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Page 9 text:
The History of Turlock Union High School
Back in the days before many of us were born, a small group of students,
about twenty in number, assembled in an old building called the Opera
House. This old building was located on the corner of Broadway and Olive
streets in the city of Turlock. lt would have been almost a crime against
organized society to call that shack a school, and yet that is what those
twenty young people were glad to call it. It was not the latest thing in the
way of architectural beauty but it represented to them an organ by which they
could acquire a higher education. A higher education was a very rare thing
in those days, and it is with little wonder that they were willing to call that
old auditorium a high school. Not only that, but it seems that the town of
Turlock was just as backward then in giving the younger generation a decent
high school. as they have been in the last few years.
The first principal of the Turlock high school was a Miss Clark, who held
her position from the time the Turlock high school was established in 1906
until 1911. Miss Clark had only one assistant that first year, a man by the
name of S. R. Douglas.
In the year 1907, the new school building was completed, a beautiful
building but considered much too far out of town. It was located in that rural
district which is now the corner of High and Locust streets. No new en-
rollments were made this year, but the faculty was increased from two to
four, thereby giving the students a more diversified course.
The school year of 1907-1908 rolled by and the fruits of Turlock's labors
began to come forth when Chesley Osborn graduated, the first student to
graduate from the Turlock high school. lt seems to be quite an honor to be
the first one to graduate from this high school and Mr. Osborn can justly feel
There was nothing new in the high school from the years 1909 until 1911.
except that the old annex which still clings to the grounds of the high school
was built. and the cry went from the students for a new gymnasium. The en-
rollment had also increased to ninety-one students. There were now six
members in the faculty, offering still more courses to the students.
T. J. Penfield replaced Miss Clark as principal in 1911. The Dramatic
Club and the Band were organized. The fight for the new gymnasium was
The new gymnasium was completed and ready for use at the beginning
of the term of 1912-1913. The old study hall was built and the agricultural
and manual training quarters also created. And last. but not least, the good
folk of the benevolent city of Turlock had given the high school a new and
complete set of encyclopedias. In general this proved a very successful year.
Mr. Penheld was replaced by VV. E. Hester as principal in 1914. Every-
thing went fine until the students began to feel that they needed more elbow
room and forthwith proceeded to let the peace-loving community know of it.
The faculty had now increased to ten. ln 1916 LeRoy Nichols. our next
year's principal, came to the school and taught History and Biology.
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