During the Thirties, families struggling through the Depression knew they could find a home with their relatives here in Peters Township. Food would be available in this farm community. As a result, the township experienced growth in its population, with the 1940 census reporting the population at more than 2,000 residents.
With the beginning of World War II, the township entered into a difficult economic period. Many local men were called up in the draft, several during their high school years. There was not enough manpower left to tend to the local farms, and the dairy farms especially hard hit. Many of the smaller 100-acre farms were forced to seek other alternatives with their land: become part-time farmers with another occupation, rent their property for boarding horses, or let the land lie dormant.
In 1941, 54 young men and women entered the high school to begin their four years course of study. During their school years, the Class of 1945 elected their class officers, went on the annual hayride, and sponsored dances in addition to their class work. They cheered for the boys' and girls' basketball teams and attended class plays. In spite of the turmoil in the world outside their high school building, their days were happy ones and their memories dear.
Shawnee, the student newspaper, was established in 1946. The paper sold for 5 cents a copy and included articles on basketball games, plays, teacher biographies, information on new students, fashions, editorials, and alumni news. The first and the last issue of each school year were lithographed in order that there could be pictures throughout those issues.
In the December 18, 1946 issue of Shawnee, an article called "The Forgotten Man" tells us about the bus drivers for the school:
"What would the school be without the new "coke" machine? What would the school be without sports and fun? What would the school be without teachers? Ah, yes, and what about our loyal bus drivers?
The drivers for our school are Mr. L. S. Townsend, Mr. Boyd Fife (Shorty) and Mr. William Bartram (Uncle Bill.)
Mr. Townsend has been driving a bus since 1924 and is the owner of seven busses, some of which are in operation in North Strabane township. Mr. Bartram owns his bus and has driven for several years. Mr. Fife has been driving the Centre Church-Thompsonville route for over five years.
All three men say they like the job very much which, of course, is due to the good conduct of the pupils; however, not one of the drivers could decide whether the boys or girls were better behaved. They all agree that there have been some hazardous trips -- on mornings dense with fog; and days when the roads were coated with an unusual amount of ice or snow. Mr. Fife recalled December 11, 1944 as especially dangerous due to a record snowfall. Remember?
Our drivers believe that we pupils are unpredictable and when a most unexpected thing does happen, the experience can be recalled with a laugh."
Do you remember these high school cheers?
We like red! We like white!
Come on PETERS, let's win tonight!
Show 'em your steam,
Show 'em your pep,
We've got a team that's Hep! Hep! Hep!
How about this one?
Susie Q, trucken on down
Come on Peters, let's go to town!
Swing to the left
And swing to the right
Come on Peters
FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
In May 1948, the Junior-Senior Prom was held at the Roosevelt Hotel
in downtown Pittsburgh. The banquet began at 6 o'clock with a roast
turkey dinner. Music was provided by Lee Barrett and his orchestra.
Cost of admission was $3.00 per couple or $1.50 per person.
By the late 1940's the citizens of Peters Township decided to move forward with plans for a new elementary building adjacent to the high school. Students in grades 1-6 in the high school building would move into the new elementary building. After renovations, the high school would become a Junior-Senior High School for grades 7-12.