African American Library at the Gregory School

McCullough Family Collection MSS.0016

An Inventory of their Records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator McCullough, Alfred
Title: McCullough Family Collection
Dates: 1923-2009
Identification: MSS.0016
Quantity: 1.63 Linear feet
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: African American Library at the Gregory School

Biographical note

Historical Note

The McCullough Family have been residents of Houston since 1865, shortly after James McCullough moved there. In 1871, McCullough purchased property in Houston’s Fourth Ward, which became known as Freedman’s Town. This was the first community established by African Americans in Houston, located on the southern bank of Buffalo Bayou. McCullough’s homestead was located at what is now Valentine and Victor Street.

James McCullough was born in Tennessee in 1837 (re: 1900 Census). His father, Hugh McCulloch, was Caucasian and served as US Secretary of Treasury and military Governor of Tennessee. He named all of his black sons, “Jim”.

James McCullough and several of his brothers named Jim, were cattle drivers and gunfighters. They drove cattle all over the country and into Mexico. When James McCullough was in Atlanta Georgia he fell in love with a slave girl named Sally (Wilson?). According to oral history, James had a duel with another man to win the affections of Sally. They moved to Texas and married about 1872. They had seven children: James McCullough Jr., Sarah McCullough (Aunt Meadie), Ella McCullough (Aunt Sis who married Mr. Hogan), Phillip Hays McCullough (married Oletta McCloney in 1906-daughter was Hazel McCullough Semedo), Edward F.? W.? McCullough (was letter carrier), Viola M. McCullough (married Mr. Stafford), and Arthur L. McCullough (mayor of Independence Heights).

James McCullough had many talents and skills, including being a blacksmith. He along with Reverend Jack Yates helped found Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in 1866. When Reverend Yates became founding pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in 1891, McCullough and his family joined.

In 1908 the Wright Land Company began selling land to African Americans in an area including North Main in Houston. It was named Independence Heights and James McCullough was hired to help sell the land. However, McCullough requested land in lieu of money for payment. Several corner lots in Independence Heights were deeded to him and are still owned by his descendants today. The exact date of James McCullough's death is unknown except that he died in the early part of the 1900s. He is buried in Olivewood Cemetery, the oldest African American cemetery in Houston. The James McCullough Park on 40th Street was established in 1929 in his honor and memory. (Source: The McCullough Family by Reverend Alfred Ronald McCullough and Patricia Smith Prather).

Biographical Note

Reverend Alfred Ronald McCullough was born September 14, 1935 to Edward William McCullough and Helen Mae Fawlkes. He is the grandson of Arthur L. McCullough Sr., the third mayor of Independence Heights after it was incorporated as a city in 1915 and the great grandson of James McCullough. He has been married three times. His first wife was Yvonne Simmons and they have four children. His second wife was Gloria Jean Clark and they have one child. He and his present wife, Emelder McGowan have one child. Reverend McCullough retired from the post office in 1990. He became a minister in 1975 and followed his father as pastor of Wyatt Chapel Church in Hempstead Texas. He is still the pastor of the historic church, founded in 1894 by Reverend George Wyatt Jr. who also served as a Texas State Legislator during Reconstruction, after slavery ended. (Source: The McCullough Family by Reverend Alfred Ronald McCullough and Patricia Smith Prather).

Scope and Contents

The McCullough Family Collection is composed of documents, photos, correspondence, vital records, and scrap books that document the history of the McCullough Family in Houston.


Arrangement note

The collection is arranged by subject and material type.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the McCullough Family Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

McCullough Family Collection
McCullough, Alfred
African American families—Texas
African American women--Texas--Houston
African Americans

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

McCullough Family Collection. MSS0016, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Reverend Alfred McCullough, January 2010

