Central High is a small rural community located off Farm Road 851 about four miles northeast of Alto in southeastern Cherokee County. Settlement took place in the region by the early 1900s. In 1916 three area schools, Mt. Zion, Nip 'N Tuck, and Sand Flat, voted to consolidate due to the growing population in the region. These schools formed Central High Independent School District, the first consolidated school district in Cherokee County. Landowner Ike Martin donated four acres in the summer of 1916, and construction of a two-story structure began. Central High opened in fall 1917 and became the focal point of the surrounding community. By 1919 Central High had the schoolhouse, a store, and a Baptist church. For several decades, the school served area children in grades one through ten, with enrollment of as many as 225 students in the 1927–28 school year. In 1931 a tornado partially destroyed the building, but it was soon rebuilt with the help of WPA labor. Central High consolidated with the Alto Independent School District in 1952. In 1962 a group of historic-minded citizens formed the Central High Community Organization to purchase the school and land from the town of Alto. May 12, 1963, marked the official opening of the Central High Community Center. No population figures were available for Central High until 2000 when the census recorded thirty residents. At that time the restored schoolhouse still served as a community center, and the area Texas Extension Education Association held meetings there every third Wednesday of the month. Some of the members of this seventy-five-year-old club had attended school in the building. On the first Sunday of each May, the Central High Community Center hosts an annual homecoming for former school students and residents.
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Central High by the Numbers
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