HJ: 1st business manager, then superintendent for BCISD

Matagorda CountyTXGenWeb
H.J. McAllister

   Harmon Jerome McAllister was born in Quitman, Wood County, n Aug. 5, 1909. His parents were Hugh Hunter McAllister (1876-1964) and June Kendrick (1878-1914). 
   At the age of four, Harmon’s mother died and he and a younger sister lived with an aunt, Goldie Kendrick Cartwright. 
   He and four brothers and three sisters. His mother and father were born in Wood County, Texas; their parents had come from Georgia via Alabama in 1869.
   Harmon graduated from Mineola High School and completed his education at North Texas University at Denton. 
   He began teaching at Carlton, Texas, in 1934, and came to Matagorda County as a teacher and tennis coach in the Bay City High School in 1936.
   Mary Belle Richeson came to Bay City as a teacher in the high school in 1938. She was born on July 9, 1916, in Mankins, Archer County, Texas, the daughter of Watkins L. Richeson (1887-1950) and Vera Frazier (1892-1960). 
   “Mac,” as Harmon was called, and Mary Belle were married on July 20, 1941, and became the parents of three children: Jerome Watt, Julianne and William Robert (1949-1993).
   McAllister became principal of the Bay City High School in 1941, and became the friend of many students. 
   His unique method of discipline has been retold with humor by many of his former students. 
   For example one of his students recalled having to lower and raise a window repeatedly for a repetition of the same act in the classroom. 
   School was over and, at 5 p. m., the young man was still raising and lowering the window because he had been told to stay until he was dismissed. 
   McAllister had become busy with other chores and gone home, only to be reminded by his wife that a window was going up and down, up and down, across the street from their home. To McAllister’s astonishment, he had forgotten to dismiss the student.
   In 1946, McAllister became the first business manager of the Bay City Schools; a position he held until 1949 when he went into business with J. W. Ingram and Pat Thompson. 
   During those years he served on the board of trustees of the school district. 
   He became Matagorda County Auditor in 1956 and in 1960, he was asked to be superintendent of the Bay City schools upon the retirement of John H. Cherry. McAllister held the position of superintendent of schools from July 1, 1960 until his death on June 17, 1963, at the age of 53.

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