Sabine County, Texas
Marker Dedication Ceremony Program
Call to Honor: Ronald Barlow
Invocation: Glenn Bell
Pledge of Allegiance to the US & Texas Flags: John Booker
Welcome, Greetings, and Recognition of Sabine County Historical Commission: Weldon McDaniel
Recognition of Pineland School Former Teachers, Board Members, and Students: Ronald Barlow
Unveiling of Marker: All Former Teachers, Board Members, & Students
Reading of the Script: Dixie Crocker
Acceptance of the Marker: Daryl Melton and Butch Ellison, Sabine County Judge and Sabine County Commissioner of Precinct 3, respectively.
Comments & Reflections: Audience
Benediction: Clint Hines
Prior to 1860, few roads traversed the area that is now Sabine County. Once the timber industry developed in East Texas in the 1880s, more people began to move to this area. Even then, many children were home-schooled or attended school sporadically. Most attended small rural schools since transportation was difficult. Pineland was established in 1902 along the newly-constructed gulf, Beaumont and Great Northern Railroad.
With the increase in population to the area, more schools and teachers were needed. Pineland area students attended either the wood common school district or the whitehead common school district one mile east. Both were annexed into the Pineland district. In 1906, the Pineland Common School District was established with Miss Mattie Hines teaching in a one-room building. On September 10, 1917, the Pineland Independent School District (ISD) was established.
In 1938, voters of the Pineland ISD unanimously approved a bond to erect a new school. The new school opened on September 11, 1939, and was a large wood-frame structure under one roof. It contained twelve classrooms, three offices, a reception room, community library, dining room, book room, teacher's work room, auditorium, gymnasium and five restrooms. A unique feature of the school grounds still visible is the field stone fence constructed by the public works administration in 1939.
Over the years, as enrollment increased, the original one-roof structure received several additions. The school served Pineland ISD and West Sabine ISD until 1991 when a new elementary school and middle school were constructed.
Marker is property of the State of Texas.
The Pineland Independent School District was lawfully established on September 10, 1917, from the Pineland Common School District, which first held school here in 1906 with miss Mattie Hines teaching in a one-room building.
The first school trustees in 1906 were J.F. Whitehead, Sr., Jim Kelley and W.F. Martin. Prior to 1906, area students attended the Whitehead Common school which moved to Pineland in 1906, the Wood Common School District, which was annexed by Pineland in 1914, the Lone Star School, which was annexed after 1914 or the Gum Bottom (Ridge) School.
(In 1890, there were 51 rural community schools in Sabine County. By 1935, there were only 30, and by 1949, there were only eight. Seven of these eight were closed down between 1950 and 1953, leaving only Rosevine, which closed in 1966.)
John Franklin Adams (1872-1916), Part Owner and Manager of Garrison-Norton Lumber Company which founded Pineland, who continued as sawmill manager and part owner of Temple Lumber Company until his early and sudden death in 1916, donated 15 acres for this campus and provided lumber, material, and labor for construction of the earliest school structures, soon after the new sawmill was completed in 1906.
A one-room structure was built and the land cleared for a campus. A small, boxed house with partitions removed was used for the first school building. Miss Mattie Hines was the only teacher for some twelve or fifteen children. Soon the enrollment increased, and Mr. K. Dupre was elected principal to help "Miss Mattie." Partitions were put in the building, converting it into a two-teacher school.
Mr. L.A. Woods, who later served as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, succeeded Mr. Dupre, then after Mr. Woods left, Mr. James Taylor was named principal.
In 1913, Mr. W.B. Hargis, who was then County Superintendent of Nacogdoches County, was engaged to teach along with Miss Mabel Usrey and Miss Mattie Hines. Another room was added to the building. The school was now (1914) carrying eight grades of work. The next year, Miss Winnie Barnett was added to the High School faculty to teach Latin and English. As the school grew, more rooms were added.
Mr. Hargis soon had a sufficient teaching force to carry High School courses of eleven grades. Mrs. John Adams, without any compensation, taught homemaking courses. Through her efforts, a small home economics cottage was built on the campus. She also helped coach the debate and declamation teams.
