Unfortunately, there are few written records of the African Americans who lived here. What is known is that there were African American churches and schools and, in terms of jobs, many African American men worked on farms or at the Ash Grove Lime and Portland Cement Company, which operated a quarry and lime kilns for many decades. The company moved to another town in 1910 and the African American population began to steadily decline, as most moved elsewhere to find work.
Several African Americans owned farms as well. One of these was William H. Berry, who is recorded in the county census in 1870 when he was 21 years old. Apparently, he came from Arkansas and had $150 to his name, which was a substantial sum at that time. He married Caroline Boone (daughter of a slave named Maria Boone, whose owner was Nathaniel Boone) in 1872. Eventually, Berry bought the deed for his property in 1881 from the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway. Family descendants have continuously owned the property. Today, it is owned by Father Moses Berry, who is the pastor at the nearby Theotokos Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church.