Dorinda Josephine Pillow

Our School


Registration Process

Registration can be done completly online for the following

New Student  Returning Students
Transfers School Choice

Registration can also be completed at the campus via schedueled sessions, Please call the following to setup a regristation time: 512.414.2350

Pillow Elementary Fun Facts

Pillow Elementary is a public school in Austin ISD.  Our school community spans 2 areas -- between Mopac and Metric and 183 and Parmer AND between Mopac and Burnet between 183 and Anderson Lane.

Some fun facts about us:

  • We speak a lot of languages!  English, Spanish, and Arabic are all well represented, but we have families that speak French, German, Korean and many more languages as well. 
  • Through a grant, we participate in a World Languages program where easy of our classes in 1st through 5th grade are introduced to a new language in one class a week -- Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Latin.
  • We love how diverse our school is!  We celebrate this diversity every fall with our multicultural night -- a great big potluck full of yummy food to sample, exhibits about the countries are families are from, people in traditional costumes, and singing and dancing by students.
  • We love to dance!  Group dancing at assembly during Fitness Thursdays, Our Ballet Folklorico group, an annual dance party, dancing "brain breaks" in classrooms, plus student talent at our talent show and multicultural nights show how much dancing unites our school.
  • Our playground is a public park outside of school hours, which means you'll find families playing after school or neighborhood toddlers or soccer players around when we have weekend events.  (And it's an awesome playground, with lots of "spinny things" and a covered blacktop.)

There's lots more to love at Pillow, including strong academics and social emotional learning.

Who was Dorinda Pillow?

Dorinda Pillow Biography

Dorinda Josephine Pillow
March 12, 1885 – April 3, 1962
Buried: Oakwood Cemetery Annex, Sec E

Born to Mr. and Mrs. William Ashton Pillow, the fifth of nine children.
Graduated from High School in New Orleans, LA.
Majored in History and Education at University of Texas.

Teaching Career:

  • 1 year in Williamson County
  •  3 years at John B. Will Elementary
  •  23 years at Pease Elementary
  •  3 years working in the Opportunity Department at John T. Allen School
  •  11 years at Bickler School
  •  7 years at Matthews School

The Telephone Baby

The first residential telephone in Austin was installed in the William Pillow home so that Mr. Pillow could be notified of the birth of his daughter, Dorinda Josephine in 1885.

The day and hour came for the blessed event.  There were no switchboards then, but subscribers spoke directly through the phone.  They were leased for $10 a year, payable semi-annually, in advance.  “The Voice” called Mr. Pillow to come home.  The drive from Congress Avenue to 1407 West Ninth would take time, and in this situation, time was of the essence.

Springing into his buggy, he hit the horse sharply with the whip.  That day the weather was not as smooth as the phone call.  A severe storm had blown up.  Hailstones striking the horse caused him to run away.  Luckily, he ran home and into his own barn, bringing the father on the scene in time to welcome his new daughter, Dorinda.  She was called “The Telephone Baby.”

Dorinda was the fifth of nine children born to Mr. and Mrs. William Ashton Pillow.  At the time of Dorinda’s birth, Mr. Pillow was the superintendent of supplies for the Erie Company, the first telephone company which established Texas general offices here on July 19, 1883.  Mr. Pillow one worked as a telegrapher with Thomas A. Edison in Memphis, Tennessee.

Miss Pillow taught 47 years in Austin Public Schools, 23 years at Pease.  Among those she taught were Dr. Sam N. Key, Jr., Dr. Joe Thorne Gilbert, Attorney Arthur F. Bagby, Dr. John F. Thomas and Actor Zachary Scott.

Out of the 47 years Miss Pillow was absent only 40 days.  She said she hated to miss school because one day in a child’s life meant so much.  She attended the University of Texas.  Miss Pillow taught at the old Winn School when it was a totally new building (about 1907).  She then taught at Pease, Allan and Bicker Schools.  She retired in May, 1954.  Miss Pillow lived with her sister, Eugenia Bell Pillow in the home of her father (the place of her birth) at 1407 West Ninth.  She died as a result of an auto accident on April 3, 1962.

Pillow Elementary was named after her in 1969, when the school was new.

Dorinda Pillow Elementary is not currently closed to transfers, We are accepting all new admissions and transfers in and out of district. All are Welcome