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

William Henry Burnett

(1872 - 1944)

William Henry Burnett Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Rheba Bybee, September 3, 2016
1. William Henry Burnett Marker
Inscription.  In the 1880s Presbyterian missionary Alexander R. Wilson began conducting school in the rural South Prong community of Ellis County. One of his pupils was a promising black farm boy named William Henry Burnett. Through Wilson's personal guidance, Burnett received an education and was awarded a scholarship to Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Trained as a teacher, he returned to Texas where he dedicated his life to the education of black children.

After teaching in several communities, including South Prong, Burnett became principal of Terrell's Black School in 1900. Among his accomplishments during 44 years of service in that capacity were the organization of the system's first high school program and the formation of a school band which he directed. Noted for his public speaking ability and his teacher workshops and seminars, he became one of the leading educators of the state. He was also an active Mason, church member and civic leader.

Burnett's commitment to quality education had a dramatic impact on the development of Terrell's school system. Because of his lasting contributions to area children, the elementary school
William Henry Burnett image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Rheba Bybee, September 3, 2016
2. William Henry Burnett
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at this site was named for him in 1979.
Erected 1982 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 9423.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
Location. 32° 43.607′ N, 96° 16.938′ W. Marker is in Terrell, Texas, in Kaufman County. Marker is at the intersection of South Rockwall Avenue and Riley Street, on the left when traveling north on South Rockwall Avenue. In front of the W. H. Burnett Elementary School. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 921 South Rockwall Avenue, Terrell TX 75160, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Old Graveyard (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bethlehem Baptist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Robert A. Terrell Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); Texas & Pacific Railroad Freight Depot (approx. 0.7 miles away); The American National Bank (approx. Ύ mile away); Gov. Oscar Branch Colquitt (1861-1940) (approx. 0.8 miles away); Carnegie Library Building (approx. 0.8 miles away); Carnegie Public Library (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Terrell.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 9, 2016, by Rheba Bybee of Seagoville, Texas. This page has been viewed 339 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 9, 2016, by Rheba Bybee of Seagoville, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 9, 2023