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Rumley, Ohio History

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Rumley, Van Buren Township, Shelby, Ohio, United Statesmap
Surnames/tags: African-American US_Black_Heritage
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Rumley was an African-American community located near the junction of Blanke Road and Hardin Pike, between St. Rt. 119 and 274, northeast of McCartyville, (Van Buren Township) in Shelby County. The first black family to buy property in the area were the Goings brothers, Joel and Wesley, who purchased 400 acres of land in 1830. Rumley was platted and recorded as a village on June 14, 1837 and became the home of many black and white families. . . including the Randolph Slaves. Rumley was built on one of the old Indian trails and was a primary stop on the only direct stagecoach route between Piqua and Lima. This allowed the village to thrive for a time. The Goings brothers opened a number of businesses, including a livery stable, hotel, and brick manufacturing operation. There were three Black schools, one public and two private.

The 1846 edition of Howe’s "History of Ohio" says of Rumley, "There are 400 Negroes (half the population of Van Buren Township) as prosperous as their white neighbors and equal to the whites in morals, religion and intelligence".

In 1865, a notice was posted in Shelby County:

  • WARNING!!! To Negroes in Shelby County: At a meeting of the I.O.O.N.A. it was resolved that in consequence of the late influx of Negroes to some parts of this county, especially near Romley [sic], Daysville, and vicinity, and in consequence of their bad conduct, insolence, and competition with white labor and other numerous causes it was resolved to give you. . .
  • WARNING!!! That you must arrange your business and depart within sixty days from this date, or by the 20th of November 1865, or measures, already adopted, will be taken to make this location unhealthy for you. Our means are adequate, and it is a duty we owe our families, ourselves and society to use them promptly. --September 15, 1865 By Order of I.O.O.N.A. (McGhee, 1980)


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