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"The Negroes of Xenia, Ohio: A Social Study (1830-1900)." Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor
			
                 THE NEGROES OF XENIA, OHIO.               1041
remaining part of the year, until time for the next revival, is spent
in building up the converts and whole congregation in the Christian
faith, and the sermons are on various topics--theological, sociological,
political, economic--ranging from the wildest mystical ejaculations to
the plainest discourse on such everyday affairs of life as honesty,
education, home owning, and the rearing of children.
  While a large number of the "converts" fall away froni the true
standard of Christianity, it can be said that by far the most far-
reaching and useful social force in Xenia is the church.  There were
few Negroes found who did not attend the church or acknowledge
its influence.  Of the 1,505 persons over 10 years of age, 977, or 64.9
per cent, were reported as church members in good standing.  These
consisted of 357 males, 98 of whom were under 30 years of age, 44
between 30 and 40 years, and 215 of 40 years or over; also 620 females,
of whom 22(; were under 30 years of age, 106 between 30 and 40 years,
and 288 of 40 years or over.  Of 84 per cent of the families there was
at least one person in each who was a member of the church, and every
family reported some one attending church at some time.  Many per-
sons, however, whose names are, perhaps, on some church record, are
not counted as church members in this report.  The number of such
persons is very near 100, and they answered the question as to church
niembership with, "I used to belong to church, but I do not now,
because I don't attend often;" " I used to, but I have not joined since
I came here;" "I am, but am not fit to be;" "I am a Christian, but
not a church member."
  The church does not, however, occupy the social life of the Negroes
as completely as formerly, or as is now the case in some Southern
towns.  The honme is fast becoming among the more intelligent classes
in Xenia the real social unit.  But, leaving aside the home, next to
the church are the secret orders.  There are 11 Negro lodges in Xenia,
nanimely: Wilberforce Lodge, No. 21, of Free and Accepted Masons,
having 48 members; Lincoln Chapter, No. 2, of Royal Arch Masons,
having 18 members; Xenia Commandery, No. 8, of Knights Templars,
having 20 members; Damon Lodge, No. 29, of Knights of Pythias,
having 70 members; Toussaint Lodge of G. U. Order of Odd Fellows;
Daniels Post of Grand Army of the Republic; Daniels Corps, No. 228,
  Women's Relief Corps; Eastern Star Lodge, No. 2; Bell of Ohio
   T. Tabernacle, No. 511; Mount Olive Lodge, No. 25, of Good
Samaritans, and a lodge of Knights of Tabor.
  In the life of the more intelligent part of the community the high
school plays quite a part. Besides having many of the children in
attendance, it has a regular course of lectures. The subjects for this
year are economics and sociology, physiology and hygiene, history,
and the Bible. Among the lecturers are a Negro physician, a white
lawyer, a bishop of the A. M. E. Church, an instructor in the Presby-
terian Theological Seminary, and an instructor in Wilberforce Uni-




			
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OHS Archives/Library Pamphlet Collection

"The Negroes of Xenia, Ohio: A Social Study (1830-1900)." Bulletin of the Bureau of Labor

R.

Issue Number:  48


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