Timeline: 1905

The African American Businessmen “Negro Business Club” was established. Aligned with the county’s African American farmers and stockmen, it was organized to counter discrimination in the local grocery stores. Local white green groceries had begun to refuse to serve or sell to African Americans.

Homer Park opened. African American utilized the Park from holding Emancipation Celebrations, to church outings, religious revivals, swimming and fishing.

Colonel Wolfe School, 401 E. Healy, was completed for the Champaign School System. Walter T. Bailey, the first Black graduate of the University of Illinois School of Architecture, is listed as “assisting with the design” of the Prairie School styled building located at 401 (now 403) E. Healey in Champaign. He was the first Black architect licensed in Illinois.

Atrus Lee and other African American men of Champaign circulated a petition to be presented to the mayor and the city council asking for the location of a branch fire department somewhere in the section of the city bounded on the north by University Avenue, on the west by the Illinois Central Railroad and on the east and on the south by the city limits. Mr. Lee stated that the race to which he belongs to is not represented on the police force or in other official positions and he expressed the belief that an African American fire department would be a fitting recognition to that portion of the city’s population.