Grayson Co. Commissioners approve historical marker for Sherman Riots of 1930

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A historical marker to commemorate the Sherman Riots of 1930 was approved by Grayson County commissioners Tuesday.

A recently-formed committee, led by Dr. Al Hambrick and Attorney Joe Brown, unanimously recommended that commissioners approve a historical marker.

In a 3 to 2 vote, the Grayson County Commissioners passed a motion to approve a historical marker, something Yolanda Boyd has been asking for for weeks.

“Overwhelmed, elated, and just truly ecstatic,” said Boyd, who’s a member of the Texas Historical Marker of Sherman Riot Committee. “This day today is a historical day.”

“Truly, truly happy for Grayson County, that we’ve moved forward, that we are overcoming our past,” said Boyd.

The marker would commemorate the Sherman Riots of 1930, which led to the lynching of George Hughes, who was accused of rape, and the burning of the Grayson County Courthouse, with Hughes still inside, along with the Black Business district going up in flames.

Former Sherman ISD superintendent Al Hambrick helped present the recommendation of the marker on behalf of the citizens committee.

“It’s significant, first of all, because its history, and I believe all history is significant, it’s important, and I don’t think we can leave any of it out,” said Hambrick. “The history that we are proud of, the history that we are not proud of, we need to include it all.”

Commissioners Bart Lawrence and Phyllis James voted against it.

Lawrence cited the wording of the plaque promotes divisiveness.

James said the injustice done to the woman, who claims Hughes raped her, deserves recognition.

County Judge Bill Magers was among the three voting in favor of the marker.

“I think it was time,” said Magers. “There’s been many voices, many diverse voices on this issue. I think that this will be the memorialization of a historical event, pure and simple. I don’t think it’s going to make a tremendous impact on our daily lives, but it’s something that the community has asked for, and again the community leadership felt like it was appropriate.”

But Boyd said today meant a lot to her.

“In time, we’ll all heal, as a people, as a land, as a county, and if we will continue to allow God to govern us, that at the end of the day, we’ll all stand as one,” said Boyd.

This is also not the end of the push for the marker.

Next, the Court will have to send an application to the Texas Historical Commission.

County Judge Bill Magers says they applied on October 14, beating the November deadline.

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