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Clearwater, Theresa Clark (1853–1938)

Verna J. McKenna Biography Entry

Theresa Clark Clearwater, first teacher in Cameron County, daughter of William Henry Clark, was born on December 19, 1853, at Clarksville in Cameron County. In 1872 she received a state teaching certificate and, at a salary of fifty-five dollars a month, became the teacher of the first school in Cameron County and one of the first certified teachers in the area. In 1875 Theresa Clark married Joseph H. Clearwater; they had two children. After her husband died in 1879 in Tampico, Tamaulipas, she returned to Point Isabel, then moved to Brownsville, where she taught school from 1882 to 1936. She died on September 28, 1938; a Brownsville elementary school was named in her honor.

W. H. Chatfield, The Twin Cities of the Border and the Country of the Lower Rio Grande (New Orleans: Brandao, 1893; rpt., Brownsville: Brownsville Historical Association, 1959). San Antonio Express, January 10, 1937.


  • Education
  • Educators
  • General Education
  • Women

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Verna J. McKenna, “Clearwater, Theresa Clark,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed March 06, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: