School No. 38
Trevia Wooster Beverly
The Wooster Common School No. 38 is believed
to be the oldest existing one-room frame schoolhouse indigenous to Harris county.
Planned by Quincy A. Wooster, it was built in 1894 on land donated by Junius Brown.
Mr. Wooster and Mr. Brown had been prominent citizens from Monona County, Iowa
and active with community service and education before coming to Texas.
Both had children of school age being taught at home by Mr. Brown’s daughter,
Bertha. As the community grew the need for a schoolhouse was evident. The principal
builders of the new school were family members Bert Brown, Ernest Crow, Steve
Steinman, W. A. “Will” Shreckengaust, and John L. Wooster.
school, though not fancy, was a source of pride for the small community. Cypress
was chosen for the frame and exterior siding, and long-leaf heart pine for the
interior. When finished the school boasted a real slate blackboard and new desks
that had been purchased in Houston
and delivered by steamboat to the community that was situated on Scott’s Bay.
On April 9, 1895 Commissioners Court instructed School District 17 (White Settlement,
Crosby post office) to be divided; Common School District No. 38 to be established,
and included the town of Lynchburg between Wooster and the San Jacinto River.
The Commissioners Court ordered, on June 13, 1895, an election for “Saturday the
25th day of June at the school house in said district no. thirty-eight. …” Other
elections were ordered to elect trustees and to levy taxes.
On July 29,
1895 Harris County Department of Education census taker Mr. S.T. Sikes stated
"District No. 38. Wooster. This district is in the extreme end of the County,
located on a beautiful bay. They have a good frame building and the patrons have
voted a local tax for supplementing the State funds, and the school is fairly
well equipped with good furniture and apparatus."
Intended to education the children in grades one through seven, in the early years
the little Wooster school served as a meetinghouse for the community, various
social activities, a Sunday School, and a place to vote.
Common School District No. 38 operated until it became part of the Goose Creek
Independent School District in 1919. When the new David G. Burnet Elementary School
opened in 1930 the Wooster school children from first through sixth grades attended.
The little school house was closed but reopened in 1937 to house the fifth grade
due to overcrowding at the new elementary school. It closed and reopened several
times, used as classroom, lunchroom, and music room and for ten years served the
Goose Creek District’s Special Education facility.
1980 the Wooster Schoolhouse was retired permanently. It was acquired and relocated
to the Republic of Texas Plaza in 1986, restored and used for tours for school
children. In 2006, the building was acquired by the Baytown Historical Preservation
Association and is now part of a ‘living history museum’ complex, continuing to
be an educational facility for Baytown
and its contiguous area.
In addition to being recognized with a Texas
Historical Marker, the Wooster Common School No. 38 has recently been designated
as a County Schools of America’s Landmark Additional information about the Baytown
Historical Preservation Association and the Wooster Schoolhouse can be found at
Historical Preservation Association