THS History

Welcome Turpin Alumni

A Brief History of Turpin High School

The following brief history is taken from the program for the dedication of Turpin High School on August 22, 1976.


by Stephen B. Smalley and Robert L. Galvin

Turpin High School is the tenth school in the Forest Hills School District to be dedicated. Its roots lie buried in the history of Anderson Township.

Our pioneer ancestors, a few of whom established their homes as early as 1795, and many more who settled in the very early years of the next century, were concerned about the education of their children. They built log or frame school buildings haphazardly over the area.

As early as 1826 the township trustees made an attempt to systematically divide the township into twelve school districts. This distributed the school population more evenly and served the area for many years. Most of these schools were one-room, one-teacher type. Several had two rooms, one teacher with a classroom downstairs, the other with a class on the second level.

A number of schools were located in the area now served by Turpin High School. Union Bridge or Uniontown School was constructed in 1826 on Beechmont Avenue near the flood plains. In 1882, it was replaced by a school built on Clough Pike near the intersection of today’s State Route 32. Additional schools included Newtown School, erected on Debolt Road in 1861, District Nine School on Little Dry Run, District Eight on Clough opposite Wanninger Lane, and District Seven School, also on Clough near State Road. Later this school was moved to Clough Pike opposite Berkshire.

Other schools constructed in the area include; Number Thirteen on Beechmont opposite Salem, and more recently Newtown, Wilson, and Sherwood Elementaries. The latest addition, Turpin Middle School, was dedicated on April 21, 1974. The Turpin campus is located on land purchased by Ichabod Benton Miller in 1796. Miller built a log dwelling which still stands on Clough and Bartels Roads and is now operated by the Anderson Township Historical Society.

Turpin is a well known name in this area. Phillip Turpin was the first resident owner of the entire Crittenden Survey of 1000 acres. His two sons, Ebenezer Smith Turpin and Edward Johnson Turpin, added to these acres by purchasing additional land in the surrounding surveys. Much of this land is in the same survey in which the school is located. In a document relating to District Ten School, eight of the sixteen signatures are Turpin by either birth or marriage. Descendants of the Turpin family still reside in the community.

The need for a new high school in the school district to alleviate the overcrowded conditions of Anderson High School became apparent in the early 1970’s. A bond issue was placed on the ballot in November 1973. Upon passage of this 5.7 mill issue, architects Thomas J. McClorey and Associates were retained to design a functional school for the district. Ground was broken on the 50.3 acre Turpin campus on November 28,1974.

Turpin High School, a multi-level, semi-open building containing three major wings, has 172,000 square feet of space. Much of this brick facility was constructed using pre-cast concrete frames. This helped expedite construction and at the same time kept the cost of the building to a minimum.

Total cost of Turpin High is approximately 6.5 million dollars. Outstanding features of the building include a spacious media center with a capacity of 15,000 volumes and seating for 200, large laboratories, shops, and classrooms. The building is kept comfortable year-round by a combination of forced air and radiation. The heat source is water heated in an electric boiler. Zone air-conditioning is utilized throughout most of the structure. Most areas are carpeted. The gymnasium/ pool complex also includes a small indoor running track on the balcony. Seating capacities are 1,500 for basketball contests and 275 for swimming events. Outdoor facilities include tennis courts, practice fields, a baseball diamond, and parking lots.

Conservation of energy was given a high priority when Turpin High School was designed. As a result, there is very little glass in the building. In addition, insulation has been placed between the brick and block of all exterior walls to insure a minimum of temperature change.

A final phase of the total building program for Turpin High School awaits construction. An auditorium will be built adjoining the cafeteria at some future date.