Editor’s Note - -
This history of education in Honey Grove was compiled by Mrs. Martha Trout Stoup, English teacher in the Honey Grove High School, as her thesis for her Master’s degree at East Texas State Teacher’s College, Commerce.
The Signal-Citizen considered it timely as the next week, March 5-10, had been designated PUBLIC SCHOOL’S WEEK IN TEXAS. Due to the length of Mrs. Stroup’s thesis, it is being divided into two parts, with the concluding part to appear in the next week’s Signal-Citizen.
[Part 1 was published March 2, 1956]
My purpose in writing this paper is to record as accurately as possible the history of the schools in the city of Honey Grove, Texas, from the first private schools to the high school of today.
The early history of the founding of Honey Grove will furnish background for this study. In September, 1937, James Gilmer, H. P. Allen, and W. J. Erwin began a series of articles on the authentic history of the city of Honey Grove which they were to cooperate in writing for publication in the Honey Grove Signal-Citizen. Mr. Gilmer began his articles with 1836 and compiled to to 1883. From this date, Mr. Allen, assisted by Mr. Erwin, continued the history. Pertaining to the location of Honey Grove Mr. Gilmer said, “From Red River County on the east to Cooke County on the west, lie a series of counties bordering on Red River and comprising the best agricultural portion of the state. About midway in this productive region stands the city of Honey Grove, near the eastern border of Fannin County, surrounded and supported by a prosperous and agricultural people. Honey Grove is situated on a gentle prairie elevation with timber skirting with the limits. The soil is of the kind known as the black waxy, rich and productive. In the surrounding country is grown corn, cotton, wheat, oats, millet, barley, sorghum, fruits of all kinds, grapes, berries, and almost every vegetable known to both temperate and torrid zones; all of which can be raised in abundance. The climate is rarely rigorous, either by heat or cold, but maintains a very desirable temperature, modified within bearable degrees by gradual change of seasons.
The name of Honey Grove has its origin in the following well authenticated tradition: “In the year of 1836, when the western limit of civilization was marked by a small settlement near where the city of Paris now stands, Davy Crockett started with a company of men to reach the Texas army at San Antonio by the western route. This locality was then an unknown wilderness of grass, the home of the Indian and the buffalo. Reaching this place a day or two after leaving the settlements, Crockett and his men pitched their camp in the grove now a little north of the public square. In the grove was a spring of fine water, about which the company spread their blankets and built their fire. While in camp here they discovered an unusual number of trees containing swarms of bees with honey. On this honey and the venison with which the camp was easily supplied, the party feasted as long as they remained in this camp. Some of the party, seeing the danger of this route, had already returned to the settlements, and Crockett, with only a few men left, was compelled to abandon the expedition in this direction, but turned south to the old trail from Nacogdoches to Clarksville, and went on, reaching San Antonio at last in time to offer up his life for the liberty of Texas at the historic Alamo. In their conversations at the time and when referring to the memorable camp here, Crockett always spoke of it as Honey Grove. The name was adopted by everyone else and in the course of time as transferred to the town, which now includes the famous grove within its corporate limits.”
The first settler of Honey Grove was Samuel Erwin. The following significant facts are related by Mr. Gilmer. “Samuel Erwin was born in Tennessee and was united in marriage by Davy Crockett when Crockett was a justice of the peace in what is now Obion County, Tennessee. Mr. Erwin reached Texas in 1837, living for a few years near Red River and settled on the spot which is now Honey Grove in 1842. This was the beginning of the town. For three years the Erwins were the only residents of the locality; their only neighbors being Capt. Yeary, who had settled three miles south of the grove. The next settler in the locality was Dr. Nicholson, who with his brother, A. J. Nicholson had come to Texas in 1839. In 1845 the Doctor settled in Honey Grove, and was quickly followed by John McKenzie. Next came J. T. Allen and James Gilmer. Mr. Gilmer bought most of the land within the present limits of the city. He died in 1846 and, we are told, his was the first body buried in what is now Oakwood Cemetery. B. S. Walcott came in 1848, and some time later married the widow of Mr. Gilmer. In 1849 Mr. Walcott laid off the town of Honey Grove and soon thereafter buildings began to rise here and there.” According to Mr. Gilmer: “After 1845 settlers came faster, but not until the fifties did they come very fast, and by 1850, a great many came who had sold their farms in the old states and brought considerable money and good live stock. They bought from one-half to a section of land each and were a fine lot of people.”
Mr. Allen, continuing the history of Honey Grove begun by Mr. Gilmer, observed, “The time for building log cabins had passed, as saw mills in Red River County were now cutting a good grade of lumber, which was being hauled with ox teams. Four yoke of well trained oxen would haul from 1600 to 2000 feet of lumber, at a load. The lumber was rough and had to be dressed by hand. It would take two carpenters from three to six months to build a reasonably good farm house.”
Along with the building of homes came the establishment of a church. Mrs. G. L. Brewer states: “In 1856 enough people had located in Honey Grove of Methodist, Baptist, and Cumberland Presbyterian and Christian denominations to build a Union Church, each one using one Sunday a month. The church was a frame building, unpainted on the inside and outside, with a small open belfry on top in the front. The bell was purchased in New Orleans in 1857, and was shipped by water to Jefferson, Texas, then overland by ox team to Honey Grove, and is today owned by the Baptist Church, who inherited it from the other denominations.” Writing of the splendid qualities of the early settlers Mr. Allen said, “A majority of them were Christian men and women, and Christian character is a power not easily confined, and we sincerely believe that the good deeds and fine examples of those men and women have had much to do with making Honey Grove a good place in which to feeling that these early settlers “moulded sentiment, established customs, and set to work influences that to some extent are guiding men today.”
That the ideals of home, church and school were deeply imbedded in the thinking of these courageous men and women was soon evident in the history of Honey Grove.” The first school ever in the place was taught by Judge Rutherford in a rough building a little north of the Union Church, in the year 1853.” The first schools in Honey Grove were small private schools located in the homes of the citizens of the town. One such school was taught in the home of the Craddocks, early settlers in the community. Another was taught by F. D. Piner from 1860 to 1865. Another private school was opened by Mrs. J. Q. Thompson, who had come to Texas from Alabama. Mrs. Thompson, carrying well her part of the burden during the trying days of reconstruction, opened in 1882 a private school around her fireplace with five pupils. The school grew until it was necessary to move to a rent house where many of the prominent citizens of Honey Grove and other cities began their education.” In conversations with Mrs. J. H. Lowry, daughter of Mrs. Thompson, and C. B. Trout, both of whom attended this school, the writer learned that the school continued for several years, and at one time there were 85 students.
A larger private school was set up in Honey Grove by a charter granted January 24, 1856, to the Masonic Lodge. Until 1858 this school met in the attic of the Smith Hotel at a rental cost of $25 per year. In 1858 the Lodge built a two story building at a cost of about ___. The ____ be used for school purposes and the upper floors as a lodge hall. The lot, which was donated by B. A. Walcott, was located in front of the present high school. Masonic records show that the resolution was adopted January 9, 1857, to build the two story building. A committee, appointed June 25, 1858, reported July 23, 1858, and recommended a frame building to be built at the cost of about $1,000. The lower floor was to be used for school purposes. This building was to be controlled by five trustees elected by the Lodge. This building Directory of Trustees consisted of S. Stapp, J. N. Moore, J. B. Baird, W. E. Dailey, and M. Branough. On December 9, 1859, the trustees reported the building had been erected and school had been in operations since March, 1859. In an itemized financial report the following were shown: Total amount received, $1,294.15; total amount paid out, $1,843.50; notes and interest due, $606.82.
