Maxdale History

  • MAXDALE HISTORY

    The first school in the Maxdale area was located on the north bank of the Lampasas River
    near a natural spring about a half
    -
    mile fr
    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
    for
    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
    g
    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.
    O
    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
    -
    teacher
    school then became evident. This new building became Maxdale School District #27.
    Ma
    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
    ocal
    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