| Contents of this
history are based on information received from various sources, to
include former students, teachers, and other community residents.
Mineola Schools were organized in the late
1800's, in accordance with the "community system" under the leadership
of Professor Robert Mason Jones, together with the
citizens of the community. In 1889, Professor O. C. Vessy was elected
principal and served until 1900. From 1900 until the school closed, it
went through many changes, including names, buildings, principals,
teachers and students.
Principals who served the Mineola Schools
after 1900 were: J. L. Brooks, four years; General G. Beatty, four
years; H. R. Jones, twenty-four years; J. M. Henry, seven years; E. H.
Jones, three and one-half years; Irene Potts, one-half year; I. W.
Whitmore, elected principal in 1944 and served until 1964; 1. L. Watson,
served as principal from 1964 until the school closed due to integration
In the school year 1924, classes began in
October with Professor H. R. Jones as principal and his wife, Lena, and
Mrs. Lucille Beasley as teachers.
J. M. Henry was principal in 1931. The "old"
school structure was destroyed by fire in 1927. Between the summer of
1937 and the fall of 1939, the red building, remembered by most, was
In the late 1940's, the school's name was
changed from South Ward to Mineola Colored High. At this time, the
school only went through the tenth grade. Students desiring to continue
their remaining years of education went to other systems. Most of these
students went to Quitman and finished their last two years of school.
Also during this time, there were changes in the campus structure. Most
of the classes were held in one building and across the street in a room
attached to a house. First, a barrack, which consisted of three rooms,
was moved on campus on the South side. This was used for classes from
first through sixth grades, with other classes housed in the main
building. One teacher taught two classes in each building. Later, a
three building campus developed consisting of one administration
building which contained five classrooms, general homemaking department,
the seventh and eighth grade department and the Principal's Office. The high school
building dominated the center of the campus. The primary building housed
the first through the sixth grades in four rooms. The
gymnasium-auditorium housed the library and cafeteria.
It was the school year of 1947-48 when South
Ward became a high school. The first graduating class was in 1948. This
was also the year Mineola started playing football and basketball under
the Interscholastic League Rule. Before that time, there were both
football and basketball teams that represented the school. Both school
and non-school students participated.
There were several coaches during this
period. Perhaps the most remembered was Leonard Charles (L.C.) Gregory,
who was the coach from 1947-48 until the school closed in 1966. The
Asst. Coaches were: Elbert Reed, Weber Porter and Travis July. Within
those years, many good athletes passed through South Ward, Mineola
Colored High and McFarland High School. There were championship football
teams and good basketball teams.
Sometime during the middle 1950's, the
school name was changed to McFarland High School, after a long time
teacher, the late Addie McFarland, who taught many generations in this
The 1965-1966 school year would be the final
year of McFarland High School. Its last graduating class was the class
In the fall of 1966, all students that
attended McFarland were integrated into the Mineola School System, with
students going into elementary, junior high and high schools.
From its beginning to its closing, we can
say that the many students that went through those buildings of South
Ward, Mineola Colored High and McFarland have gone on in many
directions. Some are teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians, civil
servants, truck drivers, nurses, skilled and unskilled laborers,
military personnel and in many other occupations. But one thing we all
have in common is we all started at the same place: South Ward, Mineola
Colored High and McFarland High School.
The Present: The old
elementary school building of the McFarland Schools and grounds were
donated by Timothy and Maxine Hancock, former students. Renovation
of the building was funded by the Meredith Foundation. The
gymnasium, maintenance, and upkeep of the center must by funded by
grants, the citizens of the community, ex-students, teachers, churches
and organizations, along with volunteers to assist in providing
Your Support is needed
to keep the "Dream" alive!