Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1883 High School

Tonights blog came from the 1980 "The Town that coal Built" a historical book by the Rich Hill Lions club.

Almost a year after the town of Rich Hill had been established, an election was called to organize a school district and elect a board of directors. Prior to the election about fifteen pupils had been enrolled in a fourteen by sixteen foot frame building that was used for classes. This building was located east of town. The following men were elected as the first board of directors: For one year term — Mr. C. H. Dallas and James Scott; For two year term — George Huckeby and J. L. Minor; For three year term — Josi-ah Lane and Dr. W. H. Harris.
A tax levy of three percent on taxable property and a four thousand dollar bond issue carried. A two story brick building with four large classrooms, a hall and stairway was built on the east side of town on Walnut Street. It was arranged so that an east and west wing could be added when needed.
The churches were used as classrooms during the 1881-1882 school term. The Rev. Mr. Henshaw, prin­cipal and six teachers were employed to teach. Miss Rolla Hedges (Booth) was in charge of classes at the Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue and Miss Sarah Baker held class at the Camphellite Church on Ninth and Walnut.
When school opened in the fall of 1882, there was an enrollment of eight hundred pupils.
The town grew so rapidly that seven hundred, eighty four houses and two hundred business houses had been constructed by 1883. With so many new families coming to town on every train, the Board of Education saw the need for another school building. A bond issue for ten thousand dollars was carried by a large majority. A two-story brick building with eight well arranged rooms was built on the west side of town. This building was well planned and displayed artistic workmanship. An early picture showed a fence around the schoolyard with a stile for an en­trance. As the need arose, additions have been added. Eight large classrooms were built across the south front with wide corridors, strong concrete stairs and large attractive windows completely across the front. There were three main entrances on the south, east and west and two smaller ones on the northeast and northwest. The interior featured a large skylight over the central part of the building, restrooms in the base­ment and ventilating system that provided for a large fan (never installed] to circulate air to and from the classrooms through vents near the floor and ceiling

No comments: