HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL
Highlights of 1912J.W. Sanders---Photo appeared in Zephyrhills Colonist newspaper with the following announcement every week for five weeks with photo…this from March 21, 1912. Sanders was the first principal of Zephyrhills High School.
School Board officials (between 1913 and 1921) seated from left to right—L.J. Gaskin, School Board Member; J.W. Sanders, County Superintendent of Schools; Standing Left to right—Sid Larkin and W.E. Douglas, School Board Members
Candidates for Superintendent of Schools
I hereby announce myself a candidate of Superintendent of Schools. I believe that this office demands that its holder be a thorough school man, versed in modern methods of teaching and capable of closely inspecting the class room work. I have had four years experience as a High School Principal, and my success as such should recommend me for the office of Superintendent. I wish emphatically to announce that I am running on my own accord, not being brought out by any individual or set of individuals. I promise if elected to serve the whole people to the best of my ability. I therefore solicit your vote in the coming primaries.
Announcement, Zephyrhills Colonist, March 21, 1912
From the urgent solicitation of many friends throughout the county I have agreed to ask for re-nomination to office of County Superintendent of Public Instruction of Pasco County, which I had declined to do some days ago. I have been requested to change my special office day from Wednesday as now, to Saturday, as it would be more convenient to many people which I will do if elected. I am conscious that I have served the people of the county faithfully and impartially without distinction to religious tenets, politics, factions, friends or foes. With my knowledge of the teaching ability of our teachers together with the needs and conditions of the schools I am sure I can give more effective work than either of my honorable opponents. Again I wish to thank my constituents for their loyal support given me four years ago when I carried every precinct in the county but one in the first primary over three opponents; and shall be thankful if they will give me an endorsement of my administration.
Yours to Serve M.L. Gilbert
Letter from Mr. Rollinson, Zephyrhills Colonist, March 21, 1912
Telling what he thinks of Zephyrhills, the best town in Florida, and some wholesome advice as to Professor Sanders and “Our Jim” for Sheriff.
I read with a great deal of pleasure in last week’s Colonist that a bank had been opened in Zephyrhills. Nothing can stop the onward march of this wonderful climate of a wonderful State.
Enduring the murk and mud, cold and rain, such as only blustering March in North Carolina can produce, I am longing for the fruits and flowers, and sun-kissed hills and rejuvenating breezes of Zephyrhills.
…Things political are claiming much attention here….But with Taft or Roosevelt, Wilson or Harmon as President, our country will be well off. We need not worry over National disaster.
In our own little town there are two political aspirants, who should have our attention.
Professor Sanders, young, enthusiastic and a tower of strength in educational matters. Make him your Superintendent of Public Schools.
J.H. Geiger (our Jim), the kind, the affable the “Noblest Roman of them all;” possessing all the virtues, gifted with all the traits, and endowed with all the qualities for “High Sheriff of Pasco County.” Vote for Geiger. Now, Mr. Editor, just a few weeks more and I shall be with you. In all my life, I have never had a home that called me with such wonderful force, such charming insistency but then I had not lived in Zephyrhills. –S.M. S. Rollin son
--The letter of Mr. Rollinson is well timed and should set the dormant memory to thinking from the political standpoint. He says, “Vote for Professor Sanders for School Superintendent.” Would it not be a magnificent thing to do, to sleep and dream over the situation a little. The editor is a stranger here, but conditions shall quickly appeal to the stranger. This county is all one Democratic family, as to candidates this fall. Do not forget that efficiency and ability is what you want for to insure the capabilities of your children when they take their place as citizens. You, voter, should neither be governed by a flowery speech or an appeal to prejudice to cast your vote for the all important office of Superintendent, but weigh in the balance and demand the best. Professor Sanders, by abstemious gentlemanly qualities, has the confidence of this community. As an educator, none could give better satisfaction. He holds a certificate that entitled us to the belief that he is capable of graphing the highest degree of education that he will be called on to meet in the county. He believes in the highest and best educational advantages for your children to fit them for the battle of life. He is a practical educator of great ability, and with a kind, confiding nature that peculiarly fits him for the position therefore Pasco county cannot afford to have him turned down at the primaries. Good sound judgment should dictate that the common voter should never allow a velvety tongue, or subtle scheming to influence their vote. If the people are going to provide the best opportunities for their children, they must provide the best instruments to accomplish that end. From an unbiased judgment, let them ask, can we afford to allow such princely men as Professor J.W. Sanders to be defeated by men of meager ability in the educational world. The paper takes up the fight for him after calm deliberation, and careful consideration, and we ask our readers to do the same. Neither party prejudice nor selfish interest has a part in our decision. Dear voter, will you use the same care in yours.
That Primary, Zephyrhills Colonist, May 30, 1912
That second primary was hot Tuesday at Zephyrhills and about the same number of votes cast as the first: 145. The warmest fight was on County Commissioner resulting in the election of Allen Bird by 60 majority in the District. The vote here on the more interesting was:
County Superintendent of Schools:
The fight on Commissioner was made ostensibly on the question of good roads, and the result has placed the burden on the shoulders of Mr. Bird, and the people of this District will demand a fulfillment of his declarations. Dormany has done a heroic stunt on the road question the past year, and the people will demand as much of his predecessor, and it is hoped he will make good.
The Zephyr Colonist, October 5, 1912
We acknowledge the receipt of a Commencement card of the Pasco County High School in which exercises will take place, tomorrow evening, Friday, May 3rd under the immediate direction of Professor Corr. The class consists of eight who have reached that stage in life where they begin life’s battle in earnest.
