Established in 1868, Locke Hill Elementary School is one of the oldest schools in Bexar County. The school is named after William Jackson Locke, who was born in Rushville, Illinois, on November 21, 1828.
In 1850, with his wife, Mary, their household goods, and two children, Mr. Locke left Illinois via the Mississippi River to New Orleans, and from there came by oxteam to Pipe Creek, Texas, where he met up with his three half-brothers, the Lacys. He and Louis Lacy bought acreage on the east and west sides of Fredericksburg Road twelve miles north of San Antonio that became known as Locke Hill. En route to their new log homes, Mary and William Locke’s third child was born in a covered wagon beneath the oak trees at Locke Hill.
Soon after, Mr. Locke joined the army, remaining away from his family off and on for four years. Mr. Locke made Captain while in service to his country. After his return, he and his brother, Louis, opened a supply depot and post office to accommodate the stage coming through from Fredericksburg twice a week with mail, supplies, and passengers.
In 1870, Capt. Locke became a member of the Texas House of Representatives where he served four years under Governor Edmond J. Davis for the 29th District.
Mr. Locke donated his Locke Hill land for a school, and an active campus was housed there from 1900 until 1975, making that location the longest-used site of Locke Hill’s history.
Captain Locke raised nine children and died at the age of eighty-three on October 13, 1922, and was buried in the National Cemetery in San Antonio.
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In 1868, a shed at the rear of the supply depot became the students’ first learning place after the early settlers of the community determined that more education than parents could provide was necessary for their children.
Other sites where classes were held in the school’s early years include the old Flathouse home (exact location unknown) and the corner of Fredericksburg Road and Huebner Road near the Locke Hill Cemetery.
1923, a two-room brick building was built on the original Locke Hill land, and in the 1940s, six additional rooms were added onto the building. Alongside this building, two trolley cars were used as lunch rooms with food prepared at home and brought in by a lady in the area. In 1940, the cafeteria became school operated and lunches were cooked and served in a remodeled wooden building on site.
In the 1930s, two Model-T Ford school buses were used, which were christened Archibald and Percival.
1935, Locke Hill was certified as a Standard Rural School. Also in 1935, the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) built a large auditorium using rocks from a nearby quarry. Cement benches were made along three interior walls, and a large rock fireplace was built to provide heat. Over the years, the auditorium has had many uses – school programs and graduation ceremonies, P.T.A. meetings, and a lunch room for the students.
In 1949, the Locke Hill school became a part of the Northside Consolidated District (which became Northside Independent School District in 1951) and was designated as an elementary school. Up until that time, the school taught first through tenth grades.
In 1957, a cafeteria, four classrooms, restrooms, and the principal’s office were added onto the auditorium.
In 1968, former students celebrated the school’s Centennial at nearby Raymond Russell Park. Also in 1968, the school dedicated its first historical marker which was later moved to it’s current campus.
In 1975, due to an enlarging student enrollment, a new school was built and Locke Hill Elementary School relocated to its current location on DeZavala Road.
In March, 2015, an historical marker honoring the old auditorium was dedicated at the former campus.