The Tri-City Empowerment Council, founded by Daule School alumnus Viola Holman, worked successfully to secure the school’s state historic designation. He is now working to earn national historic recognition.
While researching designations, the board came across a large collection of newspaper articles written about the school.
As part of Black History Month, The Victoria Advocate will publish a series of stories based on the archived stories compiled by council members.
The Cuero-colored school building has been in use for 45 years. Then, through an organized effort and legal action, money was allocated for a badly needed new black school.
Professor Eugene A. Daule served as principal for 45 years until his retirement in 1931. Upon his retirement, the school was renamed Daule School.
The directors who served between 1931 and 1947 were Professors William C. Johnston, Willard Brown, and Thomas E. Dixon.
The last school building was constructed in 1948 and the spring of 1949 on land the city purchased from Willis Barfield, just inside the city limits on the old San Antonio Freeway on route 16a.
The new school was of the latest school building design, with a combination auditorium and gymnasium, indirect lighting, and all new equipment. It was constructed of hollow tiles and concrete and was painted white.
In 1947, George Anderson became director of the Daule school. Anderson was a graduate of Prairie View College, had previous teaching experience, and when he was hired he was working on his master’s degree at Prairie View. School enrollment at that time was 390 students with a staff of 15 teachers.
The last headmaster was Professor TW Humphrey who stayed on until the school closed at the end of the 1965 school year.
Anderson hired several music teachers during his tenure. Music has played a vital role in the lives of many young people. The music teachers were Mary Francis White, Henrietta Green Charleston, Emma Byrd and Marjorie Curtis.
After Anderson’s departure, Professor Humphrey hired Nell Humphrey to head the music department.
In 1954 Anderson hired David Ernest Hegwood to organize a band program. It was Hegwood’s first civilian job after spending many years in the US Army’s 656th Band.
The group quickly excelled and received many top marks walking and performing in the Prairie View State competition. The band played in many parades over the state, sometimes the only black band invited.
The band’s most memorable occasion was the Battle of Flowers Night Parade in San Antonio in 1959 when the band’s drum major, Katie Lee, graced the cover of Ebony magazine.
Band managers who followed Hegwood were Warren Hawkins and Robert Campbell. Hegwood also organized the boys’ and girls’ tennis team in Daule.
Boasting physical facilities unmatched by any other school in Cuero and staffed with knowledgeable instructors, Daule, Cuero’s public school for black students, was highly ranked in school circles in that area. The school now had 21 staff for teaching purposes from grades 1 to 12.
The school excelled in studies, agriculture, sports, housekeeping, orchestra and choir.
SA Sampson’s FFA boys have won top prizes multiple times at the San Antonio Livestock Show and the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.
Trumpeter Darnell Mike placed second at the New Farmers of America Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. He won four competitive rounds to qualify for the final.
In 1960, Principal Humphrey was honored for his outstanding service at the New Homemakers of American State Convention. He was accompanied by Mrs. Earline Fuller, president of the department of Daule.
Other department heads were Nell Humphrey, music (vocals), Warren Hawkins, band manager, and Maurice Mathis, business education and part-time manager.
The other teachers were Callie Grant, Gertrude Avant, Mabel Shropshire, Modestine Edwards, Corinne Haywood, Zula Houston, Ernestine Lewis, Susie Forrow, Henry Harvey, Delores Roy, Rosemary Williams, SA Sampson, Joe Williams, Ernestine Lewis, Lucious Clemmons, David Bonnick and Cecil Roy.
The legendary Sylvester A. Sampson coached the teams from 1936 through the 1940s and his impressive records were only surpassed by the example he set for his players and the coaches who followed him.
After his resignation, he mentored many young coaches who were appointed to lead the teams.