The white clapboard school was erected 100 years ago in a pasture far, far away. Well, only 40 miles away. But in 1916, by horse or wagon it was a trip. Hovey, TX was located by the tracks of the Orient R.R., between Fort Stockton and Alpine. It consisted of shipping pens, a depot, grocery store, post office, homes for railroad employees, and a one classroom, one teacher school. Built by local carpenter/rancher William Schaffer, it was sturdy.
As a school (1916-1938) grades one through seven were taught. Average attendance was 12 students. Rancher’s kids commuted by horseback if possible, or stayed in rented rooms in the back of the grocery store. The teacher had her own bedroom and a kitchen in the schoolhouse.
After 1938, Hovey School became a venue for country dances and for a monthly Friday night “42 Party”.
None the best for wear, the Hovey School was moved to Fort Stockton in 1987, where it has been restored by the Pecos County Historical Commission. In addition to major physical repairs, effort has been made to reclaim the spirit of the old school. A wood stove placed in the center of the schoolroom is surrounded by desks of that era. The original chalkboards have been re-hung. Pictures of the teachers and some students have been reframed for preservation. On the far walls are pictures of the ranchers and families who attended the school and/or social events.
Hovey school, one of the last of the rural one room school houses in Texas, is now proudly included in the “Old Fort Days” Celebration.