Each One Teach One: The Education of the Texas  Freedmen 

Historical Markers - Index


 


 

Bee County - Lott Canada School
Bell County - African American Education in Belton
Brazos County - Black Education in Bryan
Calhoun County - Alice O. Wilkins School
Chambers County - Black Education in Chambers County
Dallas County - Bear Creek Community
Falls County - Rev. Nelson T. Denson and Marlin Missionary Baptist Church
Fannin County -  Site of Booker T. Washington School
Galveston County - Public Education for Blacks in Galveston
Galveston County - Booker T. Washington School
Gonzales County - African American Education
Grayson County - Fred Douglass School
Guadalupe County - Black Education in Seguin
Harris County - George Washington Carver High School
Henderson County -  Richard Columbus Fisher
Henderson County - Site of Blackshear/Fisher School
Henderson County -  Site of Gum Creek School
Houston County - Site of Center Grove School
Jasper County - Site of J.H. Rowe School
Limestone County - Groesbeck Independent School District
Limestone County - Site of Dunbar High School
Matagorda County - Site of Hilliard High School
McLennan County - A. J. Moore High School
Navarro County - Chatfield Baptist Church
Nueces County -  Solomon Coles (1844 County -1924) and Solomon Coles School
Orange County -  Black Education in Orange County
Polk County - Education in Livingston
Tarrant County - James E. Guinn School
Tarrant County -  I. M. Terrell High School
Taylor County -  Abilene Negro High School
Taylor County - Macedonia Baptist Church
Victoria County - Palestine Missionary Baptist Church
Walker County - Sam Houston Industrial and Training School
Washington County - Greenvine Schools
Williamson County - Site of Marshall County -Carver High School
Williamson County - Site of Bartlett Colored School

Historical Marker Text - Site of Central School


City:
Marshall
County:

Marker Text:

Marker Text: Early schools for Marshall's African Americans consisted of loosely organized classes held in homes, churches, and lodge halls. In 1894 Professor H. b. Pemberton, Sr., convinced city officials of the need for a school building and a fixed curriculum for African Americans. Pemberton arranged a loan, which the african American community repaid, to establish Marshall's first public school, "Central School," at this site in 1894. Central expanded in 1906 to include a high school. Central High School moved in 1925 and the school here was renamed "Hillside." Hillside School closed in 1941.


Historical Marker Text - Center Point Community 


City:
Center Point 
County:
Camp 
Marker Text:


In 1865 black Freedmen began this community. The Center Point Baptist Church was organized in 1873. The Industrial Union was chartered in 1889 to aid settlers in buying farms and building homes. A cooperative managed a brick kiln, sawmill and cotton gin. Under the leadership of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Cash, the first principals, Center Point School became an important vocational facility. Students erected most of the structures on the 14-acre campus and there was a cooperative boarding plan. The school was consolidated with Pittsburg in 1950.

 Historical Marker Text - Center Point School
 

City:
Center Point 
County:
Camp 
Marker Text:

 Began as a Freedmen's community about 1865-70. The Willie Johnson family were the first settlers and were soon joined by other families. In 1899 G. W. Goulsby opened a one-room school, the first in the settlement; Pete Griffin was the first teacher. In 1916 a new five-room school was built. In later years campus additions, partly funded by the Julius Rosenwald Fund, included a teacherage, library, dormitories, cafeteria, and gymnasium. Students maintained a farm and garden and operated a cannery. Center Point School was closed in 1952.

 


Historical Marker Text - Lott Canada School
City:
Beeville
County:
Bee
Marker Text:

With few formal schools available, education for many African Americans in the 19th century came through church instruction. In 1876, the first African American school in Bee County began in Stephen Canada's store seven miles north of Beeville. The following year, Stephen Kennedy built a small frame schoolhouse. County commissioners granted Canada and Kennedy's petition to create "Colored Community School Twelve." Beeville provided separate schools for Caucasian, African American and Mexican American students. In 1908, Beeville school trustees bought land for a new African American school from R.H. and Clara Berry. In the frame schoolhouse completed on North Burke Street, prinicipal J.R. Lockett introduced courses in agriculture and science and matched the studies of other Beeville schools. A 1929 fire destroyed the building, and students were taught in temporary quarters near the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church. Construction on a new school began in 1931. Financial assistance from the Julius Rosenwald fund of Chicago helped complete a brick schoolhouse with four classrooms and an auditorium. The school was named to honor Mose Lott and Allen Canada, carpenters who built the previous school which burned. The school offered ten grades, with additional years added through the 1940s. Gradual integration of Beeville schools began in 1955, with Lott Canada students attending A.C. Jones High School and the elementary school. In 1964, the Lott Canada School closed, though the school district continued to use the campus for other functions. The Lott Canada Alumni Association organized to preserve the heritage of African American education in Beeville. (2008)



Historical Marker Text - African American Education in Belton

City:
Belton
County:
Bell
Marker Location:
Harris Community Center (formerly Harris High School)
Marker Text:

Bell County school districts were formed in 1854. The earliest record of public education for area African American students dates from 1882 when Mrs. Aleck McGee was hired "to teach the colored school." Professor Thomas Breckenridge Harris (1862-1907), a graduate of Fisk University, became the first instructor of the African American High School in 1890. The name "West Belton School" was chosen in 1900. In 1936 a new building was erected on this site to house African American students of all grade levels. By petition the school was named "T. W. Harris" for its revered former principal. The last class graduated in 1966; Belton schools were integrated the following year. (1998)



Historical Marker Text - Black Education in Bryan

City:
Bryan

County:
Brazos

Marker Location:
Between Houston St. and Preston St. on 20th; Bryan (in park).

