Wife of iconic Dayton civil rights leader dies at 100

Her husband's name may be more well-known in Dayton, but Charline McIntosh was clearly a force of strength and determination.

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McIntosh, the wife of slain civil rights leader W.S. McIntosh, died Monday morning, her former daughter-in-law, Elba McIntosh, said. 

In August, McIntosh celebrated her 100th birthday with a party at Genesis HealthCare at the Forest View Center in Trotwood attended by family, friends and dignitaries.

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A transplant from Little Rock, Ark. like her larger-than-life husband, McIntosh faced a long list of adversity that included her home being set ablaze after her husband tried to calm tensions during the 1966 West Dayton riots.

W.S. McIntosh died in 1974 trying to stop a robbery in 100 block of South Main St.

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J.W. McIntosh, W.S. and Charline's only child, was so shunned due to his father's work that he gave away his belongings to win friends, his family said in August.

Not even every black Daytonian in 1950s and 1960s wanted W.S. McIntosh to rock the boat, Elba McIntosh, J.W. McIntosh's ex-wife, told this news organization then.

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“A lot of people didn’t appreciate it (the push for civil rights) and felt a little uncomfortable about it,” Elba said. “The fact is that she stuck by him through it.”

Tynnetta McIntosh, Elba McIntosh’s daughter,  called her grandmother the loving backbone of the family and of her grandfather’s civil rights work.

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“She really sort of organized in the background. W.S. was the public face,” Tynnetta said in August. “I think she is probably an unsung hero.”

Charline was secretary of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). Her husband was the group’s executive director.

The couple helped organize the 1963 picket against Rike-Kumler Co. to get blacks better jobs in the downtown store.

After protests and boycotts, Rike’s and other downtown stores began hiring blacks as clerks and salespeople.

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In recognition of his work, the Dayton City Commission renamed Riverview Park the W.S. McIntosh Park in 1996.

The W. S. McIntosh Memorial Leadership Award at the University of Dayton is awarded annually to Dayton minority students to cover tuition and other costs.

Called BooBoo by family members and friends, Charline McIntosh and her husband owned several Dayton businesses including The House of Knowledge, an Afrocentric book and imports store.

The store was the first black-owned business downtown, according to  Elba, a St. Thomas, Virgin Island-born University of Dayton graduate. J.W. and W.S. McIntosh were arrested on opening day for disturbing the peace after they played a Malcolm X speech. 
A realtor for many years, Charline McIntosh was one of 13 children born into her family.

She is survived by her siblings, Thelma Taylor Robinson and  Robert Taylor, and grandchildren, Tynnetta and Damien McIntosh.

Visitation will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, 2018 at  House of Wheat Funeral Home, 2107 N. Gettysburg Ave., Dayton. 

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