Box Elder High School

From Brigham City History Project

Box Elder High School
18 N. 400 East
Brigham City, 84302
Coordinates 41.510833,-112.008055
Opened 1909
Closed 1961
School district Box Elder School District
Box Elder High School
380 S 600 West
Brigham City, 84302
Coordinates 41.503515,-112.026068
Opened 1961
School district Box Elder School District
Color(s) purple and white
Mascot Bees
Publication The Hive
Newspaper The Bee
Yearbook The Buzzer (2001-Present), The Boomerang (1914 - 2000)

In 1888 the Box Elder Academy was established, it being the first and only school of higher education in the county. It was housed in an unused building erected by the Co-op. This rock building had formerly housed a hat factory and a shoe and harness manufacturing business. It was located on the corner of Fourth East and Forest where the Box Elder Middle School gymnasium stood until 2012. The school operated for four or five years before being discontinued in 1893.

John S. Bingham was employed to continue secondary education and served as teacher-principal during the 1894-95 school year. He conducted classes in the same building which had housed the academy. The two following seasons higher education classes were conducted in the Whittier School. It remained in the Whittier School until 1901 when it was moved to the Central School Building.[1] [2]

The following is quoted from the “100 Year Centennial Celebration” - Jay Stuart, Principal:

“On September 23, 1894, Brigham City High School was founded. ‘Box Elder High School’ officially became the new name for the high school replacing Brigham City High School on July 8, 1907. The first Graduation Ceremony for the new Box Elder High School was held on May 13, 1908 and included five graduates.”

With the consolidation of Box Elder School District on July 20, 1907, a new era of school construction ensued throughout the county. The original Box Elder High School classroom section was completed in 1909 followed by the auditorium and gymnasium in 1912. This building was located on Fourth East and Forest Street and was a county high school until 1918 when Bear River High School was established. A classroom addition was added to the east portion of the building at this time, and the junior high school was moved from the Whittier School and consolidated with the high school. Additional facilities were added during the 1920's and 30's to house farm mechanics, a modern gymnasium, and science building. The school district also acquired the original LDS seminary building constructed in 1915 to house the music department and became known as the “band room.”

A new modern high school was constructed at 380 South 600 West and opened in the 1961-62 school year. The junior high school remained in the original facilities until 1965 when the new junior high building was constructed on the same site as the original building.

In 2010, new facilities were erected on the current site and replaced a good portion of the original buildings. The auditorium, gymnasium, farm mechanics shop, and natatorium were retained. Facilities to house classrooms, administration, media, and athletic fields were included in the new construction.

1894 to 1961

1894 to 1907

With the closure of the Academy, the need for a high school seemed urgent. On September 24, 1894, the twelve trustees of the four elementary schools located in Brigham City met and selected a committee of three to act as high school trustees. They secured rooms in the same building where the Academy had been located and installed John S. Bingham as principal. After one year, the school was moved to the Whittier School, located adjacent to the second ward chapel, with Milo Rigby as principal.[3]

The next step in the development of the high school came in 1896-97 when the County Commissioners were induced through petition to consolidate the four city districts. On September 11, 1897, a public meeting was held in the Opera House, located on First West and Forest Street, and the following motion was carried: “Moved that it be the sense of the property taxpayers at this meeting that we establish and maintain a high School in which pupils may be in higher branches of education than those usually taught in the district schools.” The adoption of this motion may be regarded as the initiation of the high school movement and the Brigham City High School was established.[4]

During the following ten years, the principals were L. D. MacDonald, Jessie W. Hoopes, G. N. Sorenson, Thomas H. Glenn, and A. L. Neff. The high school convened at the Whittier School until 1901 when it was moved to the top floor of the Central School, constructed in 1900, and remained there until 1905. At that time it was moved back to Whittier, occupying the entire building, until late in May, 1909.[5]

1907 to 1919

On June 20, 1907, all Box Elder County schools were consolidated into one school district. “Box Elder High School” became the official name of the high school replacing “Brigham City High School” at 12 a.m. on July 8, 1907, the time and date fixed by the commissioners for consolidation to take effect.”[6]