Marker Text:

On March 30, 1885, the City of Bryan purchased seven lots in this area as a site for a public school to provide separate but equal and impartial instruction for black children of the community, as prescribed by the Texas State Constitution of 1876. The "Bryan Public School for Colored" was the first educational institution established for blacks in Brazos County. When school opened in the fall of 1885, its principal was A.H. Colwell, who later became a prominent leader of black Republicans, and was named as a presidential elector from Texas in 1896. The original faculty included Mrs. Anne Alberson, Misses Mamie Burrows and Beatrice Calhoun, Mrs. Ada Scott Hall, and Mrs. Lenora Green, a classmate of Dr. William E.B. Dubois. The first school building of this site was a two-story frame structure, furnished with planks supported by kegs for seating. After the school burned in 1914, a brick edifice was constructed. In 1930, when the Kemp Junior-Senior High School was built across town, this facility became Washington Elementary School. After its destruction by fire in Sept. 1971, Washington Elementary was not rebuilt and the black students were integrated into the Bryan Public School System. Washington Park occupies most of the original site.

 



Historical Marker Text - Alice O. Wilkins School

City:
Port Lavaca

County:
Calhoun

Marker Location:
Ann and Alice Wilkins streets, Port Lavaca

Marker Text:

Alice O. Wilkins School Early education for African American students in Port Lavaca dates from the late nineteenth century and a one-room school run by James Choice. The Rev. A.K. Black, a Baptist pastor, later led the school, which included grades 1 to 5 and was located at Ann and Mulberry streets. In 1907, Alice Ora Crawford, a graduate of Fisk University, came here from Chicago and, although only 16 years old, became the schoolteacher. Under her leadership, the school grew to ten grades, and she eventually became principal. Her positive, yet stern, leadership made her an effective educator, and she provided significant direction for the city's African American students. Her work began in the one-room schoolhouse but moved to other facilities as they became available, including a Rosenwald School built in 1923. Following the death of her first husband, Horace Miller, Alice wed Dr. John H. Wilkins (d. 1917). She continued with her local work in education and, in 1937, the Calhoun district school board named the African American High School, then known as Rosenwald, in her honor. In April 1942, while decorating her school for a prom, Alice O. Wilkins suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died the following day in Victoria. She is buried there in Evergreen Cemetery. Alice O. Wilkins School continued in operation, in part, until full integration of the public school system occurred in 1965. The memory of the school, however, honors its namesake leader, a revered educator who unselfishly served the people of Port Lavaca for more than 35 years. Its history is an important reminder of the many students she guided and influenced. (2003)


 

Historical Marker Text - Black Education in Chambers County

City:
Anahuac

County:
Chambers

Marker Location:
1222 Main St

Marker Text:

The Texas Legislature formed Chambers County in 1858, and Wallisville became the county's first seat of government. The 1869 Texas Constitution called for the creation of free public schools for white and black children to be partially funded by the state. That same year, the Freedmen's Bureau was instrumental in having a school for African Americans built in Wallisville. The one-room schoolhouse, later used for other purposes, served students for many years. During the 1879-1880 school year, approximately 60 students attended classes there. By the late 1880s, the county's African American students were served by schools in Double Bayou, Wallisville, Black Branch, Turtle Bayou, Old River and Cedar Bayou. Like many early Texas schools, each organized annually, and the school year was determined by how many months a community could pay a teacher. At the turn of the century, Chambers County supported 28 schools and more than 800 students, black and white. At that time, the community of Anahuac began growing, and its black population sent students to classes at St. James Methodist Church, which organized in 1908, the same year Anahuac became county seat. Throughout the 20th century, Chambers County's education system improved with the organization of school districts and expanded state standards for educators. Two high schools in the county -- George Washington Carver and Double Bayou -- accommodated the older African American students. By 1966, all of Chambers County schools had been desegregated, and many of the facilities and staff from the former black schools were absorbed into the new integrated system as county residents moved into a new era of education. (2006)



Historical Marker Text - Bear Creek Community

City:
Irving

County:
Dallas

Marker Text:

Settlers began arriving in this area, once a part of Robertson’s Colony, in the 1850s. Early families included the Casters, Borahs, Sowers and Haleys. Following the Civil War, freedmen moved to the area, and friends and families once separated by slavery were reconnected. Jim Green, the first African American landowner in what became known as the Bear Creek community, bought his acreage in 1878. Others soon followed: Jim Chivers, Ben and Rose Dilworth, Alex King, Elizabeth Lawson, Collins and Rachel Patton, D.W. Ellison (Ellerson), Sam Sweat, the Trigg family and Minnie Shelton (Sheldon), who later donated land for Shelton’s Bear Creek Cemetery. These families organized the Shady Grove Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 1884, erecting a one-room church and school building on land donated by Jim Green. The congregation, which built a larger structure in 1897, continued to grow and worship together throughout the 20th century. The Bear Creek community school, known as Freedom School, began as a private education facility. The students later transferred to Grand Prairie’s Dal Worth School, which became County Colored School No. 2. It, along with schools from the Sowers community, were annexed to the Irving Independent School District in 1955. Early teachers in the Bear Creek settlement included Josie Davis and Earlie Mae Wheeler. Approximately 150 years after the first settlers came to the area, the once rural Bear Creek settlement is experiencing rapid growth from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and related highway and airport expansion. Shelton’s Bear Creek Cemetery is one of few links to the settlement and the lives of the families who contributed over the years to the community. (2004)


