William B. Travis
Elementary School

300 West Carolanne St.
Marshall, TX 75672

903-927-8885 (fax)

Welcome to William B. Travis Elementary School! Our mission is to be responsive to the needs of our students and staff with systems that produce successful student outcomes through growth and development for all. We Are Achieving Success by Learning and Growing!

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William Barret Travis
, Texas commander at the battle of the Alamo, was the eldest of eleven children of Mark and Jemima (Stallworth) Travis. At the time of his birth the family lived on Mine Creek near the Red Bank community, which centered around the Red Bank Baptist Church in Edgefield District, near Saluda, Saluda County, South Carolina. Travis arrived in Texas early in 1831, after the Law of April 6, 1830, made his immigration illegal. He arrived at San Felipe de Austin, and on May 21 obtained land from Stephen F. Austin. He established a legal practice in Anahuac, a significant port of entry located on the eastern end of Galveston Bay. Travis traveled around Texas doing legal work and became associated with a group of militants who opposed the Law of April 6, 1830. Eventually this group became known as the War Party as tension increased between the Mexican government and American settlers in Texas. In 1834 he was elected secretary to the ayuntamiento (principal governing body of Spanish municipalities) there and was accepted, despite his youth, into the councils of government. Travis became embroiled in the rapidly moving events of the Texas Revolution in July 1835 and was constantly occupied until his death. Gen. Martín Perfecto de Cos, Mexican military commander in the north, moved his command to San Antonio. He branded Travis and the other partisans outlaws and demanded that the Texans surrender them for military trial. When Cos demanded the surrender of the Gonzales "come and take it" cannon in October 1835, Travis joined the hundreds of Texans who hastened there, but arrived too late to take part in the action. He served as a scout in a cavalry unit commanded by Randal Jones and later commanded a unit himself. He advised the Consultation on the organization of cavalry for the army but turned down a commission as a major of artillery. He later accepted a commission as a lieutenant colonel of cavalry and became the chief recruiting officer for the army. Governor Henry Smith ordered Travis to recruit 100 men and reinforce Col. James C. Neill at San Antonio in January 1836. Travis was able to recruit only twenty-nine men, and because he was embarrassed he requested to be relieved. When Smith insisted, Travis reported to Neill and within a few days found himself in command of about fifty men when Neill took leave. When James Bowie arrived with 100 volunteers, he and Travis quarreled over command. They were able to effect an uneasy truce of joint command until Bowie's illness and injury from a fall forced him to bed. Travis directed the preparation of San Antonio de Valero Mission, known as the Alamo, for the anticipated arrival of Santa Anna and the main command of the Mexican army. Travis wrote letters to officials requesting reinforcements, but only the thirty-five men came from Gonzales to his relief, thus raising the number of the Alamo's defenders to approximately 183. Travis's letter addressed "To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World," written on February 24, two days after Santa Anna's advance arrived in San Antonio, brought more than enough help to Texas from the United States, but it did not arrive in time. When Santa Anna had his forces ready, he ordered an assault on the Alamo. This occurred just before dawn on March 6, 1836. The Mexicans overpowered the Texans within a few hours. Travis died early in the battle and his body and those of the other defenders were burned. The nature of Travis's death elevated him from a mere commander of an obscure garrison to a genuine hero of Texas and American history.


wbtEntering the new William B. Travis

Front entrance of the old William B. Travis school

The new William B. Travis Elementary School opened in August of 2017 as one of three new elementary schools and a renovated facility to serve Marshall ISD students in grades K-5. The project was part of the Legacy 2017 building program born out of the passage of a $109,200,000.00 bond issue approved by MISD voters in May 2015. Huckabee, Inc., served as the architect for the Legacy 2017 building program, with Transet Co., of Longview, serving as the general contractor for WBT Elementary. Project Manager for the Legacy 2017 building program was Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN), of Houston, Texas. The new school was constructed on the site of the old William B. Travis Elementary, which was closed following the 2016-2017 school year with the old building set to be demolished after the opening of the new school.

The original William B. Travis Elementary School opened its doors to students in 1956. The original building, located on an 11 1/2 acre tract at 300 West Carolanne Blvd., contained 12 classrooms, library, textbook room, cafeteria, clinic, teacher's lounge and office. Nine teachers held class for 270 students. Six classes were added to the back side of the school in 1969. In 1971, four more classrooms, two restrooms and a storage area for books were added to the wing built in 1969. Three classrooms, a music room, conference room and faculty restrooms were added in 1988, while two existing classrooms were renovated and converted into a library. A gymnasium was ready for use in February, 1992.

