Jackson County, Illinois
MURPHYSBORO TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL
FROM THE 1927 ANNUAL
The custom of the graduating class to publish an Annual was interrupted by the disastrous tornado of March 18, 1925.
This is the first attempt to renew the publication of our year book.
We appreciate the many things which have been accomplished during these two years. Our homes and school buildings have been restored with greater improvements. from the wreckage of our high school a more splendid structure has been erected, standing as an emblem of higher education and serving as an inspiration to us Seniors for greater efforts.
We offer this Annual as a reminder of our happiest associations. We wish to reflect in it our sincerity of purpose, and good will to all. We express our gratitude to the friends who have helped us to blaze our four year's trail. It has indeed been a journey of pleasant friendships and of golden memories.
HISTORY OF THE M. T. H. S
The Murphysboro High School was created in 1883, starting with only a two year's course. The sessions were first held in a second story room in the City Hall; the second year in a room over the Western Union Telegraph office. On March, 1885, they moved into the newly completed West Side School, as it was called, which was located where the Logan School is now. It wasn't until 1887 that enough students were graduated to pay the board to have graduating exercises and give diplomas.
It was 1899 when the first four year course was started. In 1900 a bond issue to the amount of $22,000 was voted on and carried by the people. A tract of land adjoining the Logan Park was bought, and plans were laid out for a new high school. This was begun and was completed in August, 1901.
Many improvements were made fro time to time on this building and considerable statuary and pictures were bought. An annex was built in 1919, greatly adding to the efficiency of the Home Economics Department.
In 1921 two new bond issues were voted on for the addition of two wings to the high school, and the issue carried. The new East wing consists mainly of a large auditorium with a seating capacity of seven hundred. The West wing includes mostly a large gymnasium capable of seating a thousand. Several new class rooms were also added in the new wings. Many valuable pictures were purchased and hung in the halls of the old and new buildings.
On March 18, 1925 one of the most destructive tornadoes ever known swept through the city of Murphysboro destroying almost completely the new high school gymnasium and the middle building, also doing considerable damage to the other buildings. This was a pretty serious setback for the school but with the aid of other schools and a contribution amounting to $51,128.28 from the state, the buildings were completely restored or repaired.
The gymnasium was enlarged so that is now has two courts. The new middle building consists of a large and small study hall, an up-to-date library, and numerous class rooms. At present the Murphysboro Township High School is one of the largest and best equipped in Southern Illinois. It is fully recognized by the State Department, also accredited by the university of Illinois. It boasts of the longest standing of Southern Illinois schools in membership of the North Central Association of colleges and Secondary Schools.
Under the principalship of Mr. M. N. Todd, the school has also developed a high standard and has established an excellent reputation for the efficiency of organization, high standing of its graduates, and prestige in athletics and academic work. It has indeed, proved to be a Phoenix that has arisen from its storm and ashes into the progressive, educational institution that is a leader in everything that is best.
------- Deane Pigott
Two years ago, March 18, 1925, Murphysboro lay a mass of debris and heart-rending tragedy for the terrific tornado that swept through Missouri, Southern Illinois and Indiana destroyed 120 blocks of the homes, schools and industries of our city.
The central unit of the M.T.H.S. was demolished. In this destruction three Seniors, Frances Hammer, Bernard Shelley, and Bert Robinson, were killed. Other students were seriously injured and many received painful cuts and bruises.
Two of the grade schools, Longfellow and Logan, were completely destroyed. Many were injured in both, and the dead numbered respectively ten in the Longfellow and five in the Logan.
The damage to the two remaining public school buildings was comparatively slight, both being unroofed and losing window panes. No one was killed or seriously injured in either.
A portion of the roof was blown from St. Andrews School, throwing the children into a panic but injuring no one.
The Douglas (colored) School was slightly damaged but here, as in St. Andrews, the most serious result of the storm was the terror of the students.
It was a dark hour for education. Restoration seemed far away. Despair and grief joined forces with the material loss in a losing battle against faith, courage and determination. We have expressed our gratitude by making a good fight.
Longfellow has been restored, Washington and Lincoln repaired and in place of the aged old Logan building is a splendid edifice known as The Murphysboro Junior High School. St. Andrews and the Douglas resumed work immediately.
The good old M.T.H.S. led the comeback movement. When we returned, after the storm to the wreck that had been our beloved building, we were almost ready to give up, but Mr. Todd moved by the momentousness of the situation spoke to us and inspired us with a determination to win against all obstacles. We worked as we had never worked before--we have won.
Today Murphy High stands a monument in honor of courage, faith and devotion to purpose. We have placed a bronze tablet in the main entrance of the building as a tribute to the three who lost there lives here.
This information is from the 1927 Murphysboro CRIMSON & CORN School Annual owned by Thelma L. Davis Switzer