Established in 1831 by Elizabeth Harvey in Harveysburg, the Elizabeth Harvey Free Black School was the first school for freed African American children in Ohio. Harvey had 25 pupils in her first class.
One of Harvey's students was Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall. Ball was born into slavery, the son of a white planter, Stephen, and his slave Priscilla. He was freed by his father in 1838 (along with several of his siblings also fathered by Stephen Wall), and sent them to live in the Quaker settlement of Harveysburg, Ohio, (entrusting their guardian with $1000 for each child) where they attended the Elizabeth Harvey Free Black School.
Wall attended Oberlin College, established a successful footwear business and read law under John M. Langston.
He became a conductor on the Underground Railroad, assisting slaves in reaching Harveysburg. Wall was later the First Black Captain commissioned into the Regular U.S. Army and served in the U.S. Civil War. He earned the Medal of Honor and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Orindatus Simon Bolivar Wall's Accomplishments
In 1976, the Harveysburg Bicentennial Committee acquired the building and restored it. The building is now the home of the Harveysburg Community Historical Society and their community museum.