 

Historical Marker Text -  Rev. Nelson T. Denson and Marlin Missionary Baptist Church




City:
Marlin


County
Falls

Marker Location:
507 Bennett at George St., Marlin


Marker Text:

Born into slavery in Arkansas, Nelson Taylor Denson (1845-1938) was brought to Falls County in 1856 at the age of eleven. After accompanying his master in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, he returned to Marlin where he was a pioneer educator and Baptist circuit preacher. Educated by his master and inspired by the noted Texas statesman Sam Houston, he became a prominent leader among the area Freedmen. On Nov. 8, 1868, the Rev. Denson started Marlin Missionary Baptist Church, the earliest black congregation in the county. Assisting him in the organization meeting was the pioneer Baptist preacher, the Rev. Z. N. Morrell. Rev. Denson was active in the establishment of several black schools, including one sponsored by the Marlin Missionary Baptist Church in 1877. Through his efforts, the opportunity for a formal education became a reality for area blacks by the mid-1880s. In 1882 the Rev. Denson became the first elected black official in the county when he was chosen commissioner of precinct one. Trusted and respected by all races, he continued to play a significant role in the community until his death at the age of 93. Today the church he founded in 1868 carries on the tradition of his enthusiasm and his service for others.

 


 

Historical Marker Text -  Site of Booker T. Washington School

City:
Bonham

County:
Fannin

Marker Location:
Katy Blvd. & E. 5th St.

Marker Text:

According to local tradition the Bonham Colored School began in a one-room structure in northwest Bonham in the early 1890s. Enrollment in the 4-teacher school grew from 40 pupils in 1904 to 216 in 1911. By 1920 the school offered 11 grades and was called Booker T. Washington. A new school complex, funded in part by the Rosenwald Foundation, was built on 10 acres here in 1928; Ray Seay served as principal. The school expanded to 12 grades in 1940. Until 1966, when it closed due to school integration, the school served as a focal point for Bonham's entire African American community. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845 - 1995




Historical Marker Text - Public Education for Blacks in Galveston

City:
Galveston

County:
Galveston


Marker Text:

Attempts to open public, tax-supported schools in Galveston after the Civil War (1861-65) were delayed by yellow fever and lack of funds, but in 1881 the school board devised a sound system of free public education. This included classes for black children in two rented locations, called the East Broadway Colored School and Barnes Institute. A year later, the system was revised on geographic lines, with an east district and a west district school. In 1885, Central High School for blacks opened in rented quarters at 16th and Avenue L. From 1889 to 1893 it was housed at 15th Street and Avenue N. Leading architect Nicholas Clayton was then engaged to design a structure for this site. Built especially for Central, it was the pride of the community. In 1905, Central was chosen to house a branch of the Rosenberg Library. The school building was enlarged in 1924. The school itself was relocated in 1954, and phased out by integration in 1968. Central High School was a cherished institution in the Galveston black community. This third campus of the high school, a site rich in traditions and history, was rejuvenated in 1976 as a cultural center.

 


 

Historical Marker Text - Booker T. Washington School

City:
Texas City

County:
Galveston

Marker Text:

Public education for African American students in Texas City began in 1915. The Texas City Independent School District hired Mrs. J. R. McKellar to teach the students; classes were held in churches and lodge halls until 1937, when the district purchased this property and moved a one-story wooden building to the site. For many years, Booker T. Washington School offered instruction only through grade seven, so students traveled to Galveston to complete their education. A brick schoolhouse constructed here in 1946-47 housed grades one through ten. In 1953, a high school building was added to the campus, and African American students could at last complete their high school education in Texas City. Extracurricular activities, including athletic and music programs, were important parts of student life. With the full integration of Texas City public schools in 1969, Booker T. Washington closed. It remains, however, a significant part of Texas City's 20th-century social and educational history. The campus has continued in use for a variety of community purposes, including facilities for The College of the Mainland in its initial years (1967-71), for Project Head Start (1974-89) and for the Calvin Vincent Learning Center (1996). (1997)


 

Historical Marker Text - African American Education

County:
Gonzales

Marker Location:
School street and Kline Street, Gonzales


Marker Text:

Education for American Negro citizens of Gonzales began in the 1870s at the home of Myrtle Moses Mathis. More formalized instruction took place in the 1890s when the school occupied a 2-story community building. A brick schoolhouse was erected about 1914 on land donated by W.M. Fly and Josephine K. Peck. It was named George Edwards High School in 1922 and served 300 students and 8 teachers by 1940. Edwards High School was closed in 1964 as schools were desegregated in compliance with the federal Civil Rights Act. The school was sold in the 1970s. (1997)


 

Historical Marker Text - Fred Douglass School

City:
Sherman

County:
Grayson

Marker Text:

Named for the famed 19th century African American orator Frederick Douglass, the Fred Douglass School was created as one of Sherman's first three public schools in 1879. Two houses one block west of this site were rented for the education of the area's African American children. In the first years of the Fred Douglass School the number of students was about 85. By 1907 the school's population was 350. Fire plagued the Fred Douglass School: in 1904 and again in 1919 the wood buildings were destroyed. In 1920 a three-story brick structure was erected at the corner of college and East streets. The school grew rapidly and by 1939 plans for expansion were necessary. In 1943, educational improvements began to take place. More faculty members had advanced degrees and the curriculum was expanded to include African American history, business and vocational courses. A National Honor Society chapter was formed, and the sports program was expanded. A modern building was erected in 1957; ten years later, the school district became fully integrated, and the Fred Douglass School became the district's special education facility. In the late 20th century it remained the center for a variety of programs for all Sherman students. (1997)


 

Historical Marker Text - Black Education in Seguin

City:
Seguin

County:
Guadalupe

Marker Location:
225 North Saunders, Seguin

Marker Text:

Sponsored by the Second Baptist Church, the first public school for blacks in Seguin opened in 1871. Through the efforts of the Rev. Leonard Ilsley (1818-1903), and the Rev. William Baton Ball (1840-1923), a frame school was built on this site, and named Abraham Lincoln School. Ball was the first principal. In 1892, the Lincoln School became a part of the Seguin Public School System. The name was changed to Ball High School in 1925, and ceased to be separate facility for blacks in 1966 when the Seguin Public School System was integrated. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.


