"I've been working steady since I came up from Ohio in 1885. I started out packing celery in shipping crates for 60 cents a day. Now I'm working at city hall as the janitor. Been here for 12 years. Make $1.50 a day. It's a struggle making ends meet. I have nine children to support at home. My two oldest have jobs so that helps out a lot."
-Wilson Pettiford, Black man, age 56
Photo captions: two African American men doing janitorial work at the U.S. Capitol in 1914 (Library of Congress collection); exterior of Corporation Hall on S. Burdick St., where city offices were located before the current City Hall was built in 1931 (Kalamazoo Public Library collection).
To find more historic photographs and artifacts related to the family of Wilson Pettiford in Kalamazoo, visit KVM's searchable collections database.