Alonza Herndon

Born slave millionaire

Early years

Alonzo herndon was born a slave on june 26,1858. He grew up on a farm in social circle forty miles east of atlanta.In 1878 herndon left social circle on foot,with 11 dollars of saving and a year of schooling.He stopped in the community of senoia where he worked as a farm hand and began learning the barbering trade.

After a few months of working and being educated he migrated to the town of jonesboro,In clayton county.There he opened his first barbershop.


He developed a thriving business and a good reputation as a barber.He secured employment at a barbershop on marietta street owned by william dougherty hutchins an african american. After six mounths herndon purchased half intrest in the shop ,entering into a partnership with one of the few free blacks operrating barbering establishments since before the civil war.Herndons barbering business expanded by 1904 he owened 3 shops in Atlanta.His shop on 66 peachstreet had crystal chandeliers and golden fixers in it.It was known as one of the largest and best shops in its time.

A mixture of black and whites worked at the crystal palace but only whites were allowed to cut.Black men were kind of like their assistant which meant herndon couldnt even cut his clients hair.

Herndon did so much than barbering.He invested in real estate in Atlanta and Florida.he acquired more than 100 houses.

Alonzo herndon died In Atlanta july 21,1927 a few weeks after his 69th birthday.Overcoming poverty and illiteracy he has risen in his life time from slavery to become the wealthy head of a leading black business that survived for a very long time.

Alonza Herndon inspired me because he went from a hard working slave he was never really respected.He worked hard to be successful and proved the whole world wrong because people mostly white men back then didnt think black men could become successful,


He had risen in his lifetime from slavery to become the wealthy head of a leading black business that had survived into the twenty -First century.


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From slavery to wealth