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F.W. "Joe" Horton



Finas W. “Joe” Horton was born on February 8, 1921, in Fairfield, Texas. Mr. Horton spent seven years in the Navy and served during World War II. Following the war, Mr. Horton earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in 1948, and from 1948-1951, he worked as a teacher in Odessa, Texas. In 1951, Mr. Horton was called back into the service during the Korean War, and he served on an oil tanker for 16 months. Mr. Horton was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1952. After the completion of his service, Mr. Horton and his family relocated to Austin where he was hired by I.W. Popham, County Superintendent of Public Instruction, as a visiting teacher in the common school district of Travis County. He was soon promoted Assistant County Superintendent, a position that he held for 8 years. Upon I.W. Popham’s retirement in 1962, Mr. Horton ran for and was elected as County Superintendent of Public Instruction. He held this position until his retirement in 1976. Mr. Horton died on October 16, 2012 in Round Rock, Texas. The office of County Superintendent of Public Instruction was established in Travis County in 1887. The office was charged with apportioning state and county funding dedicated to schools, and duties also included holding teacher training institutes and textbook distribution. Until 1915, the County Superintendent of Public Instruction was the only county educational officer; after that time, the duties of the office were shared with an elected board of county school trustees. Over time, the Texas Legislature passed a series of laws that granted cities and towns more freedom in the development and administration of their schools, resulting in the formation of independent school districts – independent, that is, of the County Superintendent. The adoption of school buses in the 1960s also made consolidation of independent school districts feasible. As these alternatives to county schools grew, the need for a County School Superintendent faded, and Travis County abolished the office in 1978.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

F.W. "Joe" Horton Papers

Identifier: 02-MS02
Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks compiled by F.W. Joe Horton during his time in office as County Superintendent of Public Instruction. Materials compiled include newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, invitations, certificates, and pamphlets, primarily relating to his duties and activities while in office.

Dates: 1962-1978; Other: Date acquired: 2011-10-27