The next record of a school held in the Masonic Hall is recorded by H. P. Allen, who attended the school. He described it as the largest school Honey Grove ever had up to that time. The teachers were a local teacher, Mr. Baird, and a college teacher from Missouri. The female department was taught by Miss Prudence Braid. The date of the opening was about September, 1863, and the school was continued through the dark days of the Civil War. Up to 1872 school was held irregularly in this building.
The second large private school was established under the control of the Methodist Church of North Texas. A “History of McKenzie Church” was written by Mrs. G. L. Brewer and published in the Signal-Citizen March 7, 1950. Concerning this school she wrote, “In 1874 the North Texas Conference built in Honey Grove the Paris District Honey Grove High School at a cost of ten thousand dollars. The school opened in 1875 with a large enrollment. Students attended from throughout the bounds of the North Texas Conference and some from the Indian Territory (now Southern Oklahoma). Rev. J. C. Parks was the first principal, followed by the Rev. I . W. Clark and others. The Rev. J. W. P. McKenzie was a member of the board of trustees, and a very staunch supporter of the school as long as his health permitted. The school flourished for years, then was leased to individuals, and finally the property, a brick building, was sold to the city. It was a school of high ideals and a blessing to the town.
Mr. Gilmer in his history of Honey Grove said of this school, “The public building known as the Honey Grove High School was begun and finished in 1875, under the auspices and control of the Parks District M. E. Church, South. It is a brick structure two stories high, 48 x 48 feet, and cost $11,000. It has a seating capacity and can well accommodate 320 pupils. The building is furnished now with a splendid library, has recitation rooms, a tall tower, and is well appointed generally. The school from the time it began, has been a prominent factor in the development of the place, attracting not only many pupils from a distance, but in many instances has been the chief inducement of many who located here to educate their children. Being under the control of the Methodist Church, it naturally partakes of a moderately religious character, though no tenets of the church is taught within its walls, The Honey Grove High School is an honor and a credit to the city.”
The Texas Methodist Centennial Year Book gave these interesting facts pertaining to the school and its principal. I. W. Clark, head of the school from 1878 to 1900, was born in 1839 in Tipton County, Tennessee. He received his education in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and taught at Mount Pleasant, Texas, before moving to Honey Grove about 1878, at which time he became principal of the Honey Grove High School. The school grew into prominence in North Texas. The enrollment increased to about 350 pupils. The students who were from surrounding counties boarded in private homes and attended school. In 1900 the Rev. Mr. Clark appointed by the conference as pastor of the First Methodist Church at Greenville, where he remained for four years. He served later as pastor of the First Methodist Church at Paris, Texas, and then as Presiding Elder of the Dallas District, remaining in active service until shortly before his death at Dallas, Texas, August 15, 1918. Mr. Clark, as head of the school, was a strict disciplinarian. His stern control was impressed on his pupils. Punishment by whipping usually took place in the tower, but often on a raised platform in the auditorium. Monday morning lectures were not looked forward to. The three R’s were emphasized with few teaching aids. Blackboards circled the rooms which held double desks. Teachers in addition to Mr. Clark were Mrs. Cox, primary grades, Mr. Butler, arithmetic; Mrs. Stobaugh, art; Mrs. Waltermier, pinao, and Mrs. Bell, primary grades. Some pupils who did not live in Honey Grove had room and board in the William Bell home. The school session lasted as long as money was available.
The third large private school in Honey Grove was The Walcott Institute established by J. S. Kendall. Professor Kendall had taught in the Honey Grove High School. Since he was not a member of the Methodist Church at the time Mr. Parks left the Honey Grove High School, Mr. Kendall did not become principal of that school. Instead he organized The Walcott Institute. Writing of this school, Mr. Gilmer recorded the following in an article published October 1, 1937: “During the summer of ’81 came the Walcott Institute, built by J. S. Kendall. This is a frame building 38 x 56 feet, two stories in height, costing $4,000. This high school building is owned and controlled by the principal, Prof. J. S. Kendall, who named it the “Walcott Institute” in honor of B. S. Walcott, the founder of the city. The rooms of the school are well provided with all modern appliances. The school is admirably conducted, is largely patronized at home and abroad, and is winning fresh laurels in the educational field with each day. Mr. Kendall is a native Georgian and a graduate of the University of Virginia. The seating capacity of the school is 180.
