David Meyers is a graduate of Miami University and The Ohio State University. His lifelong interest in history has led him to turn out a number of non-fiction books on a variety of topics, especially those neglected by others. He frequently collaborates with his daughter, Elise. He has also authored several novels and a handful of works for the stage, including two full length musicals.
Elise Meyers Walker earned degrees from Hofstra University and Ohio University. A former board member of the Columbus Historical Society and the Ted Lewis Museum in Circleville, she describes herself as an analyst, researcher, performer, author, organizer, project manager, event planner, teacher, saleswoman, Lego artist, mother, and adventuress. Her particular interest is true crime.
HISTORIC BLACK SETTLEMENTS OF OHIO (2020)
In the years leading up to the Civil War, Ohio had more African American settlements than any other state. Owing to a common border with several slave states, it became a destination for people of color seeking to separate themselves from slavery. Despite these communities having populations that sometimes numbered in the hundreds, little is known about most of them, and by the beginning of the twentieth century, nearly all had lost their ethnic identities as the original settlers died off and their descendants moved away. Save for scattered cemeteries and an occasional house or church, they have all but been erased from Ohio’s landscape. Father-daughter coauthors David Meyers and Elise Meyers Walker piece together the stories of more than forty of these black settlements.
LYNCHING AND MOB VIOLENCE IN OHIO, 1772-1938 (2019)
In the late 19th century Ohio was reeling from a wave of lynchings and other acts of racially motivated mob violence. Many of these acts were attributed to well-known and respected men and women yet few were ever prosecuted—some were even lauded for taking the law into their own hands.
In 1892, Ohio-born Benjamin Harrison was the first U.S. President to call for anti-lynching legislation. Four years later, his home state responded with the Smith Act “for the Suppression of Mob Violence.” One of the most severe anti-lynching laws in the country, it was a major step forward, though it did little to address the underlying causes of racial intolerance and distrust of law enforcement.
Chronicling hundreds of acts of mob violence in Ohio, this book explores the acts themselves, their motivations and the law’s response to them.
OHIO’S BLACK HAND SYNDICATE: THE BIRTH OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN AMERICA (2018)
Organized crime was born in the back of a fruit store in Marion, Ohio.
Before America saw headlines about the Capone Mob, the Purple Gang, and Murder Inc., the specter of the Black Hand terrorized nearly every major city. Fears that the Mafia had reached our shores and infiltrated every Italian immigrant community kept police alert and citizens on edge. It was only a matter of time before these professed Robin Hoods formed a band. And when they did, the eyes of the world turned to Ohio, particularly when the local Black Hand outfit known as the Society of the Banana went on trial.
Authors David Meyers and Elise Meyers Walker unfold this first and nearly forgotten chapter on crime syndicate history.