Boldtville Community
Yesterday and Today
Virginia Cover Barnhill
Curator, East Central Historical Group

Boldtville School, Today Boldtville School, circa 1920









Boldtville is located east of San Antonio on the New Sulphur Springs Road. The first school in that area was Calaveras, a few miles from it on Lodi Road. It opened in 1891 and closed in 1919 when Mr. and Mrs. Albert Boldt gave land for the Boldtville School. It was a two-room edifice; however, another room was built apart from the two-rooms. It then could provide room for its nine grades. Students walked over dusty roads, rode horses or were carpooled by a few of the parents. Lunch buckets were the way most carried their noon meal. Some went across the street to the Avery Store (formerly the Klondike Store) where Mrs. Avery would prepare a simple sandwich for them. Their water was brought in from nearby. Playgrounds were spacious for their baseball, volleyball and many other games. “Out houses” were the usual.

Some of the families who lived in that area were the Averys, Barnhills, Blandfords, Champagnes, Dukes, Dixons, Gemblers, Griffins, Mahulas, Farmers, Ueckers and the Vasbinders. There were more—too many to list.

Although time and closing each day varied, usually 8:30-4:00 were its hours, with one hour for lunch. A short recess was held in the mornings and another in the afternoon. Its grades were first through ninth.

As population grew in Bexar County, one superintendent was too overwhelmed to provide proper instruction for so many. Its last county superintendent was Clyde E. Smith. The county was divided into about 11 independent districts including our own East Central Independent School District.

As Boldtville no longer served as a school, the land was to be reverted to the Boldt family heirs. However, it was decided that since the Boldtville School still stood, the new Administration Complex would be erected on this site. The Boldtville School was renovated and became the board room by night and the East Central Schools Museum by day. Since it is a museum, it houses many old desks, chairs, and a teacher’s desk, photographs, teacher’s registers, grade cards, family Christmas activities, etc. It also houses many documents and artifacts. All articles are processed in four different ways. Listings amount to more than 1,000. The museum opened officially in 1986 as the first event of the Texas Sesquicentennial year. Collections, etc., began in 1983 and were documented by about 10 volunteers. Oral histories have been giving valuable information to all. Five first grade classes from Sinclair Elementary School came in 1989 and memorabilia was placed in an old crock/churn time capsule and was sealed securely. It was to be opened at their time of graduation in 2000. In May of 2000, a celebration was held and it was opened. All students were excited to see what they had put into the capsule.

The museum is proud to be a part of East Central memories. It now has nearly all of the graduation pictures in panoramic views, since 1951. It houses the yearbooks of East Central High, minus only about five (1951-2005).

The East Central Independent School District encompasses about 264 square miles. The museum has researched each of the 18 old rural schools. The first, to our knowledge, was in 1863, an old log cabin school. The last closed in 1962 when sufficient schools had been built to make the transition.

A means of livelihood was somewhat limited; most depended on farming. Mr. Albert Boldt’s blacksmith shop was another, as was Mr. & Mrs. Avery’s General Mercantile Store. There were some dairies; the Standfield Dairy was closest to Boldtivlle. Several worked at Kelly Field. For a short time a Mr. Eckert drilled for oil successfully. Ginning was seasonal.


Lillian Moore

Spring, 2006
U.S. History 1302
R. Hines, Instructor

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Virginia Barnhill Interview Boldtville Community, Yesterday and Today; by Virginia Barnhill Avery's General Store; a letter from Ed Avery, Jr. Bibliography & Acknowledgements