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The Boom Years 1950 - 1960 - Part 2
First principal of the school was Miss Mary McDiarmid, who is now retired.
Some account of the early life of Ignacio Bonillas is carried earlier in this volume.
Bonillas was born in Mexico in 1858. After attending school in Tucson (as related earlier) he became a teacher and six years later left Arizona to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following graduation, Bonillas traveled west again to Tombstone to become an assayer. He later married Mary A. Borton, of Tucson. Bonillas then opened an office in Hermosillo, Sonora, and obtained engineering contracts with U.S. mining companies operating in Mexico. He was governor of the Magdalena district, mayor of Nogales, Sonora, and in 1917, President Carranza appointed him ambassador to the United States. In 1920, Bonillas was a presidential candidate in Mexico, but was defeated by General Alvaro Obregon.
Bonillas spent his last years living on the American side of the border at Nogales. He died January 31, 1944, a day before his 86th birthday.
The new Richey School at 2209 N. 15th Avenue, built in 1954 with federal funds, replaced the former Pasqua School which served the Yaqui Indian village. History of the school and Miss Thamar Richey, after whom it was named, is contained earlier in this history.
Wright Elementary School was opened early in 1954 at 4311 Linden Street. It contained 16 classrooms, a multi-purpose room and offices built by Shiff Construction for $375,901 in federal funds. Four classrooms were built in 1959 at a cost of $88,934. Architect was Blanton & Cole.
First principal of Wright School was Mrs. Alice Hale, who retired in 1956.
The school was named for John B. Wright, who served on the District 1 School Board from 1906 until 1916.
Wright was the son of Charles Weston Wright who moved to Tucson in early 1888 and practiced law until his death in December, 1900. John B. Wright was educated at Georgetown, Fordham, Notre Dame and the University of Michigan from which he received his law degree in 1894. He came to Tucson, practiced law for a short time and then moved to Yuma, returning after the death of his father to practice law in Tucson from 1900 until his death in July, 1934.
He was appointed to the School Board on October 16, 1906, to complete the term of Z. T. Vail and served as Board Clerk from 1908 until 1916. That year, Wright was defeated for reelection by Harry A. Drachman. Wright was well known throughout the community for his wit and frequently appeared as toastmaster for numerous civic organizations.
Vail Junior High School, completed in 1954, was built with 32 classrooms and a multipurpose room by H. L. McCoy Construction Co. for $788,393 in federal funds. Gordon M. Luepke was the architect. Later, a library and a science classroom were added using 10-cent levy funds. It was the first junior high school built in a 13-year period. The school is located at 5350 E. 16th St.
First principal of Vail was Dr. A. M. Gustafson, now District Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
Vail Junior High School was named for Alice L. Vail, a pioneer teacher in School District 1, who died April 19, 1967, at the age of 79. She retired in 1945 after 40 years as an educator, 30 of which were spent in Tucson Public Schools.
As head of the English Department at Tucson High School, she piloted the school's newspaper, The Cactus Chronicle, through its first 26 years during which the publication won nearly 50 state and national journalism awards.
Miss Vail was born in La Porte, Indiana, on November 19, 1887. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1911 and her master's degree from Michigan in 1923.
After teaching a number of years in Michigan and Indiana, she came to Tucson to enter the school system here. In addition to teaching English and advising the Chronicle, Miss Vail coached oratory for 15 years and advised the Girl Reserves of the YWCA, which she helped organize. She helped form the Tucson Education Association and served as its president in 1937-38. She was also the first president of the Arizona State Department of Classroom Teachers and of the local chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.
She also was one of the few high school newspaper advisers in the nation to receive the Columbia University School of Journalism Adviser's Gold Keys.
The City of Tucson and its environs continued to explode with incoming population and in 1955, the School Board decided that another bond issue must be called to meet the demands for new schools.
On July 26, 1955, the public approved an elementary district bond issue of $4,721,000 and a high school district issue of $3,864,000. he vote for the elementary issue was 1,770 for and 671 against and the vote on the high school issue was 1,684 for and 661 against.
There was little or no organized opposition on the bond issues, but the honeymoon with the newspapers and the public was not to extend rough 1957.
The 1955 bond issue built Cavett, Kelond, Lineweaver, Rogers, Tully, Van Buskirk, and Howenstine Elementary Schools; Townsend Junior High; Rincon High School and high school stadiums. Additions were constructed at five elementary schools, three junior high schools and two high schools.
