Wilmington Garden Club welcomes History Center director

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Shelby Boatman, Executive Director of the Clinton County History Center, was the speaker at the March 14 meeting of the Wilmington Garden Club.

A Wilmington native, Shelby received a B.A. from Ashland University, and a Master’s in Public History from Northern Kentucky University.

In recognition of the recent “Black History Month”, Shelby chose to document the commitments of black leaders to Clinton County:

Dr. William Yoakley (1857-1938) was both the first Black graduate of Wilmington College and, after graduating from Howard University, the first physician of color in Clinton County. He was a medical examiner for the local draft board during WWI and was influential in treating both poor and wealthy, black and white, during the subsequent influenza epidemic.

Joseph Hawley (1844-1904) was the owner of the Midland Hotel — a three-story building on South South Street — from which he dispensed “spirits” tobacco, cigars, fresh lake fish, game, and poultry. A former delegate to the Republican National Convention, Mr. Hawley filed an anti-segregation suit against the Wilmington School Board in 1895. The board complied.

Charles (Hammie) Green (1918-1981) graduated from Wilmington College and opened “Hammie’s Snack Shop”, an establishment popular with students (Wilmington College and otherwise). He too sued the Wilmington School Board over his son’s required attendance at Midland School. Again, with student and community backing, the school board not only complied, but closed the Midland School.

“Hammie’s” served both white and black patrons on Mr. Green’s insistence in following the law that no one could refuse service to an individual in uniform.

Clarence Jones (1899-1949) was a jazz composer who attended the UC Conservatory of Music, and is still recognized as “one of the first and greatest jazz piano musicians” composing for Louis Armstrong and J. Wright Smith. Mr. Jones published “Lightning Rag” and “One Wonderful Night”, an accompaniment to silent movies.

Club President Ann Kuehn opened the business meeting. Both the Secretary (Nann Kennelly) and Treasurer (Ann Carr) reports were approved as read.

Mary Thatcher reminded members of the OAGC Region 16 Meeting to be held Wednesday, April 13 at Grace United Methodist Church in Washington Court House.

Susan Hunt’s committee will be making Hospice Easter gifts April 4 in the Wilmington Library Kirk Room, starting at 10 a.m.. The plant sale is scheduled for May 7 from 9 a.m.-noon at the Clinton County History Center. Potting schedules will be announced at the next meeting.

The Garden Club is sponsoring a judged flower show on June 29.

Joan Hinman, Sunshine Chair, passed cards for members to sign. The club will continue to meet at First Christian; refreshments are at the discretion of monthly hostesses. Masks are no longer required; however, food must either be individually wrapped, or if served, the server must be masked and gloved.

Again, club members are asked to notify the telephone committee if they are unable to attend a meeting.

The next meeting will be April 11 at 1:30 p.m. at First Christian Church. Jermaine Isaacs, Director Wilmington City Parks and Recreation, is the featured speaker. Hostesses are Suz Croutwater and Terri Thobaben.

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