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Former principals staff and students return for Smith Elementary School's 50th birthday

Apr 13, 2017 | Community Relations
Smith 50

Smith Elementary Principal Carla Thomas, former Smith Elementary assistant principal and current Dickinson Elementary principal Karen Mumphord, former Smith principal and current Wertheimer Middle School principal Irma Nurre, Smith Elementary School’s original principal Huey McCoulskey, former Smith assistant principal and current Executive Director of Elementary Education Linda Lane and former Smith principal and current Hutchison Elementary principal Mark Melendez.


Teachers and students at Lamar CISD’s Erastus “Deaf” Smith Elementary celebrated 50 years of education Friday, with a ceremony featuring singing, refreshments and former students and staff members, including the original principal, Huey McCoulskey.

The celebration comes six days before what would have been Smith’s 230th birthday.
Smith Elementary opened in the fall of 1966. 

Deaf Smith biographical information
Deaf Smith was born in New York, on April 19, 1787. A childhood disease caused him to lose his hearing. Smith first visited Texas in 1817 but did not remain long. He returned for good in 1821. 

After regaining his health, Smith served as a messenger for William B. Travis, who considered him "`the Bravest of the Brave' in the cause of Texas." Smith is most known for his scouting for Gen. Sam Houston during the Texas War for Independence. 
He later resigned his commission in the army but raised and commanded a company of Texas Rangers. 

He moved to Richmond after he resigned from ranger service, where he died at the home of Randal Jones on November 30, 1837. 

On hearing of his death, Sam Houston … "My Friend Deaf Smith, and my stay in darkest hour, Is no more!!! A man, more brave, and honest never, lived. His soul is with God, but his fame and his family, must command the care of His Country!" 
Although his exact burial place is in dispute, a monument in Smith's honor was unveiled in Richmond on January 25, 1931, near Houston and Sixth streets.
Deaf Smith County is named in his honor.