Palacios Preparatory School
 


 


 

317 E Bay Boulevard

 

2842'9.17"N      9612'33.20"W

 

 

 

PALACIOS PREPARATORY SCHOOL

 

OPENED IN 1910, THE PALACIOS PREPARATORY SCHOOL WAS LOCATED AT THIS SITE, BEHIND THE FAMILY HOME OF ITS FOUNDER, MARTHA PEARL DICKSON MCGUIRE (1876-1962), AND HER FAMILY. MUSIC INSTRUCTION WAS GIVEN IN UPSTAIRS ROOMS OF THE HOME. IT WAS THE FIRST PALACIOS SCHOOL TO OFFER COURSES IN CULTURAL ARTS IN ADDITION TO ACADEMICS. STUDENTS PERFORMED TWICE A YEAR IN PUBLIC PROGRAMS. AS MANY AS SIXTY PUPILS WERE ENROLLED, AND PARENTS OFTEN TRADED LABOR ON SCHOOL PROJECTS FOR CHILDREN'S TUITION. THE SCHOOL CLOSED IN 1918, WHEN THE MCGUIRE FAMILY MOVED TO PALESTINE, TEXAS.

 

TEXAS SESQUICENTENNIAL 1836-1986



PALACIOS PREPARATORY SCHOOL

By Elizabeth Lee

 

The Palacios Preparatory School opened in September 1910, in a 1 1/2 story frame building located in back of the present three-story house at 317 East Bay Boulevard, Palacios, Texas, Matagorda County. The home was also used in conjunction with the school in that the music classes were conducted in the larger rooms. Originally, there were approximately ten students. Mrs. Martha Pearl McGuire saw the need for individual attention to the children that the public schools were unable to give.

           
This institution was founded by Mrs. Martha Pearl Dickson McGuire, born February 3, 1876 in Pine Level, Alabama, and moved to Texas in 1895. When twenty-five years of age, she married Joseph Eubank McGuire. Of the children born to this couple, five survived to adulthood. Mrs. McGuire died July 23, 1962 in Austin, Texas.

           
Mrs. McGuire graduated from the Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in voice and piano. She also had a teacher's certificate in French. Mrs. McGuire taught a Sunday School class and was a member of the choir at the Christian Church in Palacios. She taught private lessons in expression, the cornet and voice to a number of deserving young people. She was assisted through the years by other teachers, including Evie Dickson, Hazel Hall, Pearl Love, Regina Calvert, and Jane Savage. Emily Margerum assisted with the teaching of reading and spelling. Two public programs were presented each year--one in December and one in May. Costumes were an important item for these programs; frog suits, fairy and elf costumes, Santa Claus suits, etc. There was an annual Easter Egg Hunt and spring picnic, also. It is interesting to note that two of Mrs. McGuire's pupils were Abel Pierce and Allen Pierce, nephews of "Shanghai" Pierce. There were approximately forty students when the McGuire family moved from Palacios to Palestine, Texas in 1928. At that time, Palacios had a population of 1200.

           
It has been said that "Mrs. McGuire taught more for benefit of her own children and children of the community and for pleasure, than for profit. She was an excellent teacher." There still remain thirteen beautiful palm trees in front of the three-story home which were planted by Mrs. McGuire and a son.

           
The school building was originally designed to be used as a carriage house and barn. It was a 1 1/2 story frame structure with gables on all four sides. The interior was quite "unfinished," and consisted of a long room which was sometimes divided with a curtain to make two rooms. The large yard accommodated much playground equipment and game areas.  An artesian well drilled on the neighbor's adjoining lot, furnished the school with water instead of using city water. The music classes continued to be held in the larger rooms of the home and also on the third floor.

           
This school was the first private school in Palacios to foster the cultural arts which were not available in the public schools at that time.

           
Several of the students are still living [1987] and are prominent citizens of their communities:


Mrs. Foster Milner (Janie Savage), Bay City - for many years the First Methodist Church organist

Mr. Abel Pierce, Palacios

Mrs. Sterling Smith (Louise Partain), Houston

Nellie May Pasal Foshee, Houston - Graduate of the Houston Conservatory of Music (piano)

           
The Palacios Preparatory School was viable for only ten years. The McGuire family moved to Palestine, Texas in the summer of 1918.

           
The original school structure was later remodeled during World War II by Robert L. Price and made into an apartment to be rented to men from Camp Hulen, which was located on the edge of the town of Palacios. In 1965, the entire structure was demolished and removed from the property by its owner, Irvin T. Petersen. The three-story home has been restored by its present owners, Clayton and Elizabeth Lee.

           
Ownership of property:

                        April 6, 1908 - D. H. McGuire to Joseph E. McGuire and wife, Pearl

                        May 20, 1918 - Lots 4 and 5 in Block D sold to John Bentler

                        October 29, 1919 - John Bentler to R. L McClellan

                        July 5, 1928 - R. L. McClellan to Garry Gossett

                        October 1, 1940 - Garry M. Gossett to Robert L. Price

                        November 10, 1964 - Maxine Price Ray to Irvin T. Petersen

                        April 10, 1970 - Irvin T. Petersen to Clayton F. and Elizabeth Lee

 

           
The Texas Historical Marker dedication for the Palacios Preparatory School was held October 31, 1987. The maker is located at 317 E. Bayshore Dr., Palacios, TX.

 


Grand Opening of the Peaceful Pelican
March 2008


 


 

100th Anniversary

Children's Play & Entertainments

Celebrating the Founding

of the

Palacios Preparatory School

1910 - 1918

Entertainment included

Mystery of the Missing
Collegeport Ferry

Down By the Bay Solo

Sharky's Angel's Dance Team


 

Down by the Bay






Sharky's Angels
Palacios High School Dance Team

Return to Visit Matagorda County

Copyright 2009 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Created
Mar. 5, 2009
Updated
May 8, 2010
   

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