Details for Site of Blackshear High School (Atlas Number 5507013490)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507013490


Marker Number 13490
Atlas Number 5507013490
Marker Title Site of Blackshear High School
Index Entry Blackshear High School, Site of
Address 501 S Dixie
City Odessa
County Ector
UTM Zone 13
UTM Easting 750401
UTM Northing 3526159
Subject Codes educational topics; African American topics
Marker Year 2006
Marker Location 501 South Dixie
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text In early 1890, Inez Rathbun earned money teaching area students at the Ector County Courthouse. About the same time, Ector County organized a public school system. Over the next decades, the number of students in the area steadily increased. In 1921, the Texas Legislature officially established the Ector County Independent School District (ECISD). Both Anglos and Mexican-American students attended the same school. In 1932, the district established the first African American school in a one-room structure at the corner of South Muskingum and Myrtle streets. Ella Sayles served as the first teacher for the initial class of eight students. As the school grew, the district added a second classroom and utilized space at a nearby church. Although the district added three more rooms in the 1940s, by the 1947-48 school year, increased population caused the students to attend classes in shifts. In the fall of 1948, a campus for Blackshear High School opened at this site. Named for the noted Texas black educator Edward Lavoisier Blackshear, the school provided expanded facilities for African American students in the upper grade levels. Upon integration of all the district schools in 1966, the campus was converted for use as Blackshear Middle School. In 1983, it became a magnet elementary school. Its link to early education in the community and to its namesake educator remain significant today. (2006)