Denison School Gets Historic Marker

9-13-05 - Tuesday is an historic day for Denison as a marker is dedicated honoring the city's education and civil rights struggles.

Terrell High School was the last African American school in the city before integration in 1968. Tuesday morning, students past and present gathered to dedicate a marker to the memories.

It was a dedication to memory and tradition and most importantly: history.

"I can only speak for me, but it means a whole lot, the history, the friendships, teachers were close knit like a family," Councilman Wilbert Malvern said.

Today's students met those who walked the halls before them at the site of the school that was built in 1923 to educate the city's African American children.

Past teachers and students read poems, spoke of their fondness for the school and how it shaped who they are today.

The original red brick building, which housed elementary through high school classes, was bulldozed in 2000 taking with it decades of history.

Duressie Smith remembers it clearly. The 89-year-old is one of only three living alumni from her class of 21 boys and girls.

"Most of our books were handed down from the white schools," Smith, Terrell High School Class of 1934, said. "This means more than I can say to think how far the education has come in this city."

Roots stemmed in history that hold strong for generations to come.

It took the Terrell High School Foundation five years to get this marker and many of the records associated with the school founders were hard to track down. In some cases, those records just didn't exist a century ago.

The marker is one of 130 historical markers in Grayson County, and it cost $1,200.