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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JACKSON, PERRY B. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

JACKSON, PERRY B. (27 Jan. 1896-20 Mar. 1986), lawyer and the first black judge in Ohio, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, to Brooks C. and Ida M. Jackson. He graduated from Adelbert College of Western Reserve University (1919) and WRU Law School (1922), was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in Cleveland. From 1923-27 Jackson edited the Cleveland Call. Active in Republican politics, he was elected to the Ohio general assembly in 1928, responsible for the state's adoption of voter registration forms making no reference to race or color. From July 1934-Aug. 1941 Jackson was assistant police prosecutor; from Aug. 1941-Apr. 1942, secretary to the director of public utilities. Jackson was appointed municipal judge in Aug. 1942 but lost the election for his seat in 1943. In 1945 he won a 6-year term on the municipal court bench; he was reelected in 1951 and 1957. In 1960 he was elected to the new Domestic Relations Div. of common pleas court; and in 1964 was elected to the General Div. of common pleas court, being reelected in 1967. He retired from the bench in 1973 but remained active as a visiting judge.

Jackson was a proponent of civil rights for BLACKS. Refused service at a bar association meeting in HOLLENDEN HOTEL in 1935, he sued the hotel, receiving $350 in damages. He was involved in the local NAACP and URBAN LEAGUE OF GREATER CLEVELAND. Jackson was a member of various organizations and a trustee of ST. JOHN'S AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL (AME) CHURCH. Jackson married Fern Josephine Payne (d. 1983) in 1933. They had no children. Jackson died in Cleveland and was buried at Highland Park Cemetery.

Perry B. Jackson Papers, WRHS.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 11:28:39 AM

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