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By L. T. Taylor



Writing the history of the Deutschburg School is rather a difficult task as it is hard to run all records for twenty-four years and be accurate in all information. All the facts stated here are as accurate as we possibly could trace them.


Historic Background

The Deutschburg School District was one inhabited by the fierce, cannibalistic Karankawa Indians, who roamed the country and made war upon all human beings for the pleasure of murder and war. They were considerable enemies to all mankind. They were the lowest of all American Indians in intelligence and civilization.


Once on the prairies of Deutschburg countless wild buffaloes and dear roamed at will. White settlers drove out the savages. They were Torch bearers to civilization and Christianity.


Jackson County was organized in 1837. Several years following this date there were no free public schools in the county. They were all private schools. Finally the free school system was established in Texas. The Commissioners Court established four School districts, each containing about one-fourth of the county.


The Beulah School District No. 2 now known as the La Ward Independent School District once included about one-fourth of Jackson County. It included all the territory of Lolita, Red Bluff, Rich Square, Francitas, B. F. Ward, Carancahua and Deutschburg common school districts. The Francitas School District No. 13 was carved out of Beulah District which included the territory of the Deutschburg School.


After the Deutschburg settlement was made the citizens presented a petition to the Commissioners Court asking for the establishing of a school district to be known as the Deutschburg School District. Judge J. W. Bagby was the County ex-officio County Superintendent at this time and he had Deutschburg School District No. 20 carved out of the Francitas School District No. 13. The Deutschburg School was established in 1912 by the order of the Commissioners Court.


Establishing School

Mrs. Chas. Thatcher has the honor of proposing the establishment of the first public school for Deutschburg. She was a refined, cultured lady that knew the value of an education and had the children's welfare at heart. She had the sympathy and co-operation of our most esteemed ex-County Judge J. W. Bagby ex-officio County Superintendent at this time.


First Year--1912-1913

The School was located one mile north of the present site. The land was given for the school through the influence of Dr. H. Gerhard as a part of a contract he had with the Valley Fruit Farm and Garden Company. A small school house was built and school opened in 1912 for its first time. The first trustees were Chas. Thatcher, John Evers and Chris. Hansen. School opened with the enrollment of twenty-four pupils. Miss Gwinn has the honor of being the first teacher, but illness in her family caused her to resign and the term was finished by Miss Bessie Meadows.


Second-Sixth Year--1913-1918

The trustees in their wisdom chose a very fine man and teacher to teach their school. He was Mr. Jim Harbison. The writer had the pleasure of knowing him for a number years. The trustees were very fortunate in securing his services. The trustees during the period of five years were E. Johs, Fred Schmidt, Dick Schmidt, John Egger and Erwin Gerhard.


Seventh Year--1918-1919

There was a change in teacher. Mr. Carl Fulbright was elected teacher. The trustees were Erwin Gerhard, E. Johs and Fred Schmidt.


Eighth Year--1919-1920

Mr. John Dishroom was elected for this term. The trustees were Fred Schmidt, E. Johs and Erwin Gerhard.


Ninth-Twelfth Year--1920-1924

Mr. Jim Harbison was elected again for the sixth time and remained in the school for four years. During these four years Gus Kunover, Fred Schmidt, E. Johs and Jim Moore served on the school board.


Thirteenth Year--1924-1925

The enrollment had increased until the trustees were forced to have two teachers. Mrs. Harry Best and Miss Gaston were elected teachers for this term. The trustees were E. Johs, Gus Kunover and Jim Moore.


Fourteenth Year--1925-1926

Mrs. Harry Best was re-elected and Miss Mary Drake was elected as assistant teacher. The trustees were Jim Moore, E. Johs and Gus Kunover.


Fifteenth Year--1926-1927

Miss Jane Elder and Miss Starr were elected as teachers for this term. The trustees were E. Johs, Mrs. Harry Best and Jim Moore.


Sixteenth Year--1927-1928

Miss Starr and Ruby Chamblee were selected as teachers for this term. Trustees were Mrs. Harry Best, E. Johs and Mr. Hart.


Seventeenth Year--1928-1929

Miss Elsie Luben was elected teacher this term. The trustees were E. Johs, M. Hart and Mrs. Harry Best.


Eighteenth Year--1929-1930

Miss Agda Marie Nelson was selected as the teacher for this year and she was assisted by Miss Inez Frazier. The enrollment was twenty-two children. The trustees were E. Johs, C. J. Cavallin and Paul Gerhard.


Nineteenth Year--1930-1931

Deutschburg citizens were progressive and had a real school spirit. They presented a petition to the Commissioners Court asking for a bond election to erect a new school building. The election was held August 15, 1930. The bonds numbered 1 to 20 for the denomination of $150 each, total voted $3000.00, interest at 5% payable annually April 15th. One bond of $150 denomination due April 15 each year from 1931 to 1950. The trustees erected the beautiful school building that they now have from the bond issue. The old school building was made into a teacherage.


