 109 1/2 the law of occupied Texas during the Civil War, freeing the last 109 slaves of the rebellious states. 108 H H 107 In Columbia, the traditional date was Aug. 4, timed one Methodist G G month after Independence Day to symbolize the delay between Episcopal F F the promise and delivery of freedom for all. ChurchN. FIFTH STREET E E “There would be one, well, it would be, I guess, two days, N. SIXTH STREETDDbecause one day they would close off Sharp End from Fifth to C C Sixth Street,” Sehon Williams said in a 2006 oral history inter- B B view with Gary Kremer, executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri. “Be open gambling, dancing, drinking, A A whatever you wanted to do. Even some of the white policemen would come down and join in.” 501 505 5051/2 507 509 511 18,399 2,404 WALNUT STREET 500 502 504 506 508 510 Planing mill 17 CD E13 Coal yard 15 12 1311 11 10 9 8 Number of people residing Number of black residents in Columbia in 1940 in Columbia in 1940
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 31 The second day of the celebration, a Courtesy Suzette Millerpicnic and dance on the grounds of Dou-glass School, was more geared to families Hand-drawn ads in the 1949 Douglass School yearbook “The Meteor” advertised the Phil-because children were not welcome on lips & Williams Barber Shop on Sharp End and the Brown & Freeman Funeral Home occupy-Sharp End. But when things were lively, ing the Park Avenue mansion of Annie Fisher.they were listening. As a boy growing up on Park Avenue inthe 1940s, the Rev. Raymond Hayesrecalls sitting outside with his friendswaiting for some exciting sounds to filterdown from Sharp End two blocks away. “We would sit out back and listen to allthe stuff that was going on uptown atSharp End,” Hayes said. “I was neverafraid of it. And fights were exciting, andkillings were something to talk about.” The trends that created Sharp End –the migration of blacks from the country-side to a segregated city where most bars,restaurants and other service businesseswere closed to their patronage – hadabated but not stopped during the 1930s.But after pausing for a decade, thedecline in the county’s overall black pop-ulation resumed and almost half of thoseremaining outside city limits moved ordied. Because of population shifts, by theend of the 1940s more than 80 percent of CONTINUED ON PAGE 32Recognizing Columbia’sCultural HeritageColumbia has always been full of incredible history, andthe historic Sharp End area is no exception.The cityis proud to welcome you to a place of great historicalsigniÀcance, a place where culture and entertainmentthrived, a place that deserves to be recognized for itsplace in Columbia’s business history.
32 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015SHARP END BUSINESSES 1940-1949 But one misconception that people have. They seem to think500 Walnut—Central Market- Leonard Smith, according to that, I don’t know how you ﬁg-ing: Operated by Alvin Cole- the 1947 city directory. Smith, ure it, that Sharp End was theman and Ed “Dick” Tibbs. 58, lived with Gertrude Smith, black community, but it wasn’t.Scott’s Taxi: Operated by Alvin 57, at 305 N. Garth Ave. when Eighty percent of the peopleColeman. the 1940 census was taken. He didn’t even go on Sharp End. OfFurnished Rooms: Managed worked as a janitor for the city, course, now Eighth Street wasby Cordelia Walker, 42 in 1940, and she worked as a seam- the white Sharp End, but mostwho also lived in one of the stress. people didn’t go down there.ﬂats. Eight tenants paid $5 per Walnut Grill: Operated by Same difference.”month for their rooms. David “Pig” Emory, according to the 1949 city directory. Em- — SEHON WILLIAMS501 Walnut—St. Luke Method- ory listed his residence as 511ist Episcopal Church: Pastor Walnut St. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31Edgar T. Anderson. St. Lukewas demolished 1941 and the 510 Walnut—Restaurant and Boone County’s black population lived within Columbia for thecongregation moved to a new billiards: Operated by Robert first time. Black residents, however, represented a rapidly dimin-brick church on North Second Williams, 26 at the time of the ishing portion of the city’s overall population. The black popula-Street. 1940 census, when he report- tion of Columbia grew by 3.5 percent in the 1940s, while the whiteCigars and shoe shining: Op- ed his occupation as a laborer population grew by 84 percent.erated by Lawrence Marshall, earning $9 per week. Williamswho lived at 502 E. Park Ave. lived at 322 McBaine Ave. The Columbia added 13,675 new residents in the 1940s, while the pool hall is listed at 510 Walnut, county as a whole grew by 13,441 people.502 Walnut—Green Tree Tav- rear, in 1947.ern: Operated by Alvin Cole- Radio Cab Co.: Operated by A large number of those new residents were veterans takingman and Ed “Dick” Tibbs. Isadore Washington, who lived advantage of the GI Bill and its provisions supporting education at 609 Park Ave. and housing. Missouri sent 220,000 into the U.S. Army during504 Walnut—Restaurant: 511 Walnut—Barbershop: Op- World War II. Sehon Williams was one of them.Operated by Eugene Gordon erated by Thomas A. McQuitty.and listed only in the 1940 city Club Deluxe billiards: Operat- He was among 895,000 black men and women who entered thedirectory. Gordon, 21, and his ed by David Emory and listed armed forces during the war. He found segregated conditions aswife, Margaret Gordon, 19, lived in the 1947 and 1949 directo- bad or worse in many places as in Columbia, including Army postat 114 S. Third St. when the ries. exchanges in Virginia.census was taken. 512 Walnut—Restaurant: Oper-T&T Smoke Shop: Operated by ated by Edgar Griffin, 65 when Williams was drafted after his first year at Lincoln University inEdward Tibbs. 1940 census was taken, who Jefferson City. lived at 3 Switzler St.505 Walnut—Restaurant: “When we were in Norfolk, Va., waiting to get on the bus, theyOwner C.W. Kelly resided with Brown’s Place beer tavern: had German soldiers with big POWs on the back of their cover-wife Hester at same address. Operated by Victor Brown, 39 alls,” Williams said. “They were using them as custodians. They in the 1940 census and living at could walk in the PX and drink beer and lollygag with the white506 Walnut—Phillips & Wil- 1619 E. Broadway with his wife, soldiers, but we couldn’t go in there and buy a bottle of soda pop.liams Barber Shop: Owned Loretta, Sallie Gatewood, 72, And we were going overseas.”by Herbert Phillips and Arch and Dorothy Hays, 16.Williams. The shop is also listed After serving in Italy, where he was a sergeant on quartermasterat 512 Walnut in some city 514 Walnut—Restaurant: duty, Williams returned to find Columbia frozen in time as far asdirectories. Operated by David Emory, ac- race relations were concerned. cording to an entry in the 1947507 Walnut—Edmonston city directory. “The first job I had was at Barth Clothing Co., and it only lastedFlats: These apartments, called 518 Walnut—Restaurant: Oper- two weeks,” Williams said.“The Cut,” rented for $7 a ated by Victor Brown, accord-month and were home to 25 ing to the 1949 city directory. The manager had two sons working at the store who hadpeople in the 1940 census. 520 Walnut—Elite Café: Oper- recently graduated from Hickman. He thought Williams was not ated by Robert and Edna Har- showing enough respect.508 Walnut—Merrill-Slater ris who lived 103 W. Park Ave.Restaurant: Operated by Ger- Robert Harris listed his age as “He said, ‘Don’t you think you need to call Jimmy and Joe mis-trude Merrill, who is listed as 36 in the 1940 census, when he ter?’” Williams said. “I said ‘For what? I’m older than they are.’ TheGertrude Slater in the 1940 city earned $10 a week as a dish- next morning he had my check and handed it to me and said youdirectory. She resided at 104 N. washer at a women’s college. won’t work out.”First St. Also listed at 514 Wal- Edna Harris, who was Ednanut in the 1949 city directory. McClanahan in 1940, worked as In the 1940s, Sharp End, as it had since its inception, offered aCigars and shoe shining: Op- a laundress. refuge and opportunity for people to try being their own bosses.erated by Lawrence Marshall, City directories published in the 1940s give the names of 19 peo-who resided at 601 E. Park Ave. Northwest Corner, 6th & ple who operated businesses on Sharp End. The list would be Walnut—Nu-Way Lumber Co.: longer except for the disruptions created by World War II.509 Walnut—Restaurant: Storage lot.Operated by Arlene Brown, 28, No directory was published between 1940 and 1947. Familiarwho lived in a $7 per month names remained and expanded their operations. One familiarﬂat at 500 E. Walnut St. sight on Sharp End disappeared in 1941 when the stone St. LukeRestaurant: Operated by Methodist Episcopal Church on the northeast corner of Fifth andSources: City directories, U.S. Census Bureau
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 33Walnut streets was demolished. The apartments on and adja- you go on Sharp End. It’s no differ- 3.2 percent alcohol could be soldThe property was purchased by cent to Sharp End were home to ent from now. If you want to have a by the drink. “So when you wentNu-Way Lumber Corp., which also nearly 100 people when the 1940 drink you go out here to the bar.” into a beer joint, if you wanted asecured control over the property census was taken. The furnished Williams graduated from Doug- drink you carried a half-pint,” saidon the northwest corner under a rooms above the tavern, managed lass School in 1940 and played Larry Monroe, describing a prac-long-term lease for an by Cordelia Walker, cost $5 to $7 a weekends in a jazz combo at the tice that continued until Columbia11,400-square foot lot for $25 a month and included 14 tenants. Green Tree. legalized liquor by the drink inmonth. The pain of recovery from the “The place would be pretty well 1968.Businesses that would become Great Depression was evident on crowded,” he said. “But one mis-familiar names opened during the Sharp End – only one of the ten- conception that people have. They “And you would set there, and1940s. The Green Tree Tavern, in the ants had worked 52 weeks the pre- seem to think that, I don’t know they would sell you bowl of ice andlarge space at Fifth and Walnut vious year, and most labored for $4 how you figure it, that Sharp End a pitcher of water set-up, and youstreets where Sharp End began, to $10 per week when employed. was the black community, but it sat there and you mixed youroffered beer and jazz music on Arlene Brown, 28 and married, wasn’t. Eighty percent of the peo- drink. And that’s how you gotweekend nights from local players owned the restaurant at 509 Wal- ple didn’t even go on Sharp End. Of around that.”and traveling acts. It was one of nut St. in 1940 and lived in one of course, now Eighth Street was thethree or four businesses operated the $7 rooms. white Sharp End, but most people The law, a holdover from prohi-jointly by Alvin Coleman and Not all Sharp End business own- didn’t go down there. Same differ- bition, was not strongly enforced.Edward “Dick” Tibbs, including a ers lived in such meager circum- ence.” “The mindset of enforcement wasliquor store and taxi service. stances. Victor Brown, owner of Former Mayor Darwin Hind- a little different then,” MonroeThe Elite Café, a name that Brown’s Place tavern at 512 E. Wal- man, born in 1933, sold newspa- said. “A lot of those guys that waswould remain a fixture on Sharp nut St., was 39 in 1940, owned a pers downtown in the 1940s. driving that car, they would end upEnd until urban renewal, was list- $3,000 home on at 1619 E. Broad- Downtown was crowded with farm in there, too.”ed for the first time in the 1949 way – across from Boone Hospital families on Saturdays, and bars indirectory. Proprietors Robert and Center – and listed his occupation black and white areas alike did a When the 1940s ended, SharpEdna Harris were 36 and 38 respec- on the census as “beer salesman.” strong business. End was fully developed and atively when the 1940 census was Brown was in the right place. “North of Broadway was a little place with enough turnover thattaken. He was a dishwasher who Williams, asked in a recent inter- bit seedy, even on Ninth Street, people who wanted to try operat-earned $360 for 36 weeks work view who could be found on Sharp and as you went toward Sharp End ing a business could find a chance.1939. Edna worked the entire year End, had a simple answer: “People it got seedier,” Hindman said.for $500. They rented a home at that liked to drink. Drink and Under city ordinance at the That would continue in the1FiTrh9eeDCeop0laurmtmb1eiant103W.ParkAve.for$10amonth. shoot pool. If you liked to drink, time, only beer no stronger than coming decade, until an unexpect- ed threat developed that made control of the property, not just the businesses operating there, the important issue. Serving our town and A Proud Past customers since 1901 A Focused Future 201 Orr Street Columbia, MO 65201 (573) 874-7391 www.GoColumbiaMo.com/Fire
34 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015St. Luke’s built oncongregations pastOrigins are uncertain, butchurch pays tribute to history.hen the time came to demolish the brick chapel atWSecond and Ash by University of Missouri master’s Courtesy the Rev. Raymond Hayes degree candidate Wilbur East, assigned the church to the wrong The St. Luke congregation worshipped in this stone building at branch of Methodism and made Fifth and Walnut streets from 1909 to 1940, when the structure streets that was what could be seen as other obvi- was condemned and the property sold to Nu-Way Lumber Co.home to St. Luke United Methodist ous mistakes in chronicling theChurch for more than 50 years, the early church history. East was con- Street, the section of Columbia Maps published by the same com-congregation found something ducting a survey of all six black populated by blacks, and another pany in 1895 locate the Secondunexpected when the cornerstone congregations that worshiped in — a one-room frame structure — Baptist Church in its brick chapelwas removed. Columbia at the time. between Broadway and Cherry at Water Street and Broadway andThe visible side of the white East found the Rev. William H. Street. It was home to the Second the Second Christian Church in alimestone block read “St. Luke Williamson uncooperative. “In Baptist Church congregation. frame building between SeventhMethodist Church E.T. Anderson fact, Reverend Williamson told me and Eighth Streets.Pastor 1941.” On the inside were he resented white people coming An 1890 Sanborn Fire Insuranceinscribed the words “First ME to his study and asking a lot of silly Map indicates a frame church was An 1898 map of the full city pro-Church B. McCain 1909.” questions.” among the structures on the block vides locations for four blackThe block was a relic of the large When he read that line, Hayes of Walnut Street between Fifth and churches without giving any spe-stone church, demolished in 1940, said it struck a chord. Sixth Streets that would later cific names. All are listed as anthat sat at the corner of Fifth and “That had been a problem for a become known as Sharp End. “African” church with the denomi-Walnut streets for 31 years. “So long time,” said Hayes, the firstwhat we decided to do is to cut it