Poly Parrots of 1930: Familiar Faces

The 1930 Poly High School Parrot yearbook contains some names and faces that are familiar to people who attended the school more than thirty years later.

poly high 1930On page 10 of the yearbook is a photo of the building that housed Poly High School in 1930. It was designed by architect Wiley Clarkson and built in 1922 on Nashville Avenue. In 1938 it was replaced by the current Poly High School building on Conner Street and became Poly Elementary School. A handsome building, it was torn down in the 1970s to make way for a vacant lot. That vacant lot still stands.

1930 newellW. J. “Jack” Newell founded Newell & Newell development company with his two sons.

1930 pittsSenior Kenneth Pitts would graduate in 1930 and soon be playing fiddle for Bob Wills in the Light Crust Doughboys. Charles Townsend in his history of the Light Crust Doughboys writes: “The years between 1935 and World War II were among the most successful in the long history of the Doughboys. By 1937, some of the best musicians in the history of western swing joined the band. Kenneth Pitts and Clifford Gross played fiddles. . . . from the first ‘The Light Crust Doughboys are on the air’ in 1931.”
Pitts also was a member of the WBAP radio studio orchestra. Pitts and a Fort Worth woman, Diane Johnston, co-wrote “Can’t Shake the Sands of Texas from My Shoes,” which was recorded by another north Texan, Gene Autry, in the 1940s and later by Don Edwards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m7COz9XnJY.

By the 1960s Kenneth Pitts was band director at William James Junior High.

1930 dunk-rose“Prof” Dunkelberg and Katherine Rose were still teaching at Poly High in the 1960s.

1930 martelThe Martel sisters were still at Poly High in the 1960s.

1930 meacham-mooreServing at Poly High often was a baptism by fire for educators. Several rose in the ranks of education. For example, principal William Alfred Meacham would become assistant superintendent of Fort Worth schools. Meacham Middle School is named for him. (He apparently was not related to mayor and department store owner Henry C. Meacham.)

Assistant principal Joseph P. Moore would become superintendent of Fort Worth schools. J. P. Moore Elementary School (now “Wedgwood 6th Grade Center”) is named for him.

C. A. “Mr. T” Thompson would not become principal until 1943. He would retire in 1965.

1930 dillowThis yearbook ad was for Samuel Selkirk Dillow’s grocery store at 3202 Avenue F (now Rosedale Street). The Dillows lived nearby at 3216 Rosedale in a grand house (built 1912) that burned in 2013. In 1892 Dillow’s grocery store was Poly’s first retail business. Dillow died in 1931.

1930 dillow 95 cdThe 1895 Fort Worth city directory listed Dillow just above two other pioneer grocers.

1930 theaterAs this yearbook ad shows, before Boyd and Imogene Milligan opened their Poly Theater on Vaughn Boulevard about 1950, there was a Poly Theatre at 3006 Avenue F (Rosedale Street).

varsity If the address 3006 Rosedale sounds familiar, that was later the address of the Varsity Theater.

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4 Responses to Poly Parrots of 1930: Familiar Faces

  1. Jean Traster says:

    Thank you for the good information on Ft. Worth. I archive historical records for the Polytechnic United Methodist Church. I would like to know what year Avenue F became Rosedale. Also, where was the community called the “Woolen Mills” located, and was the community named that because there were woolen mills there? Several early families in Polytechnic moved from Woolen Mills to Polytechnic, moving their houses with them

    Thank you for your help. Jean Traster

  2. Gus says:

    How was W.A. Meacham related to H.C. Meacham, namesake for Meacham Field, IIRC? And how were either or both related to Amon Carter’s 3rd wife, Minnie?

    Good post.

    • hometown says:

      Gus, my brief research found no connection between the educator and the mayor/merchant, but Minnie was H. C.’s daughter.

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