Marker Details

Baytown Mexican School (DeZavala Elementary)

305 Tri City Beach Road

Baytown , 77520

Notes: Class of 2014, THC "under told" story; 14HR08; per Paul Scott's "Marker Status" Report Nov. 4, 2015 marker received 08-15-2015
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Marker Text: Established in 1923 by the Goose Creek Independent School District, Baytown Mexican School was the first educational facility for Mexican American children in the community. The very modest beginning of the school in 1923 had a profound effect on the city of Baytown as a whole. Students of the 1920s later confirmed that school was held in the Mexican community recreation hall owned by Humble Oil and Refining Company. Instead of having professional teachers, the school was staffed by female students from Robert E. Lee high school, and the school mission was to receive young Spanish-speaking children and transition them to English. In 1927, land was purchased for the construction of a senior high school building and Mexican grade school building. The three-room building at 3010 Magnolia Street opened for classes in 1928. The first teachers in 1928 were Miss Jessie L. Pumphrey (principal), Miss Bertie Walker and Miss Celeste Dashiel. The teachers developed a very short list of English words in the 1930s. A new elementary school was built in 1992 at 305 tri-city beach road. From 1970-1972, the Mexican school building was used as a head start program building after the school closed in 1969. The cornerstone for the Baytown Mexican School is now on display at the Baytown historical museum. The original building was demolished in 1995. In 1938, the name of the school was changed to de Zavala for Lorenzo de Zavala, interim vice president of Texas (1836). One of the school’s teachers, Elizabeth Burrus, appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1961 for expanding the short list of English words into a 400-word book. In 1937, Antonio Banuelos started La tTipica all-girls orchestra, a legend in the local Hispanic culture.
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission

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Marker No: 18144