History

Born to William and Anna Nimitz on February 24, 1885, Chester was the oldest of three children. His family moved to Kerr County in the late 1800’s from Fredericksburg. All three children attended Kerrville schools. He left Tivy High School in 1905 to enter the Naval Academy Class. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and embarked upon one of the most illustrious naval careers in history. As recorded by the Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park, Nimitz was chief of the United States Pacific Fleet during World War II and responsible for directing the naval force that captured Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In 1945, aircraft carriers under his command began the final raid on Japan, and in September of that year, the signing of the Japanese surrender occurred aboard the battleship Missouri.

On December 15, 1945, he became Chief of Naval Operations for a term of two years, and then in 1948 accepted an assignment as a roving good will ambassador of the United Nations. In 1951, President Truman appointed him as Chairman of the nine-man commission on International Security and Industrial Rights, a commission that never fully got underway.

Texas born Nimitz flew back to the Lone Star State in 1945, where a festive parade was held in Kerrville in his honor. At the grand event, the school district presented Admiral Nimitz with his Tivy High School diploma, 43 years later.

Admiral Nimitz died on February 20, 1966, at the age of 80, never having retired from military service. In December 1986, the KISD School Board of Trustees approved the construction of a new elementary school located on 10.45 acres of land adjacent to the corners of Ranchero Road and Valley View Drive. The campus was completed in 1987 and formally dedicated and opened as Nimitz Elementary School on October 18, 1987.