Dedication held for new St. John Colony marker
By Kyle Mooty
A lengthy procession led visitors from its longtime site at St. John Cemetery to the new location – the Juneteenth Grounds by St. John Regular Baptist Church — and eventual unveiling of the new Historical Marker for St. John Colony.
St. John Colony began in the early 1870s when African American farming families moved there from Webberville. Their leader was Rev. John Henry Winn, and according to Wikipedia the community switched from Winn’s Colony to St. John Colony after the building of St. John Regular Missionary Baptist Church.
Saturday’s event included Mistress of Ceremony Loretta Walker, Coordinator Rosie L. Darby, a video by Dr. Andrea Roberts, President of The Texas Freedom Colonies project, the Texas Historical Society and Texas Preservation Society, the Caldwell County Historical Society, Bob Bullock Texas State and History Museum (Deputy Director Gonzalez Mariscal), Rita Benson, who specializes in African American Ancestry, the St. John Colony Historical Group.
Members of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, area fire and police departments, the St. John Colony Cowboys, St. John Colony descendants, and participants.
The placing of the marker was officiated by Marshall Hill, President of St. John 19th Body.
Darby read additional 150th Juneteenth Celebration Proclamations.
Also addressing those on hand were Doray Hill, Vice President of St. John Colony, and Marshall Hill, President.