Downing Texas School
The Pleasant View school which was later called Downing had its beginnings in 1884 when Henry Loudermilk became the first teacher.
A second school was built in the Downing communityin 1898 and was constructed in either an “L’ or “T” shape. On June 16, 1906, the people of Downing voted to become an independent school district and provide local support becoming one of 13 districts
in Comanche County that had grown financially capable of operating independently of the county common school system. At the time there were over 70 districts remaining as common schools in the county. The following year in 1907, the residents voted to construct a new building and the 1898 school was sold to the Downing Baptist Church.
In August 1915 construction was started on a third school building. Land was purchased from G. H. Loudermilk. Tip Ross drew up the plans which were exact copies of the Hasse school. Hamp Bragg supervised the construction with Joe Smith, Adolf Boswell and Henry Beaty helping him construct the building. Several local men provided voluntary labor. They included A.F. Hafford, Jim Whitlock, John Malone, and Henry Gamar (?). The school was ready for use in September.
In 1936 a 70’ x 90’ stone auditorium was constructed on the campus. Furnished with a new piano, the auditorium had been used only four years when a severe storm came through. Lightening struck the building setting it on fire and the high winds blew down the weakened walls.
The school grew steadily from four teachers with around 60 students in 1903 to 77 students in 1929 to its peak of around 150 students when the the Buffalo students attended the Downing School in 1933. The following year, all the Downing high school students began attending De Leon High. At the time Downing was one of only a few independent school districts in Comanche County. But, in 1937 Buffalo consolidated into De Leon and transferred its students into town leaving Downing with only enough money to employ three teachers. The following year the school had to cut another teacher. The school closed after the 1948-49 term and also consolidated into De Leon. The building was torn down in the late 60s.
It was said that Adolph Boswell was remembered as perhaps the most outstanding teacher. He handled history, science, shop and carpentry. He was one of the men hired to build the school.
Photos of students of Oma Loudermilk. L-R: Genell Hancock, unknown, Ruby Wagner, unknown. Photos provided by Aline Loudermilk Quenon.
Photos of several Downing faculty members provided by Aline Loudermilk Quenon.
Known Downing teachers not listed below include: Jewell Hardin, Oma Ellis Wyatt, Faye Stewart, Mrs. A.C. Cathey, Lottie McCamey, Mrs. Elzo Brinson, George Goosby, Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Puvis, and Adolph Boswell.
1884: Henry Loudermilk
1911-12: H.L. Gantz Superintendent, Lelia Gilbreath Principal, Carrie Knudson (Mrs. Robert Eaton) Intermediate, Allie Gilbreath Primary
1914-15: C.B. Bryant, Icie Beaty, Annie Hornsby, Della Stailey
1919-20: Mrs. Cathey Principal, Oma Garner (Mrs. Earney V. Loudermilk) 3rd &4th, Jessie Faye Bradley, Lottie McCamey.
1925-26: W.C. Jenkins, Principal; Maurine Miller (Mrs. Dean Gardner)
1926-27: J.W. Wallace, Mrs. John Bachman, Mrs. Katie Kuhn (87 Students)
1927-28: J.W. Wallace, Mary Smith, Ruth Golden
1929-30: H. Grady Dowdey, Principal; Jewell Hardin; Oma Wyatt. (77 Students)
1931-32: R.C. Boswell, Principal.
1932-33: R.C. Boswell, Principal; Mrs. Faith Elliott.
1933-34: R.V. Lesley Principal, Mrs. George Ellis, Nola Gaines.
1935-36: Limon Batton Principal (7th-8th), Nola Gaines (4th-6th) Opal Howard (Brinson) (1st-3rd)
1945-46: Mrs. Oma Garner Loudermilk
1947-48: Paul B. Rann and wife Cleo Rann
1948-49: Paul B. Rann and wife Cleo Rann
1913-14: E.H. Jones- President, J.A. Stailey-Secretary, B.F. Stevens, Ben F. Scott, G.H. Loudermilk, J.E. McGuire, and M.D. Hornsby.
1914-15: G.H. Loudermilk-President, J.H. Langston-Secretary, J.E. McGuire, Ben F. Scott, Joe Hardin, Charles Smith, ____Holmes.