Historic Yuma Street Neighborhood

A Sampling of Yuma Street Historic Trailblazers

From the first African American graduate of Kansas State Agriculture College to Manhattan’s first father-daughter owned and operated hauling business, Yuma Street and the surrounding neighborhood is rich in both Kansas and American history.



Negro League Baseball’s George Giles career spanned much of the 1920’s –1930’s playing on various teams across the nation, including the legendary Kansas City Monarchs.  Giles  retired from baseball and began a civil service career at Ft. Riley and a new life in Manhattan.  He was blessed to see his grandson, Brian Giles, play professional baseball  in the major league in the 1980’s on the New York Mets.




Jesse and Dave Baker  both have made a lasting impact on youth in Manhattan.  Jesse Baker played in the Negro League Baseball League for several teams and was considered by many to be the best baseball catcher of his time.  Jesse Baker Field in City Park honors his accomplishments.  His son, Dave Baker, was also a gifted ball player.  Dave eventually became head baseball coach for the K-State Wildcats, and now is Director of the Douglass Community Center on Yuma Street.



Minnie M. Howell (Minnie Howell Champe) was the first black woman to graduate from Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC) in 1901.    She received a bachelors degree in domestic science.  After teaching home economics in a series of segregated schools in Kansas, Mrs. Champe became head of the Home Economics department at Southern University , an African American college in Louisiana.




Earl Woods was a US Army infantry officer who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Woods was born in Manhattan, Kansas and he  was a college-level baseball player and writer, whose son is professional golfer Tiger Woods. Woods started his son in golf at a very early age, and coached him exclusively for his first years in the sport.   Earl Wood’s childhood home is on Yuma Street.