:: Riverside Public Schools Records


The Riverside Public School Records contain items generated by several schools in the City of Riverside, mostly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The items in the collection include financial paperwork, legal documents, photographs, minutes, student records, correspondence, and architectural plans. The materials provide information not only about the district, including the construction and enlargements of various school buildings, but also the people involved, from teachers and students to the administrative staff and the businesses engaged by the school district.

The collection measures eight linear feet, and consists of seven boxes, four ledgers, and four over-sized architectural plans.

Administrative History

The first class to be held in the City of Riverside occurred in early 1871 when Mrs. Rogers taught ten local children, two of which were her own, at her home on the corner of University Avenue and Mulberry Street. Adelaida Valdez, daughter of Louis Robidoux, owned the home. The Robidoux family had a long association with education in the Riverside area. Louis Robidoux engaged Charles Hardy as a teacher from 1856 to 1862, who taught classes at the Robidoux ranch.

The first school in the area, though, was the parish school of La Placita in 1844, which later moved to Agua Mansa due to flooding (ha! ha!) from the Santa Ana River. In 1863, the San Salvador public school district was organized for the southwest corner of San Bernardino County. Other school systems separated from this parent organization, including the Temescal District in 1865, the Chino District in 1866, and the Jurupa District in 1868/69. Originally covering the Mile Square, the Riverside School District split from the Jurupa District in the summer of 1871, building the first school room on Sixth Street at Lime, later known as Lincoln School. Teachers from those early years included Lyman Waite (the first lawyer in town) and James Roe, who later became publisher of the local newspaper. Notable graduates from the district included opera singer, Marcella Craft, and Ray Lyman Wilbur, who served as president of Stanford University and Secretary of the Interior. Samuel Evans also served as the school clerk early in his career during the late 1890s and early 1900s before becoming mayor of Riverside and later, state senator. In 1907, the city charter combined the Riverside district with Arlington (originally formed as Sunnyside in 1880), Magnolia (1882), and Victoria (1891) to create one school system.

In the late 1880s, a public high school began operations, though its three-story location on Fourteenth Street took some time to complete and furnish according the materials in this collection. Local bond measures provided the funding since, at the time, the state of California did not provide financial support for those grade levels. In 1902, the high school started another campus on Ninth Street. The Fourteenth Street location became Grant School (serving grades 3-8) -- and the original building was replaced in the 1930s.

The first professional superintendent was appointed by Arthur Wheelock in 1902. Under his direction, the sexes were separated at the high school level -- girls attended morning sessions, and boys, the afternoon sessions. In 1912, Polytechnic High School for boys opened. Thus the Ninth Street location became the Girl's High School. The two later reunited in 1924. Racial segregation also increased in Riverside during Wheelock's tenure, with the boundary line between Lowell, a predominately Euro-American school, and nearby Irving, which served mostly minority students. Euro-Americans in Irving usually could be transferred to another school, but not Mexican American or Black students. Students in the Arlington Heights area were bused past the Casa Blanca School, which had a large Mexican immigrant population, to attend Lowell.

Beginning in 1916—also during the Wheelock administration—postgraduate classes were offered at Polytechnic High. Indeed, one of the first junior colleges in the state has its roots in the Riverside School District. Backed by funding from the state legislature in 1920, the Riverside Junior College District was formed, and moved from its location at the high school to an adjacent property at Riverside Avenue and Terracina Drive.
Many of the early school buildings in Riverside no longer exist, including the Washington school on the corner of Twelfth and Almond, and the Lincoln School, which was demolished in the early 1980s. Other schools, such as Longfellow (also known as the Seventh Street School near Eucalyptus) have been modernized, though the old auditorium for Irving (Thirteenth Street near Grove) remains, with the school operating as a continuation high school.

Scope and Content

Series I (Financial Documents) consists of six sub-series: warrant stub books; receipts, bills, and vouchers; insurance policies; bids, proposals, and contracts; financial reports; and cash books. The materials date from the late 1880s to the 1920s.

Series II (Teacher Applications) provide information on the qualifications, education, previous experience, and references of various applicants—from Cucamonga, California to Cambridge, Massachusetts—of men and women in the education profession at the end of the 19th century. The series is divided into five sub-series, and are arranged in chronological order.

Series III (Correspondence) includes letters to the secretary of the district and the board of trustees. The items in this series date from the 1890s, with five folders ordered chronologically.

Series IV (Legal Documents) has two sub-series: bond work and election material. The items date from the 1890s.

Series V (Public School Registers and Statistical Reports) has three sub-series of material: twenty-four volumes of school statistical registers, and one annual report arranged chronologically.

Series VI (Architectural Elevations and Specifications) consists of the undated plans for the high school building at Fourteenth Street and specifications for the Washington School.

Series VII (Riverside High School Student Records Books) consists of two volumes from 1887 to 1911.

Series VIII (Riverside School District Census Books) has ten volumes from 1891 to 1899.

Series IX (Minutes) consists of a book from the meetings of the Associated Student Body board of Polytechnic High, 1914-1923.

Series X (Photographic Materials) has undated photographic materials.

Series XI (Newsletters) consists of four volumes of the Riverside City School District in-house newsletter from the 1950s.

Series XII (Magnolia School District) has two folders of records, including a record book and a statistical register from the late 19th century.

Series XIII (Highgrove School District Papers) contains paperwork dating from the late 1920s to the 1940s.

Series XIV (Miscellaneous) has two sub-series of material, mostly empty containers that had, at one point, held the collection.

Originally, some items were stored in two boxes. It appears that the district clerks tried to arrange the paperwork by folding many of the items and noting on the reverse their subject matter. This perhaps allowed them to more easily thumb through the materials at a later date. The clerks then put the materials either in an envelope or a small box with other items, or wrapped them with string or a rubber band. They labeled the bundles according to their subject matter, such as Building Fund; Painting Bids, 1896; and Unfinished Papers, 1889-1891. The original order has been maintained for the most part, but in some cases it has been re-established. The two boxes have been discarded except for the label of the contents, currently in the miscellaneous series.

