George Washington Carver School (Colored) - Bracketville, TX
There is not much available information about the colored school in Brackettville before the organization of the Independent District in 1907. It is known, however, that the first school house was the present Hill Church just one block off the Del Rio Highway and that is was used for several years after 1907. Andrew Phillips taught there during the 1907-1908 and 1908-1909 sessions.
The Maddux home and acreage on Las Moras Slough were bought in 1919 for five hundred dollars and two teachers were employed thereafter. This was a two story limestone structure about twenty feet by forty feet. The lower story was used for class rooms. The upper story was leased to the colored Masonic Lodge until 1923, when it was needed for high school classes. A windmill and tank on the grounds supplied water. The Maddux home had originally been built about 1870 for a brewery and served as such for years. The Vincents, and more recently, the Madduxes had owned the property and had resided there. In August, 1930 the old Maddux Home was condemned as unfit and unsafe for school purposes, and a three-room frame structure was built near by. The contractor, Joe Ford of Del Rio, was paid $1659.00 for labor. In 1941 this building was partially destroyed by fire and the old Filippone Store was leased for school purposes until 1944. Also the top story of the old Maddux home was torn down and the lower floor was remodeled and redecorated inside and stuccoed on the outside. The three elementary grades had classes in the Filippone store and two high school teachers taught in the remodeled home.
Today the Negroes of Brackettville boast of a good school plant, consisting of two buildings on the old two acre, well-shaded campus on the Las Moras Slough. The brick building, a federal project, was completed in April, 1944 during the time the Second Division of the U. S. Cavalry (Colored) was stationed at Ft. Clark. It is modern in every way, with the latest and best lighting, sewerage, and seating equipment known to school authorities, even to panic hardware on all exits. This building is used for high school classes and auditorium. A separate rock building, the remodeled lower story of the former Maddux home, provides class- rooms for the primary and elementary grades. Like the brick building, it has its own rest rooms and sanitary drinking fountains. Two good basket ball courts are provided outside, with ample room left for baseball and for less strenuous games. Sidewalks lead to the streets. Large oak and pecan trees make the grounds attractive, but shrubbery should be planted next to the buildings.
The school was officially classified as a four year high school by the State Department of Education in December, 1945 and is the only school between San Antonio and El Paso having this distinction. At the time of its accredation it was named George Washington Carver School.
There are still five teachers (1946-1947). L. R. Edmerson, an A. B. graduate of Samuel Huston College, Austin, Texas, is principal and teacher of Spanish and science. Mrs. Fannie Mae Edmerson (his wife), who is an A. B. graduate of Samuel Huston College, Austin, Texas, and has done post-graduate work at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado, teaches mathematics and literature in high school and art and handicraft in all grades. Dorothy B. Wilson has an A. B. degree from Samuel Huston College and is doing graduate work at Prairie View University, Prairie View, Texas. She teaches the seventh and eighth grades and all physical education classes. Miss Charles E. Wilson has a B. S. degree from Tillotson College, Austin, Texas, and has donegraduate work at Prairie View. She teaches the fourth and fifth grades and is director of choral singing. Mr. Willie Smith has been a special student in music at Samuel Huston College. He teaches grades one through three, public school music in all the grades, and coaches high school basket ball.
The faculty is engaged in the activities designed to serve the negro youth of Brackettville in their greatest needs and to equip them for earning a respectable living and for living a respectable life, to make them useful citizens capable of thinking and acting for themselves.
The school acts as a community center for the students and parents, as most of their social and religious activities are held on its spacious campus. The special features of the school are (1) the Christmas Pageant, which is presented by the Elementary department one year and the High School the next, and (2) a May Day Celebration in which the entire student body participates. This is a "gala" affair, which both local and adjoining communities anticipate with enthusiasm.
The colored population of Brackettville is indeed fortunate in having its school plant and teachers.
SOURCE: Kinney County 1852-1977. Published by the Members of the Kinney County Historical Commission (of 1976-1977)