PAUL MAURICE AKIN
Wylie Elementary School Principal, 1956-1976
P. M. Akin Elementary School Named in His Honor in 1988
Paul Maurice Akin taught and was the Elementary Principal to many, sometimes spanning “three generations.” He was born April 8, 1912 in the Clear Water Community, the son of John Weldon Akin Sr. and Hester (Hillis) Akin. At that time, Akin recalled that Clear Lake was only a gin and a country store. He became very interested in education at an early age, influenced by the inspiration of his mother and sister Pauline (Montgomery) who were teachers and by his father who, at his death, had been superintendent of schools for 37 years with the last several in Wylie.
A graduate of McKinney High School Maurice attended East Texas State Teacher’s College, but in 1934-35 the “love bug” bit him, and he married the former Irene Touchstone. Since only a Teacher’s certificate was required to teach, he decided to teach school with this in Parker which he did. Four sons were born to this couple. They were Mike, David, Stephen and Paul.
After only one year the couple decided that a degree was imperative in order for Maurice to reach his life’s ambition. With only $360 in their pockets plus a lot of determination they set out for ETSTC and nine hard frugal months. They made expenses, though, until just three weeks before school was out. Then Papa Jolui W Akin Sr. stepped in to see his son complete his Bachelor of Arts Degree (1936).
That Fall Maurice began teaching in Princeton. In 1941 Grandma Hillis died and the young Akins moved back to Wylie to care for Grandpa Hillis. Here Maurice began teaching History and Speech in High School. Chopping weeds from a cotton patch one morning in 1956 just before the beginning of school, Maurice was approached by R. F. Hartman, superintendent of schools, who informed him that he needed an elementary school principal. It was his, if he accepted it, and he did. This “job” was to last until his retirement in May of 1976, a period of 20 years. He saw the Elementary School expand from 215 students and twelve teachers to over 600 students and 27 teachers, plus complete new facilities.
In his career at Wylie he served under five superintendents—James Pearce, R.F. Hartman (23 years), Charles Lamb, J.D. Chaney and Don Whitt. May 16, 1976 was designated by the City of Wylie as “P.M. Akin Day.” That night the school honored him for his faithful service.
Along with his school and his home life, Maurice Akin served in all phases of the First Baptist Church of Wylie, including that of Deacon. He became a Baptist in 1924, and upon moving to Wylie in 1941, he joined here and became active.
In 1973 Irene Akin passed away and was buried in Wylie. This left a void in the life of Maurice, but, in time, he began courting and wed Mrs. Lorna Combest, a widow from Wylie. The ceremony was held Sept. 1, 1974 at the First Baptist Church.
Retirement did not last long. Maurice passed away in a Wylie Hospital May 21, 1981 and is buried in the Wylie Cemetery. To show their appreciation to this wonderful person, the citizens of Wylie voted that a new elementary school be named in his honor. It was dedicated September 18, 1988. This man’s qualities of leadership, gentleness and devotion will ever be remembered in Wylie’s halls of education.
Courtesy Wylie Area Heritage by Beb Fulkerson, 1990.