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

F.W. Gross High School

 
 
F.W. Gross High School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, February 17, 2022
1. F.W. Gross High School Marker
Inscription.  Education of Victoria's African American schoolchildren began during Reconstruction; a Freedman's School on East Convent Street is referenced in an 1868 deed. By 1875, three of the city's ten schools served African American pupils. Prof. Frederick W. Gross, who attended Texas' Wiley and Bishop Colleges as well as Fisk University and the University of Chicago, came to Victoria about 1887 and was a principal for twenty years. His tenure included organization of the Victoria Independent School District in 1898, and construction of a prominent brick schoolhouse at the East Convent Street site in 1902. Although the school was dedicated as the Victoria Colored School, many residents referred to the facility as "The Gross School." Gross left Victoria to become president of the Houston Academy.

C.H. McGruder, a teacher at the Victoria Colored School, succeeded Gross as principal in 1907 and served for sixteen years. Victoria County native A.D. Sheffield followed as principal for fifteen years. His 1934 history of African American education in Victoria suggested officially renaming the school after Gross; the school board approved the change
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the following year. Due to overcrowding at the school, a 1938 bond election and supplemental federal funding through the Public Works Administration resulted in construction of a new building on South Depot Street in 1939. The school maintained a reputation for excellence in academics and athletics. This campus continued as Victoria's High School for African American students until integration in 1966, and later as an elementary school. Since 1979, annual alumni reunions have preserved the traditions and history of this historic school.
 
Erected 1980 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15723.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
 
Location. 28° 47.282′ N, 97° 0.254′ W. Marker is in Victoria, Texas, in Victoria County. Marker is at the intersection of South Depot Street and East South Street, on the right when traveling south on South Depot Street. The marker is located at the entrance on South Depot Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1107 South Depot Street, Victoria TX 77901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Goldman Ginnery (approx. 0.3 miles away); B. F. Williams House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Regan House (approx. 0.4 miles away);
F.W. Gross High School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, February 17, 2022
2. F.W. Gross High School Marker
Palestine Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Thurmond Building (approx. half a mile away); Webster Chapel United Methodist Church (approx. half a mile away); Power Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); St. Mary's Church, Catholic (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Victoria.
 
Marker viewed from the street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, February 17, 2022
3. Marker viewed from the street
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 22, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 166 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 21, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Feb. 25, 2024