Kincheonville January 2016

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Thomas Kincheon, a former slave from Mississippi, established the rural community of Kincheonville in this area shortly after emancipation in 1865. Many independent communities were created in Texas by African Americans following the Civil War, usually on undesirable or unprofitable land. Although these places were often poor, the freedmen were able to live their lives and practice their religion without outside interference. Unlike other freedmen's communities in Texas, tradition holds that Anglos and Hispanics lived alongside African Americans in Kincheonville. Kincheon and his wife, Mary, operated a farm that supplied milk and butter to Austin's all-black Tillostson College. Several members of the Kincheon Family are buried at the Williamson Creek Cemetery four miles east of this site.

Public Life in Kincheonville was centered on Zion Rest Baptist Church, established in 1903 as both a congregation and a school. Kincheonville remained a small farming community until 1928, when the city passed a new master plan designed to force African Americans out of their homes. Public utilities like schools and water lines were only open to African Americans in a "Negro District" on the far side of east avenue (now IH-35). This policy, combined with the economic shocks of the Great Depression, pushed many residents out of Kincheonville and other historically black neighborhoods. In 1952, Thomas Kincheon II sold the land for suburban development. Although the Kincheon Family moved to East Austin in the 1960's, Blumie, Elijah, James Andrew, and Minnie Streets still bear their names. Zion Rest continues to serve the area from a sanctuary built in 1965.