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LLANO ESTACADO INSTITUTE. The first structure of what became Llano Estacado Institute in Plainview was a cellar-like dugout known simply as "the school." It was built in 1887 to fill the needs of the twenty-seven school-age children in Plainview. All the men of the community helped with the construction, and the building originally had no seats. Each student was required to furnish his own chair until lumber could be hauled from Colorado City, Texas, a distance of 160 miles. Pupils also furnished their own books, passing them around so all could use them. In the summer of 1889 public schools were established in Hale County; Plainview, in District One of the county, had thirty-eight of the county's 108 pupils. The school board contracted with the local Masonic lodge to build a two-story wooden building, the first floor for the school and the second for the lodge. The new school was built by Thomas G. Nance, pastor of the First Christian Church, and was officially opened on April 13, 1891, under the name District One School.

In 1895, while O. C. Mulkey was principal, the name of the school was changed to Llano Estacado Institute for Males and Females, and higher-level work was added to the curriculum. On March 12, 1902, the Plainview area schools were incorporated as Plainview Independent School District; Llano Estacado Institute became Plainview High School, and the grade school was named after Republic of Texas president Mirabeau B. Lamar. Sometime before October 7, 1902, the institute burned, and shortly thereafter a contract was let to build a larger building on the same site. In July 1903 the school board rented space in the building to three fraternal lodges to help defray building expenses. In 1990 the building remained, bricked and remodeled, and the Masons still used its upper floor for meetings.


Dorothy Watters Jamar, "The Lamar School," Hale County History 9 (February 1979). John Sigwald, Hale County Bibliography (Plainview, Texas: Unger Memorial Library, 1987).

Tonja Clark


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

Tonja Clark, "LLANO ESTACADO INSTITUTE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.