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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Comanche County

Texas

Basic Information

Type of Place
County
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Unions, Organized Labor?

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Surely
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Sign?
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?
Probably Not, Although Still Very Few Black People

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1860 709 61
1870 24
1880 8608 79
1890 15608 8
1900 23079 0
1910
1920 25748 35
1930 18430 0
1940 12246 0 1
1950 15516 8
1960 11865 0
1970 2
1980
1990
2000 14026 12245 62 18 85
2010
2020

Method of Exclusion

  • Threat of Violence
  • Reputation

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black

Comments

Many towns in Comanche County are or were
sundown towns.

In 1875, a black man named Moses Jones killed two
white and two black children and set fire to his white
employer’s house. He was apprehended and shot, but
white townspeople determined that he was the only
“mean Negro” in Comanche County, “so the others
were allowed to remain.”

Nearly a decade later, in 1886, another local black
man was lynched for the killing of a white woman.
During his lynching, a local white man announced
“Boys, this is the second killing of white people by
Negroes and it’s more than the people will put up
with. I propose we give the Negroes a reasonable time
to get out of the county %u2014 never allow them to
return, and never allow one of color to settle here. All
who are in favor of my proposition, come close about
this stump.” The entire audience crowded around his
stump. The black population was given ten days to get
out. A few white people attempted to protect their
black servants, but it was ineffectual. Black porters on
the Houston & Texas Central would hide in the
baggage car when the train went through Comanche
County.

A 1907 pamphlet for the county advertised “the
population of Comanche County, Texas, according to
the census of 1900 was 23,079. This population, it
must be remembered, is entirely and absolutely all
white; there is not a negro in the county, and the
chances are there will not be any for many years to
come. There are many ways in which the negro can be
of service to the white race, but as a rule the
community is better off without him. Wherever
negroes are numerous there crime abounds and all
sorts of trouble. But in Comanche County he is an
unknown quantity, and the court dockets are
consequently light, there are no election frauds, and
women are safe. Wherever the negro herds, there
crime has a breeding place. Comanche county is free
from this black curse, not by any written statute that
she has enacted, but by an unwritten law which the
negroes throughout the length and breadth of the
State understand.”