ELDRIDGE B. DYKES
Although a product of the south, E. B. Dykes has spent much of his life on the Pacific coast, becoming well known in the educational field, and is now principal of the Coachella Valley Union High School. He was born on a farm in Greene County, Tennessee, November 10, 1879, a son of Jasper and Mary (Phillips) Dykes, who were also natives of that state, and both are now deceased. Enlisting for service in the Civil War, the father valiantly defended the Union cause, and in times of peace he followed agricultural pursuits.
E. B. Dykes, who is one of a family of five children, spent the days of his boyhood on the home farm and when his high school course was completed enrolled in the Teachers Training College at Knoxville, Tennessee. His initial experience in his profession was gained at Colfax, Washington, where he was a high school principal for two years. In order to qualify for greater responsibilities as an educator he attended Leland Stanford University, from which he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1908, and has since taken post-graduate courses in that institution and at the University of California. At Petaluma, California, Mr. Dykes served as district superintendent for eleven years and afterward filled a similar position in Atascadero, this state, for three years. He was next a teacher in the Riverside high school and junior college, resigning at the end of six years to become principal of the Coachella Valley Union High School, located five miles south of Indio, three miles southwest of Coachella, and a distance of four miles from Thermal. He directs the work of eleven teachers and during his tenure of office the school attendance has grown from one hundred and thirty to more than two hundred pupils. The buildings were especially planned for the comfort of instructors and pupils in this extremely hot climate, the classrooms being entirely open on the side facing a lawned court. The school has a large auditorium, is completely equipped and modern in all of its appointments. Instituting needed changes and improvements in the methods of instruction, Mr. Dykes has placed this high school on a par with the best in southern California and is considered one of the most progressive and capable educators in this part of the state.
In 1898 Mr. Dykes was married to Miss Frances Marion, of Kingsport, Tennessee, and four children were born to them. Harlan H., the eldest, was graduated from Leland Stanford University and won the A. B. degree from Santa Clara College, where he is now instructor in law, also acting as a coach. He volunteered for service in the World War, becoming a member of the Three Hundred and Twenty-second Field Signal Corps, attached to the First Army Corps, and participated in five major engagements. After the signing of the Armistice he was with the Army of Occupation at Coblenz, Germany, and later was sent to the university maintained by the American Expeditionary Forces at Bon, France. While overseas he wrote some very interesting letters, which were published in a number of California papers. He married Miss Laura Getz, by whom he has one child, Deo. Blanche Worth, the second in order of birth, is the wife of Eugene Hayes of Fresno, California, and the mother of a son, Robert Leland Hayes. Leland H. Dykes, who completed a course in the University of California at Los Angeles and took post-graduate work at Leland Stanford University, is engaged in scientific work in geology. Mary Louise is now Mrs. Neil Hultslander, of Fresno, California, and has a son, Larry Eugene Hultslander.
Mr. Dykes adheres to the religious belief of his family and has membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church. He belongs to the Lions Club, an organization devoted to Americanism, and his professional connections are with the State High School Principals Association, the State Teachers Association and the National Education Association.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 91-93, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.
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