SKETCHES OF PROGRESS (FROM N.P.H.S. ANNUAL 1942)
The first grammar school in New Plymouth was started in the fall of 1896 in the old town hall with Mr. Frank Renshaw as teacher. This building was later the Baptist Church building and is now used as a residence. As years passed on, attendance grew and a little red brick school was built. In the spring of 1902 another teacher. Mrs. Emma Ransome, was hired to take care of the steadily growing attendance. The next fall L. B. Hambelton was principal and Miss Kitty Ransome (Mrs. Ruston Shaw) took her mother’s place on the teaching staff.
In 1904 the south part of the grade school building was constructed. During the first few years the building was used, Superintendent E. W. Tracy was assisted by three teachers – Miss Kitty Ransome, Miss Ida Schenck, and Miss Mattie Williams. The north side of the building was added in 1915.
An effort which showed the foresight of the early settlers was the adding of the first high school subjects to the educational course in 1905. When freshman subjects were added for the benefit of the students ready for high school work the red brick building was used as the high school.
The first graduating class consisted of two members – Miss Hallie Cox (Mrs. Henry Weidner of Payette, Idaho) and Miss Edna Stuve (Mrs. Graham Davis of Jerome. Idaho), who graduated in 1908. N. Elmo Woodard seas principal at the time of these first high school graduating exercises, which were held in the old Congregational Church.
Sometime between 1908 and 1912 two more students walked out of the doors of New Plymouth High School with their diplomas. They were Martha Sisler and George Stewart. Mr. Stewart won the Rhodes Scholarship which entitled him to study at Oxford University in England. He became a Baptist Minister after graduating from McMinnville College (now Linfield College). Besides being a graduate of Yale University, he is the author of “Reluctant Soil,” a story of Payette Valley, and “A History of Religious Education in Connecticut.”
Under Mr. C. A. Strong, the sole graduate in 1912 was Murilla Hannigan (Mrs. Arthur Ackerman of Ontario, Oregon). In 1913 the graduate was Charles Bieghler. Six students received their diplomas in 1914. 1915-7; 1916-15; 1917-3; 1918-3; 1919-10; 1920-9; 1921-12; 1922-5; 1923-11; 1924-13; 1925-16; 1926-20; 1927-11; 1928-5; 1929-21; 1930-21; 1931-20; 1932-11; 1933-24; 1934-26; 1935-17; 1936-16; 1937-31; 1938-21; 1939-20; 1940-31; 1941-37; 1942-31.
Highest averages were earned by the six following graduates: Nellie Patton ’21; Delphine Lynch ’24; Frances Reed ’29; Margaret Shaw ’31; Wanda Siple ’38; Mary Deusen ’40. Their averages were all over 95.
A few of the outstanding early graduates are: Francis McBride, a botanist for the Field Museum in Chicago; Howard Mason, a teacher at Georgia Tech; Bill Cone, teaching at the University of Idaho; Gerald Hamilton, M. D., Akron, Ohio; Todd Coulter, agricultural work in Minnesota; Marathon High, Ph. D., teaching Physics in the State Teachers’ College, Bemiji, Minnesota; Edgar Lewis, M. D., Dayton, Washington; Irl Lynch, a traffic equipment engineer for the Southern Pacific Telephone Company in Los Angeles, California; Clyde Snyder, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in the chemistry department of the U. S. Navy in Washington. D. C.
The community of New Plymouth was blessed with a new high school building in 1938. We are proud to say that our building is still like new after four years of use. The appearance of our building has been greatly improved by the planting of a beautiful lawn and shrubbery. Another touch to its appearance was added when a new flag pole was raised in front of the school house. Even though we are a small school group, we, too, have modern subjects for our own benefit, as do larger schools. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the first school was begun, but the course of education has progressed and the wish of the students of N. P. H. S. is that it will continue to do so throughout the years to come.