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Rose and Expansion 1920 - 1930 - Part 2

While at the Holladay School, she conducted classes in an "open air room" which was sheltered from the outside by canvas awnings. A pot-bellied stove heated it inside. Miss Ballfinch was principal of Ochoa from 1927 to 1954 and retired at the end of the 1954 school year.

After retirement she spent one year in Dallas teaching the first grade in the Christian Day School and then returned to Tucson to teach in the District l Adult Evening School and to be as a substitute teacher in the elementary schools of District 1. During summer sessions, throughout her career, she continued her education at the University of Arizona, the University of California at Berkeley, and San Francisco State College.

She has been active in the First Baptist Church, National Education Association, Arizona Education Association and the Tucson Education Association. Other activities included serving as President of Pi Lambda Theta for two years, committee work with Delta Kappa Garnma and membership on the State Penmanship Selection Committee.

During the 1920-30 decade, Yaqui Indian children in Pascua Village became the concern for Miss Thamar Richey, who had taught Indian children on the Mojave Reservation near Needles, California. She had been teaching in a rural school in l9l9 on the Empire cattle ranch near Greaterville, Arizona, before she applied for a teaching position with District l.

Miss Richey appeared at the office of Supt. Rose in 1923 and told him that the Yaquis did not want to send their children to Roosevelt school, that they preferred a school of their own. "I don't have a teaching job and the Indians have no school," she pointed out. "If I get school started, may I teach it?" Rose, although doubting that she could succeed, hired her.

A few weeks later she invited the Superintendent to Pascua Village to see her school. He found her teaching in a rude hut made of cardboard and tin scraps by the Yaqui Indians.

So impressed by her efforts was Rose, that persuaded the district that year to build a small adobe school. No record exists in Board minutes of the original cost of the building, but on February 7, 1924, they state that $679.40 is needed to complete payments for building at the Yaqui Village. This was appropriated.

Miss Richey was teacher, mother, provider and friend of the Indian village. She died in 1937 at the age of 79.

Two rooms were added to the Pascua School in the depression years and in 1948-49, a barracks was moved to the grounds to furnish four more rooms. In 1954, the buildings were replaced by a new building at 2209 N. 15th Avenue and was named the Thamar Richey School. It was composed of eight classrooms and an all-purpose room, built with federal funds at a cost of $193,529 by Murray J. Shiff Construction Co. James Macmillan was the architect. In 1962, four rooms were added at a cost of $97,305.

First principal of Richey School was Miss Anna Henry, who retired in the spring of 1967.

She was more than a teacher and principal to the Yaqui children, waging a one-woman war on poverty in the area during her career. She collected clothing and food for the residents, carrying out the work started by Thamar Richey.

As the district grew in the 1920-30 decade, so did the administrative staff and services. Forced out of the Safford School because of need for classroom space, administrative offices were established in 1927 in an apartment building across the street, west, from Safford. The building was purchased by the School Board and remodeled into an administrative building by Frank A. Putter.

A garage to house school buses and trucks was built on the grounds of the Administration Building in 1928.

The site of the old administration building is now used as a playground for Safford School and the administrative offices are now housed at l0l0 E. l0th Street.

School District 1 inherited a school building in May 8, 1928 when Dan E. Johnson and W. J. Reed presented a petition to the School Board signed by 159 electors of District 18 asking that District 1 annex the district. Davidson school was the only school in the district.

The school was named for Alexander Davidson, who invested in real estate in the Davidson school area and who donated the land for the original school.

While it was being completed, Davidson district pupils attended classes in an adobe building on land that is now the property of Raul Castro, U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. This building is still standing.

The new building was constructed at the present site, 3915 E. Fort Lowell Road, in the Mormon community then known as Binghampton after Nephi Bingham who, having six children to educate, was the driving force behind the building of the school. In 1905, the first classes were held in the school, a 12 by 14-foot frame building situated on the southeast corner of the present site.

About 1912 a larger building was constructed consisting of three rooms and an auditorium. The smaller building was vacated and some materials from it were used in the new school.

The present school auditorium was built between 1914 and 1916 and served as a church for the Mormon people. It was made from adobes, stuccoed on the outside, and the roof as covered with red tiles.

