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Fri, 11.18.1904

Leota O. Palmer, Music Teacher born

Leota O. Palmer Headstone

*Leota O. Palmer's birth is celebrated on this date in 1904. She was a Black musician and music teacher.

She and her twin brother were born in Oberlin to Columbus and Lelia Palmer, owners of a popular restaurant and bakery. She enrolled in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in high school, studied piano, and graduated from OHS in 1926 (class of '25). Palmer married a fellow student, Abram L. Henderson, and later married Harry Apple. While teaching at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., she was a pioneer radio pianist.

She later taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and then at the Jenkintown Music School branch of the Settlement Music School of Philadelphia. Her interests included travel, gourmet cooking, opera, musical compositions, and fine art. She studied art in Italy and, in her 80s, went to China to study its art history and music theory.

Palmer is perhaps best known as the mother, early teacher, and occasional accompanist of the late Natalie Hinderas, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, class of 1946. Leota Palmer died at her home on May 29, 1997. Survivors include her granddaughter, her husband, Michele and Tim Turner of Chicago, their two daughters, and a nephew.


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