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Arlington Heights to publicly honor its first Black resident

January 25, 2021 GMT

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago suburb plans to publicly honor its first Black resident, a barber who arrived in 1888 and also worked as a firefighter.

Frank White was a “very special individual in Arlington Heights history, for certain,” said Mayor Tom Hayes.

Village staff are researching White’s life for a display that will be placed at village hall before it goes to fire department headquarters, The Daily Herald reported.

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White arrived in Arlington Heights with his wife, Fanny, in 1888 and helped create a volunteer fire department. He served for 40 years.

White, a Republican, also was a barber who would perform long shaves to try to learn a customer’s political affiliations, former Mayor Al Volz told the newspaper in 1961.

White moved away from Arlington Heights after his wife died in 1947. He died in 1953 at age 90.

White is an “important figure in our history that many people probably know little about,” village manager Randy Recklaus said.