Juneteenth Celebrated Today
JUNETEENTH CELEBRATED TODAY
(Please be aware this post was written in 2004 and published at that time in the Houston Chronicle (Houston, Texas) newspaper. Some of the news in this post, therefore, may not be current. Current and future posts on this blog may revisit and update news on this and other posts on this blog. If you have questions and/or suggestions, please send Mic a note using the comment page -Don’t forget to use the orange “subscribe” button to receive new posts-Thanks, Mic)
As everyone has surely heard today is Juneteenth. It was on this day, June 19th in 1865, when General Gordon Granger of the United States Army arrived in Galveston to take military control of Texas. Upon his arrival he read Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and pronounced all slaves in Texas free.
Celebrated for years as a local holiday in Texas Juneteenth became a state holiday in 1980 and has been celebrated for numerous years in a number of other states. Promoters say they hope to someday celebrate Juneteenth as a national holiday.
SHANKLEVILLE A SUCCESSFUL BLACK COMMUNITY
Shankleville community near Burkeville in Newton County was created shortly after emancipation by former slaves Jim and Winnie Shankle and their son-in-law Steve McBride. Over the years the community has heralded prosperous farms, churches, schools, a cotton gin, grist mills, saw mills and McBride College which operated from 1883 to 1909.
According to a Newton County historical marker Jim and Winnie Shankle were born into slavery, Jim in 1811 and Winnie in 1814. When Winnie and her three children were sold to a Texan Jim ran away from his owner in Mississippi and followed her to Texas. After slipping food to Jim for several days Winnie told her master and he arranged to purchase Jim from his Mississippi owner.
The Shankles and their neighbor, son-in-law, Steve McBride began purchasing land in Newton County shortly after emancipation. They invited other Black families to purchase or rent their land and conduct business thereon. At one time or other they amassed land holdings amounting to over 4,000 acres.
MCBRIDE FAMILY HISTORY PUBLISHED
Houstonian Joan C. McBride has compiled a family history The McBride Family of Shankleville: Stephen Alexander McBride and Mary M. Graham (Shankle) McBride. The spiral bound 200 plus page book is available for $35, postpaid, from the author at P.O. Box 741094 Houston, TX 77274.
The McBride genealogy traces the family’s lineage through six generations beginning with the former slaves Stephen and Mary Shankle McBride to present. Mary Shankle was the daughter of Jim and Winnie Shankle for whom Shankleville was named.
Included in the book are dozens of photographs of marriage records, census records, wills, deeds, maps, obituaries, vital records and other historical and genealogical documents pertinent to various members of the family.
An interesting chapter in the book deals with the house at 3244 Reeves in the Third Ward of Houston and the lives of family members who lived there. The house was purchased by Cecil McBride in 1939 from former Governor William P. Hobby and moved to Reeves Street. The chapter tells of the personal, educational, financial and occupational successes of the people who lived in the house and the friends and neighbors who gathered there.
In addition to the McBride family history McBride has published another book that may be helpful to others tracing their own African American family histories: How To Search For and Find Your Shankleville, Texas Ancestors (And African American Ancestors In Any Other Community, City or Town).
The latter title is spiral bound and contains about 30 pages. It is available for $14.95, postpaid, from the author at P.O. Box 741094 Houston, TX 77274.
McBride wrote the book to help others be as successful as she was in compiling her family history. She states one should start genealogical research beginning with oneself and go backward one generation at a time. She discusses interviewing older relatives and conducting conventional research in libraries, courthouses, cemeteries and anywhere information might be gleaned.
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