Academy of Our Lady of Victory: “Intellect, Heart and Taste”

By 1908 St. Ignatius Academy on Throckmorton Street was overcrowded.

So, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur bought fifteen acres of the Shaw brothers dairy at the end of the Hemphill Street streetcar line on the south edge of town. The Shaw brothers, with George C. Clarke, had just begun developing part of the Shaw dairy. (In this 1895 county map detail the dairy was well outside the city limit, but by 1908 it was just inside the city.)

olv corner stoneGround was broken for the new academy on March 25, 1909, the cornerstone was laid August 5, and the school for girls—in a grand Gothic revival (red pressed brick with white stone trim) building designed by Sanguinet and Staats—opened September 12, 1910. Clip is from the August 6, 1909 Star-Telegram.

olv almost done 4-29-10 stClip is from the April 29, 1910 Star-Telegram.

The academy, the Star-Telegram wrote on August 7, 1910, is “most pleasantly situated on an eminence in South Fort Worth, and is easy of access to the center of the city by the Hemphill electric car, passing the academy every fifteen minutes.”

Added the Star-Telegram: “The class rooms, music rooms, study hall, dormitories, recreation and dining halls, the long and cheerful corridors are all arranged with a view to health, comfort and convenience and a corresponding vigilance on the part of the sisters for the cultivation of intellect, heart and taste. . . . The academy offers to the graduate who has attained the highest average in all academic branches a $250 scholarship of one year at St. Joseph’s Academy, Lockport, N.Y., where the young lady may at her option follow one or the other of the following courses: Music, art, languages, commercial.”

olv graduation 6-10-11 stOn June 9, 1911 OLV held its first graduation exercise. Miss Katherine Lehane probably was a member of the pioneer Samuels Avenue family. Clip is from the June 10 Star-Telegram.

olv 1914From the 1914 city directory. Note the Rosedale phone exchange.

This aerial photo shows that OLV was largely self-sustaining, with a well and water tank, orchard, garden. One small outbuilding may be a laundry or powerhouse. (Photo from the Shaw family collections of Doug Sutherland and Billy Joe Gabriel.)

Today the 1910 OLV building houses Victory Arts Center, a residence for the creative community.

Some views of the Academy of Our Lady of Victory:

building olv 1look up olv 1

look up olv 1909entry olv 3

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13 Responses to Academy of Our Lady of Victory: “Intellect, Heart and Taste”

  1. kevin Foster says:

    A FWPD “Special Officer” roster from 1910 lists all the Special Officers authorized by the Police Department. Fr. Robert Nolan was an officer for St. Patrick’s downtown while “William Watkins” is listed as a special officer for the “Convent – Hemphill Street”. My best guess is that he was also a priest, just like Nolan.

    • hometown says:

      Well, I’ll be. In the 1970s that woulda been a TV series by Quinn Martin starring Michael Douglas as the priest/special officer and Buddy Ebsen as his parishioner/informant. Just finished a piece on the 1909 July Fourth “riot” at Lake Como. There were two special officers out there when the free-for-all began. They phoned downtown for reinforcements.

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