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Quakertown House Museum

The Quakertown Community of Denton, Texas was a self-sustaining African-American community that developed just a few blocks north of the Denton Courthouse Square. Quakertown was most likely named in...

Quakertown House Museum

The Quakertown Community of Denton, Texas was a self-sustaining African-American community that developed just a few blocks north of the Denton Courthouse Square. Quakertown was most likely named in appreciation for the northern Quakers who supported Abolition and aided freed slaves in the years prior to the Civil War. “The Quaker,” as many locals called the neighborhood, began to form as a distinct community within the segregated town of Denton by the mid-1870s. Over 27 freedmen families from Dallas County migrated to Denton in 1875. Some Black families from Freedman Town, the first African-American settlement in Denton just a mile southeast of the Square, relocated to Quakertown after the Fredrick Douglas School was opened there in 1878. The first school building burned down in 1913 and was rebuilt in 1915 across the railroad tracks in South East Denton. By the 1880s, Quakertown had a thriving community of stores, diners, churches, and several communal organizations – including the Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Knights of Pythias – that also served as centers for Black community life. The boundaries of the community were Withers Street (and TWU) on the north, McKinney Street to the south, Vine Street (now Bell Ave) on the east, and Oakland Avenue on the west. In March 1921, several civic organizations presented a petition to the Denton city commission for holding a bond election to purchase all the land encompassed by Quakertown and turn it into a city park. The bond election narrowly passed by 127 votes, and in May 1922 the city of Denton began to purchase Quakertown properties. Residents were given the forced choice of selling their land and property outright or having their houses moved to Solomon Hill, a site on the other side of the railroad tracks in what is now Southeast Denton. Quakertown soon disappeared, replaced by the 32-acre Civic Center Park that was renamed in 2007 to honor the displaced African-American district that was once here.  The house, built in 1904, was in Denton at the same time as the Bayless-Selby House. 




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