Richard Bogle was born in Jamaica in 1835 where his parents were slaves. When he was 12 years old, he stowed away on a ship to New York during an anti-slavery campaign, and traveled to Oregon with a wagon train at age 16. When he was 22, he opened a restaurant and barbershop in Deadwood, California, where he also did some gold mining. On January 1, 1863, the day the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln, Bogle married America Waldo. The couple moved to Walla Walla, where he opened a fashionable barber shop. They had eight children and owned a 200-acre farm near Dixie.
Walla Walla was a segregated city when the Bogles arrived. African Americans could not get rooms at a hotel or eat in public dining rooms. Mr. Bogle often allowed African Americans who were temporarily in town to live in the rear of his shop, where they could keep warm and cook an occasional meal. Mrs. Bogle was said to be “a lady of estimable character, noted for her deeds of charity to the poor and suffering.”
Richard Bogle is portrayed by Earl Gooding Jr.