Sully Jaymes was Springfield’s first African-American lawyer, opening his practice in 1903.PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CLARK COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Photo: HANDOUT
Photo: HANDOUT

Springfield Then & Now: A practice for an equal rights activist

Sully Jaymes was Springfield’s first African-American lawyer, opening his practice in 1903. He was one of Springfield's most tireless activists for equal rights. 

Jaymes represented primarily black clients, including Richard Dixon, the lynching victim of the 1904 riot, and other African-Americans indicted in the race riots of 1906 and 1921. 

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Jaymes offered his services free of charge if clients were unable to pay. His commitment to securing equal rights under the law for black people by far took precedence over money. His office was on the second floor in this block shown here in the early 1920s, located at 11 ½ E. Main Street. 

»»Springfield Then & Now: W.H. Dickson blacksmith shop

Today, the buildings are all gone and the Springfield City Hall Plaza has taken their place.

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