is the eighteenth of a series of articles by Mrs. Foster, a resident
of Dallas for many years, concerning interesting people and events
here a quarter of a century ago.
dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood' 'and surely
"fond recollection" can present to view none more carefree
than our school days. Sometimes when we reminisce, my friends
tell me of early school days in Dallas.
22, 1925, Dallas Times Herald, Sec. V, p. 7, col. 1-4.
Its schools had a reputation for
thorough teaching and high standing and many a family moved to
this city to educate the children, as was the case with the father
of Mrs. McDermett, and Mrs. Stahl, and of Dr. Elliott, whose
other children, Maria, Mrs. Joe T. Lacy and A. L. Elliott were
in the school of Professor Scales. To this school went, also,
Mrs. J. J. Collins, Miss Ella Randall, who married John Bookhout,
Miss Ida Mays, later Mrs. J. J. Gamon, and the Misses Lizzie
and Marian Brown before they entered the Aldehoff school. Another
early school was that of Professor Grove on Main and Harwood,
and I have been told that he held to the old-fashioned maxim
of "spare the rod and spoil the child." He used to
go to the woods, said my informant, and get switches and put
them on tin roof where the water stood after a rain, to keep
them limber, and save up the whippings till he got a good switch.
Some Early Day Teachers.
Friends have told me that the very
first teacher in Dallas was Miss Maggie Johnson, who married
Captain Jenkins of McKinney, and lived there many years, and
that the first music teacher was a Miss Robison.
Mrs. Mary K. Craig taught for a
time with Professor Grove and then with Mrs. Dickinson.
In July , 1860, a beautiful and
accomplished young woman married in Kentucky, a young lawyer,
and in October, 1861, Mr. and Mrs. R. D. Coughanour came to Rockwall,
They came overland with a young
baby and brought with them, a negro girl whom they were obliged
to sell or else lose in Little Rock, Ark.
Mrs. Coughanour stayed in Rockwall
while her husband went to war, and it was two years before he
could obtain a furlough and again see his wife and child.
At the close of the war, there
was no business for a lawyer, and Mr. Coughanour's law library
had been stored in Memphis.
Mrs. Coughanour's father had been
killed in the war, and it was two years before the letter containing
news of his death reached the family in Texas.
Mr. Coughanour opened a school
in Dallas and taught one year and then established this law practice.
Mrs. Coughanour taught with Captain
Hanna for a time, and in 1872, opened a select school for girls.
She was a graduate of the Elkton, Kentucky college at the age
of fifteen and had taught there before she married.
Mr. and Mrs. Coughanour owned a
whole square in what was then the fashionable residence district
of Dallas. Their home faced McKinney avenue and the school, which
was the first properly equipped school building in Dallas, was
at the corner of Carter and Caruth streets.
Some of Early Pupils.
Among her early pupils when she
taught with Captain Hanna were Mrs. McDermett, Mrs. Stahl, Henry
Smith and his wife, then pretty Ellen Bond, Oliver and Jeff Thomas,
S. P. and Tom Scott, Harry Prather, Mrs. Eckford, Mrs. Tom Field,
whose children followed her; Ripley Harwood, Mrs. Barnett Gibbs
and J. W. Barton, whose father owned a farm which is now the
Belmont, suburb of Dallas. Later came Mrs. Jeff House, Mrs. Seth
Miller. Josephine Stephenson Obenchain and her sister, Mrs. Banty
Kenyon. The Cole girls, May Thomas, Addie Ballard Stemmons, Belle
Barclay, Clifton Hughes, Tillie Murphy, Ada Murphy, Bell Burrus,
Alice Irvine, Mattie Thomas, Josephine Rosenfield and Anne Goldthwait,
an artist, who has now a studio in Greenwich Village, New York.
Mrs. Coughanour also taught her
own daughters, Mrs. Sickles and Mrs. W. L. Topp.
In addition to the common branches
of learning, she instructed them in music, French and literature.
An old pupil says that she never
rides on the street car through "Little Mexico," that
she does not remember the perfume of the big syringa and lilac
bushes and see the coral honeysuckle and the lovely green lawn.
The school was a happy meeting place for parents and their daughters.
Before the Christmas holidays,
they adjourned for a delightful Christmas dinner, and in the
summer before the close of school, they had wonderful picnics
on the lawn.
Mrs. Coughanour taught until about 1888.
Prof. Von Aldehoff.
Prof. H. W. Von Aldehoff was born
in Dusseldorff the same year that Queen Victoria was born. A
brilliant scholar, he graduated at 19 from Bonn university and
came to America, intending to travel for one year and then return.
He fell in love with America and
never did return, although by so doing, he forfeited his share
in his father's estate, which the crown confiscated, because
he had never served in the army.
He landed in Galveston and then came to Houston, where he remained
for some time. Houston was, at this time, the capital city of
the republic, and here he translated Spanish land titles for
its president, Sam Houston.
The capitol building was where
later, the Capital hotel, was built, and it has always seemed
to me a great mistake to change its name to the Rice hotel. What
significance has a millionaire, compared to the memories evoked
by the early capital of the republic, near the famous battleground
of San Jacinto and in the city named for its hero, Sam Houston?
