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Montcalm High School




Montcalm History

The Current Montcalm High School

Montcalm High School until 1983

Montcalm is an unincorporated town. The current population is about 2,000. We have a high school and an elementary school. Dr. William Prudich was the town doctor until his death from cancer in 1998. The Prudich Medical Center is named after Dr. Prudich, who loved his patients and his town. In the center of town is a flower shop and two grocery stores. Everyone knows each other and the cashiers always ask about a family member. There is a local chapter of the VFW and the Masons. Boys and girl scouts meet in one of the five churches in town. Neighbors always smile when they greet each other in the post office and there is genuine care for our town and it's people.

In 1852 a twenty-one year old Robert Williams traveled the twelve miles from Princeton to see a farm on the Bluestone River owned by George Bailey. Mr. Williams hoped to purchase the almost 1,000 acre farm, even though it needed many repairs. Mr. Bailey had built a log mill on the land and it was also the only corn mill for miles. The only outbuildings were an open log shed and a hog pen. Williams paid $1,500 with a deposit of $20 for the George Bailey farm. The purchase of the farm is recorded in the Deed Book 4, September 21, 1853 at the Mercer County Courthouse. The George Bailey farm was located at the mouth of Crane Creek where Montcalm now stands.

The establishment of the Norfolk and Western railroad line in 1901 caused rapid development of the community. Before becoming Montcalm, the area was also called "Riverside", "Cepheus" and "Macadam." The name Montcalm was suggested by W.B. Honaker (Jasper was what most folks called him.) for the church, post office and railroad stop. The name Montcalm came from the French commander of the 1754 French and Indian War. In 1759 General Montcalm "fell on the battlefield at the Plains of Abraham in the Battle of Quebec to the British Commander General Wolf." This battle concluded the war giving the English sovereignty in Canada.

In 1902 Montcalm's postmaster was John H. Honaker and J.H. Byrd was the railroad agent. By 1912 Montcalm had a population of 350. Several people of prominence were John H. Honaker, postmaster; P.D. Bratton, teacher; J.B. Brown, restaurant owner; R.M. Davidson, miller; A.L. Graves, railroad (exp) and telegraph operator; J.C. Fanning, miller; W.S. Hayden, restaurant owner; Mrs. F.T. Herndon, general store owner; M.H. Hill, tanner; Rev. J.H. Honaker, pastor ME South church; W.S. Honaker, carpenter; J.A. Perkins, blacksmith; I.W. Taylor, physician and Mrs. M.E. Williams, milliner. Two general stores--Honaker and Son and one owned by J.D. Scott who was also the undertaker. There was daily mail and telephone connections.

In 1916 the population was still around 350 and Mary J. Herndon was postmaster and P.D. Bratton had a general store. By 1923 M.B. Briggs, G.B. McNew, W.A. Harvey and the Herndon Brothers had also opened general stores. Other businesses included a restaurant and hotel owned by A. Hamady and a meat market owned by T.J. Taylor. There were two motor company garages-- service and standard. Montcalm Junior High School was built in 1931 and students in grades 7-10 attended school in the seven rooms available. The first principal was Mark Grimm. After the tenth grade students were sent to Bramwell High School to graduate.

By 1950 the population of Montcalm had increased to approximately 1600. The town was comprised of four grocery stores, a dry goods and a Five and Ten Cent store, a Funeral Home, drugstore, two garages, two filling stations, two restaurants, three beer parlors, a hotel, a post office, a doctor's office (Dr. Prudich), a railroad station, Masonic Hall, bus station, six churches and an elementary and a junior high school.

The new high school was built in 1983. A general head in full uniform is the school mascot. Our colors are royal blue and white. Gene Lee was the principal until David Harvey took command of the Generals. Today over 350 students attend Montcalm High School and it is still a 7-12 grade school. We have a newsletter and several volunteers who help at the school. We are working to improve our sports field and build a new Athletic Complex on our football site. We are too small a school to receive much help from the Board of Education. Our business partner, Judy Neal is working very hard to see our "Field of Dreams" be built for future Generals. We are raising the money ourselves and asking volunteers to help build the building. We are a small community but a determined one. Our children are not just numbers in a computer. At Montcalm High School they receive one on one teaching and our children are happy. It is a wonderful town!

The preceding information was gathered from Elizabeth White Hall and Sis Laenen. The following students helped compile this report Jessica Taylor, Christina Mullins and Tonya Coeburn.

More Montcalm History Here