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home : blogsold : verde heritage May 28, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Friday, September 13, 2013

1889: Jerome School District No. 9 Formed, September 6.

Verde Heritage

The "Board of Supervisors met Sept. 6, 1889, at 10 o'clock." ... "Petition, approved by the probate judge, asking for the establishment of a school district at Jerome, was read and on motion it was ordered that said school district be formed, and be known as School District No. 9, with boundries as follows: Four miles square with the United Verde Copper Co.'s smelters as a centre." (Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; September 11, 1889; page 3, column 2.)


"The following abstract of a paper on the history of the old grammar school, soon to become but a memory, was read at last week's meeting of the Rotary club by Mrs. Harry Mitchell. The paper is of unusual historical interest and it is a great pleasure to the editors of the Verde Copper News to be able to reprint it in part. Mrs. Mitchell said:"

"Have you noticed how forlorn and lonely the old school house seems? Remote, it is falling to pieces, board by board. People passing look on it with scorn. 'It's an awful eyesore. Why doesn't the wind blow it down? Why doesn't it burn?'"

"Many years ago M. J. Bradley, an old trustee, was overheard encouraging Mr. Hartnett, the janitor, to become a cigarette smoker, so that, accidentally, the school might be burned."

"BUILT IN 1895: Turning the pages back, we find that Carpenter Ross built the grammar school in 1895. Not as it looks today, but two rooms upstairs, and a wing on the north and south ends. To reach the school, one had to pick his way carefully over many and sharp rocks, beyond the present location of the Humbert residence, then considered out in the country."

"Mr. Josselyn was the first principal of the school. He was of interest because he published a school paper, monthly, on a small printing press in his own home. The school paper was a forerunner of our own Verde Copper News."

"We also learn that school was held in the first story only; that the upper part was used for lodge meetings. Because there were no public halls, the school became the social center. In 1897 the Odd Fellows were celebrating an anniversary. A delegate was sent to Phoenix to personally invite Territorial Governor Franklin and his staff to the party. While there, the delegate learned the governor's especial brand --- and as a result the best liquor in the west was procured. The answer was a glorious governor's ball. The next year the Catholic fair was held in the rooms."

"As the enrollment became too large for the lower rooms the board requsted the lodges to vacate, and the rooms were renovated to suit such earnest scholars as the illustrious ball player, Tommy Sherman, and the successful teacher, Melba Thomas."

"In a few years more renovations were again needed. This time two more rooms, an office and library were added."

"FIRE HAZARD: As far back as 1907 the building was a menace for we read in the annals of the school board for that year that the 'plans provide for complete covering of inside with steel ceilings and walls, a thorough bracing of the building and foundation work.'"

"Since then it has been a constant danger with every wind, and a source of worry at every fire bell." ...

(Verde Copper News; Jerome; January 25, 1924; page 4.)

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