Month: August 2016


Lydia Nash Grueling: Lower Valley civic leader and buisnesswoman

Lydia Nash Grueling was born on October 18,1896 in Clifton.Texas. After graduation from high school she attended the Palmer Secretarial School. Grueling married F.W. Grueling in 1920 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The couple had 2 children. They came to El Paso in 1921, living at Sunny Acres then moved to a house on Moon street […]

jean running for El Paso  sheriff in 1950

Jean Staudenmayer: El Paso’s Horsewoman and Saddle maker

Elise Jean Staudenmayer was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1909. While living on a farm in Leachville, Arkansas Jean’s love for horses developed and also her skills as a horsewoman. In Leachhville, her father, Martin, was a medical doctor who ran a private practice. Jean became a nursing student but decided it was not for […]

Vilas School, circa 1909.

Welcome Back!: A Few Images of El Paso Schools Over the Years

El Paso’s school history is rich and varied, dating back to a time before El Paso was a booming town. Prior to incorporation of the city, and even after, schoolhouses were few and far between, much of the instruction occurring in homes or makeshift buildings. Even after the arrival of the railroads in 1881 necessitated the creation of permanent schools with full-time instructors, El Paso spent years founding a school district. Soon, however, the El Paso Independent School District was established and schools flourished throughout the city and its outskirts. Throughout the years, students have been educated in iconic buildings and facilities–from Douglass to Aoy to El Paso and Ysleta High Schools, and by motivational and inspiring teachers. Our educational system is the consequent of years of hard work, progress, development, and post Civil-War and even Mexican and Spanish history.

This week, thousands of El Pasoans headed back to school to continue the region’s school history and embark on a months long journey of classroom instruction and growth. Take a look at some of the photos we have at the Burges House of schools in this area; many of the facilities are still used today.

el paso playhouse

Timeline of Community Theater in El Paso 1919-1983

1919: The newly formed El Paso Municipal Theater Association was putting on plays and showcasing local talent at El Paso High School. It appeared to have not lasted too long. 1921: The El Paso Women’s Club drama club was reestablished by Mrs. Warren Small and Mrs. Jerome Dale. It had a membership of 75, mostly […]

moon family

The Moon Family: Pioneers of Socorro

The Moon family was a prominent farming family in Socorro. William Blanchard Moon Sr. and another lower valley pioneer named Moritz Lowenstein jointly bought 100 acres in Socorro but divided their interest in 1900. When the family came to Socorro in 1906, the area had been abandoned for many years and they did not have […]


Ysleta’s Old Valley Inn

The Old Valley Inn dates back to the 1850s, it was one of the oldest buildings in El Paso. The Old Valley Inn was bought by Gaspar Giron from the Catholic church which used it as a convent for nuns. He made it an inn to accommodate passengers on the Sante Fe stagecoach route. He […]

Burges House 1

August Events-El Paso County Historical Society

After a short summer break when it came to events here at the Burges House, we’re ready to roll out a new line up of programs that are sure to entertain and enlighten you. First, on August 20, Joseph Longo will be presenting on the history of community theater in El Paso. This lecture will […]

Myrtle Cooper Elementary school

Socorro pioneer: Myrtle Render Cooper

Myrtle Render Cooper was the first woman superintendent of the Socorro school district in 1961 before she served as principal of the old Socorro grade school for 20 years. Cooper was born in Oklahoma, her father operated the old Ysleta Cotton Gin. Cooper came to El Paso in 1927, teaching at the Ysleta Grade School, […]

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