Brownsville Independent School District Museum
BISD Museum Coordinator
708 Palm Blvd. Rm. #116
Brownsville, Texas 78520
What's so special about the year 1915?
It was a time before cell phones, personal computers, and color televisions. It was a time before American involvement in Vietnam, Korea, and World Wars I and II.
In 1915, the American Medical Association began to admit women to its membership. Passenger car sales reached more than 1.5 million. The Boston Red Sox won baseball’s World Series. Legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra was born.
It was also the birth of the Brownsville Independent School District. This year marks the 100th anniversary of BISD. Prior to 1915, control of the Brownsville school system was with city government. But, in March of 1915, the Texas House of Representatives and Senate both approved a measure transferring control of the city’s public education to the newly created BISD.
BISD’s Board of Trustees met for the first time on March 25, 1915. Several of the trustees, including Board President Dr. J. L. Wortman, were continuing service to Brownsville schools that had begun while the city was still in control. Lizzie M. Barbour was in her third year as Superintendent of Schools. The newly created Brownsville public school system consisted of 25 square miles, two city and six suburban schools and a student population of almost 1,000 when classes opened for the 1915-16 year.
The schools included Brownsville High School, City Grammar School, the Blalack School, the Las Matanzas School, the Media Luna School, the Nopalita School, the Linerro School, and the West Brownsville School. Curriculum changes included the creation of a department of domestic economy and an improved science department. A complete skeleton was now part of the science education.
The addition of more students and schools has not changed the original mission of the Brownsville Independent School District. BISD celebrates this 100th anniversary still believing in the need for a quality education for all our community's children.