Tour Guide   Marston Street Tour     Locate on map

Tired of walking after going all the way down and back up Main
Street? Let’s now see some of the businesses on the side streets 
by car. Choose the vehicle of your choice. We decided that this 
virtual journey would be set in the 50’s so why not that 1957 
Bel-Air convertible with big sweptback tail fins?  Climb in.

First Baptist Church
Looking up north on Marston Street,
we see the First Baptist Church. 
Later on the southwest corner a new 
building will be built that will 
replace the existing sanctuary 
with its challenging stairs to the 
elderly or infirm.   What few may 
remember is that the pink-shingled, 
long narrow house on the northwest 
corner used to be a small wooden 
Presbyterian church complete with an old-fashioned belfry. At some 
point the belfry was removed, and the former house of worship became 
simply another residence. 

Morris Funeral Home
The white house to the right was both the residence and the business 
of Jim Morris and his wife, the former Alla Ray Kuydendall.  They
operated a funeral home at this location. Across the alley and 
behind the Marston Building was the McHenry residence, which also
served as a beauty parlor.
Take a right on Marston going south approaching the high school 
complex, perhaps the first thing you’ll remember is Harrell’s Café, 
where many teens liked to hang out and get their lunch. Above this 
building were the original telephone offices where operators 
questioned, “Number please?” 

Recreational Building
After the alley, our car passes between the Recreation Building, 
which was the venue for basketball games and various school stage 
productions and now serves as the primary meeting site for the 
Exes Association at homecoming every other year and the vocational-
agricultural buildings where most area farm and ranch boys took 
classes. The first floor of the Voc-Ag building in the 40’s was 
for the newly re-established high school band. (Later it would 
be in former WWII barrack southwest of the main building.) The 
second floor of the Voc-Ag was an apartment built and maintained 
for Seeborne A. Hightower, a bigwig in Texas utilities, and his 
family. They later built a house in Ranger.

Ranger High School
Cater-cornered to the right, close your eyes and remember the
three-story imposing high school building built in 1921 in its
traditional red brick with an exterior grand staircase in the 
middle. Starting in 1942, it housed classrooms for grades 7-12. 
At one time, when there were only eleven grades in public school, 
the junior college occupied the third floor. Prior to the change-
over to twelve grades, the high school had only grades 9-11.  
Although junior college classes were primarily on the third 
floor, special classes, such as typing, obviously met where the 
special facilities were, whatever the floor. When students 
returned to school in the fall of the transition, everyone 
simply moved up a grade.  For example, fifth graders were now 
seventh graders without ever having been sixth graders. The 
new first graders would be the first to complete twelve grades. 
In 1948 the junior college relocated to the former Cooper 
School near the town airport. Then the same floor in the high 
school provided space for the seventh and eighth graders,
who no longer were at the three elementary schools: Hodges 
Oak Park, Young, and  Cooper. (Tiffin School was demolished 
in 1934; its bricks were used in the construction of the 
Recreation Building.)
First United Methodist Church
Readily visible today because the high school building was 
demolished in 1978 is the First United Methodist Church across 
from the high school on the south side of Elm Street.
Turn left on Pine. Some residences are to the right, but we 
soon find ourselves at the intersection with Austin. To the 
right are the remains of the building with the American Legion 
Hall on the second floor. Dances were a scheduled occurrence 
here. Downstairs was the site of the thriving enterprise of 
repairing school athletic equipment begun by Richard Henderson,
a coach at the college. (Southwest Athletic Repair later would 
relocate to the vacant Ward’s building on Main.) Originally the 
bottom floor was city hall and the top floor some men’s club, 
perhaps the Elks.  End Tour