Milton High School
A Brief History of Milton High School Taken from School Records
Submitted by Keith Kearns
From its humble beginnings in the Will White home at the confluence of Mud
River and Newman's Branch, Milton High School has had a long and proud
history. The first principal was M. M. McGrath who saw Milton's first
graduate leave in 1908. From 1908 until 1933 the school was known as Grant
District High School. This name is carved upon the facade of the present
Louise Van Metre, the only woman principal in MHS history, took the helm in
1915. That same year Milton became a three-year high school and moved into
the Old Central Building. The next year Milton became a four-year high
school. The first gymnasium was an old barn. The spectators stood in the cow
stalls to watch the games. The players had to shoot the ball over the
rafters and into the baskets.
In 1924, when William W. Givens became the principal, Milton changed to a
six-year high school. Then, in 1927, Milton was given a Conditional First
Class High School rating by the State Department. During the years of 1928
to 1933, many improvements and changes were implemented in our school system
with Mr. Nutter serving as principal. Progress was rapid.
A rough gridiron was carved out of a pasture field and athletes worked out
in a cornfield. Plans were rapidly being drawn for a new modern high school
building. Adoption was the order of the day. Domestic Science girls cooked
in the kitchen. A central heating system was installed. Toilets were moved
inside and everything was made cozy for the first rough winter.
Teams were fielded in major sports. The gridders did right well on their new
plot, but, the basketball team had difficulty in adapting play to the barn.
Come winter however, balls begin to bounce from the rafters and roll among
the stalls, as the winds whistled in the hayloft and spectators danced in
the straw. How many victims fell to the skill of the barnstormers that first
season is not known. Neither are there any lasting laurels for the pigskin
boys who sloshed in river silt, or the girls who cheered them on, or for
those proud parents who stood in the cold mud to watch them play.
Rewards for their sportsmanship eventually came and during the school term
of 1928-29, amid a great deal of ceremony and rejoicing, all operations were
moved to a bright modern facility overlooking Mud River Valley from the top
of "Hog Lot Hill". From this point, the school proceeded on a steady course
of expansion, development and refinement, adding a library, gymnasium,
science and vocation rooms in quick succession. By 1959, extensions covered
the hill and adjoining land. In the fall of 1956, a new unit of the proposed
new high school was completed. It consisted of nine classrooms, two lounges,
and a new office for the new principal, Donald Cummings, who served until
During the summer of 1959, a west wing was added. This wing consisted of
Vocational Home Economics, Chemistry, Physics, Art and Biology facilities,
office of dean of boys and girls, rest rooms and three regular classrooms.
In the fall of 1963, the administration of the junior and senior high
schools were completed separated, and Milton became a three-year school. The
same year a new four room addition housing new biology and commerce
departments were completed. The former Perry Garage building was completely
renovated and converted for use as a study hall and health room. Milton High
School's new gymnasium was fully completed during the 1968-69 school term at
a cost of approximately $275,000. It is the largest and best equipped of any
gymnasium in Cabell County.
More than 8500 fine young men and women have graduated from Milton High
School since its beginning, and have found their places in society and
community affairs (including head coach Richard Williams). No monetary value
could ever be placed on the fine training given them as well as the support
of a wonderful community.