In some instances, item totals do not reflect the actual number of pages—particularly those formerly found in envelopes or held together by staples or stickpins.

Series Description

Series I: Financial Documents

Sub-series A: Warrant Stub Book

The stubs bound into the books indicate the warrant number, date, individual, amount, source, and purpose for the funds.

Folder 1: Stub Book, 24 December 1896 – 8 August 1898 (one item)

Folder 2: Stub Book, 15 April 1897 (one item)

Folder 3: Stub Book, 23 January 1897 (one item)

Folder 4: High school Stub Book, 22 September 1897 to 22 October 1898(one item)

Sub-series B: Bills, Receipts and vouchers

The items in this sub-series detail the various expenses associated with the schools: teacher and janitor salaries, freight charges, books, rent, utilities, and school supplies. The items show the school district's association with such local business as R.J. Welch (harness dealer), Miller and Tetley (insurance agents), and Rouse & Co.

Folders 1 and 2 were originally found in a box titled "Unfinished papers". Items in these two folders have been arranged chronologically. Most relate to the construction (labor and material) and the outfitting of school buildings. Written on the back of the receipts are notations regarding the associated school, such as the architect fee for Thirteenth Street paid to S. Haas or a statement generated by D. Gunnings (architect for the expansion of the Sixth Street School). The receipts in Folders 3-12 have numberings on the backs with the individual or company name, date and amount paid. Many have been stamped with this information. The items in these folders may have been a precursor to those found in Folders 13-18; some items in Folders 3-12 show the transition to a standardized format.

The items in Folders 3-12 have been reordered based on the numbering on the backs, which seemed to have been based on the date paid. Receipts 10-12 and 14-19 were found separately, wrapped in paper, which was labeled "Old Bills '95", inside the "Unfinished Papers" box. They have been reintegrated with the others. The receipts from Folders 6-12 were found separately in two different envelopes. A portfolio envelope labeled "1-376 Grade Schools Vouchers 1895-96" originally contained Folders 6-10 as well as receipts 1-3, 46, 141, and 149. Another envelope ("High School Vouchers 1895-1896") previously held items from Folders 11 and 12. Receipt 270 from Folder 8 related to a high school expense, but since it has not been labeled as such on the reverse (as those in Folders 11 and 12) and the date doesn't fit into the sequence, it has not been displaced. Folders 14, 15, 16, and 17 were originally bundled.

The items in Folders 3-12 have been reordered based on the numbering on the backs, which seemed to have been based on the date paid. Receipts 10-12 and 14-19 were found separately, wrapped in paper, which was labeled "Old Bills '95", inside the "Unfinished Papers" box. They have been reintegrated with the others. The receipts from Folders 6-12 were found separately in two different envelopes. A portfolio envelope labeled "1-376 Grade Schools Vouchers 1895-96" originally contained Folders 6-10 as well as receipts 1-3, 46, 141, and 149. Another envelope ("High School Vouchers 1895-1896") previously held items from Folders 11 and 12. Receipt 270 from Folder 8 related to a high school expense, but since it has not been labeled as such on the reverse (as those in Folders 11 and 12) and the date doesn't fit into the sequence, it has not been displaced. Folders 14, 15, 16, and 17 were originally bundled together, but during processing were separated into individual folders due to their bulk. The items have been arranged numerically, and Folders 13 – 17 have no gaps in their sequence. Folder 18 was not arranged in numerical order owing to a problem with the bookkeeping at the time. Many items in Folders 13-18 have receipts attached to their blue covers—these items are dated. Those materials without receipts have some remarks/notations written inside their covers. In these cases, the acid in the ink has begun to show through. Folder 19 contains miscellaneous items that cannot be clearly attributed to any of the preceding folders. For instance, Folder 19 includes a telegram receipt that was originally found with other items in the "Old Bills '95" wrapper, but unlike the others, it has no notation on the back. It dates from the same time, and may be either receipts 7 or 9, which are both missing from that particular sequence. Also, three receipts from October 1895 were found with items from Folders 6-10.

Folder 1: Construction receipts, October 1889 to October 1891 (fifteen items)

Folder 2: Construction receipts, November 1891 to June 1896 (eleven items)

Folder 3: Receipts 1 - 50, July to October 1895 (forty-two items)

Folder 4: Receipts 51 - 100, October to November 1895 (thirteen items)

Folder 5: Receipts 101 - 150, November 1895 to January 1896 (twenty-seven items)

Folder 6: Receipts 151 - 200, January to February 1896 (twenty-eight items)

Folder 7: Receipts 201 - 250, February to March 1896 (fifteen items)

Folder 8: Receipts 251 - 300, March to May 1896 (twenty-two items)

Folder 9: Receipts 301 - 350, May to June 1896 (twenty-two items)

Folder 10: Receipts 351 - 376, June to July 1896 (ten items)

Folder 11: High school receipts 1 - 50, July 1895 to February 1896 (nineteen items)

Folder 12: High school receipts 51 - 100, March to July 1896 (fifteen items)

Folder 13: Riverside High bills 1 - 86, September 1897 to July 1898 (thirty-five items)

Folder 14: District bills 1 - 99, July 1897 to November 1897 (forty-eight items)

Folder 15: District bills 100 - 196, November 1897 to January 1898 (seventy-six items)

Folder 16: District bills 197/198 - 349, January 1898 to April 1898 (fifty-five items)

Folder 17: District bills 350 - 438, April 1898 to July 1898 (forty-two items)

Folder 18: Longfellow Building Fund, November 1897 to July 1898 (thirteen items)

Folder 19: Miscellaneous receipts, circa 1895 (six items)

Sub-series C: Insurance Policies

Most items in Folder 1 were originally wrapped in paper and bound by twine. All policies covered school district buildings for three years, ending coverage in 1898. The items in Folder 2 were found tied together with election materials in Series IV.B.3 and Series IV.B.4.

Folder 1: Insurance Policies, 1895 (thirteen items)

Folder 2: Insurance Duplicates, 1895 (three items)

Sub-series D: Bids, Proposals, and Contracts

Folders 1 and 4 were found in association with the "Unfinished Papers" box. William A. Correll, district clerk, originally placed Folders 2 and 3 in one envelope (Painting Bills, 1896). The items in this sub-series deal with various bids and contracts between local businesses and the district for the construction and renovation of its school buildings. Folder 1 has contractor bids for the construction of Fourteenth Street School and East Side (referred to on the reverse as Seventh Street School). Folder 2 has bids for the painting of the four local schools, mostly regarding Thirteenth and Sixth Street. Items in Folder 3 were found wrapped in paper inside the painting bill envelope. The cover indicates the paperwork resulted from bids for the construction of the Washington School. Folder 4 contains contracts (one of which appears to be a draft) for work at Fourteenth Street and East Side (referred to on the reverse as Irving School). The latter information contradicts that found in Folder 1, as Irving School is not located on Seventh Street. Unfortunately, neither document gives the exact location of East Side to clarify whether it was the early nomenclature for Irving and Longfellow. One contract in Folder 4 has been altered in details such as date and school -- perhaps indicating that it had been used as a sample form for another document; originally, the item was located in conjunction with receipts 10-19 in Series I.B.3.

Folder 1: Construction bids, 1889 (three items)

Folder 2: Painting bids and contracts, August 1896 (nine items)

Folder 3: Building bids, January 1897 (nine items)

Folder 4: Contracts, 1888 and 1891 (four items)

Sub-series E: Financial Report

Prepared by William Correll, the report shows the receipts (income from charges, sales, taxes, and tuition) and the expenditures (salaries, rent, and supplies). A statement showing the various funds for the school district is also attached at the end of the document.

Folder 1: Riverside School District and High School Report, 30 June 1897 (one item)

Sub-series F: Cash Books

This sub-series has two volumes. Folder 1 is the cash book for the high school. The book lists the distribution of funds by type (sundries, water, fuel, janitor, and teacher); date and entry number; individual or company name; and the fund from which the amount was drawn or credited. Columns added later include boys and girls high schools (1912); junior college (1916); night school (1917); and intermediate (1918). The financial sections for a particular school year ended on the thirtieth of June. The entries are handwritten in ink with some pencil notation in the 149-page volume. Presumably Samuel Evans made the early entries with information later provided by different clerical workers. The book apparently followed an earlier volume which was kept between 1895 and 1903. The larger 201-page volume in the collection is the cash book for the lower grades in the district. It lists the nature of the distribution (furnishings, maintenance, operation, instruction, and overhead); various funds (kindergarten, special, school, library, and building); date and number of the entry; name and purpose (such as salary for a substitute teacher); and balance. The totals for the school year also end on the thirtieth of June.

Folder 1: Riverside High Cash Book, 30 June 1903 to 30 June 1920 (one item)

Folder 2: Riverside School District Book, 1 July 1915 to 25 January 1924 (one item)

Series II: Teacher Applications

Sub-series A: 1896 -- March to July

All of the items in this sub-series are in similar, numbered envelopes (now highly acidic), and list the applicant's name, year, and coursework sought. The original numerical order may have been based on the date received by the district. Several gaps occur in the sequence, including a large gap between 1 and 25. Also, some individuals appear in more than one sub-series, such as Anna Reid, who applied in April 1896 (II.A.2) and again in June 1897 (II.B.2).

Folder 1: Applications 20-29, March 1896 (five items)

Folder 2: Applications 30-39, March and April 1896 (nine items)

Folder 3: Applications 40-49, June and July 1896 (ten items)

Folder 4: Applications 50-59, May to July 1896 (ten items)

Folder 5: Applications 60-63, June and July 1896 (four items)

Sub-series B: 1896/1897 -- June 1896 to June 1897

Unlike sub-series A, C, and D, no original order could be ascertained for these materials. Therefore, they have been arranged in alphabetical order. They were originally found in an envelope listing the year, though a couple of items predate 1897. Based on the dates from the applications in this sub-series, the bulk of the material seems to come after those in II.A, but before the papers in II.D -- with some overlapping. They may have been items that for some reason had not been included with the material in the other sub-series. Some applications consist only of letters of recommendation (which may predate the application to the Riverside District by a number of years), and others, only the cover letters. In some cases, the enclosures are missing.

Folder 1: B, C, and E -- April to June 1897 (five items)

Folder 2: G, H, L, P, and R -- June 1896 to June 1897 (seven items)

Folder 3: S -- April to June 1897 (six items)

Sub-series C: Letterbox -- March and April 1897

William A. Correll originally maintained these items in a box, arranged somewhat in alphabetical order. Though many items were found out of the corresponding index, they have since been reintegrated into their respective folders. Original order has also been compromised. For example, moving the recommendation by Estelle Darrah to Folder 2, since it relates to a Mr. Biermann's application. The folders are currently arranged alphabetically by the surname of the applicants. In addition to the letters of intent and recommendations, several applicants submitted photos. These have been placed in envelopes and attached to the applications. Some letters are responses to the district in regards to vacancies. Though the district did not always reply, as evident by numerous applications in the collection, this may have been due to the district not responding to unsolicited applications. One letter in this sub-series indicated that the district contacted a teaching agency to fill a vacancy (see Folder 8).