In the early 1920's a building was constructed northeast of the auditorium to be used for manual training and physical education. High school aged children of this era were sent to the old high school (Roskruge) in Tucson and later to Tucson High School.

Dissension grew in the community over the Mormons using the school as a church. They had built the building with their own labor and felt entitled to its use. Others felt differently and some of the dissidents in the district sent their children to the Fort Lowell School, two miles to the east.

In 1928, differences were mended. The Mormons built their own church and the children returned from Fort Lowell. It was then that the district electors sought annexation by School District 1.

Two rooms were added by District 1 in 1930 at a cost of $23,832. Two more rooms and a library were built in 1942 by Foster & Son, Contractors, for $12,389 and in 1949, seven classrooms, a community room, administrative offices and a nurse's room were added by Joynt Construction Co. at a cost of $197,979. Six classrooms were built in 1956 by Contractor W. F. Conelly at a cost of $97,581.

Alexander Davidson was born in Cadiz, Ohio, on January 19, 1843. He served with Union forces in the Civil War and after the war engaged in a number of enterprises, including teaching school at Sonora, California. He came to Tucson in 1880 and among other things had an interest in a large goat ranch and dairy. He died in Tucson February 23, 1938, a month after celebrating his 95th birthday.

In other building activities in the 1920-30 decade, the Board contracted with Raymond T. Powell to tear down the Holladay School on the site of the new Tucson High School. Powell paid the district $495 for the materials in the building, not charging for dismantling it.

With all the building activities, Rose was looking ahead to more building. On January 10, 1929, the School Board signed an agreement with Samuel J. Mansfeld, Monte Mansfeld, Hannah Landa and Phyllis Sanders for the land on which Mansfeld Junior High School is located at 1300 E. Sixth Street. The Mansfelds sold the land for $20,000 which was considerably less than its appraised value, on the stipulation that any school constructed there would be known as "Mansfeld School."

On June 4,1929, the Board also purchased land in the Elysian Grove Addition for Carrillo School at a price of $12,000 from the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The 1920-30 decade was notable in that it as a peaceful one as far as bond issues and teacher troubles were concerned.

The School District, in the fall of 1919, decided to earn money by renting out the Safford School auditorium, and traveling shows and performers netted the District $1,489 between September 29 and January 28. Such racey performances--probably for adults only--as "Up in Mabel's Room" and "Twin Beds" played in the otherwise austere school. One world-famous performer to appear was the famous Scotch balladier Sir Harry Lauder. The school Board minutes do not mention the "auditorium fund" beyond 1920, although the practice of renting the auditorium continued.

A new salary schedule was adopted with the assuming of the superintendency by C. E. Rose. On April 23, 1920, the minimum salary paid for new teachers was $1,400 for the nine-month year. Elementary School teachers with one year or more experience received $1,500 on the grammar school level. Principals of the grammar schools were paid $1,800 and the high school teachers received a minimum of $1,700. The High School principal was paid $2,000 and Supt. Rose's contract called for an annual salary of $6,000.

By 1927, the Board had increased salaries the point that maximum pay for non-college graduates was $1,800 per year and the top salary paid to college graduates was $1,860 pr year.

Superintendent Rose's salary had been increased to $8,000 per year by 1929. He was employed on four-year contracts.

In those days, teachers had no "tenure" and their contracts weren't much better than no contract at all as they contained the statement at "the Superintendent shall reserve the right terminate this contract at any time by giving, writing, 15 days notice of his intention to do so."

Another provision in the teachers' contracts said that "Marriage during the school year may, the option of the Board, terminate this contract." Oddly enough, the "marriage" clause did not specify that it pertained to women alone, or women and men teachers. The Board also set a new policy on sick leave for the teachers. While ill, they were to receive one day full salary and half salary for each day absent beyond the first day. This was changed at Rose's suggestion the following year. Teachers were permitted 10 days sick leave during the school year at full pay and for every day over the 10 days, they forfeited one-twentieth of their monthly salary.

The first full time school nurse was hired May 7, 1920. She was Mrs. Gertrude Cragin, after whom Cragin Elementary School was named, and her contract called for an annual salary of $2,000. The Board purchased a Ford car for her to use to visit the District's schools.

