East Liverpool Historical Society

A few years ago I received a phone call from a guy i graduated high school with. He had grown up in the East End section of East Liverpool. He had been a former Safety-Service Director here in East Liverpool. He called to make a comment about the East Liverpool Historical Society Website.

He said there was a distinct lack of color on that website. He commented on the fact where he grew up there were a number of black families. He also said that we were not Vodreys' or Thompsons', we didn't live up on the hill. He said that most of us were just ordinary folks that lived down In the valley along the river

That was very true and I undertook an effort to change that somewhat on historical Society website. I was able to make some additions. A lot more should be done in that same area there

But the same can be said about about our complementary Facebook group. There is a distinct lack of color. This is a effort to alleviatethat on both the Facebook group and the and This web site. Hopefully more info can be added over time.

Courtesy of Joan Witt: By the year 1803 there was in this area a black family who settled along the Campground area of town. Edward DeVore had been a slave and purchased his freedom by driving wagons from the eastern part of the Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh. After receiving his freedom, he brought his family to this area. The children attended school under the leadership of Robert Boyce who early on was one of the first teachers in the Wellsville area. The DeVore family worked hard and by the 1830's had constructed a large stone house which sat off of Campground Road. There is a small cemetery in the back of the property for family members. The property remained in the family long after Mr. DeVore passed away and his children , grandchildren and even great grandchildren continued to live there. The property is now out of the family but the building remains.

The first black to graduate from East Liverpool High School was Emmaline Southhall. She moved to the south and along with her husband was the owner of a large black newspaper in the south. Of course to this day the Southhall family continues to live and work in town. Another early family was the Spires family.

By 1860 the number of Germans and Irish had risen to 32% of the total immigration population. The family of William Mahoney (nine) was the only black family living in the town. The City of Hills and Kilns. p. 51

The City of Hills and Kilns p, 65

The City of Hills and kilns p 182

The City of Hills Kilns p 249

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 274

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 275

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 276



The City of Hills and Kilns p. 277

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 278

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 303

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 338

The City of Hills and Kilns p. 364

The above picture and the following text courtesy of Frank “ Digger” Dawson’s book Picking Elderberries “A Small Town Story” The Alperns, Hoffrichters, Chertoffs and Shapiros were other Jewish families with ties to East End, but without question, the dominant ethnic group in that section of town was first the Italians and then the African-Americans. Neighborhood diversity did not carry the abrasive challenge that it might have in some parts of the United States, particularly the South, where segregation was relentless prior to World War II. Following the war, racial prejudice still existed in East Liverpool, although it became more discreet. Organizations such as the Sons of Italy, Knights of Columbus, Hadassah, Odd Fellows and the Masonic Lodges took on new meaning. In East End, the Veterans' Social Club was established as a place where predominately African-American members could gather, dance, play cards and make a cultural statement. The building was located on Pennsylvania Avenue between Virginia and First Avenue in the vicinity of what would later become a discount gas station. It was constructed of some sort of textured concrete block, painted silver - as best remembered. According to Alonzo Spencer, who was in high school when the club was formed, the name "Veterans" had widespread appeal and was used for many commercial ventures of the day. In East Liverpool, businesses such as "Veterans Taxi" and "Veterans Plate Glass" also were found. When efforts to complete the high school gymnasium failed, my father was among those who suggested calling it "The Memorial Auditorium" in honor of deceased WWII veterans, and the auditorium levy gained solid approval at the next election. Spencer recalls appearances at the Veterans Social Club of several musical aggregations from the Pittsburgh vicinity, including the long-popular Walt Harper and local favorite John Celli. One group from Midland, according to Spencer, featured Len Ware (sax), "Booster" Scott (piano), "Boy" Leavell (sax), Mann Clark (drums), John Price (bass), and Vernon Smith (trumpet). The late Glenn Waight, long-time editor and columnist at the East Liverpool Review, remembered Vern Smith as a fellow high school band member at their alma mater in nearby Midland, both playing the trombone. Waight continued, saying, Smith, who died in 2002, ended up in New York as a noted photographer and respected jazz musician. Apparently, he pursued his Veterans Social Club trumpet playing talent, leaving the high school trombone days behind, as his name was featured on the list of credits in Ken Burns' documentary surrounding the history of jazz, produced in the '90s for PBS. The Veterans' Social Club was owned by Richard Waters, an uncle to Bob Waters, who worked there. There is evidence that Roosevelt "Ted" Spencer, a WWII Marine veteran and brother to Alonzo Spencer, may have also been involved in the ownership of the club. Later Sam Johnson took over the property and a young Richard Pack became his protégé, later operating Pack's Bar on Mulberry Street. It is thought that Richard Pack used the original Veterans Social Club liquor license to operate his obscure place. Bob Waters had played basketball for East Liverpool, married the former Kay Frances Reed and raised four children in East End. Kay Reed, who was several years younger than her husband, was one of nine children. [ Mrs’d Reed died July 19, 1951] Mrs. Reed's family scattered to all parts of the country; with several of her grandchildren making their mark in society. Meanwhile, their grandmother rests in peace in Spring Grove Cemetery, but her family's mark lives on in the old neighborhood, as well as the community and at the Sheridan Ave. ÂME Church where the Reeds were always members. The African-American community in East Liverpool has, for the most part, been either Baptist or African Methodist Episcopalians. While the two major Baptist Churches located in the East End, the Sheridan ÂME Church was always on West Ninth Street, near Fricano's Market. It was here that the Reeds, the Southails, the Mahoneys, the Burks and the Joyce families worshiped along with the family of East Liverpool's first African-American police officer, Orin C. Smith, Jr. Orin Smith Sr., was a small man who ran track at East Liverpool High School where he was graduated in 1917. He was a hard working individual, employed as a custodian for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

