First High School Graduated Three

Sheridan voters braved a blizzard on a January day in 1924 to select the site of a new high school for the city.

The final vote was for a new school on the same site as the old one – the site now occupied by Sheridan Junior High School but, even today, still called High School Hill.

Sheridan residents organized as School District 7 in 1884, and a wood structure, called Central School, was built on East Loucks where the post office now sits. In 1891, the wood school was replaced with a brick building, and classes were taught at all grade levels including, in 1892, the first high school classes.

The first senior class – three people – graduated in 1894. Between 1893 and 1896, Sheridan built the Hill School, which also taught all grades first through high school. The class of 1909, according to available records, was 20.

By 1910, Sheridan – still District 7 – boasted 12 schools with a total enrollment of nearly 2,000. After voters approved a new high school, work began in March 1925, and the school was finished, at a cost of just over $400,000, in time for classes to start in January 1926. The school on the hill served high school students until 1987, when the current Sheridan High School was built on Long Drive off Fifth Street.

Sheridan's first school building, the old Central School, was abandoned in the 1920s. In 1929, the structure was declared an eyesore and torn down. The old Hill School was torn down in the 1950s or '60s, all but a portion, and that was demolished in 1976 to make way for the J.J. Early Building. The Early Building was named for the record-holder of Sheridan's school superintendents, who remained in the post for 37 years, from 1908 until around 1945.

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