Howenstine School (for special education passes), at 2131 E. Winsett Blvd., was originally a federal housing project donated to Tucson School District 1 by the U.S. government along with the site. In 1956, the project was renovated with bond issue funds. The modification was designed by architect Carl LeMar John and constructed by Jo Co Construction Co. at a cost of $40,000. Two portable classrooms were added to the area in 1963, and in 965, the vocational shop addition was built at cost of $8,928.
At a dedication of the special school, the Arizona Daily Star, March 16, 1958, had this to say about its establishment:
"... A few years ago in Tucson, service clubs launched the idea of financing the homebound student program, and the state now provides additional funds for the education of the handicapped children largely through the efforts of Laura Ganoung, Director of Special Education for Tucson Public Schools, Robert D. Morrow, Superintendent of Schools, and the mothers and fathers of the children."
The school was named for E. Jay Howenstine, one of the founders of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults. He was born at Bellefontaine, Ohio, in 1889. He attended Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, and after graduation he was employed in Elyria, Ohio, as secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. He later became associated with Edgar Allen who had built a hospital for crippled children there. In 1919, the program became the Ohio Society for Crippled Children, and in 1921, the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults was incorporated.
Howenstine left the Elyria Chamber of Commerce in 1923 and went into the brokerage business. Ten years later he became the first executive director of the National Society for Crippled Children. He was appointed coordinator of the health council of Tucson Public Schools in 1950. In 1958, Howenstine School was dedicated in honor of the man who became a symbol of help to handicapped children.
Howenstine died on January 7, 1959, at the age of 69.
At the school's dedication ceremonies, Mrs. Frank Barreca, President of the Southern Arizona Chapter of the International Council for Exceptional Children, presented a gift to the school. She later bacame principal of Howenstine.
First principal at the special education school was Mrs. Ganoung.
Cavett Elementary School, 2120 E. Naco Vista in the Western Hills subdivision, was designed by Blanton & Cole and built by J. A. Binns at a construction cost of $292,496. The facilities included 12 classrooms, a multi-purpose room and administrative offices. The school was completed in December, 1956.
Cavett was named after Lillian Cavett, Tucson High School dramatics instructor from 1924 to 1946, when she retired.
Miss Cavett was born in Holly Grove, Arkansas, and decided at the age of 10 years to become a teacher. When she was 11 years of age she had established a neighborhood group of pre-school children who met with her in afternoons to learn to read and write. When the group entered school it was found that Lillian Cavett's teaching had been so thorough that the young pupils skipped the first grade.
A graduate of Memphis Conference Institute, Miss Cavett also attended Emerson College in Boston, USC, UCLA, Baylor University and the Chicago Musical College. In Tucson, she was active in Trinity Presbyterian Church and taught Sunday School for many years.
Under her guidance, the public speaking and drama department at THS grew from one class in public speaking to five dramatics classes, which were always filled to capacity. Miss Cavett died June 12, 1953 at the age of 61.
At the time of her retirement in 1946, Supt. Morrow said of her: "She devoted her heart, soul and life to working with young people and her influence on them will be felt wherever they go.
First principal of Cavett School was Miss Alice Hackett, now Booth School principal.
Kellond Elementary School, 6606 E. Lehigh Drive, was completed in time to accept students for the 1956-57 school year in September, 1956. Arthur Brown was the architect and Leonard Daily was the contractor. The school cost $402,719.
Originally, the school had 17 classrooms and a multi-purpose room. Since 1956, 13 classrooms have been added at a cost of $237,527. In 1963, five portable classrooms were placed on the grounds. They have since been removed to other more crowded schools.
The school was named for Annie W. Kellond, who was employed by the district from 1912 until her retirement at the close of the school year in 1953.
She was born January 2, 1873 in Warrington, Lancashire, England, and came to the United States at the age of six with her widowed mother, two brothers and a sister. The family lived in Louisville, Kentucky. She and her husband, Oswald Alfred Kellond, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, were married in 1897. They moved to Tucson in 1904 for his health. He was affiliated with the Indian Training School until his death in 1912.
That year, School District 1 Superintendent S. C. Newsom hired Mrs. Kellond as secretary. She later served as secretary of the School Board as well as secretary to the superintendent. From 1943 until her retirement in 1953, she served exclusively as secretary to the School Board.
