Our Legacy

Marshall ISD voters approved a $109,210,000 bond issue in May of 2015 which funds the construction of new schools, renovations and grade level realignment.

With the consolidation of our schools, we think it is important to enter this new era of public education in Marshall while also never forgetting the legacy of our past. The consolidation of schools does not mean we are erasing our history. In fact, we believe these new school buildings can be lasting monuments to the schools, people and events that have served to mold Marshall students since public education began locally before the turn of the 20th century.

It is our desire to incorporate as many memories and monuments into these new facilities as we can from our closing schools. This is not an end, but rather, a new beginning. Marshall ISD has been fortunate to include many hard-working educators who have left a trail for us to follow in serving Marshall’s children in our schools. It is our goal to remember as many of these as possible, along with all of our past school communities, with the opening of our new buildings.

BUILDING A LEGACY does not primarily focus solely on the future of our schools; it is a constant continuation and merging of the past, present AND future. We hope these ideas are not seen as a good-bye to the school communities of our past, but rather a new future built on the hard work and effort of our students, staff and community throughout our history.

Mr. Garfield Alton Rosborough retired from the Marshall Independent School District after 48 years of service to Marshall students, including 28 spent as Principal at Pemberton High School. At the time of his retirement in 1972, Mr. Rosborough was one of just two educators to have served as principal of Pemberton High School – along with the school’s namesake himself, Mr. H.B. Pemberton. Born in Harrison County in the Nesbitt community in 1903, Mr. Rosborough graduated as salutatorian of Central High School in Marshall in 1918. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wiley College and taught school in Oklahoma one year before returning to Central High School in 1924. He was named Principal of Pemberton High School in 1944, and for the 28 years he spent as Principal the school never lost its “A” rating with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools established in the early 1920s under Professor Pemberton. While serving as Principal, Mr. Rosborough earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Colorado in 1947. During his administration, faculty size increased from an original number of 14 to 76 in 1971. Classrooms at Pemberton increased from 15 in 1944 to 47 upon his retirement. Under Mr. Rosborough’s leadership, course offerings added included Modern Languages, Physical Education for boys and girls, Speech, Journalism, and Social Studies. He also added vocational courses such as Agriculture, Cosmetology, Vocational Office Education, Industrial Cooperative Training and Coordinated Vocational Academic Education. His overall impact on Marshall and the local school district was highlighted at his memorial service on April 28, 1978, with tributes presented by such leaders as U.S. Congressman Sam B. Hall, Marshall Superintendent Truitt Ingram, past Superintendents Von Rhea Beane and V.H. Hackney, and the Harrison County Unit of Retired Teachers. 


Mr. H.B. Pemberton came from modest beginnings as the son of former slaves to be one of the most influential and iconic educators in the history of Marshall schools. Born January 20, 1867, he was the oldest son of Charles and Eliza Pemberton. His parents settled in Marshall in 1876 when he was nine years old. Pemberton received a degree from Wiley College in 1888 and was the first to graduate "magna cum laude." He taught as a professor at Wiley until 1894, when he approached Superintendent C.F. Adams to request the establishment of an organized school system for Negro children. Adams offered Pemberton the Principal position of one of the schools, and Pemberton asked for a school building separate from church connections. But there were no public funds, so he then bought a dilapidated church building on the present site of the Travis Terrace Building with money borrowed on his own personal note. The note was soon paid with the support of citizens, the land was deeded to the city, and a two-story, four-room brick building was erected in 1895 and named Central School. The Central faculty included two men and two women and served grades 1-7. Pemberton again petitioned the school board and four more rooms and and an auditorium were added to the campus for a high school in 1916. Pemberton then became the Principal and only teacher of Central High. Eleven grades were taught and enrollment grew to 1,000. In 1925, a site on Rosborough Springs Road was purchased for a new school to house high school students only. The old Central School became known as Hillside School. The high school enjoyed a good reputation, and around 1940 was given the highest rating accorded African-American high schools. It was listed as one of the top six or eight in the state, putting it on par with those in Dallas and Houston. In 1941, the school board unanimously approved a petition with over 5,000 signatures to change the new school's name to H.B. Pemberton High School, in honor of the man who stepped out and created the beginnings of public education in Marshall for Negro children. Pemberton died on April 27, 1944, and was succeeded by G.A. Rosborough, who served until his retirement in 1972. When Marshall schools integrated in 1971, Pemberton High School began serving ninth grade students only in 1972, following integration of the school district in 1971. When the 1986 bond election provided funds for a new wing at Marshall High School on Maverick Drive, Pemberton High School ceased operation as a public school in the spring of 1988 and was sold to Wiley College. It now serves as the Pemberton Heritage Center and is still located at its original location on Rosborough Springs Road. 


