Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Criminals?

The Criminals?
Yuma, Arizona     High 75 Low 52

Last night while we were watching the news, I happened to see a picture that looked like Yuma High School, Home of the criminals. This sounded interesting to me, so I looked it up on Wikipedia, and found out I was correct.

The following is from Wikipedia:
The school was established in 1909, when Arizona Territory taxpayers voted to organize a union district from several elementary districts. In September of that year, Yuma Union High School began with four teachers in three rooms near the corner of Main and Third Streets. At the end of the first year, twelve seniors graduated. Yuma High's distinctive mascot came when the original school building was destroyed by fire in 1910. The school then used the Yuma Territorial Prison, which had been closed, for the next three years. Classes were held in the cellblocks, and assemblies took place in the prison hospital.
In 1912, the city of Yuma notified the school that the prison was needed as a city jail. The school board carried through a bond election to build a new school, at 400 South 6th Avenue (where the current campus is today). In 1914, school began in the newly constructed "Main" building. That same year, the Yuma football team traveled to Phoenix Union High School to play the Coyotes. Yuma High won the game (and the consensus state championship), and the angry Phoenix Union fans dubbed the Yuma High players the Criminals. At first, this was a fighting word to the school community, but by 1917, it had stuck, and the name was officially adopted by the school board. Yuma Union thus became the only high school in the US to use the mascot; it is also the only high school in the United States whose mascot is copyrighted.  References are sprinkled throughout; the mascot wears a blue-and-white prison uniform, the gate to the school's sports fields includes bars from the old prison, and the school's "Cell Block" shop sells themed apparel.

 These 2 photos are of the old Territorial Prison.

Cheer Leaders at the old Prison.
The gate is from the Old Prison.
We thought this was kind of interesting and hope you feel the same.

Thanks for visiting.


  1. Thanks for that interesting bit of history on Yuma, we be back there for a few day this friday to enjoy the area a bit more.

  2. We've been to the prison but I didn't know that it had been used as a school. Very interesting.

  3. It's not everyday that you can proudly say that you're a Criminal with a smile on your face and never having committed a crime.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  4. I believe there is an exhibit at the Depot on this. I remember reading about it.