September 30, 2021

Learn, Not Repeat, is the Goal

By Glenn

                A dedicated group of volunteers are trying to teach their neighbors the history of Grayson County Texas.   Grayson County has a chance to learn from its mistakes.  Melissa Thiel is leading the effort and has rallied local business owners and clergy.  They want the following statement on a marker in front of the Courthouse.  The marker would read.


The Sherman Riot of 1930 was one of a number of major incidents of racial violence that occurred in the United States at the onset of the Great Depression.

On May 3, 1930, George Hughes a black farm laborer was accused of assaulting a white woman in a dispute over wages. A grand jury returned an indictment and trial was scheduled for 9 May. For the trial, local officials suspected they would need help keeping an expected agitated crowd under control. Governor Dan Moody sent Texas Rangers to help including Captain Frank Hamer.

In the morning hours of the trial, Mr. Hughes was transported to the Grayson County Courthouse. An estimated 5000 person crowd called for Mr. Hughes to be given to them and the courthouse was then set alight by the mob. Mr Hughes was put in the two-story documents vault where he subsequently suffocated as the Courthouse burned down. Fire department attempts to address the flames were thwarted by the mob. The 1876 Courthouse was a total loss.

Hours later the mob dynamited open the still-standing vault and threw Mr. Hughes’ lifeless body out a window where it was dragged to the city’s black business district, hanged from a tree and then burned. The mob proceeded to burn down black owned businesses on Mulberry Street including the office of Civil Rights attorney William J Durham. Due to further mob intimidation, Governor Moody declared martial law on 10th May which lasted for the next two weeks. A total of 66 Grayson Community citizens were taken into custody with 14 indicted for crimes. Three were considered for trial and only one person was convicted for arson of the courthouse and incitement to Riot. No one was charged with lynching or murder.

The Sherman Riot of 1930: Major Outbreak of Racial Violence in the United  States | Black Then

We must learn about Act of Terrorism in Grayson County. We must never repeat it.

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