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06/12/17

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Amon Carter Riverside High School

Red Letter Dates and Fascinating Facts

1936 - 2010
(courtesy of Richard "Rick" Herring '83)

August 1935 - Ground is broken for a new high school in Riverside; thousands attend a sunrise ground breaking ceremony.

September 15, 1936 - Riverside High School opens its doors to senior high and junior high students.

The school mascot, the Eagle, is chosen to honor the Eagle family who were influential in Riverside education for many years, from Dr. Daniel Eagle who built the first one-room Riverside school in 1876 to his grandson George Eagle, school board member who led the crusade to build a high school in Riverside.

January 28, 1937 - Sixteen mid-term graduates receive the first diplomas from Riverside High School. Did you know that the academic level only went to the eleventh grade back in those days?

February 1941 - The school board changes the name of the school to Amon Carter Riverside High School in honor of the Fort Worth civic leader. Students and community members protest at first, but the change is eventually accepted.

1948 - First Homecoming held; Ex-Student's Association organized.

1950 - Riverside Junior High School opened for grades 7 through 9, relieving overcrowding at Amon Carter Riverside High School.

mid 1950's - Band Hall and Shop Wing built, as well as the Athletic Field House.

1951 - Spring commencement exercises include the Star Telegram Publisher Mr. Amon G. Carter Sr. who is supposed to have received an honorary diploma. Mr. Carter never finished school, but he was instrumental in establishing Texas Tech University.

Fall 1958 - Carter goes to the state quarterfinals in football.

Fall 1959 - Carter goes to the state semifinals in football.

1959 - Carter finishes second in 4A State track meet.

1970 - Carter baseball makes it to the State Semifinals.

1974 - Largest ever graduating class has 211 students.

1980 - New gymnasium is built.

1981 - Building is air-conditioned.

1982 - The auditorium painting "Sacred Birds", a gift to Carter Riverside from Amon G. Carter is sold for over $50,000 and the proceeds used to establish a scholarship fund.

1982/1983 - The school football team also known as the "Crunch Bunch" made it to the District playoff's with the help of quarter back James Skinner and running back Anson "Mr. Touchdown" Silmon.

1983 - School board announced plans to close Carter Riverside; the community rallies and unites to keep the school open.

1983 - Historical marker placed on front lawn of the school.

1986 - 50th anniversary celebration draws hundreds.

1989 - New northwest wing built.

1995 - Carter Riverside again makes it to the playoffs in football.

1996 - Summer reunion activities drew over 700 former graduates back to the campus to celebrate the All 50's Reunion.

2001 - High school band increases to over 100 marching members and re-institution of the ROTC program enrolls 130 students.

2011 - The high school celebrates its 75 anniversary with many city dignitaries in attendance.

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History of the School by Rick Herring '83

 

It may be historic to us,  but once upon a time it was new

 

by Rick Herring

 

80 years ago- August, 1935 - a sunrise breakfast and groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the beginning of construction on a new high school in Riverside, the school we know and love today as Amon Carter Riverside High School.  The whole community was awakened on that momentous day by a “long, shrill train whistle, guaranteed to wake everybody in Riverside” at 5 a.m., followed by “modern-day town criers and Paul Reveres” who traveled the streets of Riverside honking horns, blowing whistles and ringing cow bells.  All of this to summon the community to a grand celebration being jointly sponsored by the Riverside Civic League, Riverside PTA, and Oakhurst PTA.  Boy Scouts were told to assemble in their uniforms at Scott’s Drug Store at Six Points no later than 5:30 a.m. and then march carrying the colors to the site of the new high school at Yucca Avenue and Frey Avenue (now Riverside Drive) where they were to light hundreds of camp fires prepared beforehand.  The high school site was lined with 400 flags.  The following excerpts are taken from a newspaper article that reported the day’s events:

 

“Several thousand Riverside residents, together with guests from other sections of Fort Worth, mixed sand with their bacon and eggs this morning at ground breaking ceremonies for the new Riverside senior high school, estimated to cost $400,000.

