Icabod Flewellen was born July 6, 1916 in Williamson, West Virginia. Flewellen’s dream was to build an Afro-American museum in Cleveland, Ohio so that others could see the accomplishments of Africans and those of African descent.
To increase his knowledge of Negro history, Mr. Flewellen enrolled at West Virginia State College (now West Virginia State University) at age 23 to obtain a degree in Negro Studies. When he found that the program did not meet his needs, he became a clerk while serving during WWII’s African and European campaigns.
Flewellen was honorably discharged from the Army in 1945 and he moved to Cleveland to build an Afro-American museum. He supported his dream while working at Cleveland’s Veterans Administration. Mr. Flewellen also worked in the maintenance department of Case Western Reserve University and sold real estate at the John Bland Realty Company while he researched and collected material for his Afro-American museum.