Orin Smith Jr.

Courtesy of Frank "Digger" Dawson Picking Elderberries "A Small Town Story" Excerpts from p. 74-75 also p 76 - 77

Picking Elderberries "A Small Town Story" Excerpts from p. 74-75 also p 76 - 77.

ELHS 1959 graduate. Sister of Bob Boston. "Blastin" Bob Boston: East Liverpool's Link To the Negro Baseball League


EAST LIVERPOOL BJP 7 Alonzo Spencer, president of Save Our County, speaks during a demonstration at City Hall decrying a hazardous waste incinerator run by Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. The EPA recently detailed serious and repeated pollution violations. Citizens have fought the presence and operation of the incinerator for decades. (Dispatch Photo by Barbara J. Perenic) http://chej.org/2016/09/29/grassroots-green-heros-save-our-countys-alonzo-spencer/ ---- 7-20-92: 12 people were arrested at the U.S. EPA’s offices in Washington, DC, after they refused to leave the building. According to Alonzo Spencer, one of the arrested: “We are hungering for justice in East Liverpool, Ohio. Whatever we suffer to stand against this outrage is nothing compared to what our children will suffer if WTI is allowed to spew lead, mercury and dioxin into our valley.” - Morning Journal, OH, 7-21-92----------------------

The Bells: First Family of Potter Football


ELHistSoc - There is a distinct lack of color here2


This site is the property of the East Liverpool Historical Society.
Regular linking, i.e. providing the URL of the East Liverpool Historical Society web site for viewers to click on and be taken to the East Liverpool Historical Society entry portal or to any specific article on the website is legally permitted.
Hyperlinking, or as it is also called framing, without permission is not permitted.
Legally speaking framing is still in a murky area of the law though there have been court cases in which framing has been seen as violation of copyright law. Many cases that were taken to court ended up settling out-of-court with the one doing the framing agreeing to cease framing and to just use a regular link to the other site.
The East Liverpool Historical Society pays fees to keep their site online. A person framing the Society site is effectively presenting the entire East Liverpool Historical Society web site as his own site and doing it at no cost to himself, i.e. stealing the site.
The East Liverpool Historical Society reserves the right to charge such an individual a fee for the use of the Society’s material.