Founded in 1856, Wilberforce is the oldest private, historically black university, named after abolitionist William Wilberforce. Its location a historical stop on the Ohio Underground Railroad, Wilberforce early became a force in black education. During the Civil War, the university struggled with falling enrollment, until AME Bishop Daniel Payne purchased the property in 1862. He became its first president. The university educated generations of African American scholars, doctors, teachers, and politicians, and includes among its professors and students W. E. B. Du Bois, WilliamnS. Scarborough, and Floyd Flake.