Originally published at https://www.kxii.com/2021/08/06/town-hall-held-1930-sherman-riot-historical-marker
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) – Community members continue their fight to have history remembered at the Grayson County courthouse. Thursday night a town hall meeting was held for a historical marker commemorating the 1930 Sherman Riot.
“We want to add to that historical narrative because this is important, this is a huge historical event,” said Melissa Thiel, chairperson of the 1930 Sherman Riot Historical Marker.
Thiel is talking about the 1930 Sherman Riot. On May 9th, 1930, a mob burned down the Grayson County courthouse, lynched George Hughes, a Black man accused of assaulting a white woman and destroyed Sherman’s Black business district.
“I’d really like to understand what happened and then how can we set a marker that signifies this event and then help prevent things like this in the future,” said Brad Douglass, a community member.
Douglass collects local pieces of history, and has national newspapers from 1930 reporting on the riot and George Hughes lynching.
“No matter what George Hughes did or did not do, our justice system failed,” said Thiel.
Thiel said this is simply a historical marker, not a statue or monument.
“A man that was in the custody of the county was murdered, our own courthouse was burned down, and then a Black business district was destroyed and that deserves to be remembered,” said Thiel.
The marker has been approved by the Grayson County Historical Commission. The next step would be approval from Grayson County commissioners and Judge Bill Magers. After that, the request would need final approval from the state.
“A lot of people don’t know about it so I’m here that we can get recognition for what did happen,” said Neal Spencer, who attended the event.
Spencer came to support the group’s efforts.
“We need the truth of history so we can go forward in progress,” said Spencer.
Judge Magers and all four county commissioners were invited to the town hall but did not attend.
Theil said a request for this to be on the county commissioners’ agenda has been submitted every week since May 20th. It has not been included yet.
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