While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


RICHMOND STATE SCHOOL. Richmond State School for the Mentally Retarded was opened in April 1968 as a state school facility of the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation. The school, located on a 242-acre site on a bend of the Brazos River north of Richmond, was constructed in phases, with the first phase to provide accommodations for 500 students. The first 450 were admitted in April 1968. The school serves children and youths, but primarily adults in a fifteen-county area along the Gulf Coast from Orange County to Matagorda County. Residents are assigned to seven units in eleven buildings, depending on the severity of their mental disability. Plans were to house 1,500 when the school was completed, but this enrollment has never been reached because of the department's increasing emphasis on deinstitutionalization. Richmond State School had 1,023 students in 1980, 755 in 1990, and 700 in 1994. The school offers an intensive physical-therapy program daily. On March 26, 1992, the Russell Shearn Moody Riding Arena, the Reva Williams Petting Zoo, and the Jesse H. Jones Wing of the Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Center opened. The result is one of the most comprehensive hippotherapy (physical, speech, and occupational therapy using horses) programs in the Southwest. Richmond State School in 1994 was the fourth largest employer in Fort Bend County. Expanded medical, dental, behavioral, and recreation programs have also improved the basic care of the residents.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "RICHMOND STATE SCHOOL," accessed August 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/sbr01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...