History of Fonville Middle School

  • History of Fonville Middle School

    The school was named after a former mayor of the city of Houston, Richard H. Fonville. Fonville was elected mayor of the city of Houston from 1937 to 1939.   Richard H. Fonville was a pharmacist, successfully operating  modest shop in downtown Houston for a number of years.

    Gerald Fonville, the nephew of Richard H. Fonville writes,

    "As you all may know, Uncle R.H. was a pharmacist, successfully operating  modest shop in downtown Houston for a number of years. The family itself is still curious as to what motivated him into politics. It is my understanding, however, that he was a bit of a rebel... in reverse, if you will. He was appalled at the disreputable state of affairs of Houston politics at the time and wanted to try to better the situation. After attempting to do so as mayor, he finally left office with pride, being know as "the only honest mayor" Houston had ever had (up to that time). His refusal to "play ball" with the "fat cats" and insiders resulted in the termination of his future participation in city politics.

    "His singular intangible accomplishment was his adamant refusal to cooperate with and lend executive influence to the extant factors of greed, corruption and inside dealings then so rampant in the city.

    "We do know from his own conversations with us, that his main objective was to influence through a fair and honest administration, the potential for all of Houston's population to receive an "even break."

    Originally, Fonville Middle School had grades 7-9. Years ago, Durkee Elementary School was located on the site where Fonville Middle School now stands. Anyone who has knowledge of Fonville in the sixties and seventies is encouraged to contact the school. 


    It is now Fonville Middle School and has grades 6-8. Fonville Middle School is located at 725 E. Little York Road, halfway between I-45 North and the Hardy Toll Road. (Key Map 413S(NEH)). Fonville qualifies for Title I services school wide.
    Fonville Junior High opened in January, 1960. It was built to relieve overcrowding at Burbank Middle School. However, Fonville began as a small city of temporary buildings behind Burbank MS in the fall of 1959. I have heard from an alumni of that first class of students that "the birth of Fonville was epic and heroic. The in-crowd was always the Burbank kids and Fonville kids were uninvited guests, but we persevered and later excelled when we got our home. Both Burbank and Fonville students went to Sam Houston and Fonville's stay at Burbank was just about as traumatic to the Burbank students. It was an over-crowded, hostile environment-kind of like having cats in a sack. I don't know how the teachers ever managed to control us."