Chattanooga High School

    Chattanooga High School was founded in the fall of 1874. An ordinance had been passed on July 18, 1872, creating a graded public school system. H. Clay Evans promoted the establishment of a school system and a board of education was organized with two "commissioners" from each of five wards. They were S. B. Moe and Dr. E. H. Price, first ward; J. F. Loomis and Willard Abbot, second ward; W. D. Van Dyke and Dr. E. M. Wight, fourth ward; and R. M. Tankesley and T. A. Hurt, fifth ward. At a fall meeting H. D. Wyatt was elected superintendent and served in that capacity until 1892 when A. T. Barrett succeeded him.

    On January 1, 1873, the first white public graded school opened on Georgia Avenue near 9th street with Professor J. A. Aycock as principal. In the fall of that same year the Panic Depression of 1873 struck and the fledgling school system found itself without funds or credit until the individual members of the board, led by acting treasurer W. D. Van Dyke, jointly signed a $1,000 note pledging their individual credit to save the system.
    At this time there was no high school. Because of his great interest in education, Professor H. D. Wyatt was teaching a few boys informally in his office. When the decision was made to establish a high school, Professor Wyatt was serving the school system as its first superintendent.
    Professor Wyatt planned the City School System. At first there were five schools: the first district, on the East side of town which had a principal and three assistant teachers; the second district on the West side with a principal and two teachers, which was also to include a high school; the third district with a principal and two teachers on the South side. In addition to these there was a union primary school with one teacher. There was also the Howard School for colored children with a principal and four teachers.
In December of 1873 the Board of Commissioners purchased the school in the Second District, known as "The Old Academy", from the Masonic Fraternity to accommodate a high school department. Chattanooga High School was organized on December 11, 1874 in two upstairs rooms of this building. The first high school faculty was Mr. W. D. Underhill and Miss Hattie Ackerman. The total enrollment for the first school year was 35.

Source: "History of Chattanooga High School by Elizabeth Kelley Wade 1974  


Masonic Building 
Gillespie & Early Streets 
1874 - 1891

"Old Academy" 
Gillespie & Early Streets
Used from 1891 - 1896

D. C. McMillian House
111 Gilmer (8th) Street 
1897 - 1904

Dickinson Building
413 E. 8th St. 
1905 - 1921

Wyatt Hall
East 3rd. & Riverside Dr.
1921 - 1937

Wyatt Hall - Added Wings
East 3rd. & Riverside Dr.
1937 - 1963



Chattanooga High School
1331 Dallas Rd. 1963

class_of_1879.jpg (52799 bytes) Chattanooga High Class of 1879
class_of_1887.jpg (53571 bytes) Chattanooga High Class of 1887
class_of_1896.jpg (90324 bytes) Chattanooga High Class of 1896
class_of_1902.jpg (72528 bytes) Chattanooga High Class of 1902
basketball_1913.jpg (66476 bytes) Chattanooga High Basketball Team 1913
football_team_1906.jpg (62365 bytes) Chattanooga High Football Team 1906
football_1913.jpg (76506 bytes) Chattanooga High Football Team 1913
orchestra_1916.jpg (72795 bytes) Chattanooga High Orchestra 1916
wyatt_henry.jpg (26452 bytes) Henry D. Wyatt - Founder of Chattanooga High School


Chattanooga High School Graduates 1879 - 1900

Chattanooga School For Arts & Sciences
(Formerly Chattanooga High School)