Mayor Proposes to Name the Train Station in Macon, Georgia, in Honor of a Black Scholar of the Classics

C. Jack Ellis, the current mayor of Macon, Georgia, and the first African American to serve in the post, has proposed that the city’s Terminal Station be named in honor of the black scholar William Sanders Scarborough. A Macon native, Scarborough was born a slave. After studying at Atlanta University he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oberlin College. His 1881 Greek textbook, believed to be the first book authored by an African American in the Greek language, drew national attention. He was a member of the American Philological Association for 44 years. In 1884 he became the first black member of the Modern Language Association. Scarborough served as president of Wilberforce University from 1908 to 1920.

The station building, which no longer serves rail passengers, is being renovated by the city and will be used for offices and possibly to house a bus terminal. It is hoped that a new commuter rail service to Atlanta will be based at the station.