Lily B. Clayton opened in February 1922 as Mistletoe Heights Elementary School with 79 students and three teachers. The first principal, Lulu Parker, was also the first woman to lead a Fort Worth school. The school was named after another remarkable teacher, Ms. Clayton, whose teaching career started in 1885 and lasted for 50 years.
Lily B. has a long history of civic support. During the 1970's, a group of parents and community leaders started an after-school childcare program. Their action successfully reversed the diminishing enrollment and served as the model for Clayton Child Care (now known as Clayton Youth Enrichment). Today, Lily B. Clayton serves over 500 children from surrounding neighborhoods and transfer students from throughout the district.
Designated a Historic and City Landmark in 1990 by then-Mayor Kay Granger and the Historic Landmark Commission, Lily B. remains a testament to the architectural style of the 20’s and a visual reminder of quality WPA projects from the 30's. The oldest section (the 5th-grade hallway) was extended in 1936 and comprises the front entrance, auditorium, and kindergarten classrooms. The beautiful wood doors are replicas of the 1922 and 1936 originals and were provided by the PTA and school district in the mid-1980s.
Lily B.’s addition in 2003 was painstakingly planned to match the style and grace of the original building. A FWISD Bond program funded the resulting cafeteria, library and 14 new classrooms. In 2003 and 2005, the PTA bought and donated playground equipment for all the “Lily Bees” to enjoy. A brick marquis was added in 2004 to provide families with reminders of the many school year events.
Architecturally inviting, Lily B.’s beauty is reflected in the school community itself. When you ascend the steps with your child and enter the friendly halls, you will step back to a more personal time. Teachers and staff greet children by name. Sunny classrooms buzz with activity. Students and parents commune under the canopy of trees shading the Kindergarten and library courtyards. The building is alive with the sound of children’s voices.
Through the decades, the three hallmarks of Lily B. Clayton remain. A rich history, nurturing environment, and beloved teachers committed to student achievement provide to this day an elementary school experience unmatched in Fort Worth.