Franz Sigel, military commander

Franz Sigel (November 18, 1824 – August 21, 1902) was a military officer, revolutionist and German immigrant to the United States who was a teacher, newspaperman, politician, and served as a Union major general in the Civil War. He was able recruit German-speaking immigrants to the Union armies, greatly appreciated by President Abraham Lincoln. Sigel served in the German military for many years, he became Secretary of War and commander-in-chief of the revolutionary republican government of Baden and was wounded during battle. He immigrated to New York in 1852 along with many others from his corp. He taught in the New York Public schools, but eventually moved to St. Louis to… Read More

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Owen F. Dolen, educator, advocate

In 1925, Owen F. Dolen (c.1864-1925) was asked to speak at a ceremony in this park, then known as Westchester Square. The occasion was the unveiling of a new monument to the neighborhood soldiers who died in World War I (1914-1918).  Dolen was a well-respected educator and life-long member of the Bronx Westchester Park community, and had spearheaded the campaign to place the memorial at the square. He gave a rousing twenty-five minute speech, bowed to the crowd, sat down, and died of a heart attack just minutes later. On April 30, 1926, the Board of Aldermen (now the City… Read More

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Maria Hernandez, activist

Maria Hernandez lived in Bushwick Brooklyn and fought against drug dealers in the neighborhood. Maria was born in Brooklyn in 1953 and lived in Bushwick until 1989. She was educated at public schools in the borough and went to New York University for Accounting. Maria Hernandez and her husband tried to evict drug dealers from her neighborhood of Bushwick. They tried to stop them by rallying support for their efforts and educating her neighbors about the need to evict the drug dealers. She organized block parties and community gatherings. On August 8, 1989 Maria was shot 5 times through her… Read More

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Herbert Von King “the Mayor of Bed-Stuy”

Herbert Von King was a tireless neighborhood activist nicknamed “the Mayor of Bed-Stuy.  He worked tirelessly to serve his community for over fifty years. In 1933 he founded Boy Scout Troop 219 to provide a constructive outlet for the local boys. This earned him the Vigil award, one of the highest honors one can get form the organization. While working as a contractor, Mr. Von King served on the local school board, the Police Civilian Committee, and the Magnolia Earth Tree Center (a conservationist organization).  Herbert Von King Park was dedicated to this civic leader in 1985 and this was… Read More

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