Edward Augustus Rice, Jr. (1956)
Edward (Ed) A. Rice, Jr. was born March 31, 1956 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rice’s father was a career officer in the United States Air Force, which meant Rice’s early years we spent moving between several different Air Force base locations. In the summer of 1967, the Rice family moved to Yellow Springs (Omar Circle) where Rice would spend the next seven years attending John Bryan Junior High School and Yellow Springs High School. During his high school years, Rice was active in band and orchestra, lettered in football and track, and served as class president and student body president. Upon graduation, he was selected for “Who’s Who Among American High School Students”, earned a National Achievement Scholarship to Stanford University, and an appointment from 7th District Congressman Clarence Brown to the United States Air Force Academy.
While at the Air Force Academy, Rice served in many key leadership positions, culminating in his selection during his senior year as the first African American in the school’s twenty-year history to be named the Cadet Wing Commander (leader of the 4,400 member student body). Upon graduation, Rice earned Distinguished Graduate honors, was named to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities”, and completed the academic requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences degree.
Rice’s next stop was a year in flight training school at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona where he was again named a Distinguished Graduate and earned the Military Training Award for his class. This award goes to the student who displays outstanding potential for advancement and who best exemplifies the professional military officer.
Rice’s first operational Air Force assignment was to Loring Air Force Base in Maine where he served as a B-52 bomber copilot and aircraft commander. During this four-year tour of duty he earned a position on the unit’s top combat crew and received several awards for airmanship. Toward the end of this period, he attended the Air Forces Squadron Officer School where he was named a Distinguished Graduate and earned the Wing Individual Outstanding Achievement Award (top 15% of the Distinguished Graduates).
In 1984, Rice was transferred to the Pentagon where he completed a one-year management internship as the Assistant Deputy Chief, Executive Services Division. In this capacity, he supervised administrative support functions for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff.
His next assignment was to Mather Air Force Base, California where he was a pioneer in enhancing the B-52’s combat capability through the employment of Night Vision Goggles. Also during this tour, Rice served as the unit’s senior evaluator pilot and was it’s highest rated flight commander (responsible for the training and welfare of 36 other combat crew members). In 1987 earned a Master of Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, was named one of the “Outstanding Young Men of America” by an affiliate of the Jaycees, and was promoted to the rank of major three years ahead of his contemporaries.
In 1988, Rice attended the College of Naval Command and Staff at the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island. He graduated “With Highest Distinction” (top 5% of class) from this one-year course and earned a second master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. In 1989, Rice was selected for the rank of Lieutenant Colonel two years ahead of his contemporaries.
Rice next returned to the Pentagon where he helped manage 30,000 Air Force pilots and navigators and in 1990 he was selected by the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships as a White House Fellow where he served on the immediate staff of the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
After spending a year at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Michigan where he implemented and directed the standardization and evaluation program for over 300 aircrew members, Rice moved to Castle Air Force Base in California where he commanded a B-52 bomber squadron and was selected for promotion to colonel two years ahead of his contemporaries.
In 1993, Rice was one of three Air Force officers selected for a Harvard National Security Fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. This program consisted of accelerated research and study on foreign and defense policy and a wide range of prevailing national security issues.
Following the fellowship, Rice served as a Professional Staff Member for the Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces. The Commission was established by the National Defense Authorization Act of 1994 to provide an independent review of military roles and mission to Congress, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Review produced over 150 recommendations for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Department of Defense in the post-Cold War era.
Rice next returned to flying duties: first, as the deputy commander for B-2 bomber flying operations at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and then, as the commander for E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft at Tinker Air Force Base in Arizona. During both of these assignments, Rice directed training development, strategy and tactics, plans, and intelligence for billions of dollars in Air Force resources.
From 1997 to 1999, Rice served as the Deputy Executive Secretary for the National Security Council where he ensured the quality and content of all papers prepared for the President and National Security Advisor, coordinated policy formulation with the Council staff, and traveled with and briefed the President as the National Security Advisor’s representative.
