History of Germantown High School
The story of the development of an educational system in Germantown correlates to the growth in population in the area. The early settlers built a log schoolhouse in 1833, which was replaced by a two-story building in 1879. After the governing town body had ceased to operate under the military authority imposed on it by the Civil War, the town itself reorganized in 1880.
The public school moved from the Masonic Lodge in 1885 but returned there a year later. In 1889 the Germantown High School Association purchased a lot east of the Masonic Lodge on which to build a school. When that school burned two years later, classes resumed at the Masonic Lodge. Mabel C. Williams became principal of the school in 1905, but by 1909 she had been elected Superintendent of the Shelby County School System of which the Germantown school was a part.
In 1904 the Masonic Lodge burned to the ground, but a new lodge was completed in 1906. Three acres were purchased in 1910 for a school with grades one through twelve, and in 1911 students moved into the new building with five classrooms and a study hall. Wagonettes pulled by horses or mules were the common mode of transportation at that time, but by 1918 motorized wagonettes were used.
Additional rooms and buildings were added to both sides of a WPA facade in 1918, 1919, 1927, and 1935 for the Germantown Public School. A hot lunch program was started at the school in 1926. By 1931 the school had been renamed the Mabel C. Williams School and a “Canning Days” program was started at the school: for each five quarts canned, one was required to be left at the school for the hot lunch program.
In 1974 the Mabel C. Williams School was demolished and replaced by the new Germantown High School which is still being used.
The Senior Class Presents “Great Caesars Ghost”
Germantown High School | Friday, April 14, 1950
Click on the photo to enlarge and scroll through the entire program
Mabel Williams High School
Shelby County School Bus Serving Germantown High School
Source: Harry Cloyes Collection
This photo shows Mr. Clint Douglas with his school bus in the late 1930s, painted with red around the top, white around the middle and blue around the bottom. This bus is parked beside the study hall in front of the Germantown High School gym waiting for the students to be let out of school. Clint Douglas, Frank Hancock, Oren Sanders, Allen Yates and Walter P. Sandlin were Germantown School Bus Drivers in the 1930s & 1940s. Source: Harry Cloyes Collection