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History, 1916-1937

          The work was progressing in the Yakima Valley. “…With its numerous villages and towns, its intricate system of canals, … alfalfa fields, hop yards, heavily laden orchards, the busy population has proven to be a fruitful field of labor for our workers. The largest, at North Yakima has outgrown the present quarters and has commenced the erection of a new church building located on a corner recently purchased for the purpose.”15 (on 11th Avenue)
  To help cut expenses the school moved the two blocks to share the church at North Fourth Avenue and West “B” Street in 1917. The church, constructed when the church was established in 1895, was one large room with a wood stove and a small closet for a woodpile. There was an outhouse outdoors. During these years, the school used the church Monday through Friday; the Church used the building on Sabbath, and rented the facility to the

North Yakima Seventh-day Adventist School at North 4th Avenue and 'D' Street.  Teachers:  Mr. Beal, Mrs. Beal, Mrs. Elva Paige Hawke

 Assembly of God Church (now the Stone Church) on Sunday.16  Apparently, this arrangement continued until the new church at 11th Avenue was completed.
          In the early 1920’s the school was getting further and further behind financially. The economic condition of the Valley was depressed due to World War I and the agricultural base of the community. The school depended on the church to manage the school finances, as tuition was not able to meet the monetary needs of the school. The church board continued to emphasize the significance of Christian education to the church family. It was seen as an environment where children would learn to be leaders in the church. The church board continued to emphasize the significance of Christian education to the church family. The church board wanted their students to become well-rounded people who could interact well with others and be trained to evangelize. The board decided to provide each student with music lessons.17 A few months later, at the request of the school board, the school principal, Mr. Overton began to organize students to run the church worship service every third Sabbath. This continued to call attention to the school and increased interest.18 After months of the school running in the red it began “prospering financially as well as spiritually.”19

1924 Yakima Seventh-day Adventist Church School.
1st Row: Garnet McCoy, Nada Rick, Jean Kiser, Beryl McCoy, Gretea Guderian, Miss McCoin, Violet Weidman, Hattie Dolman, Wilma Winter, Roasima Seibly. 2nd Row: Don Drake, Stanley Smith, Herman English, Don Foster, Irvin Dolman, Clair Terwillegar.
3rd Row: ??, James Masterman, Arthur Dolman, Bernie Drier, ? Seibly.

          When the new church was completed on 11th Avenue in 1923, the Yakima Seventh-day Adventist School was conducted in the basement. Upper Columbia Conference “Endeavored to employ those who have had special training or experience for the work of teaching…” The average experience for each teacher [in the Upper Columbia Conference] was 35 months of teaching or nearly four school years and the teacher made an average of $72.00 a month. All but two teachers in the entire conference in 1924 were certified.” According to the 1924 Seventh-day Adventist Church school census, 60% of all children and young people in the Upper Columbia Conference were enrolled in church school. The other 40% were attending public schools or were not in school at all.20     

          Enrollment continued to grow and there were sixty-one students during the 1928-1929 school year. Miss Sabre Eighme taught grades 1-5, while Mr. J.A. Johnson taught grades 6-8. On April 7, the school gave its annual program. Parents, patrons, and friends of the school seemed to appreciate both the technique and ability of the students’ exhibited talents and training.”21
          During the 1929-1930 school year, tuition rates at the Yakima School were $3.00 a month for 1-2 grade, $3.50 for 3-4 grade, $4.00 for 5-6 grade, and $4.50 for 7- 8 grade. The maximum tuition for a family was $10.00 a month.22  As economic

Miss McCoin and Students, 1929

conditions worsened because of the depression, the rate of tuition was reduced to $2.00 for the first child and $1.00 for each additional child, with the maximum being $5.00 per month for any one individual family.23   In 1934, the church established a 9 and 10 grade for the school. Tuition stayed the same for grades 1-8 while grades 9-10 would be $5.00 a month.23   Work especially during the depression, was an essential for everyone in each family. Therefore, the church board agreed to begin school for grades 1 through 8 on the Tuesday after Labor Day, while the 9-10 grade would not start until September 23. 
          In 1935 the church decided that the Seventh-day Adventist Church School would accept non-Adventist students.24 The church hired Mr. and Mrs. George Leedy for $60.00 a month, which included tuition for their children.25   The salary for Brother Decker, who was hired mid-year, was $35.00 a month.26

            The 1935-1936 school was a difficult one for the staff. Some of the students had become a discipline problem. The church went to the Upper Columbia Conference for guidance in solving the problem. The conference suggested inviting Art and Mae Warner to come teach during the 1936-1937 school year. They had a reputation of being able to handle even the most unruly boys. One student remembers having given Mrs. Warner some problem during the school day. While she had corrected the problem the boy stewed about if for the rest of the day; pouting, grumbling, and being obviously surly. As the other students were dismissed for the day, Mrs. Warner asked him to stay and talk to her. After talking through the problem again, the little boy still refused to let go of his anger. Mrs. Warner, having done what she could, said that he would need to stay at school with her until he smiled. Of course, as most young boys would, he decided he would not smile, no matter how late it got. After several hours, Mrs. Warner finally told the boy that he “would be really good looking, if he’d smile.” This broke the stalemate and the boy finally smiled and was able to go home. The boy related that it was almost dark by the time he was able to leave.27 While teaching only the one school year at Yakima, the Warner’s made a lasting impression on each of their students. 


15 North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 26, 1917, p.2
16 John Sandifer, Stone Church Historian, June 2003
17 Yakima SDA Church minutes; January 8, 1921
18 Yakima SDA Church minutes; September 25, 1921
19 Yakima SDA Church minutes; Decenber 30, 1923
20 North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 17, 1924
21 North Pacific Union Gleaner, April 23, 1929, p.13
22 1929-30 School Bulletin
23 Yakima SDA Church minutes; July 14, 1934
24 Yakima SDA Church minutes; July 31, 1935
25 Yakima SDA Church minutes; July 14, 1934, December 21, 1934
26 Yakima SDA Church minutes; October 12, 1935
27 Story shared by a church member (the boy)