During the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States, Rice was serving as the commander of a wing of B-1 bombers at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. Immediately after the attack, he was directed to temporarily transfer to the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean where is was in charge of all bomber operations (B-1, B-2, B-52) during the first four months of Operation Enduring Freedom (U.S. combat operations against the Taliban in Afghanistan).
Upon being promoted to Brigadier General in 2002, Rice took command of the Air Force Recruiting Service where he was responsible for recruiting over 1,000 officers and 30,000 enlisted members for the Air Force and was also responsible for the Air Force’s marketing program.
Rice next moved to the Asia-Pacific region for six years where he held a number of senior leadership positions culminating in a tour as the senior U.S. military commander in Japan. During this time, he was promoted to Major General and Lieutenant General.
Rice’s final assignment in the Air Force was from 2010 to 2013 during which time he served as the Commander of Air Education and Training Command after being promoted to the rank of four star General on November 17, 2010. In this capacity, he was responsible for the recruiting, training, and education of Air Force personnel. His command trained more than 293,000 students per year and consisted of 12 bases, more than 67,900 active-duty, Reserve, Guard, civilians and contractors, and 1,369 trainer, fighter and mobility aircraft.
After retiring from active duty on December 1, 2013, Rice became an independent consultant and served on numerous non-profit advisory boards. On December 1, 2016, President Obama appointed Rice to the Air Force Academy Board of visitors for a three-year term.
Rice is married to the former Teresa Lynn Ford of Yellow Springs, Ohio and they have two children, Matthew and Kristen.
Source: Edward Augustus Rice, Jr., 2017
Lee Robinson was born and raised in Springfield, Ohio in 1946[?]. He moved to Yellow Springs when he was in high school because his mother had been there before and she believed that it was a good idea for Lee and his brother to finish their high school years in Yellow Springs. His father was an electrical engineer at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. They lived in at 210 Dawson Street but sold that house and build a new one in Omar Circle. Lee started ninth grade when he moved to Yellow Springs he realized how far behind he was and that his level of English was below average. He received tutoring during the evenings so he could improve his skills. During his high school years, Lee participated in track and field and also played basketball. While he was in high school he worked mostly in the dining room at Antioch College. His Yellow Springs High School graduating class had 45 students. After graduating he went to Central State University from 1961 through 1965 and majored in History. In a 2015 interview he noted that Central State was very conservative, the total opposite of Antioch College. Central State Administrators focused on respecting elders and they could never disrespect the school under any circumstances.
During the 1960’s the black community was made up of people that were born in Yellow Springs and those that were coming in from other states. Many blacks from other places were coming because Yellow Springs offered them good employment and overall, a better lifestyle. The biggest employer at the time was Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The black community had access to good jobs and some of their children would attend black colleges. Lee observed that the parents preferred not to be involved in political issues because the repercussions could be negative for them. They were afraid of losing their jobs because it was very hard to get them. Central State University did not want their students getting involved in any demonstrations. Lee was present during the Gegner Barbershop anti-segregation demonstration in 1964 but he did not participate in it. He saw from the distance people taking sides in favor or against the
demonstration. When the police started arresting people, many backed off. The demonstration on Xenia Avenue created a sense of division among people. Their parents always encouraged their education and told them that education was the most important thing to be focused on. Lee remembered that they advised that the problems of the South would be addressed by the people in the South and that they shouldn’t get involved in it. Lee believes that the division revealed by the Gegner’s demonstration still exist today. The type of emotions and feelings in that day are the ones that people carry for life. Lee remembered that Charles Wesley, the president of Wilberforce promoted the idea of promoting a good image for the school. The image was very important for Wilberforce and Central State because the image could affect the school. They had to be very careful because the funding of their schools was involved. A bad action from students would result in a cut of their funding. Black students did not have the opportunity to speak freely because it could have a negative impact. . Lee noted that that the Gagner demonstrations were the result of attempts to test the Ohio Accommodation Law that outlawed discrimination based on race.
After graduating from Central State, Lee was hired by Bernay’s Laboratories in Yellow Springs. He started doing inspections and later moved up to become a dimension inspector. Bernay Laboratories was a precision rubber manufacturer. They became a supplier in the automotive industry with their Yellow Springs plant located on Dayton Street at East Enon Road. As the company grew it became unionized. Lee worked at Vernay until he retired in the 1990s.
