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Wheeler Family

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Senator Smith Climbs in Polls

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Washtenaw Juvenile Court Judge Nancy Francis Is Sworn In, March 1990 Photographer: Larry E. Wright

Washtenaw Juvenile Court Judge Nancy Francis Is Sworn In, March 1990 image
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Ann Arbor News, March 20, 1990
JUDICIAL NEWCOMER: Newly sworn Washtenaw Juvenile Court Judge Nancy Francis gets help from her mother and father, Emma and Albert Wheeler (in background), and her son, Joe Francis, in putting on her judicial robe Monday as she begins her new job. Francis, the first black judge in Washtenaw County, was sworn in by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Dennis W. Archer during a robing ceremony at the Washtenaw County Courthouse. Ceremonies also were conducted Monday for Francis at 14A-3 District Court in Chelsea and at 14th District Court in Ypsilanti. Francis was appointed by Gov. James Blanchard last month to fill the Probate Court vacancy left by the resignation of Judge Judith J. Wood.
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AACHM Oral History: Mary McDade, Alma Wheeler Smith, and Nancy Cornelia Wheeler

Mary Wheeler McDadeMary McDade was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1939, but grew up in Ann Arbor. Her parents Albert and Emma Wheeler were active in local politics and civil rights. As a college student, McDade helped found the University of Michigan chapter of the NAACP. She moved to Peoria, Illinois with her husband Joe Billy McDade in 1963. After raising four children, she built a career in law. McDade graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and she has been a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court since 2000.

View historical materials for Mary McDade.


Jones School

Jones School was an anchor of Ann Arbor’s historically Black neighborhood (what is now Kerrytown) from the early twentieth century until 1965. Many living Ann Arbor residents remember attending Jones School during the Civil Rights Era. In 1964 the Ann Arbor Board of Education acknowledged that, with over 75% Black students, Jones was a “de facto” segregated school. Jones School closed in 1965, and several years later the building reopened as Community High School.