R. Dean Squires, principal of Whitesburg High School, 1927-1940
Richard Dean Squires was born at Little Rock, in Bourbon County, on Dec. 5, 1878. He was the son of the late Jas. P. and Sallie Robinson Squires. His early education was obtained in a rural school. He received an A.B. degree from The Central University of Kentucky”, now Centre College.
He received his master’s degree from Columbia University in New York. Mr. Squire’s life has been devoted to teaching. He began by teaching in a one-room school in Montgomery County, Ky. He then was superintendent of some of the biggest consolidated schools in Indiana for seven years, and superintendent of the schools at Carlisle for nine years.
In April of 1922, Mr. T.J. Coates, president of the Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College and Normal School, called him to take Mr. Lewis’s place at that institution. Mr. Lewis was called to the State Department at Frankfort.
For five years, Mr. Squires was director of the Extension Department, director of the Placement Bureau, and also an instructor in that Institution.
In July of 1927, he resigned his position there to become the superintendent of the graded and high schools of Whitesburg. While the head of Whitesburg High School, the enrollment grew from 134 with four teachers, to 285 students and nine teachers.
He died at Crestwood, on Oct. 18, 1940, at the age of 62. He married Mary Ethel Harshbarger Sept. 1, 1909. Three children were born to this union: Mrs. John B. Calloway, Ft. Thomas; James R. Squires, and Mary Jane Squires of Crestwood. He had a leakage of the heart, which, with complications due to overwork, caused his death.
The WHS class of 1929 had a few words for Prof. Squires, printed in the Black Kat which follow: Prof. R. Dean Squires came here from Richmond two years ago, to be superintendent of our high and graded school. (Note: Until the Independent Whitesburg City Schools joined the county system, the director of the schools was given the title of superintendent. After joining the county system, the title of principal was given.)
Mr. Squires changed our method of teaching and remodeled everything, the new way being much more efficient and enabling us to take care of more students than would have been possible under the old method.
Mr. Squires is now getting what is called a good salary but it is very meager if judged according to the good he has done for Letcher County and our own city. Although we have known Mr. Squires only two years, he has won a place in the heart of his students that will be hard to fill when we leave this institution of learning.
We, the seniors, wish to extend our hearty and sincere thanks to Mr. Squires for the help he has given us since coming to this institution.
Sweaters and letters given
On Wednesday afternoon, May 8, 1929, eight boys of the basketball team were presented sweaters of black with an orange W.
The boys so honored were: Hillard Hall, Cecil Baker, Blair Akins, Woodrow Whitaker, Lester Day, Arnold Kincer, Henry Wright and Floyd Adams. Eight girls were also given sweaters and letters: Evelyn Back, Viola Combs, Ida Hart, Sally Kincer, Evadean Squires, Lena Collins, Dorothy Wright and Dee Newsome.
This is the first time our boys and girls have been given this deserved honor.
We were all happy to have present many of our businessmen, the school board and some of our ladies.
We ask for the cooperation of all to make the athletics in the Whitesburg High School what it should be.
We want to express the appreciation of teachers and students to all who have stood so loyally behind the teams. We promise you our best in the future.
As the processional “Onward Christian Soldiers” was played by Miss Ruth Lynn the seniors marched into the reserved pews. Invocation was given by E.B. Hale, principal (today he would be considered the assistant principal). Reverend K.O. Potts, who delivered the baccalaureate sermon, chose for his text “Arise Let us go hence”. Mr. Potts delivered a very appropriate and inspiring sermon. R. Dean Squires made the announcements for the following week’s activities, and read 12 verses of scripture which was in harmony with Rev. Potts’s sermon.
Mrs. Squires favored us with a wonderful selection, “I Love A Little Cottage”, by O’Hara.
The anthem of the Choir was “Awakening Chorus.”
After the congregation sang “America the Beautiful”, Rev. Potts pronounced the benediction.
Junior class news
The junior class met Feb. 28. A motion was made and seconded that each junior should pay 10 cents per week as class dues. Each individual of the class has cooperated with the class in this work. Because of the cooperation the juniors gave the seniors a wonderful reception at the gymnasium. All reported a good time.
The basketball players were presented with sweaters and letters May 8. There were three juniors who received sweaters and the class is very proud of them.
Mr. Glenn and Miss Lewis are the sponsors of the junior class. We have spent a delightful year under their sponsorship and hope to have Miss Lewis as sponsor of the senior class next year. We are very sorry to lose Mr. Glenn for the coming year.
The next year the juniors will step up to take the place of the seniors who are finishing this year. We hope to fill their places and carry their work as successfully as they have done the past year. We sincerely regret to lose the seniors but will do our best to make up for their loss.
Freshmen class news
Carl Breeding, secretary of the freshman class, has left school to accept a position as clerk in the A&P Store of Harlan County. The freshman class wishes him the greatest success in the future.
Lenvile and Steve Watts spent the weekend with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jep Watts, of Linefork.
The freshman class was influenced very much by a talk given to them recently by their secretary, Dempsie Amburgey.
Miss Anna Brown of UZ, gave a party last Saturday night in honor of Misses Louise Lusk and Dee Newsome. Those present were Misses Cynthia and Lona Boatright, Louise Lusk, Anna and Marie Brown, Dee Newsome, and Monroe Cornett, Arnold Caudill, Arthur Caudill, Fred Adams and Dewey Hampton. Everyone reported a good time.