A.C. Davis High School (Washington) - History


North Yakima High School (which was renamed Davis High School in 1957 when Eisenhower High School became the second senior high school in Yakima) began classes in 1884, and was housed in the Columbia Building. By 1896, the school's enrollment reached 40 students and classes were relocated to the Central School Building. With an ever-increasing student body, in 1900, the school was once-again relocated to the Lincoln School. In 1905, land was procured on South 7th Avenue and Walnut, with plans to build a new, larger high school. As it turned out, that foresight was well thought out, because after the Lincoln School burned on Jan. 6, 1907, the high school took up temporary residence at the Methodist Church on Fourth Street.

The new school building, which began construction in 1905, was completed in 1908. The new building cost $84,980, had 23 classrooms and increased capacity to 690 students. Angus Charles Davis served as principal from 1908 through 1913, and was superintendent until 1947. In 1978, after an extensive, thirteen-year remodeling project, which cost upwards of $5 million, the Yakima High School was re-dedicated as Davis High School, in honor of its early principal and long-time superintendent.

One of the keynote speakers at the school's re-dedication was Cathy Douglas Stone, wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice, William O. Douglas who is, perhaps, Davis's most notable alumnus. Douglas, who played on the basketball team and was valedictorian of his graduating class, went on to teach English at North Yakima High School before pursuing his dream of being a lawyer and, ultimately, a Supreme Court judge.

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