Beginning April 15, and continuing six or eight weeks at the Zephyrhills High School Building.
Tuition $1.00 per week in advance. Girls and boys desiring to attend, please make arrangements with Miss Donoho.
Class of 1912 is Oldest Person at ZHS Summer Alumni Reunion, Zephyrhills News, June 29, 1972
About 60 persons attending the third annual Zephyrhills High School Summer Alumni Homecoming and picnic were moved inside the Veterans of Foreign Wars building Sunday when rain threatened to drench the picnickers.
Everyone brought a covered dish and food ranged from sauerkraut salad to country-fried chicken.
……The oldest class represented was the Class of 1912 with one member present.
Don Storms, Sr. of Plant City, formerly of Zephyrhills, where he has been a businessman, educator, church and civic leader, gave the invocation. Mr. Storms who graduated from Zephyrhills High School in 1912-13 (1912 when they only had 11 grades and 1913, the first year for the 12th grade) was also honored as representing the earliest class. As so often happens with reunions, more alumni came from other towns to attend, than alumni who still make their homes in the “old home town!”
Photo below is from the Zephyrhills News, Founders Day edition, 1966 and the caption reads—“Early Day Glamour Girls.” In Rosemary Trottman’s History of Zephyrhills, she provides this description of the photo…”A Girl’s Basketball team in pleated black bloomers, except for a tall girl in a black dress holding the ball, was photographed by B. E.Treanor on a 1912 tour of Florida, including Zephyrhills. Uarda Briggs, Dorothy Briggs, Nettie and Emma Williams, Mary Lisle, Azaline Geiger and three unidentified players are pictured. Each girl wore on her left shoulder a letter of the word, Zephyrhills.
The following photo was also published in the 1966 Founder’s Day Zephyrhills News edition and has the following caption:
“ In 1912 Zephyrhills High School Sophomores (class of 1914) paraded on Memorial Day and stopped to have their pictures taken in front of the Zephyrhills Colony Co. office at the southwest corner 5th Ave. and west 7th St. Teacher, left, had a new spring bonnet.”
Photo below…..A very early high school group. Bottom row, left to right, Belle Adkins, Hazel Hart, Flora Shanks, Uarda Briggs, Mary Lisle, Blanche Geiger, Viva Brinson, Margery Turner. Top row—George Orcutt, Leo Ecker, Jeffrey Turner (above Uarda), Unknown, Lula Ryals, Billy Siggins, and Simon Geiger
The registers from 1912 which include the student’s names (as posted below) were: Charlie Bailey, age 6; Charlotte Bailey, age 6; Robby Bartholomeu, age 6; Gerald Briggs, age 8; Ruth Brown, age 6; Urilla Brown, age 5; Charles Campbell, age 10; Lewis Chancey, age 18; Eunice Lee Craig, Lyle DeRyder, age 10; Rachel DeRyder; Inis DeRyder; Henry Edmondson, age 11; Ella Mae Fillmon; Mattie Fillmon, age 6; Herbert Fletcher, age 10: Bethel Geiger, age 8; Curtis Geiger, age 10; Jean Giredat, age 7; Harmon Geiger, age 10; Lucille Gill, age 5; Charles Glover, age 8; Jennings Gummoe, age 6; Frankie Hedges, age 6; Katheryn Hendrix, age 6; Nell Hendrix, age 6; Ruby Hensley, age 6; Byron Hill, age 12; Gordon Hill, age 8; Moray Kersey, age 14; Margaret Knapp, age 6; Helen Koontze, age 5; Guy Lambkin, age 14; George Lambkin, age 12; Harry Lane, age 17; Raymond Learston, age 8; Dale Leonard, age 18; Lona Lindstrom, age 6; Pearl Lisenby, age 6; Vernie Lisenby, age 7; Nephi Mayo, age 7; Margaret McGuire; Robert McGuire, age 9; Nephi Mayo, age 7; Everett Means, age 11; Johnny Means, age 16; Robert McGuire, Paul Miller, age 6; Pauline Overstreet, age 6; Ray Pellham, age 9; Helen Penrod, age 5; Raymond Pearston, Franke Posey, age 5; Guy Leroy Posy, age 7; Edwina Rolf, age 5; Frederick Russel, age 7; Otis Ryals, age 7; Parnel Ryals, age 11; Bessie Sauls; Ralph Sauls, age 6; Austin Smith, age 7; Hurley Smith, age 6; Bessie Stafford, age 12; Josie Stafford, age 8; Myrtle Stafford, age 7;Edwin Stebbins, age 8; Frank Stebbins, age 10; Kenneth Storms, age 8; Ruth Storms; Frank Studstill, age 11; Mary Tallman; Ethel Taylor, age 6; Earl Vogt, age 6; Herman Vogt, age 11; Lula Wallace; Mae Wallace; Esther Ward, age 6; Edith Wells, age 5; Oma Williams, age 6; Billie Wofford, age 9; and Bruce Woods, age 6.
Parents were asked also to provide their names. These records were scanned by Jeff Miller of the fivay project from Pasco County School Board archives.
There appear to be the following students of high school age enrolled in 1912: Lewis Chancey, Moray Kersey, Byron Hill, Guy Lambkin, George Lambkin, Harry Lane, Dale Leonard, Johnny Means, and Bessie Stafford