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Forum: School History [STICKY]

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Durkee Elem

Created on: 08/10/09 05:57 PM Views: 4561 Replies: 16
John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Monday, August 10, 2009 12:57 PM

 

This is a picture of one of the first Durkee classes, comprised of mostly of Italian immigrants. Notice some students don't even have shoes.

Picture disappeared and I don't know how and can't find it. 

John Edward Durkee [dUr´kE], came to Texas from the northern states. He owned property all over and around Houston. He owned a large area on the north side of Houston. He named this area Little York in honor of his home state, New York. Mr. Durkee was known for his generosity and civic pride. He donated the land on Little York Road to the Harris County School District #25. It was in recognition of his service to the community that the school was named Durkee Elementary School.

Durkee Elementary opened its doors in 1912. By 1918, Durkee had three teachers. Around 1920, County District #25 was absorbed by the Houston Independent School District. About 1931, Durkee was closed and did not reopen until 1947 when the school population again caused Durkee to be needed. By 1950, Durkee had an enrollment of 82 in its four room red brick building. Durkee located on Little York, (located on what is now the property of Fonville MS) was closed again in the fall of 1954 when the new 16 classroom, Durkee was completed on Nordling near Rittenhouse Rd.

The old red brick school was again reopened at mid-term of the 1954-55 school year to take care of some primary classes. In 1958, an addition of 8 new classrooms was added to the Nordling building. Then the red brick building was torn down and Fonville Junior High was built on that site.

Between 1978 and 1980, Durkee Elementary went through another phase of remodeling. A new wing was added at an approximate cost of $900,000. The new wing added 19 classrooms including two Kindergarten rooms, four special education classrooms, a resource center, and a new media center.

 

 

 

Connie Redden69
http://forums.delphiforums.com/tigers9975/start

 
Edited 08/17/15 11:04 AM
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 10:25 PM

 

Thanks for the history lesson. This fills in gaps for both Durkee and Fonville. Being raised on Coghill, er, Parker Rd. I always wondered. We moved there in 1958 after living near Airline and Little York for 2 years after we moved to Houston. As a pastor, I enjoy church and community history. For example, the church I currently pastor just celebrated its 85th anniversary of service. It used to meet in an old school building called the Wall School or the Gill School. Nice to know info. Thanks for sharing.


Steve Shepherd

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Saturday, August 22, 2009 07:39 AM


STEVEN SHEPHERD wrote:

 

Thanks for the history lesson. This fills in gaps for both Durkee and Fonville. Being raised on Coghill, er, Parker Rd. I always wondered. We moved there in 1958 after living near Airline and Little York for 2 years after we moved to Houston. As a pastor, I enjoy church and community history. For example, the church I currently pastor just celebrated its 85th anniversary of service. It used to meet in an old school building called the Wall School or the Gill School. Nice to know info. Thanks for sharing.


 

Wall or Gill?  Where was that?  was it a public school?

Connie Redden69
http://forums.delphiforums.com/tigers9975/start

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Saturday, August 22, 2009 08:45 AM

 

It was a public school. Part of the lee County Schools. There were 2 thriving farming communities here that were about 3 miles apart. The old "Wall School" was combined with the "Gill School" according to a few who were here in the 20s. The Gill School was closed in the late 30s or early 40s, about the time of WW2.


Steve Shepherd

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 09:59 PM

Connie, Is the teacher in the Durkee picture my sister, Mrs. Betty Petty?  She taught there a few years.  Sue Davis (Coach Davis' wife.)

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 07:08 AM

which picture? 

Connie Redden69
http://forums.delphiforums.com/tigers9975/start

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 11:32 AM

The Durkee class picture in the Surkee story.  Sue

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 04:39 PM

Sue, I have no idea how old that picture is.  Do you think it is your sister?  Wouldn't that be wonderful. 

Connie Redden69
http://forums.delphiforums.com/tigers9975/start

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 09:38 PM

The picture is probably older than the time she was there in the 1950s.

I will see if I can get together with her so she can see it.  Sue

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 08:13 PM

Noticed in the picture how someone said some of the people were not even wearing shoes.  It was normal that us boys did not wear shoes in the 50's, especially in Elementary school. It was not that our parents could not afford them, it was more of a tradition. We thought, I guess, that it was cool. I went all the way through the 6 grades in Kashmere and Scarbouough and we boys did not usually wear shoes in warm weather.

