HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1919

School Began Monday, Zephyrhills Colonist, September 4, 1919

Large Attendance of Pupils, Patrons, and Visitors at Opening Exercises.

The Zephyrhills Schools opened Monday with a record attendance of pupils, patrons, and visitors. The opening exercises were held in the High School Auditorium which was fitted to overflowing—a large number being compelled to stand during the exercises on account of a lack of room and seats. Reverend Waldon conducted the devotional services, reading from Proverbs of the importance of seeking wisdom and necessity of getting understanding. He then gave an inspiring talk along the idea of “Excelsior,” and followed by an eloquent invocation for Divine guidance and favor during the coming term. B.A. Smith and J.L. Geiger of the local school board made some good suggestions and pledged their assistance for a successful term. Mr. Geiger gave an interesting account of the growth of the school in Zephyrhills and of some of the obstacles it had overcome. C.H. Smith, member of the County Board of Education, gave us assurance that the County Board was doing all in its power to promote the success of the school. Professor Dewees spoke on the object and aims of education and the benefits and enjoyment of scholarly achievements, also the advantage and necessity of organization and discipline in school work. He closed by urging every pupil and teacher “to go over the top” in their work this term. Professor Roberts spoke of the merits of the new compulsory attendance law, and of its advantage to the school system if properly enforced. He also emphasized the importance of recreation for pupils and teachers and the benefits of a reasonable indulgence in athletics as an aid to the acquirement of both mental and physical health and strength. He closed by asking that patrons of the school cooperate with the faculty in doing the most possible good for the pupils. The different grades then repaired to their separate rooms and lessons were assigned for the following day. The prospect for a profitable and successful term is unusually favorable and it is to be hoped that everybody will do all in their power to carry out the work so auspiciously begun.



Announcement of School, Zephyrhills Colonist, August 28, 1919

Next Monday, the Zephyrhills School will begin with the following teachers: Principal, Walter Roberts; high school--Miss Sylvia Ingalls and Lyda Tulane; 7th and 8th grades--G.B. Dewees; 5th and 6th grades--Miss Vera Martin; 4th grade; Miss Kathleen Helms; 2nd and 3rd grade—Miss Sallie Jim Moore; and Primary—Miss Lily Geiger.




Zephyrhills Easy Winner Against Port Tampa and Bushnell, Zephyrhills Colonist, August 14, 1919

With the Score In Favor of Zephyrhills—Zephyrhills boys played two games last week, one with Bushnell Thursday night which wound up with a score of 8 to 0 in five innings game. Bushnell was booked for a game here Monday of this week but having made so complete a failure last Thursday they failed to come, so now they will have to go in the same class of players with Port Tampa. Saturday, Port Tampa came up and took their “medicine like men”, right here we will say for Port Tampa, they were the best natured fellows we most ever saw, to take a dose like they did—12 to 0 all in favor of Zephyrhills, without a kick or a word, goes to show they are either used to being beaten or dead game sports, with their minds made up to take it good or bad, a better game next Thursday which will be played in Port Tampa.



Zephyrhills And Base—Ball, Zephyrhills Colonist, Volume 8, Number 44, July 31, 1919

Zephyrhills the first time in its history has a real base ball park. Our boys by the help of the business men have built a comfortable grand stand and through the liberality of the town council they have been allowed to fence off a good park. Zephyrhills people appreciate a good game and Monday of last week we had the pleasure of seeing a real game, when Zephyrhills defeated Bushnell in a very close game 3 to 2. Tichnor’s fine pitching was the feature of the game. Our boys did not score until the sixth inning when Frank Stebbins made a safe hit to first which scored the runner on third. This inning our boys made runs which tied the game until the eighth inning when our boys made a run which was the winning run, as Bushnell failed to cross home again. Saturday our boys played a double header, the first game was with Richland, which was a one sided game our boys winning with a score of 11 to 3. The second game was with Seffner and again our boys were victorious shutting out the visiting team 4 to 0.  There was considerable criticism of the way our home boys were treated by the manager. We had some players who are just as good if not better than players brought from Dade City or Powell’s still and yet our boys are left to sit on the bleachers. Several men were heard to say they had given their last cent to help the team, if it was not going to be a Zephyrhills team. The manager certainly gave our home boys a raw deal and it continues to mean the death of our base ball here. People want a fair play, and our boys should be given the preference.



