About Iago Jr. High
We at Iago Junior High School believe that all students are capable of learning and that our school will make a difference in their educational futures. We will provide each student with the foundation for a successful high school career.
Who We Are
Iago Jr. High School is a class AAA Junior High School. The staff is composed of 18 teachers, two secretaries, one counselor, one principal, one nurse, one aide, and two custodians. The student to teacher ratio is 15 to 1. We are culturally diverse campus with the following breakdown:
- 10% African American
- 51% Hispanic
- 38% White
- 01% Asian
- 53% Economically Disadvantaged
- 01% ELL
We have an enrollment of approximately 270 students and are fully accredited by the Texas Education Agency. In recent years, Iago students have been, Duke Talent Search Qualifiers, University Interscholastic League winners, Youth Fair Academic Rodeo finalists, and district and regional qualifiers in athletic and co-curricular events.
The staff at our school work hard to make all children feel welcome and supported. Our veteran teachers have high expectations for all students in both their academic achievement and their behavior. They work diligently to make each child's educational experience a fulfilling one. Everyone connected with our school, from the custodian who cleans the building to the principal with his open-door policy, is committed to making a difference in the lives of our students.
Iago Junior High School is a rural school that is located at the intersection of Farm roads 1301 and 1096, two miles northwest of Boling and twelve miles east of Wharton in southeastern Wharton County. Most of the children that attend our school live in the surrounding communities that make up the Boling Independent School District.
History of Iago
The local Caney Creek was originally named Canebrake Creek for the large primeval forest of what Texans call "cane," a native bamboo, Arundinaria, growing to heights of twenty feet. The first settlers burned off the large tracts of canebrake, built large plantations, and grew sugar cane and cotton. The results of the Civil War and the sugar cane blight ended the large plantations, and the area was generally abandoned until 1899, when the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway ran a branch from Wharton to Van Vleck in Matagorda County. This opened up the area to small farming interests.
Clarence D. Kemp owned three and one sixth leagues of land where he set up a mercantile store in the late 1880s. The nearest settlements were Waterville, five miles west, and Preston, three miles west. A post office operated in Iago from 1891 until 1900 with Kemp as postmaster. Kemp was sheriff of Wharton County from 1914 to 1921. G. C. Mick surveyed and laid out the township of Iago in 1911, from 1,000 acres that he bought from Kemp. The area had been part of the Seth Ingram league and was next to the railroad.
The name Iago was chosen by M. D. Taylor and C. W. Kemp, after the villain in Shakespeare's Othello. The first school was organized in 1902; it became part of the Boling school district in 1941. By 1920 Iago had two gins, a syrup mill, a blacksmith, several mercantile and grocery stores, a drugstore and doctor, a barbershop, saloons, a church, and a population of 200.
The 1927 Wharton County poll tax roll lists 134 white registrants, seven of whom were women and fifty-three black registrants, three of whom were women.
The church was a federation of Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and Disciples of Christ. Each group was responsible for services one Sunday each month and any fifth Sunday was open to other denominations. Summer revivals were sponsored by the groups in alphabetical order. An oil well was drilled in the front yard of the church in 1945 and the mineral royalty financed the building program on the original lot given by William Stafford.
In 1958 the population was 300, but it dropped to 150 by 1964. The Iago Federated Church was still active in 1991. The school served as a Boling Junior High. In 1990 a few businesses still operated in the area, and several outlying farms and oil and gas wells were still productive. A cemetery behind the school campus was neglected and overgrown. In 1990 Iago had a population of fifty-six.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., Houston: Armstrong, 1986). Frank X. Tolbert, "Tolbert's Texas" Scrapbook, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Del Weniger, The Explorers' Texas (Austin: Eakin Press, 1984). Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964).
Merle R. Hudgins