Weatherford’s parks department staff is discussing when to dedicate a historical marker to Mount Pleasant School.
The historic Mount Pleasant School, at 213 Raymond George Way, was formerly a segregated school for African American students only and was the only Weatherford school of its kind. The two-room brick structure was built in 1919, though the school existed at that same site in a different building before that. The school was authorized in 1876 under state law, historian Harold Lawrence, who wrote the marker application, said.
The city received the marker in May of last year, Weatherford Marketing and Communications Director Blake Rexroat said.
“Raymond George owned that building; he restored it, and then he gave it to the city basically to take care of because it’s historical,” Rexroat said. “Then, his health got bad, and then [staff] waited because they wanted him to be in attendance. Well then he passed away, so then it’s been hard to do it with everything else that’s been going on.”
The marker application was approved in January 2018, Lawrence said.
Mount Pleasant School closed in 1963 when Weatherford public schools were integrated. Enrollment at Mount Pleasant School was 45 students for grades first through eighth in 1951 with two teachers, according to the application. Black students would have to be bused to Fort Worth or moved in with relatives in other cities to attend high school in the 1950s.
Mount Pleasant School existed in a time when work was more important than school in most families, therefore, enrollment trends fluctuated, Lawrence said.
“Before World War II, if there were crops that needed to be picked, students were pulled out of school,” Lawrence said. “That was everywhere. That wasn’t just in Parker County, in Ohio, Oregon, California, crops came in first.”
WISD decided to integrate schools all at once, though some schools took a more gradual approach, Lawrence said.
“There were I think something like 40 black students at the time, and to integrate into the whole Weatherford school system, it was just easier to do it at one time,” Lawrence said.
Led by George, the school building was restored in 2015.
Getting a historical marker for Mount Pleasant School is something that George wanted, Weatherford Parker County NAACP Branch President Calvin Clay said. He went on to say that the school’s history is important and should be remembered.
“It’s sad that he’s not able to see it, but I’m sure that he would be happy that the marker happened and it didn’t just fall through the cracks because he’s not around,” Clay said.