Showing posts with label Forgotten churches news series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forgotten churches news series. Show all posts

Monday, December 31, 2018

History behind King Academy of Inkster, Michigan explored.

Not much history is known about King Academy. However King Academy was one of the many abandoned schools in Inkster, Michigan. This new article will explore some history and will shed some light on this school.

King Academy served as a private school from 1997 to 2005. King Academy operated a charter school for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. It was located next to the former Blanchette Junior High School aka Blanchette Middle School which Inkster Public Schools operated.


12 acres of land were acquired on Henry Ruff Road in 1990 by Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ. Inkster Christian Academy and Pentecostal Temple Day Care were its firsts tenant to own the property. This building was built as a $2.5 million educational facility. Construction was completed in 1991. (Ref: http://ptchurch.net/history/)

In 1996, Sister Karen Corner came up with a written proposal for a charter school. Her proposal was brought to Inkster Public Schools. Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ sold the building to King Academy for a charter school in 1997.

In 1997, Pastor King facilitated the award of a charter school from the Inkster Public Schools to operate King Academy. King Academy opened its doors in September 1997. 105 students attended during the 1997-1998 school year and 221 students during the 1998-1999 school year. The church has benefited greatly from this venture. (Ref: https://www.mackinac.org/2984)

King Academy provided multiple educational opportunities such as computer classes and summer programs. Its parental involvement was very high thanks to the parent-teacher cooperatives. King Academy attracted students from Inkster Public Schools. (Ref: http://ptchurch.net/history/)

King Academy served 154 students in grades Kindergarden through 6 in 2005. 2005 was the last year King Academy would operate under. 98% of the student body were black during that time, which was higher than the Michigan state average of 32%. King Academy closed in 2005. Declining enrollment is what led this particular charter school to close. Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ purchased King Academy in 2005. The sale was finalized in the year of 2006. (Ref: https://www.publicschoolreview.com/king-academy-profile)

Wayne-Westland Community Schools acquired the building from Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ in July 2013 after finding out the church was neglecting their maintenance duties. Most of the building was not up to code or city standards. When Wayne-Westland Community Schools received the building, it was already in very rough shape. The building deteriorated further due to the harsh winter climate every year.

Today King Academy is abandoned. Illegal dumping has taken place at this site promoting the City of Inkster to fine and penalize its current owners. Many of its windows are boarded up with plywood. However that has not kept away vandalism and theft. Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ no longer owns the building or its property. Today Wayne-Westland Community Schools owns the building and its property.

Neighbors complain the building is an eyesore and want it removed. Many neighbors complain that City of Inkster lets abandoned buildings stay around for too long such as this one and want it gone.


King Academy is located at 1615 Henry Ruff Road, Inkster, Michigan, US 48141.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

History of Beckwith School in Flint, Michigan revisited.

Beckwith School is one of many schools in Flint, Michigan that have been forgotten and faded away with time. The Beckwith School itself served as one of the many early educational institutions of Flint, Michigan along with many others. Not much is known about the Beckwith School itself.


Beckwith School began its life in Flint, Michigan in 1896 as a single story house. This single story house was a one-room school where 1st grade through 6th grade were taught. At that time, Beckwith School was a 1-6 school. 7th grade was added later. After students completed 6th grade, students were bussed into Flint to attend Flint Community Schools. Westwood Heights School District (Westwood Heights Schools) operated the school from 1896 to 2001.

Beckwith School had its own school district called Beckwith School District which it operated on. The school district was never well off financially. So they relied on Westwood Heights School District and Flint Community Schools for help.

1920 is Beckwith School moved to location on Clio Avenue between Carpenter Road and Pierson Road. 7th grade was added in 1920. School was taught in a two story house this time as opposed to a one story house. After students completed 6th grade and 7th grade, students transferred over to Flint Community Schools to attend Flint Central High School.

During the 1931 is when Westwood Heights School District, Beckwith School District, and Flint Community Schools had an agreement to pay the tuition of the students attending high school at Flint Central High School. Not many school districts could not pay the tuition of their high school students. Especially the rural school districts. That had meant many students didn’t get a chance to go to high school,

In 1950, Beckwith School moved to a different location on Ridgeway Avenue near the intersection of Doran Street & Ridgeway Avenue. This building was a single story red and brown brick building with a black and brown roof. For the most part, the color of the roof was black though. 1950 is when Beckwith School became a K-8 school. Beckwith School became Beckwith Elementary School.

Students began attending Beecher High School operated by the Beecher Community School District in Beecher, Michigan in 1952. After 8th grade is when students transferred over to Beecher Schools to attend Beecher High School.

Beckwith School and its school district merged into Westwood Heights School District in 1957. This left Westwood Heights School District to operate Beckwith School as an elementary school for students in grades 1 through 6.

Genesee Christian School once leased quarters in the former Beckwith School in 1976. At that time, the 2-year-old school had about 100 students. In 1997, Genesee Christian School had relocated thus leaving the school vacant.

2001 is when Beckwith School was demolished. The parking lot was repaved over with cement. The asphalt has been covered up.

Beckwith School was located at Ridgeway Avenue, Flint, Michigan, US 48504.

Monday, November 12, 2018

History of Brewton Springs School in Austin, Texas rehashed.

Brewton Springs School was one of the many forgotten educational institutions of Austin/Travis County that have been long forgotten. In fact, Brewton Springs School was one of the many Travis County rural schools. As a school, Brewton Springs School operated from 1879 to 1950. Brewton Springs School was devoted to education.

Brewton Springs School was also called Bruton Springs School which that school was sometimes referred to as. Brewton Springs School went under several names over the years as its time operating as a school such as Snuff Box School, Snuff Box, and Bruton Springs School.


Brewton Springs School was established in 1879 as a 1-12 school which taught grades 1 through 12. School was taught in an old picket house located on the Allen Farm taught by Miss Annie Gambee. Miss Annie Gambee was the first teacher. Students sat on benches made of elm logs. Each bench furnished seats for 5 to 6 students. Its earliest school trustees were Herbert H. Allen, Joe Hutson, and Pate Patterson.

The school was granted its own school district in 1879. Although Brewton Springs School was within bounds of present day Eanes ISD boundaries, Brewton Springs School had its own school district called School District #50 that was not connected with Eanes School or to the Eanes School District #48 (now known as Eanes ISD) at that time.

Brewton Springs School was a completely autonomous school operated as cited in the book Eanes: Portrait of a Community. Brewton Springs School instead operated as a “county school” under Travis County Public Schools for the Travis County Common School District.

(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)


In 1881, the first school was built as a 15’ x 10’ foot box square building designed as a one-room schoolhouse located on the Jim Brewton farm. Hence the name Brewton Springs. The school only had one door. By 1881 Brewton Springs School had county funding and state funding allocated towards the school.
The old picket house reverted back to the Allen Farm in 1881 as part of their agreement in terms of ownership. No deeds were created. The school district gave the house back to Jack Allen.

The architectural design of the school building was built as a snuff box. Because the school was shaped similarly to a snuff box, students called the school “Snuff Box School”. However the name Snuff Box did not derive from the architecture of the school building itself.

Brewton Springs School was called the Snuff Box School during the 19th century and early to middle 20th century because so many of its students chewed tobacco and dipped snuff. That is how the name Snuff Box came about. (Ref: Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill County, 2011)

Brewton Springs School was located east of Bee Cave and west of Cuernavaca Drive near Patterson Road less than 0.2 miles of the junction of Cuernavaca Drive & FM 2244. The roads were unpaved.

During its earliest years when tax funds ran low and there was not enough money to pay a teacher, students from Brewton Springs School attended school at Bee Caves School, Teck School, Cox Springs School, and Eanes School. It was only on occasion that Brewton Springs School students were sent to Bee Cave to attend the Bee Cave School.

In 1888, the State of Texas closed down Brewton Springs School because when tax funds ran low, there was not enough money to pay a teacher or 2 teachers. This was only temporary. Brewton Springs School students were sent to Bee Cave to attend the Bee Cave School until 1890. The school reopened in 1890. This time the school had 3 teachers. Enrollment was 80 students. A majority of its students were white.

A split caused by a change and shift in scholastics resulting in a small house to be built at Walnut Springs in the Walnut Springs Baptist Church. 2 houses in the school district proved to be too many. School terms were split. One term was taught half at one house and half at the other. So the school moved back to the Allen farm and away from the Jim Brewton farm. Brewton Springs School moved a series of several times during its history throughout the 19th century and 20th century.

1892 is when the Walnut Springs Baptist Church house had burned. It is unclear how the school burned. It could have been antics by local children or its students. This fire had no documentation or produced leads as to who had done it. (Ref: The Defender, 1936)

Around 1896 is when Brewton Springs School was moved to the Thomas Riley Place. At this point the school moved several times. The school district hired 3 more teachers to teach at the school.
(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)


Brewton Springs School was moved again in 1904. During the same year, the school was remodeled with more lumber from leftover donations. Benches were donated. 14 teachers were hired throughout the 1904-1905 school term. 34 students attended this school during the 1904-1905 school term.

Green Hudson owned a ranch and gave 5 acres of land for a school in 1922. It was at this that Brewton Springs School was moved onto Patterson Road (then Patterson Lane) near Patterson Ranch. Edna Patterson donated .02 acres of land to the school. Brewton Springs School was located on top of a hill near Patterson Ranch. Brewton Springs School was an all white school with a 97% white/caucasian student population. 2% of the student population was Mexican (Hispanic).

Brewton Springs School was a one-room schoolhouse when it was located on top of a hill near Patterson Ranch on Patterson Road. Sometime in the 1920s is when the school building was later expanded to become a two-room schoolhouse.