in black athlete to earn a letter athalf and keep both old corner- Hickman High School after thestones because the idea was we are school was integrated in 1959. “Ireally building on other people,” remember going through the civilsaid the Rev. Raymond Hayes, pas- rights movement and the urbantor at St. Luke for 35 years. “And renewal. Everybody was doing sur-then they put a third stone for me veys, and they were going back,on another wing. I wanted to misinterpreting a lot of stuff. For aemphasize the fact that we are while people got tired of peoplebuilding on those that come before coming in constantly and draggingus.” information and then going backThe origins of the congregation and writing stuff that was half truetoday known as St. Luke are uncer- and half not true”tain. No comprehensive history of In the years after the Civil War,the church has been compiled, the newly freed blacks of Boone Photo by Wynna Faye Elbert / State Historical Societyand some that have been attempt- County quickly establisheded include glaring errors, includ- churches, both inside Columbia Let the historical significance ofing which branch of Methodism and in the countryside near theirwas practiced. Edgar Anderson, homes, where 80 percent of the The Sharp Endwhen he took over in 1938, found black population lived in 1870. Ofthere were no minutes of meetings 26 churches recorded in the 1860 remind Columbia where we have beenof the Board of Trustees. census in Boone County, 17 were and where we need to go.“This church has no previous Methodist or Baptist. Blacks ofrecords, and the ones in their pos- those dominant denominations May we share a renewed sense ofsession are rather meager,” Albert shared an African Union Church pride and ownership in our future.McMillen recorded Sept. 19, 1941, built with aid from the whitefor a community survey conduct- Columbia congregations of the – Representative Kip Kendricked by the Works Projects Adminis- two sects.tration. That congregation quickly split. 1BJEGPSCZ'SJFOETPG,JQ,FOESJDLt7JDLZ3JCBDL8JMTPO5SFBTVSFSA previous attempt at recording A city map published in 1875the history of the church, in 1938 shows a church at Ash and Water
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 35nation. The Second Baptist and Second Chris- Daniel Brenner/Tribunetian are shown, as well as St. Paul African Meth-odist Episcopal Church at Fifth and Park. Raymond Hayes has been pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church since 1980. A second “African M.E. Church” was depicted and in its stead a large stone building was erect- separate branch of Protestantism in the 18that Fifth and Walnut streets, where St. Luke’s ed in its place.” century. The first to break from the Methodiststone chapel would be built in 1909. A 1908 Episcopal Church were free blacks, who object-Sanborn map portrays an unnamed Methodist The denominational distinctions missed by ed to segregation during worship services andEpiscopal Church at that location, an “old” East, the MU master’s student, might have beenbrick structure with a shingle roof, electric attributable to the multiple branches of Meth- CONTINUED ON PAGE 36lights and stove heat. The entrance faced Wal- odism that date almost to its emergence as anut Street. From the same period, a city directory pub-lished in 1909 refers to it as the “NorthernMethodist Episcopal Church” and listed thepastor as George Abbott. McCain is listed as thepastor in a 1911 directory. The name St. Luke was used by the Universi-ty Missourian in a 1912 article about a meetingcalled by educator James Coleman, attended by200, to discuss bringing University Extensioncourses to black residents of Columbia. McMillen’s summary of the early years of thechurch might be the best available. “Organizedabout 1880, the first house was a frame, about30 x 50 feet in dimensions,” he wrote in 1941.“This building stood on the northeast corner ofNorth Fifth and Walnut streets. The erection ofthe building was through the efforts of Rev.Lewis Dickerson.” Dickerson raised money for the constructionat a camp meeting, McMillen wrote. “Thishouse stood until 1909, when it was torn downNurturing and inspiring public housing children since 2001! GRANNY’S HOUSE302 - 304 Trinity Place • P. O. Box 30646 • Columbia, MO 65205 573.442.LOVE • grannyshouse.org • facebook Granny’s House is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization registered with the State of Missouri as “Hidden Jewels dba Granny’s House”
36 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Left: Courtesy University of Missouri special collections/Right: Courtesy Environmental Data Resources Inc.These detailed views of the 1908 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, left, and the 1925 map, right, show the differences between the brickchurch, demolished in 1909, and the stone building, constructed that same year, that housed the St. Luke congregation when it meton Sharp End. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35 ed on Sharp End. When construc- the afternoon and 65 in the eve- compensation for his services in tion was underway, a new com- ning. To finance the 1909 con- the form of food. On July 21, 1921,formed the African Methodist mercial building was rising on the struction, the church mortgaged he published notice thankingEpiscopal Church. south side of Walnut Street. More the property and found, at times, it them for “75 pounds of choice construction followed in the 1920s was hard to pay the note with a groceries and some cash which Not all blacks left the church at and 1930s, drawing businesses small congregation. they brought and left at the par-that time, Hayes said. “There were catering to the legitimate and, sonage on Tuesday night, Junethose who stayed and didn’t leave; during Prohibition, illegal needs of St. Luke staged a benefit perfor- 28th.”and St. Luke is part of those that the community. mance, “Columbia 1921 Follies,”stayed.” on March 18, 1921, in McKinney Williamson told East the con- When East visited Sharp End in Hall on Broadway between Fourth gregation numbered about 200 in The next break came in the 1938, the Green Tree Tavern across and Fifth streets, to raise money. 1938, but East wrote attendance1840s, when the northern and the street was offering patrons jazz And on June 11, 1921, the church did not back up the number. Col-southern branches divided over and drinking and drawing large announcements in the Missourian lections were about $14 to $16slavery. Freed black Methodists crowds. “Sometimes the negroes included a request from Rev. J.C. each Sunday, he reported, and thealigned with the northern branch, at this saloon become so noisy that McGinty for worshipers to be gen- church’s precarious finances werewhich created a separate church it is hard for the minister to talk to erous the next day. evident in the number of fundrais-hierarchy for black congregations. his congregation, even on Sun- ing socials held and requests to day,” East wrote. “Rally Day will be held tomor- white churches for aid. East’s paper mistakes St. Luke row,” McGinty said. “Every mem-for a branch of Methodism that The church was used frequently ber is asked to bring $5 so that the The pastor of the white South-split in 1828 over church gover- as a community meeting place. In church may meet its financial obli- ern Methodist congregation toldnance. February 1922, St. Luke hosted the gations due Tuesday.” East “Williamson was continually annual Lincoln birthday celebra- asking for financial aid from him He compounds the error by tion for the Grand Army of the The request was a big one at a and that on several occasions hereporting that the congregation Republic Tiger Post, a “bean sup- time when many blacks earned $1 had to refuse because the Meth-formed in 1910 and worshiped in per” of coffee, hardtack and beans, a day or less and paid $5 or less per odist Church here in Columbiaprivate homes until 1920. field fare for troops in the Civil month for living quarters. could not afford to give continual- War. Organized by post command- East also offers a gratuitous slap er Wallace Lilly, the supper cost 10 McGinty sometimes receivedat Williamson for a bad attitude. cents.“The fact of the matter is that Rev- “The building was always in debt anderend Williamson’s church is not A survey of church attendance it soon deteriorated because it wason a par with the other colored by the Missourian in March 1922 not kept in repairs.”churches and he resented having found 25 people on hand forhis church compared with them.” morning worship, 50 attending in — ALBERT MCMILLEN, writing about the church in 1941. What East’s paper provides is aglimpse of the church as it operat-
