BROWNWOOD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – In the late 1800s and earlier, African American families and children had no options for public education. Seeing the problem, a small group made sure of the construction, and later, education of African American students in Brown County.

In Brown County, there is a history laid deep with stories of segregation, second-hand schoolhouse, and men and women willing to make the most of what they had for the future of the children they taught. The group was made up of a Veteran Buffalo soldier by the name of George Smith, a man named George Griffin, his wife Bettie, and Professor Rufus F. Hardin.

The Griffin Schoolhouse was the first to bring organized education to African American children in rural Brown County, and the Hardin School – the most longstanding in the community.

Some of the descendants of George and Bettie Griffin still call Brownwood home. Great Grandson Todd Kirk told KTAB/KRBC the actions of his forefathers and mothers have inspired him to do the most with the time and opportunities he has.

Vice president of the Rufus F. Hardin Museum Organization, Hank Hunter said the organization is still working out its nonprofit status and cannot accept donations at this time. Until that gets sorted out, anyone wishing to get involved in the Project to turn the Rufus F. Hardin school into a museum can contact Hank Hunter at (325) 624-2779.