“The story of Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville is truly a remarkable one. A vision of Presbyterians in the early years of the 20th century that wanted to offer an education to young boys from Mexico, the school began with a generous gift of 700 acres from Henrietta King, wife of Captain Richard King, founder of the King Ranch. After others had turned down the offer, Rev. James W. Skinner, a middle-aged pastor in south Texas, agreed to try to get the school started. There was nothing on the land that had been given. With the help of Mexican boys who would become his students, Skinner himself began building the school from the ground up. The Texas-Mexican Industrial Institute (“Tex-Mex”) slowly began to take shape. S. Brooks McLane eventually succeeded Skinner as the School’s second president.
A second school for girls, The Presbyterian School for Mexican Girls (“Pres-Mex”), was begun in the mid-1920s in Taft, Texas. With love, faith and determination, Berta Murray headed that school for 30 years.
In 1956, the two schools merged into one school, Presbyterian Pan American School, under the leadership of a new president, Sherwood H. Reisner. The Kingsville campus became the home campus and underwent considerable reconstruction. The last 50 years have experienced their own challenges, but the school celebrated its centennial year (2011-2012) in a position of growing strength and stability.”
Excerpt taken from “Planting Trees: A History of Presbyterian Pan American School” by James S. Currie...