•  Humble ISD History

     1950s Timeline


    EAST & MOUNT HOUSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT -- In the 1940s and 1950s, the East & Mount Houston school district, which was just south of Humble, did not have a high school of their own.  Their high school students attended Charles Bender High School in Humble. The addition of the East & Mount Houston high school students was a good boost to Humble's student population, and the increased enrollment let them hire more teachers and offer more classes.

    In 1950, the Humble ISD school board was approached by parents of the East & Mount Houston school district.  They wanted Humble to annex the East & Mount Houston district, and eventually build more schools in their neighborhood. The East & Mount Houston Superintendent and School Board were against the idea.  Weighing the pros and cons, Superintendent Burton and the Humble ISD School Board decided to support the idea of annexation, since an eventual loss of the East & Mount Houston high school students would have adverse effects on Charles Bender High School (a decline in efficiency, variety of offerings and an increase in the expensiveness per pupil).1

    In March 1950, the Humble ISD School Board set-up an election to annex the East & Mount Houston School District.  The annexation decision went to a vote of the citizens of Humble.  The Humble citizens were afraid the annexation would eventually lead to them having less control over the district, and the annexation was rejected by the voters.

    The East & Mount Houston school district eventually became North Forest ISD.  The State closed North Forest ISD in July 2013, and it was merged with Houston ISD.


    KOREAN WAR -- The Korean War begins on June 25 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea.  THe war involved the United Nations in defense of South Korea (with the UNited States providing 88% of the personnel), and China andthe Soviet Union providing defense to North Korea.AN armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, creating the Korean Demilitarized Zone.  Over 36,000 Americans were killed in the war, and another 103,00 were injured.

    CREDIT CARDS -- Diner Club begins issueing the first credit cards.


    MR. CURTIS -- Elliott Curtis is hired as the new Principal of Charles Bender High School.  He ended up staying in that positions for almost 20 years.

    Elliott Curtis
    Elliott Curtis, Principal of Charles Bender High School

    NEW BUS GARAGE -- The district had a new bus garage built.  The old bus garage had been behind the Superintendents home.  The new, double garage was built at the northeast corner of the football field on Charles Street, adjacent to the Humble Elementary School.

    DIRECT DIAL -- The first direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone call was made in November 1951.  It ook 18 seconds to connect the call, and did not require assistance of an operator.

    TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS -- The Humble ISD decided to join the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) in November 1951.  TASB is a non-profit organization that supports and represents school board across Texas.  it was established in 1949.  After receiving training from TASB, the Humble ISD School Board immediately went to work on setting up better sets of regulations, and rules and by-law for the guidance of the board.

    HIGH ENROLLMENT FOR THE 1950s -- The 1950-1951 school-year was the highest enrollment year for the 1950s:  842 students were enrolled in the Humble schools that year.  The enrollment figures did not vary much during the 1950s; the median enrollment figure throughout the decade was 751 students. The lowest enrollment year of the 1950s was the 1955-1956 school-year, with just 685.


    QUEEN ELIZABETH -- Elizabeth II becomes Queen of England after her father, Georige VI, dies. She is still Queen as of 2018.

    POLIO EPIDEMIC -- The 1952 polio epidemic was the worst outbreak in the United State history. Nerly 58,000 case were reported, of which 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with some type of paralysis.


    LAKE HOUSTON OPENS -- Lake Houston is a man-made lake created by the City of Houston as the primary municipal water supply for the city.  Construction began in 1951, and completed in 1953.  The lake follows the original path of the San Jacinto River, and is held in place in the south by the San Jacinto Dam.  The City of Houston annxed the lake in 1956. 

    FIRST POLIO VACCINE -- Jonas Salk led the first team that developed a vaccine against polio.  Although modern polio vaccinations are based on the work of Albert Sabin, October 24 was eventually designated as World Polio Day to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk.

    ICEMAKERS -- The Servel Company introduced the first houehold refigerator/freezer that included an automatic ice-maker.

    LOSS OF STUDENTS -- The East & Mount Houston School District opened their own high school, M. B. Smiley High School, in 1953.  It meant an immediate loss of East & Mount Houston students that had been attending Charles Bender High School. During the 1953-1954, Humble ISD only received 11th and 12th grade students from East & Mount Houston, resulting in fewer teachers being needed that year.


    TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM -- January 25-29, 1954 was designated as the 100th Birthday of the Public School System in Texas week.

    RACIAL SEGREGATION IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL -- The U. S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation is unconstitutional in public schools in their unanimous decision in Brown vs. Board of Education.

    This marked one of the U. S. Government's earliest involvement into education in all of the states.

    SCARCITY OF LAND -- Much of the land in Humble had been bought up during the oil boom in the early 1900s, and was unavailable for building businesses or homes. Small tracts of land were owned by multiple owners, and finding the owners (or their descendants) became a huge problem for potential buyers. Over the next few years, the City of Humble was proactive in locating landowners and freeing up land for future development. As land was freed up, more homes were built, and more families moved into the district, allowing for much needed student growth.


    BOND ELECTION -- A $600,000 bond election was held on May 9, 1955, but it failed with 110 votes in favor and 117 votes (51.5%) against .  The citizens felt that the amount was too much, and that the bond should only be what was needed at the moment, knowing an additional bond election could be called when needed. The School Board then held a second bond election on May 21, 1955.  This time the bond was for $300,000, to pay for renovations at Charles Bender High School, two additional classrooms for Humble Elementary, two other rooms at the athletic field that could be converted into a field house at a later date.2  The bond passed with 202 votes in favor (71.6%), and 80 votes against the bond. This bond election marked a turning point in the district in regards to future growth.  Prior to this, much of the work to build and maintain buildings had been absorbed into the operations and maintenance budget.  Now, as gorwth was occuring in the district, it was decided that bond elections would be held for new building additions, as well as long overdue maintenance on the old buildings.

    CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT BEGINS -- Rosa Parks is arrested in Alabama after she refuses to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, sparking the Civil Rights Movement.

    CHANGES AT CHARLES BENDER -- due to increasing enrollment, the district began work on demolishing the old Humble High School campus next door to Charles Bender High School, and built and built additions to Charles Bender, including a new gymnasium, cafeteria and band hall.  The old cafeteria was also converted to a Principal's office.3

    Charles Bender High School additions


    DESEGREGATION BATTLE CONTINUES -- In August 1955, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that enforced desegregation is against the Constitution, and decisions are left to local school board.  In Humble, all colored children were already being transferred out of the district to Aldine ISD.  The Humble ISD School Board decided to continue this practice (and thereby not allowing any colored children to attend school in Humble). Their reasoning was that this was in the best interest of all children, and it avoided tension and promoted harmony (without prejudice to either race).4  It would still be a few more years before Humble ISD was integrated.


    LOW POINT IN ENROLLMENT -- The 1955-1956 school-year marked the lowest enrollment in the Humble Schools since incorporation.  Enrollment had steadily declined since the beginning of the 1920s, with the average attendance being lowest in the 1940s (average of 900 students) and in the 1950s (average of 863 students).  Fortunately, other events occured throughout the remainder of the 1950s that would make the Humble area more appealing businesses and families. 

    HOUSTON GROWS: The City of Houston had been annexing land around itself for decades.  In 1956, it performed a very large annexation of 108 square miles.  Much of that annexation was property that would be flooded as part of Lake Houston (in the Humble area).  Prior to 1956, Humble was a rural area.  After the annexation, it became a suburb of Houston.  

    INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS -- The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 becomes law, allowing for the mass construciton of tens of thousands of interstate highways across the United States.

    ATASCOCITA COUNTRY CLUB-- The Atasocita Country Club opened in Atascocita, near Lake Houston, and provided more attraction to lure visitors to the area..  The club had a restaurant, an 18 hole golf course, boat launched, a bath house, a basin for boats and yachts, a playground, picnic grounds, water skiing instruction and a meeting place/dance hall. 5


    MARRIED STUDENTS  -- Humble ISD included a new rule in the Student Handbook: married students may only participate in class work.  They may not participate in any before- or after-school activities.

    SPUTNIK -- The USSR successfully launches Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite.

    MATH & SCIENCE CURRICULUM -- Due to the success of the Soviet Sputnik 1 launch, the United States increases fuding for math and science curriculum in public schools, as well as revamping the curriculum.


    EASTEX OAKS -- The first modern housing development begins in the Humble area.  It is a 200 home development called Eastex Oaks, on Humble Road near the present-day Sam Houston Tollway.  Water & sewer services were provided by the developer through the creation of the Harris County Eastex Oaks Water & Sewer District.6

    Eastex Oaks Eastex Oaks Subdivision

    MICROCHIP -- The microchip is co-invented by Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor and Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments.  Their work was the basis for every modern electronic device we have nowadays.  They received the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics in 2000.


    GROWTH IN HUMBLE BEGINS: By 1959, the population of Humble (and the student population of Humble ISD) had begun to increase.  The was due to several factors that had started in the 1950s:

    1. Humble was now a suburb of Houston, and one of the relatively few heavily timbered areas adjacent to Houston.
    2. Thanks to the new U. S. Highway 59 that was being constructed from Houston up through East Texas, Humble was now only a 20 minute drive from downtown Houston.
    3. Lake Houston was becoming a major recreational area.  Summer place, clubs, boat houses, etc. were all being built in Humble, on the shores of Lake Houston.
    4. Construction was beginning on the Outer Loop (now Sam Houston Parkway), which was being built through the southern postion of Humble.

    LAST TWO STATES -- Alaska and Hawaii are admitted as the 49th and 50th states in the U. S.

    BOND PASSES -- The Humble citizens passed a $350,000 schoolhouse bond in March 1959.  204 voted for the bond (83.6%), with 40 voting against it.  The bond was issued primarly to build a new elementary school (Lakeland).

    LAND PURCHASE -- Humble ISD purchased land from the Shacran Development Co. in the new Lakeland subvision, and started construction of a new elementary school.7

    - Dr. Robert Meaux
    Last updated on 04/16/2018 1:52 PM

    1. Letter from Superintendent Floyd Burton to the Humble ISD School Board, dated 02/22/1950
    2. Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 05/09/1955
    3. Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 05/23/1955
    4. Humble ISD School Board Minutes, 08/09/1955
    5. Houston Press, April 1956
    6. Unpublished letter from Ernest L. Brown, Jr. to the Humble ISD School Board on tax evaluations for the new community of Eastex Oaks, dated 11/25/1958.
    7. Harris County, Texas Deed, 369: 323 #130780A, County Clerk's Office, Houston.