Early Days to 1975

    The following brief history of Port Neches schools relied on the works of three authors: Erleen Allred, W.T. Block, and Buck Ford. This sketchy historical overview of education in the Port Neches community from the earliest known days is a merger of information found in the three authors’ printed manuscripts. Others sources were also utilized. Mrs. Erleen Allred did an extensive amount of research and completed a document in 1976 relying greatly on interviews of long-time Port Neches resident and former school district employee Mr. E.S. Bellair. Mr. Bellair, 75 when interviewed, spent countless hours taxing his memory and talking with other residents who lived during the early school years. Among those he talked with were Roy East, Masil Smith, W.T. Block, Aaron Keith, Harry Beaumont, Oscar, Claudia, and Seawillow Whittington, Frank Crawford, Mrs. H.H. (Edna) Hodges, Mrs. Era Block Henderson, and William DeBlanc.

    Mrs. Lena Hawthorne, long-time high school history teacher, also supplied a few facts on the early history. Mr. Bellair relied on The School Review of Jefferson County, Texas, 1921, to supply most of the information for 1921. That review was published with the assistance of Miss Mildred Parks, of the China school, and Mr. J.H. Hicks, Superintendent of the Port Neches school. Mr. Bellair also used the little history book of the First United Methodist Church of Port Neches written by Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Parsons for some of his input.

    Records from the 1920s were found at the Port Neches ISD administration office. Dr. Oliver Monk, Superintendent, his secretary, Mrs. Ruth Smith, and Mr. Dalton Fox, former principal of Woodcrest Elementary School, were most helpful in supplying historical information of the last 50 years or so.

    W.T. Block’s book, Sapphire City of the Neches, was the source of much historical data reported in this document. Mr. Block is a highly respected historian who has written extensively on local historical events and has personal knowledge of the much of the school’s development.

    Buck Ford’s book, Down Trails of Victory, a thorough account of Port Neches football successes, rendered some insights on how and when many of the traditions observed today at Port Neches-Groves High School originated.

    Charlie L. Reynolds
    PN-G Class of 1957
    Retired Ridgewood Elementary Principal
    April 2003


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