Arizona Trails, Mohave County

School children in front of the first schoolhouse, which stood at the site of the "Little Red
Schoolhouse", now a public library.
(Since this writing the "Little Red Schoolhouse" is now the site of Kingman Civil Court)

School Children in front of the second school, "Little Red Schoolhouse", now a public Library.
(Since the writing of this article the building is now the Kingman Civil Court House)

The inside of a Kingman School Room

    The construction of the first schoolhouse was started by a few people who gave money to purchase five lots, which were accepted by County Judge, John M. Murphy, school trustee. A one room schoolhouse was constructed on those five lots in 1886. This school served until 1896, and then the building was moved to the site of the old Catholic Church on Spring Street from the corner of Oak and 4th Streets. All indications point that the first schoolhouse was constructed with private donations.
    On the same location, a new brick school building was constructed, called the Little Red Schoolhouse, erected with the public funds. Norine Reichardt researched quite extensively for the factual information about the early Kingman school days. In the local Kingman paper, she found a number of interesting news items:
1.) Nov. 21, 1886 - Our new schoolhouse has been completed and is quite a handsome addition to the town. The building is 18 x 40 feet and is ample for the present requirements of the town.
2.) Nov. 28, 1886- Our new schoolhouse, the pride of the town, is occupied five days of the week by youthful hopeful is.Mrs. Ver Mehr was the first teacher, who resigned on Jan. 9, 1887, and Beatrice Graham took her place, Miss Graham was replaced by Mrs. Livingston, and on March 12, 1889,  there was no school in session due to the illness of the teacher, wrote the Miner,
    The Miner on Dec. 16, 1893, announced that the Kingman school building is a disgrace to the town's 43 scholars. On Jan. 13, 1894, the Miner told that the schoolhouse is much more comfortable after being painted and papered.
    A new school building was in the planning, and the Miner told about: August 27, 1894- A bond election was called for the issuance of $ 6,000 in bonds to build the school. A total of 63 votes were cast; 49 were in favor and 14 against. On Dec. 17, 1894, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors authorized the sale of bonds for building the schoolhouse.
    March 23, 1895, from the Miner: At last our new schoolhouse is an assured fact, the contract for the building has been awarded to Hartley, Cooper and Hines. The building is to be of brick with stone foundation, 48 x 58 feet inside measurement. The lecture room will be 20 x 55 feet, two classrooms 20 x 24 feet each, a hall 8 x 55 feet, teachers room 6 x 8, a cloak room 6 x 11.6 feet, The building, when finished, will be a handsome structure, and will cost $4,900. $1,000 will be used in furnishing the building and fixing up the grounds.
    March 24, 1895, from the Miner T.T. Hines, Winslow brick maker and contractor, found clay suitable for bricks near town, and will burn a large kiln of brick in a short time. The schoolhouse will be built from homemade bricks.
    The Miner, dated August 17, 1895, published that the schoolhouse was delayed in its construction until January of 1896. In the meantime, two teachers were hired, so, the trustees rented the Taggart house on Fourth Street, where school was opened with Mrs. Collins and Miss Overman, teachers, and 39 pupils,
    The Red Schoolhouse was opened in March of 1896, and it served until December of 1928. After 32 years in the Red Schoolhouse, the school children moved to the Grammar School on Maple and North 5th streets, which is still in use under the name of Palo Christi Elementary School.
    After the Red Schoolhouse was vacated, it had many tenants. It served as the Catholic Church and also as Christian Science Church. The Elks Lodge held its meetings prior to the construction of its own building. The Business & Professional Women's Club used the schoolhouse for its meetings. The Ration Board office was located during the second world war. Then the Chamber of Commerce occupied those premises. The school district offices were located in this school building. In 1928, the library moved into part of the building, and later occupied the whole building, and remains there to this day. Finally, in December of 1974, the Little Red Schoolhouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Little Red Schoolhouse now continues its long service to Mohave County and City of Kingman as a public library.

