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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

Barefield School

 
 
Barefield School Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 31, 2021
1. Barefield School Marker
Inscription.  

African Americans were denied access to education while enslaved, but opportunities emerged after emancipation. The first African American school in Refugio was held in a shotgun building on the corner of Santiago and Osage Streets. The school, known as the Refugio Colored School, later moved to the corner of Alamo and King Streets. The school had no running water so the boys carried water from Osage Street for drinking purposes. The students also found and cut firewood during the winter months to heat the school and were responsible for maintenance of the building. In 1927, the school burned. Professor A.T. Barefield arranged for classes to be held at the Bob Button Dance Hall and then at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church.

Beginning in 1917, Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears Roebuck Company, began to provide matching funds for African American schools in the south. By 1929, a new two-room stucco building was erected on East Commons Street through the Rosenwald school building program. The school was later named Barefield School after Professor A.T. Barefield, an educator in Refugio from 1902 to 1949, who promoted education and
Barefield School Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 31, 2021
2. Barefield School Marker
good citizenship within the black community. As attendance grew, the board of trustees approved to move one of the two-room buildings from the white school to the Negro school grounds. The Rosenwald School no longer exists but the 1933 addition still stands at Commons and Bayou Streets. The Barefield School was the only Rosenwald School in Refugio County and was a symbol of vision and progress for the community during the early 1900s.
 
Erected 2013 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17647.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation.
 
Location. 28° 18.24′ N, 97° 16.059′ W. Marker is in Refugio, Texas, in Refugio County. Marker is at the intersection of East Commons Street and Bayou Street, on the right when traveling east on East Commons Street. The marker is located in front of the Barefield Learning Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 612 East Commons Street, Refugio TX 78377, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John and Virginia Linney House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Irish Immigrants in Refugio (approx. 0.7 miles away); Amon B. King (approx. 0.7 miles away); Sally Scull (approx. 0.7 miles away); Empresario James Power
The view of the Barefield School and Marker from the road image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 31, 2021
3. The view of the Barefield School and Marker from the road
(approx. 0.7 miles away); Refugio County (approx. 0.7 miles away); Refugio County Courthouse (approx. 0.7 miles away); Colonel A. M. Hobby/Hobby's 8th Texas Infantry Regiment, C.S.A. (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Refugio.
 
Also see . . .  Education For African Americans.
The education of African American children during the late period of slavery, after 1800, was sporadic and unreliable in Texas as in other Southern states. Formal education was practically nonexistent for African Americans. Education most often consisted of on-the-job training in a variety of occupations. Before the Civil War most people believed education of African Americans would lead to discontent and rebellion.  Source: The Handbook of Texas
(Submitted on February 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 7, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 2, 2021