Greenfield High School's Early History
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2005 will mark the 100th year of the Greenfield high school yearbook.  On one of my many research trips to Greenfield I found the image below penciled on the inside cover page of the 1905 Bulletin.  This is the first volumn of the yearbook.  I really liked the image and made a copy.  I have no idea who drew it but really like it.  I hope you will enjoy it as well.  This particular book is housed in the public library in Greenfield.

 

Click on the picture below to go to the high school reunion group!!


 


From the 1905 Bulletin:

Greenfield High School:  Being a Brief History of its Growth in the Past Decade.

 

Proper educational facilities in Greenfield are a thing of comparatively recent years.  At  so late a date did the desire for the best possible development for their children strike the people of the oldest town in southwest Missouri that a scant ten years ago Greenfield had no high school.  True, there was what was by courtesy called a "high school," but seldom is courtesy to blame for a worse misnomer.  The school did not advance its students further than the present grade schools.  The work was without method or equipment, and the interest in the school was slight - “ so slight, indeed, that in a period of time extending over several years prior to 1895 only four students were graduated.

 

In 1985 Prof. J. M. Taylor was elected superintendent of the Greenfield schools.  He was an able, progressive school man, and his energy startled the people into something more than a passive interest.  The same year saw Prof. I. N. Evrard installed as principal.  With the coming together of these two men education in Greenfield took a great bound forward.  The school was properly organized.  Real high school work was placed on the course of study and, with competent instruction therein, a real high school sprang into existence.  A fine new schoolhouse was built, and matriculation with the state university and various colleges was effected.  In 1897 the first graduating class for years left the school, and each succeeding year saw a strong class graduated.  Prof. Taylor remained until 1899; Prof. Evrard until 1901, the last two years as superintendent, and departing left a good work well done and the foundation established for the best country high school in southwest Missouri.  Greenfield felt the most grateful interest in these two young men, and has had the satisfaction of seeing both rise noteworthily in their chosen profession.

 

The school year of 1901-02 found the superintendency vested in Prof. A. C. Guinn, a thorough, competent school man and a well qualified instructor, to whom the school is indebted for many improvements.  Particular praise is due Prof. Guinn for his development of the interest in athletics, a branch of work sadly neglected up to that time.

 

The year 1902 marked another epoch in the history of education in Greenfield.  In that year, the school having outgrown its quarters, the city purchased, for use as a high school building, the old Ozark college building, giving over the fine new building to the lower grades.  Prof. Geo. Melcher, recognized as without a superior as a high school man in the state, was secured as superintendent, and the newly christened "McKinley" high school started upon the most prosperous, as well as the most effectual period in its history.  With the addition of complete laboratory equipment, splendidly qualified instructors and more advanced work, the school has earned a name that has brought to its doors a foreign attendance almost worth of a college.  Better work is now done than was done in Ozark college or any of the other minor colleges ten years ago.  Students are not only prepared for the higher institutions of learning, but are graduated with practically the first year of a college or university course already done and to their credit.

 

Such, in brief, has been the growth of the school, the most recent and most successful year of which this publication is humbly offers as a souvenir.  The future of such an institution is not a matter of conjecture; it can viewed through the clear glass of certainty.  Just as, in the past ten years, each year has, in point of success, eclipsed its predecessor, so each year in the future is sure to prove a distinct progressive step, until, within a period of years reckoned in a single figure, Greenfield High School will have advanced to the very front rank of educational institutions in Missouri and the west.

 

(Author Unknown and copyright expired, grammatical errors unchanged)