 

Historical Marker Text - George Washington Carver High School

City:
Houston

County:
Harris

Marker Location:
2500 South Victory

Marker Text:

In 1915, Harris County Common School District #26 established White Oak (Colored) School to serve the Acres Homes Community. The Wright Land Company, which developed this historically African-American community earlier in the decade, deeded land at West Montgomery and Willow Streets for a new one-room school.

By the 1930s, as attendance grew, the school taught seven grades, with grades one through three meeting for a time at Greater Zion Baptist Church. In 1937, the school became part of the Aldine School District and house seven teachers and more than 300 pupils. The school moved to Wheatley Road in 1941 and continued to grow under Archie Baldwin Anderson, who served as principal from 1941 to 1957. Under his direction, the school changed its name to George Washington Carver School, received accreditation, and separated into an elementary and high school. In the 1950s, a large number of African Americans migrated into Acres Homes, leading to construction of a new high school building at this location in 1954. The former campus was renamed Carver Elementary and later dedicated as A.B. Anderson Elementary.

In 1978, Carver H.S. became Aldine Contemporary Education Center, implementing an innovative program to attract students who were not African American to the campus. The curriculum consisted of flexible hours and voluntary enrollment for students who worked or had special interests. In 1994, the school changed names again before becoming a magnet school. Many graduates have achieved personal and professional success, and today, George Washington Carver High School for Applied Technology, Engineering and the Arts continues to be a notable institution of learning in the community.


 

Historical Marker Text -  Richard Columbus Fisher

City:
Athens

County
Henderson

Marker Location:
North Athens Cemetery, Edmondson at Needmore St.

Marker Text:

(May 20, 1888 - Sept. 4, 1932) A native of Falls County, R. C. Fisher graduated in 1913 from what was then Prairie View Normal College. The following year he began his career in education at Blackshear Colored School in Athens. Fisher later became principal of the school, which grew from a seven-grade facility to twelve-grade accredited high school during his years of leadership. In 1932, students moved into a new brick building, renamed Fisher High School in his honor.


 

Historical Marker Text - Site of Blackshear/Fisher School


City:
Athens

County:
Henderson

Marker Text:

Athens' first public school for African Americans was established in 1876-77. Athens Colored School held classes in a Baptist church and later in a 2-room schoolhouse erected at this site. Richard C. Fisher, who joined the school's faculty in 1914 and who later became principal, renamed the school Blackshear to honor a former professor at Prairie View College. The school was accredited in 1924. A new school, built here in 1932, was renamed for Professor R. C. Fisher upon his death in 1934. Fisher High School closed in 1966 with the integration of schools in Athens.

 




Historical Marker Text -  Site of Gum Creek School

City:
Athens

County:
Henderson

Marker Location:
3700 US 175 E

Marker Text:

Following the close of the Civil War in 1865, Armstead Barker brought his family to this area. Other African American families followed, and their settlement became known as Gum Creek. By the mid-1880s, African American children in the area attended Gum Creek School, which offered classes through the eighth grade. Students met in a one-room frame building. Early teachers included P.H. Eddings, S.H. Wilhite and J.M. Donnell. J.T. Dunnington, Sam Frank, W.H. Barker and C.S. Sharp served as trustees. As in many rural schools, students attended classes from October through March so they could work in the fields for planting and harvesting seasons. The school was part of County District Two. When area white schools combined to form the Baxter School, the Gum Creek facility was sometimes also called Baxter Colored School. In 1902, J.I. Richardson bought land in this vicinity that included the school location. Wade's Chapel A.M.E. Church also used the school building, and in 1920, when Richardson's widow, Nannie, sold the property to school district trustees, the deed stipulated that it continue to be used for both school and church purposes. Following the 1938-39 school term, Gum Creek School closed. Students transferred to Blackshear Public School and Fisher High School in Athens, and the school district sold the property to Wade's Chapel Methodist Church. Dunnington heirs later bought the property, and the building burned in 1942. Today, the history of Gum Creek School represents early efforts to educate the area's African American youth. In the many decades between emancipation and integration, parents and educators strived to provide education as a means to true freedom. (2005)


 

Historical Marker Text - Site of Center Grove School

City:
Lovelady

County:
Houston

Marker Location:
3.6 mi. E of Lovelady on FM 1280; 2mi. N on FM 1390

Marker Text:

Houston County school records dating from 1904 list two schools for African American students: Center Hill and Smith Grove. The schools merged in 1925, forming the Center Grove School. The community that grew up around the school was called Center Grove. By 1950, most Center Grove graduates went on to college. Sources of particular pride were the sports program, which had its own gym after 1952, and the vocational, agriculture, music, sciences, and homemaking programs. Many graduates returned to provide a quality education for area African American young people until the district was integrated in 1969. (1998) Incise on base: Honoring Principals H. L. Wooten and W. C. Williams

