The Negro Bank & Dismond Quarter Miler

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 The Crisis By National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Jesse Binga & H. Binga Dismond | Google Books Finds

During an Internet search I found some articles featuring two family members on Google Books.  The Crisis article outlines the history of African-American banking and profiles a few banks from around the nation, the other is an athletic and academic profile of Henry Binga Dismond. I used the Google Books clip feature to obtain the photos and text, this feature is available for public domain books.

DISMOND QUARTER MILER

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The University of Chicago Magazine By University of Chicago. Alumni Association, University of Chicago. Alumni Council

Henry Binga Dismond the fastest quarter miler who ever attended a western college received his BS at the March convocation and is now at work at Rush.  When shall the Chicago undergraduates eager attendants upon track meets look upon his like again.

Dismond is twenty five years old.  Born in Richmond Va in 1891, he entered Howard University Academy at Washington D C in 1908.  Three years later in Brooklyn he won the point trophy of the Smart Set meet taking the 220 and the quarter. The next two years while working in Brooklyn he ran for the Laughlin Lyceum and was the anchor man on the Lyceum relay team.

In 1913 he was invited by his uncle Jesse Binga a well known banker in Chicago to come west and study medicine and in the fall he matriculated at the University of Chicago.  In his freshman year he won the Central AAU quarter mile championship in 48.  This record has not been accepted by the National AAU.  As a sophomore he won the same championship in 49 flat and the Conference quarter in 49.3 one of his most spectacular races as he slipped at the start was boxed and on the first turn was last ten or twelve yards behind the leader.  He went wide into the back stretch and literally ran around the whole field.  In California that summer he ran third in the national championships to Meredith and Sloman straight away 47 flat.  He offers a good alibi, “I wasn’t fast enough.”

On Washington’s Birthday 1916 he spread eagled his field in the suburban quarter invitation special indoors beating Meredith eight yards in 50.  In June 1916, he won the Conference quarter at Evanston in 47.35 putting the western record where it will stand for ten years in all probability.  The race was around one turn Dismond ran the first 220 of that race in 23 seconds and romped home about eight yards ahead of his nearest competitor Williams of Wisconsin who also bettered the best previous Conference time.

Dismond has never been beaten in an intercollegiate quarter and has seldom failed to bring his team in first in an intercollegiate one mile relay.  His best time for the hundred yards is 10.3 for the two twenty 22 flat for the half 1.57 in a two-mile relay.  In four races against Ted Meredith he has finished ahead of that great runner three times all indoors. His ideal distance is probably four hundred yards, he fades a trifle in the last forty.  He has never had quite the sprinting speed of Ira Davenport the only Chicago quarter miler of altogether his class nor quite Davenport’s endurance, but his record is better than Davvy’s.

In his two and a half years of competition for Chicago Dismond has made 85.2 points for Chicago in dual meets 34 points in Conference meets and 30.4 points in other meets these including points in fifteen winning relays.  He is as a student considerably above the average and as a sportsman without reproach.  Few great runners have so steadily regarded their athletic prowess as incidental only or have been more popular among their competitors.

The University of Chicago Magazine By University of Chicago. Alumni Association, University of Chicago. Alumni Council

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About C. Rae White

I'm a proud 6th generation Detroiter, a creative who loves working with my hands and a fashion fanatic with a thing for shoes, bags and jewelry. I'm a family researcher who loves discovering the details of my ancestors lives. Thanks for stopping by!
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15 Responses to The Negro Bank & Dismond Quarter Miler

  1. Je says:

    I really enjoyed the track article.

  2. C. Rae White says:

    Me too! It’s interesting to me that this particular 1916 article does not refer to Binga Dismond’s ethnicity. Usually, during this time in history newspaper and magazine articles always pointed out when a person was Colored/Negro. Since this is a university publication, maybe they felt it was proper to give Binga a race pass.

  3. Chocolate Matters says:

    wow…C. Rae…wow…I’m impressed you were able to research and find out so much about your family history. I’ve been meaning to do the same, but didn’t know where to start. That Google books thing is definitely a treasure trove of historical information. Good work, sista.

  4. C. Rae White says:

    It’s amazing to me how much information I’ve found on the Internet. In Google Books alone, I’ve found at least 100 references to Jesse Binga. On the National Medical Association website, I found an old article about H. Binga Dismond that gave me greater insight into his life and times. The Internet can be a wonderful thing.

  5. Sheldon says:

    Wonderful article(s) – As you know I am now a big fan of Google books !!

  6. C. Rae White says:

    Thanks guys! You know I love to find fun and interesting things on the Internet. I feel so blessed to be able to find information and images of my family members on the web. Chocolate, I encourage you to get some names of your ancestors and start to search them out on Google to see what comes up, you never know what you might find.

  7. C. Rae White says:

    I stand corrected! I said in my first comment that there was no photo of H. Binga Dismond in this particular article. I later realized that his photo appeared as the main photo for the Athletics section.

  8. Tyra Wright says:

    Hello C. Rae: My name is Tyra Wright. I too am a relative of Jesse Binga. I would love to talk to you please contact me at (email address) and I will provide you with my phone number. I have enjoyed reading your posts.

  9. C. Rae White says:

    Thanks Tyra! It’s always great to connect with family!

  10. Muhammed Al-Ahari says:

    Has anyone ever found a copy of Certain Sayings of Jesse Binga?

    • C. Rae White says:

      There’s a Chicago Tribune article that lists several of them, but I haven’t come across an actual pamphlet. Getting my hands on one of those little books would be a dream come true.

      • Muhammed Al-Ahari says:

        I have the article. Some are also in the text They Seek A City (revised edition entitled Anyplace but Here). I need to compare to see if the same quotes are in all three places.
        Muhammed

      • C. Rae White says:

        I had no idea! Thanks for the information.

  11. Muhammed Al-Ahari says:

    Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro life in a Northern City by St. Clair Drake and Horace Roscoe Cayton actually has the quotes from Certain Sayings.

    The other books I mentioned (They Seek A City and Anywhere But Here) cover the same period, using the same resources (the W.P.A. Papers and old Chicago Defenders and Whip newspapers housed at the Vivian Harsh collection of the Chicago Public Library on 95th Street), but do not quote them.

    I doubled checked after I emailed you the other night. I’m sure that would be a library where more information could be found.

    Muhammed Al-Ahari

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