Gregory Library Watch

Preserving working class Black history


Updated November 26, 2010

Please note: The Gregory Library is located in the Freedman’s Town Historic District, which is in Fourth Ward, Houston, Texas.

This page will constantly be under construction as we work to make all our research available on the web.

We will use this page to show some of the more recent 20th century history of Freedman’s Town / Fourth Ward that the Gregory Library does not exhibit and / or want anyone to know about. Also read the separate page for Allen Parkway Village which concerns a major important historical event in the Fourth Ward the Gregory library does not want anyone to learn or know about.

Scholarly Research:

Fourth Ward Overview Cite Winter 1984 Rice University published the magazine Cite. This article is a good place to begin learning about Fourth Ward.

Master’s thesis: Enduring History: The Struggle to Control the Future of Houston’s Oldest African American Neighborhood. Kristen M. Harol did a great job on her thesis which she finished in May, 1999 at the University of Chicago. Read her Enduring History thesis.

The Power of a Name A piece about the origins of how it came to be called Freedman’s Town.

Urban Archeology and Pressures of Gentrification Current issues around ethnic cleansing, politely known as “gentrification.”

Mainstream media articles:

Some relatively recen articles about Freedman’s Town that will help provide some historic context to the current issue about Gregory Library.

Bob Lanier promises re 4th Ward HouChron 10.17.1993

The Great Land Grab HouPress 1.30.97

Fourth Ward of Bust HouPress 7.31.97

Hello Columbus _ Mayor hand 4th Ward to Developer? HouPress 11.13.97

No Shame 4th Ward Evictions HouPress 2.12.98

Historic Houston Neighborhood Falls to Renewal NYTimes 3.15.1998

No Account secrecy in housing program 7.16.98

Fatal Illness Claims Renaissance HouPress 2.25.99

On Borrowed Time HouPress 9.10.98

Broken Promises HouPress 10.28.99

Placed in the Discard – Too Poor for Public Housing HouPress 10.28.99

Slow Turning Year Since HouRen Gave up Control HouPress 1.13.00

Doug\’s Deals HouHousingFinance land grabs HouPress 1.20.00

Neighborhood eyesores HouChron 8.22.2002

Fourth Ward Road to Renewal HouChron 2.13.2005

Mayor White 4th Ward plans HouChron 12.6.2006

Houston Mayor Vows Improvments HouChron 12.7.2006

Ray of Hope in Fourth Ward 1.11.2007


Preservationists fight to save historic district AP 5.25.2008

St James UMC gets Historical Marker TexAnnCon 8.9.2010

Mount Carmel MBC gets marker HouExam 9.16.2010

Non-corporate media:

City destroys historic Gregory School building HouIndyMedia 10.24.2005

Freedmen\’s Town Activists Get Victory on Brick Streets HouIndyMedia 8.8.2007

Lenwood Johnson and Allen Parkway Village HouIndyMedia 10.3.2009

TV clips:

Brick Streets Channel 2 August 7, 2007

Historic marker text, National Register properties, and City of Houston historic designations:

Here’s some basic history that anyone can see by taking a short walking tour through our neighborhood and reading a few markers. Click below to see PDF files of some historic marker text and some text from National Register of Historic places:

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

Bethel Baptist Natl. Register

Camp Logan

Freedman’s Town 20th century development

Freedmen’s Town Historic District Natl Register

Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church

Origins of Freedman’s Town

Rev. Ned P. Pullum house

Rutherford B.H. Yates, Sr. House

St. James UMC Application for City historic designation

A few pictures of Historic Markers in Freedman’s Town

Lenwood Johnson and Ola Mae Kennedy

Mt. Carmel MBC marker located at 1407 Valentine Street.

The Allen brothers were land swindlers that founded Houston.

The other Allen brother who founded Houston. It's fun to read the sanitized version of history!


  1. Please send me information as the site is updated. Thank you.

    Comment by Sally Wickers | September 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Will do.

    Comment by timjo62 | September 28, 2010 | Reply

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