African American Education in Belton
Bell County, Texas
31 03.670' N 97 28.007' W Directions: Start at the intersection of Smith Street and 3rd Avenue. Go 140 yards north on Smith Street. The house is on the right (east) side of the street.
Text: Bell County school districts were formed in 1854. The earliest record of public education for area African American students dates from 1882 when Mrs. Aleck McGee was hired "to teach the colored school." Professor Thomas Breckenridge Harris (1862-1907), a graduate of Fisk University, became the first instructor of the African American High School in 1890. The name "West Belton School" was chosen in 1900. In 1936 a new building was erected on this site to house African American students of all grade levels. By petition the school was named "T. W. Harris" for its revered former principal. The last class graduated in 1966; Belton schools were integrated the following year.