 


 

Historical Marker Text - Site of J.H. Rowe School

City:
Jasper

County:
Jasper

Marker Location:
Hursey at Hall streets

Marker Text:

Formal public education for African American students in the Jasper area dates to 1875 and the formation of a school at nearby Cold Springs. It moved to a new campus in Jasper in 1924, the same year James Hoff Rowe came as administrator. Born in Panola County in 1876, Rowe attended Prairie View Normal and Industrial College (Prairie View A&M University) and Hampton Institute in Virginia. He served as dean at Prairie View before coming to Jasper. The education programs increased in scope and significance during his leadership, and he remained principal until his death in 1943. The school was later named in his honor, and it remained open until integration in 1968. (2004)


 

Historical Marker Text - Groesbeck Independent School District

City:
Groesbeck

County:
Limestone

Marker Text:

Developers established the town of Groesbeck in February 1871, and Groesbeck College opened two months later on Trinity Street. Education for African American children dates from 1881, when trustees bought an acre of land adjacent to the Lone Star Cemetery (2 mi. S) for school and church purposes. In 1886, Limestone County acquired the former Groesbeck College property to establish the town's first public free school. On May 24, 1890, citizens voted 43 to 24 in favor of incorporating the town for school purposes. Two days later, County Judge L.B. Cobb approved formation of the Groesbeck Independent School District. By 1892, the district erected two new buildings, one for white students and one for African American students. Over the years the district established new campuses throughout the city. A large two-story frame school built in 1896 burned in 1910, prompting construction of the first brick school. Starting with Frost Creek in 1926 and ending with Thornton in 1965, several rural schools consolidated with Groesbeck, vastly increasing the attendance area. Integration began in 1966 and was complete by 1969. Today, Groesbeck Independent School District is a large school system covering hundreds of square miles and including the incorporated cities of Groesbeck, Kosse and Thornton. Groesbeck fielded its first football team in 1900. School traditions include selection of the Goat as the school mascot in about 1925, introduction of the TAOG yearbook in 1937, adoption of the high school colors as red and white in 1939, and the founding and first homecoming of the Groesbeck Ex-Students Association in 1952. (2006)

 



Historical Marker Text - Site of Dunbar High School

City:
Mexia

County:
Limestone

Marker Text:

Public education efforts for African American students in Mexia began in 1883 with a school on Herman Street. After fire destroyed it, trustees selected this site for a two-story brick schoolhouse built in 1915. T.K. Price was principal at the time. The school was named for Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872-1906), a noted African American author and poet from Ohio. The schoolhouse had ten large classrooms and an auditorium. In 1948, it was razed and replaced with a large one-story school that served until integration in 1968. Later used for other classes, the structure was eventually demolished, but the site remains an important reminder of early education in Mexia. (2005)


 

Historical Marker Text - Site of Hilliard High School

City:
Bay City

County:
Matagorda

Marker Location:
1300 LeTulle Street

Marker Text:

Site of Hilliard High School The Bay City African American community established a school in the 1890s, and A.A. Deleon served as its first teacher. Three others, A.G. Hilliard, A.P. Allen and J.J. Grundy, began shortly after the school opened. By 1904, the school's enrollment had outgrown the first building, so the community attained a larger one. The new school, a two-story frame structure, was named after noted educator Booker T. Washington and was adopted by the Bay City School District in 1905. By 1926, there were 225 students and only four teachers. Hilliard continued as teacher and later as principal at the school. Born in Georgia in 1863, he came to Texas in 1871 with his parents, Bunk and Mary, former slaves who strongly valued education. After his graduation from the Oakland Normal School, which opened in Gonzales in 1882 to train African American teachers, Mary encouraged her son to continue his education at Prairie View State Normal College. He taught in Bay City for 28 of his 48 years in education. He died in 1936 and is buried in Bay City's Eastview Cemetery with his wife Pearl. Recognizing Hilliard's contribution to the school, the board of trustees renamed it Hilliard High School after he died. His son A.G. Hilliard II (d. 1983) then became principal. The ever-growing school needed a new buidling by the 1940s. Acclaimed architect Wyatt C. Hedrick designed a new facility, finished in 1948 at this site, where it served as Hilliard High School until 1967. The district then used it for two years as a junior high. Over the years, the school produced two state champion football teams and many other award-winning students, reflecting the community's pride and goals for its children. (2002)



Historical Marker Text - A. J. Moore High School

City:
Waco

County:
McLennan

Marker Location:
University Park Dr. & Brazos River (in North Park Campground) & Clay Ave., Waco

Marker Text:

In 1875 professor A.J. Moore of Paul Quinn College, concerned over the lack of quality education for Waco's negro population, began teaching small groups of children in his home. The first schoolhouse, a frame building that had been relocated east of this site, had formerly served as a hospital. In 1923, the frame schoolhouse was replaced with a brick building. The school was renamed for its founder, A.J. Moore, who served as principal from 1881 to 1905. As the first school in Waco designated to educate the city's negro youth, A.J. Moore High School was an important institution in the community. Until 1952, Moore High housed students from grades one through twelve from 1952 to 1971 it served grades seven through twelve only. Moore High was closed in 1971. More than 4,000 students were graduated form A.J. Moore High School during its nearly 100 years of service. Many of them have made significant contributions in the fields of education, medicine, religion, law, public health, business, engineering, law enforcement, social services, theater, sports, and military service. (1985)



Historical Marker Text - Chatfield Baptist Church

City:
Chatfield

County:
Navarro

Marker Text:

