Book Report: North Webster: A Photograpic History of a Black Community by Ann Morris and Henrietta Ambrose (1993)

Like the preceding books Webster Park: 1892-1992 and How To Research the History of Your Webster Groves Home, I borrowed this book from the library; unlike those, however, it is still publicly available for purchase at, so I might get a copy.

This book tells the story of North Webster, a small community in the northwestern part of Webster Groves that is mostly black in racial makeup. The book traces its origins as a couple of freedmen’s houses in the middle of the 1800s to its annexation by Webster Groves in the middle 1900s and its integration into the community.

Of course, the best part about this book is the moments and tidbits it provides: Douglass High School became the first black high school in the county, and Carl Sandburg spoke there. The book tells about the young men from the town that joined the 92nd in World War I and their participation in the dedication of the World War I memorial on Big Bend and Lockwood–a war memorial that has since been moved so that the contemporary right-minded folk don’t have to think about the sacrifices and participation in war, but can soothe themselves with a giant sculpture designed to rust.

The book is about 50 pages of text with a large number of names of residents throughout the years (I suspect that much of the narrative comes from family remembrances) combined with eighty pages of photographs from the local residents.

An interesting piece; I’ve added it to my Amazon Wish List, not that you gentle readers are obligated to show me the love you have of this backwater blog with gratuitous gifts.

Books mentioned in this review:

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