Feb 14, 2014

First African American US Senator discussed

Roane Smothers
GREENVILLE – On Feb. 23, 2 p.m., the Garst Museum, 2205 N. Broadway, Greenville, will host a presentation by Roane Smothers. The topic will be Hiram Revels, the first African American U.S. Senator. Senator Hiram Revels was educated at the Union Literary Institute in Randolph County, IN which was part of the Longtown settlement.

Smothers was born and raised in Detroit, MI and received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a Master of Urban Planning Degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. He retired in December 2013 from the City of Dayton as a Historic Preservation Planner. While in Dayton, Smothers began genealogy research. As he continued his research, he became interested in the history of Longtown where his mother’s family resided.

Through his research, he discovered the Clemens and Alexander’s families were the first settlers of Longtown. With that knowledge, he joined the Union Literary Institute Preservation Society and expanded its mission to save all the remaining structures of Longtown. He is currently vice president of the Union Literary Institute Preservation Society. He wrote and nominated the James and Sophia Clemens Farmstead in Darke County to the National Register of Historic Places and to the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom Program as an Underground Railroad Site. He is also on the advisory board of the Dayton Foundation’s African-American Community Fund.

Admission to the program is free and open to the public, however normal admission fees apply to tour the entire museum.

Support for the Garst Lecture Series comes, in part, from the Harry D. Stephens Memorial Trust, Inc.

For more information, call 548-5250 or visit www.garstmuseum.org.


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