Reportedly the owner of one hundred slaves and 1280 acres of land, Robert Hodge settled in this area in 1849. Hodge allowed his slaves to organize two churches -- a Baptist church and an African Methodist Episcopal Church. They shared a building known as the Colored Community Church of Chatfield with the Rev. Z. T. Pardee as pastor. By 1858 the Baptist congregation formed by Hodge's slaves was part of the Chatfield Baptist Church. In that year the Chatfield Baptist Church joined the Richland Baptist Association. During this time, white pastors preached to both white and black congregations, one in the morning and one in the evening. After emancipation many freed slaves remained in the area. They became both sharecroppers and landowners. One distinguished local family was that of Allen R. Griggs (1850-1922), a Baptist minister dedicated to the education of black Texans. His son, Sutton Elbert Griggs (1872-1933), was born in Chatfield. A minister who was heavily involved in Texas Baptist life, Sutton E. Griggs became a noted African American writer. The Navarro Baptist Association was formed in 1887 and the Chatfield Baptist Church transferred its membership to the new organization. The town of Chatfield reached its peak in the 1890s with a population of 500. The Chatfield Baptist Church congregation continues to uphold the traditions of its founders through worship and service to the community. (1999)




Historical Marker Text -  Solomon Coles (1844-1924) and Solomon Coles School

City:
Corpus Christi

County:
Nueces

Marker Location:
924 Winnebago, Corpus Christi

Marker Text:

A former slave, Solomon Melvin Coles was born in Petersburg, Virginia. Before the Civil War, a sheriff disobeyed the law by teaching Coles to read. He worked his way through college beginning at Guilford Institute, Connecticut, as the first black student. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Divinity at Yale. He organized the Nazarene Congregational Church, First Black Congregationalist Church in Brooklyn, New York, before coming to Texas in 1877. Ordained in Goliad, Texas, he began preaching in Corpus Christi and teaching black students who only attended school two months of the year. In 1878, believing education essential to black children, Coles gave up the ministry to teach and serve as principal at the school in the 500 block of North Carancahua. The school moved in 1893 to this site and was known as the Public Free School for Colored. The existing building was a converted broom factory. The following year Coles moved to San Antonio where he taught until his retirement in 1914. In 1925 this structure which served as a high school was built and named for Coles. In 1973 it became Solomon M. Coles Elementary School. (1978)




Historical Marker Text -  Black Education in Orange County

City:
Orange

County:
Orange

Marker Location:
Samuel Johnson Park, Turret at 2nd Street

Marker Text:

As early as the 1870s, Orange County's African American children attended school in private homes and churches. The Orange County commissioners established 17 school districts in 1887. Schools included the Duncan Woods No. 3, located in the Duncan Woods community of southwestern Orange County. The school had probably been in operation for several years at that time. Thomas F. Pollard served as an early teacher there.

Students within the city of Orange attended school at Mount Zion Baptist and then Salem Methodist Episcopal Colored Church in the 1880s. Under the leadership of teacher A.J. Criner, the school later moved to the United Brotherhood Friendship Hall. S.R. Pickney served as principal for 13 years, and during his tenure the school moved into a two-story frame structure, which became the Orange Colored School. It was renamed in 1930 in honor of educator and Tuskegee Institute President Russa Moton and again in 1946 for longtime Orange teacher and principal Emma Henderson Wallace. Moton Elementary and High School, which later occupied a three-story brick structure, was known for its beautiful campus and won acclaim for its sports and band programs.

The district included schools for several hundred African American students and continued to build new facilities up until intergration in 1966. It utilized Franklin Elementary, built in 1958, and North Junior High School, opened in August 1964, only for a short while. Although most of the former African American campuses were phased out of use, the district, which became the West Orange Cove Independent School District, converted the North Junior High campus into a learning center. (1988, 2004)



Historical Marker Text - Education in Livingston

City:
Livingston

County:
Polk

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Education has been integral to life in Livingston since the town's inception in the 1840s. Moses Choate's 100-acre donation for the townsite included land for a school. Trinity Masonic Lodge No. 14, A.F. & A.M. financed a free academy that began in 1849 and operated for 31 years. Classes were held on the first floor of the Masonic lodge, located on the southwest corner of what is now Old City Cemetery. In 1888, the Livingston Free School Corporation built a frame schoolhouse on Jackson Avenue, dedicated as Livingston Graded School. Trustees added ninth and tenth grades in 1906 under principal J.F. Stevens, creating Livingston High School. Classes were on the second floor, and the first graduating class in 1908 had three students. That summer, the schools offered an institute for African American teachers; the first African American school was on West Street. A 1910 bond issue paid for a two-story brick building on Jackson Avenue designed by the noted architectural firm of C.H. Page & Son of Austin. The district divided the previous schoolhouse into a new African American school and a residence. Trustees added an eleventh grade to Livingston High School in 1913, allowing graduates to meet college entrance requirements. In the 1930s, the district built Dunbar High School for African Americans and a new Livingston High School for Anglo students. This campus later expanded with a football field, auditorium and an additional classroom building. Trustees added a twelfth grade in 1941. A Freedom of Choice program began the integration process in 1965, and three years later all students attended classes together. The high school moved to new facilities in 1977. In 2006, the centennial year for Livingston High, the graduating class had nearly 300 students. (2007)



Historical Marker Text - James E. Guinn School

City:
Fort Worth

County:
Tarrant

Marker Location:
1100 Louisiana St., Ft. Worth; (South Freeway at Rosedale)

Marker Text:

After Fort Worth public schools were organized in the fall of 1882, black students continued to be taught in black churches for more than a year. The city completed a schoolhouse for blacks on E. 9th Street at Elm in December 1883. The son of a former slave, James Elvis Guinn was born in Fort Worth. Though neither of them could read nor write, his parents placed a great value on education, and James attended Fort Worth's early schools for blacks. He later pursued a college degree and became a professor of chemistry at Prairie View College, now Prairie View A&M University. Guinn returned to Fort Worth as principal of South Side Colored School in 1900. Construction of a new three-story brick school building, designed by the prominent architectural firm of Sanguinet and Staats, began at the corner of Louisiana and Rosedale Avenues in April 1917. Shortly before its completion, Guinn died on July 11, 1917. Six days later the school board voted to name the new school building James E. Guinn School in his honor. It was the largest black school in Fort Worth in 1930. After sixty-three years of service it, it was closed in 1980. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986.


