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Recognize & Celebrate businesses & people

Great Living Cincinnatians: Honorees

Celebrating the leadership, vision, tenacity, and love of community shared by the recipients of the Great Living Cincinnatian Award, presented annually by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber since 1967.

Rev. Wilber A. Page

Awarded In 1979
1895 – 1985

The Reverend Wilber Page was a leader both in Cincinnati’s religious community and in local government affairs for 60 years.

Wilber Allen Page was born in Cincinnati in August of 1895. He was the son of Rev. H. L. Page, minister of Calvary Baptist Church. After growing up in Cincinnati, Page served in France during World War I with the 317th Army Engineers. He was ordained into the ministry in 1919 and began pastoring at the Union Baptist Church, heading the congregation his father had led before him.

The Reverend’s contributions to the Cincinnati community extend far beyond his church. He was named to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission in 1955, and served as its president from 1962 to 1975. He was a major factor in turning the commission into a harmonious and effective unit, and led its emphasis on neighborhood centers to bring recreation directly to the people. The city’s first senior citizens center, Avon Center, Lunken Playfield and the Over-the-Rhine Community Center were all built by the Recreation Commission under his leadership. In 1971 he accepted the Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Management from the National Recreation and Park Association Congress.

During the latter half of his career, Rev. Page helped oversee the building of a new church on 7th and Central after the site at Richmond and Mound was lost to urban renewal during the late 1960s. Shortly thereafter, the church sponsored a housing project funded by the city. The resulting high rise was called Page Tower in his honor.

In addition to the Rev. Page’s religious and Recreation Commission work, he has had a long association with the YMCA movement that began while he was still in high school. He was one of the earliest workers in the national YMCA program of the early 1900s. He was vice president of the Hamilton County YMCA board of directors and received that group’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

The Rev. Page was also largely responsible for the establishment of Central State University at Wilberforce, Ohio as an independent educational institution. He served 25 years as secretary on the board of Central State, and a men’s dormitory has been named in his honor.

Rev. Page continued as pastor of the Union Baptist church until his death in November of 1985. The impact he had on his church, the African American community, and Cincinnati still remains today. Union Baptist Church and Page Tower stand today as a testament to him.

Nominate a Great Living Cincinnatian

Recipients are selected from candidates by the Cincinnati Chamber’s senior council based on the following criteria: – Community service – Business and civic attainment on a local, state and national or international level – Leadership – Awareness of the needs of others – Distinctive accomplishments that have brought favorable attention to their community, institution or organization