• Aaron Mossell PhotoAaron Mossell was the patriarch of a prominent African American family who thrived in Lockport (circa 1870s-early 1900's).

    He was an extremely successful, philanthropic, business owner of a brickyard who employed a diverse workforce of over 40 individuals.
    He donated bricks that were used for a number of structures in Lockport including the AME Church on South St. and the original Lockport High School located across the street from his property on High Street.
    He built and operated one of the most prestigious hotels in Niagara County (circa 1896).  IT was located at the intersection of Pine and Walnut Streets. It featured steam heat, gas, lighting and electricity; services that were unheard of during this time.  He hosted a number of prominent guests including banking giant, JP Morgan.
    He was a self-educated individual that championed the concept that all men were deserving of a quality education and that education was the key to success and equality.
    In 1872, he initiated the process to desegregate the Lockport City School District because he wanted his children and other marginalized individuals to have the same access to education as their white peers.
    In 1876, his perseverance resulted in the desegregation of the Lockport City School District 80 years before the landmark Supreme Court decision (Brown vs Board of Education, 1955) eliminating segregation in schools in the United States.
    His legacy is one of humility, honesty, integrity, inclusion, perseverance and success. His children went on to achieve prominence in medicine, law, science, and education.  All of his children are benefactors of the contributions and sacrifices he made to provide access to quality education to all.