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The story of Our Lady of Victory School begins in 1908. The Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur were teaching at St. Ignatius Academy located in downtown Fort Worth. (The Academy building still stands next to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and is used by St. Patrick’s parishioners.) The boarding school was overflowing with students. Even the wooden annex on Hattie Street was full. The Sisters decided that a new, larger school must be built.

The Sisters, mostly in their 20’s and 30’s, began looking for land, and of course, began praying. It took over a year to negotiate for 26 acres of land located at the end of the trolley line from downtown Fort Worth. The Sisters purchased the land in August, 1908. Mr. Shaw, who owned a dairy near the parcel of land, helped with the negotiations. The dirt road called Shaw Street was eventually plowed and graveled so that transportation of workers and material could be facilitated to the site.

Ground was broken on March 25, 1909, and school was scheduled to open on September 12, 1910. However there were construction delays. The first sisters finally came on September 8, 1910, just four days before the start of school! The 5 story, red brick Gothic revival-style building was usable but far from complete. The sisters readied the classrooms and dormitories to the tune of the hammering of the workers trying to finish the building.

The school formally opened on September 12. The Sisters welcomed 31 boarders and 41 day students in grades one through high school. The young girls were offered an education of high quality. The lives of the students were highly disciplined. Academic excellence was a goal, as well as cultivation of manners, decorum and knowledge of the arts.

The educational philosophy of OLV School was stated in the first handbook: "The education imparted in this institution is thorough, practical and refined, aimed at forming noble Christian women who will grace society with their accomplishments and edify it by their virtues."

During the time that the elementary school was held in the 5 story building, it was overshadowed by the high school and college which began in 1930. However, OLV Elementary School began its particular and separate history in 1953 when the present school building was constructed. When the elementary school opened in its new building, the enrollment was 181, which included boys who were now accepted as students.

Our Lady of Victory was Fort Worth’s first fully integrated school, public or private. Early in the 1950’s, Sister Teresa Webber, the Provincial, was the sister responsible for making this decision and standing firm with it. The school lost some students but gained much in giving the example of acting on Christian principles.

OLV School has grown in age, wisdom and grace since 1953. The ethnic and cultural mixture has produced a special richness of which few schools can boast. The dedication of the lay faculty and the interest of parents and friends who serve in a variety of roles ensures the continuance of the vocation of the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur to carry the Light of the Gospel to the children and families of Fort Worth.


3320 Hemphill St | Fort Worth, TX 76110 Map Phone: (817) 924-5123  fax: (817) 923-9621