Before 1876, when the area west of the Fairgrounds became a part of the City of St. Louis, only one public school existed within that large district. This was the Ashland School at Florence and White Avenues, now San Francisco and Newstead. It was listed by the Board of Education as being on Bridgeton Road one mile west of Grand Avenue and was a three story brick building of six rooms with a capacity of 360 pupils. Apparently built about 1870 by the, then, suburban school district, it served its area until the present Ashland School at 3921 Newstead was opened on the same in 1909.
Two schools were opened within the Fairground area during the nineties. These were the Benjamin Harrison School at 4163 Green Lea Place in 1896, with additions in 1899 and 1905, and the William G. Eliot School at 4242 Grove Street in 1895. Architects for the Harrison building were Kirchner and Kirchner and for Eliot, William B. Ittner.
Ittner was also the designer of the David G. Farragut School at 4025 Sullivan Avenue in 1905, the new Ashland School in 1909 and the Yeatman High School.
Increasing enrollment at Central High School at the turn of the century made necessary the construction of two additional secondary schools. These were McKinley and Yeatman, the latter on the north side at Garrison and Natural Bridge. James E. Yeatman High School, named for the St. Louis philanthropist, was opened in September, 1904. It served as the only north side high school until it was replaced by Beaumont in 1926, then becoming an intermediate school, until Central High moved into it in late 1927 after destruction of Central's old building by the tornado of September 29, 1927. Central has continued to occupy the old Yeatman building since that time.
William Beaumont High School, namesake of the early St. Louis surgeon, was opened at 3836 Natural Bridge Avenue in January, 1926. It had a capacity of 3500 students and was erected at a cost of more than $1,500,000, from plans by architect R. M. Milligan.
Other elementary schools in the area are John Scullin at 4160 North Kingshighway, built in 1928; Ashland Branch at 4415 Margaretta (1934), Philip J. Hickey, named for the former superintendent of schools, at 3111 Cora Avenue in 1965; a new Yeatman School at 4265 Athlone in 1967 and two Farragut branches, No. 1 at 4130 Lexington and No. 2 at 3000 Prairie, both completed in 1968.
Image - Central (formerly Yeatman) High School
Image - Ashland Public School
Image - St. Engelbert's Parochial School
Image - William Beaumont High School