Ellen W. Craig-Jones
Ellen Walker Craig, mayor of Urbancrest, Ohio, at her desk, 1975.
Ellen Walker Craig-Jones was an African American political figure and civic leader in twentieth century central Ohio. She was born on June 5, 1906, in Franklin County, Ohio. She dedicated her life to improving conditions in her hometown of Urbancrest. At various points in her life, Craig Jones founded or was a member of the Urbancrest Volunteer Civic Improvement Association, the Buckeye Boys Ranch, and the Urbancrest Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America. She was also actively involved with the Urbancrest Youth Council, the Urbancrest Community Recreation Club, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
In 1960, Craig-Jones embarked on a political career and became a member of the Urbancrest Village Council. In 1971, Craig-Jones was elected Mayor of Urbancrest, Ohio, as the first African American woman to be elected mayor by popular vote, and became the first African-American woman to be elected mayor of a municipality in the United States. Upon taking office in 1972, Craig-Jones focused on modernizing the community. During her administration, Urbancrest received a three million dollar housing project for the town's poorer citizens. Craig-Jones also improved street lighting, installed signage, and repaired Urbancrest's streets. She remained in office until 1975. Ellen Walker Craig-Jones died in 2000.