These three Black educators had major influences for change in the lives of children of color in Williamson County through providing them educational opportunities.
The first African American school in Georgetown began in 1910 and was in a three-room facility called The Colored School, where it offered an education for those children in first to eighth grades. The first principal was S.C. Marshall, a scholar himself who attained multiple undergraduate degrees from Tillotson College (forerunner of Huston Tillotson University in Austin), the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and Prairie State Normal College (now Prairie View A&M) and a graduate degree from Fisk University in Nashville, TN, one of the Historically Black College and Universities.
Up until 1913, the school only offered education up to the 8th grade, but S.C. Marshall persuaded the Georgetown School Board to allow him to educate students through high school. In 1923, a new expanded building was built, and more teachers were hired.
By the end of the 1920s, that school was fully accredited for college entrance.
The Colored School was renamed Marshall High School when S.C. Marshall went to Huston-Tillotson (Tillotson) College for a new job in 1930. It kept that name until the 1940s when the name was changed to the George Washington Carver School. It eventually closed with integration in 1965.
Standing as a testament to the positive impact and vision of S.C. Marshall, the school had many graduates of color pursue higher education at the college and university levels.
Site of Marshall-Carver High School historical Marker | Williamson County Texas History
Mary Smith Bailey
As we can all agree, a good quality preschool can start a young child on a positive road in education. Unfortunately, a preschool education was not easily attainable for children of color in the early decades of the 20th Century.
Mary Smith Bailey’s impact was on those children of color. Ms. Bailey, from Georgetown (born about 1890), studied child development at Huston-Tillotson College in Austin, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After a 39-year career as a public-school teacher in the predominantly Black schools of Yarbrough, Bruton (at Jonah), Corn Hill, and Jarrell, she retired in 1953 and began The West Side Kindergarten in Georgetown, so mothers could work at least half a day. It was the first preschool in the area to offer preschool services to non-white children. She believed that young children benefitted most from an educational environment that emphasized development in self-confidence,