The History of Duval High School
By Ethel Partridge
Fifty - one years ago, in a small, unpretentious school of one room, located on Duval Street between Laura and Hogan, was laid the foundation of a high school, destined to have a glorious career. Today, in 1927, Duval High School stands as one of the best high schools in the South. Its fame has traveled tar, not only as a scholastic institution of creditable records, but as an athletic center of unusual attainments.
The history of Duval is both interesting and impressive. It has not been made by any one person, but it is the culmination of the earnest cooperation and effort of the faculties and students from the first year of its existence, 1873, to the present one, 1927.
In 1877, the first senior class of Duval High School was graduated. There were no formal exercises, and the three graduates, all of whom were boys, received written diplomas. Mr. M. T. Swain, principal, and his assistants. Miss Treadwell and Miss Annie Wood, composed the faculty. The second class numbered five, three girls and two boys. They were given elaborate graduation exercises, held in old Polk's Hall on Hay Street. In 1886, a record class of eleven matriculated. How rapidly Duval was growing!
With the growth of Jacksonville, Duval sprang from a small one-room building to an attractive two-story brick building, located at the corner of Church and Liberty streets. This school was destroyed in the great fire of 1901. Despite the trying circum stances of the year, by using La Villa school in the afternoons, a class of thirteen was graduated. In the fall of 1902, the school began its work in a portion of Central Grammar School and continued there until the present building was completed in 1908. For the realization of this building, much credit is due the Duval High School Alumni Association. The new building, finished in 1908, at first contained sufficient accommodations for the students. The increasing enrollment necessitated additions, and in 192(1 the Annex was built. With the two new senior high schools to be opened next year, Duval, as the official city high school will cease to be.
Even in its earliest days, Duval enjoyed a school paper, "The Olio," prepared and read by the students. During the term, 1895-1896, the paper was printed for the first time. The initial edition was a venture, yet a step forward. The last issue of "The Olio" was published in 1897. For ten years, Duval was without a magazine to repre sent it. Through the efforts of Miss Eleanor Rawson, now a member of the faculty of Duval High School, "The Oracle" was established in 1907. Its present popularity and high standing show that it has successfully endured the test of time. Today it is recog nized as a paper of considerable merit and it is enjoyed by the students with the same ardent appreciation that was shown it in 1907.
No history of Duval High School would be complete without a mention of Mr. Rutherford, who, first as teacher, and, later, as principal, has done for the school that which can be determined by no system of measurements. The high standard of scholar ship, the enviable record in athletics, and other activities, all of which he fostered with great enthusiasm, must be named second to the ultimate goal upon which his eye was fixed, the development of strength and beauty of character in the girls and boys com mitted to his care.
The year 1927 marks the passing of Duval. The two hundred and eighty-five graduates will be the last to receive diplomas before her historic doors will close forever. The name of Duval will pass, but her vast influence and importance will be reflected in the achievements of future generations. Always its beautiful and lasting memory will serve as an inspiration—leading to the pinnacle of success in life!
R B Rutherford
King David Colson Jr
The Senior Class of 1927
K D Colson Jr. , Francis Cartmel, Stuart Richeson, Ethel Partridge, Crowther Boyd, Dorothy Lee Brown
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