School work commenced on September 24, 1907, at the Whittier School, with an enrollment of fifty-four, including eight students from outside settlements. “B.C.H.S. Notes” in the Box Elder News for September 26, 1907, carried the following school yell: “Clickety, clickety, sis, boom, bah! Alive, Alive, ha, ha, ha! Clickety, clickety, sis, boom, bah! B.C.H.S. rah, rah, rah!”[7]

A later issue of the newspaper reported: “Boys were talking football, and the girls had organized a basketball team. The zoology class was studying grasshoppers, and a dance was held at the Academy of Music, a dance hall on North Main Street. The high school literary and debating society was organized, and students were wearing caps of purple and white.”[8]

Alf Freeman was elected student body president (1907-08), with Violet Madsen (West), vice president and Amy Lee (Phillips) as secretary. Four full years of school work were now offered with the course of study prescribed for high schools by the University of Utah.[9]

The old Opera House was utilized for many school functions. May 13, 1909, marked the date of the first graduation exercise held in the Opera House to honor the school’s five pioneer graduates: Carlos Sederholm, Vera Humble, Rose Smith, Alice Forsgren, and Andrew Anderson. After the graduation, the Alumni Association, which included all students who had attended the high school prior to 1905, continued the entertainment with a banquet and dance held in the upstairs hall.[10] “The Mikado,” the first operetta produced by Box Elder High School, was staged there in 1912, directed by Lottie Owens and Lydia Orcutt. A school play, “One of Eight,” appeared there in 1911 under the direction of Miss Lucille Thurman.[11]

The Alta Theater, built in 1913, and later named the Liberty, was primarily a silent movie theater, but its 35' by 50' stage was the setting for the school play, “The Romancers,” in 1914 and for the school opera, “Erminie,” in 1915.[12]

In June of 1908, the Board of Education acquired the land which was to be the home of Box Elder High School. This site, commonly known as Academy Square, included major portions of two blocks located between 4th and 5th East Streets and between 1st North and 1st South. The school buildings were located on the block south of Forest and the athletic field and future gymnasium building on the block north of Forest Street.

The first building on the campus was constructed of red pressed brick in Gothic style and was completed in 1909. It consisted of the central entrance to the stately building with inside steps leading to the second and third floors consisting of ten classrooms. It was erected for a cost of $27,099.[13] “The three-story building with the nearby mountains as a background was described as ‘magnificent’ and when completed will be one of the best structures of its kind in the West.”[14]

The new school opened its doors on September 20, 1909, with eighty-six students attending on the first day, increasing to 105 by October 5. After the fall crops were harvested it reached a final total of 136 for the year.[15] When the high school moved to its new facilities, the junior high students continued to attend Whittier School.

The Superintendent’s Annual Report for 1911-12 states: “The County High School had ten teachers and 250 students. Of these, 125 came from Brigham City and 125 from various other parts of the county.”[16] The Board resolved to transport all pupils living beyond a radius of three miles by paying the actual transportation costs up to $2.00 per week or $2.00 per week for room and board within the city during the school year.[17]

Increasing enrollment and enriched curriculum necessitated more space; therefore, on May, 1912, the contract was let for a new addition costing $38,540. This addition doubled the capacity of the school and provided the classrooms in the northwest section, the auditorium, a 50 by 90 foot gymnasium, principal’s office, and a small dressing room with cold showers.[18]

Box Elder High School, October 6, 1920. Note the slight difference in the shading of the brick on sections built at different points.

