[From Goodspeed 1889]
School Statistics - The school report of 1887, summarized by the county clerk, shows the total enumeration of school children to be 6,744 of which number 3,535 are males and 3,209 are females. The State moneys amounted to $5,827.95; county moneys, $131.68; township moneys, $609.92; direct tax, $8,267.76, and total receipts, including balance from 1886, $19,545.97, of which $13,085.47 was expended. The county fund was $2,420.24, the township fund, $11,669.55 or $14,089.79, while funds received from fines and dog tax were $458. The commissioner reported 102 teachers employed, at an average salary of $25.56; 114 white schools, property valued at $24,675, and cost per day per pupil, .038. The assessed valuation was $2,000,000 the average levy in cents on which was 58, and amount received from railroad taxation, $847.68. In 1887 there was $1,600 paid for buildings, repairs, etc. The graded school at Houston, presided over by C. W. White and three assistants, had 223 pupils enrolled, the average attendance being 193. In 1884 there were 600 acres of township school lands sold for $900; in 1885, 360 acres for $450; in 1886, 240 acres for $300, and in 1887, 120 acres for $150. The report of 1888 gives the enumeration 8,774. Prior to 1848 the old subscription school system was followed here, but in that year the first steps to organize school townships, under the law of 1845, were taken.
Teachers' Association - From 1875 to 1885, the teachers of the county were accustomed to meet for the discussion of matters relating to their profession. In 1885, however, the first thorough organization was perfected, with C. W. White, president; F. H. Farris, secretary; D. C. McPherson, Miss M. E. Newton, W. W. Paulding, T. G. Hardin, E. L. Evans, executive committee, and Miss Ella Burres, E. H. Stewart, H. A. Angel, Miss Sadie Lynch, W. C. Jadwin, Miss Mary Bradley, members of other committees. This society has worked effectively since its organization. The Normal Institute of 1888, through a committee of which D. C. McPherson, Ella A. Burres and Etta Tweed were members, tendered thanks to Prof. C. W. White, commissioner of schools, for the interest taken in this department of school work.
Physicians - John H. Hubbard
is said to have been the first resident physician, while Drs. Harris, White
and William Clay resided on the borders of the county, and often practiced
within its boundaries. Dr. Barron, referred to in the military chapter;
Dr. Headlee, now of St. James; Dr. Van Slycke, still residing here; Dr.
Barnes, of Licking; Dr. Collier, of Licking; Dr. Steeley, who died in 1887,
after thirty years' practice, were also early practitioners. Among
the physicians to whom certificates were issued for long practice are found
the names of Thomas Smith, of Plato; J. L. Powell, of Summerville; J. A.
Kirkman, of Cabool; W. P. Dunlap, of Summerville; F. D. Morgan, Dykes;
E. M. Gardner, Summerville; John F. Johnson and J. S. Allen. Dr.
William Mires, of Cabool, is one of the oldest physicians, while some of
those hereafter named may be classed among the pioneers. The physicians
who registered under the act of 1883 are G. H. Lupton, Stephen D. Lyles
and W. A. Bradley, of Houston; B. F. Craven, T. L. R. Wilson, George McC.
Orr, S. L. Mitchell and D. T. Collier, of Licking;
L. B. Laws and Jasper C. Stuart, of Stanford; J. J. Evans, of Pleasant Ridge; W. F. Watts and J. L. Powell, Summerville; S. M. Hubbard, of Cabool, now county clerk, and J. A. Steeley, of Elk Creek, named among the pioneer doctors. William Nash, of Big Creek, registered as a dentist in 1886, while Dr. Turner, of West Plains, visits here. Among the names subsequently registered are C. M. Ross, R. B. Lynch, B. E. Guynn, W. D. Fausler, D. A. Lynch, C. B. Taylor, J. A. Helm, E. B. Arthur, G. W. Caveness and A. T. McMurtry. Dr. Harmon, of Elk Creek, and Dr. Farris, of Stanford, are also practitioners.
Agricultural Societies - The Grange organization in the county in 1874 were as follows: Houston, J. C. White, master, and J. H. Steffens, secretary; Elk Creek, R. J. Smyley, master, and J. R. Davis, secretary; Concord, G. C. Hutchison, master and A. H. Cardwell, secretary; Platon, J. A. Wilson, master and William Cook, secretary; Licking, S. L. Mitchell, master and L. A. Nichol, secretary; Union, Henry M. Lemon, master and Thomas Harrison, secretary; Piney, W. A. Ross, master and A. C. Ross, secretary; Boone, W. J. Bates, master and James A. Bates, secretary.
The Farmers' Alliance, commonly called the Wheel, has now taken the place of the Grange. The central trade committee of the County Wheel is composed of Judge Wheeler, president; S. B. Bell, secretary; W. H. Westerman, J. W. Wilhite, Judge Miller and G. W. Cox. The Wheelers proclaim as their object the improvement in every way of the condition of the farming and laboring classes, and the abolition of the monopolies.
In the county there are six Masonic lodges, five Odd Fellows lodges, several lodges of the Knights of Labor and several Grand Army encampments.
The Immigration Society was organized in April, 1888, with G. H. Lupton, president; I. N. Vance, secretary; and G. A. Leavitt, treasurer.
Temperance Societies - The temperance associations of Texas in 1878 included the Grand Lodge of the county, Houston Lodge No. 1, Black Oak No. 2, Elk Creek No. 3, Licking No. 4, Union No. 5, Lebanon No. 6, Summerville No. 7, Pleasant Ridge No. 8, and Murrs No. 9. I.O.G.T. Lodge No. 612 was in existence in Licking, and No. 943 at Houston. Today the organization is very powerful, and in 1887 almost carried the county for the prohibition of liquor selling.
Debbie Linton and Penny Harrell
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