Nelson T. Gant House
Nelson T. Gant as one of Zanesville’s most prominent African American citizens. Born into slavery on the Woodburn Estate of John Nixon of Loudoun County, Virginia on May 10, 1821, Nelson was given is freedom by the provisions of his master’s will in September 1845. However, Gant’s wife Anna Maria Hughes, remained the property of Miss CAE Jane Russell of Leesburg who refused to release her from bondage.
Twelve months after receiving his freedom, Nelson crossed the Ohio River and eventually arrived in Zanesville. Abolitionists in Putnam and friends in Virginia collected enough money to help Gant buy his wife’s freedom in February 1847.
The Gants made Zanesville their permanent home in 1850. Gant worked for Theodore Convers, during which time he bought this land for his home and farm. After Convers died, Gant made his living as a farmer and gardener of specialty vegetables. Although Nelson was a quiet man, oral tradition claims that he often hid slaves in his vegetable wagon to assist them from one safe house to another.
Nelson as quite industrious-he even sold “find strawberries and cream”
In the old slave tradition, Nelson would host community picnics on July 5th in “Gant’s Grove,” which he later sold to Townsend Brick to make into public park- one of the first integrated parks in the state. The Municipal Stadium now stands on the grounds that used to be Gant Park.
Nelson T. Gant died July 14, 1905 a well-respected citizen and a millionaire.
Erected by This marker was funded by Ohio Department of Transportation, District 5.
Location. 39° 56.722′ N, 82° 1.858′ W. Marker is in Zanesville, Ohio, in Muskingum County. Marker is on West Pike (U.S. 40), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1845 West Pike, Zanesville OH 43701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 30, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 660 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 30, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.