In 1917, a new school law was enacted in Utah making school attendance compulsory for every minor until the age of sixteen unless legally excused for ill health, attendance at a private school, or upon completion of high school work. Under this law, every boy and girl was supposed to be given the privilege of at least a high school education.[19]

During the 1916-17 school year, the district offered ninth grade in the Garland School which was the beginning of Bear River High School, which added tenth grade the following year. Superintendent Skidmore noted in 1921, that the twelfth grade would be added as the school was completed in 1922-23.[20] Approximately 200 students from the northern part of the county left the high school to attend the new Bear River High School.[21]

The Brigham City schools remained congested and additional classrooms were needed. A new addition was added to the east side of the high school at a cost of $33,353.19 This congestion was much relieved in 1918-19 when the seventh and eighth grade students were moved from Whittier School to the new addition, so overflow from Central School could be accommodated at Whittier.[22]

When World War I erupted in 1917, some local organizations favored closing the schools or shortening the term for war purposes. But the schools wisely continued open, and were rightly called the “second great line of defense.” Our young men eagerly joined the armed forces to fight in “the war to end all wars.” The Box Elder High School “Roll of Honor” in 1918 listed the names of 119 boys, former Box Elderites, doing their bit to crush imperialism.[23]

Then came the really bad days -- the flu epidemic of 1918-19 which closed schools for several months. Death reaped a heavy harvest at home and among the soldier boys.[24]

Principals who served at Box Elder High School during these early years were Andrew L. Neff, from 1905 to 1909; Albert J. Merrill, 1910 to 1917; and F. A. Hinckley, 1917 to 1943.[25]

Nineteen Twenties

On August 5, 1921, bids were accepted for the construction of a new Farm Mechanics Building at a cost of $12,827. This structure was located on the southeast side of the original building. The building which was used as a band room was originally the seminary building but was purchased by the Board of Education in 1929.[26]

The high school did flourish and expand. During the “Roaring Twenties,” many school clubs were formed; teacher, E. D. Mann, wrote the school song, two school plays were presented in the historic Salt Lake Theater,[27] and broadcast a program over the new KSL radio station. The Girl’s and Boy’s League were organized, offering membership to every boy and girl in the school. To be elected president to one of the Leagues rated next to being a student body officer. The “B” club was composed of all boys who had made their letter in one of the three major sports of the year, such as football, basketball, or track.[28]

Beginning in 1929, Outstanding Boy and Outstanding Girl recognitions were awarded. The first recipients were Calvin Beecher and Gayle Bunderson. These awards have continued since that time. The Outstanding Boy Award was given by the American Legion and the Outstanding Girl by the American Legion Auxiliary. Recipients were selected by the school administration and teachers based on leadership, academics, and participation in student body activities.[29]

Nineteen Thirties

Years of financial distress and major social changes characterized the decade of the 1930's. In spite of the greatest economic depression our country has ever experienced, Box Elder School District was able to continue school during the full term, a condition not financially possible in many districts in the state.

The big gymnasium, one of the largest and finest buildings of its kind in the inter-mountain west, with its sprung floor, was built in 1934 at a cost of $114,537, the labor being paid for through the Federal Civil Works Administration (CWA), one of the emergency administration agencies set up for coping with the depression.[30] The inclusion of a swimming pool and small gym in addition to the large gymnasium were great benefits to the students and public. Two steel school buses were purchased in 1936 by the Board of Education. Up to this time, privately owned buses had been used for transportation.[31]

In May, 1938, the school district applied to the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works for a grant of 45% of the cost to construct a science building. In order to obtain this grant it was necessary to raise $68,000 to cover the school district’s share of the grant. $30,000 was made available from a one mill[32] building tax levy and the remaining $38,000 transferred from the school district building fund. It was added onto the south side of the main building. This included several classrooms and a large cafeteria which was completed in 1939 at a total cost of $118, 182, plus an additional $5,000 for furnishings, shared on a similar percentage.[33]

Bigger and better things were going on in student activities. The Boomerang (yearbook) for 1938 listed sixteen new clubs based on students’ interests. Some old club names disappeared - Boosters and Aonians merged to form the B’Ettes (pep club for girls). The B’Ivers began in 1932 (pep club for boys). The Ag Club retained its status as one of the oldest student organizations.[34] The Girls’ League vaudeville and Boys’ League minstrel shows were popular entertainment.[35]

Each class thought their Junior Prom excelled all other proms - the one for ‘38 was truly fabulous - the gym was transformed into an Under Seas Fantasy through the use if miles of colored cellophane and glamorous lighting.[36]

A Box Elder High dance in March 1938, possibly the Junior Prom.

