Preserving history: A look at Pflugerville's Historic Colored Addition

The original St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church was built in 1910 by the Historic Colored Addition's original settlers. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville, Friends of the Pflugerville Public Library, Pflugerville Public Library)
The original St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church was built in 1910 by the Historic Colored Addition's original settlers. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville, Friends of the Pflugerville Public Library, Pflugerville Public Library)

The original St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church was built in 1910 by the Historic Colored Addition's original settlers. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville, Friends of the Pflugerville Public Library, Pflugerville Public Library)

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Santa María Cemetery is a historic and active cemetery located in the Historic Colored Addition. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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St. Mary's Cemetery, located at Pflugerville's Historic Colored Addition, is a resting place created around 1920. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
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In 1910, farmer La Rue Noton sold plots of land to Black cotton farmers and ice factory workers at $50 a piece. (Courtesy city of Pflugerville, Friends of the Pflugerville Public Library, Pflugerville Public Library)
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St. Mary's Cemetery, located at Pflugerville's Historic Colored Addition, is a resting place created around 1920. (Kelsey Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Off West Pecan Street in Pflugerville lies a parcel of land comprising two cemeteries, a historic church and a handful of homes and businesses. Known as the Historic Colored Addition, the land stands a reminder of the city's history, a period of time when Black residents were barred from living within the city limits.


Pflugerville's Historic Colored Addition was founded in 1910. Plots of land then outside the city limits were sold to Black cotton farmers and ice factory workers, forbidden from living in town due to their race. La Rue Noton, a farmer with 1,200 acres of land west of Pflugerville, sold the plots to Black Texans for $50 each, according to Pflugerville Public Library historical documents.


The settlement's founders include Pete McDade, George Caldwell, Will Smith, Ned Tyson, Willie Allen and their families, per historical documents. St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, Santa María Cemetery and St. Mary's Cemetery serve as historic landmarks and functioning sites to this day.

At Pflugerville inaugural Juneteenth celebration June 20, Black Pflugerville President Alicia Jackson said the achievements of Black residents are symbolic of their resiliency, adding they are on the forefront of progress within the city of Pflugerville.

"For my ancestors and your ancestors to say, 'No, I am not going to break; I am not going to bend; you will not kill me,' speaks volumes to who we are as a people," Jackson said.


In 1978, Travis County commissioners attempted to change the area's name to the Western Addition, according to Texas State Historical Association documents. However, Historic Colored Addition property owners resisted the change, maintaining that the namesake was necessary to prevent erasure of the land's history.


In more recent years, Pflugerville's Historic Colored Addition has become a focus for needed improvements, including infrastructure upgrades, roadway and access concerns as well as water and drainage problems. Black Pflugerville, a nonprofit grassroots organization, has worked to restore and preserve the cemeteries.


Pflugerville City Council allocated $3.1 million for infrastructure improvements in April 2019.

In addition, roadway upgrades throughout the Historic Colored Addition are included in the city's 2020 bond package, which will go before voters in November.

By Kelsey Thompson
Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


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