 

“A hundred camp fires were lighted soon after sunup and in a few minutes the smell of frying bacon and eggs permeated the 40-acre site on which the school is to be built.  Coffee was served from huge urns provided by the Riverside Civic League, which has taken a leading part in assuring the school.

 

“A hundred or more civic leaders of Riverside and other parts of Fort Worth were introduced and some of them made talks.  Then Mrs. May Royster, who has taught school in Riverside longer than anyone else…turned the first spade of dirt, while George B.Eagle, school board member from the Riverside section, and Mrs. W.G. Phillips, wife of the civic league president, assisted.  

 

“…W.M. Green, school superintendent…announced [the] first classes would be held in the building in September, 1936….  When [it was] announced that construction would start within 24 hours, the crowd applauded.

 

“Mother Ingraham (Mrs. F. A. Ingraham), first president of the Riverside PTA, [was] presented a bouquet of flowers….  Sam Losh led the crowd in a sing-song…Boy Scouts had charge of a flag-raising ceremony while a bugler blew reveille.”

 

What a celebration and show of community spirit!  These folks had a lot to celebrate. 

The high school grades at the former Riverside High School had been discontinued in 1922-23 when the Fort Worth ISD took over the Riverside ISD.  High school age students in Riverside then had to attend another Fort Worth high school, most choosing Central High (now Paschal) because it was easiest to reach via the city’s streetcars.  But for many, the loss of the high school grades in the Riverside community ended their education.

 

 Riverside leaders fought for years to get a high school back in Riverside. When a school board commissioned study recommended a new junior-senior high school for Riverside in 1933, the community went to work and collected over 1,500 signatures of qualified voters from Riverside, enough to persuade the school board to call a bond election for the erection of new schools.  A bond program of $3,000,000 was passed and an additional $4,000,000 was secured from the federal Public Works Administration.

 

Given the fact that Riverside took the lead in starting the chain of events that led to the building program, and that the new Riverside High School was to be the first high school constructed under the program, Riverside leaders were determined to put on a grand celebration.  A committee of 190 persons had charge of the plans and the day before the groundbreaking the press reported that “Riverside today will hum with last minute preparations for what promises to be the most gigantic celebration in a section of the city known for its enthusiastic support of civic enterprises”.

 

Thanks to these Riverside “pioneers”, we have a beautiful building and campus to claim as our alma mater and center of our community.  

 

  

 

Future students studying plans for their new school and a map of the route to reach the site of the groundbreaking celebration.

 

 

 

 

Mrs. May Royster at Riverside Public School, 1911, and George B. Eagle, Sr., 1937.

 

 

 

The silver plated spade used at the groundbreaking.

 

 

 

Some of the revelers at the groundbreaking celebration.

 

 

 Research and text by Rick Herring, copyright 2015.  May not be re-printed or used without permission.

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Principals of Amon Carter Riverside High School

Robert W. Records 1936 - 1944

T. E. Wentworth 1944 - 1949

Hague L. Lindsay 1949 - 1967

Lawrence H. Dixon 1967 - 1975

Jack Bass 1975 - 1985

Sam Peterson 1985 - 1997

Alberto Gonzalez 1997 - 2004

Maria Sanchez 2004 - 2011

Greg Ruthart 2011- Present

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The Alma Mater was written by Mr. Carl Gilkerson who was the school's band director from the late '40s to early '50s.

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The Fight song was written by the music teacher at CHS from day one, Miss Edith Winston.  the sheet music for the fight song (originally titled "The Red and Blue") that was sent to us from the archives of Wanda Pearson Penix '45. She said that she found it in the 1995 directory.

The Red and Blue

Original sheet music for the School's Fight Song.  Words by S.A. Wall and music arranged by Mrs. Edith Winston, music teacher at the high school.  Cartoon  figures were drawn by Frank Smith class of '44.

Thanks to Wanda Pearson Penix '45 for sharing this bit of history.

