Home » Ohio » Oakwood

James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.



Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Sundown Town in the Past?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Surely Not

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1930 6494 78
1940 7652 99
1950 9691 58
1960 10493 47
1970 10095 7 29
1980 9372 10
1990 8957 8858 31 2 11
2000 9215 44 6 90
2010 9202 83 17 126

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


* The 1960 census lists 36 black females and only 11 black males, letting assume that there were few to no black household in 1960.

This observation has been supported by email testimony from a Dayton resident: “Oakwood was a very tight, “old money” town. If there was a black person living there it was a chauffeur or maid. Many “domestics” eked out a substandard wage during the day and usually was taken to the nearest north bound bus stop before dark.”

An Ohioan claims that the town allowed no Jews and no blacks.

Resident of nearby Dayton, OH: “I have read in the Dayton Daily News that Oakwood, Ohio, Dayton’s most wealthy and prestigious suburb, is (or was) a Sundown Town…I suspect that Kettering, Ohio, our next ‘best’ suburb, probably was a Sundown Town as well, since it saw its greatest growth during the 1970s due to ‘White Flight’ after Dayton’s public schools were integrated as a result of a Federal Court order.”

Another Dayton resident reports: “[D]uring the 1970’s I have always heard of stories that African American motorist risked being pulled over by the police, if they drove through Oakwood at night. Even on the main thoroughfare, Far Hill Drive, which connects Dayton with Kettering. I have heard these stories into the early 1980’s.”

Oakwood, OH is a member of the Inclusive Communities Partnership of the National League of Cities