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Posted on: October 26, 2021

Mayor James T. Henry Sr. Circle officially dedicated

Mayor James T. Henry Sr. Circle Dedication

Xenia's first roundabout has been officially dedicated in the honor of a man who spent his life working to improve this City and the lives of the people who live here.

James T. Henry Sr. first ran for a seat on what was then known as Xenia City Commission in November 1953, prior to desegregation in Xenia. Mr. Henry earned enough votes to fill one of the three available seats, beginning his long tenure of service to Xenia.  "Our father was a selfless and hardworking man who dedicated his life to the service of others," his son, James T. Henry Jr., 83, said during the dedication ceremony.

After being elected to City Commission, Henry Sr. went on to serve the City for 28 years, four of those as Mayor. He Xenia's first African American mayor, serving in the position from 1969 - 1972. He was also nominated and voted by his fellow constituents to serve as Commission Vice President (1960, 1962, 1968), Commission President (1963, 1964, 1979), and Commission Vice President/Deputy Mayor (1976, 1977), and was known as "Mr. Xenia." 

Mayor James T. Henry Sr. Circle

Several members of the Henry family live out of state now and traveled to Xenia for the dedication of the Mayor James T. Henry Sr. Circle. "We are absolutely proud to receive this honor and monument, and what it represents," his son told the crowd of people who gathered together near the roundabout. Henry Jr. noted that in addition to his father's public service, he worked two jobs, one teaching at Central State College and another job in Dayton, all while raising 12 children with his wife. But despite his busy schedule, "he still had time to take care of improving the lives of the citizens of Xenia, Ohio."

The Mayor James T. Henry Sr. Circle opened to drivers in June 2020. City leaders felt it appropriate the name the roundabout in Mayor Henry's honor because it is an excellent representation of the projects Mayor Henry would have supported. Not only is the roundabout a safety enhancement to the intersection, but is it also a true gateway to the community.

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