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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Mexia in Limestone County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Booker T. Washington Park

(Near the Historic Comanche Crossing of the Navasota River)

 
 
Booker T. Washington Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, November 21, 2020
1. Booker T. Washington Park Marker
Inscription.  

Set aside by deed in 1898 as a permanent site for celebrating June 19th - the Anniversary of the 1865 Emancipation of slaves in Texas. It was 2.5 miles south of this site that slaves of this area first heard their freedom announced.

Limestone County in the 1860's - Era of initial celebrations here - had many able Negro leaders. It sent to the Texas Constitutional Convention of 1866 one of its Negro citizens, Ralph Long. From among people who lived in this locality at the time of emancipation came Negro Legislators Giles Cotton, Dave Medlock and Sheppard Mullins.

Even before land was dedicated for the park here, this was site of annual celebrations on June 19th. For many years the honorable Ralph Long was the featured orator, speaking at times from bed of a wagon parked in the shade. As many as 20,000 often gathered for the occasion. On July 7, 1912, the 19th of June Organization was chartered, to administer the park and perpetuate regional history.

The Negro People of Texas have shown outstanding initiative in fields of civic leadership, education, culture and business. In 1860 they numbered 187,921; in 1960 there
Booker T. Washington Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, November 21, 2020
2. Booker T. Washington Park Marker
were 1,187,125 Negroes in the state.
 
Erected 1968 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 452.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansParks & Recreational Areas.
 
Location. 31° 39.354′ N, 96° 36.054′ W. Marker is in Mexia, Texas, in Limestone County. Marker is on LCR Comanche A 0.1 miles south of Farm to Market Road 3437, on the right when traveling south. The marker is located in the Booker T. Washington Park just past the main entrance. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mexia TX 76667, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Joseph E. Johnston Reunion Grounds (approx. 3 miles away); Old Springfield Cemetery (approx. 5.9 miles away); Mexia Oil Boom (approx. 6 miles away); Sanders Walker (approx. 6 miles away); Joseph Penn Lynch (approx. 6 miles away); Civilian Conservation Corps at Fort Parker State Park (approx. 6.2 miles away); Armour Cemetery (approx. 6.4 miles away); Old Springfield (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mexia.
 
Regarding Booker T. Washington Park. On June 19 ("Juneteenth"), 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3,
A view of Lake Mexia at the park from the marker. image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, November 21, 2020
3. A view of Lake Mexia at the park from the marker.
which read, "The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.
 
Also see . . .
1. Juneteenth. TSHA Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on December 3, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

2. Slavery. TSHA Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on December 3, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

3. Ralph Long (1843-1921). (Submitted on December 3, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 3, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 31 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 3, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021