Nineteen Forties

The Boomerang of 1941 carried the following pledge made by Box Elder High School students: “In this year of uncertain world affairs, we pledge our undying loyalty and support to whatever cause our country upholds.”[37] By year’s end Pearl Harbor had been bombed and the country plunged into World War II. Everybody worked to support the war effort. Groups of girls and teachers went to the canneries on evening shifts. Every Friday afternoon, a bus crowded with high school boys (and supervised by teachers) left for the Ogden General Supply Depot, where the boys worked a ten-hour shift. Another loaded bus left on Saturday morning. Boy and girls unaccustomed to manual labor helped farmers to plant and harvest crops. Salvage drives sponsored by civic organizations were supported by high school students.[38]

Alf Freeman became principal of Box Elder High School on February 14, 1943. Mr. Freeman had played a prominent role in public education throughout the Brigham City schools and served as the first student body president of Box Elder High School in 1908. World War II hampered some student activities but Mr. Freeman fondly recalls with justifiable pride the construction of the lighted “B” on the hill during his tenure as principal.[39]

What kind of prom decorations can be made if there are no available materials, no pins, staples, wire or nails, no paper, and no fabrics? The prom committee of ‘43 were unwilling to settle for an unspectacular prom; consequently, the prom for that year became a less decorated “Spring Formal,” the only deviation from the promenade tradition in the history of the school.[40]

At the football game with South Cache on September 20, 1946, the new flood lights (the Boys’ League gift to the school) were turned on. An electric score board and a loud speaking system later appeared, the delayed gifts of the senior classes of ‘45 and ‘46. The class of 1944 presented the flagpole and memorial plaque that stood immediately north of the gymnasium building on the south end of the football field. Engraved on the plaque were the names of all Box Elder High School boys who were killed in World War II and the names of all boys who served in that war were recorded and sealed in the base of the memorial.[41]

One of the most popular and profitable activities of this era was the school circus, which got its start through a merging of the Girls’ League vaudeville and The Boys’ League minstrel. This was a two-day affair staged in the big gym involving every department in the school and featuring a floor show with some semi-professional acts, clowns, dance acts, games of skill and prizes, side shows, and food. The circus proved popular entertainment for young and old, particularly before television had come to this area. People had money in their pockets and they spent it freely.[42]

Nineteen Fifties

Rapidly changing times came to B.E.H.S. during the Fifties as a result of changes in world and community affairs. Bushnell Hospital closed its doors on June 3, 1946, and was unoccupied until 1950 when after major and costly renovations, it became the Intermountain Indian School. Students of employees at the Indian School were welcomed in the various Brigham City Schools. Those of high school age found a pleasant home at Box Elder High.[43]

After the death of their son, Thomas, on a Korean battlefield, Brigadier General Robert G. Hardaway, commander of Bushnell General Hospital and his wife, set up an award to perpetuate the memory of their son. He had been the valedictorian of the 1944 graduating class of Box Elder High School.[44] This prestigious recognition, the “Tom Hardaway Award” was first granted in 1953 to recipient Elwynn Olsen, and has continued to the present.[45] Students are chosen for the award by faculty and administrators who believe them to have outstanding qualities.

In 1954, Edward W. Payne became principal of Box Elder High and the school experienced extensive growth during the Fifties. The Wasatch Division of Thiokol Chemical Corporation began operation in October, 1957. Brigham City was engaged in a frenzy of home building to accommodate the new residents who found employment at Thiokol. Up to this time, the high school building accommodated both the junior and senior high school students, consisting of approximately 1200 students. Outside of Brigham City, in the 1957-1958 school year, seventh and eighth grade students were moved from elementary schools to junior high schools. With this addition of junior high school students and the increasing population during the late 1950's, the enrollment soon exceeded 1400 students and taxed the capacity of the existing building.[46]

