Several guest speakers talked about Rudd and the significance of the marker. Delores Banks of Springfield called him an inspiration and for others to follow his example.
“He was a treasure to the state, the church and the country,” she said.
Rudd was a Roman Catholic Church advocate and established his own newspaper, and enabled Black journalists and newspapers to get started.
He liked the racial equality the church offered, and in 1885 would establish The Ohio State Tribute — later The American Catholic Tribune — upon moving to Cincinnati. The Tribune was the only Catholic newspaper owned by a Black man at the time, and helped chair the Afro-American Press Association.
Rudd led Black Catholics to advocate for racial issues, and would help a national movement that would work with prominent politicians including President Grover Cleveland and continued to fight segregation and inequality until his death in 1933, and the legacy he helped build continues today as the National Black Catholic Congress.
Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland taught classes about racism at Wittenberg University and said he had surprisingly not heard of Rudd prior to the awarding of the marker. Now he hopes the city’s people will not miss the name and learn from his life.
Laura Russell of the Ohio History Connection, which handles requests for Historical Markers, said they receive about 80 applications a year and this is one of the few granted. There are now nine such markers in Springfield.
Dr. Gary Agee, a professor of church history said Rudd’s are big shoes to fill but now it’s time for people to go out and follow his example.
The marker was unveiled by members of the St. Raphael Diversity Community and reads “Daniel Rudd: Journalist of Faith and Action” with biographical details of his life.
Father John MacQuarrie, pastor of St. Raphael said in his closing prayers Rudd’s spirit was present.
“He knows about this day and we can believe that,” he said.
The marker can be viewed in the side yard next to the left side of St. Raphael, which is located at 225 E. High St.