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The history of the Bloomington High School, as noted below, was transcribed from the Bloomington (IN) Evening World, November 25, 1904, p. 1.  The school was built in 1873 and in 1953 was razed to make room for a municipal parking lot.


Central School, the building with a tower in the center of the photo, was located on the west side of College Avenue about halfway between Third Street and Smith Avenue.  Photo courtesy of the IU Photo Collection.

In the fall of 1873, a preparatory school for Indiana University was established in Bloomington.  It began very auspiciously with an enrollment of between 80 and 100 and was from the start a strong and flourishing school.  A two-year course was offered embracing arithmetic, algebra, Latin, English and some physics and psychology.  Much stress was laid upon the art of public speaking, debates and  declamations, and a great deal of interest was taken by the students in such things, all of which were greatly to their advantage.  The faculty at this time was composed of W. R. Houghton, principal, and two assistants.  From 1880 to 1885 Prof. James K. Beck was principal.  The first class graduated in June 1874 numbering 10 or 12.

In 1885 Bloomington High School was organized as a separate institution while the preparatory department went on as before until 1890 when it was abandoned.

The high school was carried on in rooms on the third floor of Central building with Prof. Carr as principal.  Later he was succeeded by Miss Grace Woodburn, daughter of Cashier Woodburn of this city.  In 1890 the three-year course was introduced, several new departments were added and the corps of teachers increased.  In 1894 Prof. Beck was elected principal and in 1896 the present four-year system was adopted.

Since then the school has grown rapidly having now an enrollment of 250, an unusual number for a town of this size, until it is now ranked among the best high schools of the state.  May it long live to be appreciated!


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