Educational Prospectives

by Naomi Johnson Thompson

An early resident to Smithville is Naomi Johnson Thompson. She was born in 1915 and came from Luling to Smithville in 1923 with her father, a Methodist/Episcopal minister. She was educated in Austin and received her teaching degree from the Methodist Huston-Tillison College. The college was previously known as Samuel Huston College and was operated by the Methodist/Episcopal Church. Later it was united with Tillison College which was operated by the Congregational Church.

She she taught for 37 years in various black schools in Bastrop County beginning in 1937 before retiring in 1977. She was teaching in the county when the schools began racial integration in 1968 and by 1969 all of the county schools were completely integrated. She remembers that there were ten black schools in the county at that time.

She recalls that when growing up she was told that Smithville was "fast town" and that there were certain business that nice girls didn't frequent. The "fast town" image was perceived because the railroad workers were paid twice a month instead of once a month that was the standard at the time.

According to her recollection, Dr. Charles Clinton Owens, a black doctor who practiced medicine in an office above the C.C. Mize Drug Store, was the only black professional serving the needs of the town's people both black and white during the 1920's in Smithville.

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