This is a photo of the new Pewitt School as it was nearing completion in early 1951. The school was built by the Vaughn Brothers of Naples.
"The above photograph was taken circa 1956. That was before pine trees were invented. In the early
years of the school the entire acreage in front of the school was planted in crimson clover. It sure was pretty in the springtime."
The following article was taken from a research report written in 1967 by former Pewitt teachers Bobbie Foster and Juanita Koon as part of a library science course at East Texas State
University at Commerce (now Texas A&M at Commerce). It gives the early history of Pewitt School:
"Until 1950 Naples and Omaha, only four miles apart and each in a different school district,
maintained separate school systems. Tax revenues were low and school officials' perplexing problems were numerous. To make matters worse, a tornado swept through Morris County early in February,
leaving a path of destruction. Mr. Paul H. Pewitt, wealthy oil operator and ranch owner of Longview and Omaha, heard of the plight and asked permission to address a joint session of the district boards.
On February 24, 1950, Mr. Pewitt met with the school board of Naples and Omaha at the State Bank of Omaha to consider the problems made imperative by a tornado that destroyed the main building of the Omaha
School. Pewitt told the school officials he wanted to help. He would like to see better education facilities for youth in an area that was predominantly agriculture. He was willing to give not only one
hundred acres of land for an experimental farm, but $100,000 toward a modern school plant. He made only one stipulation. The two districts must be consolidated and the school erected approximately midway
between Naples and Omaha. Otherwise, there were no strings to his offer. Consolidation Proceedings. A general committee composed of Bun Hall, R.E. Moore, Leon Coker, John Whittington, and W.C. Stevens was
appointed to select a site and serve during consolidation proceedings. The committee then voted to accept the offer of Mr. Pewitt and to name the new district Pewitt Consolidated Independent School District. The
high school was named Paul H. Pewitt High School. On March 21, 1950, The Naples Consolidated County Line Independent School District and the Omaha Independent School District voted almost unanimously to consolidate.
An election was held on April 1, 1950, and the following were elected first members of the Pewitt School board: W.C. Stevens, president; W.G. Granberry, secretary; Jamie Brabham, B.B. Brown, J.M. Hampton, R.E. Moore, and Dr.
C.J. Wise. The first action of the school board was to elect Frank C. Bean as the school superintendent. "The professional life of Mr. Bean exemplifies the progress that education has made in Texas. He began teaching
in a one-teacher school and developed the patience, tact and resourcefulness to the point of being the unanimous choice of the school board for the task of welding together the facilities and patrons of the several
districts that comprise the Pewitt Independent School District." Consolidation Period. On April 3, 1950, an election was held to authorize the issuance of $110,000 in bonds. The vote was 426 for, and five against. On
April 16, 1950, the board sold the bonds to James C. Tucker Company, the State Bank of Omaha, and the Morris County National Bank at 2.80 percent interest. On May 22, 1950, bids for the construction of the Pewitt School were opened,
and the contract let to the Vaughan Construction Company for an initial bid of $199,950. On September 1, 1950, the cornerstone was laid. The contract later was amended to include additions to the gymnasium, a covered walk, a room for exceptional
children, a sewage system, and other small changes. During the construction period, the Pewitt Housing Authority was created for the purpose of constructing teacherages. The Omaha teacherage was sold and the balance required was borrowed
from the local banks. A three bedroom brick veneer and brick veneer duplex were constructed. The loan is being retired by rent from the occupants of the dwellings. On November 30, 1950, the board adopted royal blue and confederate grey as the
school colors and Brahma as the team name. In February 1951, the plant was completed at a total cost of $300,000. New furniture and three new buses had been purchased. The PTA had given a $2500 intercommunication system. School Plant Dedicated. Though the
school plant was completed in time for the fall term, the official dedication was delayed. The dedication program of the Paul H. Pewitt School was presented Sunday afternoon, October 21, 1951, in the spacious gymnasium, was attended by a large crowd of patrons and
students of the school district, and interested people from many places in Texas and from other states. Many of the visitors were former teachers and students of the Omaha, Naples, and other schools of the large consolidated school district. Following the playing of
the "Star Spangled Banner" by the Pewitt band, the invocation was given by the Rev. Chad Murray, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Naples. "The Pewitt Story," beginning with the acute need of a modern school plant, and outlining the part that Paul H. Pewitt had in the
building of this wonderful school plant, was given by the Rev. Leslie T. Griffin, pastor of the Omaha Methodist Church. As he brought the story to a close, the Rev. Griffin introduced Mr. Pewitt, the benefactor of our Pewitt Independent School District. Jack Harvey, vice
president of the Student Council, paid a beautiful tribute of appreciation to Mr. Pewitt on behalf of the student body of the school. A gift of appreciation, a life membership in the Texas State Teachers' Association, was presented to Mr. Pewitt by a faculty member, Mrs. Lee
Davis. The dedication was made by Dr. Leon R. Graham of Austin, representative of the Texas Education Agency. He expressed his congratulations to Mr. Pewitt, the Board of Education, and the citizenship of the district in their outstanding achievement, the building of the modern
plant with its wide-range school program. E.B. Germany, president of Lone Star Steel Company, introduced the main speaker, the Honorable Wright Patman, and praised him for his interest in the welfare of the people he represents. Following his congratulatory remarks to the
school officials and loyal citizens in the planning and building of the beautiful school plant, Mr. Patman said "I am happy to share with you a deep appreciation of the vision and generosity manifested by our genial and loyal fellow citizen, Mr. Paul H. Pewitt, in whose honor
