Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Italy in Ellis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Italy Colored City Hall

 
 
Italy Colored City Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 6, 2022
1. Italy Colored City Hall Marker
Inscription.  Frustrated by poor infrastructure, residents of an African American community in Italy called "The Hill" rallied to get a hearing with the city council in the mid-twentieth century. A group of African American men met in a small building on Poplar Street to discuss their impending meeting with the city council. The meeting between them and the all-white city council led to the establishment of the Italy Colored City Council around 1950.

Elections for both city councils were held at the same time, and all citizens could vote on both ballots. In the first election for the Colored City Council, the people elected John Henry Farrow (1891-1959) as mayor, Nelton Tarrant (1913-1989) as secretary, and James "Jim" Hardeman (1885-1953), Matthew Sweatt (1882-1969), Walter Smith (1893-1961), Edd Lee Lewis (1900-1967), and William Costonia Jennings (1920-2009) as aldermen. A March 1951 issue of Ebony magazine featured the men in the article, "Texas' First Negro Mayor." Most, if not all, of the men elected to the council were descendants of enslaved people in Ellis County, illustrating the continued endurance of African Americans in Ellis
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
County.

The small wooden building with the sign "Colored City Hall" on the front was built in 1953 on Williams Street. The building served as a meeting place for African American council members and represented hope and progress for the Italy African American community. Despite the history of racial violence and segregation in Ellis County, the Italy Colored City Hall stands as a symbol of African American self-determination and political activism.
 
Erected 2017 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 20153.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1951.
 
Location. 32° 10.755′ N, 96° 53.496′ W. Marker is in Italy, Texas, in Ellis County. Marker is at the intersection of Williams Street and Harris Street, on the right when traveling west on Williams Street. The marker is located on the east side of the historic City Hall building. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 631 Williams Street, Italy TX 76651, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. General Edward H. Tarrant (approx. 0.6 miles away); John Marr Hardeman (approx. 0.7 miles away); Chambers' Creek (approx. 4.4 miles away); Thomas J. Jordan (approx.
The view of the Italy Colored City Hall and Marker from across the street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, December 6, 2022
2. The view of the Italy Colored City Hall and Marker from across the street
4.6 miles away); James McDaniel (approx. 4.6 miles away); Milford Cemetery (approx. 4.7 miles away); First Baptist Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); Milford Presbyterian Church (approx. 5 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Italy.
 
Also see . . .  Segregated Governments in Italy, Texas - March 1975. YouTube (Submitted on December 7, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 7, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 7, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 152 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 7, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=212061

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Apr. 13, 2024