By SALLY SEXTON
Evelyn Loudres recalls a childhood of simple yet fun times of playing baseball on the hill, attending devotion every morning and getting education inside of a two-room schoolhouse.
Born and raised in Weatherford, Loudres was one of several who attended the Mount Pleasant School, located off Dubellette Street.
The educational facility, built in 1917, served as a center of education for black Weatherford students during segregation. Classes were taught up to the ninth grade, where students either stopped attending school or were transported to I.M. Terrell in Fort Worth.
“I graduated from Mount Pleasant in 1953, and I was six when I started school there,” Lourdes said. “There were five of us in my class.”
Despite students in various grades housed in the two-room building, Loudres said overcrowding wasn’t a big issue for her and her classmates.
“There were probably 35-40 kids in one room, but we never thought about how many kids there were,” she said. “It was just something we do and the only thing we knew.”
While students divided their time between exercises on the blackboards and studying from used books, some of the older and brighter students helped teach the younger ones as well.
In 1950, an addition was added to the building— Wilson Hall, named after the superintendent. The hall, donated by Fort Wolters, was used to house grades seven, eight and nine, and expanded the facility to three rooms.
“It taught us the basic skills — math, science, health, reading and history — and it taught us about living and respecting each other,” Loudres said of the school. “We had a banker, cops, teachers, nurses, phone operators, musicians and pastors who graduated from Mount Pleasant.
“None of us were ever really in trouble because we knew we’d get a switching at the school and another one when we got home.”