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 37ly for the upkeep of this colored Rudi Keller/Tribunechurch.” Luke United Methodist Church, 204 E. Ash St., as it appears today. Williamson told East he receivedabout $1,200 annually as compen- Cemetery Hill,” the black residen- Nu-Way Lumber Co., and the streets,” he recalled. “It had bigsation, “but that he could not see tial section south of Broadway, church was demolished. wide steps coming down on Sharpwhat business it was of mine how “and brought those people into End and steps coming down onmuch money he was paid.” the church.” One of the few people who Fifth.” remembers the church demol- The church still owed $1,500 on The church might have been ished 75 years ago is Sehon Wil- When he talks about the demisethe mortgage in 1938, East wrote. pushed off Sharp End. City records liams, whose family attended St. of the church, Williams speaks in do not exist for the period, but Paul AME. the same terms many would use “The building was always in McMillen, who got his information about urban renewal’s impact ondebt and it soon deteriorated from Anderson, wrote the building “On the corner of Fifth and Wal- Sharp End 20 years later.because it was not kept in repairs,” was condemned in 1940. The nut streets used to sit a big stoneMcMillen wrote in 1941. trustees sold the property to church, just like the Christian “They condemned it and tore it Church at Tenth and Walnut down,” he said. “I don’t know why.” A new pastor, the Rev. EdgarAnderson, was faced with a dilem-ma — attempt to raise enoughmoney to repair the church or sellthe property and use the proceedsto construct a more modest struc-ture. He chose the latter, using prop-erty at Second and Ash streetswhere a four-room home used as achurch parsonage stood. “Miss Nettie Bryant said a lot ofpeople were really upset about it,about the decision to sell the prop-erty,” Hayes said. “There was a lotof anger over it. Rev. Andersonmoved the church anyway, and Iguess they lost a lot of membersover it. He made a big push on Caring ForOur Community Since 1905 (573) 442-7112Peace of Mind s Personal Choice s Lower Costs
38 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 We’re here for YOU! City of Columbia CALL (573) 874-7111, emergency 911, non-emergency public safety (573) 442-6131. CLICK on the City’s website at www.GoColumbiaMo.com. WATCH the City Channel on Mediacom 80 (digital 23s), Charter Communications 992 & CenturyLink 96. LIKE us on Facebook -- City of Columbia, Missouri (Gov’t. Page).
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 39 Courtesy of the State Historical Society of MissouriThe Arcade Building was constructed circa 1930 and housed restaurants, taverns, barber shops and pool rooms during its lifetime. 501 505 507 511 19T5HE0s 115 ASH STREET 504 506 508114A 114112 HH 1131/2 In the late 1950s Vitilla Monroe rose early every morning in112A 110 GG 113 her home on Pendleton Street and roused her teenaged daugh- FF 111 1/2 ter Erma so both could be at her restaurant, Vi’s Café, by 108 111 5:30 a.m. The doors at 509 E. Walnut St. opened at 6:30. Erma EE 109 1/2 would work for the next hour before walking three blocks to 109 Douglass School. At that time of day, black city employees on DD their way to work were regular customers. Others would follow CC 107 as the city woke up. BB “It was busy every hour my mother was open,” Erma, now AA Erma Officer, said in a recent interview.N. FIFTH STREET N. SIXTH STREET She would return in the afternoon, when she was finished 501 505 5051/2 507 509 511 with extracurricular activities. Erma would sit at a table doing homework or help out in the restaurant until it closed at 7 p.m. WALNUT STREET On weekends, Vi’s Café stayed open late, serving customers until 1 a.m. 500 502 504 506 508 510 Planing mill 17 CONTINUED ON PAGE 40 CD E13 Coal yard 15 12 1311 11 10 98 31,974 2,489 Number of people residing Number of black residents in Columbia in 1950 in Columbia in 1950
40 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39 Officer deflected a question 55 years later...about whether she was paid thisway: “Her payment to me was to Above photo Courtesy State Historical Society of Missouri/Bottom photo Daniel Brenner of the Tribuneshow me how as I grew to be busi-nesslike. Her payment to me was The photo at top, taken during the late 1950s, shows Sharp End fully developed, with the 1910how to treat others, not to expect building where Sharp End began in the foreground. The photo above, taken recently, shows theany more than I was willing to 11-deck parking garage that replaced the parking lot built when the Sharp End commercial build-give. Those were payments, those ings were demolished. REDI, the Small Business Technology and Development Center, a businesswere life-learned lessons.” incubator, a mortgage company a nd a restaurant occupy the storefronts at ground level. The date Monroe took over therestaurant is uncertain. Her son,Larry Monroe, said he believes itwas 1957 or 1958. He was workingin the Phillips & Williams BarberShop across the street. By that time, the future wasalready in doubt for the propertydeveloped into Sharp End from1910 to 1930. The Land Clearance and Rede-velopment Authority, created in1956, drew the boundary for itsfirst urban renewal plan throughthe alley south of Walnut behindSharp End in a plan submitted forfederal approval in 1958. SharpEnd was at its peak both for thenumber of businesses in opera-tion and for its reputation as adestination. “It was a time of segregationand it was a hot spot for entertain-ment,” say Rev. Raymond Hayes,also a teenager in the 1950s. “Andit attracted people who were onthe ‘chitlin’ circuit,’” a name givento venues hosting traveling blackentertainers. As its reputation grew, andtransportation improved, out-of-town customers were more com-mon, Hayes said. “The soldiersfrom Fort Leonard Wood wouldcome up and that was a place tocome and there was a lot of fight-ing and competition over localgirls, as you would expect.” The 1950s were a time of risingexpectations nationally and forblacks in particular. PresidentHarry Truman ordered integrationof the Armed Forces in 1948, theU.S. Supreme Court struck downschool segregation in 1954 andCongress passed the first CivilRights bill since the Civil War in1957. The vitality of Columbia’s blackcommunity sparked the start of ablack migration from outsideBoone County. In the 1940s, CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 40 Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 41 sleep with each other.”Columbia added 13,675 residents,but only 85 were black. In the On the street, the lineup