History of the Hillsborough County High School

Compiled by Doris Hill

February 15, 1911

            The laying of the cornerstone of our new high school means so much to us. It means that the building to which we have looked forward to for so long is now in the course of erection. In 1905, the school paper expressed the need of another building, and the pupils of the school have been longing for it for all these years. Now, when we are about to realize our hopes, let us look back over the history of the High School.

            The Hillsborough County High School was a department of the Tampa School No. 1, which was located on Franklin Street, north of the Court House. A High School course was introduced for the first time in 1882. At this time, Mrs. Mary Cuscaden was principal, and Mr. Wesley P. Henderson was County Superintendent. Mrs. Cuscaden was principal for two years. In 1884, she was succeeded by Dr. Raymond, and in 1885, the latter was followed by Mr. B.C. Graham.

            In 1885, the School Board sold the school property, now known as the Sparkman Block, to Sparkman and Sparkman, and purchased an entire block on Jefferson Street, between Henderson and Estelle Streets. A new building, now known as the Sixth Avenue Grammar School was erected on this new property. At the beginning of the term in 1886, the High School and Tampa School No. 1 moved into their new home. In January 1887, Mr. Henderson resigned, and, in his place, Mr. L.W. Buchholz was appointed by Governor Perry.

            In 1892, the high school moved into a new building erected by the City of Tampa. This building is situated just south of the old building.

            In 1894, upon the recommendation of Superintendent Buchholz, the High School was made a separate and distinct institution. The principal’s duties were confined to the High School. This change was a great improvement over the previous arrangement. In 1896, the building, now called the Tampa Heights Primary School building, was enlarged and arranged for a primary school.

            Owing to the disastrous freeze of 1895, the plan of Supt. Buchholz to erect a brick building for the High School had to be postponed. Accordingly, the school was taught for one year in the old Baptist Church on the corner of Twiggs and Tampa Streets.

            From 1897 to 1900, the High School was over the Post-Office, located in the Wright Block on the corner of Madison Street and Florida Avenue. 

            Through the special efforts of Supt. Buchholz, the frame building on the corner of Jefferson and Estelle Streets, our present home, was erected in 1900. This building has two stories and contains an assembly hall, six large rooms, several small rooms and an office. This was ample room for the number of pupils enrolled at that time.

            In January 1901, Mr. Buchholz accepted a position in the Florida State College at Tallahassee. Mr. B.C. Graham, who up to that time had been principal, succeeded Mr. Buchholz as County Superintendent, which office he held until 1904, when he was succeeded by Mr. W.B. Dickenson, who also occupied that position for a term. In 1908, Mr. Buchholz was again elected as County Superintendent, which place he holds at the present time. It is largely through his efforts that our new building is being erected.

            Mr. J.W. McClung was principal from 1900 to 1907. During the next two years, 1907 and 1908, Dr. E.M. Hyde was principal. Then in 1909, Mr. E.L. Robinson was appointed principal.

            The High School Faculty at the present time is composed of Mr. E.L. Robinson, principal, Mr. Fritz Buchholz, instructor in German and Mathematics, Mr. F.S. Wetzel, Science teacher, Mrs. Sarah McCreery, Latin instructor, Mrs. L.B. Bradford, English teacher, Miss M. Sparkman, teacher of Spanish and History, Miss Butler, instructor in History and Biology, Miss J.E. Rutland, teacher of English and Algebra and Miss Hulda Kreher, director of the Orchestra.

            The course of study from time to time has changed. The course which was adopted in September 1910 and which is in use at the present time is as follows:

            Freshman Class: Beginning Latin or Biology, Algebra to Quadratics, English Grammar and Composition, Ancient History.

            Sophomore Class: Caesar or Biology, Plane Geometry, Rhetoric and American Literature, Modern History.

            Junior Class: Cicero, Algebra from Quadratics, English Literature and Composition, Physics, Spanish, German.

            Senior Class: Virgil, Solid Geometry and Plane Trigonometry, English Literature, Chemistry, Spanish, German, United States History and Civics.

            A credit is given when a study is pursued for one school year with five recitations each week. It takes four years to complete the High School course. Sixteen credit marks, divided as follows, are required for graduation: English, four credits, History, three credits, Math, two credits, Physics, one credit, Foreign Language, two credits, Elective, four credits.

            The High School Orchestra was organized about 1904. The Orchestra contains eighteen pieces, including one piano, eleven violins, two cornets, one triangle, three mandolins, and is effectively directed by Miss Hulda Kreher.

            The High School paper, which is published monthly throughout the term by the students, is another interesting feature of our school. In 1899, when it was first published, it had but four pages and was printed like a newspaper. Its name was then “Donnybrook Fair”. For two years, 1907 and 1908, it was called “The Star of the Gulf”, and again in 1909, the title was changed, this time to “The Red and Black”, for these are our school colors. Our paper now contains sixteen pages of reading matter and its success is shown by its great popularity with the pupils.

            We are delighted with the prospect of moving next October into a new building so large and splendidly equipped, and we intend to take advantage of all that our new school offers us.


See the complete cornerstone history by Doris G. Hill in her own writing.  Click each page to view full size.

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8

See a scan of the original cornerstone history document by Doris Hill as a PDF (10 Mb)

Hillsborough High School History       Jefferson High School & D. W. Waters Career Center     JHS Alumni Museum

 TampaPix Home