You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Male victim, 16, identified in West Liberty school shooting

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument celebrated


The National Park Service on Tuesday celebrated the preservation of the home and the story of a man who was born to enslaved parents and went on to become the first African American to achieve the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army.

Col. Charles Young’s home, 1120 US Route 42 East, was designated last week by President Barack Obama as the 401st national park site. Although the home’s opening to the public is still at least two years away, the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument is expected to draw 125,000 visitors annually, create jobs and help support the local economy.

“These monuments are hugely significant and they’re economic engines for the local community,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who visited as part of a five-state tour of new parks sites.

“We can absolutely document that for every $1 we invest in a place like this, there is $4 in return to the economy,” added National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis.

Celebrating Young’s life is also an important part of the effort to better tell the complete story of America’s history, an effort that Salazar said is lacking.

Young served during difficult and racially tense times, according to the White House. He was the highest ranking African American commanding officer from 1894 until his death in 1922 and served nearly his entire military career with the all-black 9th and 10th Calvary regiments, often called “Buffalo Soldiers.” He was the third African American to graduate from West Point in 1889 and the last African American to complete West Point until 1936, the first African American superintendent of a national park and the fourth soldier to be honored with a funeral service at the Arlington Amphitheater before being buried in Arlington Cemetery.

“He was kind of the torchbearer for African Americans in the military,” said local historian Brian Shellum. “He achieved his greatness during Jim Crow, so his story was kind of lost. It’s important that we tell his story and that we rediscover his story.”

Young purchased the home, which was part of the Underground Railroad, when he became professor of tactics and military science at Wilberforce University in 1894. It was there that he hosted famous Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and philosopher W.E.B. Dubois.

The house will have to be assessed to ensure it can handle visitors and meets fire protection codes before it is opened to the public, said Acting Park Superintendent Reginald Tiller. The roof and water in the basement will also have to be addressed. Obama’s budget, which will be released next week, outlines funding for the site.

Tiller said he will work to connect with local elementary schools and the ROTC to share the story of Young’s leadership.

“The power of this place will inspire a whole new generation,” Jarvis said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

How to get young people involved in history?

David Shumway is one of our regular community contributors. Historical societies everywhere are seeking to expand membership and involvement to younger generations. But such societies too often conjure up images of dusty old people doing dusty old things; no one seems interested in history until they have lots of history behind them. This is particularly...
Local schools offer condolences to West Liberty
Local schools offer condolences to West Liberty

Residents of West Liberty were shocked as the news of the West Liberty school shooting, that took place about 7:30 a.m. Friday, shook the area to its core. As news spread about the shooting, local school from around the area took to social media to offer their condolences and support.
West Liberty, surrounding communities react to school shooting
West Liberty, surrounding communities react to school shooting

Residents of West Liberty were shocked as the news of the West Liberty school shooting, that took place about 7:30 a.m. Friday, shook the area to its core. As news spread about the shooting, people took to social media to offer their condolences and support.
Deputies search home connected to suspected West Liberty school shooter
Deputies search home connected to suspected West Liberty school shooter

Champaign County Sheriff’s Deputies are awaiting a search warrant to enter a home connected to the suspected shooter from West Liberty-Salem schools. "We are holding the scene whether a search warrant is going to be obtained for the residence to check for possible evidence inside the house,” according to an official with the Champaign...
Read Donald Trump's inaugural speech - full transcript
Read Donald Trump's inaugural speech - full transcript

Here is the text of Donald Trump's inaugural speech. "Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you. We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together...
More Stories