Eastside Elementary School

Eastside Elementary School was established just after World War II by the Morton school district for African-American students. The frame building and teacherage was was erected in the late 1940's on the north part of the town and was called "the Colored School". When students reached high school age, they were taken by private car to Levelland to attend high school.

Lula Mae Blanford began teaching in 1946 and stayed until 1969. In 1953 she had sixteen students and they were included in the annual for the first time. The following year, 1954, another teacher was hired and enrollment had grown to twenty-eight students.

Enrollment at the school continued to increase and even thought integration was being pushed, the African-American community met and requested a new building in their own locale. The new building opened for the first time during the 1959-60 school year and housed the first eight grades. Enrollment increased to sixty-five students. The school was named Eastside Elementary.

In 1961-62 grades 7 through 12 were fully integrated with other grades and Freddy Hill became the first African-American to graduate from Morton High School in 1964.

Morton Independent School District was fully integrated, with both students and teachers, for the first time during 1967-68 school year. Integration was accomplished with the full support and approval of the community and accomplished without incident.

Eastside Elementary closed in 1967.

Source: Texas' Last Frontier: A New History of Cochran County by Elvis E. Fleming and David J. Murrah, 2001; Cochran County Legacy, Cochran County Historical Commission, 1985