I am offering two free beginning genealogy classes this Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 106 Bell Drive in Texas City at 2 PM and 4 PM. The first class will be geared toward children and the second class will focus on adults. These classes are being offered in conjunction with the annual celebration at the 1867 Settlement National Historic District. The 1867 Settlement celebration begins at 1 PM and ends at 6 PM.
The African-American Historical Preservation Committee of The 1867 Settlement’s fourth annual Western Celebration will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 27 on the Bell Drive Strip, 117 Bell Drive, in West Texas City. Wayne Dehart performs and gives the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. Source: KEVIN M. COX/The Galveston Daily News file photo.
The end of the Civil War in Texas was a time of new beginnings for four freed slaves who made a lasting impression upon Texas history by building the only Reconstruction-era, self-sustained African American community in Galveston County. They and their families called it “Our Settlement.”
The land of the Settlement was purchased and established as a community in the late 1860s and early 1870s by a group of African-American cowboys after their days on the Chisholm Trail. Kneeland Britton, Thomas Caldwell, Henry Hobgood, and Calvin Bell were the original settlers and many of their descendants still live in the vicinity today.
George Washington Butler was a rancher, a slave owner and then the employer of these cowboys and he helped them to purchase the land. He provided letters in support of their character that testified that these were trustworthy, hardworking men who should be able to buy property. The Butlers ran longhorn cattle on their ranch and the history of the Butler family has been preserved in the Butler Longhorn Museum.
The eastern and oldest part of the Settlement forms the current historic district about a quarter of a mile along the main street, Bell Drive. The original boundaries of the land bought by the founding families covered about a square mile. The historic district is located very near the corner of Highway 3 and FM 1765 on the border of Texas City and LaMarque.
The 1867 Settlement celebration will include a cowboy trail ride, historical programs, street vendors, live entertainment, raffles and prizes. Bring your lawn chairs and shade tents to set up on the grass. Enjoy a living history reenactment by a Buffalo soldier. Read the historical marker, see the historic buildings and help to celebrate Texas history.
And if you are interested in a free beginning genealogy class come see me!
For more information, the National Register of Historic Places Registration form is here.