1 acre of land was donated by Samuel Houston Nichols for a school to be built on in the year of 1900. The school was named after Samuel Houston Nichols. Samuel Houston Nichols donated building materials for Nichols School to be built. The Nichols School building was built from logs in a lumber yard in 1900. Men from the Leander community helped construct the school building. The lumber used to build the Nichols School was cedar from cedar trees. Cedar was the choice for lumber since cedar grew nearby in the area. Construction for Nichols School was completed on Christmas Day during the date of December 25, 1900.
Samuel Houston Nichols and Dick Preece were the first trustees for the Nichols School. Although it was Samuel Houston Nichols that served as the school’s main trustee. Dick Preece served as school trustee in the 1930s. Ms. Florence Harvey was the first teacher to have taught at Nichols School.
Prior to 1900, students attend Oak Grove School located in the Oak Grove School District (District #5). Nichols School operated as a school district called Nichols School District better known as District #62 from 1900 to 1951. The school has been located at various locations throughout the years. Nichols School had often relocated at various times throughout the years.
In January 1929, the school building had burned from fire. The fire damaged the school building so badly to where the building itself was determined by fire marshals to be structurally unsafe. Fire marshals determined Nichols School was deemed unfit for human life. Luckily the furniture was miraculously saved from the fire. The outside walls structures caved in from the fire of course.
Nichols School was rebuilt in September 1931 in a different location closer to the community. This time Tom Gillman donated land for the Nichols School to be rebuilt on. Tom Gillman donated building materials for Nichols School to be built.
The new Nichols School building was destroyed by fire again near the close of the 1932-1933 school semester. The new Nichols School was burned by fire in late 1932. The fire damaged the school building so badly to where the building itself was determined by fire marshals to be structurally unsafe and uninhabitable. County fire marshals deemed the school building to be a safety hazard. Teachers could not teach nor could education or classwork resume as the school building was deemed unfit for human life. None of the furniture was saved from the fire.
Nichols School District was without a school until the 1934-1935 school semester. School was held at the “Old Preece Place” in a small log cabin from 1923 until 1934-1935 school semester. Old fashioned board benches and wooden boxes were used as seats. There were no funds to buy desks at that time. During the 1936-1937 school semester, A. F.. Maechel consented with the school district to use his house as a temporary school building until funds could be received to build a new school building for Nichols School. The school district deemed the house unsuitable to fulfill their needs, but A. F.. Maechel’s house was the only building available at the time.
A quote from the 1936 yearbook of Travis County Rural Schools - The Defender yearbook states the following: “Several unsuccessful efforts have been made to rebuild the Nichols School on the original site, but so far funds are insufficient.”
A new bus was purchased to accommodate the Nichols School in Leander, Jonestown, and rural Travis County in the year of 1950. A new bus came under contract with the Leander Independent School District school board later that coming year. Demand for a new school bus was very high during that time.
In the same year, Leander ISD Superintendent O. J. Faught required all 1st graders to have their health immunization shots and also to have their birth certificates before entering school. Immunization shots had become a new requirement for students before entering school. This was due to health concerns from the school board.
1951 is the year when Nichols School was consolidated into Leander Independent School District. The former students attended classes in the Leander schools during that time. 1951 was the same year Nichols School closed following school consolidation into Leander ISD. Nichols School was closed down by Leander ISD. In 1952, the Nichols School building was later demolished. The school had been located at various locations throughout the years before being consolidated into Leander Independent School District.
*Nichols School District was known as District #62/District No. 62.
*Oak Grove School District was known as District #5/District No. 5.
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