With the firing of the Russian Sputnik and the coming of the space age, it became a must to improve American education. More emphasis was placed on mathematics and sciences. The problem was a national one and led to more and better equipment for modern intensive training in the sciences. It soon became apparent that the time had come to consider the construction of a new high school in Brigham City. The original high school buildings had served the public well, however, with the advanced technology and education advances, the school board started to look for a location for the new facilities. The senior students of the class of 1960-61 were honored to be the final graduating class to occupy the stately high school buildings and they went out with honor as they upheld the traditions of the past fifty years. The football team, under Coach Les Dunn, was the state football champion that year and the class production of “Pajama Game” was a fitting tribute to the final high school play produced in the stately auditorium. And yes, the graduation ceremonies of May, 1961, were the last to be held in the Box Elder Tabernacle.[47]

1962 to 2014

Nineteen Sixties

The 1960's experienced unprecedented growth throughout the school district. During the ten year period from 1956 to 1966, student enrollment, district wide, grew 67% from 5,438 students to 9,065, or 3,627 new students. This necessitated the rapid construction of new elementary and secondary schools throughout the county.[48] A modern Box Elder High School was constructed at 360 South 600 West and opened in the 1961-62 school year. The junior high school remained in the original facilities until 1965 when the new junior high building was constructed on the same site as the original building.

Construction on a new Box Elder High School began on June 1, 1960 on a 22½ acre campus located between Second and Fourth South and between Sixth and Eighth West. A successful bid in the amount of $2,240,000 was awarded which included architect and engineering fees.[49] This sum did not include campus or furnishing costs. Campus construction incurred further expenses to construct bleachers, track, lights on the football field along with the cost of sidewalks, curb and gutter, retaining walls, tennis courts, black top, and lawn seed, fertilizer, and peat moss. The purchase of he new site as well as the projects listed above made a total cost of $2,672,000.[50] In addition to classrooms and various facilities, a beautiful auditorium which accommodated 1,104, and a gymnasium with 2,830 seats made for a spacious, beautiful new facility. The student body had increased to such a size, after the ninth grade arrived in 1963, that a new classroom and a shop addition was added in 1965 at a cost of $793,000,to accommodate the enrollment of approximately 1,600 students.[51]

While many school traditions continued after the move, there were changes as well. The Boys’ and Girls’ Leagues became too cumbersome and were discontinued. With them went the circus and the revered school yell, “Yo Triumphe.” Several new organizations had appeared in the 50's and 60's; the girl Rockettes, a precision drill team; the Key Club for boys, a nationally affiliated organization sponsored by the Kiwanis Club; a Future Teachers organization; and the Safety Council. The counseling services were augmented and the number of seminaries increased to three.[52]

In 1968, the Brigham Civic Improvement Club established an award to recognize an outstanding female student, similar to the Tom Hardaway Award. Mona Sue Munns was the recipient of this first award which was entitled the "Civic Improvement Club Award," the following year, 1969, when this award was presented, it was referred to as "Gracious Womanhood." In 1997 the award title was changed to read "Civic Young Woman of the Year."[53]

After the transfer of Principal Payne to work in the district office, Carroll C. Nichols became principal of the high school in 1968. He graduated from South Cache High School in Hyrum, Utah, and Utah State Agriculture College and served as principal until 1984. Prior to coming to Box Elder High School, he had served as the principal at the San Bernardino Junior High School in California.[54]

Principal Nichols’ vision was a comprehensive high school where every student would find success in school life, whether in academics or through extra-curricular activities. Wanting all students to succeed, the administration embarked on offering classes to suit all abilities in all areas of education. It was opened up to students to help choose classes they wanted taught. If a petition was received with 20 or more signatures for a new class or club, it was offered and the administration would find a teacher for that subject or an advisor for that club. Examples in classes were Aviation, Heredity, Russian, Italian, etc. Examples of clubs included Indian Culture, Chess, Space, Bowling, and Rodeo.[55]

