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OH E 436 Martha Whiting Oral History

 Collection
Identifier: OH E 436

Scope and Contents

Martha Countee Whiting (1912-2012) was the youngest child of Nannie Selena Yates and Thomas Countee and was a granddaughter to the Reverend Jack Yates (for more on Jack Yates, please see the finding aid for MSS 0281).

Whiting was instrumental is getting Antioch Baptist Church, which her grandfather help found in 1866, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Later, the Texas Historical Commission dedicated a historical marker to the church in 1994. Whiting also saved her grandfather’s home from the encroachment of gentrification in Houston’s Fourth Ward by donating the home to Houston’s Heritage Society. The Society moved the home from 1318 Andrews to the Sam Houston Heritage Park in 1994.

This oral history was conducted as The Heritage Society was planning to relocate and restore the home of Jack Yates in 1994. Whiting provides many details about the historic home which she lived in for a period and owned up until she donated it to the society. She also recalls many memories of her childhood upbringing and life in Fourth Ward’s Freedman’s Town.

Topics and Themes Covered:

The Story of Houston

Historic Preservation Fourth Ward

Freedmen’s Town

The Interviewee’s Story

Family History

Childhood Upbringing

Personal Background

Dates

  • 04/08/1994

Creator

Language of Materials

English.

Conditions Governing Access

This oral history is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Martha Whiting Oral History must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Martha Countee Whiting (1912-2012) was the youngest child of Nannie Selena Yates and Thomas Countee and was a granddaughter to the Reverend Jack Yates (for more on Jack Yates, please see the finding aid for MSS 0281). She had three siblings; Bernice Yates Countee (1907), Samuel Albert Countee (1909), and Rutherford Augustus Countee (1911). She married Samuel Whiting and had five daughters. Whiting was instrumental is getting Antioch Baptist Church, which her grandfather help found in 1866, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Later, the Texas Historical Commission dedicated a historical marker to the church in 1994. Whiting also saved her grandfather’s home from the encroachment of gentrification in Houston’s Fourth Ward by donating the home to Houston’s Heritage Society. The Society moved the home from 1318 Andrews to the Sam Houston Heritage Park in 1994. Whiting led holiday tours of her grandfather’s historically restored home at the park up until 2010.

Extent

2 Cassettes

Related Materials

MSS 0370 Olee Yates McCullough Papers

MSS 0281 Reverend Jack Yates and Antioch Baptist Church Collection

General

Interview ID: OH E 436

Interviewee: Martha Countee Whiting

Interviewer: Louis Marchiafava

Date: 04/08/1994

Duration:

Link:

Creator

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository

Contact:

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
832-393-1440
HPL.Gregoryschool@houstontx.gov
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed
TXR.Reference@houstontx.gov
832-393-1662