In a school election in June of 1909, a vote was passed in favor of building a new school house for the Gallatin students at a cost of $32,500. The proposition carried by a vote of 285 to 103. The north and west parts of town very generally voted for the measure, but the south did not favor it.
The old building was to be torn down immediately. The plans and the specifications were practically ready and the new structure would soon be underway.
It was said the plans would give the people a school building that was a model for simplicity of architecture, with every room splendidly ventilated and lighted. The building was to be constructed of the best vitrified red brick, with stone trimmings. The outside walls were to be 18 inches thick and the foundation of cement.
The building was to be three stories high and would be provided with sanitary closets, lavatories, a large gymnasium for the girls, and the most modern apparatus for ventilation and heat. The hallways would be large, the stairways broad, and in every other way, every safe guard provided for the children’s safety and convenience.
— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin (2004)
from Gallatin’s New School Building, June 10, 1909
The post card photo is stamped 1907, showing the Gallatin school. The main part of this school was erected in 1871 at a cost of $12,500 without furnishings. Contractor was A.F. Ely (for $11,000 excluding the heating and bell work). The addition in the early 1890s. In 1873 enrollment numbers were as follows: 281 white and 51 colored, for a 331 total although the colored were housed in a separate school building. Faculty in 1873 were as follows: A.C. Burbank, principal and teacher $850; Mrs. Mary E. Swisher, grammar school teacher, $450; Mrs. Nellie Weston, intermediate school teacher, $400; Mrs. Ella Wynn, primary school teacher, $400. Classes were dismissed on March 31, 1910, so that this building could be razed quickly to make way for a new school on the same grounds to be completed by the following October. (courtesy Johnnie Black)
This photograph shows a building built for the public school in Gallatin, MO, not long after its construction. (date unknown)
This is Wilberforce School, located at George Allen and Daviess Streets, in Gallatin, MO, as it stood vacant and in neglect. In November 1866, the Gallatin School District leaders believed black students would do better educationally if they had their own school. In 1870, there were 96 black children attending Daviess County schools: 50 in the Gallatin district, and 46 black children were scattered over 13 townships. In 1871, African Americans here kept their school open three years by donations. By 1874 there were 66 children attending Wilberforce School located in the northwest part of Gallatin. In 1898, the Wilberforce School surpassed the Gallatin school with three graduates from the Wilberforce school graduation while the Gallatin school graduated only one student. A large audience of Gallatin’s citizens filled the Arbelia Opera House to witness this graduation. One portion of the program was furnished by the Wilberforce orchestra. The school was still in operation in 1933 and three students graduated from their eighth grade class. Wilberforce School operated until the 1956-57 school term when integration became a factor and black elementary graduates attended the Gallatin High School. After 1957, elementary students went to the elementary school. In later years, some people thought the schoolhouse was torn down for the lumber. (Wilbur Bush; photo date unknown)
This penny post card, dated 1914, shows Gallatin’s public high school with the main entrance facing West Grand Street (Bus. Hwy 6). The WPA gymnasium was later added to the east side, at right. The stone foundation on the west side of the building are from the foundation of the previous school building. (courtesy Johnnie Black)
Post card showing Gallatin High School, facing West Grand Street (Business Hwy 6) in 1948, printed by Wright’s Studio, 100-1/2 Main Street, Trenton, MO, Phone 240. (courtesy Johnnie Black)
This was a school hallway with trophy case and student lockers once used by students attending classes in the “old” school building fronting West Grand Street (Bus. Hwy. 6) in Gallatin, MO. The WPA-era school addition provided more classroom space plus a gymnasium with a stage offering a setting for drama plays, music concerts and other school presentations. (circa 1960)
A new school building for elementary grade students was built in 1957 on the west side of Gallatin, MO, shown here soon after its completion.
During the 1980s the Board of Education renamed the school in honor of longtime elementary school principal Covel Searcy.
Covel Searcy was a well-known and popular personality, a father and grandfather, educator and longtime public school administrator at Gallatin, MO. He served as a principal in the R-5 school system for 29 years. The community’s elementary school was named in his honor in 1984: Searcy R-5 Elementary School. Covel Searcy died April 13, 2002.
This aerial view of Gallatin R-5 School is not dated but is believed to have been taken prior to the construction of the school’s vocational building. The high school building is in the foreground with the elementary school building also shown.
A separate building for middle school classes, band, and administration offices was built on the Gallatin R-5 School campus. Shown in the background is Searcy R-5 Elementary School building.
