Celebrating Mancos High's first 100 years

This year is the 100th anniversary of the continuous operation of the Mancos High School building. The 100th anniversary committee is seeking the names of past graduates of Mancos High along with their stories.

It was 1936, and a young man who had attended a high school in San Bernardino, Calif., along with 3,000 other students, moved with his family to the Mancos Valley. It was unbelievable to him that there were fewer than 100 students in the high school. That was Russell Culp's introduction to Mancos schools. He laughed as he told two often-repeated stories of Halloween antics that took place shortly before his coming to Mancos. One was about a cow that had been pushed up the stairs of the school building and left to while away the night. Littered desks and floors awaited the sight of incoming students and teachers. But even worse, you can easily lead a cow up steps but not so easily down. He said the second incident involved students who took a wagon apart and reassembled it on the school roof. Russell added that he and Faye will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to you both.

Last week, I mentioned Ira Freeman. His daughter, Janice Hawkins, was the mother of Steve Hawkins, the husband of Gwen Alexander Hawkins, who is a great-granddaughter of O.E. Noland, whose exploits I summarized last week. I also mentioned that C.R. Beers had his accounting office in the First National Bank building and was the father of Betty Alexander. C.R (Clarence Roy) Beers also had a son named Bob (Robert) Beers. As far as is known, Bob is the oldest living graduate of Mancos High. He will be 95 in October. He graduated in 1932 and traveled to California, where he attended a business college. During WWII, he served in the Army. Upon his return to Mancos, he went into business with John Ashback in a bulk plant. He later was co-owner of Basin Petroleum. For a few years, he was the mayor of Durango and up until two years ago was teaching skiing at Purgatory. He married Irene Robb, a sister of Milton and Arlo Robb's.

Sally Weaver called and said that my mention of the Bauer Bank building brought back the memory of Dr. Gardner having an office in the building during the late 1970s. Sally worked for Dr. Gardner for three months and remembers when her husband, Haralson, broke his leg and a group of men carried him up the stairs to Dr. Gardner's office,. The same men were required to carry him back down the stairs. Haralson was a truly active Mason and for many years was the only Mancos Mason who could deliver the Masonic funeral address. Haralson was a 1936 graduate of Mancos High. His graduating class dedicated the flag pole and the plaque in front of the high school in Haralson's memory. He passed away in 1988. .

Contact Darrel at 533-7372 or e-mail him at dnrls@fone.net to offer comments about his history column.