Folder 1: A -- March and April 1897 (six items)

Folder 2: B -- March and April 1897 (seven items)

Folder 3: C -- March and April 1897 (three items)

Folder 4: E -- April 1897 (three items)

Folder 5: F -- March 1897 (two items)

Folder 6: G -- March and April 1897 (two items)

Folder 7: H -- April 1897 (five items)

Folder 8: J -- March 1897 (two items)

Folder 9: K -- March and April 1897 (two items)

Folder 10: L -- March and April 1897 (six items)

Folder 11: M -- March and April 1897 (eight items)

Folder 12: N/O -- March and April 1897 (three items)

Folder 13: P -- March 1897 (one item)

Folder 14: R -- April 1897 (three items)

Folder 15: S -- March and April 1897 (four items)

Folder 16: T -- March and April 1897 (six items)

Folder 17: W -- March and April 1897 (three items)

Sub-series D: 1897/1898 -- January 1897 to June 1898

As with other materials in this series, the items in this sub-series provide detailed backgrounds about prospective teachers. For example, applicants from the Fisk Teachers' Agencies used forms that listed studies, subjects prepared to teach, and their specialties as well as age and marital status. They were accompanied by a list presumably made by Samuel Evans, the school district's clerk at the time. The list has the applicants' names in rough alphabetical order. The folders in sub-series D have been partly rearranged using this list. But since the list has some mistakes such as the of listing incorrect surnames (Clifford instead of Gifford, for example), the list has not been followed faithfully. The list also includes an applicant whose materials were not found in the collection. The notation on the list indicates that the application was returned to sender. Other items in sub-series D have notations made by Evans. As with the applications in the other three sub-series, all items in a given envelope are counted as one item. Also, an individual may have more than one item associated with them, if references were later sent -- as in the case of Annie Mills Fraser, Addie Kinsey, and L. Pearl Pratt. The latter individual, Pratt, had several additional items, some of which were bound together. These have been placed in an envelope in Folder 7 to indicate their association.

Folder 1: A-B -- November 1897 to June 1898 (seven items)

Folder 2: C-D -- January 1897 to June 1898 (seven items)

Folder 3: E-F -- September 1897 to June 1898 (six items)

Folder 4: G -- August 1897 to June 1898 (six items)

Folder 5: H & K -- October 1897 to May 1898 (six items)

Folder 6: L-N -- April 1898 to June 1898 (six items)

Folder 7: P & R -- March 1898 to June 1898 (ten items)

Folder 8: S -- September 1897 to June 1898 (six items)

Folder 9: T, V, & W -- May 1897 to June 1898 (five items)

Sub-series E: Miscellaneous

This sub-series contains items that cannot definitely be associated with any of the applications in the preceding sub-series.

Folder 1: Miscellaneous applications circa 1897 (four items)

Series III: Correspondence

The item in Folder 1 was originally found inside a bond contract from Series IV.A, though it was unrelated to that material. The letter was composed by a clerk from Kentucky and was addressed to E.W. Holmes (identified in the letter as board secretary). The document relates information about possible transgressions committed by Dr. Eli Brown, then superintendent of the Riverside schools. The item is notable for the writer's sentiments regarding white men involved with black women. Folders 2 and 3 date from the time when William A. Correll served as district clerk. The items in Folder 2 include an application for a janitor's position, letters and paperwork involving school business, and financial documents regarding bids for school construction, plumbing, and installation of blackboards. Folder 2 also contains twenty slips of paper with cryptic figures showing gross and net figures. Notable items include an 1896 school furniture maker's illustrated brochure, a list of high school textbooks from the 1896/97 school year, and a letter requesting the transfer of a child due to the deaths of two children from diphtheria at the previous school (referred to as the Orange Block school). Though some items may constitute a separate folder in another series, the papers in this folder remain together. They seem to have been collected by Samuel Evans upon becoming district clerk in July 1897, since the items were found with other materials from that time. The items in Folder 3 were found in a letterbox that contained mostly teacher applications. Also among the items is a letter from an Orange County attorney, C.C. Monaghan, regarding vehicle laws. It includes another envelope containing the application for a teaching position of an associate of C.C. Monaghan. Another item in Folder 3 is a letter from a Riverside teacher, Clara McMillen, requesting a leave of absence. A third item relates to the school business in another district. The letter was addressed to the Riverside clerk from M. Nebelung, Anaheim city clerk, requesting that an enclosed envelope ...

... in which she turns down the district’s offer due to her assuming a different position in the interim. The item dates to just after the election of Evans as a board of trustee, beginning his position as clerk (see Series IV.B.9-10). Folder 5 has two letters in this sub-series regarding Dr. W.W. Roblee’s plans for physical education and a petition by Riverside residents for the establishment of music as a separate course.

Folder 1: W.H. Patterson to E.W. Holmes, 31 July 1894 (one item)

Folder 2: Sundry letters, July 1896 to February 1897 (eleven items)

Folder 3: Letterbox letters, March and April 1897 (four items)

Folder 4: Mrs. Thrall to Samuel Evans, August 1897 (one item)

Folder 5: Curriculum, June 1897 (two items)

Series IV: Legal Documents

Sub-series A: Bond Work

This sub-series has bond contracts between the district and contractors, regarding work done to Riverside schools. Many items had been notarized (marking their difference from contracts found in the financial series). The papers were found in association with the “Unfinished Papers” box; the bond contract regarding S.B. Robinson’s carpenter work in Folder 1 had been contained with several receipts in the Old Bills ’95 wrapper.

Folder 1: High school bond contracts, 1988 (two items)

Folder 2: Construction bond work, 1891 (three items)

Sub-series B: Election Materials

The items in this sub-series include ballots, appointment of election officers’ notices, oath of election officers, poll and tally lists, and certificates of the election judges. Items in folder 3 and 4 were found tied in a bundle with the insurance duplicates from I.C.2. Many envelopes had not been opened before processing: the tally envelope from Folder 3, the ballot and certificate of judges envelopes from Folder 5, and the ballot envelope from Folder 8. Folder 7 contains an abstract of proceedings related to the bond election of 28 August 1896. Of note, the ballots had only the option of yes preprinted on the forms; in order to vote otherwise, the individual head to cross out “yes” and write “no”, perhaps explaining the majority voting yes for various measures. Ballots have been counted individually in the following item totals.

