Friday, January 28, 2022 Jan 28, 2022
50° F Dallas, TX

DALLAS City of Winners

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In 1908 the Trinity River went on a rampage. Downtown Dallas was flooded. All the stores on Main Street were under water. One observer saw a manikin dressed in the latest style floating sedately out of Sanger Brothers’ main entrance.

Fortunately, on a hill just a few blocks away, but above the flood level, there stood a schoolhouse which is today the oldest standing public school building in Dallas, the Cumberland Hill School, built in 1889. It became a welcome refuge for those whose homes had been destroyed or severely damaged by the floodwaters.

Originally named after the Cumberland Hill Presbyterian Church, the school began its long and venerable career by serving the educational needs of the well-to-do families which then lived in that section of Dallas. As the veal’s passed, the school shed its elite image and became known for its versatility and for the wide range of nationalities represented among its students. By 1915. fifteen different nationalities were included in the student body.

One student of Cumberland Hill School thought so much of his alma mater that he eventually bought it. In 1!)7(). when the Dallas Independent School District offered the seh(X)l for sale, William P. Clements. Jr. offered the highest bid. After the building was renovated and restored to its original condition and beyond. it became headquarters for Clements” company, Sedco, Inc.. manufacturer of offshore drilling rigs.

It is appmpriate that the oldest and most historic school building in Dallas is also the most beautiful, the most democratic and produced the most prestigious alumnus. Bill Clements went on o become Texas’ first Republican governor in 100 years.