 

Historical Marker Text -  I. M. Terrell High School

City:
Fort Worth

County:
Tarrant

Marker Location:
1411 E. 18th Street, Fort Worth

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In 1882, the Fort Worth school system opened its first free public school for black students, called "East Ninth Street Colored School." It was moved to the corner of East Twelfth Street and Steadman in a property trade with the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad in 1906, and renamed "North Side Colored School No. 11." Isaiah Milligan Terrell was named principal and served until 1915. A 1909 bond election provided funds for a new building, which opened in May 1910. In honor of its former principal, the school was named "I.M. Terrell High School" in 1921. The school at twelfth and Steadman became a Junior High and Elementary in 1938, when Terrell High School was moved to its present location at 1411 E. 18th Street, site of a former white elementary school. Isaiah Milligan Terrell was born in Grimes County in 1859. Named one of the first four black teachers in Fort Worth in 1882, he served as principal and supervisor of black schools. He was married in 1883 to Marcelite Landry, a respected music teacher. Terrell became President of Prairie View State Normal and Industrial College (now Prairie View A&M University) in 1915, and later became an active leader in Houston's black community. He died in 1931.



Historical Marker Text -  Abilene Negro High School

City:
Abilene

County:
Taylor

Marker Location:
520 North 9th Street, Abilene

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The first public school for African Americans in Abilene was established in 1890. Located in the 200 block of Plum Street, the one-room school was named the Abilene Colored School. Its first class consisted of 22 students and one teacher. In 1902 the school moved to a one-room structure built at North 7th and Magnolia, and had two teachers serving 84 students. The colored school held its first graduation in 1923 at the Macedonia Baptist Church for one student. A five-room school was constructed at 541 North 8th Street in 1929. That year the student body consisted of 217 pupils. The building was later used for the Americanization School for Abilene's Hispanic Youth, and as a community recreation center. A 10-room brick school was erected in 1936 here on a campus of more than 6 acres. A 4-room expansion was added in 1941. By 1951 the school became Carter G. Woodson School. In 1953 it became Woodson Elementary School with the opening of the Carter G. Woodson Junior-Senior High School at 342 North Cockrell Street. It was closed in 1968 when the Abilene School District became integrated. The structures continue to serve the Abilene community for various educational purposes. (1996)

 


 

Historical Marker Text - Macedonia Baptist Church

City:
Abilene

County:
Taylor

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The early community support system for citizens of color in Abilene included Mt. Zion Baptist Church, organized in 1885, and the first area school for black children, which opened in 1890 with 22 pupils. Because of African Americans' continuing desire for self-governed religious education, the Macedonia Baptist Church was organized in 1898 by the Rev. J. H. Herron of San Angelo. The charter members were Richard Hayes (the church's first deacon), his wife Winnie Hayes and Jim and Alice Slaughter. They purchased property at this site and built a small frame building by 1903. These were sometimes violent years, and the pastors who followed calls to service in Abilene did so in spite of real fear for their own well-being. The first commencement exercises for African American students in Abilene were held about 1923 in the sanctuary of Macedonia Baptist Church. The single graduate that year was a member of the church. In 1936, a longtime member, H. D. Cumby, was called as minister. Under his consistent leadership the church was expanded and remodeled frequently, with the construction of an entirely new and modern building in 1951. Dyess Air Force Base, opened in 1956, greatly contributed to the growth of the church and its membership. The Rev. H. D. Cumby retired in 1965 shortly before his death. Macedonia Baptist Church leaders, long known for their involvement in the Abilene community, were credited with deflecting much tension and violence during the racially turbulent years of the 1960s and 1970s. The church continues to be a vital part of Abilene's religious and community life. (1999)



Historical Marker Text - Palestine Missionary Baptist Church

City:
Victoria

County:
Victoria

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Twenty-one former slaves gathered together at the corner of Convent and Depot streets on June 27, 1868, and formally organized the First Colored Baptist Church in Victoria County. It was renamed Palestine Missionary Baptist Church on September 11, 1868. That same month property was conveyed for the town's first freedmen's school, named Brauns Colored School. Early Baptist worship services were held in Brauns school and at Frazier Colored Methodist School at the corner of Convent and River Streets. Under the leadership of the Rev. Mitchell Harrison, the members of Palestine Missionary Baptist Church built their first sanctuary between 1871 and 1873. It was replaced in 1886 with a larger structure built on the corner of Convent and Navarro Streets. A new brick church building was erected at the corner of Convent and Depot streets in 1953. Throughout its history, this church has maintained programs with an emphasis on educational, social, civic, and missionary responsibilities. Members of the church have played an important role in community activities, and over the years four additional congregations were formed from the Palestine Missionary Baptist Church fellowship. (1991)



