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Women's History Month: The first Black Woman to be Mayor of Rosebud, Texas

Mrs. Ernestine Hill-Warren was Rosebud's first Black woman Mayor. She served her community with kindness and thought highly of education.

ROSEBUD, Texas — It was education, kindness and true spirit that Mrs. Ernestine Marie Hill-Warren brought to every person she met and every task she accomplished.

Hill-Warren was the first Black Woman to be the Mayor of Rosebud. 

She pushed her community to be the best it could by fixing its roads, the lighting downtown and educating its children for 53 years at Rosebud-Lott Independent School District.

"Any task that she decided to undertake, she took it on and completed the course," Gwendolyn Caviness, member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., said.

The women of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. stood by Sorror Hill-Warren for decades. They thought of her as "a lady" that got things done.

Each member can recall a specific reason as to why they loved her so much. The biggest reason of all being that she was the one who knew all the history of Delta Sigma Theta Inc.

"She would be the one to correct you as soon as you said something incorrect about our history," Jessie Bishop, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc., said.

Hill-Warren knew education played a large role in having success in life.

Credit: Deborah Warren
Ernestine Hill-Warren and her family.

She taught her daughters, Deborah Warren Goffney and Dr. Kathy Warren-Ransom that being educated was one of the most important things in life.

"My mother always said that as a Black woman, I had to be ten times more educated that anyone else," Warren Goffney said.

So her daughters achieved high degrees and became big names in their communities as well.

For 53 years, Hill-Warren taught the children of Rosebud-Lott ISD.

She took pride in sharing her Black History and that of others with every class she encountered. With her teachings, came great appreciation from every student who entered and left her class.

Credit: Meredith Haas
A kind letter from a student to Mrs. Hill-Warren.
Credit: Meredith Haas
A kind letter to Mrs. Hill-Warren.

It's Hill-Warren's own history that intrigued her as well and she made sure to share it with as many people as she could.

Her father was a Black Cowboy and the first Black Deputy in Rosebud. He also was the first Black Man to own his own business.

"He always believed in working hard for his family, no matter what," Dr. Kathy Warren-Ransom, Hill-Waren's daughter, said.

Credit: Meredith Haas
Kathy and Deborah's grandfather was the first Black Deputy and Black business owner in Rosebud, Texas.

Hill-Warren went on for decades to gather great accolades from her community. People recognized her with plaques and beautiful words.

It's her Delta Sigma Theta Inc. Sorrors' that will forever remember her as the trailblazer she was and will carry on her legacy.

"She was truly a mentor for me, my Delta Dear," one of the Delta Sigma Theta Inc. members said.


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