Dear Old Golden Rule Days: The Ward Schools (Part 2)

In Part 2 we look at the First, Second, and Third Ward schools (see Part 1).

The First and Second Wards were located to the east and southward and to the west and southward, respectively, of the courthouse. The original First Ward and Second Ward schools, built in 1883, were eight-room wooden buildings that were almost identical in construction.

The First Ward School/School No. 1/Crockett School was located on East 2nd Street at Crump Street in northeast downtown. That site is now two single-family houses just east of the railroad tracks. (Photo from FWISD Billy W. Sills Center for Archives.)

The first school in the Second Ward was located on Belknap Street at Lamar Street where the Radio Shack campus is today. (Photo from FWISD Billy W. Sills Center for Archives.)

But in 1910 a replacement Second Ward School was built on 2nd Street at Florence Street on the homestead of John Peter Smith, who had died in 1901.

This handsome school building, with its crenellated towers, was named for Smith. It was torn down in 1970; the site is now a parking lot. Note the round concrete water fountain on the playground. (Photo from FWISD Billy W. Sills Center for Archives.)

The Third Ward School also opened in 1883.

The Third Ward was the southeast quadrant of town and included much of Hell’s Half Acre. The school was located at East 19th and Gay streets, just northeast of where I-35 and I-30 intersect today. (Photo from FWISD Billy W. Sills Center for Archives.)

ward reagan in town 1903The Third Ward School was also called the “Reagan School,” probably in honor of John H. Reagan, who was a U.S. senator from Texas and postmaster general of the Confederacy. This 1903 clip says Reagan was the last surviving member of Jefferson Davis’s cabinet.

reagan wikiJohn H. Reagan is second from the right in this sketch of Davis (center) and his cabinet. (Photo from Wikipedia.)

The history of the Third Ward is complicated because that ward, during the era of segregation, was the first ward to have schools for white students and schools for African-American students. The Third Ward included Fort Worth’s African-American “downtown.” At first African-American students had been taught in African-American churches. But as these Fort Worth Gazette and Fort Worth Register clips show (top to bottom), by 1883 Fort Worth had built a “colored school house”; by 1884 Principal Isaiah Milligan Terrell (1859-1931) and his wife Marcelite, a music teacher, were at School No. 6 in the Third Ward; by 1901 Fort Worth had designated a high school for African-Americans; and in 1902 the school was located on East 9th Street (at Pecan Street, across the railroad tracks from today’s Intermodal Transportation Center).

This is Principal Terrell’s school on East 9th at Pecan Street for grades one through eleven.

By 1910 the Reagan School building on East 19th Street had been converted from a school for white students to a school for African-American students. (Photo from FWISD Billy W. Sills Center for Archives.)

Also in the Third Ward on East 13th Street is this building, built in 1909 as the “Colored High School.” In 1921 it was renamed for I. M. Terrell, who had been its principal. The building, much expanded, now houses the Fort Worth Housing Authority.

I.M._Terrell_High_School,_1921Here is the original building in 1921. (Photo from Tarrant County College NE, Heritage Room.)

This Third Ward school building (1910) originally was named for Texas legislator Andrew J. Chambers and began service as a school for white students. But in 1931 the Chambers building was designated for African-American students and renamed “East Eighteenth Street Colored School No. K.” In 1936 I. M. Terrell High School, having outgrown the East 13th Street building, moved a few blocks south to the Chambers/No. K building. After major additions the 1910 building constitutes a small part of the total facility. It is now home of I. M. Terrell Elementary School.

(When she retired in 1997 Major General Marcelite Jordan Harris, great-granddaughter of I. M. and Marcelite Terrell, was the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Air Force.)

By 1907, as this clip shows, the original three wooden schoolhouses of the First, Second, and Third Wards were in bad condition, and the Telegram said a new ward and new school were needed near Jennings and Terrell streets as the population expanded to the south.

Sure enough, by 1909 Fort Worth had an Eleventh Ward, and the Eleventh Ward/Alexander Hogg School was at that location. Alexander Hogg (1830-1911) was Fort Worth’s first permanent superintendent of schools, serving sixteen years. The Hogg School building, still handsome, now houses apartments.

The Hogg school, like the second Fort Worth High School (1911) around the corner on Jennings Avenue, was built on land that had been part of the homestead of B. B. Paddock. (D. H. Swartz photo from University of Texas at Arlington Library.)

Dear Old Golden Rule Days: The Ward Schools (Part 3)

Posts About Education in Fort Worth

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19 Responses to Dear Old Golden Rule Days: The Ward Schools (Part 2)

  1. beverley Nelms says:

    I love this Wished we had a copy

    • hometown says:

      Thanks, Beverly. Most browsers offer a way to save a webpage as a pdf file–a snapshot of the page.
      For example, in Google Chrome:
      On the toolbar click on the icon that is three vertical dots (Customize and control Google Chrome).
      Click on “print.”
      Click on “save as PDF.”

