Friday, September 8, 2017

Former New Sweden School in Manor, Texas long forgotten revisited.

New Sweden School was named after the 1870s Swedish settlement of New Sweden which was located north of Manor, Texas. Many of the students who once attended this school had Swedish ancestry in their family background. Many of these students came from Swedish families. New Sweden School was located on the New Sweden Church Road that is east of FM 973.

New Sweden School was a K-8 school. Students who wanted to continue their high school education had to attend Manor High School in Manor. 9th Grade was added later sometime during the early 20th century. New Sweden School had its own school district called New Sweden School District (School District No. 22/ School District #22) before being consolidated into Manda Common School District.

New Sweden School was built as a one room schoolhouse in the summer of 1916. Classes started in the fall later that same year. Construction for the New Sweden School lasted from summer to fall. Claus Bergstrom was the first teacher to teach at the school.

New Sweden School reverted back to a K-8 school in the 1930s. The boasted a small PTA population in the 1930s. 9th Grade students were bussed to attend Manor High School in Manor. Other students continued school in Manor ISD.

K. Kunziker built a new well constructed out of concrete and brick in the year of 1931. This well would provide water for students and faculty as there was no indoor plumbing system for the New Sweden School during that time.

In 1947 is when the New Sweden School closed. New Sweden School and several other schools along with New Sweden School District were consolidated to form the Manda Common School District in 1947. Most students were from New Sweden and Manda communities were bussed to Manor ISD though due to proximity towards Manor. The school operated as community center from 1947 to 1960 before finally becoming a church for good. New Sweden School had served as a church and also a community center. Although New Sweden School served mainly as a church however after being consolidated into Manor ISD.

In 1960 is when the New Sweden School building became a church for good. Church attendance was 25 to 35 churchgoers every Sunday. Church attendance was never very high. Religious services were held at this church. Not much else is known about New Sweden School during its activity as a church.

In 1985, the school building was all but abandoned. The property reverted to Raymond Hees and Herman Hees sometime between 1985 to 2002. By then the building fell into a well beyond fixable state of damage. Over the years, the former school building fell into a horrendous state of rural decay. Overtime the building burned down from natural wildfire. Top roof perished from the flames. Top roof for this former school is no longer extant as it has collapsed into the school building.

In 2012, owners Raymond Hees and Herman Hees deeded the land where the school is to Graham Mortgage Companies. Today Graham Mortgage Companies owns the school building and land. Today the school is surrounded by shrubs, bushes, wild brush, and a slew of trees in the country breeze.

The former New Sweden School was located 7 miles north of Manor, Texas. The address for the New Sweden School was 12178 New Sweden Church Road, Manor, Texas, US 78653.

*New Sweden School District was School District No. 22 better known as District #22.
*New Sweden School and New Sweden School District eventually consolidated into Manor ISD.
*New Sweden School and New Sweden School District were abolished in 1947 even thought the building was still in operation at the time.
*Manda School District also went under the title of Manda Common School District.

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