*This building may look familiar, but if you went to school or lived in Devine between 1953 and 1972, you know exactly where this is located and probably know why it had this nickname!
But for the ones that don’t know, here is a bit of the background story.
In 1929 this was the newly built, “modern” Devine Public School. It had a “canary stucco” finish and had modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing and restrooms, a steam heating system, and electricity! That was pretty modern for its time!
Fast forward to the early 1950s, after WWII, and now it is a 20+-year-old building and housing more students than it was built to hold! In the summer of 1953, with a new high school still a few years away, and the building showing its age, some school leaders and local businessmen felt that the school needed to be “freshened” up. So, they painted it green! – And not just any green – Army green!! And not just the outside was painted green – so was the inside!
Today that might not sound like a great way to “freshen up” a whole building, but according to some 1968-71 Devine Junior High teachers, that paint was leftover army paint from the war, and it was free! So, it might not seem the best way, but probably the cheapest! However, the students seemed happy to have something new after coming back from their summer vacation. “We came back to a new-looking building, and we were thrilled over the improvements.” 1954 Devine HS Corral yearbook.
That explains the “Green”, but why “Alamo”?
So, it seems that somebody, or a group of somebodies (probably students) thought that the top center of the school somehow looked like the top of the Alamo. Now with that picture in mind, and it painted green, calling it the Green Alamo kind of makes sense- kind of! And thus – the nickname of the “Green Alamo” came to be – and it has stuck!
Although repainted in 1978, the “Green Alamo” nickname is still used affectionately today by former students & townspeople alike. It brings back memories of some crazy and fun school days with friends and teachers, playing on a hard dirt football field, going to downtown pep rallies, having an open campus even for Junior High kids, going to classes and watching movies in the basement, and much more. Even nowadays when someone speaks of the Green Alamo, people respond with a knowing smile.
By Nancy Ehlinger Saathoff (former student at the Green Alamo -Devine Jr. High), Devine Historical Committee
*If you talk to Lewis Stroud, Bob Bendele, Bill Herring, Richard Malone, Bill Bain, Jerry Beck, Butch Morgan, Eddie Hutzler, or any of those other good Devine history storytellers, ask them about the Green Alamo and how it got its name. They may have more details about it, and we can correct or update our story! NES
*The Green Alamo (VFW) will be the location of this year’s Homecoming social on Saturday, October 14th! All Devine alumni, from any years are invited to come! *See the Devine News for more information on Homecoming!