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Texas | Schoolhouses

The Old Hovey Schoolhouse
Hovey, Texas

On Spring Drive, Fort Stockton, Texas
See Historical Marker

(Former area resident Barbara K.'s Letter continued )


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Hovey Schoolhouse - Fort Stockton, Texas
Hovey Schoolhouse
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2008
The old wood frame school house was moved to the renovated Fort Stockton grounds, located to the north of Comanche Springs in Ft. Stockton.

The schoolhouse has been painted and generally gussied up with desks of the period for which it was used for educating neighboring rancher's kids.

My mother, who is 76 went to grade school in the old Hovey schoolhouse. In later years, it was used for get-togethers by the ranchers.

There probably still remains a large concrete slab for outdoor dancing, in front of where the schoolhouse was located. An upraised stage, attached to the front of the schoolhouse, provided a place for the dance band to perform.

The dances on the pavilion were the Texas Two-Step and Waltzes (who'd have known). My mother learned how to dance there at the age of 7. It must have taken, cause she's still dancing - nearly 70 years later.
Cowboy Dance Post Office mural
Cowboy Dance by Jenne Magafan (Anson Post Office Mural, c 1941)
"My mother learned how to dance there at the age of 7. It must have taken, cause she's still dancing - 70 years later". - Barbara Kipgen
Hovey Schoolhouse
The Hovey School shortly after becoming a Texas Historic Landmark

Photo Courtesy Barbara Kipgen
Hovey School - Fort Stockton, Texas
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2008
The windows of the school were simple glass-paned windows that could be raised or lowered. On each side of the windows were "drapes" (hemmed burlap), on which all of the local rancher's brands were displayed. Their branding irons were dipped in red paint and then carefully applied to the drapes. The windows were left open to let in the cool night breeze and let out the smoke from the men's rolled cigarettes, and pipes.

From Mother's memory - The classroom (large front room) was heated by a wood-burning heater. The kitchen had the wood stove, and the teacher's bedroom (next to the kitchen) had a kerosene heater. The teacher lived "on campus".

There was a "two-holer" behind the schoolhouse. A hand pump for water was outside. That, plus a pretty view of the Davis and Glass Mountains, were pretty much it for amenities.

There was only one teacher employed at a time. The kids were rancher's kids, and the children of the men who worked on the railroad.

At the time mother was in school (about 1931 to 1938), the grocery store, post office and town were alive and well. I don't know what caused it all to die- but suspect it had something to do with better automobiles to school kids in Alpine, and the ultimate demise of that length of the railroad.

In the late 40's, and during the 50's, as the ranchers got older, the schoolhouse became the scene for the monthly "Hovey 42 party."

In all, there were probably 20 to 30 adults and sundry kids attending. Good country cooking was brought, and kept warm in the old school kitchen stove.

As the kids got older and braver, we would climb to the tops of the freight cars on the railroad siding and run and jump the gaps between cars. "42" is really pretty boring- and so may this little remembrance, but, the real history of the old school house is available when you tour it, in Fort Stockton." - Former area resident, Barbara K.
Hovey School Historical Marker- Fort Stockton, Texas
Hovey School Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2008

Hovey Schoolhouse Historical Marker

The historical marker for the old schoolhouse, provided by Barbara Kipgen reads:

"About 1910, a railroad stop named Hovey was established alongside the Kansas City, Mexico, & Orient Railroad, about 40 miles west of Ft. Stockton, Texas in Pecos Co.

By 1913, Hovey contained a Railroad depot, housing for railroad workers, livestock shipping pens, a post office, general store, gas pump, a rancher's H.Q. home, and school house for community and area ranch kids.

In 1916, the first school house burned. W. C. Shafter built the 2nd school house; which contained one large room, for grades one through seven. Hovey school officially closed in 1938.

In 1987, the Hovey school house was moved onto Ft. Stockton's Historical Center, on the Old Fort grounds."

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Hovey Schoolhouse - Fort Stockton, Texas
Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, 2008
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