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Freedom Days 2008
Congressman Lampson Visits Bell Home
written by Alecya Gallaway and Samuel L. Collins III
Monday, June 30, 2008

The Settlement Historic District in west Texas City is in the process of a National Register nomination. It is one of the oldest freedmen communities in Texas and is the only Reconstruction community in Galveston County. The community has the distinction of being pioneered by Chisholm Trail Black Cowboys.
U.S. Congressman Nick Lampson was invited to an African American History Preservation Brunch by Lucille McGaskey of the African American History Preservation Committee to be introduced to the community and learn more about its exciting history.

The brunch was held at the preserved 1926 home of Frank Bell, Jr.

Representative Lampson met with Alecya Gallaway, Galveston County Historical Commission Chair, Commission representatives Vera Bell-Gary and Erma Johnson, Sam Collins of the National Trust, and descendants of the Settlement pioneers for a tour of the historic community and to learn more about the ongoing preservation projects. 

The oldest surviving structure in the Settlement is in the process of a National Trust Planning Grant. It is the Creole Cottage Style 1887 home of Frank and Flavilla Bell Sr. 
Frank Bell, Sr. was employed in the 1880's and 1890's at Stringfellow Orchards in Hitchcock.  Black laborers working at Stringfellow Orchards were earning one dollar a day, when other landowners were only paying fifty cents.  The dollar a day wage allowed Bell, Sr. to buy land and build the 1887 home where he and his wife raised their children.
For more information contact Alecya Gallaway at or

Alecya Gallaway
Environmental Institute of Houston
Public Participation & Outreach Program
Environmental Historian
2700 Bay Area Blvd., Box 540
Houston, TX 77058-1098
281-283-3792 (phone)
281-283-3953 (fax)

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