Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
This Plaque is Dedicated to Father and Son, Leaders of Their Race
Whose Accomplishments Brought Honorable Recognition
—To The City of Memphis —
Robert R. Church, Sr.
Pioneer businessman, first citizen to buy bond to restore City Charter after yellow fever epidemics of 1878-1879 had reduced Memphis to a taxing district, bought bond number one of first series for one-thousand dollars, founded solvent savings and trust Co. in 1906, the first bank to be owned by members of his race in Memphis. Built and contributed to the City's Church's Park and Auditorium on this site in 1899, the first recreational, cultural and civic center for his people in Memphis where president Theodore Roosevelt addressed 10,000 citizens November 19, 1902. The Scimitar, April 1899 stated: "...it may be stated of Robert Church that his word was as good as his bond. No appeal to him for the aid of any charity or public enterprise for the benefit of Memphis has ever been made in vain. He is for Memphis first, last and all the time."
Robert R. Church, Jr.
Recognized throughout the nation as most influential leader of his race in Republican Party during his lifetime. Delegate from Memphis to eight successive Republican National Conventions. "...his influence in the Republican Party is more extensive in the South than any man white of black," The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 6, 1928. "...leading negro politician of the country...," New York
Memphis Sesquicentennial, Inc.
Erected 1969 by Memphis Sesquicentennial, Inc.
Location. 35° 8.343′ N, 90° 2.896′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Beale Street and 4th Street, on the right when traveling east on Beale Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 397 Beale St Memphis, TN 38103, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Church Park Auditorium (a few steps from this marker); Solvent Savings Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Sara Roberta Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Church Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Church Terrell (within shouting distance of this marker); The Memphis Home of W.C. Handy (within shouting distance of this marker); Phi Beta Sigma/Abram Langston Taylor (within shouting distance of this marker); Nat D. Williams (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . . Robert R. Church Sr. (Submitted on August 26, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.)
Categories. • African Americans • Charity & Public Work • Civil Rights • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 28, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 72 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 26, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.