The first school in the Maxdale area was located on the north bank of the Lampasas River
near a natural spring about a half
om the Maxdale Community. Because of the
secluded location the school was called “Hideout” and some of the children walked as
much as three miles each way to get there.
In 1889, Mr. and Mrs. Willis Ellis deeded one and one
half acres of land to Bell County
school use. The spot, which was more centrally located, was one mile east of the Maxdale
Cemetery on the north side of the Lampasas River and ten miles southwest of Killeen. The
County paid $7.50 for this land which was out of the original Forbes Surv
ey. The new
school building faced west and was approximately 60’ x 30’ in size.
The first building burned in the early 1890s so classes were held in the Primitive Baptist
Church. This was a good arrangement until two young men got into an argument resultin
in the shooting of Alfred Wimberly’s saddle horse outside the church during a school
sponsored Literacy Society meeting. The church’s elders were unwilling to tolerate such
behavior on their property and asked the school to find another temporary home.
nce the new schoolhouse was completed it was officially named “Independence” but was
referred to as Maxdale School. Due to growth in enrollment, the need for a two
school then became evident. This new building became Maxdale School District #27.
ny of the Maxdale teachers were unmarried and were allowed to leave the community
only one weekend a month. They were forbidden to smoke, dance, drink, or have dates on
school nights. Regardless of their personal convictions, they were expected to attend l
church services on a regular basis and with teach Sunday School classes, sing in the choir,
or play the organ or piano.
By 1937, parents wanted more education for their children, which became the “beginning
of the end” for the Maxdale School. Pupils a
bove the seventh grade were transferred to
Killeen to complete high school. Fifth through seventh graders were transferred to Reeces
Creek School. Children in first through fourth remained at Maxdale. In 1948, the entire
school was contracted to Killeen an
d officially annexed in 1950.
The Maxdale School building eventually became a community center and for many years
was used for parties, showers, ball games, ladies’ clubs and elections. No longer needed
for those functions, the old school now stands desert
ed but is still loved as a silent
reminder of a priceless heritage.
By Mrs. Winifred Bell