2015 Hall of Fame Inductee
Harvey Means was born in 1868 in Teague, Texas, to slave parents. He lived the early part his adult of his life in West Texas, working as a barber and cowboy to cowboys. Later he married, Alexenia Wallace, and moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and established a barbershop in downtown Fort Worth. He was considered one of the most successful businessmen and leaders in the community. His funeral was attended by a representative of the Governor of Texas and many other leaders, both black and white, with attendees overflowing into the sidewalk outside the church. A Texas State Marker in Teague, Texas stands in testament of his remarkable life.
Harvey was first and foremost a man that valued family and understood the importance of family togetherness. The family home, which was at 1200 Cannon in Fort Worth, was used as a gathering place for family and the community during his lifetime, and after his death, was a place that family members knew would always be a place to stay and a place for family love. Harvey believed in educating his children so that they could achieve a better life. Among his 10 children who attended and graduated from college, there was a dentist, businessman, and teachers.
Although Harvey Means had no formal education or business training, he used his talent as a barber to cowboys to become one of Fort Worth's most prominent businessmen, through the establishment of his own barbershop in downtown Fort Worth. Through this business, he became known by political and business leaders, who helped him to grow his business and were usually his customers. He purchased and owned extensive properties in West Texas, including a working ranch.
His commitment to the Fort Worth community as civic and community leader, was exemplified in his founding of a hospital and park for black residents. He was also a philanthropist and contributed generously to those in need. A man of faith, he was active in St. Andrews Methodist Church. He was considered a man of reason and was actively sought out by leaders.
Copyright © 2008, National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame,
All Rights Reserved.