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Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Origins of Freedman's Town

 
 
Origins of Freedman's Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, September 16, 2012
1. Origins of Freedman's Town Marker
Inscription. Located in Houston's Fourth Ward, the original Freedman's Town settlement was founded soon after the emancipation of enslaved blacks on June 19, 1865, at the end of the Civil War in Texas. Positioned west of downtown and directly south of Buffalo Bayou, the community gradually expanded to the south and west during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Freedman's Town quickly became the economic and cultural center of Houston's African American population, growing throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The neighborhood stretched from Buffalo Bayou south to Sutton Street, and west from Milam and Travis streets to Taft Street. A streetcar line was built west along what is now W. Dallas Street, and another line ran along Andrews to present Wilson Street, and north to Robin Street. Portions of the district, which included farmland, remained sparsely settled for several decades. The neighborhood changed as residents built many small wood-frame cottages, as well as a number of larger T-plan and L-plan houses. Commercial structures included several corner grocery stores and restaurants, as well as apartment buildings and boardinghouses.

Historic churches such as Antioch Missionary Baptist, Good Hope Missionary Baptist, Shiloh Missionary Baptist, St. James United Methodist and Bethel Baptist played important roles in the community.
Origins of Freedman's Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, September 16, 2012
2. Origins of Freedman's Town Marker
Clergymen from the churches were among the most prominent early leaders in Freedman's Town and included the Revs. Jack Yates, Ned P. Pullum and Jeremiah Smith. Cultural institutions included a high school, hospital and Carnegie Library. City growth and urban renewal later in the 20th century changed the boundaries and the character of Freedman's Town.
 
Erected 2005 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13317.)
 
Location. 29° 45.473′ N, 95° 22.51′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of West Dallas Street and Heiner Street, on the right when traveling west on West Dallas Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Amos B. Edson (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sam Houston Park Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Augustus Chapman Allen (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Kirby Allen (1810-1838) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sons of the Republic of Texas (approx. mile away); Ancient Order of Pilgrims (approx. mile away); Pillot House
Houston Skyline as seen from Origins of Freedman's Town Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, September 16, 2012
3. Houston Skyline as seen from Origins of Freedman's Town Marker
(approx. 0.3 miles away but has been reported missing); San Felipe Cottage (approx. 0.3 miles away but has been reported missing). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Houston''s Fourth Ward (Fredman''s Town). The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on September 17, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.) 

2. Houston''s Fourth Ward (Freedman''s Town). Wikipedia (Submitted on September 17, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.) 
 
Categories. African AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 17, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 481 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 17, 2012, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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