The new school year would always begin with many students and organizations participating in Peach Days. Floats were made in the Agriculture Department and many groups were in the parade. Peach Queens were chosen, usually a B.E.H.S. student being chosen as Queen.[56]

Homecoming was a favorite with a King and Queen being chosen and a formal dance held after the game. There was always a wonderful Homecoming assembly. In the evening, the night before the game, a bonfire was sponsored by the Freshmen class with the cheerleaders putting on a pep rally. The Marching Band, Majorettes Rockettes, and Cheerleaders put on a spectacular halftime Show culminating with the Sophomore class lighting the “B” with flares on the mountainside east of Brigham City, In 1976, a Homecoming Dedicatee was also added to the Homecoming festivities. Teacher John Wayman was honored as the first chosen dedicatee.

Nineteen Seventies

An Athletic Director was first appointed in 1972 to keep an expanded sports program due to Title IX from overlapping use of facilities. Women's athletics soon played a major role in the high school athletic programs. As soccer was becoming a popular sport, a soccer field was completed in 1977 and boys and girls teams were organized.[57]

The Richardson Memorial Invitational Wrestling Tournament was started in December 1973, to honor Coach Oscar Richardson who tragically drowned in Willard Bay attempting to save his young daughter. It was a sad evening in Brigham City, June 19, 1973, when the community learned of this tragic event. Thirty-seven year old Richardson was a popular teacher, a graduate of Box Elder High School, and successful wrestling coach. He along with his eleven year old daughter, Sherry, both drowned in the Willard Bay North Marina while on a family outing.[58] According to Brigham City resident Blaine Allen, the annual Richardson Memorial Invitational wrestling tournament has been one of the most successful tournaments for wrestlers in neighboring states and in-state competition.[59] The tournament has a reputation as a tough, well-run tournament. Initially 8 teams were involved, but it has grown to 16 varsity and 16 junior varsity teams.

During the 1970's, The Naval Junior ROTC program was implemented. It proved to be a popular program for several students. The cadets collected food, clothing, and money on a door-to-door drive for the needy. They also participated in parades, the Golden Spike Ceremony, funerals, camp outs, and field trips to military bases. Because of the unpatriotic atmosphere throughout the country, including the Vietnam War controversy, the program suffered somewhat with public adversity. On October 2, 1977, the ROTC classroom suffered minor fire damaged due to suspected arson. Principal Nichols was instrumental in finding the culprits of this deed.[60] As a result of some financial cutbacks during the early 1980's, the program was discontinued.

Under the leadership of Fontell Messervy and her assistants, the drama department put on huge productions for the community. Some of the outstanding plays at that time were Oklahoma, Wizard of Oz, The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, Big Fisherman, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Mrs. Messervy wanted to bring more culture to the community so she and Principal Nichols met with representatives of First Security Bank and asked permission to utilize the top floor of the bank building to put on plays. This request was granted and “Palace Playhouse” became a reality.[61] A stage was built and a small theater established to produce and present these plays for student and public entertainment. Some years later, much to the dismay of the students involved, First Security Bank found it necessary to cancel this arrangement due to possible liability and fire danger.

During the 1970's, the various girls athletic programs became more involved in region and state competitions. The girls won their first state championship in 1974, by the girls swim team. This was followed by the state volleyball championship in 1977 and girls basketball team won state in 1981.[62]

Nineteen Eighties

A Media Center addition was completed in 1980 at a cost of $324,324 followed by the Natatorium in 1981 at a cost of $2,081,436.[63] Both facilities added greatly to the educational and physical programs. With its modern, spacious, swimming pool, the boys and girls have been able to become more skilled and competitive in swimming. This new building included a full size gymnasium which provided public facilities for early morning exercise classes as well as being a great asset for the students.