Mrs. W.F. Purdy was the music teacher and was untiring in her efforts to help in school activities. Mr. E.G. "Eck" Prud'homme, who later served as Temple Lumber Company's mill superintendent from 1938 to 1958, who was then a young office employee for Temple Lumber Company, gave his services to help coach the boys for athletics events.
(Most of the above writings were taken from an article by Mrs. Olena Day Black in HISTORY OF PINELAND SCHOOL, published in THE WHISPERING PINE (Pineland's School Newspaper) on May 15, 1947.)
William Bonaparte "Fess" Hargis (1872-1953), who had come to Pineland as Principal, Teacher, and Coach in 1913, was the first P.I.S.D. Superintendent, serving in that position from 1917 to 1934, excluding two years (1920-1922), during which he served as County Extension Agent in McLennan County Texas in Waco. Fess'r Hargis also taught Vocational Agriculture, Plane Geometry, Solid Geometry, Advanced Artithmetic, American History, Physical Geography, Biology, and Physics over the years. He later served as Sabine County Superintendent (1935-1936) and State Representative (1941-1942).
William Roy Cousins, Sr. (1881-1975), of Lamerie (3 miles north), as Sabine County Judge (1917-1918) was instrumental in Pineland ISD's establishment, and as State Senator (1919-1925), he provided more support.
Pineland I.S.D. served all students residing within the city limits of Pineland and the immediate surrounding area. White students attended this location, while black students attended the Bryant School (1 mile southeast). From 1917 to 1939, the school building faced south, parallel to Mulberry Street.
Other P.I.S.D. Superintendents included M.B. Morris (1934-1944), O.T. Sears (1944-1951), Herman King (1951-1956), M.M. Miller (1956-1959) and D.Swinney Gray (1959-1961).
In 1925, the Magasco community was added to the district (HB 496). Pat Patterson, Class of 1932, wrote the school song, "Pineland High, Our Alma Mater," which was revised in 1961 for West Sabine I.S.D.
By 1938, the original one-room structure, which had received additions as enrollment increased and teachers were added, contained nine classrooms and an auditorium. There was no indoor plumbing.
On May 10, 1938, Pineland I.S.D. voters approved a bond issue of $15,000 to erect a new school. The election passed 110-0; the only unanimously approved public school bond election in history.
The new school building faced east and paralleled the newly paved Farm Road 1, opening on September 11, 1939 and served Pineland I.S.D. and West Sabine I.S.D. until 1991. The 1939 school building was reported to be the largest wood frame school building under a single roof in Texas. It contained 12 classrooms, three offices, a reception room, community library, dining room, book room, teacher's work room, auditorium, gymnasium, and five indoor restrooms. Hot water and heating was provided by a wood-fueled steam boiler adjacent to the agriculture shop behind the main building, which pumped steam through radiator heaters in each classroom, offices, and other rooms in the building. The rock fence and the sidewalk to town were both constructed by the WPA in 1939.
The Pineland Indians competed in baseball, basketball, track and field, tennis, and occasionally in other extracurricular sports, starting as early as 1916, with most, if not all, of these sports. The Indians played six-man football for a few years just prior to World War II and sponsored a marching band and choral group.
From the 1910s-1940s, annual "County Meets" were held at various schools around the county, Including Pineland, Which pitted all of the county schools' students' skills in academic events including Essay Writing, Declamation (Prepared Public Speaking), Spelling, and several athletic events including several running, jumping, chinning, push-ups and hammer throwing events.
Pineland I.S.D. and Bronson I.S.D. were consolidated in 1961 to create the West Sabine I.S.D., which continues to utilize the original Pineland campus.
Thomas Kenneth "K.T." Franks (1912-1980), who had served as a social studies teacher, boy's and girl's coach and high school principal at Pineland from 1946-1955, came back to serve as West Sabine ISD's first Superintendent from 1961-1977.
Pineland was a "Company Town" and literally belonged to Temple Lumber Company until 1958. Temple's Mill managers, including John Adams (1906-1916), Henry Temple (1916-1938), Eck Prud'homme (1938-1958), Jack Sweeny (1958-1965) and John Booker (1965-1988), were instrumental through every step of progress made by Pineland Schools.
Photos by Daily News & More
Originally Published October 8, 2019