Fifth-grade students at Pershing Park Elementary School got a history lesson from two special guests Tuesday morning.

The students were invited to the library, where current Killeen Independent School District board member Corbett Lawler and his wife, Roseanne, gave a presentation on early American history in Texas.

The Lawlers brought a collection of tools and other items used on farms by families in the 1800s.

Those items included saws, horseshoes, beeswax candles, a coffee grinder, toys and clothing items that were more than 100 years old.

“We wanted to give them an idea of what life for youngsters in Texas in early America looked like,” Corbett Lawler said.

Nearly all the items the Lawlers displayed for students Tuesday are family heirlooms. Both Lawlers have a long family history in Texas, with roots going back as far as 1838.

“A lot of this stuff was just sitting around,” Roseanne Lawler said. “We decided to put it to use.”

The Lawlers are both former Killeen educators. Corbett Lawler spent 39 years in the district as a teacher and principal before being elected to the board. Roseanne Lawler is a retired teacher. Both said they enjoyed getting back in front of a group of kids and teaching.

“It’s a really wonderful experience,” Roseanne Lawler said. “It feels very natural.”

This wasn’t the first time Corbett Lawler had come to the campus. Last year, the school’s librarian, Lara Sursa, invited him to read to students.

“I think it’s great for the children to see people from the community getting involved,” Sursa said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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