When Bertram was founded in 1882 along the Austin & Northwestern Railroad, one of the first structures erected was a combination school, Sunday School, and Masonic Lodge hall. Rudolph Bertram, Austin Railroad executive for whom the town was named, contributed $50 for construction of the school. The frame building was enlarged as the community grew. By 1908, however, new facilities were needed for the 264 students.
In May 1909, Bertram voters approved incorporation as an independent school district and construction of a new school building. This 2-story red brick structure was erected on property purchased from T. D. Vaughn. Designed by architect George Endress and built by contractor M. L. Langford, it opened in the fall of 1909 with J. N. Matthews as the first principal. Bertram was then in the midst of a cotton-growing boom, and students often missed the beginning of school to help in the fields.
As the enrollment increased, sports and other extracurricular activities were introduced. a separate high school was erected in 1925 and a gymnasium in 1948. Over a period of years, several smaller county schools transferred their students to Bertram. In 1970 Bertram schools merged with the Burnet district.