Creedmoor History By: Donna P. Parker
Creedmoor is at the intersection of Farm roads 1327 and 1625, fifteen miles southeast of Austin in southern Travis County. Though in the 1850s the site had general stores, a grocery, a meat market, a drugstore, a barbershop, a blacksmith shop, and an ice cream parlor, the name Creedmoor did not appear until the establishment of the community’s post office in 1880. Some sources say the town was originally called Willow Springs; others say it was first called Creekmoor but was renamed Creedmoor by settlers who wanted the name to express their faith.
Dr. Jacob T. Wilhite, once the country’s foremost authority on rabies and the founder and director of the Pasteur Institute at the Austin State Hospital, was born in Creedmoor. The town’s population grew from twenty in 1896 to 150 by 1915. In 1921 a cyclone destroyed its four-room school and one of the local gins. The town suffered a drought in 1925. A 1946 map showed Creedmoor with a school, two churches, seven businesses, and more than thirty dwellings. In the 1950s it had two gins, and cotton was still a major local industry. Under threat of annexation by Austin in 1982, Creedmoor became the ninth community in Travis County to incorporate. In 1990 Creedmoor reported a population of 194, a store, a post office, and the San Francisco Catholic Church. The population in 2000 was 211, with three businesses.
Creedmoor School History Long Forgotten but not Often Heard
Inside a small rural community town called Creedmoor, Texas was a school called Creedmoor School. The first Creedmoor School was built in 1880 as a log cabin. The school was a one room school located inside the log cabin. Later an additional room was added on to the one room school. The school was built on the same site of Creedmoor Co-op Gin also know as Creedmoor Gin. Creedmoor School was operated by Creedmoor Common School District as a K-12 School from 1880 to 1967. The Creedmoor Common School District was known as Common School District No. 41 or simply School No. 41 on Travis County school district maps.
Ms. Bell Miller and Ms. Ida Rice were the first teachers at Creedmoor School. The faculty was increased to 3 teachers and a second principal. Ms. Ida Rice was the first teacher to teach at Creedmoor School. Ms. Bell Miller was the second teacher to teach at Creedmoor School. Their first school board members consisted of Dr. R. Ailton, Jake Steussey, and J.D. Campbell. Grades 1-12 were taught at here at first.
Creedmoor School was also known as Willow Springs School. This name was chosen from the many willow trees in the area. These willow trees surrounded the springs nearby. Willow trees grow near springs. Willow trees were common in the Creedmoor area as most of the land was farmland.
In 1909, a 4 room building was erected within a 2 to 4 bock radius near the intersection of FM 1327 & FM 1625. The four room building served as the elementary and high school. The building was erected to accommodate increased enrollment. Playground equipment was donated by local citizens. By 1915 the school district had boasted an enrollment of 200 students.
In 1921, a disastrous tornado destroyed the school building. Another school building was swept away by a cyclone. School was conducted in a local Creedmoor church on FM 1625 while the schools were being planned and constructed. Construction period had ranged 2 years from 1921 to 1923. Creedmoor School was completed in 1923. This time the Creedmoor School was built as a building with 6 rooms becoming a 6 room school building. The 6 room Creedmoor School building was a K-12 school from 1923 until 1925.
In 1925, the 6 room building served as Creedmoor High School and Creedmoor Elementary School was served in a log cabin. Creedmoor High School operated in the 6 room school building from 1925 until 1950. In 1950, the elementary school was incorporated into the 6 room building known as the Creedmoor School. This made the 1923 school building for Creedmoor School a K-12 school again.
1955 is when the 1923 school building was demolished. In its place was a 1 story building separated into 3 units. One being elementary school, the other being middle school, and the last one being high school. The 1955 school building was built at a cost of $22,000. The 1955 school building was built out of recycled building material and bricks from the 1923 school building which made this school unique. The bottom floor was the only portion that remained from the 1923 school building.
