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Benson High School circa 1929
Though Benson High school is sometimes referred to as the "baby high school" of Omaha, it was organized back in 1904, when a two-year school course was added to what was then the old Benson grade school, located at Sixtieth and Maple streets. At that time Benson was a growing village, independent of Omaha. Central High, Omaha's oldest high school had just been transferred to its new building on Capitol hill.
The superintendent of Benson school at this time was Mr. John Speedie. The eleventh grade was added to the two-year course with Miss Frances as the first principal.
As the enrollment grew, the twelfth grade was added, and Miss Margaret Fedde was elected principal to succeed Miss Bell, who resigned.
In 1911, Miss Fedde resigned and was succeeded by Miss Mary McNamara, Benson's present principal, who is serving her eighteenth year in this capacity.
At the beginning of Miss McNamara's principalship, the total enrollment was approximately fifty students, as contrasted with the present enrollment of eight hundred and seventy students. This includes both the junior and senior high enrollment.
During the following year, athletic teams and the Orpheus Club, which exists today, were organized, and in 1913 the first graduating class, composed of eight members, completed a four-year course. In 1929 the largest class in the history of the school will be graduated with an enrollment of forty-eight.
In 1914 Benson High was transferred to Benson West, a three-story red brick building, located at sixty-sixth and Maple streets. This building had been planned for a grade school, but was partially remodeled to meet the needs of a high school.
Since 1914 the enrollment has grown steadily. New courses have been added, and the high school has been fully accredited to the University of Nebraska and admitted to full membership in the North-Central Association of Colleges and Secondary schools.
Upon the annexation of Benson to Omaha, in 1918, Benson High automatically became part of the Omaha school system under the supervision of Mr. J. H. Beveridge.
On the memorable date, December 17, 1926, the junior and senior high schools moved to their new $481,000 building at Fifty-second and Maple streets. The new high school, commanding a wide view of Omaha and the surrounding country, is an imposing structure, having Georgian Colonial type of architecture with stately columns flanking the entrance and three graceful cupolas guarding the roof.
Since the new building has been occupied, the Girls' "O" club and the Student Council have been organized. The honor societies which have been organized at Benson High are The National Honor Society, The Nebraska "N" Club and Quill and Scroll.
Graduates of Benson High schools are engaged in such careers as medicine, law, dentistry, teaching, missionary work, nursing and business. They may be found in India, the Philippines, and all parts of the United States. Many alumni have made outstanding records in the universities, in the teaching profession, and in the business world. Source: 1929 Yearbook.
Autograph page 1929 yearbook
"Charm School" play cast, 1939
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