Local African American history Feb 20

During the Civil War, about 300 African Americans were living in Fond du Lac. They had been brought to the community by the Rev. Rogers, a local Methodist minister. But, by the 1940s, the group dwindled to just one person, former slave Mrs. Frances Shirley. What happened to make the young African Americans leave? How did Fond du Lac react to the minister’s good works? What roles did the African Americans play in local society and commerce?

These questions will be answered by local historian and genealogist Sally Powers-Albertz at African Americans in Fond du Lac in the Civil War Era 6 p.m. Thursday, February 20, at the Fond du Lac Public Library.

Powers-Albertz will tell the story of how Rogers made the decision to bring the African Americans to Fond du Lac and how a church, located on 12th Street, became a focal point of their community.

Powers-Albertz, past president of the Fond du Lac County Historical Society, is a lifelong resident of Fond du Lac and a genealogist for more than 30 years. She’s compiled several cemetery inscription books with Jean Rentmeister and is author of “Fond du Lac’s Forgotten Pipeman.”

The program is a part of the History at Home series, which takes place at 6 p.m. the third Thursday of the month and highlights interesting stories and aspects of local and state history. Upcoming programs include:

March 20: The Wide Awakes & the Election of 1860

April 17: 40 Acres and the Founding of Fond du Lac

May 15: History of Memorial Day

All History at Home programs are free and open to the public.


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