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IN RECOGNITION OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF QUAKERTOWN
(Extensions of Remarks - February 14, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E155-E156]
     IN RECOGNITION OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY OF QUAKERTOWN

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. MICHAEL C. BURGESS

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, February 14, 2013

  Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the dedication of 
the State of Texas' Historical Commission with the placement of an 
Official Texas Historical Marker on behalf of the African American 
Community of Quakertown.
   In the early 1880s, Quakertown emerged as a thriving African 
American community in the heart of Denton, TX. Quakertown flourished 
through 1920, its growth due in part to its location near the city 
square and the opportunities it provided for African Americans. The 
community was bounded by Withers Street on the north, Oakland Avenue on 
the west, Bell Avenue on the east, and by Cottonwood and Pecan Creeks 
on the South. Although many residents worked for businesses on the 
nearby city square, at the College of Industrial Arts (now Texas 
Woman's University), and as servants for white households, Quakertown 
prospered as a self-supporting community. Several churches, a 
physician's office, lodges, restaurants, and small businesses joined 
homes to line the streets of the community. The neighborhood school, 
the Fred Douglass School, burned in Sep. 1913 and was rebuilt along Wye 
Street in Southeast Denton in 1916, foreshadowing events to come.
   By 1920, the proximity of Quakertown to the growing College of 
Industrial Arts and the civic-minded interests of Denton's white 
residents threatened the future of Quakertown. Many believed that it 
was in the best interest of the College and the Denton community to 
transform Quakertown into a city park. In Apr. 1921, with little input 
from its residents, the City voted 367 to 240 in favor of a bond to 
purchase Quakertown. More than 60 families lost their homes. The 
majority of the displaced residents relocated to southeast Denton on 21 
acres of land, platted as Solomon Hill, sold to them by rancher Albert 
L. Miles. Others, including many Quakertown Community leaders, chose to 
leave Denton altogether. By Feb. 1923, Quakertown had disappeared in 
the midst of the new park's construction.
   The Texas Historical Marker commemorating the site was approved by 
and paid for by the Texas Historical Commission as one of a select 
group of applications made each year to recognize undertold stories. 
The selection was a result of a successful 2010 application by the 
Denton County Historical Commission, supported through the efforts of 
the Denton Public Library and the Denton Parks and Recreation 
Department.
   It is my honor to recognize these organizations and the efforts of 
the individuals involved and to represent Denton County and the City of 
Denton in the House of Representatives.

[[Page E156]]



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