Country schools a big piece of Gillespie's past

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One day last week, I was searching for an article in the bound edition of the 1955 Standard when I ran across a notice listing all of the “School Closings” that would occur across the county in the coming weeks that year.

Because of the number of rural schools located in Gillespie County back then, school closings started as early as the end of April so that every rural school would have an opportunity to celebrate the end of the school year.

The first one on the list that year caught my eye since it was for the Doss School and I was an eighth-grade graduate of that far-northwestern Gillespie County school, having begun my education there in 1964.

Back in 1955, the students and teachers at Doss were the first to have their school closing — Saturday, April 30.

Also on the list were other Gillespie County rural schools and the dates of their “closings,” including  Pilot Knob and Wrede, both Saturday, May 7; Cherry Spring, Saturday, May 14; Morris Ranch and Luckenbach, both Sunday, May 15; Crabapple and Pecan Creek, both Saturday, May 21, and Rocky Hill, Sunday, May 22.

Each year, the schools rotated weekends on which each school had their end-of-school celebration.

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School closings were an end-of-year tradition and celebration for the students who had been practicing recitations, musical numbers and plays since shortly after Easter.

Not only were they a chance for the students to shine, but the adults were able to visit with locals as well as other friends they usually only saw once a year — at the school closing.

An advertisement for the Doss School Closing in 1955 listed the afternoon program beginning at 2:30 p.m., to be followed by a baseball game.

Each year, following the afternoon program, everyone would gather around the southern edge of the old “tabernacle” which stood where the Community Center now stands, to watch one of the Doss baseball teams play a team — usually from Fredericksburg or a nearby community.

 

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