Even in the 1920s when most schools were 1-8 schools, Brewton Springs School was a 1-12 school unlike Eanes School were school stopped at 7th grade. From the 1920s on, Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade. The 1920s is when Eanes School began changing its scholastics by primarily teaching elementary school grades.

(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)
(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)

(From the 1920s on, Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade. The 1920s is when Eanes School began changing its scholastics by primarily teaching elementary school grades. 8th grade students were bussed to Allan Junior High School. Although Eanes School did not mainly go beyond the 7th grade, Eanes School still taught middle school students and high school students until 1943. After 1943, high school students attended Austin High School and Allan High School. Middle school students attended Allan Junior High School and later O. Henry Middle School. Some had remained at Eanes School as the school had taught middle school grades until 1950. Eanes ISD would continue busing its high school students to Austin ISD until 1967.)


1936 is when the school district began making plans to tear down and rebuild the then-current Brewton Springs School building. Meetings were held with the Superintendent of Travis County Public Schools. It was decided that the old log cabin school be sold to land owner Homer Teague.

In 1937, the school was torn down and rebuilt on John Teague’s property located on FM 2244 (Bee Cave Road) near Cuernavaca Drive by the Teague land. John Teague and Homer Teague moved into the old schoolhouse afterwards. The other old log cabin schoolhouse remained as a private residence on the Teague land.

While the school was being moved, classes were held in Watson Springs Baptist Church. Watson Springs Baptist Church was a single-room frame church. The church was also nicknamed “Snuff Box Church” and “Snuff Box Baptist Church” because members of the congregation used to spit tobacco juice out of the window during services. (Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)

By 1938, Brewton Springs School was yet again a fully functioning school with a small school district overseen by Travis County Common School District aka Travis County Public Schools. Brewton Springs School hardly ever had over 100 students. School was the only place and way students were able to take a bath and take care personal hygiene among other needs. A water well was established.


In 1948, Brewton Springs School began attempting to merge and consolidate into Eanes School District #48. Some Brewton Springs School students began attending the Eanes School. Eanes School District then operated both Eanes School and Brewton Springs School. At the time Eanes School was a 1-9 school which educated students in grades 1 through 9. (Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)

During that time only white families resided in the Eanes School District. Brewton Springs School was an all white school with a 100% white/caucasian student population as was Eanes School and Eanes Elementary School.

In 1949, both Brewton Springs School and its school district were consolidated into Eanes ISD under Gilmer-Aiken Law. Gilmer-Aiken Law consolidated many rural school districts, including Brewton Springs & Bee Cave, had reformed many Texas public schools. Eanes School students who wanted to continue their education past 9th grade either went to Brewton Springs School or to Allan Junior High School and Austin High School in Austin Public Schools (now Austin ISD).

However Brewton Springs School continued to operate under Eanes ISD until 1950. Brewton Springs School still operated as a 1-12 school.

(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: EISD Monthly Newsletter, Eanes School 50 Years Ago, April 1984)


1950 was the year the Travis County Schools Superintendent and State of Texas (TEA) closed down Brewton Springs School and its school district during the 1950-1951 school year. The school district itself was consolidated and abolished during the same year. Brewton Springs School shut down due to lack of enrollment. (Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)

Brewton Springs School was shut down by the State of Texas (TEA) due to Gilmer-Aiken Law after Bill No. 116 of the 50th legislature was passed in 1950. After Brewton Springs School shut down, its students were transferred to Eanes School. Eanes School then had 80 students. A third room to the two-room rock building of Eanes School was constructed in the same year to relieve overcrowding. Classes were now held at the Eanes School. (Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)

Brewton Springs School students were merged with the Eanes School and some were sent to Bee Cave School. Brewton Springs School students were sent to both Cox Springs School, Dripping Springs School, and Lago Vista School as well.

In 1950, Eanes went from being a 1-9 school that educated students in grades 1 through 9 to a 1-6 where students in grades 1 through 6 were educated. The school district surrounding Eanes School (the now Eanes Elementary School) and Brewton Springs School was considered a common school district that sent its high school students to Austin ISD. (Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)

1950 was the year Homer Teague and his two sons, Robert Teague and Jackson Teague, lived in the building under rough conditions. Winters and summers inside the home proved to be brutal. They would live there until they moved in 1960.

When Brewton Springs School closed in 1950, TEA condemned the school building and the water well. The water well plugged and later destroyed.


In 1960, the building was abandoned on the Teague Land next to Commons Ford Ranch. Overtime the small building became covered with vegetation. It is unknown and unclear whether or not anyone else besides the Teague family lived in the original Brewton Springs School building after consolidation with Eanes ISD whereas the other school building became a private residence.

In 1985, Robert Teague gained ownership of the property from a handwritten gift deed produced in 1942 by the wife of Homer Teague.

In 1988, the old log cabin building of Brewton Springs School was moved to the Commons Ford Metropolitan Park in the Cuernavaca neighborhood by Robert Teague. Robert Teague donated Brewton Springs School to the City of Austin as an attempt of historic preservation. No known further work or renovations were done or made to the old Brewton Springs School building after 1988.

By 1990, the former school building fell victim to rural decay. Its windows were boarded up with plywood. No other known uses were made or have been documented and recorded.

Today the 5th Brewton Springs School building sits at the entrance of Commons Ford Metropolitan Park. Its windows are boarded up with plywood. A chimney was added to the building as an extra. It is highly possible that Homer Teague built the chimney.


Although the original school building of Brewton Springs School may no longer be extant or the memories of the Brewton Springs School may have been forgotten, Brewton Springs lives on as a historic name under the street name of Bruton Springs Road located in the Cuernavaca neighborhood.

Brewton Springs School was located near FM 2244 & Cuernavaca Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78733. Brewton Springs School is now located at 614 North Commons Ford Road, Austin, Texas US 78733.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Exploring St. Margaret Mary Church in Detroit, Michigan.

Bishop Gallagher was eager to establish churches in areas that were developing. Bishop Gallagher pushed the congregation to have another church built. Father John Koelzer was asked to start a sister parish to St. Bernard's Church in the developing area to the north of it, a parish that would become St. Margaret Mary Church. (Ref: Terre Haute Tribune, July 9, 1977)

St. Margaret Mary was established in 1923 as a Catholic church.. The church was both designed by Donaldson & Meier as a brick building. Father Koelzer remained as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church until 1938. (Ref: Seasons of Grace: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit)

St. Margaret Mary Church was built as a square C-shape building in similar for to a U-shape/horseshoe building. St. Margaret Mary Church is an example of Spanish Colonial style building revival. The building itself was 2 story a building measuring at 80 feet x 120 feet.

Many Italians and Sicilians made up the congregation of St. Margaret Mary Church. Hence the huge Italian-American population. (Ref: Catholic Churches of Detroit)

St. Margaret Mary Church closed in 1970 due to the parish shrinking. The parish had shrunk even further to a mere 83 members by then. The building was due for many costly repairs. The church was abandoned in 1973. (Ref: http://www.bishopgallagher.org/2012/02/heritage-lost-st-margaret-mary-school-detroit.html)

The church itself became a victim of arson sometime in 2012. Arson damage prevented the members from using the building anymore after the year 2012 and has been vacant ever since. Windows were boarded up tightly with plywood. (Ref: https://www.nailhed.com/2015/07/wherever-two-or-three-are-gathered-in.html)

St. Margaret Mary Church is located at 5095 Lemay Street, Detroit, Michigan, US 48213.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Exploring St. Margaret Mary Church and St. Margaret Mary Parochial School in Detroit, Michigan.

Bishop Gallagher was eager to establish churches in areas that were developing. Bishop Gallagher pushed the congregation to have another church built. Father John Koelzer was asked to start a sister parish to St. Bernard's Church in the developing area to the north of it, a parish that would become St. Margaret Mary Church. (Ref: Terre Haute Tribune, July 9, 1977)

St. Margaret Mary was established as a church and parochial school in 1923. The church and school were both designed by Donaldson & Meier. St. Margaret Mary Parochial School was built in 1923 as a brick building. St. Margaret Mary Parochial School educated students in grades 1 through 8 and St. Margaret Mary Church was a Catholic church. Father Koelzer remained as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church until 1938. (Ref: Seasons of Grace: A History of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit)

St. Margaret Mary Church was built as a square C-shape building in similar for to a U-shape/horseshoe building. St. Margaret Mary Church is an example of Spanish Colonial style building revival. The building itself was 2 story a building measuring at 80 feet x 120 feet.

Many Italians and Sicilians made up the congregation of St. Margaret Mary Church. Hence the huge Italian-American population. (Ref: Catholic Churches of Detroit)

St. Margaret Mary Church closed in 1970 due to the parish shrinking. The parish had shrunk even further to a mere 83 members by then. The building was due for many costly repairs. The church was abandoned in 1973. (Ref: http://www.bishopgallagher.org/2012/02/heritage-lost-st-margaret-mary-school-detroit.html)

The church itself became a victim of arson sometime in 2012. Arson damage prevented the members from using the building anymore after the year 2012 and has been vacant ever since. Windows were boarded up tightly with plywood. (Ref: https://www.nailhed.com/2015/07/wherever-two-or-three-are-gathered-in.html)

St. Margaret Mary Church and St. Margaret Mary Parochial School is located at 5095 Lemay Street, Detroit, Michigan, US 48213.


*St. Margaret Mary Church and St. Margaret Mary Parochial School was also known as St. Margaret Mary Church and Parochial School.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

History of Oak Island School in San Antonio, Texas explored.

Oak Island School is one of the many forgotten schools of San Antonio and Bexar County. The school itself has somewhat of an interesting history.


