Caldwell Heights School was located in a small rural community north of Round Rock, one mile east of IH35 on Chandler Road (University Boulevard) also called Caldwell Heights Lane. The only original structure still standing in the once thriving farming and ranching settlement is the two-story rock house built by T.J. Caldwell, who founded the community.
In 1913, Caldwell Heights School was established after Chandler Common School District (which was located several miles west of the new school) closed. An earlier school may have been formed at Caldwell Heights, but proof of its existence has not been found to date.
The south-facing frame school was located on the north side of Chandler Road and on the west side of the now private road which led to the old Caldwell house. The school originally had two rooms, but a third room was added later to the rear. The school was built atop wooden posts on sloping ground. The uneven terrain resulted in a crawl space under the west end, but the east side was nearly flush with the ground. The school was staffed by up to three teachers per term, depending upon the number of pupils attending. The teachers, whose peak salary was eighty dollars per month, divided the duties for grades one through nine. The teacher who taught older students was usually named principal of the school.
One of the favorite times of the day for the children was recess, and the basketball court on the east side of the school was a popular gathering spot. Races and other games which required little equipment and a lot of imagination were also enjoyed.
Pauline Peterson, daughter of Luther and Rosie Stark Peterson was one of the fortunate students who lived close to the school. She had to walk down their lane with her brothers and cross the road to get to school. Most of the other children walked several miles each day to get their education. Gladys [Youngbloom] Blakeslee, daughter of Carl Wesley and Elnora [Anderson] Youngbloom lived at the Nelson Ranch (located on CR 1460) with her family, and had to walk several miles to and from school each day. She made the trip with her brother and sisters with several other children including members of the Linder, Sandberg, and Lundquist families.
Some of the children tried to take as many short cuts as possible walking to and from school. One fence in the back of the school was especially easy to cross because the owner had built wooden steps up and over the barrier. No doubt this not only aided the children but saved numerous fence repairs because of the many trips made over and through the fence by the students.
Other children, like the Ekvalls who lived further away, came to school in a horse and buggy. On occasion the Sandberg children also came to school by buggy. The parents of the students who used this type of conveyance built a barn east of the school where the horses were kept in stalls while the children were at school. Every day the Ekvall children unharnessed “Fanny” and put her in the stall and harnessed her up for the return trip home at the end of the school day. When the original one-seat wagon became too small to hold the growing family a larger model was used.
Many children began their education at this school, and for others it was the only formal instruction they ever received. Caldwell Heights School consolidated with the Round Rock Independent School District in 1941, and the old building was placed on the market for $100.The Round Rock School District continued to use the building for shop classes until the structure was sold. When Caldwell Heights School District was eliminated, the student population was divided between Round Rock and Georgetown ISD.
All that remains of the old Caldwell Heights School are the many clumps of irises which were first planted around the flagpole by the students, a concrete base for the outdoor plumbing, a pile of stone…and memories.
From Historical Round Rock Texas by Jane H. Digesualdo and Karen R. Thompson Eakins Publications, Inc. Austin Texas.