A Summary of Manual History - Taken from the 100 Year History Booklet: "Mind, Hand and Heart"

In the late nineteenth century, the idea of educating the "mind and hand" at the same time was definitely a new concept.  A few innovative school officials felt that developing this idea would serve to encourage young men to enroll and remain in high school.  It was believed that offering courses in manual skills would be an added attraction to them, and keep them interested until graduation.  So different was this new concept in education that a special act of the state legislature was necessary to authorize its development.  In 1891 this resolution was passed.

High School # 1 which later became Shortridge was so overcrowded that a second, temporary high school was set up in an old school building on Virginia Avenue.  On February 18, 1895, 526 students and twenty-two faculty members marched from temporary high school # 2 to the new building located between Merrill Street, Meridian Street and Madison Avenue.  The new school was first called the Industrial Training School.

The parade was led by new principal, Charles E. Emmerich.  Because of his leadership and its new curriculum, the new school immediately gained national attention.  However, the name of the school sounded too much like a reformatory so in 1899 the name of the school was changed to Manual Training High School.

Manual became a school proud of its unique origin as an experiment in combining education of the "mind and hand".  It was the first of its kind in America and became an extremely successful and popular school.

In 1910, Mr. Emmerich resigned as principal after establishing many traditions and many successful educational concepts.  One of the ideas which he initiated was that Manual should have an annual birthday party where graduates could come back and celebrate Manual's beginning.  This tradition still continues into the twenty-first century.  Mr.  Emmerich died a year after his retirement, and in 1916 to honor his contributions to the school, the name of the school was officially changed to the Charles E. Emmerich Manual Training High School (better known in later years as EMTHS).

Manual began flourshing in all of its endeavors.  Visitors came from all over the country to see this new experiment in education.  Enrollment continued to grown, and it was soon apparent that additions to the building were necessary.  In 1920 and 1924 new rooms, a larger cafeteria, an auditorium and a gymnasium were added.  In 1928 Delevan Smith Memorial Field was built to allow more room for the athletic competition.

Athletic teams were especially strong.  It was the football team in 1896 that already had selected red and white as the school colors. and early records indicate that the first teams were called the "Blacksmiths".  At a later date which has not been discovered through research, the  school mascot was changed to the Manual Redskins.  There were fewer high schools at this time in history so opponents became colleges and universities.  Early records indicate athletic contests between Manual, DePauw, Franklin, Wabash, Indiana and Purdue.  Many resulted in victories for the Redskins.  Because of the need to insure that only eligible players participated in these games, Manual took a major role in the organization of the IHSAA in 1899.

In 1907, after the annual Thanksgiving day football game between Manual and Shortridge, a great fight broke out.  As a result, it was mandated that the two schols could no longer participate in athletic competition and no inter-scholastic football at all could be played.  This policy continued until 1914 when two young men, Ed Gardner and Ted Kroll, with the help of teacher Arda Knox, organized a senior boys' honorary called Roines Club.  This club influenced the administration to allow conpetition between the two schools to resume, and in 1920 football conpetition was re-established.  In 1914, a girls' senior honorary called Masoma was also established.

Earlier in 1911, Wallace Wadsworth wrote the words to the school song, "Onward Manual" to the familiar tune already being used by the University of Wisconsin.  In 1909 Mr. Emmerich had started one of his traditions where a sprig of ivy was planted along the west wall of the school, and by 1952, the entire side of the old building was covered by a mixture of ivies.  The school yearbook orginially called the Senior Booster, was later changed to the Ivian in 1949 to preserve the tradition of Ivy Day.  In 1899 the Manual alumni Association was organized and is still regarded as one of the most successful high school alumni groups in the United States.

Suitable space for improvements comparable to other high schools int he city created a need for a more adequate and modern school building.  In 1945, a twenty-one acre area south of Pleasant Run Boulevard at Madison Avenue was purchased.  Groudbreaking for the "new Manual" as it became known, was held on August 2, 1951.  The school opened in the fall of 1953.

Reflecting on its new environment and with a greater emphasis on acedemic skills, the school's motto began emphasizing something that had always been present but never before spelled out.  Manual Training High School was educating the "Mind, Hand and Heart".



1894-   Construction begins at Meridian and Merrill Streets.

1895-   Construction completed at a cost of $230,359.  On February 18th the doors opened to 526 students.  

1896-   School colors of red and white were chosed.

1899-   Name changed to Manual Training High School. 

1907-   City football eliminated until 1920.

1909-   First senior armbands and Ivy Day began.

1911-   Wallace Wadsworth wrote the words to the school song, "Onward Manual".

1912-   First Edition of the Booster was published on March 19th.

1914-   Roines and Masoma, honor organizations, were founded.

1915-   The senior Booster, a type of yearbook, began and continued until it was replaced by the Ivian.

1916-   Name of school was changed to Charles E. Emmerich Manual Training High School.

1920-   Top Ten students honoring outstanding students was started.  City football competition resumed.

1928-   Delevan Smith Memorial Field was completed.

1948-   First Student Affairs Board took office.

1949-   First hardback Ivian was published.  Manual's Dad's Club raised funds to put lights on Delevan Smith Field.

1953-   New Manual opened to 1,734 students at a cost of $4,500,000.  League of Honor started, Quill and Schroll began.

1954-   Redskin Revue started.

1956-   National Thespians and National Honor Societies founded.

1958-   Football City Champions and Mythical State Champions crowned.

1961-   Boys' basketball State Finalist.

1966-   Name changed to Emmerich Manual High School.

1985-   Renovation of building followed by new football, track and baseball facilities completed.

1989-   Indianapolis Schools Athletic Conference (IPSAC) was formed.

1994-  Star Academy magnet school begins.  Football stadium named after Ray Schultz, alum, teacher and coach.

1995-  100 Year Birthday Celebration was held at the Indiana Convention Center.

2005-  $26,000,000 building renovation started.  Gymnasium dedicated to Richard C. Cummins, teacher and coach.

2007-  Twenty-six million dollar improvement plan was finished.