ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford City Council voted to change the name of Ogilby Road, to honor Homer Hempstead, the first African American from Rockford to join the Marine Corps.
Hempstead was one of 20,000 African American men in a group known as Montford Point Marines.
The original request for the change proposed renaming only a four block stretch from South Central Avenue to Clifton Avenue. However, the city council voted to approve the entire street.
Stanley “Curly” Thompson, President of Montford Point Marine Association of Beloit and Rockford Chapter 41, said the new road name will recognize a group that shaped the nation’s future.
“It gives an opportunity to let the citizens of Rockford know and learn about a man who served honorably in the Marine Corps… at a time when it was segregated.”
The permit for the new street name will last for three years.