Clark School - Ladonia
Fannin County TXGenWeb
The Ladonia Historical Preservation Society
Clark School

View article about a Clark School Reunion

View 1961 Graduation Article

1955 Graduation Photograph

Clark School by Dorothy Gaffney Harrison

        Clark School has a long and glorious history and was a second home to hundreds of students from the Ladonia area. It included grades 1 through 12.
        The school was organized by, and named for Mr. E.S. Clark in 1888. Mr. Clark invested his own money and built the school house near its last location at the end of North Wilson Street.
        The colored school has grown like the Ladonia School into a splendid school with two teachers, having eighth and ninth grades, housed in one of the best colored school buildings in this part of the state. This original Big building of Clark School was made possible in 1923 when $1,000 was received from the Rosenwald Fund, donated by Julius Rosenwald as a result of an application by Ladonia Supt. T.D. Mayo.
        The other building; the Homemaking came from Pecan Gap, six miles from Ladonia, the King building was also donated to the campus. The lunch room was built new after the old building was destroyed by fire.
        Instructors at Clark School from the Ladonia area included; J.W.Askey (Principal) who came to Clark in 1944. Others included Allie Preston Gannaway, Thyra Cooksie Brown, Linnie Wright, Essie Adams, Bernice Palmer, Ms. DeJournal, Idonia Kennedy Askey, Stigner, Walker and Barnes. Clark School applied to the state to become an accredited High School in 1945.
        Mr. Askew was the only principal of Clark after it became a High School. Prior principals were: Ms. Annie Dickson, and Prof. Smith.
        The High School was finally accredited by the State of Texas in 1946, and the class of 46-47 became the first fully accredited high school graduates. Four students received diplomas that year. They are; Howard Hatcher, Janie James Roberson Grayson, Thelma Jean Stephens, and Glodine Crowley Thomas.
        Clark School came to a close during desegregation moves of the 1960's and the last class to graduate was the class of 1966.
        Consolidation with Fannindel was completed the following September, and the first former Clark students to graduate at Fannindel were members of the 1967 Fannindel High School senior class.
        The Clark High School Leopards basketball team brought fame to the area, becoming a powerhouse in 1958 under coach Harry Champion. Mr. Champion later moved to Commerce and serves as the Justice of the Peace in Hunt County. The mighty Leopards went on to the state playoff's for two more years in 1959-1960 under the coaching of James Johnson.
        Two members of the 1966 class became instructors at Fannindel, they are, Jesse McKinney, and Joyce Wright-Akins.


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