Maplewood-Richmond Heights Class of 1953

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High School History

2003 Picture

Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School

Proud Traditions, Long Established
1907 - 1957

Our long established traditions of glorious achievement in the class and on the field have developed through fifty golden years.

When the City of St. Louis withdrew from St. Louis County in 1876, pupils in what is now this school district went to school at a one-story building at McCausland and Manchester Avenues. The new district, which was to become the school district of Maplewood-Richmond Heights, established its first school in the woods west of Big Bend and Comfort Avenues.

Until 1907 high school students had to pay tuition at city schools. At this time the citizens of the district realized that if their communities were to continue to progress their children would need free public education at the high school level. The Board of Education accordingly provided for a high school which opened in 1907 with a freshman class in a one-room frame building on the present Valley School site.

The first class graduated in 1911. By this time the high school was growing rapidly in size and the proud traditions of the Leafs were being established. The first championship football team was produced in 1915. Educational opportunities expanded rapidly. In 1907 one teacher taught all four subjects offered. In 1957 forty-two teachers are teaching some sixty units.

Extracurricular activities which did not exist for the class of 1911 gradually became an integral part of school life. For example, the first student publication, the MAPLE SHIELD, was published in 1917, the same year the high school moved into the first building of its own. In 1957 the one thousand plus students are able to participate in such a wide variety of activities that for some students there aren’t enough days in a week.

Graduates “Spread Abroad Her Well-Earned Fame”

In 1911 the first graduating class of seven students departed the portals of Maplewood High School to “spread abroad her well-earned fame.” As we now celebrate the school’s fiftieth anniversary five of that seven are still with us. Earl Thorpe and Mae Teale (Mrs. Y. L. Orellami) are deceased. Ella Hetherington (Mrs. J.O. Trampe) and Will Neukon are in the insurance business. Two members of the class entered the teaching profession: Ida Riegert, now teaching at Sutton School in this district, and Luella Quinn, who taught, previous to her retirement, at one of the St. Louis High Schools. Vincent Townsend entered the medical profession and practices in the same community which established the high school from which he graduated. Miss Cornelia Brossard, who was called in 1907 to teach all classes in the one-room building pictured above, later became Dean of Women at Harris Teacher’s College. She is presently teaching a few classes at Maryville College.