It wasn’t much more than a ghost house by the time Rufus McDonald got the call.
The front door of the abandoned home near 75th and Sangamon was unlocked and swinging in the wind.
Drug addicts, squatters and stray animals carried away whatever they wanted. Everything that wasn’t termite-infested seemed to have been stolen. Even the copper pipes were gone.
But the scavengers missed something incredible.
Hidden in the attic that McDonald was contracted to clear before the home’s 2009 demolition was a trunk. Inside were the papers of Richard T. Greener, the first African American to graduate from Harvard.