Bandera County TXGenWeb

AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN BANDERA COUNTY


The information contained on this page was gleaned from census and military records, and from death certificates. The early Bandera County African-American population came mainly from southern states, and listed their occupations in the census records as mostly "farmers" or "laborers".

In Bandera County's first census, the 1860 United States Federal Census - Slave Schedules, there were five registered slaveholders in Bandera County; Jesse Laxon, Charles Jack, Aaron Anglin, G. Thompson and Levin Monroe. Between them they owned twelve black and mulatto slaves.

In the 1870 United States Federal Census (the first taken after the Civil War), there were seven black/mulatto residents enumerated in Bandera County: Albert Tage, born abt. 1840 in Louisiana; Caroline Gilbert, born abt. 1841 in Tennessee, and her daughter Louise, born abt. 1868 in Texas; Nelson Ricks, born abt. 1849 in Arkansas; William Baron, born abt. 1847 in Maryland; Charles Clark, born abt. 1854 in Tennessee; and J. Sphuass, born abt. 1854 in Texas.

The 1880 United States Federal Census for Bandera County, Texas, included the following:

(Name/Age)

Henry Fuller 60
J. A. Fuller 50
Albert Fuller 26
Matilda Fuller 19
Wilburn Fuller 18
Olive J. Fuller 16
Emma Fuller 14
A. Fuller 10
Margrette Fuller 8
Edward Fuller 4
Alexand Fuller 17

Andrew Jackson 39
Mariah Jackson 23

Anna Griffin 36
Nancy Riggs 24
Mary Williams 18
Jane Williams 14
Tim Williams 12
Louisia Gilbert 12
Pricilla Riggs 5
William Riggs 3
John Riggs 1

Robert Duncan 25
Caroline Duncan 20
Martha Duncan 7
Alfred Duncan 5
Ellis Duncan 3

H. Lank 24 (living with the E. M. Ross family)

Henry Ward 12 (living with the R. F. Winn family)


In January 1880, an 11-year-old black male named "Jim" was shot to death in Bandera County. Research about this occurrence is ongoing.


1900 appears to be the time of the highest concentration of black citizens in the county. The 1900 United States Federal Census includes the following:

Henry Jackson 58
Juda Jackson 62

E P Phillps 68

William Benson 52
Mary Benson 45
Jack Blanke 24
William Benson 18
Marshal Benson 14
Alice Butler 20
Charley Benson 12
George Benson 10
Albert Benson 9
Georgiana Benson 7
Silas Benson 5
Sallie Benson 4

Robert Duncan 56
Caroline Duncan 41
Alferd Duncan 24
Alice Duncan 21

John Coats Unkn
Eliza Coats 32
Gertrude Coats 12

Thomas Mills 40
Harriet C Mills 27
Sarah A Mills 8
Addiline Mills 7
Thad Mills 6
Edward E Mills 4
Mary E Mills 3
Frank Mills 2
James Mills 3/12
William A Mills 17
Mac C Mills 15
Adelia Mills 14

Andrew Fifer 36
Mattie Fifer 27
Nettie Fifer 7
Willie Fifer 6
Lila Fifer 5
Eva Fifer 3
Margie Fifer 2
Baby Fifer 11/12

Sandy Hamburg Unkn
Agnes Hamburg Unkn
Mary N J Hamburg 15
Ida Hamburg 10
Joe I Hamburg 11

Henry Thomson 33
Jane Thomson 33
Ella Thomson 14
Ida Thomson 12
Sarilla Thomson 11
Samuel Thomson 10
John Thomson 10
Millard Thomson 7
Edna Thomson 15
Lina W Thomson 3

William Benson 52
Mary Benson 45
Jack Blanke 24
William Benson 18
Marshal Benson 14
Alice Butler 20
Charley Benson 12
George Benson 10
Albert Benson 9
Georgiana Benson 7
Silas Benson 5
Sallie Benson 4

Albert Grant 43
M Ada Grant 16
Henry Grant 14
Robert Grant 12
Percilla Williams 65

Andrew Jackson 40
Mary J Jackson Unkn

Nancy Riggs 40
John W Riggs 21
Julia Riggs 10
Nettie Riggs 5
Hannah Griffin 62

Jack Blanks Unkn (living with the John Spettel family)

Henry Blanks 28
David Brady 33
Albert Brady 16

Julius Parker 40

Angeline G Fouler 67
Olla J Fouler 33
Agnes Fouler 29
Edward Fouler 23
Delta Johnson 18
Minnie Johnson 8
Sterling Johnson 6
Dave Logan 9
Edward Logan 7
Emma Fuller 9


In 1910, the black population in the county has begun to decrease. The 1910 Census enumerates the following:

Henry Jackson 76
Juda Jackson 79

Nancy Riggs 52
Nettie Riggs 15
John Riggs 30
Hannah Griffin 74
Nelson Riggs 6

Andrew Jackson 63
Maria Jackson 48
Alice Jackson 8

William Benson 62
Mary Benson 45
Silas Benson 15
Sallie Benson 13
Bessie Benson 8

Henry Thompson 50
Jane Thompson 44
Sam Thompson 20
John Thompson 20
Millard Thompson 16
Polly Thompson 15
Lenk M Thompson 13
Henry Thompson 8
Marie L Thompson 1
Oscar Williams 11

Jeff Cooksey 47

Sam Demery 32
Julia Demery 21
Clyde Demery 1
Clarence Demery 12
Louis Demery 10

Three black males registered for the draft in Bandera County during World War I: Jeff Cooksey (Jr.), birthdate 20 Sep 1880; Samuel Demery, birthdate 28 Jan 1880 and Jack Marshall, birthdate 20 Apr 1875. All three stated that they were residents of Bandera County.

The 1920 Census includes:

A Jackson 74
Mary Jackson 77
Allice Jackson 17
Henry Leonard 30
Wade Leonard 53

Jeff Cooksey 60
Josephine Wright

Jeff Cooksey 39
Mahala Cooksey 39
James Cooksey 10
Jef Cooksey 8
John Cooksey 6
William Cooksey 4
C D Cooksey 8/12

Jessie Anderson 37
Sarah Anderson 37
Florence Anderson 20

Finally, the 1930 Federal Census shows only eight black residents in Bandera County. They are:

W D Leonard 64

Jesse J Anderson 48
Sarah Anderson 48
Florence Anderson 31

James H Spears 45
Carline J Spears 39

Ben Jones 36

Odell Campbell 17


The land now occupied by the Bandera City Cemetery can be traced back to Hendrick Arnold, a free African American who was a guide and spy suring the Texas Revolution. He joined the revolt with his father-in-law, Erastus (Deaf) Smith, who led the celebrated spy company of which Arnold was part. After several transactions over the years, the section of Arnold's land which became the burial ground was deeded to the Bandera Cemetery Association, which seven women organized in 1907. Today, the burial ground continues to serve the community as an active cemetery and remains an important part of Bandera's history.

The Tyron-Hendrick-Arnold Cemetery, formerly known as Bandera Negro Cemetery, and located at the corner of Old Medina Highway and Houston Street in Bandera, is currently undergoing restoration by the Bandera County Historical Commission. It is believed that as many as thirty burials are located here; most of the graves are unmarked. A 2009 "Bandera County Courier" article featured the cleanup efforts of the cemetery; that article can be read here.


This page is maintained by Donna Schulte Loth - 2009
If you find any of the Bandera County TXGenWeb
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