6/30/2008

Rosenwald Schools

Rosenwald Schools in Texas & A New Museum

An old school building in East Columbia, Texas is now being converted to a museum in West Columbia to celebrate its former life as one of the Rosenwald Schools. Paul Homeyer, Senior Associate at the Houston office of the architectural firm Genslor, can tell you about their architectural work on the Columbia structure before it was moved to the new location. Many or most of them were built according to template specifications. The early 20th century program was sponsored by Julius Rosenwald; he put the “Ro” in Sears & Roebuck fame. These schools served the African American community across the South in the early part of the 20th century with grants to educate the descendants of slaves. In 2002 the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the schools on their “most endangered list.” Some remain.
Numerous Rosenwald Schools were established in Texas. Anna Mod, Adjunct Professor, Community Development in the School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University, recalls that a school was once sited on the campus of Prairie View, and she notes a conference in Austin in 2005 on the 300 Rosenwald Schools in Texas. Records of a physical survey of about 50 sites may reside in Austin.
You may wish to pursue the topic.
The Texas Historical Commission’s atlas of historical markers was searched for “Rosenwald” (http://atlas.thc.state.tx.us/index.asp) and 18 associated records came forth, some as State subject, building, and cemetery listings, and some mentioned as part of the National Register listings.
Antioch Cemetery – in Midway
Antioch Church of Christ – in Midway
Cedar Branch Community School – in Grapeland
Center Point School – in Pittsburg
Germany (community) – in Germany
Lockhart Vocational High School – in Lockhart
Marian Anderson High School – in Madisonville
Pine Grove School – near Jacksonville
Pleasant Hill School – in Linden
Powell Point School – in Kendleton
Rosenwald School - in Kennard
Shiloh School, Site of – in Longview
Sweet Home Vocational and Agricultural School – in Seguin
Thomas, O.J., High School – in Cameron
Union Lee Baptist Church – in the Manor vicinity
Washington, Booker T., School – in Bonham
Wilkins, Alice O., School – in Port Lavaca
The Handbook of Texas Online found the word “Rosenwald” 15 times at http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/index.html
BETTS CHAPEL, TX (Lee County)
BROWN, INA CORINNE (as a Rosenwald fellow)
CENTER POINT, TX (Camp County)
DOAK SPRINGS, TX (Lee County)
GERMANY, TX (Houston County)
GLOBE HILL, TX (Lee County)
HOUSTON, SAMUEL WALKER (his school as a recipient of Rosenwald support)
JACKSON, CHARLES EMERSON (as a Rosenwald teacher)
KING, WILLIS JEFFERSON (as a Rosenwald Fellow)
LANIER, RALPHAEL O'HARA (as a Rosenwald Fellow)
MOUNT GILLION, TX (Shelby County)
MOUNT HAVEN, TX (Cherokee County)
SANCHEZ, GEORGE ISIDORE (as a researcher)
SAND FLAT, TX (Rains County)
SWEET HOME, TX (Lee County)
The Southwestern Historical Quarterly makes this reference in 1945, vol. 48, no. 2, in the notes on “Contributors:” http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/publications/journals/shq/online/index.html
“Arthur Link, "The Wilson Movement in Texas, 1910-1912," is at present a Julius Rosenwald research fellow at Columbia University and may be addressed at 522 International House, 500 Riverside Drive, New York, New York. Mr. Link taught history at North Carolina State College, Raleigh, in 1943 and 1944. During the past summer he taught in the department of history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he has completed the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in history.”
At Prairie View A&M University, the John B. Coleman Library’s online catalog http://www.tamu.edu/pvamu/library/ shows some interesting entries, especially the catalog’s “see also” references to connections outside the institution to museums and other elsewhere. Also at PVA&M School of Architecture is the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture http://www.pvamu.edu/pages/582.asp established by the 70th Legislature in 1999 who’s mission is “to collect, preserve, study, and make available research information, records, documents, artifacts, and other items relating to Texas history and culture. The Institute places special emphasis on collecting, preserving, and studying the role and contributions of African Americans in Texas history and culture. This is an important mission because the documents, artifacts, and resources collected by the Institute will serve as the primary source materials for research on the black experience in Texas.”

Other resources that may prove useful are:
The recent volume: The Rosenwald Schools of the American South / by Mary S. Hoffschwelle and foreword by John David Smith. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2006.
There are over a dozen theses related to Julius Rosenwald in the ProQuest database, but none obviously Texan. Some theses on the topic may not have been provided to ProQuest.
The Rosenwald Initiative http://www.rosenwaldschools.com/index.html “For assistance with Rosenwald Schools in Texas contact: Southwest Office / National Trust for Historic Preservation / 500 Main Street, Suite 1030 /Fort Worth, TX 76102. PHONE: 817-332-4398 / FAX: 817-332-4512 / EMAIL: SWRO@nthp.org

2 comments:

Adrian Jackson, columnist said...

The Lott-Canada School (now Coastal Bend College Lott Canada Facility) is a Rosewald School. It is located in Beeville, Texas and has a state historical marker.

New Eyedea Photography said...

I photographed one of the schools in Concord, TX near Hallsville yesterday. I found your blog post while searching for the Sand Flat school...

http://neweyedeaphoto.blogspot.com/2010/12/rosenwald-school-concord-tx.html