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Gerstmeyer High School

Wabash Valley profiles : a series of tributes to hometown heroes who have made a difference

Description: One typed page including photograph; brief history of Gerstmeyer Technical High School in Terre Haute, Indiana.
WABASHP R OFIA hometown h heroes who h difference. A seriies of ttributes tto h f ib t t h have made a diff dVALLEYL E SGerstmeyer High Schoolhe result of the consolidation 1926 of two vocational institutions, Gerstmeyer Technical High School packaged its abundant heritage into less than five decades. Hardware merchant Oscar G. Derry and educator Herbert Briggs were early advocates for public vocational training in Terre Haute, but school board member Dr. Charles F. Gerstmeyer became champion of the cause. A vocational school for girls opened in 1913 at 660 Poplar St. with Clara E. Locke as the principal. The Terre Haute Vocational School for Boys was founded in an abandoned laundry at 705 Lafayette Ave. in August 1915. Hubert Fisher was the principal. In the autumn of 1922, it was relocated to the northwest corner of 13th and Locust streets in a building occupied since 1883 by Rose Polytechnic Institute. The official name of the school was adopted by the school board after Dr. Gerstmeyer's death on July 27, 1922. Vocational classes for girls began at the new facility in January 1925, allowing the buildings used by Girls Vocational School at 660 Poplar St. and the former Hulman School at Seventh and Swan streets to become annexes to Wiley High School. Guy Stantz, esteemed Wiley teacher and coach, was the initial Gerstmeyer High School principal, serving as chief administrator through June 1954. Under Stantz's guidance, Gerstmeyer became a multi-purpose secondary school with a large enrollment. The Anvil, a student newspaper, and Scarabaeus, the yearbook named after a sacred Egyptian beetle whose folded wings formed a "T" (for "Tech"), were founded. Due to the ingenuity of William Dickinson and Louise Wood, a black cat became the school's mascot and nickname while orange and black were adopted as the school colors. The band under Malcolm Scott's direction was highly acclaimed. Murals were painted on interior walls during the Depression by artist Gilbert B. Wilson. Gerstmeyer had only five principals during its 46-year history. Stantz was succeeded by Cecil W. Martin (1954-1959), Noel Douglass (1959-1963), Kenneth Cottom (1963-1970) and John Valle (1970-1971), a member of the first freshman class at Gerstmeyer. The old Rose Poly gym was destroyed by fire in 1930 and plans for a new facility were introduced in 1943. However, the new gym, now the Chauncey Rose Middle School gymnasium, was not dedicated until March 25, 1950. Basketball teams that advanced to the IHSAA Final Four (1953, 1954, 1956, 1957) under Coach Howard Sharpe performed in that arena. Distinguished coaches and athletes have been a large part of Gerstmeyer's rich heritage. William M. Welch, Claud "Woody" Roloff, Tommy John, Paul Moss, Jerry Sturm, Jay Barrett, George Ralston, Art Debow, Charlie Hall, Steve Cooksey, Charley Pine, Gary Powell, Gene Verostko, Bob Leonard, Arley, Harley and Harold Andrews, Bill Bolk, Jack Smith, Bob Hickman, Howard Dardeen, Bill Newton, Sam Smith, Ray Goddard, Steve Newton, and Richard and Bobby Lawson are a few prominent names. Renowned cardiologist William K. Nasser and business executive Donald E. Moffitt also are Tech alumni. Gerstmeyer High School closed in June 1971 with the second county school consolidation. A school memorial was dedicated at the corner of 13th and Locust streets in November 1984.TAlways Close to MEMBER FDICYou'll find First Financial Bank in these and other cities and towns near you: Terre Haute 238-6000 Brazil 443-4481 Rockville 765-569-3171 Clinton 832-3504 Sullivan 268-3331 Marshall, Illinois 217-826-6311 Robinson, Illinois 618-544-8666
Origin: 2006-06-29
Created By: McCormick, Mike
Publisher: Terre Haute Tribune-Star
Collection: Vigo County Historical Society
Copyright: Copyright Undetermined
Subjects: Gerstmeyer Technical High School (Terre Haute, Ind.)
High schools

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