Taught in Tennessee.
Prof. Von Aldehoff, continuing
his travels, went to Kentucky, where he married. After the death
of his young wife, he went to Tennessee, where he married Rowena
Sevier, a granddaughter of the first governor of Tennessee.
He taught for many years in Chattanooga,
and in some cases, three generations of the same family went
to school to him, and some of his pupils became distinguished
generals, congressmen and senators.
About the time the public school
came to Tennessee, his lease ran out. The building where he had
served as principal of the Masonic academy was to be torn down,
his son and his son-in-law wished him to join them in emigrating
to Texas, and so, the Von Aldehoff family, in 1872, became residents
of Dallas and Rock College, built for Prof. Aldehoff, was established
on Cantegral street.
Among the pupils were the Misses
Lizzie and Marian Brown, daughters of John Henry Brown, the Texas
historian.; Anna Webster, now Mrs. James McKeand, Lida Forman
and Kate Schwing, the Good family, J. J. Jr.; Ben McCullough
and Bettie Good, who married a son of Sam Houston; the Greers,
Tom, Ella, Will and Dick, Sallie Dent, who lives now in California;
the Works, Alf John Gus, Ida and Tom, whom now we call Judge
Work; Zollie and Will Martin, Annie and Minnie Boll, pretty Lula
Smith, who became Mrs. Robert Berry; Lula, John and Fred Hughes,
Walter and Bev Stemmons, Frank and Reuben Reeves, Mary Nussbaumer,
who became Mrs. Sam Peterman; Nellie Sizer, who married W. D.
Belt. Theodore , Henry and Adolf Nussbaumer, Sam and Gray Dent,
Ida Schwing, Francie Yetzer, now Mrs. Emil Frick; Juliette Harwood,
now Mrs. J. J. Collins; Bettie Norton, who became Mrs. Donald
Hinckley, and Annie Hinckley, now Mrs. W. P. Jackson; Laura Frichot,
Ben Cabell, Walter Stegall, Edwin and Robert Gaston and his children,
Blanche and John Sevier Aldehoff. Although Prof. Von Aldehoff
graduated at 19, he never stopped studying. He was versed alike
in almost every known language and in mathematics.
In the later years of his life,
he devoted himself to private pupils, and his versatility enabled
him to teach whatever was required.
Early-Day Visit Recalled.
Miss Marian Brown recalls a story
of her school days when she and Nellie Sizer started to visit
Juliette Harwood, who lived then near Eagle Ford.
It had been raining and the streams
were full and the Trinity was way up over the road. The young
folks were on horseback and Ripley Harwood guided them safely
through the water, to the consternation of his mother, who exclaimed:
"Do you mean to tell me that you brought those girls through
that flood?" To which he calmly replied: "Of course,
I did. How else could they get here?"
Prof. Jones' School.
Prof. W. K. Jones came to Dallas
about 1880, but was called back to Tennessee by a flattering
offer to teach again there, he having been connected with Martin
college. However, in 1884, he returned to Texas and purchased
the Dallas Female college, which had belonged to the Methodist
He brought with him many of his
teachers, among them Miss Wilkerson, who had graduated under
him, and who taught in Dallas one year. She then went back to
Tennessee, and was followed by her distant cousin, Lee Hughes,
whom she married in 1886, returning with him to Dallas.
When I first knew Mrs. Hughes in
the Pferian club some thirty years ago, I often heard her speak
of "Cousin Lee," and naturally supposed they had with
them some young cousin by the name of Lee.
Finally, from words dropped, this
did not seem to be the case, so I said to her one day: "Please
tell me who is Cousin Lee?" and she said: "Why, my
husband, of course. I always called him 'Cousin Lee' before we
were married, so I just kept on!"
After that, I think that to many
old persons, he was always "Cousin Lee."
Mrs. Hughes taught mathematics
in this college. She recalls her most brilliant pupil, who had
the courage to graduate in a calico dress because she could afford
Other teachers were Miss Griffeth,
who taught music; Miss Rosa Phillips, who married Fred Hughes,
a son of Dr. Hughes; Miss Jennie Samuell, voice; Misses King
and Moore, English, and Mrs. L. Q. C. Lamar, Jr., art.
Mrs. Lamar's beauty and charm and
kindness of heart made her a great favorite with pupils and teachers,
who have always loved and admired her.
Among the pupils of this school
were Minnie Miller, Mattie Burford, Ada Ranch and sister, Jane
and Sallie Worthington, Mattie Caruth, Linda Alford, Mattie Leake,
Grace Dexter, Mamie Jones, Josephine Field, Cora and Hattie Stemmons
and Lucy Keller.
Colonel Cole's School.
James Reid Cole had, for many years,
a successful school on San Jacinto near Pearl street. He was
a native of North Carolina, his father having come from Virginia.
