ST. MARY'S ACADEMY, PALESTINE
ST. MARY'S ACADEMY, PALESTINE. St. Mary's Academy on North Tennessee Avenue in Palestine, was built in 1901. In 1965 it was believed to be one of the oldest private schools in Texas; its graduates were scattered nationwide. The first Catholic school in Palestine was established in a small frame house at the intersection of Lacy and North Jackson streets. The Sisters of St. Agnes taught class in two rooms there. The school grew, and in 1882 the Sisters of Mercy, whose motherhouse is Our Lady of the Lake Convent in San Antonio, were teaching in a frame house on North Tennessee Avenue, the site the school occupies today. The sisters purchased the property and set about building a school that would accommodate growth for forty years. It was privately owned by the Sisters of Divine Providence. The school provided a twelve-grade curriculum and took both day and boarding students. In addition to basic subjects, it taught instrumental and choral music, Christian morals, and needlework. It was accredited by the State Board of Education and the Catholic University of America. Students came from Jacksonville, Cayuga, Crockett, Fairfield, and other areas. In 1948 the school closed due to lack of available teachers and the high cost of upkeep, but it was reopened in 1954. This time it had a smaller teaching staff, and its curriculum was reduced to an eight-grade program. Boarding was provided only for elementary-age boys. These changes were well received, and the school continued for another eleven years before being closed permanently. The building and property were purchased by Sacred Heart parish and used for wedding receptions and various other activities.
Sister Joseph A. Dederichs and Sister Rose Mary Cousins, Catholic Schools: Dawn of Education in Texas (Beaumont: Beaumont Printing and Lithographing, 1986).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Lorretta Torma, "ST. MARY'S ACADEMY, PALESTINE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kbsby), accessed February 09, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles