When a small-town mayor made U.S. history
Our latest installment of the Franklin County historical marker tour brings us to Urbancrest, a small village of about 1,000 residents located just outside the southwest portion of Route 270.
The marker: Ellen Walker Craig-Jones, 2853 Broadway St. (Route 62).
Flashback: In 1971, Craig-Jones became the first Black woman elected mayor by popular vote of a municipality in U.S. history.
The intrigue: She was 65 years old and already a great-grandmother while defeating an opponent two decades younger by nine votes.
- The Ohio History Connection credits Craig-Jones with rebuilding the village's infrastructure and spurring a $3 million housing project.
What she said: "Don't sit back and wait to be asked to do something," the mayor told 100 fellow seniors at a 1972 banquet in Lima. "Offer yourself because only in giving can we love others and receive joy ourselves."
- "You can do anything you want to do."
Editor's note: This story first published in the Axios Columbus newsletter on March 2, 2022.
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