The selection of Walcott Institute as the name of this private school was given as follows: “The name of the late B. S. Walcott has been for more than a quarter of a century intimately connected with the history of Honey Grove. To him the town owes more of its substantial worth than to any man, living or dead. If, as a token of esteem to the memory of one of nature’s true nobleman – honest, industrious, and kind – we have called our enterprise Walcott Institute, and if thereby, we may help to cherish the character of a Christian man and patriotic citizen, we are amply satisfied. Beyond this nothing has been sougth or attained.”
The pamphlet stated the following pertaining to the charter:
“Walcott Institute is chartered under the laws of the State of Texas, with a Board of Directors empowered to confer degrees and marks of distinction upon its students, and to perform all other duties incumbent upon trustees of similar literary institutions. The aim here sought is to give the greatest stability to the School at home, by enlisting in its cause a number of public-spirited citizens of our Commonwealth, irrespective of creed or calling, and at the same time, by the board basis of incorporation, to merit the confidence and support of the friends of education at large.”
[See the 1883 Pamphlet of the Walcott Institute, provided by Estate of John and Thelma Black.]
The charter of the Walcott Institute authorized its director to confer literary degrees, but the school did not claim the essentials of a university, and certificates attesting the proficiency attained in the each branch of Academic studies were to be publicly conferred upon students completing the course.
The board of directors consisted of eleven men with Malcolm Bronaugh, Sr., president; George A. Daily, vice-president; Ben O. Walcott, secretary; John L. Ballinger, treasurer. J. S. Kendall of the University of Virginia was the principal. Professor Kendall taught natural science and mathematics. The Rev. R. M. Shelton, of Vanderbilt University taught ancient languages and mental science. Five additional teachers completed the faculty. The enrollment in the first session, which began September 5, 1881, and ended June 14, 1882 was as follows:
Primary Department: Grade A, 60:, Grade B, 36..
Academic Department: Grade A, 36; Grade B, 22.
Total number of pupils enrolled 154.
Forty students attending this session did not live in Honey Grove.
Part 2, the conclusion of this work will appear in the next week’s Signal-Citizen.
[Part 2 was published March 9, 1956]
Part 2 – Conclusion
The Walcott Institute was built at the location of the present high school building. The School Pamphlet had this to say in regard to the building:
“The two story edifice presents a good external appearance, while the interior arrangements embody our idea of comfort, convenience and home-like attractiveness. The school room should reflect the neatness and order of a well regulated family household, and the thorough inculation of this idea, as we think will serve to advance the future as well as the present social and domestic happiness of our pupils. Each of our six rooms is provided with ample heating and ventilating facilities. The furniture and equipments are of the most improved type. Every Class room has black-boards around the entire walls, and every subject taught, not only mathematics, but orthography, grammar, history, Latin, etc. will at time, for thorough demonstration, be placed on the boards. By this means, we find the pupil’s constructive and descriptive powers much increased.”
The primary department was placed on one floor and the academic on the other to be brought together, however, on occasions of devotional services, lectures, and other exercises of general character. The two grades in each department were arranged into as many classes as, in the judgment of the teacher, were necessary for thorough work.