    The construction of the Kingman Grammar School commenced in 1928 and was completed at the cost of $109,368. John S. Mulligan, Jr. was the architect for the construction of eleven classrooms, science room kindergarten, nurses station and principals office in the two story building. The first classes began in January of 1929. The combination of gymnasium auditorium construction began in 1929 at the cost of $11,419 by Pierson and Johnson, Phoenix contractors, who also constructed the original building.  The last wing and manual training building were erected in 1936.
    In 1940, the largest class up to that time graduated from the eighth grade with 57 students. The school lunch program began in 1940. In 1948, the 7th and 8th grades were moved to the new building, the Kingman Junior High School.
    The name of the school was changed to Palo Christi School in 1963. In 1964, eight new classrooms were built in a separate building behind the first school structure. In 1979, the Palo Christi School had 18 classroom teachers and 6 special teachers, 22 classrooms, library, cafeteria, with a total of 475 children enrolled in grades kindergarten through six. The schools four buildings are located on an 18 acre site with a hillside command overlooking the downtown of Kingman.
    The Kingman Junior High School was opened in September of 1949 on Spring Street across from the High School. The Junior High School remained at this location until it was sold to the Kingman High School for their expansion program.
    The new and present Junior High School was opened January of 1969. During the 30 years of its existence, the school had only two principals, Blaine Benson and Lester Byram. The school started in 1949 with 180 sixth, seventh and eighth graders and in 1979 there were 620 seventh and eighth graders.
    The Manzanita School was opened September of 1963 with 383 children and a staff of twenty. The school grew rapidly in its first year. Fourteen classrooms, library, and music room were added in 1965. In 1979, the school had an enrollment of 750 children and a staff of 50 professional men and women.
    The La Senita School was completed in December of 1972. Classes began in September 1972 with only the west part of the building usable. The building is of gray block construction with the original school plan consisting of 20 classrooms, music room, instrumental music room, multipurpose room, office and library.
    Since the completion of the original building, two portable structures have been added. In 1979, the addition of six classrooms, reading room and two offices were added to the main building.
    The original High School building, erected after the turn of the century, was used for many years. It stood empty after its use up to a few years ago, but was destroyed by fire. It stood next to the present High School Complex.
    The present High School facilities consist of the school structure, athletic field and other recreational areas. The growth of the education system in the City of Kingman continue following the growth of the population. It was prior to the turn of the century that an Indian School existed in Kingman.
    The Kingman day school for the Indian children was started on October 21, 1896, under the instructions from the Indian Office, in a building rented for that purpose. The school opened with an enrollment of between 30 and 40 children. Nelson Carr was the teacher. Clothing was furnished toward the last part of the winter. The training consisted of instructions in sewing, cooking, laundry work, etc.
The children were made to bathe almost daily in the bathrooms attached to the school. This was a strange and unheard of activity to them. First, the children regarded the bath tubs and steaming water with superstition. Soon they began to like it, so that it was soon necessary to pull them out of the water, The Indians were sending their children with clock-like regularity. (from the report of Henry P. Ewing in charge of Hualapai & Yawa Supai Indians)
    The short story of the Kingman library is based on the material prepared by Dorothy Osterman and Betty Grounds.The library was initiated by the Parent Teacher Association at the meeting in March of 1925. Mrs. George B. Skidmore headed the book collection committee and in less than one month 400 books were donated. The Mohave County Public Library Association was formed on July 5, 1926 with the following officers: Mrs. ED. Dubois, president; Mrs. M. J. Musser, vice president; C. B. McClelland, treasurer; H.L.. Horner and R.C.. Jacobson, members of the board. At first, the library was located upstairs in the Jacobsen Building. The initial charge for borrowing books was 25 cents a month, or $3.00 per year.
    Upon the completion of a new grammar school in 1928, the library moved to the north side of the Little Red Schoolhouse. Among its activities, the library sponsored an annual silver tea to raise money for the new books and acquaint people with its facilities.
    According to Betty Grounds, from 1956 to 1967 City of Kingman gave little money to the library; was about $ 5,000. In 1967, by the action of the city council, a library board was appointed to run the library. In 1967, an agreement was reached between the City of Kingman and Mohave County to share expenses of operating the public library. Mohave County gave $4,000 as its first share for one year.
    By 1972, the County's share had grown to $58,061 and the City's share for that year was $17,000. In February of 1973, the City Council agreed purchase the Red Schoolhouse for the exclusive use of library for $83,500, and contracted the remodeling and the exterior restoration. The contract was given to John Wickland in the amount of $44,165. The belfry restoration was an additional cost of $2,839.
    The original school bell could not be located, hence the City purchased a bell from Leta Glancy. This bell was originally at the Catholic Church at Goldroad. When the Goldroad camp became a ghost town, this bell was moved to Kingman and used by the Catholic School in the old Greystone Inn, until it was torn down for the Catholic Church. For the establishment of the public library In the Red Schoolhouse, the State Library Board gave a grant in the amount of $41,279. As it was already mentioned, the Red Schoolhouse building was placed on the National Register. A bronze plaque was placed on the wall at the entrance to the library during the Bicentennial year.

(Information taken from the book Century Of Kingman 1882-1982)

Ten young people will graduate from tho Mohave County Union High School next Friday night Following is the program arranged for that evening.
Music Orchestra Invocation Rev Thomas H Dodd Music Orchestra Commencement Address Judge J A Ellis Music Orchestra Presentation Of Diplomas
Thos Devine President of Board of Education Response Maymie Jenkins President of Graduating Class
Music Orchestra RW Sevier teacher of manual training at the High School, announces that next Friday afternoon
and evening the public is invited to come and examine the manual arts exhibit in the manual training room.
Thursday night the class day exercises will be held at the High School auditorium The following class day program has been arranged
Music Thelma Clack Pat McCarthy Class History Helen Chambers Lula Goodwin
Piano Solo Helen Chambers Class Prophecy Class
Vocal Duet Dorothy Ursula Smith Class Will Frankie Schneider
Presentation of Key Alta Miller Class Song Class; Music Thelma Clack Pat McCarthy
Class Motto
Class Yell
In the graduating class of 21 Are
Maymie Jenkins
Lula Goodwin
Helen Chambers
Virginia Horner
Alta Miller
Rebecca Noli
Marjorie Peck
Frankie Schneider
May Schneider
Fanny Kelly
Sunday morning at the St Johns Methodist Church Rev Thomas E Dodd will preach the baccalaureate sermon
The public as well as the graduating class are invited to be present.
Mohave County Miner May 13 1921

(Picture as it is today The Kingman Civil Court Building )

Page Created June 2006 By Barbara Ziegenmeyer

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