Fifty years ago Tuesday, October 27, 1903, the people of Warsaw went to the polls to vote in a special election which had been arranged by the Warsaw school board. Just prior to the election the board had recommended that a new high school be built at the corner of Main and Washington streets. The special vote was taken to get the citizen's reaction to the board's recommendations.
In Warsaw, as in nearly every community, the elementary school system developed before the high school. In fact, the American secondary or high school was the last link in the chain of development of the three branches of our public school system --elementary, high school and college. In 1872 the Warsaw school board had erected three grade school buildings, thus laying the basis for our three ward elementary school system of today. The Central building, located on the south side of Market street near Detroit, was larger than the other two buildings. For many years this building served as a grade school, a high school, and a city library. At first the high school classes were small; the first graduating class in 1877 consisted of three members. Interest in high school subjects grew, graduating classes became larger, and the old Central school building was no longer adequate. Several readers of this column went to that school and can remember well the crowded conditions of 1900.
In 1903 the school board came forth with definite recommendations to meet the school needs of the community. The plan included the purchase of the Funk property (the boyhood home of Elmer Funk) at the corner of Main and Washington streets as the site for the new high school. As the time for the special election drew near, these recommendations became the main topics of conversation around town. There was considerable opposition in East Warsaw because the site was not in a central location. When the vote was counted, however, it revealed that every one of Warsaw's six precincts had given a majority for the proposed project. The total vote was 356 for and 154 against.
The building was constructed in 1904 and with additions made in 1938 has been the home of Warsaw high school ever since.
Warsaw Times-Union Thurs. Oct. 29, 1953