1883 Washington High GraduatesTranscriber’s Notes:
- These are the first graduates of the newly-formed Washington High School. Prior to 1876, Washington had no public high schools despite that the City Council had, on November 1, 1858, ordered the establishment of a high school system. The system was to be put into place by 1861 or as soon as possible thereafter. However, the Civil War and reconstruction eras interfered with the execution or the Council’s order. Thus, parents who wished to provide their children with an education beyond grammar school were forced to enroll them in one of the many private schools that dotted the DC area. But the movement to provide a free public education beyond the lower grades had gained considerable momentum, and high school studies were slowly added to the primary school curriculum. The primary schools were soon overburdened; and in September 1876, the first public high school opened. The school was known as the “Advanced Grammar School for Girls.”
The following year, a similar school for boys was launched. The schools were casually referred to as the Girls’ High School and the Boys’ High School. Both advanced schools grew rapidly, soon reaching full capacity. While Congress had made appropriations for buildings for lower schools, there was no equivalent funding for high school accommodations. That was remedied in 1880 when Congress allocated funds to erect a suitable building for a high school. By September 1882, the building was complete and ready for occupancy.
The two advanced grammar schools were joined and became known as the Washington High School. Edward A. Paul served as principal. The new school was located on O Street between 6th and 7th, northwest. The building had 16 class rooms, 3 study rooms, a library, drawing room, drill hall, gymnasium, office, teachers’ rooms, an assembly hall, and laboratories. [Sources: R. S. Bassler, Washington, Past and Present: A History [New York: Lewis Publishing Co, 1932], pp 418-437; The Washington Critic, Washington, DC, Mar 26, 1887, p1.]
- Information about the commencement was taken from the June 12, 1883, edition of the Evening Critic (Washington, DC) at Page 3.
Commencement Program:Salutatory Address: Miss Phoebe Holmes (Given in Latin).
Oration: “Technical Education,” Harry H. Stoek.
Essay: “The Omnipresent Sparrow,” Susan B. Sipe.
Essay: “Back Door Glimpses,” Florence Perry.
Oration: “Egypt, A Land of Contrast,” Harry English.
Recitation: “Die Grenadiere,” Maggie M. Hines.
Essay: “The Milk we Drink,” William P. Cutter.
Essay: “Rumor,” Alice R. Hutchinson.
Oration with Valeditory: “The Americans, A Home Loving People,” Clement M. L. Sites.
Music: High School Chorus
Location: Washington High School Assembly Hall.
The Washington High Graduating Class of 1883 (List of Gentlemen):
George Hamilton Ayres
James Henry Brown
Frank Laughlin Calhoun
Appleton Printiss Clark, Jr.
Charles William Curtis
William Parker Cutter
Aleyne Abiel Fisher
Charles George Forster
William David Hoover
Henry George Sherwood
Clement Moore Lacy Sites
Harry Harkness Stoek
The Washington High Graduating Class of 1883 (List of Ladies):
Hanna Augusta Brecht
Clara Leonore Crown
Emma Augusta Doyle
Olivia Dana Eastwood
Ida Elizabeth Edwards
Julia Adelle Hammett
Wilhelmina Cornelia Hartmann
Mary Cornelia Hilton
Maggie May Himes
Maggie May Hines
Alice Rose Hutchinson
Mary Cecelia Kelly
Mary Stuart McKinney
Helen Gilman Nichols
Lelia Russell Nowlin
Lillian Martha Orcutt
Sarah Emma Simons
Susan Bender Sipe
Fannie Estelle Towner
Lelia Elia White