Dorothy Crawford and K.H. Malone

The Power Couple

While it's said that behind every great man is a great woman, with the Malone's, they both stood together, equally at the forefront of Black Huntsville/East Texas history. As with all the "great men" of Huntsville, their wives helped and worked with them in their achievements and endeavors. However, Dorothy Crawford Malone stood on her own. Born to one of Walker County's earliest Black families, the Crawford family historically took a lead in the Black society of Huntsville, including holding religious meetings before the establishment of a Black church. The Crawford family-owned property throughout the emerging Black business district, on Avenue M and parts of 14th and even 13th Streets. Other members of the Crawford family-owned businesses, including her brother Ed Crawford, who along with their father Robert Crawford owned and operated the Crawford Barbershop. [3] [4] [5] [6]

To Dorothy's credit, she contributed much to the youth of Huntsville and Walker County. After graduating from college and teaching, she led the Huntsville chapter of the National Youth Administration (NYA), a program originally started by President F. D. Roosevelt in 1935, to provide part-time employment to students to help them remain in school. This organization also helped build the local community literally. Young men in the program completed building on Emancipation Park, cleared forests, built roads, and even built the brick wall around SHSU on Sam Houston Avenue (unfortunately with no recognization). Decades later, she became the first Black person employed at the Walker County Courthouse. She worked as a deputy for 15 years (from 1970 to 1985), helping with voter registration. Moreover, she worked with her husband K.H. Malone, on many projects dealing with economic and community development. [4] [5] [6]

K.H. Malone, the namesake of the K.H. Malone Grocery and Washeteria (opened in 1950), was a business owner, county agent, and entrepreneur. In 1932, Malone became the first Black person to occupy the position of the Agricultural Demonstration Agent for Walker County. During his tenure, he helped Black farmers and provided services and information for them. In addition to his bureaucratic position in agriculture, the Malone's together purchased a farm in 1946, on FM 1791, (also known as Richards Road). The Malone Dairy and Poultry Farm produced eggs, cheese, poultry, and milk, which was sold to local Huntsville grocery stores, and even a co-op in Houston. After K.H. retired from his county job in 1970, the farm continued through the Malone's children. However, K.H. continued serving the community and became a building contractor. Over 22 years, the Malone's (though primarily K.H.) built over 160 homes and 15 churches in Walker County and surrounding East Texas counties. His work enabled low-income families to obtain financial support and financial and practical construction knowledge to move into a real home. K.H. Malone and Dorothy Crawford Malone died in 2000 and 2006, respectively. However, their work and legacy still live on in many communities of Huntsville and East Texas. [1] [2] [5] [6]

Audio

Interview of Richard Watkins Dr. Richard Watkins is an award-winning fourth-generation Huntsville native, veteran, and philanthropist, who frequented "The Drag" business district growing up. Date: November 08, 2019

Images

Crawford's Barbershop Bart Carter barbering Walter Glaze and Ed Crawford barbering another patron at Crawford's Barber Shop. Source: Walker County Treasures Date: 1940
K.H. Malone Picture of K.H. Malone in later years. Source: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/kh-malone-obituary?pid=160981161
Dorothy Crawford Malone Picture of Dorothy Crawford Malone in her later years. Source: Lede, Naomi W. Pathfinders: A History of the Pioneering Efforts of African Americans Huntsville, Walker County, Texas. Huntsville--Walker County, Texas: African American Documentary Committee and the Walker County Historical Commission, 2004.
K.H. Malone Construction Company Baker Grover Cox, K. H. Malone, William C. Johnston, Felder Jones, looking over plans the for Malone Construction Company, location on Richards Road. Source: Walker County Treasures Date: 1960
Opening night of K.H. Malone's Grocery and Washateria Party/gala for opening of K.H. Malone's business. Source: Walker County Treasures Date: 1950
Malone's Dairy and Poultry Farm K.H. Malone and others surrounded by poultry in the Malone's Dairy and Poultry Farm. Source: Walker County Treasures Date: 1950

Location

1219 Avenue M, Huntsville, Texas 77340

Metadata

Yhaz Mhih Nhay Toliver, “Dorothy Crawford and K.H. Malone,” East Texas History, accessed September 30, 2022, https://easttexashistory.org/items/show/296.