Racine High School was on the same block that the Racine County Courthouse is on now. It was built in 1852 and was the first public school in Wisconsin.
Racine High School Senior Annual 1909, as a PDF, 20 megabytes: Racine_High_School_Senior_Annual_1909_smaller Ben Hecht, who would run away to Chicago after high school to become a famous writer and journalist, is featured prominently in this book.
- Impressive about Racine High School
- Large number of teachers
- Large number of vocational teachers
- Large number of school organizations with large student participation — see the Kipikawi staff listing
- Large number of commercial teachers and staff
- Large number of people in the Kipikawi advertising staff
- Interesting notes
- The captions for student pictures are carefully done, and often refer to who is pairing off with who
- Many boys’ captions refer to them being distracted by a certain special girl
- Many girls’ captions refer to their boyfriends, curling their hair and wearing dresses to please “him”
- The photo collages between sections are some of the most interesting photos with identifiable backgrounds, such as the Unitarian Church at 7th and College, and the old YMCA on 7th street (page 84 of the 1926 Kipikawi).
- “The old Meachem home on College Avenue was razed to make room for the new Y. W. C. A. building.” (Racine: The Belle City, Alice Sankey). According to my 1940 phonebook, J.G. Meachem (this would be the long-lived J.G. Meachem Jr.) lived at 905 Main Street. Hmm. I wonder who lived at College Avenue? Maybe his father, J.G. Meachem Sr.?
We’ve been looking at many postcards of the huge Racine High School which was at College Ave. and 7th Street, but it’s good to remember that smaller schools occupied that same space. For instance, in 1887, there were two small schools in the north half of that block (now where the courthouse is): the High School and the 2nd Ward School.
Now we know that Racine ran out of space in their high school and felt the need to build a new, much larger Racine High School, and it was still under construction in 1894. To imagine that this huge building only served the high school students of Racine to the late 1920s is amazing.
Dennis Tully: James Gilbert Chandler was a prominent Racine based architect who designed several buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Those include the Shoop Building and the Racine YMCA building on 6th St. This is an architectural sketch of the Racine High School building that was located on the block that now holds the Racine County Court House. It was built in the 1890’s and was razed about 1928 for the construction of the court house.