of1950s, growth rates for whites and business owners continued toblacks became more balanced as change, as it had since the incep-the black population of 2,489 in tion of Sharp End. David “Pig”1950 grew by almost 300 people. Emory died in November 1950. The Walnut Grill was taken over by Rural sections of the county did Pearl Chandler, who also ran anot provide the increase. Only 521 pool hall on the south side of theof Boone County’s 3,010 blacks street in the 1950s.remained living outside Columbiawhen the 1950s began, down from Chandler reputedly wouldn’t let2,648 in 1900. The rural popula- anyone curse in his pool hall, buttion diminished by 18 in the 1950s. other restrictions seemed to beThe growth in Columbia account- loosening along Sharp End. Teen-ed for the first substantial boost in agers started coming into thethe county’s total black popula- businesses or passing through,tion since the 1870s. when they would have been turned away in the past. Larry Detailed census rolls for 1950 Monroe said he went into the Wal-will not be released until 2022. nut Grill for the first time when heCity directories published regular- was 15.ly attempted to record eachaddress, whether it was a resi- “I remember the first time that Idence or a business and who lived was able to go in the pool hall,” heor ran a business at that location. said. “I had to get written permis-Those published in the 1950s sion from my mom in order toshow that, as in the past, Sharp shoot pool and I was 16 years oldEnd remained a residential as well then.”as business location. Alton Patton, called “Mr. Heavy “The Cut” was apartments on Patton” ran a typical pool hall onthe north side of Walnut Street, Sharp End, his daughter Mary Pat-listed as the Edmondston Apart- ton Nelson said. It was in the backments in census reports and the of the Arcade Building, with andirectories. The rooms were entrance through Brown’s Place.behind the commercial space that She was never allowed inside, shehoused Vi’s Café, where the work said, but could go on Sharp End ifarea of the Columbia post office is she needed to talk to him.today. He was generally holding court “Those apartments weren’t very in the pool hall, and someonegood,” Hayes recalled. “It was would retrieve him for her, shegood people who lived back there said. Nelson was in the first seniorbut conditions were terrible.” class that was required to attend Hickman High School in order to The directories for some years graduate, following the closing oflist the people living there when the high school program at Doug-the survey was made. The Cut lass in 1960.seemed to always be full and sometenants were long-term residents. Her parents were older thanThe lists for apartments above the most, Nelson said. Her father list-bar known in the 1950s as Club ed his birth as 1890 in TennesseeTwenty-One also have substantial on the 1940 census and her moth-lists of tenants. er Julia reported she was born in 1903. Edith Prince and her familymoved into one of the upstairs They lived at 102 Allen Street.apartments in the late 1950s, after He reported he had not beenthey arrived in town. It was a employed for wages the previoustwo-bedroom apartment with a year but that he had income ofliving room and small kitchen more than $50 annually “fromshared by two adults and nine sources other than wages.”children. The adults took one bed-room she said, five girls took He made his money, Nelsonanother and the boys slept in the said, “by gambling. I think whenliving room. they got done shooting pool he would shoot dice. He was a hus- “We used to sleep in one bed,” tler. He was a gambler. That is howshe said. “We had no choice but to he made his living.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
42 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015500-506 Walnut—Ebony Club: The SHARP END BUSINESSES 1950-1959 511 Walnut—Deluxe Billiards & Pool:club previously known as the Green Operated by Ed “Dick” Tibbs after theTree Tavern was listed under this name 601 Park Ave. death in 1950 of David “Pig” Emory.only in the 1951 city directory. Shoe shining: Operated by Roy Hern- don as listed in the 1956 directory. 514 Walnut—Walnut Street Tobacco500-502 Walnut—Club Twenty-One: McQuitty Barber Shop: Operated by Store: This is a 1951 listing operated byCity directories published in the 1950s Thomas A. McQuitty, who according to Isadore Washington.list a variety of proprietors. Billie Waers, the 1958 directory lived with his wife, Economy Liquors: Operated by Welfredwho lived at 601 S. Glenwood, was Hattie, at 227 Lynn St. Shock, who lived with his with wife,named in 1954, and John Graves, with 509 Walnut—Walnut Grill: Operated Mary, at 104 N. West Boulevard, accord-a residence in the county, was listed in in the 1950s under a variety of owners. ing to a 1954 directory.1956. The 1958 directory named Edward Pearl Chandler, who lived with his wife, Bob’s Tobacco Store: Operated byGriffin, who resided at 514 N. Fifth St. May, at 207 N. Second St., is listed in the Robert and Edna Harris, according to502 Walnut—Walnut Apartments: This 1951 directory. Roy and Fay Herndon 1956 and 1958 listings. They lived at 106name was used in the 1951, 1954, 1956 are the owners, according to the 1954 E. Ash St.and 1958 directories. directory, and Faye Washington is run- 516 Walnut—Radio Cab Co.: Operated ning the restaurant in the 1956 edition. by Isadore Washington and listed in a504 Walnut—Walnut Street Sandwich Washington gave her residence as 1413 1951 directory.Shop: Listed for 1954, with operator Illinois Ave.Isadore Washington living at 2 W. Pend- Little Harlem Café: Alonzo Rogers and 516 Walnut Rear—Arcade Pool Hall:leton. his wife, Dora Rogers, were listed in the Operated by Alton Patton, also known 1958 directory, with their residence at 21 as “Mr. Heavy Patton.” He lived with wife506 Walnut—Phillips & Williams Bar- W. Ash St. Julia at 102 E. Allen. Patton’s businessber Shop: Herbert Phillips and Arch Vi’s Café: Vitilla Monroe, 40 in 1958, is listed as the Blue Shadow Pool Hall inWilliams remained partners in this became the last tenant of this space on the 1958 directory.venerable business that ﬁrst opened in Sharp End. 518 Walnut—Brown’s Place: A restau-the 1920s. Phillips lived with his wife, rant listed with owner Perry Brown inGertrude, at 213 W. Worley St.; Wil- 509-511 Walnut—Edmondston Apart- every directory published in the 1950s.liams lived with his wife, Caroline, at 23 ments: Also known as “The Cut.” He and wife Pauline Brown lived at 519Worley St. The street might have been E. Highway 40.renumbered at some point because di- 510 Walnut—Chandler’s Pool Hall: 520 Walnut--Elite Café: Operated earlyrectories published in the 1950s also list Operated by Pearl Chandler, who lived in the decade by Robert and Ednathe barber shop at 512 Walnut St. with his wife, May, at 207 N. Second St., Harris, according to listings in the 1951Herndon’s Tap Room: Operated by Roy according to the 1951 and 1954 directo- and 1954 directories, then by Lawrence“Shug” Herndon and listed in the 1956 ries. E. Lee, who lived at 406 Hickman Ave.and 1958 city directories. Herndon and Confectionery: Listed in the 1956 direc- with his wife, Stella, who is listed in thehis wife, Faye Herndon, lived at 501 E. tory, operated by George A. Bradford, 1956 and 1958 editions.Ash St. who lived with wife Ardella Bradford at508 Walnut—Shoe shining: Operated 406 W. Davis St. Northwest Corner, 6th & Walnut—Nu-by Lawrence Marshall, according to 1951 Shoe Shine: A 1958 listing for George Way Lumber Co.: Storage lot.and 1954 directories. Marshall lived at Bradford. Sources: City directories, U.S. Census Bureau CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 was setting pins at Dean’s Bowling the family pitched in. “Sometimes 1956 and the city immediately Alley at Hitt and Broadway. The she had me being a waitress, and I imposed a moratorium on new He was also a storyteller who crew of six, when work was over, had tips,” Wright said. building permits in the targetedcould “talk to a hole in the wall” if would walk home together. His area.no one was handy to listen, she first night on the job he got a “And on occasion she would getsaid. “He was the kind of person reminder of his place in Colum- so busy and she and I would be The businesses on Sharp Endwho dressed nicely all the time, bia. the only ones there at the time would begin learning before theand people would mistake him for that she would let me ring cus- decade was out that their futurea minister.” “When we got to Tenth and tomers up.” was limited. Broadway there were two white As it had for more than 40 years, policemen, Jim Smith and Dutch A counter with barstools, tables Vitilla Monroe just kept work-Sharp End continued to be a place Smith,” Monroe said. and a room set up for families was ing, Erma Officer said.where a black men or women the setting, but the food was thecould be their own bosses. “And Dutch told us, ‘Alright you attraction, Wright said, rattling of “My mother was a very gentle boys, it is time to cross over. You a list of standard fare: Cornbread, person in the community and the Little had changed outside, don’t walk on this side of Broad- chicken, greens, dried beans, navy café was a very, very vital part ofdespite national advances for way after dark,’ — the south side beans, brown beans, different the community. She served theblacks. of Broadway.” pastries, pies, bread pudding, people that came into the com- roast beef and “ham on occasion.” munity, and the people who uti- Every time they ventured The police were there every lized sharp end.”beyond Sharp End and the black night, he said. Columbia voters rejected urbanresidential areas nearby, they were renewal and the creation of a land And she did it with food, Officermet with constant reminders of In Vi’s Café, the life lessons clearance authority the first time said. “My mother was a fantasticwhite control. weren’t confined to Erma. Vitilla it was on the ballot in 1952. cook, preparing meals fit for the Monroe’s niece, Cheryl Ballenger president, or the court of One of Larry Monroe’s first jobs Wright, said all the youngsters in It was approved narrowly in England.”
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44 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriSurveyors work in the block between Ash and Walnut streets during the 1960s urban renewal program that replaced Sharp Endwith a post office and parking lot. THE 1960s CLOSEDThe demise of Sharp End came swiftly. in the 1958 directory and almost 100 recorded by the 1940 census in the Larry Monroe was in the Army, stationed in Germany when area now used for the post office and city parking garage. his mother, Vitilla Monroe, was forced to shut down Vi’s Café at 509 E. Walnut St. The land under the building was sold July 30, A new Sharp End, dubbed “The Strip,” opened on Ash Street between1960, to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. A city directo- Fourth and Fifth streets.ry published in 1961 listed only the Deluxe Pool Hall as still in operationout of more than a dozen businesses included in the 1958 edition. It didn’t last long as the housing in the area was removed, restrictions on the location of black-owned service and entertainment businesses Because of the delay between gathering and publishing the informa- relaxed and sit-ins forced integration in downtown restaurants.tion, it is questionable whether Edward “Dick” Tibbs was still there whenthe directory was issued. Only six residents were listed, compared to 19 “They built one big building right over here on Ash Street where the Tribune’s printing room is,” Monroe said. “And it had about eight or nine36,650 2,765 cubicles in there, ranging from 10-feet-by-22-feet, and that was to house all the buildings that were going to be displaced. My mom said it was notNumber of people residing Number of black residents conducive for a good atmosphere, so she just went completely out ofin Columbia in 1960 in Columbia in 1960 business.” Alvin Coleman built a theater, listed in the 1961 directory as the Prin- cess Pam Art Theatre, at 111 N. Fifth St. to cater to blacks. CONTINUED ON PAGE 46
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 45A passion for untold stories Award-winning Columbia Daily Tribune writer Rudi Keller, a dean of the press corps in the Missouri state Capitol, thrives on tackling complex stories. For this publication, Rudi turned his exceptional research skills to the task of collecting the most comprehensive history of Sharp End available today. He interviewed numerous Columbians who knew Sharp End. He dug through stacks of public records and studied old maps to faithfully represent the evolution of Columbia’s legendary black business district. And then he tied it all together on these pages. The Tribune is pleased to offer this 56-page report on an important chapter in local history — a story that has largely been unknown to many area residents. We thank sponsors, advertisers, Historic Sharp End Heritage Committee members and family members, historian Mary Beth Brown and everyone else who helped us make this project possible. Telling local stories and preserving them for future generations are our mission and our passion. Share your reactions, suggestions and story ideas with our news team: [email protected]
46 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015The Land Clearance for Redevelop- SHARP END LAND SALES including the Green Tree Tavern/Clubment Authority began buying Sharp Twenty-One barroom and the Phillips &End properties in December 1959 as lots comprising the remaining frontage Williams Barber Shop.part of the Douglass School Urban on Sixth Street south of Walnut Street Oct. 15, 1963: Helen Conley Trice, onRenewal Area project. By July 30, 1960, and 40 feet of frontage along Walnut behalf of heirs to William T. Conley,all the properties now occupied by a Street itself. recorded the transfer of the lot at theparking garage on the south side of June 30, 1960: Ola McMullan recorded northwest corner of Sixth and WalnutWalnut Street had been acquired. On the sale of a portion of the property streets, used for storage by Nu-Waythe north side, where the post office that included the Arcade Building, Lumber Co. since 1941. The lot alsostands today, the only holdout was home to longtime Sharp End business- contains one or two frame dwellings.Harold Johnson, who owned Nu-Way es Brown’s Place and the Elite Café. May 22, 1964: Harold E. Johnson, doingLumber Co. and about half of the total July 22, 1960: John M. Herndon and his business as Nu Way Lumber, record-property in the block. wife Alice K. recorded the transfer of a ed the sale of about half the propertyDec. 