Oak Island School was established in 1852 inside a church called Oak Island Methodist Church (then Oak Island Methodist Episcopal Church) organized by Reverend John Wesley DeVilbiss. The school and church were located on Oak Island Drive near where Loop 1604 and Devilbliss Lane intersect. Official provisions for this school had been instituted in 1854. 2 more teachers were hired in 1856. (Ref: Fehrenbach 1968:303)

Oak Island School was a “field school” - a school which families had established by providing a building and hiring a teacher. Most rural schools in San Antonio and Bexar County had “field schools”. At this time Oak Island School was a rural school which educated students in grades 1 through 8.

(Ref: Chipped Stone and Adobe: A Cultural Resources Assessment of the Proposed Applewhite Reservoir, Bexar County, Texas)
(Ref: http://oakislandchurch.org/history)

However it was not until 1868 did the Texas State Constitution call for a centralized state public school system. That is when Oak Island School began receiving state funding. Oak Island School was still located in the church. Classes for school were held in Oak Island Methodist Church for a while until a school could be built.


Around 1880 is when a single story wooden-frame schoolhouse was built to house the Oak Island School. This wooden-frame building was located west of Oak Island Methodist Church on Oak Island Drive.

In 1918, it was decided the old school needed to be replaced with a new 3 room school. By then Oak Island School was operated as a Bexar County School and was financed by the county. Bexar County was responsible for the finances of Oak Island School. (Ref: http://oakislandchurch.org/history)

The summer of 1919 is when Oak Island School received a new school building. Its new school building was built at a cost of $5,000. This building was a c-shaped building. (Ref: San Antonio Evening News, Page 12, Wednesday, June 11, 1919)

Oak Island School educated students in grades 1 through 10 during the 1920s. When students graduated from this school, they would attend high school in Somerset or Poteet. Some students went to Brackenridge High School and South San Antonio High School in San Antonio.

In 1926, the new school building was painted white. Extra half windows were placed above the present window's on the south of each classroom in order to give sufficient light. (Ref: Sikeston Herald, Page 11, Thursday, May 18, 1939)

Oak Island School was consolidated into Somerset ISD in 1950. The community voted to consolidate their school with Somerset which resulted in the school being shut down immediately. Oak Island School sat vacant for many years with no purpose.

Overtime the school needed much repair work done. The church could not afford to keep the school building due to maintenance costs which led to the building being torn down. Oak Island School was demolished in 1970. No trace remains of the school today.

The teacherage was rented and leased for a while but the church could not afford to maintain it. So it was sold by the church to a private owner and moved onto a private residence. (Ref: http://oakislandchurch.org/history)


Oak Island School was located near Devilbliss Lane & Oak Island Drive, San Antonio, Texas, US 78624.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Remembering the Colorado Mexican School.

Colorado Mexican School is one of the many forgotten schools and institutions of Austin and Del Valle that have faded away with time and from people's memories. This news article explains the history behind Colorado Mexican School


The Colorado Mexican School was constructed in 1934 as a one-room  school facing south of the Colorado White School (Colorado School). The Colorado Mexican School was built on Old Del Valle Road near US 183 & Highway 71. Blacks student had sometimes attended the Colorado Mexican School. The school educated students in grades 1 through 7.

Average daily attendance was 26 to 30 students on daily basis. The attendance rate still remained low as it historically was and has been. Almost 100 students attended this school.

Prior to the opening of Colorado Mexican School, Hispanic students attended the Colorado White School before a separate school for Hispanics became available. Hispanic students were not required to attend school. Hispanic students had either attended the negro schools or white schools.

Of course racial segregation was implemented by law in Texas and southern United States, so schools were separated by race. Separate schools were built for white, black, and Hispanic students. Black students attended separate schools from white students. White students attended separate schools from black students. That is the reason why the "Colorado White School", "Colorado Mexican School", and "Colorado Negro School" existed.

Although the Colorado School had an Austin address, it served students from the communities of Del Valle, Austin, Montopolis, Bergstrom Village, Glenbrook, and Colton.


By the 1940s, the Colorado White School and Colorado Mexican School received indoor plumbing with 2 separate toilets inside the brick building. Water pipes were upgraded and fixed.

The Colorado Mexican School eventually became combined into one school by 1942. Roof replacement was installed in the same year. The Colorado Mexican School had a daily attendance rate of 100 students in 1944. 100 students was the average on a daily basis. A huge increase from the 1930s attendance rate. The rate remained the same even in 1945.

By the late 1940s, the segregated Colorado Mexican School experienced extreme overcrowding. Colorado Common School District was 1 of 4 school districts listed as a defendant in the 1948 court case of Delgado v. Bastrop ISD. Colorado School was listed as a prime example of racial segregation in the lawsuit against the state of Texas. LULAC brought suit against several school districts for denying Hispanic students the use of school facilities and educational services. The suit claimed Hispanic students were separated and segregated from white students even though under state law they were considered "White" or "Caucasian".

Although US Court found both the Colorado Mexican School and Colorado Common School District to be operating within the terms of the decree, overcrowding of the school witnessed would contradict the provision for “equal school instruction.”

By the late end of 1948, the school was closed due to overcrowding conditions. Travis County Schools Superintendent Irving W. Popham described conditions at Colorado Mexican School as “the worst Travis County has ever known.” Travis County Schools, Austin Independent School District (then Austin Public Schools which is now known as Austin ISD) and Colorado Common School District deemed the Colorado School unfit and inadequate for a learning environment due to overcrowding from a lack of space and growth in enrollment. Overcrowding was extreme. Travis County government officials determined the Colorado School deemed to be unfit and antiquated.

The Nuestra Senora La Luz Catholic Mission Church in Montopolis offered the use of its chapel for 53 first-grade students. The remaining 40 students stayed at the Colorado Mexican School until the school district finally closed down the school. Its students were shipped to other schools.

From 1948 to 1950, the Colorado Mexican School was used as a community center and church. As part of the land agreement with Travis County and City of Austin, the school was to be zoned as a church and community if in the event the school were to close down due to overcrowding, structural error, or declining enrollment. Colorado School held religious services during operation as a church.

(Ref: Austin American Statesman, Crowded Rural Schools Lack Pioneer Facilities, January 26, 1947)
(Ref: Austin American Statesman, Latin-American school segregation outlawed, June 15, 1948)
(Ref: Handbook of Texas Online, V. Carl Allsup, "Delgado v. Bastrop Isd”)


In 1950, the old Colorado Mexican School was all but abandoned by the school district. Grass was kept untrimmed. Windows and window panels were boarded with thin plywood. Vegetation had sprawled all over.

The Colorado Common School District along with Travis County Schools & TEA were consolidating school districts & schools in Southeastern Travis County in the 1950s in an effort to collect more on property taxes, declining enrollment, and lack of funding. Schools and school districts that were consolidated into Colorado Common School District were Elroy, Creedmoor, Pilot Knob, Dry Creek, Hornsby-Dunlap, Maha, and Garfield.

1950 is also when the Del Valle schools became slowly integrated. Some schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity.

1952 is the year when the city of Austin began annexing portions of the Colorado Common School District in both Austin and Del Valle. The Colorado Mexican School was within the city limits causing confusion with Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD school district boundaries. Because the Colorado Mexican School was within he Austin city limits, the school district had to find a new location for its own schools.

In 1958, grass vegetation took over the driveways as Colorado Mexican School was totally abandoned. The buildings were still standing by then. 1958 is also the year when the Del Valle schools became integrated. Schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity. Integration was slow to come to liberal Austin and Del Valle, but it came easy as the racial integration process went smooth with no trouble.

In 1958, Austin Public Schools (Austin Independent School District bka Austin ISD) sold the land to United States Government as the school was located dangerously close in a flight path being near Bergstrom Air Force Base. Davidson tract was located outside the former Bergstrom Air Force Base.

In 1964, the Colorado Mexican School was demolished after years of being abandoned. All that remained in 1965 was a gravel pit located on site of the former Colorado Mexican School. That gravel pits sat out there for years before becoming overgrown by vegetation. All outbuildings have been demolished. No traces of the school or cistern remain today.


Schools such as this one should be preserved as a museum, converted to a dance studio, bank, or revitalized into government offices. This can be listed as an example of priorities placed in the wrong place. Historic preservation should be a secondary priority for a school district.

Something needs to be done to commemorate the Colorado Mexican School as a part the 1948 Federal Court ruling on Delgado v. Bastrop ISD. People don't recognize how LULAC fought for equal school instruction, services, and facilities. Efforts of LULAC also need to be brought to attention.

Colorado Mexican School was located at 1601 Old Del Valle Road, Austin, Texas, US 78742.



*Colorado Common School District was known to Travis County Schools officials and civilians as Colorado Common School District No. 36 or as School District No. 36.
*The Colorado School was simply just called "Colorado School" at one point in history.
*Colorado School had an Austin address despite being zoned to Del Valle ISD.
*Colorado School was adjacent to 2 other schools before the schools became molded into one school called "Colorado School" due mainly to racial integration following 1948. Thus Colorado Mexican School and Colorado Negro School were eventually combined into the Colorado White School.
*Old Del Valle Road was also known as Old Austin-Del Valle Road, Austin-Del Valle Road, and Del Valle Road.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

History pertaining to the small Colorado School long forgotten revisited.

History about the Colorado School in Austin, Texas has been long forgotten as the Colorado School is one of the many forgotten educational institutions of Austin that have faded away with time. Only longtime Austinites from generations ago may remember the Colorado School located in rural Travis County. Colorado School is one of the many schools in Austin/Travis County that did not receive a Texas Historic Landmark plaque or was revitalized to house school district offices. Colorado School is also historically significant and important because the Colorado School was listed as a defendant in the 1948 court case of Delgado v. Bastrop ISD regarding racial segregation in public schools. That court case declared segregation illegal in Texas public schools.


