Southern Utah News Articles
Kanab High School Centennial - The Academy
The following information was taken from “History of Kane County” and written by Helen Hamblin Burgoyne.
“When the brick schoolhouse became too small, The Academy was built, the ground for which was dedicated in September 1889. Fred R. Major came to Kanab in 1912-13 to replace Julius S. Dalley as principal. He held that position until 1916 and wrote about the school.
Mr. Major says: The Academy was built on the northeast corner of the site occupied by the present elementary school. It was begun or partly constructed about the year 1890 by a Mr. Foremaster and the Averette brothers Elisha and Elijah, pioneer stone masons and builders of Pipe Springs Fort. The first state of construction was a one-story brick building with a flat roof, which leaked during stormy weather. Later a pitch roof replaced the old one. This structure was used as a social center as well as for church and school.
In the year 1896 the roof was taken off and a story of brick was added. A belfry on the top housed a large bell, which served for church and school call, fire alarm, and curfew. When death came to a family, the janitor would climb to the belfry on the day of the funeral and as soon as the procession left the house, he would toll the bell until they arrived at the church for services. (Note: This bell is now located on a monument by the Gazebo). At the time I came here in 1912, eighth grade students had to pass state examinations before they were allowed to graduate. The school term lasted from October to March. My salary as principal during these years rose from $100 per month to $125. Teachers were paid $60.
Kanab was without a high school for about 30 years from 1870 to 1900; students who wanted a higher educational advantage had to go away to school. By 1900, the people had overcome many of the difficulties of early pioneering and business was thriving. Many had accumulated a great deal of property. Large cattle and sheep herds belonging to the people of Kanab roamed the range, and the people had begun to feel they could afford to start a high school. A two year high school was established with Joseph l. Horne as principal. It occupied two rooms in the Academy.
There were few high schools in the state at this time, especially in small towns. Besides Professor Horne, Mr. Hyrum Vance and two or three students who had previously attended the school at the Brigham Young Academy, Provo, and the University of Utah assisted. These were Joseph R. Hamblin, (Algebra) and Elsie Chamberlain (English), Ida Young and Herbert Woolley (various subjects, part-time).
Statistics regarding this first high school are limited.However, some of the young people who attended were: Hattie Johnson, David L. Pugh, William T. Dobson, Charles Mace, Maude, Lavina and Winnie Swapp, Bessie, Ella, Grace, Ruth and LeGrand Wooley, Lois and Matilda Baird, Maude Roundy, Gurnsey Spencer, Dana and Bessie Farnsworth, Caroline Findlay, Elsie, Dave, and Edna Chamberlain, Clarice Stewart, Ida Young and Mary Lewis. There were also others.
It was a great success and the students attending it studied hard. All were eager to take advantage of this opportunity. However after three short years, due to lack of financial support, the high school part was discontinued in the spring of 1903.”