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Round Rock in Williamson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Education in Round Rock

 
 
Education in Round Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson
1. Education in Round Rock Marker
Inscription. Soon after Williamson County was founded in 1848, pioneer settler Jacob M. Harrell, a blacksmith, built a log schoolhouse for use by his neighbors. Believed to be the first school in the county, it was located at Mossí Spring on Lake Creek (2 mi. SW). Later, another log cabin school was opened north of Brushy Creek by Samuel L. Makemson and Dr. D. F. Knight.

As the area developed, efforts were made to provide a complete community educational program. Early college training was offered by the Greenwood Masonic Institute, which was established in 1867. The school was later operated by local Presbyterian churches and by the city as Round Rock Institute. The first publicly-supported school for Round Rock students opened in 1878. A second college, Trinity Lutheran, was in operation from 1904 to 1929.

In 1913 residents of the area voted to incorporate Williamson County Common School District No. 19 as the Round Rock Independent School District. M. G. York, an area school administrator, was chosen as the first Superintendent of the new school system. Under the direction of such superintendents as O. F. Perry, 1939-57, and Noel Grisham, 1957-79, the district has been noted for rapid growth and quality education.
 
Erected 1981 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number
Education in Round Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, October 6, 2013
2. Education in Round Rock Marker
Looking East from marker.
9095.)
 
Location. 30° 30.692′ N, 97° 41.833′ W. Marker is in Round Rock, Texas, in Williamson County. Marker is on Round Rock Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1311 Round Rock Ave, Round Rock TX 78681, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Barker House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Round Rock Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Slave Burial Ground in Old Round Rock Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Round Rock (approx. half a mile away); William M. Owen House Complex (approx. half a mile away); The Pioneer Builders (approx. one mile away); Harrell Cemetery (approx. 1.1 miles away); Sam Bass' Death Site (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Round Rock.
 
Education in Round Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, October 6, 2013
3. Education in Round Rock Marker
Wide-area view of marker.
Education in Round Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, October 6, 2013
4. Education in Round Rock Marker
Looking West from marker.
Hopewell School image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, October 6, 2013
5. Hopewell School
Constructed in the 1921-22 school year, Round Rock County Training School (Hopewell) became the second of four schools in Williamson County to offer secondary education for African American children and to be built with financial assistance from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation of Chicago, Illinois.

During this time there was concern in Williamson Country that the older children in the black communities would leave the family farms in search of better schools and jobs in the cities. It was S.C. Marshall, then principal of the Georgetown Colored School, who first talked of establishing a country training school in the country. County training schools were those that offered courses at the high school level, which was uncommon in the early 20th century.

The 1921 "County Colored School Fair", which was organized by Jeanes teacher Mary J. Sims, featured student exhibits and a short course in vocational education for teachers and fair attendees. Speakers from around Texas spoke, including R.L. Smith, founder and President of the Farmer's Home Improvement Society. Inspired by the activities of the day, the following Sunday a meeting was held in Round Rock to discuss "The Proposed Colored Industrial School".

Julius Rosenwald, then President of Sears and Roebuck and Co. created the Rosenwald Fun in 1914 to assist rural African American communities in the south with the construction of buildings that reflected modern schoolhouse design. Funding was provided on a matching basis - for every dollar that Rosenwald donated the community had to give one dollar.

Financial assistance for the fund was offered for the first time in Texas in 1920. Placing Hopewell among the first schools to be funded. Other Rosenwald schools in Williamson County included Granger (1920), Coupland (1923), and Circleville (1926).

In 1966, the doors closed forever on Hopewell as an education facility.
Education in Round Rock Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, October 6, 2013
6. Education in Round Rock Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2007, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 871 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on October 6, 2013, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. Photos:   1. submitted on October 26, 2007, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 6, 2013, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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