Chris Ott

Student Historian

Chris Ott graduated magna cum laude from University of Washington and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Teaching from the UW and hopes to be teaching high school social studies in the near future. His historical interests pertain to music, theater and other performing arts.

Archibald Grimke (1849-1930)

Image Courtesy of Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Archibald Grimke was a leading intellectual, activist, and author on racial equality in early 20th Century America. Grimke was born into slavery, the son of Nancy Weston, a slave, and Henry Grimke, her owner. After his father’s … Read MoreArchibald Grimke (1849-1930)

James A. Roston (1864-1924)

Lieutenant James A. Roston was a key organizer for the African American labor movement in Seattle in the early part of the 20th century. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1864.  Roston was commissioned (from the District of Columbia) as a first lieutenant … Read MoreJames A. Roston (1864-1924)

William Nickerson (1879-1945)

William Nickerson, one of the founders of Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co., was born in a log cabin in San Jacinto County, Texas in 1879. Nickerson was educated at Bishop College in Marshall, Texas.  He worked briefly as a history teacher in public schools … Read MoreWilliam Nickerson (1879-1945)

Seattle School Boycott (1966)

On Thursday March 31 and Friday April 1, 1966, thousands of Seattle Public School students boycotted schools in the Central District, Seattle Washington’s African American community, to protest the de facto segregation that they believed was racially discriminatory. The students and their leaders felt that … Read MoreSeattle School Boycott (1966)

Edward L. Miles (1939-2016)

Image Courtesy of Edward L. Miles Edward Lancelot Miles, the Bloedel Professor Emeritus of Marine and Public Affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle, was a pioneer scientist in examining and establishing international environmental policy, particularly in the area of global climate change. He was born … Read MoreEdward L. Miles (1939-2016)

Norman Oliver Houston (1893-1981)

Norman Oliver Houston was co-founder of the Golden State Mutual Insurance Co., the largest black-owned insurance company in the west. He was born in San Jose, California, and studied business administration at the University of California at Berkeley before being drafted into the U.S. Army. … Read MoreNorman Oliver Houston (1893-1981)

Negro Repertory Company (Seattle) 1936-1939

The Negro Repertory Company (NRC) was established in 1936 by Florence and James Burton, directors of the Seattle Repertory Playhouse (SRP), as the Negro unit of the Federal Theatre Program, a part of the WPA. In its short life it produced ambitious and controversial plays … Read MoreNegro Repertory Company (Seattle) 1936-1939

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company

Image Ownership: Public Domain Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, the largest black-owned insurance company in the west, was founded by William Nickerson, Jr., Norman Oliver Houston and George Allen Beavers, Jr. On July 23, 1925 they opened as the Golden State Guarantee Fund Insurance … Read MoreGolden State Mutual Life Insurance Company