Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tribute to Deadwood School Teachers

This is a humorous visual tribute to our DHS Teachers who were the best of the best!

I believe that the world is a better place because of the students that attended the Deadwood School in it's 85 years of operation. We were all instilled with an excellent education, philosophy of life, and life ethic that was a result our teacher’s efforts and abilities supported by excellent administrators and staffs. Since 1886, Deadwood supporters have provided for an excellent school system that survived through fire, floods, sad 1972 school district consolidation, and historical fights.

Not all the Deadwood School teachers are like Mrs. Hazel Morthland, Mrs. Elsie Krug, and Mrs. Edna Robinson (Mrs. “Coach Ferguson” in our days) who stayed around to welcome many of us DHS Classmates into our own senior years. Mrs. Robinson is still active and moved to a wonderful Southern Hills nursing home. Contact me for her address as I know she would like to hear from all of us.

Every one of our teachers touched and molded our lives in some positive way. Some of the teachers were there for only a short time, others longer and a few for nearly our life time. John Kornaman was a student and to many of us a long time bus driver and school staff. They are all memorable!

I think some Deadwood School Building history is also in order. As a dedicated school supporter, Dr. Howe started his Deadwood medical practice in 1901. He was also active in politics. From 1917 he served 7 years on the Deadwood City Council. In 1924 he defeated W. E. Adams for Deadwood Mayor and served 6 terms. In 1922 Dr. Howe found himself in the middle of colorful and bitter fight over the current brick school building. It now serves as the Lead/Deadwood Middle School and the historical "Home of Deadwood High School Bears". In 1922, the School Board decided to build a new school building and George V. Ayres proposed a $250,000 bond issue. W. E. Adams, the Deadwood Mayor at the time, said no. The bond amount would be only $50,000. At one important meeting Charlie Keene defendeded the Ayers bond amount and plan. The meeting turned into a heated disagreement. Keene shook his finger in Mr. Adams face and said "what this here town needs is some first class funerals!" The fight was on! Chambers Kellar, Chief Attorney for the Homestake Mine, and Horace Clark lined up with Mr. Adams. The bond size issue remained heated and bitter. A city vote showed a majority supported the $250,000 bond issue. Mr. Kellar decided on a court challenge battle. This prompted Dr. Howe to chair a meeting where cooler heads prevailed. Mr. Kellar finally agreed to $175,000 and not a penny more. The actual bond sale drew only $172,000. The remaining $3,000 was quickly donated, architects designed the best building possible, and the contract was signed. In 1924 the new school building was dedicated and it remains in place today. It also survived a sad arson fire in 1985 but the older building parts burned to the ground. ~~~This focused historical summary comes from the booklet ""Deadwood Doctor by F. S. Howe M.D.” published by the Centennial Distributors for Marilyn Clark Lucero, Deadwood SD, 1989.

What do you think these historical figures would think of the Lead School District study to surplus and sell the Deadwood School Building? I think they would be outraged and the fight would be on again!

~~~The first comment received for this post is from Thony Jefferson who lives in Brazil. Thony likes the site "style" and suggests also posting in Portuguese.

Thony reminds us that we live in a global community. But history shows that Deadwood was a melting pot of many different peoples. Many drifted away and some stayed to develop what exists today.

I will consider and look into the suggestion. DickD

*****DickD, affectionately know as “Dickie”, has given his time and talent freely to create the “DHS Classmate Site”. Every time I go to the site I see something new and of interest. I know that many others have visited the site and not left a comment. I understand that most of us just take things for granted and in most cases know that someone will step up to the plate and do the work. In this case it was Dick . He has been a huge supporter of DHS for as long as I can remember and has volunteered to help anytime he has been asked to do anything connected to good old DHS. As you can tell by the site, he has spent hours researching DHS and Deadwood in general. Ask him anything, if he doesn’t know he will find out.

I think you know where this is going, he doesn’t ask for much but it would be nice to give him a pat on the back once in awhile. We all need that. You can do so by writing a comment when you visit the site. If you go back to my era you probably took typing from Eldon Gran , so it should be easy for you to type in a comment. If not, you must know how to hunt and peck. The only person I know that can’t type is Hank Frawley, course he can’t operate a computer either.

So, thanks Dickie, you are doing a great job and I hope you will continue to entertain us on the DHS Classmate Site.

One last thought: Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Bill Beshara


Thony Jefferson Martins - Sr° Diamond said...

Gostei do estilo do seu blog!você poderia colocar suas postagens em português também
Moro no BRASIL
Isso e uma sugestão para você!
Thony Jefferson

I liked the style of your blog! You could put your posts in Portuguese also
I live in BRAZIL
That and a suggestion for you!
Thony Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Hey Dick,

I really enjoy the Deadwood HS Blog each time it is published. My best to you and the group that contributes. From a former DHS student and teacher. Keep up the OUTSTANDING work.

Mr. Jene H. Melton

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