Raynal Elementary School ~
Elementary School was built in 1891 at 500 E. Morton. In 1923 the
original building was torn down and a new facility (seen below)
replaced it. Justin RaynalThe
school was named after Frenchman, Justin Raynal, whose generosity
benefited Dension and his namesake school, as well as the entire
Denison school district. Raynall came to Denison was the city was
just beginning. He built a two-story wooden hotel, the Grand
Southern, at the corner of Main and Austin in 1873. This
establishment included a saloon, a restaurant, also called "The Grand
Southern." However, the hotel was destroyed by fire in the early
Raynall was a bachelor who did all he could to advocate
for education for children and did all he could do to benefit Denison
school children. Elected in 1877 as City Councilman for the
fourth ward, he was in a position to do more for the children in town.
his death, his entire estate was left to the Denison public school
system to be used for the betterment of Denison. He also willed
the school system his property at 202 E. Main St. A monument with
only "Raynal" on it was erected by the Denison PTAs about 1910 in his
honor. The monument was destroyed when a motorist struck it.
1923 - 1924
Raynal PTA was organized on Mother's Day 1924, during the
administration of Principal Anna Moss. Mrs. Harry K. Steele was
president 1925 - 1928; her successors were Mrs. C.B. Carroll and Mrs.
W.E. Matthews. Some of their early projects were :
curtains for the auditorium
a phonograph for the children
milk for needy children
accomplishments were the sponsorship of a school lunch program, as well
as the purchase of a piano for the school auditorium.
1925 - 1926
Three sisters: Mary, Venita, and Wilma Carroll
Venita & Wilma were teachers at Raynal Elementary
Elementary had a Mother's Club, as well as a Dad's Club that provided
playground equipment, fans and water coolers. In 1957 the Dad's
Club presented presented a television to the school, the first in
Denison. One of Raynal's
distinction was having bachelor, Russell Giarraputo, as President of
the PTA for two terms and President of the Dad's Club.
A combination of 5th and 6th graders
Brenda Duckett Larivee
1974 the school had a traveling cook, Imogene Forguson, and her
assistant, Rosalee Sheffield, who prepared meals at Lamar after it
reopened two years after the fire of 1974.
In 1988 The Herald Democrat
published an article about a former Raynal teacher, Verna McClure
McDonald, creating a book of remembrances from her teaching years.
Asking former students to send her remembrances, she received
over 100. Mrs. McDonald envisioned the book about 2nd graders,
whom she had taught 1947 - 1966. In 1988 she was transferred in
the middle of the year to the high school when it was learned that she
was an English major and a high school teacher had resigned; she taught
a the high school 1966 - 1972. In 1972, she was moved to Lamar
Elementary for a few months, until the school burned and she took her
students back to her home school, Raynal, to finish out the school
year. In the late 1980s Mrs. McDonald wrote a short weekly
column, which appeard in The Denison Herald, titled "Know Your P's
& Q's, which in essence was was a mini English lesson. Her
book, titled "Our Stories, Pencils, Crayons and Marbles" was a keepsake
for her family and former students.
A description of the school in its later years is :
1st & 2nd grades ~ bottom floor
3rd grade ~ second floor, west end
4th grade ~ second floor, east end
Elementary School was closed in 1975 and the doors were locked.
About 170 students were transferred to Lamar Elementary.
Photographs and information from :
Mavis Anne Bryant
Denison Alumni Association
Elaine Nall Bay
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