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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West in McLennan County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

St. Mary's School

 
 
St. Mary's School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, June 4, 2020
1. St. Mary's School Marker
Inscription.  St. Mary's Catholic Church was officially organized in West in 1892. Because parents wanted a Catholic education for their children, Father F. G. Sebik wrote to Reverend Mother Florence, Superior General of the Sisters of Divine Providence, headquartered in Castroville. She soon sent Sister M. Pelagia and three other nuns to teach West's 132 Catholic children. The first school structure included three classrooms and living quarters for the sisters. As enrollment grew the Sisters began to accept boarding students. Interest was so high that by 1909 they were forced to turn boarders away.

A new brick schoolhouse with six classrooms and an auditorium erected in 1917 accommodated more students. By 1928 seven nuns were teaching at the school. Facilities continued to change as enrollment increased and more sisters arrived. Extracurricular programs with the West public schools ensured that St. Mary's students participated in a variety of activities. The school was fully accredited by the Texas Catholic Conference in 1967.

With the economic and social changes of the second half of the 20th century, the number of Sisters able to teach
St. Mary's School Marker Area image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, June 4, 2020
2. St. Mary's School Marker Area
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for a stipend instead of a salary decreased and the cost of a Catholic education increased. Enrollment gradually declined over the next decades. The last Sister of Divine Providence left the school in 1984, leaving a legacy of the Catholic educational tradition in West. Parent-teacher initiatives and development ensured the survival of St. Mary's, which continues to serve the community.
 
Erected 1999 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12123.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducation. A significant historical year for this entry is 1892.
 
Location. 31° 48.071′ N, 97° 5.895′ W. Marker is in West, Texas, in McLennan County. Marker is on South Harrison Street south of West Spruce Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 507 W Spruce St, West TX 76691, 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. Church of the Assumption (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); West (approx. 0.3 miles away); Groppe Building (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Crash at Crush (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named The Crash at Crush (approx. 3.8 miles away); St. Martin Cemetery (approx. 4.4
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miles away); Tours Community (approx. 4˝ miles away); Czech Settlers in Hill County (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 7, 2020, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas.

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Apr. 11, 2021