The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., March 1, 1906, page 1
HIGH SCHOOL MASS MEETING
Five Districts Are Favorable
Want Districts Consolidated and High School Built - Distinguished Visitors Address the Audience
At the High School meeting held here Saturday five out
of the six school districts in the valley reported favorably on the project
of consolidation. The dissenting district was Crapper, the report from there
being that the residents of that district feared an increase in the expense
of running the district and also said that the transportation of pupils could
not be arranged satisfactorily.
State Ssuperintendent Ackerman was again here to speak in favor of the project, as was also President Campbell of the State University at Eugene and County Superintendent of Schools Neff.
A meeting was held Friday night at Frankton, at which whatever opposition there had been to the consolidated district was dissipated by those who were present to speak on the question.
The meeting was called to order at 10 o'clock in Artisan's hall by C.H. Vaughan, secretary, who announced that F.C. Sherrieb, who had been chosen chairman of the meeting, was unable to be present and Prof. Wiley was elected to fill the position and stated that the meeting had been called for the purpose of receiving the reports of the committees who had been appointed at a previous meeting to canvass the various districts and discover what the sentiment was in regard to the consolidation plan. He called for the report of district No. 2 first -- Frankton district.
M.H. Nickelsen then read a report from that district showing that it was the sense of the meeting which had been held there that it was unanimously for the consolidation. Mr. Nickelsen explained that the report did not express the sentiments of the whole district, as there were some who were opposed to the movement. He said, however, that when the matter was explained more fully to them he felt quite sure that they would be in favor of it. He was opposed to it at the start, he said, but was now highly in favor of it. M.R. Noble from this district also said that he thought whatever opposition there was at Frankton to the consolidation could be won over.
The report of the Pine Grove district was next made by Mr. Mason, whose stated that out of the canvass of 46 residents of his district he had found 28 for the consolidation and 18 against. But explained that out of the 18 in opposition 12 he thought were still open to conviction and said that even if it was found that the two upper districts, mentioning Odell and Crapper, were against it he thought the object sought could still be accomplished by consolidating the lower four districts, which he was quite sure would be in favor of it.
He then asked whether a man and his wife who both owned properties were entitled to vote on the school proposition and was assured by the chairman that they were. It was developed by questions from Mr. Mason that heads of families are also entitled to vote and that in a case where the wife owned the property, she was entitled to vote as a taxpayer and her husband also as head of the family. Mr. Mason then made a few remarks about the transportation feature of the consolidation, saying that if it was not included in the proposition he wanted it understood that he was against it and would work against it. He was assured by Supt. Ackerman that it was included, who also said in answer to a question that one vote would cover both propositions, and that the transportation feature would stand until it was rescinded by another vote.
Secretary Vaughan read the report from the Hood River district which was to the effect that all those who had been seen in regard to the matter were unanimously in favor of it.
A report was received from Odell to the effect that 80 percent of the residents there were in favor of it and that when the transportation matter was explained they would all be in favor of it.
Mr. Ackerman then spoke on the matte saying that as far as the question of increased taxation was concerned he thought that he would be quite safe in saying that instead of increasing the levy for school purposes that it would result in the end in a reduction. The system, he said, which it was the intention to inaugurate would do away with several teachers, a fact which would probably take care of the expense of transportation. He demonstrated very practically that an all around benefit the consolidated district and high school would be to the valley, and answered a number of questions in regard to the same satisfactorily. The strongest feature of Mr. Ackerman's argument was that with one executive head to superintend the whole district, the schools would be brought under regime of sysematic instruction that could be reached in no other way. In addition, the pupils would have the benefit of nine months' schooling as against seven or seven and a half now. He also said that with a high school established here 85 percent of pupils who reached the eighth grade would probably receive a high school education. Whereas, if there was no high school the percentage who would continue in school above that grade would be very small, and that the taxpayers of this community and others similarly situated owed it to the rising generation to give them the best educational facilities that could be obtained.
In as there had been no report from the Crapper district, and Mr. McCurdy, who was one of the committee from that district to ascertain what the sentiment was there, had arrived, he was asked how that district stood, and said that in a house to house canvass he had found about 40 against and 4 for consolidation, and didn't think the sentiment could be changed.
J.R. Galligan, one of the other members of the committee from Odell, then made a report similar to the one of Mr. Carns, and Roswell Shelley from the same district said that he objected to the inference from Mr. Mason that there was any question as to how Odell stood in the matter. He wanted it understood that Odell was for the proposition first, last and all the time and that when it was put to a vote would be found on the right side. That the high school question was the most important one now before the taxpayers of the valley and took precedent of all others, as we must be in a position to provide as good schooling as could be found anywhere and not have to say to proposed investors in property here that we had no high school course.
President Campbell of the state university at Eugene, was then asked to address the meeting, and in opening his talks said that he could not see how there was anything in the way of the proposed plan of consolidation. That nowhere in the state, perhaps, were the conditions for putting the plan into execution so ideal and practicable as here. This, he said, was a business age and it required of those who went forth in quest of success in any profession or business that they must be equipped with an education second to none. There is nothing so fine as the human mind, and more particularly the human mind at the period of receptivity. This period is usually at the time when a student is about to enter the high school, and it is then that the foundation of future intellects is laid. Under the conditions sought for by consolidating industrial and mental training could be combined and a condition of development brought about in student or scholar that could be reached in no other way. He spoke about the rapid advances Oregon has made in educational matters during the past ten years and said that where there were only ten high schools in the state at that time there were now 120 and impressed on his hearers the necessity of establishing one here. Hood River, he said, had the reputation of leading the state in the apple business and it had now the opportunity of leading in the plan of consolidating its school districts and establishing a high school.
Rev. Mr. Hershner then spoke briefly on the question and introduced a resolution continuing the present committees and the various districts and appointing three additional members on each of them to continue the work of an educational campaign, which was carried.
Prof. Thompson reported from the Barrett district that as far as he was able to ascertain the consolidation was satisfactory to residents in that district. There was some opposition, but he thought that when it was better understood there would not be any.
Mr. Shelley moved that the meeting adjourn to meet in the afternoon at 1:30, which motion was amended to 1 o'clock and carried.
In the afternoon the meeting was again addressed by Superintendent Ackerman, President Campbell and others and the additional members of the committees selected. It was decided to again canvas the Crapper district and, after ascertaining its decision, petitions will be filed and the matter voted on at the June elections.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer