“Contingent Contexts in the German Country Schools of Gillespie County, Texas”

Ben Shacklette

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper investigates the origins and the cultural development of the 19th century German country schools of Gillespie County, Texas focusing on three selected school sites which have been preserved and maintained to the present day by the descendants of the original builders and students. By 1900, there were over forty rural schools thriving in close-knit rural communities which eventually would close through consolidation in the 1950s. Today, less than twenty remain standing preserved through private support as cultural heritage centers concurrently maintained to accommodate a wide variety of community activities. This study begins with an overview of rural education in Gillespie county followed by the analysis of three surviving schools evidenced by archival materials, oral histories, and on-site field documentation. The central thesis of this paper is the architectural qualities, functional purposes, and building technologies found in the rural schools of Gillespie County repres
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - May 2017


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