#16. Curvis Rhyne

Curvis F. Rhyne

Curvis F. Rhyne – photo from Canton Repository column “Stark’s Famous,” Feb. 27, 2016

Curvis Rhyne (1922-2007) served as a city councilman in Alliance for 48 consecutive years, being first elected in 1951. Curvis was born and raised in Georgia and then moved to the Alliance area in 1942. He attended Akron University Law School for six years and then studied political science coursework at Mount Union College. He was a dedicated community leader, and a tribute written by Gayle Agnew in 2007 notes that he credited Mabel Hartzell for getting him involved in community activities. Curvis Rhyne has sometimes been called the first African-American elected to serve Alliance as a city councilman, but while he is not the first, he is undeniably the most well-known. (As for the first, a gentleman by the name of William David Jackson was elected in 1932 and served a single term.)

Curvis was best known for his smile, his strong voice, colorful suits, and always had a handshake for the men and a kiss for the ladies. In 2016, Alliance City Council unanimously passed Resolution 37-16, which dedicated the road in Maple Beach Park as Curvis F. Rhyne Way, and the newly constructed pavilion in the park as the Curvis F. Rhyne Pavilion.

His obituary included a lengthy list of clubs, honors, and awards and concluded with this: “Through the years Curvis traveled many places and touched a lot of lives. By his humanitarian ideals and strong moral convictions, love for his fellow man, and many contributions to society warrants him the honor of being called “a legend in his own time.”