G.W. Jackson Legacy Park to Officially Open in Corsicana Next Week

The new park that will open Tuesday has been 20 years in the making

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Gwen Chance looked on with wonder as workers secured Corsicana's newest statue in the city's newest park.

"He is the first statue, African American statue, in the city of Corsicana," Chance said.

"He" is George Washington Jackson, known as G.W. Jackson, the first principal of what was then Corsicana's Black high school. The school drew students from surrounding cities, too.

"The students took the Interurban to attend the high school here," Chance said as a train horn blared the down the street.

Chance is Chair of the J.W. Jackson Multicultural Society. An organization she started to fulfill a dream of her late sister, Lois Jean Hart.

Hart was a student of Jackson who went on to be an educator in Corsicana herself. Before her death, she bought Jackson's old house with the intent of preserving his legacy.

"He looks great," Chance said looking at the bronze statue made by artist Spencer Evans. "Wow! I can see my sister jumping all around in heaven really excited!"

The grounds where Jackson's old house once sat at the corner of Martin Luther King and 5th are home to Corsicana's newest park: G.W. Jackson Legacy Park.

"His legacy was to make sure that all the students were properly educated and that you did service for your community," G.W. Jackson High School Alumni Mary Wilson and Seri Nolan said.

The statue of Jackson has him sitting on a perch at the center of the park, hand outstretched.

"He was one who was like a magnet to the people, to students," Chance said. "Hopefully it will encourage other communities that they can do the same."

The official ceremonial opening of J.W. Jackson Legacy Park will be on Tuesday.
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