Alumni & History
The Birth of the Minute Man
In 1923 "The Minute Man" first appeared in the athletic columns of the Say-So. We have wondered where he came from. Was he the result of some thinking or was he like Topsy "just growed?" On investigation we find that after the Callaway football game this year, while the team was returning home late at night, it was suggested by Prof. Collett that since Lexington was one of the historic spots where the minute Man in the seventies made himself famous, we might give our athletes the same title. Paul Nielsen happened to be riding in the same car that night. It appealed to him as the most fitting title for Lexington athletes to wear and that it would be one of which we might be proud. He immediately proceeded to write up that game calling the football men Minute Men.
Since that date, the name has followed our teams. We think it is one that should last as the Minute Man of Revolutionary fame was a real fighter. He gave his all for his country. May our Lexington Minute Men follow the example so nobly set and give our athletics their best effort at all times. May they always be ready to uphold and defend the honor and good name of our school on a minute's notice.
Article from The Minute Man, 1926.
History of L.H.S
The East Ward school house was built in 1884. For years it was only a grade school; but in 1891 the first high school was organized, with Prof. Stapleton as superintendent. The members of the first organized graduating class were: Emma Ruth Pyrtle, Florence Yoder, George A. Anthony, Harriett Cole-House, all of whom are still living. The following morning the Alumni Association was organized, and today Lexington has the largest and only Alumni Association in the state that meets regularly every year. Our present enrollment is 980.
The next year there was no graduating class but in 1893 a class of eighteen was graduated from the new high school which had been built in the West Ward.
The following year the building was destroyed by fire. This made it necessary for all grades to return to the East Ward, from which the classes were graduated until 1897 when the West Ward was rebuilt. This remained the high school until 1911 when the present high school was built.
James E. Delzell, of Gothenburg, Nebr., came in 1897. He was superintendent until 1911 when he resigned his position to move to Lincoln, having been elected State Superintendent of Schools. The following superintendents and the years they were in office are as follows: D.F. Dickerson, 1911-1912; C.S. Benson, 1912-1914; M.S. Pate, 1914-1916; P.A. Adams, 1916-1922; and C.E. Collet, who came in 1922 and is our present superintendent, to whose careful management the present high standing of our high school is due.
Football has always been a popular sport from the early days of the high school. In 1899 Professor Delzell organized the first team which played Association Football. Among the early players are: Ralph Rosenberg, Hibbert Krier, Clayton Whitman, Howard Yoder, Ralph Wallace, Charles May, Lewis K. Warner, Fred Wisner, Clark Fillingham and Dave Mills.
Our high school has always boasted its share of honors in football, and in 1907 our team tied the Omaha Central High for the state championship.
Lexington has the unique distinction of having one of the members of the first graduating class still teaching in our schools, Miss Florence Yoder. Another member of the first class is Emma Ruth Pyrtle, who is the principal of the McKirley School at Lincoln.
Owing the crowded condition in our schools, a new addition is being built joining the high school on the north. The contractors are Kaufman and Thorneberg, of Kearney; and the architect if J.P. Helleberg, also of Kearney. This new building will be strictly modern throughout. The auditorium will seat about 900 people and the stage will have an asbestos sound proof curtain between the gymnasium floor and the front of the stage. The gymnasium will be standard size, 70 feet by 35 feet, and will be fitted out will all athletic equipment, ample dressing rooms adjoining.
On the lower floor, a manual training department is to be added, which, with the enlarged home economics rooms will comply with requirements of Smith-Hughes Agriculture and Home Economics courses.
A new commercial department will be put in the new wing, and several new class rooms will take care of the increase in Lexington High School for many years to come.
Undated article from The Minute Man