Processing Information

Processed by: Vince Lee, March 2010

Detailed Description of the Collection



Box Folder
1 1 Vital Records
Certificate of Death—Nellie Marguerite Fowlkes (August 26, 1999)
Certificate of Death—Nannie Blanche Norris (September 1, 2003)
Marriage Certificate of Elroy M. Norris and Nannie B. Fowlkes (June 12, 1932
Handwritten Certificates of Births and Deaths (Unofficial) 2 Copies (1 photocopied and laminated) n.d.
Blank Marriage Certificate Forms 3 Copies (1 laminated and 2 photocopied)
Books Folder
1 2 Cerificates
State Approved Parish Training School Diploma—N.B.S. Folkes (photocopy) (May 25, 1923)
Houston Public Schools—Certificate of Attainment—Velma Cleodel Fowlkes (June 2, 1928—1 photocopy and 1 laminated
Box Folder
1 3 Financial Records
Savings of E.W. McCullough—Houston National Bank (1942—1952)
Bank Statement of Independent Heights Civic and Imp. Club—Citizens State Bank (October 31, 1940)
Miscellaneous sheet of paper with entries of itemized numbers and balances (n.d.)
Box Folder
1 4 Cancled Checks
Pay to the Order of: Citizens State Bank—for Cashier’s Checks--$750.88 (n.d.)
Pay to the Order of: Mary Beck--$33.60 (June 7, 1940)
Pay to the Order of: Rudolph Bay--$24.00 (September 18, 1940)
City of Houston Receipt from Independence Heights Civic and Imp Club--$876.88 (April 1, 1940)
Pay to the Order of: B.J. Hooey--$1500 (June 7, 1940)
Pay to the Order of: Ed Bailey--$5.00 (June 7, 1940)
Pay to the Order of: Lily Jones--$10.00 (September 18, 1940)
Pay to the Order of: Grant Cummings--$5.00 (September 18, 1940)
Pay to the Order of: City of Houston--$16.88 (June 4, 1940)
Photocopies of nine cancelled checks (front and back)
Box Folder
1 5 Affidavit Heirship
Affidavit of Heirship to the property of James McCullough by Alfred R. McCullough, Sr. (September 9, 2009



Box Folder
1 6 Postcards
Laminated fragment of a postcard to Nellie Fowlkes (June 10, 192_)
Postcard from Terrell, TX to Reverend Elroy Norris from Clarence (n.d.)
McKinley Home Church Postcard to Nannie Norrie from Mrs. Hardesty (May 24, 1943)
St. Louis Cathedral Postcard to Reverend E.M. Norris from Nannie B. (June 3, 1943)
Season’s Greetings Postcard to Miss N. Fowlkes from Margaret Williams (n.d.)
Eastman Hotel Postcard to Miss Nannie B. Fowlkes from F.J. Barber (June 21, 1923)
Medical Arts Building Postcard to Reverend Elroy Norris from Clarence (October 11, 1941)
Tuskegee Institute Postcard to Reverend Elroy Norris from Clarence (January 22, 1940)
San Francisco Postcard to Reverend E.M. Norris from Clarence and Lucille (1935)
First National Bank Postcard to Mrs. Nellie Fowlkes from Mama (June 11, 1930)
New Orleans Airport Postcard to Mrs. Norris (September 24, 1941)
Caddo Lake Postcard to Reverend Elroy Norris from Clarence (January 28, 1942
Trinity River Postcard to Mr. Elroy M. Norris from Clarence (March 15, 1941)
Hey P. Long Bridge Postcard (Blank and never sent)
Box Folder
1 7 Correspondence
Letter from Byron James Woodward to Helen Mae Fowlkes McCullough (Mama Deet) (May 18, 1987)
Letter from Patricia Smith Prather to Reverend Alfred McCullough (May 18, 1985)



The Republican Party of Texas—Dinner with Ike (January 27, 1960)
Inaugural Ball of President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon (January 21, 1957)
Funeral Programs
Helen Mae Fowlkes (January 18, 2003)
Box Folder
1 9 Funeral Programs



Texas Trailblazers
Biographical Profile on Richard Allan (1826—1911)
Biographical Profile on Richard H. Cain (1825—1887)
Miscellaneous Cards
Metro Senior Citizens Card—Helen Mae McCullough
Business Card of W.A. Lynk—Principal of Hyde Park School



