Family fights to keep their name on road in Champions area

March 27, 2013 4:39:16 PM PDT
A street name change may not seem like a big deal to most Houstonians. But for one family, a road bearing their name was something worth fighting for.

Long before FM 1960 was one more congested roadway and before the area became known as Champions, there was Duncan Road. It was named for the farmer and his family who settled the area known as Independence Grove.

Their small-frame house was their castle. The land and estate were handed down from father to son to grandchildren.

"This is Daddy Herman Duncan standing by his old truck. I don't know what year that is," Alberta Duncan Greer said as she flipped through old photographs.

At age 80, Greer is the last of her parents' children. She no longer lives on the family homestead, but she owns it.

"If they take that Duncan name -- wouldn't put that Duncan name up there -- there wouldn't be a part of me," she said.

The county is extending Hollister Road. It will link Beltway 8 and 1960, but it's absorbing both Duncan Road and its name. Greer and her children said "not so fast."

"Your name must represent who or what you're made of. Sir, we are Duncans," relative Valerie Duncan said Wednesday at a name-change hearing for Duncan Road.

The Duncan family attended the name-change hearing to witness the compromise to which both county and family agreed.

"We are going to put a special marker up on that segment that has been Duncan Road," Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle said. "We also know how important that tradition and heritage you and your family have provided in this region is."

The marker won't preserve the past, but it will acknowledge it along the road where there have been Duncans for a hundred years. That's all Greer wanted.

"I believe they're looking down, and they're happy," she said. "There's someone who won't give up on our family name."

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