Travis School served grades K-6 until the school district's reorganization in 1981. At that time the school began serving K-2 only when it was paired with G.W. Carver Elementary, which served grades 3-4. when Carver became a magnet school in 1989-90, Travis began housing grades K-4.

Mr. T. J. Williamson served as the school's original principal from the time it opened until his retirement in 1987, a total of 28 years.

An active PTA has been responsible for several improvements to the school, including campus beautification, parking lot, playground equipment, library improvements, curbing, a gutter system and special education equipment to provide playground access for wheelchair students.

North Marshall School, the first school on the north side of town, opened on September 3, 1887, as a one-teacher school in a two-room frame structure on Summit Street. The school was moved to a small building across the street from the old Summit Church during the 1889-90 term. In the summer of 1890, the first structure erected in Marshall for a free, state-supported school was built -- a one-room house in the 800 block of Summit Street. The school continued to grow until four grades were taught in 1894. In June 1895, the East and North Marshall schools were consolidated, and a three-room schoolhouse was built at the corner of Beauregard and Lee streets near the Texas and Pacific shops. The building was destroyed by fire, however, in February 1900.

The school was then housed in the old Leach residence, located at the corner of Texas and Summit streets, until a new brick building for grades 1-6 opened for classes November 9, 1902, on Calloway Street. The school was known as North Marshall School until 1925, when it was renamed for the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. The first remodeling of the original brick building occurred during the 1938-39 school year. A new wing with a cafeteria, auditorium, principal's office and teacher's lounge was ready for use in late 1950. Remodeling of the old auditorium provided two additional classrooms in 1951. The northwest adjoining lot was purchased for use as a playground in 1953. A central library was ready for use in September 1960. The two-story, 14-room section of the present building was constructed adjacent to the cafeteria wing in 1968, and the old building was torn down. In June 1961, the boundaries of the Lee and Van Zandt Elementary school zones were dissolved and as a result, Lee was known for about three years as Lee-Van Zandt. Van Zandt school was renovated in 1968 for use as administrative offices, and the original part of the building was razed in 1981. The cafeteria addition was later traded to East Texas Baptist University for land in east Marshall, and is now serving as ETBU's Band Hall. 

Robert E. Lee Elementary, being the oldest school in Marshall, was the first with several innovations. Among these were the first PTA, organized in 1906; the first school gymnasium; the first drinking fountain for students and the first piano. Beginning with MISD's reorganization in 1981, Robert E. Lee Elementary served students in grades K-4 until the 2016-2017 school year, when the school was closed and consolidated into the new David Crockett Elementary as part of the MISD Legacy 2017 building program.

South Marshall School came into existence as a result of united efforts of the patrons. The children in this section of town could not attend either West End School (Stephen F. Austin) or East End School (Sam Houston) because of the long distance to walk. Mrs. Kathryn Ruffin and Mrs. Robert Boone were instrumental in organizing patrons to draft a petition to present to City Commissioners. The petition culminated in a $60,000 bond issue in January 1916 for the purpose of building two new elementary schools: Van Zandt and South Marshall. South Marshall would be located at the corner of Meadow and Pecan Streets. Mr. Chesley Adams, former Superintendent, sold a portion of his land to the school board and donated the remainder for the school site. The school opened on December 11, 1916, with an enrollment of 87.

As a result of community growth, it became necessary in 1945 to add four classrooms, clinic, bookroom, restroooms, teachers' lounge, principal's office and a cafeteria. Crowding became more acute in 1953, and a portable classroom was built on the east side of the campus. Enrollment increased again in 1954, and the clinic and part of the office were used as a classroom until the second portable could be moved in.

In 1962, the construction of nine new classrooms was completed -- four extending east from the south end of the building and five from the north end. The old two-story structure was removed. Two classrooms and a library were added beneath the elevated south wing in 1979.

In the fall of 1987, the north wing was expanded to include six classrooms and restrooms for kindergarten and first grade and several portables were removed. In the fall of 1990, South Marshall became the first MISD elementary school to have a gymnasium.

With MISD's reorganization in 1981, South Marshall School began serving students in grades K-4. Until then, it had been a K-6 school. Head Start classes were taught at the school from fall 1999 to spring 2002. South Marshall Elementary became South Marshall STEM Academy in the fall of 2014, serving as a magnet campus for students in MISD's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program which began that year. The school was repeatedly recognized for its academic excellence and achievement, with designation as a High Performing, High Progress school in back-to-back years in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 prior to closing upon opening of Marshall ISD's Legacy 2017 schools. The STEM program was moved to a newly renovated Sam Houston Elementary School at that time. 

See more of our Areas of Legacy commemorated in our new William B. Travis Elementary School here


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