CREATION OF CALHOUN COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL

(06/29/2017)

Calhoun County High School 1928-1929
(Photo Courtesy of Lorentz Carr, Jr. and Sue Pruett Hamilton)

By Ota May Marshall, Member of Historical Committee

Calhoun County Centennial 1956

It is fitting and proper that once again the people of our county pause in their daily tasks which constitute the practices, purposes and ideas of rural American life and take stock of their accomplishments in educational progress.

In the year of 1915, some of the county's far-sighted citizens prepared plans for the creation of a secondary school. Mr. Bruce Ferrell, an attorney of Grantsville, wrote the bill and Mr. Howard Waldo, the county's delegate to the legislature, presented it to that body.

The unique feature of the bill was that it called for a COUNTY high school instead of the usual district high school. The plan was not without opposition among the citizens but Mr. Ferrell's argument was that the county furnished a wider field of taxation to support the high school and that the districts of our county could not build and maintain its separate schools.

On June 10, 1915 the citizens voted 599 in favor and 300 against its establishment.

Mr. Scott Peninger, one of the county's pioneer educators, broke ground for the original building June 20, 1920.

Inspired and enthusiastic with the idea of educating and keeping its youth in the county and not willing to wait for the completion of a school building, the Board of Directors of the Calhoun County High School, composed of J. M. Hamilton, president, William Webb and G. W. Hardman, members, and A. E. Weaver, secretary, obtained permission from the County Court to allow classes to be held in the Court House.

Nearly seventy pupils were enrolled in the first class which began September 25, 1922. The first graduating class of 1924-25 had nineteen members.

The matter of transporting pupils from the rural areas in to the County High School was first introduced in 1930. The present fleet of fifteen buses travel 768 miles per day and transport 1478 pupils or nearly three-fourths of all the school children in the county. 146 students are paid in lieu of transportation. 2074 students have been graduated from this institution.

Every effort has been made by the citizens of our county to create a climate that is conducive to good education. We realize that good schools cost more but poor schools cost the most.

Let us continue to carry forward that spirit of common good, unselfishness and courageous leadership for the schools that are needed and that are the rightful heritage of every child.


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