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Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

CROCKETT STATE SCHOOL. In 1927 the Texas legislature authorized the state Board of Control to establish a correctional facility for delinquent black girls. Not until 1945, however, did the legislature appropriate funds for such a facility. In August 1946 the Board of Control entered into a lease agreement with the federal government for use of the former prisoner of war camp near Brady, McCulloch County. Brady State School for Negro Girls opened to students in February 1947. By the end of August 1947 forty-eight girls had been admitted. Before the establishment of the Brady school, there was no facility in the state that would admit delinquent black girls.

When the school came under the direction of the State Youth Development Council in 1949, some improvements to the Brady site had been made, but the expense of operating a small school in a facility designed for several thousand prisoners prompted the council to seek a more suitable location. In 1950, in an effort to cut expenses and to be near a larger black population, the school was moved to a 125-acre farm near Crockett in Houston County. Crockett State School for Girls, which was called the Colored Girls Training School at Crockett until the institution was integrated in 1966, was placed under the administration of the Texas Youth Council in 1957. In addition to academic courses, the educational program included sewing, housekeeping, child care, and cooking, as well as vocational courses in cosmetology and janitorial work. The school had an enrollment of 209 in 1972 but closed in 1973. Its name was changed to Crockett State Home on December 13, 1973, and the facility was used as a home and educational center for dependent and neglected children until 1975.

In 1975 Crockett State School reopened as a correctional institution for boys and had a capacity of about a hundred students. Its accredited education program included academic courses and work in horticulture, auto mechanics, and shop. In the late 1980s the legislature appropriated funds to expand the facility in order to provide relief for overcrowded conditions at other schools. Crockett State School had an enrollment of 148 in June 1991.

Emma L. M. Jackson, Petticoat Politics: Political Activism among Texas Women in the 1920's (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1980). Texas Youth Council, Report to the Governor, Austin, 1949-.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "CROCKETT STATE SCHOOL," accessed July 08, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/jjc01.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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