HISTORY of FRENCH LICK HIGH SCHOOL
(This was in the 1930 school yearbook, PLUTONIAN)
first school to be opened in French Lick was conducted in dwelling
house near French Lick Springs. It was taught by an old sailor named
ACLEY. It is said that the pupils of this school spent most of their
time roasting potatoes.
The French Lick Baptist Church was used for a school house from
1836-46. Early teachers there were Jacob DISHION, David SMITH, and
David PORTER. The last teacher in the building was William FERGUSON,
who caused quite a disturbance by attempting to teach a "silent school"
instead of the customary "loud school." The people could not understand
how children taught in a silent school would be able to transact
business in this noisy world.
The first free school to be taught in French Lick Township was during the winter of 1855-56.
The town of French Lick was incorporated in 1900 and the district
school of three rooms became the property of the town.
The first superintendent of French Lick School was L.L. GOODING. Others
have been: B.E. MYERS, Elgy T. WILLIAMS, C.N.LOGAN, Robert MOORE, Carl
VANCE, N.B. BONHAM, B.O. WELLS, Hugh CATHCART, R.R. ROUDEBUSH, and
A new two-story brick building
having six class rooms and an assembly room, was erected in 1903. This
forms the south end of the present building.
The French Lick High School was accredited for four years' work in 1908
at which time it had two teachers, one of whom was also superintendent
of the entire system. The enrollment was about forty pupils.
The first class to graduate was in 1909, when diplomas were issued to
two boys, Exum Morris HALL and Arthur SPEECE.
During the summer of 1909, an addition consisting of a basement, two
recitation rooms, and an auditorium was built. During the school year
that followed, another teacher was added to the faculty, the High
School Library was extended, and a football team was organized. This
marked the beginning of the participation of the school in athletics
and during the year that followed, particularly in 1914, the football
teams of French Lick were very successful.
In 1912 some changes were made in the building, the old assembly room being divided into four class rooms.
In 1924 another addition, consisting of a gymnasium, stage, two
dressing rooms, two class rooms and a study hall, was built at a cost
of $48,000. No further changes in the building have been made since
Commercial work was introduced into the
school in 1916, but very little was offered besides typewriting until
1923, when it was approved for a specialized curriculum. The present
commercial course is very improved. The typewriting team of 1928-29
took second place in the State Commercial Contest.
During the school year 1920-21 the high school began the publication of
the Plutocraft, a school paper which was published every two weeks. The
publication was discontinued this year and this annual substituted.
The present enrollment of the school is approximately 590. A total of
310 boys and girls have been graduated from French Lick High School,
not including the class of 1930.
Courtesy of Howard E. Grider
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