Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Has Nicodemus always been an all Black town?
A: Before the railroad bypassed the town there were White merchants in town. It was common practice for merchants to live above their stores.
Q: Where does the name Nicodemus come from?
A: There was a popular slave era song published 1864 by Henry Clay Work called "Wake Nicodemus." Later, his song was slightly modified and used to promote the settlement of Nicodemus
Q: What kind of industry was there in town?
A: Farming was the main industry with corn and wheat as the main crops. Nicodemus boasted several businesses such as general stores, grocery stores, hotels, pharmacies, millineries, liveries, barber shops, and a bank.
Q: Are there still Black farmers in Nicodemus?
A: There are seventeen decendants that own farmland in the five township areas near Nicodemusthat were homesteaded by African American farmers. Five of the seventeen are still actively farming.
Q: How many people lived in Nicodemus at its height?
A: There was rumored to be as many as 700 people living in the township at one point, but a more realistic number might be closer to 600.
Q: Are there descendants of the original setters living in town, and how many people live here now?
A: Currently, there are twenty people living in Nicodemus, and fourteen are descendants. There are other descendants that live in the township of Nicodemus, but not the town itself. The number of people living in town changes frequently.
Did You Know?
The original settlers of Nicodemus organized the town using the five pillars of many African American communities: religion, education, home ownership, business, and civic government.