Parrish Junior High School


Parrish Junior High School was constructed in 1924 and named in honor of Josiah L. Parrish, a pioneer missionary of Oregon who carried on his work in the vicinity of Salem. Mr. Parrish owned a large portion of land which is how in the eastern part of Salem, and the junior high school named for him stands on a part of his former holdings. Josiah L. Parrish died in 1895, after a long and busy lifetime. He is buried in historic Jason Lee Cemetery.

At the time of his death, he was considered the oldest living pioneer in Oregon. Before the construction of Parrish Junior High School Was started, there were two temporary junior high schools in Salem. One of these was the old Washington School at the corner of Center and 12th streets.

Due to crowded conditions, the Salem School Board, comprised of Dr. H. H. Olinger, Curtis B. Bross, P. M. Gregory, William Gahlsdorf, L. J. Simeral, and W. H. Burghardt, decided there was need for a full scale junior high school in the community. Occupied first in the f all of 1924, the enrollment of Parrish was 974 students in grades 7, 8 and 9; Mr. H. F. Durham, formerly principal of Washington School, was named the first principal of Parrish.

He and his faculty from Washington School moved intact into the new building. From its inception, Parrish Junior High School has offer- ed a junior high school program consistent with the educational theory existing at various times regarding the purpose of such an intermediate school. It was the first physical plant constructed in Salem specifically for junior high school students.

Mr. Durham remained principal of Parrish until. 1939, when Mr. Preston Doughton became principal upon Mr, Durham’s retirement, In 1942, Mr. Carl E. Aschenbrenner became principal of Parrish and served until 1953. Mr. Charles Schmidt was principal for’ the 1953-54 school year. In 1954, Mr. Robert Dow assumed the principalship. . The steadily increasing enrollment at Parrish necessitated the construction of another junior high school in the southern part of Salem in 1936, which is the present Leslie Junior High School.

Further growth of the city of Salem demanded new additions to Parrish in 1948-49..At this time, at a cost of approximately $360, 000, a new addition consisting of an auditorium, gymnasium, and three new classrooms was built. These were ready for occupancy in the fall of 1949. The old gymnasium, after remodeling, became the cafeteria. Over a period of years, rooms have been redecorated and new electrical and plumbing equipment have been installed.

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