The first school building in Jasper was a one-room structure built in 1857. On January 18, 1886, Jasper's first high school was completed. The school, which was located on what was known as "Academy Hill," was called the Jasper Academy.

In 1908 the Alabama Legislature appropriated the sum of $2000 for the maintenance of a High School in each county of the state. Walker County was one of the first to avail itself of the new and crowning unit of the county educational system.

Through the activities and generosity of public spirited citizens of Jasper, a handsome two-story building was erected on Academy Hill, and the first session of the Walker County High School opened on 05 September 1910. (Note that the year "1910" appears on the Seal of the Walker County High School.)

On Friday night, January 28, 1916; this building was totally destroyed by a fire of unknown origin. But Walker County High, although now homeless, did not loose a single day of classwork. The following Monday, January 31, 1916, teachers and students assembled in the Baptist Church and went through the day's program. The next day, February 1, 1916, work began regularly in the Thornhill residence, where it continued for the remainder of the session. (By 1950, the Thornhill residence had become the home of John Gray.) Though crowded and cramped, the high literary standards of the school were maintained and some excellent results were achieved.

Although the original site of the Jasper Academy / Walker County High School was beautiful for the situation, it had two very serious disadvantages; its inaccessibility and its low water pressure. Hence, after the fire, there was practical unanimity of opinion that there must be a new location.

After months of weary and watchful and not always patient waiting, the State High School Commission finally accepted the 48 acre plot in East Jasper, which was donated by Mr. L.B. Musgrove. An additional half-block, known as the S.M. Gunter homestead was purchased by generous citizens of the community and made a part of the High School site.

Construction of a newer building was started at the beginning of the 1917 calendar year and was completed for occupation by the next school term. The building was constructed from the best materials available at the time, and provisions were made for modern equipment in the various departments. The auditorium would seat about 600 people, with a capacity for 200 additional chairs when necessary. Drinking fountains and ample sanitary conveniences were provided on each floor, with individual lockers for pupils and teachers. There were nine standard classrooms, each with a bookcase for departmental libraries. Liberal provision was made for making experiments and testing the products from the school farm and garden.

When classes began in the newly constructed building, the High School was officially renamed to become the "Walker County High School." The purposes of the High School were enumerated as follows:

  1. To give a good, practical education to the youth of Walker County; fitting the boys to become producers and the girls to become home-makers.
  2. To prepare students for college.
  3. To train young men and women for teaching in the public schools of Walker County.

It was not until 1925 that the school really began to grow. In 1929 it was necessary to to add a new wing on the south side of the building. This addition consisted of four new classrooms, a lunchroom, and a new dressing room. In 1935 the auditorium was enlarged considerably, and the library was improved. The athletic field was completely done over, and a large stone grandstand was built in 1936.

During the years that followed, the school grew steadily, and in 1938, because of an increasing enrollment, it was necessary to transfer the first two grades of the high school into the old grammar school building.

During the school year of 1940 through 1841, the ceilings of a number of rooms were re-plastered, and some new desks were added. The lunchroom was redecorated, and the dressing room was enlarged. The original building and the more recently added wing composed the school plant by 1950. A more modern building was constructed to the side of the auditorium to house the band and athletic facilities.

Semi-quoted from the 1941 Black Gold, Walker County High School yearbook.
(Note that 1941 was the first year that the Black Gold was published.)
(The first issue of The Viking newspaper was published during the 1943-1944 school year.)

(also Semi-quoted from the 1950 Black Gold, Walker County High School yearbook.)

(Portions were extracted from "The Walker County High School Bulletin" of 16 September 1916.)

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