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2017-04-27

Part 2 - Newtonville, the African-American Settlement of Bandera County

By Raymond V. Carter, Jr. BCHC Research Historian ©2017

Courtesy of the Bandera County Archives
Cancelled receipt for payment of repairs to School Number Three, in District Number One.


Known by record to be buried in the Bertha Tryon-Hendrick Arnold Cemetery are: Mary Jackson, who died on November 20, 1925 and was buried in the "Negro Cemetery" on November 11, 1925, by J.F. Langford. She was the daughter of Fanny Booth. No age given; and Everett E. Robinson who died on January 30, 1926 and was buried in the "Negro Cemetery" on February 1, 1926 by J.F. Langford. He was the son of Ella Wilson and Sam J. Robinson.
Other recorded deaths in Bandera County, which have no record of a burial site given, are: John Coats, who was born in Texas and died on August 2, 1903, at the age of 62 years; and Leanor Benson, she was born in Texas and died at the age of ten months on August 28, 1905.
According to the County Judge’s School Record Book there was a wood framed school, which had a male teacher for African–American students in Bandera in the school year of 1885–1886. On page 105, Bandera County Judge George T. Lincoln on September 1, 1885 stated that he "Ordered that the children of Williams and others (colored) be transferred to District 16, School Two from District Number One, School Number One, together with their pro rata of school fund amount to, thirty five ($35.00) dollars charged to District Number One, School Number Two and credited District Number 16, School Number Two."
There was a school house built in 1886 in District Number 16 (Indian Creek) at Newtonville, on one acre of land deeded to George T. Lincoln, County Judge and successors in office of Bandera County as recorded in the County Judge’s School Record Book, but no deed was found recorded in the County Clerk's Office. Records found in the County Judge's School Record of Bandera County, Texas, page 111, read: "Building of School House, District Number 16, Colored." "To Hon. County Judge of Bandera County, Bandera, February 23, 1886." "We the undersigned Trustees of District Number 16, Bandera County, hereby make application to your honor; (having already made deed as required by law in article 61 of School Laws of 1884) for an amount of money to secure the completion of school house for said school." "The amount of money subscribed in cash, labor and material as shown by accompanying subscription list is forty six dollars and fifty cents ($46.50)." ''The size of the house is to be 18 x 20 feet, one story, frame plank, (with) four windows and one door, the whole to be put up in work manlike manner." "We now ask you to set one side for the purpose of completing said house a sum equal if need to amount subscribed." Signed: "A. Jackson, Sub. Trustee and Joseph Kalka, Amasa Clark and C.A. Taylor, Trustees, District Number 16, Bandera County."
Continuing on page 112: "Subscriptions provide individuals for building school house in District Number 16 for colored school: Names and donation: A. Maverick (cash $4.00), John Geohagen (cash $1.00), Charles Gersorff (cash $1.00), George Lewis (cash $1.00), M. Moncur (cash $1 .00), J.B. Davenport (cash $2.00), William Pue (cash $2.00), Vent Pue (cash $2.00), H. Noll (cash $2.00), Charles Montague, Jr. (cash $2.00), Andrew Jackson (cash $1.50), Charles Briscoe (lumber $14.00) and H. Jackson (cash $13.00)." ''Total subscription: $46.00 (should have been $46.50)." " Andrew Jackson and Jeff Cooksey, Trustees Col. School District Number 16."
Continuing on page 112: "State of Texas, County of Bandera:" "Be it known that a deed having been executed and made to George T. Lincoln, County Judge of Bandera County and his successors in office for a piece of land in District Number 16, for the building of a school house for colored pupils, and it having been shown to me that subscriptions to the amount of forty six ($46.00) dollars have been received." ''The trustees as directed by Sec. 62 School Law of 1884." "Now by virtue of Sec. 63 Laws of 1884, I now order that forty six ($46.00) dollars be set apart (it being the whole amount due the school) for the purpose of building school house in said district for said colored school." "Witness my hand this twenty-eighth day of February, A.D. 1886." Signed: "George T. Lincoln, County Judge, Bandera County, Texas."
In 1886 there were eleven students in School Number Two of District Number 16, who were taught by Mary E. Hudspeth in the first grade. Mary E. Hudspeth was a 20–year old native of Texas, with two years experience in teaching. Mary E. Hudspeth gave Bandera as her address.
In the county archives a hand written note was found by Dana Moeller, County Archivist, during her preservation efforts. This note was dated January 28, 1893, and had the letter head of "Livery Stable owned and controlled by I.B. Langford, Undertaker and Embalmer" and it read: "School Number three in District Number one (Colored) to I.B. Langford, Jr., for material and labor on schoolhouse, eight ($8.00) dollars. Approved this the 28th day January 1893. Signed: Dloyan and Tobi Campbell, Trustees. Approved January 30th, '93 by George T. Lincoln, County Judge, Bandera County, Texas." This schoolhouse was in the town of Bandera.
In the County Commissioner's Minute Book it was stated on February 13, 1905 that the following were "appointed managers of school trustee elections" for Precinct Number One, School Number Two: "W. Benson, Jeff Cooksey and Alfred Grant.
More research is being done, but anyone with knowledge of school pictures or any graves on the above mentioned properties, please, we would appreciate you sharing your information.