Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Henry Miller Morgan
In the 1920s, Texas enacted laws requiring licenses for barbers, but African Americans were excluded from the requisite education. In 1929, Morgan began developing ideas for a barber college for African Americans. By 1933, he opened a college on Erwin Street with five chairs. He established male and female student dormitories, and in 1937 he opened a branch in Houston. In 1945, he opened a location in Jackson, Mississippi, adding a branch in Little Rock, Arkansas the next year. In 1948, his Manhattan location opened, and a Dallas branch opened in 1949. The Tyler headquarters quickly grew to accommodate the expanding business, and at one time the school reportedly was training a majority of the nation's African American barbers. The school's curriculum included subjects ranging from scalp and skin diseases to electricity, chemistry and anatomy.
Morgan went on to help found the Texas Association of Tonsorial Artists, a professional barbers' organization, as well as the Tyler chapter of the Democratic Progressive Voters League. He also served as vice-president of the Texas Association of Barber Schools and as a trustee of Butler College. He was an active member at St. Louis Baptist Church.
Morgan died in 1961 and is buried in Tyler's Evergreen Cemetery. Today, he is remembered as a civic and political activist, as well as a leader in his profession.
Erected 2005 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13089.)
Location. 32° 21.049′ N, 95° 17.945′ W. Marker is in Tyler, Texas, in Smith County. Marker is on East Erwin Street east of North Spring Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 212 E Erwin St, Tyler TX 75702, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Henry Miller Morgan (here, next to this marker); 1881 Smith County Jail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Arthur "Dooley" Wilson (about 400 feet away); Camp Ford (about 400 feet away); Smith County as a 19th Century Legal Center (about 400 feet away); Yarbrough Building (about 500 feet away); Camp Fannin (about 500 feet away); Smith County C.S.A. / Tyler-Smith County C.S.A. Men and Units (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tyler.
Regarding Henry Miller Morgan. Mr. Morgan was active in politics, which was highly unusual for the post World War II south. He was a strong supporter of Harry Truman in the 1948 Presidential race, while the local Democratic party leaders backed Strom Thurmond and the "Dixiecrats." The regular Democrats did not forget Morgan, and he had a major voice in controlling the political patronage in the area in Truman's second term as President.
Categories. • African Americans • Education • Industry & Commerce • Politics •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 8, 2015, by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas. This page has been viewed 217 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on December 8, 2015, by Randal B. Gilbert of Tyler, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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