Old Bedford School History

"The first Bedford area school met in a log building during the early 1860's. After the civil war, classes were held in a frame structure at Spring Garden north of this site. After it burned in the early 1880's, Milton Moore (1830-1914) deeded land here for construction of Bedford College, an elementary and high school academy. In 1893 it was also destroyed by fire and local citizens raised funds for a new elementary school nearby. It was replaced in 1915 by a 2-story brick schoolhouse. The school consolidated with the Hurst - Euless District in 1958 and the building was used until 1969." ~ text from the historical marker

   The school was later used as a garage, warehouse and maintenance facility by the City of Bedford falling into a state of general disrepair. In January of 1991 fire ravaged the building, destroying the entire roof and severely damaging the masonry walls and interior finishes.

   In 1993, phase I (the demolition phase) of restoration began. East and West wings had been added to the School during the 1950's and had to be removed if the restoration was to be authentic to the 1915 era. The site was cleaned up and asbestos was removed.

   Phase II was competed in 1995 which restored the masonry walls. A new roof and second floor were constructed. Wood floors were laid and new doors were replicated and installed. Hand-stamped tin ceilings and period-style pigmented plaster blackboards to highlight the restored classroom completed this phase.

Phase III placed the Old Bedford School in conformance with the requirements of the National Registry and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Work during this phase included the addition of a two-story brick building on the north side of the School for the elevator and restrooms. Site work (lighting, grading, fencing, landscaping, sprinklers, paving and brickwork) was also completed.

   The School opened in the late summer of 1996 and is available for rentals.  The school has two galleries, a board room that seats twelve, a 1915-style classroom and a tiered 149 seat auditorium. In 1997, the School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Timeline of Bedford's History

  • 1850's - First known U.S. settlers in the Bedford area begin arriving.

  • 1862 - The first school in the settlement, a log building, was built.

  • 1870 - Weldon Wiles Bobo migrates from Bedford County, Tennessee in 1870, and establishes a store.

  • 1871 - Earliest legible tombstone. Elizabeth White Bobo (1866-1871).

  • 1877 - A post office is opened in W. W. Bobo's home, by which time the community has acquired the name of Bedford.

  • 1882 - Population passes 1,000. This surpasses in population all other communities in Tarrant County except Fort Worth.

  • 1903 - The Rock Island Railway bypasses Bedford, causing a loss of industry and commercial interest.

  • 1905 - A new highway (I-30) was built between Fort Worth and Dallas through Arlington and Grand Prairie. Population in Bedford begins to plummet.

  • 31 December 1909 - Bedford's Post Office closes down. Only one store remains in the entire town. Population is now about 50.

  • 1912 - Construction began on the two-story Bedford Elementary School, which was located on the site of a previous College, which burned down in 1893. 

  • 1930's - Bedford now has 4 stores.

  • 1940's - Population at a meager 76 gets the first big boom thanks to World War II.

  • 1949 - Bedford Boys Ranch, originally a home for boys, was established. (in present day it is a social center and recreational park, and also the site of the July 4th Fireworks every year.

  • 1953 - The town of Bedford is incorporated, boasting a population of 475 within a two-square mile area, including residents of the Boys Ranch.

  • 1955 - The city's first fire department is established with 30 volunteers.

  • 1959 - A new fire hall/city hall building is opened.

  • 1960 - The population has grown to 2,700 within an area of ten square miles.

  • 1964 - First library built in a small home near the fire hall/city building.

  • 1965 - First Police department created with one police officer.

  • 1966 - Library moved to a larger house on Forest Ridge Drive.

  • 1970 - Population passes 10,000 with an annual growth rate of 7.56%. Value of taxable property was $80 million.

  • 1975 - City acquires the Bedford Boys Ranch and turns it into a park. New City Hall/Police building built on Forest Ridge. Library was moved to the bottom floor.

  • 1980 - Population is 20,821 Annual growth rate was 7.71% and taxable property value was at $251 million. Additions to the city included a new library, service center, animal control center, senior citizens center, community center and expanded park and recreational facilities. A downturn in the national economy impacted the community.

  • 1990 - Population more than doubles to 45,000.

2400 School Ln.

Bedford, TX 76021

817-952-2290

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This Old Bedford School  is operated by the City of Bedford