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School colors: Red and Blue

School Mascot: The American Bald Eagle

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Distinguished Graduates of Amon Carter Riverside High School Plaque Winners

Graduate Name & Year Award Year
William Banowsky '54 1983
Melvin Bradford '52 1984
John Roach '57 1985
None 1986
Larry Smith '65 1987
Mike Millsap '66 1988
Bill Hillis '49 1989
Mildred Lucas '39 1990
Wesley Robinett '66 1991
Marvin McBroom '62 1992
Raphel Bundage '71 1993
William Souder '39 1994
B. L. Davis '55 1995
Tom Auffenberg '65 1996
Terry Moore '65 1997
Ricky Herring '83 1998
Lowell Walthall '43 1999
Robert Plummer '49 2000
Robert "Bobby" Forrester '56 2001
Martin Flores '71 2002
None 2003
Ray Rothrock '73 2004
Judith May Hollingshed '58 2005
Thylis Sassanella Chambless '59 2006
Cathy Cooper Seifert '74 2007
Catalina Vergara '02 2008
None 2009
Gregg Bursey '73 2010
Herbert C. Kavanaugh '50 2011
Dr. Donna (Cox) Kolar '75 2012
Dr. Ralph L. McNutt, Jr. '71 2013
Robert McKibben '56 2014
Robert "Bob" Cavnar '71 2015
Donald Lee "Don" Hudgins '43 2016

 

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Some important addresses and phone numbers

Oakhurst Elementary School
2700 Yucca
Fort Worth 76111
(817) 838-1560

Riverside Applied Learning Center
3600 Fossil Dr.
Fort Worth 76111
(817) 838-1580

Carter-Riverside High School
3301 Yucca
Fort Worth 76111
(817) 814-9000

Riverside Middle School
1600 Bolton
Fort Worth 76111
(817) 838-1530

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Streetcar Lines in Riverside
(by Cy Martin '52)

There were actually two different car lines to Riverside.  The first one went from downtown out E first street to cross the river on a bridge that is now long gone.  The long streetcars they tried to use had difficulty negotiating the crossing of the railroads at grade at that point, and the company gave up the idea of a car line.  If you look at the railroad tracks at First street, I'm sure you can tell why.

This was in the 1890s before Mr. Post of Post Cereals became part of the development. I've read that the attraction was our fine soil.  (Remember the great sandy loam, so easy to dig in and grow stuff in.  (My soil out here in the mid cities has so much clay in it that you'd have difficulty raising an umbrella on it.)

Most of the streets south of Race (originally Central) and east of Sylvania Ave have their original names.

The company had the name "...Sylvania...."in its title.  Sylvania was the original name of Riverside. "SYLVANIA" was the name given to Riverside by the wife of Doctor Eagle in the early days.   Some of us attended high school with her grandson Jim (maybe great grandson.)  There is an Eagle Drive in Riverside that borders the high school (Carter-Riverside Eagles.) Although I love Riverside and know that it is the best side of Fort Worth, a part of me wishes we had kept the Sylvania name.

The old Rock Island Railroad built through here in about 1896 and built a station at what is call Sylvania Yard, between what is today Riverside Drive and Beach Street (Originally called Negro Cemetery Rd.) I do not know when the station and yard office were removed.

The last streetcar line to Riverside came out east third street, under the Santa Fe RR a few more blocks and turned south for one block and turned east on fourth street.  It went under the Fort Worth and Denver City and Cotton belt RRs and then under the Rock Island.

There it continued on to the Trinity River and on in to Riverside where it turned north from E 4th Street.  The line ended at Race Street.

At the gutters on both sides of Belknap you can still see about an 8 foot space where the pavement was repaired when the track was removed. If you catch the light just right, you can see slight depressions that indicate where the cross ties are still located under the pavement. There used to be grooves where the car would sometimes roll onto the pavement at the end of track.

I only got to ride the trolley once. It was during December 1936 when my brother David was born. My dad always had an adventure if you accompanied him any where. We walked from our house on Dalford down to 6-point and boarded the trolley.

It was fascinating. The hiss of the air brake, the phenolic smell of the electrical equipment.

The motorman sat at a big wooden cabinet with a lever with a knob at the end. It gave me the ideas that he was steering the car, but dad explained that the lever controlled the speed.

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This site was last updated 06/12/17