An Overview of Student Activities at GHS:
(click on image to enlarge)
Students are shown assembled at Gallatin Normal School in 1888.
Most schools in Missouri promoted school spirit and sports by encouraging girls to participate in pep clubs prior to the time when varsity sport programs were offered for girls. Here the club leaders, the cheer leaders, are shown wearing white sweaters in front of pep club membes each proudly wearing the large “G” for Gallating on red sweater fronts.
Skits were presented on stage when GHS was located in the WPA era gymnasium located on West Grand Street in Gallatin, MO. These photo was taken during 1967.
Many farmers in the Gallatin area were introduced to computers in the early 1980s at night classes led by Kenneth Lockridge at the Gallatin R-5 Ag Building.
The celebration for Albert Gallatin Day held in 1967 included students and staff at Gallatin High School. The day was marked by the first issue of a U.S. Postal Stamp honoring the former U.S. diplomat and treasurer, the namesake of Gallatin, MO.
Using financing made available for public works during the Depression, Gallatin constructed an addition onto the Gallatin High School providing more classrooms and a gymnasium which featured a performance stage on the north side with bleachers for seating across the gym floor on the south side. Shown are members of the Gallatin High School Band in 1941.
This unidentified Gallatin graduating class of senior high school students are shown outside the United Methodist Church where Baccalaureate services were conducted. (date unknown)
This photo shows Gallatin students ready to advance into first grade as “graduates” of kindergarten classs held in 1958-59.
Kindegarten students at Gallatin R-5 School celebrated their promotion to first grade with a “graduation ceremony” which unfolded on the elementary school stage before proud parents and friends. This group of “graduates” was photographed in 1960.
This photo shows the group of kindegarten students ready to advance into Gallatin Elementary School during “graduation” ceremonies held at the Gallatin Christian Church.
Those graduating from Gallatin High School in 1964 were attired in white ceremonial gowns and participated in Baccalaureate as well as Graduation ceremonies where each received their diploma.
School spirit burst into flames at bonfires traditionally held before a Homecoming or an important game during the high school football season. All students were welcome as spirits soared before “the big game.” (date unknown)
The Marching Bulldogs of Gallatin High School parade on Main Street during Homecoming in 1965. Busiinesses shown in the background include Ben Franklin the ASCS office, Harlow Drug in mid block, and D.H. Davis Drug at right.
These are senior class members of the 1971 GHS Marching Bulldog Band which added a host of trophies to the school’s showcase. Shown, front row, left to right, are: Donna Robertson, Christy Blaine, Pat Houghton, Linda VonKaenel, Julia Terrill and Jill McGinnis; back row, James Aller (band director), Steve Searcy, Dick Culver, Bob Croy, Bob Aulgur and Lynn Brandom.
GHS Glee Club: Front row — Alijah Jones, Russell Wilson, Ben Cunningham, Prof. Smith, Stub Lewis, Ray Fox, Hubert Rice, J. Hemry Ramsbottom; back row — Prof. Brunning, V.T. Hale, Dick Cash, W.W. Pierce, Prof. Eldridge. [Liddell Studio]
Basketball was the format for fun between faculty and seniors at Gallatin High School when the gymnasium, built during the WPA era, was located along West Grand Street not far from the business square. (April, but otherwise date unknown)
Floats parading during high school Homecomings were a tradition across America, sometimes featuring ornate parade entries like this one in 1965. Colorful tissue paper stuffed into place using chicken fencing wire converted any vehicle worthy of the parade. Here a GHS Homecoming rolls along North Main Street in front of the Gallatin Democrat newspape office.
This banner was created by GHS art student ? Rathje was a fixture on the east side of the school gymnasium for many years beginning in the 1980s.
This is a photo of Gallatin High School students (date unknown). Front row — V.T. Hale, Prof. Eldridge, ___ Rice, Stub Lewis, Elijah Jones, Russ Wilson, Dick Cash, J. Hemry Ramsbottom; back row — Prof. Brunning, Prof. Smith, Beh ___, Earl Fox, ____. [Liddell Studio]
In April, 1950, approximately 90 students, teachers and parents boarded two Continental buses at Gallatin to depart for Kansas City for a day of sight-seeing. Students from four schools in Daviess County made the trip: Goodbar with teacher Ruby Whitt; Johnson with teacher Virginia Tomlinson; Splawn Ridge with teacher Alberta Volk; and Blake with teacher Twilah Carter. (photo by Hubert Long)