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Heights in the Handbook of Texas
the hard work and dedication of Mrs. Vivian Hubbard Seals,
the daughter of the second mayor of Independence Heights,
much of the history of this community has been preserved.
The following is the entry in the Handbook of Texas researched
and written by Mrs. Seals.
Heights was originally northeast of Houston in an area now
within the Houston city limits, bounded on the south by
Thirtieth Avenue, on the north by Fortieth Avenue, on the
west by Yale Street, and on the east by Airline Drive in
Harris County. The Wright Land Company secured the land,
incorporated in 1910, and developed a new community for
blacks. By doing their own financing they made it possible
for people with small incomes to become homeowners. Resident
contractors built most of the houses and churches.
Heights incorporated on January 25, 1915, when it had a
600. G.O. Burgess was the first
mayor. The Houston Informer was the city newspaper.
Independence Heights School was established
in 1911, and O.L. Hubbard was its first teacher.
Churches organized while Independence Heights was a separate
city were the New Hope Missionary Baptist, the Green Chapel
African Methodist Episcopal, the St. Paul Colored Methodist
Episcopal, the Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal, the Concord
Missionary Baptist, and the North Main Church of God in
1989, the placement of the state historical marker recognized
the Independence Heights neighborhood as a Texas Historical
Site. In 1997, the National Historical Commission identified
a historic residential district and specific historic buildings
within Independence Heights.
included a cooperative store, grocery stores, cafes, and
contractors. Some residents were employed in Houston, in
Houston Heights, and in other areas. In 1920 Independence
Heights had a population of 715. According to the Houston
Post dated January 17, 1915, it was the first incorporated
black city in Texas. In 1989 a Texas Historical Commission
marker was placed on the grounds of Greater New Hope Missionary
Baptist Church to mark the city site. In November 1928 Independence
Heights residents voted to dissolve the city’s incorporation
because of their desire to become a part of Houston. The
area was annexed to Houston on December 26, 1929.
Forward Times, June 15, 1963. Houston Informer, June 28,
1919. Houston Post, January 17, 1915. The Red Book of Houston
(Houston: Sotex, 1915).
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