Oliver P. Morton High School

Hammond, Indiana

Class of 1960 Reunion


Oliver P. Morton High School Class of 1960 Reunion Committee

Donna Fitzwater Baird

Marianne Zlotnik Brocke

Marcia Cook Burr

Carla Carstensen Burson

Ken O'Neal

Nancy Feldt Rathmann


Our Building, 1937-1991   


The Oliver P. Morton School pictured above was located at 7040 Marshall Avenue in the Hessville area of Hammond, Indiana. It was constructed in 1936-37 with partial funding from the Depression era Public Works Administration and based upon a design by architects George Grant Elmslie and William S. Hutton. This school replaced the original Morton School, which was built at the same Marshall Avenue location in 1912 by the community of Hessville before it was annexed by the city of Hammond. When it opened in the fall of 1937 Morton School served almost 600 students in grades kindergarten through ten. For the eleventh and twelfth grades, students attended Hammond High School. The size of the building was increased with a three story addition to each wing in 1952, and the school expanded to a four year high school in 1953 with the first class graduating in June 1954. The building housed Oliver P. Morton High School until the class of 1967 graduated. At that time, a new Oliver P. Morton High School building opened at 169th Street and Grand Avenue and the building on Marshall Avenue housed Morton junior high/middle school until it was demolished in 1991. The two story building to the far right in the picture is the elementary school that was constructed in 1956-57 for grades K-6. The junior high students remained in the high school building. This old elementary school was demolished in 1992. A modern elementary school now occupies this Marshall Avenue site.

When the building opened in 1937 the principal was Mr. C.A. Spencer.  Mr. Albert W. Clark became principal in 1942 and remained in that position until the summer of 1962. Mr. W. Winston Becker, who had been a teacher and administrator at Morton, succeeded Mr. Clark as principal. Mr. Becker continued as high school principal in the new building on Grand Avenue.

Demolition of Morton School began on Monday, June 10, 1991 with the removal of the cornerstone and opening of the time capsule. The following is taken from a story that appeared in The Times on Wednesday, June 12, 1991.


   Tanner (the school principal) said some former students had been stopping by to take a last look around, but she hadn't seen many tears shed over the demolition except by one longtime neighbor.

   "I came here as a bride in 1916. My children went to the school" in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, said Eva Lundgren, who has lived across the street from the school since before it was built. (Note: Also, at least two of Mrs. Lundgren's grandchildren graduated from Morton: Lynda in 1956 and Judy in 1959.)

   "I watched the building being built and I'm disturbed (to see it torn down). The building is so beautiful and well-built," she said, wondering aloud how the trim will be removed from the building without being ruined.