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History of churches, schools shared at Grandview centennial event

GRANDVIEW - This past Tuesday night longtime Grandview educator Gail Monroe Boose and Pastor Gary Rohde of Grandview's Emmanuel Lutheran Church presented the history of the city's schools and churches.

More than 50 community members gathered to hear of the storied past in honor of Grandview's centennial year.

Boose said children gathered for school as early as 1894, although the name Grandview was not yet on any map. "There were small groups of children gathering in old shacks for school," she stated.

The first two schools were in the Bethany and Euclid districts and September 1894 the first school board officially met. The director of the board was D.M. Angus.

The school board made its first executive decision. They agreed to hold school in the home of Mr. Boyle and the school board would make repairs to the home as its rent.

Teacher and rancher, Professor Plumb, was enlisted as the first salaried teacher at $50 per month. School was in session three months out of the year at that time.

The second year of school, 1895, the school board hired F.H. Colby as its new teacher. The agreed upon salary was $35 per month. "Less than his predecessor...and he had to supply the building," said Boone. She said the educator was provided 25 cents per month to store school supplies when school wasn't in session.

School was still held at a local residence in 1900 and in August 1901 the school district asked voters to approve a $600 bond. That bond failed, but a $1,000 bond for a new school building and furniture was passed a year later.

The school board secured a site at today's intersection of Mountainview and Euclid roads for the new school.

In 1904, the school board extended the school year to seven months and the teacher's salary returned to $50 per month.

The Bethany district school was held in Joseph Watson's homestead shack north of Grandview.

The schoolhouse in the Waneta district, Grandview's third school, was a small structure and was moved to the district from its original 1894 location north of the R.L. Mains home.

In 1903 the school districts were divided into the Bethany and Waneta districts. The Bethany schoolhouse was built near the Mains homestead that year and housed 40-60 students. That same year, Rev. Blackman of Sunnyside began preaching in the Euclid schoolhouse, marking the beginnings of Bethany Presbyterian Church, according to Rohde.

Grandview's first two-story, Central school was built as a high school for the entire school district. The structure consisted of four rooms and was opened in October 1906. W.H. Grant was the school's superintendent, principal and teacher. Five seniors attended the school in its first year.

In 1907 the Waneta building was relocated to Bethany and Woodworth roads, where part of it still stands.

As the city of Grandview grew, Central School filled with students of all grade levels and in 1909 the school had doubled in size.

In 1918 another building to house high school students was erected just west of that school and Central became an elementary school.

Lincoln Grade School was built in 1920 east of town on North Elm Street and is currently part of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

The original Central School burned in 1924 and students were forced to attend school at local churches.

At the time, Grandview was home to six churches. They included Bethany Presbyterian, the Methodist Episcopal, Free Methodist, Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist and Church of the Nazarene churches.

Central's new building on West Second Street was opened in the spring of 1925.

In 1937 the current building housing Compass High School and the school district's administrative offices at the corner of West Second Street and Euclid Road was built for $90,000. It was Grandview High School at the time.

Bethan, Euclid and Lincoln schools were vacated that year and students were bused to town to attend school in the buildings located there. The old high school was utilized as a junior high school.

In 1948, Grandview built Harriet Thompson Elementary and named it after the pioneer teacher because of her unfettered devotion to the students of Grandview. She began teaching at Grandview High School in 1924 and retired in in the 1940s and was known as "strict, but well-liked."

Clarence McClure was another long-time Grandview educator who became principal at Grandview High School in 1944. He was superintendent of Grandview schools from 1949 to 1966 and was known as a community activist.

He proposed a new school building on the east side of Grandview be dedicated to his friend, long-time teacher, coach and principal Arthur H. Smith in 1952.

"Smith turned the first shovelful of dirt for the elementary school," said Boose.

In 1977 the current Grandview High School was built at West Fifth Street and Hillcrest Road, and the old high school became the home of the newly established McClure Elementary School in 1978. The building was home to fourth and fifth grade students and Darrell McCallum was the first principal.

Grandview's first alternative school, Compass High School, was established in 1994 and the school district now has six schools, with all three elementary schools housing students from pre-school to fifth grade.

Rohde said many of the community churches' early beginnings were in the school buildings.

Bethany Presbyterian was Grandview's first church and its first building was moved on log skids to within the city in 1908 after having been in the Euclid schoolhouse, and later at its first building site at Charvet Road and Appleway.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, established in 1908 and organized in 1909, first began construction at Third and Ash streets. Its building was dedicated in 1910 and a parsonage was added in 1912.

The church built its first Wesleyan Hall in 1920 and in the 1950s found itself to be growing out of the building's capacity. A new sanctuary was built on Ash Street in 1957 and consecrated in 1958.

The Catholic Church in Grandview had rough beginnings. The Jesuits in Yakima sent a priest at the request of those who shared the Catholic faith. He arrived by train to Mabton and conducted mass at someone's home once a month on Saturdays.

Mass was also held at the Belma School and in 1915 Father Shiel of Prosser recited the first official mass. Services began at Grandview's Keck building downtown a year later under the leadership of Father McCarthy.

Approximately 150 members made up the fellowship of Blessed Sacrament Church in 1918 and the church was without a priest for a time after McCarthy left. Father Conway joined the parishioners and later left to the Sunnyside Parish and the church became the mission of St. Joseph's Church.

In 1954 the church became its own parish again, and the current location of the parish was built in 1955 at Missouri and Velma streets.

Grandview Church of the Nazarene was established by Annie Archibald, an elementary teacher. Members gathered for hallelujah marches around town in 1921 and gathered at an old Ford garage.

As funding was available and a site for the church was donated, the church began building its structure beginning with a basement at Third Street and Division.

The structure above began being built in 1938 and in the 1980s the current church building on North Elm Street was erected.

Many of Grandview's churches had humble beginnings and have established themselves as important cornerstones of the community.

Rohde, who has pastured his church 25 years, said he has seen churches grow and prosper throughout his years of service. He has also seen the evolution of the community as new churches arise.

"Grandview has faith at its base," he said.

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