Image of the first words of the act creating the school along with early pics of buildings




12th annual report: Texas Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum for Colored Youths

Lists board members, officers, teachers and employes

Supt., SJ Jenkins.

Principal and teacher: J. Benton

Teacher of blind: Miss EL Washington,

Teacher of the Deaf: Mrs. IB Jenkins

Teacher of the deaf: Miss GK Wilkins

Teacher of Music: Miss MA Jackson

Preceptress: Mrs. NE Foster

Matron: Mrs. MC Ferguson

Monitor for boys: Rector Lawrence

Seamstress: Miss L. Morrow

Teacher of shoemaking: AJ Johnson

Engineer and plumber: GW Smith

Night watchman: Reuben Mack

Farmer and gardner: Jesse Fields

Cook: CB Shaw

Asst. Cook: Mrs. Lena Shaw

Laundress: Mrs. WR Scott

Erected a mess hall and dormitory directly east of the main building, and removed (to a new site) and remodeled old Phillips residence. Urges removal of boiler house to rear of grounds to enhance the beauty of the grounds.

Farm and dairy properties carefully developed.

“The main building is a two-story brick, eighty by fifty feet, with a central rear wing forty-four feet. It fronts south, its length extending east and west. It contains twenty-six rooms four corridors, two stairways. The rooms are ample for all purposes for which they are designed, and the halls and stairways are commodious, affording excellent opportunity for the safe general discipline of the blind as well s the deaf. It is comfortably heated by steam and elegantly lighted by electricity.”

Phillips residence remodeled for the industrial department.

The dormitory and dining hall “contains sixteen rooms, consisting of a dining hall having a capacity of one hundred and fifty inmates, with commodious kitchens and pantries adjoining upon the first floor. The second floor contains the dormitory for boys, s well as the rooms for the principal and for the monitor.” “The building is heated by steam from the old boiler house, and is provided with plumbing and electric light. The first story is thirteen feet in the clear, and the second story is twelve feet in the clear. The entire building is well lighted and ventilated. The building is constructed of brick, trimmed with limestone. The roof is of a good quality of tin, and the cornices are of galvanized iron. A brick walk has been put in place form the girls’ department, and new drainage had to be provided from the new building, carrying refuse from sinks away from the building.”

“Northeast of the main building, thirty yards, is a one-story building used for laundry purposes. It is not only past safe practical use, but it is not al all adaptable to improved economical laundry work, and is dilapidated beyond repair.

“About the center of the triangle, formed by the east end of the main building, the new Mess Hall and the one-story frame, is a small two-story stone structure, in the two rooms of which the shoemaking and sewing features are conducted.

“Southwest of the main building, forty yards, is a small boiler house, sheltering the Institution’s large boiler, by means of which the building is heated; this should be removed as it is in front of the main building, and detracts form the beauty of the place.

“The barns and sheds for live and rolling stock are ample and in very god condition.

“Instruction is given in all of the elementary branches taught in common schools of the State.” “As a means for instructing the blind in tangible reading and writing, the line letter (Raised print) and the New York point systems are used. The deaf are instructed by means of a system of signs and the oral method.” Taught by principal and 3 assistant teachers.

In music, taught by one teacher, piano and human voice. Pupils give frequent public vocal and piano rehearsals.

Trades taught include shoemaking by deaf students. Deaf girls taught rudiments of plain sewing.

Cultivate 30 acres in agriculture and horticulture; on the “ground that previously grew nothing but  Johnson grass, we raised about 250 bushels of corn and considerable oats, millet and sugar cane. Much of this work is done by the deaf boys.”

Have one pair of horses and one pair of mules. Twenty head of Jersey cattle give milk. Wt head of Berkshire hogs. One hack, one carriage, one wagon and one buggy.

Different ministers preach each Sunday. Sunday night students hold prayer meetings under the supervision of the teachers.

Students in each department conduct a literary society which meets every Friday night. Blind: Philosophian Society; Deaf: Silenta Society. Blind do essays, recitations, orations, debates, music, quotations, and the query box. Deaf: recitations, debates, story-telling and “mute” songs. Public always welcom.

“The library is small, but well selected. Additions will be made to the number of volumes now on hand as fast as circumstances will permit. This is rendered possible by setting apart a room in the main building in which to house the books. The books for the blind are all in the New York point, or in the line letter system, and are a source of constant delight, especially to the bind, who are insatiable and omnivorous readers.”

Names students and home town and county. 23 blind boys, 23 blind girls, 21 deaf girls, 31 deaf boys. 4 died, 4 graduated.

Accounts given by vendor.

“Recognizing the importance, justice and necessity of making suitable provision for the education of those unfortunate colored youths whose infirmities debar them from the benefits of the public free schools, the Eighteenth Legislature, with characteristic promptness and liberality, appropriated the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for the purchase of grounds and erection of buildings for a school to be styled the “Texas Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Asylum for Colored Youths.” Under the provisions of the  act establishing the school, his Excellency Governor L.S. Ross appointed Captain H.E. ?Shelley, Judge Z.T. Fulmore and Colonel W.M. Brown the first board of trustees, who selected the site for the Asylum. It is in the suburbs of the city of Austin, two and one-half miles northwest of the Capitol, and embraces one hundred acres of high undulating ground. At the time of purchase by the State, the improvements consisted of a commodious residence of eleven rooms, with outhouses and stabling. The rice paid for the site and improvements was ten thousand dollars ($10,000). On August 1, 1887, Governor Ross appointed W.H. Holland, of Austin, Superintendent.

The first session of the Asylum was opened in this residence building, on the 17th day of October, 1887, with seventeen pupils and two teachers.

“This auspicious opening evidenced the necessity of the immediate erection of other buildings. Contract was immediately let for the erection of the Asylum building proper, and that handsome structure was completed in the spring of 1888 at a cost of seventeen thousand nine hundred and forty dollars ($17,940).

“His building, after ten years’ occupancy, was declared unsafe, by reason of the settling of the foundations, and cracking of the walls. Contract for another was let August, 1897, which was erected at a cost of about $18,000. It contains an office, a clinic room, a parlor, library, six recitations rooms, a double chapel, eight dormitories, two music rooms, lavatories, bath rooms, etc.

  1. This is a State Asylum
  2. 2. All deaf, dumb or blind colored children in this State, between seven and twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and free from contagious diseases, are entitled to admission to this school. The terms deaf and blind are held to include all those who can not hear or see well enough to enable them to receive the benefits of the public free schools of the State.
  3. Parents and guardians are urge do send their deaf and blind children to this school just as soon after reaching proper age as possible, that they may learn as early as possible co9rrect habits, and that (in the case of blind children) they may early learn tangible reading—a thing difficult to do after the skin on the finger tips thickens.
  4. Blank form of application for admission to this school, and any information desired, will be promptly furnished by the Superintendent.
  5. This Institute is neither an orphan asylum, a children’s home, an asylum for imbeciles, nor a hospital, but it is a school for the educable blind and deaf.
  6. Parents, guardians or their desiring ot visit pupils of the school are cordially invited to do so, but they are advised that the overcrowded condition of the school will not admit of their entertainment over night.
  7. The regular term rehearsals of the music classes and the meetings of the literary societies on each Friday night are open to the public. Attendance is invited.
  8. Parents or guardians unable to furnish transportation for children to this school, or to clothe them, should state that fact in their applications. The Superintendent will investigate such cases, and if satisfied of the correctness of the claim, will furnish both transportation and clothing.
  9. Pupils are required to go home for the summer vacation. None will be supported at the school during the summer, except in cases of extreme necessity.”