History credits Rose with a number of progressive changes in the school system. In December, 1920, he set up a school lunch program for undernourished children--undernourished because their parents could not afford to send a lunch to school with them. Rose fed these children at Drachman, Davis and the Twenty-Fourth Street School on an appropriation of $10 per day. The lunch consisted of oatmeal, prepared in the old high school cafeteria, and milk.

Kindergartens were established at Rose's suggestion to begin with the fall of 1921. The first year's enrollment was 89, dropping to 80 the following year and then rising steadily to a maximum of 322 students in 1931-32, when kindergartens were disbanded. They were no longer authorized to receive state aid and, today, the re-establishment of kindergartens is one of the prime efforts of educators in Arizona.

Rose instituted the system of semi-annual promotions rather than annual promotions in the school year of 1920-21. This was seen as desirable because it enabled the exceptional student to progress more readily.

Special attention was paid to the compulsory school law of 1922 and at the recommendation of Rose on September 15, 1922 the School Board hired its first full time truant officer.

In prior years, janitors doubled as truant officers. The first to serve in this capacity--in addition to his janitorial duties--was John Hewson, chief janitor in 1909. He received no increase in salary for the extra duty.

The first full time truant officer was A. M. Jake Meyer, who retired in 1954 and became U.S. Marshal in Tucson. He is now retired from that position.

Meyer was furnished a Ford sedan by the School District. According to the Tucson Daily Citizen, he would drive around town seeking truants, carrying a golf club to defend himself against dogs. Meyer also took along a bloodhound, the Citizen reported, to help persuade truants to return to school. The bloodhound "wouldn’t bite a piece of meat unless it was cooked, but those kids didn’t know it."

In 1937, the School Board decided that a woman truant officer was needed and hired Mrs. Nora Nugent for the job. She contacted girl absentees from school.

Known affectionately as "Ma" Nugent, she continued in her position until 1954. At present, the District operates a clothing bank where poor children who do not attend school for the lack of adequate clothing may obtain necessary clothes. But in "Ma" Nugent’s era, no such clothing was provided. Mrs. Nugent purchased clothing for many children out of her salary.

Present "attendance" officers (the word "truant" was dropped) in the District are Joe Weinzapfel, Joe Rice and Margaret Graham.

In 1921-22, Rose established "ungraded rooms," which signaled the first recorded efforts to teach retarded children. Over-age children also attended the ungraded classes so that work best suited to their age could be offered. Retarded children up to this point were not educated in the public schools. At present, a District-wide program of "special education" is carried out.

Rose also installed a new bookkeeping system and records system as well as the district’s first purchasing agent, George F. Kitt. Establishing intelligence tests in 1921, Rose grouped students according to their ability and he also pioneered the first supervised study sessions at the schools.

He is credited with starting the first course in journalism, to train the staff of the Cactus Chronicle, the newspaper of Tucson High School, and to train the staff of the Tucsonian the high school annual.

Rose, in 1923-25, installed the "Platoon System" in Safford Elementary, Roskruge Elementary and Junior High and Drachman and Davis Elementary Schools. At the time, the plan was lauded as a great success but is now considered a bust as pertaining to elementary school students.

The platoon system is like that used in the junior high and senior high schools today where teachers are specialists and students pass from room to room to study different subjects. Today’s educators say that the elementary students need the security of the same room and same teacher with help from specialists in music, art and physical education.

In 1928 and 1929, two unorganized areas which contained no schools were annexed to District 1. In 1928, the area between Speedway on the north, Wilmot on the east, Irvington Road on the south and Alvernon on the west was annexed. This area now includes Davis Monthan Air Force Base.

In 1929, the area bounded by Ruthrauff Road on the north, the Tucson Mountain Foothills on the west, Irvington Road on the south and approximately the present Freeway on the east was annexed.

Also under Rose’s administration was the establishment of a summer school in 1925 which increased in enrollment from an original 79 to 697 in 1931 when it was discontinued as a district-financed project. Following the summer of 1931, the summer school was continued on a tuition basis by some teachers.

In the early part of the decade, the School Board established the practice of paying private haulers and teachers for transporting children who had to travel long distances to school. On if June 24, 1927 (under permissive legislation granted by the State Legislature), the Board voted to call for bids for a school bus.