Folder 1: School board election notice, May 1891 (one item)

Folder 2: High school election, 8 July 1893 (six items)

Folder 3: School tax election, 14 August 1895 (forty-eight items)

Folder 4: Trustee election, 5 June 1896 (two items)

Folder 5: School tax election, 14 August 1896 (thirty-seven items)

Folder 6: School bond election, 28 August 1896 (thirty-two items)

Folder 7: Abstract of bond election, September 1896 (one item)

Folder 8: School bond election, 18 November 1896 (fifty-four items)

Folder 9: School trustee election, 4 June 1897 (three items)

Folder 10: School trustee election, 4 June 1897 (six items)

Series V: Public School Registers and Statistical Reports

Sub-series A: Registers

The state of California required teachers to keep these registers during the school year. Instructions for record procedures are located at the front of the volumes, including the meaning of various symbols. With some variety, the main portion of the books lists the names of the students; grade level; instructor; dates; and tallies of the number of days present, absent, and tardy. Other sections include and abstract of the monthly summaries, teacher’s reports, a record of corporal punishment, visitor’s record, and a general record. The last section includes information on the pupils as their age, parent’s name, residence, date of leaving school, and for what reason. Folder 22 contains an additional section giving the daily schedule of the class for the school year. A register could be kept over a course of several years (see Folder 12) or have various instructors detailing the data, as evident with the volume from Folder 2. Folder 10 demonstrates how one instructor kept information about various classes in the volume. Folders 7, 9, and 10 have abstract summaries for various departments, whereas typically the other registers only had the summary for a particular class. Folder 5 resumes where Folder 2 left off. All the books are in various states of disrepair. Not all are clearly marked as to their title; some are not even specifically labeled as to the school district. Grade levels may not correspond to the modern system of k-12.

Folder 1: First & Second grades, January 1875 to May 1878 (one item) restricted access

Folder 2: Third grade, October 1876 to May 1878 and November 1882 to January 1883 (one item) restricted access

Folder 3: Riverside School district--First and Second grades, September 1878 to April 1881 and November 1882 to February 1883 (one item) restricted access

Folder 4: Riverside School District--Third grade, September 1878 to September 1881 (one item) restricted access

Folder 5: January to June 1883 (one item) restricted access

Folder 6: Riverside School District--Intermediate Department, November 1882 to June 1883 (one item) restricted access

Folder 7: Riverside School District--Grammar Department, October 1883 to October 1884 (one item) restricted access

Folder 8: Riverside School District--Primary Department, October 1883 to May 1884 (one item) restricted access

Folder 9: Riverside School District--First, second, and Third grades, September 1884 to May 1885 (one item) restricted access

Folder 10: Riverside School District--First and high school grades, September 1885 to November 1886 (one item) restricted access

Folder 11: Second, Third, and Fourth grades, September 1885 to May 1887 (one item) restricted access

Folder 12: Seventh and Eighth grades, September 1885 to May 1887 (one item) restricted access

Folder 13: Riverside School District--Primary Department, October 1885 to May 1887 (one item) restricted access

Folder 14: Brockton Square--October 1886 to June 1887 (one item) restricted access

Folder 15: Riverside School District, September 1887 to April 1888 (one item) restricted access

Folder 16: Riverside School District, September 1887 to May 1888 (one item) restricted access

Folder 17: Riverside School District--Fifth and sixth grades, September 1887 to May 1888 (one item) restricted access

Folder 18: Riverside School District--Ninth grade, October 1888 to May 1889 (one item) restricted access

Folder 19: High School, October 1888 to October 1889 (one item) restricted access

Folder 20: Riverside School District--Third grade, October 1888 to February 1890 (one item) restricted access

Folder 21: Riverside School District--Seventh grade, September 1889 to June 1890 (one item) restricted access

Folder 22: Riverside School District--Fourth grade at Sixth Street School, October 1891 to June 1892 (one item) restricted access

Folder 23: Riverside School District--Third and Fourth grades at Irving School, October 1899 to June 1900 (one item) restricted access

Sub-series B: Statistical Reports

Teachers made annual reports based on the daily register kept by them over the course of the year. The report seems to correlate to the information from the earlier entries made in folder 20.

Folder 1: Teacher’s report, 1 October 1888 to 21 June 1889 (one item)

Sub-series C: Miscellaneous

Kept in an undated register similar to others in this series, the entries differ from the other twenty-three volumes. The text lists figures under headings such as arithmetic, grammar, and history.

Folder 1: Miscellaneous register, undated (one item)

Series VI: Architectural Elevations and Specifications

Sub-series A: Architectural Plans for Fourteenth Street School

Architects Caukin and Haas made the plans for the construction of the high school at Fourteenth Street. Though undated, the plans have a relative time range of the late 1880s to early 1890s. The plans are on a thin, plastic-like canvas material. The plans have some staining and minor tears. They are illustrated in black ink with colors as fill, though now slightly faded. The plans also have some pencil notations. They also list alterations such as the removal of the rear porch from the original conception as well as a strange notation (Omit this portion), which points to the girls’ lavatories, the only ones listed on the elevations. The designs for the boys’ indoor water closets remained. This suggests that the plans may not have been final versions.

Folder 1: Plan of the First Floor, circa 1890 (one item)

Folder 2: Plan of the Second Floor, circa 1890 (one item)

Folder 3: Plan of the Third Floor, circa 1890 (one item)

Folder 4: Roof Plan, circa 1890 (one item)

Sub-series B: Specifications

The items relate to plumbing and construction specifications of Washington School, including a rough floor plan of the water closet. Though undated, they may have a relative time range of between 1895 and 1897.

