Fredericksburg in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Gillespie County Country Schools 1846 to 1970's
Gillespie County Country Schools Trail
The German heritage of the settlers placed great emphasis on public education even during the difficult early years of settlement. In 1858, five free public school districts were organized, co-existing with several private and parochial schools. In 1896, records indicate that forty-two school districts and a Negro school existed. Instruction was in German in numerous schools until World War I when English was mandated. In the remote areas of the County, schools also served as community centers and polling places.
This map documents the location of the districts and the schoolhouses, the number of teachers and grades taught during the 1930ís and offers an insight into the diversity of education in rural Texas. District numbers indicate the common school districts, while letters indicate the independent districts.
The Gilmer-Aiken Act of 1949 mandated the consolidation of rural schools. The last existing rural schools consolidated with Fredericksburg and Harper ISD in the mid-1970ís.
In 1999, the Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools, former students and residents, began the on-going challenged to preserve twelve of the former schools as community centers. This effort resulted in an amendment to the Texas Constitution in 2001 allowing the transfer of the properties from Fredericksburg ISD to Gillespie County.
In 2006, the Gillespie County Commissioners Court established the Gillespie County Country Schools Trail, which links sixteen of these former historic schools and the Vereins Kirche along one-hundred twenty miles of trail. This “schoolsí trail” is a first in Texas and the Nation. Visitors can now explore the different architectural styles and scenic rural landscape. On a rotating basis, one of the schools is open to the public for tours on the first Saturday of every month. Trail maps and Open House schedules are available at Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center or www.historicschools.org.
Location. 30° 16.58′ N, 98° 52.355′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker can be reached from W. Main Street (U.S. 290) west of N. Adams Street. Touch for map. Marker is on the northeast side of the Vereins
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Vereins Kirche (a few steps from this marker); Lasting Friendship (within shouting distance of this marker); Frank Valentin Van Der Stucken (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob Brodbeck (within shouting distance of this marker); A Lasting Friendship (within shouting distance of this marker); Market Square (Marktplatz) (within shouting distance of this marker); Otfrid Hans Freiherr von Meusebach (within shouting distance of this marker); Bethany Lutheran Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
More about this marker. The marker includes a table of the school districts in Gillespie County in the 1930ís and a map of country schools in the county including those schools along the Gillespie County Country Schools Trail.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This list of related markers includes historical markers for schools on the Gillespie County Country Schools Trail.
Also see . . . The Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools - Official website. (Submitted on April 26, 2016.)
Categories. • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 26, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 125 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 26, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.