They selected a "special" bus offered by 0’Rielly Motors, the Chevrolet dealer. The bus had six cylinders, a capacity for 30 students and sold for $3,675. It was a tall, ungainly vehicle concocted from a GM body and other parts, according to recollections of old-timers. Some people worried that it might topple, but nothing is recorded in history as happening to the controversial bus. On October 10, 1927, a number of auto dealers who had submitted competitive bids protested to the Board on the selection of the special O’Rielly vehicle, saying that it was not the lowest bid. The Board tabled their objections.

When the decade opened, Board members were Mose Drachman, Dr. H. Spoehr and J. E. White, with Drachman succeeding Mrs. Clara Fish Roberts. Drachman defeated B. Z. McCullough 545 to 379, and after the Board canvassed the vote, it was noted in the minutes that, "Tally sheets show that there were found in the box four extra ballots above the registration count." The mystery of the four extra ballots was promptly forgotten.

Dr. Spoehr resigned from the Board on January 25, 1921, and on January 28, the County Superintendent appointed J. S. Bayless to take his place. Drachman was elected President of the Board and Bayless was named Clerk. The following fall, on October 29, 1921, John E. White succeeded himself to the Board, unopposed, receiving 82 votes.

The next year, on October 28, 1922, J. Cress Myers ran for the Board against Mrs. Roberts. Myers was elected, receiving 1,184 votes to Mrs. Roberts’ 324, to succeed Bayless who did not run. For the 1922-23 school year, Drachman served as President and Myers was Clerk.

In the fall of 1923, Drachman was re-elected to the Board, unopposed, by 63 votes. Again, he was elected President and Myers served as Clerk.

On October 24, 1924, R. A. Vasey received 124 votes in the Board election to replace White. Two others, Mrs. E. T. Butler and Mrs. J. I. Butler were written in on the ballots by voters. Mrs. E. T. Butler received one vote and Mrs. J. I. Butler received four. Myers was elected President of the Board and Vasey was elected Clerk.

On October 31, 1925, Myers ran for reelection and won over Mrs. Maude Seaney, 1,267 to 596. Myers again was elected President by the Board and Drachman was named Clerk.

Drachman was re-elected to a three-year term on October 30, 1926, over W. Cecil Richardson, 1,636 to 983. Vasey was elected President and Drachman served as Clerk.

Vasey, in 1927, ran to succeed himself and defeated W. C. Joyner by a vote of 1,282 to 461. Myers became President of the Board and Vasey was made Clerk.

Vasey resigned from the Board early in 1928 and William M. Pryce was appointed to replace him.

The following year, Harry A. DeFord was elected to the Board to succeed Myers who did not seek re-election. DeFord received 1,108 votes and his opponent, Samuel T. Adams, received 286. Superintendent Rose received one write-in vote. Drachman became President and DeFord was Clerk.

On October 26, 1929, Drachman received 210 votes in an uncontested election to succeed himself. Two write-in votes were cast, one for Clara Fish Roberts and the other for J. W. Wiley. Pryce was elected President and Drachman was elected Clerk.

When the decade closed, the High School had a peak enrollment of 1,481 and the elementary schools had an enrollment of 7,001.

The decade saw an ever-increasing budget (except for one year) for the High School and the Elementary School Districts. For the 10 year period, they were:

Year High School Elementary Total

1920-21 (not broken down between High School and Elementary Schools) $327,377.48

1921-22 $ 99,050 $305,750 404,800.00

1922-23 98,550 305,400 402,950.00

1923-24 115,580 318,600 434,180.00

1924-25 139,670 322,500 462,170.00

1925-26 144,615 332,400 477,015.00

1926-27 148,050 351,915 499,965.00

1927-28 152,620 416,755 (1) 569,375.00

1928-29 149,840 (2) 424,550 574,390.00

1929-30 182,550 496,150 678,700.00

 

(1)Plus a special district levy of six cents per $100 in assessed valuation for construction. At present, the Board may, and usually does, levy a 10-cent per $100 in assessed valuation for construction purposes.


(2)The special levy was again placed against assessed valuation for construction purposes.

First Hundred Years, By James F. Cooper, Edited by John H. Fahr, Tucson, Arizona, 1967