by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
In 1868, just three years after the Civil War, one-half acre of land situated in the NE corner of the W ½ of NW, NE of section 34, township 49, range 30, was issued to the Board of Education, District No 3. This was granted by Britton M. Capelle and his wife.
The year 1906 found the people of Grain Valley community very much interested in the establishment of a high school.
At the spring election, the six school districts including Grain Valley, Pink Hill, Round Grove, Oak Hill, Stony Point and Capelle were consolidated and a three room, two-year High School was built.
Now the proposition, which had been almost defeated before was growing rapidly under new school board officials, with Dr. W.B. Johnson as president.
On the 19th day of July, 1907, the Board of Education received and additional one and one-half acres from Mr. James N. Hall and wife, Nettie B. Hall.
In September, 1907, when the first high school was opened at Grain Valley, only four students entered under the direction of Mr. Lawrence Dimmit. The subjects offered were Algebra, English, Ancient History, and Physical Geography.
The next year the enrollment increased to fifteen and another teacher was added. Those graduating this year were Ora Morrison, Curtis Houston, Madge Butler Wagner, and Lily Ashcraft Tesch. These four received the honor of being the first to graduate from the Grain Valley High School.
School interest increased, and in 1916 the third year was added, making it a first-class high school. At the same time another member was added to the faculty. In 1918 it was made a four-year high school.
Athletics were brought into the school 1914 when basketball was introduced. However, the did not attempt football until 1923. The school has had many winning teams in both sports.
The enrollment reached its peak in 1933, with 88 students enrolled.
On November 7, 1925, we had the misfortune of losing our building by fire. Though the people fought it bravely, it was all in vain, nothing was saved from the burning structure. The term was finished in business houses, and churches while $60,000 bonds were voted and with the aid of the insurance the new $75,000 building was constructed. It was dedicated in the fall of 1926.
There are at present seventy-two students enrolled in our high school under the direction of our four teachers: Mr. Paul J. Farley, Superintendent; Mr. Noel Wilkinson, Principal; Miss Lela Gutherey and Miss Esther Humphreys.
The school now takes part in the many contests conducted by the Western Missouri Conference, of which Grain Valley is a member. Some of the contests in which we have entered in the past are: debating, declamation, oration, one-act play, music, basketball, baseball and track.
Grain Valley has had the honor during the past few years of holding the music contest and the basketball tournament for the Western Missouri Conference.
- Frank Sebolt
The article you just read was written for Grain Valley’s first yearbook, published in 1936. Frank Sebolt was a member of the senior class and their class motto was “Not at the top, but climbing.” I know I said this would be the final week for the school series, but when I found this history in the old yearbook, I thought it needed to be shared.
Grain Valley Class of 1913
(Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society)