Toledo Library Receives Donation

Posted Jun 14th, 2019 by Kelsey Cogan  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Community Interest, Toledo.com


The Toledo Lucas County Public Library received a special donation with items significant to the Tuskegee Institute as well as local African-American history. The items were recently donated to the Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department by former Toledo native, Kip Leahy.

The Tuskegee Institute was founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington to train African-Americans in agriculture and industry while promoting the economic progress of his race.

Mr. Leary acquired the collection from Betty Leverette, a relative of prominent Toledo attorney James Slater Gibson. Mr. Gibson was the first African American lawyer employed by the City of Toledo, 1934.

Donation highlights include:
– 1918 Eurekan, Tuskegee Institute yearbook
– Personal letters addressed to Charles Hansford Gibson, Tuskegee Institute employee
– Photographs of James Slater Gibson and his son-in-law Emory Lewis Leverette. Mr. Leverette was
– Toledo’s first African American administrator for Toledo Public Schools
– Gibson family scrapbook documenting family history including letters from Booker T. Washington and
his son, E. Davidson Washington

Local History Librarian, Gayle Harmon-Hebert said, “Both Gibson and Leverette are considered “Pioneers of Equality” in Toledo as professional African-Americans whose lives and dedication made a difference in the fight for equality in our city.”

The collection can be viewed in the Blade Rare Book Room in the Local History and Genealogy Department.

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Kelsey Cogan - The Toledo Lucas County Public Library

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