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Local historian works to get mark at the Grayson County courthouse

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A Grayson County historian is waiting for approval on her project to get a Texas Historical Marker for the Sherman Riot of 1930.

Local historian Melissa Thiel says she tells stories that aren’t told enough.

“I like to talk about history that isn’t talked about. I like to give a voice to where there maybe isn’t a voice” Thiel said.

Thiel is a Grayson County native. She’s passionate about telling the stories of her community.

When she began her research of the Sherman Riot of 1930, in June of last year, she realized what she wanted to do.

“So, what we want to get done is a historical marker at the Grayson County courthouse, and remember what happened and talk about what happened and tell the Black community that we acknowledge the pain and the hurt that happened in 1930″ Thiel said.

In May of 1930, George Hughes, a Black man was murdered at the courthouse.

The courthouse was burned, and Hughes body was taken to mulberry street where Black-owned businesses were also burned.

“This was a very historical event, it changed the landscape of Sherman and Grayson County, but it was never recognized” Thiel said.

She hopes to the marker will stand as a teaching moment for the community, to remember what happened and to never forget.

“For 90 years there’s been a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, and I think every year we go without acknowledging it, that pain gets deeper. And right now is the time to say, ‘we know what happened, we remember what happened, and we acknowledge it.’ And let’s start healing, let’s come together as a community, with love and peace, and talk about this” Thiel said.

Thiel is waiting on the Grayson County Historical Commission and County Commissioners to approve the marker.

After that, she’ll go to the Texas Historical Commission.

She says she feels good about the project and hopes the county will get on board.

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