Colonel Cole wrote a book, in which he advised his children to
claim all the good Coles for relatives, but to avoid all the
His father was a soldier in the
war of 1812. He was a planter, a magistrate and a minister. He
died when James Reid Cole was a small child, and the widow went
to live with her parents, and Colonel Cole's recollections of
life on the plantation, its orchards, the chestnut trees, the
honey from the bee bums and the long, sweet cakes his grandmother
made, are entertainingly written.
He tells a story of going to the
blacksmith shop when a small boy and picking up a piece of iron
from the ground, which happened to have just come out of the
fire. This taught him to keep his hands off things that did not
belong to him.
He tells of the wedding of one
of their slaves to a man from a neighboring plantation and of
the great preparations made for the wedding, and the dance that
followed, and he feels that while the negroes were happy and
well cared for, that as an abstract principle, slavery is wrong.
He tells of his first school, to
which he walked three miles and back, when he was 5 years old.
Had Prominent Neighbors.
Among his neighbors were J. E.
B. Stuart, A. W. Terrell, John H. Traylor and Alfred M. Scales,
whom he met many years later, on the battlefield, or in Texas.
A. W. Terrell was minister to Turkey
and was sent from Texas; John H. Traylor was a member of the
Texas legislature and A. M. Scales became governor of North Carolina.
Mr. Cole tells a war story about
a good old Presbyterian who gave him and others a severe lecture
about running away from a losing battle. Said he: "Don't
you know if it had been predestined for you to be killed, you
would have been killed anyhow?" "Yes, sir," I
said, "but the fact that we did run, shows that it was predestined
we should run and therefore, we should not be blamed for doing
what it was predestined we should do."
He looked like he thought his doctrine
was loaded at both ends , adds Mr. Cole.
Colonel Cole first opened a school
at Greensboro, N. C., and then came to McKenzie college, Texas,
as professor of ancient languages. He next was principal of the
Masonic institute at Bonham, and then studied law and was a member
of the legislature.
Did Not Like Politics.
Politics did not suit him, and
he next lived five years on his farm, and then spent some years
as president of the North Texas Female college at Sherman and
of the Agricultural and Mechanical college, then superintendent
of public schools at Abilene and then settled down in Dallas
to conduct Cole's Classic and Military school.
Professor Cole tells a war story
which he says he never told before on Rutherford B. Hayes and
he cautions his readers that they must not tell it!
He says that one night, just after
the close of the war, passing through East Tennessee, he made
the acquaintance in the car of a sociable man who was a Federal
general, as Mr. Cole was a Confederate colonel. He said his name
was Hayes, and finally, he said: "Suppose we go to the water
tank and have a drink," and from his overcoat pocket, he
pulled a flask of whisky.
Now that certainly looks as if
Lucy Webb Hayes had him in good training before he became president,
doesn't it? Professor Cole pays a beautiful tribute to his wife--his
"Mary of the Glen."
The faculty of Colonel Cole's school
is listed, besides himself as president, as Capt. E. P. R. Duval,
Miss Katie Cole and Mrs. May Cole Deatheridge, and later Captain
Duval became also his son-in-law.
References are Messrs. Schoellkopf,
Sanger, Blaylock, Padgitt, Fretz, Doran, Worley, Hamilton, Maxwell,
Traylor, Barry Miller, J. B. Simpson, Wathen, Abrams, Cabell,
Wilkins, Judge Watts and General Wozencraft.
Some of His Scholars.
The children of these leading citizens
attended the schools, as did many others, including the Flippens,
Ardreys, Lucas, Atkins, H. H. Smith, Letcher, Leake, Carter,
Richard Morgan, Kahn, Estes, Crawford, Blankenship, Doggett,
Gaston, Wolfe, Holloway, Garlington, Carnes, Gannon, Dr. A. P.
Smith, Dr. Rankin, Clower , Prather, Straus , Camp, Lindsley,
Bower, Hughes, Moseley, Abrams, Adoue, Coke, Williams, Barton,
Townsend, Gillespie, Wilkins, Pope, Slaughter, Caruth, Metzer,
Harry, Bookhout, Harmon, Worley, Stratton, House, Campbell and
In addition to the faculty noted
in the catalog, Frank Reaugh gave lessons in art and Professor
Murphree in expression. Miss Ella Cole also assisted her father,
and Mr. Harmon gave a business course.
This was the first military school
in the city, and the uniform was the same as the fatigue at West
Point, gray with black trimmings and dark blue cap.
It was established in 1889 and
functioned for twenty years.
Early Day Kindergarten.
A popular kindergarten of not so
many years ago, although the children in the group are all grown,
and most of them have married and have children of their own,
was that of Mrs. Annie Biser, whose assistant was Miss Basye
When these children were a few
years older, most of them went to the Misses Collier, who taught
in Dallas for many years.
Their cottage on Browder street
still stands, and is now a second-hand furniture emporium.
The Misses Collier were cultured
and charming women, and were prominent in patriotic societies.
Both died a few years ago, as did Mrs. Mary K. Craig, who, in
her later years, conducted classes for women in literature and
took parties on European trips. Her portrait hangs in the Mary
Craig room at the Y. M. C. A.
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