Source: “Lee Robinson Interview” The WYSO Civil Rights Oral History Project, 2015
Louise Riddock (1915 - 1994)
Louise Riddock, born in February of 1915, the daughter of Frank and Lillie Bell Brown Walden, grew up in Yellow Springs where she was a letter-winning basketball player in High School and was a member of the first graduating class at Bryan High School in 1933. She was graduated cum laude from Wilberforce University in 1939, with a degree in social administration and moved to the New York area seeking employment pertaining to her degree. While there she met and married Vernon Riddock in Jersey City, New Jersey on July 26, 1940 who pre-deceased her in 1969, and from that union was born their only child Kathy Sheahan, also deceased.
The range of Mrs. Riddock’s interests and talents is illustrated by the diversity of her friends and her employment history. She worked at the Humanist House in Yellow Springs; Wright Patterson Air Force Base; The Science Division of Central state University; The College Section of the American Friends Service Committee in Pasadena, California; ran her own catering service for two years; and spent fifteen years with Antioch University. Following an initial period as an administrative assistant, she was appointed to the faculty of Antioch Education Abroad. In that position, she was adviser and coordinator for student going to programs in France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria, and made the special arrangements required for those who wished to study and work in Africa. She attended faculty seminars on Africa at Antioch and Earlham Colleges and participated in a follow-up seminar in Africa. Later she returned to visit universities and seek other opportunities for Antioch students in Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, and Kenya. Her superbly written letters and trip notes during those experiences were a source of delight, admiration, and amazement to her colleagues, family, and friends.
After her retirement from Antioch in 1979, Mrs. Riddock worked from her home for the Motor Meals program of Yellow Springs. During telephone conversations many of the recipients found her interest and concern as vital to their well-being as the meals. She was obliged to give up that activity however, when a fall left her reliant on a wheelchair and a walker. After a period of time at Friends Care Center, she sold her home located on Fairfield Pike in Yellow Springs and moved to an apartment complex.
She was a member of the Advisory Board for Greene County Metropolitan Housing and an unofficial adviser to some of the residents who came to call often for the pleasure of her company and capacity for sympathetic listening. Through her initiative the large evergreen tree in front of the Activity Center was yearly transformed into a Christmas tree and flowers were panted for summer enjoyment. Although she displayed a modest demeanor, Mrs. Riddock’s keen intelligence, her with, her off-beat and sometimes exasperating sense of humor, and above all, her sensitivity endeared her to all who knew her well.
Sources: Isabel Newman, Obituary of Louise Walden Riddock written by Kathy Riddock Shaehan, July 13, 1994
Harvey and Berina Roberts
Harvey and Berina Roberts, two of the original motor meals coordinators, closed an important chapter of community service when they turned their clients over to the Community Action agency known as SCOPE., Supporting Council of Preventive Efforts. The Motor Meals program was started in 1968 when the Yellow Spring Citizens Center recognized a need to provide meals for the homebound, and challenged area churches to come up with a service plan to address the issue. Harvey, from First Baptist Church was named temporary committee chairman of Yellow Springs Motor Meals. At a later date the committee hired Berina, his wife as program coordinator to organize the meals and the deliveries.
The Roberts’ initial five clients grew with support from local churches, the Lions Club, and in 1975 the federal government became the program’s primary funding source. In the late 1980s and ‘90s their route covered 150 miles a day, serving 90 to 100 people. Motor Meals did more than just provide meals for their clients they provided a caring daily support system to monitor their clients’ other health and comfort needs. The drivers checked on clients when delivering meals and informed the Roberts if the recipient was in need of more assistance. The program was in existence for 28 years, and in addition to their work with Motor Meals, the Roberts were very active in the First Baptist Church and were known in their Wright Street neighborhood as “Mom Bert” and “Papa Harvey.”
