For most of the 20th century the school bells did not start ringing until the day after Labor Day. The last day was usually around Memorial Day. In the early part of the 1900s, school sometimes didn’t start until October and ended in March, as was the case in 1900-1901, when my grandfather, Willie Adam, was seven years old. The school year began October 15, 1900, and ended March 16, 1901. He attended the Balcones School located on the Boerne Stage Road or at that time it was the main road from Boerne to San Antonio. (Highway 9). The school building is located next to the Balcones Creek which is the boundary line between Kendall and Bexar Counties. Most residents in Kendall County call this school the Lower Balcones School.
In 1900-1901 school year, the Balcones School was a one room wooden school house with 20 double desks. During the 1908-1909 school year, Willie was the oldest boy in the school and his younger brother Eugene and his sister Hilda also attended school with him. The building had not changed from the 1901 assessment but in 1910 a new one was built. My father always understood the one room school burned down and in its place a two room school was built.
My father, his brother and many of his cousins attended the Balcones School. His grandfather, Julius Adam, was on the school board for a number of years and later his son, Willie Adam, served on the board. Sometimes during a school year, the school teacher lived with Julius and Ida Adam . It was about a mile walk to school from the Adam farm.
A couple of memories from attending school there in the 1930s.
One time, the wooden shingle roof on the Julius Adam home caught fire and someone came and got the school kids so they could form a bucket brigade. They put the fire out. Don’t you know that was exciting but hard work!
In 1936, Texas was celebrating its Centennial. The school teacher took a number of the Balcones students on the train to Dallas to experience the State Celebration and Fair. Daddy, his brother, his cousins Jack, Wallace, Julian, Doris and a number of others went. They stayed for three days. While on the train, it seems the older boys in the group (brother and cousins) convinced my father that he could fit in the luggage compartment. They assisted in squeezing him into the compartment but he got stuck and couldn’t get out! They had to call a conductor to help him. While at the fair, the kids rode the carnival rides, looked at the exhibits and had a great time. It was “lots of fun.“
What I want to know is, did the teacher have as good a time as the kids? What were all of their parents doing while practically all the kids in the neighborhood were gone? Were they dancing in the street?