Round Rock Colleges and Schools of old

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us post these wonderful articles.

The Time Capsules stories are prepared by

Bob Brinkman - Texas Historical Commission


Round Rock Colleges and Schools of old

Round Rock has long been noted for its excellent schools. The Round Rock Academy, Greenwood Masonic Institute, and the Round Rock Institute were pioneer colleges between the Civil War and World War I. In addition, Trinity College operated in Round Rock from 1906 to 1929. The town’s high school was publicly run since the 1880s but was housed in a structure built by the Presbyterian church. By 1913 the citizens wanted a building they could call their own and also desired further local control of the school. The residents of Williamson County Common School District # 19 voted 55-2 in favor of incorporating as the Round Rock Independent School District. Votes were also cast for the first school board, consisting of A.K. Anderson (president), E.M. Black (secretary), W.A. Gantt, G.W. Johns, S.L. Landrum, W.G. Weber, and J.N. Wright.

The school board awarded the contract to build a new high school to James Belger of Austin, and the design to architect Ollie J. Loreman of Houston, at the cost of $26,000. The whole town turned out to see the cornerstone laid during ceremonies on March 11, 1914.

The day’s events included dignitary addresses, boys’ and girls’ (outdoor) basketball games, band performances, and a big dinner.

The impressive three-story school was ready when classes began on Sept. 28. The first and second floors contained five rooms each, while the third floor had music and art rooms and a large auditorium with a stage and dressing rooms. A cement sidewalk surrounded the 4-acre campus. That fall, the number of grades taught was raised from 10 to 11. In 1942 a new wing was built for the high school (present-day C.D. Fulkes Middle School), and the three-story building was used for junior high and elementary grades. By 1962, the old school was torn down, and a small box beneath the cornerstone was revealed. Among the relics found were copies of the Leader and other newspapers from 1914, a Bible, old coins, and a New York paper from 1799 reporting on George Washington's funeral. Today the RRISD is the 36th largest of 1000-plus school districts in the state, and education continues to be the cornerstone of our community.