School Names From A (“Alice”) to Z (“Zandt”)

Ever wondered for whom this or that Fort Worth school was named? Here are a few.

Elementary Schools

Alice Elliston Carlson in 1921 was the first woman elected to serve on the school board. Mrs. Carlson died in 1927. Her eponymous school opened later that year.

George Carson Clarke was a school board president, parks department superintendent, and South Side developer.

Lily B. Clayton died in 1942 after teaching in Fort Worth schools for fifty years.

Ephraim Merrell Daggett, born in Canada in 1810, was an early civic leader. In 1856 Daggett used his influence as a former state legislator to help secure Fort Worth’s selection as county seat. Twenty years later he was instrumental in bringing the railroad to town.

Samuel Selkirk Dillow was a grocer, banker, real estate developer, and president of the Polytechnic school board.

Merida Green Ellis was a North Side developer and civic leader.

Dr. Hugh V. Helbing was a member of the school board from 1932 to 1947. During his half-century as a physician he helped fill a few classrooms: He delivered almost five thousand babies. He was medical director of Elmwood Sanitarium for Tuberculosis.

Duncan McRae was chairman of the county board of school trustees and superintendent of instruction for county schools.

Milton Harvey Moore was superintendent of Fort Worth schools for sixteen years.

Hardware wholesaler Charles Edgar Nash was a school board member.

Adlai McMillan Pate Sr. was president of the Panther Grease Manufacturing Corporation (renamed “Texas Refinery Corporation”) and a prominent philanthropist.

Carroll Peak was Fort Worth’s first physician and a leader in the campaign to establish free schools in Fort Worth in 1877.

Sam Rosen was a North Side developer and civic leader. He owned White City trolley park.

Isaac Van Zandt was Republic of Texas President Sam Houston’s chargé d’affaires in Washington, D.C. and instrumental in the annexation of Texas in 1845. He was the father of Fort Worth civic leader Khleber Miller Van Zandt.

James E. Guinn for eighteen years was principal of South Side Colored School.

Confederate Major James Madison Handley owned a plantation where the community of Handley would develop upon arrival of the railroad in 1876.

John T. White was county superintendent of schools. A community grew up around the school named for him. That school is on John T. White Road.

Early in the twentieth century Tarrant County had many small school districts. One of them was South Fort Worth Common School District. In 1913 that district bought land west of Hemphill Street from the Interurban Land Company and in 1914 opened South Fort Worth School on West Fogg Street at Lipscomb Street. In 1922 the city of Fort Worth annexed the area of South Fort Worth school district. In 1925 the school became Fort Worth’s South Fort Worth Elementary School. In 1997 the school was renamed for Richard J. Wilson upon his retirement as principal for twelve years. During his forty-four years as an educator Wilson also had taught at North Side High School and served as the district’s director of secondary education.

Middle Schools

James Benbrook, born in Indiana in 1831, fought for the Union Army during the Civil War. He moved to the Miranda community in southwest Tarrant County in 1876. That year the Texas & Pacific railroad reached Fort Worth, and Benbrook persuaded the railroad to build a depot on Mary’s Creek at Miranda when the railroad resumed laying track west. The depot was built in May 1880 and named “Benbrook Station.” Eventually the Miranda community, too, came to be called “Benbrook.”

John Peyton Elder, superintendent of the Swift packing plant, was a school board member and city councilman.

William James was a tanner and saddle maker who helped organize the Polytechnic school district in 1906. James was one of the most prominent Masons in Texas.

Leonard Middle School is named for the Leonard brothers.

William Pickney McLean Junior High School opened in 1936, named for the Texas district judge and congressman who had died in 1925. (Tarrant County Attorney Jefferson Davis McLean was his son.) The school was located at the corner of Forest Park Boulevard and West Berry Street.

In the great school shuffle of 1955, Paschal High School, then on Cannon Street, moved to the McLean building, the McLean school moved to a new building on Stadium Drive, and Technical High School moved into the Paschal building on Cannon Street.

In 1969 the junior high was renamed “McLean Middle School.”

William Alfred Meacham was assistant superintendent of Fort Worth schools for twenty-nine years. He had been principal of Poly High School and J. P. Elder Junior High School.

William Monnig was a merchant and civic leader.

Fort Worth’s “Rosemont” place names (park and schools) can be traced to Rosie Steele, who came to Fort Worth in 1873 in a covered wagon, owned sixty-eight acres north of the seminary for fifty-four years, and created a trust by which proceeds from sale of the land would be given to the city.

Wesley Capers Stripling was a merchant and civic leader. His eponymous school originally was a high school.

High Schools

Star-Telegram publisher Amon Carter, of course, was Fort Worth’s biggest civic booster during the first half of the twentieth century.

Civic leader James Jones Jarvis owned a lot of land in what became the Diamond Hill area.

Robert Lee Paschal was principal of Central High School for twenty-nine years. In 1935 the school was renamed for him.

In 1882 Isaiah Milligan Terrell was the first principal hired to supervise African-American students in the new public school system of segregated Fort Worth.

Green Berry Trimble was the school district’s director of vocational training and principal of Technical High School. After his retirement, the school was renamed “Green B. Trimble Technical High School.”

Oscar Dean Wyatt was principal of R. L. Paschal High School for twenty-one years. The school named for him opened in 1968.

Class Dismissed—Forever

These five buildings no longer house schools. From the top:

The building on Jennings Avenue that housed the second incarnation of Fort Worth High School became Parker Junior High School after the third Fort Worth High School opened on Cannon Street. Ernest Parker was a vice principal of the high school and the first principal of the junior high. The building today houses Homes of Parker Commons apartments.

Around the corner on West Terrell Street, the Alexander Hogg School building also houses Homes of Parker Commons apartments. When the school system was established in 1882, Alexander Hogg was the first superintendent.

The Stephen F. Austin/Sixth Ward School building on Lipscomb Street was named for the Texas colonizer. (At one time ward schools had two designations: ward number and the name of a figure from Texas history.) The building for years housed the headquarters of Williamson-Dickie and now houses a private school.

The R. L. Vickery Elementary School building was named for Glenwood developer Richard Vickery. The building has been vacant for years.

In Meadowbrook the Tandy Elementary School building now is part of Tandy Village Assisted Living. The school was named for Polytechnic civic leader George Tandy.

Posts About Education in Fort Worth

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2 Responses to School Names From A (“Alice”) to Z (“Zandt”)

  1. Dan Washmon says:

    Aerial perspective is great….Nearly every school has massive additions over time….D.McRae seems so large, but it’s all one floor compared to the three- and two-story buildings we knew….William James has a two-story addition to the back and still has the student gulag buildings which were never there (except the band hall) when we were there….

    • hometown says:

      Yeah, I have wondered if the district built such small schools because they cost less in the short term or because the district did not foresee growth. Most original buildings are dwarfed by their additions.

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