South High School
Grand Rapids, Michigan
| Quick Facts|
|City: ||Grand Rapids|
|Name: ||South High School|
|Color1: ||Dk. Blue|
|School District: ||Grand Rapids School District|
|Year Opened: ||1914|
|Year Closed: ||1968|
(Converted to Jr. High)
South High School's most famous Alumnus
Gerald R. Ford
38th President of the United States
(from "Grand Rapids and Kent County, Michigan (1918)")
"In 1913 it was decided to establish a high school in the south end, and accordingly, in 1914, a fine building was erected on the south side of Hall street, between Salem and Jefferson avenues, and this is now designated as the South High School."
The former South High School building at 110 Hall St. SE, is now the Gerald R. Ford Job Corp.
1925 postcard of Grand Rapids South High School
Grand Rapids South High School boys' teams won several Michigan state championships in athletics:
- Tennis in 1928 and 1929;
- Cross Country in 1930;
- Football in 1924 and 1944. (U. S. President Gerald Ford played football for South during his high school years, 1927-1931, and earned all-city and all-state honors.)
Track State Champions:
- 1926 - long jump - Dick Chapman
- 1926 - mile run - Don Kingsford
- 1928 - 100 yd. dash - Lester Nelson
- 1928 - 220 yd. dash - Lester Nelson
- 1932 - 440 yd. run - Darwin Jones
- 1933 - 440 yd. run - Carl Lauterhahn
- 1934 - high jump - Ray McDonald
- 1934 - long jump - Chester Peevy
- 1938 - 100 yd. dash - George Doran
- 1938 - 220 yd. dash - George Doran
- 1938 - 880 relay - Otto Veenkamp, Jimmy Krestakos, Red Kremer, George Doran
- 1944 - long jump - Archie England
- 1945 - 880 yd. run - Wilbert Beattie
From 1958-1965, the South men's basketball team was 82-6 in the Grand Rapids City League, going undefeated for three consecutive seasons, 1960-1963.
Some Former Students:
- Douglas H. Powell, Internationally famous Psychologist and Author
- Gerald R. Ford ('31), 38th President of the United States
- Philanthropist Peter C. Cook ('32)
- Carl Van Heck ('55) has been a sports official for over 40 years and won the MHSAA Vern L. Norris award in 2004.
- Lee Lafayette ('65), Michigan State basketball star (once scored 54 points in a South
High School game)
- Soul singer Al Green ('66)
---------- Web Links ----------
South High School apparel
Trojan Alumni on Facebook
South High School Football & Basketball records 1950-1968
Michigan High School Athletic Association website
Drive by South High School, 110 Hall St., Grand Rapids, MI 49507(If you don't see this Google Maps "Street View", click "View in another window" below)View in another window
South High School apparel would make a great gift. Or be the coolest person at the next reunion by wearing a South High School Alumni shirt or jacket.
(comment from an alum, Geoffrey L. Gillis) The school fight song was based on “On Wisconsin”, as in “On You Trojans...”, until about 1960 when the band director, the esteemed Charles Berry, said he got sick of having both sides stand up when he played the fight song. So he changed it to something based on the Oregon State fight song, whatever that is. It was not a popular move.
In 1861, leading up to the Civil War, the corner of Hall St. and Jefferson Ave. was the site of Cantonment Anderson, a military campground.
From 1945 through 1954, South High School had "A League of Their Own". The South baseball field was the home of the Grand Rapids Chicks, a professional baseball team that played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. In their first full season, 130,000 fans turned out to watch the Chicks play baseball.
Report of the State Librarian, 1914
(Grand Rapids Public Library)
The Board of Education is building three new school buildings in all of which provision is being made for branches of the public library. These will be ready for operation in 1915. The most important of these is the new South high school. In the branch library in this building the public library will serve not only the people of the community, but it will also serve as the high school library for the teachers and pupils of the school.
Annual report of the State Board of Library Commissioners of Michigan, 1915
GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC LIBRARY
SAMUEL II. RANCK, LIBRARIAN
The new branch library in the South high school opened at the beginning of the school term, September 7, with $3,000 worth of books as a starter, and with room ultimately for 10,000 volumes or more in the quarters assigned us in this splendid new building. The library is open from 8:15 a. m., until 9 o'clock p. m. on school days and from 12:30 until 9 on all other week days, winter and summer. There are reading room accommodations for about 100 persons at a time, and frequently the room is crowded to the limit. The library is designed to serve both the teachers and pupils of the high school, and the public generally.
The "school song" was written by Anna Eikenhout and published in her graduation yearbook in 1920. In 1943 she married Harlan Hubbard. They spent the first six years of their marriage building and living on a "shantyboat", drifting the Ohio & Mississippi rivers and the Louisiana bayou.
South High Fight Song
Raise a song for South High Trojans
As they fight for victory!
Cheer them 'til they are victorious!
Let us hear your voices strong!!
Give your best
The Men of South High
And keep your honor true!
For to win is our Tradition,
Let us cheer the Red and Blue!!
(Thanks to Barbara Jones for the song)
Grand Rapids South High School 1931
(the same year the new auditorium was opened)
If you can provide us with any additional information about South High School, please email us. We would love to share your information with other visitors to this page.
If your South High School class has a reunion committee, please send them a link to this page and ask them to "get the word out".
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