Ottawa’s groundbreaking Civil Rights story will take center stage this month as the Franklin County Historical Society salutes Black History Month.
Deborah Barker, historical society director, plans to tell the story of Isaac Tinnon and Ottawa’s landmark school desegregation case at 10 a.m. Saturday at City Hall, 101 S. Hickory St., Ottawa.
When Cheryl Brown Henderson — daughter of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, whose name harkens to the Brown v. Board of Education case on Topeka school desegregation — spoke at the 2004 ribbon-cutting for national historic site honoring the court case, those gathered heard the name Leslie Tinnon. They also heard about his father’s efforts, which included going to court to help him attend school in desegregated Ottawa facilities. Historians acknowledge the Tinnon case was the first in which the nation’s new 14th Amendment was used to enforce desegregation.
Barker’s Saturday talk is free and open to the public.