In 1928, Del Rio Independent School District attempted to annex a portion of Del Rio’s San Felipe neighborhood in order to increase Del Rio I.S.D.’s annual tax revenue. San Felipe entrepreneur and family man, Santos S. Garza, appealed the annexation, claiming that Del Rio schools did little to serve San Felipe residents. Following Garza’s successful appeal, San Felipe formed its own school district, which educated San Felipe students until 1971 when a federal court decision forced consolidation of Del Rio and San Felipe school districts on the grounds of perceived ethnic segregation.
The legacy of the San Felipe school district lives on through the efforts of its devoted former students. In 1978, the San Felipe Ex-Students Association of California held its fifth reunion in Del Rio, raising enough funds to purchase and restore the former residence of Santos S. Garza in Del Rio’s San Felipe neighborhood. The home now serves as the San Felipe Exes Memorial Center, celebrating the legacy of the San Felipe Independent School District and its former graduates. The museum preserves San Felipe Mustang memorabilia, family photos, and an archive of media. An adjacent building provides an event space and meeting hall for San Felipe Exes.
Watch the video below to learn more about Del Rio's school district battles. This video was produced for inclusion in the Hispanic Texans mobile tour, more information about which may be found on our Hispanic heritage page at the following link: http://texastimetravel.com/travel-themes/main-hispanic-heritage
San Felipe Exes Memorial Center
Open first and third Saturday of each month, 1-3 p.m. or by appointment.