In 1955, a portion of the log cabin that once served as a 1-12 school then serving as Creedmoor Elementary School was demolished. The year of 1955 faced increased enrollment. The log cabin was demolished altogether in 1956. 1957 is when the school faced more enrollment. 500 students were enrolled within the school district.
Creedmoor School was home to a bilingual program. Del Valle ISD hosted an educational program at Creedmoor Elementary School (Creedmoor School) called Del Valle School Bilingual Culture Program at one time in 1965 to 1973 so on. Spanish language was taught in grades 1-5 and 6th grade as well within this educational program. The concept of “machismo” in Latin American life was taught in the program. Half the of the students enrolled in the program were Hispanic despite the program being diversely compromised into mixed races. The program started with 127 students within its first year.
The bilingual program got phenomenal reception worldwide in part from its dedicated teachers. A few news storylines appeared on newspapers, articles, thesis documents, newsletters, and dissertations in the United States and across the globe. As a result, this program was eventually extended into other Del Valle schools such as Popham School, Lamar School, Del Valle Elementary School, and Del Valle Middle School. Del Valle Middle School was one of the last Del Valle schools to implement this program into a Del Valle ISD school.
A grant from the state was given to the school for its bilingual education program under the Title II Act. Funding had depended on congressional action. It was under the Title II Act where funding for this bilingual education had depended on congressional action.
In 1966 the school added more educational to the Creedmoor School programs and as an addition to this bilingual education program. 1966 is the same year when Creedmoor School became a K-8 school entirely. Soon more educational programs followed.
In 1967, both Creedmoor Common School District and Creedmoor School were consolidated into Del Valle Independent School District. In the same year, Creedmoor School had been restricted into an elementary school thus becoming Creedmoor Elementary School. Creedmoor Elementary School and Creedmoor High School were operated by Creedmoor Common School District from 1880 until 1967.
1967 is when Creedmoor High School students were transferred to Del Valle High School. Junior high school students and middle school students were transferred to Del Valle Junior High School, Ojeda Middle School, and Del Valle Middle School. Some elementary students were transferred to Smith Elementary School in Austin, Texas, Lamar School, or to Popham Elementary School in Del Valle, Texas. Creedmoor School would eventually become Creedmoor Elementary School.
Creedmoor School was a K-8 School by 1968. Creedmoor School boasted an attendance rate of 200 students by 1968. In 1969 the Creedmoor School had boasted an attendance rate of 300 students. By 1972, Creedmoor School was a K-5 School. When Smith Elementary School opened in 1975, students from Creedmoor Elementary School were transferred to that school the day it opened. That was done in an effort to relieve overcrowding.
After 1986, Creedmoor School transformed into a K-3 school. Some of the elementary schools zoned in the Del Valle school district transformed into K-3 schools in an effort to reduce and relieve overcrowding. Schools such as Baty and Hillcrest were K-3 schools at one time for instance. From 1986 to 2002, Creedmoor School was a K-3 school.
In 2003, Del Valle ISD purchased land from longtime resident Annie M. Caldwell for a new school to be built in order to accommodate increased enrollment. This school would become an elementary school instead of a K-12 school. Construction started in 2003. The house and other buildings owned by Annie Caldwell were demolished. Construction of this school was finally finished in 2004. The 1955 Creedmoor School resided in its same location until 2004 when a new school was opened east of town.
In 2004, a new school building was erected east of Creedmoor and the old school building was demolished during that same year. Construction period for Creedmoor Elementary School was from 2003-2004. An opening ceremony for opening grounds was held east of town on the site of the current Creedmoor School in 2004. Today the Creedmoor School is known as Creedmoor Elementary School which now located at 6504 FM 1327, Creedmoor, Texas, US 78610.
The legacy of Creedmoor School still lives on even with no designated Texas Historic Landmark markers in sight or the vicinity of this small rural community. Creedmoor, Texas has evolved from a small rural community to a small town with an enormous farm land. Creedmoor School is one of the many Austin/Travis County institutions that have been long forgotten.
The Defender Pages were scanned in and sent in from Rusty Heckaman at Austin History Center, Austin Public Library