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This is a contributing entry for Landscape of African American History in Central Pennsylvania and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
A necessary service in the life of most male members of society, regardless of race, was a haircut, and sometimes a shave. This stop on the tour recognizes that there were some equalizing factors that helped integrate African Americans into the fabric of society as a whole. Thaddeus Henry's Barbershop was one such business that capitalized on the need for this basic service.

Henry Barber Shop

Henry Barber Shop

Thaddeus S. Henry was a well-known Black barber in Lancaster, PA. By 1873, Thaddeus' barber shop occupied the first floor of a three-story brick building at 15 East King Street, the present site of Fulton Bank; the site is marked with a historical marker about Henry.

Thaddeus Henry’s uncle, Thomas Simmons, taught him the trade and brought him to Lancaster in 1831, where Simmons bought a shop in town. When his uncle decided to move back to Philadelphia, Henry’s friends bought the barber shop for him so he could stay and continue his work. His services were sought by the most prominent men of the day, among them President Buchanan and Hon. Thaddeus Stevens. At one point, Henry was claimed to be the oldest barber still working his trade in Pennsylvania in a Lancaster newspaper. He first saw Thaddeus Stevens when he came to Lancaster from Gettysburg in the late 30’s for an anti-Masonic speech. Stevens went into the barber shop, which was crowded, he picked up a razor and shaved himself. In 1842 Stevens moved to Lancaster and became a regular customer.

Underground Railroad origins in Pennsylvania. “Heritage Events.”

"Aged Barber - Newspapers.Com.”