Jay C. Stuart became principal of the high school in 1984 where he served until December 1996, when he accepted the position of Pupil Personnel Director in the school district administration. He graduated from Box Elder High School in 1961 where he was the student body president and was active in athletics. He provided the following information regarding school activities during his years as principal:

  • The State developed a program called “Academic Olympiad” and Box Elder excelled in this state-wide program, winning State in 1984.
  • The“Academic Excellence” program was developed at Box Elder High which rewarded academic improvement for individual students. This program became a success with all students, especially those who needed academic improvement.
  • Bridge building (physics department) in conjunction with Utah State University became very competitive for the students involved.
  • In the 1983-84 school year, the first female Student Body President, Cindy Hyde, was elected.
  • With the help of the Naval Reserves, the ROTC building was refinished and built into a weight training facility that greatly enhanced the athletic program.
  • During the school year of 1986, Box Elder High won its 14th consecutive Region wrestling championship and qualified all 12 varsity wrestlers for the State meet.
  • The football rivalry between Box Elder and Bear River continued into the 80's and the traveling trophy called the “Golden Spike Trophy” was awarded to the winning football team.
  • The 1989 Graduation Services were held outdoors on the Football Field. This was a first and was appreciated by all who attended. It was a beautiful evening and made for a much more comfortable atmosphere than the gymnasium.[64]

Nineteen Nineties

Earl B. Swenson, who taught instrumental music at the junior and senior high schools for 24 years, became the Box Elder High School principal in December 1996. In all he served 40 years in the school system.[65] Over the years, much effort and sometimes hundreds of dollars were spent on decorating for the Junior Prom. Attempts to recoup some of these costs included selling decorations afterwards or selling tickets to spectators.[66] With escalating costs of fears of the school being left paying excessive bills, Principal Swenson initiated a change to holding the dance elsewhere and did away with the "excessive decorating" that had been a hallmark of earlier times.[67]

Two Thousands

After serving as a teacher at Box Elder High School for several years, Darrell Eddington became principal of the high school in 2000 and served until June 30, 2013, when he accepted an administrative position at the school district office.[68]

The first annual yearbook – Volume 1, 1914, was entitled “The Boomerang.” It was numbered consecutively each year until the final Boomerang was published in 2000, Volume 87. Beginning with the 2000-2001 school year, the name of the annual yearbook was changed to “The Buzzer” commencing with a new Volume l. Currently the “Bee” newspaper is not published as a hard copy but is issued on the school’s website.[69]

Since the early 2000's, graduations have been held in Logan at the Utah State University Spectrum, or in Ogden at the Weber State University Dee Event Center.

The Box Elder High School classroom and auxiliary facilities served the students and community well for approximately 50 years. With the wear and tear on the buildings and to bring the classrooms and other facilities up to standard to serve computer systems, modern technology, and other education needs, a major remodeling and construction program took place at the high school. With the exception of the auditorium, gymnasium, shop facilities, and the natatorium, which were updated and retained, a complete new structure was completed in 2010 at a contracted construction cost of $34,132,884. In addition, new outdoor athletic fields for baseball, softball, and volleyball were provided in the area north of the natatorium.[70] The current football field was named in recognition of Coach Earl Ferguson, head coach of the football, basketball, and boys track teams from 1921 - 1960.

Gary Allen was appointed principal on July 1, 2013. In addition to graduating from Box Elder High School, he spent his career in education serving as a teacher and administrator in various schools throughout the district.

As we come to the end of a successful 2014 school year, the students have had another great year. Approximately 380 students graduated, and the commencement exercises were held at the Dee Event Center in Ogden. In athletics, the girls track team took state honors for the first time and the boys soccer team made it to the state semi-finals, another first. The school’s orchestra made it to the state competition for just the third time in school history and the drama team took their region title for an eighth consecutive year and were runners-up at state.[71]


In developing and choosing material for the Brigham City History, it was decided to include areas of public education, including the history and traditions of Box Elder High School. It was felt that this would be of special interest to many local residents. A history of Box Elder High School entitled, “Three Score and Ten-Years” was published in 1968 as part of the annual yearbook. The thirty page booklet was numbered accordingly as pages 209 to 240. Other information sources include several Box Elder News-Journal articles compiled and published by editor, Sarah Yates, along with historical data secured from high school records and the Box Elder County School District. Prepared by David N. Morrell with the able assistance of Jane Sumida Gomez.

