Richmond has a history of providing
an education for many years. Richmond was formed by the Missouri
Legislature to be the site of the new Ray County Courthouse in 1827.
As a result, the community began to grow around the courthouse. The
first public school was a two-room brick structure constructed on East
North Main Street in 1859. Joseph E. Black was the teacher with
Cynthia Cole as his assistant. In the 1860s, the "Presbytery of the
Upper Missouri" formed a committee to construct a three-story school
building on land to the south of the courthouse. This area eventually
became the main campus of their college. When financial difficulties
arose, and support for the college was withdrawn and focused on Fulton,
MO, the building was used as a public school beginning in 1867 with B.F.
Winfrey as Superintendent. In September of 1868, the foundation was
laid for a new public school on the same land. The Superintendent was
Samuel J. Huffaker. There were 7 graduates in 1872, 0 in 1873, 5 in
1874, 0 in 1875, 9 in 1876 , and 5 in 1877. It is interesting to note
that in 1933, the historical information was a bit different:
1883 the Richmond School District has maintained a free public high
school. Prior to that time secondary school subjects, combined with some
college work, were included in the curriculum of Richmond college.
During the fifty years it has existed our high school has progressed
towards a definite ideal. Difficulties have been encountered and
obstacles overcome in the process of making R.R. a first class
institution recognized by the State Department of Education and the
North Central Association of colleges and secondary schools."
-Taken from the 1933 edition of the Echo Yearbook, 50th anniversary of Richmond High School
following record of graduates has been located: 1882-4, 1884-1,
1887-6, 1888-4, 1889-6, 1890-3, 1891-5, 1892-8, 1893-11, 1894-5,
1895-10, 1896-10, 1897-11, 1898-9, 1899-9, 1900-9. The graduates
remained fairly steady for many years. In 1910, it was reported that
there were 7 graduates with 30 having started in the classs as
freshmen. Richmond High School was housed for many years in the
three-story brick structure that first began in 1912. The Superintendent of Schools from 1910 - 1913 was Samuel A Baker, who later was SUPERINTENDENT OF MISSOURI SCHOOLS in 1918 and then became the GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI from 1924 - 1929!!
Forrest Smith, born on a farm near Richmond, later became a teacher and principal of Richmond Grammar School at the time of Samuel A Baker's superintendency. Forrest Smith later also became GOVERNOR OF MISSOURI from 1949 - 1953.
RHS expanded into a
two-story structure and a one-story Junior High was added. Richmond
began a Junior High School in the 1921-22 school year in it's own
building, then later moved into a wing of the High School. When the
current High School was constructed, the Junior High took over the
entire building. The Richmond Middle School began in it's new building
in 1995. At that time, the elementary program moved some of its grades
into the old high school from an overcrowded Woodson-Dear school. When
the Sunrise Elementary school was constructed, the old high school was
vacated and purchased by the City of Richmond. Currently, the old
gymnasium and the one-story wing of the old High School are used as a
modern City Hall / Police Station and City Gymnasium. The City Council meets in the old
It is also interesting to note that in
the late 1890s and early 1900s, there were over 90 schools in Ray
County. Many of these small schools sent students to the various high schools in the
county. Currently, we only have
Richmond, Orrick, Hardin-Central and Lawson with high schools. Where
did all of the schools go? They were combined (consolidated) and
reorganized into the school districts that we currently have. In the
1940s. 50s. 60s. and 70s, the communities of Rayville, Millville,
Knoxville, Henrietta and Camden joined with Richmond to form the
Richmond R-XVI School District. The largest graduating classes were in
the mid-1970s with 157 graduates in both 1976 and 1977. In 1983 the
student body stood at 496 enrolled (with 119 graduates). In 2008 the
total enrollment was 498 students enrolled (with 121 graduates).
school was in session a total of 180 days in 1933, and presently the
length of the school year is approximately 174 days. The size of the
faculty has also grown over the past century. In 1883 there were only 10
faculty members. Fifty years later the staff had grown to about 40. In
1983 there were 50 certified staff members. Today there is a total of
about 45 certificated faculty members.
We have records of 30
Superintendents of Schools for Richmond. The Superintendent with the
longest tenure was Price Collier for 27 years (1922 - 1949). He also
was the band and orchestra director for many years! We have also
located the names of 28 Principals for RHS. The longest tenured
Principal was W. Roy Groce with 13 years (1927 - 1946).
Yearbook was printed for the Class of 1910 and was named the "Echo". The next "Echo" was
printed in 1920. That class determined that they would like for the
yearbook to be published yearly (called an annual).
you have any more recollections of how Richmond High School developed,
please write them down, and we can add these to our collection.
Richmond College (housing a course of High School study)
Richmond High School prior to the 2-story addition (which would have been on the left (eastern side) of this building.