The Pamphlet of the Walcott Institute lists the subjects taught in each department with an interesting description of each. The subjects taught in the primary grades were reading, spelling, writing, numbers, geography, language, and arithmetic. In the academic department the following subjects were taught in grade A: reading, spelling, writing (as in the primary department with additions. Attention was given to articulation and elocutionary effects), geography, arithmetic, algebra, rhetoric, English Grammar, United States history; Grade B: spelling, arithmetic, algebra, rhetoric, mental and moral science, natural science, Latin, German, geography, trigonometry, bookkeeping, general history, U.S. Constitution and civil government, Greek language and literature, French language and literature, Hebrew language and literature, conic selections, calculus and mathematical astronomy, political economy, and logic. A subject new to the school’s curriculum at this time was the study of weather. The Pamphlet states, “through the courtesy of Gen. Hazen, Chief of Signal Service Department of Washington, we have been partially provided with appliances for taking meteorological observations of wind, weather, rainfall, etc., and when our facilities are complete, which will be soon, our students can be practically instructed in this new and useful outgrowth of scientific study. During the early part of the preceding session a movement was begun for the establishment of a reference Library. A list of the volumes and names of donors showed the response of citizens. Art instruction was under the charge of Mrs. Kendall with tuition varying from two to four dollars per month owing to stage of advancement. “Superior advantages” were offered in the study of music, both instrumental and vocal. As it expressed, the object was not so much to train the pupils to execute brilliantly a few difficult pieces for some holiday occasion, as to instruct them in the science and practice of music. The rates of tuition were from three to five dollars. Qualifications and distinctions gained as musicians were given for both Professor H. B. Cushman and Mrs. Anna M. Hays. In addition to a description of the subjects taught, the pamphlet lists textbooks used and additional books which were available to the students.
Regarding the free school the Pamphlet explained: “A contract was made last session with the Board of Aldermen of the City of Honey Grove, whereby all students of the scholastic age, then attending Walcott Institute, received during stipulated term of months free tuition. A similar agreement is contemplated for the session of 1882-83.”
In addition to the matter of free education, the pamphlet provides the following comment on co-education: “Our school is designed for the education of boys and girls, young men and young ladies. With those who see fit to dissent from our views on this we have no quarrel to make. Our action in the matter is based upon a thorough conviction of its propriety and advantage, presupposing at all times the presence of checks and restraint essential to good government anywhere. Like the many counterpoises and balances exhibited in nature around us, is the restraining influence of one sex over the other.
The school sought pupils who felt individual and collective responsibility. The rules under which the Walcott Institute operated were expressed in this way: “We have no statue book filled with rules and regulations for the control of our students. An inherent sense of right and wrong exists in every boy and girl, and upon this we mainly rely. The school room is for the time our home, and as such each student must regard it. The cultivation of sound morals forms no small part of our training.”
The rates of tuition were listed and explained thus in the pamphlet of the school.
Rates of Tuition
Primary Department – Grade A, per month, $1.50; Grade B, per month, $2.00.
Academic Department – Grade A, per month, $3.00; Grade B, per month, $4.00.
Incidental Fee – Fall term, 50c; Spring term, 75c.
Walcott Institute had no endowment fund nor the special support of any organization.
The purpose of the school was expressed by Professor Kendall in the following words:
“It need hardly be added that we aim to make Walcott Institute practical and thorough. Teaching is recognized as a progressive art with fixed principles as its basis. The school boy of today is the embryo citizen of tomorrow. As such, his duties to his state and to his Maker, as well as to himself, cannot be too early instilled into this mind. Our great aim is to make intelligent citizens, good and useful men and women. While therefore leaving to the family fireside and the Church their inherent prerogative as to creeds and beliefs, we claim it is our duty to implant and nourish in each mind committed to our charge, the broad system of Christian ethics upon which civilization rests. Beyond this our sphere does not extend. Earnest teachers are employed to accomplish this work. Their efficiency must be judged by the character of the work performed. So far as this merit may extend Walcott Institute asks the patronage and moral support of an intelligent and liberal minded public.”
Mr. and Mrs. Kendall lived near the school, and students who came from a distance would live in their home and would be under the supervision of the Principal. Room and board were furnished for two and a half dollars per ______.
Professor Kendall was held in high esteem by all who knew him, and he had much to do in making Honey Grove an educational center. His connection with education in Honey Grove did not end when he left Walcott Institute.
