|The brick pioneer monument sits in front of Morrison Hall on the left, and the Mt.|
Zion Church is on the right.
|Soldier Abraham Lincoln, Co. E, 53 U.S.C.Inf.,|
a member of the U.S. Colored Infantry
That's when I finally figured out that I was in a former "Black town" in Kingfisher County, Oklahoma. Oklahoma was home to a number of all-Black towns. While there are lists of Oklahoma's All-Black towns, Dunbar or Morrison are not listed. In fact, I had trouble finding out much about it online. Dunbar was part of a cluster of All-Black towns in Kingfisher County, further west than most of the well-known communities. Looking at the Tulsa Library's map of Oklahoma's All-Black Towns, it was nearest the marker for Columbia. Update: You'll find another map linked from the All Black Towns of Oklahoma page at the Tulsa Historical Society. Dunbar was north of the marker for Lincoln.
The most substantive record online about Dunbar is at the Geochaching site, which includes this description of the town:
Dunbar was a Negro community for many years. This [geocache] is not really where the townsite was located, but is where the school was. The school was known for its agricultural program, particularly livestock, and students took many prizes in the shows. After intergration, the school was closed and the students, went to Lacey, Drummond and Hennessey. The building was sold and torn down.From reading the pioneer monument between the church and Morrison Hall, it seems that a religious order played a role in the community.
The cemetery is still in active use today, so I am sure that the families associated with it have more information about Dunbar and Morrison, but it's just not online.
|From the grave stone of Robert Tutt:|
"A man who, by his honesty and fair dealings,
earned the goodwill and respect of his
neighbors and has advanced the cause of
his race among all people."
Jan 2021: Some updates from "Roaming Ryan" on Facebook:
Dunbar school site (foundation and ruins)
Dunbar Church (interior pictures)
Dunbar Morrison House (interior pictures)
Neat. And fascinating.ReplyDelete
This is thrilling. Great job!ReplyDelete
That is some neat information. I am a geocacher so I am aware of the cache that is there, you would be amazed what history you can learn from geocaching. You might want to try it out some time. I go by Kashiree on the website feel free to contact me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this! We have Buffalo Soldiers buried in San Francisco National Cemetery, too. They fought in the Indian Wars in this state, also.ReplyDelete
We live in Drummond and have done the same thing you did. We decided yesterday to search out the townsite marker. My husband has lived in Drummond all his life and thought the town was not East but had to be where the school was. I also took pictures of Morrison Hall & the Baptist Church listed there. Thanks for putting this info on-line. TexasOkieReplyDelete
Lol, same here. I finally had a chance as a passenger to search on my phone The Dunbar townsite sign. Your blog was the first to pop up. Thanks. I appreciate your time and pictures.ReplyDelete
Fascinating. I'm going to see if the Kingfisher County museum has any more information. This has been a really informative post.ReplyDelete
Great information, I wonder if there are anymore graves of buffalo soldiers in Kingfisher County?ReplyDelete
I live in Drummond, OK and have driven by the highway sign numerous times. Today I drove out and saw the Morrison church and cemetary, but no sign about Dunbar. Subsequently, I googled Dunbar townsite, which led me to your post. Thank you so much more the information! Really interesting.ReplyDelete
I live just down the road from the school site. There were some really great families there. Henlys the coles the prims. The Breckinridges Mrs Ladd and Mrs Nixon. Most are not around but all were like family.ReplyDelete
I am a Henley. My father was born is what is called "West of Hennessey in 1910. There is a lot of history there were black farmers raised their children who were educated at Dunbar Hall a one room school house. I have fond memories of the spending summers in Hennessey visiting my grandmother and other relative in that community.ReplyDelete