Roberta Preston

From Ohio History Central

Roberta Preston was the first African-American woman to serve as a postmaster in Ohio and in the United States of America.

Roberta Preston served as postmaster of Rendville, Ohio, which is located in Perry County. Rendville was a mining town established in the late nineteenth century. Unlike most other mining communities in Ohio, Rendville included large numbers of African Americans. Traditionally, white miners had refused to allow companies to hire African-American miners, but William P. Rend, the founder of Rendville and owner of a mine in this community, hired large numbers of African Americans as well as Europeans. Preston spent a majority of her life in Rendville, and she was educated at local schools in Rendville and nearby Corning. She eventually moved to Gallipolis, Ohio. Her life illustrates the gradual increase in opportunities for people of all races in Ohio.

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