Gary High School is a former school in Gary, West Virginia that was home to the Coaldiggers. United States Coal & Coke Corporation, when constructing Gary, had allocated land for at least two schools. The first school, for white children, was built in November 1903 along Red Cross Street.1 Another, for black children, was built earlier in October 1903.


Prior to the creation of the McDowell County Board of Education in 1933, the responsibility of educating students fell within each magistrate district. The Adkin District was formed in 1904, and J. M. B. Reis, General Superintendent of United States Coal & Coke Corporation Gary Operations, became president of the Board of Education.1 Edward O’ Toole became General Manager of the Gary Operations and president of the Adkin Board of Education in 1905.

In 1912, a special election was held that featured only three questions on the ballot initiative:

  • Authorize $40,000 in bonds for funding to improve existing school buildings;
  • Authorize a levy to provide a suitable building for high school education; and
  • Establish a new high school.

The district voted heavily in favor of a new high school and all three initiatives were easily passed. Construction of a nine-room facility began soon after the vote. The new Adkins District School, which served students from the Gary Grade School for white children, and the small number of Adkins District High School students, opened in 1913 at a cost of $30,000.1

Due to rapid population growth of Gary, a bigger facility was needed. In 1924, a large two-story high school and gymnasium was constructed for $175,000.1 A wing of six classrooms was added in 1928 and a new gymnasium was built in 1938 for $50,000. Finally in 1952, the central utility plant and the music building was finished.

In September 1965, Gary District High for black children was merged with Gary High, and the elementary school was moved to Gary District High.2 In 1978, Gary High School merged with Welch High to form the consolidated Mt. View High School.1

  1. Schust, Alex P. “Adkin District Schools.” Gary Hollow. Harwood, MD: Two Mule Publishing, 2005. 219-231. Print.
  2. Grigsby, Louise Carter. “History Highlights.” Gary District High School. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Apr. 2011.