News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

100 years after his death, a man lynched in Fort Worth gets his first-ever memorial

Two tour guides stand beside bicycles in bright yellow shirts. They stand in front of an old, red brick building, with a stone sign near the top that says "City-County Hospital."
Miranda Suarez
/
KERA
The Fort Worth Lynching Tour brought participants to sites associated with Fred Rouse's lynching in 1921. The red brick building in the background is the old City-County Hospital that Rouse was abducted from on the night of his killing.

Fred Rouse will be memorialized in Fort Worth this week, exactly 100 years after a mob lynched him.

Rouse was one of thousands of Black Americans lynched in the United States between the Civil War and World War II.

In 1921, workers in the Stockyards were on strike. Meatpacking companies hired non-union workers like Rouse to replace them.

Newspaper accounts at the time claimed that during a clash outside the packinghouses, Rouse shot and injured two white strikers. A mob beat Rouse, and he spent several days recuperating in the segregated basement ward of the county hospital.

If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible donation today. KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. Thank you.

Then, on Dec. 11, another mob kidnapped him, brought him to a tree off Samuels Avenue, and hanged and shot him.

A historical marker will soon stand at Rouse’s death site. The Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice (TCCPJ), a nonprofit dedicated to memorializing victims of racial violence, will break ground there on Saturday, exactly 100 years after his killing.

“In perpetuity, Mr. Fred Rouse will not be forgotten,” said Adam W. McKinney, the president of the TCCPJ.

The TCCPJ also plans to develop the site around the memorial, which is currently an empty lot. McKinney said they’ve hired a design firm, and they plan to ask for neighborhood input about what to turn the space into.

The TCCPJ has a full week of events planned to honor Rouse, including a prayer vigil and a march. Before the memorial plaque goes up off of Samuels Avenue on Saturday, a historical marker will also be placed in front of the old hospital Rouse was abducted from. That hospital building is now part of the Bass Performance Hall complex downtown.

Read more: Fort Worth Lynching Tour Brings Little-Known History To The Forefront

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Fort Worth reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.