Since Mrs. Kellond's retirement, Mrs. Myrtle Arnevik has been secretary to the School Board. She taught the Women's Bible Class at Trinity Presbyterian Church and was active in the WCTU. Mrs. Kellond died at the age of 86 on January 14, 1959.
Ralph W. Roda was the first principal of Kellond School and serves in that capacity at present. Lineweaver Elementary School, 461 S. Bryant Avenue, was completed in time for fall classes in 1956. It was designed by Frederic Knipe and built by W. F. Conelly Construction Co. at a cost of $355,506. Original construction provided 14 classrooms, a multi-purpose room and school offices. Since 1956, four rooms have been added at a cost of $65,146.
The school was named for Mrs. Adah Bedford Lineweaver Cochrane, a pioneer Tucson educator. Born in DeWitt, Iowa, and educated at Grinnell College, Mrs. Cochrane first came to Tucson in 1908 and accepted a teaching position at the old Plaza (Safford) School. In 1922, she was appointed first principal of Miles School and held that position until her retirement in 1940.
She was single during her teaching career and married at the age of 84. She died at the age of 91 on May 29, 1961.
First principal of Lineweaver School was Miss Margaret M. Leddy.
Rogers Elementary School, 6000 E. 15th Street, opened in September, 1957. Architect was William Carr and contractor was J. A. Binns, who built the school for $341,730. Originally, it had 16 classrooms and a multi-purpose room. Three portable classrooms were placed on the school grounds in 1963.
The school was named in honor of Mrs. Anne Paget Rogers, who was born on a farm near Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 30, 1871. Her father was Dr. Ben W. Paget, who served in the Medical Corps, U.S. Army, during the Civil War. Her grandfather was an abolitionist, freeing his slaves in the 1850's.
She attended private Tennessee schools, married James Albion Rogers and came to Tucson in October, 1899, for his health. Mrs. Rogers received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arizona in 1917 and a Master's degree in Education from the UA in 1924. She began teaching at the Congress Street School in 1900. She also taught one year in the Amphitheater District and two years in the Fort Lowell District. She taught a total of 32 years in Tucson District 1.
She became principal of grades 1 through 8 in the Roskruge building. When the University of Arizona dispensed With its high school (preparatory) department and District 1 had to re-establish a high school, Mrs. Rogers became one of two teachers of eighth grade graduates in the Old Adobe School located on the site of the present Education Center, 1010 E. 10th Street.
At this school she started the first high school newspaper, "High School Life." She helped establish a library for the school through the staging of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Tucson Opera House. The play netted $154. When the new Tucson High School was built, she taught classes there, retiring in 1934.
Mrs. Rogers was active in community life. She was a member of the Committee of 14 Freeholders which wrote the City of Tucson Charter. She was an active member of the Republican party and in 1954, announced herself as a candidate for the District 1 School Board. She later withdrew from the race.
Mrs. Rogers was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, the Business and Professional Women's Club, the Tucson Women's Club and the Saturday Morning Musical Club. She received a Daughters of the American Revolution merit award in February, 1957. As president of the Arizona Education Association, she inaugurated the initial movement for securing the present Teacher Retirement System.
Mrs. Rogers died April 25, 1965, at the age of 93.
Tully Elementary School, 1701 W. El Rio Drive, was opened in September, 1956, with an original construction of 12 classrooms and a multi-purpose room. Architect was Arthur Brown. Pacheco & Lynch were contractors, building the school at a cost of $301,175.
In 1961 nine additional classrooms were constructed at a cost of $202,826.
The school was named for Pinckney Randolph Tully, an early Tucson resident, and his adopted son, Charles H. Tully, an early superintendent of District 1.
Pinckney Randolph Tully was born in Clairbourne County, Mississippi, March 25, 1824. The family started across the plains for Oregon by wagon train in 1845, but the Tully trip was abandoned when the father died in Western Missouri. Pinckney Tully went on to Santa Fe in 1846. In 1849, he went to California, returning by way of Arizona, where he was attacked by Indians and received a scalp wound.
Tully, for a time, was a post trader at Fort Thorn on the Rio Grande and from there, he traveled to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he became associated in business with Esteban Ochoa in the firm Tully & Ochoa. The business was a wagon freight line and in 1858 Tully came to Tucson with a trainload of goods. Eight years later, he established a store at Tubac, and in 1866 he opened a store in Tucson.
At various times he was treasurer of the Territory of Arizona, member of the Tucson Board of Health, Tucson City Treasurer, a Tucson City Councilman and twice Mayor of Tucson.
