Dr. Carter G. Woodson in his History of the Negro Church has remarked "how difficult it was for the Negro minister to avoid politics," quoting from Poindexter in support of that statement as follows:
Nor can a preacher more than any other citizen plead his religious work or the sacredness of that work as an exemption from duty. Going to the Bible to learn the relation of the pulpit to politics, and accepting the prophets, Christ and the Apostles, and the pulpit of their times and their precepts as the guide of the pulpit today, I think that their conclusion will be that wherever sin is to be rebuked no matter by whom committed, an ill to be averted or good to be achieved by our country or mankind, there is a place for the pulpit to make itself felt and heard. The truth is all the help the preachers and all other good and worthy citizens can give by taking hold of politics is needed in order to keep the government out of bad hands and secure the ends for which governments are formed.29
After Poindexter's political activities lessened because of his age, he often attended Republican meetings and was invariably given a seat of honor on the rostrum.
POINDEXTER IN HIS LATER YEARS
For eighteen years Poindexter was a member of the Ohio State Forestry Bureau. Hlis first appointment to this office was made by Governor Bushnell in the year 1887. The tenure of office was six years. He was appointed by three successive governors. This gives an index to the deep respect which he enjoyed. During his first term in this bureau he served as its treasurer. In the Third Annual Report of the Ohio State Forestry Bureau, the director, Adolph Leue, wrote of Poindexter:
Mr. Poindexter, who is pastor of a church in Columbus, is a man of medium size, sixty seven years of age, wears long silver-white hair, and is, in spite of his advanced years, strong and very active, which latter qualities he attributes to his temperate habits; for he does not drink anything stronger than tea and coffee, and does not care for that when he can have plenty of good water. He used to take great delight in smoking a good cigar, but cares for it no more. Mr. Poindexter is thoroughly convinced of the great importance of the Forestry Bureau, and will do anything that may tend to advance the good cause for which we are assembled.30
In the latter years of his life Poindexter received many honors. He was invited to preach the baccalaureate sermon at State University, Louisville, Kentucky, May 15, 1887, and on the following Tuesday he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity at that school. 31
In I881 during the 41-day Ohio Centennial Celebration held immediately after the Grand Army of the Republic's sojourn in Columbus, Poindexter was appointed President of the Day at the ceremonies on September 22, and with Bishop Benjamin Arnett, spoke to a crowd of 4,000 on that occasion which was called the "Jubilee of Freedom." In the next year he was appointed by Governor Foraker one of the four delegates to attend the National Forestry Congress held at Philadelphia October 15. The Franklinton Centennial Celebration was held in the year 1897 marking the anniversary of the founding of the town on the west bank of the Scioto River. Franklinton was the forerunner of Columbus. Poindexter served on two committees, the reception committee and the committee on historic relics. This celebration drew many noted visitors from all over the State.32 In 1898 Poindexter resigned the pastorate of the Second Baptist Church. He did not give up his interest in the religious affairs of his church and the community however. He spent considerable time visiting and assisting in the work of the younger, weaker churches, saying he did not wish to rust out and knew of no other way in which he could spend his time more profitably.
His death came on February 7, 1907, in his eighty-eighth year, from an attack of pneumonia. His old friend and neighbor, Dr. Starling Loving, was in attendance. With him were also his two granddaughters, Nettie and Della, and the three children of the former, Albert, James, and Ruth Scott. Mrs. Poindexter had died in 1876 and his only child, Joseph, died shortly before him. He was conscious to almost the end, and his last words were said to have been, "I have served God, my Country and mankind to the best of my ability."
His funeral was held in the church of which he had long been pastor. The Governor of the State, the Honorable Andrew Harris, and a host of other prominent Ohio men attended it. Bishop B. F. Lee of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Reverend Washington Gladden of the First Congregational Church of Columbus were among his eulogists. The Columbus Press Post reported the following men served as honorary pallbearers: Henry Churchill, Henry Cooper, Scott Viers, James Hill, Benjamin Lofrau. The active pallbearers were James L. Gray, W. H. Lynch, James Tyler, Daniel Lincoln, Robert Moorman, George Bowman, and Robert Payne.
Among the many floral offerings, of especial note was the one sent by the Knights of Columbus of the city, said to have been given in remembrance of his good offices in behalf of Catholic school children. Thousands of people of all walks of life viewed his body as it lay in state at the home.
In eulogizing him, Dr. Gladden very fittingly said: "With the blood of three races in his veins, the white, the Indian andthe Negro, to him more than any other belongs this country."33
Obsequies were not at an end with the funeral. A memorial service was held on Sunday, February 16, at the Second Baptist Church. Governor Harris, E. A. Jones, State Commissioner of Public Schools, C. B. Galbreath, State Librarian, W. L. Curry, State Commissioner for Soldiers' Claims, and Dr. Joshua Jones, President of Wilberforce University, were speakers, as were also various members of the church.34
Honors came to Poindexter after his death. The brotherhood of the Second Baptist Church to which he had ministered so long adopted his name in loving memory. A building on the campus of Wilberforce University bears his name. A government housing project of 426 units in Ohio's capital city, completed in the summer of 1939, was named Poindexter Village. It was said in the press at the time: "The selection of Poindexter Village for the name of Columbus' first low-rent housing project is a happy one when the significance of the name of Poindexter to colored Co- lumbus is considered. . . . The name Poindexter should serve as an inspiration for those who are to live in this modern housing unit."35
29 Carter G. Woodson, History of the Negro Church (Washington, 1921), 325
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