Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back in Time - 1940s

I've written about the consolidation of the Pavillion and Morton school districts in a previous post. Even though the issue was an old one (talks started in 1938) it never got past the talking stage - a strong rivalry existed between the schools - until it came to fruition in 1969. The last class to graduate from Pavillion High School was 1969 (my class), and the Wind River School District was created.

In the mid 70s, I was approached by the Karen Gabrielsen who had organized the Pavillion Alumni Association. She said the large composite photos of the Pavillion graduates were being taken down by the consolidated Wind River school and possibly being discarded, so I agreed to photograph the images for the Alumni Association. We hurriedly propped the large composites outside against the side of the building, and I began snapping. In my haste, I did not notice that on some of my photos, the graduates names are not clearly visible.

Thankfully, the composites were never discarded, and several years later, the school decided to remount and preserve them. Today, the composites from Morton and Pavillion High Schools can be seen in the Commons of Wind River High School. 

In the coming weeks, the photos will be posted here to preserve them online, as well. Please email me with any name or spelling corrections. As always, click on the images to enlarge. 
Class of 1942
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
(some graduates names are not legible and two photos were lost to the ages)
Top: Maxine Foster, Melvin Cooper, Gladys Starks, unknown,
 Molly Smith, Perle Groathouse. Center: Alfrieda Green, Dean Kennedy,
Louise Stubblefield, unknown, Ardetta Green, unknown.
Bottom: Nina Fink, Darlene Schmuck, Beatrice Brown, June Fike.
(Thanks, Laurin Leonhardt for helping identify these photos)

Class of 1943
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
Top: Robert Brandell, Laurena Wells, Jimmy Barquin, Artis Newberry,
Russell Jbcox, Ida Gallegos, Wayne L (?)   Center: Laverne Randolph,
Iris Cooper, George Kell, Dryle Niel, Novella Vermillion, Donald
Swenson  Bottom: William (?) Jimmy Fike
Although I couldn't find any information on the Class of 1944, I believe graduation was suspended due to World War II. Does anyone have information about this class?

Class of 1945
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
Top: Cecelia Olheiser, Roy Maxey, Jr., Robert Williams, Eva Fike.
Center: Gerald Wells, Lela Schneider. Bottom: Joe Turner, Ella Mae
Starks, Wesley Fink, Claudean Maxey, William Schwarz (Supt.)
Throughout her book Pavillion City, Irene Jones gives details about the history of the Pavillion School District #32. The following information was taken from Irene's book. 

March 13, 1909 the town of Pavillion created a school district and built the first school building, a 20 x 22 log structure. It was constructed with donated labor and materials. The school opened Oct 11, 1909 with 25 pupils. (page 10)

The teacher married in 1912, and the school closed until 1924 when it reopened with 23 pupils. (page 12) The lower grades attended school in the log building, and the upper grades met in a little tar-paper shack. A new school was being constructed on Cedar Ave. in 1924. (pg 19)

By 1928, the schools in Fremont County were being standardized. The new white school house on Cedar Ave. was used. The building was 90 x 30 and had cloak rooms at each end. First through Tenth grades had classes in this building. (page 30)

Enrollment grew greatly in the 1930s and 1940s

  • 1931 (32 pupils)
  • 1932 - 1934 (34 pupils)
  • 1935 (76 pupils and 20 more expected because of pending irrigation project.) The town petitioned the State for emergency funds to hire another teacher. The teacher's salary was funded by private individuals and loans. The teacher was paid with warrants that could only be cashed if money was available.
  • 1936 (157 pupils and more expected)
  • 1937 (first graduation - four graduates)
  • 1938 (Because of increased enrollment in both districts, the School Boards from Morton and Pavillion talk about consolidating schools – the idea was defeated) 
  • 1938 (252 students. Up to this time, the community funded the school, but the enrollment was growing so much teachers' salaries could not be adequately and consistently funded. The state came through with $5,500.00 relief funding since the the irrigation project was bringing families with children into the area. WPA funds began to pay teacher’s salaries of $125 a month. 
  • 1939 (300 pupils  Town of Pavillion was incorporated)
  • 1940 (300 pupils - 215 elementary and 85 high school)
  • 1948 (266 pupils - 200 elementary and 66 high school)
(enrollment information from pages 37, 39, 41, 42, 46, 47, 49, 50, 52, 53)

In 1940, the Catholic church was used for Fourth and Fifth grades. High school students attended classes in the white school building. A two-story brick building to house the elementary was completed in 1940. The building contained three classrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor, and three classrooms and a workroom on the second floor. The white building continued to be used for high school classes. (page 53)

Pavillion High School as it appeared in 1948 or 1949

A new gym was built in 1948 (the arched portion of the photo above) and was the largest and best in this part of the State. The new high school, built around the gymnasium was also finished in 1948. Most of the materials for the gym and high school were brought from abandoned barracks and other buildings at the Japanese Internment Camp near Heart Mountain in northwest Wyoming. Most of the material and labor for the new school was donated. The Agriculture Shop behind the school was built in two portions: the first built with the new school. (pages 60 - 61)

Class of 1946
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
Top: Johanna Skjoldal, Claude Fike, Marguerite Barquin, Ross Pickinpaugh
Alta Randolph. Center: Delbert Adams, Bonnie Welty, Ida Olheiser, Donald
Davis. Bottom: Max Wall, William Schwarz (Supt.) Darlene Rockney

Class of 1947
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
Top: Richard Hill, Connie Fonda, Clifford Stickney
Bottom: Henry Kittle (Supt.)

Class of 1948
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
Top: Gene Schneider, Leslie Wolfe, Steve Wilson, Roy Kessinger,
Charles Jager, Louise Petersen, Center: Edith Brown, Dean Pickinpaugh,
H.K. Kittle (Supt.) Eileen Cox, Lucile Wolfe.

Class of 1949
Pavillion High School
Pavillion, WY
Top: Arlene Clark, Philip Wilson, Marjorie Day.
Center: Neal Pickinpaugh, Carl Peterson.
Bottom: Raymond Harman (Sponsor) H.K. Kittle (Supt.)  

Composite photos of Pavillion High School graduates from the 1950s and 1960s will be posted soon.


  1. That's pretty amazing. I can't imagine having those photos in the actual school halls. Are the classes still so small? g

  2. What a wonderful thing!! My graduating class has some crazy number like 784. However, my college freshman class had only ... 28?

  3. Very interesting! Nice job putting this all together Nancy.

  4. I'm so glad you have these pictures and that you are getting them on your blog. Thanks for adding other information as well. This becomes such a nice way to see the decade as it unfolded. Well done!

  5. Very interesting!! Makes me wish I had not missed my high school reunion. I laughed when you mentioned the cloak rooms at each end of the room. I'm afraid cloak rooms are a thing of the past!

  6. What a great gift to all of those in the community. Nancy you serve them well.

  7. When we are young, history seems non-important, when we are "wiser", we seek it out... wonderful of you to do this... I do some work for a museum so I understand much of the importance of what you do. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is indeed to get new visitors and new commentors, I appreciate it. Cheers~

  8. What a great history of your town/area. I love looking at the pics of the kids and how different they look from when we were in school and where we were in school. Great fun.

  9. Interesting that they would only pay the teacher if funds were available. Interesting mix of classes..some years the gals really have a bunch of good choices for dates:)


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