The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized The Hamilton Park Community as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker though the Undertold Marker Fund program. The designation honors The Hamilton Park Community as an important and educational part of local history.
A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event, and officially unveil the historical marker is planned for Saturday May 13 at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet. Speakers include Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel, and George Keaton Jr., Executive Director of Remembering Black Dallas. The Hamilton Park Civic League, Dallas City Councilmember Adam McGough, and the Richardson Independent School District invites the public to share in and witness this exciting historical event.
“We must remember and remind future generations of the stories and the struggles that got us to where we are,” McGough said. Hamilton Park and the people who have called it home for generations deserve this honor, this marker, and our respect. This is one small, but meaningful step, and we will never forget.”
The Undertold Marker Fund Program intends “to address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or undertold stories.” In July 2016, THC Commissioners selected The Hamilton Park Community as one of 15 historical topics to receive an Official Texas Historical Marker paid for through the Marker Application Fund Undertold Program.
“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” said THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe. “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our State’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said.
Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers, and Dallas County is home to 378 Historical Markers. Of these 378 markers, The Hamilton Park Community is especially unique. As Patricia Price Hicks noted in her successful application, Hamilton Park tells the undertold story of middle-class African Americans in north Dallas “Aware of a racially motivated African-American housing shortage in Dallas, philanthropist Karl S. J. Hoblitzelle and his foundation coordinated with the Dallas Citizen’s Interracial Association to secure funds for the purchase of a 233-acre site for the development of a planned African- American, middle-class community. Named for surgeon and civic leader, Dr. Richard T. Hamilton, the Hamilton Park community opened in May 1954 as a family-oriented community of two-parent households, with shared values, morals and traditions.
By 1961, the determined African- American men and women, some of whom returned to Dallas following brave service during WWII, completed the community with 742 single- family dwellings, an apartment complex, shopping center, a segregated twelve grade school, churches of different denominations, and a park with a swimming pool, tennis court, and baseball diamond.
Today, Hamilton Park is a jewel in North Dallas, known as a quiet, stable, and responsible community with dedicated professionals, educators, clergyman, business owners, entertainers, scholars, and blue collar workers. The essence and pride of this historic community has been enriched as new generations, guided by the teachings of their parents and mentors, continue to serve in a variety of community and civic roles throughout Dallas County and the world.” (Patricia Price Hick’s 2016 Undertold Marker Application to the Texas Historical Commission)
“When Hamilton Park was established in 1954, no one saw it as history or a great story, but that’s exactly what it was,” said Hamilton Park Civic League President Thomas Jefferson Jr. “The undertold story might not have been told, or gotten this far, if it were not researched by the second generation, who wanted their parents, their educators, and their faith based family to know what Hamilton Park is and what Hamilton Park will always be.”
With the support of the Richardson Independent School District Board of Trustees, The Hamilton Park Community Historical Marker will permanently reside at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet where the community’s original, segregated twelve grade school was located.
“Hamilton Park is a critical part of RISD’s history and tradition of achievement,” said Richardson ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. “This historical marker, and the recognition that comes with it for this community, is very well-deserved. On behalf of RISD, we congratulate Hamilton Park on its rich legacy and look forward to our continued partnership in educating our future leaders.”
Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel presented The Hamilton Park Community with a proclamation at Commissioners Court on Tuesday May 2, 2017, and the Community will celebrate with a dedication ceremony, unveiling and reception at the Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet, 8301 Towns St. at 2 p.m. Saturday May 13.