According to a resolution passed by the Pioneers' Historical Society at the time of Tully's death, November 10, 1903, he "took a lively interest in all educational movements and always was a great friend of the poor." He aided in the establishment of a parochial school. There seems to be nothing on record as to Tully's working directly with the Tucson District 1 school system; however it is known that he was a public-spirited man and probably supported the growing school district.
Charles Hopkins Tully was an adopted son of Pinckney Tully, who had seven natural children. The boy was born, Charles Hopkins at Las Cruces, New Mexico and died in March, 1923 at the age of 70.
According to the Tucson Citizen, March 27, 1923, "Tully was given an excellent education and spent his lifetime in passing on that knowledge to young generations in Tucson. He taught school here for many years."
As recorded in this volume earlier, Charles I. Tully was principal (superintendent) of School District 1 from 1891 until 1894. Prior to that he had taught in parochial schools.
While with District 1, Tully published the first school magazine in 1893, the year the first high school class was graduated. He headed the first teachers' organization in the state and did much for the advancement of uniform courses of education and uniformity of school textbooks.
Following retirement, Tully published "La Alianza," a Spanish language weekly.
First principal of Tully School was J. V. Stroud.
Townsend Junior High School, 2120 N. Beverly Blvd., opened in September, 1957. First construction provided 20 classrooms, a multipurpose room, auditorium, shops and a cafeteria. Gordon Luepke was the architect and Leonard Daily was the contractor. The original building cost $647,769. Ten classrooms and a library were added later at a cost of $237,333.
The school's name honors Miss Salome Townsend, who retired as principal of Roskruge Junior High School in 1947 after 35 years as a teacher in Tucson District 1.
Miss Townsend received her teaching certificate after studies at Alabama State Teachers College in Troy, Alabama. She came to Tucson to teach in December, 1912, and was assigned to Safford School. In 1928, she received a Master's degree from the University of Arizona and she also took postgraduate courses at the University of Tennessee. While principal of Roskruge in 1930, Miss Townsend was credited with forming the school safety patrol program--said to be the first such operation in the state.
She was interested in civic affairs and was a president of the University Club Women, president of the Altrusa Club, honorary vice president of the Pima County Council of PTA and a life member of the National Education Association. She was also active in the Women's Democratic Club.
Miss Townsend died in June, 1955, from burns received when an electric heater set fire to her clothing. She was 78 years of age.
First principal of Townsend Junior High School was Noble Hiser. Present principal is Clarence I. Logan.
Van Buskirk Elementary School, 725 E. Fair Street, opened in September, 1957. It was built by W. F. Conelly Construction Co. at a cost of $345,641 and had 12 rooms and a multi-purpose room. Architect was Bernard J. Friedman. Since 1957, 16 classrooms have been added at a cost of $294,413.
Katherine Van Buskirk, for whom the school was named, entered the school system in 1920. She was born in Manistee, Michigan, where she received her high school and normal training school education. In 1931, she received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona.
Miss Van Buskirk was a veteran of 50 consecutive years as an active educator, and upon her arrival here had 21 years of teaching experience. Her first teaching assignment was at the Rincon School (not in District 1), a one-room school house in the desert east of Tucson. She then taught at another small school not in the district and in 1922 taught at Vail community school east of Tucson. There her school room and living quarters were in an Old Southern Pacific Railroad box car. She taught at Sunnyside School for five years and then joined District 1 to teach at Davis School. After 12 years there, she was made principal of Davis. She is credited with starting the first nature study classes in the school system.
From 1945 until she retired in 1949, she was principal of Jefferson Park School. The year following her retirement she ran for County Superintendent of Schools as a write-in candidate on the Republican ticket but was defeated.
She was a past president of the Pima County Teachers Association and the Tucson Teachers Association. She died March 3, 1958, a few days short of her 79th birthday.
An account in the Arizona Daily Star, of March 19, 1958, by Jesus Rico had this, in part, to say about Miss Van Buskirk:
"Miss Van Buskirk was a firm believer of the old disciplinary school. As a key-dangling principal who could wield a 15-inch paddle just as easily as she could talk about the mating habits of the king snake, she won the hearts of the roughest and toughest youngsters that went to Davis Elementary School."
First principal of Van Buskirk was Mrs. Elizabeth J. Treadwell.
