1907 York Gazette Newspaper Article Detailing York’s Black Elite community in the Early and Mid 1800’s

Some of York’s Black Elite portrayed in this 1907 newspaper article included;
Mrs. M.E. Joice – Mrs. Joice conducted one of the oldest hair dressing and manicure parlors of its kind in the city. Her trade had a reputation for the very best service. She was a property owner and a very careful businesswoman,
Samuel E. Johnson – Mr. Johnson was a stenographer and secretary to the General Superintendent of the York Manufacturing Company. He was a product of York schools and held the prestigious position for seven years. He was a property owner and had the respect and confidence of both races in the community.
Edward W. Faucett – Mr. Faucett was the proprietor of a barber shop, cigar store and pool room at 122 South George Street. He also conducted a boarding and lodging  house at 118 West Prince Street. He had splendid qualities and his establishment were especially attractive to the traveling public.
Harry G. Woods – Mr. Woods ran a cigar, tobacco and pool room on the corner of George and King Street for more than 12 years. He owned several other nice properties and was a well-respected citizen.
Robert Diggs – After twenty years as a public waiter Mr. Diggs started his own restaurant and lodging business. He had splendid quarters at 201 South Beaver Street which had been tastefully fitted with a soda fountain, confectionary and ice cream bar.
Rev. John Joice – One of the first Black Ministers in York and an original trustee of the Mother Zion A.M.E.Church.
Mr. John Reeves – Father of Mrs. Helen Reeves Thackston. A prominent porter at the National Hotel for over 31 years. Proprietor of the Hot Oyster Sandwich shop. A stalwart supporter of the A.M.E. Zion church. Mr. Reeves was able to earn and save enough money selling oysters that he was able to buy and give each of his three daughters their own home.
Mr. William Butler – Mr. Butler Drove oxcarts to drag lumber to the sawmills. Was the first janitor of the Smallwood School from the time it was built. He also worke for Eli Lewis the President of the First National Bank for about 35 years. Close friend of Aquilla Howard.
Miss Susan Marrs – Mrs. Marrs was born in York in 1809. She worked for the prominent James Lewis Family. She was given a plot of land by the powerful lawyer Charles Barnitz on which she planted mulberry trees to breed silkworms.
Mr. William Wood – A master machinist. A member of A.M.E. Zion since its beginning. Lived on Newberry Street for over 50 years. Designed and built many innovative impliments for steam locomotives and steamships.
The Schales – They were carpet weavers who lived on Water Street.
The Clarks – Lived on Philadelphia Street near George Street. They wer scourers, dyers and tailors.
Mr. Aquilla Howard – Longtime superintendent of the A.M.E. Zion Sunday School. Came to York in 1860. Worked for the Phillip Small family for 43 years.
Mr. Drowery – Mr. Drowery was a shoemaker who made shoes for many of York’s prominent white citizens.



Author: jkirk

Founder and Chief Researcher for the York African American Historical Preservation Society