New Historical Marker Memorializes Man Lynched In Athens< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A new historical marker has been dedicated to a Black man from Athens County who was lynched in 1881.
The marker sits on Mulberry Street in Athens, near the old South Bridge. It was installed Wednesday morning.
A mob of approximately 30 White men lynched Davis the day before he was to stand trial for the alleged assault of a White woman. They broke into the Athens jail and dragged Davis to the South Bridge over the Hocking River.
Davis, 24, was a father of two and a farm worker from Albany.
One side of the marker gives a brief history of lynching in America, and the other recounts Davis’ death.
Early in 2019, a number of local and regional organizations and community members formed the Christopher Davis Community Remembrance Project.
They began working with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., which has documented more than 4,400 racial terror lynchings in the United States between 1877 and 1950. The EJI documented 15 lynchings in Ohio and 35 in West Virginia during this period.
Last September, community members gathered under the Richland bridge to commemorate Davis. Attendees also collected soil from the approximate site Davis was lynched to send to the Legacy Museum and Memorial in Montgomery.
Some of the soil is included in the collection at the Southeast Ohio History Center in Athens.