Fountain City News

Central High School Centennial Celebration


Also see details posted on the following site:



Now on Exhibit at the New Fountain City Library Mini-Museum

Sponsored by: The Heritage Committee of Fountain City Town Hall

Michael Kane, Chairman

Created by: TDS Exhibits Incorporated

Creative Director: Gregory Bell

(Please scroll from left to right to see the entire exhibit.)

The captions for the photographs on the three panels of the exhibit follow:

Left Panel

FIRST HOLBROOK NORMAL COLLEGE BUILDING (Circa 1895). Note the portico to which parents and other guests arrived at the school by horseback or carriage. The first class of 100 students arrived in September 1893. This building burned in 1900. (University of Tennessee Special Collections.)

FIRST CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING (Circa 1905). After the first Holbrook College building burned, it was rebuilt and soon bought by the Tennessee Baptist Association for Tennessee Normal College. In 1906, it was sold to Knox County and became Central High School and was used until 1931. (Thompson Historic Photographs, used with permission.)

SECOND CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING (1931). This photograph depicts the elegant new building with cupola; designed by Baumann and Baumann, Architects, and built by V.L. Nicholson, Contractor. (Collection of William H. Reagan, Class of 1944.)

PRESENT CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL. This state-of-the-art complex was built in 1971 at a cost of $6 million with Barber and McMurry as Architects. Presently there are 1406 students with about 100 administrators, teachers, aides, librarians and counselors.

Center Panel

HASSIE KATE GRESHAM (1877-1970). A 1902 graduate of Holbrook-Tennessee Normal College, Miss Gresham was Principal of Central High School from 1919 to 1947. Nannie L. Hicks, pre-eminent Fountain City historian, called her "The Very Heart of Central High School." (Photographic services by Fred Cannon, CHS Class of 1969.)

EARLY CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS (1911-1958). From top to bottom, left to right (dates indicate period in which each was principal): Walter E. Miller (1906-1911), J. Frank Davidson (1911-1918), E.E. Patton (1918-1919), Hassie Kate Gresham (1919-1947), Leonard H. Brickey (1947-1949) and H.G. Loy (1949-1958). (Photographic services by Fred Cannon, CHS Class of 1969, and Carol Springer.)

LATER CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS (1958-2002). From top to bottom, left to right (dates indicate period in which each was principal): Dan Y. Boring (1958-1982), J. Rex Stooksbury (1982-1992, Patricia A. Mashburn (1992-2002) and Jon A. Miller (2002-Present). (Photographic services by Fred Cannon, CHS Class of 1969, and Carol Springer.)

BAND DIRECTOR O’DELL WILLIS (1905-1984). Mr. Willis directed the CHS Band from 1938 to 1971. The band had 38 members when he came and grew to more than 100 at the time of his departure. The parade pictured here was a highlight of "O’Dell Willis Week" (May 7-15, 1971) and honored him at the time of his retirement. (Reprinted by permission of the Knoxville News Sentinel.)

CAFETERIA MANAGER MARY BOWLING HUNTER. Mrs. Hunter’s smile and her menus (especially her meat salad sandwiches and yeast rolls) greeted CHS students of the 1940s and 1950s each lunchtime. (Reprinted by permission of the Knoxville News Sentinel.)

Right Panel

THE BEST EVER, THE 1939 FOOTBALL TEAM. Legendary sportswriter Harold Harris called the undefeated and untied State Champion Bobcats the "best ever" Central High School football team. Coaches Robinson and Eubank had Dan Boring at blocking back, Chan Caldwell and Ford Owen at ends, Dave Cawrse at tackle, Jim Cawrse at guard, Bill Mauk at halfback, Howard Painter at fullback, R.E. Selby at tailback and Mack Hansard in reserve. (Central High School 1939 Sequoyah.)

COACH HARVEY L. ROBINSON (1908-1979). Robinson-Eubank coached teams had an outstanding 56-5-5 record over their seven-year stint at CHS (1935-1941). They won six state titles and one Southern championship. Robinson later succeeded Gen. Robert R. Neyland as head football coach at the University of Tennessee. (Reprinted by permission of the Knoxville News Sentinel.)

COACH N.B. (RED) EUBANK (1903-1986). Eubank was an All-Southern guard on the University of Georgia football team in 1925, playing at about 140 pounds. He came to CHS as line coach in 1935. Over the entire Robinson-Eubank tenure, their teams never lost to their arch rival, Knoxville High School. (Reprinted by permission of the Knoxville News Sentinel.)

Record of CHS Football Team Under Coaches Robinson and Eubank

(Year/Won/Lost/Tied * CHS/KHS Score)

1935 10-0 * 8-6

1936 10-0 * 21-6

1937 5-1-1 * Did not play

1938 6-4 * 9-7

1939 10-0 * 13-0

1940 9-0-1 * 25-13

1941 6-0-3 * 7-0

COACH JOEL HELTON (1949-Present). Coach Helton graduated from Knoxville Rule High School in 1966 and from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, in 1971. After coaching baseball at Rule from 1974-1982, Helton became head football coach at CHS in 1984. Under his leadership the CHS football team’s record is 172-76 with District Championships in 1987, 1990 and 2000. Coach Helton’s football teams have made 14 trips to the State play-offs. His 2001 baseball team won the District Championship and his soccer team has a 104-26-12 record.

STEPHEN A. (KIPPY) BAYLESS (1973-Present). A Scholastic Honors Graduate of CHS in 1991, he was listed in Who’s Who Among American High School Students (1989-1991). Kippy was on the track, wrestling and football teams. He was High School Back of the Year, East Tennessee Player of the Year, a Mr. Football Finalist and 1st Team All-South. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1996 where he was Ohio Valley Conference Football Player of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and Team Captain in 1994. Kippy ran for 1346 yards in 1994 and scored 15 touchdowns in both 1993 and 1994 with a career total of 260 points, 104 in 1993 alone. He also won the MTSU Academic Athlete Award from 1992-1995.

TODD HELTON (1973-Present). A 1992 CHS Scholastic Honors Graduate and member of the Math Honors Society, Todd lettered all four years in both football and baseball and was captain of the 1991 football team. He was Gatorade Player of the Year in both football and baseball. The 1990 Baseball Team won the AAA State Championship with Helton pitching and batting .500. In his senior year he batted .657 and was named National High School Player of the Year. At the University of Tennessee he starred on both the football and baseball teams with a career batting average of .370. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 1997. During his National League career, he has won three Golden Glove Awards and attained a career batting average of .337 with 271 home runs. He was named to his fifth consecutive All-Star Team in 2004.


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J.C. (Jim) Tumblin, OD, DOS
3604 Kesterwood Drive, East
Knoxville, Tennessee 37918-2557
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