Photograph courtesy of Robert Knoll Studio. It originally appeared in Dayton’s African American Heritage by Margaret Peters.
Frederic Charles MacFarlane
1889 - 1948
Frederic Charles MacFarlane was born in St. Croix, West Indian Islands. He was trained as a teacher at Norre Nissum Seminarium, West Jutland, Denmark. His teaching career began in 1910 as headmaster of a private school in Frederiksted. In 1921 he accepted a position as a government translator overseeing the transfer of the islands from Danish to American rule, translating archival records. His Masters Degree from Columbia University, in the field of Administration and his exceptional credentials drew the attention of the Dayton search committee. MacFarlane was recruited to become Dayton Ohio’s first African American high school Principal. He also passed on his belief in philanthropy to his family who raised the money needed to restore and conserve a rare mural titled “Douglas Inspiring the Youth of the Negro Race’. This mural, commissioned under the Public Works of Art Project of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, hung in the original building of the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, where Fredrick MacFarlane was principal. The restored artwork is currently displayed at the Dayton Art Institute.