Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1909 Graduates

The first group of graduates as Four Year Normal Students from the Oneida Stake Academy in 1909. (Front, left) Allabell Weaver (Hull), John Johnson- Principal, Albertie Griffeth (Griffiths). (Back, left) Willard Nuffer, Perry Howell, Louis Nuffer.
Click on picture to see all of it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

1920 OSA Students and faculty

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This is a replica of a sign created by the Pioneer Scenic Byway that will be placed in front of the academy, explaining its significance to visitors.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Update - Roof repair begins

The crew of Randy Meek began working on upgrading the northeast quarter of the Oneida Stake Academy's roof on Nov. 9. It took a day to strip three layers of wooden shingles off the roof. The crew then placed sheets of boarding that will upgrade the roof's strength.

A layer of rubber sheeting will cover the  boarding as well as a water and ice guard. The new wooden shingles go on last.

This section of the roof, as well as the building's front stairway was incorporated into the last of the Idaho Transportation Department funds that were used last year to upgrade the walls.

As soon as additional funds are raised ($30,000), the rest of the roof will be upgraded and re-shingled. This section was chosen because a leak developed in it over the summer.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Band class in OSA ballroom

Band students in the ballroom of the Oneida Stake Academy when it was partitioned off into classrooms and its ceilings had been lowered.  Newell Hart removed the lowered ceilings, exposing the arched ceilings that produce such rich acoustics in the building.

Behind the students one can see two of the three doors that exited onto the outside staircase, which now no longer exists. The molding to the third door can barely be seen. Upon restoration, this door will again open above a courtyard and onto to a large staircase and an elevator.


Original outdoor staircase

Students posing on the original staircase that ascended to the top floor of the academy on the building's backside.  Photo from collection of Newell Hart. On its back it says "Prof Otte with violin - first boy to his right is Orville Neeley. Left to right, fourth girl front, Allabel."

Preston High Alma Mater

In 1922, the state of Idaho purchased the Oneida Stake Academy Building from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was getting out of public education, and converted the edifice into a state run high school. That is when it became known as Preston High School. The building was used by the school district for classes until the late 1990s.


Alma Mater

Preston High our alma mater, 
How our hearts do swell, 
When thy name is breathed or spoken,

Oh, we love thee well.

Raise the emblem of our power,
Hail, the Blue and White;
Sound a cheer the world can hear,
Our spirit is our might!

Admiration fills thy students 
At they colors' sight'
Blue and White, the chosen
Symbols of the Preston High.

Many sacred memories linger
'Round thy old stone wall:
Lo, the dream, live voices echo
Through the time-worn halls.

When the years have bowed our figures, 
And our hair is white,
Memory's hand will guide our foot-steps
Back to Preston High.

This song and photo were printed in the 1926-27 PHS Quiver (yearbook).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

OSA website


Above is a link to the Oneida Stake Academy's official website. On it you'll find information on the academy's move to its present location in Benson Park in the center of Preston City. You'll also find links to old newspaper articles of the academy's glory days and past OSAF newsletters.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Frank Gilbert played basketball for OSA

Frank Gilbert, born in Fairview, Idaho, in 1894, to Daniel and Amelia Gilbert, attended the Oneida Stake Academy and played basketball for the school's team.

Following is the text from an article that appeared in the Box Elder News on March 16, 1911. Gilbert would have been almost 16-years-old, and may have played in this game.


The B E H S is one of the most graceful loosers of any basketball team of the state the boys started off at a pretty fair gate but fate seemed to be against them as the season wore on and drubbing after drubbing followed in spite of the good playing the team did.

Last Friday night coach Roskelley took his Colts to Preston, Idaho and played a game with the Oneida Stake Academy five losing the game by two points. The boys put up a marvelous game, however, when it is known that is the first ten minutes playing the academy piled up a score of 17 to the high school 1. The home boys were carried off their feet to begin with but they warmed up and went after it hammer and tongs, and they did things, so that when the final whistle blew the score stood 34-32 favor of the academy. Coach Roskelley attributed the failure of the boys to land the game to the absence of Tingey who could not go along. Wright played a fast game but could not for the life of him, throw baskets, and he had many good opportunities.