  2. John Threet says:

    My dad, William H. Threet, Jr., was the principal at Hoog (or #11 as he called it) from 1958-1967. My sister, brother, and I began helping him there in the summers with textbook inventory and moving teachers’ classroom supplies starting at a pretty young age. Our reward was to go get a hamburger for lunch nearby.

  3. Shelia Parks says:

    I went to school at Hogg 1-3 grade, 1962-1965. My parents were managers of the apt building closest to Parker hi school and I learned to roller skate on the track at Parker!!!

  4. John Threet says:

    My dad, William H. Threet, Jr., was the last principal of Alexander Hogg Elementary. He became principal in 1958 and the school closed sometime around 1968. It was a neat building with a sub-basement containing an apartment for the head custodian. As children, my older sister, younger brother, and I spent many days helping dad with textbooks and moving supplies around in the summers. The playground was a hardtop one behind the school and adjacent to Parker. There was a narrow street between Parker and Hogg that was owned by the Ft. Worth schools. Hogg had an athletic field behind it with a gym across the street from Hogg’s building. One photo of another school shows a round concrete outdoor water fountain. Hogg had one of those behind it. There was a small play area immediately behind the school and concrete stairs leading down to the main hardtop area.

    I am now a principal in Houston at a fairly new school compared to Hogg. It was built in 1925!

    • hometown says:

      I have a photo of the Austin water fountain at Belly Up to the Bombproof Fountain.

    • Lancia says:

      Oh wow! I went to Alexander Hogg from 1st through half of 6th grade and I remember Mr. Threet. I remember he had surgery to remove part of his stomach, at least, that’s what we were told. I always liked him. I worked in the office sometimes because I was a “Courtesy Girl.” 🙂

  5. Judi Rodriguez says:

    I have been, for the longest time, researching the reference of schools as wards. I luckly found your articles and was impressed with it besides that it gave me an explanation that I needed. The 2nd part of the article is outstanding and so
    historically documented. You should be commended! Job well done and has given me
    some ideas about my research project on our
    school district in Brownsville. Thank you.

    • hometown says:

      Judi, glad to help. Fort Worth’s ward schools were always a big mystery to me until I decided to sort it all out.

  6. Ron Townsend says:

    Is there a way to find public records of the teachers names ? I had a Ms. Bryan for 2nd grade but don’t know her first name.I’d love to find out if she is still alive. long shot ….

    • hometown says:

      Ron, I expect that the school district is the best place to start. But the district probably won’t give you any personal information about a former employee. Good luck. It’s natural to want to know about those teachers who were important to us. I am lucky enough to have the obituary of one and to still be in touch with the other.

  7. Kent Couch says:

    My father lived in #11 Hogg Elementary School from 1929 until married in 1949. My grandparents (M/M Dewey Louis Couch) continued living in a basement apartment of the school until he retired in the 1960’s. My grandfather was the school janitor. During the depression it was warm in the winter and the basement apartment was cool in the summer. There were always leftovers to eat from the cafeteria. As a child I remember family holiday gatherings in the big basement hallway and having the run of a three story building. The boys room next door to the apartment had a private entrance to the apartment. There was always a spare toilet!
    Times have definitely changed. The FWISD was willing then to turn a blind eye in support of a faithful employee. Both my father and uncle later became FWISD school administrators.

  8. Eric says:

    Oh school of Alexander Hogg
    We challenge you to lead in all
    May glory shine where ere your name
    Is mentioned with the schools of fame
    Your children strive with all their might
    To hate the wrong and love the right
    Oh school of Alexander Hogg
    We challenge you to lead in all
    ________________________________

    Lyrics of Oh School of Alexander Hogg remembered by my sister. Our dad was principal of Hogg and Austin at the same time.

    • hometown says:

      Thanks for adding that, Eric. If my elementary school, D. McRae, had a song I don’t recall it. Hogg is a beautiful building, as is neighboring Parker. Glad they have been preserved.

    • Kent Couch says:

      Eric… Review my post below of August 27, 2014. Do you recall a janitor named Dewey Couch who lived in the basement of the Hogg school? He was my grandfather.

    • Ron Townsend says:

      I also recall going outside every day that the weather permitted to say the pledge of allegiance as the flag was raised and also “singing” this very song.

  9. Gus says:

    Great job getting this together and shared. Thanks.

    • hometown says:

      You’re welcome, Gus. Ward schools had been a total mystery to me before I decided to study up on them.

    • Ron Townsend says:

      I attended school at Alexander Hogg in the late 50’s. 2nd grade was with Ms. Bryan (sp?) who I had a crush on , 🙂 , and the third grade with Ms. Foster. To this day I can see the rooms and could still walk straight to where they were. I was in Fort Worth a couple of years ago and was hoping to go in but learned it was no longer a school. Sad.

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