A legal battle is underway in Texas City after the city demolished a historic segregated school on a site formerly owned by a freed slave.

Trace Harris: 409-683-5247; The Daily News galvnews.com or on twitter at TraceH_news


(19) comments

David Hardee

With all the opportunities to have a site persevered it is ludicrous that these people and their beloved site was not - Either renovated by a collection of private funds, or prior to or during the consideration to demolish was placed in the HISTORIC monument classification.

Larry Grissom

Apparently no one cared until it was removed due to it being in a dangerous condition.

Now? Some are.

Too little, too late

Carlos Ponce

The fourth picture caption reads "Lincoln High School and Woodland Elementary School, which were the African American schools in Texas City before integration in the 1970s." Although located in Texas City, they were part of La Marque ISD while used as a school. The African American school in Texas City was Booker T. Washington School (701 2nd Ave. S. ), a part of Texas City ISD until integration in the late 1960s. Then it became College of the Mainland until the current COM campus on FM 1764 was constructed. The brick inlay on the BTW gym reads "1947". Their mascot was the Bulldogs. Lincoln's mascot was the Eagle.

Carlos Ponce

"he committee is seeking from the city $420,000..." Original cost was $65,000 in 1944.

The Galveston Daily News March 5, 1944 Page 7

"Negro School at La Marque Is Accredited

The La Marque negro school, constructed this summer and occupied for the first time this year has been accepted as an accredited school by the state department of education, according to Rufus E. Price superintendent of the La Marque Independent school district who received notice of the acceptance. The school was inspected by M. J. Fields, deputy state superintendent of District No. 22 and immediately 14 subjects were accepted as credits.

The school was recommended by the supervisor as being provided with a new and modern brick school plant, a strong faculty with fair salaries being paid, a plant including an auditorium, cafeteria, science laboratory, provision for a library that needs developing, indoor water lavatories indoor drinking fountains of modern design, electric lights in all classrooms and throughout the building, natural gas heating, and a well equipped homemaking department.

The negro school cost approximately $65,000 according to Supt. Price and P. S. Sims who has been teaching in the La Marque schools for the last 16 years, was made principal."


Carlos, thanks for the history of this building.

Ron Shelby

Wow! That was a really short time period between destruction and tare down. (July 29 to Aug 3). I agree that the owners had responsibility to keep it repaired and safe but that was only about 5 days. Something "smells" bad here of undue influence.

Carlos Ponce

Nov 19, 2019 GCDN

"The building has been damaged in recent years, in part by people seeking shelter in it, [Charlesa] Gary said. Most recently, last week a fire damaged the auditorium’s stage. That fire, suspected to have been started by people sheltering in the building, came less than two weeks after the committee gained ownership of the building. [Charlesa Gary - president of the 1867 Settlement African-American Historic Preservation Committee]


In today's article we read "The auditorium was in disrepair, dilapidated and posed a public safety hazard, the city previously said."

The group should have placed a tall fence around the building to prevent egress. Otherwise it was dangerous, hence the demo.

Ron Shelby

That should be "Notification and tare down"... sorry

Samuel Collins III

Hopefully a mediation can lead to a new structure being built that will honor the legacy of the early settlers of the 1867 Settlement. The demolition was unfortunate and because it was the last building of the original school complex it took on added significance. Prior to the actual demolition there was demolition by neglect. Too often all across the country historic structures are ignored until they literally fall down or have to be torn down. Preservation work is difficult and preservation in African-American communities is often more challenging because those working to save the history often have limited resources to do the necessary work. Hopefully the two sides can come together and create a plan to move forward.

George Gould

They tore down every school in LaMarque

Carlos Ponce

La Marque High School still stands as it approaches 53 years, opening September 1970.

