Caddo Herald, January 21, 1921
Caddo High School Building Burned
Last Friday morning at eight o’clock the Caddo High School building burned. Nothing but the walls and iron work was left.
School began again Monday morning in the Club house, Woodman Hall, and Odd Fellow Hall.
The fire was first discovered to be under the stage in the auditorium and must have had good headway before discovery for by the time alarm was given and the fire hose got there half the inside of the building was ablaze, and had reached such headway that nothing available could have saved the reminder of the building.
Some of the teachers and a few pupils had gathered for school, and they succeeded in saving three desks, a few books, the piano and some of the experimental apparatus.
Many people gathered to see the building, but they could do nothing, the pall of smoke was so dense that there was no penetrating it, so the work of salvage had to be abandoned soon.
No one was injured.
A meeting of patrons and school board was called and met in the Woodman Hall, and there offers were received from the Woodmen, The Odd Fellows, the Methodist church, the Christian church, Mr. Boland, Mr. Maddox and Mr. Bass for use of rooms and buildings. This meeting was largely attended and upon consultation it was decided to use the Club House for the fifth grade, the Woodman Hall for the seventh and eight grades, and the Odd Fellow Hall and the McCoy building for the High School; the work was immediately begun to get these rooms in shape, together with making what furniture was necessary.
It was not then known just what the cost would be for this work; but it was known that the school board had no money available for this contingency, so a subscription list was started to get money to pay for it; some $400 was subscribed there and on the street. Later developments indicate that this cost will be something like $800, because three complete toilets had to be connected with the sewer, six stoves had to be installed, another toilet connect with water, partitions built and black boards made. Two stairways also had to be constructed for fire escape purposes.
A further loss was that each of the 250 children attending the High School lost from one to five dollars worth of books, but this naturally, was met by each individual parent, a total of something like $1,000.
The High School building was erected in 1913 at a cost of $30,000 and the equipment cost another $10,000. At today’s building costs it would require better than $80,000 to replace building and equipment.
There was $30,000 insurance on the building and $1,000 on the equipment, which money with perhaps secured by a bond issue will be used in erecting another building. But the earliest that another building can be hoped for would be the beginning of the next term of school.
Of course the board and citizenship will lose no time in making provisions for another house, but the present arrangements will have to be used until the close of another term of school.
Mr. Dodd is chairman of the Patron’s Club, and he appointed a committee consisting of himself, Mr. Crossett, and Mr. Boland to raise the funds immediately needed for putting the rooms in shape, and to oversee their expenditure. Mr. Davison, Mr. Styron, and Mr. Everett Pitchlynn are the members of the school board and each of these men have been very active in getting things ready for school. Mr. Shaw, assisted by Prof. Early and Prof. Hart, especially and all the teachers at the High School have worked incessantly to the end that no break will be suffered by catastrophe, and right well have they done their work. The rooms secured and arranged are nicely equipped now for work. Classrooms, study halls, and necessary equipment have been provided.
And while there will be something like 200 children housed downtown for school purposes there will be little inconvenience experienced by anyone thereby, for such regulations have been established as to minimize the lack of playgrounds and recreation places.
The public spirit manifested by every Caddo citizen in this calamity is very commendable. Nearly everyone approached have contributed liberally toward this fund; all have been willing to help in arranging the buildings- showing a unity of spirit that must be a good thing for the town and for the interests of the school.
It may be perhaps, that since schools are downtown, that more men may visit the schools and see how things are going. The superintendent and teachers each will welcome your visits. They are doing their best to take care of the children, and have no secrets from the parentage. They seek your aid and guidance.
In this connection Chairman Dodd announces another meeting of the Patron’s Club at the Methodist church Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, at which time there are several matters to be taken up. It is set for Sunday afternoon so that business will not interfere with attendance. It is desired that every parent or citizen who is at all interested in this school be present at that time. Your presence, advice and cooperation is wanted. It is by assembling together of all minds that the best results are obtained. The school board and the school teachers will be there and they want the parents to know of some things.
So if you are at all interested in your schools, be present Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock.