In 1924, 33 local school districts made a lot of cents

Posted 9/10/19

I was an educator in Madison County for 38 years, so August and September always make me think of school. I’ve been retired since 2012. That means I’ve been observing education here for almost 50 years. Recently in Madison County Museum I was able to delve farther back.

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In 1924, 33 local school districts made a lot of cents

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I was an educator in Madison County for 38 years, so August and September always make me think of school. I’ve been retired since 2012. That means I’ve been observing education here for almost 50 years. Recently in Madison County Museum I was able to delve farther back.

In 1915, a teachers’ magazine listed the following rules for teachers’ conduct of that day:

* You will not marry during the term of your contract.

* You are not to keep company with men.

* You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.

* You may not loiter downtown in any of the ice cream stores.

* You may not travel beyond the city limits unless you have permission of the board chairman.

* You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.

* You may not smoke cigarettes.

* You may not dress in bright colors.

* You may under no circumstances dye your hair.

* You must wear at least 2 petticoats.

* Your dresses must not be any shorter than 2 inches above your ankle.

* Also, to keep the schoolroom clean, you must sweep the floor at least once daily; scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water, and clean the blackboards at least once a day. You must start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m.

Also recently in the Museum, I found a file containing instructions to Madison County Commissioners Court from Madison County School District Superintendent Loula Malone (1872-1961), directing them to levy taxes in varying amounts to the county’s school districts for the year 1924.

Besides her signature, that individual school district’s trustees signed each form except for one. There must have at one time been at least 33 local school districts because of the numbering, though I did not find forms for all 33. I found no form for Madisonville. Maybe some had been consolidated or closed by 1924. I was astonished that not all local districts were instructed to levy the same and I feel sure that many landowners were unhappy with that fact.

Elwood School District’s trustees B L. Dickey, J. W. Gibson, and R. E Wilson signed, along with Loula Malone, directing County Commissioners to levy an ad valorem tax of 57 cents on the valuation of $100 taxable property, for the purpose of supplementing the State school funds apportioned to the district for the maintenance of public free schools therein. Also, a tax of 18 cents per $100 valuation was to be levied to pay the one year’s sinking fund for the bonds for interest on and provide said district. Elwood’s total school tax was 75 cents. Below, I did not include “per $100 valuation” but it was, in every case.

Connor’s trustees W. G. Massey and Luther Floyd instructed to levy 50 cents to supplement the State school fund, and none to pay current interest, for a total of 50 cents

High Prairie’s trustees, J. W. Fannin, H. B. Ratliff, and D.C. Cannon were to levy 25 cents to supplement the State school fund and 25 cents to pay current interest, for a total of 50 cents.

Ten Mile trustees J. T. Harrington, J.A. Kinney, and H.B. Whitmire said to levy 55 cents to supplement the State funds and 20 cents to pay the interest, for 75 cents total.

Plainview trustees, G.W. Rosier, George Brigham, and Lewis McLain, directed to levy 60 cents to supplement State funds and 40 cents to pay interest, for a total of 100 cents (yes, that’s what the form said).

Union trustees G.E. Jones, Lawrence Standley, and Sam Hendrix said to levy 50 cents to supplement State funds and 25 cents to pay interest, for a total of 75 cents.

Oak Grove’s form must have been misplaced. Loula Malone wrote a simple notation on a single sheet, saying “Levy 50 cents for Oak Grove District #11.” No school trustees’ names were shown.

Greenbriar’s trustees Matt Stewart and S. Winters directed to levy 50 cents to supplement State funds and 25 cents to pay interest, for a total of 75 cents.

Liberty District’s trustees Sam Starns, W. L. Haeser(?). and M. F. Elliot said to levy 25 cents to supplement State funds and 25 cents to pay interest, for a total of 50 cents.

Hollis District’s trustees E.H. Walton and J. E. Williamson directed to levy 55 cents to supplement State funds and 35 cents to pay interest, for a total of 100 cents.

George District’s trustees Noah Batson, E. H. Tallant, and B Mize said to levy 50 cents to supplement State funds and 50 cents to pay interest, for a total of 100 cents.

Jenkins District’s trustees P. B. Wycough, J. R. Alexander, and J. C. Friery directed to levy 50 cents to supplement State funds but none for interest, for a total of 50 cents.

Rogers Prairie’s trustees J. W. Patterson, R. L. Leveston, and A. J. Kessner said to levy 50 cents to supplement State funds and 25 cents to pay interest, for a total of 75 cents.

Cobbs Creek’s trustees T. N. McVey, J. H. Bates, and H. C. Wells directed to levy 50 cents to supplement State funds but none for interest, for a total of 50 cents.

Center District’s trustees E. J Batson and J. L. Blair said to levy 60 cents to supplement State funds and 15 cents to pay interest, for a total of 75 cents.

Chapel Hill’s trustees T. B. Mott and Burt Mott said to levy 20 cents to supplement State funds and 30 cents to pay interest, for a total of 50 cents.

When those 1924 school tax forms were copied, some had other things copied onto the back. I hate to waste interesting things so…check back next week for more revelations.

The Madison County Museum, at 201 North Madison, Madisonville, TX 77864, is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The Museum’s mailing address is P.O. Box 61, and the telephone number is 936.348.5230.

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