The World of William Fouse

Future Exhibit (Opens April 10, 2024)

Student. Educator. Laborer. Son of enslaved parents. Intellectual. Leader. Dreamer.  

As the first Black graduate of Westerville High School and Otterbein University, William Henry Fouse (1868-1944) broke barriers. But these achievements are just part of his story.  

Learn about how his early years were shaped by Ohio’s Black Codes, how he was inspired by other activists, and how he spent his life fighting for equal educational opportunities for Black children. 

“There are some very unkind philosophers who have tried and are still trying to poison public opinion with the thought that this is a white man’s government; that the colored man must never look up and aspire or hope for better things...” 

Fouse was deeply connected to the world around him, from the streets he walked to the people he interacted with each day. The society that he was born into shaped the course of his life.  

Welcome to the world of William Fouse. 

Content Warning: This exhibit discusses racial tensions and displays records that reflect the language or attitudes of the historic period in which they were created, including offensive racial language.

William Fouse. (Credit: Westerville History Museum)

Westerville History MuseumWesterville History Museum

Your access to the past. Through historical collections and learning experiences, deepen your understanding of your community and its place in the world. From Underground Railroad activities to anti-alcohol efforts, the people who came before you have shaped the course of American history and given Westerville a unique legacy.
Your access to the past. Through historical collections and learning experiences, deepen your understanding of your community and its place in the world. From Underground Railroad activities to anti-alcohol efforts, the people who came before you have shaped the course of American history and given Westerville a unique legacy.
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