  1. Thelma Kotter,Through the Years, Brigham City 8th Ward, 1953, 45.
  2. Sarah Yates, “A place of higher learning was needed,” Box Elder Journal, Brigham City, Utah, July 31, 1975, 8.
  3. Three Score and Ten Years: A History of Box Elder High School, 1968, 210.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid., 211.
  6. Three Score, 211 and 215.
  7. "B.C.H.S. Notes" in Box Elder News, September 26, 1907. Despite the name change having taken place, this is what the yell was reported as, and news articles continue to be called "B.C.H.S. Notes" until late October or early November.
  8. Three Score, 215. This seems to be a conflation of a couple of newspaper articles, particularly "B.C.H.S. Notes," Box Elder News, October 3, 1907. and "High School Notes" in Box Elder News, November 14, 1907.
  9. Three Score, 215.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid., 216.
  12. Ibid.
  13. This amount was based on the bid accepted by the board but does not include furnishings, subsequent auditorium seating, architect fees, etc.
  14. Box Elder County School Board Minutes, August 15, 1908.
  15. Three Score, 219.
  16. Ibid., 220.
  17. Sarah Yates, “School District to note 100th anniversary,” Box Elder News Journal, Brigham City, Utah, June 20, 2007, 9.
  18. Box Elder School Board Minutes, May 15, 1912.
  19. Utah Dept. of Public Instruction. School Laws, from Compiled Laws of Utah, 1917, and Session Laws of Utah, 1919 and 1921. Salt Lake City: Department of Public Instruction, 1921. Section 4740 at page 60.
  20. Yates, 9.
  21. Three Score, 219.
  22. Yates, 9.
  23. Three Score, 221.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid., 212.
  26. Box Elder School Board Minutes, August 5, 1918. The Church built a new seminary building, which opened in 1930.
  27. In Salt Lake City, Utah.
  28. Three Score, 222.
  29. Box Elder High School Records - Outstanding Boy and Outstanding Girl recipient.
  30. Three Score, 223, and School Board Minutes, October 25, 1934 and September 13, 1935.
  31. Three Score, 223.
  32. One mill = .001 (%).
  33. Box Elder School Board Minutes, May 13, 1938, December 9, 1938 and May 24, 1939. For more facts on figures on schools costs and payments see Box Elder Schools Construction and Box Elder School Bonds.
  34. Established sometime in the early 1920s.
  35. Ibid.
  36. Ibid.
  37. Three Score, 224.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid., 212-13.
  40. Ibid., 224.
  41. Ibid. For a list of people from Box Elder County who served, see. . .
  42. Ibid., 224.
  43. Ibid., 226.
  44. Ibid., 239.
  45. Box Elder High School Records, Tom Hardaway Award.
  46. Three Score, 226.
  47. Box Elder High School Records.
  48. Box Elder School District Enrollment Records.
  49. Three Score, 240.
  50. Box Elder School District Construction Costs.
  51. Three Score, 240.
  52. Three Score, 227.
  53. Box Elder High School Records, “Gracious Womanhood Award.”
  54. Carroll C. Nichols, Principal, 1968-1984, recorded memories.
  55. Ibid.
  56. Ibid.
  57. Nichols.
  58. Box Elder News Journal, June 21, 1973.
  59. Blaine Allen - Interview.
  60. Nichols.
  61. Nichols. The bank was in the Co-op Mercantile building, on the corner of Forest & Main.
  62. Box Elder High School Records - State Championships. See also State Athletic Championships
  63. Box Elder School District Construction Records
  64. Jay C. Stuart, Principal, 1984-1996 recorded memories.
  65. Earl Swenson, Principal, 1997-2000, personal interview.
  66. Carroll C. Nichols, Principal, 1968-1984, recorded memories
  67. Swenson
  68. Darrell Eddington, Principal, 2000 - 2013, personal interview.
  69. Eddington.
  70. Box Elder School District Construction Records.
  71. Box Elder News Journal, May 28, 2014, 9.

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