Timothy Stephen Smith

Timothy Stephen Smith (HM2DR7)

Location: Palestine, TX 75801 Anderson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 45.916', W 95° 37.568'

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(February 20, 1902 - April 30, 2000)

Born the son of a runaway slave, Smith yearned for a better life. He attended Prairie View A&M College and received a degree in Vocational Agriculture. He became a teacher, educating the children of North Carolina and Texas for 42 years. He also served Anderson County as Chairman and Election Judge for Precinct 2, President of the Voter's Committee and was a member of the Democratic Party Executive Committee. A proponent of equal rights, he and others filed civil actions in 1973 to change the voting boundary lines in the county to equalize voting rights. They believed that the way the lines were drawn diluted black voting strength. Judge William Wayne Justice agreed, stating the way the lines were drawn constituted a "racially motivated gerrymander" which was prohibited by a previous ruling in 1964. Anderson County switched from at-large voting districts to single-member districts for Commissioners, Constables and Justices of the Peace.

Because of their success, they filed suit against the City of Palestine stating their voting precinct boundary lines also diluted the black voting strength. Judge Justice sided again with Smith and the lines were redrawn. The city switched from four at-large voting districts to six single-member voting districts. The county's first African American Commissioner, Reginald O. Browne, was

elected in 1978, and City Councilmen Willie Myers and Rev R.L. Linicomn were elected in 1977. Because they were successful in their effort, many African American Justices of the Peace, City Council members, County Commissioners and Constables have been elected.
HM NumberHM2DR7
Year Placed2012
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 10:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 251278 N 3517419
Decimal Degrees31.76526667, -95.62613333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 45.916', W 95° 37.568'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 45' 54.96" N, 95° 37' 34.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)903
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 500 N Church St, Palestine TX 75801, US
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