Colonel White High School

Last updated
Colonel White High School
Colonel White High School
501 Niagara Ave.


United States
Coordinates 39°46′49″N84°13′07″W / 39.780361°N 84.218565°W / 39.780361; -84.218565 Coordinates: 39°46′49″N84°13′07″W / 39.780361°N 84.218565°W / 39.780361; -84.218565
School typePublic Secondary School
School board Dayton Public Schools
Language English
Area Urban
Color(s)Green and Gold   
Athletics conference Dayton City League
Mascot Cougar
NewspaperCougar Den

Colonel White High School was built in 1929 in Dayton Ohio. It stood on the corner of Wabash and Niagara in Upper Dayton View until it was demolished in 2008. [1]

Colonel White was named for Colonel William Jeremiah White, an officer who fought in the Spanish-American War. It was named for White because he had been superintendent of Dayton Schools in 1888 and lived in Lower Dayton View. [2]

Initially, Colonel White school was a junior high school. An auditorium, east wing, and south wing were added during the 1950s and 1960s as the school became a high school. Briefly, students attended Colonel White for their first two years, and then would attend Fairview High School for Junior and Senior years. [3]

In 1957, Jack A. DeVelbiss (1927-1988) became the music director of Colonel White High School. DeVelbiss is responsible for creating the "Little Colonels," a drill team famous for precision military-style marching. He also created a range of music programs and directed several musicals in the newly-built auditorium. This began Colonel White's legacy as an award-winning music and theatre school. [4]

As the demographics of Dayton View shifted, the high school was the cite of racial unrest. Rioting erupted in cities across America. A riot broke out in West Dayton when white men in a car shot Lester Mitchell at 3 am on September 1st, 1966. [5] Dayton View was a neighborhood that was open to Black residents. It had a large Jewish Community and was home to three Synagogues at the time. It was also home to Appalachian migrants and southern and eastern European immigrant communities. By the time Dayton Public Schools were ordered to desegregate, Colonel White was already racially balanced and was exempt from busing. [6] [7]

In 1983, the name of the school was changed to The Colonel White High School for the Performing Arts.

The land it stood on was eventually sold to Frederick Holley for $4,290. [8]

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  1. Kelley, Jeremy P. (May 31, 2019). "Dayton school board sells two former school sites". The Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  2. "CWHS History". Little Colonels. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  3. Kelley, Jeremy P. (May 31, 2019). "Dayton school board sells two former school sites". The Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  4. "Mr._D".html "Jack A. DeVelbiss, "Mr. D"". Little Colonels. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  5. Sweigart, Josh (September 22, 2016). "Lasting Scars, Part 1: Shooting sparked 1966 Dayton riots". The Dayton Daily News.
  6. Weiss, Marshall. "The Attempt to Desegregate, Part 2". The Jewish Observer. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  7. Lipper, Hal (July 28, 1978). "Dayton Schools Again Ordered to Desegregate in Seesaw Case". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  8. Kelley, Jeremy P. (May 31, 2019). "Dayton school board sells two former school sites". The Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 25 June 2021.