Awaiting approval, local historians push for historical marker of 1930 Sherman Riot

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A group of activists and historians in Grayson County are pushing for a new Texas Historical Marker, commemorating the Sherman Riot at the courthouse in 1930.

It’s a project that’s been in the works since November but now it’s at a stand-still, until they can get a spot on the county commissioner’s agenda.

May 1930, George Hughes, a Black man, was killed at the Grayson County Courthouse. After his murder, the courthouse was burned.

“There are eight Texas historic markers at that court house,” said Grayson County historian Melissa Thiel. “Several of those events didn’t even happen at the court house, but this did. Our court house burned down.”

It’s the reason why Thiel has been pushing to get a Historical Marker, recognizing the events that took place, approved.

“We’ve actually had it approved twice from the historical commission, but we keep getting stuck at the commissioner’s court level, and that’s where we need the next approval to say we can place the marker at the courthouse,” Thiel said.

And since her efforts, members of the community in her support have caught on.

“For a community to heal, they need to first acknowledge that it happened, recognize that it happened, and fully admit that it’s not who we are today, but it’s who we were. And these efforts are for our children, and children’s children, to know that we will never be like this again,” said Denison native Kurt Cichowski.

Cichowski wrote an open letter addressed to the commissioner’s court and County Judge Bill Magers, directly.

In just two weeks, it’s already picked up 235 signatures from residents.

“It feels great, but it won’t be an accomplishment until it does something. So every week, we send a letter to the commissioners in a request to put this in an agenda item,” said Chichowski. “We haven’t had any response yet, but we will continue to do that until we have a chance to present this in front of the court.”

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