The Colorado School was one of Del Valle's earliest schools as it was the oldest school in the Del Valle ISD school district at one point in time dating back to 1874. Colorado School was the first school operated by Del Valle ISD. Years of operation for Colorado School ran from 1876 to 1948. The Colorado School itself was located at the present day intersections of US 183 & SH 71 near Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA).

The Colorado Common School District in Austin was established in 1874. A school house was needed. Land where Colorado School was located on land owned by the Martin Family and Andrew M. Davidson. Enoch Martin, Sarah Elizabeth Martin, and Andrew M. Davidson deeded land to S.G. Sneed, Travis County, and the Colorado Common School District for a school house to be built on in the year of 1874 along with land for a city cemetery which would later become the Greenwood Cemetery. 5.6 acres of land were deeded to Colorado Common School District in the same year by F.A. Maxwell and Andrew M. Davidson. Colorado School was located on the Davidson tract named after Andrew M. Davidson.

Martin Family Cemetery had preceded the small school by a couple of years as their cemetery was plotted in 1874. The Colorado School was to be located north of the Martin Family Cemetery as a part of a land agreement with Travis County and City of Austin. Cemeteries called Martin Family Cemetery and Greenwood Cemetery were plotted south of the Colorado School.

A cistern was built in 1875 predating the school but not the cemetery. Water was gathered from a cistern from the years of 1875 to 1895 until the cistern got old and needed replacement. The 1875 cistern was built fairly well under a sturdy foundation.

Building a log cabin school was no easy task. It took a few months for the school to open after construction was completed. The log cabin was built and completed in 1876. Local citizens and several businesses donated wood for a log cabin school to be built. Colorado School was built in to serve as a public school which was operated under Colorado Common School District now known as Del Valle Independent School District bka Del Valle ISD. The Colorado School along with the Colorado Common School District itself were named after the Colorado River.

Colorado School was built as a single story log cabin in 1876. The log cabin School was located near Colorado River adjacent to a large group of live oak trees and a clear spring. The school itself was 12 feet tall at maximum height as the school was only 1 story tall. The school was a one room school. Originally grades 1 through 8 were educated there. Later on, grades 1 through 12 were taught at this school.

Average daily attendance was 26 to 30 students for the Colorado School. Some days 30 students attended school at best. Attendance was never very high due to the agricultural lifestyle. Students had to tend to family farms during harvesting season. Students had to pick cotton and work in the fields.

Students had to use outhouses located not too far away from the school as the Colorado School did not receive indoor plumbing until near mid-20th century. 2 separate outhouses were located outside the Colorado School. The wait to use these facilities was long and time consuming. Some students and teachers simply used the forest that surrounded the area.

Of course racial segregation was implemented by law in Texas and southern United States, so schools were separated by race. Separate schools were built for white, black, and Hispanic students. Black students attended separate schools from white students. White students attended separate schools from black students. That is the reason why the "Colorado White School", "Colorado Mexican School", and "Colorado Negro School" existed. The Colorado Mexican School was built adjacent to the Colorado White School.

Despite being racially segregated, black and white students shared the one room School with Hispanic students. Black students were taught alongside with white students here at this school. Some of the other schools were like this. Hispanic students had either attended the negro schools or white schools. Usually Hispanic students attended both the negro schools or white schools.

A new cistern was built to replace the old cistern in 1895. The school district decided to eventually to drill a new water well in 1895. The well had to be drilled away from the cemeteries for sanitary purposes. So this led to a controversy to where the school district would locate the new water well. Another new water well and a cistern were installed in 1905.


1921 was the year the log cabin school was demolished. In 1921, the Colorado School was built on top of a concrete cement slab foundation that was built over an old graveyard. A single story brick building at a height of 12 feet was constructed in to replace the log cabin school to accommodate growth in enrollment as the log cabin school became overcrowded due to lack of space in classrooms. A sign with the words "Colorado School" had been placed on top of the school painted in a blackish brown color.

The Colorado Mexican School was built next to the Colorado White School in 1934 which eventually became combined into one school. Black students had sometimes attended the Colorado Mexican School. Roof replacement was installed in the same year.

Prior to the Colorado Mexican School operating, Hispanic students attended the Colorado White School before a separate school for Hispanics became available. Hispanic students were not required to attend school. Hispanic students had either attended the negro schools or white schools. The Colorado Negro School was added as an additional building to accompany black students.

An additional room was added to the Colorado School in 1935. A number of additional rooms were later added to be expanded. Average daily attendance was 26 to 30 students on daily basis during the 1930s. But the attendance rate still remained low as it historically was and has been.


By the 1940s, the Colorado School received indoor plumbing with 2 separate toilets inside the brick building. Water pipes were upgraded and fixed.

By the late 1940s, both the Colorado Mexican School, Colorado Negro School, and Colorado White School had experienced extreme overcrowding. Extreme overcrowding was common for schools in the Colorado Common School District such as the Elroy School, the Garfield School, Lamar School, Cloud School, and Popham School unfortunately. The Colorado School had a daily attendance rate of 100 students in 1944. 100 students was the average on a daily basis. A huge increase from the 1930s attendance rate. The rate remained the same even in 1945.

Colorado Common School District was 1 of 4 school districts listed as a defendant in the 1948 court case of Delgado v. Bastrop ISD. Colorado School was listed as a prime example of racial segregation in the lawsuit against the state of Texas. LULAC brought suit against several school districts for denying Hispanic students the use of school facilities and educational services. The suit claimed Hispanic students were separated and segregated from white students even though under state law they were considered "White" or "Caucasian". Although US Court found both the Colorado School and Colorado Common School District to be operating within the terms of the decree, overcrowding of the school witnessed would contradict the provision for “equal school instruction.”

By the late end of 1948, the school was closed due to overcrowding conditions. Travis County Schools Superintendent Irving W. Popham described conditions at Colorado School as “the worst Travis County has ever known.” Travis County Schools, Austin Independent School District (then Austin Public Schools which is now known as Austin ISD) and Colorado Common School District deemed the Colorado School unfit and inadequate for a learning environment due to overcrowding from a lack of space and growth in enrollment. Overcrowding was extreme. Travis County government officials determined the Colorado School deemed to be unfit and antiquated.

From 1948 to 1950, the Colorado School was used as a community center and church. As part of the land agreement with Travis County and City of Austin, the school was to be zoned as a church and community if in the event the school were to close down due to overcrowding, structural error, or declining enrollment. Colorado School held religious services during operation as a church.

When the Colorado School was closed, elementary students attended the Popham School while the junior high students attended Del Valle Junior High School. The high school students had attended Del Valle Senior High School which was later Del Valle Junior-Senior High School which had eventually became Del Valle High School. Other students were sent to Austin ISD schools to relieve overcrowding.


In 1950, the old Colorado School was all but abandoned by the school district as students were being shipped to other schools as part the consolidation into Del Valle ISD on part of Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Colorado Common School District. Grass was kept untrimmed. Windows and window panels were boarded with thin plywood. Vegetation sprawled over Colorado School.

The Colorado Common School District along with Travis County Schools & TEA was consolidating school districts & schools in Southeastern Travis County in the 1950s in an effort to collect more on property taxes, declining enrollment, and lack of funding. Schools and school districts that were consolidated into Colorado Common School District were Elroy, Creedmoor, Pilot Knob, Dry Creek, Hornsby-Dunlap, Maha, and Garfield.

1950 is also when the Del Valle schools became slowly integrated. Some schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity. Integration was slow to come to liberal Austin and Del Valle, but it came easy as the racial integration process went smooth with no trouble.

1952 is the year when the city of Austin began annexing portions of the Colorado Common School District in both Austin and Del Valle. The Colorado School was within the city limits causing confusion with Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD school district boundaries. Because the Colorado School was within the Austin city limits, the school district had to find a new location for its own schools. Although the Colorado School had an Austin address, it served students from the communities of Del Valle, Austin, Montopolis, Bergstrom Village, Glenbrook, and Colton.

Enrollment stood at 600 students in 1952 for the Colorado Common School District. That created a demand for new schools in Del Valle. The new renovated Popham School was open by then. Del Valle High School and Del Valle Junior High were underway.

In 1958, grass vegetation took over the driveways as the school was totally abandoned. The buildings were still standing by then. 1958 is also the year when the Del Valle schools became integrated. Schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity. Integration was a smooth process for the large Del Valle school district with no hassle or race riots.

In 1958, Austin Public Schools (now Austin ISD) sold the land to United States Government as the school was located dangerously close in a flight path being so close to Bergstrom Air Force Base. Davidson tract was located outside the former Bergstrom Air Force Base. The Colorado Common School District was renamed the Del Valle Independent School District in 1964.

In 1964, the Colorado School was demolished after years of being abandoned. All that remained in 1965 was a gravel pit located on site of the former Colorado School. That gravel pits sat out there for years before becoming overgrown by vegetation. Outbuildings sat in their positions. All outbuildings have been demolished. A portion of an outbuilding for the Colorado School was added to the Del Valle ISD district offices on Shapard Lane in Del Valle, Texas in 1967 which remains there today. To this day, the school district boundaries for Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD remain chaotic.


Colorado School is one of the many forgotten schools and institutions of Austin & Del Valle that have faded away with time and from people's memories unfortunately. Schools such as this one should be preserved as a museum, converted to a dance studio, bank, or revitalized into government offices. This can be listed as an example of priorities placed in the wrong place. Historic preservation should be a secondary priority for a school district.

Something needs to be done to commemorate the Colorado School as a part the 1948 Federal Court ruling on Delgado v. Bastrop ISD. People don't recognize how LULAC fought for equal school instruction and facilities. Efforts of LULAC also need to be brought to attention.

The old Colorado School is was located at 1601 Old Del Valle Road, Austin, Texas, US 78742.

