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John J. Pershing School
Just east of the Blue Hills Golf Club on 59th and Olive Streets there was erected in the summer of 1918 a small frame school building, built on plans quite unique for small school houses. Although anything but impressive from the exterior, inside the building was as cozy and comfortable as many of the larger buildings in the city. It consisted of four large classrooms, one of which was arranged for use as an assembly room, for not only the school, but the community at large. Since this was the only room of any size in the neighborhood it did much service as a meeting place for various purposes. There was also an office and supply room in the school and the building was set on a rock foundation. It was heated by means of hot air furnaces and was lighted by electricity.
The school was named the John J. Pershing School in honor of General Pershing who was in France at the time. In appreciation of the compliment paid him, General Pershing sent a letter and photograph of himself taken in uniform. Both letter and photograph were preserved in the school.
Due to the high cost of living at the time of the opening of the school, the district did not build up as was expected and, on September 6, 1918, the school was organized with 26 students. However, all grades were taught when the school was started. For the first two years in the life of the school, the enrollment grew slowly, but with the large amount of building in the district, the number of children in the district was rapidly growing and it became certain that a larger school would be needed.
As the school enrollment grew past the 150 mark a full kindergarten was maintained as well as a 7th grade. The first 7th grade graduating class consisted of four boys and three girls.
Although there was no provision in the building, each week for a half day, the boys attended the H. C. Kumpf School for manual training work and a teacher was sent to the school to instruct the girls in sewing.
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