Roy Hughes

Written by Lynne Springer

And this building (LaMarque High School) has mold and mildew issues. I taught there in 2017 through 2019 and due to continually getting sick I had to leave. I was there 4 months before I got sick the first time. The sickness seemed like it was the flu (even though I had taken a shot). I took OTC meds and could not get it to go away. Finally, I went to a doctor and was told I was close to having walking pneumonia. I received prescribed meds.and it took 2 weeks to get well. I was well and felt great for one week. The following week I started getting the same symptoms. This repeated itself until I had gotten sick 5-6 more times. After speaking to my doctor, and one of the custodians in the building, I concluded it was a mold/mildew issue. Before I made my decision to leave I did speak to an administrator that I was assigned to and told him my issue. He disagreed with me. He stated that everyone who was part of the junior high breathed the same air. I disagreed. I was assigned to the band high which was downstairs by the gym. The rest of the junior high taught on the second floor. I thought about it for about 3 more weeks and made my decision to leave permanently. I turned in my resignation in the middle of February 2019.

While I have not gotten sick since leaving I still have terrible allergies. I decided to get an allergy test at the beginning of January 2023. I am only allergic to mold/mildew and would never consider working in a building that made me get sick every three weeks,

Many of the LaMarque schools ( the older ones) flooded during Harvey. I knew the Jr. High did but, I had no idea that the High School had, also. The building let me know.

My office area backed up to the boys locker room and my teaching area had been flooded. I was told by the custodian the entire area had been cleaned. Unfortunately, it was not enough AND I could not convince the administrator that there was a problem. So, after teaching for 34 years my career came to a close. The La Marque High School building needs a replacement.

Gary Scoggin

“ They tore down every school in LaMarque.” True. But, like the Lincoln High auditorium, many of the former LMISD buildings were so neglected all it took was one good push to knock them down.

Charles Douglas

Whose job was it to preserve Lincoln High School, not just the auditorium, but the historic school?Was it the city's responsibility, community's, or was it those who wanted it preserved responsibility to stand-up and get it done? I just want to know. I watched that old building sat there for decades and rot out with nothing done to upkeep it, nor to repair it!

I say if any city official is going.to do his or her job, they have to act in the best interest for the safety of the people around such a disaster which is what they did. Another thing just to be real,.....as a former alumni athlete who was one of the best ever to past through that school, and this area, ...I rather see that old eyesore torn down than to have to pass by and see what it had evolved to ...but that's just me! Lastly, a new building is NOT EVER going to take the place of the real thing, the school we had, learned in, and the one we represented on the field of football and did battle with 270 pound linemen from Charton Pollard, and Hebert High Schools out of Beaumont Texas, Central High out of Galvesfon, and Phillis Wheatley and Booker T Washington out of Houston! Nothing new is going to take it's place, THAT WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!!!!! MY opinion is the city did what they had to do.

Carlos Ponce

GCDN November 19, 2019

A preservation group plans to begin raising money to either restore or rebuild the long unused and recently fire-damaged Lincoln High School auditorium, one of a few landmarks remaining of the 1867 Settlement community.

“We wanted to make sure that we acquired the deed to the auditorium before we went public with fundraising efforts to resurrect or rebuild it,” said Charlesa Gary, president of the 1867 Settlement African-American Historic Preservation Committee.

The private group that had owned the auditorium passed the deed to the committee, she said. The nonprofit committee dedicated to historic preservation works closely with the Galveston County Historical Commission and other historic preservation organizations, Gary said.



David Hardee

Charles, your comment bears witness that The Lincoln High of your nostalgic recollection produced students athletes that learned and earned all the knowledge and character attribute to be a standard for generation to come to aspire to replicate.

Your reasoning, and rational conclusion, despite an obvious desire for better destiny of a meaningful icon, demonstrates what an good education, by a institution

dedicated to teaching the R's in an atmosphere also demanding respect will accomplish.

Stay the course - no matter how many words it takes.

Gary Scoggin

David, this is one of those times I agree heartily with both you and Charles.

Larry Grissom

I could not agree more. Now that it’s done? Everybody cares to the tune of 420 thousand and an apology.

Carlos Ponce

Charlesa Gary: “But he had no regard for the last standing black school on the mainland."

Sorry Charlesa, it was NOT "the last standing black school on the mainland."

Perhaps you are not aware that the original Lorraine Crosby School (nee Hitchcock Colored School) at 7801 Burns St.in Hitchcock still exists as home to Strongtower Ministries.

See the picture of the gym - now a worship center:


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