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100 Years Ago

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Buddie Shang

Shadrach Meshach Abed-Neo White (Buddie Shang)
Randolph Slave

Randolph slave No. 514, Shadrach, took the surname White and settled in Sidney. Local history does not record when or why he later became known as Buddie Shang by area citizens, but it is known that he was well liked and operated a shoe shine stand outside one of Sidney’s taverns. His favorite occupation was fishing, his trade-mark a shiny tin bucket. Buddie’s picture was painted by a local artist showing him on the river bank fishing with his pail beside him. The artist used one of Buddie’s expressions for a caption and sold it to a calendar manufacturer. This was the first of several ‘scenes of extreme relaxation’ that had wide circulation.One Sidney man reportedly saw a copy of the first calendar picture in Paris, France.

On the afternoon of October 31, 1889, he was wandering along the canal feeder eshadrackwhite.gif (12149 bytes)mbankment in Lacyburg (a shanty town behind Graceland Cemetery that extended north toward Water Street) carrying a shotgun when he became involved in a dispute with another resident. Whether by accident or intent, his weapon sent a blast of shot that missed Edwards and penetrated the shack of a white man, Lewis Nichols. The enraged Nichols (known as Soapstick) appeared and began to throw bricks at Buddie, threatening his life, and prompting Buddie, in his defense, to use the shotgun. The blast killed Nichols.

Buddie was arrested, placed on trial for murder, and ultimately vindicated by an all-white jury on the basis of self defense. It took the jury a total of three minutes to acquit.

It was reported in the March 31, 1912, issue of "The Sidney Daily News" that "...probably the best known Negro character in this section of the state died at the county infirmary yesterday morning of old age... Buddie lived the rest of his days in Lacyburg, dying at the age of 97 in 1912."  

'Black History' segment written in June, 1998 by David Lodge


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