In 1977 Harvey was chosen as one of the Top Ten volunteers in the United States by United Way and also received many other awards such as the Ohio Black Achievement Award, Volunteer of the Year by the Greene County Service Center of the Red Cross, and Volunteer of the month by the Friends Care Center. Mrs. Roberts was also the recipient of many awards including the Miami Valley’s Top Ten Women’s Award, and the Outstanding Community Service John Eimoore Award.
Both the Roberts were also very active members in their church since 1955. Berina Roberts served as church clerk, Sunday School Secretary, and teacher of Young Adults. She organized and was the first Chairman of the Ladies Circle which later became the Pastor’s Aid and was the first chairperson of the Deaconess Board. “Mom Bert” passed away on January 7, 2017 at Friends Care Community of Yellow Springs at the age of 90 after failing health. Harvey served as chairperson in charge of fundraising for the new First Baptist Church facility at 600 Dayton Street. He served on the Deacon Board and was honored by the Church for his faithful service until his passing in June of 2001.
Source: Isabel Adams Newman, 2017
Thelma and William Ross (1923-2020) Ross
Thelma and William (1923-2020) Ross
Thelma and William Ross were born and raised in Richmond, Indiana. Growing up in Richmond was fun and beautiful because they had a lot of family and friends. Thelma had three brother and three sisters. She was the youngest of the seven. William had two sisters and two younger brothers. They described their schools in Richmond as ordinary, like any other schools. The elementary school Thelma attended was not small. She attended the same school for her elementary and middle school years. The school was integrated. William and Thelma met in high school, and they started dating when they were in their junior year in high school. William and Thelma’s high school experience was excellent and very similar to their previous school years. After they graduated, William served in the military World War II as part of an engineering unit stationed in England, France, and Germany. William thought that England and France were beautiful, but because the U.S. military was segregated, Black soldiers stayed in their own space. After graduation, Thelma attended Richmond Business College and went to Washington, D.C, to work in the Army as a typist. Thelma and William married in 1946 at the First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. After they married, they stayed in Washington for a while.
They came to Ohio when William was hired for a civilian job at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for classified work. He initially commuted each day with co-workers, including engineer Omar Robinson who lived in Richmond. Thelma worked for the Richmond Public Library and stayed there for eight years. During this time Omar Robinson bought property in Yellow Springs, built his home, and started laying out the streets for what became Omar Park Estates. Mr. Ross purchased land in Yellow Springs and built his house there because he and his wife liked it, and it was close to his job. Mr.Ross built his own home. He started it in 1958 and finished it in 1959. When the couple moved to Yellow Springs, they had two children William, III, and Marsha. One was in fourth grade, and the other one in seventh grade. Omar Circle was a beautiful place to live and Thelma described Yellow Springs as a beautiful place to raise their children. Her manager at the Richmond Public Library sent a recommendation letter to Antioch College, and she was hired there. She worked at Antioch College for 23 years in the processing department of the college. She enjoyed her time there, and she explained that she could never have asked for a better job environment.
At Wright Patterson, William started working in the locksmith area. He went back to school for additional training. After he retired from Wright Patterson, he started his own locksmith business. He got a truck and all the necessary equipment. The School Board of Yellow Springs contacted him so he could change all of their locks. After that, he also worked for Central State University. He worked in Yellow Springs, Central State University, Springfield, and Dayton. He started his business in 1969 and retired in 1983, selling the company. Thelma and William started traveling to different places around the world. One of their favorite spots was Hawaii. Their son William, III died in 1987. In a 2018 interview they noted that they are pleased and feel blessed for having each other. One piece of advice Thelma said she gives to young people about marriage is: ¨You have to love each other, work together and learn to compromise.¨ They had been married for 74 years when William died on July 4, 2020. William and Thelma Ross have three grandsons and eight great-grandchildren.
