Grayson County TXGenWeb
Legacy Park
Denison, Texas



 

 Legacy Park

Located at the corner of North Mirick Avenue and West Bond Street, the recently established Terrell Griggs Marshall Legacy Park occupies the site of the historic Hopewell Baptist Church. The church, a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, was demolished several years ago. The state historical marker can be seen above. The park is across the avenue from the current Hopewell Baptist Church. Also at this intersection, at 530 West Bond Street, stood Anderson School, one of Denison's first African-American schools.

Legacy Park is named after three men much revered in Denison's African-American community:

AUGUSTUS H. TERRELL (1861–1929) was an educational, community, and church leader in Denison's African American community. After teaching for several years, he resigned in 1893 to operate a grocery store until his death. Terrell Elementary School is named in his honor. Learn more at http://www.andersonterrellschool.org/anderson.html

SUTTON ELBERT GRIGGS (1872–1933), son of Allen R. Griggs, was a noted novelist and minister who lived in Denison when his father was a minister here. Learn more at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/GG/fgr85.html

THURGOOD MARSHALL (1908-1993) was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. He addressed an NAACP convention at Hopewell Church.

FACEBOOK COMMENTS

 

 William E. Covington Such a shame to have left such a nice old building for such a nondescript one. Another sad loss for Denison.

Doug Hoover Griggs and another man created the original group that evolved into the NAACP at the Hopewell Baptist Church. Karen Jones has the rare history book with the details.

Jim Sears There must be an error in the first date under Terrell's photo in the restored Denison Herald article of April 23, 1929. Had he been born on June 10, 1877, he would have been only 51 when he died. But the article says he was "around 68." Also, the 1877 date would put him at no older than 16 when he resigned his teaching job in 1893. I am impressed that his death at 3 a.m. on Tuesday was reported in the Tuesday edition of the paper. They apparently knew how to get things done quickly in those days.

Mavis Anne Bryant With the help of Ollie Buckner, I think things are straightened out. The dates for August H. Terrell are June 10, 1861—April 23, 1929.

Mavis Anne Bryant A sidelight: There are many Terrell Schools throughout the country. The one in Denison is the only one I found named for August H. Terrell. Some are named for Mary "Mollie" Church Terrell, who was born in Memphis,TN in 1863. She was an African-American social activist who was co-founder and first president of the National Association of Colored Women. Learn more at http://www.aaregistry.org/search/node/Terrell

Mavis Anne Bryant Another noted African American educator of Texas was Isaiah Milligan Terrell (1859–1931). He lived mostly in Fort Worth, Houston, and Prairie View. "As a builder of concerns with which he was connected, he had but few equals. He was an advocate for education. The I. M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth, buildings at Prairie View A&M University, and the Houston Negro Hospital (Riverside General Hospital) all stand as monuments of his efforts and achievements." Learn more at http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/TT/fte56.html

Jim Sears wrote: "In 1910 the Terrell family lived at 525 West Bond [Census]. That house is long gone." That land was part of the site of the first Hopewell Baptist Church, also long gone, and is part of the park shown above. Jim says, "I wonder how many of those present at the park's dedication knew that Augustus H. Terrell once lived with his family on its eastern edge."

Mavis Anne Bryant Info from Jim Sears: Augustus H. Terrell resigned from teaching in 1893. As of April that year, he was scheduled to speak on June 21 at a Dallas meeting of the Colored Teachers' Association, responding to the welcome address on behalf of Texas public schools. The annual address at the meeting was to be given by President I. M. Terrell of Fort Worth. Rev. Dr. A. R. Griggs of Dallas was to give an invocation one day.

Mavis Anne Bryant The 1901-1902 City Directory has Augustus H. Terrell and wife Laura operating a grocery at 525 West Bond and living at the same address. By 1917, they were doing the same thing at 523 West Bond. In 1915, Hopewell Baptist Church, with 400 members, was built next door at 531 West Bond. Perhaps the Terrells conveyed their property at 525 to Hopewell for the new church and built a new two-story building at 523. That could well be the very building shown in the next photo. 

 

 Elaine Nall Bay
2013