The Hovey School

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N. SPRING DRIVE, NEAR COMANCHE SPRINGS
Fort Stockton, Texas

Historic Hovey School, now on the grounds of Historic Fort Stockton.

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Hovey, Texas, is located about 40 miles from Fort Stockton. In 1916 a new schoolhouse was built there by William Schaeffer, a homesteader who gained a section of land between 1912 and 1918. A carpenter by trade, Mr. Schaeffer built the one-room schoolhouse after the original school on the Townsend ranch burned down.

Hovey School was a part of the Fort Stockton School District, and averaged about 12 students per year from 1913 through 1938. As roads and vehicles improved, increasing numbers of rural students transferred to Fort Stockton or Alpine. 1938 was the last year the building was used as a school. It then became a venue for country dances and the monthly Friday night "42 Party" where about 30 local ranch families played dominos, ate a meal and caught up on the local news. 

By the late 1980s the old school was in bad shape and deteriorating. Concerned former students and area ranches persuaded Precinct 1 County Commissioner Greg McKenzie to have the school moved to Fort Stockton and restored. It arrived in 1987, where the Pecos County Historical Commission oversaw restoration of the old building. Information for the Historical Marker was supplied by Margaret Hayter Newton, who contacted many of the former teachers and students.

The Pecos County Historical Commission assumed responsibility for its maintenance and care since its relocation. As one of the last remaining rural, one-room schoolhouses in Texas, the Hovey School now proudly sits beside the historic Rollins-Sibley House, just across the street from historic Comanche Springs, and is party of the annual Old Fort Days celebration in Fort Stockton. 

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The interior of the restored Hovey School, with Pecos County Historical Commission members (L-R) Barbara Kipgen, Sixie Davis, Ernest Woodward and Bob Hayter.