Commencement Exercises, Zephyrhills Colonist, Volume 8, Number 35, June 26, 1919

The people of Zephyrhills were treated to another treat last Wednesday evening when Dr. Conradi of Tallahassee addressed them at the Commencement exercises of the graduation class of 1919. Dr. Conradi took up the question of education from three standpoints, i.e. physical, mental and spiritual, and he showed how important it was that our children should have good play grounds and good modern school houses, well ventilated and well lighted. He spoke of how the children had to spend six hours each day, five days in the week and that the building should be as well equipped and as comfortable as the home or even more so. It is to be regretted that more of the patrons of this school could not have heard them. Some people object to school improvements and think children can get along on most any kind of a building and grounds, just so they are housed. They say taxes will be so high and yet some of these very ones will pay more for their tobacco than their taxes would be. Are children and their future destiny of no more value than tobacco? Others will pay more than the extra tax for moving picture shows; others will pay several times over what the tax would be for gasoline to take pleasure rides in their auto, and yet the children must suffer. Many are against improvements because they have no children to go or because our present building is as good as or better than they had when they went to school. All such arguments are weak indeed. Let us get together and give our children the very best opportunities and thus insure a healthy and well balanced future generation.



Come to Zephyrhills July Fourth Old Fashion Basket Picnic, Come and Bring a Full Basket, Zephyrhills Colonist, Volume 8, Number 35, June 26, 1919. Newspaper priced at $1.00 per year

To the people of Pasco County be it known Zephyrhills is going to give you one of the old fashioned celebrations on July 4th, 1919 at Zephyr Park. Big Day, Zephyrhills is going over the top as many of our soldier boys have returned to our country, we wish to give them a hearty welcome and show to the world we feel proud of our young men. So soldier boys come to Zephyrhills on the fourth dressed in your uniform and make our heart glad. There will be a smashing time from beginning to finish, Songs, speeches, races, swimming contest and a champion ball game. In fact the ball will be kept rolling from 10 a.m. to 12 at night. A Cracker fish fry at noon. Come and bring a well filled basket and have a picnic with your neighbors and friends. Soft drinks on the grounds. Come and bring your family and we will endeavor to make a glad spot in their lives.

Program--Exercises commence at Park at 10 a.m. on time
10:00 Song America by audience, led by orchestra
10:20 Address of welcome by Mayor J.C. Whitehall
10:40 Song and Recitation by Miss Craig; Orchestra
11:00 Address of welcome to our soldier boys of Worlds War
Noon Fish Fry
1:30 An Address Our Fourth of July
2:00 Boys race 100 yards, first prize, 60 cents pair hose at Penry’s second box of candy at Boyers.
3:00 Swimming Contest, first prize $1.25, second prize 75 cents. Free for all
4:00 Ball game between Dade City and Zephyrhills
Come one, come all and enjoy the day.
Judges on races, Boyer, Penry, and Sage.
Committee on music: N.L. Wright, Reverend Jenkens, and Miss Craig
Committee: Sage, Penry and Boyer.



Zephyrhills vs. Sand-Pond, Zephyrhills Colonist, June 19, 1919

The ball game Thursday, Zephyrhills vs. Sand-Pond was the best game played here this season being a close game from beginning with a finish of 9 to 5 in favor of Zephyrhills. The next game will be played at Sand-Pond, this afternoon—the report is that Zephyrhills will loose the pitcher which they were so fortunate in having last Thursday, Julian Ticknor, which will make a difference in the next game we expect.



Commencement Exercise, Zephyrhills Colonist, May 29, 1919

The people of Zephyrhills were treated to another treat last Wednesday evening when Dr. Conradi of Tallahassee addressed them at the Commencement Exercises of the graduation class of 1919. Dr. Conradi took up the question of education from three standpoints, i.e. physical, mental and spiritual, and he showed how important it was that our children should have good play grounds and good modern school houses, well ventilated and well lighted. He spoke of how the children had to spend six hours each day, five days in the week and that the building should be as well equipped and as comfortable as the home and even more so. It is to be regretted that more of the patrons of this school could not have heard them. Some people object to school improvements and think children can get along on most any kind of a building and grounds, just so they are house. They say taxes will be so high and yet some of these very ones will pay more for their tobacco than their taxes would be. Our children and their future destiny are of no more value than tobacco? Others will pay more than the extra tax for moving picture shows; others will pay several times over what the tax would be for gasoline to take pleasure rides in their auto and yet the children must suffer. Many are against improvements because they have no children to go or because our present building is as good as or better than they had when they went to school. All such arguments are weak indeed. Let us get together and give our children the very best opportunities and thus insure a healthy and well balanced future generation.



