BASTROP COUNTY HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Mina Ward School & Minerva Delgado Park
The History Behind the Celebration
Prior to the 1950s, most Mexican-American children living in Texas attended segregated public schools. In post-World War II Bastrop, Mexican-American schoolchildren still attended the Mexican-only “Mina Ward School.”
In 1948, a group of professionals, including future civil rights icons Attorney Gustavo Garcia, University of Texas Professor George I. Sanchez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a group of Mexican-American children attending the racially segregated schools in Bastrop and three other districts. The American G. I. Forum and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), both established civil rights organizations, were instrumental in this effort. The resulting desegregation case became known as Delgado et al vs. Bastrop Independent School District after one of the plaintiffs, Minerva Delgado.
Federal Judge Ben H. Rice ruled in their favor, ending legal segregation of Mexican Americans in Texas. This courageous action by these students, their families, and all who supported their efforts, changed the lives of millions.
To commemorate this historic event, on September 23rd, a Texas Historical Marker was unveiled at the site of the former school and the Minerva Delgado Park was dedicated honoring Ms. Delgado and the students of Mina Ward School. County Judge Paul Page hosted the event, which was co-sponsored by the Bastrop County Historical Commission, City of Bastrop and the Bastrop Independent School District. Special thanks to City Councilman Bill Ennis for coordinating this memorable celebration. To quote Judge Pape, "It was a wonderful day."
Also, MANY, MANY thanks to the City of Bastrop -- to Mayor Connie Schroeder whose first task as mayor was to sign the papers for the park -- and especially to City Manager Lynda Humble, who, along with her staff, will turn this plot of land into a beautiful park for all to enjoy.
T. F. Harper & Associates' Kory Cain, Superintendent, and Mike Harrison, Project Manager, survey the work which is about to begin to create the Minerva Delgado Park, located just behind the marker on Main Street. Entrance is by way of Laurel Street.