The fourth large private school in Honey Grove was known as the Wall School. After Mr. I. W. Clark resigned, the Honey Grove High School was closed. The Methodist Church gave it up as state funds were withdrawn. The school was reopened in 1898 by Simeon Venable Wall under the name of Wall School. Mr. Wall moved from Franklin, Tennessee, to Honey Grove, Texas, in 1898. Before coming to Honey Grove, Mr. Wall had served as Captain and Commander of a Tennessee division in the Civil War. After the war he took an active part during reconstruction days in restoring order in Middle Tennessee. During that time he also attended college and completed his education. The large holdings of his father had been swept away by the war; so he entered education work and became an educator of distinction. Mr. Robert W. Wall of Boyle, Mississippi, in a personal letter to the writer said, “The main reason my father came from Tennessee to Texas, was that he had a large family, eight sons and two daughters, and he thought Texas offered his children a better opportunity. The soundness of this decision was never questioned by any of the family in later years, and we couldn’t have found a better community and finer people with whom to cast our lot than those living in Honey Grove at that time.” Mr. Wall was an active member of the Methodist Church, the Masonic order, and the United Confederate Veterans. Two sons, Simms and Atha, taught with Mr. Wall in the school. Wall School was set up primarily for boys for whom a dormitory was provided. A few girls were taken in later years on application. Mr. Wall retired in 1908 and the school was subsequently closed. Mr. Wall died in September 1915, and was buried in Honey Grove. The Wall School was successful, and many useful and distinguished men and women received instruction there.
Interest in a public school in Honey Grove which began about the year 1880 led to definite steps being taken by the city. On November 1, 1880, a committee of 3 was appointed to confer with the Honey Grove School to secure one room for the purpose of teaching the public school for this session. Certain subjects were to be taught in the lower grades. The committee reported on December 6 that the Honey Grove High School would take full control for one year for certain subjects. The city signed a contract December 14, 1880, with I. W. Clark, head of the school, to issue certificates of highest grade. The free school was to begin January 4, 1881. The city was to pay for wood and lights. However, the city contracted later with J. S. Kendall and J. J. Richardson of the Walcott Institute to teach the Public Free School for 1881-1882 at $1.50 per month. The Honey Grove High School was to give up the seats and desks that the city bought in 1875 or 1876 for a cost of $275. The state funds for this year were $484.45. The first colored school was taught by Mary Wamoc in 1882.
A new contract was made by Mr. Kendall and Mr. Richardson with the city on December 5, 1882. A financial report was made April 14, 1883, in which the total amount for the free school was $1,471.95. In 1883 the city contracted with Mrs. J. Q. Thompson to teach. The average daily attendance of the two schools from November 26 – December 21, 1884 was 108. The city records show that a special school tax on property was defeated by fifty votes in an election held April 1, 1884. At the head of the school in 1884 was Mr. Ceicie, whose salary was $722.25. Mrs. Thompson was paid $305.25 and Miss Bennett, $231.445. On October 5, 1885, the city contracted with R. A. Massey to teach an eight months schools. They reserved the right to pay the teachers a salary rather than a per capita. The city records on December 7, 1885 show that salaries of teachers were as follows:
Clark’s school, 1 teacher, $65.00, 2 teachers, $40.00, 1 teacher, $35.
Massey’s school, 1 teacher, $65.00, 2 teachers, $40.00.
The total free school money for the white school was $1481.89. The head teacher’s salary for the colored school was $50.00, and other teacher’s salaries were not to exceed $30.00. A special election was ordered for April 7, 1885 to vote on a tax for a ten month’s free school. The tax election lost with 39 votes for the tax and 141 against. In 1885 there were 264 white children enrolled in school and 125 negroes. The total state money amounted to $2,017.60.
A. S. Worrell took charge of Walcott Institute in September, 1886, when Mr. Massey resigned to go to Clarksville. The length of the free school for this session, 1886-87, was five and a half months. Professor Perfect became head of the Walcott Institute in September, 1888. City records of February 4, 1889 show the average attendance of Mr. Perfect’s school to be 113 and that of Mr. Clark’s school to be 185.
