In this house, on 11 August 1886, famed African-American educator Booker T. Washington married Olivia A. Davidson. Residents at the time were Mary Davidson Elliott (sister of Olivia) and her husband Dr. Noah Elliott, a veteran of the 26th United States Colored Infantry in the War of the Rebellion (1861-65). Olivia was a student circa 1870 at the Enterprise Academy in Albany (9 miles west). She was also an alumna of Hampton Normal A & I in Virginia, where she first met Mr. Washington when he gave the commencement address at her graduation, and Framingham State Normal School in Massachusetts. In 1881, after graduation from Framingham, she moved to Tuskegee, Alabama. There she plunged into the work of building Tuskegee Institute, of which she was a co-founder.
From the late 1800s to the mid 1900s many African Americans lived on this section of Washington Street. Just to the east, near the corner of Washington and Pratt streets, was the Athens African Methodist Episcopal Church. The building still stands and is now a residence. A local African-American notable who lived nearby, at 159 W. Washington St., was Andrew Jackson Davison, an attorney with an active practice in Athens for a number of years. His wife Eliza Brown Davison (often misspelled Davidson) was a cook for Gen. George A. Custer during the War of the Rebellion (1861-65) and for a time afterwards. A. J. and Eliza are both buried a block north in the West State Street Cemetery.