“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Athens in Athens County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington Marriage to Olivia Davidson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Carl Jón Denbow, December 27, 2008
1. Booker T. Washington Marriage to Olivia Davidson Marker


In this house, on 11 August 1886, famed African-American educator Booker T. Washington married Olivia A. Davidson. Residents at the time were Mary Davidson Elliott (sister of Olivia) and her husband Dr. Noah Elliott, a veteran of the 26th United States Colored Infantry in the War of the Rebellion (1861-65). Olivia was a student circa 1870 at the Enterprise Academy in Albany (9 miles west). She was also an alumna of Hampton Normal A & I in Virginia, where she first met Mr. Washington when he gave the commencement address at her graduation, and Framingham State Normal School in Massachusetts. In 1881, after graduation from Framingham, she moved to Tuskegee, Alabama. There she plunged into the work of building Tuskegee Institute, of which she was a co-founder.


From the late 1800s to the mid 1900s many African Americans lived on this section of Washington Street. Just to the east, near the corner of Washington and Pratt streets, was the Athens African Methodist Episcopal Church. The building still stands and is now a residence. A local African-American notable who lived nearby, at
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159 W. Washington St., was Andrew Jackson Davison, an attorney with an active practice in Athens for a number of years. His wife Eliza Brown Davison (often misspelled Davidson) was a cook for Gen. George A. Custer during the War of the Rebellion (1861-65) and for a time afterwards. A. J. and Eliza are both buried a block north in the West State Street Cemetery.
Erected 2008 by Athens County Historical Society and Museum.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1886.
Location. 39° 19.901′ N, 82° 6.438′ W. Marker is in Athens, Ohio, in Athens County. Marker is on West Washington Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 193 West Washington Street, Athens OH 45701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Athens Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Eliza Davidson Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Susannah Arnold Anthony (approx. 0.2 miles away); Athens National Guard Armory
Booker T. Washington image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, August 9, 2015
2. Booker T. Washington
This 1973 bust of Booker T. Washington by Richmond Barthé sits in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

“In the face of racial hatred, segregation, and disenfranchisement following the Civil War, it was unrealistic, Booker T. Washington contended, to expect African Americans to gain entry into America's white-collar professions. Instead, he suggested they establish themselves as a skilled and indispensable laboring class. With that accomplished, racial discrimination would gradually disappear. In 1881 Washington put this theory to the test, becoming the director of the newly created Negro Normal School in Tuskegee, Alabama. As the school grew, Washington became viewed as the nation's leading spokesman for African Americans. Yet by the century's end, many critics began to challenge his ‘get along’ philosophy.’” — National Portrait Gallery
(approx. 0.4 miles away); "The Berry" (approx. 0.4 miles away); Milton M. Holland (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Settlers in Athens County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Athens County Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
Also see . . .  Video - - Dedication - (10-8-2008) - Courtesy T.V. - TGC 15 "Spotlight" ::. (Submitted on August 18, 2013.)
Additional keywords. Booker T. Washington, Olivia Davidson African American Negro Black Civil War United States Colored Troops Infantry
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 8, 2013, by Carl Jón Denbow of Athens, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,361 times since then and 99 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on March 8, 2013, by Carl Jón Denbow of Athens, Ohio.   2. submitted on October 17, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Help is needed with - other photos showing both sides of the marker and a wide view of its location. • Can you help?

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Apr. 15, 2024