The next steps were the building of a new public school building and the appointment of the first school board. During this time the citizens of Honey Grove became interested in build a new public school building. The city council on July 8, 1889, appointed a committee of four aldermen and five citizens to find a location for a new school building. Another committee on plans and cost was appointed. In a meeting October 9, 1889, the city council passed an ordinance to purchase the Walcott Institute form the Reverend R. A. Massey for $2,500.00. The notes due in 1891 and 1892 were to be paid by a fifteen cent tax. The first school board was appointed by the city council in a meeting May 5, 1890. Six trustees were named with the mayor, J. H. Smith, being exofficio chairman. The following month the school board recommended that the Walcott Institute building be moved to some suitable place in the city for the use of the colored school. It was also recommended that an eight room brick or stone building large enough to accommodate at least 400 pupils be erected on the site of the Walcott Institute. The city was to provide the sum of $17,500 to be used in paying for the new building, moving the old building and buying a lot on which to set this building. The city was authorized in a meeting in July, 1890, to sell 32 $1,000 bonds at six per cent. A twenty-five cent tax was to be assessed to pay for these bonds which were to mature in 1910.
In a board meeting on August 4, 1890, J. H. Patterson was elected the first superintendent of the Honey Grove Public School for the 1890-1891 session and served for that session only. During that year the new building, costing $13,925, was completed.
The board of trustees in a meeting April 6, 1891, employed Professor Kendall for one year as Superintendent of the Honey Grove Public School at a salary of $1,600 a year. During period following his resignation from the Walcott Institute and before his election as second superintendent of the Honey Grove Public Schools, Mr. Kendall taught in a college in Glasgow, Missouri, where several young men from Honey Grove, through his influence, enrolled in the school.
Upon Mr. Kendall’s resignation F. M. Bralley became superintendent and remained until his appoint in 190??? State Superintendent of Public Instruction, where upon _____ was elected Superintendent of the Honey Grove Schools. Mr. McDonald resigned in 1909 to become Registrar at North Texas State Teachers College.
Under the direction of these men marked advances were accomplished. In 1899, during Mr. Bralley’s superintendency, the first class, consisting of three girls, was graduated from Honey Grove High School. At this time the school had ten grades, six elementary and four high school. In 1900 a third story was added to the building and two additional teachers were added to the eight already on the faculty. Also in 1900 Honey Grove High School received its first affiliation with Texas University. The second graduating class, in 1900, consisted of eight girls. During the superintendency of P. E. McDonald the lot in front of the public school was purchased to be used as a site for an auditorium. In the last year Mr. McDonald was superintendent of the school another grade was added to the elementary school making eleven grades in all. In 1912 bonds were voted for a new high school building. This building, later used as a grade school building, is now being demolished to give place to the new modern elementary school building. In 1939 the old building on the site of the present high school was torn down and replaced by the present high school building, which was completed in time for the 1939-40 session. In 1942 another year was added to all schools in Texas, thus making twelve grades in Honey Grove schools.
The Honey Grove Schools have been singularly fortunate in the caliber of the men who have served in administrative positions. Both Mr. Kendall and his successor, F. M. Bralley, subsequently became superintendents of public instruction for the state of Texas. From the State position Mr. Kendall went to the presidency of the North Texas State Teachers College, and Mr. Bralley to the presidency of the College of Industrial Arts. Later superintendents included W. L. Willis, C. W. McClendon, L. F. Connell, T. P. Walker, J. D. Howell, W. A. Cantrell, Frank Morgan, and E. A. Barker, the present superintendent, who has served since 1935.
It has been my purpose in this paper to trace the history of education in Honey Grove from its beginning in 1853 under the tutelage of Judge Rutherford, F. D. Piner, and others, through the era of the private schools and the beginning of free public elementary and high school buildings equipped with cafeteria and gymnasium.