Folder 1: Washington School specifications, circa 1890s (four items)

Series VII: Riverside High School Student Records Books

The series consists of two large, oversized volumes. Though at times disorganized, the information seems to be arranged in chronological order by date of entry to the school, with individuals then listed alphabetically. Each page in the volumes contains the student’s name; date and age upon entry; final standings listing courses, dates, scores, teachers, and remarks; and a bottom section giving date of graduation and the number in that class. Early entries also included course selected, years and location of previous education, and university attended by the graduate. The volume in Folder 1 has information from entrants from 1887 to 1902 and graduates from 1890 to 1906, including the educational background on Marcia (Marcella) Craft and Martin Chase. A few later entries date from 1907. Folder 2 has entrants from 1902 to 1909 and graduates from 1906-1911. Some individuals have little or no data entered, indicating many did not finish the coursework or the district did not complete the form after a certain time. For example, the volume in folder 2 lists Richard Welch, Jr. without a graduation date. But he went on to USC and practiced for many years in Riverside as a lawyer. Perhaps, he continued his high school education elsewhere or the district continued his records in another volume. He is listed as a student in the 1912 city directory. The last entry in the volume, though, dates from 1911.

Folder 1: Riverside High School Records, 1887 to 1907 (one item)

Folder 2: Riverside High School Records, 1902 to 1911 (one item)

Series VIII: Riverside School District Census Books

An insert in Folder 2 explains the nature of the ten books in this series. According to the insert, the census marshal had to visit the homes of school children under the age of seventeen in the district, making annual reports in May. The reports had to list the names of the parents; home address; and the number of children, their gender, age, color and nationality in the household. The census take was instructed not to include “Mongolian” children of foreign birth, as well as children who were deaf, blind or orphans. The census seemed to have been divided between the eastern and western sections of Riverside. The folders in this series show the fulfillment of such instructions. The entries are in alphabetical order with columns indicating whether white or Negro; the present schooling of children (whether in public, private or no school); native or foreign born; and number of children under five, between five and seventeen, and occasionally, students over the age of seventeen. Some entries had notations made in the columns such as a “Compel attendance” remark seen in Folder 2. Several volumes have summaries of the findings listed in the front or back of the volume. Folder 3 contains the results from 1895 on pages pasted over the earlier entries from 1892. Many of the volumes in this series are in a state of disrepair and require further conservation efforts.

Folder 1: Eastside, 1891 (one item) restricted access

Folder 2: Westside, 1891 (one item) restricted access

Folder 3: Eastside, 1892 and 1895 (one item) restricted access

Folder 4: Eastside, 1893 (one item) restricted access

Folder 5: Westside, 1893 (one item) restricted access

Folder 6: Eastside, 1894 (one item) restricted access

Folder 7: Eastside, 1896 (one item) restricted access

Folder 8: Westside, 1897 (one item) restricted access

Folder 9: Westside, 1898 (one item) restricted access

Folder 10: Eastside, 1899 (one item) restricted access

Series IX: Minutes

The series has one folder consisting of minutes from the meetings of the Associated Student Body board of Polytechnic High for boys. Folder 1 is one volume dating from the school years 1914/15 to 1922/23. Pages 1 through 42 are missing from the book though the text starts with the first meetings of the A.S.B., perhaps indicating that the volume was reused for this purpose. Entries are handwritten though some typed material has been pasted to the volume. The book contains information on expenses; elections; social occasions; sporting events (increasing attendance) and maintenance (buying uniforms); the school paper (including the discontinuation of the polygraph Magpie and the creation of the SpotLight); and other activities on campus. The volume also demonstrates the interaction between Polytechnic High with other schools, including Girls’ High School.

Folder 1: Book of Minutes, 6 October 1914 to 25 May 1923 (one item)

Series X: Photographic Materials

Sub-series A: Photographic Plates

This sub-series consists of three metal photographic plates of school buildings, mounted on wood blocks. Two of the plates are quite faded; the other is in fairly good condition. Two are of the Fourteenth Street school; the third, unidentified. It appears that the blocks were displayed at some time.

Folder 1: Fourteenth Street School, good condition, undated (one item)

Folder 2: Fourteenth Street School, poor condition, undated (one item)

Folder 3: Unidentified, poor condition, undated (one item)

Sub-series B: Photographs

The six photos are black and white landscapes mounted on 10” x 13” mattes. They are unidentified as to precise date and place, though some appear to different angles of the same places. They seem to be shots of various school properties, as evident of the photograph of children playing on a soccer field in Folder 4 and a photograph of a field track in Folder 6. The style of the automobiles in the pictures gives a relative date range of the 1950s.

Folder 1: Photograph, circa 1950s (one item)

Folder 2: Photograph, circa 1950s (one item)

Folder 3: Photograph, circa 1950s (one item)

Folder 4: Photograph, circa 1950s (one item)

Folder 5: Photograph, circa 1950s (one item)

Folder 6: Photograph, circa 1950s (one item)

Series XI: Newsletters

The items in this series start with Volume 1, Number 1 of the Bulletin Board, a monthly publication put out by the office of the superintendent of the Riverside City Schools. Most issues have multiple copies. A sampling of topics include the Dental Health Program (sponsored by the Riverside Junior Woman’s Club); briefs on the meetings of the Board of Education; lists of Audio-Visual aids used by the teachers; and enrollment figures. The collection does not have issues from Volume 3, Number 5, though it does have a special issue of the newsletter from that school year.

