Clarence Edmond Shackelford (AKA) "M1Y" - The Artist, a publicist, the founder of Tour Tyler Texas and also the founder of Texas African American Museum both programs are under the auspices of the Empowerment Community Development Corporation, which is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit.
Contents of this history are based on information received from various sources, to include former students, teachers, community residents and the Texas African American Museum.
The Texas African American Museum donated a rare drawing to the Addie McFarland High School African American Museum.
A local East Texas artist known by many as "M1Y", drew this one-of-a-kind drawing of Mineola native and professional singer "Ruthie Foster". The president of the Texas based nonprofit named Empowerment Community Development Corporation Mr. Stanley Cofer asked Ruthie to sign the drawing when Ruthie Foster did a community an incredible concert on the McFarland Schools and grounds back on February 16, 2023, for the Mineola, Tx Historical Museum Black History program.
One of the rare drawings that was signed by Ruthie Foster back on February 16, 2023, with full circle on July 7, 2023, by being donated back to Addie McFarland High School African American Museum from the drawing present owner which is the Texas African American Museum.
A ribbon cutting was also taken place at Addie McFarland High School African American Museum.
Mineola Schools were organized in the late 1800's, in accordance with the "community system" under the leadership of Professor Robert Mason Jones, together with the citizens of the community. In 1889, Professor O. C. Vessy was elected principal and served until 1900. From 1900 until the school closed, it went through many changes, including names, buildings, principals, teachers and students.
Principals who served the Mineola Schools after 1900 were: J. L. Brooks, four years; General G. Beatty, four years; H. R. Jones, twenty-four years; J. M. Henry, seven years; E. H. Jones, three and one-half years; Irene Potts, one-half year; I. W. Whitmore, elected principal in 1944 and served until 1964; 1. L. Watson, served as principal from 1964 until the school closed due to integration in 1966.
In the school year 1924, classes began in October with Professor H. R. Jones as principal and his wife, Lena, and Mrs. Lucille Beasley as teachers.
J. M. Henry was principal in 1931. The "old" school structure was destroyed by fire in 1927. Between the summer of 1937 and the fall of 1939, the red building, remembered by most, was built.
In the late 1940's, the school's name was changed from South Ward to Mineola Colored High. At this time, the school only went through the tenth grade. Students desiring to continue their remaining years of education went to other systems. Most of these students went to Quitman and finished their last two years of school. Also during this time, there were changes in the campus structure. Most of the classes were held in one building and across the street in a room attached to a house. First, a barrack, which consisted of three rooms, was moved on campus on the South side. This was used for classes from first through sixth grades, with other classes housed in the main building. One teacher taught two classes in each building. Later, a three-building campus developed consisting of one administration building which contained five classrooms, general homemaking department, the seventh and eighth grade department and the Principal's Office. The high school building dominated the center of the campus. The primary building housed the first through the sixth grades in four rooms. The gymnasium-auditorium housed the library and cafeteria.
It was the school year of 1947-48 when South Ward became a high school. The first graduating class was in 1948. This was also the year Mineola started playing football and basketball under the Interscholastic League Rule. Before that time, there were both football and basketball teams that represented the school. Both school and non-school students participated.
There were several coaches during this period. Perhaps the most remembered was Leonard Charles (L.C.) Gregory, who was the coach from 1947-48 until the school closed in 1966. The Asst. Coaches were: Elbert Reed, Weber Porter and Travis July. Within those years, many good athletes passed through South Ward, Mineola Colored High and McFarland High School. There were championship football teams and good basketball teams.
Sometime during the middle 1950's, the school's name was changed to McFarland High School, after a long-time teacher, the late Addie McFarland, who taught many generations in this community.
The 1965-1966 school year would be the final year of McFarland High School. Its last graduating class was the class of 1966.
In the fall of 1966, all students that attended McFarland were integrated into the Mineola School System, with students going into elementary, junior high and high schools.
From its beginning to its closing, we can say that the many students that went through those buildings of South Ward, Mineola Colored High and McFarland have gone on in many directions. Some are teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, civil servants, truck drivers, nurses, skilled and unskilled laborers, military personnel and in many other occupations. But one thing we all have in common is we all started at the same place: South Ward, Mineola Colored High and McFarland High School.
The Present: The old elementary school building of the McFarland Schools and grounds were donated by Timothy and Maxine Hancock, former students. Renovation of the building was funded by the Meredith Foundation. The gymnasium, maintenance, and upkeep of the center must by funded by grants, the citizens of the community, ex-students, teachers, churches and organizations, along with volunteers to assist in providing services.
Your Support is needed to keep the "Dream" alive!
Sources: https://empowermentcdc.org, TourTylerTexas@gmail.com
Prepared by M1Y - Clarence Edmond Shackelford - TourTylerTexas@gmail.com