William M. Schooler, Sr. (1873 - 1953)
William M. Schooler was born on May 6, 1873 in Richmond, Kentucky in 1873, the son of Beverly and Annis Parks Schooler. After retiring from farming he operated a trucking business in Yellow Springs. He was a quiet man, but he would deliver a piano to any event for the student programs. Beginning in the 1930s he plowed the sidewalks for students to walk to school. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Yellow Springs and served as a Trustee there for a number of years. William Schooler died on June 12, 1953. He was survived by three daughters, Leora Stagner of Yellow Springs, Julia Jackson of the Bronx, N.Y. , and Alverda Lewis of Dayton; three sons, William R. of Yellow Springs, James M. of Durham, N.C., and Booker T. of Xenia; 15 grandchildren; four sisters, Mary Estes, and Katie Mundy of Cincinnati, Isabelle Maupin of Richmond, Kentucky, and Patti Gaines, New York City, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Sources: Adapted from Yellow Springs obituary, June, 1953, Blacks in Yellow Springs: An Encyclopedia Editorial Committee
Alston Y. Simpson (1969)
Alston Yul Simpson is the son of William B. Simpson and Mary G. Simpson. He was born at Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia, Ohio on February 15, 1969. He accepted Jesus Christ the Messiah and was baptized by Rev. Charles Kelley at First Baptist church which was then located on Xenia Avenue. The baptism ceremony took place on September 19, 1982. While in High school, Simpson attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1986 as a member of Troop 78 of Yellow Springs.
Simpson enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1998 and served on the USS Mount Hood and the USS Sacramento. While on the Sacramento, Simpson was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Fox in 1999. He received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 2001.
Simpson enlisted in the Army in 2005. He served with the disaster response mission to Hurricane Katrina, with the Washington, DC National Guard in 2005. He served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2008-2009 with the 102nd Quartermaster Company of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Simpson also served one year overseas at Camp Humphreys, South Korea in 2010. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army in 2014. Simpson was retired out of the Nevada Army Reserve in 2016.
Source: Alston Y. Simpson
Mary Gail Simpson
Mary Gail Simpson was born in Clayton, Alabama to Inesta and Alston Farrior. Inesta was a school principal and Alston was a school bus driver. After graduating from Barbour County Training School Mary Gail went to Johnstown, Pennsylvania where she obtained a nurse’s aid job at Mercy Hospital. Within a short time she was promoted to surgical technician. She liked the job, but her mother encouraged her to get a college degree. She chose Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1978 she graduated from the University of Dayton with a Master’s of Science degree in Counseling Education.
While at Central State College, Mary Gail met Bill Simpson. They were married on Christmas day in 1965. With their two sons, they moved to Omar Circle in Yellow Springs where their sons attended Yellow Springs Schools. Their son William Hewitt Simpson graduated from Central State College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management-Marketing. He is married to Natombi Smith Simpson, and the couple lives Cincinnati, Ohio. He employed as a store manger for a Petsmart store. The Simpsons’ son Alston graduated from Tuskegee University in 1991 where he majored in Sociology. He has served in both the Navy and the Army.
Mary Gail spent her professional career working at Greene County Children Services in Xenia, Ohio. She was an adoption and foster care supervisor, retiring in 1999. She is a member of First Baptist church, Yellow Springs, Ohio where she serves as the chairperson of the deaconesses. She is also a member of the Altrusa Club of Xenia, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Rho Omega chapter, Wilberforce, Ohio. She enjoys playing card games such as bridge and frustration, and participates in clubs that meet monthly to play these games. She also enjoys gardening and working in her yard, drawing on her parents’ lessons in cultivating a garden to grow vegetables and herbs. She always has a small herb patch outside of her back door where she gathers fresh herbs year ‘round. She tries to keep fit by walking and swimming.
William Bratton Simpson
William Bratton Simpson was the first child of William E. and Lillian Simpson and was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 28, 1933 and my sister was born October 19, 1935 in Washington, D.C. His father was a pharmacist and his mother was a housewife. He is the sole survivor of his family since his father passed in 1940, and his mother passed away in 1952 and his sister in 1996.
William Simpson’s primary and secondary education was completed in Detroit, Michigan. His first fulltime job was as a Traffic Court Clerk with the City of Detroit. He attended Wayne University before being drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1955. Upon discharge in 1957, He relocated to Los Angeles, California and took evening classes, working for Los Angeles County as a photocopy operator. He thought a religious life was in his future so he moved to Wilberforce, Ohio to complete his undergraduate work at Wilberforce University. He received a degree in Sociology and entered Payne Seminary.
