Home Life History: Happenings at 1917 Benton High School

History: Happenings at 1917 Benton High School


In its January 11, 1917 The Bossier Banner noted some of what was going on at Benton High School.  Classrooms have certainly changed a lot.

“The work in the various grades in school is progressing satisfactorily.  The pupils have gone to work with renewed interest since the holidays, anticipating the midterm examination, which will soon be given.”

“The botany class has had some interesting lessons on mushrooms, distinguishing between the poisonous and edible kinds.  Judging from the pour of toadstools brought in, Benton soil seems to be prolific in the edible ones.”

“A new supply of electrical apparatus has just been received by the physics class and the young electricians are now inthusiastic [sic] in performing experiments with the new material.”

“The high school department was very much gratified to receive from Superintendent Fortson last Wednesday morning a fine new stand for the dictionary, which has been recently added to the library.”

“The work in the intermediate grades is progressing very nicely.  Every pupil is back after the holidays and all seem ready for the work of the new year.  The literary society has been reorgonized [sic] and the pupils in these grades have planned to give a program every Friday afternoon.  All parents and friends  are invited to attend these programs.”

“The interest which has been so marked in the primary department from the beginning of school continues to grow.  The children began the new year with renewed interest and already a great deal of improvement has been made.  It is interesting to watch the little folk working away at numbers or copying some work from the board.”

“We are glad to welcome as a member of the third grade Wilson Smith from Kingston plantation.”

Quite a distinguished visitor, ‘Sunshine’ Hawks, visited the school last week and made a very interesting and appropriate talk to the pupils during chapel exercises.”

“We were very sorry to have John Hilton Stinson, Beverly Stinson and Robert Stinson sever their relations with our school, their parents having moved to Dixie.  We hope that these three bright pupils have found good school facilities in their new home.”

The first Benton school was built in 1890 and was located on Mr. W. G. Stinson’s land.  It was paid for by private subscription donated by Benton residents.  This school had one teacher but by 1904 there were three teachers and 1904 saw the first graduating class.  In 1907 Benton enjoyed a new school, the first school in Bossier Parish built using tax money.  Succeeding years have seen the construction of ever-improving facilities.

To find out more about the growth of education in Bossier Parish call or visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us