History of Paris Crossing High School
Ethel Deputy, Cora Dodd, Marie Bridges, Hazel Smith
Gladys Auerswald, Joy McCoy, Stanley McGannon, Fred Pond
Paris Crossing became a small town after the railroad was built about 1872. Its early inhabitants came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales or Germany.
The two neighboring communities, Paris to the east and Coffee Creek to the west, had always been interested in education. Paris had two school districts and Coffee Creek had its log schoolhouse which was built by the pioneers, many of whom could not read or write, even though some homes had school in them. This school was called Solomon's Temple.
It is fitting that one of the first buildings in this new town was a frame schoolhouse. It was built in the northwest corner of the school yard close to the corduroy road which went north. All eight grades were taught in this one room.
George Dodd was elected trustee in 1884. He saw the need for a high school for children who wanted more education after common school who had to go to Lancaster or Lexington, Indiana to get it.
In the 1890's he started the first high school. Classes were held in a frame building called the "Barracks". It was in the center of town. School was only six months in length. Parents who felt the students needed more schooling provided "Spring" or subscription schools. These drew students from Volga, Lancaster, Marion, Bethel, Commiskey, and Old Paris. The high school had only one teacher. Think of all the preparation it took to teach 16 students.
The school was not accredited and was only three years in length. Thus to enter college a student must take an examination. Some entered Indiana University, Valparaiso, Indiana State University, Transylvania, Franklin College, and Louisville College of Medicine.
In 1904 when J.F. Hudson was elected township trustee, a two room brick building was erected east of the frame one. The high school used the room on the south; the grades the north room and the frame building, which incidentally was also an opera house. These rooms were all heated with big coal stoves.
About 1908 when William Runyon was trustee, a second story was added. The high school and the seventh and eighth grades had school upstairs. By this time the school had all four years. The seventh and eighth teacher also taught one class each for Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors, but still there was just one teacher for the rest, the principal.
The school became accredited in 1918 and now there were two full time teachers. That was the year Paris began to have basketball even though they had no gymnasium. They went through the season undefeated until beaten by Deputy.
In 1928 when Homer McGannon was trustee, another addition was made to the building, the basement with a furnace and two classrooms and on the first floor two more classrooms and an office and on the second floor an assembly hall.
Soon after that a Community Building was built downtown. With a larger faculty, the school became commissioned. In 1936 we were fortunate enough to have the fine boys and girls from Lovett and Marion Townships, Paris High School should have had one actor for they were always giving plays. Probably because of the early Opera House and also because they had to make their own amusement were the reasons why.
The slogan should have been "You Can't Lose Paris High School in any Field of Useful Endeavor", it gave three ministers, two minister's wives, three doctors, many nurses, three city superintendents, several newspaper men, realtors, lawyers, factory and office workers, merchants, mechanics, insurance people, one executive with Heath Book Company, one state senator, farmers and housewives, many soldiers, two of whom made the supreme sacrifice in World War II, and a host of teachers from kindergarten to the university level.
It was a blow to our civic pride when in 1961 the high school had to forever close its doors. Ironically, Ralph Dodd, the great grandson of the founder was trustee at the time.
The Ordinance of 1767 provided for religion, morality, knowledge, being necessary for the welfare of mankind, schools, and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
We think of the students who walked miles to school; a few came on horseback and some in buggies. Later, some were hauled from out on Coffee Creek in horse drawn kid wagons.
School discipline was much easier then for there was more of it in the home.
Seldom was a student expelled. Instead they were given long poems to recite, to name two of them Paul Revere's Ride or Horatio at the Bridge.
This community still measures up quite well in civic pride, religion, morality, and education. We throw the torch to the coming generations.
Early teachers when school was three years in length: M. Smith, Morton Dixon, Mr. Williams, Leslie Barnes, Mr. Arney, Elias Brewer.
Four year term principles and teachers; Luella Spaulding, Ethel Zentmeyer, Chloe Hulse, Gertrude Dodd, Pearl Wickens, Charles Silvers, John Graham, Tom Cain, Mr. Willis, Roy Seig, Emil Mills, Delbert Pfeiffer, Mr. Downey, Max Plaskett, Wilbur Young, Mr. Wolpert, Zaring Hudson, Mr. Cummings, Mr Guy, Mr. Weiss, Mr. Whitaker, Mr. Ulrich, and Harry Epply.
Other teachers; Joy Arbuckle, Jim Mayfield, Mary Mayfield, Nolan Reece, Arthur Buckles, Ward Smith, Bob Weir, Franklin Fry, Leland Lurton, Mary Smith, Margaret Dillard, Cecil Collins, Miss Craigmyle, Hilda Kelso, Marion Epply, Mrs. Bruce Hardy, Mr. Blades, Kelso Franklin, Althea Clerkin, Charles Kinzer, Arlin Hooker, Betty Wynn, Ellena Clark, Ralph Hauselman, M.T. Stewart, Amy Armand, Mabel Franklin, Marie Tatlock, Merrill Blades, Fred Boller, C.E. Harris, Opal Kirkham, James King, Grace Baldwin, Jean Rider, Florence Casey, Don Patterson, Jerome Urich, Cora Dodd.