Dr. Jerry Payne arrived in Marshall as Director of Bands at Marshall High School in 1977 to a struggling program that was plagued by low numbers and few accolades. But the time he retired from MISD 25 years later, the “Big Red Pride” had developed into one of the finest and most respected in the stat, growing in size and quality with numerous UIL Sweepstakes awards. Born in Ruston, La., in 1935, Payne earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Education at NSU in 1957 and 1968, a Specialist in Education in 1969 and Doctorate in Music Education in 1973. In a career spanning 45 years, he was a music educator for 20 years in Louisiana and 25 years in Texas, including four years as director of bands at NSU. During that time, Payne led his bands in numerous competitive performances and was recognized with several professional honors. Payne attended NSU on a band scholarship and became the student leader for the popular group, “Demonaires,” as a saxophone player. He began his teaching and band director career at Alexandria Junior High School and Alexandria Senior High. After receiving his doctoral degree, Payne finished his final four years in Louisiana as Director of Bands at Northwestern State University, his alma mater. He then retired in Louisiana and moved to Marshall, hoping to rebuild a struggling band program. Under his leadership and direction, along with the assistance of treasured assistants Al Hobson, Rick White, Anthony Robinson, Josie Ross, Beth Bienvenu, and Terry Hopkins, Marshall was eventually selected as the Texas Honor Band – 14 years after his Alexandria Band was the Louisiana Honor Band at Four States. Following his retirement from MISD in 2002, Dr. Payne continued playing his saxophone around Marshall and East Texas with a group called “The Vintage Four.” He also played numerous solo gigs and never lost his love for performing or teaching music, as he continued to mentor and inspire young and ambitious Marshall musicians and teachers. Dr. Payne is a member of the Northwestern Band Directors Hall of Fame; the Louisiana Music Educators Hall of Fame, the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame; Northwestern’s Hall of Distinguished Educators; and the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice Estelle Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts. 


Coach Willie Todd served as a coach and teacher at Pemberton High School and Marshall High School. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Huron College and a Master’s Degree from Prairie View A&M. His first teaching job was in Karnack ISD, where he worked for four years before coming to Marshall in 1970. He taught a number of subjects over the years, including American and Texas history, Geography, World History, Economics, Zoology, Health, Physical Education, Sociology and Black History. He was a coach at Pemberton High School before integration and continued to serve as an assistant coach at Pemberton when the campus was used as Marshall’s ninth-grade campus following integration. He eventually returned to Marshall High School to serve as an assistant football coach and head boys track coach.


Mr. Asa Johnson was the last principal to serve at old Pemberton High School, from 1976-1987. Following the closing of Pemberton upon the completion of a ninth-grade wing at Marshall High School, Mr. Johnson served as principal at Marshall Junior High School from 1988-1993.

Mr. Jimmy Wall was the last principal at the former Marshall Junior High School at the site of what became Sam Houston Middle School when reorganization took place in 1980 and the junior high was moved to the old high school on West Houston Street. Mr. Wall served as principal at MJHS from 1976-1981, but transferred to the new new middle school campus at Price T. Young in 1981 and served as principal there until 1988. Mr. Wall would also become a district administrator and Assistant Superintendent in MISD before retiring.

Mr. Blaine Edmond followed Price T. Young as Principal at the Marshall seventh grade campus following Mr. Young's death in 1975. When MISD reorganized in 1981 and moved its junior high campus to the old Marshall High School on West Houston Street, Mr. Edmond became principal of the new MJHS. He served as Principal there until his retirement in 1988.

Maverick Hallway is dedicated to the history and accomplishments of the Marshall High School Mavericks.

Panther Hallway is dedicated to the history and accomplishments of the Pemberton High School Panthers, which served as Marshall's other high school until it became the Marshall ISD ninth-grade campus following integration.

The Legacy Atrium is dedicated to the citizens and community of Marshall, for the generosity and hard work which produced the Legacy 2017 building program and our new Marshall Junior High School. Thank you Marshall, for making us Marshall Proud and Maverick Strong!


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