Elsworth Claxton and Miss Mary Lou Pearce were elected teachers for this term. The enrollment had increased to thirty-nine. The trustees were Paul Gerhard, C. J. Cavallin and E. Johs.


Twentieth Year--1931-1932

Mary Lou Pearce and Aileen Howell were elected the teachers for the term. The enrollment was thirty-four. Trustees were Paul Gerhard, E. Johs and Fred Schmidt.


Twenty-First Year--1932-1933

Mary Pierce and Aileen Howell were re-elected and they had the enrollment of thirty-six. The trustees were Paul Gerhard, E. Johs and Fred Schmidt.


Twenty-Second Year--1933-1934

Miss Mary Pearce and Aileen Howell were re-elected. They had an enrollment of thirty-one children. Trustees were Fred Schmidt, John Rampmeier and Mr. J. V. Brocker. Miss Pearce was the first to organize the famous Deutschburg Rhythm Band and won first place at County Meet.


Twenty-Third Year--1934-1935

Mary Elizabeth Reid Bell was elected as the Principal for this term. Miss Howell remained as assistant teacher. The enrollment was twenty-two pupils. This school began to make history this year under the able leadership of Mrs. Bell. In the Interscholastic League they won first place in Senior Spelling. Martha Gerhard and Henry Johs made the team. Martha's paper was perfect. Mrs. Bell taught the Rhythm Band and it won first place at the County Meet. They won first place in the Junior Spelling. Emma Gerhard and Jerome Vrana made the team. The Rural Senior Girls' Declamation was won by Martha Gerhard who was directed by Miss Howell. Martha Gerhard won second place in Essay.


The Deutschburg school had three pupils in the County Wide Seventh Grade Graduation. Exercises on April 29, 1935. The pupils were Alice Johs, Emma Gerhard and Herbert Stark. Emma Gerhard made the highest grades in Jackson County and was the valedictorian of the class. Mrs. Bell had the honor of presenting the class at the County-Wide Graduation Exercises.


The trustees were John Rampmeier, Fred Schmidt and J. V. Brocker.


Twenty-Fourth Year--1935-1936

Mary Elizabeth Reid Bell was re-elected and the trustees cut the school to a one-teacher school because the enrollment was small. This year the enrollment was sixteen. This was one of the greatest and outstanding school years in the history of Deutschburg School.


The school entered the Jackson County Educational Centennial and won enough honors to be classed as the outstanding one teacher rural school in the County. Their famous rhythm band presented "Texas Under Six Flags" which was one of the best renditions the write has ever seen given by youngsters from any school. They easily took first place. They won first place in School Yard Beautification and first place in school exhibit. They were presented a banner for all three of the above first places. They also won first place in Art Exhibit, second place in Nature Exhibit and third place in School Room Beautification.


They had four pupils in the County Wide Graduation May 11, 1936. The pupils were Frank Johs, Jerome Vrana, Dorothy Gillaspie and Ivan Cavallin. The honored pupils were Frank Johs and Jerome Vrana.


Mrs. Bell was re-elected for the term of 1936-1937 and we are looking forward for greater things from the Deutschburg School for the ensuing year. The trustees were John Rampmeier, Fred Schmidt and J. V. Brocker.


Deutschburg Centennial

Mrs. Bell sponsored the Deutschburg Centennial as a part of the school program. It was a grand success in every way. It consisted of exhibits of antiques, commercial exhibits, horse racing, foot racing, health examination for children, public speaking, school program, a free barbecue and a dance. Mrs. Bell raised $100 on this program for the purpose of taking the Deutschburg children to the Texas Centennial at Dallas. There were about 400 people at this program from fifteen towns.


Mary Elizabeth Reid Bell and Adrian Reid

The History of Deutschburg School would not be complete without special mention of Mrs. Bell. She has worked hard for the best interest of the school and community. She is public spirited, school minded, progressive, cultured, highly educated, and a natural born leader. Whatever she undertakes, she does well and she has become one of the outstanding teachers of Jackson County. Through her leadership the Deutschburg School has made an illustrious history the past two years that is not equaled by any school of its size in the State of Texas and it is a record that all the citizens of Jackson County are proud of. Mrs. Bell has endeared herself to the hearts of the patrons and pupils. Her work at Deutschburg will be a living monument to her greatness and accomplishment for generations to come.


During the past year Adrian Reid of Boling lived with his aunt, Mrs. Bell, and attended his first school in Deutschburg. Adrian's work was excellent. He was admired at the Centennial Fair in Edna for his interpretation of the Minuet Dance.




Copyright 2007 - Present by Family of Mary Elizabeth Reid Bell
All rights reserved

May 4, 2007
May 4, 2007