Thomas Haley Elementary

Thomas Haley Elementary School opened in September of 1960 with the address of 3900 Estelle Road. Today the address is 3601 Cheyenne St.

Mr. Haley donated 4 acres of land and sold 8 acres of land to the Irving Independent School District on which to build the school. The school today stands where Tom and Fannie Haley’s house once was located. It is named in honor of him.

The original school had 12 classrooms. In 1967 the school was enlarged to include a cafeteria, office complex, library, and 18 more classrooms. Further renovations and the updating of the structure have occurred in later years. The main entrance was moved to the side street during the last major renovation.

The first principal was Wayne Wilson. He was followed by Homer Tompkins, Wallace Wimbish, Kenneth Tillman, Roy Hewitt, Roy Curry, Myrna Lancaster, Patricia Thompson, Jean Hunter-Batty, and Tanya Jones. The principal in 2017 is Alberto Zavala.

Thomas Frank Haley was born on January 18, 1872 in the Sowers community and grew up there. His parents were early settlers in this area.

Tom Haley was a pioneer farmer who grew cotton, corn, wheat, and other vegetables. The land he farmed was a wedding gift from his parents. He was also a sheep herder and part owner of Murphy’s Store. Mr. Haley was a road supervisor for Precinct 4 in Dallas County. He supervised the building of the first Belt Line Road which was built with mule teams uprooting trees and stumps making way for a “modern” road as well as the first Trinity River viaduct.

He married Fannie Marlowe Tompkins on December 24, 1891. They had six children. In order for his children to have better access to a good education, in 1909 he moved his family into Irving to be closer to a school. Two years after Fannie’s death in 1942, Tom married Clara Duncan Lemmons.

Mr. Haley served as a trustee for the Estelle Schools and then also as a trustee for the Irving Independent School District. He was the IISD school board president in 1913 when they voted to build the first brick school house, “Old Red.” He and other civic leaders were determined that this new community of Irving would become a thriving city.

Tom’s brother, John Haley, was a local doctor and also has a school named after him. Tom’s two oldest children were a part of the first graduating class of Irving High School. Three of Tom’s daughters later taught in Irving ISD totaling 118 years of teaching experience between them. He had a son and a grandson who served on the Irving City Council.

In 1962 he was recognized as being the oldest living land holder in Dallas County by the Dallas Title Company. Mr. Thomas Haley died March 28, 1963 and is buried in Haley Memorial Cemetery in Irving.

Source:

Irving Archives documents

Stanton, Norma. Irving, Texas: From Rails to Wings 1903-2003.

Ancestry.com

Information from Sue Haley Huffman (his granddaughter)

This web page was created April 2017 by the Celebrating Irving Committee of the Irving Heritage Society in partnership with Irving Independent School District. Photos used with the permission of Irving ISD and Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

The Irving Heritage Society’s vision:

A diverse community that values its past, celebrates its present, and embraces its future.