Studio photograph of Frances Marie Grundy at the age of six in downtown El Paso, Texas. "Frances Grundy attended Douglass for twelve years. She was in the original class that started in the kindergarten. Frances has the highest average in her class. The average, 92.76, is one of the highest ever made at the school. Frances is a talented musician. She plays the piano well and plays alto saxophone in the band. She is not athletic, but is one of the best students that the school has ever had. Her intentions are to continue studies in college." These words written about Frances in the book, The Dragon - History of Douglass School by John Collyns Fullmore, Jr., Class of 1941.
Frances Grundy could attend only one school in El Paso, Texas. That school was Douglass, this was the only school opened to black people. The school offered classes such as reading, spelling, literature, mathematics, chemistry, physical education, sports, band, choir, home economics and manual training. Douglass also offered a night school so ex-students could finish their high school work and graduate. However, the school was still not part of the Texas school system because segregation remained legal.
Douglass High School - Leatrice Mathis McKinney - 1940
Attended college in Kansas City, Missouri. Married Lonnis McKinney in 1941. Worked as an elevator operator during the war while her husband was in the service. Moved to Los Angeles and now works as a tabulator and biller in the order department for a manufacturing concern. She has one daughter, Priscilla Andrea and one son, Lonnis Frank, Jr. and two grandsons. Resides in Los Angeles, California.
Married Herbert F. Smith from Tuscon, Arizona. Lived in many parts of the world including Germany and Japan until husband retired as a Colonel in 1974. Graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso and is presently employed as a teacher in the Ysleta Independent School District. She has two children: Rose and Herbert, Jr. and three grandchildren. The family resides in El Paso, Texas.
Eugene Ford graduated from Prairie View A. and M. University majoring in Architectural Engineering. He worked in the Port Arthur School System, Port Arthur, Texas for twenty years. Is currently a supervisor with the Federal Housing Authority out of Houston, Texas. Married and has four children and three grandchildren. Resides in Port Arthur, Texas.
Douglass High School - Belearphron Mathis Collins - 1940
Attended college in Kansas City, Missouri. Married Henry Dupree. Had one daughter, Cynthia. Attended. a trade school in El Paso to study cashiering and being a grocery clerk. She married Edward E. Collins in 1965 and traveled to Okinawa. She lived in Los Angeles for five years and then moved to Twenty Nine Palms where she now lives and works at the Marine Corps Base Exchange.
Douglass High School - Leola B. Roberts Rivers - 1940
Attended Juliet Beauty Academy in San Francisco, California and the Madam Freeman School of Beauty in Savannah, Georgia. In 1967, she established Junior's Record Shop in Tacoma, Washington, which she owns and operates. She is a booking agent for Globe Entertainment Enterprises. She has traveled to Weisbaden and Karbrushe, Germany. She married Emmit Rivers and they have two children, Emmit Rivers Jr. and Monica Rivers. Mrs. Rivers belongs to many clubs and organizations. She is active with the St. John Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington. She resides with her family in Puyallup, Washington.
Douglass High School - Mary E. Austin Kelley - 1940
Attended Crescent Beauty School in Austin, Texas in 1940-1941. She worked in that field for many years. Later she worked at Thomason General Hospital and as a teacher's aide for the El Paso Independent School District. She married Rogers D. Kelley in 1944 and they have two children. Mr. and Mrs. Kelley reside at 817 Santa Barbara Drive, El Paso, Texas.
William Alexander Henderson - 1880 - El Paso, Texas
Photograph - William Alexander Henderson - 1880
Stationed in El Paso, William "Bill" Alexander Henderson served in the 9th Cavalry during the Indian Wars from 1873 to 1878. Born in Virginia in 1850, he made El Paso his home until his death in 1934. Henderson and his family were members of the Second Baptist Church, where he later became deacon. The church was built in 1906 and constructed with the bricks that Henderson made, as he was a popular brick maker in El Paso. He also made the bricks used to build El Paso's Masonic hall. Henderson was a member of Prince Hall Freemasonry, which is affiliated with the Masons, and served as the worshipful master of Sunset Lodge No. 76. He was fluent in Spanish and worked briefly for the Mexican government with another figure of note, Lt. Henry O. Flipper.
(Images of America - African Americans In El Paso)
Mother of Frances Marie Grundy who attended Douglass High School class of 1941. Blanche Ethel Henderson at the age eight. Blanche's father was William "Bill" Alexander Henderson who served in the 9th Cavalry during the Indian Wars from 1873 to 1878.