The school history links to the left and the following are comprised of excerpts from "A Complete History of the G.U.H.S. District-- 1911-1978," written by Sandy Finerman Fox:

One of the promises made to the early settlers in the Glendale area was that schools would be set up as soon as possible. Some of those first families gathered their children at churches or private homes for instruction. Costs were pro-rated among the families.

Thirteen families living in the area east of the present day Glendale signed a petition and formed a school district on June 25, 1891 called the Washington District Number 6. It was the sixth district organized in Maricopa County and today is one of the largest districts in the state.

Settlers to the north and west of Glendale started the Peoria School District Number 11 in 1899. Glendale School District Number 40 followed a short time later. These three districts operated elementary schools for a number of years. Pupils wanting to go on to high school usually went to Phoenix. As the population increased in the districts, there were more pupils in the schools and more wanting to go on to high school. A petition was signed by 119 voters in the three districts requesting a high school.

A formal request was sent to the Maricopa County School Superintendent of Education on April 28, 1911, asking for a union high school. Permission was granted for an election to be held May 19, 1911. Ninety-six voters were in favor of the request and three were against it.


In the first decade of the district’s existence, Glendale Union High School was built, graduation requirements were established, the agricultural atmosphere of the community influenced the school’s curriculum, and many rules and regulations governing students and faculty members took root.

On July 3, 1911, Dr. J.B. Hill, J.W. Etter, W.H. Slaughter and J.W. Robinson met as the first Glendale Union High School Board. Dr. Hill, town physician, was chosen president and J.W. Robinson as clerk. The first problem was to find somebody from Peoria to serve on the board. Mr. Mann had been selected, but refused to serve. A.J. Straw was later elected to the position.

In the fall of 1911, the first high school was opened in the Hill Building, specifically in the storeroom, which was situated on the present site of the Glendale City Hall parking area near the corner of Glendale Avenue and Grand Avenue. The first term began with 17 students and finished with 21. Mr. Lelan Hum was superintendent, principal and the only teacher that first year of operation. His salary was $125 per month for nine months. The operating budget for the first year was -

Teacher’s salary     
Rent (Water)

School began on September 18, 1911. Desks and chairs were loaned by the Dorris Heyman Furniture Company until the 25 desks, 5 extra seats, 1 teacher’s desk and 1 chair arrived.

On January 17, 1912, because of public demand, it was decided hold an election to vote on a $30,000, twenty-year, 6% bond for the erection of a Glendale Union High School, which would also fund the costs of the site, furnishings, and buildings. On February 10, 1912, 44 people voted, 42 for and 1 against. The 44th person isn't mentioned. 

The following were board minutes taken from an official meeting on March 20, 1912:

The Glendale Union High School Board met in Slaughter’s office with all members present: Hill, Etter, Straw, Slaughter and Robinson.

To arrange with Jones & Wescott for preparation of plans and sign the contract for the $20,000 Union High School Building to be located in Glendale, Arizona.

Following is the contract as drawn up and signed:

Office of the Glendale Union High School (March 20, 1912)
Messrs. Jones & Wescott “Architects,” Glendale, Arizona

Gentlemen:  You are hereby authorized to prepare plans and specifications for the erection of a Glendale High School to cost including your fees not to exceed twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars with the understanding that your fees shall be 5% of the contract price of the same. Such fees are to be payable as follows: one half on letting contract, one fourth payable when building is one half completed, and the balance when the building is completed. It is understood that you are to represent the Board in supervising the erection of the building, make all drawings and specifications necessary in the judgment of the Board. It is further understood that any work you may do anticipating the issuance of the bonds on the district shall be at your risk of the issuance and sale of the bonds.

To the business-like fulfillment of the foregoing we hereby bind ourselves the 20th day of March, 1912.

Signed: J.B. Hill, President; J.W. Robinson, Clerk

Accepted: Jones & Wescott, by A. Jones

Land was purchased on Glendale Avenue and 62nd Avenue, and the school started in 1912. The entire cost of the school as originally built was $21,636.41. Until the high school was completed, rooms in houses were rented for instruction. The Moore house, which was later the site of the Sage Motel, was the home of Harry Moore, early Glendale High School graduate and Arizona’s 9th Secretary of State from 1939-1942.

The Arizona Admission Day of February 12, 1913, was marked by the dedication of the original “Old Main” of Glendale High School. The published account of that day in the Glendale paper read in part as follows:

“With appropriate ceremonies, Glendale’s new high school building was dedicated Wednesday afternoon. The dedicatory address was delivered by Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President Elect of the United States. Glendale was in gala attire for the event. All the stores in town and many of the swellings were decorated with flags and bunting.
The parade was one mile long. Great credit is due the school board and Superintendent for the success of the event.

All Tuesday night a crew of men worked to barbecue two beeves in proper style for the crowd that was expected. And the crowd came. People flocked in on the streetcar from Phoenix, by wagon, by automobile and by horseback. The picnic sandwiches and other good things were served by the girls of the high school with the letters G.H.S. on their aprons. Governor Marshall of Indiana arrived about 1:30 p.m. and was introduced by Dr. J.B. Hill.” (dateline 2/13/13)

The course offerings of the time featured two directions for the students. One program was listed as “literary” and was designed for the college bound. The other was termed industrial and provided for “manual training,” “domestic science,” and “commercial skills.”