Folder 1: Bulletin Board--Volume 1, 1-6, November 1954 to June 1955 (twelve items)

Folder 2: Bulletin Board--Volume 2, 1-7, October 1955 to June 1956 (fourteen items)

Folder 3: Bulletin Board--Volume 3, 1-7, September 1956 to May 1957 (fourteen items)

Folder 4: Bulletin Board--Volume 4, 1-6, October 1957 to May 1958 (twelve items)

Series XII: Magnolia School District

Folder 1 is a combination minutes and ledger books from the late 1880s. It includes a list of library books and related expense (1884 to 1893); a list of Magnolia School District trustees from 1884 to 1899; minutes of the board’s meetings (July 1890 to June 1900); and a ledger section detailing district expenses from July 1890 to June 1896 and July 1899 to December 1900. The section of minute meetings has some newsprint ads pasted to the pages. Topics include tax, bond, and board elections; salaries for the educators; construction of school buildings; financial business; and district policy regarding the payment of students’ tuition to attend Riverside High (see entry 16 July 1898). Entries to the ledger section include date, name, purpose of expense, and amount. Under funds received, the Quarterly Apportionment Notice by the county superintendent of schools had been pasted to the book.

Folder 1: School Trustees’ Records and Accounts, June 1884 to December 1900 (one item)

Folder 2: Public school register, September 1893 to June 1894 (one item)

Series XIII: Highgrove School District Papers

Sub-series A: Financial

Folders 1 to 20 were contained in a separate letterbox (see Series XIV.A.3) from other folders in this sub-series. Folders 1-18 had an alphabetical, though inconsistent arrangement. A few items found outside of the alphabetical index have been arranged by school year in Folders 19 and 20. Blueprints found in the “B” and “W” indexes have been removed for archival purposes (see series XIII.E.1-2). Folders 1-18 have many bills that had been filed by various letters in their names. Other items in Folders 1-18 may appear to have not been filed in alphabetical order. For example, Folder 16 has items that seemingly look out of place: F.A. Gardner and Co., Keystone Drug Co., and Eunice Reaper receipts. These items are linked by being paid by sequential warrants, and probably filed under “S” due to their affiliation with a receipt from Wheeler and Starkweather sporting goods. Folder 7 has a freight bill that seems to have been filed by the name of the consignee. Other freight bills in this sub-series had been filed by the name of the shipper, such as Milton Bradley Co. Items from Folders 8 and 9 (generated by A.P. Jaeger, manual training teacher) had originally been filed with items from Folder 7. They had been separated due to the bulk of the materials. Some items remaining in Folder 7 have not been attributed, as yet, to expenses related to Jaeger’s class. Folders 8 and 9 contain financial statements showing in-coming revenue and out-going costs with receipts attached; these have been placed in envelopes during the processing effort. Receipts identified in the statements but not originally attached to them have not been included in the envelopes. Folder 9 also has two receipt books; the totals from these books match the cash received amounts noted on the statements from this folder. Folders 22, 23, 26, and 27 also have material generated by A.P. Jaeger. Folder 11 contains various bids related to the furnishing and installation of stage of stage curtains and equipment. They had apparently been filed by the name of the successful bidder. Items related to a 1926 alteration and addition to the school and the installation of auditorium seating had also been organized in such a manner (see Folder 18). Folder 15 has a folder with several items from Stationers Corporation. Material in Folders 21-32, despite being in a letterbox with an alphabetical index had no ordering. The items had been placed on top of the index, seemingly at random. The material has been organized by subject matter, and arranged chronologically by school year (1 July to 30 June of the following year) as necessary. Folders 21-28 consist of various bills and receipts. Some items may contain papers that date prior to the corresponding school year. For example, Folder 28 has material related to work done at the school; the figures are written on the back of earlier items. Some receipts may contain information related to earlier receipts. Amounts written on 29 August 1947 receipt from Southern California Disinfecting Co. (folder 27) match the others from 14 August 1947 and 7 February 1947. Some receipts had staples but no other paperwork attached. Undated items in Folders 21-28 have been placed in their current folders due to their proximity with other dated materials. Folder 29 has an envelope from the county superintendent to the Highgrove clerk that included not only the proposed budget for 1943/44 but letters detailing apportionment amounts from 1940 to 1942, abatement and current liabilities report forms from 1941/42, and a June 1943 receipt. Though not found inside the envelope, a 1943 letter from the superintendent and the 1942/43 abatement reports probably originated with it. Folders 30 and 31 contain documents related to the fire and worker’s compensation policies. Folder 32 has letters from the county superintendent regarding the retirement fund and annuity, apportionment amount for 1943/44, and other financial matters. It also includes a letter regarding the policy of bill payment from the deputy county office and the plan checking fees charged by the state education department.

Folder 1: A receipts, 1927 to 1930 (four items)

Folder 2: B receipts, 1927 to 1930 (twelve items)

Folder 3: C receipts, 1926 to 1930 (forty items)

Folder 4: D receipts, 1926 to 1930 (eight items)

Folder 5: E & F receipts, 1926 to 1931 (thirty-five items)

Folder 6: G receipts, 1927 to 1930 (nineteen items)

Folder 7: H, I, & J receipts, 1926 to 1930 (twenty-three items)

Folder 8: A.P. Jaeger receipts, 1925/26 to 1927/28 (six items)

Folder 9: A.P. Jaeger receipts, 1928/29 to 1929/30 (four items)

Folder 10: K & L receipts, 1927 and 1930 (three items)

Folder 11: M receipts, 1926 to 1930 (twenty-eight items)

Folder 12: N & O receipts, 1926 to 1931 (eight items)

Folder 13: P & Q receipts, 1926 to 1930 (thirty-three items)

Folder 14: R receipts, 1925 to 1930 (sixteen items)

Folder 15: S receipts, 1927 to 1930 (twenty-one items)

Folder 16: S receipts, 1926 to 1930 (forty-six items)

Folder 17: T receipts, 1927 to 1931 (eight items)

Folder 18: W receipts, 1926 to 1930 (twenty-one items)

Folder 19: 1929/30 receipts, April to May 1930 (one item)

Folder 20: 1930/31 receipts, July 1930 to May 1931 (five items)

Folder 21: 1941/42 receipts, June 1942 (one item)

Folder 22: 1942/43 receipts, August 1942 to May 1943 (thirty-three items)

Folder 23: 1943/44 receipts, July 1943 to June 1944 (forty-nine items)