Rex Brown

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010 09:58 AM

It was great to read about Durkee...the beginning.My dad went to Durkee...he was not italian but very poor. I was one of those who was granted the gift of going to this big old building for a brief time in I guess 1954.

In fact my memory serves me right. I and another girl were caught going up and down the stairs during recess. Punishment was standing before the class and having the back of our legs slapped with a ruler.......it hurt.

 I don't remember this teacher's name she was a substitute that day. My teacher was very upset when she heard about it. I was very shy and never misbehaved nor the other girl. It was was a little bit harsh........but I will always remember the old big red brick house building.

Thanks

Janice (Neice) Heavin

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Sunday, June 13, 2010 01:33 PM

I think my sister taught there the first year that the "new" Durkee opened.

I do not know what year that was.

Sue Davis

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Friday, March 20, 2015 09:33 AM

From Greg Carr70

Back in the day when we actually walked or rode bicycles to school, if you parked your bike in the bike racks, it had to be registered. Here is my original plate for my first bike when I got tired of walking and rode my bike instead.

There were even registered with the HPD bicycle theft division along with the serial number from your bicycle frame ... which was found on the bottom side of the pedal sprocket frame mount.

 

 

Connie Redden69
http://forums.delphiforums.com/tigers9975/start

 
RE: Durkee Elem
Posted Thursday, August 6, 2015 04:15 PM

Connie, The class photo that you originally posted is not showing up. Can you repost it?

 

 

 
RE: Durkee Elem
Posted Monday, February 20, 2017 10:54 AM

I went to school at Durkee from 1951-1957, first in the old red brick building and later the "new" one on Nordling. I remember the fire escape on the second floor, and how we loved having fire drills. The 5th and 6th grades were in the "Shacks", which is where the restrooms were too. There were 4 rooms in the old building, plus the two shacks. We climbed the trees at recess and there was some kind of a tree with berries, we called them gooseberries but I'm not sure if that was the right name. Yes, the boys went barefoot  in the warm weather and a lot of them wore overalls. There were a lot of farmers in the area. I lived on Norman street, later renamed Werner, so I walked to school. The new school was located almost directly behind my house, since a builder had put in a lot of small, affordable homes that were sold to veterans on the G.I. Bill. Before Fonville was built kids going from 6th to 7th grade had to spend 7th grade in Black Elementary, over in Oak Forest, which was a long bus ride every day. 

 
RE: Durkee Elem
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2018 11:21 PM

I was reading the history about Durkee Elementary. I started there in Sept. 1955.  Mrs. Easley was my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Henry (1st grade), Miss Vaughn (2nd), Mrs. Beaudree (3rd--can't remember how to spell her last name), Mrs. Kerr (1st half of 4th), classes were transferred to Mrs. Broughton for 2nd half of 4th grade, my 5th and 6th grades were out in the shacks. I remember the fourth grade and why we were transferred for the 2nd half.  My mother made chairback covers for all the chairs in Mrs. Kerr's class so that no books would be on the floor.  One day, one of the students acidentally left a book on the floor.  Mrs. Kerr got mad and threw all of our books in the garbage can.  She was let go.  I also remember her son who uased to hide out in my mother's flower beds to skip school.  When I went, Mrs. Taylor was the school principal.  Every morning over the intercom system, we would be led in sayinf the Pledge of Alligeance  and prayer.  Then the announcements would be made.  When I was in the 5th grade, I got to do the announcements one morning.  I also remember there used to be a field just south of the school and the people who lived there had 2 bulls.  My mother always picked me up from school and one time she had to run into the building to let them know not to let anyone outside because one of the bulls had jumped the fence and was on the school grounds.  For those who went to Durkee, do you remember how at lunch time, we would be lined up in single file and there was no talking going to and from the cafeteria!!!  Those were the days.

 
RE: John Edward Durkee Elementary
Posted Tuesday, February 6, 2018 10:31 PM

I remember all of those things.  I had several of those teachers.   Mrs Easley was one of my great friends after I graduated from Sam Houston and was instrumental in my getting a small scholarship to U of H.  I lived on Werner and used to walk to school with my older brother.  I graduated from 
​Sam Houston in 1970 but I will never forget Durkee Elementary.  When I was teaching years ago, I modeled my kindergarten classroom after the kindergarten at Durkee.  Do you remember that drawer of Clay that we got to take use to play with?  Good Memories