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Photograph of Charles Kiner

@ Worthington Libraries


This photograph of Charles Kiner is from an unknown date, and is taken from the booklet "Forward with Brotherhood," published by the St. John's A.M.E. Church. Kiner played important roles in the late 1800s/early 1900s Worthington. He was the first Black person to hold public office in Worthington. He also was instrumental in helping to establish the St. John's A.M.E. Church, Worthington's home church for the Black community. Charles was the son of Benjamin and Frances Kiner, who were emancipated in Virginia at the close of the Civil War. The couple was successfully reunited by the Freedmen's Bureau following the war, as explained by Edward Ayer in the book "The Thin Light of Freedom." He writes: "In a few instances, the efforts [of the Freedmen's Bureau] worked. Benjamin Kiner had moved to Ohio and wrote his wife Frances back in Augusta [County, Virginia] in 1866, through the connections of the Freedmen's Bureau. 'I would like to have you come out here and I hope you will make up your mind and come with the children,' he urged. 'I should like to have all the children with me as they can go to school.'" After moving to Ohio, the family settled in Worthington near the turn of the century. In 1900, Benjamin was 85 and a widower, living with his son Charles and his family. Charles Kiner was the first known African American to hold public office in Worthington, when he was appointed town marshal in 1891. According to an 1860...
Worthington LibrariesSt. John African Methodist Episcopal (A. M. E.) Church
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