Historical Marker Text - Sam Houston Industrial and Training School

City:
Huntsville

County:
Walker

Marker Location:
5 mi. W on SH 30 at intersection of Williams Road

Marker Text:

Legislated after the close of the Civil War, the Texas Constitution of 1866 provided for a public school system supported by funds derived from property taxes; monies collected from African Americans would go to schools for their children. Although the law continued to change during the next decades, the primary providers of African American education were the Freedmen's Bureau, churches, missionary associations and philanthropists. Samuel W. Houston (1864-1945) was born in Huntsville to Joshua and Sylvester Houston. His father was a slave and personal bodyguard of former Texas President Sam Houston. His family believed strongly in education, and he earned degrees from the Hampton Institute in Virginia, Atlanta University in Georgia and Howard University in Washington, D.C. He returned to Huntsville in 1900 and established a newspaper. He then taught in Grimes County and at the Huntsville Community School before establishing a school circa 1906 near here in what was the Galilee community. The Sam Houston Industrial and Training School began in the Galilee Methodist Church, which Houston rented for the classes. He soon added teachers and programs, offering vocational curriculum as well as the arts and humanities. Trustees built the first schoolhouse in 1914 and continued to add facilities, including dormitories and workshops. By 1930, the school served hundreds of students from around the state. That year, the Sam Houston school merged into the Huntsville Colored School, which became Sam Houston High School. It closed in 1968 due to integration. The foundation set by Houston and other early educators ensured the education of generations of African American students in the 20th century. (2005)



Historical Marker Text - Greenvine Schools

City:
Greenvine

County:
Washington

Marker Location:
On FM 2502 1/10 mi. S of CR 2 (Wickel Rd.), Greenvine. 

Marker Text:

Public education in the rural community of Greenvine began in 1880, when the Greenvine School was established near this site. The students, predominantly German in descent and Lutheran and Baptist in faith, began attending classes taught in German at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church parsonage. Classes later were relocated to a site near the Greenvine Baptist Church Cemetery and finally to a building 70 feet south of this site. A school for local African American children known as the Waller Chapel School (1.75 mi. SE) was established in 1895. Classes were held in a wood-frame building that also served as a house of worship for the Waller Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church congregation. In 1949, after schools in the Greenvine, Latium, and Burton communities were consolidated, the Greenvine schools closed. Local students began attending the Burton Rural High School, which offered 12 grades of instruction. The last Greenvine schoolhouse was relocated to the new school site. The Waller Chapel Schoolhouse continued to be used for church services until 1965.



Historical Marker Text - Site of Marshall-Carver High School

City:
Georgetown

County:
Williamson

Marker Location:
in Blue Hole Park, near Rock St. and 2nd St. intersection

Marker Text:

The first school for African American students in Georgetown was established in the early 20th century. Called "The Colored School," the institution served grades 1 through 8 and provided the only local educational opportunities for African Americans. The school's principal, Mr. S. C. Marshall, was an outspoken advocate of higher education. A scholar himself, he persuaded the school board to allow him to provide classes through the high school level. He named the new program "The Georgetown Colored High School," and the first student enrolled in 1913. A new high school building was erected in 1923 due to increasing enrollment. When Marshall left the school in 1930, it was renamed Marshall School in his honor. The name was changed to George Washington Carver in the 1940s. In 1962, the parents of seventeen Carver students who had been denied admission to Georgetown's white schools filed a lawsuit in U. S. District Court to force integration. The court ordered the Georgetown Independent School District to integrate one grade level per year beginning with the first grade Partial integration began in the fall of 1964. Convinced that gradual integration would not benefit their children, African American parents appealed the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court which upheld the lower court's verdict. Proponents of full and immediate integration engaged in a letter-writing campaign to the U. S. Attorney General, the U. S. Department of Health, education and Welfare, and the Federal Assistance Program urging another review of the case. In the fall of 1965, the Georgetown School Board agreed to a plan to complete integration of the school system by September 1967. The Carver School was permanently closed due to integration. (1999)




Historical Marker Text - Site of Bartlett Colored School

City:
Bartlett

County:
Williamson

Marker Location:
Bartlett, Arnold Drive, between Salt Lake and Cottrell

Marker Text:

Site of Bartlett Colored School The farming community of Bartlett was founded in 1882 when the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad reached the town, which is situated on the county line between Bell and Williamson counties. By 1912, a second railway served the town, and Bartlett became a shipping point for area farm and ranch products. When the Bartlett Public School built a brick schoolhouse in 1909, the school district moved its existing six-room frame classroom building to this site to become the first local school for African American students. When the six-room schoolhouse burned in 1919, Dave Johnson was given the contract to build a new one-story, four-room structure using recycled lumber. Decades later, in 1945, half of a building from the Goodeville School District was moved to the site to serve as a shop and vocational agriculture building. The Bartlett Colored School, unaccredited at that time, only went through the tenth grade; few students from area rural populations could get to the schoolhouse, and fewer still made the trip to Temple or Austin to complete their education and graduate. Parents and teachers, united through a parent teacher association formed in 1933, continued improvements and attracted a dedicated couple from Prairie View A&M to move to Bartlett in 1946. Gentry "Prof" Powell, Sr. (1909-1976), and his wife acted as principals, teachers and coaches. They brought in students from the area with a school bus and driver granted by the school district at the start of the 1946-47 school year. By summer 1947, attendance had doubled to more than 160, and the school became an accredited 12-grade system. With a strong curriculum and new sports programs, the Bartlett school grew, moving in 1949 to the north side of the city, on Cryer Drive. (2003)





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