3, 1959: Irene M. Hulett, co-own- 142.5-foot-by-80-foot lot in the middle bounded by Ash and Walnut streetsers with W. Roger and Marjorie E. of the north side of Walnut Street. De- on the north and south and Fifth andHulett, recorded the sale of lots com- veloped in the 1920s, it had been home Sixths streets on the east and west. Theprising two-thirds of the frontage along to the Deluxe Pool Room, Vi’s Café and property included the lot that hostedFifth Street north of the alley between apartments known as “The Cut.” St. Luke Methodist Episcopal ChurchBroadway and Walnut Street. July 30, 1960: Ola McMullan complet- until 1941.Dec. 30, 1959: Clyde and Edna Hin- ed the sale of the land beneath the June 7, 1965: The Land Clearance forshaw recorded the sale of a lot with Arcade Building. Redevelopment Authority recorded theone-third of the frontage on Sixth July 30, 1960: Roy and Dorothy V. Mc- sale of the full city block on the northStreet, running north from the alley Mullen recorded the sale of the proper- side of Walnut Street to Ray Ecksteinbetween Broadway and Walnut Street. ty on the southeast corner of Fifth and and Joseph Sieman for $161,160 with aJan. 5, 1960: Harold and Val Hinshaw Walnut streets, the ﬁrst lot developed requirement that a post office be com-recorded the sale of portions of two with a brick commercial building about pleted by July 31, 1966. 50 years earlier. It was home to the longest-lasting Sharp End businesses, Source: Boone County Recorder of Deeds CONTINUED FROM PAGE 44 ... Just to socialize, just eat out, just home. Her grandparents, Earnest to get their hair cut. Just to dance. and Mabel Ballenger, raised a fam- Sehon Williams, who had his Sharp End was that place where ily of five girls and two boys on ahair cut every other Friday at the many African Americans could farm on Mount Celestial RoadPhillips & Williams Barber Shop, go and feel comfortable that they near McBaine.followed the business established weren’t going to be harassed byin the 1920s to the new location. whites, that they were not going to In the summer, grandchildrenHe noted that, like Vitilla Monroe, be treated any differently.” would spend days at the farm andnot every business owner stayed attend church with their grandpar-open. — ERMA OFFICER, graduate of Douglass School in 1960 ents. “A couple of the guys, they didn’t Blacks represented less than 2 what her mother wanted to do Other times, Officer said, whenreally have the resources to go percent of the population outside with her restaurant. her grandparents would drive toanywhere else, really,” he said. Columbia, down from almost 12 town, their destination would be“The little restaurant that relied on percent in 1900. “I believe her goal was to move Sharp End.black customers — suddenly you her business out away from thatcould go into any restaurant.” Despite the fast growth – almost area, period, to move it to an area “I can remember my grandpar- 40 percent during the decade – the that would serve a diverse popula- ents taking three or four of us who If Sharp End had survived, it white population grew even faster tion,” Officer said. were much, much younger,” Offi-would have found a rapidly grow- in the 1960s. cer said. “And that would be aing customer base. The migration She was unable to do that. Oth- place where they would go andof blacks into Columbia from out- Part of the city’s population ers did. Lawrence Lee, owner of park just to be in the midst of peo-side Boone County accelerated. growth was attributable to a large the Elite Café in its final years, ple, just enjoy the laughter and theThe 1970 census recorded 998 new annexation program, but the opened a music venue called humor and that kind of thing.”black residents in the city, a num- county population topped 80,000 Breezy Hill, and Ed Tibbs and Paulber that included births during the by 1970, growth of 46 percent over Britt opened Paradise Hill. Like the farm in McBaine, Sharpdecade, and the total black popu- the decade. End was home.lation of Boone County exceeded Both thrived by presenting tour-4,000 for the first time since 1910. Erma Officer, daughter of Vitilla ing acts that included Ike and Tina “Sharp End was the comfort Monroe, graduated from Douglass Turner, B.B. King, Ray Charles and zone for African Americans,” Offi- The already small black popula- School in 1960. The newly built others. cer said. “Just to socialize, just eattion outside the city shrank again shop spaces on Fifth Street, known out, just to get their hair cut. Just toduring the decade, and when the as The Strip, would not support The loss of Sharp End, Erma dance. Sharp End was that place1970 count was made 90 percent Officer said, was like the loss of a where many African Americansof Boone County’s black popula- could go and feel comfortable thattion lived within the city. they weren’t going to be harassed by whites, that they were not going to be treated any differently.”
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 47 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriAn overhead view of the area once known as Sharp End shows the then-new Columbia post office completed in 1966 and the openspace for parking on the south side of Walnut Street. The empty property in the foreground is now headquarters of the ColumbiaUrbanPoliceDepartment. renewal brought a bitter endWhen the Columbia whose mother, Vitilla Monroe, Land Clearance That’s why I said we matter. There is owned a restaurant on Sharp End. for Redevelop- no respect. It’s nationwide, and it hits ment Authority home, too.” “That’s why I said we matter,” he submitted its first said. “There is no respect. It’surban renewal plan for federal — LARRY MONROE, citing a lack of nationwide, and it hits home, too.”approval in 1958, it chose the area respect for black community needssurrounding Douglass School. The Mary Patton Nelson’s familyboundaries mirrored almost million, made a point of explain- Broadway.” home at 102 E. Allen St. was takenexactly the streets that had become ing why it included Sharp End: The major difference between by eminent domain and replacedthe limits for black residences and with public housing. Her father,businesses in the 92 years since “Walnut is an extensively used the businesses on Broadway and Alton Patton, known as “Mr. Heavythe first black school was founded Central Business District street, those on Walnut was their clien- Patton,” lost his Sharp End busi-on Ash Street. which forms a part of the project tele. White-owned and operated ness, the Arcade Pool Hall, at the boundary, where existing struc- businesses lined Broadway. On same time. The line ran down the middle of tures and uses fronting on it war- Walnut, blacks owned the busi-Hickman Avenue, for example, rant removal,” the five-member nesses that served other blacks but “That was a real trauma in ourleaving out the houses on the authority wrote. “The alley to the did not own the property. Sales of family,” Nelson said.north side of the street – owned south of Walnut between Fifth and property on Sharp End took placeand occupied by whites – while Eighth streets further delimits the rapidly once offers were made. The replacement of black-taking in those on the south side project area because it divides the owned businesses with enterpriseswhere black families lived. The undesirable property fronting on The decision to draw the bound- controlled by whites, along withDouglass School Urban Renewal Walnut from the desirable proper- ary to include Sharp End showed a the failure of urban renewal toArea plan, estimated to cost $3.6 ty to be retained fronting on lack of respect for black communi- create as many housing units as it ty needs, said Larry Monroe, destroyed, became so pronounced CONTINUED ON PAGE 48