In his senior semester at Wilberforce, he was employed by Vernay Laboratories in Yellow Springs in various positions before leaving to work for GM/Delco Products. While studying to become a fulltime minister and working in industry, He married Mary Gail. They set up housekeeping in Yellow Springs and brought two sons into the world. Along the way Simpson discovered that his personality was not people oriented, and he decided to attend the University of Dayton where he received an Associate Degree in Industrial Engineering. This enabled him to work for Delco Products from which he retired with 24 years of service.
Simpson’s community service has involved participation in an alumni chapter of his Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, part-time pasturing while studying to become a minster, Yellow Springs Village Councilman, coaching youth in soccer and baseball, and boy scouts. He has also served on the boards of the Yellow Springs Credit Union and Coordinated Home Care, a home health care agency.
His avocations are reading and travel.
William B. Simpson
Frances Beal Smith
A native of Meridian, Mississippi, Frances Beal was educated in the parochial and public schools of that city. She was graduated from the T.J. Harris High School and entered Bennett College of Greensboro, North Carolina. There she received a B.A. degree in Sociology. Further studies continued at the Atlanta University School of Social Work.
Frances was a member of the first Girl Scout Troop organized for African American girls in the Dixie Region that includes the five states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Girl Scouting influenced her life as evidenced by her focus in college and graduate school. In college she served as a Girl Scout troop leader at a community center. Her first job was as a camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp, Camp Fletcher near Birmingham, Alabama.
Frances’ career in Girl Scouting began in her hometown as a professional Girl Scout, serving as a Field Adviser and Day Camp Director; from Meridian to Cincinnati, Ohio Council, serving as a District Adviser and Coordinator of the Day Camp program, and Adviser to the World Friendship Committee. During her tenure in Cincinnati, in 1958, she met an married L. Shelbert Smith. They moved to Yellow Springs, and for almost ten years, she served as a volunteer in Yellow Springs with the League of Women’s Voters and the Children’s Committee related to the Children’s Center. Through Buckeye Trails Girl Scout Council, as a volunteer, she served as a Council Trainer, Troop Organizer, Troop Consultant, and Day Camp Director at Camp Greene. There were eight troops, that included Brownie through Senior Scouts with volunteer leaders, troop committee members, and she served as a member of the Council Board of Directors.
During this period Frances accepted a position with Miami Valley Child Development Centers a Social Worker for the Greene Elf Center in Xenia for two years. In 1972 Frances joined the professional staff of Buckeye Trails Girl Scout Council as a District Director and Director of Field Services, retiring after nineteen years of service. Frances’ service to the Council and the community continued as a volunteer serving on the Girl Scout Board of Trustees, Long Range Planning Committee and the Nominating Committee.
As an active member of Central Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Frances has served on the Trustee Board and Building Committee, Vice president of the Lay organization, member of the choir, taught Sunday School and chaired several fund raisers, including the Mardi-gras events. Other community involvement includes forty-eight years membership in the Wilberforce Chapter of Links, Inc. serving as President, chair of Services to Youth several times, Arts Committee, General Cotillion Chair, Choreographer of the Cotillion, designed and made tiaras and nose gays for the Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center and Wilberforce University. Chaired the 50th Anniversary Celebration and introduced to the Chapter a fund raiser the “Drawing.” In cooperation with the Yellow Springs Foundation, the Yellow Springs Arts Council, and the Ohio Arts Council and the arts Committee of the Wilberforce Links, she worked with the Artist in Residence Program with the Art Department in the Yellow Springs High School and with the Artists in Residence program. Steve Boganar’s videography program proved so successful that the program was made a part of the art curriculum at the Yellow Springs High School.
Shelbert L. Smith, Ph.D.
