African- American Historical Markers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marker Title: Gilgal Baptist Church
Address:
City: Gilmer
County: Upshur
Year Marker Erected: 1979
Designations: na
Marker Location: On US 271, just N. of SH 300 intersection, in S. Gilmer
Marker Text: In 1865 the Rev. John Baptist led the founding of this congregation. The members built a brush arbor here and chose the name "Gilgal" after the site of the Israelites first encampment in the promised land. Tom Littlepage gave two acres for the church grounds and for a black school. Later, three acres were purchased from Judge J. R. Warren. The first frame church building was erected here in 1872 during the ministry of the Rev. J. H. Hill. In 1900, after serving this fellowship, the Rev. W. L. Dickson founded an orphanage, fulfilling his lifelong dream. The Dickson Colored Orphans Home, near Gilmer, operated for years before the state government took charge and moved the facility to Austin. The Rev. S. H. Howard served longer and baptized more members than any other pastor of this congregation. About 1905, during Rev. Howard's ministry, this structure was completed. The building was veneered with brick during the pastorate of an evangelist, the Rev. H. W. Gray. The first full-time minister, the Rev. Floyd D. Harris, led in the building of the educational annex. A parsonage was constructed during the pastorate of the Rev. U. L. Sanders.


 

Marker Title: Dickson Orphanage
Address:
City: Gilmer
County: Upshur
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Designations: na
Marker Location: On US 271, just S. of SH 300 intersection in S. Gilmer
Marker Text: Only home in Texas for negro orphans for thirty years, 1900-1929. Founded by W. L. Dickson, Negro Baptist minister, only superintendent home ever had. Orphans remained here until they reached 21, unless adopted or indentured by good families. A choir of children made good-will trips to raise funds. In Aug., 1929, home was deeded to the state, together with 700 acres of land and 27 buildings. Name was then changed to the Gilmer State Orphanage for Negroes, which ran until 1943, when the children (about 180) moved to state home in Austin.


 

Marker Title: Meshack Roberts
Address:
City: Gilmer
County: Upshur
Year Marker Erected: 1964
Designations: na
Marker Location:1 mi. E of courthouse on SH 154
Marker Text: not avaiable

 

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