Dogan Alumni Association 

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The History of Dogan High School
Fairfield, Texas
1935 – 1968

 

The history of Dogan High School stretches over a relatively short period of time, that is, from 1935 to 1968--a period of thirty-three years. It was the purpose of this researcher to come up with as much authentic information as possible, and put it together in chronological and sequential fashion.

A number of persons, and their connected organizations, have contributed greatly to the gathering of the information that is herein presented. And for subjecting themselves to such long and extensive interviews, we say "thank you" to Mae V. Donahue the first principal of what was then called the Fairfield Colored School. Mrs. Donahue came to Fairfield in 1926 and served as principal for the next ten years. Corine Donahue Morton and Lee Bell Blaine were the first graduates of this school.

It was during this time that the name was changed to Dogan High School. The school was located on a small one-acre plot, just east and adjacent to what is now the Fairfield Baptist Church. The faculty consisted of only two teachers, Mrs. Donahue and Miss Pauline Johnson. These dedicated persons struggled with the load of teaching nine grades. In 1927 the third classroom was added and the appointment of Mrs. Inez Johnson brought the faculty to three, but the nine-grade system was continued. In 1932 the fourth member, Mr. Equilla Satchell, was added to the faculty. Since there were only three classrooms, Mr. Satchell had the distinction of teaching in the First Baptist Church Sanctuary. Incidentally, the Fairfield Baptist Church was compensated in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) per school month for the use of space.

In 1934 the school was moved to its present site with the same four faculty members and the nine-grade system. Mr. Satchell resigned during the summer of 1934 and A. D. Gibson was employed as his replacement. At this time, college entrance requirements were becoming more rigid with all Texas Colleges requiring a minimum of sixteen (16) credits for entrance. Mrs. Mae V. Donahue, principal at that time, noted that more black students were beginning to go to college, and that college entrance requirements needed to be met. She petitioned the Board of Education for more and better facilities, and an increase in faculty size. The response was positive. Two classrooms, two more teachers, and improved facilities were added. The school officials at were: W. A. Parker, President; Willie Frank Tate, Secretary and P D Browne, Superintendent. Even though the faculty was small and facilities limited, it was at this time that the yet "Fairfield Colored School" was permitted to offer courses that would meet college entrance requirements. The first graduating class consisted of only two members. They were Blossie Garrett and Grady Granberry.

Why was the name changed from "Fairfield Colored School" to "Dogan High School"? Here's the story. When a student went to college, it was natural for the college registrar to write for his/her high school transcript. The request letter would be addressed, in most cases, just "Fairfield High School", Fairfield, Texas. The Fairfield Post Office had difficulty in determining which school should get the request. Many times the letter would be sent to the Fairfield High School when it was meant for the Fairfield Colored School. At other times it would happen the other way around. This kept the two principals constantly exchanging mail.

In September, 1936, the late Randolph Titus was named principal of the fast growing Dogan High School. The school grew by leaps and bounds, more students enrolled and the State's "teacher-pupil ratio" law caused many teachers to be added to the faculty. Dogan High School became one of the most noted high schools in Texas. It had a strong and dedicated faculty, a rich curriculum, and an athletic program that was hard to match anywhere. The academic program proved itself among the best in the quality of students that it turned out. The teachers weathered the storm; they stood the test, and proved that they knew exactly what the educational process was all about. As a result of the famous 1954 Supreme Court Decision, in which segregation in public schools was declared unconstitutional, new and changing shadows began to huddle over DOGAN. This being the LAW OF THE LAND, Dogan was finally, and peaceably, integrated by a sequence of prepared steps. The high school grades were integrated in 1968 and in 1969 the elementary grades were racially mixed.

One of the most important chapters in the history of Dogan High School is the high quality of students that it has turned out. DOGAN students are making their rightful contribution to our society. They are master teachers, dentists, doctors, ministers, school administrators, counselors, university professors, pharmacists, barbers, business persons, and the list goes on. Perhaps the greatest of all is that they are just plain good American citizens - all helping to make this a better world in which to live. Nothing will destroy that strong and deep sense of love and dedication that has been