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Orphanage for black children founded in Gilmer

April
17
1900

On this day in 1900, African-American Baptist minister W. L. Dickson founded the Dickson Colored Orphanage in Gilmer. Black and white Baptists contributed to its development, as did local Baptist churches and Gilmer businesses; Robert C. Buckner, a prominent Dallas Baptist minister, served as chairman of the orphanage's board of trustees. The Dickson Colored Orphanage was the only such institution for black children in Texas from 1900 to 1929. The state took over the home in the latter year and operated it as the State Colored Orphans' Home until 1943, when the resident orphans were moved to the Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School in Austin.

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