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1904 Pemiscot
1918 Car. High School
1921 Car. Football Team
1922 Haiti School
Caruthersville Schools
History of Cooter
Cooter Poem
Pemiscot Ferry


Caruthersville Schools

The first school on record in Caruthersville was a 30 pupil, 3 month school, located at 3rd and Walker in the Cunningham Store Building and taught by Mr. Husbrooks who came from England. Later a private one room log school was built where the Methodist church now stands. The teacher was Hattie LaForge. Another one room school was located where the old depot is at Walker and 2nd St. Ms. LaForge taught there also, as did Mr. John Cunningham and then Judge C. B. Faris, who was the first to have a 6 month term. 

In 1889 a one room school built by public subscription was called the Pemiscot County Male and Female Academy. The teacher was Professor Clark and later a Professor Walton. All ages attended and tuition was charged. This school burned and was replaced by a two story building. The upper story contained a large room for younger school age children, while downstairs there was a large room for the older children and three small rooms used as living quarters by the Waltons. Tuition was required but later this school became a "public" school. 
Professor Lee Rood and his wife came to this school in 1892 to replace the Waltons. Enrollment increased and the lower room was partitioned. Mrs. Rood’s sister came to teach. Her monthly salary was $30 and the Rood’s yearly salary was $1,000.

A bond of $8,000 was voted in 1897 and the first building was constructed. Judge Hina Schult and Mr. Franklin donated the land for the builing on Ward Avenue where the Lee Rood school is now. Five new teachers were employed. However, by February, the school ran out of money. The Roods did not take any salary and the remainder of the nine month school year was financed through programs of "pantomime, speeches, and music." 

The first graduates in 1897 were Mary Betsy Faris, Willie Ann Faris, John Calvin Faris, and Tom Secoy. The Faris children were sisters and brother. Mary Betsey Faris was valedictorian of her class. However, she was unable to give the address at graduation because she had the measles. Mary Betsy Faris became Mrs. J. G. Crider, who was Mrs. Lenore Muir’s mother. There were two graduates in 1898, none in 1899, four in 1900, and by 1916 the enrollment had reached 94. 

In 1919 the Lee Rood three story building was built. It had an outside cylinder fire escape and an inside track. The track was a balcony with a railing around it in the gymnasium. There was a stage at one end of the gymnasium. The cafeteria was under the gym. 
The most popular activities for girls in the 1920s were jacks, jump rope, and hop scotch. The most popular activities for boys were leap frog and marbles. 

The high school burned in 1923 and was rebuilt in 1924 on the same Ward Avenue site. 
Bob Mehrle, a graduate of CHS in 1924, went on to Missouri University where he was a football star and voted most valuable athlete. 

In 1924 a rambunctious math class had 4 different teachers to get them through the year. 
Genevieve Hawkins organized the first Art Department at CHS in 1925. 
The first junior college was at CHS from 1926 -1932 on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the present high school building. 

In 1934 the Lee Rood annex on Ward Avenue was constructed by a W. P. A. government labor force. 

In 1948 there were 18 teachers for grades 7 - 12. 

From the 1920s through the 1950s it was not uncommon for a teacher to have 50 students for a class and also have yard duty. Teachers did not have aides, school nurses or planning periods. Substitute teachers were not available. 

Dr. Phillip J. Aquino established a clinic across the street from the Lee Rood School in the 1930s and provided much needed medical care to the students for many years. 
The requirements to be a teacher in the 1930s to the 1950s were 60 college hours or passing a test at high school graduation. 

During the depression in the early 1930s, if you were a woman and married, you could not be a teacher. Some exceptions were made for special area teachers, such as music. 
In the 1930’s teachers were paid $75.00 per month for 9 months. During the depression, teachers taught for half salary. Teachers were issued warrants that were turned in for payment. A and B warrants were issued and one warrant was to be returned to the school district. Some warrants were "dead warrants." A dead warrant meant there was either no money to pay the teacher or the warrant was not returned by the teacher. 

The names of the District Superintendents from 1895 to 1987 are: Lee W. Rood, J. A. Robeson, R. E. Seltz, S. S. Stearns, R. M. Hogan, J. E. Howard, J. H. Goodin, Ira H. R. Welch, W. H. Lemmel, R. M. Pierce, Delmar Cobble, Bransford Collier, W. V. Hill, and Carl Hutchison. 
The annual District Teachers Meeting in the 1930s was on a Thursday and Friday in October. Every teacher who did not attend was docked in pay. All teachers were also to attend the State Teachers Meeting in St. Louis in November. 

The Caruthersville School Board in 1947 went through a condemnation procedure to obtain the land for the present Southside Campus and the Administration building site. 
A piano was purchased for the 7th and 8th grades in 1948. The piano and the 7th and 8th grades were moved to the Southside new building in 1949. 

The "Cotton Blossom" yearbook was published in 1916 and continued for 6 consecutive years. The "Pilot" was published for both the High School and Junior College from 1926 - 1930. Publication was discontinued during the Depression.

Through the efforts of three teachers: Mrs. Lorene Cunningham, Mrs. Irene Hazel, Miss Mary Ellen Horner, and a number of students, the publishing of the yearbook was resumed in 1949 - 1950.

"The Tiger’s Tale," a school newspaper, was printed as early as 1920 as an after school club project. In 1925, the faculty sponsor was Mr. Roy Basler. During the 1930s the paper was not being published and the members of the Senior English Class taught by Mary Ellen Horner began publishing "The Tiger Rag." The paper was mimeographed. "The Tiger Rag" began being printed by Pemiscot Publishing in 1975. 


Towns And Schools of Pemiscot, Mo.





Denise Woodside, Pemiscot County, MOGenWeb Coordinator ©2016 - All rights reserved