*Colorado Common School District was known to Travis County Schools officials and civilians as Colorado Common School District No. 36 or as School District No. 36.
*The Colorado School was simply just called "Colorado School" at one point in history.
*Colorado School had an Austin address despite being zoned to Del Valle ISD.
*Colorado School was adjacent to 2 other schools before the schools became molded into one school called "Colorado School" due mainly to racial integration following 1948. Thus Colorado Mexican School and Colorado Negro School were eventually combined into the Colorado White School.
*Old Del Valle Road was also known as Old Austin-Del Valle Road, Austin-Del Valle Road, and Del Valle Road.
*The Martin Family Cemetery preceded the Colorado School.
*Popham School bka Popham Elementary School was built in 1948 to relieve overcrowding from other schools located in the Colorado Common School District. From 1952 to 1953, Popham School went under construction during an extensive renovation period. In 1953 the school was finally open to the public again.



As for the Martin Family Cemetery, the Martin Family Cemetery was plotted and constructed in 1874 by Enoch Martin and Andrew M. Davidson when they deeded land to Travis County for a school to be built on and a city cemetery. Many family members from the Martin Family were buried there. Last recorded burial in the Martin Family Cemetery was Walter Martin in 1909.

The Martin Family Cemetery is now behind a secure fence located southeast of the US 183 & SH 71 intersection near the northwest corner of Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA). Martin Family Cemetery is located 140 feet north of Greenwood Cemetery also. Permission must be obtained to view the Martin Family Cemetery due to Homeland Security restrictions. Homeland Security restrictions require visitors to be escorted by ABIA staff to the site.


Enoch Martin, Andrew M. Davidson, and F.A. Maxwell deeded land to Travis County and City of Austin for another cemetery that was to become a city cemetery in 1907. Other acres were purchased in 1910. This cemetery would eventually become Greenwood Cemetery. Austin-Del Valle Road served as the northeast boundary between separating the Martin Family Cemetery from the Greenwood Cemetery. Martin Family members are also buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Greenwood Cemetery operates as a public cemetery owned by the City of Austin to this day. ABIA staff and Homeland Security staff patrol both cemeteries on a daily basis. Greenwood Cemetery is located directly south of the Martin Family Cemetery adjacent near ABIA. Both Greenwood Cemetery and Martin Family Cemetery are located at 1927 Old Lockhart Road, Austin, Texas, US 78742.

*Martin Family Cemetery is located near Old Del Valle Road.
*Also Martin Family Cemetery is located less than 1 acre north of Greenwood Cemetery.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Brewton Springs School when it was the Snuff Box School on Bee Caves Road.

Brewton Springs School was called the Snuff Box School during the 19th century and early to middle 20th century because so many of its students chewed tobacco and dipped snuff. That is how the name Snuff Box came about. The architectural design of the school building was built as a snuff box. Because the school was shaped similarly to a snuff box, students called the school “Snuff Box School”. However the name Snuff Box did not derive from the architecture of the school building itself.


In 1881, the first school was built as a 15’ x 10’ foot box square building designed as a one-room schoolhouse located on the Jim Brewton farm. Hence the name Brewton Springs. The school only had one door. By 1881 Brewton Springs School had county funding and state funding allocated towards the school.

As cited in the book Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill County, Brewton Springs School was also known as Snuff Box School. The Brewton Springs School was located east of Bee Cave. Brewton Springs School was located east of Bee Cave and west of Cuernavaca Drive near Patterson Road less than 0.2 miles of the junction of Cuernavaca Drive & FM 2244.
(Ref: Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill County, 2011)

Even in the 1920s when most schools were 1-8 schools, Brewton Springs School was a 1-12 school unlike Eanes School were school stopped at 7th grade. From the 1920s on, Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade. The 1920s is when Eanes School began changing its scholastics by primarily teaching elementary school grades.

[From the 1920s on, Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade. The 1920s is when Eanes School began changing its scholastics by primarily teaching elementary school grades. 8th grade students were bussed to Allan Junior High School. Although Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade, Eanes School still taught middle school students and high school students until 1943.

After 1943, high school students attended Austin High School and Allan High School. Middle school students attended Allan Junior High School and later O. Henry Middle School. Some had remained at Eanes School as the school had taught middle school grades until 1950. In 1950, Eanes ISD sent its middle school students and high school students to Austin ISD. This would last until 1967.]

The school district surrounding Eanes School (the now Eanes Elementary School) and Brewton Springs School was considered a common school district that sent its high school students to Austin ISD. During that time only white families resided in the Eanes school district. Brewton Springs School was an all white school with a 97% white/caucasian student population.

(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)


1936 is when the school district began making plans to tear down and rebuild the then-current Brewton Springs School building. Meetings were held with the Superintendent of Travis County Public Schools.

In 1937 the school was torn down and rebuilt on John Teague’s property located on FM 2244 (Bee Cave Road) near Cuernavaca Drive by Patterson Road near Patterson Ranch. Homer Teague moved into the old schoolhouse afterwards. The other old schoolhouse remained as a private residence. While the school was being moved, classes were held in Watson Springs Baptist Church. Watson Springs Baptist Church was a single-room frame church. The church was also nicknamed “Snuff Box Church” because members of the congregation used to spit tobacco juice out of the window during services.


In 1948, Brewton Springs School began attempting to merge and consolidate into Eanes School District #48. Some Brewton Springs School students began attending the Eanes School. Eanes School District then operated both Eanes School and Brewton Springs School.

In 1949, both Brewton Springs School and its school district were consolidated into Eanes ISD under Gilmer-Aiken Law. Gilmer-Aiken Law consolidated many rural school districts, including Brewton Springs & Bee Cave, had reformed many Texas public schools. Eanes School students who wanted to continue their education past 7th grade either went to Brewton Springs School or to Allan Junior High School and Austin High School in Austin Public Schools (now Austin ISD). However Brewton Springs School continued to operate under Eanes ISD until 1950.

1950 was the year the Travis County Schools Superintendent and State of Texas closed down Brewton Springs School and its school district during the 1950-1951 school year. The school district itself was consolidated and abolished during the same year. Brewton Springs School students were merged with Eanes School and to Bee Cave School. Brewton Springs School students were merged to both Cox Springs School, Dripping Springs School, and Lago Vista School as well. Brewton Springs School shut down due to lack of enrollment.

In 1950, Brewton Springs School was shut down by the State of Texas due to Gilmer-Aiken Law after Bill No. 116 of the 50th legislature was passed. After Brewton Springs School shut down, its students were transferred to Eanes School. Eanes School then had 80 students. A third room to the two-room rock building of Eanes School was constructed in the same year to relieve overcrowding. Classes were now held at the Eanes School.  Eanes ISD would continue busing its high school students to Austin ISD until 1967.

In 1950, Homer Teague and his two sons, Robert Teague and Jackson Teague, lived in the building under rough conditions. They would live their until they moved. In 1960, the building was abandoned on the Teague Land next to Commons Ford Ranch.

It is unknown and unclear whether or not anyone else besides the Teague family lived in the original Brewton Springs School building after consolidation with Eanes ISD whereas the other school building became a private residence.

In 1958, an election was held to change the status of the school from a common school district to independent.  Eanes ISD chose to continue busing its middle school students and high school students to Austin ISD. (Ref: EISD Monthly Newsletter, Eanes School 50 Years Ago, April 1984)


In 1967, Austin ISD informed Eanes ISD that it could no longer continue to accept the middle school students and high school students. Their schools were full and space was needed for Austin ISD students. Eanes ISD was given the choice of either giving up its independent school district status and joining AISD or building its own facilities.

If Eanes had combined with AISD, it would have been forced to integrate its school.  However, if the school chose to remain independent, it would only be required to integrate students within its district, and during that time only white families resided in the Eanes school district.  The Westlake community chose to build its own schools.

(Ref: The Westlake Picayune, Austin Crowding Greatly Expanded Eanes Independent School District, March 2, 1979)

In 1985, Robert Teague gained ownership of the property from a handwritten gift deed produced in 1942 by the wife of Homer Teague.

In 1988, the (old) 5th Brewton Springs School building was moved to the Commons Ford Metropolitan Park in the Cuernavaca neighborhood by Robert Teague. Robert Teague donated Brewton Springs School to the City of Austin as an attempt of historic preservation. No known further work or renovations were done or made to the old Brewton Springs School building after 1988.

By 1990, the former school building fell victim to rural decay. Its windows were boarded up with plywood. No use was made.

Today the 5th Brewton Springs School building sits at the entrance of Commons Ford Metropolitan Park. Its windows are boarded up with plywood. A chimney was added to the building as an extra. It is highly possible that Homer Teague built the chimney.


Brewton Springs School was located near FM 2244 & Cuernavaca Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78733. The old Brewton Springs School is now located at 614 North Commons Ford Road, Austin, Texas US 78733.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Old Montopolis School is now facing demolition.

After Austin City Council was unable to agree to a purchase price for the site of the former Montopolis Negro School, Austin City Council will move forward with plans to take it through eminent domain proceedings even after months of negotiation as of July 2018. Austin City Council approved a measure to pursue eminent domain proceedings after being unable to agree on a purchase price as reported by Austin Monitor, Houston Chronicle, and the Austin Statesman.

Planning commissioners voted to deny a rezoning application for the former Montopolis Negro School property. Austin City Council is going to be seizing the site of the old Montopolis Negro School.

Property owner Austin Stowell has applied for the property to be rezoned from single family to community commercial with historic zoning granted for the school structure. Austin Stowell has already expressed dissatisfaction with the city's handling of the situation. The city has proposed paying $362,000 for the 0.85-acre tract of land.

The case has drawn controversy throughout the city of Austin, especially towards property owner Austin Stowell and historian Fred McGhee. This was also in large part thanks to the strong opposition of community members. Austin Stowell is aware of the historical significance of the school itself. However the historical significance of this property will not cease any demolition. More could have been done or implemented to save this property.

