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In February 1909, Thomas Conley and Wilson St. Clair Lierly circulated  petitions for the establishment of the first school district. Classes started September 1909 in a small frame shack near the Moron Boiler Works at Crystal Street and Leirly Avenue near Boust City. The district was formed in 1915 and named after Conley who donated property for the school. By 1917 a new campus was completed on property purchased from Southern Pacific Railroad on the northwest corner of Seventh and San Emidio Streets; the present day location.
 
The Conley High School District became the Taft Union High School District in July of 1920 by including Elk Hills, Midway, Mckittrick and Olig elementary school districts.
 
Even without a field to practice in TUHS' first football team was formed under coach Andrew Hardin. The team was known as the Gaugers not becoming the Wildcats until 1928. Practices and games were played in the baseball field. A Taft-Bakersfield  rivalry intensified over the next 30 years, and traditionally the Taft-Bakerfield game was the last game of the season and would draw crowds upwards of 7000 for games played in Taft. Unfortunately it was a rare occurrence when Taft won; changing in 1928 when Taft not only defeated Bakersfield High for the first time but the Wildcats won their first valley championship.
 
TUHS continued to expand with the addition of an athletic field for football and track, a gymnasium, auditorium, science building, cafeteria and domestic science buildings . The stadium was renamed the Marion Martin Memorial Stadium in honor of a popular student and captain of the football team who was killed in a bus accident returning from a game in 1927.
 
The Taft Union High School District authorized the establishment of classes at the junior college level starting September 1922. Taft Junior College was the 16th junior college formed in the state. Later Taft Junior College formed it's own district the West Kern Junior High School District in 1962.
 
 
 

 

Last Modified on September 10, 2013