West River School
The West River School was opened by Harris County Common School District No. 28 for the 1888-1889 school year. It closed at the end of the 1908-1909 school year.
Students in District No. 28 had previously attended the only school in the district, Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse. However, District No. 28 was split into two parts during the summer of 1888: the northern portion remained as District No. 28, while the southern portion became District 35.
Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse ended up in District No. 35, leaving District No. 28 to build a new school for their students. The district administrators knew the split was coming and were prepared for it. In March 1888, William Smith Humble, the son of Humble founder Pleasant Humble, sold District No. 28 an acre of land for the location of a new public school.1 The land was located on the corner of Old Humble Road and Isaacks Road.
Location of the West River School
The discovery of oil in Humble in 1904 created a population boom. The student population at the West River School ballooned from 50 students in 1904 to over 300 students in 1909.
West River School, 1904 (Picture courtesy of the Humble Museum)
The school had employed only one teacher each school year until 1904. Two teachers were employed for the 1904-1905 year, and a second building was added. Three teachers were employed for the next two years, and a third building was added in the summer of 1906. Four teachers were employed for 1908-1909, the school's final year.
West River School, 1909 (Picture courtesy of the Humble Museum)
Location of the West River School buildings, 1909
To accommodate continued student enrollment, District No. 28 built a new, two-story brick school house on Higgins Street over the summer of 1909. All students started attending the new Humble School on Higgins Street for the 1909-1910 school, and the West River School was closed.
The West River school buildings were eventually sold, and the proceeds used to help pay for the cost of the new two-story building.2 The location of the West River School, the original one acre land donated by William Smith Humble was sold to W. E. DeFee in 1917.3 Mr. DeFee sold the property to the Humble Cemetery Association in 1920, and that group used the land to expand the cemetery to its current configuration.4
1 Harris County Land Records #11964, Volume 40, pages 426-427
2 Harris County Commissioners Court Minutes, Volume P, page 229
3 Harris County Land Records, Volume 291, page 302
4 Harris County Land Records #117837, Volume 532, page 211