2 Photographs
MSS 0016.001—Man in suit at pulpit, n.d.
MSS 0016.002—Man with horse (fragmented pieces of photo) n.d.
MSS 0016.003—Ernest McCullough, n.d.
MSS 0016.004—“To Uncle Bubba from Little Barbara Anne Thompkins”
MSS 0016.005—Mr. Wilbert Lee, Ms Hattie M. White, Reverend E.W. McCullough (1974)
MSS 0016.006—Casket and floral arrangement during funeral
MSS 0016.007—Unidentified woman sitting on lawn n.d.
MSS 0016.008—Unidentified woman, girl, boy (Fragment of photo) n.d.
MSS 0016.009—Woman looking on (in formal coat and dress) n.d.
MSS 0016.010—Woman seated in room/hall
MSS 0016.011—Child standing in yard (1958)
MSS 0016.012—Jackie and Pete on Mt. Hood
MSS 0016.013—Unidentified man standing near car
MSS 0016.014Reverand Alfred McCullough standing next to car in driveway
MSS 0016.015—Woman and child sitting near overhang to door of building
MSS 0016.016—Individuals standing near overhang to door of building
MSS 0016.017—Unidentified woman
MSS 0016.018—Man in Boater hat walking along sidewalk
MSS 0016.019—Group posing on lawn with boy walking in front (August, 1959)
MSS 0016.0204—Men huddled together and smiling—Shack neon sign in background
MSS 0016.021—Photo of Sydney, Joey, Mamma Fowlkes, and Reverend Elroy Norris
MSS 0016.022—Unidentified serviceman
MSS 0016.023—Group photo of woman and children posing on lawn (August, 1959)
MSS 0016.024—Nellie and girlfriend
MSS 0016.025—Child standing next to bush near house
MSS 0016.026—Child standing next to automobile with open front door
MSS 0016.027—Torn Photo of Rooftop
MSS 0016.028—Sunday School photo—woman looking on
MSS 0016.029—Sunday School photo—Many women looking on
MSS 0016.030—Sunday School photo—man and woman riding in car
MSS 0016.031--Unidentified little girl sitting on hood of auto
MSS 0016.032—Nae Nae—age 11 (1988)
MSS 0016.033—Church scene of man, woman, and baby
MSS 0016.034—Congregants seated at church pews
MSS 0016.035—2 Men in suits standing in yard
MSS 0016.036—Joseph Gabriel at 7 ½ months (December 1987)
MSS 0016.037—Reverend Alfred McCullough in kitchen
MSS 0016.038—Booker T. Washington coach and players (1994)
MSS 0016.039—2 Children lying on bed
MSS 0016.040—People and child standing on wooden deck
MSS 0016.041—2 individuals standing on steps to building
MSS 0016.042—2 individuals on steps to building
MSS 0016.043— Congregants standing in pews of church
MSS 0016.044— Woman standing in room with drink
MSS 0016.045— Man standing at pulpit
MSS 0016.046— Man standing at pulpit
MSS 0016.047— Cable car suspended next to tower
MSS 0016.048— Alyce (Olan Mills Studio 2000)
MSS 0016.049— Unidentified woman in fur top
MSS 0016.050— Woman with children in living room
MSS 0016.051— Congregants in pews facing pulpit
MSS 0016.052— Girl standing with her bicycle
MSS 0016.053— Boy with fishing net and woman on beach
MSS 0016.054— Young man in bow tie and tuxedo
MSS 0016.055— Mrs. Elmelda McCullough
MSS 0016.056— Group huddle “The Family Tree of Maggie and Carrie”
MSS 0016.057— Mother holding newborn in hospital
MSS 0016.058— Sailor in uniform
MSS 0016.059— Unidentified man and woman in living room (June 1986)
MSS 0016.060— People seated at event with banquet tables
MSS 0016.061— Kids on basketball court
MSS 0016.062— Unidentified man in Armani shirt and woman with Carrie and Maggie Williams shirt
MSS 0016.063—2 Women in hats wearing Carrie and Maggie Williams Shirts
MSS 0016.064— People seated at Banquet tables
MSS 0016.065— Reverend McCullough with 2 women and girls
MSS 0016.066—Man and woman with newborn at hospital
MSS 0016.067— Boy with birthday cake
MSS 0016.068— Mother and Newborn in hospital bed
MSS 0016.069— Newborn in incubator at hospital
MSS 0016.070— Inside of church with cross overhead
MSS 0016.071—3 Women on porch in Park Louisiana “Mom Lucy’s Porch-sitting Robert, Nellie, Momma Lucy”
MSS 0016.072— Unidentified woman seated on couch
MSS 0016.073— Boy in red suspenders holding plate in kitchen
MSS 0016.074— Man holding baby
MSS 0016.075— Woman in red dress standing on lawn with 3 others
MSS 0016.076— Happy holidays photo to “Nellie from Mozelle”
MSS 0016.077—3 men standing together-entitled “from another time”
MSS 0016.078—Joe AND Nell Christmas at my house
3 Photographs
MSS 0016.079—2 Boys standing near doorway
MSS 0016.080—Joseph Woodard (?)
MSS 0016.081—U.S. Post Office at Franklin Street Station—Houston, Texas
MSS 0016.082—George Herbert Walker Bush with group of African American men
MSS 0016.083—Mrs. Fleming with church group
MSS 0016.084—Group photo of men and women seated and standing
MSS 0016.085—Church choir performing or reciting in memory of church founder
MSS 0016.086—Photo Collage of events



3 Scrapbook containing Photos and clippings