It is my
historical conviction that the Pease
Elementary School is vital and integral to
the history of education in Texas. It
would be impossible to find a more
historic school than Pease, which traces
its origins back to the year 1839.
B. Lamar, the second elected President of
the Republic of Texas, was a great
champion of public education. He dreamed
that Texas would provide a public
education for all of its school children.
Concurrently, Lamar was also great
advocate for the founding of the City of
Austin, which he envisioned at the capital
of the Republic.
decisive action as a result of these two
interests in the late 1830s. Under his
leadership, the Congress of the Republic
of Texas passed a general education law in
1839 that created the foundations of
public education in Texas. That same year,
largely because of Lamar’s advocacy,
surveyors laid out the town of Austin,
which became the capital of the republic.
As part of that survey, the Congress of
the Republic of Texas set aside a plot of
land that today lies on the west side of
modern Rio Grande Street just south of 12th. This
survey plot was designated as the site for
a public school for the children of the
new town of Austin.
Elementary School sits on that very plot
of land, which exists today as the oldest
parcel of land within the boundaries of
the state continuously dedicated to the
cause of public education. Due to problems
of financial support, however, a school
was not located on that piece of ground
until after the Civil War when, in 1876,
it opened as the Austin Graded School.
School thus traces its beginnings back to
the very establishment of public education
in Texas and to the founding of the City
Austin. It has survived almost a century
and a half as a touchstone of public
education in Texas. It is part of the
historical fabric of this state, and
constitutes a truly unique and singular
part of the history of this state.
It would be my
hope that the school has many for decades
of useful history ahead. I would
appreciate your making my opinions about
the historical importance of Pease
Elementary School known to anyone who
might be interested in this important part
of our state’s history.