A native of Springfield, Illinois, Dr. Smith received his early education in the elementary and secondary schools of Springfield. He continued his education at the University of Illinois which was interrupted by thee years of service in the United States Army serving as a medic at Fitz-Simmons Army Hospital and in the Asian-pacific Theater during World War III. Upon his discharge from the service, he enrolled at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, where he earned a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and Physics. While employed at Quaker Oats Research Laboratory he enrolled in graduate school at Illinois Institute of Technology where he earned a Masters degree in Organic Chemistry. He continued his study and earned a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry. He remained at Quaker Oats for 12 years as a Research Chemist and Group Leader. Later he joined Stepan Chemical Company, a major producer of chemicals for the detergent industry.
Dr. Smith, had many publications in refereed scientific journals and several patents in the field of furan chemistry, nitrogen chemistry and carbine chemistry. Some of his research interests included synthesis of compounds for treatment of Sickle Cell Anemia and Chemiluminescence. He co-authored books on Furan Chemistry and Experiential Chemistry.
In 1957 he accepted a position as Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department at Central State University, where he remained fro thirty-tow years, retiring as professor emeritus. During the Central State years Dr. Smith secured many highly funded grants t support the Central State Chemistry Department, Faculty and students.
During his tenure at Central State, Dr. Smith was given a two year leave of absence to work in Washington, D.C. with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as an Associate Secretary. The assignment was the direct result of his concern for governance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (HBCUs).
Shelbert’s active involvement in the Yellow Springs community began in the 1960s with t he Civil Rights in the Village, picketing the Gegner’s Barbershop. In the 70s he filled an unexpired term on the Yellow Springs board of education and was then elected to the Board and served for six years. Upon his retirement from Central State University he became a member of the After School Tutoring Program in the High School, as well as the In School tutoring program at Mills Lawn Elementary School. He served as a Board member and President of the Yellow Springs Senior Center, Board member of the Committee of Wright State University Medical School; he was a Board member of the National Science Foundation; member of Board of Review of Choice; Fellow of American Institute of Science and an Emeritus member American Chemical Society.
His honors included membership in Sigma Xi Lambda Upsilon, Beta Kappa chi Honor Society, Recognized as an Outstanding Scientist of Dayton area by the Dayton Area Science and Engineering Council. He held membership in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, the Genealogy Group and The Couples Club.
Shelbert married Frances Beal Smith in 1958 and moved to Yellow Springs, into the second house completed on Omar Circle.
Helen White Sparks
Born in Evanston, Illinois was educated in the public elementary and high school. Upon graduation from high school Helen entered the University of Illinois. During her matriculation, she accepted the opportunity to join the Red Cross USO program providing recreational activities for service men in the United States and Europe. During her tour of duty she met and married Major Edward Sparks, serving in the Air Force. When he retired from the service they moved to Yellow Springs. Helen served as Secretary to the Chemistry Department at Central State University and completed her education, graduating with a B.A. degree in Education.
Helen taught Special Education students at Springfield North High School in Springfield, Ohio from which she retired. During her retirement years she initiated a tutorial program in the Yellow Springs High School, recruiting other retired individuals in the village to share their knowledge and skills with students who needed help or a boost in the fields of Mathematics and Science. Helen not only recruited fellow retirees, but worked through the school to arrange schedules with students and tutors. Helen was a member of first Baptist Church and served on the Usher Board.
James Elmer Spyglass (1877-1957)
James Elmer Spyglass was born November 1, 1877 in Springfield on South Limestone Street. He was musically gifted, and sang in Yellow Springs as a choir boy, and later performing in concerts and music halls. A year at Toledo Conservatory of Music encouraged him to pursue classical music studies in Europe. There, in 1906, almost penniless and with his opera dreams crushed, Spyglass found success singing Negro spirituals in the concerts and music halls throughout the Netherlands, France and Germany.
In 1930, after twenty years of singing to an adoring Europe, Spyglass retired to the suburbs of Schwalbach, outside Frankfurt, Germany. As the start of World War II came Spyglass had to report weekly to the local authorities as an “enemy alien”. He was so well liked by the Germans that he was not interned during World War I or World War II. When his house was bombed in 1944 by Allied planes, he helped his neighbors with their losses as well as his own damage.
