Mangham High School had its beginning in a one-story frame building around the turn of the 20th century and was located at the present site of Mrs. F.C. Sheppard’s residence. Little is known about the school during the early years, but it was probably very much like the small one-room schools of that time.
A two-story frame building was constructed about 1916 at the present location of Lobrano Field. A bond election for $12,000 was passed around 1918, making possible the construction of a two-story brick building. This was connected to the frame building by a walk.
The school grew so fast that a second bond issue for about $100,000 was necessary. The present school site of ten acres was purchased, and a second two-story brick building was completed in January 1925. This building was Mangham Junior High and contained grades six through eight. In 1929, another two-story building which was Mangham High School was constructed along with a cafeteria, junior high gym, and a teacherage. The teacherage contained two apartments which we were rented to faculty members.
Upon passage of a $250,000 bond issue in 1952, the buildings were renovated; new concrete stairways were built and the high school building was connected to the cafeteria by a covered walk. A steel stadium and restrooms were built on the athletic field. The brick music building was also constructed during this time.
Mr. T.A. Judd served as principal for a total of thirty-two years. He was also the first coach at Mangham. Upon Mr. Judd’s retirement in 1955, students, faculty, and friends of the community who had been associated with him through the years proclaimed May 1, 1955 as “T.A. Judd Day.” At this time, Mr. Judd was presented a new 1955 Ford as a token of appreciation for the many contributions he had made during his years of service to the school and community.
In 1963, the teacherage, once used as apartments for faculty members, was renovated. It was made into a home to house the principal and his family.
The Vocational Arts Building was constructed in 1970. The Home Economics Department occupies the front two rooms, housing sewing and cooking equipment. The Agricultural Department has one room for classes and one room used as a shop.
Integration of the Richland Parish School System began in the fall of 1968. The first black teachers at Mangham High School were Mrs. Tina Larkin and Mr. Fred Wilson. Mrs. Larkin taught at Alto High School for twenty years before coming to Mangham High School as a fourth grade teacher. She retired in 1972 with thirty-one years of service to the teaching profession. Mr. Wilson taught the sixth grade and was from Mississippi.
Boundaries were drawn which determined where students would go to school since many small schools were closed. Black students who had previously attended Mangham Elementary, Pardue, Egypt, and Alto High School came to this school during the 199-70 school year. Rhymes Elementary and High Schools were closed and most of these students went to Rayville. Alto remained an all-black school until 1970. During the 1970-71 session, three schools in our district were established: Mangham Elementary, kindergarten through sixth grade; Mangham Middle School in Alto, seventh and eighth grade; and Mangham High School, ninth through twelfth grades.
In 1978, the voters of District C passed a $1,989,875 bond issue for the construction of new buildings that were completed in September 1980. The junior high (grades 7 & 8) moved from Alto to the former elementary school. The high school and junior high school classrooms were air conditioned during the 1980-81 school year.
In 1991, the voters of District 4 (Wards 4, 5, and 7) passed a $3,771,157 bond issue for the construction of a new high school, a junior high, a new cafeteria, and a new gymnasium. Construction began in March 1992 and was completed in January 1995.
In 2016, the Mangham community committed to a $12 million bond issue to upgrade facilities on campuses. The most visible aspects of the bond issue was the building of the new field house that contains an indoor turf room, weight room, batting cage, offices and storage for athletic uniforms and equipment. Another visible addition is a six-lane track around the football field with areas especially for track and field events. Mangham had been the only school in the parish without a track. The Home and Visitor’s sides were also reversed back to where home is on the west side of the stadium again donned with a extended set of bleachers and new press box. In addition to the athletic facilities, another new building is the lecture hall which includes four new classrooms and a lecture room with pitched seating. The vocational building received a much needed face lift. The remnants of the home economic classes were removed since the classes are no longer offered and now the entire building is devoted to agriculture and welding classes. The unusable building that was once the art building was torn down and a large gravel student parking lot took its place. Within the existing building of Mangham HS and JH, LED lights and Smartboards have been installed in every classroom, as well as a new heating and air conditioning system that can be controlled by each individual classroom. In the summer of 2020, covered sidewalks have been extended throughout campuses and the junior high received a new semi-circle drive to alleviate traffic issues for drop-offs/pick-ups in the morning and afternoons. The Elementary school has also seen many upgrades in their classrooms and outdoor campus, as well, due to the bond issue passed in 2016.
Since its early years, Mangham High School has held annual commencement exercises. The first commencement was held in 1920, with nine graduates. This group of seniors received certificates instead of diplomas since the high school was not state approved until 1924. Diplomas were given to the seventeen graduates of the class of 1922. There have been 100 graduation exercises including the 1920 one. The smallest class was the 1949 class with seven seniors; the largest classes were the 2018 and 2019 classes both with seventy-six seniors.
From a one-story frame buiding near the turn of the century, Mangham High School has grown to its present size. The size of classes and staff has grown tremendously. With an ever-changing world around us, the future will demand many changes: new courses, new facilities, and new outlooks. These changes will be met with an optimistic attitude, a quality characterized by our school. All who are associated with Mangham High School can look back to its past with pride and satisfaction and to its future with hope and determination.
During the past years of existence, Mangham High School has been served by the following principals:
Mrs. Richard Hatch (1914-1915)
Mrs. Myrtis Archibald (1915-1916)
Mr. T.A. Judd (1916-1918)
Mr. C.C. Dupree (1918-1920)
Mr. C.E. Lunsford (1920-1921)
Mr. J.K. Gladney (1921-1922)
Mr. S.L. Crownover (1922-1925)
Mr. T.A. Judd (1925-1955)
Mr. Bennie M. Hixon (1955-1963)
Mr. Charles E. Thompson (1963-1965)
Mr. Elwyn C. Lyles (1965-1987)
Mr. Althan Smith (1987-2010)
Mrs. Connie Williams (2010-2019)
Mrs. Bobbye Jo Futch (2019-present)