this school is named. His very generous personal gift has made possible this beautiful plant and facilities. We salute our friend and neighbor and pay him high tribute." Mr. Patman based his timely and informative talk on "Education for Citizenship in a Democracy." He said he was
confident that America will continue to be the world's greatest democracy and industrial power, and that in spite of our fears and difficulties, our democracy will survive with even greater strength and will lead our confused world into an era of universal peace. The school song "Hail Pewitt,"
and other numbers were well rendered by the Pewitt band. The Rev. Morris Hill, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Naples, said the benediction. Frank Bean, superintendent of Pewitt Schools, directed the program. End of Construction Period. The Pewitt plant consists
of four major buildings, including a band hall, agriculture building, gymnasium, and the main building - - junior, senior and elementary wings joined by a cafetorium. In 1961, the original band hall was replaced by a completely new and modern building - - air conditioned and
sound-proof. In addition there are the athletic field house, practice fields, play grounds, school farm, baseball diamond, stadium, track, tennis courts and custodial housing. The 3 1/2-acre lake located about one-half mile north of the campus is just one more outstanding feature of the school
farm. Through the efforts of the PTA and other interested persons, and with the help of the FFA boys, shrubs and trees have been planted to help beautify the campus. This spring, a rose garden was planted around the flagpole, which is located just across the driveway from the main
entrance to the building. This gives a greeting welcome to each visitor to the school. In 1950 the name "Pewitt" merely meant a well-to-do, generous and far-sighted man, Mr Paul H. Pewitt. Seventeen years later the name Pewitt over the state of Texas means a consolidated, unified, high-spirited
group of students. Coming from different communites and divergent backgrounds, the student body, under the leadership of the school administration and faculty, has been welded into a living, breathing personality called the Paul H. Pewitt School. The first decade was a construction period. The Paul H. Pewitt School
and the Carver School were built. Farms and farm buildings, music hall, teachers' homes, as well as housing for the custodian, were built, along with the usual structures. One of the few cinder tracks in Northeast Texas was built. The track has undergone extensive improvement in recent years. The field house and tennis courts
have been added since the initial building program started. The latest addition to the athletic program has been a weight room which was converted from storage space. Perhaps the first decade could also be called the "Santa Claus" era. The people of the new district were given more than $369,000 by Mr. Paul
H. Pewitt and the federal government. The local property tax could not have made possible the construction of this school plant. The first years were a pioneering era. A transportation system radiating from the Pewitt School over 200 square miles of area was planned and put into operation. School colors, a mascot name,
school songs, class rings, and many other new things had to be devised and selected. The first few years saw considerable progress made in meeting the obligation to Mr. Paul Pewitt, who gave more than $150,000 if the two districts would consolidate and work effectively together. The students had been successful in developing
a new school spirit; they are unified and consolidated. The adults have learned to suppress their civic ambitions to the needs of the school districts. Although our goal has been to get everyone to think "our school", there are still a few who still think of the Pewitt School as "the school". In writing of
his personal experiences as the first superintendent of the Pewitt School District, Mr. Bean spoke of himself in a partly humorous and partly serious vein as "sitting in the cross fire on the highway between two towns with two telephone companies, two banks, two post offices, and two of everything by dollars - - trying to
do a job described as climbing a bois d'arc tree with a wildcat under each arm." Early in the second decade, Mr. H.R. Hamilton was elected superintendent. His purpose was hinged around the following quotation - - May we as teachers build youth that will be strong enough to know when they are weak - - and brave enough to face themselves
when they are afraid. Cinders have been added to the track; a new band building erected; the stadium has been enlarged; desegregation was approved in 1965; additional trophy cases have been built and filled with awards in the literary field as well as the various fields of athletics. From 1967 to 1977 much of the essentials will continue.
Boys will be aware of girls, and girls will be happy that such is the case. Some will seek happiness through pleasure, and others will try to find it in success. Nations and ideologies will rise and fall, but Pewitt School will go on forever."
This is a photo of the original Pewitt Schools' Board of Education.
From left to right are: Supt. Frank C. Bean, Dr. C. J.
Wise, Mr. J. M. Hampton, Mr. Webb Granberry, Mr. B. B.
Brown, Mr. Jamie Brabham, Mr. Randy Moore and Mr.
1949/50 Chevrolet donated by Coker Chevrolet, Naples, for the driver's education course at Pewitt High School. Shown are Superintendent Frank C. Bean, Jim Lucas (in car) and Leon Coker. The photo
was taken in front of the Coker Chevrolet dealership that stood where the Morris County National Bank now stands. Note Joe's Cafe in the background which was operated by Horace Freeman.
This is a photo of the old bandhall. This building was moved to the Pewitt campus from the Naples school campus.
This is a photo of the 1954 freshman class officers. I know who the people are, the question is---Who owned the Model A Ford?? From the top clockwise are Billie Sue, Perry, Teddy and Lowell Gene.
Is this a photo taken around the turn of the 20th century??....no, it was taken in 1954 at the Pewitt
Junior/Senior Banquet. These servers were sophmores Ray Thigpen, Delwyn Harvey, Morris Craig, Jackie Brown, Tommy Gee Heard, Robert Hammonds, Frankie
Galloway, and Lyman Cox.
Check these Links
Pewitt CISD Official Home Page
Zack Watkins' 1998 Pewitt Championship Web Site
1998 State Championship Photos
The History of Naples
Remembering P.H.S.Trivia and Tidbits
More Old Naples Photos
One Hundred Years Ago
Twix the Crix