Folder 24: 1944/45 receipts, July 1944 to February 1945 (eighteen items)

Folder 25: 1945/46 receipts, August to October 1945 (sixteen items)

Folder 26: 1946/47 receipts, August 1946 to May 1947 (nineteen items)

Folder 27: 1947/48 receipts, July 1947 to May 1948 (twenty items)

Folder 28: 1948/49 receipts, August 1948 to January 1949 (eighteen items)

Folder 29: Budget material, September 1940 to July 1944 (four items)

Folder 30: Fire insurance policies, June 1943 to June 1945 (three items)

Folder 31: State Compensation Insurance Fund, October 1941 to December 1948 (seven items)

Folder 32: Financial correspondence, April 1943 to February 1949 (five items)

Sub-series B: Legal

The papers in Folder 1 relate to building improvements and the purchasing of additional lots as provided by the 23 March 1948 school bond election. In addition to the legal paperwork such as the election notice and final official return (curiously left blank), Folder 1 has correspondence regarding a land purchase and an undated application for additions to Highgrove Elementary. Folder 2 has school contracts. Six contracts from 28 May 1943 were found in an envelope that also contained the proposed budget for 1943/44 (series XIII.A.29). They have been separated due to their differences in subject matter. An envelope containing three copies of an 11 May 1944 contract also included her June 1944 resignation from that position.

Folder 1: Bond and related material, February to June 1948 (one item)

Folder 2: School contracts, May 1943 to October 1948 (seven items)

Sub-series C: Correspondence

The letters in Folder 1 include letter from teachers; correspondence from the county healthy officer regarding insufficient class lighting; a letter from the Riverside Highland Water Company regarding a pipeline connection; and membership in the California School Trustees Association. Folder 1 also includes the resignation of Principal Wesley Visel, correspondence from the California Teachers Association regarding the prospective employment of Paul Clay as successor (his acceptance of a position with the Highgrove School District is among the contracts), and a letter from the Selective Service regarding Clay.

Folder 1: Correspondence, 11 May 1943 to 15 June 1948 (nine items)

Sub-series D: Teacher Applications

The applications did not appear to have an original order. Therefore, they have been arranged in the folder chronologically.

Folder 1: Applications, March 1943 to June 1944 (seven items)

Sub-series E: Architectural Plans

The two folders in this sub-series consist of two blueprints for the seating at Highgrove School auditorium by school furnishers, C.F. Weber and Co. (see Series XIII.A.18 for related expenses). Though seemingly identical, the blueprints differ in details such as the number of chairs and the date of their creation. Folder 1 has several figures written on the reverse.

Folder 1: Auditorium seating blueprint, 25 August 1927 (one item)

Folder 2: Auditorium seating blueprint, 7 September 1927 (one item)

Sub-series F: Miscellaneous

Folder 1 contains items from the letterbox in series XIV.A.3. The items appear to be supply/book lists and an undated packing slip from a publisher. Folder 2 has a variety of items including three empty envelopes, various notes, and lyrics to “Ballad for Americans”. The items’ association with other paperwork in the letterbox (see series XIV.A.4) gives a relative date range.

Folder 1: Booklists, February 1930 (three items)

Folder 2: Miscellaneous, circa 1940s (seven items)

Series XIV: Miscellaneous

Sub-series A: Labels and Boxes

Folder 1 includes the box label “Old Papers” that previously contained Series I.A.1-3; Series I.B.1-5; Series I.C.2, Series I.D-E; Series II.A, II.B and II.E; Series III.1, 4 & 5; Series IV; and Series XIV.B.1. Box titled “Riverside School District and Riverside High School had Series I.A.4; I.B.13-18; I.C.1; II.D; and III.2. The folder also has the label for the “Unfinished Papers” and the labels for receipts in Series I.B.6-12 and a few teacher applications in Series II.A, which have been reintegrated with their counterparts. Unlike the containers in Folders 2-4, only the labels were kept of the other boxes, which had been in a serious state of disrepair. Folder 2 consists of the box that originally stored teacher applications from Series II.C and correspondence during the time when Correll served as clerk for the school system (Series III.3). Folder 3 has the letterbox that previously contained items from Series XIII.A.1-20; Series XIII.E.1-2; and Series XIII.F.1. The letterbox, which contained Series XIII.A.21-32; Series XIII.B; Series XIII.C; Series XIII.D; and Series XIII.F.2, constitutes Folder 4.

Folder 1: Box labels, 1880s and 1890s (five items)

Folder 2: Letterbox, 1897 (one item)

Folder 3: Letterbox, 1925 to 1931 (one item)

Folder 4: Letterbox, 1940 to 1949 (one item)

Sub-series B: Miscellaneous

Among the items in Folder 1 are an undated list of coursework from the high school, as well as building specifications written on the back of stationary from the Loring Opera House. Both items were originally found in the “Unfinished Papers” box.

Folder 1: Miscellaneous, undated (five items)

Related Collections

Directory of Riverside City Schools Collection

Virginia Fenske Papers

Marcella Craft Collection at the Riverside Municipal Museum

Polytechnic High School SpotLight Newspaper Collection

Richard J. Welch Ledgers

Riverside Girls’ High School Architectural Drawings

Samuel Evans Collection at the Riverside Municipal Museum


Directory of City Schools. Riverside: Walter D. Clark, 1905-1906.

Holmes, Elmer Wallace. History of Riverside County, California. Los Angeles: Historic Record Company, 1912.

Gabbert, John Raymond. History of Riverside City and County. Riverside: Record Publishing Company, 1935.

Patterson, Tom. A Colony for California, second edition. Riverside: The Museum Press of the Riverside Museum Associates, 1996.

Patterson, Tom. “ ‘The Sibyl’ and the many rivals who passed through.” The Press-Enterprise. 16 August 1992. B-3.

Riverside City Directory. 1912.


Local History