Jackson, Thompson, Jr.(born: April 1, 1882 - died: December 3, 1965)
Thompson Jackson, Jr. organized and served as scoutmaster of the first African Americans Boy Scouts Troop in Mansfield, Ohio, starting in 1925. He had come to Mansfield from Kentucky in 1920 and remained until 960. Jackson's employment included insurance salesman, park attendant, Westinghouse Electric employee, janitor at the St. Paul Lutheran Church, mailing clerk, and state liquor inspector. Thompson Jackson's civic and political work in Mansfield is mentioned in his entry in the 1950 Who's Who in Colored America. He was a recognized community leader.
Thompson Jackson, Jr. was head of the Mansfield Republican Club for Colored Voters and he was a member of the Richland County Republican Central Committee. In 1921, he was one of the main speakers to encourage the uplift of the colored race during a social meeting in the Trades Council Hall. In 1922, he was a member of the Richland Lodge #58, K of P [Knights of Pythias]. That same year, he also served as the National Commander of the Improved Order of Woodmen. In 1924, he was an elected delegate to the Republican National Convention. Thompson Jackson, Jr. was also a public speaker and a singer. He was often mentioned in the newspaper society notes for his oratory and singing performances.
In 1925, Jackson was named chair of an impromptu committee that was created to bring grievances to the Mansfield School Board concerning the segregation of the city schools. The committee members were selected during a meeting of the Good Citizenship League. In 1948, Jackson retired from Westinghouse Electric. He was the first African American to be a shop steward in the company. Jacson was a member of Local 711 UERMWA-CIO. When he retired, he was awarded an honorary membership for meritorious service. Two years later, when Jackson made a stand on his support for Robert F. Taft as a U.S. Senator, the CIO rescinded the honorary membership. The Mansfield News-Journal published an editorial about the decision on November 1, 1950, p.4. The newspaper also printed Jackson's letter when he responded to the decision.
Thompson Jackson, Jr. was born in Henderson, KY, son of Thompson Jackson, Sr. and Elizabeth B. Hatchett Thompson. Thompson, Jr. lived in Henderson the first half of his life. He was the husband of Mildred Alexander Jackson. The couple married on May 27, 1903. After Thompson Jr. returned from his military service during WWI, the family moved to Mansfield, OH. In 1960, Thompson Jackson, Jr. moved to Los Angeles, CA, to live with one of his daughters. He died there in 1965.
For more information see "[...] encourage better citizenship," The Mansfield News, 10/06/1921, p.4; "Richland lodge holds memorial celebration," The Mansfield News, 05/22/1922, p.2; "Colored organization plans segregation fight," The Mansfield News, 04/11/1925, front page; Jean Rouse, "It's News to Me: "CIO Council ousts member for Taft stand," Mansfield News-Journal, 10/31/1950, front page & p.2; Mr. and Mrs. Thompson Jackson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary ...," News-Journal [Mansfield], 05/31/1953,, p.27; "Thompson Jackson dies; civic, political leader," News Journal, 12/04/1965, p.13.