Adams Co, MS Genealogical and Historical Research is an independent,
not-for-profit site brought to you as a public service in the interest of *free* genealogy.  
It is not a part of Ancestry Community.

If you arrived here via a paid site or in frames, you've been ripped off.

Click Here to break out of frames and see what you're missing.

"Bubbles" - 1921 Natchez High School Yearbook

The Natchez Institute

    For many reasons, Natchez has always been considered one of the best residence towns in Mississippi, and in fact the entire South; and the pre-eminent claim to such consideration has been her schools and educational facilities.  Both for her public and private institutions of learning she has been long famed  Twenty years before the state as a whole had any semblance of a public school system, Natchez had a splendid public school, accommodating in its classes children of all grades.

    In February, 1845, Alvarez Fiske gave as a gift, a plot of ground and the building thereon "to be used solely as a Public Free School forever" where "at public expense all free white children residing in the city of Natchez, without distinction as to sex, shall be taught the usual branches of learning."  This stimulated the city authorities to amend the charter, so as to provide for a yearly expenditure of ten thousand dollars for maintaining a public school.

    For more than half a century the flower of the youth of the town have thronged the halls of the famous "Natchez Institute."  From its very beginning the best of masters and teachers were employed.  During its first year, six hundred pupils were enrolled;  and since schools were scarce in those days, many of the young of the surrounding country were among the number.  The course of study covered not only what is now commonly taught in our public schools, but additional studies that made the institution equal to the average college of the present days.  Since its establishment, the Institute has been the principal building of the public school system of the city.  Only during one, and that was the year the Federal Troops were in possession of the city, has the Institute failed to open for the greater part of the year, for the free tuition of the children of Natchez.

    The High School department is one of the best organized in the state, and is one of the few schools of its kind with an elective course of study.  Each of the departments is under the charge of a specialist trained by both education and experience for his or her immediate work.  For a number of years the school has had its graduates accepted by the best universities of the South and East.

    The entire school is under the direction of a Board of Trustees and a competent faculty, and many successful boys and girls have graduated from the Natchez High School.

Interior of School Renovated

    Many needed improvements have been made in the High School during the summer.  It was an agreeable surprise to the students on the first day of this term to notice how much better the halls and class rooms of old N. H. S. look since that day in late spring when they left for the holidays.

    The walls and ceilings have been done over.  This improvement was much needed as there were many patched spots which were eyesores to all of those who daily seek inspiration by gazing blankly at the walls.  The floors have been oiled and new shades placed in the windows.

    The chemical laboratory and class room have been moved to the basement to make room fro the Domestic Science Department.  The laboratory is complete in every detail, having three cabinets of apparatus, chemicals, etc., two large tables for experimental purposes.

    While the desks are not so badly marked as they could be, there are still many reminders of a less cultured time when autographs and dates were in vogue.  Nowadays a Natchez High School pupil is never caught cutting initials, names or dates on the benches or desks.

    Very little has been done to the school grounds except the installing of new and better drinking fountains.  When the new heating system put in last year and all the improvements of this summer our school has been made up-to-date in every way.

Our Piano

    The piano is one of the most pleasant features of the High School.  It stood in our study hall last year and we fortunately secured it for this term also.  The Seniors of '20 left the upkeep of the piano to the Juniors who in the latter part of September began the campaign for funds to pay the rent for nine months.  Nearly every pupil in the school contributed toward the fund and the amount was sufficient to pay the rent.  The piano afforded much pleasure, especially in the programs which were given nearly every Wednesday morning.  May we hope that the Seniors of '92 will continue to enjoy its benefits.

New System of Grading

    The manner of grading for the 1920-21 terms was entirely different from the system used in former years.  The teachers communicated "bad news" to the pupils through the medium of letters instead of numbers.  The letter "E" stood for a grade of 95;  "G" a grade of 85;  and so on down to the popular grade of 75 or less.

    This system had several inducements in its favor.  It lessened the work of the faculty and at the same time was just as efficient as the old way.  It ws not at all difficult to understand, and parents quickly and easily became accustomed to it.

    This system also introduced a proposition by which a student could gain exemption from examinations if he worked hard.  This required an average grade of "G+" or 88 for four and one-half months in any one study, and a grade of "E-" or 92 in deportment.  Many students availed themselves of this opportunity to dispose of their fears of impending examinations, while the less fortunate took their medicine.

Return to "Bubbles" Index Page
Return to Adams County, MS Home Page

Copyright 2000 Ellen Pack - All Rights Reserved