Stop 8 – Wooster Cemetery

Wooster Cemetery 983 Madison Ave., Wooster – Up the hill from the chapel toward the cemetery entrance, a new headstone here memorializes Charles and his family. This is the resting place of Charles Follis, the first professional African American football player in America. Today, the Follis family headstone (Sec. 16) marks the burial site of … Read more

Stop 12 – Weber’s Bar and Grill

Weber’s Bar and Grill 51 West Main St., Shelby – Where the Shelby Blues frequently gathered to celebrate a victory. Charles was initially refused service here, but soon endeared himself to the community. Weber’s Bar and Grill marks an important location in the evolution of attitudes toward African Americans in sports and in our country. … Read more

Stop 10 – Charles Follis Way at Shelby Stadium

Charles Follis Way at Shelby Stadium Skiles Field off of S. Gamble St., Shelby – Dedicated by the City of Shelby in 2020, this street commemorates the civic pride and admiration of Charles Follis as the great sports pioneer he was. In 2020, Mayor Steven L. Schag and Joseph Gies initiated the renaming of this … Read more

Stop 11 – Original Football Field of Shelby Athletic Club

Original Football Field of Shelby Athletic Club South Dr., Shelby, Ohio (sign at top of Reservoir Rd. ramp) The block inside Park and Simeon Street looking northwest, was the playing field for the Original Shelby Athletic Club. Looking north at the block between Park and Simeon Streets, was the football field where Charles Follis played … Read more

Stop 9 – Oakland / Most Pure Heart of Mary Cemetery

252 S. Gamble St., Shelby (South entrance, near Chapel) Frank Schiffer’s headstone is just before the brick building on left. He was the first owner in the Ohio Frank Schiffer, and his wife Julia, were pivotal in Charles Follis’ becoming the first black professional football player in America. Frank was a prominent businessman, and tobacco … Read more

Stop 7 – Second Baptist Church

Second Baptist Church 245 S. Grant St. Wooster (corner of Grant and Henry St.) – Charles and his family attended here as devout members. The last child of Henry and Cate Follis to attend here was Joseph. Wooster was founded in 1808. At that time it was European white people who made up the majority … Read more

Stop 6 – Wooster High School Follis

Wooster High School Follis Field 515 Oldman Rd., Wooster – Excelling in sports, Charles became the captain of the first Wooster High School football team. This field is named in his honor. Wooster’s Athletic Field is named Follis Field for Charles Follis. Born in 1880 to Catherine and J. Henry Follis in Cloverdale, Virginia. Charles, … Read more

Stop 5 – The College of Wooster’s Original Baseball

The College of Wooster’s Original Baseball Field Ebert Art Center, 1220 Beall Ave., Wooster – This is the original site of the College of Wooster Baseball field. Charles played baseball here and is considered to be one of the first African Americans to desegregate intercollegiate baseball. Charles Follis played baseball at Wooster University from 1901-1903. … Read more

Stop 4 – Cornerstone Elementary Playground

Cornerstone Elementary Playground 101 W. Bowman St., Wooster (sign located at playground behind School) – Site of the original Wooster High School football field where Charles starts his historic sports journey. As a Junior at Wooster High School in 1898, Charles started in their first ever football team. Already a standout track and field performer, … Read more

Stop 3 – Wayne County Historical Society

546 Bowman St., Stibbs Street entrance – Wooster In 2020, Board Member, David Broehl passionately lead the fundraising initiative for Follis Monument. The original headstone is on permanent display here.  Wayne County Historical Society ~ an integral part of the story  In 2017 a group of local citizens, David Broehl, Michael Franks, Lawrence Walker, Cheryl … Read more