By Hettie Lena Armstrong Hayworth
The land for the Neri school and church was donated by D.C. Bills in the late 1800’s. The name I have been told came from Luke 3, Verse 27 in the Bible. Uncle Craig Bills, as we called him, had eight boys and two or three girls, so at one time there were a lot of his descendants living around Neri. I cannot think of a single one still living around here now.
The land was located on Contrary Creek at the foot of Comanche Peak on what is now known as Neri Road. And the church and school went by that name for sometime.
The school building just had two rooms. I can remember about 1923 when some of us had to sit three in a seat that was made for two. At that time there were over a hundred.
When the Nubbin Ridge, Elm Flat, Mitchell Bend, and Mambrino schools consolidated a lot of the students transferred to Mambrino. Neri just had a six month school and Mambrino would have eight, so Granbury would take their high school credits better than the Neri ones.
Some of the teachers were Oscar Branche, Mrs. R.M. Mugg (that later taught in Granbury so long), Maud Mugg, Walter Wentworth, Bertha Kincanon, Bertie Stewart, Ruby Cruce, Mary Dug Duncan, Greta Grooms, Bessie Nash Kinson, Blanch Cooper, Selma Orr, Mr. Grissom, and Dorthy Sain Cunningham.
The school was built between two creeks that were dry most of the time. The boys’ out house was located on the South and the girls on the North. We also had separate play grounds. The well was on the church ground that was located where the girls played. The boys got to draw the water and put it in a barrel for them to drink. They could do this during books. This they enjoyed.
Another thing they did was just before the bell rang they would push the out house over into the creek. This gave two or three boys the excuse to go set it up during books. All of this was a lot more fun than studying. All the girls ever got to do was dust the erasers. You cannot imagine how long it would take us sometime.
The boys also could bring in the wood for the wood heaters. These stoves were large pot bellied stoves with jackets around them. These jackets were handy to hang our mittens or even our long black stockings on to dry on rainy days. We had to walk to school and over shoes were not known or we were not able to buy them. Either way, not any of us had any. On the girls’ side the creek had black haws, pecans, walnuts (that were so hard we had to crack them between two rocks), and wild plums; also violets. We would go up that creek so far that sometimes we could not hear the bell. Then we would get grounded for sometime. We would gather a bouquet of violets for the teacher so she would let us play up the creek again.
We had a basket ball court on the boys and girls side alike. Until about 1925 when Mambrino, Nubbin Ridge, Elm Flat, and Mitchell Bend consolidated, we would play against each other. In about 1941 Mambrino school burned, and they came to Neri until the new school house was built.
We were living in Mambrino so my daughter came to Neri. That made three generations of my family that went to school to Neri. My mother, Corda Sue Armstrong, started to school there in 1898 when she was eight years old.
A bus ran to Granbury for the high school for a year or two. Then about 1943 all the students came into Granbury. Later years the school house burned and the old church building and tabernacle were moved.
|Luke 3, Verse 27|
Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri