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Directors Force Out Jacksonville School Superintendent in 1921

 

Whether it was an issue of money or politics, the fact is that on the first day of school in Jacksonville, Ore., in 1921, school directors asked Superintendent Stultz and eighth-grade teacher Miss Bradshaw to leave the school. As they walked out, the entire student body of the high school and eighth-grade class left in protest.

The directors and Stultz had been at loggerheads for at least three weeks, the school arguing that Stultz’s contract for $2,200 was too much.  They offered $1,800 and Stultz compromised at $2,000, but the directors refused to budge.

It was rumored that the two Jacksonville educators were really being removed as punishment because they had voted in recent elections in favor of relocating the county seat from Jacksonville to Medford.

By the second day of class, the directors had obtained and served a court injunction on Stultz, who reportedly threw it in the wastebasket and left. The newly hired Superintendent Hosmer and eighth-grade teacher Finch were in place, the eighth graders had returned to school and the truant officer was rounding up the high schoolers.

The new superintendent had accepted a salary of only $1,575.

Sources: "J'VILLE SCHOOL STUDENTS WALK OUT ON STRIKE." Medford Mail Tribune 13 Sept. 1921. Print; "8th Grade Pupils Back." Ibid. 14 Sept. 1921. Print;  "Compromise Near." Ibid. 2 Sept. 1921: 5. Print.

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.