Life and Education in the West End

These photos and their accompanying interviews demonstrate the complexity of the West End and the self-sustaining nature of the community. Education occurred both in and out of classrooms, forged through intracommunal and intergenerational relationships. Their associated social activities in particular united residents and created bonds based on categories such as age or interest. After the construction of I-75, certain social dynamics were fractured in addition to the destruction of physical mainstays. A majority of the institutions seen in this exhibit are no longer standing, though their legacy is kept alive via memories and photographs.


Alexandria Montgomery and Diana Soto Contreras

HIST 3158 | University of Cincinnati | Fall 2019

Poro School of Beauty

1957 Poro School of Beauty Art Graduating Class

Anna Smith, sister of Fannie Mallory, was a graduate and later became an instructor of Poro Beauty School. 

The Poro School of Beauty served as an opportunity for community members to be professionally trained and to further business endeavors within the West End. The beauty school located on Linn St. was a part of the internationally renowned Poro College founded by Annie Malone. Poro College was the first educational instituation whose main focus was the teaching and study of black cosmetology.  

"My sister attended there got her certification and then finally became a teacher there and this photo shows her with the teachers."

- Mrs. Mallory, 2019

Mrs. Mallory contributed all of the Poro School artifacts shown here. Her sister, Anna Smith, was a graduate and former instructor of Poro Beauty School. 

Heberle Elementary School

2nd Grade class of Heberle Elementry School

This second grade elementary school photo, dated at 1957, is certainly emblematic of mid-century sentiments and the myriad transitions in culture: Heberle was an integrated school, yet the photo is not. Mr. Moon notes that there were little to no racial incidents growing up. He recalls how he and the other children played together.

"The building is still there, however it's closed and has been sold to private investors."

-Ralph Moon, 2019

The communty in the West End was self-sufficient and did not need to seek education outside its bounds, which produce educational institutions in the neighborhood that served those of neighborhood. The families knew each other; the teachers knew the students, and the students knew each other. 

Junior High School

1947 Bloom Junior High School Yearbook

The West End contained a multitude of schools that offered education to children of all ages. Today, a majority of those schools are no longer operational and the only renmants of their impact are the memories and stories carried on by those who attended them. Mr. Mallory was one of those attendees. This junior high yearbook (left) belonged to Mr. Mallory, in which he authored the dedication (transcribed below).

"My husband is very important to me. He's passed on. If he were here to tell you about his story, it would be phenomenal."

- Mrs. Mallory, 2019 

Mr. Mallory understood that education was much more than just book learning. Education entailed learning to get along with your peers, experiencing diversity, and creating unforgettable memories with those in your community.  

Bloom Junior High School Yearbook Dedication Page

Written by William L. Mallory Sr.

The youth of America must face the future. They must have the knowledge and the foresight that will benefit not only themselves but all others. These youths, many of them, will play an important part in learning our nation -- a trying and exacting task. Our youths must obtain a fine education to fit them for leadership. Our own beloved Bloom Junior High is a stepping stone in that direction. Book learning is not all of education. Getting along with others begins in the home, continues in the school and guides our progress everywhere. This ability to adjust ourselves to personalities is not always easy, but it is something to be studied and cultivated. Wars could be prevented if the nations involved had learned how to get along with other nations. If we learn to co-operate and to get along with others at Bloom, then I think we have made a great stride toward peace and happiness in our contacts. It is with these thoughts in mind that we, as the students at Bloom Junior High School, dedicate, this issue of our Yearbook to the Youth of Bloom Jr. Hi. School.

William Mallory

Secretary of the Student Government


Boy Scout Meeting

Boy Scout Troop 550

"Mr. Gholson was a serious scoutmaster. If we had a hike we always hiked at least ten miles. He was eccentric; however, he knew something that we didn't, which was most of us were going to end up in the military service. So in his own way, he was preparing us for what's to come . . ."

- Ralph Moon

The boyscouts created a mentality of service and togetherness among neighborhood children, which helped them build the skills needed to succeed in the military as well as in civilian life.