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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Palestine in Anderson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Timothy Stephen Smith

(February 20, 1902 - April 30, 2000)

 
 
Timothy Stephen Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, January 19, 2019
1. Timothy Stephen Smith Marker
Inscription.  Born the son of a runaway slave, Smith yearned for a better life. He attended Prairie View A&M College and received a degree in Vocational Agriculture. He became a teacher, educating the children of North Carolina and Texas for 42 years. He also served Anderson County as Chairman and Election Judge for Precinct 2, President of the Voter's Committee and was a member of the Democratic Party Executive Committee. A proponent of equal rights, he and others filed civil actions in 1973 to change the voting boundary lines in the county to equalize voting rights. They believed that the way the lines were drawn diluted black voting strength. Judge William Wayne Justice agreed, stating the way the lines were drawn constituted a "racially motivated gerrymander” which was prohibited by a previous ruling in 1964. Anderson County switched from at-large voting districts to single-member districts for Commissioners, Constables and Justices of the Peace.

Because of their success, they filed suit against the City of Palestine stating their voting precinct boundary lines also diluted the black voting strength. Judge Justice sided again with Smith
Timothy Stephen Smith Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, January 19, 2019
2. Timothy Stephen Smith Marker
Timothy Stephen Smith marker is located to the left of the sidewalk and P. L. Chism marker is located to the right of the sidewalk.
and the lines were redrawn. The city switched from four at-large voting districts to six single-member voting districts. The county's first African American Commissioner, Reginald O. Browne, was elected in 1978, and City Councilmen Willie Myers and Rev R.L. Linicomn were elected in 1977. Because they were successful in their effort, many African American Justices of the Peace, City Council members, County Commissioners and Constables have been elected.
 
Erected 2012 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17304.)
 
Location. 31° 45.916′ N, 95° 37.568′ W. Marker is in Palestine, Texas, in Anderson County. Marker is on East Lacy Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located on the north side of the courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 North Church Street, Palestine TX 75801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Purvey Lee (P. L.) Chism (here, next to this marker); Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell (within shouting distance of this marker); Micham Main (within shouting distance of this marker); Anderson County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Palestine Salt Works C.S.A. (within shouting distance of this marker); Anderson County (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Col. Homer Garrison, Jr. (about 600 feet away); Dr. Bonner Frizzell (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palestine.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsPolitics
 

More. Search the internet for Timothy Stephen Smith.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 21, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 21, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 91 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 21, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.
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