In any case, it will be a sad day for Austin, Texas when the Montopolis School is demolished. Many Montopolis residents have a sentimental attachment to this school and church.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Old Montopolis School now facing demolition.

Unable to agree to a purchase price for the site of the former Montopolis Negro School, Austin will move forward with plans to take it through eminent domain proceedings even after months of negotiation as of July 2018. Austin City Council approved a measure to pursue eminent domain proceedings after being unable to agree on a purchase price as reported by Austin Monitor, Houston Chronicle, and the Austin Statesman.

Planning commissioners voted to deny a rezoning application for the former Montopolis Negro School property. Austin City Council is going to be seizing the site of the old Montopolis Negro School.

Property owner Austin Stowell has applied for the property to be rezoned from single family to community commercial with historic zoning granted for the school structure. Austin Stowell has already expressed dissatisfaction with the city's handling of the situation. The city has proposed paying $362,000 for the 0.85-acre tract of land.

The case has drawn controversy throughout the city of Austin, especially towards property owner Austin Stowell and historian Fred McGhee. This was also in large part thanks to the strong opposition of community members. Austin Stowell is aware of the historical significance of the school itself. However the historical significance of this property will not cease any demolition.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

An inside look at the forgotten history of the Manchaca Negro School.

Manchaca Negro School is one of the many forgotten negro schools of Austin and Travis County from the segregation era prior to racial integration in public schools in not just in Texas, but across America. In fact, Manchaca Negro School is one of the many forgotten schools Austin and Travis County.

Manchaca Negro School served the Manchaca community for over 80 years operating from 1873 to 1958 serving African American students living in Manchaca, Texas. The Manchaca School District and Travis County Public Schools (aka Travis County Common School District operated this negro school.


Manchaca Negro School was a one-room school building built out of cedar wood in 1873 during the 1872-1873 school term. The school would open in late 1873 serving African American students in Manchaca, Texas. Manchaca Negro School only went to the 7th grade. After 7th grade students dropped out of school to work in farms or continued school in Austin.

Manchaca School District deeded the land to Travis County on June 6, 1894. Travis County took control of said property that summer.

Mr. W. S. Groves served as teacher and principal for Manchaca Negro School in 1898. His wife Mrs. W. S. Grove served as a teacher here as well. (Ref: Texas School Journal, Volumes 16-17, 1898)

Adjacent to the site of this school was a Baptist church called St. Eli Baptist Church. This church served African Americans of Manchaca for over 80 years. Today St. Eli Baptist Church is long gone and is no longer extant. (Ref: I’m Proud to Know What I Know”: Oral Narratives of Life in Travis and Hays Counties, Texas, c. 1920s-1960s, Maria Franklin)


In the 1920s, Manchaca Negro School was renamed to Manchaca Colored School. This name would stay with this negro school for over 10 years. Manchaca Colored School would be renamed to its original name of Manchaca Negro School in 1942.

Manchaca Negro School had 40 students with an average daily attendance of 30 students during the 1934-1935 school year. There were 2 teachers for the 40 students on a 2:40 ratio. The cost per year was $1,360 with an average of $46.33 per student per year. The teachers taught students at this school for a period of 155 days and got paid for 8 months. Manchaca Negro School taught grades 1-7.

Manchaca Negro School closed down in 1958 down due to the 1954 court ruling of Brown vs the Board of Education ruling racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. Once Manchaca Negro School closed down, Manchaca students had to take the bus to Buda to attend Antioch School, thus putting an end to Manchaca Negro School.

Manchaca School District abandoned the Manchaca Negro School in 1958. The building was left abandoned from 1958 to 1960. 1960 is when the Manchaca Negro School was demolished by the City of Manchaca. The property would remain vacant for over 20 years. (Ref: Travis County topographical map of 1960 online at NETR Historic Aerials)

Willa Hargis owned the land in 1961. The vacant land was deeded to Otis Hargis and Naomi Hargis on the date of July 24, 1968. Through out most of the late 20th century, this land remained vacant thereout.


Texas Tree Service purchased the land from Otis Hargis in 2011. The land was used as storage for their machinery and vehicles. Tree logs and various debris from plants that were cut down were stored on this property.

In 2016, Slow Pokes Brisket Shack purchased the property from Texas Tree Service and
The Manchaca Onion Creek Historical Association dedicated a plaque to commemorate Manchaca Negro School in September 2016. Its plaque is located on the property of Slow Pokes Brisket Shack. (Ref: Manchaca Onion Creek Historical Association)

Today as of July 2018, Slow Pokes Brisket Shack stands on the property and site of the former Manchaca Negro School. (Ref: Manchaca Onion Creek Historical Association)


Manchaca Negro School was located 737 FM 1626, Manchaca, Texas, US 78652.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Isolated history of Our Lady of the Cape Catholic Church in Nunavut, Canada explained.

In 2002, a new church building for Our Lady of the Cape Catholic Church was built on the same site of the existing church building right after it had been demolished. The church was finally opened in October 2002 after construction was completed. In 2005, another small building served as an annex for the church east of the main building. The annex building for this church serves as an office building.

Our Lady of the Cape Catholic Church is located at 102 Sivulliq Avenue, Rankin Inlet, Nunavat, Canada. The physical address is 102 Sivulliq Avenue, Rankin Inlet, NU X0C 0G0, Canada.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

St. Louis Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin long faded away.

St. Louis Church is one of the many forgotten churches of Wisconsin that has faded away from time. Not too many people know the whereabouts on the St. Louis Church in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. This news article will explain the history of St. Louis Church. This news article will also explain how too many renovations, modifications, remodels, and additions can effect the historical integrity of buildings.


St. Louis Church has had a long history in Fond du Lac. The French speaking Catholics formed their own church congregation in 1868. However they did not own a church building but rented one instead. Church services were held using the French language instead of the English language. Holy Family Parish owned the church.

Construction began on the church building and was finished in 1871. This church is an example of Gothic Revival architecture with limestone walls, Gothic-arched openings, and two towers located upfront at the main entrance. On top of the Gothic-arched openings are tall steeple roofs. Most recognizable features are the limestone walls, gothic-arched openings, and the two massive towers. The two towers were finished later in 1891, decorated with stepped buttresses. The two towers were located upfront at the main entrance.

A school was established and constructed in 1957. The school wrapped around the east end of the original church building. Multiple changes and modifications were made to the east end of the church at that time to accommodate the addition.

Many modifications among other changes were also made to St. Louis Church over the years. For instance, the stairs in the towers received modification. Installation of aluminum framed doors were made. Certain areas had ramps installed to make the church handicap accessible.


Holy Family Parish vacated the church in August 2005 when they moved to a newly constructed facility. The buildings stood vacant for 10 months. Concerns had been raised regarding the structural integrity and the adaptability of the church building for future uses.

Excel Engineering was commissioned in June 2006 to provide architectural, historical surveying, and engineering services to address specific issues to the original church building. Surveyors found during the historical surveying that the amount of modifications made over the years hurt the historical integrity of St. Louis Church. Historical significance did not save this building due to the amount of modifications made over the years.

The building was purchased by Dave Haase, owner of Attitude Sports, in 2006. Dave Haase had the intention of turning the building into a business. However those intentions came to a halt when a fire started in the church during the remodeling process on the date of Monday, March 19, 2007. The cause of the fire was never determined. This could have been a mindless act of arson or faulty electrical wiring. Since then, both the church and school have been razed.

St. Louis Church was located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, US.


St. Louis Church is an example of how too many renovations, modifications, remodels, and additions can effect the historical integrity of buildings. Too many modifications what hurt the historical integrity of this particular church building. Modifications are what hurt this building. For example, this would hurt the building’s chance of being eligible to be register on the National Register of Historic Places or meet NRPH requirements and guidelines.

Modifications are what also hurt structural integrity from a historic point of view. Modifications to buildings over 100 years old are not necessarily the brightest idea due to aging and safety. Aging and safety are key issues of structural integrity. Historical significance did not save this building due to the amount of modifications made over the years.

Historic architecture of All Saints in Sioux Falls, South Dakota shared.

All Saints was built in 1884. All Saints was built using wood and stone. These wooden structures that were several stories tall are Victorian buildings. The main building was built by Edward Coughran in 1884. The beauty of the place was incredible. At one point All Saints contained 373 buildings on over 700 acres of land. All Saints was also known as the Edward Coughran House located on 111 West 17th Street in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

All Saints was a school known as All Saints School that operated as a private school for Christians that was a very religious school. The beauty of the place was incredible even in the state it was. The lawns were mowed were the city. However overtime the historic structures were torn down in place of new ones.

All Saints is now is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as #84003349.

All Saints is located at 111 West 17th Street, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, US 57104.

Short history of St. Michael's Church of Oahu, Hawaii forgotten.

King Kamehameha IV granted a royal patent for the strip of land on which the St. Michael’s Church was built upon in 1848. St. Michael’s Church was built in 1853 from stone in the missionary days. There were not many stone structures built in Hawaii during the missionary days. Coral was pounded into lime for concrete. The building was dedicated on May 8, 1853. Luika Kaumaka plotted the cemetery.

St. Michael's of Waialua was the first Catholic church and maybe the first church on the North Shore of Oahu. St. Michael’s Church is a Catholic church dating back to the 19th century.

St. Michael's Church soon became a concrete building with a tile roof. The church congregation had relocated in 1912 to be closer to the sugar plantation in the area. The original site of St. Michael’s Church was abandoned and left to ruin. The site sat abandoned much of the early 20th century.

St. Michael's Church is located in of Thompson Corner, Oahu, Hawaii, US 96791. Its alternate address is Thompson Corner, Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii, US 96791.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Webberville School history revealed by Michael Mixerr revisited.