Commencement Exercises, Zephyrhills Colonist, May 15, 1919

The Commencement exercises of the Zephyrhills High School will be Wednesday evening, May 21st at 9 o’clock in the G.A.R. Hall. The Senior Class this year has four members and is glad to announce that they have Dr. Comradi, President of Florida State Women’s College at Tallahassee to give the address of the evening.



Baccalaureate Sermon, Zephyrhills Colonist

Dr. Montague ex-president of Baptist College of Lake City, Florida will preach the Baccalaureate sermon, Sunday morning, May 18th at G.A.R. Hall, 12 o’clock. All Churches are requested to take part in this service.



Card of Thanks, Zephyrhills Colonist, May 15, 1919

We wish to thank the following who so willingly helped to make the Junior-Senior Banquet a success: The Hotel Co. for the use of the hotel dining room, kitchen and office. Mesdames Storms, Stebbins, and Briggs for taking charge and helping prepare it. The Misses Storms, Helms and Briggs for waiting. Mrs. Penry, Boyer and DeRyder for use of plants and decorations. Mr. Dewey, Hudson, for use of musical instruments. The Junior Class



Junior Senior Banquet, Zephyrhills Colonist, May 15, 1919

The Junior-Senior Banquet was held last Saturday evening at the Hotel Zephyr. The dining room was attractively decorated in the Senior and Junior class colors, red and blue and gold and blue. Two large American Flags stood in the place of Lyle Gilbert and Dale Leonard, old members of the Senior Class who are now in France. An interesting letter to Miss Ingalls from Lyle Gilbert was read in which he wished the class of 1919 the best of success and happiness. A three course dinner was served in an inviting style. The evening was spent in passing jokes and conundrums. The music was furnished by the Hawaiian Orchestra and other well-known musicians and singers. The Seniors voted it the most pleasant evening in their High School Career.

Note that two of the graduating seniors were in Europe fighting…here is the letter published in the Zephyrhills Colonist from senior, Lyle Gilbert.



Letter from Lyle Gilbert, Zephyrhills Colonist, February 20, 1919

Benevore, France, December 19, 1918

Dear Friend:

I have received a letter and a holiday greeting from you but have not had time to answer until now. Therefore I am going to try to answer. I expect you will have a very hard time reading this as I have a poor place for writing. I received your letter the day I returned from the hospital, but we hiked for 13 days after that and I had no chance to write anyone. When we arrived here though I got a chance to get paper and write. We are now in a small French village called Beneuvre and are getting a rest. We hiked 38 days before we stopped here. The division was the first Allied troops to arrive in Spencourt which is north of Verdun. I guess we were intended for part of the Army of Occupation but we were relieved there and hiked back to this town. I hope we soon start for the States again. That will surely be a happy time for everyone concerned. We all live in hopes of a speedy return. We all say if a man lives in hopes he won’t die in despair and we live accordingly. I believe that is a good idea too, don’t you? You hardly ever see one of us grouchy. It does not pay. If one man does get grouchy the rest of us guy him until he gets alright. I received a letter today from Mother and she said she thought I would like France better if I had a chance to see more of it. I have seen all I want. I have hiked all over this country and although I have seen some pretty places, I don’t like it at all. I want to be where people speak real English—where I can talk to them and have a good time generally. It is hard to be able to talk to no one except those you are with all the time. It gets monotonous. But as I said before, “Live in hope and one will not die in despair, “that is a cinch. Well, I expect you are getting sick of this, so will close.

--Your friend, Private Lyle Gilbert




Baccalaureate Sermon, Zephyrhills Colonist, May 8, 1919

Dr. Montague, ex-president of the Baptist College of Lake City, Florida, will preach the Baccalaureate sermon Sunday morning, May 18th at G.A.R. Hall, 12:00 o’clock.

All Churches are requested to take part in the services.

The Commencement exercises of the Zephyrhills High School will be Wednesday evening May twenty-first at 9 o’clock in the G.A. R. Hall. The Senior Class this year has four members and is glad to announce that they have Dr. Comradi, president of the Florida State Women’s College at Tallahassee to give the address of the evening.





