Remembering Echevarria Spanish School
Students of the Echevarria Spanish School in Stockdale gather with their teacher, Julian Echevarria (in doorway). Names of all the students are unknown, but include (back, from left) Francisco Yanis, Lalo Vasques, Leonel Rodriguez (fifth), Raul Rodriguez (seventh), Esteban Contreras (far right), and (front) two Yanis sisters from Nixon, Mariana Olvera (eighth from left), Eloisa Echarria, and Magge Jimenez.
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March 17, 2009
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In the early 1900s, a small one-room schoolhouse existed on West Main Street in Stockdale. The school was located between the Echevarria home, which is still standing, and the present Lucas Cabrera home. Julian Echevarria was the schoolteacher.
Echevarria sailed from Bilbao in northern Spain, near the Bay of Biscay, in 1871, embarking on a two-month voyage to Mexico. He was educated in Mexico and was a professor in Coahuila. In 1917, he migrated to Salinas, Texas.
He married Maria de Rodriguez; together, they had several children.
In 1918, he arrived in Stockdale and established the Echevarria Spanish School. Echevarria taught many of the Mexican-American children in Stockdale from elementary to high school level. Students were taught in Spanish and given a basic education until they attended the schools in the Stockdale Independent School District.
Julian Echevarria retired in 1936 and died in 1938. He is buried in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Stockdale.
The little school eventually was torn down.
This information was compiled by Wilson County historians John and Shirley Grammer and Maurine Liles, who interviewed Stockdale resident Belen Denecamp on Feb. 24 about the Echevarria Spanish School. Denecamp is a descendant of schoolteacher Julian Echevarria.
Sesquicentennial Committee members: LaJuana Newnam-Leus, 830-393-2166; Shirley and John Grammer, 830-947-3176; Maurine Liles, 830-393-4959; Gene Maeckel, 830-484-2536.