The team came on down to Logan Saturday and played the B Y college
in the evening the score being 29-34 favor of the college.

The boys came home Sunday beaten but not disheartened. They have
got used to that.

Teacher Certificate

Recently donated to the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation is this teacher's certificate issued to Dimon Bodily in 1915 by the Franklin County School Superintendent Henry Simpson. Bodily was certified to teach for one year in the areas of reading, language, arithmetic, history and geography.

Oneida Stake Academy 1914

On the back of this photo it says "Probably 'O' Day of 1914 or 15. (On northeast corner of the Academy in shown the old wooden stairway up to the auditorium.)" Also in the picture one can see the Nelson Gymnasium and the science building. Photo donated by Basil and Randy Haberstick.

Update - Front stairs restored to historic Oneida Stake Academy

Using federal funds administered by the Idaho Transportation Department, the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation is having front stairs poured for the historic Oneida Stake Academy in Preston, Idaho.

 The current design of the new stairs follows the academy's original design with modern amenities. It will look like the original, but a heating pad will help to keep it ice-free when completed. The stairs will include rock facing placed on the concrete steps which have been built by Jeff Call, of Preston, for Bailey Construction out of Logan, Utah. Additional funding is currently being sought to have the rock laid on this new concrete stair foundation.

Furthermore, Bailey Construction is contracting with Randy Meek to upgrade and repair a leak in a portion of the academy's roof.  As funding comes in, the entire roof will be upgraded, said board members of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation. Donations to the restoration of the 119-year-old Oneida Stake Academy are tax-deductible and may be made to the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation, P.O. Box 555, Preston, Idaho 83263.

When completed, the academy will serve the community as an elegant, historical community center, available to the public for events such as receptions, reunions, conferences and performances of the arts. It will also house a museum of its own and local history, and function as an information center for the Pioneer Scenic Byway, which runs from Franklin, Idaho,  through Preston, and into Freedom, Wyoming. For more information, see www.oneidastakeacademy.com.

Nathan Hale and Jeff Call inspect the forms before concrete is poured.

Cement is pumped to the forms.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Newell Hart

Newell Hart was a Preston native, a free spirit and an avid chronicler of an era slipping into the past. Born on Feb. 21, 1913, he was the son of Arthur William and Evadyna Henderson Hart.

Newell and his wife, Ruth, spent many years in California, but eventually returned to Preston. Together they pulled together the efforts of other local academy fans to repair and restore the academy so it could be used not only by Preston School District, but the public.

Newell died in 1983, having his final celebration of life in the ballroom of the academy. Unfortunately, he had to wait downstairs while his eulogies went on above, as the stairway would not accommodate his casket. Ruth followed him on June 1, 2006.

His family and the new owners of his home, Basil and Randy Haberstick, have shared items and photos Newell and Ruth had collected on the academy with the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation.

Many of those photos well be shared for the first time on this blog.

We pay tribute to Newell, Ruth and their family members and friends who helped them prepare the academy for its second century of life.

View of original campus

At left is a view of the entire campus before Preston High School was built. If you look closely, you will see that the science buildng still had its upper floors. Preston School District continues to use this building, minus the upper floors since they were lost to a fire decades ago. Art classes are taught in its upper second floor and weight lifting is held in its main floor. The grounds maintenance offices and work rooms are in the building's basement.

The building to the left in the picture above is the no-longer-standing Nelson Gymnasium.

The above picture is a clipping from The Preston Citizen from an unknown year. It originally appeared in the Hometown Album, which was compiled by academy champion Newell Hart. The book is no longer in print, much to our chagrin, but occasionally we get copies of its contents.

Unfortunately we no longer have its compiler, Newell Hart. Due to his passion for saving the building in the 70s and 80s, we have a building to restore today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oneida Stake Academy

Construction began on the OSA in 1890. The academy classes were moved from their first home in an upstairs room in a store in Franklin, Idaho, to the academy's basement in 1891, while construction continued on the building's upper floors. The building was completed and dedicated in 1895, by Moses Thathcher.
It remained in use as an auxiliary building of the Preston School District #201 until the late 1990s. Since then, it has been relocated, and is under restoration to become the center of Northern Cache Valley culture once again.