Private schools operated by “refined and genteel young ladies” provided the early formal education for Longview residents until after the turn of the century.
The Misses Sarah and Mollie Teague, Miss Hooper, Mrs. Ida Butts, Mrs. A.S. Latham, Miss Callie McCall, Mrs. Leak and Miss Eula Camp were among the school mistresses who guided the development of the young city’s growing youngsters.
“Schools of Expression,” such as the one conducted by Mrs. J.C. Lacy, taught elocution and deportment. Fannie Mae Burlew, Pauline Yates, Lillian Turner, Gladys and Tessie Howard were among those who learned the art of public speaking at Mrs. Lacy’s knee.
No young lady’s education was considered really complete until she studied music under Mrs. Cundiff or Mrs. Baily.
Dee Moore, who attended the Teague School when it opened in 1896, remembered the teachers as “highly cultured and very young women.” Their school, a two-room frame building located at the corner of Magrill and Seventh streets, closed in 1905. The building is said to have been incorporated later into a private residence.
The teachers often bought firewood for pot-bellied stoves in winter from Marvin Kelly or R. G. Brown. Standard prices were $1.50 to $2.50 per cord, delivered to the school. Many of these pioneer educators operated a six-month term of classes with holidays at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Easter.
Fees for attendance increased in most cases grade by grade. One school charged $1.15 per month for the first-year student and $4.15 per month for the 10th-year student.
Most Longview youngsters completed eight or more grades. they might be “sent away” to school. Boys attended military or church-operated “prep” schools while the girls entered music academies or “finishing’’ schools. Both sexes wore a standard uniform, but few of these advanced institutions were coeducational.
Miss Hooper’s private school taught “reading, writing and number work along with Holy Scripture.”
Miss McCall, a native of Keachie, Louisiana, opened her school about 1874 at Earpville. She taught classes about three years, but later retired to become the second wife of hardware merchant William George Northcutt.
Mrs. Butts closed her school in 1919, when most youngsters attended the growing public school system.