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“Giant of Community” | Long-time Toledo barber honored for decades of service to his neighborhood

Henry Clark spent decades cutting hair and being a mentor to kids, in his barber shops on Detroit Ave.

TOLEDO, Ohio — It was a special day in the Englewood and Roosevelt Neighborhoods of Toledo as the community honored long-time barber Henry Clark.

Clark opened “Poor Clark Barber & Beauty Shop” on the corner of Detroit Ave. and Lincoln Ave. in 1971.

Generations of family’s got their haircut at Clark’s shop which in many ways served as the social center of neighborhood.

He was also active in reading for literacy programs giving free haircuts to kids who brought a book with them to read.

Councilman John Hobbs III, whose father briefly worked for Clark, lauded him for being a mentor and example to many of the neighborhood’s young men, as well as a pillar of the community.

Hobbs says Clark's life can be an example to today’s generation of barbers and beauticians.

“Hopefully the barbers and beauticians now will pick up the baton and understand if the violence in our community is going to change. It’s going to be places like Poor Clark's Barbershop bringing young men back, giving them pride, and knowing that they can affect and change their community.”

Hobbs says he is honored to recognize Mr. Clark and looks forward to recognizing other unsung heroes of the community.

“So often, people that are responsible and have had an effect on our community don’t get their just deserves,” said Hobbs. “Great people never want you to bring attention to them. They just want to serve. But also, we owe them because they’ve taken so much from their own families, and own pockets, and own finances, and own time.”

Henry Clark was originally from Grenada, Mississippi. He opened his first barber shop in Toledo in 1961 a few blocks north of where his shop eventually settled.

Poor Clark Barber & Beauty Shop was originally a grocery store, and then a church, before Clark transformed it into his iconic shop.

Henry Clark died in September 2022.



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