Rincon High School, 422 N. Arcadia Blvd., was completed in May, 1958. Lew Place was the architect and Shipman-Codd and M. M. Sundt Construction Co. were the contractors. The original 68 classrooms, shops, cafeteria, library, boys' gymnasium and administration building cost $3,051,879. Additions have included a service building, a girls' gymnasium, six rooms and an auditorium at a total cost of $808,410.
Utterback Junior High School, 3233 S. Pinal Vista, built with federal funds, was completed in January, 1959. Architect was Arthur T. Brown and W. F. Conelly Construction Co. was the builder. The school cost $689,976. A library and science classroom were added in 1966 at a cost of $64,133.
The school was named in honor of Miss Madge W. Utterback, director of vocal music at Tucson High School for 33 years.
She was born in Carthage, Missouri, on March 11, 1892. She received her music training at Oberlin, Ohio, Conservatory of Music, Kansas State Normal and Kansas State Teacher's College. Before coming to Tucson, she taught in Kansas Schools for three years.
Upon Miss Utterback's death on October 1, 1954, Supt. Morrow said: "No one loved students more or did more for them. Many of her students have gone ahead successfully in professional music. Her whole life was devoted to the boys and girls of Tucson High School and to the boys and girls in her school glee clubs and choral groups."
Andy Tolson, principal of Tucson High School at the time of her death and now retired, said, "She was affectionately called the 'Sweetheart of Kiwanis' and rightfully so for the annual programs given before the club over a long period of years."
Miss Utterback was 62 years of age at her death.
Principal at Utterback is Maurice F. Guptill.
All of this construction could not keep up with the ever-increasing school population and at the moment of opening, a number of the new elementary schools went on double sessions.
The School Board in 1957, composed of Mrs. Nan E. Lyons, Clarence A. Betts, Jacob C. Fruchthendler, Russell C. Ewing and D. L. Secrist, decided to call a bond issue vote for June 11. Total value of the bonds to be issued was $7,325,000, with the Elementary District to receive $5,115,000 and the High School District to receive $2,210,000.
The Chamber of Commerce's Community Development and Tax Study Committee soon condemned the issue. It said that it could not give its approval to the proposal "as it stands." The committee charged that a "substantial portion of its (the bond proposal's) funds is for remodeling and improvements, and for site development and field facilities at high schools, which are open to question at this particular time, desirable as they may be."
The Star took much the same attitude, attacking editorially such things as a community room and kitchen for the Roskruge School and rehabilitation of University Heights School. It also opposed similar improvements for Wrightstown School.
It criticized the health activities of the District and the fencing of school grounds. It summed up its stand, saying: "A favorable vote (on the bond issue) will be a vote of confidence and approval in the School Board and the school administration. Are they entitled to a vote of confidence? The Star says they are not and should be administered a stern rebuke."
The Citizen merely asked for careful consideration of the issue saying that it did not "afford an easy 'Yes' or 'No' conclusion."
These attitudes were enough to make the voting public uneasy.
The Elementary District issue fell by a vote of 6,740 "No" votes to 3,002 "Yes" votes. The High School District bonds were defeated by 6,815 "No" votes to 2,917 "Yes" votes.
Board President Secrist then made a public statement that the school district tax rate would have to be increased to provide $1 million for the furnishing of Townsend Junior High School and Rincon High School and to provide matching funds for federal aid of $720,000 to build Utterback Junior High School (mentioned above).
The Chamber of Commerce's tax study committee, feeling its power, advised the School Board to call another bond issue for October 1, 1957, and recommended it be at the reduced sum of $5,300,000. The Tucson Daily Citizen and the Arizona Daily Star both supported the reduced issue.
But the public, frightened because of the earlier accusations of extravagance refused to support the bonds a second time within four months. The Elementary issue of $4,172,000 failed with 4,080 "No" votes to 3,695 "Yes" votes, while the High School District issue of $1,128,000 was defeated by 4,023 "No" votes to 3,613 "Yes" votes.
Secrist analyzed the vote saying that the June issue had "raised doubts and created mistrusts that could not be overcome."
And the Star, despite its support of the issue,, editorialized on October 6, 1957: "Tuesday's election was a second rebuke to the Tucson School Board and the school administration. It was a vote of lack of confidence." The Star went on to say, without identifying them, that two of the Board members "have made themselves a symbol of persisting waste and extravagance."
First Hundred Years, By James F. Cooper, Edited by John H. Fahr, Tucson, Arizona, 1967