The Texas Historical Commission (THC) has recognized Wharton Training School as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an official Texas historical marker. The designation honors the school as an important educational part of local history, according to the Wharton County Historical Commission (WCHC).

“The many hundreds of graduates of Wharton Training School who have gone out into the world in pursuit of their personal dreams and aspirations are the substance of this historic moment,” said Diane Dawson Bradley, alumna.

A dedication ceremony to commemorate the event will be Saturday, Nov. 6, at Wharton Civic Center. Kimberly Willis, director of the Wharton County Junior College Senior Citizens Program, will be speaking. 

“The Official Texas Historical Marker program helps bring attention to community treasures and the importance of their preservation,” THC Executive Director Mark Wolfe said.  “Awareness and education are among the best ways to guarantee the preservation of our state’s history. This designation is a tool that will increase public awareness of important cultural resources,” Wolfe said. 

Pat Blair, chairperson with the WCHC, wrote in a press release a subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met, including historical significance and age. 

Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history, and the age requirement depends on the topic, the press release said. 

There are three types of Texas historical markers. Subject markers are posted solely for public education awareness and awarded more frequently than the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures and comes with a measure of protection. Unlike subject markers, the RTHL must also meet a third criterion – architectural integrity. Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) markers identify cemeteries which have obtained the HTC designation and whose histories have been researched in detail.

Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 300 marker applications each year.  

The THC is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas.

The THC’s Texas marker policies are outlined in the Texas Historical Marker procedures, which may be obtained by contacting the History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission, at 512-463-5853 or visiting the web site at www.thc.texas.gov.

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