In between horse stealing and cattle rustling, kids still went to school

Baseball was one way early Duval residents found ways to enjoy what otherwise was a stressful life in the frontier. In addition to baseball, residents also enjoyed other sporting events such as gun and bicycle clubs. There were other activities, such as school and social events, to keep everyone entertained.

Before the start of the school year started in 1887, County Judge James Luby named W. B. Croft, William Taylor, and Henry Parkham to the Board of Examiners to test teacher applicants. The law required that the board be composed of three teachers with proper certifications, but Luby asked for a waiver of this provision otherwise he would have to appoint his mother and sister to the board. The state superintendent of schools approved the exemption and allowed Luby to select three other competent persons.

The new board proceeded to administer tests to Addie Feuille, Mr. And Mrs. A. R. Valls, Hays Dix, a Mrs. Sutherland, John McIntire, and T. S. Moses. Miss Feuille got a first grade certification and Mrs. Valls a second grade certificate; all the other applicants failed. Luby had authority to call for another examination and did so later in the year. The board, now consisting of certified teachers Pollard, Covington, and Feuille, administered a second round of tests to find teachers for the remaining grades and other schools in the county. Miss Winstead of Pena and Miss Nudd of Realitos received second grade certificates. The board issued a third grade certificate to Miss Garcia of San Diego.

As school got underway, the school board assigned Feuille to be in charge of the girls’ school and Pollard to be principal of the boys school. The newspaper noted that Pollard had ranked number nine, out of 40 individuals taking the state teachers exam in Austin. Louis Pueblo, meanwhile, ran a private school.

In Oct, 1887, Katie Luby and other women in town organized a musical concert to raise money to build a schoolhouse for girls. Despite a cold and wet norther, the concert raised $40, which the organizing group considered a great success. Lizzie Martinet and Tessie Spann “brought down the house” with their rendition of When a Little Farm We Keep. Laura Modd was teacher at the girls school with 30 pupils.

The school term for the girls wound up in April 1888 with final tests during the day and a program in the evening, which included recitations, comical dialogues, music, dancing, and “Negro” pieces that “brought down the house.” Teachers Misses Feuille and Garcia performed musical pieces Himno All Cencia. Lizzie Martinet, Addie Luby, and Albert Levy performed piano solos. Angela Bodet’s performance was a big hit. Schoolgirls performed Aunt Ray’s Cat. John and Priscilla Buckley did the Irish Jig while Lizzie Martinet and Addie Luby did the Garcano Dance. Mrs. K. Luby conducted calisthenics. As an indication of the tenor of the times, the Corpus Christi newspaper reported that John Luby turned in the performance of a “good Negro” in Ticket Taker, though “the Negro breakdown” at the close was not very “niggerly.”

Other students included Fannie Reeves, Lillie Doughty, Annie Marxen, Amada Puig, Mamie Luby, Juan Longoria, and Minnie Smith. Mrs. M. Doughty gave a baile for the students at her home.

Professor Pueblo’s academy performed speeches, music, essays at the end of its school year.