After the war, Spyglass immediately contacted the American military to ensure a solid relationship with the people of Schwalbach and the American occupying forces. Spyglass worked to establish good communications between both parties. Spyglass helping find food for his community, which was scarce, as well as helped German citizens through a “denazification period”. His skills working with military and civilian problems impressed the American commanders and Spyglass was given the role of Chief Receptionist at the American Consulate.
Spyglass submitted an autobiography to the State Department for clearance titled “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way." It was lost after it was sent to the State Department and was never printed.
He died in Schwalbach in February 16, 1957. The American Consul General, Mr. John Burns, the Mayor, Councilors and many of Schwalbach’s citizens attended his memorial service. James Elmer Spyglass was cremated and, per his request, his remains were brought back to Ohio and buried next to his mother and cousin in the Yellow Springs Glen Forest Cemetery.
Source: Jean Payne
William Jason Stagner (1898 - 1994)
William Jason Stagner was born on March 20, 1898 in Yellow Springs to Armstead and Laura Belle Stagner. Well known and liked around town, Mr. Stagner spent most of his adult life in the tailoring and drycleaning business. He worked in Fairborn for several years before coming to work for local drycleaner Chet Loe after World War II. In 1950 he started his own drycleaning business, Stag Cleaners which was located on Dayton Street. He retired in 1985.
Mr. Stagner joined Central Chapel A.M.E. Church at the age of 12 and was an active member, singing tenor in the choir and serving on the Board of Trustees. He died on September 15th 1994. His daughter Carrie Belle preceded him in death. He was survived by his wife Leora whom he married in 1921, a brother-in law James M. Schooler, of Durham, N.C., two sisters in law, Alverta S. Lewis of Yellow Springs, and Sedalia W. Schooler of Xenia, twelve nephews and nieces in law, and grandnieces and nephew.
Source: Adapted from Yellow Springs News Obituary
Wesley Stewart (1901-1988)
Wesley D. Stewart was born on July 2, 1901 in Springfield, Ohio to James and Mary Stewart. He was a graduate of Springfield High School and then helped organize and performed in McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, and the Senco Band, notable musical groups. He also played violin with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra from 1942 to 1951. He studied music at Oberlin College and Wittenberg University, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from central State University, and a master’s degree in instrumental music from Vanderbilt College of Music in Chicago. He studied for his doctorate in music at Ohio State University and taught music in the Catholic school system in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at Jackson State College in Mississippi and at Mississippi Valley State College. Returning to Ohio, he taught music at the former Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors Orphans Home in Xenia where he also was assistant band director. He played the violin.
He was a member of St. Brigid Catholic Church, Xenia; Wilberforce-Xenia Optimists Club, the Senior Citizens of Yellow Springs and a charter member of the National Senior Sports Association. He died in January of 1988. He was survived by his wife Allyne Steward son and daughter-n-=law Lamont L and Narva Stewart of Huntsville, Ala; step-sons and step- daughter Christopher and Angie Perry of Xenia and Orange and Lillian Parson of Long Island, N.Y.
Source: Adapted from Xenia Daily Gazette Obituary
Greene, Therese Evelyn Marie Thomas
The Olga & Bob Harris Journey in YS
Smith, Daniel D.
Walker, Robert Anthony
Daniel D. Smith
Daniel D. Smith was born in 1919 in Youngstown, Ohio to William P. Smith and Annie Foster. He was educated in the Youngstown schools and served as a Master Sergeant in the Army. He received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in elementary education from Youngstown University. He received a Master’s degree in Education from Central State University. Smith began teaching in the Yellow Springs Schools in 1962. In 1967 he was appointed principal of Mills Lawn Elementary School in Yellow Springs. Daniel Smith died on August 25, 1971. He was survived by his widow, Dorothy, and five sisters, Mrs. Arthur Bledsoe, Mrs. George Moore, Mrs. Howard Bass and Miss Carrie Smith, all of Youngstown and Miss Dessie Smith of Washington, D.C.
U.S. World War II Amry Enlistment Records, 1938-1946,
“New Mills Lawn Principal Hired at Yellow Springs,” Xenia Daily Gazette, June 10, 1969
“Daniel D. Smith, 50; YS school principal,” Xenia Daily Gazette, August 25, 1971