48 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriProtesters organized by the Congress on Racial Equality picketed Ernie’s Steak House, 1005 E. Walnut St., and several other down-town restaurants in the early 1960s demanding equal access to public accommodations. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 47 every restaurant in town would was demolished, Columbia’s black gin on May 6, 1952. After the Mis- compete for black business after population has grown 342 percent, souri Highway Departmentby the early 1960s that black cul- protests such as those at Ernie’s, almost double the rate of white approved contracts for an “Innertural leaders met with Attorney on Walnut Street five blocks east of population growth. A scenario Loop” and “Outer Loop” road sys-General Robert Kennedy to seek Sharp End, integrated public where Sharp End remained a tem for the city, the Columbia Cityreforms. accommodations in the city. vibrant business district is specu- Council resubmitted the question, lation, said Gary Kremer, executive and it passed narrowly on May 29, Black writer James Baldwin, in a “It is just like anything else now- director of the State Historical 1956.broadcast conversation with Dr. adays,” said Sehon Williams, 92, a Society of Missouri.Kenneth Clark following that 1963 veteran of the segregated U.S. The Outer Loop is today knownmeeting, explained his reaction to Army of World War II. “A black club Urban renewal wiped out black as Stadium Boulevard. The Innertalking to a 16-year-old from San has a hard time making it because business districts across the state, Loop plan called for reconstruc-Francisco whose family was losing you can go anywhere you want to he said. The opening of other busi- tion of Third Street into the Provi-its home to urban renewal. go.” nesses to black patronage would dence Road used today and the have meant greatly increased same treatment for College Ave- “They were tearing down his Other trends, however, might competition for all the businesses nue. The Third Street plan requiredhouse, because San Francisco is have strengthened Sharp End and involved, Kremer said. extensive use of eminent domainengaging – as most Northern cities allowed it to expand. to widen the two-lane street andnow are engaged – in something “Historians call this counterfac- enclose Flat Branch Creek.called urban renewal, which Part of the pressure for urban tual history, what would have hap-means moving the Negroes out,” renewal came from the explosive pened if the circumstances that The Land Clearance for Rede-Baldwin said. “It means Negro growth in the white population occurred hadn’t been there,” velopment Authority also hadremoval, that is what it means. The outside the redlined black regions Kremer said. “I am not so sure that power of eminent domain as itfederal government is an accom- of the city. Between 1900 and 1960, these segregated institutions worked through an inventory ofplice to this fact.” while Sharp End existed, the black would have thrived.” more than 300 structures in the population of Columbia grew 44 126-acre urban renewal area. The advent of urban renewal in percent while the white popula- Urban renewal nearly passedColumbia coincided with pres- tion grew by more than 800 per- over Columbia. Voters rejected a “You had two reactions there,”sures that might have dramatically cent. Housing Authority and “slumaltered Sharp End. Soon, almost clearance” program by a 2-1 mar- CONTINUED ON PAGE 50 Since 1960, when Sharp End
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE www.columbiatribune.com 49Remembering,Embracing,& HonoringColumbia’s Diverse History The Sharp End Columbia Public Works 701 E Broadway Columbia, MO 65201 Tel. 573-874-7250
50 www.columbiatribune.com COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, May 20, 2015 Courtesy State Historical Society of MissouriThese houses, at an unknown location in central Columbia, were demolished as part of urban renewal programs that cleared largeswaths of land between 1958 and 1970. The programs split the black community politically and socially. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 48 The main thing was I was glad to see was on Cemetery Hill, where there were gravel roads and no electrici-said Larry Monroe, who turned 20 some of the housing removed, par- ty. I won’t describe what came outthe year the plan was submitted. of some outdoor water hydrants.”“The people who were renting, ticularly over there on Cemetery Hill,they had mixed feelings because It was Beck’s job to put in thethey were being displaced and it was just pretty awful. You had dirt infrastructure after the land wasthey didn’t know what or where cleared. He urged, and the citythey were going. The people who ﬂoors, outhouses, I remember there adopted, policies for road con-owned their homes, they were struction that included concretehighly upset. Now most of those was one there where the outhouse pavement and curbs and gutteringhomes were good and they are still in the redeveloped areas.standing, but they had to get out of was just over the creeks and thatthem.” “My philosophy was to stop the when people did their thing it went bleeding and make everything Urban renewal was a program good,” Beck said.created by the Federal Housing Act into the creek. It was just awful.”of 1949. The goal was to remove Urban renewal was sold thensubstandard housing in cities large — DARWIN HINDMAN, former mayor of Columbia and continues to be portrayed toand small across the country, pro- Columbia’s white residents as aviding money for relocation to renewal were the landlords who Anyone who had to walk along solution to decrepit housing, Maryrenters and market value for own- could sell rundown homes they Broadway to get downtown knew Beth Brown said.ers. The plan for the Douglass had neglected for years, Williams there were issues that had to beSchool Urban Renewal Area allo- said. addressed, said former Mayor “They don’t show pictures ofcated $196,000 for relocation. Darwin Hindman, born in 1933. Sharp End and all the vibrant busi- “The homes that the black peo- nesses that were there,” Brown The law could not overcome ple owned, there wasn’t nothing “The main thing was I was glad said. “So, I think it is important torestrictive lending practices that wrong with them,” he said. “I tell to see some of the housing show everybody in Columbia wholimited where blacks could live, you something else they did. If removed, particularly over there wasn’t here at the time that thereand no low-cost financing existed they wanted to move into the proj- on Cemetery Hill, it was just pretty was a vibrant business communityto cover the difference in value of ects, they had to spend that money awful,” Hindman said. “You had that was destroyed by urbanmodern construction compared to they got for that property before dirt floors, outhouses, I remember renewal.”that being demolished. they could get in at a reduced there was one there where the out- rate.” house was just over the creeks and Black owned businesses in One method of replacing the that when people did their thing it Columbia are almost invisiblelost housing for poor families was Over its lifetime, the land clear- went into the creek. It was just today, and many are so small theythe construction of housing proj- ance authority took on two addi- awful.” escape being counted. In the lastects such as those along Park Ave- tional urban renewal programs, Survey of Business Ownership bynue, Unity Place and Trinity Place. clearing out the “Cemetery Hill” Water came from common the Census Bureau, the number of residential area where Lucky’s hydrants in many black neighbor- black-owned businesses was so The biggest supporters of urban Market now stands and creating a hoods. Former City Manager Ray small it was not reported. Flat Branch Urban Renewal Area Beck became director of the Public for the area south of Broadway and Works Department in 1960, a post The agency reported 0.3 per- east of Providence Road. he held for 26 years. “The toughest
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Sharp EndColumbia’s Historic By Rudi Keller With support from COLUMBIA DAILYUniversity of Missouri May 20, 2015