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Fri, 05.13.1831

Edward P. Duplex, Barber born

E. Duplex, plaque

*Edward P. Duplex was born on this date in 1831.  He was a Black barber and pioneer of California.  

Edward Park Duplex, born in New Haven, Connecticut, was the oldest son of Prince Jr. and Adaline Duplex. His father died in 1832, leaving Adaline, a dressmaker, to support the three Duplex children. Edward and his brother learned the barbering trade in New Haven before setting out in 1854 to join the California gold rush. Their mother joined them in 1860.

The family developed a successful business enterprise of hair care services and products. Edward's establishment in Wheatland, Yuba County, California, became a political and social discourse center.   Duplex married Sophie Elizabeth and had several children. His life and accomplishments are described in several articles and books on African American pioneers of California.  

In 1875, he opened the Hairdressing and Shaving Saloon (HSS) of Wheatland, CA.  Wheatland is north of Sacramento between the state capital and Yuba City.  The HSS (still operating) has been used as a barbershop for over 125 years, just one year after Wheatland's incorporation at 415 Main Street.  He was elected mayor of Wheatland, California, in 1888.  His barbershop enjoyed success and became a gathering place for townspeople.  He is believed to be the first Black Mayor of a city west of the Mississippi.  Edward P. Duplex died on January 5, 1900.  

To become a barber, hairstylist, cosmetologist

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