Multnomah School Cornerstone

Laying the Cornerstone, Multnomah School, 1923

Laying the Cornerstone, Multnomah School, 1923

With the coming of the Oregon Electric Railway in 1908, people began realizing the area’s potential as a future center for the southwest area. Multnomah Children first went to school in Hillsdale and later to West Portland. It wasn’t long before they began talking about a school in Multnomah. A group of ladies headed by Mrs. G. R. Frazelle decided to circulate a petition that they sent to the Portland School Board. Upon receipt of the petition the Portland School Board had a census taken of the area and found there were 49 males and 39 females of school age. They agreed that Multnomah should have a small school.

Multnomah School opened in the fall of 1913 with 41 students, 20 girls and 21 boys, using two portables for classrooms. The total cost for the buildings was $2,729.89. Miss Kate E. Young was the first principal and teacher. Margaret M. Carr also began teaching at Multnomah in the fall of 1913, teaching grades one, two and three. Miss Young had always been regarded as a stern disciplinarian but fair in her dealings with the children. Mary Jane Peirong stated:

“She was a tough old broad who loved her pupils and they loved and respected her. Nothing got by her and her punishment was swift but fair.”

Lola Voit Raz:

“Kate Young was very strict, medium, hair up to the top of her head, braided in a circle. Strict disciplinarian. She had a leather strap and was ready to use it. She would have the culprit come in front of the class by the stove and deal out the punishment.”

Miss Carr died January 19, 1919 in the flu epidemic. Twenty Multnomah School students fell ill with the flu, but none died.

Plans for the present school building were drawn up in the fall of 1922. Goodrich and Goodrich Architects presented the final plans for the new school the first part of 1923. They began the construction of the building in the spring of 1923. It was completed in 125 days and turned over to the school in November 1923. The district occupied the building in January 1924.

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