Langston Heritage

Dr. Hezekiah Hankal, one of the Founding Fathers of Johnson City, purchased town lot number 12 from Henry Johnson in June 1869 for $300 as a site for the Colored Christian Church. Dr. Hankal helped start a number of historic black churches throughout Northeast Tennessee. Born a slave in 1825, he was reared in the Dutch home of James and Nancy Hankal in what is now Gray, Tennessee and was fluent in Dutch and several foreign languages.

The cholera epidemic in July 1873 brought Dr. Hankal's medical skills into prominence in the white community as his patients lived while many of his white colleagues' patients died. An interracial medical practice began that continued until his death in 1903. Dr. Hankal also was elected alderman in Johnson City in 1887 and his unique combination of medical expertise, educational and spiritual leadership, as well as service as an elected official is noted by several Tennessee Historical Society markers in Johnson City.

Johnson City began a school building program in 1892 and one of the three newly designated schools was established for colored children. The school was named Langston Normal School for noted black leader John Mercer Langston, a Congressman from Virginia. Dr. Hankal along with Dan Reeves and Alfred Hyder were instrumental in securing approval for the new school which was located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Elm Street. This location served Johnson City's youth as a high school until court-ordered desegregation of the Johnson City School System occurred in 1965. Graduates from Langston High School hold regular reunions and have an active Heritage Association that has contributed enormously in the documentation of local history in Johnson City and Washington County.

St. Paul's A.M.E. Zion Church

St. Paul's A.M.E. Zion Church

St. Paul's A.M.E. Zion Church

Dunbar School

Class at Dunbar School
Biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar

Douglass School
Mildred Ellis - Music Instructor

Chorus - Mildred Ellis -
Music Instructor

Langston High School

Game of Horseshoes
Langston Basketball Team

Langston High Band

Langston Football Team

Volleyball Game at Carver

Thankful Baptist Church


Pro-to Club

Football - 1940s

Game of Checkers at Carver Park

Baseball Action

Famed Physician and Educator Dr. Hezekiah Hankal

Note - Click on the thumbnail images above to link to larger photos.

Photos Courtesy Of: Langston Reunion Committee, Geraldine Johnson Carr, Virginia Sanders Goins
Research by Mary Alexander

Photo on right: ETSU History Professor Mary Alexander
with Memorial Marker for Dr. Hankal at West Lawn Cemetery





 More Photos and Related Items

John Mercer Langston
John Mercer Langston
Langston High Historical Marker
World War I Inductions

Carver Pool

West Main Street
Christian Church

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