The West Park African American community began in 1809 with the
first black settler and one of the earliest residents of the area, inventor
and farmer George Peake. With the growth of the railroad industry,
African Americans were encouraged to move into the area to work at
the New York Central Round House and Train Station located in Linndale.
First among these, in 1912, were Beary Frierson and Henry Sharp.
As more and more African Americans came, African American institutions
followed. In 1919, Reverend Thomas Evans and the families of Herndon
Anderson and Joseph Williams founded St. Paul A.M.E. Church, the first
black congregation on Cleveland's West Side. Reverend D. R. Shaw,
the Ebb Strowder family and Iler Burrow established the Second Calvary
Baptist Church in 1923. Both became pillars of the community.