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Otis Davenport Jackson

Born on 5-5-1880. She was born in Troy, AL. She was accomplished in the area of Community. She later died on 4-4-1965.
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Otis Jackson came to Buffalo in 1923 because her husband, William, was recruited to start the first YMCA for African Americans in the city. Mrs. Jackson, the daughter of Virgil and Hattie Davenport was a native of Troy, Alabama. She was born on May 5, 1880. She was a graduate of Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. She taught school in Birmingham, Alabama and later became the Dean of women at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Mrs. Jackson was a divorcee when she met William Jackson. She had one son, William Cooper Councill, who grew up in Buffalo. Mrs. Jackson was active in Buffalo community organizations including the Litmus Club, the Women's Y Health Club, Lloyd's Memorial Church of Christ Missionary and many others. She supported her husband's work at the Michigan Avenue YMCA and taught classes in English grammar.

Mrs. Jackson, with other city Black women including Elizabeth Talbert and Viola Wheeler took the lead in establishing the Friendship Home for Girls in Buffalo. Mrs. Wheeler was the Superintendent of the Home. Opened in 1926, Buffalo's Home was the fourth in the nation. It was established following other homes in Philadelphia, Chicago and Cincinnati. The Home provided young women, especially new to the city safe accommodations and education. Classes in sewing, first aid, music and English were offered as well as referrals and support for employment. The Friendship Home was supported financially by local churches of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Black women's groups also were supportive.

Following her husband's death Mrs. Jackson remained in Buffalo until her own death at the age of 84. She is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.