CR Patterson

Patterson and Sons of Greenfield Ohio
Buggy, Bus Company, Auto Company
Legacy of CR Patterson & Frederick Douglas Patterson

By Richard “Butch” Patterson

Recorded by AAMSAZ

About CR Patterson

CR Patterson owned the largest Black-Owned Business in the world in 1900. He and his wife had six children. One of CR Patterson’s sons Fredrick Douglas Patterson (1871 to 1932) was athletic and was Butch Patterson’s grandfather. Butch has been a Tucsonan for over 40 years. Fredrick and his younger brother Samuel worked for their father in his business. Patterson and Sons was located on Washington Street in Greenfield, Ohio, and the factory was about 50,000 square feet and housed in 2 buildings. These buildings are where buggies, buses, and autos were made, along with a repair shop.

CR Patterson was one of the wealthiest people in the town, (earning around $150,000 in the early 1900’s which is equivalent to $2,445,631.58 in 2022). He and his family, children, and grandchildren all lived in a large home. He and his family were highly respected and involved in the AME Church and the community.

Frederick Douglass Patterson attended Ohio State University from 1891 – 1893 and was the first Black to integrate the football and baseball teams. Frederick joined the company in 1898, and was the driving force behind the development of the automobile manufacturing that came to fruition on September 23, 1915 as the first car rolled off the assembly line.


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