HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY
1886 - THE BIRTH OF HAVEN AND ITS SCHOOLS
Haven came into existence on April 6, 1886.
The East Haven School, the first school in Haven township, started in 1873 and was located near the South East corner of the present site of Haven. However, during the summer of 1887, school district no. 139 was organized which was limited to the section on which the town was located and had no school building. September 1, 1887, bonds were issued to build the first school building, a two story brick building with one room below and one above. The one room upstairs was never completed. School began October 10, 1887. Soon thereafter, four surrounding the area were united. The second school building was built in 1904, but was destroyed by fire November 9, 1909. A larger brick building was built on the same site.
1910-THE BIRTH OF HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL
The Haven High School had its beginning in 1910 with grade school principal Mr. J. N. Frazey in charge of the first courses offered at the Haven School. High School classes were held in the second story of the new grade school, which was completed in 1910. In 1911, the 2nd year of high school work was offered. In 1912, the 3 rd year of work was begun. In the autumn of 1912, Miss Elizabeth “Bess”Curtis (Later Mrs. Willis Laughlin, mother of Bette, Virginia and Curtis came from Kansas University to her 1 st teaching job as instructor in the n new Haven High School. In 1913, the final year of the accredited high school course was started leading to the first graduate of Haven High School, John Snyder, in 1914.
1918-ORGANIZATIONS OF HAVEN RURAL HIGH SCHOOL
The Haven Rural High School was organized on April 20, 1918 with a 65 square mile school district. The first high school building was started in the spring of 1920 and completed one year later. The new building cost $100,000 and enrolled 133 pupils.
1939-VOCATION AGRICULTURE BUILDING ADDED
A vocational agriculture building was erected in 1939. This addition on the northeast side of the school contained a large shop, classroom, office, manual training room, and restroom facilities. In the basement was a storeroom for agriculture and dressing rooms for athletic teams. This facility cost $16,000. This new facility brought many success stories such as American Farmer Degrees to George Schlickau and Erwin Thalmann and state farmer degrees to literally hundreds of Haven students.
1940’s-THE DISTRICT GROWS
As a rural school district, Haven’s territory grew to include 192 square miles with a valuation of thirteen million dollars making it the richest school district in the state of Kansas. The district boundaries extended to the city limits of Hutchinson and included such facility as the Santa Fe railway yards, Carey salt mine, Gano terminal elevator and the extensive oil and gas plants north and east of the city. The Haven district even had an airport with the Hutchinson municipal airport within the district.
1950-NEW GYM ADDED TO THE BUILDING
The popularity of sports and the very competitive Mid Kansas League, a new gymnasium and auditorium became necessary. The school district voted in April 1941 for this new facility but due to World War II and no acceptable bids the construction of the new facility was delayed. It was 1950 before the new gymnasium facility was built.
It was the pride of the league as well as Haven and man regional tournaments were held in the facility.
1965-UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT CAME INTO EXISTENCE
The Kansas Unification Law was implemented in 1965 and caused the Haven School District to become part of extensive statewide changes in organization. Reno County was divided into six districts with Haven’s district including a much larger territory resulting in substantial increases in enrollment. For example, the class of 1965 had 56 graduates and the class of 1966 had 73.
1968-NEW SCHOOL BUILDING
In 1968, voters passed bonds for a new high school. The building was completed in 1969 at a cost of $1,000,000. Harold Voth severed as Superintendent from 1966 until his retirement in 1994.
1973-DISTRICT EXPANDED BY ADDING MT. HOPE, PARTIDGE AND ELREKA SCHOOLS
In 1973, the schools and communities of Mt. Hope, Partridge and Elreka petitioned the Haven district to allow them to become a part of USD 312. This petition was approved and the enrollment reached an all time high of 1,370 students, including 444 students enrolled in Haven High.
1981-NEW GYM ADDED TO NEW HIGH SCHOOL
With addition of girls athletics, the existing gym was not adequate to meet the needs for practice and interschool games. In 1981, the Board voted to add a physical education facility to the high school, which was completed in 1982.
1993-NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL
In order to provide adequate facilities for the middle school grades, a new middle school was added to the high school complex by building an addition to the high school on the northwest side of the existing high school building.
No major physical facilities have been added since 1993 but continual upgrading of facilities has been the norm. For example, a community project was established to build a new modern concession stand and restrooms at the football complex. Through donations of finances and labor, this project was completed and serves the fans very well.
HISTORICAL EVENTS & ACHIEVEMENTS AT HAVEN HIGH SCHOOL
NOTE: The following is only a sample of achievements by Haven Wildcats. During the next year with the help of Alumni Association members and others, we want to expand this list to include all known achievements and accomplishments. These will be a part of the web site information being developed.
- 1922 Haven Wins First State Basketball Championship
- 1927 Haven High School Football Team defeated Sylvia 256-0 and is listed in Ripley’s Believe it or Not as the world record for highest scoring football game on record. This game is now listed in the National High School Records on their web site at www.nfhs.org.
- 1944 Haven wins Class B state track championship with team of five (Lyle Koontz, Dick Ambler, Pete Dickerson, Wayne Morgan and Sam Collins).
- 1955 Haven wins Class B state basketball championship
- 2005 Haven graduate, Ruth Anne French selected as Rhodes Scholar
- Andy Dirks (Class of 2005) promoted to Detroit Tigers and played in league championship series
Summary of History Milestones for Haven High School
- 1910-First Year of high school course work completed
- 1914-John Snyder was first graduate of Haven High School
- 1918-Haven Rural High School Organized
- 1920-First High School building approved and started
- 1921-High School building completed and placed into use
- 1939-Vocational agriculture building completed-FFA Program Started
- 1940’s-District expanded and became richest district in the state
- 1950-New gym added to high school
- 1965-Unified School District (USD) 312 established
- 1968-New high school building approved for $1,000,000
- 1969-New high school building completed
- 1973-District expanded by adding Mt. Hope, Partridge and Elreka
- 1981-New gym added to high school
- 1993-New middle school built adjacent to high school