The dedication of the building that came to be known as Edward Lee McClain High School began Wednesday, Sept. 1, 1915 and continued through Saturday, Sept. 4. The afternoon session on Sept. 1 took place in the auditorium and featured addresses by Hon. Frank B. Willis, the governor of Ohio, and Hon. Frank W. Miller, the superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction of Ohio. That evening, again in the auditorium, Rev. Freely Rohrer of the Presbyterian Church presided at a service featuring an informal organ recital by Ernest M. Skinner, who built the pipe organ that is still used a century later. The recital was followed by an address on “Education and Religion” by Herbert Welch, president of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Each day of activities featured an opportunity for the public to come and see the amazing art-filled school that had been built in Greenfield. The school was a gift of Mr. McClain, whose vision was to help his home town, “As promising the most good to the greatest number for the longest time.”
Other activities throughout the days of dedication included a formal organ recital by Prof. James T. Quarles of the Cornell University Department of Music, displays of “moving pictures,” a demonstration of the gymnasium equipment by a team from the YMCA of Cincinnati, a demonstration by Prof. Ralph Price of the “mechanical player,” a Dedicatory Ode composed by a member of the local alumni association, and addresses by a host of other dignitaries. Formal delivery of the deed for the property on behalf of the donor, Mr. McClain, was accepted by Charles Davis, president of the local Board of Education.
On Labor Day Weekend 2015 (Sept. 4-5-6) McClain High School will celebrate its centennial with numerous special activities.
Submitted by Ron Coffey