In their book, “The Evolution of Waxahachie Public Schools,” the Waxahachie ISD retired educators Max H. Simpson and Billy R. Hancock, shared the following information about the district’s athletic facilities in the 1920s-1930s.
Before 1923, discussion of an athletic park located on the Waxahachie High School grounds was common. The Rotary Club, superintendent G.B. Winn, and WHS coach A.A. Scott presented this need to trustees, noting that if the complex was located on the WHS campus (located then at the T.C. Wilemon building), the Rotary Club would donate a 125-foot-long, 62-foot-wide grandstand.
Once the WHS location was approved by trustees, the Waxahachie Athletic Complex was utilized from 1923 to 1932. The grandstand was originally located north of WHS’s east wing, and south of the then-existing 4th Street.
The first football game played on the field was against the Ennis Lions on Oct. 5, 1923, with WHS defeating Ennis 14-0.
This was the home park for the Indians’ 65-game winning streak in baseball from 1924-1927. It was also during a 1929 track meet at this park that a stray javelin killed Thomas Ira Norman, 16, of WHS. As a result of this incident, the state interscholastic league banned the javelin event.
Crowd attendance for baseball games dwindled in 1928. By 1930, park facilities were not up to par for football and home games, which were instead hosted at Yoakum Field at Trinity University.
The Waxahachie Athletic Park was gone by August 1932 when trustees authorized the razing of the grandstand to make use of the materials in construction for a new gym built onto the T.C. Wilemon building.
Without a home field, baseball competed at the old Jungle Park and football utilized Yoakum Field. Meanwhile, track and field events were moved to other sites until 1934 when the athletic complex was relocated on the property (the corner of West 2nd and Bryson streets), renovated, and renamed Indian Park.
Copies of the book, “The Evolution of Waxahachie Public Schools,” by retired Waxahachie ISD educators Max H. Simpson and Billy R. Hancock are available for sale at the Ellis County Museum in historic downtown Waxahachie.