Calallen Independent School District
The community known as Calallen was once a thriving little town. When Calvin J. Allen bought 1,117 acres from Jacob and Alice Magee for $4,000, he had high hopes for the area. The St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico railroad was chartered in 1903 and Calvin Allen donated land for a depot to be built up from old Sharpsburg on the Nueces River. The areas abundant water supply and the settlement's location near the rail lines resulted in Calallen's development as an important agriculture center in the region.
The town was established by the Calvin Townsite company on August 18, 1910. The company had decided to name the town for the president of the company, Calvin Allen. The name Calvin Allen had already been painted on the end of the depot when they found out there was another town by that name. It did not take long for the name of Cal Allen to be joined together and to become the new town.
A railroad and a river made the perfect setting and Calallen grew. Calallen's greatest period of growth occurred in the 1920's to the 1940's. Vegetable sheds were built by C.E. Coleman, while other pioneer settlers like the Bittermans, Magees, Bickhams, Hunters, Noakes and Harneys opened mercantile stores, drugstores, a lumberyard, a bank, a hotel and a funeral home. There was a post office, doctors offices and of course, several churches. Residents of the community included some of the prominent cattlemen and business leaders of South Texas. Employment was provided by the opening of the Corpus Christi Water Plant, and at the apiary owned by the Aults.
When Mr. Allen established his town there were two schools in the immediate area. The Nuecestown School was located about three miles southwest of Calallen and the Bonnie View School at what is now known as Five Points. The school at Nuecestown had been in operation since the 1850's and the Bonnie View School had been established in 1908. Bonnie View School became part of the Nueces County Common School District #34 which had been created by HB96 in 1913. Calallen became an Independent School District the following year in 1914 and credit must be given to the school at Nuecestown.
GROWTH CONTINUED. . .
For several years the students were given their choice between the two schools. Finally in 1913 the funds of the Nuecestown School were transferred to District #34, and the Nuecestown school closed. At this time the people of Calallen voted to build a permanent school in the townsite. Until this two story brick building was completed, the students attended school in a frame building on the hill and a residence on Railroad Avenue.
The new building, located at 5215 Avenue A, had four classrooms, an auditorium and a main office. The school housed grades one through eight. The first diplomas were given from the Calallen Schools in 1913 and Tom Bickham was awarded the first diploma. On August 28, 1928, the County Board met and approved for Calallen to have a high school of three grade levels if the enrollment did not exceed sixty students. In 1936-1937, it had dropped back to a two-year high school. On July 20, 1942, the County Board approved a four-year high school to begin the 1942-1943 school year. Today, the Calallen Independent School District has five campuses housing grades Pre-K thru 12th grade and an enrollment of about 4100 students.
Calallen's greatest period of growth occurred in the 1920's to the 1940's. during that time it was the site of a hotel, funeral home, lumberyard, post office, Dr's office, bank and a school district. Major employers were C.C.. Water Plant and the vegetable packing firm, C.E. Coleman. Residents of the community included some of the prominent cattlemen and business leaders of South Texas.
Calallen's decline began as the new roads resulted in the dramatic growth of Corpus Christi. Although the Calallen schools remain in operation, the rural town was annexed by the City of Corpus Christi in 1970. Today the area serves as a reminder of the early residents who were vital to the growth of Nueces County.