Thomas Jefferson High School


Class of 1960


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Popular vote on March 12, 1917 approved a bond issue of $175,000 for the construction of Thomas Jefferson High School. In March and November of 1919, two additional bond elections were held and the people approved an additional $100,000 and $200,000 respectively, making a total of $475,000. Due to the World War and legal obstructions, construction did not begin until June 1920. They laid the cornerstone in March 1921. The building is built of Bedford limestone with Georgian architecture and soft pine woodwork. The total cost upon completion was $547,897.04. The dedication program was held on January 21, 1922. Two days later, Tee Jay opened its doors to 716 students for grades seven through ten. Within four years, they shifted grades seven and eight to grade school.


Thirty-five students graduated in the first class in 1924. Due to west-end growth and new and better ideas, they made several additions to the school, beginning as early as 1922, when they installed a movie machine in the auditorium. In 1926, they made an addition to the printing room, and in 1930, a large printing press was added to a small type press. They put lights on the football field in the same year. In 1929, a small R.O.T.C. Hall was built and in 1934, an indoor rifle range was added.


One of the school's biggest improvements came in 1937, when a large band and R.O.T.C. Hall was built adjoining the west side of the old printing room. The printing department transferred to the former R.O.T.C. room and the manual training expanded into the space left vacant by the printing department.


The Field House was added in 1953. In 1959, thanks to several senior classes and the PTA, funds were collected and they approved a covered walkway between the main building and the Field House. They renovated and enlarged a vocational wing in 1963, making it one of the finest in western Iowa. With the increased enrollment of the middle 60's, a 20-room academic wing was added in 1967. They completely renovated the original building in 1969.


The Memorial on the front lawn inscribed "Fountain of Honor" was erected in the late 1920's. The inscription reads "By the People of Council Bluffs, Iowa, In Honor of Those who served in the World War 1917-1918". It bears the names of seventy-one men.


Since the doors to Tee Jay opened on January 22, 1922, the school has been lead by only five Principals: Ray E Myers, Bernard U. Bolton, Gaylord Anderson, Roger Hamilton and the current Principal Warren Weber, proving that Tee Jay is truly a "Good Place to Be."