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Lela in Wheeler County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Lela School

 
 
Lela School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, July 12, 2020
1. Lela School Marker
Inscription.  Soon after the establishment of this community along the proposed rail line for the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf railway in 1902, residents called for the creation of a school to serve their children. Both the community and the school were known as Story until the post office opened under the name Lela.

Fannie Womble served as the first teacher in the Story (Lela) school, with John Purcell, J. V. Ford and J. T. Close as first trustees. Although the community was founded because of its abundance of good underground water, it did not keep pace with Shamrock (5 mi. E) and by 1920 many of the residents and businesses had moved to Shamrock. About the same time, the long dry creek flooded and the community of Lela, including the school, moved up the hill one-half mile north of its original site.

The discovery and production of natural gas brought renewed prosperity to this farming and cattle region in the 1920s. After the Lela School building burned in 1927, civic leaders arranged for the construction of a new brick school building that would be large enough to accommodate the increased population brought on by the economic growth.
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Although the 1928 brick school building originally housed all grades, the top two grades were discontinued after several years, and Lela students traveled to Shamrock to complete their education.

After nearly 90 years, the Lela School district closed in 1992 and was annexed to the Shamrock school district. Its history remains a strong part of the rural heritage of Wheeler County.
 
Erected 2001 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12605.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1902.
 
Location. 35° 13.728′ N, 100° 20.749′ W. Marker is in Lela, Texas, in Wheeler County. Marker is at the intersection of Maple Street and 2nd Street, on the right when traveling west on Maple Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shamrock TX 79079, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bowers Cemetery (approx. 4.8 miles away); "Bill Mack's influence on country music is legendary" (approx. 5˝ miles away); Bill Mack: Shamrock's Midnight Cowboy (approx. 5˝ miles away); First Baptist Church of Shamrock (approx. 5˝ miles away); Tower Building (approx. 5˝ miles
Lela School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 16, 2016
2. Lela School Marker
away); Shamrock Water Tower (approx. 5˝ miles away); Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration (approx. 5˝ miles away); Shamrock Methodist Church (approx. 5˝ miles away).
 
Lela School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 16, 2016
3. Lela School Marker
Lela School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, July 12, 2020
4. Lela School Marker
Lela School image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bill Kirchner, November 16, 2016
5. Lela School
Lela School image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen Lowrey, July 12, 2020
6. Lela School
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 10, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 608 times since then and 145 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 14, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas.   2, 3. submitted on December 10, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   4. submitted on July 14, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas.   5. submitted on December 10, 2016, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   6. submitted on July 14, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas.

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Dec. 10, 2023