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Town of Independence Heights

Identifier: RG 0063

Content Description

The Independence Heights collection contains materials about the town’s history, development and preservation efforts. The collection consists of news clippings, correspondence, a map, church programs, VHS tapes, a DVD, incorporation papers, church displays and the city history. Of note are the Delinquent Tax Record ledgers from 1921 to 1922. Many of the original documents were retained by the donor; reproductions are available. It also contains copy negatives and prints which were likely produced by Houston Metropolitan Research Center staff. The donor(s) retained most of the original photographs. Photographs 1-8, 9, 12-14, 27, 28-31, 45, 62, 63, 75-85 are original photographs. Pictured are homes, churches, portraits and groups shots. Materials are dated from 1921-1989, with the bulk of the materials from the 1980s.


  • Other: 1921-1986

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from Town of Independence Heights must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.


Developed by the Wright Land Company, black families began moving into the area north of Houston around 1908. In 1915 the population of nearly 600 African-Americans voted to incorporate Independence Heights, making it the first all black city in Texas. The mayors for Independence Heights were G. O. Burgess (1915-1919), O. L. Hubbard (1919-1924) and Arthur L. McCullough (1925-1928). Businesses in Independence Heights included retail stores, restaurants, building contractors, lumberyards, a blacksmith shop, tailor and a barber shop. A school opened in 1911 and fraternal organizations and churches were also developed. The city was annexed to Houston in 1929.


4.58 Linear Feet (4 boxes, 2 over-size boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged in 5 series by subject and format


  1. History
  2. Incorporation and City Records
  3. Organizations, Churches and Families
  4. Audiovisual Materials
  5. Photographic Materials

Custodial History

These records were formerly housed at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library as RG M 4 Town of Independence Heights and were transferred to the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library in February 2019.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Vivian Seals in 1986; Addition donated by Leona Walls, 1998

Related Materials

  1. MSS 0016 McCullogh Family Collection
  2. PH 0019 Independence Heights Photograph Collection
  3. PH 0017 McCullough Family Photograph Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Sheena Wilson in January 2020

RG 0063 Town of Independence Heights
An inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Sheena Wilson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002