Senior Class Play, Zephyrhills Colonist, March 27, 1919

The G.A. R. Hall was filled and standing room at a premium Saturday night to hear the Senior Class play, “Her Honor the Mayor.” The play was a take off on the Suffragettes and each one acted his part well. The play was one great big laugh from beginning to end, and when “Her Honor the Mayor” appointed her servant as Chief-of-Police, the house simply roared. Then again when “Her Honor the Mayor” was bribed, no, not bribed but took a gift of five pounds of Myers chocolates a day for ten years, to use her influence to get the Council to pass an ordinance to furnish the school children with chocolates, all were convinced that women were easier bought than men. All this was a dream of Eve Green (Hazel Wright) and then she awoke and found her lover had been selected mayor in her stead.

Special mention must be made of the way Kenneth Storms took the part of the servant, Eliza. He brought the house down several times with his expressions and she (he) as Chief of Police was bribed, when Mike McGoon was arrested. All took their parts well and the teachers should feel proud of their pupils and Miss Toulane is to be congratulated upon her success in making the play such a success.



School Notes, The Zephyrhills Colonist, March 6, 1919

The Senior Class, aided by the Juniors, will give their annual class play on the 21st of this month. The play chosen is an unusual and unique comedy by Mary Modena Burns, called, “Her Honor the Mayor.” It is a pleasing and playful satire on suffrage, chockfull of fun and the joy of life. The actors are practicing hard and the play is sure to be a success. It is superintended by Miss Tulane, the English Teacher at the High School

Cast of Characters:
Lester Parmenter, Candidate for Mayor—Gerald Brigg
Honorable Mike McGoon, Political Boss—William Stebbins
Clarence Greenway, Eva’s Brother—Frank Stebbins
Eve Greenway, Lester’s Fiancé—Hazel Wright
Mrs. McNabb, Widow and Suffragette—Wilifred Wright
Doris Denton, An Athletic—Mae Wallace
Rosalie Myers, Her Chum—Ruth Burnett
Eliza Goober, the Servant—Kenneth Storms


Contributed by Jeff Miller of fivay project:

Pasco County School Board Minutes from December 1-3-4, 1919


“Matter of complaint in regard to Principal of Zephyrhills School was discussed and Board decided to investigate complaints and visited the school on December 3, 1919, and decided to continue the services of Principal Walter (Walter Roberts).


Alumni coverage of 1919

Alumni and Friends Reunion Was Gala Zephyrhills Event, Zephyrhills News, July 1, 1982

Another Zephyrhills High School Alumni and Friends Reunion is now history…..

Special persons introduced included James Kenyon of Clearwater from the class of 1916; Mrs. Rosemary Wallace Trottman, Class of 1919, a former faculty member for many years and author of the History of Zephyrhills, 1821 to 1921. Mrs. Trottman currently is working on a second volume, covering the years from 1921 to the present; J.H. Mott, 93, father of eight ZHS graduates, three of who were present, Mrs. Laray Mott Jordon, Mrs. Altha Baldwin and Mrs. Grace Mott Emery and Harold Emery of Lake Wales, the former school board member and longtime Seaboard Railroad agent in Zephyrhills; Miss Matilda Clement, 94, who traveled from Minnesota to attend the reunion and who taught English at Zephyrhills High many years after retiring from teaching posts in her native New England.



Zephyrhills News, July 30, 1977

Another enjoyable and successful Zephyrhills High School Alumni and Friends Reunion was held at the Zephyr Park Community Center.

..... Mrs. Rosemary Wallace Trottman was recognized as the earliest graduate present. She was with the Class of 1919.
Simon Geiger of Knights, 85, who helped haul the lumber to build the Zephyrhills school in the early 1900s, was a student at ZHS in 1911 completing the 11th grade. He has been retired for some years from long service with the Seaboard Railroad.




10th Annual Alumni and Friends Biggest and Best Ever, Zephyrhills News, June 26, 1979 by Jaynell LeHeup
Hopes for the biggest and best became a reality Sunday for the 10th annual Zephyrhills High School Alumni and Friends Reunion.

Introduced were Mrs. Anna Greene Farmer, the only one present from the Silver Anniversary Class of 1954; Don Storms Sr. Class of 1914, Plant City; Mr. James Kenyon, Class of 1916, Clearwater, and Mrs. Rosemary Wallace Trottman, Class of 1919 and author of “The History of Zephyrhills;” Ken Storms, also of the Class of 1919; J.H. Mott, former school board member.



Below is photo of Professor Walter Roberts (School Principal)’s Class:

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