Webberville School history of Webberville, Texas has been long forgotten and nearly erased with time. Not many people knew Webberville had schools or even had its own school district. Webberville held it school classes often in churches such as the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church or First Baptist Church on FM 969. Webberville School operated from 1870 to 1967.

White landowner Matthew Duty donated one acre of land for a church and school for the recently freed African Americans in the year of in 1868 shortly after emancipation. Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was established on the property the same year. His handwritten deed indicated that “as long as there are any members of the church, the land cannot be sold.”. Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was organized that year as a mission church of the St. John Regular Missionary Baptist Association.

Webberville School and Webberville School District began in 1870 in Webberville, Texas as one-teacher school consisting of grades 1 through 7 and later grades 9 through 11. Webberville School originated in the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in 1870 where both church and school were held. Black students used one side of the church and white students used the other. The school had no indoor plumbing or lunchroom facilities.

Webberville had its own school district called Webberville School District which was known as School District No. 32. Students from the Hornsby-Dunlap School and Bastrop County often attended Webberville Schools after completing 5th grade.

1878 is when 8th grade was added to the Webberville School. In 1880, high school grades 9 through 11 were added to the Webberville School. Both church and school were held at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.


At one point Webberville Negro School and Webberville White School there were on the same property as Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. Things would remain this way until the year of 1911. In 1911, the Webberville School District saw an increasing need for a new school. Specifically a new white school.

Owners of Colorado Lodge #96 offered a lease to the Webberville School District for a fair price where the Webberville White School would continue classes for students to get their education. Colorado Lodge #96 was a Masonic Lodge. Class was held on the first floor. From then on, only Webberville Negro School operated inside Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.

By the early 1920s, Webberville School had a baseball team. The baseball even had “husband and wife teams”. Teachers even participated in the baseball team. By the 1920s, Webberville Schools had 200 to 300 students attend school each year.


The Hornsby-Dunlap School and Hornsby-Dunlap School District consolidated into the Webberville School District in 1952 with students now attending both Webberville Schools including Webberville School. Hornsby-Dunlap School continued to operate under Colorado Common School District #36.

After the consolidation of Hornsby-Dunlap School in 1952, a fundraiser was held to purchase visual-aid equipment and a movie projector. A bus was purchased to transport the children to Webberville from the Hornsby-Dunlap community in the same year. However the school still had no indoor plumbing or lunchroom facilities.

The Webberville School was integrated for a short period of time. However Webberville Schools were segregated by choice and by law. By the 1956-1957, school year, Webberville School became slowly integrated.


Sometime in the 1960s is when Webberville White School moved into the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church which housed Webberville Negro School. Webberville White School moved into a school building located southwest of the church. The schools were located on the same property once again. Another school building was built for Webberville Negro School housing grades 1 through 8. That other school building.

In 1967, the Webberville School and Webberville School District were consolidated into Del Valle Independent School District (Del Valle ISD). Due to racial integration and school district consolidation, the Webberville School closed down during the 1967-1968 school year.

The Webberville Negro School building was sold to the church the following year. The Webberville Negro School building was a separate structure southwest of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church until after 1973. The original school building of Webberville Negro School was added to the church in 1973. The side-gabled wing of church building was the original school building of Webberville Negro School. The other school building was demolished prior to 1973.


To this day, the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Webberville, Texas remains an active congregation. The church building stands in its original location at 1314 Weber Street, Webberville, Texas, US 78653. Today Colorado Lodge #96 and Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church remain in tact.



Webberville Schools were segregated by choice and by law. This led to the creation of Webberville Negro School and Webberville White School. The Webberville Schools of Webberville School, Webberville White School and Webberville Negro School were divided into three departments: Primary (grades 1 through 4), Intermediate (grades 5 through 8), and Secondary (grades 9 through 11).


Webberville Negro School was held in the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church on 1314 Weber Street in Webberville, Texas from 1868 to 1967. By the end of the 1950s is when Webberville Negro School (Webberville School) ended as a two teacher school. At one point, there were two schools on the property.

The Webberville Negro School was divided into three departments: Primary with Mrs. Lydia Scales as the teacher for grades 1 through 4;, Intermediate with Mrs. Effie R. Edwards as the teacher for grades 5 through 8; and Secondary with Mr. Roosevelt H. King as the teacher for grades 9 through 11.

The Webberville Negro School became a 1-8 school in the 1930s. School stopped after 8th grade. Students who wanted to continue onto high school were sent to attend Manor Colored High School in Manor, Texas, Littig High School in Littig, Texas, or simply attended high school in Austin, Texas.

During the 1934-1935 school year, Webberville School (Webberville Negro School) had 67 students with an average daily attendance of 40 students. There was one teacher for 67 students. The cost per year for each student was $659 with an average of $16.25 per student per year. The teacher taught grades 1 through 7, and later 8th grade, for 146 days.

During the 1930s, The Webberville Negro School was divided into three departments.: Primary with Mrs. Lydia Scales as the teacher for grades 1 through 4;, Intermediate with Mrs. Effie R. Edwards as the teacher for grades 5 through 8;

Webberville Negro School (Webberville School) closed in 1967 ending as a two teacher school. The school was given back to Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. The Webberville Negro School building was a separate structure southwest of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church until after 1973. The original school building of Webberville Negro School was added to the church in 1973. The side-gabled wing of church building was the original school building of Webberville Negro School.


Webberville White School was held in Colorado Lodge #96 located on 19011 FM 969 from 1911 until sometime in the 1960s. In 1923, the Webberville White School (Webberville School) grew to incorporate high school grades 10 through 12. School enrollment grew to 200 to 300 students by the 1922-1923 school year. This school had no indoor plumbing or lunchroom facilities.

Sometime in the 1960s is when Webberville White School moved into the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church which housed Webberville Negro School. Webberville White School moved into a school building located southwest of the church. Another school building was built for Webberville Negro School housing grades 1 through 8.


Friday, May 4, 2018

History of Webberville Negro School forgotten.

Webberville Negro School was held in the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church on 1314 Weber Street in Webberville, Texas from 1868 to 1967. Webberville Negro School was run by Webberville School District which was known as School District No. 32. Students from the Hornsby-Dunlap School and Bastrop County often attended Webberville Schools after completing 5th grade.

The Webberville Negro School was divided into two departments.: Primary with Mrs. Lydia Scales as the teacher for grades 1 through 4 and Intermediate with Mrs. Effie R. Edwards as the teacher for grades 5 through 8 for the Webberville School.


White landowner Matthew Duty donated one acre of land for a church and school for the recently freed African Americans in the year of in 1868 shortly after emancipation. Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was established on the property the same year. His handwritten deed indicated that “as long as there are any members of the church, the land cannot be sold.”. Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church was organized that year as a mission church of the St. John Regular Missionary Baptist Association.

Webberville Negro School originated in the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in 1870 where both church and school were held. Webberville Negro School was a one-teacher school educating grades 1 through 7 and later 8th grade. The school and church had no indoor plumbing or lunchroom facilities. Both church and school were held at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.


By the early 1920s, Webberville School had a baseball team. The baseball even had “husband and wife teams”. Teachers even participated in the baseball team. By the 1920s, Webberville Schools had 200 to 300 students attend school each year.

The Webberville Negro School became a 1-8 school in the 1930s. School stopped after 8th grade. Students who wanted to continue onto high school were sent to attend Manor Colored High School in Manor, Texas, Littig High School in Littig, Texas, or simply attended high school in Austin, Texas.

During the 1930s, The Webberville Negro School was divided into three departments.: Primary with Mrs. Lydia Scales as the teacher for grades 1 through 4;, Intermediate with Mrs. Effie R. Edwards as the teacher for grades 5 through 8;

During the 1934-1935 school year, Webberville School (Webberville Negro School) had 67 students with an average daily attendance of 40 students. There was one teacher for 67 students. The cost per year for each student was $659 with an average of $16.25 per student per year. The teacher taught grades 1 through 7, and later 8th grade, for 146 days.


By the end of the 1950s is when Webberville Negro School (Webberville School) ended as a two teacher school. At one point, there were two schools on the property.

The Hornsby-Dunlap School and Hornsby-Dunlap School District consolidated into the Webberville School District in 1952 with students now attending both Webberville Schools including Webberville School. Hornsby-Dunlap School continued to operate under Colorado Common School District #36.

After the consolidation of Hornsby-Dunlap School in 1952, a fundraiser was held to purchase visual-aid equipment and a movie projector. A bus was purchased to transport the children to Webberville from the Hornsby-Dunlap community in the same year. However the school still had no indoor plumbing or lunchroom facilities.

The Webberville School was integrated for a short period of time. However Webberville Schools were segregated by choice and by law. By the 1956-1957, school year, Webberville School became slowly integrated.


Sometime in the 1960s is when Webberville White School moved into the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church which housed Webberville Negro School. Webberville White School moved into a school building located southwest of the church. The schools were located on the same property once again. Another school building was built for Webberville Negro School housing grades 1 through 8. That other school building.

In 1967, the Webberville School and Webberville School District were consolidated into Del Valle Independent School District (Del Valle ISD). Due to racial integration and school district consolidation, the Webberville School closed down during the 1967-1968 school year.

Webberville Negro School (Webberville School) closed in 1967 ending as a two teacher school. The school was given back to Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. The Webberville Negro School building was a separate structure southwest of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church until after 1973. The original school building of Webberville Negro School was added to the church in 1973. The side-gabled wing of church building was the original school building of Webberville Negro School.


Webberville Negro School is located 1314 Weber Street, Manor, Texas, US 78653.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Parkland School history of Flint, Michigan forgotten.

Parkland School was an elementary school ran by the Flint Community Schools in Flint, Michigan from 1913 to 1976.

