The Story of James Preston Poindexter

Wednesday, February 15 - 6:30 PM

In the 1800s, Reverend James Preston Poindexter was a venerable leader for the African American community in and around Columbus. His dedication to social causes created a solid foundation for future generations.

Reita Smith, a local historian, founding chair of the James Preston Poindexter Foundation, and long-time resident of Upper Arlington, will share with us…

  • The story of Rev. Poindexter, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, the first Black member of Columbus City Council, and the first Black member of the Columbus Board of Education. 
  • Poindexter’s important connection to Pleasant Litchford, a blacksmith by trade and a formerly enslaved man who migrated around 1830 from Virginia to this area, purchasing 227 acres of land in what is now Upper Arlington. 
  • Her own connection to this history, both through her ancestry and through her time living and raising children in what was one of the first New Deal public projects of its time, Columbus’ Poindexter Village. 
  • Her decade-long dedication to saving two Poindexter Village buildings which will become a museum and cultural center dedicated to preserving the history of Poindexter and the Black community of Central Ohio.


2800 Tremont Road
Upper Arlington , OH 43221
Event Type


UA Historical Society

Date / Time

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM


(614) 470-2610
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