Definite information about all of the early schools for Chalybeate
(Hughes Springs) is not available. In 1858, Cass County Commissioners
Court appointed M. Dees and Allen Cox who were tow of the paying
patrons of D. L. Hendricks School No. 2, to collect pro rate
shares of payments from other patrons. That school probably served
some pupils from Chalybeate.
In 1876, records of the same court show that Mrs. M. L. Herbert
was paid forty dollars for teaching the Chalybeate School two
months that year. Students were David Driver, Joseph M. Driver,
Richard C. Herbert, Henry L Stephens, and Margaret Williams.
Patrons were James M. Driver, Young Stevens, R. L. Herbert, H.
D. McMillian, W. F. Martin, G. K. Williams.
In 1880, Robert Fletcher and his wife taught the school at Hughes
Springs. One hundred students attended and the old Methodist
church was used as a school building. It was a long, boxed structure
located on the same site as the Methodist church in 1951.
T. B. Price employed in 1889 to teach school at Hughes Springs
for a salary of one hundred dollars a month was one of the highest
salaried teachers in Cass County at the time.
About 1893 or 1894, the first public schoolhouse was erected
on McMillan property fifty yards east of the present city hall.
That school was a two-story building of 1 x 12 boards with Narrow
strips of lumber to keep out rain, wind, snow. It was roughly
finished inside and outside as were many other buildings of that
era. Seats were rough benches often hewn from split logs. Parents
were expected to furnish seats and books for their children.
Hughes Springs School System was incorporated for free school
purposed by an election December 15, 1902 held at Hughes Springs.
Seventy-four votes were cast in favor and sixteen against the
J. E. Koonce, superintendent; Maud Stewart and Eva Stratton were
teachers for the 1898-1899 session of school at Hughes Springs.
The old two story wooden school building was torn down after
a few years and replaced by a new brick structure. As population
increased, the first brick building was retained for a grade
school, and about 300 yards north of it a high school was erected.
Those tow buildings served school needs until 1941 when a new
high school was constructed, and the original high school was
used for grade school. In the meantime, a new elementary school
had been built a few yards from the first high school. Both new
buildings were needed for increased enrollment from additional
families coming to work at the Lone Star Steel Plant near Hughes
About 1963 the school board ordered construction of a new and
larger high school building. It is one of the most modern, spacious
attractive buildings in East Texas and staffed with an unusual
core of talented teachers.
Miss Lola Dees and Mr. James S. Townley supplied most information
about Hughes Springs Schools. Later we found the following article
in The Cass County Sun, Tuesday, July 23, 1901:
"The people of Hughes Springs are putting forth their industrial
energies in the field of education. They are now having the school
building thoroughly repaired for the fall term."
"The Board of Directors have chosen for Principal Prof.
Nelson, graduate o Peabody Normal; First and Second Assistants,
Miss Emma Frost and Mrs. Carrie Henderson, teachers of fine experience;
Music teacher, Miss Nora Ray who is in Dallas fitting herself
better for the position. She is a lady of several years experience."
Some of the Hughes Springs school principals and superintendents
included: Frank Price, Asberry Shelton, Sam and Henry Abernathy,
E. C. Nelson, Whit Campbell, Joe McClung, William Porter, G.
P. Parker, R. M. Hanes, Prof. Parker, and C. M. Williamson.
Article found in the vertical files of the Atlanta Public
Library. No author was listed.