HISTORY OF ST. JAMES CATHOLIC SCHOOL
St. James School was built in 1850 and holds the honor of being “the oldest building in the state of Texas continuously used as a school.” It was built of stone and a new type of concrete which was more durable than the “dobie” common to the area. It was used as a male academy until the year 1876. At that time, a group of Jesuit priests bought the building and opened a seminary for young men under the name of St. Joseph’s. The facility sold in 1880 to the Incarnate Word Sisters, and they ran it as an orphanage and school. In 1929, St. James Church purchased the school, and it has been a parish school ever since. The Incarnate Word sisters continued to serve the school for a total of 120 years. The last Incarnate Word sister retired in 2000. In 1950, two additional classrooms were built as an extension of the original building. In 1962, the Historical Society awarded the medallion to the school. In 1973, as enrollment continued to increase, six new classrooms were built on the lot directly south of the original building. In 2003, the addition of the new Parish Family Center has added another three classrooms, new library, gymnasium, science lab, and meeting rooms to the campus.
A history can simply be a record of dates, or it can be a record of achievements. St. James Catholic School is proud to have recorded numerous achievements during its long history. Among them are the following: a committed faculty, relevant curriculum and innovative programs, the continued success of its graduates, the return of many graduates as parents of St. James students, and the support and commitment of the families toward a value-based Catholic education. Our school community looks forward to on-going achievement and development as an integral part of St. James Catholic Parish. We are proud of our past history and look forward to the future with enthusiasm.