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School History

SJ DavisPrior to its inauguration as Stonewall Jackson Middle School, S. J. Davis enjoyed a tradition of excellence inspired by the dreams of German and Belgian immigrants, which began as the W.W. White School District.

The W. W. White School District was the outgrowth of a demand of education by a group of farmers of German and Belgian origin that settled on the banks of the Salado Creek east of the city of San Antonio.  The first school was held under a large oak tree on the banks of the creek.  Most of the teachers at this time were men who were immigrants and who brought with them an education gained in their native lands.  The urgent need for a school building became evident and as evidence of their desire to meet their need, the father of Mrs. Bachmeyer donated the land for the building of the schoolhouse.  By 1880 the first schoolhouse of the district was ready for occupancy.  As Mr. W. W. White owned large tracts of land surrounding the building, the school was named after him.

By 1914 the school had grown to a two-teacher school.  By 1926 there seemed to have been a misunderstanding between the parents living in the Salado Valley and the parents who lived on the highland section.  There was a demand for another school in the lower section.  In 1926 a one-room building was built on land, which had belonged to Mrs.Deli Schramm.  In 1930 another room was added to the building at a cost of four hundred and fifty dollars.  This school was called the Covinton School in honor of Frank Covington who had donated the land for large park adjoining the school property.

The W. W. White and Covington Schools increased their enrollments to such an extent that in 1938 the School Board assumed the indebtedness of three thousand dollars and built a new school on four acres of land purchased from Jesse Wilking.  The school was named P. F. Stewart as a tribute to the former Co - Superintendent.

There, the County board graded two schools as elementary schools.  Any students desiring to complete their secondary education were transferred to city district schools.  In 1914 the district voted on a bond issue of forty-two thousand dollars and a maintenance tax of one dollar and ten cents.  The high school was built centrally between the two elementary schools.

By 1943 this building was completed.  The school board decided to call it Sam Houston High School because of its nearness to the Government Reservation of Fort Sam Houston.  The county board rated the school as an eleventh grade school.  In 1944 the school was given six additional credits and was made a full-accredited four-year high school.

During the war years this section became over-populated because of its easy access to the three large farm fields.  Due to this growth, it became necessary for some of the students to be on half-day schedules.  To meet this need the district voted on an additional fifty thousand dollar bond issue and raised the maintenance tax to one dollar and fifty cents.  From this increase in funds a new junior school was built on the same campus with the high school and elementary school was built in the Black section; Jefferson Davis and the elementary school was Doris Miller.

A new Sam Houston High School on East Houston was opened in 1959.  At this time the old Sam Houston High School was moved to a new location and the old school now became Jefferson Davis Junior School with an adjoining elementary school.

Portwood (Sam Houston, Building II) was completed in 1961.  At this time Jefferson Davis moved the 9th grade to Portwood.  The elementary school was moved and the building became part of the junior school, which now included the 6th grade.  During the sixties additional buildings were built and rooms were converted to make Jefferson Davis a complete junior high school.

The 1992 - 93 school year officially marks the beginning of Stonewall Jackson Davis Middle School.  Stonewall Jackson Davis, better know as “Stonie” was born in Tyler, Texas in 1908, and received his BS degree in 1930 from Bishop College, his MBA degree in 1946 from University of Texas in Austin.  His more than 30 years of service as a Black leader in San Antonio began in 1947 as a member of the St. Phillips’s College faculty.  While there he served as Chairman of the business Department, 1947; Registration Manager, 1952; and Business Manager in 1955.  He was elected to the Bexar-County Chapter of the American Red Cross board of Directors in 1967 and continued his service in various capacities over the years, including being named as the first Black chairperson of the Board of Directors in 1973.

Mr. Davis was also the first Black trustee on the San Antonio Library Board.  He also served as a member of various civic, social and professional groups; including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); the Alamo City Chamber of Commerce; the Hemisfair Host Committee; United Way and the Texas State Teacher’s Association included among the many honors that Mr. Davis has received are the Distinguished Service Award, 1966; Citation for Civic Service, 1967:  from the City of San Antonio; a plaque in Appreciation for Service to Education, 1971, from the San Antonio City Council of Parent-Teachers Association, and a plaque for Service to Education, 1972, from the San Antonio Teacher’s Council.

In September 1989, Jefferson Davis School moved to the Portwood (Sam Houston, Building 2) facility.  It was renamed Stonewall Jackson Davis Middle School in 1992.  S. J. Davis Middle School is home to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students, is one of the middle schools with a STEM lab in the San Antonio Independent School District.  The Davis Cougars proudly wear the colors of black and red.  S. J. Davis Middle School has earned the reputation as being the Pride of the Eastside.


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