Parkland School (Parkland Elementary School) was built as a 16-classroom building at a cost of $70,000 in 1913. The building itself was a 3 story school building in 1913. The building included a basement at the bottom. Edwin Sterner Co. has secured the contract for heating in the Parkland School. Parkland School educated grades Pre-Kindergarden through 7. Thousands of children were educated at Parkland School.

During the 1950s is when Parkland School saw several upgrades and expansions. Many rooms were added on as additions. Parkland School was enlarged in 1952. An auditorium was added in 1954. A multipurpose room was added sometime during that time period.

Parkland School was the center of the Dewey neighborhood for more than 6 decades. Mothers were taught homemaking. Breakfast was served to needy children at this school. Pre-schoolers received education here. However the school would go into decline by the 1960’s. Enrollment declined.


Parkland School closed in 1976 due declining enrollment declined. Flint Community Schools superintendent decided to close the school without realizing the consequences for its neighborhood. (Ref: Handkerchief Quilt, Carol Crane, 2011)
(Ref: SCHOOL SITE SLATED FOR NEW LIFE, Flint Journal, February 4, 1997)

Parkland School was reportedly heavily vandalized in 1977. This was after it closed. $30,000 or more worth of damage was done to Parkland School. At that time, cost of demolition was estimated at $30,000 or more.
(Ref: Flint Journal, 1977)
(Ref: SCHOOL SITE SLATED FOR NEW LIFE, Flint Journal, February 4, 1997)


Flint real estate dealer Robert J. Horton bought both Parkland School and Clark School for $43,560. Mt. Hermon Baptist Church (dba Mt. Hermon Caring & Sharing Development Corp.) bought Parkland School and its adjoining three acres from Robert J. Horton in 1995.

By 1997, the Parkland School building was in deplorable conditions beyond saving. Rev. Kim D. Yarber stated, “The school is in such bad shape that it cannot be saved.” It is one of the oldest buildings in the Flint Community Schools school district.
(Ref: SCHOOL SITE SLATED FOR NEW LIFE, Flint Journal, February 4, 1997)

A fire at the former Parkland School on East Pasadena Avenue caused an estimated $2,000 in damage. The property was the future home of the Mount Hermon Baptist Church. 80% of Parkland School was demolished in later 1997. (Ref: Flint Journal, October 14, 1997)


Today Parkland School sits abandoned and vacant. Flint Community Schools has the building for sale and lease. Parkland School is one of the oldest school buildings in the Flint Community Schools school district along with Central High School, Whittier Academy, Oak School, Dort School, and Durant Elementary School.

Parkland School is located at 3407 North Street Flint, Michigan, US 48505.

History of Chapman Ranch School not forgotten revisited.

Chapman Ranch School was a school established for the community of Chapman Ranch, Texas located south of Corpus Christi, Texas. The school operated from 1912 to 1951. The community of Chapman, Texas operated 2 schools, an elementary school and a high school. The elementary school taught grades 1 through 6 and the high school taught grades 7 through 12. Chapman Ranch Elementary School was the elementary school and Chapman Ranch High School was the high school. There was no middle school or junior high.

Chapman Ranch School is one of the many forgotten schools of Corpus Christi, Texas along with Nueces County. Not many people know of this school or its whereabouts. This history of this school has been much forgotten overtime.


Chapman Ranch School was built as a three-room school building in 1912 to educate students in grades 1 through 6. Chapman Ranch School only taught grades 1 through 6. Middle school students/junior high school students, senior high school students, and high school students attended school in Corpus Christi.

By 1913, the school has a student population of 100. Christi Independent School District (Corpus Christi ISD) began overseeing Chapman Ranch School as a “county school” for which the school operated as prior to 1925. From 1912 to 1925 is when Nueces County Common School District operated Chapman Ranch School as a “county school” for Corpus Christi and Nueces County.


By 1920, the school had 200 students. However the school never reached a student population never reached 300 given the population size of Chapman Ranch. Eventually the school outgrew its facilities. During the mid-1920s, plans to construct two new school buildings were implemented. 

According to The Laws of Texas, 1921 [Volume 21], Texas State Board of Education (now TEA) established Santa Cruz Independent School District (Santa Cruz ISD) in the year of 1921. Chapman Ranch School was a part of Santa Cruz Independent School District (Santa Cruz Independent School District No. 6) before being consolidated into Corpus Christi Corpus Christi Independent School District (Corpus Christi ISD). Chapman Ranch School also had went under the name of Santa Cruz School. The school was also known as Santa Cruz School to Corpus Christi natives despite there already being an existing Santa Cruz School

Santa Cruz School was the “Mexican School” which was also known as Santa Cruz Mexican School where Hispanic students attended school. The school itself was segregated of course. Santa Cruz School Our school didn't have indoor plumbing like Chapman Ranch School did. Santa Cruz School was located next Chapman Ranch School.


A new school was built in 1925 which still stands today. The 1925 building had 3 rooms. Eleven teachers provided instruction for both elementary school students and high school students. In 1925, a second school building was built to educate high school students in grades 9 through 12. From 1925 to 1950 is when Chapman Ranch School operated as a 1-12 school.

In 1925, a second school building was built and it would become Chapman Ranch High School. High school students were educated here. The Chapman Ranch High School was rated as first class by the Texas Board of Education and had been granted full affiliation.

According to Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Texas Board of Education rated Chapman Ranch High School as a first class school. (Ref: Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Page 14, December 8, 1928)

In 1928, a total of 250 students attended schools in Santa Cruz ISD. 50 students registered in the high school, 125 in the elementary school, and 75 in the “Mexican School” (Santa Cruz Mexican School), thus a total of 250 students altogether. (Ref: Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Page 14, December 8, 1928)


School segregation was part of school life in Chapman Ranch. Only white students attended Chapman Ranch School. However Hispanic students began attending the school in the 1940s. 10% percent of the student population was Hispanic with Mexican ancestry. Many Hispanic students had families in Mexico.

In 1949, school officials for the Chapman Ranch School faced a health charge. Restrooms were deemed unsanitary by state officials from Texas State Board of Education (now TEA). Sanitation issues plagued the school during the 1940s as it did across many rural schools in the state of Texas, the West Coast, and across the Southern United States.


In 1950 during the 1950-1951 school year, Chapman School went from being a 1-12 to a 1-6 again for the first time in 25 years. Chapman Ranch School once again became a school where grades 1 through 6 were educated. Student population for Chapman Ranch School downsized due to Gilmer-Aiken Law which also allowed students in certain grades to transfer to neighboring school distorts if their own school district did not have a high school, senior high school, or a middle school/junior high school let alone a school that held secondary school classes.

Chapman Ranch School and the Santa Cruz Independent School District had been annexed by the city of Corpus Christi in 1951. The school continued to operate in 1951 despite being annexed by the city of Corpus Christi.

According to a news article from The Corpus Christi Caller-Times dating back to May 15, 1955, Chapman Ranch School operated three classrooms for grades 1 through 7. Each brick building contained 6 rooms. Both school buildings downsized from 6 rooms in each building to 3 rooms in each building. However The Corpus Christi Caller-Times perfectly starts Chapman Ranch School maintained only three classrooms. 135 students in grades 1 through 7 attended Chapman Ranch School in 1955.

The 1st grade was the only grade in which one teacher was assigned exclusively to educate. Grades 2, 3, and 4 were housed in a second room and grades 5, 6, and 7 were housed in a third room. Paul Cohn was the teacher for grades 5 through 7. (Ref: The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Page 21, May 15, 1955)

So sometime during the 1950s is when Chapman Ranch School went from being a 1-6 school to a one 1-7 school. Later on during the 1950s is when Chapman Ranch School became a 1-7 school. High school students no longer attended Chapman Ranch School. High school students attended school in Corpus Christi. School stopped after 7th grade. 8th grade was added back in 1956. However that lasted until 1960.

Paul Cohn was superintendent of Chapman Ranch School (head man) and teacher as well during the 1950s. His job was to teach students who came from 100% percent Spanish speaking families. He believed in developing a sense of responsibility in children. Paul Cohn said, “Somewhere along the line they have to stop being led and learn to do things for themselves,”

On Friday afternoons, upper grades devoted time to square dancing and interpretive dancing. Girls began typing lessons in the 5th grade. Boys learned how to perform industrial work in the 4th grade. Milk was 2 cents a gallon. All grades worked on skits.

Chapman Ranch owners began remodeling the Chapman Ranch School and Santa Cruz School after desegregation. Santa Cruz School got indoor plumbing and a gym. Santa Cruz School closed in 1978.


In 1975, H.A. George became superintendent of the Santa Cruz Independent School District in the community of Chapman Ranch. He was the only male member on a six-person teaching staff. Most teachers were primarily female. Chapman Ranch School had 100 students attending classes.

According to a news article from Abilene Reporter-News dating back to December 10, 1977, a threat to cut off federal funds to three tiny South Texas school districts was made by the US Department of Education. Santa Cruz ISD gets 90 percent of its annual $130,000 budget from local taxes. The other 10 percent comes from the state. (Ref: Abilene Reporter-News, Page 21, December 10, 1977)

Chapman Ranch School and Santa Cruz ISD were consolidated into Corpus Christi Independent School District (Corpus Christi ISD) in 1981 and ceased operating. Chapman Ranch School closed in 1981. Chapman Ranch School had been closed down due to Gilmer-Aikin Law that had consolidated smaller school districts into neighboring larger school districts. Other reasons why this school was closed is due to lack of enrollment and increasing maintenance costs. Those are the many reasons why rural public schools in Texas close down.

At one point in 1982, Chapman Ranch School became a church. Various church services were held in the school buildings before they became abandoned in 2010.

Chapman Ranch School is located at 1046 CR 8B, Chapman Ranch, Texas, US 78347.