Liberty County History

An occasional gathering place for articles, documents, photographs, records and other ephemera dealing with the history of Liberty County, Texas.


Kevin Ladd is director of the Wallisville Heritage Park at Wallisville, Chambers County, TX and lives in Hardin, TX. He is chairman of the Liberty County Historical Commission and writes for "Texas Illustrated," a monthly publication of the Liberty Gazette newspaper, which is devoted to local history and folklore.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Rev. Sip Baldwin and Frederick Antwine

My friends, John O. Wright and Cleveland Walters Jr., along with many other good folks have been working off and on to restore the old Odd Fellows Cemetery in the West Liberty section of Liberty, Texas. Up until the time the family of Luther T. Wells, Sr. opened up their Wells Memorial Cemetery on the other side of town, this served for several decades as the principal burial place for many of the black residents of the city.

Among those who lie buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery are two men who deserve to be remembered and celebrated for their accomplishments and for the leadership roles they provided not only to the black residents of Liberty, but also the whole community of their day and time. These were Rev. Sip Baldwin, the founding pastor of Trinity Valley Baptist Church, a true institution in West Liberty, and Frederick Antwine, the longtime chairman of the Liberty County Republican Executive Committee during the late 1800s. Mr. Antwine, along with some black school professors like B. H. Hayden and Elisha Green, plus Postmaster Thomas F. Calhoon Sr., held the Grand Old Party together through a period of several decades. Col. Robert W. Humphreys moved to Liberty around 1913 and helped carry on the local Republican organization for a few more decades. There will be more to say about all these gentlemen in the future. Right now I would simply like to offer the brief obituaries for Rev. Baldwin and Mr. Antwine that I located sometime last year.

The Liberty Vindicator
Friday, February 22, 1918

Sip Baldwin, another one of those honorable old Southern Negroes, died in this township Tuesday morning [Feb. 19]. "Elder Sip," as he was respectfully referred to, was 86 years of age and all his life was spent as a good example to his race to emulate.

The Liberty Vindicator
Friday, April 23, 1920

Frederick Antwine died at his home near here Sunday [April 18]. Frederick Antwine was one of the best of the county's Negro citizens. For 40 years he was a leader among his race. His conduct and advice was always worthy.

In conclusion, I might point out the Rev. Baldwin's birth year, according to the above account, would have been approximately 1832. Cleveland's wife, Cheryl Baldwin Walters, is a descendant. Although his grave is not marked, Cleveland and John feel they have located the site of this grave. Some day soon we will erect a marker for this good man of the Lord. There is a handsome marker on Frederick Antwine's grave. When I visited the Odd Fellows Cemetery last year, they led me to his monument. It is difficult to describe the emotions that washed over me as I stood at his grave. I have known both of these men only through the imprint they have left upon our history, but I would like to think I know them all the same.


Blogger Lenny Goodkin said...

Thank you for posting these words about the Rev. Sip Baldwin. I am told that he is an ancestor of mine and I am always looking for more information about his life and family. I would like to stay in contact with you and inform family members about when and where the grave marker will be placed. Do you have more information about the Rev. that could be useful for building my family tree?

10:41 AM  

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